I’m really blessed by my Christian friends, all your sincerity, blessing, kindness, all you’ve taught me and keep teaching me about faith and life. Even though you get the picture that I think the differences from traditional Judaism are serious ones, I am still thankful for your hearts, friendship, and wisdom… and especially that so many of you were able to step past sadness regarding my faith and bring joy to our wedding recently (either in person or from afar). No one is an island and you guys are a really important part of my life.
Today I wrote a few questions that I hope might bring some peace and clarity to the way that Orthodox Judaism thinks about Christianity’s incarnation claim… whether it is both logical and factual. It isn’t meant to poke at your faith but to elucidate our perspective. It should be a careful and yet also open-minded conversation, since sometimes the way we are taught to think opens our eyes and then again sometimes it brings confusion. For example, I recently heard a Western-born person saying that even though the Torah speaks of ‘evening and then morning’, this makes no sense because day clearly comes before night. Feelings can be important for our thoughts, yet they can sometimes trip our thinking.
So if you’d like to, think honestly for yourself sometimes about these questions. I think they are good because they’re neutral, yet they emphasise things that matter to traditional Jews a lot. Perhaps the deeper you delve in them, the more light they can shed. Try to also think about the way that ancient, Torah-observant followers of God would have answered. (The answers we come up with are between us and God, but they also affect people we speak with and teach).
1. Why do the Torah and the Hebrew prophets and writings describe God as the Maker of the sea, the earth, the sky, and all that is in them?
2. Why do these books emphasise that God’s interaction with creation is through created ‘servants’ such as angels, prophets, ‘manifestations’, His glory and presence, His words, His loving blessings, etc.?
3. Would you say that these are very common and/or central ideas in what the Hebrew scriptures are here to say? In other words, are these two things as important and clear in Torah-Jewish thought as the other big themes like justice, obedience, love and awe of God, repentance, and the promises of restoration?