Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Faux Judaism and Itunes

I think I've ranted before about people who are actually Christian, but for whatever reason want to practice some Jewish rituals. The most irritating example of this is Lina at A Set Apart Life. I am not responsible if you go there and your teeth rot out from the sugary prose.

Anyhow, "Messianic Judaism," a.k.a. Christianity, is catching on. Unfortunately, since we're a tiny minority, if a sizable portion of Christians adopt the "Jewish" label, their noise will drown out our signal.

Even more upsetting is that posing as Jews is a tactic that missionaries use to drop Christianity on unsuspecting and vulnerable Jews who are trying to learn more about their Jewish identity. Even irreligious Jews are strongly attached to their identity as Jews and therefore unwilling to listen to missionaries. As a result unscrupulous missionaries package their message as being about Judaism, only springing the Jesus angle later on.

Itunes is collaborating (unwittingly) in their deception.

When I went to the Judaism category, between a quarter and a third of the podcasts featured were actually Christian. Most were labeled as "Messianic this-or-that," which means I can at least filter them out. They shouldn't be in Judaism, but they are relatively forward about what they are.

Others required me to do a google search before I could confirm that they were actually Christian podcasts.

This is completely unacceptable. If we can't keep a category called "Judaism" for podcasts relevant to, well, Judaism, then at least we shouldn't have to sift through listing that are clearly deceptive.

If this annoys you as much as it does me, go to your itunes store for itunes and enter the Judaism category. Feel free to leave some reviews for some of these guys. Don't let them put a stumbling block in front of another Jew:

Jason Sobel
Talking Torah with Jeff Gilbert
Hope of Israel with Sam Nadler

Meanwhile, a warning: Be very careful when you explore websites and podcasts for Jewish learning. Make sure you know the speaker is worth listening to before you invest your precious learning time.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I was looking for Jewish podcasts a couple of years ago and ran into the problem. Same thing now with my iphone and looking for Jewish apps, but not as bad.

    It's infuriating that iTunes still hasn't fixed the issue.