Matt Sieger | San Francisco

Staff Writer/Editor

Matt Sieger is the editor of ISSUES: A Messianic Jewish Perspective. ISSUES is our publication for Jewish people who are willing to consider the question, Who is Jesus? Matt also writes blogs, articles, and reviews for our publications and has edited the book, Stories of Jews for Jesus.

Hell on Earth
June 29, 2018
Author: Matt Sieger

I am as guilty as the next guy in labeling things “hell” too glibly. By contrast, there are some truly horrendous experiences that you or those close to you may have had to endure, for which hell may be an apt metaphor.

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Holden Caulfield Was Right: We Are All Phonies
June 27, 2018
Author: Matt Sieger

Holden would like to save all the children before the world robs them of their innocence. He recognizes that we are all eventually stained by this world. We are polluted not only from without, but we soon discover that we are impure within. We are infected with a disease we inherited from the first to lose their innocence: Adam and Eve.

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Happy Birthday Israel: Many Jewish Views
Author: Matt Sieger

Whether it is the threat of nuclear attack or terrorist bombs, it is no wonder that many Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora question if there is any hope for peace in the Middle East or survival at all.

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Jews and the Occult
Topics: supernatural, demons
Author: Matt Sieger

Occult forces? Evil entities? Isn’t that just medieval superstitious mishegoss? No, unfortunately, it’s not. Satan is real and out to destroy God’s greatest creation, humankind. His favorite target? Our Jewish people.

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Out of the Black Hole
Author: Matt Sieger

Looking back, I realize that probably 75 percent of the people in that occult encounter group were Jewish. Just as I believe there is a God, I believe that Satan is real and seeks to destroy the Jewish people.

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Book Review: Nobody’s Angel: A Story of Occult Bondage, Abuse and Redemption
Author: Matt Sieger

“Why didn’t God just kill me if He hated me so much? Why did He let this happen to me?” young Gregory silently screamed. How Greg came to believe in a God who loves him is at the heart of his autobiography.

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The Occult: A Primer
Topics: supernatural, demons
Author: Matt Sieger

The Hebrew Scriptures specifically warn us against dabbling in the occult: “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer [practitioner of the dark arts] or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12

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Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein and the Discarded New Testament
Author: Matt Sieger

As a young rabbi, Isaac Lichtenstein (1825–1908) reprimanded a young man for showing him a Bible containing a New Testament, took the book from him, and put it on a corner shelf. Thirty years later Lichtenstein opened the book… and it changed his life.

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The Beginning and End of Time
Topics: end times, creation
Author: Matt Sieger

The Bible not only speaks of an end to this world, but also of a new beginning—a new heaven and a new earth. While the Hebrew Scriptures allude to this new world, the New Testament describes it in great detail.

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Thinking Twice about Bob Dylan
Author: Matt Sieger

The enigmatic musician has had much to say about Jesus in song and in interviews.

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Dylan’s Biblical Lyrics
Author: Matt Sieger

Bob Dylan’s lyrics give us some insight into his religious beliefs.

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René Bloch: The Rabbi with Swing
Author: Matt Sieger

It’s not every day that a musician who played with famous big bands ends up becoming a rabbi.

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An Interview with Paul Liberman
Author: Matt Sieger

Paul Liberman’s The Fig Tree Blossoms: Messianic Judaism Emerges has sold over 100,000 copies. ISSUES interviews Liberman, who was at the forefront of that movement in the 1970s.

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An Interview with Nancy Ellen Abrams
Author: Matt Sieger

ISSUES interviews Nancy Ellen Abrams, author of A God That Could be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of our Planet.

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Science and Morality: Lise Meitner and the Nuclear Bomb
Author: Matt Sieger

Lise Meitner, who helped discover nuclear fission in 1938, was as shocked as the rest of the world when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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Linus and Charlie Brown

If Jesus is Not the Messiah…
December 19, 2014
Author: Matt Sieger

More and more Jewish people are open to discussing Jesus, including several Jewish scholars. Amy Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt, wrote a book about Jesus entitled The Misunderstood Jew and also helped put together The Jewish...

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A Life Apart Movie Review

Movie Review A Life Apart: Hasidism in America
November 25, 2014
Author: Matt Sieger

Directed by Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky

At the beginning of this fascinating documentary, Leonard Nimoy (who shares the narration with Sarah Jessica Parker) notes, “Hasidim are a minority within a minority. They arouse controversy among other Jews, no less than among gentiles.” The film explores some of that controversy, though filmmakers Daum (who lives in Crown Heights, home to the Lubavitch Hasidim) and Rudavsky paint a mostly loving portrait of this distinctive branch of Judaism.

