What are Non-Jews to Do?

Lamar wrote and asked what someone like himself is to do in the light of the reality of distinction between Jew and Gentile. If Torah is not directly binding on non-Jews, what to do?

I am mindful that many non-Jews have a strong desire to be with Israel, to support and even join the Jewish community. I am one of those. I would not turn someone away who demonstrates true Jewish desire. I also recognize many Christians who want to appreciate Jewish heritage without becoming Jews or joining a Jewish community. I am thankful for them. I spend a great deal of time with pro-Israel Christians (criticize me for that if you like, or say that I should spend more time with Jews, but I know what I am called to do).

Anyway, I responded to Lamar’s comment and I thought it might be helpful for some readers. He specifically asked if he should join a church in keeping Christmas, Easter, All Saint’s, and Ash Wednesday. Here are my thoughts:
…………………………………

Lamar:

I don’t know enough about your situation to give you a firm answer about what you should do. If you love the Jewish people and love being in the Jewish community, then I think you should pursue it.

If you have fallen in love with Biblical customs, and not necessarily the Jewish people, then I think you need to understand them properly. If they are signs between Israel and God, then I think you should appreciate them without taking them improperly on yourself. Many Christians love biblical and Jewish customs without pretending to be Jews themselves.

If you do not have a strong calling to worship alongside Israel or join with Israel, then find a great church. In my opinion a great church will be small, community-oriented, serious about Bible study, serious about worship and prayer, and pro-Israel.

At Christmas you can enjoy sermons and songs about Messiah’s birth without caving in to pagan practices. At Resurrection time, you can celebrate the resurrection without fertility symbols. At All Saint’s day you can read church history and remember great leaders God has raised up. On Ash Wednesday you can begin reading the gospels and spiritually preparing for Resurrection.

There is nothing inherently wrong with non-Jews forming times and seasons as traditions. Make the best of them. If I were to return to Christianity, I think I would know far better now how to find depth, meaning, and passion there.

Derek

About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
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67 Responses to What are Non-Jews to Do?

  1. elisheva says:

    You know it really bothers me Derek how much time you spend on showing non jews what there role is in MJ.
    It seems to me if you wanted it to be a jewish movement you would spend more time on showing Jewish beleivers what there role is suppose to be.
    Maybe you could ubderstand my position from where Iam coming from if you were jewish.

  2. Elisheva:

    First, give me a chance. I feature varying topics on this blog. How long have you been reading? I’m focusing on non-Jews for a few weeks. Bear with me.

    Second, can you suggest some topics you’d like to see addressed?

    Third, if non-Jews have created some problems in MJ, and I think we have, then I am helping Jews by addressing them. Think about it. If you don’t agree, then tell me how I am wrong.

    Derek

  3. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Derek:

    I understand Elisheva’s angst but believe the obligation is with other people besides yourself.

    I spend a great deal of time with pro-Israel Christians<<<

    Thank G-d for them. We will never know how many Jewish lives they have saved.

  4. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Elisheva

    I wonder if you Gene and some of the others might want to start an e mail Jewish support network. That might help us without interfering in what these folks want to discuss.

    Just a thought.

  5. elisheva says:

    Simple Jew:

    Starting a jewish support network would be a great idea.

    Derek:

    How are you helping Jews? You sound like you make it Ok for gentiles to be wannabe jews, and that is so wrong in my book.
    Gentiles will never be jews ,they can dress like them and act like them and learn everything there is to know about them and they still will never be jews.
    Even the RC doesnt really stress the important role of the jew is MJ either. Why because it is not a jewish movement, its gentiles that want to be jews!!!

  6. Elisheva:

    You said I want to help Gentiles be wannabe Jews. You also said Gentiles will never be Jews.

    Are you serious?

    Ask your rabbi if Gentiles ever become Jews. Ask about famous converts in history.

    As far as me making it easy for wannabe Jews, have you really been reading this blog? Sorry if I’m not unkind enough to non-Jews for your taste. I do, however, believe I have been making a sharp distinction.

    Rethink your comment and come back with some sense.

    Derek

  7. elisheva says:

    Derek:

    Iam not talking about the famous converts in history.
    Iam talking about the gentiles in the MJ movement that pick and choose what they want to do when it comes to jewish identity. These people have no right to claim jewish identity.
    You cant tell me that this is whats mostly going on in the MJ movement with gentiles.
    Iam not asking you to be unkind to nonjews. You have made a sharp distinction on your blog, but do you put it in practice , since you are a rabbi at your congreagation do you make a sharp distinction there?

  8. Elisheva:

    I feel a little embarrassed about getting defensive in a public forum. But since you asked me a personal question and implied I am contributing to a problem in MJ, I will respond.

    I am in the process of conversion. I have stated this many times on the blog. I am not currently a rabbi. My conversion process must be completed before I am ordained.

    Also, I am trying to stem the tide of the problem in MJ. I am not trying to contribute to it. Do I seem like the kind of leader who is encouraging a lack of distinction? You said yourself that you have not been to my synagogue. So how can you judge?

    BTW, since you got personal, are you halakhically Jewish? How so?

    Derek

  9. elisheva says:

    Derek:

    I havent implied you are contributing to the problem in MJ, I was merely asking since I havent been to your congregation, do you make a distinction with the jews and the gentiles there?
    Iam glad you are trying to stem the tide of the problem in MJ but you alone cant possibly accomplish this.

    I dont know what kind of leader you are, I have never seen you in action. I only can read what you say you do!!!

    I dont mean to get you on the defensive, Iam just tired of being the minority as a jew in the MJ movement. Its is not suppose to be that way. That is exactly why if a jewish believer decided to join a MJ congregation they would be blown away with what they would see when they walked in the door.

  10. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Elisheva

    Iam just tired of being the minority as a jew in the MJ movement. Its is not suppose to be that way. That is exactly why if a jewish believer decided to join a MJ congregation they would be blown away with what they would see when they walked in the door<<<<

    I really believe Derek when he says he is trying to do something. I think it fair to point out that this is not of his doing. The previous generation of which many of the RC are a part created this problem as a deliberate part of their policy. I watched it happen and am a bit peeved when I see the history of this being rewritten. Your beef should be proclaimed loudly to the people responsible. But it isnt here.

    I think Derek has a conscience and he isnt one of those people who will be fooled forever. At least he allows us to air these concerns openly. \

    Try posting something innocuous like what you have said (or the endless discussions I have had) on say, the Tikkun website. You wont be able to because they censor it.

    How about the RC website response area to help wayward Jews find the right path? Oooops. There isnt one.

    Be well. Look forward to hearing from you.

  11. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Derek… I think that all this questioning and agitation from the Jewish folk is good for you – if you still come away in love with these people you seek to attach yourself to, that you’d be good shape!

    I for myself understand the frustrations of elisheva and Simple Jew – they look at MJ and they see a mostly Gentile populated movement. If it wasn’t for the rabbi, some cogregations would have next to nothing. A lot of these Gentiles (not all of course!) do want to become and wish they were Jews. Derek, how many Jews do you have in your congregation? I remember reading somewhere your comments that you can get a Minyan if you counted the Jewish women.

    That said, I agree with you, Derek, that we should give MJ more time. It is constantly evolving and I am seeing a new generation slowly take the place of the old guard. Instead of wining about it, we should do something about Jews participating more in MJ. I think that every Messianic Congregation should start with a solid core of Jewish believers. Gentiles will come, get the Jewish core in place first – even if we must be unapologetically non-PC regarding this issue. Building up Jewish believers self-identity has nothing to do with building a dividing wall (as goes the mantra that we so often hear). We have to pick what we’d rather be accused of – Judaizing or building a diving wall. I don’t remember anyone in the NT being accused of the latter. Gentiles who truly love the Jewish people will understand and be supportive. They will worship side-by-side with us and rejoice that G-d has restored His People.

    So, in closing – don’t give up on MJ if you are a Jew. Give it time, but also be proactive. Things are changing before our very eyes. One MJ rabbi friend once told me – he sees Gentiles come and go out of the MJ and his congregations, but the Jews stay.

    Gene

  12. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Gene:

    Derek… I think that all this questioning and agitation from the Jewish folk is good for you – if you still come away in love with these people you seek to attach yourself to, that you’d be good shape!<<<

    Absolutely.

    I for myself understand the frustrations of elisheva and Simple Jew <<<

    Hope to hear from you offline.

  13. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Gene:

    Instead of wining about it, we should do something about Jews participating more in MJ<<<

    I am all in favor of action. What do you propose we do?

  14. "A Simple Jew" says:

    It is constantly evolving and I am seeing a new generation slowly take the place of the old guard…..Things are changing before our very eyes. One MJ rabbi friend once told me – he sees Gentiles come and go out of the MJ and his congregations, but the Jews stay<<<<

    I dont know whether I live in a bubble but this is not happening anywhere near me. What is happening here is that the few Jews who remain in the local MJ congregation are totally indimidated by the “leadership” which they are taught is under an “apostolic stream” which is telling them that they must learn to live Judaism with a “NC expression” and avoid being “seeker friendly” at all costs. This means that any serious attempt at Jewish spirituatlity is to be snuffed out.

    As for starting a new congregation, the second in charge attempted to leave and start something a bit less crazy. He was told he was “out of order” needed to be “in submission” to the head of the other congregation and has been told he needs “covering” from “apostolic leadership” in order to be supported by any of the organizations which control people and funding within MJ. Needless to say he too has been discouraged from anything Jewish.

    In our area, if you want to live as a Jew, you leave MJ and live with Jewish people. The non Jews are staying behind along with Jews who dont care about being Jewish and are happy as clams.

  15. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Menachem…

    As I was saying before, get a group of like-minded Jewish believers together, build a core Jewish group first. Don’t start trying to build a congregation all at once – start with a fellowship first (less pressure and visibility). Don’t actively promote the fellowship to the Gentile believers (believe me, they will find out about your existence before you know it without that), but do tell your Gentile friends to let their Jewish friends (including those in churches – yeh, steal some Jewish sheep!) know about you. Explain to Gentile friends unapologetically about the mission that’s before you – most will appreciate you sharing this with them (instead of totally excluding them) and will understand that you are trying to build up the believing Jewish community. Those who reject you – oh well.

    After the core is built up and there are rules in place of what is and isn’t acceptable, then with G-d leading and with a like-minded rabbi or (most likely) a leader in place, start the MJ congregation. Encourage gentile believers to understand their mission in MJ, actively discourage those coming from weird backgrounds (like Two-House folk) to promote their version of MJ to other gentiles in the congregation. Do encourage gentile believers to share with unbelieving Jews the Good News, but discourage those “playing Jewish” by explaining to them that it is offensive to Jews. Always explain the vision (not visions!) – to share Maschiach’s salvation with as many Jews as possible.

    It sounds simple, but of course, it’s not. But that’s what I mean by being proactive. That’s the direction that I am personally headed in.

    Gene

    P.S. Simple Jew – I sent you an e-mail.

  16. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Simple Jew…

    If, and only if, the Jews in the MJ congregation are intimidated into submission by the leadership (that’s wickedness) and if that leadership teaches wacky theologies (strike two), the people should pack and start their own fellowship. I wouldn’t remain there for a second if I heard from any leader that I need some “covering” from “apostolic leadership” (that sounds so cultic – they think they are apostles??? G-d help them when they see Him) before I can start another Jewish work if G-d so called me and I wasn’t leaving only because I didn’t like them judging me for some kinds of REAL sin.

    Gene

  17. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Gene:

    If, and only if, the Jews in the MJ congregation are intimidated into submission by the leadership (that’s wickedness) and if that leadership teaches wacky theologies (strike two), the people should pack and start their own fellowship. I wouldn’t remain there for a second if I heard from any leader that I need some “covering” from “apostolic leadership” (that sounds so cultic – they think they are apostles??? G-d help them when they see Him) before I can start another Jewish work if G-d so called me and I wasn’t leaving only because I didn’t like them judging me for some kinds of REAL sin.<<<

    Go to the Tikkun website links that I have posted and see what you think. This is all a matter of public record. It amazes me when people are surprised about this. This was for a very long time the party line in the UMJC and it still represents a significant portion of that organization.

  18. Gene Shlomovich says:

    A Simple Jew

    Oy vey, then! Talk about elevating oneself to new posts and granting oneself new powers! Simple Jew, that’s what I meant when I referred to the weirdness that the Charismatic movement that has permeated the MJ. Of course, a little exploration into Reverend’s Juster’s church background explains quite a bit.

    But, not all MJ congregations follow Tikkun’s and Dan Juster’s example. It may be more common with UMJC affiliated congregations (since the good Reverend was the first president of UMJC). I would not be a part of such congregation.

    Gene

  19. Traditonal Jew says:

    Derek,

    I’ve read some of the comments from the blog. All I can say is that Jewish born people in the movement are somewhat left out and there doesn’t seem to be any direction from the top.

    How do i know? I attended the conference in Lincolnshire. It seems to me that the movement is a direct offspring from the Jews for Jesus movement of the late 60’s early 70’s.

    I don’t mean this as a dig of you. Your passion is pure. I just don’t see the movement going anywhere.

    Thinking of going back to a regular synagogue. Ordered a tallit online.

    Baruch Hashem.

    Thoughts?

  20. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Traditional Jew….

    Will you be a secret believer in the regular synagogue or will you be open about your faith and what’s most dear to you with others in the congregation as you fellowship with them and share your life with them? If you do share your faith in the Messiah with others in the synagogue, what will happen should others find out, complain about it to the rabbi and you are asked to leave? Where will you go next? We can only be accepted with open arms if we keep our mouths shut about Yeshua – I don’t think that Reb. Shaul or Simon (Peter) would be OK with that arrangement, do you? They sure didn’t keep quiet just to enjoy the traditional service, and we know what usually followed.

    Going back to the regular synagogue may be fine for some (if that’s where G-d calls you to be), but it’s not a long term solution for Jewish believers in general. I would like to raise my children not just in the tradition of the fathers, but ALSO surrounded by those who share my faith in Yeshua. I myself intend to keep working on that goal, proactively, for me and my family, and for other Jews as well.

    Gene

  21. Nathan says:

    It has been really wonderful to hear everyone’s thoughts and experiences. Forgive me Simple Jew for perhaps not fully trying to understand the heart of your arguments. I did not mean to be harsh. Gene I think you have the right idea. To be completely honest, G-d has blessed my wife and I with contact with congregations which we love, which encourage and challenge us to be better Jews. The leader’s I’ve met are people that I respect and look up to. If I were to ‘follow’ one, it’d be them. However the reason for that is that they would never ask.
    So I guess I’ve been sheltered. But perhaps it is good. Take it as a witness that what we are seeking is starting to happening in MJ. Maybe not in your circles or area. Maybe not on the web-sites of various councils. But in practice, in thought and in intention, I see it pushing through as the future.
    One thing is for certain. Nothing will change while the theology is so muddled. Simple Jew and Elisheva, you are right. We do need to focus on Jews and how we should live. But if you were a gentile in a MJ congregation you’d be saying the same thing about gentiles.

    What is my role? Who am I here? perhaps your spouse is jewish. Questions would arise like— Do I have to convert? Can I convert? What does that mean? How do I fit in here? What is my relationship to the Jews? Is this a Jewish movement? Don’t I just belong in a church? Am I supposed to keep Torah? What are my kids? – These questions need to be answered too.

    As a Messianic Jewish people, we have an obligation to the gentiles which is quite different in nature then any other Jewish Synagogue. The most fundamental difference in our practice is our intimate relationship to the Gentiles and this we cannot ignore. This cannot be experienced as a reality in a mainstream synagogue.

    And I’d argue that as we answer one we begin to answer the other. So next time let’s focus on the Jews. We’ll have some gentiles asking about themselves and it’s OK.

    Love in Messiah
    Nathan

  22. A Fellow Seeker says:

    Derek…
    Thank you for your reply… I am sorry that I posed sooo many questions… but I truly have those and many more.

    Maybe it would be best if I just emailed you instead. I have/had no intention of causing or stirring up trouble. I only seek the L-rd’s will in what I should do.

