Judaism and Mormonism: Explaining the Contradiction

It is hardly news that there are Jews who have converted to Mormonism, or any religion for that matter.  In the 1960’s, a book called “Jews For Nothing” discussed Jewish attraction to new age cults, Eastern religions, and Jews for Jesus as well.  If you really want to go far back enough, Jews have even been indulging other religions since ancient times, including the Hellenists of the Second Temple period and the idol worshippers of the First.

What seems to be relatively new (although it mirrors Hellenism to a certain extent) is the belief that a Jew can be both fully Jewish and fully something else, in this case Mormonism.  It also appears LDS is attempting to capitalize on this to gain Jewish followers:

In order to subscribe to the fact that one can in fact be Jewish (in any way besides genetic relation), one must be ignorant of both Judaism and Mormonism.

There’s no lack of material on how belief in Jesus isn’t Jewish.  For just a few websites to peak at, you can refer to judaismsanswer.com whatjewsbelieve.org jewsforjudaism.org and outreachjudaism.org just to start.   I specifically want to focus on a few claims and issues that make claiming dual Jewish/Mormon status problematic.

Judaism’s belief system isn’t just based on a single revelation but on a consistent mesorah (tradition) that begins with our father Avraham 4,000 years ago to today, a historical tradition.  Joseph Smith invented an alternate history where a certain branch of the family sailed across the ocean to the New World, and whose story ends in upstate New York where Joseph Smith claims to have found the gold tablets that were written by the descendants of this Jewish split off, who actually became Native Americans.  To my knowledge, there are no traditions or customs that remotely look like Jewish practice, which would be odd considering how faithful Jews have been to tradition.  Even groups like the Bnei Menashe of Manipoor, who have been estranged from their Jewish brothers for +2,500 years still kept customs such as the tallit and a song commemorating the Splitting of the Red Sea.

The practices of the people described in the Book of Mormon match Jewish practice, nor do the names match Hebrew.  There is no mention of any of the ritual observance that the Prophets we do have complain the Jews aren’t doing, yet are conducting animal sacrifice outside of the Temple in Jerusalem, a practice that had been forbidden at that point. There is no mention of Sabbath observance, the holidays, or dietary restrictions, just to name a view.  More than that, the focus of the Bible on right deed is done away with, replace by belief and faith.  As for the Hebrew, Nephi, Laman, Moroni, Alma, none of these names come from Hebrew.  For someone unfamiliar with Hebrew, this might not register.  But a Jew with any knowledge of the mama lashon (mother tongue), these names would strike them as immediately odd, and a clear fabrication.

It concerns me little as a rabbi what Mormons believe in and of itself.  They are entitled to their beliefs as much as anyone, and it is not for me to just go around refuting their beliefs.  However, it very much concerns me that there are any Jews that have taken to it, and that Mormons might decide to preach the Gospel to Jews.   In order to be Jewish and Mormon, one has to assume that one’s Jewish traditions are right, but only up to the point where the Book of Mormon contradicts, regardless of what the Bible, Jewish tradition, and even archaeology have to say about the issue.  I find it quite sad that Jews are so ignorant of their own religion and culture that they could see a harmony between the two belief systems.  I do hope this small introduction to the distinction will lead Jews that have adopted Mormonism to seek out the G-d of Israel, or at the very least to evaluate their belief systems.

