Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Varda Epstein’s recent review of my book Ten From The Nations: Torah Awakening Among Non-Jews offers me a perfect opportunity to elaborate on how I see the world and why I do what I do. To the best of my knowledge, Varda and I have met exactly once, fleetingly. Nevertheless, we maintain a mutually respectful, professional relationship and admire one another’s work. It’s important to mention that at the outset because, although our viewpoints differ on a number of issues, civility is important to both of us. And I thank Varda for her graciousness in giving me a chance to respond.
I spend a significant amount of time each week building bridges with people from the Nations. Most of them come from Christian backgrounds, although many of the people with whom I interact no longer consider themselves mainstream Christians. A huge part of what distinguishes them from the rest of the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide is their fascination with Israel, with the Torah and with the Jewish people. Although they identify variously as Christian Zionists, as Ephraimites, as Bnei Noach or as gerei toshav, they are united in their understanding that the Jewish people have something to offer them.
I believe we are in an unprecedented time in history when, after 2,000 years of anti-Semitic pogroms, forced conversions and murder of Jews by Christians, there are now Christians who are singing a whole new song to the Jewish people. These are the people whose stories I published in Ten From The Nations and whose spiritual longings to get closer to Israel and to authentic Torah I both admire and work to nurture. In a nutshell, these are not your grandparents’ goyim. These are not the non-Jews you’ve been taught to fear, mistrust and hold at arm’s length.
I was raised to mistrust non-Jews at worst and to see them as irrelevant to my life at best. Since becoming involved in this work, my viewpoint has changed. It took a series of paradigm shifts for me to get to where I am now. 
As I see it, Varda and I differ in our understanding about three main issues.

A) Do all Christians have a missionizing agenda?
B) To whom does the Torah belong?
C) Do the Jewish people have any responsibility to non-Jews?
I’ll address these one at a time.
Do all Christians have a missionizing agenda? I believe that the vast majority still do. At the same time, I have personally met hundreds of people coming from Christian backgrounds who actively repent for the sins that have been committed against the Jewish people for 2,000 years. They have put to rest the fallacious and destructive ideas behind Replacement Theology and no longer believe that Christianity replaced Torah and that Christians replaced the Jewish people in God’s eyes. In the main, it was the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel that rocked their theology and caused them to reexamine the most fundamental truths they had been taught. Rather than being the “strange ducks” that Varda suggests, I believe they are spiritual leaders who buck the potent forces of convention to follow Truth.

It has been suggested that only 1% of Christians today have renounced Replacement Theology. On the one hand, 1% is a tiny minority. On the other hand, 1% is 22 million people.  And that’s enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life.
I wish to be very clear. I find the proselytizing of Jews odious. I have zero tolerance for it. The relationships I build with people from the Nations are based on mutual respect. We agree to let our differences be settled by God at the End of Days. In the meantime, we inhabit the space where our worldviews overlap – a love of God, a love for Israel, a longing for Torah and a joy at seeing Biblical prophecy fulfilled in our days.

To whom does the Torah belong? I used to believe that Torah was the exclusive property of the Jewish people and its precepts were for us alone. Over time, the words of the Torah itself convinced me that it was intended, from the beginning, to be shared with the Nations. I believe that the Jewish people were tasked with being guardians of the Torah – until the rest of the world was ready for its teachings. Then we were intended to become the teachers of Torah to people from the Nations, while maintaining our unique relationship with God’s Holy texts.
Do the Jewish people have any responsibility to non-Jews? There are dozens of verses in Tanach, and also in our liturgy, even during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, that speak of a time when the entire world will worship the One True God, the God of Israel. I believe that time has dawned. The shift is already taking place. Just as it says in the Book of Zechariah, people from the Nations are aligning with the Jewish people and begging, “Teach us about God.” This is unprecedented and the exact thing for which we have been preparing for 3,300 years.
Varda wrote, Being a ‘light unto the nations’ doesn’t mean preaching Torah to them. It means being a good and moral example. No more, no less.” I also used to think exactly as she does. Now I see things differently. Today, I understand that fulfilling our God-given role as Ohr LaGoyim means that, when the Nations are receptive, we are obligated to teach them. Without question, the people I teach are desperately hungry for authentic Torah. It may not yet be the tafkid of the Jewish people as a whole, but I believe that Hashem has given this task to me personally, to serve among the group of Jews who are willing to build bridges with people from the Nations, using Torah as a primary tool.

Varda wrote, “I don’t understand why any Jew wants to help these people, instead of their own people, as a calling. I think that’s bizarre.” Working with non-Jews is an important part of my life, but it is not the only thing I do in life. For me, it’s not “instead of”. Rather it is “in addition to”. We are not all intended to do the same work in the world. Each of us is uniquely qualified for certain tasks. I believe, with all my heart and soul, that Hashem chose this challenging work for me personally. As Varda correctly said, I do indeed see it as holy work.

It would be misleading if I didn’t acknowledge that there are landmines in this work. There are things I see, hear and read that make the Jew in me cringe. All is not sweetness and light. We are building something new and it’s a huge and, oftentimes, messy job. I accept that as part of the process. I see Hashem’s Hand in bringing geula closer by re-aligning the relationship between Jews and people from the Nations. I can be patient.
I realize that, no matter what I say, there are people who will remain unconvinced. I accept that as part of the nature of what I do. If you have questions you’d like to ask me, I can be reached at I’m happy to conduct a respectful dialogue with anyone who is interested. 

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty Amnesty 2022 analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence CAIR Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day CEDAW Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision CJ Werleman Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum David Miller Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features Fervent Embrace fisking flood libel flotilla Forensic Architecture Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Garlasco Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene Masafer Yatta max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nasser al-Lahham Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shireen Abu Akleh Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive