Rav Avigdor Miller on Arguing With Missionaries



What should be our reaction when we see the Jews for Jesus? Should we ignore them or argue with them? When they give me a pamphlet I tear up the pamphlet and give it back to them. Is that correct?


It certainly is not incorrect. It depends on the situation.

I met a group two years ago on the corner of Kings Highway and East 18th Street. So I said out loud, “Isn’t it a shame that Jewish boys and girls are preaching for Yoshke?” I said it at the top of my voice.

So a woman came over to me. “You’re right,” she said. A few more people got together. I didn’t expect these women to have any sympathy with me. I was surprised. Women with bare arms, non-religious women, they came over and said, “You’re right.”

Then a man came over and said to them, to the missionaries, “Get the h out of here or I’ll beat the s-h out of you.”

Because I spoke up, all kinds of Jews came by. Jews without yarmulkehs. Irreligious Jews came. And the Jews for Cheeses moved off; all of them. They left. They went to the subway.

I achieved something, at least. Not for them but at least for the people around me; they gained some spirit. Otherwise, everybody will keep quiet. The Jews for Cheeses are standing and talking and giving out pamphlets and people get the impression that the battle is lost chalilah. But when somebody speaks up, if at least a General comes along and says something, everybody speaks up. The troops speak up.

And therefore whatever you can do, do. You can discourage them. You can ridicule them.  Do whatever you can.

If it’s possible to speak to one of them privately you can do that too. But only if you’re capable because you have to know they are trained. They are trained with their fake answers.

However, there’s one thing that they’ll never be able to answer. I’ve spoken to them and had disputes, and they admitted to me. “This is something we have to see about yet,” they said.

What is it? It’s the very first prophecy in the beginning of the New Testament. It states there that it’s written in the book of Isaiah that the virgin is going to give birth to a child.

So I said to them, “Do you know to whom that prophecy was said? The prophecy was said to Achaz the king. And it says openly. ‘And the young woman will give birth to a child’ – it’s talking about the king’s wife, about the wife of Achaz. And she was not a virgin because she was married some time already.  It doesn’t say besulah, virgin; it says almah, a young woman. And the navi said, ‘This young woman, your wife, is going to have a child and before the child will be able to speak and to know between good and bad, your two enemies, Pekach ben Remalyahu and Ben Taval, will be destroyed.’ It was a prophecy.

Now I asked the missionary, “Whom is it talking about? ‘Before the child will be able to speak, these two people, Pekach ben Remalyahu and Ben Taval, will be destroyed.’ Is it talking about a child at that time or according to what you want to say, a child that was born six hundred years later? But six hundred years later everybody will be destroyed anyhow. Who’s worried about  Pekach ben Remalyahu and Ben Taval six hundred years later? Achaz and his wife, everybody will be dead by that time. Nobody lives six hundred years. Which child was he talking about when he said, ‘Before the child learns how to talk, your two enemies Pekach ben Remalyahu and Ben Taval will be destroyed?’ It must mean a child from that generation.

Unless you want to say there were two virgins. There was a virgin at this time who had a child and then six hundred years later another virgin at that time too, and the navi is talking about two virgins.

Oh, this themselves they wouldn’t say, that there are two virgin births. And therefore they can’t answer that at all. There’s no answer to that. There’s no answer to many other things too.

But don’t try arguing unless you’re trained.

TAPE # 560 (July 1985)