Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What Happens when the Jews Admit that Great Miracles Surrounded the Crucifixion

Adversarial testimony is particularly impressive, even more than death-bed testimony. The anti-missionary Rabbi Tuvia Singer responds to the question, “Why didn’t the red ribbon on the head of the Scapegoat turn white in 30 CE (AD)?” on his website, He reluctantly admits that:

“In Tractate Yoma 39b, the Talmud quotes a Baraisa that discusses numerous remarkable phenomena that occurred in the Temple during the Yom Kippur service. More specifically, the Talmud states that there was a strip of scarlet-dyed wool tied to the head of the scapegoat which would turn white in the presence of the large crowd gathered at the Temple on the Day of Atonement. The Jewish people perceived this miraculous transformation as a heavenly sign that their sins were forgiven. The Talmud relates, however, that 40 years before the destruction of the second Temple [approximately 30 AD] the scarlet colored strip of wool did not turn white. The text of the Talmud which missionaries quote states,”

“’The Rabbis taught that forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple [approximately from the time of the Crucifixion, 30 AD] the lot did not come up in the [high priest’s] right hand nor did the tongue of scarlet wool become white [signifying God’s forgiveness of Israel’s sins].’”

For the Christian, the interpretation explodes as dramatically as a volcano. Following the Crucifixion and its fulfillment of the Temple offerings, God was putting Israel on alert that He was no longer willing to accept animal sacrifices! (The scarlet wool would no longer become white!)

How does Singer explain the incredible coincidence of events? He claims that various miracles were gradually disappearing after the death of the High Priest, Shimon HaTzaddik, because Israel’s “dedication to the golden rule slacked off.” Singer writes,

“Sadly, we can now also understand why 40 years prior to the destruction of the second Temple this auspicious miracle ended. It was during these calamitous four decades when Isaiah’s words of condemnation were personified.”

However, this divine coincidence still remains! If God had been so angry at Jesus for deceiving the people, as Singer maintains, we’d have expected Him to grant signs of His approval at the Crucifixion instead of a sign of disapproval—that He no longer honored the scapegoat, and it would no longer take away Israel’s sins. God’s timing couldn’t have been worse, at least for Singer!

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