I was planning my 3-year-old’s playgroup curriculum for the year, and I needed a list of the parshas (Torah portions for the weekly readings) in order. I did what many moms would do under the circumstances: I Googled it.
Up comes a page with exactly what I need, I copy and paste into the spreadsheet I’m creating, and only then pause to notice a few things about the webpage. In addition to the parsha’s name, date, hebrew date, scripture passage, and haftorah scripture passage, there is a sneaky sixth column: a scripture reference from the Gospels. New Testament.
My stomach flips. This is a Messianic Jewish site! On the very first Google listing for “Torah portions” no less.
I scroll down to find the logo of “First Fruits of Zion,” arguably the most Orthodox of the Messianic Jewish organizations, and one I’ve heard of before (from the “rabbi” of our former messianic shul who gave us a binder of FFOZ teaching CDs when we were questioning our faith in JC).
I’m confused. I’m annoyed. Then I’m infuriated! They tricked me! They got me! And they’re not even an outright missionary organization.
The website has a very Jewish title, simply www.torahportions.org. Great to up their google rank and attract all sorts of visitors who have interest in the Torah portion, and a creative strategy for them to open the door to the “Gospels” to someone who may have a curiosity.
I’m still furious that they’ve attached their scriptures to ours. Who had the audacity to choose what gospel portion should be associated with each parsha? I click to their FAQ page hoping to find out, and receive an answer only to who organized the Torah portions: our very own Ezra and Nehemiah. Nothing about who had the authority to assign the NT passages.
So I email them to ask.
Will let you know when they answer (fun cliffhanger, huh?)…