One letter to the English Churchman amongst several concerning whether Jews who become Christians remain Jewish.


Sir:

     Recently whilst checking through my namesakes in Jerusalem, I came across a young Russian who sheepishly told me that he was a new convert to the Jewish faith and had taken on the name of Ella because it sounded ethnically Jewish. The provocative caption which shocked Philip Hoskins (7698) was not from my pen as he presumed. My letter was entitled ‘Israeli Citizenship’ and not ‘Christians are not Jews’, and warned against confusing religious beliefs with citizenship of a state. I argued thus in keeping with worldwide Jewry as opposed to Israeli Jewry. Following Jewish and Christian teaching, I pointed out that to be a Jew or Christian has nothing to do with one’s political, ethnic or national status but with one’s attitude to the Messiah. For this testimony, Brother Hoskins links me with the Islamic World, a liberal apostate church, Replacement Theology (whatever that is) and Anti-Semitism. So that I who carry (I am told) a Jewish name and was brought up amidst a large Jewish community with Jews as my most beloved friends and learnt and taught Hebrew for many years am suddenly declared to be their enemy! Is this not rather extreme?

     Brother Hoskins raises the question of ethnic Jews as opposed to ethnic Muslims and Christians and says that a Jew can never become a Gentile. God be praised, he can become a Christian! However, does Brother Hoskins believe that all Jews were never gentiles? The Jews were founded as a religion when they were established as a nation and were neither the one nor the other before. They then absorbed many other peoples and cast off others. David’s political kingdom did not outlive his life-time and after Edom left the confederacy, the nation gradually split into two. With the Exile and the Greek and Roman periods, Jewry spread to many countries and altered their ethnic components. Ex-Jews were absorbed into non-Jewish families. Nowadays, most Jews cannot trace their ancestry back more than three or four generations as there are no genealogies kept as in Old Testament times. I hear of a barber in Jerusalem who shaves full-blooded ethnic Jews only. His shop is always empty! Let us suppose Brother Hoskins’ Afro-Carribeans become Jewish. Would they thus become ‘ethnic Jews’? The vast number of Jewish proselytes made in Germany at the time are from ‘ethnic’ Russian immigrants. Germany hosts the fastest growing Jewish community worldwide. They know that to campaign for full-blooded Jews is just as pointless and racist as to campaign for full-blooded Aryans.