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Jews and Fashion
Topics: jewish culture
Author: Matt Sieger

Historically speaking, Jews and fashion proved to be the perfect match.

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Meet the Highly Fashionable Rebbetzin
Author: Matt Sieger

Susan Salzman, now the rebbetzin at Beth Messiah Congregation in Livingston, New Jersey, once worked in the heart of the fashion industry in New York City.

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How to Talk With (and Listen To) God
Author: Matt Sieger

Prayer doesn’t have to be formal or fancy; it’s a conversation with God.

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What your mother never told you about Jews for Jesus
May 19, 2014
Author: Matt Sieger

12 Questions and Answers from Jews for Jesus We have compiled a dozen frequently asked spiritual questions for Jewish seekers. Number 5, “What proof do you have that Jesus was the messiah,” has some of the highest traffic from our whole website. Note: These twelve...

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Why Aren’t Our People Told This?
Author: Matt Sieger

Many Jewish refugees from Russia settled in Omaha, Nebraska, between the 1880s and World War I. Among them were Debbie Landers’ grandparents. Landers, born Deberah Schwartz in Omaha in 1951, and her younger sister were raised Orthodox by their parents. The...

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All Creatures Great and Small: Who Made Them All?
Author: Matt Sieger

A motorcycle accident at age 28 left David Farber with one functioning limb—his right arm—and one functioning eye and ear. But it didn’t deter his passion for travel and photography. He has journeyed to Alaska and Africa to photograph everything from moose to...

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Keeping It Real in Life and Art
Author: Matt Sieger

“The greatest hindrance to creativity,” says painter and photographer Will Rosenberg, “is worrying what others think. If you walk into a kindergarten class and say, ‘Who here is an artist?’ every kid will raise their hand. A couple of...

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This Burger Comes with Matzah Ball Soup
Author: Matt Sieger

This Burger Comes with Matzah Ball Soup Judy Burger - Dorothy Gish Judy Burger - Gloria Swanson Judy Burger - Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller Museum in Tuscumbia, Alabama Judy (Joseph) Burger has seen a lot of the United States – much of it by accident. At...

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – Movie Review
April 11, 2013
Author: Matt Sieger

Movie Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Director: Mark Herman Writers: John Boyne (novel), Mark Herman (screenplay) Primary Actors (stars): Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend Date released: November 26, 2008 Genre: Drama, War MPAA rating: PG-13...

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Ram or Lamb
March 26, 2013
Author: Matt Sieger

What’s Easter Got to Do with Rosh Hashanah?

You probably have heard of the Passover connection to Easter, that the Last Supper was a seder, etc. But do you know about the Rosh Hashanah connection?

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Whose Side is God On?
February 4, 2013
Topics: sin nature, sports
Author: Matt Sieger

According to a Public Religion Research Institute survey taken one week before the Super Bowl, nearly 3 out of 10 Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event. And 53% believe that God rewards those athletes who have faith...

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Herb Opalek: The Day the Rabbi Met Yeshua
Author: Matt Sieger

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Herb Opalek was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home which boasts many rabbis in the family tree. He attended Hebrew day school and by age ten was fluent in both modern and ancient Hebrew. He had a near photographic memory and wangled quite a...

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Book Review: The Real Kosher Jesus
May 2, 2012
Author: Matt Sieger

Book Review: The Real Kosher Jesus Book Title: The Real Kosher Jesus Author: Michael L. Brown Date Published: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Frontline; 3.4.2012 edition Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism 2. Christology 3. Apologetics ISBN: 978-1621360070 Reviewer: Matt Sieger...

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Circumcision: Rite or Right?
April 30, 2012
Author: Matt Sieger

The “Foreskin Man” and the “Monster Mohel” characters are criticized as being anti-Semitic by opponents of a ballot initiative that would ban circumcision in San Francisco. (From Matthew Hess’s “Foreskin Man” online comic) In...

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Why the Passover Plotz Doesn’t Hold Water
March 26, 2012
Author: Matt Sieger

by Matt Sieger The story has often been told… A little boy came back from Hebrew school one morning and his father asked him, “Well, what did you learn?” The boy replied, “How the people of Israel were kept in Egypt and used as slaves by this...

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Joel Weiskopf

Joel Weiskopf
Author: Matt Sieger

Jazz pianist Joel Weiskopf, 49, has performed with jazz greats such as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O’Day and Clark Terry. He has recorded CDs with renowned jazz musicians such as John Patitucci and Brian Blade for the highly-respected Criss Cross jazz...

