Tag Archives: Jewish Books

WHY SOME JEWS BECOME MESSIANIC JEWS

No one has any control as to where they were born or to whom they were born.  We are raised by parents who identify with a particular faith and that faith was transmitted to us. Some of us were then sent to religious schools where we were further indoctrinated into that faith. All faiths have variations within them. Movement within these variations can often cause at a minimum verbal conflict or shunning. In contemporary Christianity movement between Orthodox, Catholic, Traditional Protestant, Baptist and Evangelical occurs often without fear of physical repercussions. This cannot be said about Islam. Movement between Shi’a and Sunni groups can often end in violence. A Sunni who is a Salafi could never accept a relative or friend becoming Shi’a. This is so because Shi’ites are viewed as heretics. Judaism is extremely diverse. Rabbinical Judaism encompasses Ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, Khabad Lubavitch, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. Khabad Lubavich is one of several kHasidic [or, more commonly, Chasidic or Hasidic] sects which are a branch within what would be considered ultra-Orthodox [kHeredim] Judaism.  Khasidim have a different worship style [more music, more dancing, more spontaneity than other kHeredim], but equally strict social and lifestyle rules and similarly insular [avoiding contact with non-Kosher-keeping people who are viewed as ceremonially unclean].  Modern Orthodox Jews keep most of the same rabbinic laws, but will work and do business with, and to a large degree socialize with, non-Jews and secular Jews.

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ISRAEL: Does the Hebrew Bible indicate the Messiah, the Anointed One of the House of David, is divine?

Job 19

 

25 But I know my living Redeemer,
and He will stand on the dust at last.
26 Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in my flesh.
27 I will see Him myself;
my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger.
My heart longs within me.

Analysis: Before the advent of the prophets Job posed an interesting question. Will the Lord actually stand upon the earth?  Will those who have died be resurrected to see the Lord?  It was clear from the prophetic books of the Tenakh [but not from Torah] that there would be a resurrection of the [“righteous”] dead in the Last Day, and that God would again be among the people as He was in Eden. The Pharisees accepted this, as do modern or rabbinical Orthodox Jews, though they often add to this the belief that only after the Jews “clean up the world” and become more faithful will Messiah come.  [This is not too different from Muslim beliefs about the Mahdi, which are probably drawn from this.]

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ISRAEL: ACCORDING TO THE HEBREW BIBLE DID THE LORD EVER BECOME A MAN?

For over 2000 years Jews and the followers of Yeshua have disagreed concerning Yeshua’s claim of divinity.  The events concerning Yeshua’s words and actions coupled with the reaction of contemporary Jews gives us some great insight into the tension these claims caused 2000 years ago.

Matt. 9 …When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home.

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Khabad Lubavitch

The movement known as Khabad Lubavitch is mostly unknown outside of Jewish circles. It springs from Khasidic Orthodox Judaism with an emphasis on Jewish mysticism and messianism. The movement initiated with the teachings of its seven leaders (“Rebbes”), beginning with Rabbi Schneur Zalman (1745–1812). These leaders created thousands of books meant for Jewish study. The most notable Lubavitcher Rebbe of recent memory is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994). What makes this movement different from traditional Rabbinic Judaism is its outreach to ALL Jews not just Orthodox Jews. Currently 4,000 full-time families help direct more than 3,300 institutions with thousands dedicated to spreading the Khabad Lubavitcher message.

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RABBINICAL JUDAISM:

 

In this post we continue our journey from non-belief through polytheism. The family of Abraham was also polytheists. From this Abraham heard a lone voice and brought monotheism to the family of humankind. Today the physical descendents of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob practice, to different degrees, Rabbinical Judaism. This is the Judaism that developed during the early Christian era. Yeshua (Jesus) was raised into a traditional Jewish family.  As the Roman era initiated after the conquest of Palestine in 63 B.C. the Romans, through their general Pompey, slaughtered all of the Jewish priestly class. From this point forward the Romans appointed the Chief priest to administer Temple ritual.  These appointments were usually made through another Jewish sect called the Sadducees. The Sadducees differed from the descendents of the Hasideans, who were the Pius Ones and observed the traditions of the Fathers, by only recognizing the first five books of the Tenakh as scripture. The Sadducees also did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. The Pharisees believed in the totality of the Jewish Bible but interpreted it through the prism of Jewish oral tradition.