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6 Responses to Judaism and Mormonism: Explaining the Contradiction

  1. Mr. Cohen says:

    If you are being bothered by J for J_____,
    or know someone they are influencing,
    then these web sites (listed in alphabetical order) may be helpful:

    Baltimore Branch of Jews for Judaism
    http://www.JewsForJudaismBaltimore.org

    Daily Minyan
    blog of Gene Shlomovich a FORMER “Messianic Jew”
    http://www.DailyMinyan.com

    Jewish Israel
    watching evangelists in israel since 2008
    http://www.JewishIsrael.com

    Jeff Neckonoff returned to Judaism:
    http://www.JewsForHashem.com/1.html

    Jews for Judaism
    http://www.JewsForJudaism.org

    Judaism’s Answer to Missionary Claims
    probably by Moshe Shulman
    http://www.JudaismsAnswer.com

    Messiah Truth
    http://MessiahTruth.yuku.com/

    Thematic Index of Counter-Missionary Articles
    http://thejewishhome.org/counter-index.html

    Ohr Somayach / Ask the Rabbi
    http://ohr.edu/ask/ask00j.htm

    Outreach Judaism (Rabbi Tovia Singer)
    http://www.OutreachJudaism.org

    Penina Taylor also escaped from Christianity
    and accepted Orthodox Judaism:
    http://www.PeninaTaylor.com

    Their Hollow Inheritance
    Michoel Drazin refutes Christianity
    http://www.drazin.com

    Torah Atlanta
    http://www.TorahAtlanta.com

    Truth About Mashiach
    http://www.moshiach-truth.blogspot.com

    Why Jews Reject Jesus by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
    http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892792.html

    Yad L’Achim
    They fight against evil missionaries, but only in Israel.
    http://www.YadLAchim.org

    Yahoo Group for ANTI Missionaries
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ANTI_missionary_study/
    FULL DISCLOSURE: I moderate this one!

    This list of ANTI missionary links can be printed
    on paper and distributed Jews who need it.

  2. Mr. Cohen says:

    *** QUOTES FROM THE KORAN ABOUT INFIDELS ***

    Koran, chapter 4, paragraph 95:
    Not equal are those believers who sit at home and receive no injurious hurt, and those who strive hard fighting jihad in Allah’s cause with their wealth and lives. Allah has granted a higher rank to those who strive hard fighting jihad with their wealth and bodies, above those who sit [at home]. Unto each Allah has promised good, but He prefers the jihadists who strive hard and fight above those who sit home. He has distinguished His fighters with a huge reward.

    Koran, chapter 8, paragraph 12:
    Your Lord inspired the angels with the message:
    I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.

    Koran, chapter 8, paragraph 39:
    So fight them until there is no more fitnah [disbelief of non-Muslims] and all [people in the world] submit to the religion of Allah alone.

    Koran, chapter 8, paragraph 59:
    The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever weapons you can muster, so that you may terrorize them. They are your enemy and Allah’s enemy.

    Koran, chapter 8, paragraph 65:
    O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are 20 among you with determination they will vanquish 200. If there are 100 then they will slaughter 1,000 unbelievers, because the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.

    Koran, chapter 9, paragraph 5:
    Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.

    Koran, chapter 9, paragraph 14:
    Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them.

    Koran, chapter 9, paragraph 29:
    Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax [jizya] in submission.

    Koran, chapter 9, paragraph 123 :
    Fight the unbelievers around you, and let them find harshness in you.

    Koran, chapter 47, paragraph 4:
    When you clash with the unbelieving infidels in battle, smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making [them] captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (whichever benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus you are commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.

    *** KORAN VS. TANACH ***

    QUOTE 1:
    “The Koran, unlike the Bible, calls for a political movement for which all Muslims must fight, kill, and subjugate those of other faiths until Islam rules the world.”

    SOURCE: They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (chapter 1, page 24) by Brigitte Gabriel, year 2010, St. Martin’s Press, 288 pages, ISBN 0312571283, ISBN 9780312571283.

    QUOTE 2:
    “Many Islamic practices, such as fasting, tithing, daily prayers, and profession of faith, have much in common with Christianity and Judaism. However, what makes Islam different from other religions is its call to kill and subjugate all other members of other faiths. The terrorist of today as well as imams in mosques throughout the world are calling for the deaths of millions of people around the world in the name of Islam. They are calling for jihad against the infidels, citing suras and verses from the Koran and Hadith to support their call to action.”

