Dear Sheyna…

Posted on August 10, 2007

Two and a half articles done, I just took a break and retrieved the mail, finding a hand-addressed letter to me from a vaguely familiar-sounding name in New York.

Curious, I opened it.

“Dear Sheyna,
I am Jewish and I believe Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) is the promised Messiah of Israel.”


Icky drop it drop it – no, throw it out OUT OUT! – no, better yet SHRED IT! Ewwww…

Right. Emotional display of disgust over. I think.

How did they get my home address? Oy. Just when I thought I was getting a handle on all the email spam, now it comes in my house. Ick.

Okay, so I understand the need for Christians who believe that witnessing or whatever is part of their purpose in life. Don’t like it, but I understand it’s what they believe. But former sort-of Jews preying on other Jews? That’s just wrong. Wrongwrongwrong.

I know it happens. A lot. Way more than it should. I just consider myself lucky to have dodged most of it.

So I invite readers here to share what y’alls would do if you got such a letter? Send them a letter back referring them to Jews for Judaism?

Do you just ignore it, shred it, burn it, or otherwise purge it from your house, and if you do that, does it in some way perpetuate it by not stopping it?

Brainstorms welcome. (Conversion attempts not.) What would you do and why?


  1. Sheyna

    Anon – I’m sorry you feel offended because you apparently misread my post. In no way did I put down Christians or any other faith. I said I disliked attempts to convert me, which I think any religious person would dislike (to be unwillingly targeted for conversion to a religion different from their own).

    However, the POINT of my post and the cause of my reaction is that I received a conversion attempt from an alleged former Orthodox Jew, by an organization that routinely uses deceptive practices to convert Jews to Christianity. And THAT is something I am not tolerant of.

  2. Anonymous

    What about tolerance? Don’t we want people to be tolerant of Judaism? Should we not also be tolerant of Christianity? I was deeply offended by your blog. I have never put down Abraham nor any other Jewish prophet/leader. I have raised my family to be understanding of all beliefs while keeping ours firm. I am very hurt that you would talk about Jesus that way. I would not allow my family or friends to do that to Judaism. We all say we want peace, well doesn’t peace begin with in us and our homes?

  3. Sheyna

    James – welcome back! Haven’t seen you ’round these parts in a while. I’m way behind in email but I know I owe you one.

    No worries about my beliefs being altered. It’s more like it was a step away from having said letter writer standing in my house spouting all his… stuff. Just icky.


  4. james

    nearly everything that ends up in my postal mail box ends up in the recycle bin; after some sort of shredding (by hand, not electric). doesn’t matter if they’re selling religion, faith or fear, or coupons for franchised pizza or fluffier mattress pads. my system of beliefs is nearly incapable of being altered by a flyer in the mail.

    now, what’s your address again?

  5. Sheyna


    I think they might have caught on to that, though. Sadly, no postage-paid envelope. Not even a return envelope.

    I think I might check out the The Jewish Response to Missionaries at Jews for Judaism, which I’ve discovered is well aware of the group that mailed me. Ick.

    BTW, I shredded it while boo-ing (a la Purim) and then washed my hands. Best I could do under the circumstances. 🙂

  6. rabbi without a cause

    If it comes with a postage-paid envelope, load the envelope with the heaviest material you can find and drop it in the mailbox. Then go to the mikvah.

    I get these letters all the time… so I’m pretty wet by now.

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