Shred Lexicon's One Man Mission Against Missionaries

J4J (Jews for Jesus) Dude on busy 34th St. B/F/V/D Platform: “Excuse me, sir.”
Shred Lexicon: [Not even looking at him] “Go fuck yourself.”
J4J Dude: “I beg your pardon?”
Shred: [looking him dead in the eye] Go. Fuck. Yourself.”
J4J Dude: “Well, I’d never… [stammering] I didn’t even…. how rude!”
Shred: [Venomous glare] J4J Dude: “Will you at least take our literature?”
Shred: [Grabs pamphlet, spits on it, throws it to the ground, spits on ground] J4J Dude: [Turning to fellow J4J dude] “Some people.”
J4J Dude #2: “is there a problem here?”
Shred: “Yes. YOU are the fucking problem. Now fuck off.”
J4J Dude #2: “Well, there’s no need to get nasty about it.”
Shred: “Actually, yes there is. You people make me sick.”
J4J Dude #1: “We’re just doing the Lord’s work.”
Shred: [sarcastically] “Is that so?”
J4J Dude #2: “Yes it is, sir. May I ask you,… are you Jewish?”
Shred: “What part of “go fuck yourself did you fellas not understand?”
Onlooking Middle-Aged Orthodox Dude w/ Teenage Son: “Is there a problem here, gentlemen?”
J4J Dude #1: Yes. [pointing to me] “This man here INSISTS on insulting us.”
Middle-Aged Orthodox Dude: “Really? Because I just came over here to tell you guys to go fuck yourselves.”

42 thoughts on “Shred Lexicon's One Man Mission Against Missionaries

  1. A similar situation happened to me a few years ago at Shea Stadium. I don’t drop F-bombs in public but after having a pamphlet shoved in my face, I told the guy to f**k off. He turned to me and said nastily, “So I should be a Jew like you?” I can’t say what I did was right, I had an emotional reaction. But the response was telling. These people do not regard us as equals and have absolutely no respect for our religion, culture, way of life, or even us as individuals. If that is not racism then I don’t know what is.

  2. Cursing at them demonstrates spiritual weakness. They (and much worse, any others who witness this) will perceive this as evidence that they have the higher moral ground.
    Exactly what we don’t want.

  3. hhmmm…. i actaully had a lovely chat with a Christian missionary guy, and told him that they had the wrong guy – and that ‘Salvation and Eternal Grace’ or as i like to put it – DeepHappinessTM could Only be acheived through the Our Lord, Our Holy Teacher, and Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson shlita, the true ‘Jewish Messiah’ – and that he should start keeping the 7 noachide laws!
    At the end of our two hour discussion, I admitted to him that i am actually a practising Buddhist – and that I believed that Jesus was just one incarnation of the Buddha, and he went away inspired if not slightly confused.

  4. I’m not sure it’s possible to surpass the intensity of loathing I feel for this movement, and especially for its leaders who are pulling the strings behind the scenes. And yet, I too am deeply discomfitted by the notion of snarling “fuck you” to someone whose manner is entirely peaceable (even if their message is deeply offesnsive). Frankly, I suspect most of these people are likely being expolited, not unlike members of other cults that are put on the streets and coerced into hustling strangers for money. In any case, such hatred and abuse clearly do, as kelsey notes, cede them the moral and spiritual high ground.

  5. I do not know what is so “offensive” about their message. I have read their leaflets and they do not contain obscenity. They are usually humorous. The fact that they are Jewish and have embraced orthodox Christian doctrine subscribed to by the majority inhabitants of western civilization for 2000 years should not offend anyone. Why must Jews be confined from free theological choices? Do you think Jewish theology is so superior to that of Christians? From a humanistic perspective both systems have their blemishes.

  6. I think that better yet is to get them to shout at you – better that passersby be able to accurately identify which of the participants is the lunatic.
    It’s been a while since I ran into a j4j, but I once found “you’re not Jewish” worked really well.

  7. There is a great org called J4J Jews for Judaism.
    I one heard a story from its director, Rabbi Kravitz. He says for the most part these missionaries arent very well versed in bible, they are usually spoonfed the stuff they preach (Isaiah, Psalm 22 . . . )
    He says that he asks them to open their NT and turn to luke 6:13 and read. It supposedly says something like: Giveth onto thine fellow, even thine enemieth all that you haveth.
    He then followed up: May I have your watch? The guy hands it over. Sweater? He got that too. Car keys? Jesus freak runeth awayeth.
    Warning – knowledgable Xtians will quote some non-literal interpretation. I once sat next to a Pastor on a plane, he tried to save me, I tried 6:13 (it may be 6:30 – not sure, you can ask 50 Sheq) on him, he gave me some car salesman run around.