    SOURCE: They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (chapter 1, page 20) by Brigitte Gabriel, year 2010, St. Martin’s Press, 288 pages, ISBN 0312571283, ISBN 9780312571283.

    QUOTE 3:
    Westerners come from a Judeo-Christian background, where the teaching of faith centers on love, tolerance, and forgiveness. They do not understand that the sword of Islam represents hatred, intolerance, murder, and the subjugation of anyone not Muslim.

    SOURCE: They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (chapter 1, page 13) by Brigitte Gabriel, year 2010, St. Martin’s Press, 288 pages, ISBN 0312571283, ISBN 9780312571283.

    Ayaan Hirsi (ex-Muslim, now atheist) 2015 March 20 said:
    _____________________________________________
    “…the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam.”

    SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal, quoted by Bernard Goldberg 2016/1/19 in the article: When Is a Crime Committed in the Name of Allah Not About Islam? in Jewish World Review:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0116/bernie_g011916.php3

    _____________________________________________
    Dennis Prager said:

    “According to Pew Research, approximately 10 percent of world Muslims have a favorable opinion of the Islamic State and terror against civilians. That’s more than 100 million people.”

    SOURCE: The World Is Getting Worse But This Time America Won’t Save It by Dennis Prager, 2016 March 8, seen in Jewish World Review
    _____________________________________________

  3. Mr. Cohen says:

    Israel is being buried-alive under an
    avalanche of media bias and false accusations.

    These web sites can help refute those
    biases and false accusations:

    ************************************************
    HELP DEFEND ISRAEL FROM UNFAIR MEDIA:
    ************************************************

    http://www.camera.org
    http://www.DanielPipes.org
    http://www.FactsAndLogic.org
    http://www.HonestReporting.com
    http://www.memri.org
    http://www.memriTV.org
    http://www.MideastReporter.com
    http://www.MythsAndFacts.org
    http://www.TheIsraelProject.org
    http://www.BBCwatch.org
    http://www.jhrw.com
    http://www.PalWatch.org
    http://www.UKMediaWatch.org

    http://www.aish.com/jw/mo/4-Reasons-Why-the-Media-is-Biased-against-Israel.html
    http://advocacy.ou.org/

    ************************************************
    HELP SUE THE TERRORISTS IN COURT:
    ************************************************

    http://www.IsraelLawCenter.org

    ************************************************
    HELP FIGHT ISRAEL-BASHING ON-CAMPUS:
    ************************************************

    http://www.AcademicEngagement.org
    http://www.CameraOnCampus.org
    http://www.CampusFairness.org
    http://www.DavidProject.org
    http://www.Israel-Academia-Monitor.com
    http://www.IsraCampus.org.il
    http://www.JewHatredOnCampus.org
    http://www.SSImovement.org
    http://www.StandWithUs.com
    http://www.TheIsraelGroup.org
    https://twitter.com/cmaccabees

    ************************************************
    HELP-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS TO JOIN:
    ************************************************

    http://www.afsi.org
    http://www.IronDomeAlliance.com
    http://www.IsraelBonds.com
    http://www.KeepJerusalem.org
    http://www.rza.org
    http://www.vfi-usa.org
    http://www.zoa.org
    http://5tjt.com/how-aipac-failed-us/

    ************************************************
    JEWISH VICTIMS OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS:
    ************************************************

    http://www.Terror-Victims.org.il
    http://www.VictimsOfArabTerror.co [not com]

    ************************************************
    ARABS AND MUSLIMS WHO BECAME PRO-ISRAEL:
    ************************************************

    http://www.ActForAmerica.org
    http://www.NonieDarwish.org
    http://ArabsForIsrael.blogspot.com/

    ************************************************
    Tanach / Bible, Tehillim / Psalms, chapter 129, verse 5:
    “Let them be ashamed and turned backward, all haters of Zion.”
    ************************************************

  4. Mr. Cohen says:

    If you are being bothered by Christian missionaries
    or know a Jewish person they are influencing,
    then these web sites (listed in alphabetical order) may be helpful:

    Baltimore Branch of Jews for Judaism
    www dot JewsForJudaismBaltimore dot org

    Daily Minyan
    blog of Gene Shlomovich a FORMER “Messianic Jew”
    www dot DailyMinyan dot com

    Jewish Israel
    watching evangelists in israel since 2008
    www dot JewishIsrael dot com

    Jeff Neckonoff returned to Judaism:
    www dot JewsForHashem dot com/1 dot html

    Jews for Judaism
    www dot JewsForJudaism dot org

    Judaism’s Answer to Missionary Claims
    probably by Moshe Shulman
    www dot JudaismsAnswer dot com

    Messiah Truth
    used to be www dot messiahtruth dot com
    http://MessiahTruth dot yuku dot com/

    Thematic Index of Counter-Missionary Articles
    http://thejewishhome dot org/counter-index dot html

    Ohr Somayach / Ask the Rabbi
    http://ohr dot edu/ask/ask00j dot htm

    Outreach Judaism (Rabbi Tovia Singer)
    www dot OutreachJudaism dot org

    Penina Taylor also escaped from Christianity
    and accepted Orthodox Judaism:
    www dot PeninaTaylor dot com

    Their Hollow Inheritance
    Michoel Drazin refutes Christianity
    www dot drazin dot com

    Torah Atlanta
    www dot TorahAtlanta dot com

    Truth About Mashiach
    www dot moshiach-truth dot blogspot dot com

    Why Jews Reject Jesus by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
    www dot aish dot com/jw/s/48892792 dot html

    Yad L’Achim
    They fight against evil missionaries, but only in Israel dot
    www dot YadLAchim dot org

    This list of ANTI missionary links can be
    printed on paper and distributed Jews who need it.

  5. Mr. Cohen says:

    Israel is being buried-alive under
    an avalanche of false accusations.

    These web sites can help refute the false
    accusations and media bias:

    **********************************************
    HELP DEFEND ISRAEL FROM UNFAIR MEDIA:
    **********************************************

    www dot camera dot org
    www dot DanielPipes dot org
    www dot FactsAndLogic dot org
    www dot HonestReporting dot com
    www dot memri dot org
    www dot memriTV dot org
    www dot MideastReporter dot com
    www dot MythsAndFacts dot org
    www dot TheIsraelProject dot org
    www dot BBCwatch dot org
    www dot jhrw dot com
    www dot PalWatch dot org
    www dot UKMediaWatch dot org

    **********************************************
    HELP FIGHT ISRAEL-BASHING ON-CAMPUS:
    **********************************************

    www dot CameraOnCampus dot org
    www dot Campus Fairness dot org
    www dot DavidProject dot org
    www dot IronDomeAlliance dot com
    www dot IsraCampus.org dot il
    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org (Help SUE the terrorists in court!)
    www dot JewHatredOnCampus dot org
    www dot SSImovement dot org
    www dot StandWithUs dot com
    www dot TheIsraelGroup dot org

    **********************************************
    HELP-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS TO JOIN:
    **********************************************

    www dot ActForAmerica dot org (a Christian Arab who loves Israel)
    www dot afsi dot org
    www dot IsraelBonds dot com
    www dot KeepJerusalem dot org
    www dot rza dot org
    www dot vfi-usa dot org
    www dot zoa dot org

  6. Mr. Cohen says:

    Shabbat Praised by Famous Non-Jewish Celebrity:

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/05/05/non-jewish-pop-singer-katy-perry-says-she-wishes-there-were-a-weekly-worldwide-shabbat-to-disconnect-from-social-media/

    Pop superstar Katy Perry recently said:

    “I wish there was a thing like Shabbat that wasn’t particularly religious-based, that was kind of a worldwide day where we’re not on our phones — like a movement…”

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