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Mark Friedlander: Freeing the Imagination
Author: Matt Sieger

You don’t have to be Jewish to play a part in the stage production of The Diary of Anne Frank. But it helps. Mark Friedlander played the role of Henk Gies who, with his wife Miep, hid the Frank family from the Nazis. Most of the cast was not Jewish. So when they...

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David Suchet: Looking for Something Beyond
Author: Matt Sieger

Somewhere right now someone is watching David Suchet portray Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. An estimated 600-700 million people watch the television series worldwide. The reruns get better ratings than many new programs. Suchet has...

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David Newhan: Nothing to Hide
Author: Matt Sieger

Maybe it wasn’t quite Lou Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp, but when David Newhan got a chance to play for the Baltimore Orioles in the summer of 2004, he made the most of it. The left-handed swinging sparkplug belted a 435-foot pinch-hit home run in his first at bat...

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Michael Blatchford: Nothing to Lose
Author: Matt Sieger

How does a skinny kid with asthma end up competing against brawny sprint cyclers in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing? Michael Blatchford, 24, grew up in southern California in Cypress, a suburb near Disneyland. Like any other kid, he rode his bike around town. But it...

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Ami Ortiz: No Hate
Author: Matt Sieger

Fifteen-year-old Ami Ortiz, who lives with his family in Ariel, Israel, stayed home from school on Purim, March 20, 2008. He was delighted to discover in the stairwell a gift basket with the message Happy Holidays.” But when he opened the package, it exploded in...

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Yom Kippur and the Jewish Athlete
Author: Matt Sieger

We are proud when a Jewish athlete succeeds, but a few have gained even more respect for refusing to play ball on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg recalled his 1934 decision: Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur came in...

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Michael Medved Goes to Bat for Jews for Jesus? Sort Of
September 29, 2009
Author: Matt Sieger

Michael Medved, the Orthodox Jewish radio talk show host and movie critic, recently stated that, for the majority of American Jews, “the core of their Jewish identity isn’t solidarity with Israel; it’s rejection of Christianity.”

Medved’s remarks were part of his reflections in Commentary magazine on the new book by Norman Podhoretz, Why are Jews Liberals? Medved’s answer to that question…

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Is the Jewish Religion a Laughing Matter?
Author: Matt Sieger

Jewish comedians have gently poked fun at their own religion— or their own doubts about the existence of God—for a long time. In Woody Allen’s movie, Broadway Danny Rose, Danny has the following conversation with his love interest, Tina: Tina: Who’s got...

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Answering to a Higher Authority: The Life and Legacy of Harold J. Berman
Author: Matt Sieger

Berman’s main contention is that law is a foundational principle of Western society that derives its moral and religious dimension from God as the first lawgiver.

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The Law and the Tablets
Author: Matt Sieger

The Law and the Tablets How do the interpreters of the law handle the Law these days? A 2009 case before the Supreme Court regarding free speech concerned a group named Summum, which wanted to post its Seven Aphorisms” alongside a Ten Commandments monument in a...

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MEET THE NEW ATHEISTS… same as the Old Atheists
February 27, 2009
Author: Matt Sieger

Move over Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Friedrich Nietzsche…

Make room for the new kids on the block—Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens! These “New Atheists” proclaim God’s non-existence with great fervor. But they’re not saying anything new…

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Jewish and Catholic: Shaun’s Story
Author: Matt Sieger

As Shaun Buchhalter notes, being a Jewish Puerto Rican is probably more common in New York City than elsewhere. But that didn’t make it any easier, especially during the December holidays. Born to a Jewish father and a Puerto Rican Catholic mother, 30-year-old...

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That’s Hot! Jews For Jesus In Popular Culture
Author: Matt Sieger

Why are there so many references to Jews for Jesus in Pop Culture?

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Mark Greene: a copywriter’s series of extraordinary events
Author: Matt Sieger

The concept of Jews believing in Jesus has penetrated the culture in part because Jews for Jesus and other Messianic Jewish groups have made some very public pronouncements of their belief. Jews for Jesus launched its work in the United Kingdom with a full-page ad in...

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Don’t All Good People Go to Heaven?
Author: Matt Sieger

Many people do not believe in a literal heaven so for them, the question “Who goes there?” is moot. The late Dr. Louis Goldberg once told of the time that he went into the store of a Jewish proprietor:

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One Coincidence Too Many
Author: Matt Sieger

It was January 1976 and I was sitting in the university clinic waiting for a doctor. Woozy from a bout of mononucleosis, I had just wobbled in from the arctic gusts and glacial snowdrifts of an upstate New York winter, and had taken my seat among the other coughing,...

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