My Beliefs and Theology

 

A.               My Theology of Unification: Cardinal’s Report

My theology is one of unification of Judaism and Christianity. To expound upon such personal beliefs, I relate a conversation that I had on the first day of Chanukah 5777 (2016), with Rabbi Shlomo Goldstein of Mount Zion, Jerusalem. He and his brother, Rabbi Dovid, were visiting America; and, I had a chance to see them in Baltimore, Maryland. At that time, I spoke to Rabbi Shlomo about an upcoming book of mine (one about peace that is still unpublished) that, while lauding Jesus, Christianity, and Islam, does not, in any manner, abrogate Orthodox-Jewish belief. By our talk’s conclusion, he told me that he completely understood the rationale for my so writing. Moreover, halfway through our chat, Rabbi Shlomo, overcome with emotion and in a holy place, put his hands on my head to give me a great blessing. [I, again, met Rabbi Shlomo, in Brooklyn, during Chanukah of the following year (5778/2017). At that later time, to him and with him, I read and went over this very segment.]

The Sabbath before my meeting with Rabbi Shlomo in 5777/2016, I visited an Orthodox-Jewish home. There, it was discussed why the great sage Maimonides implied that Christianity would be the first religion to unite with Judaism [followed by Islam, and then, in a seeming domino-effect, all the world’s religions so that, eventually, as Maimonides writes, “the entire world [will] serve God together” (Hilchot Milachim 11:4, uncensored Frankel version)]. I explained that these religions are first to unite because the Messiah, who comes to save all the world, opens the Torah to reveal that its rules, from the Creator of Nature, pertain to everyone. (That is, God’s Word is not a culturally relative document, but rather, one relating to the species as a whole.) Therefore, because Christian culture is Bible-based, Christians should have the least culture shock in terms of accepting Torah/Biblical rules, and thereby, be more able to accept the Messianic Age.

Returning to Rabbi Shlomo, I, also, related how the Christian holy books, considered by Orthodox Jews to have annulled laws of the Torah, can be, in fact, rightly used to spread the most Orthodox Torah values to the world. To prove my point, I mentioned a report that I, at the request of the Catholic Church in France a year-and-a-half earlier, had written for Cardinal Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris. The Cardinal was the addressee because, about the report’s foci that the Church desired to elevate (these foci included a discussion about preventing terrorism), I had already met with the Cardinal’s subordinate, Paris’ Auxiliary Bishop Jérôme Beau. (Rabbi Shlomo did not actually see the report; however, its points, as pertains to the universality of the rules of keeping kosher, were verbally discussed.)

In the 20-page report (edited excerpts follow, with any braced text being additional), a segment was devoted to explaining to the Cardinal that following Biblical food restrictions (keeping kosher) are in the best interests of all cultures in all epochs. (In the following, when a nun or a non-public figure is mentioned, for the sake of privacy, only initials are used.)

Your Eminence, Cardinal Vingt-Trois . . .

Shellfish, according to Leviticus regulations, are forbidden to eat. Why? Because crustaceans, as a rule, cannot be killed humanly. As a result, those who consume shellfish would become more hardhearted than those who restrict themselves to fish that can be killed humanely. Moreover, as the Messiah’s heart, as Isaiah writes, cares even for bruised reeds, that is, cares for anything with life, the more stonehearted is a person, the more such a person’s heart contrasts with the Messiah’s.

When I reached Saint Gervais {a historic church in Paris}, the good brother {Théophane, the church’s prior, earlier mentioned in a non-quoted letter section}, at first, was occupied. However, another priest, Christophe, from Metz, was available to chat. To him, I mentioned both my wait for Théophane and my personal theology of Judeo-Christian unification. This theology greatly pleased Christophe; and, I, too, revealed the previously explained rationale for why not to eat shellfish.

Immediately, Fr. Christophe understood that those who consume shellfish would be naturally more hardhearted than those who refuse to eat fish that could not be killed without cruelty. He, too, clearly understood that crustacean-eaters would, in some manner, both be removed from having the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and like the foolish virgins of Matthew 25, have less or insufficient oil whenever Jesus returns. {(1) The Catholic concept of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is similar to the Orthodox-Jewish concept of a circumcised heart. Specifically, such hearts, which love and care, are—as opposed to uncaring hearts of metaphorical stone—of flesh. (2) According to Christian theology, when the Messiah comes, one must have his or her figurative “oil.” That is, in the way that Orthodox Jews are obligated to be ready for the Messiah’s any-day coming, so, too, must truly God-fearing Christians consider readiness for the Messiah’s any-day return a principle of faith.} Later, when I spoke to Théophane about this matter involving shellfish and the heart of Jesus, he, as Fr. Christophe, comprehended at once.

