Praying with Ire

Should Jews care about Christian prayers?




Comments (75)

(75) Ellen, April 6, 2013 9:40 PM

Who answers prayers?

In mmy opinion, there are two aspects about this:
1. prayer works on the person praying, so it may certainly strenghten their belief that their faith is best and what all people should adopt. And they might act accordingly.
2. prayer is directed towards Hashem. There is only One real Power, and it is our God, Hashem. Is there any need to fear that Hashem may decide to fulfill these prayers?
He made clear in the Tanach which role he has given us, and what he expects from us. We have an everlasting contract with Hashem, and there is no more trustworthy partner in existence. So these prayers shall never cause Hashem to change His mind about us.
It seems to me much more important to counteract missionary activities by ensuring that all Jews know enough about their birthright and the task of the Jews to give up their part of it this close to success. Who would knowingly give up the privilege to help bring about the coming of the Moshiach just before he comes?

(74) daniela, March 20, 2008 1:52 PM

No one ever attacked the post-CV2 liturgical text

In the text which replaced the tridentine liturgy of good friday still there are prayers about Jews, and i consider this legitimate, in fact, no different than our own prayers. The text written under the pontificate of Montini (paul 6) reads something like
"May the Lord our G-d Who chose them first among all people to accept His word, help them to always progress in the love of His name and in faithfullness to His Covenant. Eternal Almighty G-d, who promised to Abraham and his descendants, listen to the prayer of your Church, so that the firstborn people of the Covenant may reach the fullness of Redemption."
As much as it annoys me, it is their right to pray like that. The other stuff they say tomorrow (in a very few churches) is another thing, even in the edulcorated version that ratzinger came up with (probably not to annoy the - not-so-religious but still quite jewish - israeli authorities since he wants a visa from them). Also the last version of the latin liturgy, due to Roncalli (pope john 23) had all these phrases expunged; why not use that version? Chag Purim Sameach.

(73) Bell, March 7, 2008 8:31 AM

comment from a non-jew

Yes, I think Jews should care very much about the content of christian prayers. I was raised Catholic and have been a christian most of my life. Although I do not remember a specific incidence, christianity has influenced a belief that the Jewish religion is evil (not that the Jewish people are evil). As I seek the profound spiritual substance of the Jewish religion, I notice that a part of me is fearful of it. Any and every loving action that the Jewish people can take towards christians will help them find the richness of the Jewish faith. Many christians are hungry and searching for the truth, but they stumble over obstacles in the dark. Even a small flashlight of Jewish faith will help them to see God more clearly.

(72) Elonna, February 24, 2008 12:19 PM

Patronizing prayer

Kind of ironic, that the Catholics think they are the experts on the Torah. These people would still be worshiping Zeus if the Roman empire (in its last gasp) hadn't decided to cram Christianity down the throats of their pagan ancestors. From Zeus....to Torah experts! Why haven't Jews come up with their own patronizing prayer directed at xtians, called a press conference, and publicly announced it to the masses? I guess Jews aren't that arrogant, patronizing, and condescending. Leave it to the remnants of the Roman Empire to come up with patronizing prayers.

(71) Yocheved, February 23, 2008 6:48 PM

It affects the way they feel

When they pray that the Jews are ignorant and that we should accept their belief system, they are strengthening themselves! They feel more sorry for us and want even more to try to convert us! I think that is VERY detrimental to those that wouldn't have fallen into their hands before. But now with the Christians' strengthened desire to 'help save' the Jews, more Jews may fall into their trap. That is very detrimental.

(70) RowenaOsmond, February 23, 2008 8:44 AM

We don't all pray this!

I'm a Christian and certainly don't pray set prayers on what is designated as `Good Friday'.
I prefer to consider The Almighty's deliverance at Passover.

(69) Patricia Cresoe, February 22, 2008 2:50 PM

My prayer is for unity in Israel

I pray for all my Jewish brothers and sisters and the horror they are going through and have been through. As for their conversion G/D can take care of His own however He chooses. Make no mistake I love the Jewish people and Israel. I also am a Christian.

(68) Anonymous, February 21, 2008 5:05 PM

Conversion

I converted last June from Christianity to Judiasm. I do not think anyone was praying for my conversion to my new faith as my former fellow Christians would have done. Just let people make their own decisions, choices without prayer, pressure , coercion,or fear.Too many Christian conversions have been made that way in the past.

(67) steve fox, February 21, 2008 12:42 PM

back in 1956

While in first grade, every day we were told to sing J*sus loves me... As a first grader mom told me to say G*D instead.... This was at a public school in America....

