Monday, November 10, 2008

Chutzpah and Heaven


The head of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants has announced that he is called off talks with the Mormon Church over posthumous baptisms performed by the sect for Holocaust victims. Survivors are upset that names of Holocaust victims have been added to a list of baptisms- including thousands lifted from Yizkor books of Jews massacred at Berdichev in Ukraine. Over 380 000 Holocaust victims, including Ann Frank, have already been baptized by the Mormon Church.

The Mormons believe that by baptizing the dead, they give them an opportunity to go to heaven. It is anti-semitic in the extreme to suppose that the murdered victims of the Holocaust need any help from a 150-year old cult in getting to heaven. However, such a belief is not unique to the Mormon Church. Many Evangelical missionary movements which target Jews threaten eternal hellfire and brimstone if Jews do not accept Jesus.

Before Adolph Eichmann, may his name be accursed, was to be executed, Israel permitted him to meet with a Christian minister. After he was executed, reporters asked the minister whether or not Eichmann had accept Jesus. The minister explained that having accepted Jesus, Eichmann would surely be forgiven of all of his sins and go to heaven. And as for the poor Jewish boy gassed at Auschwitz, disbelieving in his "saviour", hell would surely be his eternal reward. According to this perverted belief system, the evil architect of the Final Solution would be welcomed at the Pearly Gates simply for accepting Jesus while the 6 million victims of the Holocaust would be condemned to hell for being Jews.

This story goes to show the perverseness of exclusivity on heaven. For a cult less than two centuries old to presuppose that it has the key to the eternal salvation of the martyrs of the Holocaust is the ultimate in chutzpah. Even more than that, for anyone to claim that his is the only path to heaven and salvation invites hatred, persecution and intolerance. Such a belief only propagates the reasoning behind burning Jews at the stake, and other such atrocities, in order to "save their souls". Surely, the inquisitors and Church officials reasoned, that whatever they did to the Jews was nothing in comparison with eternal salvation. They believed that they were saving them from a far worse fate.

So let's get this straight, for every single Christian or any other cultist who is concerned about my soul: Jews don't need you to be saved!. For a Jew to be saved, he must observe G-d's commandments, follow the Torah and serve HaShem with his entire heart and soul. G-d gave us 613 commandments with which to perfect and refine ourselves so that we may enjoy the World to Come. No cult or sect can offer us anything of value in terms of salvation. As for non-Jews, the sacrifice of Jesus is worthless as well. G-d demands of non-Jews that they renounced man-made idolatry, worship HaShem and lead moral lives. No man can atone for another. Only by keeping G-d's Torah, the 613 mitzvot for Jews and the 7 mitzvot for non-Jews, can we be holy in HaShem's eyes.

The Mishna (Sanhedrin 90a) teaches that " all of Israel has a share in the World to Come, as it says: 'And your people are all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever. They are the branch of My planting, My Handiwork, in which to take pride.'" (Isaiah 60:21) So just a head's-up to anyone who wants to save us: we Jews don't need any help in that department.

9 comments:

Ralph said...

BK at the conclusion of your post you quote "'And your people are all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever. They are the branch of My planting, My Handiwork, in which to take pride.'" (Isaiah 60:21)"

With all due respect, I think that may be a misrepresentation. All of my translations of the OT, especially the JPS Tanach, render the passage as "(JPS) Thy people also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land for ever; the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, wherein I glory."

"Shall be", future tense, not "are", present tense.

To suggest that 'observant' Jews, those whom you refer to as 'Israel', are righteous seems to put a lie to " Pro 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."
(source:- Tanach - JPS)
Have Hamas and Hezbolah gone out of business?

ps. 'True Blue' Christians (such as I) do not believe that heaven is the reward of "the saved".

Bar Kochba said...

Ralph, you do not speak Hebrew that the verse says: 've'amach kulam tzadikim' -meaning 'your nation IS entirely righteous' as opposed to 'yihiyu kulam tzadikim', SHALL be entirely righteous.