While not discussed then, if a shellfish, for instance, a crab, is taken out of water, it will not die on its own as will a fish. Rather, a crab must be killed. Of course, the act of killing hardens a person’s heart, especially when the killing is necessarily inhumane or brutal. For this reason, if man must eat animal protein to survive, it may be, for man’s spiritual interests, that fish is best. After all, a fish will eventually die on its own when taken out of water. With fish, one does not have to harden one’s heart through the act of slaughter. Remember: Jesus multiplied not land animals but fish. (For this reason, and related to Pope Francis’s wonderful, recent encyclical on our environment, it is extra important to protect our oceans!)

Before continuing with the Saint Gervais account, I go back two-and-a-half years, to my time living in Montreal (about six-months prior to my first meeting Théophane). At such a period, I was invited to speak to the sisters at the city’s Fraternities of Jerusalem monastery. After my talk, I felt the Holy Ghost {Ruach Hakodesh} directing me to approach one sister in particular, a Sister B; and, with her, I was to discuss both the Bible’s kosher-food restrictions and the vision of Simon Peter. {Jesus’ top disciple, the Saint called the “prince of the apostles” and the “rock of the Church,” is Simon Peter—for whom the Vatican’s mother church, Saint Peter’s Basilica, is named. This Saint had a divine vision, detailed in Chapter 10 of the Book of Acts, about a descending sheet from heaven. From the historical interpretation of this vision, Christian theology made keeping kosher not mandatory.}

That the Holy Ghost truly directed me to speak to this sister was confirmed when, suddenly, there occurred an unplanned synchronicity (or as some would say, a “wink from God”). This synchronicity both involved another sister, Sister M., and related to Simon Peter’s vision. In fact, and as a bizarre coincidence might stun, this wink from God was of a sufficiently haunting magnitude that Sister M. and a man who was there, C.S.M., simultaneously and independently exclaimed, “Oh my God!”

To explain what occurred, when I was about to tell Sister B. about my understanding of Simon Peter’s vision, at that moment, from behind, I heard a sound. I turned and saw that Sister M. had placed napkins down on a table. Because I could not have known what Sister M. was doing, I said that the LORD had provided a sign. Specifically, I was opening my mouth to speak to Sister B. about Simon Peter’s descending sheet, when, in her field of vision but not mine, another sister put down a group of napkins, which is something similar to a sheet. In fact, in the French Bible, Simon Peter’s sheet is a “nappe,” that is, a tablecloth.

With that said, the dramatic exclamations of Sister M. and C.S.M. arose from a perfect, unplanned synchronicity: my emphatically stating to Sister B. that the LORD had told me to say something expressly to her about Simon Peter’s vision, combined with Sister M. putting down the napkins. Therefore, their synchronous “Oh my God!” came from their spontaneous and individually reached recognition of the LORD’s imminence. With their own eyes, they had seen God instantaneously and simultaneously operate through both my mind and Sister M.’s actions without our coordination.

Due to this unplanned overlap, I, in righteousness, said to Sister B. that the LORD provided this synchronous sign to relay that what I was about to explain was crucial. Then, less any [bracketed] information below, I said something like the following, which are quotes taken from a letter of mine written after and about my talk with dear Sister B.:

“As it says in both the Old and New Testaments, all of God’s laws, designed for our best interests, are good if properly followed: adhering to God’s rules is the way of life, while the wages of sin is death. Recognizing this contrast, what rationale underlies the Biblical rules regarding food restrictions? For instance, why does Leviticus state not to eat pig flesh, but rather, to eat cow meat? How could abiding by the rule of avoiding pig but not cow lead to life, while not abiding by such a rule, to death?

“To begin to answer, the Bible states that a four-footed land animal may be kosher if it chews its cud. What is the sense of that? To understand, first recognize that all cud-chewers are vegetarian, since the point of cud chewing is to process the hard-to-digest plant cellulose that non-cud-chewing animals cannot. Now, contrast the excrement of these differing digestive methods: cud-chewers deposit a finely processed, grassy waste that can safely be used as manure. However, the non-cud-chewers leave a biological hazard. For instance, frolicking children encountering cow droppings would not risk their health as would children playing beside swine droppings.

