Missionaries – how to deal with them

Rabbi Lawrence (an old friend and a neighbour) of the JEC shows a respectful way to deal with missionaries at the door.

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  1. Debbie B. says:

    Once when some members of the small and struggling Luthern church a block from my house came to my door to tell me about their church’s open house, I politely told them that we were Jewish and thus not interested. And I also
    showed them our mezzuzah and told them they would find one on all the houses in my neighborhood with Jewish families (more than half), so they could save themselves their time and flyers by avoiding those houses. They seemed genuinely appreciative of the tip since they were just looking for interested Christians; they were not proselytizing (unlike Jehovah’s Witnesses). I think that it is a good idea to suggest that leaving Jews alone is to the advantage of the door-to-door person because you may save them from wasting their time and effort or even getting abused by less polite Jews who are offended.

    • RubyV says:

      I have done the same, and also explained about Shabbat as well, as they rang us on a Saturday once. They appreciated knowing about the variety of mezzuzot, allowing them to better identify. They were very apologetic, they had been looking for christians to invite to their church’s “seder”. They also appreciated learning that Jews come in all races and ethnicities.

  2. RivkA says:

    I appreciated the emphasis, at the end of the video, on the Noahide laws and on the concept that those who bless the Jews will, themselves, be blessed.

  3. Rabbi's wife says:

    The Mormon boys always used to come by our house offering to help with anything I needed. I always put them to work cleaning or something. It was very interesting. They actually want to target Jews, because they believe if they get one to join their church both the Jew and themselves get elevated right to the top. I guess it’s like being made an instant Cohen? Not really sure, but it was always nice to get my floors vacuumed for free!

    • Just a simple Jew says:

      To the “Rabbi’s wife” comment: I know how you feel about these people trying to convert Jews but I think it may not be a good idea to degrade them in your comment : “I always put them to work cleaning or something” “but it was always nice to get my floors vacuumed for free!” We don’t need more enemies than we already have :) Just a thought…

      • Rabbi's wife says:

        I gave them what they wanted: A discussion about religion, they helped me around the house for 30 minutes or so. They were glad to do it,even though they knew from the start I wouldn’t be converting. They learned about Judaism (stay away from my kitchen,please!), I learned about Mormonism (as mixed up as I believe it to be). It’s not like I had them scrubbing toilets or something horrid. In fact, it was they who suggested they help with housework. I fail to see the problem. When they finished their tour of duty(2 years, I think?) they came to say goodbye. no hard feelings.
        I wasn’t raised religious, so this was not my first encounter with LDS, either. One of my closest friends in HS was Mormon.

  4. Just a simple Jew says:

    To the “Rabbi’s wife” comment: I know how you feel about these people trying to convert Jews but I think it may not be a good to degrade them in your comment : “I always put them to work cleaning or something” “but it was always nice to get my floors vacuumed for free!” We dont need more enemies than we already have :) Just a thought…

  5. Thanks for sharing this. When I would encounter such things, I would invite them in for Bible study and hand them a תנ”ך When they said they could not read it, I would exclaim in shock and horror “You read the Bible in translation!” and they would excuse themselves saying that they understood their work was not needed here.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I learned from Rabbi Lawrence but I am curious, was this planned for a learning session? The reason I asked is: how many people have video cameras ready when someone rings the doorbell? I know I sound cynical, but in my line of work, I am always looking at the other side. I am guilty of saying to people, I am Jewish and and not interested in changing, but Rabbi Lawrence’s video taught me that I can teach as well, I can point to our mezuzah and explain. The unfortunate thing in my midwest neighborhood is that for every one mesuzah there are 100 doors without them, maybe more. But, we do go to Temple, we do have a Jewish presence amongst ourselves, but most importantly however we choose to be Jewish we are in our hearts.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      MESSAGE FROM RABBI HAJIOFF

      Hey thanks for the question Rebecca!

      This was certainly NOT planned! I was about to go for my erev shabbat run, when I saw this couple walking up my driveway. I had the camcorder ready and charged because it’s graduation time and we were filming their school events every day. (Actually the disk I used has my oldest kids graduation first then this and then the last graduation after it!)

      My father was there, and I asked to film. I also have 15 minutes of discussion with him before the seven minutes you see here.

      Judaism in your heart is very important, however, more than that is knowledge of what Judaism really means! If we have an understanding of what it means to be Jewish we can respond to missionary advances to make us accept Jesus.

      I recommend the book “Gateway To Judaism” by Rabbi Mordechai Becher, well worth the read.

      If you have any more specific questions email me on rabbilawrence@jeconline.com.
      Also http://www.jeconline.com has some of my classes on it.

      Warm regards

      Rabbi Lawrence

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