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The Spread Of Christianity and Islam

Constantine The Great begins his rule in 306 Common Era. He establishes Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.

[Dome Of The Rock]Mohammed flees from Mecca to Medina in 622 Common Era. He originates Islam. Like Christianity, it is based on ethics and teachings from the Written Torah.

The Caliph Abdul Malik completes the construction of the Dome Of The Rock in 691 Common Era. It is built on the holiest portion of the Temple Mount. This gold-domed structure exists today and is adjacent to the Western Wall.

Jewish people have been questioned throughout the ages why we did not adopt Christianity.

The following is a summary from Aish Hatorah's Shabbat Shalom:

1) Christian Doctrine: Jesus was the Messiah predicted by the Prophets of the Bible and awaited by the Jews. He is also the Son of G-d, and like any son, is essentially the same as his father.

1) Jewish Viewpoint: The belief of Jesus having been the Messiah is inconsistent with the teachings that we received from our ancestors. The Prophets predicted a world of peace and love after the Messiah's coming. This never happened and it certainly does not exist today. Furthermore, any talk of the Messiah as being "son of G-d" is totally inconsistent and foreign. In no place do our Prophets say that the Messiah will be anything more than a remarkable leader and teacher.

2) Christian Doctrine: Man is evil and sinful. All mankind is damned because of Adam's sin. The Torah cannot save man, since its many commandments make it too difficult to keep. The only thing that can prevent man's utter damnation in hell is the belief in Christ.

2) Jewish Viewpoint: Although the Torah does speak of Adam's sin, it teaches that man can rise above it. Man might not be able to perfect himself, but it was for this reason that G-d gave us the Torah. It is absurd to think that G-d would give a Torah that was impossible or too difficult to follow. In no place does Judaism teach that one can be saved from damnation by mere belief. Any true belief in G-d must lead a person to also follow His commandments.

3) Christian Doctrine: The Jews were originally G-d's Chosen People, but they were rejected when they refused to accept His son, Jesus. The name "Israel," G-d's chosen people, is no longer carried by the Jew, but by those who accept Jesus as the Messiah. Only these share G-d's love. Everyone else is damned in Hell.

3) Jewish Viewpoint: This belief is not consistent with our tradition and scriptures, contradicting open verses, such as Psalms 94:14. In many places, the Bible clearly states that G-d's covenant with the the Jewish people will be forever.

4) Christian Doctrine: There is only one law now that Christ has come, and that is love. One must follow the example of Christ's sacrifice, and patiently hope that G-d will be gracious in return.

4) Jewish Viewpoint: In many places, the Bible says that the Torah was given forever. It is therefore impossible to believe that it has was replaced by a new law or testament. Love alone is not enough, for one must know how to express it, and for this, we need the Torah as a guide. Love is only one of the Torah's commandments, and good deeds are its necessary expression.

Just as Christianity is a religion that is apart from Judaism, so is Islam. We are charged by the Torah to maintain our religion.

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