Caveat Emptor: Deceptive Missionaries Pitch Christian Haggadah

With Pesach looming, I reprint this warning received by email:

To: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart

Missionary Haggadahs Look Jewish

by IsraelNN Staff

A Jewish outreach organization has called on mainstream booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, to remove a Christian missionary version of the traditional Passover Hagaddah from the Judaism sections of online and conventional bookstores.

Rabbi Tovia Singer, director of Outreach Judaism, warned, “Despite the innocent-sounding title ‘Passover Family Pack: Everything You Need to Enjoy a Passover Seder Dinner,’ the guide quickly departs from the traditional holiday message once it is opened.”

[March 18 Update: Barnes & Noble has agreed to categorize the guide under “Christianity.]

Jewish families seeking to celebrate the ancient exodus of the Jewish People from Egyptian slavery find once they open the package that they are encouraged to express their faith in the Christian deity, “Yeshua the Messiah.”

“Barnes & Noble,, WalMart Books and other retailers are trusted names in the book industry,” Singer said. “As such, they have a special responsibility to accurately label such material under a Christian category rather group it together with legitimate Jewish material,” he added.

“The ‘Passover Kit’ is an insidious tool Christian organizations use to convert Jewish people,” declared Singer, who also urged buyers to lobby booksellers’ corporate offices to remove the publication from Judaism publications lists.

Outreach Judaism urges all denominations of Judaism – Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Orthodox – and people of all faiths to sign an online petition to pressure booksellers to exercise responsibility to the public and remove the missionary Hagaddah from Judaism sections.

The publisher of the missionary Passover guide, Messianic Jewish Resources, is associated with works such as The Jewish New Testament, The Messianic Jewish Manifesto, and other similar books. Singer said that such books are “an assault to the Jewish faith” and placing them in the Jewish section of their walk-in and on-line book stores is tantamount to “consumer fraud.”

Singer noted that missionary publishers often intentionally try to mislead the book-buying public by giving their works Jewish-sounding titles. “It’s ironic that mainstream organizations who are seeking to undermine the Jewish faith are able to pass themselves off as legitimate Jewish groups, he commented. “The unsuspecting Jewish families who purchase this “Haggadah” are undoubtedly stunned by a not-so-familiar Passover story.”

Singer, who has released for free internet download a 24-hour lecture series on Judaism’s Response to Christian Missionaries, called on people who have already purchased the Haggadah to return the volume at the point of sale.

Action items from Outreach Judaism: Sign the online petition Send emails to the following bookstore chains: Barnes and Noble, and Wal-Mart (click and follow the customer service links). For Amazon, go to, click on “help” in upper right corner of page. Click on yellow “Contact us” tab in right column. Then click “Skip sign in” at bottom of box. Hear Rabbi Tovia Singer’s Radio show

Comment on this story


  • All this said, I think the “Jewish New Testament” and associated commentary should be required reading for a variety of reasons.

    I think many Jews would instantly recognize what all these books are, regardless of the affront of having them posing as legitimately Jewish texts, and be most upset that their money and time had been wasted.

    The efforts the author/translator puts forth to put texts arguably composed centuries after the life of Jesus Christ in a Jewish context are noteworthy. However, Stern doesn’t indicate where archeologically sound ideas vs supposition (such as which festivals served as backdrop for key events) intersect the narrative. Still, I think it would be very useful to Christians in search of the Jewish roots of their faith.

    The commentary on this book, as well as their manifesto, on the other hand, is where the rubber meets the road for those interested in understanding the Messianic schtick. Both perform the same lackluster exegetical leap-frogging (or cherrypicking) of prophetic writings to make the case, as well as adopting the same doctrines ironically developed and adopted by the groups and school of thought that effectively “de-Judaized” their movement to begin with.

    Behold, the intellectually dishonest and doctrinally incoherent wonder that is Messianic Judaism, wrapped in surface-level Jewish trappings. If you ever wonder why they have to resort to base deceptions to push their message, it’s worth the time to read them, though try and find them in the library rather than helping them with their sales.

  • A1C Cullen Newsome

    I personally do not like having any beliefs (I believe that there’s one true religion) shoved down my throat, especially when I visit my friends’ parents or dating someone. I do not mind discussions of Jewish halakha, but I draw the line if it’s not in a Jewish context but still in a religious context.

    Also, if someone wants to be converted they can talk to whatever…people they want to, so obviously a nonsensical book refuting the validity of all of the Torah’s teachings and the oneness of Him isn’t worth my money nor my time.


  • Let’s be honest here. Both parties (Jews and Christians) cherrypick their information to confirm or disprove the validity of Christ as Messiah. It’s all rhetoric.

    Anyone with an understanding of history and scripture can poke holes in the arguments of both parties. Just like in politics, nobody is entirely honest in this case.

    On the note of the original post, I think it’s wrong for a publishing company to deliberately mislabel their material for the sake of “product placement” in a store or on a website. If this is indeed true, these products need to be correctly categorized as it is false advertising.

  • Eh…we don’t have a real argument… I’m really only talking about the attempt the MJ author of the commentary does to emphasize the Jewish applicability of their group. Most mainline denominations of Christianity don’t embrace the deceptive tactics or faulty apologetics that MJ’s and their supporters within some evangelical circles do. In fact, most mainstream Christian denominations don’t make concerted efforts to try and convert Jews, which we can all agree has elevated the dialog quite a bit.

  • Shok to find that some Jewish people are so tolerant… Christianity have pagan DNA….The spirit of Baal,Baalzebub is infiltraiting our people …nobady is resisting any more…Thank you for action Nadia

  • It’s a fascinating topic, isn’t it?

    MJs are, at least once you dismiss the appropriated Jewish trappings, look largely like Protestants in terms of beliefs.

    Kevin’s statement above holds as a requisite the sola scriptura concept, the Luther-esque view that the layity armed with scripture are greater than a pope. This puts the chicken before the egg, as if the scripture they cite as the new testament wasn’t refined and determined by the early (i.e. de-Judaized) Christian church. Even by the church’s own history (i.e. letters attributed to Paul), early Jewish Christians didn’t have the synoptic gospels in their back pockets. What they did have was the scriptures contemporary to Jews of the time, and we know that they built their gospel narrative from that and a series of movement-based/politically motivated word of mouth testimonies. It’s why I won’t engage in the dialectic over Christian prophetical interpretation because their approach is muddled by the origin of their narrative. It’s also yet another reason why Messianic Judaism is not authentically Jewish and never will be. Scratch the surface, you find very Lutheran ideals (such as justification by faith), none of which have an origin in Judaism, but rather those same “divine” texts with their very earthly origin in the early Church.

    Plenty of people are resisting, but for the religious, we can keep in mind that even Maimonides speculated that Christianity and Islam serve some purpose towards a Messianic age. Christianity might have pagan DNA, but few people are deeply informed about their own faiths, Jews included, and we should always be mindful that the people that inhabit the current age of Christianity are the ones that define it. While there are some that beat us over the head with their Great Commission, there are many that respect our place in a pluralistic society, and do great things to improve life in this world.

    Rather than assault them and their beliefs, I’d prefer to share with them Jewish concerns over support for duplicitous (intentionally or not) “Jewish” movements, and why they are both a problem for modern Jews and Christians. We stand a better chance of keeping Messianic Judaism from any sense of Christian or Jewish legitimacy in doing so.

  • replying to Kevin: the book of Isaiah clearly outlines the PREREQUISITES of the moschiah. Being that I do NOT believe in a capricious supreme being that would reveal to his prophet facts then do something contradictory, and also that the Torah’s commandments and teachings are time independent (meaning that Hashem wouldn’t go back on his word, i.e. the Covenant with our father Abraham), the only logical conclusion is that the moschiah MUST follow said prerequisites, and jesus didn’t fullfill ANY of them (the one that most christians claim obviously isn’t true: that the ENTIRE world would look to the moschiah for guidance, in which the entire world isn’t christian).

    That being said, even the Jews at the time who did believe jesus to be the moschiah didn’t believe him to be divine incarnate, because throughout the Tanukh it is taught and said by HIM that HE is SPIRIT ALONE, not flesh.

    Christians pray TO him, NOT NECESSARILY IN HIS NAME AS WE PREY TO Hashem in AVRAHAM’s name (I mean asking Hashem something on behalf of Abraham) and believe jesus to be divine incarnate,therefore are not in the remotest of sense jewish, other than the fact that some are jewish by ethnicity and christianity picks and chooses what commandments to follow (Torah-wise).

  • This really isn’t a debate worth having. The Christian approach and Jewish approach to the same source materials are entirely different.

    I don’t know about everyone else who reads this site, but the only people that seem to push conversion to us are various evangelical sects, Mormons and J’s Witnesses (and who don’t they go after?), and the usurpers poaching from our fringes, such as the Jews for Jesus and Messimaniacs. The Catholics might be praying for our conversion, but I’ve never been proselytized by one. Most Christians are respectful of our place in a pluralistic society and military, perhaps even in their eschatology.

    Mainstream Christians can share our outrage and disgust with the deceptive practices of MJs. We should be cultivating an atmosphere where the MJAA (one of their groups) isn’t invited to speak at things like Promise Keeper events, and where Christians spot and call out attempts to pass off Christian beliefs as Jewish.