In Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal (YourPhariseeFriend) “The Applicant with 365 references,” he strives to show the falsehood of “the prophecies listed on a piece of missionary literature that was mailed to members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood New Jersey. This list presents 353 prophecies allegedly ‘fulfilled’ by Jesus.”
Before he begins his list, Rabbi Blumenthal says:
“The Jew doesn’t see the scriptures as some secret code that needs to be unlocked or as a mystery novel that needs to be solved. The question that the Jew asks himself as he reads the Scriptures is: “what is the prophet trying to tell me?” The interpretation of Scripture that you will find here will be based on the straightforward contextual reading of the passages.”
It seems that the “straightforward contextual reading of the passages” has radically changed with the development and entrenchment of Kabbalah whose most famous creator/compiler was Rabbi Isaac Luria (Arizal).
Here, according to Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, is the “standard narrative” of Judaism up to advent of the Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria. “Until the Ari, the standard narrative scripted the human being into a passive role in his own redemption: G-d had made a magnificent world; human beings had messed it up. You now had a choice of doing mitzvahs, cleaving to G-d and being good, or continuing to contribute to the mess. Better to be good, because the day will come that G-d will take retribution from those who were bad and dispense reward to those who are good.” (Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, “Eighteen Joyous Teachings of the Baal Shem Tov,” p. 18).
Then comes Arizal:
“The Ari, says Freeman, stood all that on its head, providing humanity a proactive role: G-d made the mess, he said; we are cleaning it up.” http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1395566/jewish/In-Context.htm
The “straightforward contextual reading of the passages” (Rabbi Blumenthal) is called the P’SHAT (surface level). Rabbinic Judaism adds three other levels of meaning of which the deepest is the SOD (secret level). The SOD is the main domain of Kabbalah.
Since Rabbi Luria, the secret is out: the standard narrative, P’SHAT, is (thrown) out, namely, the Jew made the mess, and the SOD is in, namely, it is God who really made the mess. Not only did God make the mess, the Jew is given, or rather, takes over the job of cleaning it up.
Rabbi Freeman above, who described the switching of roles – Jew as saviour, God as saved – represents Chabad Judaism, which considers Rabbi Luria’s writings as part of the Oral Torah. Rabbi Blumenthal of “Jews for Judaism” seems to be close to Chabad Judaism. For this reason, I don’t think Rabbi Blumenthal will contradict Chabad too soon. This is not to say that once Rabbi Blumenthal verifies what Rabbi Freeman has said about Arizal’s “mess,” he will not speak out, thus: “No, Arizal’s SOD is wrong; the P’SHAT of the Tanach says that man made the mess, not God.” Until such time, I won’t be taking Rabbi Blumenthal’s 365 “theses” too seriously.