(66) Vittoria Hana, February 20, 2008 9:04 PM

A long story of hate

I agree with your position that we as Jews are not interested in what Catholics want to say in their prayers; however, I do understand the concerns that have been raised. The prayer about the Jews that Catholics are going to recite during the service of good friday has been recently reintroduced by Pope Benedictus XVI after having been cancelled by the Concilium Vaticanum II. The present prayer is different from the ancient one but the fact that the Vatican has decided to resuscitate it is of interest. Having been raised in Italy I am not surprised that this decision has raised worries among he Jews. Italian Jews have suffered a long story of hate coming from the Catholic Church: since the 15th century entire Jewish communities suddenly disapperared because their members were forced to convert (e.g., Trani and Oria) and Synagogues were transformed into Churches. Jews have been killed because considered responsible of having killed Jesus. In other places (e.g. in Rome) Jews were forced to attend the Sunday services in the Churches were they were cursed.
I agree with you and I personally am not interested in the prayers of the Christians but I uderstand those for whom the decision to reintroduce the good Friday prayer has a strange flavor.

(65) neal, February 20, 2008 7:20 PM

there is only One G/d, Hashem

shalom; i spent 20 years as an r.c. actually thot of becoming a priest, so glad viet nam came along.
became a b.a.c. for 27 years, and then i was challenge to read nothing but Torah, this is the bible belt where do i find a copy of the Torah. just happened to have some Jewish friends and while visiting with the lady of the house, her husband came out of the house and handed me a book saying 'neal, i believe your supposed to have this.' the Torah. still have it.
and 2 others and 2 Tanachs, and many other books besides, Tanya is next.
im ben Noach now have been for 5 years and a lot happier. except for when an evengelical gets in my face about returning to the fold. too many horror stories to tell about those incounters.
for all you Jews out there that have converted to christianity, find a little book called you take jesus, ill take G/d. if any jews have friends that are thinking about converting, get them the book, and a copy for your selves. and send them to www.jewsforjudism.com
found that site by accident [ha] one night. i think i got the book from Kehot pub. could have been www.judism.org not sure but please find it. right about now theres a bunch of christians praying for me to come back, dont bother, the is only One G/d and it aint jesus , I
Am does not mean 2. all through the entire Tanach there is only the One. christians simply do not know how to read the bible, if they did they would all be Noahides, which they are any way,
they just dont know it.
G/d says He is our rock,our salvation,and our redeemer, there were none before Me,none behind and none besides Me. pretty blunt huh?
i hope i havent angered anyone, but, i hope i got some of you to think about a few things. www.mechiach.com may open your hearts as well.
forgive my spelling too.

be safe and blessed;
neal

(64) Anonymous, February 20, 2008 5:49 PM

Are There Christian Suicide Bombers?

Until there are, I think the ADL should concentrate on Muslims. I completely agree with Rabbi Salomon.

(63) Karen V., February 20, 2008 4:27 PM

This isn't a universal Christian prayer

This is a revived historical Latin Mass prayer used by conservative sects of Roman Catholicism, not shared by most Christians, or even most Roman Catholics. It has to do with accepting Jesus as Mosiach, in the Christian understanding of the word, not with a different diety. ("Lord" is a title, not identical with "G-d"), and Roman Catholics are actually less likely to confuse the two than certain evangelical groups. The changes are important to reducing anti-semitism in some quarters of Catholic Christianity, however. But the Rabbi is right that it is otherwise irrelevant.

(62) Joan, February 20, 2008 12:16 PM

Many, many Christians are neither Roman Catholics nor fans of replacement theology. I think it is naive to say as Lee does in his post, that the Christians who *do* pray this prayer are simply praying for Jews. Of course we all should want to know the truth, but I think it's clear that those Christians praying this prayer mean "that Jews will recognize Jesus as the Messiah." So, yes, I do think it's a bit insulting, but then, it's really none of our business, unless those words lead to anti-semitic actions of course.

(61) Anonymous, February 20, 2008 11:29 AM

Changing the prayer

Thank you for the video.....
Offended, afraid, incensed, ?????
So, change it because of these things?

You have spoken with wisdom.
Just because someone does something that I do not agree with or like, they must be made to stop????? That could lead somewhere very dangerous....
Thank you again.

(60) Mr. M, February 20, 2008 10:07 AM

I agree with the Rabbi

I agree with the Rabbi

(59) ruth hickman, February 20, 2008 9:59 AM

rabbi,
why don't you believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah? Just wondering, that's all...

(58) Anonymous, February 20, 2008 9:49 AM

We pray because we love you!

I'm a christian, not catholic. I pray for the chosen people every day. But not that they become christians. I love the Scriptures and rejoice in the light G'd gives to the world through them. He didn't choose me, He chose the Jews to enlighten the world. And I thank Him for that and pray that your people may be more and more a blessing to the world. In the end, history is not about jews or christians, it about G'd and His glory! Let's both glorify Him!

