Battling Deceptive Missionary Tactics

Our first line of defense is knowledge.

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Comments (18)

(9) Keith, UK, December 18, 2021 8:45 PM

It is with a great deal of sadness that I write the following comment:

I have been subscribed to Aish for many years, and never have I been so upset at a contributer's comments as I am with Rabbi Tzvi Sytner's in the above video. Let me make it clear from the start. I have always thought that most of Aish's articles have been very spiritually helpful, and for that I truly thank you. I am, as many of your subscribers are, a Christian, and proud to be so. That does NOT mean I'm trying to convert anyone to Christianity. What I do object to though is the reference to my (and many others of your readers) belief as it being a "cult". There are many Christian organisations nowadays that are true friends to Israel, as am I. I love Israel and the Jewish people very deeply indeed. I am very sad indeed to hear Rabbi Tzvi using this word. Imagine the reaction if Judaism was referred to as a "cult". The use of the word itself is an insult, unworthy of being part of an Aish article, and is in itself damaging and can be confrontational. This is a shame given the fact that I've wholeheartedly agreed with Tzvi in his previous videos, as I do in this video when he refers to anything underhand, which is in my opinion absolutely disgraceful. I do feel very strongly about this, and unfortunately will be unsubscribing from Aish over it. ............ Keith, UK.

Gary Colwill, December 19, 2021 5:13 AM

Tendency To Be Offended

I listened twice to this video, once initially, and then once after reading your comment. It is clear that the good rabbi is calling the organization that sent the book a cult, not all of the literally hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of denominations of Christianity. But, somehow, you chose to take his words with much magnified scope. Like so many people today, you seem to have fallen prey to a tendency to be offended even when no offense was meant. You are free to do so.

Alan S., December 19, 2021 7:14 PM

Great reply

Mr. Colwill, you took the words out of my mouth.
Good for you.

Uri Yitzchak, December 20, 2021 2:42 PM

Mr Colwell, you couldn’t have said it better.!

(8) Anonymous, December 18, 2021 11:58 AM

If you’re sure of education or knowledge gives you wisdom to know. Why are you frustrated? Why not giving others to know for them self. What’s it you afraid people to know be side what you think knowledge? Just to know

(7) David S, December 17, 2021 1:43 AM

On Countering Missionaries

True, Reb Sytner, knowing Torah and Jewish history is crucial, but also knowing the fallacies of the missionaries pitch is equally important. What these door-to-door used god salesmen/women are peddling is fulfillment and replacement theology. However, their own bible attests to the falseness of these doctrines – if you know where to look.

As you said, a great resource for Jews is Jews for Judaism, but there is also a great Christian resource, Dr. Bart D. Ehrman (, a former evangelical Christian who exposes the wilful misrepresentations and distortions of Judaism in the NT.

Anonymous, December 17, 2021 1:52 AM

Deleted comment

This comment has been deleted.

Michael Salih, December 17, 2021 2:11 AM


The New Testament is full of errors. Do your research. Something that even has one error cannot be from G-d/considered divine.

(6) Anonymous, December 16, 2021 6:13 PM

Torah Town - a YouTube video aimed at children

Starts out with Hebrew school teacher teaching and singing Alef Beis, gradually morphs into Christian theology. These tactics should not be aimed at our children.

(5) Shimon Goldman, December 16, 2021 4:54 PM

Unsolicited Jewish books

I’ve received “Jewish” books in the mail from time to time that, on the outside, look authentic, but arouse suspicion after opening them. More often than not, a Jewish book that comes in the mail unsolicited is missionary material.
Outreach Judaism, founded by Rabbi Tovia Singer, is an amazing anti-missionary organization that has a website as well as studying material and recorded lectures. It’s worth checking out.

Ra'anan, December 16, 2021 6:07 PM

You beat me to it...check out...

Rabbi Tovia Singer on youtube interacting with opponents of Judaism. He's not only a livewire, he's extremely knowledgable & extremely fast.

(4) Harry Sealine, December 16, 2021 3:55 PM

Knowledge and missionizing

Rabbi Sytner establishes an excellent point about the importance of education/knowledge. It applies to just about any/every topic and situation, from Torah to consumer purchase. Studying Tanach, preferably in Hebrew, but also with Judaic translation, is a time-proven bulwark against Christian missionary claims. A Jew who is thus edified is far less likely to be missionized. It is also true of the Arab-Israeli conflict history. If more Jews are edified on that subject before entering college (or even high school), then they are less likely to be turned against Israel by anti-Zionist faculty/staff. However, the good rabbi should know, both from Talmud and history, that Jews did much missionizing. This was particularly true from the second century BCE to the second century CE. Historians chronicled the Idumean conversions, as seen from Josephus, Horace, Seneca, Juvenal, and Tacitus. The Talmud TB Pesachim 87b cites Rabi Eleazar to say that Jews were exiled among the gentiles to gain converts. One edition uses the passive word "yeetosefu"/"will be added." Another uses the active word "yoseefu"/"will add." It was ,mainly under pressure of Roman. Christian, and Muslim rules that Jews stopped missionizing.

Daniel, December 20, 2021 8:55 PM


In my opinion, you have misunderstood what that Gemara is saying. It does not say we proselytize, only that when in exile, other nations will then be exposed to Judaism and they will then have the ability to embrace G-D if they are seekers.

(3) Anonymous, December 16, 2021 2:51 PM

It’s also important to…

discover what is lacking in Judaism and our synagogues that is causing people to find other religions so attractive. A sole focus on study, knowledge, learning, education, etc., doesn’t meet the needs of many people in today’s world. People are also looking for comfort, love, acceptance, and other more spiritual and less “academic” things. Once, while I was at maariv services, someone thanked me for coming to help make a minyan, and I said I also come to “feel closer to God.” She looked at me like I was crazy, and said “Don’t let anyone else hear you say that - Jews don’t talk like that.” This type of thinking is why many Jews leave Judaism for other religions. Many people want more from their religion than just knowledge, rules, and ritual.

Shelly, December 16, 2021 3:56 PM


So, because of one persons response, you feel that Jews look else where to be more accepted? Sounds like that person who responded to you was not a representative of what Judaism and praying is all about. If you were to have responded as you did in my synagogue (Orthodox), you would have been cheered and honored. Sorry, you’re basing too much on one persons inappropriate and moronic reply to your statement.

Bonnie, December 17, 2021 1:36 AM

I agree 100% with you

People do not want religion with a name only…or blood line that give you a free ticket to the glory world?..people want Salvation according to the Word of God……Bless you!

(2) Anonymous, December 16, 2021 1:52 PM

So impotant

Great piece. So important. Thank you.

(1) Alan S., December 16, 2021 12:23 PM

An important message.

A heartfelt, important message, especially important for all Jewish people in this colorful and musical X-mas season.
There are many excellent paperback books written on how to respond when and if necessary. But the good Rabbi counseled that we don't have an obligation to respond, the smarter choice to make.
Yasher Koach Rabbi Sytner!


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