Let’s Get Rabbinical

Jewish Objections To Objections To Yeshua

בס״ד

the real Yeshua was held in high esteem by our most revered rabbis, who cite his words with approval… thus, everyone who acknowledges [Yeshua], that is, anyone who judges [Yeshua] favorably, the Holy One, blessed be he, will judge him favorably, as we find in the Talmud…

-Rabbi Eliyahu Tzvi Soloveitchik, grandson of Reb Chaim Volozhiner

“Then Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do…””

-Matthew 23:1-3a

“how could yeshua have been righteous? look what horrible atrocities were committed in his name against the jews!”

“… Onkelos said to him (Jesus of Nazareth): Who is most important in that world where you are now? Jesus said to him: The Jewish people. Onkelos asked him: Should I then attach myself to them in this world? Jesus said to him: Their welfare you shall seek, their misfortune you shall not seek, for anyone who touches them is regarded as if he were touching the apple of his eye (see Zechariah 2:12).”

-Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 57a:3

It is unjust to hold Jesus accountable for the millennia of anti-Semitism perpetrated in his name… The transformation of Jesus from lover of Israel to sworn enemy of the Jewish people constitutes one of the greatest acts of character assassination in all of human history…”

-Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Kosher Jesus

“… It took a long, long time, to the end of this, our twentieth century, but people came forth like me and G-d forbid I’m not the only one, but I’m the spearhead I do trust, who will detach this luminary of Judaism by the name of Jesus from the misdeeds of many, many of his ill-baptized followers for almost two millennia, and let Jesus be Jesus. Let him shine forth in his own light without the dark shadows many pseudo-Christians have cast upon his figure.”

-Dr. Pinchas Lapide, debate with Professor Walter Kaiser

“Yeshua taught against the torah and the rabbis, which is why Christianity does the same.”

“Therefore you must realize–and accept the truth from him who speaks it– that we see clearly here that the Nazarene [Yeshua] and his Apostles did not wish to destroy the Torah from Israel, G-D forbid… It is therefore exceedingly clear that the Nazarene never dreamed of destroying the Torah

he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically, as mentioned earlier, and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah…”

-Rabbi Jacob Emden, SEDER OLAM RABBAH VEZUTA

“Yeshua saw that many were gathered to him, all of them with differing opinions, as he said to them: I know that everyone will interpret my words according to his own opinion. Therefore, if they err or are mistaken, G-d forbid, in interpreting my words, no guilt will be upon me, for the disadvantage will go to the one receiving. And there are four types or receivers, and they are listed in the Talmudic passage above. And he who distorts the words of Yeshua, his mistake is not the fault of YeshuaYeshua proclaimed and demonstrated everywhere his devotion to the Torah of Moses […]. And whosoever claims that Yeshua violated, or permitted the violation of, a single command of Moses utters vicious slander against him…”

-Rabbi Eliyahu Tzvi Soloveitchik, Kol Kore (Soloveitchik’s Commentary on Matthew)

Jesus of Nazareth himself kept, not only the Mosaic Law, but also the Rabbinical institutions. And whatever seems to be contrary to this, in the sayings and proceedings recorded of him, only seems so at first sight. Carefully examined, every thing will be found perfectly to agree, not only with Scripture, but also with tradition. If he came to put a stop to the more and more spreading Pharisaism and hypocrisy, surely he would not himself have set the first example of them by sanctioning, by his own observance, a Law which he thought should be abrogated and set aside.

-Moses Mendelssohn, Jerusalem
See “jewish intellectuals on yeshua” for many more similar quotes

“if Jesus wasn’t responsible for founding christianity, then who was? The Jews, Peter and/or Paul?”

There is a fascinating Jewish legend about the origins of Christianity, the source and contents of which are ancient. It is called, “Toldot Yeshu.” In it, it is relayed that the Rabbis and Sages of Israel employed both Peter (Shimeon Kepha) and Paul to make an official separation between Judaism and those who apostasized the faith in Yeshua, in order to protect the Torah-faithful in Israel. In this popular narrative which was widely circulated amongst Jews for centuries, it is not Yeshua, but actually the Jewish rabbis, through the agency of Peter and Paul, who founded Christianity as a religion separated from Judaism. Peter is called “the chief of the Sanhedrin” and is said to have composed special prayers for the Jewish people which are still recited in his memory and merit. For example, the revered Rashi’s grandson, Rabbeinu Tam, even credited Shimeon with the authorship of the famous Shabbat prayer, “Nishmat Kol Chai.” Here are some excerpts from the story:

“When the wise men of lsrael saw this they said, it is now thirty years… [and] till now we have no peace with these misguided ones [Christians] and this hath befallen us because of the number of our sins, for it is written: They have moved me to wrath with their not-God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities, etc. that is the Christians who are not [? naught]; with a base people will I provoke them; – that is, the Ishmaelites.”