(57) Robert Robinson, February 20, 2008 7:11 AM

Rabbi Solomon pray for me

It makes me sick that Catholics still pray this dam.. prayer. I am an Orthodox Christian, and have never personally prayed the Roman Catholic prayer. It is offencive to me. GOD BLESS THE JEWISH PEOPLE. Thank you Rabbi Solomon for your insight and wisdom.

(56) tova wald, February 20, 2008 7:05 AM

Wow 54 comments. I may be 55. The matter may not appear significant now But we have learned that what's NOT SIGNIFICANT TODAY may become SIGNIFICANT TOMORROW. The Church is a study in paradoxicalness. On one hand they want to bring Jews into the fold. On the other hand their main religious symbol for all time is....J.C's cruxification on the cross. We all know what this stands for!!!! Shouldn't J.C. be brought down from the cross to help decrease anti semitism?

(55) Elizabeth, February 20, 2008 5:42 AM

Please be aware that catholics and christians are two completly different religions.I as a christian have never heard this prayer and consider the God of Abraham ,Isaac and Jacob the only true God.I also have benefitted from the teaching of the Jewish rabis and am enjoying having my own eyes unveiled.

(54) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 10:56 PM

Christian / Catholic

Not all Christians are Catholic yet time again when people speak of Christian they mean Catholic.
I agree with Rabbi Salomon that the prayer of the Catholic Religion should not be something to make a fuss about.

(53) Lindy, February 19, 2008 8:06 PM

who are we to change their prayer!

after all, we require gentiles to hold by the noachide laws. I agree with the aish commentator.

(52) Wesley, February 19, 2008 7:41 PM

I Am A Christian

I as a Christian do not condone violent conversions that force lips to profess Christ but not the heart. Those that would be inquisitors in their own Spanish Inquisition are not Christian in their hearts nor deeds. You Read it here from the mouth of a Christian: Jews who leave Judaism are apostates. May those who put faith in God come back to the Torah and strive to be like Israel, The Apple Of Hashem's Eye. I have my beliefs that Jesus is the Christ, but I would ask the Christan and The Muslim to return to the God of Israel, for He Is One.

(51) Lee, February 19, 2008 5:19 PM

Us Jews should be praying these prayers!

What's wrong with what Christians are praying for Jews? They are asking G-d to lift the veil from the eyes of Jews. That's not so bad..I personally want to know truth and G-d wants us to know truth. Perhaps, we need to pray this for ourselves.

(50) Sam, February 19, 2008 5:03 PM

Thoughts and Words Lead to Actions

While, of course, there are millions of fine Catholic people, the actions (and I stress actions) of the Catholic Church still do not support the Jewish people as they claim. Israel is one major example and there are others. In essence, people are affected by their prayers and that has a direct affect on their views regarding Jews and on actions regarding Israel and other issues. This, for example, has been evidenced in studies showing among whom support of Israel is greater and whom it less. Moreover, it's easy for you to ask us to remain silent here in the comfort of the U.S. Why not ask Jews who live in countries where traditional anti-semitism among many Catholics still exists.

You could argue that many evangelicals who support Israel would like us to convert. In many--if not most--cases, this is true. However, it's vital to understand that they reject Replacement Theology and that their support is directly tied to their understanding of important biblical passages in our Torah which command them to love Israel and the Jewish People. Indeed, this is reflected in their actions that we can clearly substantiate.

In conclusion, I strongly disagree with you about remaining silent of the shameful Catholic prayer. Something should be said and then let it go. After all, again, it's their actions that really need addressing. In essence, we can work together on areas of commonality and be good neighbors, without deceiving ourselves of the reality to which I speak. Specifically, on Israel, Jews, the war on terror, and other issues, the Catholic Church is far from where one would want them to be.

I'll end with one of my favorite sayings that perhaps you know:

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

(49) thomas eby, February 19, 2008 4:39 PM

Amen

Rabbi Salomon, I say amen to your outlook. It really does not matter what the Catholic prayers pray for. It does no harm to the Jweish community.

As a catholic I have been getting AISH news for a while now and I enjoy going thru the topics and find them very enlightening. I just ask that aish continues to put out such information.

I have long been interested in how my jewish brothers live, pray and see their heritage and it gives me encouragement that the Jews are steadfast in their beliefs. But as in all religions the Jews have their doubts, questions, etc. which is a normal human thing to do.

Personally I want to learn as much as I can about Jewish faith and heritage and I have been emailing Rabbis for a while now and try to have an on going dealogue with them. They have always been understanding and accepting of me and that I appreciate. I have no wish to become a Jew anymore than I have a wish to have Jews converted to catholicism. There is only one true God and the Jews as well as catholics are devoted to the one true God.

So, again I say Amen to Rabbi Salomon.

God Bless us all.

