I have been pondering this all day. I work for some great Christian individuals. A majority of the people who listen to my radio show listen on Christian radio stations and they love me. Why am I bringing this up?
I see many "being led to Torah" who keep only a handful of laws more than their Christian counterparts. They make keep a small level of kosher, they may say Shabbat Shalom and take off work on Shabbat, they may keep some moedim. And that is about it, most don't go into halakha and into more factions of the Torah, outside of those things. But I see, their attitudes adjusted. They have attitudes of condemnation of their Christian brothers and sisters. They attack them for not keeping the level of Torah they themselves are supposedly are keeping. They become crass, angry, judgmental, accusatory, haughty, egotistical, and full of pride.
I then ask, considering their only keeping a few more laws than their Christian counterparts, yet they then obtain their Christian attributes. And they loose simcha and shalom, are they indeed in a better standing than Christians in the Olam Hana? I would say no.
Now I am the most Rabbinic guy you will ever meet. I do things in my Jewish observance that even makes the Hebrew Roots scratch their heads. And yet, I find I have more in common with my Christian brethren than I do those in the Hebrew Roots. Because of a level of shalom, simcha and decency.
I think of one lady who attends our study (though she has been out the past few weeks because she has been sick ☹️). But when Nolita comes to study, she is full of excitement and she brightens the entire room, she loves G-d more than anyone I have known. And yet, she may have a ham sandwich every now and then. And she is a sponge for all she learns in the study. She actually teaches it to her Sunday school and I say "Nolita I don't want you to get in trouble over there doing that" but then I think, "no one can be mad at Nolita". And I would dare say though she does Christmas and Sunday and everything else Christians do, I would say she is a much much much higher standing with G-d than 99% in the Hebrew Roots.
Let's be honest, I think many find something new, this Torah thing, and it is not about a connection with G-d with a majority of them. I think it is instead about "I found something, most don't know and now I want to be seen as smart and I wanna be validated." And for many the real connection with G-d goes straight out the window, and a connection with YouTube begins. Which is a poor poor poor substitute.
And the thing that is most heartbreaking for me, is to see these good decent individuals obtain these negative traits over reasons of intellectualism, and really loose that connection with Hashem. That is heart breaking.
So I do not find certain groups who try and intellectualize Christians to a certain level of observance as doing anything good, I think these groups don't trust in Hashem, and take matters into their own hands and actually scare or shame people into submission and they continue the trend that has been attached to them. I think Hashem will bring mussar to those in their time, not yours, not mine, and He will do it to a degree they can handle.
I find it despicable that it is not about Am Echad, but rather is it knock down drag outs. When a person calls a Christian a pagan because of their practices or lack of knowledge on a situation such as Torah. I see that as like calling a 3 year old a dummy because they don't know geometry.
To all my Christian friends, I want you to know, though we have our differences and though they may be drastic, I thank you for accepting me and loving me, and I want you to know, I find no issue with any of you and G-d has blessed your faith with great people.
I received a text message from someone I had considered a friend, blasting me for advocating for help for this special needs kid who attends an AME church and who is a Christian, telling me this kid doesn't deserve tzedakah and help and an opportunity, because he doesn't do shabbos. I will stand up for this kid, and not for the person I considered a friend. Because this autistic 22 year old has more decency and is more appreciative than most I currently know in the Hebrew Roots movement.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism