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admin | inner peace quotes | 03.12.2015
If you manage this site and have a question about why the site is not available, please contact us directly. Truth be told, as I look at the membership list of my congregation here in suburban Long Island I feel that none of my community is really Orthodox either. The next guy said he is Reform since currently he is not a member at any temple but he takes his family to a Reform temple in Westchester every year for the high holidays.
The third scratched his head and said, “My friends ask me this same question when they hear I am a member at an Orthodox congregation. Not being Jewish, I have no real basis for evaluating the question much less the answer, except in relationship (perhaps) with Dr. These terms are artificial lines dividing Jews into classes and sub-classes ignoring the most important thing about us all. That is, from my point of view, the essence of what Rabbi Dauermann was communicating in his article. We are on more solid ground if we attempt to define the term “Messianic Jew” – a Messianic Jew is simply a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua.
But all this introduces a level of complexity into the equation of Jewish identity and Jewish community. Historically, as Rabbi Dauermann brought out in his article, Jews have always been required to make a choice when coming to faith in Yeshua as Messiah. I seriously doubt that any Christian past or present has any idea what they were asking of Jewish people who desired to have a relationship with the Jewish Messiah.
Then we come to a recent debate in the blogosphere on Jewish apostasy, and by that, I mean Jews who previously were believers within a Messianic Jewish context, denouncing Jesus and re-entering another Jewish religious community. I wrote a review a few days ago on one of John MacArthur’s presentations at his Strange Fire conference, and at the end of my review, I brought into question who Christians should be focusing upon, God the Father, Jesus the Son, or the Holy Spirit?
I don’t see how it can be reasonable to ask a Jew to stop being Jewish in order to worship the God of Israel and Messiah, Son of David, King of the Jews.
Except that Orthodoxy, according to R’ Micha Berger, is not a movement, but an attribute a movement can have. In the Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Roots movements, the concept of Jewish identity is fiercely discussed, but it’s obviously a matter of concern among all of the other Judaisms as well.
Gentile involvement in Messianic Judaism, although well established historically, results in an interruption of Jewish community that Rabbi Teldon and those at his Shabbos table couldn’t possibly imagine.
But God, one by one, calls back each of His Jewish children to stand before Him at Sinai and to recall the Torah of their fathers. And yet, the Biblical record testifies that as Paul lived and eventually died among the Gentiles, he never compromised who he was as a Jew, nor was he required to make such a heinous compromise by Messiah in order to be an emissary to the Gentiles. It was a difficult road to walk, and it is no wonder that Jews in the Messianic movement today struggle to find a path.
Messiah is the lynchpin, the capstone that holds all believers together, Jewish and Gentile alike, but there is a dimension possessed by Jews in Messiah that we non-Jewish disciples, by definition, cannot apprehend. Messiah is the culmination of the prophesies from the Tanakh which all speak of the personal, community, and national redemption of all Jews and of Israel. Someday, Messiah will be the capstone, not only for the (mixed) body of Messiah, but for all Jews everywhere, as they flock to Jerusalem to celebrate the return of the King.
The party will be first and foremost for the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, the Holy people of God who He gathered to Himself at Sinai. When we are able to focus on the fact that while we have differences but a family truly remains connected eternally, it will reconfirm what we already knew: Am Yisroel Chai! There must be a way for this to be accomplished also for Messianic Jews, because they too are part of the family, regardless of other differences. How can Gentile believers in the Church not understand that being Jewish is a gift and demand that Jews return that gift to their Father in Heaven in exchange for Gentile Christianity? You describe a level of complexity within Judaism that I also experience inside Christianity. We generally pray to Jesus and feel closer to Him, because of any one of the members of the Trinity, we feel that He relates to us the best (which is wrong), but because He became man, we generally relate to Him best. In any case, I think that for MacArthur to say that because Pentecostals don’t focus solely on Jesus is evidence of heresy, is just wrong. The impression I get from the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel is that he taught his disciples to pray to God the Father (which they would have done anyway) in his name.

