Messianic Jewish Identity

While taking a shower (TMI, I know) I had a thought. I hope it is as interesting on the blog as it seemed in the aroma of Irish Spring Aloe Deodorant soap and hot steam.

I was thinking about Messianic Jewish identity–who we are and who we are not.

As for who we are, I refer you to the UMJC statement:

Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish congregations and congregation-like groupings committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant.

(see umjc.net for more).

As for who we are not, I think this is very important. I know there are disadvantages to being defined negatively, but there is so much confusion, I think this is vital:

We are not Dispensationalist Christianity.
We are not Charismatic Christianity.
We are not Orthodox Judaism.
We are not Reform or Conservative Judaism.
We are not the Hebrew Roots Movement.

Let me define and explain a little about each of these.

Dispensationalist Christianity is in some ways the closest evangelicals come to Messianic Judaism. Dispensationalism loves Israel and abolishes Torah. Thus, Dispensationalism gets it about half right. These are our greatest friends in Christendom. It is easy for a Messianic leader to be a Dispensationalist and not a Messianic. Dispensationalism is a movement started in the late nineteenth century and emphasizes God’s work coming in different historical dispensations or periods with different methods of God’s working and our response. Progressive Dispensationalism is the newest form and is in some ways closer to Messianic Judaism and in others farther away. Dispensationalists believe the Old Testament is not normative, but is the Old Covenant replaced by the New. By contrast, Messianic Judaism upholds both Israel and Torah, not just Israel.

Charismatic Christianity is a movement tied to an earlier movement, Pentecostalism. Charismatic Christianity is not merely the practice of speaking in tongues (languages) but is a movement defined by experiential experimentation given divine authority. Charismatic Christianity is not all bad. Charismatics, like Dispensationalists, are among our best friends in Christendom. Charismatics love Israel (and many own shofars and prayer shawls, which, unfortunately, they desecrate by misuse). Charismatics have a few practices and principles I find troublesome: silly and self-defined miraculous experiences, authoritative teachers whose teachings need not demonstrate biblical fidelity to be adhered to, and theological naiveness. For example, a fad that is only now fading from popularity in Charismatic circles is the gold-dust phenomenon. Supposedly in specially “anointed” worship, God causes gold-dust to magically appear in the sanctuary. Many Charismatics probably hate this silliness as much as I do, but it is systemic in the movement (animal noises, holy laughter, ordaining people as prophets who have no proven word from the Lord, etc). Messianic Judaism is not Charismatic Christianity and Jews who come to Charismatic Messianic services are generally going to think it is all meshuggenah, which it is.

Reform and Conservative Judaism are probably the closest forms of Judaism to Messianic. That is because they, like us, resist the pressure to conform to Orthodox halakhah (practice) and to seek a rationale for Jewish practice rooted in something more solid. You can learn more about Reform Judaism in a series of book reviews I am about to post here called “Jewish Renewal.” In spite of some similarities in halakhic thought, Messianic Judaism is not Reform or Conservative, for Yeshua is central, not peripheral, to who we are.

Orthodox Judaism is not nearly so uniform as people imagine. Here in Atlanta, Beth Jacob, Beth Tefillah, and Young Israel are three very different congregations. Halakhah is even different (especially regarding women). Orthodox Judaism in general has the most detailed halakhah. Few are aware of the detailed practices for an Orthodox Shabbat or for Orthodox dietary law (where there is also disagreement between kosher and glatt kosher). Messianic Judaism is closest to Orthodox in taking the Bible literally, but in halakhah we are very different. Messianic Judaism is not Orthodox, for Yeshua is central and halakhah needs a great deal more latitude and interpretation than Orthodox are willing to give.

The Hebrew Roots Movement is often found in congregations that use the term Messianic. In fact, many Messianic congregations are influenced by their ideas. The Hebrew Roots Movement is more about Torah than Israel and the Jewish people. This is an easy temptation for Messianic congregations, since having many Gentile members is important for numbers, budgets, and survival. Having Gentile members is not the problem. The problem is when Messianic congregations become about Torah and Jewish customs, but not about Jewish people. First Fruits of Zion is an organization representing the best of the Hebrew Roots Movement and progress is being made in issues of Jewish identity. But for now, the Hebrew Roots Movement is about a Torah revival for Gentiles (these groups cannot endorse the churches since the churches do not practice Sabbath, dietary law, and circumcision). Messianic Judaism differs from the Hebrew Roots Movement because we see a distinction between Jews and Gentiles and how they relate to Torah.

Thoughts? Criticisms. Challenges? Post a comment.

Advertisement

About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in Christian, Messianic Jewish, Theology, Yeshua. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Messianic Jewish Identity

  1. Amy says:

    Derek,

    Two questions — (1) how far would you go regarding observance based upon your statement above, “covenantal responsibility of Jewish life?;” (2) how would you react to a statement I heard at a First Fruits of Zion event in which they responded to a question on evangelism with the thought that “we need to get our house in order before we consider evangelism?”

    BTW, I am glad that you noted that dispensationalists are traditionally Israel and the Jewish people’s closest allies. Especially since at this same FFOZ event, the speaker spent about 15 minutes denigrating the dispensationalist approach to Scriptures. I could only think of one thing — “talk about biting the hand (hope it was kosher!) that feeds you.”

    The bottom line point in all of this rambling is one question — what is proper Torah observance and how would you separate it from merely Rabbinic traditions?

    Thanks. Shalom. God bless.

    Acts 20:24,

    Amy

  2. Amy:

    You asked: “(1) how far would you go regarding observance based upon your statement above, “covenantal responsibility of Jewish life?;” (2) how would you react to a statement I heard at a First Fruits of Zion event in which they responded to a question on evangelism with the thought that “we need to get our house in order before we consider evangelism?””

    Regarding the first, you ask a complex question not given to two-sentence answers. Let me just say that I believe Jews are still obligated to keep the Torah as much as it can be kept in the present state we are in. Let me say that if I worked with other Messianic rabbis on halakhah, it would not look Orthodox, but it would take tradition seriously. Someday I’ll write more about the authority of Jewish tradition.

    Regarding the second, no I would not put off outreach in the name of Messiah until we get our house in order. I know the FFOZ guys and I think someone was talking without thinking. It may have been rhetoric to say: we need to have something that is not pathetically shallow if we want to see Jewish people coming into Messianic communities.

    Derek

  3. Amy:

    You also asked a third question: “what is proper Torah observance and how would you separate it from merely Rabbinic traditions?”

    I know what you mean. Some Orthodox halakhah is problematic for me, such as the 39 Av Melakhot (prohibited actions on Shabbat). So I know that accepting Orthodox Jewish halakhah wholesale is not the answer.

    But I also know that the rabbinic sages are God’s ordained institution for defining Jewish practice (I take this from Deut 17 and Matt 23). It is ordained but not inspired (like God ordains government).

    One answer I have heard, and I think it an intriguing premise for Messianic halakhah to work from, is that there must be broad acceptance by the observant Jewish community as a whole for a halakhic point to be authoritative. Anyway, I am not nearly as capable at halakhah as some of my UMJC colleagues. I am learning from them and also thinking for myself.

    Derek

  4. Sergei says:

    Hi! I just have a question: what You think about praying in tongues?
    Are is it a common practice among The Messianic Jews? Or is it just Charismatics who do it. Thanks!

  5. Sergei:

    My personal opinion on the modern practice of speaking in heavenly languages is not a topic I choose to blog about. I don’t want to make you feel bad for asking the question, I just prefer to stick to topics more focused on Messianic Jewish theology and Biblical interpretation. I would not want to get a debate started here about the charismatic movement.

    Derek

  6. yochanan says:

    derek, i am a jewish believer in Yeshua. irecently ran across a website i like your input on. I am very much interested in the lost tribes, who they are in today’s world, and are their descendants. the web-site i would like for you to look at throughly is http://www.lostisrael.com, the claim is that the jews that in habit the temple today are not from the tribes, but descendants of a pagan empire that converted in the 6 century ad. i have read Oskar’s book, and find it quite comforting, and a relief from the everyday dogma of organized religion both jewish and christian. your thoughts would be appreciated, i stand neutral on the subject, but would value outside perspective. shalom & ahavah, yochanan

  7. Gene Shlomovich says:

    John Henry (aka yochanan)… I am not sure if you are a Jewish believer as you claim, but I find your strange attraction to British Israelism and its adherents’ version of replacement theology disturbing considering how anti-semitic it is at its core. I looked at the lostisrael.com site. Below is the link to a page from that site that easily gives away it’s true doctrines:

    http://www.lostisrael.com/elizabeth.html

    The page from the site you recommended charts how Queen Elizabeth II descended from Abraham and a rightful heir to the Davidic throne! Classic British Israelism through and through.

    I also would like to quote the following from the site you recommended, and we will let the readers judge for themselves the anti-semitic nature of that site:

    “Why hasn’t Christendom and the American public been told that over 90 percent of the people known as “Jews” are *not* descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? History reveals they are actually descendants of the fierce Turkish, Mongolian Khazar tribes which roamed the steppes of southern Russia and who adopted the religion of Judaism between the 7th and 9th Centuries. Today, the Khazars are known as “Jews” not because of race, but because of religion. (6)
    As stated, the Bible declares that there would be Israelite impostors, these impostors have inadvertently or deliberately identified themselves by their own writings. Therefore, if “they” are not true Israel, someone else must be!”

    “If Israel exists today, as she must, there is only one people whom all these identifying marks fit — and they certainly do not represent the modern-day “Jews.” They do however, describe perfectly the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, and kindred peoples; the multitude of nations who became a great nation, with a new home, a new religion, and who have blessed the world with the gospel of Yahshua and numerous other blessings.”

    Above taken from: http://www.lostisrael.com/could_u_b_israelite.htm

  8. Charles says:

    Hey Derek

    I am one of your “best friends” ! An evangelical, charismatic, pentecostal Christian with the emphasis on the ‘Christian’.

    Have not checked out your beliefs but have a question about the First Fruits of Zion movement.

    Do you have any opinions on them? Do they represent Messianic Judaism? Or are they off a bit? Right on? Would appreciate your comments.

    Follower of the Living Torah, Jesus!

    Charles
    http://peaceinjerusalem.blogspot.com

  9. Menachem says:

    Gene

    “Why hasn’t Christendom and the American public been told that over 90 percent of the people known as “Jews” are *not* descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? History reveals they are actually descendants of the fierce Turkish, Mongolian Khazar<<<<<

    They have been. Read “The 13th Tribe”by Arthur Koestler. You might know him from his novel “Darkness at Noon” about the Stalin show trials of the forties.Ironically his book has gotten a lot of play from anti zionists the world over seeking to deligitimatize Israel.

    The book is quite interesting, but modern population genetic techniques are currently able to test the thesis. As the reference below shows, it appears as if indeed there is DNA evidence for significan semitic ancestry for European Jewry.

    Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes. M. F. Hammer, A. J. Redd, E. T. Wood, M. R. Bonner, H. Jarjanazi, T. Karafet, S. Santachiara-Benerecetti, A. Oppenheim, M. A. Jobling, T. Jenkins, H. Ostrer, and B. Bonné-Tamir. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 9, 2000.

    Menachem

  10. Menachem says:

    Addendum

    Gene might be interested to note that this study looked at patrilineal descent.

    Menachem

  11. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Menachem…

    In your first reply to me it looked as if your were quoting something that I said (“Why hasn’t Christendom and the American public been told that over 90 percent of the people known as “Jews” ). So, I just wanted to clarify this for readers – it’s not my statement – I was quoting and pointing out an excerpt from British Israelism/anti-semitic site promoted by yochanan in an earlier post.

    Yes, I am aware of that study you referred to and also of the fact that the Y-chrom. was tracked and the fact that there evidence of significant Gentile gene inflow from FEMALE side of the Jewish gene pool – but not the male one.

    Gene

  12. Menachem says:

    Gene

    In your first reply to me it looked as if your were quoting something that I said<<<

    G-d forbid.

    I was quoting and pointing out an excerpt from British Israelism/anti-semitic site promoted by yochanan in an earlier post<<<<

    That was clear to me. Sorry that it wasnt clear to others. My apologies.

    Menachem

  13. Efron says:

    Messianic Jewish identity is the biggest problem we are facing and have been facing for decades. It has especially become more troublesome with Torah-observant Hebrew-roots Gentiles coming into the picture. This issue will more than likely go on for years. I have followed FFOZ for years and I thank you Derek for being honest and bringing what you said into focus. My congregation split from the UMJC over the Gentile/Jew Torah observance issue. I know you are a proponent of conversion and I was wondering if you can reccomend a congregation or someone who can perform a conversion for those in my congregation who are wanting to take that step?

  14. Efron:

    You have an interesting story. I’d love to hear more if you can email me at derek4messiah@gmail.com

    As for pursuing Messianic Jewish conversion, this is something very new in the movement. Few are behind it at this point. A small number of congregations believe in conversion for people who desire to join with Israel for the right reasons. The only conversion option available in MJ is to join one of these congregations and over time apply for conversion. You can see more at http://www.ourrabbis.org/main/

    Derek

  15. Shalom everyone…I was just passing through and decided to read through the blog, and I now have a question. What do you mean by ‘conversion,’ and about whom are you referring?

    If you’re talking about a gentile converting into what amounts to the christian faith, then it’s just a simple parayer, right?

    However, if you’re talking about ‘converting’ a Jew, perish the thought, then what does that entail? Do you force him to eat a ham sandwich and renounce all connections with the Jewish community and lifestyle?

    How can you call it Messianic Judaism when the majority of the congregants are gentiles, and has a pastor, not an ordained Rabbi?

    My wife is a ‘Messianic Jew.’ I let her have a her beliefs, and she allows me to have mine. I have a huge problem with organizations like Jews For J. I hope you don’t mid the questions, adn I certainly don’t meant o be confrontational. I just had questions arise as I read the blog. L’Shalom, Daniel

  16. Daniel:

    I can understand how you could be confused if you just perused a little of this blog and do not know where I am coming from.

    I use the word converted only in one sense: a non-Jew joining Israel (i.e., converting to Judaism).

    I am in the process of conversion myself through the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (http://www.ourrabbis.org).

    If you will read the blog more you will see that I believe Torah is still an obligation for Jews, including Messianic Jews.

    Let me give you a major tip about Messianic Judaism that may save you years of confusion: most places that call themselves Messianic Jewish do not understand Judaism at any depth whatsoever. I call this Old School Messianic Judaism. I am an advocate for a Mature Messianic Judaism.

    I have a problem with Jews for Jesus also, namely that they have too little respect for Jewish identity and that their policies are assimilationist.

    Derek

  17. Derek, we totally agree on Jews for Jesus.

  18. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew) says:

    To all:

    I have a problem with Jews for Jesus also, namely that they have too little respect for Jewish identity and that their policies are assimilationist.<<<

    Just curious about which organizations show respect for Jewish identity and which do not have assimilationist policies? MJAA? UMJC? TIKKUN?

    How can you call it Messianic Judaism when the majority of the congregants are gentiles, and has a pastor, not an ordained Rabbi<<<

    This is a good question. I have respect for JFJ for two reasons: 1) They tend to actually be Jewish 2) They dont call themselves rabbis. At least they are intellectually honest and consistant. Which is more than I can say about the above.

    BTW I dont think we can have “Shalom Bayit” without some simple honesty in this area. If someone is led to ask.

  19. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew)… I have three no-so-simple questions for you:

    1st Question: what is your personal idea of an ideal Messianic Jewish movement? How would you’ve liked to see thing done?

    2nd Question: what place, if any, would you have for Gentile believers in that movement of yours?

    3rd Question: what things you WOULD NOT permit in your MJ movement?

    Shalom,

    Gene

  20. Ed says:

    How can it be said that most Jews for Jesus are Jewish when Judaism is incompatible with belief in Jesus as the Messiah?

    There are three attributes of God which are central to Judaism:

    1. God is one, and not multi-partite;
    2. God is completely invisible; and
    3. God is not human.

    To abandon any of these beliefs is to abandon Judaism. To accept Jesus as God or part of God is to abandon all three of these central beliefs.

    No “Jew for Jesus” can possibly be a Jew.

  21. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew) says:

    Ed:

    How can it be said that most Jews for Jesus are Jewish<<<

    I meant that they would be Jewish under Jewish law. Meaning that they have Jewish parents. I meant no endorsement of
    their beliefs or their practice.

    No “Jew for Jesus” can possibly be a Jew<<<

    If you want to be dogmatic about this we probably wont have much to say. If you want to have a nuanced discussion I suggest you read the following and respond.

    http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3241

    http://www.amazon.com/Body-Faith-God-People-Israel/dp/1568219105/ref=sr_1_4/103-0134344-2160660?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193853348&sr=8-4

    “Never say never never say always”

    Ed: Should you decide to continue to discuss this issue, I have an additional question for you. Given that there are a group of Jews out there who believe in Jesus, and granted that you think them mistaken, until you convince them otherwise, do you prefer that they 1) maintain some tie with Jewish practice for themselves and their Jewish children or 2) that they cut themselves off completely from the Jewish community and become Christians?

  22. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew) says:

    Gene:

    Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew)… I have three no-so-simple questions for you:<<<

    Clearly not questions for a Simple Jew to answer. I will answer as a Simple Jew from the heart and not as a Halachic Authority.

    1st Question: what is your personal idea of an ideal Messianic Jewish movement? <<<<

    I would like to see a movement in which the covenantal religous obligations of Jews as defined in the Torah, and as interpreted by the Jewish people are taken seriously. In particular I would like to see the issue of national Teshuvah as described in Deuteronomy 30 to be at the forefront of our mission statements and our thinking. These scriptures as key to our national spiritual and physical survival should form the basis for our internal discussions as well as our dialogue with the rest of the Jewish world. First we turn. Then we assist our fellow Jews to turn.

    How would you’ve liked to see thing done?<<<

    I think we should engage in corporate intense study and prayer over these and associated scriptures which deal with national restoration. We should compare scriptures and also pay careful attention as to how these scriptures are seen in the context of Jewish tradition. After we have done this and only after this we should look to see how any New Covenant insights we might have gained might be brought to the table. I think that a little humility is in order. We need to change our view vis a vis our fellow Jews. Instead of presenting ourselves as having all the answers we need to restore the time honored view of the presenter of the good news as “one beggar showing another where to find bread”. These are desparate times for all Jews. We dont have time to waste with silly disputes. We are all Jews together, we have a common destiny and all Israel is responsible for each other. If the Jewish community has something to say to us we need to listen as well.

    2nd Question: what place, if any, would you have for Gentile believers in that movement of yours?<<<<

    People from Non Jewish backgrounds have an important role to play. In fact they have a role that Jews cannot fill. James alludes to this in Acts 15. The presence of non Jews coming close to Israel is a testimony to the Moshaich. This is amplified in Ephesians 3:6. This is an extension of the process earlier alluded to in Ephesians of Hashem gathering all diverse things in the universe to himself. If the non Jews lose their identity they lose their witness to this process. I think that there needs to be a creative process which acknowledges their prophetic role, what they are require to remember, a repentance process for supercessionism, and a ritual that rightly places them in relation to the plan of Hashem and of Israel. In general and with rare exceptions I think this excludes them from leadership positions in MJ congregations. Romans 3 clearly states that the guarding of the oracles of G-d is a Jewish function.

    Maimonides in his “job description” of the Messiah included spreading the word of the Torah to the ends of the earth and the ingathering of the Jewish people. The non Jews as agents of the Messiah need to continue to function in both roles which they have historically outperformed Jews up to this point. I would encourage them to continue in these roles as well as to bring in whatever aspects of their own traditions they find edifying as long as it does not interfere with the Jewish minyan. I have thought that it might be good to encourage them to have their traditional services on Sunday with a “praise and worship linkage service” with its own linkage ritual after Havdallah on Saturday night.

    3rd Question: what things you WOULD NOT permit in your MJ movement?<<<<

    1) People without legitimate Smicha calling themselves “rabbi”

    2) People who would not be considered Jewish by ANY definition currently used in the Jewish world calling themselves Jewish

    3) I would limit myself to prohibiting non Jews from reading from having an Alliyah, making up a Minyan and from making policy and Halacha. I frankly do not care what their personal practices are as long as they are not misleading the Jews in the congregation who need to know who the other Jews are in order to fulfill their religious obligations.

    These are just my preliminary thoughts.

    Shalom,

  23. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew) says:

    what things you WOULD NOT permit in your MJ movement<<<

    Addendum for particulars.

    I would not allow emendations to or eliminations from the Shema, changes to the traditional Brachot, deletion of key parts of the liturgy to make way for “praise and worship” or “new convenatal” doctrinal statements.

  24. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew) says:

    I would also see to it that the importance of a Jewish minyan was emphasized that the Jews in the congregation were educated on why that wasimportant that a minyan of Jews was identified and that they were trained in how to live together as Jews and how to daven with Kavanah.

    http://www.godaven.com/kavanah.htm

  25. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew says:

    Gene:

    ( I dont see anyone picking up the thread)

    A model I find useful for comparision would be Charismatic Catholic community. I advise all interested parties to check out what they do. They clearly have a “bimodal eccleisiology” of sorts. (whatever that is). And noone seems to have a problem.

    Please note that they have two groups ( actually more ) of people. 1)Catholics 2)Non Roman Catholics “in union” who are part of their communities. In addition they often have lay people and clergy in various positions of leadership.

    There are two types of worship services.

    Such communities often have open charismatic meetings which are led by various teams. These are quite informal and include full participation in “praise and worship” by both Catholic and non Catholic members of the community as well as visitors.

    “Charismatic Masses”. Attendance at these masses is open to all. And all are allowed to participate in worship singing, singing in tongues etc. However only those who are permitted under church law to take communion are allowed to take the host. This I think requires some sort of submission to the local Bishop.

    If I am wrong about my facts someone should please correct me.

    If I am not corrected, I will assume that this is still what obtains in these communities and is considered ok in most of the Charismatic world. ( insofar as we are speaking of that part of the world that considers Catholocism legit. I include in this such renowned leaders as Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland who regularly speak to Charismatic Catholic gatherings.)

    If all this is ok for Charismatic Catholics ( and by extension Orthodox and Anglican Christians) why should something at least analogous be controversial to MJ?

    Can you imagine what would the reaction would be to the Rev Juster and his “apostolic stream” if in his “dialogue” with mid level Catholic leaders he were to suggest that they alter the content of the Mass to fit his version of NC realities? Why then is it acceptable to say this to Jews?

    In all this talk about “two olive oil” theology I dont see anyone addressing this issue. Must be because there really is no defense for Christian leaders “messin with Jewish tradition”

  26. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew)…

    I see your point… and I understand your Catholic analogy.

    It just doesn’t sit well with me to use Catholics as an example for us – their theology is so messed up, we might as well use Mormons or JWs to make a point. But I know that you’ve used them only as an example.

    The long term solution would be similar to what you propose – different congregations for conservative worship and for the wild charismatics – which is what we have already, to some degree.

    Jewish liturgy varies greatly too. Not everyone would be happy with any particular type, regardless.

    Gene

  27. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew says:

    Gene

    It just doesn’t sit well with me to use Catholics as an example for us – their theology is so messed up, we might as well use Mormons or JWs to make a point.<<<<

    I am using them to make a point of comparision. Its a sociological fact that many if not most of the critics who insist that MJ toe the line including Dan Juster register no concerns with Catholic Charismatics. I certainly can see a difference between Catholicism and JW/Moromonism. ( I know a little bit about the history of the state of Utah. Suggest you read up on it). Fact is that much of the MJ debate on this forum reminds me of these latter groups. “Two house/olive oil/ephraemite/nevites” it all comes out of the same American spirituality which birthed LDS and JW. And although its meaningful to the non Jews who frequent this board, its so clearly not Jewish to anyone who has Jewish sensibility and not of interest to me. Which is why I dont participate in those discussions which seem of such intense interest to others here.

    To sum it up: Catholic Charismatics make distinctions between Catholic and non Catholics in their worship and they are not censured by Juster and the like. And they leave Catholic tradition alone.

    Without getting into the relative merits of catholic theology the above point is empirically provable and in my opinion beyond dispute.

    Since it is true, how much more so for Jewish people and Jewish tradition?

    But I know that you’ve used them only as an example.

    The long term solution would be similar to what you propose – different congregations for conservative worship and for the wild charismatics – which is what we have already, to some degree.<<<

    I am proposing the same congregation having different worship services. This affirms unity while at the same time affirming differences.

    Jewish liturgy varies greatly too. Not everyone would be happy with any particular type, regardless<<<<

    Its not a matter of anyone being happy. There are some basics that pretty much all Jewish communities agree upon. We can discuss what those things are. Its not rocket science. I think that some people have suggested traditional conservative halacha as a place to start. I guess that would be ok. This includes:

    1) Pesuki De Zimra ( especially Ashrei and Ps 150)

    2) Shema and its blessings

    3) Amidah (Both Silent and Repitition along with full Keddusha if a minyan is present. I fail to see how any congregation that calls itself Jewish can delete this. Its essentially biblical. Also Modim and Sim Shalom etc )

    4) Formalized Torah service with blessings andreadings. This includes Kohen and/or Levi alliyah if either is present.

    5) Aleynu etc.

    This IMO is the minimum for a true Jewish service. Anything else is ersatz.

    Also would include the full grace after meals. Its got a lot of messianic content to it. There is no reason all Jews should not be taught to be thoroughly familiar with it.

    If anyone can give a good justification for not davening these prayers I have yet to see it.

  28. Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew says:

    Oops

    Forgot Kaddish as appropriate

  29. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Shalom Bayit (aka A Simple Jew)

    I think your idea of two types of services for the same congregation makes sense. I have already seen this in Ukraine in a Baptist church that has two wings – one very concervative (attended by older folks, for the most part), and another one Calvary Chapel-like (the the younger crowd) – both coexist just fine.

    How about that to solve the MJ Gentile participation dilema:

    The in the diaspora communities, same Messianic Jewish Congregation should have services solely intended for Jewish believers who would like to worship as Jews and fulfill their covenantal obligation (not intended for the Gentile believers, but who are welcome to join nonetheless), but also, on other days, have services for both Jews and Gentiles to worship together in a “Jewish” style, and to break (kosher) bread together in the spirit of unity in Messiah?

    Gene

  30. Shalom Bayit says:

    I think you have the basic idea.

  31. Shalom Bayit says:

    Breaking bread BTW means Zimun and Birchat Hamazon. Which I think may be a more difficult issue than the minyan vis involvement of non Jews given what appear to be clear NC texts on the subject.

    This also involves the question of Shulchan Hashem which I think belongs here and the cup of blessing. Clearly we need to include our non Jewish brothers fully here but what does this mean?

    Oh well. I am just a simple Jew.I am Glad I dont have to have the answers

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s