Heard on the Street: 'Jews for Jesus'

Hear a lunchtime debate in downtown Washington, D.C., between Jews for Jesus and members of a Washington synagogue.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And we're going to end with a segment we call Heard on the Street. This is where we go out and find people making music, making sounds, being heard out in public.

Today, we travel to downtown Washington, D.C., where we captured a lunchtime debate between Jews for Jesus and members of a Washington synagogue.

Mr. LARRY DUBIN (Missionary, Jews for Jesus): My name is Larry Dubin, and I'm a missionary with Jews for Jesus. We are here today in downtown D.C. to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

(Soundbite of vehicles passing)

Rabbi SHMUEL HERZFELD (National Synagogue, Washington, D.C.): They're spreading lies about Judaism.

We want to talk to Jewish people and Gentile people. We want to share with them the only message of hope, and that hope is that Jesus came and died and was buried and he rose after three days. And that is all according to the Jewish prophets.

Rabbi HERZFELD: My name is Shmuel Herzfeld. I'm the rabbi of the National Synagogue in Washington, D.C. And I'm so outraged by what they're doing, but I'm here today and whenever somebody walks by them and takes their literature, I tell them that this is lies. It's deceitful and instead of…

Mr. DUBIN: Even when Jesus was in Jerusalem, they were wondering, is he the Messiah? Is he the Promised One?

Rabbi HERZFELD: Everyone who knows anything about Judaism knows that Jews are not for Jesus. Jews are for Torah. Jesus is for Christians.

Mr. DUBIN: I believe that Jesus is the promised Jewish Messiah, and therefore I'm going to take that message to the streets, wherever I can find people. I'll talk to Jews. I'll talk to Gentiles. I'll talk to anybody who would like to talk about Him.

Rabbi HERZFELD: They're trying to spread hatred and falsehoods and vanities. This is religion at its worst, and that's why I'm angry.

(Soundbite of vehicles passing by)

MARTIN: That was Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld from the National Synagogue in Washington, D.C., and Larry Dubin from Jews for Jesus, in a battle of ideas in downtown Washington.

(Soundbite of music)

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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