The same concept that Rabbi Teldon speaks of, and that Rabbi Dauerman affirms, is that the question is a question of spiritual identity and whom one should love if one is a part of God’s mishpacha, family.
I agree that God calls us to love one another above all other considerations except our love of God. I find that scripture portrays God as being One in relationship (Father, Son, Spirit) not one in singularity. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
I have a full beard, I am the rabbi of a traditional synagogue and don’t eat anything not kosher. My parents were Conservative, we were married by an Orthodox rabbi, but our kids went to a Reform temple for nursery.
Since his parents are on the board of directors they get a good price on tickets so it is worth the schlep. Jewish identity is more than just a label, it’s more than just whether or not you were Bar Mitzvahed by an Orthodox Rabbi, attend the High Holy Days in a Reform shul, and have your kids go to Hebrew school at a Conservative synagogue. Messianic Jews have all sorts of theological views, ranging from attending shul weekly and treasuring Yeshua in their hearts as a crypto-faith and living out a more Orthoprax Judaism, to attending a Pentecostal church every week, and simply maintaining an awareness of their Jewish identity. When trying to explain these concepts to my Pastor a few weeks ago, he asked me if Messianic Jews had more in common with Judaism or Christianity. Either surrender all Jewish identity, practice, and culture, or forget about becoming a disciple of Jesus and lose (or never attain) your salvation. How can you ask a Jew to leave his covenant people in order to honor the capstone of Jewish history, the Messiah, Son of David, who is utterly devoted to his covenant people Israel? General Christian and Hebrew Roots consensus says that any Messianic Jew who desires to live a completely Jewish lifestyle in honor of his fathers, in honor of the Torah, and in honor of Messiah significantly risks leaving Yeshua-faith because, somehow, living as a completely observant Jew among completely observant Jews and focusing on Messiah are mutually exclusive experiences. Christianity, including Hebrew Roots, insists that the only valid focus of Christian faith must be Jesus Christ, but if that’s true, do we simply disregard the God of Genesis, the God of Abraham,  the God of Jacob, and the God of Moses? What are Jewish families in Messiah supposed to do, shop at the mall on Saturday afternoon and serve shrimp at their daughter’s wedding? OU, Agudah, Lubavitch organizations, they’re all Orthodox because of their adherence to certain ideas. Naturally, his blog post generated a lot of discussion in the comments section, since many non-Jews associated with the movement and certainly most traditional Christians, are at least confused about why Judaism is such a big deal, to outright offended at the suggestion that Jews converting to Christianity is not God’s real plan for them.
And yet, without Gentile Christian involvement and support, the vast majority of Messianic Jewish communities would not be able to exist. He was a Jew, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, circumcised on the eighth day, zealous for the Torah, the Messiah, the Temple, and Hashem.
God created at Sinai an identity and an experience of what it is to be Jewish in community with other Jews that is unique to the living descendants of Jacob. Messiah is the link that allows the people of the nations to come alongside Israel and share in the prophetic blessings. We Gentile believers will also celebrate, but it is our job to help conduct the exiles back to their Torah and their Land in accordance to the will of our Master and the will of Hashem.
We of the nations who are called by His Name are grafted in by a faith learned from Abraham and through the grace of Messiah and the providence of God. Paul is part of that family, as are James, Peter, John, and for that matter, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Someday what Rabbi Teldon describes will become an overwhelming reality in a way we cannot possibly imagine. I was trying to dovetail on Dauermann’s commentary on Jewish identity to establish the common thread that binds all Jewish people together. However, if we are going to follow His example, He always lifted the Father up and prayed to the Father. No one was ever going to care about my Irish ancestry, or my Scottish ancestry, but they would certainly care about my Jewish ancestry. In the longer, yet unpublished version of the book, I string together a number of verses of Scripture and quotes from Talmud and others on how this concept lies at the bottom of all division, everywhere, whether between Christians and Jews and Christians and Christians or Jews and Jews. Deeply assimilated secular Western Jews in France were deported and exterminated with the same ferocity as spiritual Chasidic shtetl Jews in Poland. It is significant, I think, and sad, that both traditional Judaism and mainstream Christianity both emphasize the same overarching ideal and yet, fall so short in bringing it to full expression.

Messiah was the perfect expression of that love, he who was willing to give up his life, even for strangers, and even for those who hate him. Someday, we will understand that unity as we live it out in the community of Messiah in his Kingdom.
I wonder whether the Divine relationship between Father, Son and Spirit is one that man is capable of REALLY understanding because it is far above and beyond our own experience.
If your God is your glory, then say, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. But I am finally comfortable enough with myself and my Judaism to come out and say what has been lying underneath the surface for so many years. Also, while he hadn’t studied much lately, he feels that his beliefs are more in tune with the Reform movements ideas of Tikun Olam. Dauermann also discusses the nature of Jewish identity and the vital necessity of Messianic Jews to relate first and foremost as Jews. In Christianity, we are taught to revere Jesus above all else and our culture and identity is defined by our beliefs. For Lubavitchers, every other Jew from unaffiliated to Satmar is classified as either Lubavitcher or not-yet-Lubavitcher.
When the Nazis came for the Jews, it didn’t matter what the synagogue affiliation (if any) of their victims were. On top of that, most Jewish people I know in the Messianic movement originally came to faith within a Christian church context. If only the binding link between all Jews could be Hashem, and Torah, and the promise of Messiah, who is realized among Messianic Jews.
I see Paul as a shining example that a Jew who is zealous for Torah does not have to compromise his observance or his Messianic faith in order to honor the King and to worship Hashem. The Messiah means a great deal to Christians, and we would be hopelessly lost and separated from God without him.
Messiah is part of that family, and he leads that family and that nation, for he is, first and foremost, the Jewish King. Mankind seems far more familiar with division than unity, defining ourselves by man-determined differences. Jews were simply herded into cattle cars and taken away as slave labor or to the gas chambers. It would seem that continued Christian Gentile involvement or crossover into Messianic Judaism is inevitable, regardless of the other problems this raises. Yes, he always went to the synagogue first whenever he entered a town in the diaspora, and he told of the good news of Moshiach to the Jews first, and also to the Gentiles. A Messianic Jew living as a Jew among other observant Jews should never violate zealousness for Moshiach at all.
In the age to come, I can only imagine that the barriers that stand between one Jew and another will be eliminated as Messiah teaches his people the way to walk. It never once dimmed Paul, the Jewish emissary to the Gentile’s vision of the Messiah King. Now we are contained within silos that tend to isolate us but one day, we will all know who we are supposed to be in relation to God and to each other. If God is our glory, we shall glory not only in doing, but in suffering for him; we shall glory in tribulation, and count ourselves most highly honored when we are called to suffer most for his great name’s sake. Will you share a pulpit with a woman who is a Rabbi in doing a wedding, or leading a service?
I might enlarge, but you may easily judge, by my poor feeble voice this last week, that neither my strength of voice or body will permit me to be long tonight, and yet I will venture to give you your last parting salutation; and though I have been dissuaded from getting up to preach this night, yet I thought, as my God was my glory, I should glory in preaching till I died. I imagine that you would say yes to all of the above, since you have publicly claimed you are not an Orthodox Rabbi.
If you cannot say yes to all of the above, I encourage you to publish an apology and a detraction of your public statement about being not being an Orthodox Rabbi.
If you cannot say yes to all of the above, to claim one is not Orthodox is both disingenuous and inaccurate.

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