Kosher Jesus

Kosher Jesus

3.8 6
by Shmuley Boteach

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Kosher Jesus is a project of more than six years research and writing. The book seeks to offer to Jews and Christians the real story of Jesus, a wholly observant, Pharisaic Rabbi who fought Roman paganism and oppression and was killed for it. While many Christians will be confused by its assertion that Jesus never claimed divinity and not only did not abrogate the

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Kosher Jesus is a project of more than six years research and writing. The book seeks to offer to Jews and Christians the real story of Jesus, a wholly observant, Pharisaic Rabbi who fought Roman paganism and oppression and was killed for it. While many Christians will be confused by its assertion that Jesus never claimed divinity and not only did not abrogate the Torah but observed every letter of the Law, they will find comfort in my tracing most of Jesus' principal teachings back to Jewish sources, this before he was stripped of his Jewishness by later writers who sought to portray him as an enemy of his people. This is especially true of Jesus’ most famous oration, the Sermon on the Mount, which is a reformulation of the Torah he studied and to which he was committed. A small sampling: Jesus: (Matt 5:5) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Hebrew Bible: (Psalms 37) The meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Jesus: (Matt 5:8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see G-d. Hebrew Bible: (Psalms 24) Who shall ascend the mount of the Lord – the pure-hearted. Jesus: (Matt 5:39) But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Hebrew Bible: (Lamentations 3:30) Let him offer his cheek to him who smites him…. Jesus: (Matt 6:33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Hebrew Bible: (Psalms 37:4) Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Jesus: (Matt 7:7) Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. Hebrew Bible: (Jer 29:13) When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. Jesus: (Matt 7:23) Then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers." Hebrew Bible: (Psalms 6:9) Depart from me, all you workers of evil… The book is also for Jews who remain deeply uncomfortable with Jesus because of the Church’s long history of anti-Semitism, the deification of Jesus, and the Jewish rejection of any Messiah who has not fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. We Jews will forever reject the divinity of any man, the single most emphatic prohibition of our Bible. And we can never accept the Messiahship of any personality, however noble or well-intended, who died without ushering in the age of physical redemption. But as Christians and Jews now come together to love and support the majestic and humane Jewish state, it’s time that Christians rediscover the deep Jewishness and religious Jewish commitment of Jesus, while Jews reexamine a lost son who was murdered by a brutal Roman state who sought to impose Roman culture and rule upon a tiny yet stubborn nation who will never be severed from their eternal covenant with the G-d of Israel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this informed and cogent primer on Jesus of Nazareth, Boteach, rabbi and author of the international bestseller Kosher Sex, takes a brave stab at re-evaluating Jesus through an intensive look at the New Testament and historical documents. In what is sure to be controversial, Boteach asserts that contradictions in the New Testament regarding who bears responsibility for Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus’ feelings toward the Jews as well as issues like Jesus’ divinity and the question of Judas’ existence, prove that editors of early texts chose to distort that Jesus was, in fact, a beloved member of the Jewish community who rebelled against Roman brutality, not Jewish law. Boteach reiterates that although he does not believe in Jesus as Messiah, he hopes that a new look at Jesus as a man who lived and died as an observant Jew will help eliminate anti-Semitism, establish good will between the faiths and “strengthen Judeo-Christian values.” This well-researched analysis will certainly reopen intrafaith and interfaith dialogue. (Feb.)
The Jewish Tribune (Toronto)
Kosher Jesus is well-written and easy to follow. It does a thorough job of explaining the ways in which the writers and editors of the New Testament might have changed the story of Jesus to make their new religion acceptable to Roman rulers and palatable to pagans and idol worshippers. Boteach states in his book that his views on Jesus have been heavily influenced by the work of Hyam Maccoby, "which serves as a pivotal foundation and central pillar for what follows here."

This book will appeal to a wide readership that likely will not include the Christians for whom it was intended because its message is unequivocal and unrelenting: Jesus was a Torah-observant, kosher-keeping, Talmud-inspired rabbi who would have been horrified at the ways in which his words and mission were falsified. Boteach may have had the best of intentions in writing this book for evangelical Christians but, well, you know what they say about good intentions.

