Here are some suggestions for friendshipping your Jewish friends. These are tips that are meant to teach and promote tolerance, respect and to encourage learning.
Approach Jews from the hallmarks of their belief and cultural system. If you can gain their confidence, ask them about their heritage, their customs, their holidays. Invite them to ask you questions. When referring to Jesus Christ, use Yeshua.
They must hear that Yeshua is the god of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob. You will have to pray mightily that the Holy Ghost will touch your contacts to effect change, because they will discern eventually that they’re being faced with a change of identity. This is a Herculean, frightening task for a Jew, but of course one that must eventually be accomplished, for we know that “every knee must bend and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ”.
Here are some dos and don’ts and other ideas to use.
Tips for Opening Dialogues
.. Greet with a Hebrew greeting: “Shalom aleichem”. (Repeat it when you leave.) Ask for their help if you don’t know the correct pronunciation.
.. The Jewish people have been proselytized by Christians for centuries. Many are reviled by it, and they hurriedly dismiss visitors whose message, book or badge mentions Jesus Christ.
.. You might also say that you represent Yeshua, the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob. If they show confusion, be aware that many will think a “Church” has sent you, not the Lord (the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob).
.. Take a few moments to get to know your Jewish neighbor. Kibbitz (talk) with them a while; find something to compliment or comment on.
.. A Jewish person might be less intimidated if you say you are Mormon. Many Jewish people know and like LDS people.
.. If you see a mezuzah (See Glossary) on the doorpost of a Jewish family’s home, you may touch it (even say a prayer!). After all, men with the priesthood of God are truly rabbis.
.. Be guided by the Spirit. Be aware that if you give a testimony of “Jesus Christ” at the door, you may have it closed in your face. If you testify of Yeshua, your prospect will be more apt to listen.
The Value of the Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a holy book. It has been the prime mover for many Jewish converts, including the author. It is direct revelation to a prophet of God; not a translation from some dubious source. It contains questions and answers, problems and solutions and inspired information about matters of mortal and eternal life.
Talmud is a collection of commentaries upon and insights into the Torah, or Pentateuch. Jews read Talmud for wisdom and instruction, but these commentaries are only the wisdom of sages and rabbis, and though core virtues of Mosaic Law are expressed at length, the work in general is filled with suppositions and false conclusions. Jewish converts have realized that the Doctrine and Covenants is superior to the Talmud in every way, and it has been an important element of conversion to the Church. One reason for this is that the Lord speaks to us in the first person much of the time; therefore, the book is a like a personal message from our Savior!
It is important to let your Jewish investigator know of this book so he may discover that the Doctrine and Covenants contain revelations to mankind from the only Begotten Son of God and contains only perfect doctrine. The Talmud, written by men through the centuries who at times have been inspired, cannot be compared with the proclamation that the Doctrine and Covenants is a divine and inspired collection. Jewish contacts need to be exposed to the scope of subject matter in the doctrinal “essays”. Read the revelatory and testamentary material contained therein, and realize the timeliness of these proclamations of instruction is a factor in knowing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is their true home.
Let your Jewish contact read the introductory paragraphs to the work itself, especially those relating the list of topics, as well as the testimonies of the twelve apostles.
Relevant Ideas for Sharing
If you are able to make good contact, teach to the similarities. You might begin with the 10th Article of Faith. Be aware that in many ways there is little breach between Judaism and Christianity as it was originally taught. Remember that the Savior was a Jew. In the Second Temple he read from Torah scrolls. Latter-day Saints have been given in good part the restoration of ancient Hebrew beliefs. Mention similarities in faith, reading scriptures, morality, fasting, honoring life and mitzvots (commandments, also charity), repentance, Sabbath practices, the ending of blood sacrifice with an infinite atonement.
Mention that the “mercy seat” in the ancient tabernacle in the desert during the Exodus, as well as in Solomon’s and Herod’s temples, represented the atoning sacrifice that was to be given when Yeshua ministered. If you use the terms Yeshua and Jehovah instead of Jesus Christ; your contact will be more comfortable with those words.
From: A Mormon’s Guide to Judaism
Marlena Tanya Muchnick with Daniel C. Baker