“The wise said: How long shall the apostates profane Sabbath .. and feasts, and slay one another? Let us rather seek for a wise man who may take these erring ones out of the community of Israel. It is now thirty years that we have admonished them, but they have not returned to G-d… and so may they go to destruction and peace be with us.”

“The wise men agreed on a man whose name was Eliyahu, and he was very learned in the Scripture, and they said to him:.. We have agreed, that we will pray for thee, that thou shalt be counted as a good Israelite in the other world. Go, and do good for lsrael, and remove the apostates from us, that they may go to destruction! Eliyahu went to the Sanhedrin at Tiberias, to Antioch, and made proclamation throughout the whole land of Israel: Whosoever believeth on Yeshu, let him join himself to me!

… Eliyahu said to them: Yeshu saith to you: Whosoever will be with me in the other world, let him remove himself from the community of Israel and join himself not to them; for my Father in heaven hath already rejected them and from henceforth requireth not their service, for so said He through Isaiah: Your new-moons and feasts my soul hateth, etc.

But Yeshu saith to you: Whosoever will follow me, let him profane the Sabbath, for God hateth it, but instead of it He keepeth the Sunday, for on it God gave light to His world. And for Passover which the Israelites solemnize, keep yet it on the Feast of the Resurrection, for he is risen from his grave; for the Feast of Weeks, Ascension, for on it he is ascended to heaven; for New Year, Finding of the Cross; for the Great Fast Day (Day of Atonement], the Feast of the Circumcision: for Chanukkah [the Feast of Lights], Calendæ [New Year].

The foreskin is naught, circumcision is naught; whosoever will circumcise himself, let him be circumcised; whosoever will not circumcise himself, let him be not circumcised. Moreover, whatsoever G-d created in the world, from the smallest gnat to the mightiest elephant, pour forth its blood upon the ground and eat it, for so it is written: As the green grass have I given you all. If one of them compel you to go a mile, go with him twain… Until he separated them from Israel.

But Eliyahu who gave them these laws, the not-good ones, did it for the welfare of Israel, and the Christians call him Paul. After he had introduced these laws and commandments, the erring ones separated themselves from Israel, and the strife ceased.”

“Now the chief of the Sanhedrin, his name was Shimeon Kepha and why was he called Kepha? Because he stood on the stone on which Ezekiel had prophesied at the river Kebar, and on that stone it was that Shimeon heard a voice from heaven. When the Christians heard that Shimeon Kepha was one of those who heard a voice from heaven, and that stores of wisdom were in him, they envied the Israelites, that so great a man was found in Israel, G-d brought it into Shimeon’s mind to go to Jerusalem on the Feast of Tabernacles. And there were gathered together all the bishops and the great ancient of the Christians [Pope?}. They came to Shimeon Kepha to the Mount of Olives on the day of the great Feast of Willow-twigs. When they saw his wisdom, that [there was] not one in Israel like unto him, … to turn him to the religion of the Christians and they constrained him, saying: lf thou dost not profess our religion, we will put thee to death, and not leave even one remaining in Israel to go into the sanctuary. When the Israelites perceived this, they besought him: Humour them, act according to thy wisdom; so shall neither sin nor guilt be on thee. Thereupon when he perceived the hard fate for Israel, he betook himself to the Christians, and said to them: On this condition do I become a convert to your religion, that ye put no Jew to death, that ye smite him not and suffer him to go in and out in the sanctuary.


The ancient and the Christians accepted his words and all these his conditions. He made a condition with them, that they would build him a lofty tower; he would go into it, would eat no flesh, nor aught save bread and water, letting down a box by a cord, for them to supply him with only bread and water, and he would remain in the tower until his death. All this he did with respect to G-d, that he might not be stained and sullied by them, and that he might not mix with them ; but to the Christians he spake in their sense as though he would mourn for Yeshu, and eat no flesh or aught else, but bread and water only. They built him a tower, and he dwelt therein; he sullied himself not with eating, and prayed not to the Cross.


Afterwards he composed in the tower Keroboth, Jotzroth and Zulthoth in his name, like Eliezer ben Kalir. He sent and gathered together the elders of lsrael, and handed over to their care all that he had found in his mind, and charged them that they should teach it to the leaders in prayer and use it for prayers, so that they might make mention of him for good. They, moreover, sent it to Babylon to Rabbi Nathan, the Prince of the Exile, and they showed it to the heads of the schools, to the Sanhedrin, and they said : It is good, and they taught it to the leaders in prayer of all Israel, and they used it for prayers. Whosoever would mention the name of Shimeon in his chanting did so. May his memory endure to the life of the other world. But G-d in his mercy… him as a good defender.
Amen! Sela!”

-Toldot Yeshu

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

-Yeshua, Matthew 5:17-19

To be continued…

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