Christians like to think that Christianity is just another form of Judaism. This is incorrect.
The first thing you have to understand is that to Judaism, Jesus is a foreign god.
Yes, it is true, as a few people have written to me, that Christians themselves assert that they worship the same G-d we do. This is really misdirection, even when it is unintentional. Judaism has strict Laws and Guidelines to define these things, and Christian beliefs in Jesus contravene those Laws and Guidelines.
Let me use a parable.
Abner Doubleday invented a game called baseball. He composed certain basic rules for the playing of the game; later, the Baseball Commission refined those rules and added others. These days, it is the Baseball Commission that decides what is within the rules and what is beyond the rules, as far as professional baseball is concerned.
Now, this may or may not be fair. After all, when I play baseball with my friends, there are probably quite a few rules we don't keep, for all I know. We're not playing hardball for any league, so who cares? As far as we are concerned, we are playing baseball.
On the other hand, we're also not claiming to be on the same level as the Yankees, or even the Cubs, for that matter. So no one cares what we call the game. The way we feel about it, it's close enough to the real thing that we can call it baseball.
But some friends of mine decided to create a new league, with new rules. We found that using a batter was too difficult for us, so instead of a batter someone catches the ball and throws it as hard as he can into the outfield. He does not run the bases, because there is only one base: home plate. Now, we feel that there is too much competition in this world, so there are no outs. Each baseman simply throws the ball to the outfield.
When all the players on your team have thrown the ball, the teams switch places and your team goes into the field.
No one loses. It's true that no one wins, but at least no one loses.
Is that baseball? Well, we say that it is. We use a ball, and we have a home base. The name says BASE BALL. We have a base and a ball. What more do we need?
How does the Baseball Commission feel about this? Well, they say, it's very nice, but it's not baseball. Let them play to their hearts' content, but it's not baseball.
So who gets to decide whether or not our version is baseball? Well, anyone who wants can call it what they want. We call it baseball, and we like that name. We feel it is the perfect name for our game. But the minute that we begin to sell tickets, billing ourselves as "baseball," we are likely to have a lawsuit on our hands.
Why? Because there is an established understanding of what baseball is and what it isn't. Our game may be very nice, but it is certainly not traditional baseball. It doesn't matter what we call it. Abner Doubleday would not have called it baseball, baseball fans don't consider it baseball, and it doesn't conform to the generally accepted rules of baseball.
This article does not intend to discuss the vices and virtues of Christianity. But no matter how Christians feel about it, Christianity is simply not Judaism. And by the Rules and Regulations of Judaism, the god that the Christians worship is not the same G-d as in Judaism. It is not acceptable to Jews at all.
I know that Christians don't believe this, and many won't accept it. That makes no difference to the Laws of Judaism. The Laws of Judaism stand as they have always stood, and any system that contravenes those Laws cannot be considered Judaism.
Part of the problem is that Christians don't really have much understanding of Jewish Law, so they don't really know how and why their beliefs contradict Judaism. The first (and often the only) difference they see is that they believe that the Messiah has come, and we Jews know that the Messiah has not yet come, could not possibly have come yet. That would indeed be enough of a difference, but the truth is that the differences are far greater than just that.
The point is that Christians do not get to decide whether their religion is like Judaism, since they have broken off and made changes. Those who keep the original religion are the ones who know, and are the ones who can say. We Orthodox Jews know Jewish Law. Christians do not.
Regardless of your belief, or variation of belief, no form of Christianity is Jewish. And no belief that includes Jesus as messiah or savior or god can be Jewish.
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