I don't know that you mean by quoting Proverbes 16:7, besides implying that the Jews deserve their everything tzurres. King David had many enemies and fought many wars but he was a man after G-d's own heart. All of our righteous had enemies. During the Holocaust, the greatest sages and saints were brutally murdered. Are you suggesting that they deserved it, chas v'shalom?

And what does your ps mean?

S. E. Jihad Levine "Sister Safiyyah" said...

*standing ovation*

Awesome post BK! Thank you for it!

Bar Kochba said...

Safiyyah, thank you for your kind words and thank you for stopping by. I must say, Safiyyah, you puzzle me very much. By the same token, Jews do not Islam or Muhammad to reach heaven. In fact, for a believing Jew, to accept that there is a Prophet greater than Moshe Rabeinu is the height of blasphemy. Such a person, according to the Rambam, has no share in the World to Come.

Safiyyah, please come back. I am curious: is your mother Jewish? I hope you return to Am Yisrael.

S. E. Jihad Levine "Sister Safiyyah" said...

Shaalom BK:

No, my mother was not Jewish, but our parents raised us Jewish. After her divorce from my father, we moved to another state. I started to attend a synagogue there and the rabbi suggested that I "convert" so no one could ever question my Judaism.

My parent grandparents and great grandparents were Orthodox Jews. My father was the first to marry outside of Judaism.

Ralph said...

Bar Kochba
on November 11, 2008 at 6:15 PM
you said:-
"Ralph, you do not speak Hebrew"
and that is true, I have to rely on the translations of others. You then went on to say:-
" the verse says: 've'amach kulam tzadikim' -meaning 'your nation IS entirely righteous' as opposed to 'yihiyu kulam tzadikim', SHALL be entirely righteous."

How can you possibly tranlate the verse in this way when anybody can read this:-
"Tel Aviv to Promote Homosexual Tourism to Israel at Danish Event"
found HERE

Also:-
"During the Holocaust, the greatest sages and saints were brutally murdered. Are you suggesting that they deserved it,.."

I do not set myself as a judge but can read:-
"Deu 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
Deu 28:16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
Deu 28:17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Deu 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Deu 28:19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
Deu 28:20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me....."

I suggest there is no way that ANYONE could say the Holocaust was not a curse.

Also:-
"And what does your ps mean?"
The introductory graphic to your post illustrates a person presumably standing at "the pearly gates" looking for admission to heaven. The text of your post states:-
"The Mormons believe that by baptizing the dead, they give them an opportunity to go to heaven. It is anti-semitic in the extreme to suppose that the murdered victims of the Holocaust need any help from a 150-year old cult in getting to heaven."

I find NO scriptural evidence to suggest that the righteous dead may be found in "heaven". Paradise yes, but heaven, NO.

Bar Kochba said...

Ralph: The entire Jewish nation as a collective is always righteous before G-d. Individuals may be sinners, but as a whole, we are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and therefore deserving of G-d's love.

Ralph, in the book of Job, his friends were punished for suggesting to Job that he had sinned and that G-d was punishing him. According to Jewish law, one who tells someone in pain that he is being punished is guilty of afflicting him with words. The Holocaust is beyond human comprehension. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)

And heaven is simply a term for the World to Come. In traditional Jewish literature, it is called the Garden of Eden.

Ralph said...

BK
on December 3, 2008 at 9:42 PM
you wrote:-
"The entire Jewish nation as a collective is always righteous before G-d."
So can you explain why the state of Israel is under continuous attack from rocket fire when Proverbs 16:7 tells us:-"When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

You also said:-
"...but as a whole, we are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and therefore deserving of G-d's love."

How can this be when I can read of Israel:-
"Exo 32:10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation"
Moses was not of the House of Judah.

Since when did the House of Judah become, as you dare to say, "deserving of G-d's love."

Anonymous said...

I think that this is a bunch of crap!!!