  8. It seems to me that these folks are not a real threat to the Jewish community in the US.
    They are succesful in attracting some troubled (depressed etc.) people, who are often neglected by the Jewish community. Sad.
    Maybe we can do more for the lonely people.

  9. i don’t think “go f**K yourself” is the appropriate response.
    maybe, “quit selling lies” and then nothing. i think that would be better

  10. You’re my hero.
    I live in Oklahoma, and at my university the Student Union is always crawling with people seeking conversions (not enough Jews here for many Jews for Jesus, they are something dealt with individually, not as a group) and generally speaking…
    Kippa = target.
    Lot’s of fun with Mormon’s
    “I’m a Jew. Indian’s aren’t.”
    General offensive Christians…
    “Sorry, I’m a strict monotheist”
    Nonoffensive Christians
    “Sorry man, no thanks…”

  11. I find this kind of thing highly entertaining and have found myself in that situation once or twice, but I have found that I agree with DK. We can’t cede the moral high-ground. I have found that to be one of the big reasons why I am so glad to have been born into Judaism… we are almost always on the good side of any battle. Some may question what we do in Israel, but I honestly believe that we would live peacefully unless provoked (Newtons law).
    My point, though, is that, even though this is extremely satisfying… its not a good thing.

  12. people, people, people…
    GO FUCK YOURSELF is a perfectly legitimate response if you just read between the lines.
    “You’re not a True Jewâ„¢ unless you accept Jesus Chr- er… Yeshua ben Yoseph into your life. Would you like a pamplet?”
    “Go fuck yourself.”
    translation: NO THANK YOU.
    Perfectly appropriate. Shred was expressing himself in the Queens English, he was…
    … FLUSHING, Queens English, but English nonetheless.

  13. If I were a hater of Israel, and I am quite convinced the leaders of this movement(s) are exactly that, my goal would not only be to convert the Jews, but to challenge their legitimacy, particularly their claim of choseness.
    Getting Jews to lose their tempers and start cursing would make me feel like I was getting somewhere.
    Glad such stories make some of us happy.
    They are unquestionably making some of our opponents even happier. Nothing better than making your enemy lose his sh-t publicly.
    You are underestimating their goals, and taking them at their word.
    The J4J Dude #2 guy seriously kicked our asses.
    And we are naive enough to brag about his victory.

  14. cincylitigator,
    Given that you’re no longer making unsolicited offers to pray for my soul, I’ll be happy to tell you what makes the conduct of Jews for Jesus so offensive: it isn’t the content of their message, it’s the fundamentally dishonest and manipulative manner in which they convey it. I couldn’t care less about J4J’s embrace of orthodox Christian doctrine. I don’t think Jews should be confined from making free theological choices. And though I prefer Jewish theology, I don’t believe there’s anything objectively superior about it. On the other hand, I am deeply offended by the fact that J4J lie through their teeth about who they are and what they believe. Specifically, they claim, as you do, that “they are Jewish and have embraced orthodox Christian doctrine . . . .” They may have been born Jewish. They may be ethnically Jewish. But we have a term for the religion of those who believe in Christ: Christian. If Jews for Jesus would like to be regarded as something other than an opportunistic cult of parasites seeking to feed on the body of the Jewish people, they’ll stop lying about that fact.

  15. I agree with David Smith, but with one exception; I do find their content offensive. If they want to believe that Jesus was the messiah, I have no problem with that (well, not much of one) – but could they do it without condemning all of the rest of us to hell? The Lubavitchers manage to pull it off.
    Cincylitigator – that is what is so “offensive” about their message.
    DK – I’m not sure that they hate Israel (people or nation-state – although some of their members who are of Jewish birth may have issues). One of the early 20th century writers (I forget which one) said something to this effect, “The missionary impulse is the outward manifestation of an insecure faith.” If I can convince you that I’m right, then I must, in fact, be right, and I don’t have to confront my lingering doubts. I think that it’s more along these lines.
    On the other hand – that may be more applicable to the rest of the Messianic subculture. J4J may be a special case – aggressive tactics and such.

  16. Kelsey: you need to grow a sense of humor. This story has an instance of a Modern Orthodox Jew being funny. That – in and of itself – is so rare that it warrants applause.