“Besides health concerns, raising swine equates with more stress for persons and animals: to maintain hygiene, cultures incorporating porcine products in their diets require more fences and factory-farming practices. {Moreover, pigs are in competition with humans for the same food supplies; however, grass-eating herds are not.}

“On a different vein, vegetarian animals have flatter teeth than meat-eaters. It is safer, therefore, to be near a kosher species than carnivorous or omnivorous animals with sharper teeth. Also, vegetarian animals, naturally defensive, are less likely to attack. In contrast, meat-eaters can turn on their owners and consume them! (Occasional news reports about swine owners attest to this fact.)

“According to the Bible, besides being a chewer of its cud, a kosher animal must have split hooves. Hence, clawed animals are not kosher (this includes cud-chewing rabbits). This additional requirement benefits society because animals with claws are dangerous.”

[Hoofed animals may have horns, and thereby, due to goring, be dangerous. However, such animals, in a domestic herd protected from predators, can be, when very young, disbudded (dehorned) without a lasting, deleterious effect. Regarding the requirement for split and not merely, as horses have, rounded hooves, animals with cloven hooves, besides being designed, like all hoofed animals, for longer journeys on harsher surfaces, are better equipped for handling rocky, mountainous terrain. Therefore, if comes either a flood or a need for a wider pasturing range, kosher animals can be more readily herded to higher ground.

[To summarize, cud-chewing, split-hoofed animals are best for human societies to raise. After all, the excrement is less or non-toxic; such naturally defensive animals, not predators, are safer to be near; grass-eating animals neither compete with humans for food nor land (grasses grow from poor and thin soils that cannot sustain human crops); and, such animals can be taken on long journeys even through mountainous terrain.]

“For these reasons and more, a rule limiting society to the kosher animals makes good sense in any generation. So, how could God tell Simon Peter, through his vision, to stop restricting himself to these dietary regulations? For one, God was sending Simon Peter and the disciples to all the world’s nations for the sake of conversion; and, it would have been counterproductive to demand that converts follow kosher rules with which they were unfamiliar and did not understand. (Regarding this lack of understanding, the prior explanations about the logical rationale underlying kosher guidelines, while clearly true, has been generally hidden even to Orthodox Jews.)

“Enforcement would have been, as mentioned, counterproductive because the point of keeping kosher, as explained, is to promote life; and, the other societies into which the disciples were being sent could have primarily been eating non-kosher animals as daily staples. Therefore, those societies could have become malnourished or starved by a sudden directive to eat only kosher foods. With that in mind, enforcing kosher regulations in such circumstances would have surely contravened God’s rules, since even Orthodox Jews are taught that when one is starving with naught to eat but pork, one is obliged to eat the pork to stay alive. At such a time, the pork becomes temporarily permissible because the whole point of keeping kosher is to promote life.

“Only Biblical legalists {who follow the letter of the Law without understanding its Spirit} refuse to eat {at a time of starvation conditions} usually forbidden foods to the point of their own demise. With that in mind, the New Testament talks of how following the letter of the Law without understanding its Spirit leads to death. (Sadly, such Legalism still persists among certain Jews. Once, I visited an Orthodox-Jewish home in London. There, the lady-of-the-house sanctimoniously boasted about certain Holocaust-era Jews who were so religious and righteous that they refused to consume the pork soup served to them by the Nazis. These Jews, due to their refusal, tragically perished; and, this smug woman considered their deaths a glory to God!)

“Finally, I concluded to Sister B., in Simon Peter’s vision, the sheet is eventually taken back up into heaven: it does not stay down permanently. Of course, there would be a theological distinction if the sheet had remained on the earth instead of it returning to the heavens. For instance, if, in the vision, the sheet remained, the meaning, perhaps, would be that, somehow, the animals were always to remain clean to eat. However, as God has guided me, the meaning of the sheet’s return is that the divine dispensation of grace, wherein all foods became suitable to eat, is temporary. This temporality lasts only until Judgment—that is, until Jesus returns. When he returns, he will explain how God’s never-changing Law could have stated one thing in the Old Testament and something seemingly contrary in the New—while, as God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, really being in harmony one with the other.”

