Dear Sid,

Thanks for the “gift” of a free copy of your book. I want to tell you how much I appreciate it.

This is how much I appreciate it: I DON’T appreciate it at all.

In fact, I don’t really appreciate anything from anyone who thinks they are doing me a favor by telling me about those Jews who were “blessed” enough to have seen Jesus. You are not doing me a favor. You are not doing the great religion and culture of Judaism a favor any more that Thomas Torquemada did our people a “favor” during the inquisition by torturing them until he was sure they’d really become proper Christians. You are not doing us a favor any more than any other person in the history of the world who has tried to destroy Judaism.

You see, Sid, we have thousands of years of history. We have a great rabbinic tradition that teaches us exactly what we need to know to live as Jews. We have a history and culture that allows us to think, to question, to discuss, to doubt, and to daily wrestle with our relationship with the divine. We even have a tradition that teaches us all we need to know about the Messiah and the Messianic age. And, one of the coolest things about that is that our Rabbis, our Teachers, our Prophets, and our God, even allow us to wrestle with that. We don’t need to adopt your conception of messianic salvation. We don’t need to accept your Christian eschatology while we pretend to still be Jews. We have our own eschatological perspectives and, in exchange for respecting yours, we expect ours to be respected.

Please understand, Sid, that I have nothing against Christians. They are entitled to their beliefs as much as we, or anyone else, are entitled to ours. Most of the people I know are Christian and virtually all of them are fine human beings. I’m not even going to tell you that you are wrong. Because, how would I know. I don’t actually care. I do have a big problem with you accepting Jesus as the messiah AND calling yourself a Jew. But, I won’t even complain and I’ll acknowledge that this is my problem of acceptance more than your problem of belief. You see, I may not agree with you, I may not like you, but I respect your freedom to believe what you want to believe. That’s the difference between you and me. I don’t like your beliefs but I won’t ever try to change them. You don’t like my unwillingness to accept your beliefs but you’ll try to change me by sending me a free book. Worse yet, you’ll call your book “They Thought for Themselves” under the false pretense that you are promoting independent thinking or, for that matter, thinking at all.

Now, I’ve admitted that I don’t like you or your beliefs. I also admitted that some of that is my own intolerance. I know full well that, according to your belief system, you are only trying to “help” me. But, I want you to understand why I take issue with it. You see, every Jew who forsakes our Jewish heritage by turning to Christianity, diminishes our culture by the amount that they otherwise would have contributed to the Jewish community. That is their choice and I can be saddened by it, but I can’t say it’s “wrong”. But every Jew who forsakes our teachings, our concept of God, our Rabbis’ teachings about the characteristics of the messiah and the messianic age, and our scripture but STILL CLAIMS to be a Jew, not only diminishes the community but dilutes the beauty, the spirituality, and the integrity of Judaism. You can’t have it both ways, Sid. You can be a Jew and wrestle with your beliefs; but you can’t be a Jew and accept teachings that are antithetical to Judaism.

So here’s the deal. I was going to toss your book into the barbecue. But it left a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t want it to leave a bad taste on my dinner too. So, your book is in the recycle bin. That way, perhaps it will be recycled into something useful.

Please, Sid, remove me from your mailing list now. I love and respect my Christian friends. But, my Torah is quite rich enough for me and I don’t need anymore “help” from you. Just leave me alone. I’m sure you’re not a bad guy. But, an intrusive guy, good or bad, is still a guy who can’t accept others purely for the sake of respecting humanity. So, hey, leave me out of the party. I’m holding out for my guy.

Have an awesome afterlife, dude.

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