Thomas Eby

(48) David, February 19, 2008 4:19 PM

God is above petty differences

The God of TRUE Christians is the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Who will ignore petty Catholic and Rabbinic doctrines and traditions.

(47) gwendoline lamb, February 19, 2008 4:10 PM

I don`t agree with you on this, Rav Salomon Shlittah

I think this Christian prayer IS an incitement..and the offensive words in this prayer certainly SHOULD be removed...Why incite any religious hatred however small? I AM offdended by this prayer...Gwendoline, N.E. UK

(46) Sophia, February 19, 2008 3:57 PM

Jewish proselytizing is a modern consept

Part of the Abrahamic covenant was for the Jews to be a light unto the world. To bring the pagans who believed in false gods or multiple gods to know the true God. So this is not a cop-out for the Jews. The Jews are to bring the world to the hope of a messiah. Why else are the Jews a "chosen people" if not to bring the messiah into the world through their bloodline. The problem is that most Jews are secularized and don't take their faith personally and have not prepared an answer to those who challenge them.

(45) Ruth Housman, February 19, 2008 2:48 PM

the ire in fire

It's interesting to me that this has been a source of such controversy. It seems there is nothing incendiary about this prayer so why build a fire around this, creating an "ISSUE". There is One God, meaning we are all, regardless of religion, sharing this unity. I imagine the Christian "God" referred to is not God but Jesus though his name is not mentioned in this particular commentary. I am not offended. I think it unwise to interfere with the prayers of others unless they are about hate and discord and not brotherhood and peace. What I have heard here does not fit that particular category. I am open to hearing more on both sides.

(44) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 2:40 PM

Christians have the same God as Jews

Christians pray to the same God as Jews. The God of the Universe, the God of creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God hears ALL prayers directed to Him including those of Christians as much as those of Jews. I think He especially loves to hear the prayers of Christians who are praying for the Land of Israel and the Jewish people who live there, for their safety and the return of ALL their land. Many Christians do not want to convert Jews, but rather to stand beside them and support them - and pray for them.

(43) steve warshaw, February 19, 2008 2:39 PM

christian prayers have a negative effect

since the invention of the christian religion they have had a negative effect on
the jews who did not convert,we should advise them that when we pray to g-d we pray for all the world and that all paths lead to god ,memmonides.

(42) Ray Vigna, February 19, 2008 2:18 PM

I am a Christian and I do indeed pray for the Jewish people and for Israel. I believe what I believe and my prayers are out of love and for my desire for the blessing of the Jewish nation. I have a deep love and a longing for what I consider my roots. Please accept my prayers as such. May I also point out that The Pope and Roman Catholicism do not represent Christianity just Catholicism. I as a Seventh Day Adventist have a belief much closer to Judaism then to Catholicism. I believe and observe all ten cammandments and observe and honor Sabbath. Blessing, Ray

(41) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 1:50 PM

Not a Christian prayer!

This is not a Christian prayer. Instead, this is a pagan Catholic prayer.

(40) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 1:27 PM

I am a follower of Jesus Christ and believe the entire Bible. I never pray prayers like you mentioned and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is
the Almighty.

(39) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 1:23 PM

Is the ADL still wasting time and money on this issue?

I am surprised that the ADL is still wasting time and money on this issue. When the issue first surfaced months ago, it struck me that the ADL lacked clarity in trying to carry out its mission. Your comments point to the fact that this is still happening.

The ADL can do a lot to help the Jews, but it can also do a lot that is neither good nor required to protect us from being defamed. This issue is an perfect example of ADL national leadership looking for an issue when none exists.

We need to ask that leadership, "why are you continuing to waste time and money.

(38) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 1:09 PM

It's not the prayer, it's why, on their holy day, are we even included.

Let one pray as he or she will. But as long as Christians think it necessary to pray for Jewish conversion there will be a connotation of "wrongness" to being Jewish. It must be that Christians think of Jewishness as a threat, therefore, something to act against. Prayer is the least threatening act but such thinking has led to many more hostile acts. So, let them pray but let them also ask why that request should even be included as part of their required rituals.

(37) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 1:05 PM

Comment on blood atonement

I appreciate the ire and animosity of Jews towards Christians -- being one of the latter myself, I must confess that we are largely ignorant of Tenach and our ignorance in many such matters led to great atrocities against the Jewish people in times past which causes me much sadness and pain. All I can do is say how terribly and sincerely sorry I am that people claiming to represent Christ acted in such un-Christ-like ways and did such abominable things. I love the Jewish people, they are forever the chosen people of G-d, and precious to Him.
But regarding Beverly's comments about Christians misrepresenting the Tenach as concerns the necessity of blood in the remission of sins, Levit. 17:11 says: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." Yes, it is true that in His compassion for the poor, HaShem makes provision for them, in that instead of bringing doves as their sin offering, they could bring an offering of fine flour-- this does not mean that the sacrifice has nothing to do with the shedding of blood.

