Still Crazy After All These Years

The names of the patriots have changed, but not their tune.

While he still was talking to Westword, though, Resnick tried to explain Weideman's religious views.

"Don believes he's Jewish," Resnick said. "He believes he can be fulfilled by observing all the Jewish holidays, accepting Yeshua as the messiah, which is Jesus. I don't share his belief system."

That would make Weideman a "messianic Jew," an evangelical Christian who hopes to convert Jews by mixing Jewish rituals with a belief in Jesus. But Resnick disagreed with that analysis.

"He's not a messianic Jew," Resnick said. "Don never tries to convert other Jews. He's a hard person to define. I define a messianic Jew as somebody going out there and trying to convert Jews, and I couldn't be associated with somebody like that."

The sticking point for Jews, as it has been for 2,000 years, is that they don't accept Jesus as their messiah. And if they do, according to Jewish laws and beliefs, they no longer are Jews. Naturally, that makes Jews somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of Christians who are trying to convert them. And people in Weideman's group clearly are interested in converting Jews to Christianity.

During Weideman's service, a congregation member named Phil stands up to testify: "I know it's in Don's heart to witness to the Jews." Phil goes on to describe one of his own recent attempts to convert a group of Jews he ran across. "I left a tract specifically for the Jews," he says. "It might start out a little awkward to do this, but the heart has a way of working it out."

And while Rabbi Don may love Jewishness, he has a bone or two to pick with Jews who don't accept Jesus. He tells his congregation of evangelical Christians that synagogues always skip the reading of one passage of the Book of Isaiah "because it's such a strong reference to Yeshua." He's critical of Jews' foot-dragging on the road to true salvation through Jesus. But they'd better hurry and find Christ. He ends his sermon by telling his group that when Jesus returns, that's going to be the end of Judaism: "When He comes, it's going to be the last Yom Kippur.

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