{Jewish readers surprised by my discussion of Jesus’ “return,” should recognize that, as Orthodox Jews have been taught from youth, Moshiach (the Messiah) is Moshiach not only for the Jews, but for the Christians, the Muslims, and the whole world. Additionally, one is meant to relay information in a receivable manner. Further, there have been many who were literally described as “Moshiach” in the Tanach (the Jewish Holy Scriptures, that is, the Older Testament), including the non-Israelite King Cyrus. (Cyrus is described as a “Messiah” in the original, Hebrew text of Isa. 45:1. However, translations generally prefer, for this verse, the word “anointed,” which is the translated meaning of Moshiach/Messiah.) Therefore, when Moshiach comes, such a Messiah must be, by Orthodox-Jewish standards, returning—since there again will be a Moshiach or even Moshichim (Messiahs). “Messiahs” because there are many realms in which one may be anointed, that is, be a Messiah. For instance, the Levitic priest of Leviticus 4 is anointed as “Messiah” (as in Isa. 45:1, Leviticus 4’s originally Hebrew “Moshiach/Messiah” is generally translated as “anointed”). So, when the Messiah from the tribe of Judah comes, since he reinstitutes the Holy Temple service, there will be—as there was before the Temple was long ago destroyed—a Messiah from the tribe of Levi. Such a Levitic Messiah will be additional to the Judean Messiah and further validate the concept of a return to messiahship.}

At a point in my personal sermon, from Sister B.’s facial expressions, it became very difficult—if not tortuous—for her to listen further. However, I strong-armed her into hearing me entirely by repeatedly pointed out the divine, synchronous sign that had occurred involving Sister M. Meaning, I said, the LORD wanted her to hear what I was saying despite her difficulty.

Really, I could understand her struggle: not only was my theological take very different from what she had been taught, she was a mature, experienced, well-learned, Catholic nun. I, however, was a Jewish rabbi. With that said, she must have thought it bizarre and even presumptuous that I had made new revelations about Jesus Christ and the true meaning of one of the crucial visions at the heart of Christology.

Returning to my talk with Rabbi Shlomo, after I verbally relayed to him enough of the above, he—aware that Hashem (the LORD) is everywhere—comprehended that by deeply delving into the Christian holy books (that is, in Hebrew, when going through enough klipot), Christianity can be used to spread authentic Torah values to the world. Finally, at our conversation’s end, Rabbi Shlomo, as I mentioned, said that he understood the rationale for my writing an entirely positive book about Christianity and Jesus in a manner that does not, in any way, negate Torah values.

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

B.               More About My Unification Theology: UU Lecture

In early 2014, before I experienced any Marian apparition, was invited to give the Sunday sermon at a Unitarian-Universalist church in Burlington, Iowa, U.S.A. There, I spoke of my theological work to unify Judaism with Christianity. Following is an edited transcript of part of that sermon:

Rabbi Chaim Gruber: Pertaining to belief in the Messiah, I want to talk about a future unification between Judaism and Christianity. When this unification comes, we would need a united belief in the Messiah. Do Orthodox Jews believe in Jesus Christ?

Audience member: Not in the same way.

Rabbi Chaim: At the least, not in the same way! . . . As a rule, Orthodox Jews do not believe in Jesus. However, Christians do believe in Jesus. So, how can these opposing views unify?

To understand my perspective about the first steps to the theological unification of belief in the Messiah, know that an Orthodox-Jewish principle of faith is to patiently wait for the Messiah to come. “Messiah,” after all, is an Israelite-Jewish concept. In fact, “Messiah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word pronounced Moshiach. Therefore, every good, religious Jew, when asked whether he or she is waiting for the Messiah, should respond, “Yes.”

Who knows how to say “Messiah” in Greek?

Audience member: Christ.

Rabbi Chaim: Christ, that’s right. “Messiah” in Hebrew is “Christ” in Greek. It’s a translation, and the word means “anointed” in both languages.

Furthermore, according to Orthodox Judaism, and taken from the Jewish Talmud [Biblical commentaries], guess which language is considered a best language for translating the originally-Hebrew Torah [the Old Testament]?

Audience: Greek?

Rabbi Chaim. Greek, that’s right! Over other languages, Greek is considered excellent and even best for translating the Torah. So, if we are merely speaking in Greek about the Torah subject of Jews waiting for the Messiah, it could be said, from an Orthodox-Jewish perspective, that Jews are waiting for Christ!

Really, that’s the first, simple step in the unification! Namely, the linguistic recognition that both Orthodox Jews and Christians are awaiting Christ.

The next aspect of this theological unification regarding the Messiah would be to ask Orthodox Jews, myself included, the following question: “For what are we waiting for Christ—that is, for the Messiah—to do?” From an Orthodox-Jewish perspective, a right answer to that question would be, “To save all the Jews and all the world.” After all, a purpose of the Messiah is to bring world peace, remove all evil from our planet, etc.

Also, per Orthodox-Jewish belief, one’s name is one’s function and destiny in life. For instance, the name “Joseph” literally means “He will gather”; and, Joseph, the son of Jacob, both gathered all the food supplies of Egypt and gathered all of his family together. {Joseph, father of Jesus, also gathered his family down to Egypt. Prior to that, Joseph did not separate from but gathered Mary unto him at the time of his questioning whether to send peculiarly-pregnant Mary away.}

With that in mind, who knows how to say, in Hebrew, the name of someone who will save?

[No answer.]

“Yeshua.” This name means, “He will save.” And, when translating “Yeshua” into Greek—which is, again, excellent for translating the Torah according to Orthodox Jews—what name do we get?

Audience member: Jesus.

Rabbi Chaim: Jesus! That’s right!

So, for one, as already mentioned, Jews, myself included, are waiting for a Messiah, which means, in Greek, that we are waiting for Christ. Second, because we are waiting for a Messiah who will save, we are, in Hebrew, waiting for Yeshua, which is, in Greek, waiting for Jesus.

Therefore, merely by speaking Greek, and not at all altering any Orthodox-Jewish system of belief, Orthodox Jews are waiting for “Jesus Christ”! . . .

Audience member: Would you say that Jews, like yourself, are going to become Christian and believe in the Second Coming?

Rabbi Chaim: Discussion of the Second Coming should be, aptly, a second step. The first step—getting all Jews and Christians to recognize that everyone is waiting for “Jesus Christ—is a big enough issue to deal with for the time being. After achieving that initial step, we could debate the Second Coming; and, such a debate would have complexities all its own. After all, Orthodox Jews who do not, now, believe that the Messiah once came, should be expecting, speaking in Greek at the least, that “Jesus Christ” is to come not for the second time as Christians believe, but for the first!

However, and again, the Second Coming should be a secondary issue. First things first in our religious unification, which is getting both sides to recognize that everyone is waiting for “Jesus Christ.” That is, in Hebrew, we are all waiting for Yeshua the Messiah. In fact, even Muslims, per Islamic belief, are waiting for Jesus to return.

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

C.               Reiteration of the Foundational Principle to Unite Orthodox Judaism with Traditional Christianity

Jesus” is Greek for Hebrew’s “Yeshua,” a name meaning “He will save,” that is, a future-tense savior (a soon segment explains why the tense is a future). Therefore, both because Orthodox Jews are waiting for the Messiah to come and save the world, and because, Biblically speaking, our names are our destinies, one of the Messiah’s names, and he has many, must be Yeshua or something similar, such as Yehoshua. This must be so because, again, the Messiah comes to save the world, and these names are rooted on the concept of salvation.

Moreover, “Christ” is Greek for Hebrew’s “Moshiach” (“Messiah”); and, Orthodox Jews, from antiquity, consider Greek excellent for Torah translations. Meaning, that we Orthodox Jews are waiting for Moshiach to save us and the whole world is the same as saying, in Greek, that Orthodox Jews are waiting for Jesus Christ.

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

D.              Jesus, the Name Above All Names, Is the Messiah; and, Such Is Not Merely a Principle of Faith—It Is the Truth

In Hebrew, objects have gender. Hence, “He will save” (Yeshua/Jesus) is also “it will save” or “what will save.” With that understood, one can comprehend the sufficient equivalency between the concepts of “it/what will save” (Yeshua/Jesus) and “anointed” (Moshiach/Messiah/Christ). Namely, if someone does not get his or her salvation—whether it is medicine when deathly ill or food when starving—the person will die. Therefore, logically, the concept of Messiah is synonymous with that of Jesus, because—as diamonds, when in a desert, are of a lesser value than water—whatever will save a person must be more anointed than all else.

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

E.              “Jesus” Is Future-Tense Salvation

Jesus,” the anointed name, is a future-tense verb meaning “He will save.” Why in the future? Simply, as a stitch in time saves nine, future salvation is more of a salvation than a salvation in the present tense. If that sounds confusing, just imagine two persons crossing different roads. The first, before he crosses, looks both ways; and, when he has a clear passage, safely hustles to the other side. The second, however, does not look before crossing and tragically gets hit by a vehicle. Then, after the paramedics arrive and take the injured to the hospital, his life, thank God, after a three-hour surgery, is saved.