  17. That was funny! I really like the “Sorry, I’m a monotheist” response. I’m going to use that next time.
    Best question ever asked of me by a non-Jew: “Are you an Israelite?” I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.

  18. I’d be interested in hearing what others have come up with by way of a response to an approach by one of these guys. While the “go f*ck yourself” thing is definitely my first impulse, I’d never say it.
    So far we have:
    “Quit selling lies”
    “Sorry, I’m a strict monotheist”
    “you’re not Jewish” (which I also automatically think, but couldn’t say).
    More, more.

  19. Have you ever actually read those pamphlets? The content actually is offensive. Objectively, and not even talking about the basic premise. One of them has all these comments like, “Life isn’t about money,” assuming that their targets are those money grubbing Jews.
    How do I deal with them? I’m a playwright, and my next play has kind of racy postcard of a naked woman’s silhouette inside a red light bulb. So, if I see them again, I’ll hand them one of those. It’ll be priceless to see their response after viewing it. They’ll be doing ablutions for days.

  20. For the record let me say that I am not proud to have publicly swore at those brainwashed, cultish zombies for Christ. I only sent the exchange to Mobius because I thought it had a really funny ending, which it did. And I can only assume that’s why he posted it here.
    I for one have no interest in having a theological discussion with these people, or even acting civilly towards them. So I went with my gut reaction, which is disgust.
    Some of you need to grow a sense of humor.

  21. The reason why a big ol’ fuck you is most appropriate is because these types prey on the elderly, the rehabbed, etc…people who can be manipulated by a sense of community and identity.
    Yes, I agree it is important to not cede the moral ground. That said, a good ol “Fuck off” can sometimes be the height of the dialectic.

  22. Other possible responses…
    “Sorry, I just find Christian blood far too delicious to give up.”
    “Pssh..I killed Jesus. Why would i go ahead an accept him now?”

  23. Hi,
    I left christendom!
    I would read the bible (mainly the new testament) and wondered why christians were not obeying it? I saw that Paul taught against the Law, became convicted that the Sabbath, is on Saturday…and started to be observant. It was then I began reading the old testament and law and started attending my the local synagogue.
    I wish I had started with the law as a child. New Christians are usually told to start reading the New testament…I would have been able to see the lies of Paul when he says we can break the law….Deuteronomy says not to add to or diminish!

  24. Merliner said:

    He says that he asks them to open their NT and turn to luke 6:13 and read. It supposedly says something like: Giveth onto thine fellow, even thine enemieth all that you haveth…. (it may be 6:30 – not sure, you can ask 50 Sheq)

    It’s 6:30 (see
    “Give to every one that asketh thee: and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.”
    A good approach to that one:
    J4J: Would you like a pamphlet?
    Jew: Let me ask you a question first, do you believe the Bible is literally true?
    J4J: Of course.
    Jew: Please turn to Luke 6:30. (pause) Now, may I please have your wallet?

  25. Personally, I rather like the way that my wife handles the Morman missionaries that flock to our neighborhood.
    Missionary approaching wife returning from grocery with arms full of food: “Mam, we’ like to share with you our experience and joy in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask you to join us.”
    Wife: “Well how interesting. I’m a believer myself. In fact, my husband and I converted to Judaism from Christianity several years ago. Tell you what, you guys come on in, have a cold soda and I’ll tell you all about our experience and why Judaism makes a lot more sense than Christianity. You may be interested.
    Missionary [while backing rapidly down the street]: “Well, ahhhhh.”

  26. When I was approached by Mormons once, I got inpsired and led us in three cheers for monotheism. It worked.

  27. Kudos to anyone that has a snappy response to J4Js. It really was disturbing to me that the last time I was in New York, I saw two Israelis walking down the street, speaking Hebrew and wearing Jews 4 Jesus t-shirts. Why it would specifically bother me that Israelis convert to Christianity, I can’t really say. But it was weird.
    Getting angry really doesn’t help. It just gives the “missionaries” more fuel for their fire. My personal favorite Jew vs. Jew 4 Jesus moment was when I was on a break from work. I was standing outside my job, smoking a cigarette and wearing a t-shirt that said “We’re All Going To Hell” when this hippie looking girl came up to me. The conversation went as follows:
    Christian Hippie: I have good news for you.
    Me: Is it about Jesus?
    Christian Hippie: (face lighting up) Why yes, yes it is!
    Me: I don’t want it.
    Christian Hippie: (Reading my shirt and seeing my Star of David, makes a face of disgust)

