Category Archives: Spirituality

Messiah’s Desire (vs. Satan’s)

Passover is a time when we think about not only Exodus but also, as Messianic Jews and Christians, the Last Supper. That train of thought led me to consider a saying of Yeshua at the Last Supper, a saying found … Continue reading

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A Very Non-Expert Introduction to Mussar

I spent the later part of the afternoon yesterday meeting with a friend and congregant to compare notes and discuss Mussar. Mussar is a movement coming out of Lithuania in the 19th century. Mussar is about working on the improvement … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality | 2 Comments

Empowered Experience: Laying Tefillin

Life with God isn’t purely intellectual. It isn’t purely emotional. And emotional-rationality doesn’t explain it all either. I am not alone, in the vast see of Jews and Christians, who feel we have connected in reality with God through experience. … Continue reading

Posted in Judaism, Judeo-Christian, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Mysticism, Spirituality | 1 Comment

A Richer Messianic Judaism, Part 1

Several recent blog postings by a diverse group of bloggers has me interested in the topic of a richer Christianity, a richer Judaism, and a richer Messianic Judaism. All three kinds of readers come here, Jews and Christians and Messianic … Continue reading

Posted in Christian, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Scot McKnight, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Elul: The Month of Teshuvah

Elul, the month on the Jewish calendar that precedes Rosh HaShanah, begins tonight at sundown. Rosh Chodesh Elul (the new moon of Elul) is a spiritually significant time. It is the beginning of a long period of introspection, increased fervor, … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Historic Moment: MJ’s Future Through Education

Coming up on Messianic Jewish Musings: It happens occasionally that I have so many topics for the blog and so few days. Look for the following this week and next. (1) A series on a crucial paper by David Rudolph, … Continue reading

Posted in Christian, Intermarried, Judaism, Mark Kinzer, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality, Talmud and Tradition | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Devekut, Yeshua, and MJ Living

DEVEKUT A way of living with constant awareness of God’s presence which is derived from the Hebrew Bible, is taught in Hasidic Jewish writings, and which works together with the traditional practices of godliness. That is, keeping the mitzvot (commandments) … Continue reading

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The Kiss in Christian and Jewish Midrash

Okay, midrash isn’t really a Christian word. A midrash is a reaction to scripture, a sort of derived extension of the words of the Bible into the larger ideas and stories of faith. Sometimes a midrash becomes an extra-biblical story … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Christian, Judaism, Life to Come, Love, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

The edgy, the radical, the mystical

This weekend I went back and slowly reread the first chapter of Paul Philip Levertoff’s Love in the Messianic Age. Thoughts like a flood of many streams came to me. I also spent a little time in a stack of … Continue reading

Posted in Love, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

Observing Tisha B’Av

How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she that was great among the nations! . . . She weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheeks; among all her … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Holidays, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Love in the Messianic Age, Paul Philip Levertoff

A friend just told me yesterday he is going to graduate school with a concentration in Jewish mysticism and its history. I myself have read very little Jewish mysticism and kabbalah and so forth. I remarked that my own plans … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, FFOZ, Love, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Shabbat as a Spiritual Discipline

There is an old formula about the Sabbath (Shabbat) that comes from the two primary commands of the scriptures about it: remember it (Exod. 20:8) and keep it (Exod. 31:14). We keep it or observe it on Shabbat and we … Continue reading

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Some Prayer Practices: Jewish and Christian

The following notes are for a class I am giving this Shabbat about personal or constant prayer. For a long time, I thought Judaism had no such tradition but was limited to liturgical prayer. I started my religious life in … Continue reading

Posted in Christian, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Prayer, Spirituality, Talmud and Tradition | 1 Comment

The Benediction of Thanksgiving, Sermon Excerpt

I thought the following sermon would be of interest to Messianic Jewish Musings readers. I derive a lot of the points from an article by Reuven Kimelman called “The Rabbinic Theology of the Physical,” in the Cambridge History of Judaism, … Continue reading

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God, The Measure of All Things

Tonight I was able to see more clearly than usual. I’m not writing about this to suggest anything about my clarity of vision or depth of spirituality. Far from it. The observer is not the one to be poeticized but … Continue reading

Posted in Messianic Jewish, Spirituality, Theology | 3 Comments

FEAST Excerpt for Passover: Spiritual and Physical

This is an excerpt from my latest book, FEAST, published by LifeWay. You can see FEAST at LifeWay.com or threadsmedia.com The point of this excerpt is that people too greatly limit spiritual practice by assuming the physical and the spiritual … Continue reading

Posted in Christian, Derek's Writings, Holidays, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Passover, Spirituality | Leave a comment

Emergent Christianity and MJ

I am thinking about developing some Havurah (small group, home fellowship) materials for use in Messianic Judaism. In doing my homework, I’m reading a variety of things. I’m reading some things that have spun off from Synagogue 3000 (http://www.synagogue3000.org/), such … Continue reading

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The Gospel and Tikkun Olam

The following is adapted from the message I gave at the congregation this weekend. I post just the first part of the article here and provide a link for you to read it in a PDF file (much more readable … Continue reading

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More Live Blogging from Hashivenu: MJ at the Margins

I’m still in Los Angeles at the 2008 Hashivenu Forum, a forum on theology and matters of Jewish practice. We are members of the Messianic Jewish Community discussing how to build a new Judaism centered around Messiah Yeshua . . … Continue reading

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Sabbath Meditation: Almsgiving

I hope you are preparing a beautiful table, as we are at the Leman house. We are laying ours with a burgundy table cloth tonight and using our Jerusalem candlesticks. The few moments you take to make your Sabbath meal … Continue reading

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Faith, Hope, and Love

What is it that really enables a person to live, to keep going on with some reasonable promise of meaning and value? Why put one foot in front of the other one more time when a thousand steps in the … Continue reading

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High Holidays Question: Does Grace Cancel Holiness?

We are in the ten days of awe between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This is a time of introspection, spiritual inventory, and preparation for great repentance on Yom Kippur (this year it will be Saturday, September 22). Several things … Continue reading

Posted in Christian, Holidays, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Spirituality | 3 Comments

Psalm 151, A Lesson for Israel Then and Now

In our day there are Jewish and Christian bookstores full of writings of people of faith. We can find fiction and non-fiction on a variety of topics, all related to faith in God and living the teachings of the Bible. … Continue reading

Posted in Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Second Temple Lit., Spirituality | 1 Comment

Lashon Hara, Part 2

It is Elul and I do hope that, assuming you are observant, you are taking a spiritual inventory. Rosh Hashanah is nearly here and then Yom Kippur. I, for one, find the Bible’s teachings on speech most challenging. Judaism has … Continue reading

Posted in Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Spirituality, Torah | 2 Comments

Sabbath Meditation, Abandoned? Alone?

I’m posting this one a bit earlier than usual for a Friday, but I hope Shabbat is already on your mind. We’re having a house full of teenagers over for a Youth Shabbat. Hope yours is as adventurous as mine … Continue reading

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