In the first person’s case, via his looking both ways before crossing, the salvation that he received was future-tense, safety-first salvation. In the case of the second person, who was eventually saved, such a present-tense salvation consumed a great deal of unnecessary time, energy, resources, etc. It was “unnecessary” because the accident could have been avoided. Hence, future salvation is more of a salvation because, again, as a stitch in times save nine, preventing calamity is more economical (that is, has greater savings) than containing it. To analogize, it is great when a fireman saves children from a burning building. However, it would have been better had a sprinkler system been installed so that the fire never began.

It is because “Jesus” is safety-first, future-tense salvation (which is, again, a greater salvation than present-tense, emergency salvation that uses up resources) that Jesus himself states the following:

Whosoever cometh to me [Jesus], and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth [Jesus’ words], and doeth not [that is, someone who throws caution to the wind], is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Luke 6:47-49

In fact, without future salvation—that is, without “Jesus”—present salvation may be, in the long run, worthless. To use Luke 6’s example, the man who built the shoddy house achieved, at the time of building, a present-tense salvation more than the man who built the good house! After all, the pennywise-but-pound-foolish housebuilder, at first, saved time, energy, and expense by constructing his home cheaply. However, when came the future flood, all that savings transformed into waste.

Of interest, and speaking of Jesus’ name in the original Hebrew (Yeshua), it is due to, at this name’s beginning, the presence of merely the tiniest of Hebrew letters (called a yud or an iota) that “Jesus” is a future- and not a present-tense salvation. Thus, had this mere, single letter been lacking, the Gospels would not make sense!

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law.

Matthew 5:18

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

F.               Even More About My Unification Theology: Letter to His Beatitude Theophilos (slightly edited and braced text is additional)

From: Rabbi Chaim Gruber

Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Subject: Meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis

To: His Beatitude Theophilos III, Jerusalem’s Greek-Orthodox Patriarch

Cc: His Grace, Archbishop Aristarchos

Your Beatitude Theophilos:

It is a pleasure to again be in contact (I was the rabbi who helped you down from the YMCA stage after you spoke at the Green Pilgrim Symposium). I have a crucial theological teaching that I ask that you, please, pass to His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, before his scheduled meetings with His Holiness Pope Francis. The Pope, in a large-enough part, has already been apprised of this matter (see the attachment). Without understatement, this novel-but-nevertheless-age-old teaching, were it implemented by the Church, could dramatically and permanently improve the safety of Christians in the Holy Land. It could do so because such a Church implementation may compel enough of a change in Jewish law to allow Orthodox Jews to pray in a church in the same manner that Orthodox Jews are, now, allowed to pray in a mosque.

{For those unfamiliar with Orthodox-Jewish law as it has been observed for eons, Orthodox Jews, when needing to pray and when a synagogue is unavailable, may pray in a mosque but not in a church. Hence, if a shift occurred in Orthodox-Jewish law to allow Jews, in a pinch, to pray in a church, Jews would, then, hold Christians in a higher regard because a greater parallel would be made between a synagogue and a church. Thereafter, any abuses against Christians in the Holy Land would surely reduce. Moreover, such a reduction would be multifaceted (and multinational) because the Church’s implementation of the to-be-explained teaching would, too, allow for more harmony between the theologies of Christianity and Islam (which, in this regard at the least, is similar to the Jewish).}

The primary reason why Jews, now, are not allowed to pray in a church pertains to the theological equivalency that is made by many Christians between the divinity of Jesus and the divinity of Je-hovah. (“Je-hovah” is dashed to less startle Orthodox Jews who may see this email.) In the attached letter addressed to both His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict, the differences between such divinities are clearly enough explained so that, I believe, this age-old dispute can be finally settled. (In brief, Je-hovah is the omnipresent. However, Jesus—who, for instance and to use an extreme example, is not Satan—exists in opposition. Consequently, Jesus cannot be Je-hovah because there are exclusions to Jesus, while nothing can be excluded from omnipresence.)

On this whole subject, I, yesterday, had an hour-and-a-half conversation with the Anglican Bishop of Montreal, the Right Reverend Barry Clarke. Afterwards, the Bishop, sufficiently impressed, said that he would immediately pass the heart of our talk about the divinity of Christ to the Anglican Archbishop of Canada, the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, with a request that the Archbishop forward the matter to the Jerusalem Bishop, the Right Reverend Suheil Salman Dawani (who, by now, I assume knows much about the issue). Moreover, Bishop Barry agreed that such a shift in Church theology would not necessarily be a bitter pill to swallow. After all, there have been many historical, Christian saints who were opposed to the theology of Jesus being equivalent to Je-hovah. In fact, definitively deciding this long-disputed matter would greatly strengthen the Church. . . .