(36) Lin, February 19, 2008 12:50 PM

Leave them alone

Who are we to tell Christians how to pray? Do we want them telling us how to pray? No. Bringing up things like these can only deepen the rift between Christians and Jews, not heal it. What we all need to do is be more accepting of all people and make the world a better place, not a more divisive, judgmental place.

(35) Rainer, February 19, 2008 12:46 PM

I didn't know that Jews accept many gods - a Christian god, a Jewish god.
I am a Christian and i often read aish.com-articles because I confess that there's only one GOD. Of course we sometimes speak differently about him and we're not brothers and sisters. But when we pray, we all pray to the God of Abraham ans Isaac.
There is no Christian god - and no Jewish god. There's just that one LORD.

(34) Sally, February 19, 2008 12:36 PM

why only enlighten the Jews?

It doesn't bother me how they pray, or that they hope in their prayers for others to see and accept the "truth" as they see it. the one thing that does bother me, is why do they bother only with the Jews? why aren't they praying to "take out the blindness" from the rest of mankind? why everyone is so worried with us? that to me, connotates antisemitism, but even so, I agree with Yael, we shouldn't interfere, and who do we think we are to do so?. Who can say if one day they won't ask us to stop praying every morning, (never mind once a year) thanking Hashem for not making us "goy"?

(33) Richard Risi, February 19, 2008 12:33 PM

Rabbi Salomon shows wisdom

I am a Christian pastor and I appreciate Rabbi Salomon's comments. I can see how prayers for the "conversion" from Judaism to Chrisitanity would be construed as insulting. Many "Christians" get it wrong, and have historically unjustly persecuted the Jews [understatement]. Jesus was Jewish and so were all of his disciples. None converted to "Christianity". The proper Christian prayer should not be for Jewish conversions, but more correctly should pray that this would be recognized by Jewish as well as Gentile people, with no insult intended but rather loving concern. By the way, my apologies to the Jewish people for those who have and do not represent the peaceful and noncondeming precepts of the followers of Jesus correctly. May God bless Israel and send peace to Jerusalem. Amen.

(32) Char, February 19, 2008 12:17 PM

Your question is should Jews care about Christians?

To answer that, one must go back to the mission at hand: To be a light unto the goyim. The goyim would, therefore, include Christians. So the answer would be "yes."

As to who is praying? All of us need friends, not enemies. If God be for us, then who is it that is against us? He hears the prayers of the righteous, the confessions of the penitent sinner -- so let Him alone judge. To do otherwise is like opening a can of worms. There are those who truly want to help in the only way they know how -- prayer.

There is a commandment: Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim. The more who pray, the better it is for those who love eretz Israel. And for those who love us, their prayers, their financial support and their standing with us at our time of need is crucial to our survival in this world where anti-semitism is resurging. We have organizations in place to help us forge ahead in bettering our relationship with the goyim; we need patience and open dialogue. There are better days promised to us by HaShem.

(31) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 12:01 PM

one christian's perspective

May wisdom and cool heads rule on this issue. I am a goy and a Christian and I had no idea the Catholics say such a prayer on Good Friday. Personally, I don't celebrate Good Friday, because it is a man-made institution; I celebrate the biblical festivals of the Torah which King David said was given for all mankind. (Schmuel Bet 7:19)
I appreciate the many comments that have been posted. As a Christian, I would like to comment on two of the comments.

1) "Believing in something can be flattering; however, learning, knowing, thinking, and doing Mitzvot speaks louder and wiser." -- It is sadly true that a great many who call themselves "christian" make the great mistake of thinking that because they've granted mental assent at one time to a doctrine about Christ that they are "saved". True Christianity according to the "new testament" (a misnomer) is not merely mental assent, but a whole way of living-- learning how to love the Lord and how to love other people through the study and living out of the scriptures, and, we would say, through the Holy Spirit. Most Christians have no idea that Jesus was Jewish or that He lived a Torah-observant life, and that He specifically stated He did not come to do away with the commandments, or that salvation is of the Jews. Christians would do well to pray that our own blind eyes would be opened.
2)"How could the Pope be considered a representative of Christianity? Catholicism does not speak for the majority of Christianity." So true! Thank you for pointing this out.

(30) SIMO, February 19, 2008 11:37 AM

christian prayers

As a christian who loves the Jewish People, their faith (and this homepage), I know: the God I love is the God of Abraham an Jacob. And if we pray we pray to the God You brought all over the world. Our disagreement - was Jesus the Messiah or not - will be cleared for all of us when Messiah arrives in His Glory. Thank You for tolerating us christians! God bless You!

(29) mid, February 19, 2008 11:37 AM

what are you afraid of?

