Weekly Bracha #6

Double your bracha, double your fun.

To kick off the new year, and due to the recent holidays, this week’s post covers almost 2 week’s worth of blogospheric goodness in the Messianic, Jewish, and Christian worlds. Enjoy!

  • Non-Jews and Messianic Synagogues – Ready for yet another internet smackdown? Ovadia, a teenage gentile who is in the process of formally converting to Messianic Judaism, relates his experience as a non-Jew visiting a Messianic synagogue. While it was welcoming, the author derides it as not properly distinguishing between Jews and gentiles. Messianic gentiles shouldn’t be counted to a minyan, should not wear tefillin, should not lead prayer in a Messianic congregation, and should not count himself among those “chosen by God from all nations”, argues Ovadia. He describes such things as “wrong and indefensible”.

    Come one, come all, for a circus spectacle of 60+ comments in which all the usual Messianic bloggers and commenters whack each other with virtual sledge hammers.

  • Messianics For Torah – Aaron Eby has been blogging like a kosher-techno-madman. Seriously. I think he’s wrote about 20 posts in the last week alone. Here are some tasty bracha bits:

  • Simon Peter’s Yahrzeit – According to Jewish tradition, Simon Peter died on the 9th of Tevet, which coincidentally fell on December 25th this year. Even more interesting, this post reveals that, according to Jewish tradition, the apostle Peter was called tzaddik (righteous one), was a poet of Israel, was granted great wisdom, and is credited by some to have written the weekly-recited Nishmat prayer found in siddurs! Peter is also credited by some as the author of the traditional Eten Tehillah prayer.

  • Israeli High Court Demands Chief Rabbinate Grant Messianic Bakery Kosher Status – Pnina Pie, a restaurant and bakery in the city of Ashdod, Israel, was refused kosher status due to its owner being a follower of Yeshua. The Israeli High Court reversed this ruling, forcing the rabbis to grant the kosher status. Big debate in the 90+ comments discussing whether we should cheer for the secular state imposing its laws in religious matters, even though the law happens to favor Messianics.

  • Fun In The Snow – “It’s beginning to look a lot like”…Mashiach redemption?


  • Disturbing Trends – Rabbi Joshua highlights some disturbing trends of increasing anti-Jewish acts carried out in Europe and America.

  • Liar! – Shema Yisrael blogger James writes an in-depth piece on lying, and whether lying is ever justified in the Tenakh. James engages with multiple sources and makes for some thought-provoking questions.

  • First Century Nazareth House – Daniel Lancaster blogs about the newly-discovered remains of a 1st-century-era home uncovered in Nazareth, Israel.

  • What is the Talmud? – One of my favorite bloggers, Jonathan Lasko, shows us that the Talmud is much more than what many Christians and Messianics ascribe it to be.

  • Gifts: Love, Thank, and Bless Them - With the holidays behind us, Mark Huey reflects in his usual wisdom about the gifts of family and relationships, the attributes of loving your parents, your spouse, your family. Loving and blessing these are the real gifts that “keep on giving”.

  • Toldot Yeshua HaMashiach – Around the 6th century, a parody of the gospels meant to paint Jesus as a seducer and heretic of Israel appeared. Centuries later, Rabbi Yechiel Tzvi Lichtenstein of Romania, a Jewish follower of Yeshua, wrote a rebuttal entitled Toldot Yeshua HaMashiach. In this blog post, blogger Daniel tries his hand at translating a few pieces of Toldot Yeshua HaMashiach into English.

  • Iran in 2010: The Dry Bones cartoon blog has a New Year’s prediction for Iran in 2010:

  • Moving Ahead – Rabbi and UMJC head Russ Resnik says to move ahead in Messianic Judaism, and to reach more Jewish people, we need to “go beyond talking about unity to actually doing unity.” The whole of UMJC and MJTI organizations would do well to heed Rabbi Resnik’s words here!

  • Borrowed Time – This past week, Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai of Shomron, Israel, was murdered by by Palestinian terrorists. The Jewish (non-Messianic) blog Dreaming of Moshiach posts a miraculous story behind this rabbi’s life: in a car accident 12 years ago, the rabbi was in critical condition. While critical, he claimed to have visited the the world of truth, during which he stood before the heavenly court and begged them to allow him to return to his wife and newborn son on earth. The heavenly court told him he would be given exactly 12 years to raise his son. On the day his son turned 12 years old, December 24th, Rabbi Chai was murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

    Take this story with a grain of salt, I haven’t been able to verify this through other sources, and the blog in question is not a reputable source.

  • Israel refuses to release “heavy” prisoners in exchange for Shalit – Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier, has been held hostage by Palestinian Hamas for several years now. Israel has been negotiating a deal, but is refusing to release multiple “heavyweight” terrorists. IsraellyCool blogger Aussie Dave has the details.

  • The Question of God’s Abscence in Our Need – Where was God during the Holocaust? Why isn’t God intervening today? Some possible answers are suggested to this very old question of why God doesn’t intervene when we need him.


  • Acts 15 study – Messianic apologist John McKee goes deeper into his multi-month study on Acts 15 while keeping in mind the ultimate trajectory of Scripture, and without worrying about shifting ministerial alliances, he finishes the verse-by-verse part of the study of Acts 15. You go, John!

  • Implementation of the Apostolic Decree – Part 1 – John McKee discusses the implementation and ramifications of the apostle’s decree on Torah and gentiles in Acts 15.

Video Blogs

  • 2010 and Future Opportunities – John McKee hopes 2010 will be an opportunity for the Messianic movement to move past some of the fundamentalism, extremism, sensationalism, and controversies of the 2000s. Time to look forward to growth and maturity, says John. (Now I’m questioning my own approach to 2010. Bah.) I hope he’s right!


There you have it, fine futuristic 2010 blog readers from outer space, the double bounty bracha to get your new decade started.

Happy shabbat!


  1. I thought this was an excellent summation of what is up store, with great opportunities. I raise a hearty tot of rum to you!

  2. ...and I raise a tin can of Mountain Dew back at you! :cheers: :-)

    JK, I am 100% on board with the "move past controversies" part in 2010, and enter into new stability and maturity in the Messianic movement. Where do I sign up for this? :-) Seriously, what do we do to make this happen?

  3. Judah,

    It did not happened within Christianity, and for sure it will not happen withing the hodge podge they call "Messianic Judaism."

  4. Which 'it' are we talking about - maturity and stability?

  5. Pretty good stuff, I especially really like Aaron Eby's blog.

    Shavua tov to everyone.

  6. Judah, I think the biggest issue of the 2010s is going to be how the Messianic movement reaches out to a larger array of people on the social spectrum. It appears that in terms of new people who enter into our faith community, too many are coming from backgrounds with some kind of fundamentalism attached, and with it has come the instablity and sensationalism.

    This needs to change, and we need to be able to reach out to more Conservative and Reform Jews, and more truly evangelical Christians.

    I don't think this is impossible, but it will take a great deal of work. My ethos is always guided by the question: Would my late father approve of this? Would he see the value in being a part of it?

  7. Wow, I pulled up the Kineti L'Tzion blog to get the Greatest Commandments project link for a friend and was pleased to discover that I'd made the Weekly Bracha. Thanks, Judah!

    Here's to a productive 2010!