  28. “Tell you what, you guys come on in, have a cold soda and I’ll tell you all about our experience and why Judaism makes a lot more sense than Christianity. ”
    Or she could offer them a cold beer or shot of Scotch and it would be obvious why Judaism makes more sense than Mormonism. 🙂

  29. “The reason why a big ol’ fuck you is most appropriate is because these types prey on the elderly, the rehabbed, etc…people who can be manipulated by a sense of community and identity.”
    In what way do they “prey,” exactly? By offering them a chance to join a community of believers who seem to find a measure of security, assurance, and certainty in their prayers and practices? It seems to me if you accept the idea of religion, any religion, as a greater good, one in which people find meaning and comfort, it’s inconsistent to begin quibbling over the content of that religion, or the impulse of its followers to want to share it. As R. Noach Weinberg at Aish Hatorah used to say, “If someone told you he had a secret that would make you rich, you’d listen. So I have secret that will make you happy — will you listen?”
    In other words, ALL religions are in a sense “preying” on the weak or vulnerable if what they are offering is solace. In that sense, what makes the J4J missionizing any more predatory than Lubavitch, or the “Turn Friday Night into Shabbos” crowd?
    Of course, if the content of that religion leads individuals to violent, anti-social, or self-destructive acts, you have every right to complain. Does J4J promote any of these things?
    As for the idea that they are deceptive — well, unlike some sneakier “messianics,” their belief and intent is right there in their name.
    Is their religion a “lie”? By us, maybe, but in the grand scheme of things it is impossible to “prove” the truth of any religion ontologically. If I want to screw the head of Buddha on a crucifix, stick the whole thing in my living room, and call my religion “”Normanism,” because I beleive Norman Fell is messiah, I’m not lying. I’m just telling you what I believe. And if you tell me Normanism is a lie, I’ll only reply — “thanks for the info, person who bases his entire belief system on the giving of a book, the ‘proof’ of whose said giving is found only in the very book itself.”
    What should we be saying to J4J and its backers in the Baptist and evangelical churches ? I think it’s this: ” Listen — we’ve had enough tsurris already. We’re losing Jews to assimilation, intermarrige, indifference and (a big shout out to your Jesus) about 2000 years of mass murder. And you have the chutzpah to try to peel away more of us with the very belief system with whom we seem to be waginga losing battle. Your very name is a taunt to us, so many of whom lost ancestors in the name of Jesus. So do me a big favor — call youself a Jew, believe in Jesus if you want to, but unless you disagree with the notion that Jesus would probably want you increase the sum total of good feelings in this world rather than decreasing them, get the fuck off my corner.”

  30. Stop being such hippies, you pussies! We have every right to be pissed at J4J. I’m not saying we should all have the same response, but come on….all of you laughed at the story and you know it. In fact, I think I’ll post in on my MySpace profile. I’m a loser….

  31. My usual response is “Gei kakn in yom” — “Go shit in the ocean” in Yiddish. I haven’t yet encountered a J4J that could figure that one out before I was able to walk quietly away.

  32. If I were nominating for Moshiach, I’d totally go with the Beastie Boys. I mean, there’s something for everybody there. For us, they’ve been leading the Jewish people in a new era (in hip-hop, anyway), they’ve brought good causes to public attention, and given loads of tzedakah. And there’s complete peace in the Jewish rap community, so if they move on up from there, who knows?
    And for the gentiles, they’ve died and come back (Intergalactic, anybody?), they pulled some loaves-and-fishes stuff (with a drum machine), and they’re not “too Jewish.” Sounds like (Old) Jeezy to me. And hey — they come with their own trinity!
    I think I can get people behind this one.

  33. I was just talking to a friend of mine (a sweet Jewish girl who is slightly meshugenah and also happens to be a Jews 4 Jesus) about why I thought the Beastie Boys were “inauthentic.” This is because they are three extremely privileged white Jewish guys who appropriated an inner-city, African American ghetto music style. So my friend asked me if I thought that she, too, was inauthentic because although she is a Jew, she likes to sing songs in praise of Jesus. “Not at all,” I said. “As long as you sing those songs in Yiddish.”

  34. I like the Beasties, but I also just heard “Girls” from _License to Ill_ on the radio the other day. First time I’d listened to that song in a while. The message was, well…not messianic.

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