If you beleive you pray to G-d, and Christians believe they pray to G-d, then what are you afraid of if you know He hears true prayers? Your defensiveness tells a lot.

(28) Peter, February 19, 2008 11:32 AM

Petitional prayers, not anti-Judaistic prayers

As a Christian Zionist and lover of the Jewish people, the aforementioned prayers are not meant to insult, defame, or incite violence in any way. I can only answer to my own convictions. As an evangelical Christian whom HaShem has given a deep love for His Chosen People, I desire dialogue and bridge building between the two communities. I pray for the peace of eretz Yisra'el daily and at all our Friday night Shabbats. Yes, I do desire completion (conversion is a wrong term: t'shuvah is better). Be grateful that there is a large and growing Christian community which loves Israel and the Jewish people and desires nothing but the best for them. May we be about bridgebuilding and tikkun haOlam.

(27) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 11:26 AM

Trust in the Almighty

He alone knows the correct answer.

(26) Michelangelo, February 19, 2008 11:07 AM

Wow!

B"H
I had no idea that christians prayed such a prayer about us! I cannot say that I am at all surprised, after all they're doing everything in their power to try and convert us (which, in my opinion, is silly given that we know the Truth and know what HaShem has said to us in Shema, which is something they either disbelieve or discredit, or both?). I do agree with the comments made by One, Two and Three, and I also agree with Rav Salomon, which goes to response number one. I'm still in shock, though, for learning this information about the antics of the christians. Wow!

(25) Margaret Theobald, February 19, 2008 11:03 AM

Please do not judge all "Christians" by the pope, many of us worship and revere the G-d of Israel even though we were once gentiles. Remember the Shema says Hear O Israel the Lord Your G-d The Lord is One

(24) ingrid, February 19, 2008 10:58 AM

All your comments are reasonnable

Having read the changement in the christian prayer by the pope, I noticed that in the second part there is still this belief, that christian religion is the best. Why would there be christians, jews, moslems if they would not believe that their religion is the best?
What's really important is that there is no fanatism in wanting to convert everybody to one and best religion. The world is rich of different cultures and beliefs, and as long as people don't bother each other, let them pray as they want.
I am christian and I ask a lot of questions on behalf of my religion, and I read with profit your weekly newsletter with very interesting informations and advices.
Thank you rabbi Weinberg to be so moderate and thank you all for your good comments. If everybody would be so tolerant, there would be more light in the world.

(23) Leona Lane Littlefield, February 19, 2008 10:37 AM

Christian prayer

I thank you for your attitude toward our prayers. I am a Christian, but I have lots of your sites bookmarked and am trying to understand and compare your religion to ours. What did bother me was your reference to "their God and our God." I see it as Jews and Christians worship the same God, but we accept Jesus as our Messiah.

(22) Andras Bereny, February 19, 2008 10:23 AM

xtian record

Well, certainly they don't have a clear record as far as persecuting Jews and Judaism is concerned. Closing an eye here is perhaps an American luxury. Also because once they already removed these distasteful verses from their "prayers".

(21) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 10:21 AM

"THEIR G_D" IS ALSO OURS

confused about this really. the rabbi speaks about "the christians praying to their god". i would like to believe that despite the never-ending and petty criticisms of each other's religion, what we do share, is the same god. should the jews though, not also be eager to welcome/convert the non-jews?? or do the jews really believe that they are too good to want to share what they have with others that don't?? why are the christians so willing to do this?? let us try to help, not judge one another.

(20) ShirEl, February 19, 2008 10:17 AM

Comment from a Christian

I am a Christian who worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I believe that the worse thing that ever happened to Christianity was Constantine. If Christians would recognize that it is the root of the olive tree, the Jews, that support us, we would have a lot more understanding of our faith. I long for the day when believers in Jesus would acknowledge that we would not have a faith if it were not for the Jews and will return to their Jewish roots.

(19) Anonymous, February 19, 2008 10:14 AM

I am a Gentile Christian believer in the G-d of the Jews and would add that many Christians who pray these prayers are not believers. Our church has for centuaries been governed by the laws and rules of Constantine and much of G-d's truth has been twisted and in some cases erased altogether. My hope is that we,Jews and Gentiles alike will come to know the Truth the way it is settled in the heart of G-d for His people.

(18) tehiyyah, February 19, 2008 10:06 AM

Catholic prayers do not comprise the prayers of all of Christianity

Please know that Catholicism is only one facet of Christianity and their liturgy and prayers do not necessarily reflect that of all of Christianity. In this day of Islam advancing globally and uniting in jihad against Jews and Christians in general, it would behoove us to focus on the very things and strengths that unite Jews and Christians instead of taking offense at less significant details that will all fade away in the end when it's all said and done.

(17) Raisa, February 19, 2008 9:38 AM

May G-d help you all!

