Letter-writers Alan Levin and Deb Herman insist that so-called “Messianic Jews” – Jews who profess a belief in Jesus – are “not Jews” (Letters, December 13). It seems to me that they’re thinking that those who profess to believe in Jesus now adhere to another religion, and not Judaism. I believe there is a talmudic principle that says, in effect, that a Jew, no matter how much he or she sins, remains a Jew.
I would urge them to consult with competent Orthodox rabbis, who are authorities on Jewish religious law (halachah), about that question. If one studies the Bible, the Tanach, one can see that in ancient times, many Jews fell into the worship of the idol Ba’al, and also the Golden Calf. Did they therefore cease to be Jews?
If you look at the Torah, you can see that according to the Torah the Jews are a nation, as opposed to a mere body of religious believers, like the Catholics, the Lutherans, and the Baptists, as many present-day Americans, as well as Reform Jews, seem to think.