With great thanks, humility, and well wishes for next week! 

God bless you!

Rabbi Chaim Gruber

PS. To Archbishop Hiltz, Bishop Clarke likely forwarded a letter of mine addressed to HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip that regarded past work of mine with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Rowan Williams. However, I, here, do not include that letter because I already hand delivered a copy directly to your Chief Secretary, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos.

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

G.              Papal Attachment (abridged, mildly edited, and braced text is additional)

14 April 2014

With warmest greetings, I write to Your Holinesses Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict:

I do not know to what degree an introduction is necessary because I am unsure to what extent Your Holinesses are aware of my prior dealings with Christian Unity when formerly headed by Cardinal Kasper. While this letter does not pertain to those dealings other than in this paragraph, I do humbly mention such work because I believe that ideas that I had expressed years ago could have and still could do much to ease the often-overbearing pressure in and on the Church as pertains to its stance on and relationship with homosexuality.

I, also, do not fully know how my name or peace-work was mentioned during Your Holiness Benedict’s visit to Lambeth Palace. After my New York meeting with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Rowan Williams, his chief of staff, prior to your visit with the Archbishop, wrote that issues that Lord Williams and I had discussed would be on the papal agenda. Therefore, and with great congratulations to the new pontiff, I introduce and/or reintroduce myself . . .

I write regarding a number of issues . . . [one of these being] a way to overcome long-held, interdenominational and interreligious differences on the divinity of Christ. . . .

In mid-February of 2014, I gave a Hebrew class to the wonderful novices at Saint John’s Monastery in Princeville, IL, U.S.A. Part of the class was devoted to an analysis of God’s name, Je-hovah. Briefly, it was explained that the four, Hebrew letters that constitute the Tetragrammaton can be literally understood to mean “the unfolding now” or some synonymous term, such as “the continuum of existence,” “whatever happens from moment to moment,” or so forth. {“LORD,” either in all-caps or as “Lord,” is a common translation of Je-hovah.}

I explained that the first letter of Je-hovah, a yud/iota, is a standard prefix in Hebrew that denotes a masculine, third-person future. (This letter, also, begins Jesus’ name: it is the “He will” of “He will save.”) The last three letters of the Tetragrammaton spell the Hebrew word meaning the “now” or the “present tense.” With that in mind—and as neither the past nor the future truly exist but only does the unfolding now—Je-hovah, Who is the continuum of existence, is all that there is. Moreover, when the Bible makes an equivalency between Je-hovah and the number one (i.e., “the LORD is one”), monotheism is declared. After all, when everything that exists is a singularity, omnipresence is established.

Now, coming to the topic of the divinity of Jesus, Jesus, clearly, is not Satan. In fact, to say so would be obvious heresy. With that in mind, the divinity of Jesus, however full, including being the Son of God, is not a divinity that encompasses all things. In contrast, Je-hovah Is all things: “See ye that I alone am, and there is no other God besides me: I will kill and I will make to live: I will strike, and I will heal” (Deut. 32:39). With that stated, can the fullness of the divinity of Jesus be the same as the fullness of the divinity of Je-hovah? Clearly it cannot! Does Jesus kill? GOD FORBID NO! Satan is the killer. But Je-hovah, Who is all things, besides containing Jesus, includes the killer, who is Satan. There are exclusions to Jesus, but there are no exclusions to Je-hovah. Consider: were something excluded from omnipresence, omnipresence could not be.

Of course, my teaching on this subject is not to say that Jesus is not Je-hovah’s son. In fact, as Hebrew’s word for “son” means, more or less, “builder,” Jesus’ being Je-hovah’s son is logical. Consider: whatever will save (which is Jesus) is the builder (which is the son) of the unfolding now (which is Je-hovah)!

To reiterate, saving someone or something keeps the person or thing in reality; and, reality, aka the unfolding now, is Je-hovah. In contrast, Satan, the destroyer, kills or otherwise removes persons or things from reality, that is, removes them from Je-hovah.

The Catholic Church teaches that the divinity of Jesus is the same as that of Je-hovah. To quote from the Catechism, section number 446, under the title “LORD”:

“In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the ineffable Hebrew name YHWH [which I pronounce Ye-HoVaH, and not, as is the Catechism’s preference, YaHWeH], by which God revealed himself to Moses, is rendered as Kyrios, ‘Lord.’ From then on, ‘Lord’ becomes the more usual name by which to indicate the divinity of Israel’s God. The New Testament uses this full sense of the title ‘Lord’ both for the Father and—what is new—for Jesus, who is thereby recognized as God Himself.”

