*Please read the addendum following the video footage, for a critical analysis of this event that I neglected to provide when I originally posted it.*
This video speaks for itself. Now and then a righteous man rises up among the gentiles. Here's an extraordinary video of a non-Jewish preacher honoring the Torah and Rabbi Meir Kahane (may G-d avenge his blood!) at a recent memorial for the Rav. May he be strengthened and blessed in his mission of truth.
Thanks to Yekutiel Ben Yaakov of the VOJ Newsletter for posting a link to this video. To subscribe to his fascinating newsletter: email@example.com
"The seal of G-d is truth."
Addendum: "The Jewish Fist" blog is dedicated to perpetuating those core ideas of yahadut that are ignored, distorted, and have become corrupted by Jews. I want the reader to know that I do not consider myself infallible. If I am wrong about something, or upon further contemplation I come to the conclusion that an issue is more complex than I previously expressed in a post, I will always follow-up with a correction, re-assessment, clarification or whatever is necessary. I will surely follow up with any Rabbonim if I require additional input that I may be lacking. This video presented such a situation.
My previous comments about Pastor Manning did not address the question of whether it was even halachically appropriate or permissible for the preacher to speak in front of the synagogue assembly, no matter how well his intentions were. When I first saw the video, I had several fleeting questions in my head. Why was he speaking in a synagogue? Was this proper? I neglected to reflect on them sufficiently. I think that initially I assumed that he was either a former preacher or one whose views departed radically from traditional church theology. In the video, the pastor himself expressed ideas about other practitioners of his faith in a negative light, which may have led me to this premature conclusion. Once the video started, I was more focused on what he said. It was only after reading an article from Ariel Ben Yochanan of "The Torah Revolution" blog and engaging in some back and forth dialogue that I properly reflected on some key points. The following comment to Ariel explains my rationalization for why I originally posted the video:
"I posted this video on my blog. I was impressed to hear a black preacher express sentiments that are a rarity from the gentile community, not to mention the black community which unfortunately has more than it's share of race-baiters and bigots. You raise some excellent points though that should be addressed. I agree that it was halachically problematic to have a preacher speak in the shul. Was he invited or did he ask to speak? Had he proselytized from the pulpit that would have constituted an unimaginable chillul Hashem. From what I saw he did not. I agree that his praise for the Torah doesn't mesh with the fact that he remains a worshiper of the dead Jew. If he follows what he is saying, the only logical path is to become a Bnai Noach. I think that the next time I am in the states I will try to meet with this preacher. If he agrees to meet with me, I will thank him for his support but will point out to him that the only true path for him is to abandon the idolatry of his faith and follow the Laws of Noah.Nevertheless, I don't believe we should throw this man to the dogs. Clearly he has found some truths. The only question is will he be honest with himself and truly finish his work. The strong Jewish approach is to take the "hirhur tshuvah" that this man may have started and light a fire underneath it. The true Jewish path is to do exactly as he himself said, not apologize for the Torah, but rather state the absolute facts to his face as the Rav himself would have done."
I want to emphasize that my initial reaction was not the result of any personal excitement that most nebbish Jews get when a gentile says some things that are true. Personally, I suffer from no such burning need to be loved or rebuked from well-intended gentiles "telling it like it is" to the Jew.
Upon further contemplation, I decided to watch the video again. I ended up watching it several more times, and I discovered certain things that made me uncomfortable. I want to reiterate that I believe the preacher's intentions were noble. Nevertheless, what I heard and saw seemed to me to be an outright violation of the Torah's prohibition of "engaging" in any form of interfaith dialogue. I understand that it was not a real dialogue, but what it amounted to was some recognition of a "level playing field" between the two faiths, as well as what may be understood as a type of "preaching" from the synagogue pulpit. Here are some examples that concerned me. Pastor Manning noted himself that this was the first time that he was "preaching" in front of a synagogue. I don't believe it was mere semantics. After all, he is a preacher, and his world view and outlook is shaped by his faith regardless of what he states. I am concerned that his speech inadvertently became a forum to articulate ideas through a ch**-ological framework. I cannot get past this very real concern.
Another issue that bothered me was his warm invite to the Jewish attendees of the memorial to visit his church in Harlem, particularly his invite to a Jewish individual (cantor?) attending the memorial who apparently sang two songs which he enjoyed. Clearly, there were no ground rules of "non-reciprocity" and the pastor was obviously unaware that a religious Jew may not enter another faith's house of worship. (Haskel Lookstien aside.) The fact that there were Rabbis present makes it much worse.
Although Pastor Manning only referenced the "Old Testament", it must be stated outright that he is still committed to a faith which the Rambam defines as an idolatrous one. See uncensored version of the Rambam, Hilchot Avodat Kochavim.. (9:4), and his Commentary on the Mishna (Avodah Zarah 1:3). As Ariel points out in the following link, a look at his church's beliefs ( a little research via the web) shows that they have a long to go before rejecting the basic tenets of their faith. With permission from Ariel I am posting a link to his thought provoking article. Kol Hakavod to him for raising several critical points:
In summation, I believe that Pastor Manning should be praised for his support of the Jewish people and the Rav. Nevertheless, upon careful review of the incident, there is no doubt in my mind that it was halachically problematic and very likely a violation of the Torah, for him to speak at the memorial. I am now certain that what transpired was an unintended chillul Hashem. I do not blame him. The organizers dropped the ball on this one. Nevertheless, the pastor has work to do. Despite what some rabbinical pluralistic Hellenists state, his particular faith is not "okay for gentiles" as one often hears. He has an obligation to abandon his worship of the dead Jew and become a Ben Noach.
I am not comfortable with what happened. Gentiles have an obligation to find the Torah truth. To the extent that they are on the path to truth (a truth they may never fully attain), The Almighty alone will judge them. In this case, the reverend should be firmly encouraged to follow the logical conclusion of his arguments and listen to what the Torah really says. Rise up, be courageous, and sanctify The Almighty's name by becoming a leader of the "Sons of Noach". Only then would it be appropriate for him to speak in front of Jews, regarding matters of faith. May the pastor find the truth of yahadut in his lifetime and perpetuate it among his followers.
*On an unrelated note, I didn't make the connection right away that this was the same "Pastor Manning" who made numerous derogatory comments (and hilarious ones, if you ask me) about Barak Hussein Obama (y'mach sh'mo v'zichro) prior to the last election.