I am very happy that there are Jews who believe in Jesus. let us pray for our people Israel that G-d reveals His promises, his love and compassion to those whose eyes are still closed. You guys don't need to be angry, because we pray for you out of pure love, and that is what our L=rd told us to do! Read the Tenah and see that BLOOD is what makes an atonement! Not flour or other substitutes! G-d is very clear about everything, but some people just don't get it!

(16) Moshe Jacobs, February 19, 2008 9:33 AM

Crazy comments!

Do you not know, have you not heard? The early church in the New Testament came forth from Biblical Judaism! Israel needs all the prayer it can get. May HaShem bless those Christians who bless and pray for the Jews!

(15) Marv Hershenson, February 19, 2008 9:24 AM

Catholic/Christian Prayer

I agree with the Rabbi. Let the Catholics pray whatever they want. We live in a democratic society and people can believe and pray as they see fit. There are more important issues to focus on that are far more global than this. Thanks.

(14) Pastor Dale McDonald, February 19, 2008 9:14 AM

To want prayers change admits there is power there.

To me, if it bothers you as a Jew that Christians pray a certain way or say certain things in prayer, it tells me you believe there is power to change in that prayer. As a Christian I don't let what others pray or say concern me, because I believe that God answers prayer from anyone who believes that "He is God". And I don't ask you to change because it does not affect me. What concerns me is that in the video Rabbi Yaakov refers to "their God". If you believe that Christians have a different God, then who is your God? You may not believe Jesus was the Messiah and I don't hold that against you (I do pray you will read the rest of the Bible). I do pray for the salvation of the Jews - as well as all mankind. Pastor Dale McDonald, Yukon Canada

(13) Andre, February 19, 2008 9:02 AM

Thank you , rabbi .

I was beginning to think the Jewish people were turning away from their ONLY friends today, the Christians. Most of us are ASHAMED of our anti-semitic past, only wish to spare the China shop. Touchy matters, indeed. You have it right. G-d bless Israel !

(12) Yael, February 18, 2008 8:10 PM

I think it's a dangerous idea to ask them to change their prayers. Who says they won't turn to our siddur and ask us to make changes to what we say? Hashem knows and acts upon what is true and good. Let us focus on intensifying our own commitment and concentration when we pray.

(11) Anonymous, February 18, 2008 9:05 AM

Remember Who answers prayers

Christians and others may pray what they want. We should remember Who answers prayers. We should also make sure that all Jews know what treasure we have been given in the Torah.
That will ensure that none of us will choose another faith not knowing he or she is refusing the greater Good.

(10) dorothy, February 18, 2008 2:40 AM

Beverly makes some good points

It is important to be firm and confident in your own faith when dealing with missionaries. One way to do this is to study and understand what it is you claim to believe. Many Catholics and other Christians do not really understand the implications of their own faith: and that being the case, they can't begin to understand Judaism! Even those who claim to have studied the "Old Testament" have approached it only as a precursor to their own doctrines.
What's involved is disrespectful, but it isn't deliberate.

(9) malka, February 17, 2008 5:50 PM

my comment

I agree, we shouldn't tell other nations how to do their prayers. I understand that some Jews feel like saying to them, 'just leave us alone.' But if they are not physically attacking us, or trying to convert us, but are just praying, then fine.

What we Jews should do is try to grow in our own faith by learning from our Torah.

(8) Sharon, February 17, 2008 2:29 PM

complete agreement

I agree with you completely. I am in no way threatened by their beliefs and I certainly wouldn't want them thinking they can tell me how the texts of my prayers should read. I think the people who are most bothered by this have a deep need of acceptance by the Christian groups because they want to assimilate and feel that they are equals.

(7) Daniel Morgenbesser, February 17, 2008 2:22 PM

Wise opinion

I totally agree. The ADL usually overreacts to
situations . I guess they want to look important.

(6) Beverly Kurtin, February 17, 2008 12:23 PM

I'm not on ire

How could the Pope be considered a representative of Christianity? Catholicism does not speak for the majority of Christianity. Protestants do not recognize any central authorities other than their own.

Having said that, however, as a group of people who have been chosen to be a light unto the nations, we should counter any group's efforts to convert (evangelicals call it "completion") Jews by pointing out that there is no need for Christians to convert to Judaism; all they need to do is to heed the seven Noahide laws.

However, when Christians attempt to convert me to their religion, I am prepared to counter their misrepresentations of Tenach.

Christians who attempt to convert Jews by masking themselves as "completed Jews" are mislead at best and flat-out liars at worst.

They twist Torah to say what is not actually said. The best example that comes to my mind at the moment is their claim that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. (Their language, not mine.) They "prove" this by tearing apart the commandment against eating blood. In that portion it continues to explain what the proper use of blood is: expiation of our sins upon the altar.