However, and again, the divinity of Jesus is clearly distinct from the divinity of Je-hovah (or depending on pronunciation preference, Ye-hovah or Ya-hweh). Such a distinction can be simply expressed even to youths: “Jesus saves. Satan destroys. The Omnipresent, who is in Hebrew called Je-hovah, includes all things, including both Jesus and Satan.” {However, while Je-hovah is all things, Je-hovah, Who is good, is not described as Satan! One rationale for this is that Satan is a mere aspect of all things and not representational of the entirety of all things. With that crucial distinction understood, how are all things good so that Je-hovah may be described as “good”? For one, because nature transforms but does not waste, all things must be good to someone or something at some time: any bad leads to good ultimately.}

Returning to Princeville, Saint John’s also-wonderful prior, Joseph-Mary, agreed that this matter about the divinity of Christ quickly needed to get to the attention of Your Holiness, Pope Francis, especially as novices were already aware of this what-seems-to-be-irrefutable teaching regarding these distinct divinities.

Therefore, please, be in touch at your earliest opportunity. Also, do not think that I question the validity of the New Testament. Rather, I question only the interpretation that thinks the New Testament makes an equivalency between the divinity of Je-hovah and that of Jesus. In fact, had the New Testament made such an equivalency, such would be saying that New Testament writers did not understand the meaning of Je-hovah! And, if they did not understand the meaning of Je-hovah, the Christian holy books would hardly be holy! But, as the Christian holy books are, of course, holy, the New Testament could not possibly make an equivalency between Je-hovah and Jesus, for the saintly writers of the New Testament did understand both that Je-hovah is the all-encompassing Omnipresent and that Jesus is not Satan.

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

H.             Vatican Breaks Its Policy Via Its Lack of Response

Despite the Vatican’s policy to reply to all written communications, at the date of this book’s publication, neither Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict, nor anyone at the Holy See has responded to the previous letter of April 2014 [or to its follow up(s)]. Since my communications, not rants, were studied, what shall be thought of this peculiar silence? Is it due to my, as mentioned, “irrefutable teaching regarding these distinct divinities” bringing a principle (as commonly interpreted by current, Catholic Church authorities) from the not-entirely-Biblical Catechism into a questionable light?

All My Grace: The True-But-Seemingly-Impossible Account of Supernatural Messages from the Virgin Mary to a Jewish, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi!

I.                  How the Doctrine of the Trinity Is True According to Orthodox Jewish Belief!

Every letter in Hebrew has a meaning; and, Hebrew word meanings are derived from the combining meanings of a word’s constituent letters. For example, Hebrew’s word for “island,” commonly pronounced ee, is spelled by two letters. The first letter means “I will be,” and the second, “it will be.” Hebrew’s “island,” linguistically deconstructed, thereby means “I will be – it will be.” Such an appellation is descriptive because an island, surrounded by high and low tides, exists in one of two ways: either, when en route to the low tide, as more of itself (“I will be”), or when en route to the high, as more of the ocean (“it will be”).

Respecting that linguistics primer, four Hebraic letters spell God’s name, which is often pronounced Je-hovah or translated as LORD in all caps. (This name is referred to as the Tetragrammaton, a Greek word meaning the “four-letter name”). Of these four letters, one repeats. Consequently, there are only three different letters in the name of the LORD. Thereby, as every Hebrew letter has a meaning, three individual concepts constitute the Bible’s/Torah’s singular divinity.

The Hebrew word meaning “one” (as in “The LORD is one”) is pronounced ached. It, too, is spelled by three distinct Hebrew letters. Therefore, the concept of the number one, like the concept of the LORD/Je-hovah, is constructed of three parts. Clearly, this means that, from a Biblical perspective, a trinity forms a singularity.

Moreover, the word “Je-hovah”—Who is the Truth, and the truth is whatever happens—means “The Unfolding Now”; and, transpiring reality is a unity of three parts: past, present, and future. For instance, when, in our now, we look at the sun, what we actually see is, due to the time that it takes for its light to reach the earth, that heavenly sphere’s existence of eight-minutes prior. Further, at that present moment of our seeing the sun’s past, the sun, where it rests, is eight minutes into our future.