    Perhaps we will be able to talk this Shabbat.

    Elisheva, Simple Jew…
    It seems that I have greatly offended you both. I sincerely apologize.

    Shalom,
    Lamar

  23. Nathan says:

    Simple Jew and Gene, I have responded to some of your comments to me under “Responding to Dan.” I got a bit angry, so forgive me ahead of time for that. Know that it is not directed toward you, but just passion for us. Thanks,
    Nathan

  24. Gene Shlomovich says:

    No offense taken, Nathan. You have made many good points that I happen to agree with, and I can see your passion – that’s great!! I will comment a bit later.

    Shalom,

    Gene

  25. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Gene:

    But, not all MJ congregations follow Tikkun’s and Dan Juster’s example. It may be more common with UMJC affiliated congregations (since the good Reverend was the first president of UMJC). I would not be a part of such congregation.<<<<

    I posted this link before under “Torah and Traditions.. part1”.

    http://www.voiceofthelamb.org/luke/?p=102

    I’d appreciate it if you and others would look at what Dan Juster has said and what it’s impact has been. I am referencing the quote from “Growing to Maturity” that begins with:

    “The super-Jewish Jew is totally caught up in the fact that he is a Jew” etc

    This is a good example of what I call “Neo supercssionism”. A Jewish member of a MJ congregation who shows appropriate concern for the proper handling of Jewish beliefs, sacred objects and liturgy is carricatured and marginalized. Please read the quote in full and ask yourself how that quote would be read if it were written by someone who was known not to be Jewish. I think we would all agree that such a comment would be considered anti-Semitic and beyond the pale in much of the modern religious world. Please respond to this point.

    This book and its philosophy is widely distributed and used on MJ’s at entry level into the movement. Given that he is considered in an apostle in the congregations “in submission to him” one can see that this view of Jews and Judaism has quite an impact on a very vulnerable population. I disagree with you that Dans influence is limited. He is possibly the single most listened to person in the congregational movement. As you point out the UMJC ( which Derek wants us to look to for the future) and is still a major voice there and at the MJTI.

    Furthermore as can be seen from the quote he represents MJ and the Jewish people to much of the Christian world . At this time he is reported to be engaged in ongoing “dialogue” with high ranking members of the Catholic church.

    One can legitimately ask, without commiting Lashan Hara, if this man’s philosophy is not anti Jewish. And whether he himself is a Jew. If he is not a Jew then he is falsely using a Jewish identity to advance an anti Jewish agenda. And this with the toleration if not the blessing of his colleagues in MJ leadership at UMJC. This includes the members of the RC: Attn: Derek, Nathan and others.

    Its not a trivial issue. It’s a serious issue.

  26. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Lamar:

    You have not offended me. Could you find something I said to indicate that I was offended with you? If so I would like to retract it.

    Be Well.

  27. "A Simple Jew" says:

    Nathan:

    It has been really wonderful to hear everyone’s thoughts and experiences. Forgive me Simple Jew for perhaps not fully trying to understand the heart of your arguments. I did not mean to be harsh.<<<

    I dont take offense easily. I just want to see the specific points I raised addressed. Disagreement I can handle.

    One thing is for certain. Nothing will change while the theology is so muddled. Simple Jew and Elisheva, you are right. We do need to focus on Jews and how we should live. But if you were a gentile in a MJ congregation you’d be saying the same thing about gentiles.

    As a Messianic Jewish people, we have an obligation to the gentiles which is quite different in nature then any other Jewish Synagogue.<<<<<<

    I agree with this. Have I made that clear? If not how can I make it clearer?

    The most fundamental difference in our practice is our intimate relationship to the Gentiles and this we cannot ignore. <<<<<

    I am not sure that it is the most fundamental difference but it is a reality that needs recognition.

    This cannot be experienced as a reality in a mainstream synagogue.<<<<

    I question this statement. I maintain that it is better experienced from the mainstream synagogue than from MJ as it is currently constituted.

    And I’d argue that as we answer one we begin to answer the other. <<<<<

    I would argue that we need to get Jewish identity straight before we can start to relate to others. That is a basic principle of human relationships. Certainly this needs to be an ongoing process and relationships with “the other” are necessary to growth. However could you imagine entering into a marriage in which one party said to the other: “I know that I am quite immature and my identity is quite unstable. However lets work on your issues first and I’ll catch up later”. I would suspect that the party on the receiving end of that would not react well to this suggestion.

    Something to think about.

  28. Shalom,

    I’ve got to say this has been a lively discussion.

    The Charismatic influence with people claiming to be Apostles is very disturbing. That it has affected MJ is more disturbing. In the 2 largest MJ “Synagogues” where we live, both follow a Charismatic leaning.

    I was shocked to find some Jews seeking a more charismatic experience in MJ synagogues.

    What are your thoughts, is Charismatic practices such as seen in Pentecostal denominations in anyway compatible with a truly Jewish expression of MJ?

    By the way, the new UCMJS Blog is just getting started. We will be discussing halacha and the Gentiles place in a MJ synagogue. Feel free to join in. Link from http://www.ucmjs.com or http://ucmjs.blogspot.com/

    Blessings

  29. Hmmm says:

    UCMJS:

    Ehh… What are you doing? Are we going to have Orthodox Messianic Judaism, Conservative Messianic Judaism and (G-d forbid!) Reform Messianic “Judaism” now?

    I taught Messianic Judaism is just that: a Messianic form of Judaism.

    Why not join a body that already exist, such as the MJRC, and participate there? Then you can influence them from within.

    G-d forbid that we should have several Messianic Judaism’s, competing with each other, each with it’s own halakha different from the next, each with it’s own rabbis and conversion methods that they can’t mutually acknowledge.

    What’s going on?

  30. Hmmm says:

    How do we define “truly” Jewish?

    Is clapping your hands, expressing joy, dancing, jumping up and down and truly being “charismatic” in worship Jewish? The mitnagdim would say no, the chassidim would say yes. The Brit Chadesha seem to say that it is very Jewish to speak in tounges, believe in miracles and have a personal, deep and joyful relationship with G-d. Also, being an outgoing “missionary” to your own community AND the Gentiles is very Jewish, according to the Chabadniks and the early Messianic Jewish community alike. (The early Messianic Jews were persecuted and even murdered for their zeal for Yeshua. No politically correct compromise.)

    I’m born of a Jewish mother to a Jewish father. Raised in a observant Conservative community. Turned to Yeshua, and through Him my Judaism was completed. Moshiach has come!

    I’m so confident in my own Jewish identity, that I don’t feel a need to have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that reminds me of Christianity, whether we are talking about sola scripture, sola fide or charismatic worship. I honestly see these things in my Jewish Bible, and I’m thankful to know that the Gentile wing of the Body have discovered and guarded these truths.

    I am charismatic. I believe that G-d still moves within the Body of Messiah, both in Messianic Jewish synagogues and in Christian churches, with His holy Spirit.

    But I also believe in Jewish Torah observance, and I long for a Torah observant Messianic Judaism that will be truly Jewish, self confident (no Christianity-bashing please) and authentic. It would be nice to go to shul and daven from a real siddur. It would be cool if those sweet, well meaning sisters would stop making fun of me for walking in the rain on Shabbos, simply because I believe driving is forbidden.

  31. A Fellow Seeker says:

    Simple Jew…
    About my offence: You said earlier that you “understand Elisheva’s angst.” And that you didn’t want to interfere “in what these folks want to discuss.”

    I am simply seeking some answers… not unlike most of you. But I seem to have stepped in where I am unwanted. I never intended to draw attention away from G-d’s chosen people. On the contrary, I seek Jewish wisdom on these matters. The very first gentile-believers in Yeshua seemed to seek Jewish answers as well… which was why I came to this blog. If I can’t find these answers (be they Jewish or Gentile) here… where can I go to find them?

    Please… everyone… understand that I have only known about MJ for maybe a year and a half. I guess that I just assumed that the majority in MJ were actually Jewish… I should’ve done more research, it seems. I deeply want that for you… your people. You are G-d’s own heart. And that is why I am here. I say, “BLESS ISRAEL!!!”

    I only seek to follow in the Way. Whatever the L-rd’s plan for me…

    Shalom,
    Lamar

  32. A Simple Jew says:

    Lamar:

    Thank you for replying. I apologize for giving you this impression from what I wrote. Here is what I meant:

    You dont offend me. I truly believe that this blog is for people like yourself. Derek has said so and this is his shop. The rest of us are guests here.

    I personally think that there should be another venue where people like myself and Elisheva can discuss these issues with the “RC” and other “authorities” as well as amongst ourselves . Unfortunately at this time there isnt such a place. Derek has grsciously allowed us to use the blog. I actually am a bit sheepish about abusing his hospitality.

    Be Well.

  33. Chayamindle says:

    Menachem/

    With your perceptions and analogies you are certainly so much more than merely a “Simple” Jew.–

    In one of your comments awhile back on either Stuart’s or Sean’s blog, did you not mention that you are a practicing psychiatrist?

    Please keep sharing your insights!

  34. A Simple Jew says:

    Hmmm.

    Hmmm.

    Is clapping your hands, expressing joy, dancing, jumping up and down and truly being “charismatic” in worship Jewish? The mitnagdim would say no, the chassidim would say yes.<<<

    Good points. Can we discuss them seriously?
    I think some Mitnagim are growing a bit more flexible. I note that YU is taking a more positive spin on Chassidus. However I think your point is well taken. My answer to you would be if the clapping of hands expressing joy dancing and jumping is within a Jewish context it is Jewish. Waving banners, screaming and yelling, “praise and worship” songs by Paul Wilbur etc are not Jewish forms of worship.

    The Brit Chadesha seem to say that it is very Jewish to speak in tounges, believe in miracles and have a personal, deep and joyful relationship with G-d. Also, being an outgoing “missionary” to your own community AND the Gentiles is very Jewish, according to the Chabadniks and the early Messianic Jewish community alike. (The early Messianic Jews were persecuted and even murdered for their zeal for Yeshua. No politically correct compromise.<<<<

    I think you are setting up what some would call a “dichotomy that is not justified? With the exception of “speaking in tongues” you would also be correct that the more Chassidic side of Judaism historically tended to believe in miracles occuring more frequently than the rest of the Jewish community does and also I think the Baal Shem Tov clearly emphasized the personal and joyful side of Judaism. WHATS YOUR POINT??

    I’m so confident in my own Jewish identity, that I don’t feel a need to have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that reminds me of Christianity, whether we are talking about sola scripture, sola fide or charismatic worship.<<<<

    Me neither. These things are ok with me. In their place.

    I honestly see these things in my Jewish Bible, and I’m thankful to know that the Gentile wing of the Body have discovered and guarded these truths.

    I am charismatic. I believe that G-d still moves within the Body of Messiah, both in Messianic Jewish synagogues and in Christian churches, with His holy Spirit.<<<<

    No reason to apologize for this either. Again what are you trying to say here? How should this influence our practice as Jews???

    But I also believe in Jewish Torah observance, and I long for a Torah observant Messianic Judaism that will be truly Jewish, self confident (no Christianity-bashing please) and authentic. It would be nice to go to shul and daven from a real siddur. It would be cool if those sweet, well meaning sisters would stop making fun of me for walking in the rain on Shabbos, simply because I believe driving is forbidden.<<<<

    Ahh. Here I find total agreement with you. And this may be why a new “denomination” is needed. Are you aware that with the exception of the RC the current crop of leaders would discourage you from davening from a real siddur in their communities? If you have come late to the discussion, please reference my links to Dan Juster at the Tikkun site on this issue. He would regard your praying from a real Siddur as being “seeker friendly” What does that mean to you and what do you think about that?

  35. A Simple Jew says:

    Hmmm

    But I also believe in Jewish Torah observance, and I long for a Torah observant Messianic Judaism that will be truly Jewish, self confident (no Christianity-bashing please) and authentic. It would be nice to go to shul and daven from a real siddur<<<<

    You mean like the Charismatic Catholics do within the context of THEIR tradition? How come its ok for them and not for MJ???

    Please address this.

  36. A Simple Jew says:

    Hmmm

    (no Christianity-bashing please) and authentic.<<<<

    For the record: I love and respect the authentic Christian tradition. I personally would prefer this tradition and respect it as a choice for Jews caught in a double bind over the ersatz Judaism of MJ “rabbis” and the syncretistic liturgy that Dan Juster espouses as mandatory for Jews. I make no apologies that I find that liturgy boring banal narcissitic and juvenile.

    And I think it offensive that he characterizes attempting to honor and respect the boundries of Jewish spirituality as “seeker friendly”. And this has nothing to do with Charasimatica.

  37. A Simple Jew says:

    Chayamindle:

    With your perceptions and analogies you are certainly so much more than merely a “Simple” Jew.<<<

    Thank you for the kind remarks. Cleverness and secular education in Judaism while valued do not make one considered wise however. I chose this handle simply to emphasize that I am not learned and am not a rabbi. I suspect that my religious learning would be equivalent to that of a child in most traditional Jewish homes.

    One of the things I love about the Chassidic movement is that it taught love of all Jews even simple Jews:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eApMbr-hbKIC&pg=PA168&lpg=PA168&dq=%22simple+jew%22&source=web&ots=k-2uWmxr40&sig=A3zdOZNvtxdkpi7UposysvbrKJU

    I discovered this while doing a Google search. I also discovered in this process to my dismay that there is already a blogger out there using this handle. I assure everyone that up until this moment I was unaware of its previous use.

    I therefore will not be using it in the future and am looking for a suitable substitute that conveys the meaning I am looking for. Suggestions welcome.

  38. A Fellow Seeker says:

    Simple Jew…
    Thank you for your reply as well.

    I pray that we both find what we are after.

    Shalom,
    Lamar

  39. Chayamindle says:

    Dr. Menachem/

    Authenticity, wholeness,& “shlama” certainly appear to be not only your profession, but your passion for those of us who are your Yeshua believing Jewish brothers & sisters.

    There’s Whole Foods, so how about Whole Jew or Whole Yid?

    In fact wholejew.com or wholeyid.com would make a great blogging site for you.

    What do you think?

  40. Traditonal Jew says:

    I think I am being called back to my roots which are with the Jewish people. I’m a bit turned off with the whole movement. Would I proselytize to other Jews probably not. Would Derek go into an orthodox synagogue, davin and proselytize I think not?

    TJ

  41. Traditonal Jew says:

    Charismatic churches.

    I went to one a while back. I found the whole thing very distracting. Here there was someone trying to preach and there’s people speaking in tongues at the same time. It sounded Aramaic (not Hebrew) to me. It made it difficult to actually get the message across (a bit like listening to a conversation on a party line or crossed phone connection).

    It wasn’t for me.

    TJ

  42. Gene Shlomovich says:

    >>>>>Your refusal to comment on Ephes. 3:6 is quite glaring. If you honestly, without ethnic pride will search the scriptures and read them consistently you will se, that you cannot escape that believers, ALL believers Jews and Gentiles alike are part of Israel. That is far from saying that Gentiles are now Jews, word that you are trying to put in my mouth.<<<<<>>>>>>>>ALL believers Jews and Gentiles alike are part of Israel.<<<<<<<<<>>>You are neglecting to mention the fact that maybe even more Gentiles are fleeing MJ congregation because the atmosphere of discrimination that prevailes.<<<<<<>>>Please refrain from personal remarks.<<<<

    I didn’t call you names, did I? Just a personal observations on your statements.

    Shalom.

    Gene

  43. I guess I’m going to have an argument with Simple Jew and with Derek. I firmly believe that all Believers in Yeshua — whether Jewish by background or not — are grafted into Israel and thus should keep the commandments. Not that they must keep them to get or maintain salvation, not that I expect those who have not been keeping the commandments to jump right in and keep them as well as people who have been keeping them all or the majority of their lives. But make a start. Grow in faith.

    Teaching Believers (no matter their background) why to keep the Torah and how to get started and learn how better over time is the focus of my ministry. It’s my calling. I was just at a church last night, teaching them about the Day of Atonement (their request), and they were HUNGRY. Hungry for something deeper than traditional Christian theology had in store for them.

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

    Hello Everyone

    Thank you Chayamindle and Shabbat Shalom ( to those allowed by the RC to observe Shabbos) and Shalom Aleichem to everyone else:

    (I sure hope everyone knows this is a joke but on this blog…?)

    “”wholeness,& “shlema”… your passion for those of us who are your Yeshua believing Jewish brothers & sisters<<<

    Chayamindle: You have given me the inspiration for my new “handle”!

    My old “handle” was as I see looking back related to this concept without my intending it to be. I took it because I thought there were already too many “rabbis” in MJ already when perhaps some of us should try harder to be “Simple Jews” first. Unfortunately someone in the blogosphere has a blog by that name and I think he has priority ( IMO unjustly. He is clearly more learned than I) and to avoid confusion I surrender the “handle”.

    Before I bid a tender farewell to “Simple Jew” I commend the following discussions on the importance of the “Simple Jew” to the wholeness of the Jewish people as signified in the “Aravah” as part of the mitzvah of “Lulav and Etrog”. There is much for us to learn here from these descriptions as they relate to the concept of “wholeness”

    http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/chassidic-dimension-festivals-1/21.htm

    http://www.judaism.com/resources/lulav.asp

    Ok. So much for nostalgia. Whats done is done!

    Moving Forward!

    As some of you may know the word Shalom has the concept of shlema/ wholeness as a clear part of its connotation. As a few of you know the word “L’shalem” describes a payment made. Can anyone see how this might relate to the issues being discussed on this blog?

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1192380589931&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    (Brings to my mind the chapter in B’Raishit when Avraham tithed to Melchitzedek, the meaning of Yerushalayim and a host of other concepts) .

    http://www.ohrtorahstone.org.il/parsha/5761/vayigash61.htm

    I didn’t want to sound like a lawyer. However I do think it interesting that the phrase “No Justice No Peace” involves both of “L’Shalem and Shalom”.

    To move from the legal profession to the health profession there is “Shalem B’guf” which implies a healthy body. I like this but didn’t want to sound like a new age practitioner. And there are multiple connotations to the word “body” that are of interest in this thread. This of course is what we are all looking for in this post. The “body” of Moshiach and the body of Israel needs to be healthy. Let’s face it neither is healthy nor whole. On the contrary both are quite dysfunctional) (See Isaiah 1:6)

    I had thought about using “Shalom Rav” but that has connotations of being a rabbi, and as I mentioned before…..

    In any event, I finally hit on “Shalom Bayit” and decided to “test market it”. What do you think?

    It certainly seems appropriate for the challenges and opportunities we are meeting on this board. The connotation here is for peace in the family (which in Jewish law BTW takes precedence over a number of important principles and practices.) I also note that the book of Ephesians and in particular Ephesians 3:6 which has been floated around as a point of dispute are very relevant to this issue. Can you see how this might apply?

    What is true Shalom Bayit and how do we obtain it in the household of Moshiach? For those who want to have a serious discussion on the book of Ephesians I suggest a discussion to talk about how Eph 3:6 in the context of Eph 1:10 relates to the concept of Shalom Bayit and the other connotations of the word “Shalom” including and leading up to the heavenly Jerusalem. Is anyone interested?

    In closing I would like to start off. With a Purim Torah based upon my observations from this blog and elsewhere. Chayamindle mentioned the psychiatric profession and Dan Juster in my quote from “Growing to Maturity” invoked psychodynamic/psychoanalytic explanations for the behavior of Jewish people within MJ.

    http://www.voiceofthelamb.org/luke/?p=102

    Hmm. As long as somoeone mentioned Freued, what about the following?

    MITZVAH ENVY:

    It occurs to me that a bit of “Family Therapy” is in order for this disordered family. I therefore submit to you my thoughts on this topic. Would you like me to continue with my thoughts on this Chayamindle? If so before I proceed I mention the following caveats:
    1) This is entirely intended to be discussion stimulating satire and
    2) In no way implies any professional expertise or recommendations.

    What do you think?

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

    R. Gavriel:

    The Charismatic influence with people claiming to be Apostles is very disturbing.<<<<

    This was the party line in the UMJC and still is a significant faction within it. I am frankly surprised that you and others didnt know about it. Every congregation I have ever visited happened to be share this view. This was to paraphrase Acts 26:26 these things were not done in a corner.

    Question: If this is so disturbing, is it disturbing enough for someone to SAY or DO something? If not why not? I personally believe that this view is extremely harmful to Shalom Bayit. And important for us to discuss in understanding the history of MJ and how Jews have been harmed by it. If Derek and others want to be optimistic about the future I think we need to look at the darker side of the recent past.

  46. Chayamindle says:

    Dr. Menachem/Shalom Bayit/

    (I am most definitely posting this Friday afternoon well before Shabbos even if it registers on the screen as later.)

    Your new “handle” is most fitting. Mazel Tov! Ul a vy, may our mishpochah experience it, speedily and in our day!

    I’m sure we will all greatly benefit from any “Family Therapy”, satirical or otherwise- you would graciously offer–“Mitzvah Envy” et al.

    Unfortunately, I may not be able to contribute to the conversation on a regular basis as I am currently facing very pressing major treatment decisions regarding the big C diagnosis. (But I will try when I am able)

    Your prayers for HaShem’s direction for me to make the best decisions would be deeply appreciated.

    Good Shabbos!

  47. Traditional Jew says:

    Non Denominational churches.

    There are some churches although catering to the gentiles, they actually quote from both old and new testaments. When I went to the conference there was an article about Willow Creek in the local paper.

    According to the article this association for lack of a better term has 5,000 or more affiliates. Does anyone have any experience with this organization?

    TJ

    Open minded but leaning toward the Jewish roots.

  48. GracieRuth says:

    Elveisha:

    Yes, there is a problem with gentiles in MJ. Actually two problems. The first is that many of the gentiles develop problems of identity. The second is that MJ is supposed to be for Jewish believers, supposed to be the haven they need to raise their children Jewish and not assimilate into the gentile churches, but remain part of the Jewish Community. They need to be immersed in Jewish community. This can’t happen if the congregations are mostly gentile.

    However, there are many working to correct this problem, and it certainly appears that Derek is one of them. So… why jump all over the person who agrees with you?

  49. GracieRuth says:

    Dear Rabbi Adam:

    With all respect to your position, I must disagree strongly with you. Being part of the commonwealth of Israel doesn’t make a gentile a Jew anymore than being part of the commonwealth of Britian makes a Canadian a Brit. When we graft a branch onto a root, the branch doesn’t change its species — it grows better having a better root system, and that is all. For example, if I graft a peach branch onto a plum root, it is STILL a peach branch and will bear peaches, although they will be better peaches because the root system of the plum tree is better. Siilarly, Oleastar (wild olive) doesn’t stop being Oleastar when grafted onto an Olive root; though the quality of its fruit is better, it still bears the fruit of an Oleastar tree, and NOT an olive tree.

    The Mosaci covenant is between G-d and Israel. Israel is to be a people set apart. The goal of Christian missions is for all to come to know Yeshua is Messiah. If believers were ALL part of Israel, that would be saying G-d doesn’t want Israel set apart, but rather wants all human beings to be Israel. It just makes no sense.

  50. Dan Benzvi says:

    Graci;

    In Abraham’s houshold there were non-Jews. They were all circumcised as a sign of the covenant (not to become Jews, see Gen. 17). They were not Jews but they were a part of the covenant, Just like every believer is a part of the commonwealth of Israel, they do not become Jews. Circumcision as a litmus test to become Jewish is a later invention of the Rabbis.

    Blessings

    Dan

  51. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Dan… what church, or church denomination (please be VERY specific, no generalities) would you personally recommend that Jewish believers who are currently in Messianic Judaism switch to?

    Thanks,

    Gene

    (P.S. You never answered my previous question about which church you yourself attend…)

  52. Graci, you claim to be disagreeing with me when you state:

    > Being part of the commonwealth of Israel doesn’t make
    > a gentile a Jew anymore than being part of the common
    > wealth of Britian makes a Canadian a Brit.

    Uh, Graci… I never said that. When dealing Biblically “Jew” is to “Israel” what “Californian” is to “USA”.

    You also state (which seems to have no logical connection to your statement that non-Jews are grafted into Israel by faith):

    > The Mosaci covenant is between G-d and Israel.
    > Israel is to be a people set apart. The goal of
    > Christian missions is for all to come to know
    > Yeshua is Messiah. If believers were ALL part
    > of Israel, that would be saying G-d doesn’t want
    > Israel set apart, but rather wants all human
    > beings to be Israel. It just makes no sense.

    No, what makes no sense is your entire post. Yes, God would LOVE if all of humanity were a part of Israel, because He doesn’t want to lose any of us. But He gives us freewill. We choose it or not. To claim you’re part of some “commonwealth of Israel” but not a part of Israel if you’re a non-Jewish Believer has no backing in Scripture. Scripture speaks of God’s people as “Israel.”

    In one verse — ONE — Ephesians 2:12 — there is a reference to a “commonwealth of Israel” in English translations. My HRV is in the boxes of stuff we moved out of our old shul space, so I can’t check the translation from the original Hebrew or Aramaic, but the Greek word there is Politeia, which is Strong’s number 4174, from “polity,” and means: 1. the administration of civil affairs, 2. a ***state*** or commonwealth, 3. citizenship, the rights of a citizen (emphasis added). This word is used in only one other place in Scripture, Acts 22:28, where it simply means “citizenship.”

    What is a polity, which is where this word comes from? A polity is any political organization, even that of a religious denomination. It is simply a pro-Roman/anti-Israel bias that causes a translation of “Politeia” as “commonwealth,” to back up the position you’ve taken. If simply rendered as “state” or “country,” which, I believe, would all be accurate translations, there would be no (or at least far less) room for the position you’ve taken.

    Paul here uses “state” rather than “nation” because “nation” in Hebrew is the same as “people,” meaning those with a physical relation, which was rendered into Greek as “ethnos.” You’ve been included in Israel not by your ancestry, but by election, the election of God, made possible through Messiah’s sacrifice. It’s a political solution, and therefore a political word is used.

  53. Dan Benzvi says:

    Gene;

    I attend a Messianic Torah community congregation which teaches what people call One Law.

    Blessings

    Dan

  54. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Thanks, Dan… for answering my question.

    You seemed so much against the Jewish-focused MJ in your posts, that I actually thought you attended a church.

    Shalom…

    Gene

    P.S.:

    (Acts 15:23-29)
    “The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

    To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

    Greetings.

    24. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment— 25. it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26. men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29. that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

    Farewell.”

  55. Dan Benzvi says:

    OK, Gene, what is you point in reciting Acts 15?

    Blessings

    Dan

  56. Gene Shlomovich says:

    “OK, Gene, what is you point in reciting Acts 15?”

    Simple… by insisting that it’s OK for Gentiles take on something (specifically, keeping the law of Moses) you are promoting the opposite of what the elders in Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit Himself declared. The elders didn’t play with words by saying, “it’s OK as long as it’s not for salvation” – theirs was a clear statement of what was required by G-d for the Gentiles.

    First thing that it tells me, is that your One-Law position is plain wrong. If the apostles considered Jews and Gentiles’ relationship to the Mosaic Law the same, they would not have sent that message to the Gentiles. Can you imagine the same message being sent to the Jewish believers in the Diaspora? If you can’t, I suppose that your whole “Mosaic Law the same for Jew and Gentile” argument falls apart.

    For a Jewish person, many other thgings bother me about the One-Law movement. Among them, appropriation of the Jewish identity.

    Do you think that scull caps were a Biblical commandment? No, they are a more recent Jewish custom, and a visible marker for Jews according to our Jewish tradition? Why do One-Law people insist on wearing them – to follow the Torah or to look and feel more Jewish? Why do the many of the One-Law Gentiles adopt Hebrew names? Or utilize Jewish liturgical directions? If they want to simply follow the Mosaic Law and they think they will honor G-d that way, why do they have to dress up as Jews, wear Jewish identification markers, take on Jewish traditions developed outside the Torah?

    By broadening the definition of Israel to also include All of the Gentiles (which the scripture never do), this becomes simply another twist on the replacement theology. It’s really not that much different from the supersessionism – the “New Israel” is now composed of tiny Jewish minority and a great majority represented by the Gentiles – the only variation is the taking on the Torah and adopting Jewish customs by the latter. The Jewish believers who are against this unscriptural theology that robs the Jews of their inheritance and identity are characterized by this new majority as intolerant of the Gentiles and even supremacist.

    In this “New Israel”, if all of the ethnic Jews, the flesh and blood children of Jacob, were gone and out of the picture, the “New Israel” itself would still stand – now populated by One-Law Gentiles (or as they call themselves, the “spiritual children of Jacob”).

    Shalom,

    Gene

  57. > Do you think that scull caps were a Biblical commandment?
    > No, they are a more recent Jewish custom

    Eh… that’s a matter of opinion. Maybe not skullcaps per se, but on head-coverings in general, I’ve read several articles that make a good case for head-coverings being a Biblical commandment, or at least Biblically-endorsed.

    > Why do One-Law people insist on wearing them – to follow
    > the Torah or to look and feel more Jewish? Why do the
    > many of the One-Law Gentiles adopt Hebrew names? Or
    > utilize Jewish liturgical directions? If they want to
    > simply follow the Mosaic Law and they think they will
    > honor G-d that way, why do they have to dress up as
    > Jews, wear Jewish identification markers, take on Jewish
    > traditions developed outside the Torah?

    Now, on this, I agree. There is something unhealthy in thinking these things are Torah. I made a specific point — a whole chapter, in fact — in my book about this. Here’s a HEAVILY condensed version:

    “Someone who joined my congregation awhile back told me she was reluctant to become Torah Observant, especially keeping the dietary commandments, because, she said, she’d tried a lot of Jewish food and while some of it was okay, she really didn’t like Gefilte fish, chopped liver, and most other typical Jewish dishes in general. I couldn’t control myself; I laughed out loud. I then quickly assured her that I wasn’t laughing at her, and that what she’d experienced was not only even close to all of the styles of Jewish cuisine – only the Eastern European bit of it. But there are Torah Observers in every culture and they use many of the same recipes as others of their ethnicity who don’t keep the dietary commandments, simply adapting the ingredients and preparation to the Commandments when necessary.

    “In his book, “The Mystery of the Gospel,” author D. Thomas Lancaster shows that the reason Paul taught against circumcision by new Believers from among the nations was because they did it in ignorance. They did it merely because they were being told they had to do it to get saved, and not because they’d earnestly searched the Scriptures and come to the conclusion that that this is what God desires of His People. They did it for the wrong reasons, and it put up a stumbling block to their salvation.

    “But another problem with the traditions is, when non-Jews keep traditions around us, sometimes it seems like they’re doing it in a phony manner to get in good with us and, maybe, God.

    “Should you embrace more Jewish tradition? Maybe. But don’t make two big mistakes: The first is, don’t confuse a particular branch of Ashkenazi Judaism for all of Judaism. We have traditions from all over the world. Many of them may even fit in with your own background! And the second one is, don’t forsake your own traditions, as long as they do not violate Torah. After all, as I told my congregation, if you all become no different than my family, who is going to bring cheese borag (an Armenian dish) for Oneg? Who is going to invite me over for chicken mole (a Mexican dish)? Those were NOT hints. They were EXAMPLES. They were examples of the wonderful tapestry of tradition that has been woven in each of your upbringings. You bring the borag, you bring the mole, we’ll bring the chicken soup. Okay, Mom will bring the chicken soup, I’ll bring the chili.”

  58. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Adam…

    You said: “Eh… that’s a matter of opinion. Maybe not skullcaps per se, but on head-coverings in general, I’ve read several articles that make a good case for head-coverings being a Biblical commandment, or at least Biblically-endorsed.”

    My main point is was the skullcap is a mark of Jewish self-identification. Whether it’s Biblically ordained (or at least so ordained for Gentile believers), it’s doubtful:

    “A man should not cover his head. He is God’s image and glory.”
    (1 Corinthians 11:7)

    In responding to my comments that One-Law Gentiles basically try to take on Jewish identity, from clothes and customs, to liturgy and utilization of Hebrew, you said:

    “Now, on this, I agree. There is something unhealthy in thinking these things are Torah.”

    If gentiles want to follow all of the Torah commandments given to Israel, thinking it applies to them also, I am in no position to stop them. If they refuse to heed the standards set for Gentile believers by the Jerusalem elders and by the Holy Spirit, and willfully ignore admonitions of Reb. Shaul, they can do this also, I will not be their judge (but I will warn them, as a brother, that this is not G-d’s plan for the Gentiles). However, when they start impersonating my people and start calling themselves Israel, as a Jew, I feel take a stand to defend my heritage and inheritance. I have a far greater respect for a Gentile believer in a church who perhaps misunderstands but still loves the Jewish people, than for a Gentile believer in a One-Law or other kind of MJ congregation who is in love not with my people, but with Jewish customs and the Law of Moses and think he’s now Israel.

    You said: ““In his book, “The Mystery of the Gospel,” author D. Thomas Lancaster shows that the reason Paul taught against circumcision by new Believers from among the nations was because they did it in ignorance. They did it merely because they were being told they had to do it to get saved, and not because they’d earnestly searched the Scriptures and come to the conclusion that that this is what God desires of His People. They did it for the wrong reasons, and it put up a stumbling block to their salvation.”

    Adam, let’s see if I understand you correctly. Are you implying, that Paul/Shaul would be OK with Gentiles today to be circumcised as long as they didn’t do it for salvation but to keep the Torah of Moses the way Jews are required to do? Got any scripture that would show that Paul (or anyone else) taught that?

    Shalom…

    Gene

  59. Dan Benzvi says:

    Gene;

    Acts 15; You of course ellected to omit verse 21, but what the heck… “lay on you no greater burden than these necessary things…” Is the Torah a burden? would Peter quote from the Torah throughout Acts 2 if it was a burden? No cigar here my friend.

    Are you telling me that the Gentiles within the MJ congregations don’t wear “scull caps? (ooo like this term, the Pope wear one) Are you to tell us that Gentiles within the UMJC don’t have Hebrew names? Where have you been my friend? why are you signaling only the One Law People? No cigar here either.

    The rest of your post is just laughable since Messianic Judaism is comprised of 85% Gentiles. Give me a break.

    Blessings

    Dan

  60. Dan Benzvi says:

    Gene;

    Paul circumcised Timothy, did he not?

    Blessings

    Dan

  61. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Dan… you said:

    “Acts 15; You of course ellected to omit verse 21, but what the heck… “lay on you no greater burden than these necessary things…” Is the Torah a burden? would Peter quote from the Torah throughout Acts 2 if it was a burden? No cigar here my friend.”

    Dan… you are arguing out of your feeling and emotions, no scripture. No, following Torah is not a burden, but it’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly and it;s it always easy. The point here is not that Torah is a burden or not, but whether Gentiles are obligated to follow it (of course, we know that Jews are obligated to follow it). The elders wrote to them that NOTHING else was required of them, other than the FOUR things mentioned. Dan, how much is NOTHING + NOTHING? Why do you want to have Gentiles follow the Law of Moses the way the Jews do, when it wasn’t required of them to do so to remain fully acceptable to G-d?

    The language is pretty clear, Dan. If the apostles wanted them to do the full Torah observance, they would have written them about it. Instead they mention only four things????!!!!!

    Please, read with me Acts 15:28, carefully this time:

    “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29. that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.”

    There was a limited burden (rather, a weight of responsibility – a yoke, if you will) being laid on Gentiles, since that which was asked of them wasn’t natural for them to obtain from – to obtain from idols, fornications and blood. But this burden, or responsibility laid on them was limited – it was supposed to be “no greater that these necessary things”. The burden that YOU advocate for the Gentiles, is indeed a burden – because it’s wasn’t meant for them. They are free to be themselves and obey that Torah G-d wrote in their hearts (Romans 2:14):

    “14. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15. since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.”

    You said: “Are you telling me that the Gentiles within the MJ congregations don’t wear “scull caps?”

    Many, but not all of them are your One-Law kind and they choose to wear them, so I am not surprised. That said, I am not about to go around ripping people’s caps off. But personally, I am not for this practice for Gentiles as it dilutes Jewish identity, especially if they do it OUTSIDE of the synagogue (in their everyday life) so that people confuse them for Jews.

    You said: “Are you to tell us that Gentiles within the UMJC don’t have Hebrew names?”

    If they believe in One-Law, of course they would. This proves nothing as the One-Law Gentiles (whether Two-House, MIA, FFOZ-types, or other kinds) are very common in MJAA or UMJC congregations.

    You said: “The rest of your post is just laughable since Messianic Judaism is comprised of 85% Gentiles. Give me a break.”

    I am glad you had you good laugh. I also see that from a few weeks ago, your 80% statistics for number of Gentiles in MJ just went up 5% to 85%. (You said: “Most congregation are comprised from 80% Gentiles and 20% Jews”). Hey, at this rate, the Gentiles will be at 100% in a month or so:) You’d love that, of course.

    You said: “Paul circumcised Timothy, did he not?”

    Yes, Timothy had a Jewish mother and lived in Israel (something that most of your co-religionists can’t claim) – what’s your point? Are you saying that Paul contradicted himself in other instances when he admonished Gentiles not to get circumcised?

    One more note: the Gentiles that Paul was dealing with, they WANTED to be under the Law, they thought it was for them, that they would gain G-d pleasure. Paul wrote in Gal 4:21 “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?” These people already had salvation, Paul himself preached it to them. No, they wanted more – they wanted to go under the Law of Moses. They thought that this would be pleasing to G-d, but more so that they could boast in their observance (as many Gentiles in One-Law do today by condemning their fellow Gentiles who are in churches for not doing the same and even Jews in MJs).

    Shalom,

    Gene

  62. Dan Benzvi says:

    Gene;

    You have brought up Acts 15, not I. And now you are telling me how I feel. Nice method of discussion you have.

    1) So, you mean to tell me that since NOTHING else is required from the Gentiles they can continue to murder, steal, dishonor their parents and commit adu?ltry?

    2) Why do I want Gentiles to follow the law of Moses? Because scriptures tell me so. Ex. 12:49; Levit. 18:5; Numb. 15:16; 29; Isaiah 56:4-8;.

    3) Romans 2:14; What you are failing to see is that Paul is not speaking to unbelieving Gentiles, but to those who come to faith in Messiah. Again you conveniently omit verse 13 where Paul speaks of those who not only hear the Torah, but actually do it.

    4) You forgot or refused to comment on Acts 15:21. Those believing Gentiles who went to the Synagogue every Shabbat DID NOT NEED any instruction on how to observe the Shabbat, did they?

    5) “scull caps”- You can not admonish one group when the same thing is a prevailing fact in your group also. This is bias and the point I was bringing up. Since both groups are comprised of mostly Gentiles, why are you complaining to the Jew in the one-law movement and not the Jew in MJ?

    6) Hebrew names? Your statement is not only folly, it also show your bias. You do not know if the Gentile who sits in the pew next to you and his name is Avraham ben Yosef is one-law or not. That is like saying that all italians are mafia. And then you have the Chutzpah to talk of supersesseionism.

    7) 80%-85%–what is your point? so I don’t know how to add, but does this change the fact? or you just choose this reply for lack of answers?

    8)Timothy’s mother was married to a Greek. In 1st century Judaism thst fact rendered the marriage invalid, hence Timothy was a Gentile and Paul did not have a problem to circumcise him. Lancaster is right in his book, Paul’s reason against circumcision for gentiles was because they wanted to do it as a part of the ritual of a proselyte, which is a later invention of the Rabbis and is nowhere to be found in scriptures.

    9) Gal. 4:21; The Judaizers wanted them to become Jews in order to be saved. I thought you read Acts 15?

    Feeling? Emotion? Hardly! only scriptures my friend.

    Blessings

    Dan

  63. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Dan…

    You said: “1) So, you mean to tell me that since NOTHING else is required from the Gentiles they can continue to murder, steal, dishonor their parents and commit adu?ltry?”

    Sure, why not:)? I guess that’s exactly what I was telling you:) Oy vey!!!!

    You said: “2) Why do I want Gentiles to follow the law of Moses? Because scriptures tell me so. Ex. 12:49; Levit. 18:5; Numb. 15:16; 29; Isaiah 56:4-8;.”

    Israel… these commandments of Moses were a covenant between Israel and G-d. Not all rules applied the same to aliens living AMONG Israel (remember the unclean meat thing???) as they did to native Israelites. The One-Law gentiles DO NOT LIVE AMONG ISRAEL. Without a circumcision, the Torah NEVER required a Gentile to OBEY ALL the commandments required of a Jew.

    Remember what Paul said in Galatians 5:

    “Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4″

    So, if a Gentile is not circumcised, HE IS NOT OBLIGATED TO OBEY THE WHOLE LAW. A Jew, on the other hand, risks being cut off from his people.

    And again, ONLY those Gentiles who lived among Israel in the Land were required to follow some of the basic moral Laws and to live in subjection to the Israeli national rules. This is what scriptures tell me. They tell YOU regarding Gentiles follow the Jewish laws and customs whatever you want to hear.

    You said: 3) Romans 2:14; What you are failing to see is that Paul is not speaking to unbelieving Gentiles, but to those who come to faith in Messiah. Again you conveniently omit verse 13 where Paul speaks of those who not only hear the Torah, but actually do it.”

    Really, I guess we are reading different versions. Here it tells me that Gentiles can obey G-d just by following Torah He wrote on their heart. Paul write that “the requirements of the law are written on their hearts” – but it’s not enough for you, you want them to obey written requirement given to Israel also, burden them beyond what G-d required of them.

    Notice what it says in verse 24 about Gentile following a Law without having it in a written form: “27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.”

    Gentile do not have a written code, it wasn’t given for them. Yes, they can be obedient to G-d’s law nonetheless, the Law the G-d himself put in them You don’t seem to understand that difference.

    You said 5) “scull caps” … 6) Hebrew names?…Your statement is not only folly, it also show your bias…Since both groups are comprised of mostly Gentiles, why are you complaining to the Jew in the one-law movement and not the Jew in MJ?”

    Yes, I have a bias – the bias is the jealously for my people’s unique heritage, something that you seem to have little regard for. I am not complaining to you, I am against your One-Law teaching. I am a Jew in MJ.

    You said: “7) 80%-85%–what is your point? so I don’t know how to add, but does this change the fact? or you just choose this reply for lack of answers?”

    I deleted my answer to this question that I was going to post here… didn’t want to be rude to you.

    You said: “8)Timothy’s mother was married to a Greek. In 1st century Judaism thst fact rendered the marriage invalid, hence Timothy was a Gentile and Paul did not have a problem to circumcise him.”

    You are making statement as if YOU know what 1st Judaism was like! Please, spare me… Why even mention that his mother was married to a Greek, if he was simply a Gentile like the rest? It’s clear that his Jewish heritage was enough for Paul to circumcise him. Paul was like a father to Timothy, a Jewish father he never had.

    You said: “Lancaster is right in his book, Paul’s reason against circumcision for gentiles was because they wanted to do it as a part of the ritual of a proselyte, which is a later invention of the Rabbis and is nowhere to be found in scriptures.”

    Of course Lancaster is right to you, the MIA. Two-House and the FFOZ crowd. Keep accumulating teachers for yourself that will tickle your ears. Go ahead, keep building your own “pseudo Israel”. If keeping the Jewish law was so important for the Gentiles, one would expect that Paul and others emissaries would spend a great deal of time making sure that Gentiles followed the Law of Moses after their salvation. The scripture just don’t testify to that, in fact the opposite is true. Gentile believers DO FOLLOW the law, the Law that’s written on their hearts already. But for you, all of the Gentiles in churches are blatant law-breakers since they do now follow the Laws of Moses as given to Israel! Talk about prejudice against our Gentile brothers!

    You said: “9) Gal. 4:21; The Judaizers wanted them to become Jews in order to be saved. I thought you read Acts 15?”

    You ALSO seem to want them to become Jews (and become Israel!), but after they get saved. You trouble them because you seem to think that if they don’t become Jews in just about everything but name, they are not obeying and honoring G-d. Why do you think the Gentile believers were so troubled in Acts? If they were so eager to obey the Jewish laws, you’d think that they would gladly embrace the Mosaic law, right? But no, they didn’t want to become Jews – they were so excited that G-d has accepted them as they were (I am not talking about continuing in sin – the law in their hearts would condemn them).

    OK, Dan… Let’s let G-d decided which one of us is on the right path – the time will tell. For now, I think this has been beaten into a bloody pulp.

    Shalom,

    Gene

  64. Dan Benzvi says:

    Gene;
    1) Not worth a response.

    2) Ephes. 2:11-15; 3:6; 1 Cor.7:18-19;

    3) Paul talks about the Oral Law, not the written Torah. There is no law for adult circumcision. Paul says: if you go through with the ritual of a proselyte which includes circumcision and is a man-made law, then there also is a requirement for you to obey all the other man-made law–Oral Torah.

    Please quote scriptures that say :”only believer Gentiles who are living in the land are required to follow a certain moral laws” And be careful to make the right distinction between a GER, EZRACH and Nochri. Talk is cheap. Also please show where do scriptures make a distinction for “moral” laws? I thought all God’s laws are moral.

    You said: “A Jew on the other hand risk being cut off from his people.”
    Gen. 17 speakes of Abraham’s houshold which was the first covenant community. It was comprised from Abraham’s family and strangers and slaves who were not part of the family, but they were part of the covenant. They become a part of Abraham’s family before they were circumcised. That fact flies in the face of your statement.

    Romans 2:14;
    Don’t blame me, blame Paul. It was not enough for him. Read verse 13 one more time. and why do you keep calling the torah a burden?

    You quote: “The requirement of the law are written on their heart.” Hallelujah! But isn’t that what the new covenant is? Check Jerm. 31:31.

    You said: “Gentiles don’t have a written code.” I urge you to read again Ephes. 2:11-15; especially verse 12 “The commonwealth of israel and the COVENANTS OF PROMISE.” It is you who lacks understanding of the difference.

    Why are you so worked about gentiles persuing a life of obedience to the Torah, when so many of your leaders in the MJ teach against torah observant? They could care less about Torah, but they are the first in line to hurl stones.

    I understand your bias, and the UMJC bias against the Gentiles. that is why they treat them as second class citizens. Example Derek. They would not let him become a Rabbi without undergoing a ritual of “conversion.” Wise up!

    Timothy;
    We have enough evidence from scriptures of what was 1st century Judaism. Peter not wanting to go the the house of Cornelious,Paul admonish Peter for separating from the gentiles when the influencers (judaizers) came. You need to read scriptures in more detail.

    Being Jewish and Being Israel are two different things. There were a multitude of strangers at Mt. Sinai alongside of the Jews. The Gentiles Did want to observe the Mosiac Law and they thought that they first have to become jews in order to do so.

    I wrote my response before I saw your last paragraph, but decided after all this work to post it anyway for the benefit of others.

    Blessings

    Dan

  65. Shalom Bayit says:

    Gene:

    For now, I think this has been beaten into a bloody pulp.<<<

    What took you so long to come to this insight?

    when so many of your leaders in the MJ teach against torah observant? They could care less about Torah, but they are the first in line to hurl stones.<<<

    He’s got a point there Gene. I think they have “ginned up” this whole issue of Torah observance among gentiles to distract us all from the real “Shandah”.

    I think we were having a potentially more fruitful discussion somewhere else? Can we go back to that?

    Be well my friend.

  66. basaltah says:

    How are we to worship Y/H/W/H without also adopting, or converting, to a Jewish ethnicity?

    How do gentiles become those people referenced in Isaiah: “And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant- these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.”

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