But HOLD ON! In Parasha Vayikra In Parshas Vayikra it clearly states: But if his means are insufficient for two turtle doves or for two young doves, then he shall bring, as his guilt-offering for that which he sinned a tenth-ephah of fine flour for a sin-offering; he shall not place oil on it nor shall he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. He shall bring it to the Kohen, and the Kohen shall scoop his three fingers full as its memorial portion and cause it to go up in smoke on the Altar, on the fires of Hashem; it is a sin-offering. The Kohen shall provide him atonement for the sin that he committed regarding any of these, and it will be forgiven him; and it shall belong to the Kohen, like the meal-offering."

To paraphrase an old commercial, "Hey, where's the blood?"

The next time you are approached by a missionary remember that you are looking at an enemy of the Jewish people who wants to destroy us by sucking us into the moral vacuum of Christianity and once lost to their form of paganism, a Jew will be forever lost from the Nation of Israel.

If Christianity had anything good to offer, then why do they need to misrepresent Tenach? They can only convince Jews who are ignorant of Tenach and I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the so-called Hebrew teachers who teach their charges how to parrot the Hebrew in preparation for their leaving the synagogue in a celebration called a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Our rabbis don't prepare our children to prepare to be lied to by those who think that by "saving" a Jew they have won over what the Catholic church couldn't do by force. But a lie is a lie is a lie. Be a Scout: Be prepared.

(5) Rosen, February 17, 2008 11:15 AM

the benign and the distorted

Perhaps Christians praying in regards to us Jews may be benign, as it has seemed lately...However there are a lot of Christians who do not know a good amount of Hebrew and Torah study to realize that we as Jews believe/know the difference between the Messiah and G-d. Christian theology tends to distort this as being one in the same...All in all, I would prefer that they don't get us to think the way they do, with the "they're right, we're wrong" attitude in converting us. Fortunately, the Jews, for the most part, have not always been convinced by Christian missionaries who tend to give out distorted info and literature on why they should "believe in Christ" so that they are saved. Believing in something can be flattering; however, learning, knowing, thinking, and doing Mitzvot speaks louder and wiser. Thus, the more Jews are educated about the discrepancies and differences between Judaism and Christianity, the less likely they are to either intermarry or assimilate as "Jewish-Christians".

(4) Yehoshua, February 17, 2008 10:55 AM

Couldn't agree more!

I agree completely. I think it is nerve or boredom that causes Jews in the diaspora to get upset and intrude in what the goyim do in their own spirtual lives. I would add that I think that prayer in public schools is perfectly alright. It's "american" and addressing a Higher Power is fundamentally healthy. Why to the Jews get into a battle against that? I can understand why some Christians are upset at the Jews for that! And they don't need more excuses to suspect us! Who are we to live among the gentile nations and insist that their harmless spiritual acts be canceled? Some Jews don't like it? Let them come home to Israel. Believe me, with the Russians and the missionaries here in the Holy Land, there's enough here to make a legitimate battle for.
The best diaspora Jews can do is pray that the knowledge of G-d will speedily flood the earth like the waters of the sea. But to get into what they do in the privacy of their homes, churches and schools? I agree with the Rabbi. I think those Jews are acting silly.

(3) Anonymous, February 17, 2008 10:52 AM

some jews need to worry about their own prayers

these groups need to stop worrying about what other religions think or do, and start focusing on the demands of their own religion. most of these jews know more about this supposedly offensive christian liturgy than their own rich, beautiful liturgy. we'd be a whole lot better off as a people if all this energy were expended on educating our youth properly than crying wolf at the beliefs of others. anyone who is strong in his or her jewish beliefs does not need to worry about the christians' stated intent of converting us; but we do need to worry about jews who do not know enough to withstand missionaries, and as i said above, the answer is to educate them, not to tell the christians to stop believing that they need to missionise.

(2) Ross, February 17, 2008 8:02 AM

Very "inciteful"

It should make no difference to us what they pray, nor should it be offensive. Who cares? But even more than that, if we start messing with them, they'll came right back at us and start picking apart our prayer books (as they have done in past history), and we'll be in the spotlight as being offensive and no good will come out of it. Let's just drop it.

(1) peter kraynik, February 17, 2008 5:18 AM

Come down the mountain

Prayer is a tool that G-D gives to help release our human frustrations. Prayer to the one and only
G-D. It is personal in nature. It should not be subject to "outside" human interpertation. G-Ds will is absolute. HE dosen't make mistakes, and dosen't have to think things through. HE knows the "past", present, and "future". We see it as "plan", "will", slowed down for human understanding. We're human. Who here on earth is qualified to sit in the judgement seat? Not I.

 

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub

Receive Weekly Current Issues Emails

Sign up to our Current Issues Newsletter.

Our privacy policy