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Abraham & Isaac – Justified By Faith [Faith of Our Fathers 4]

Justified by Faith

Steve Daskal

 Gen 21:1-21 — Isaac, the child of promise, the transmitter of the Abrahamic covenant to the next generation, is finally born. Isaac is an Anglicization of the Hebrew Yitzkhak [pronounced YEE-tz-khawk, which has the same consonant root as the Hebrew word for “laugh”]. We do not know the “how” of this miraculous conception and birth — given the realities of normal human biology, the LORD would have had to have re-enlivened long-dormant tissues, organs, and bodily functions, but for He who created man from dust, this was easy.

The friction between Sarah, the “founding mother” of the covenant, and Hagar the Egyptian servant, has continued on, and is now transmitted to Hagar’s son Ishmael, who “mocked” [laughed at, teased] Isaac, his younger half-brother.   By custom and by God’s decree, Isaac the son of Abraham his wife would supplant Ishmael, the son of a concubine, as Abraham’s heir in all senses of the word. Sarah demands that Hagar and Ishmael be expelled (this would be unusual according to the customs of the time), and God tells Abraham to do so. Ishmael leaves the field of view in the Torah. (Ishmael’s grand-nephew Joseph is sold to some of Ishmael’s direct descendants, who transport him to Egypt.) God’s mercy to Hagar and Ishmael is described in verses 15-21.

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The making of Christian anti-Semitism

 

A central motivation for me in writing The Jewish People and Jesus: Is It Time for Reconciliation? You Decide. was to portray traditional Jewish objections to reconciliation with Yeshua with Biblical responses to these objections.  Most Jewish people were brought up to reject the messianic claims of Yeshua without hearing or reading respectful responses to the rabbinical point of view. However, it is equally true that most professing Christians have never been introduced to the rabbinical point of view or have tried to understand why resistance to Yeshua continues.

One piece of continued Jewish resistance to reconciliation is the history of “Christian” anti-Semitism, especially in Europe. The Jewish people lost their land to the Romans, and then were eventually absorbed into a Christianized Rome circa the fourth century where they resisted conformity to this new “Gentile” religion. The result was overt or covert persecution, expulsion, massacre, dehumanization, pogroms and eventually the Holocaust. Most learned people understand that Nazi paganism sentenced Jews in the millions, but what could not be denied is that a perceived “Christian” civilization allowed these attitudes to fester.

I was raised in an Italian Catholic family in the 1950s and 1960s where I understood the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) to be Catholics.  Mary, of course, was Italian.  Why else would we call her the Madonna? As for the Jews, they rejected Jesus for no good reason and handed him over the Pagan Romans to seal his fate.  I did not understand this as God’s plan, so the Jews were referred to as “Massa’Cristo” – Christ-killer.

At the time I was also biblically ignorant.  When I was in college these beliefs were challenged by Biblical responses from a man named Dave. At the conviction of his words, I started to read the Bible.  As a result, I discovered that the “Holy Family” practiced the Jewish faith, including Jesus.  One of the most wonderful parts of the Bible I read were Rabbi Saul’s (The Apostle Paul) letters to the Romans, especially Chapters 9-11.  Here it clearly states that Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah are to show the Jewish people mercy because God had mercy on the Gentiles when the Gentiles were pagans.  If the New Covenant stated this, why weren’t these words conveyed to the masses?

The message for non-Jews is that those who came to the Messiah before Emperor Constantine “Christianized” the empire converted; i.e. they had a change of heart for the Messiah. After this period, a change of heart was exchanged for an official decree. Therefore many in Europe who considered themselves as Christians were never converted to faith in the Messiah.

The message for non-Jews who believe in the Jewish Messiah is that anti-Semitism is sinful and contrary to the New Covenant.

 

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