Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Undercover Missionary

As I have written previously on my blog, some people accidentally e-mail me thinking that I am a Messianic missionary. I thought this one had some particularly amusing information so I will share part of it with you.

"To whom it may concern, my name is Kevin Vance, I'm a student @ Southern here in Louisville, my wife Sarah and I both work @ Starbucks part time to help pay the bills, we also like Starbucks because it affords us opportunities to be missionaries within contemporary culture, which is why I'm e-mailing you, for help. In some ways, my cover as a missionary is blown with my mostly pagan co-workers due to my being a seminary student..."

Really? You took a job at Starbucks for the missionary opportunities and get upset when you are caught? "Excuse me, will that be a Mocha doube latte with Jesus on top? Oops, sorry, I meant whipped cream, not Jesus. That will cost you the Trinity, errr....three bucks."

Out of curiousity, what exactly is the pagan population of Louisville? Granted, I am Jewish and have little knowledge of pagan practices, but when I think pentagrams and Wicca, Kentucky does not come to mind. Let's see...Louisville, Kentucky and first things that come to mind. Basketball, check. Country music, check. Incense burning worship of goddesses, not so much. My e-mail box is never boring.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inventing History

As a webmaster for a counter-missionary site, I receive many odd e-mails. This one is particularly "special." A woman named Heather Halpern wrote this in an e-mail to me. She is the daughter of Felix Halpern, who has been part of the Assemblies of God Messianic movement for many, many years. Keep in mind, this was written by an adult from her work e-mail. This is not the writings of a child. Here is part of her e-mail to me.

"And for the record... The maternal line of Judaism was not established until the the late 1920's and early 30's when men were being sent off to war;including Jewish men. Up until this time, the line Judaism had always been established paternally, not through the mother. Then toward the middle of the 1920's when all these young Jewish children were left fatherless from the war, a well know Rabbi in Europe and in Judaism as a whole made a ruling to change the way Judaic line was determined; from then on, whether you wereJewish or not was determined according to the mother's lineage."

Now, I do not expect anyone in the Messianic movement to know about the Biblical basis of maternal lineage in Judaism and it's codification in ancient Jewish law. I have no expectation of this level of Jewish knowledge. However, I do expect all adults to know that there was no war in Europe during the 1920's and early 30's. In fact, that is the time of calm in between WWI and WWII. I am embarrassed that any grown adult like Heather could possibly have missed this much basic history. We are not talking about the Middle Ages. We are talking about less than 100 years ago. She invented a non-existent war! By the way, I pointed out to her that there was no such war...multiple times. Did she admit to being wrong? No. This is the type of e-mails that keep me shaking my head in disbelief. On some level, I can forgive Biblical and Jewish ignorance by a member of an Assemblies of God church. But there is no excuse for historical ignorance of this level by any citizen of the United States, of any religion.