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Product Details

Gefen Publishing House
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6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Harold Kushner
It is tragic that two great religions that worship the same God, cherish the same Scriptures and affirm the same moral code have been so antagonistic to each other for so long. May this book help to heal that breach. (Rabbi Harold Kushner, Author of When Bad Things Happen To Good People)
Yechiel Z. Eckstein
Shmuley in his own unique, iconoclastic, and controversial way, hits a home run with his new courageous book, Kosher Jesus. While showing understanding for the negative stereotypes many Jews - especially European born - have of Jesus, Christians and Christianity, he cuts through those perceptions and urges Jews and Christians to take a fresh look at the person of Jesus and to reclaim him for themselves in a truer, more genuine form. The mostly negative views Jews and Christians have had of one another over the centuries were certainly shaped by the fratricide that marked our relationship. It is high time they be revisited. Undoubtedly, not a few Rabbis will be outraged by this book. But certainly this Rabbi - a colleague, friend, admirer, and "fan of Shmuley" - will defend his thesis and many, if not most, of his points and view the opposition as Shmuley's red badge of courage. Given the advances that have been made in Christian-Jewish dialogue since the 1960s it is essential that both communities take another look at this central subject. And this book does just that.

Kosher Jesus is essential reading for anyone seeking a truer understanding of who Jesus the Jew from Nazareth really was and the enormous contribution he made to the world. This courageous and thought provoking book is a breath of fresh air and major contribution to Jewish and Christian perceptions of Jesus. I hope it's read widely and changes attitudes in both communities. (Rabbi Yechiel Z. Eckstein, Founder and President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews)

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Meet the Author

Shmuley Boteach is one of the world's leading relationship experts and values and spirituality exponents. He is the author of twenty-seven books, which have been translated into eighteen languages, and his columns, TV, and radio appearances are regular staples in media all over the world. Rabbi Shmuley was labeled "a cultural phenomenon" and "the most famous rabbi in America" by Newsweek magazine, and is regularly listed as one of the ten most influential rabbis in the United States. He lives in Englewood, NJ, with his Australian wife Debbie. They have nine children.

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Kosher Jesus 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
beachpolly More than 1 year ago
This book didn't tell that much about Jesus being Kosher that I didn't know. It did promote the Jewish religon. On the positive side it also said that people of all religons should live in pece and help other people.
kotzker53 More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Rabbi Shmuley, for writing this book. A readable treatment of Jesus, the committed Jew, was long overdue. R. Boteach does a very good job of setting the context in which Jesus lived and spread his message amongst his fellow Jews. There are more scholarly books on this subject, but most are not as accessible to the wider audience that this book has the potential to reach. A little more work on the history/chronology of the gospels and epistles themselves might have been worth the Rabbi's effort. Without going into too much detail, it might have more fully illuminated many of his observations, particularly on anti-semitic themes in the New Testament. Also, one error in Chapter 6 would have been picked up by anyone taking an intro. course on the gospels. In discussing the inclusion of Jesus' miracle in Cana in the Book of John (i.e. the Gospel of John), it states, "No other synoptic Gospel mentions this miracle..." John is not one of the synoptic gospels. We are given example after example of the Jewish sources of Jesus' teachings. The picture of his faithfulness to Rabbinic Tradition and the Law is painted more fully. For this reason, I don't understand why, in Chapter 4, R. Shmuley calls Jesus the founder of Christianity. I think this book itself argues that title belongs elsewhere. Kosher Jesus does an excellent job at showing us the Jesus who lived and died as a Jew and who reflected a political, social, and religious environment that informed his life, message and mission. Whatever subsequently happened to that message, however horrific the persecution visited upon the Jews by Christian churches and their memebers throughout the centuries, Jesus is not the author. For all traditions to be able to utter the "J word" and to explore this subject with open minds could be the beginning of revelation.
MeirMeister More than 1 year ago
Kosher Jesus is going to be a bestseller.It tackles a hard topic,the identity of one the most famous of all Jews. Give it to Shmuley to have the chutzpah to raise this topic, and put the true Jesus out for examination.There are many scholarly works out there on the same subject. None of them have been read by the masses.In his book Boteach encourages his readers to study the subject deeper.This book is a good start in approaching the subject.The reader can choose to go further and read other works on the subject With the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach name,you can guarantee a higher readership,which will get the subject of Jesus' life and humanity out there for many public discussions.I hope they are civil discussions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author tries to dispel the picture of Jesus that is presented in the New Testament to make him more palatable to the Jew but he does not present some of the other evidence we have at hand. He tries to prove that the real Jesus is hidden somewhere in the New Testament text but must be excavated with much effort. There are other books to read that present a different picture of Jesus that in all fairness need to be considered. These two books present different views: 1)The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ - Lee Strobel (nook or paperback) 2)Leaving Jesus - (nook or paperback)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TonyCH More than 1 year ago
From a biblical reader and Christian I found the book quite good! If you arn't a biblical reader you may not enjoy it, based on how narrow minder you are. Ton Hoople