Weekly Bracha 9

Apologies for late weekly bracha. I had company this weekend, and I was invested in watching my favorite team lose in the playoffs.

But enough about football, how about some tasty bracha bits? This week in the Messianic, Jewish, and Christian blogosphere:

  • Sanhedrin Rabbi: Don’t discriminate against Yeshua-worshippers because of Lubavitch! – The Sanhedrin’s emissary to the Noahides, Michael Bar-Ron, states on a now-defunct website,

    Because certain members of the Lubavitch community hold that the late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, z’’l, was/is the messiah, the Sanhedrin “may” decide not to discriminate against those who hold Y’shua/Jesus to also be “an anointed one.” [Emphasis mine] 

    Although believing in Jesus as a prophet, messiah, or tzadik is contrary to Jewish tradition and highly improper; such beliefs do not preclude the believer from becoming a kosher returnee to the Covenant of Abraham and the Israelite nation, according to Jewish law.

    The absolute qualification is that no shi’tuf (association with the Deity) be made with Y’shua/Jesus, and that no prayers be directed to him, even as an intermediary. Any Sadiq, a righteous man, be he Israelite or Gentile, must only have the most direct, unmediated, personal relationship with HaShem (G-d).
    There you have it, folks, all you have to do is deny Yeshua is Lord and you may gain acceptance among some religious leaders of Judaism. Just as I predicted.

  • Eating at the Master’s Table – While Yeshua is often viewed as the atoning, sacrificed Passover lamb, the author argues that is more about faith and obedience than sacrifice and atonement.

  • Love the Shrimper, Hate the Shrimp? – This amusing post shows a gay rights group’s satirical campaign, “God Hates Shrimp”. The campaign is a play off of conservative Christian groups that reject the homosexual activism, highlighting a Christian double-standard: rejecting homosexuality, but eating unclean foods.

  • Rabbi Lazer Brody on Haiti – Last week’s post of Pat Robertson on Haiti generated a good debate in the comments. In those comments, thrice I was told to read Lazer Brody’s thoughts on the matter. An interesting read.

  • Schneerson “almost a supernatural being” – The head of the Sanhedrin, Adin Steinsaltz, compares the late Lubavitcher Rebbe of Crown Heights, New York, to Elijah the prophet, ascribing divine qualities to him. 

    It’s no secret some Lubavitchers believe Schneerson to be the divine Messiah, omnipresent, and a spiritual force through whom we can direct our prayer. In other words, they’re false-Christ-ians, failed-Messiah-anics.

    In some ways, this is liberating for Messianics and Christians who have long argued for the divine status of Messiah within the context of the Tenakh. On the other hand, this is disturbing because so many are being led into foolishness, following yet another false messiah.

  • Rabbi Steinsaltz on Martin Luther King, Jr. – Jonathan Lasko goes to hear the same Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, head of the reformed Sanhedrin, speak on Martin Luther King, Jr. He has some interesting words to say, and suggest King’s quotes come almost entirely from the Tenakh, rather than the New Testament.

  • Debate about One Law – 2 weeks ago, your beloved weekly bracha pointed you to Nate Long’s post on One Law. Since that time, a big debate, mostly respectful, has been bubbling in the comments. Worth a read.


  • Jerusalem Council and the Messianic Movement – This is huge, folks. Months of study and engagement have culminated in this podcast, and Messianic apologist McKee looks at the modern Messianic movement’s application of the Acts 15 resolution, where we’ve erred, and where we’re headed.

    McKee, almost exclusively objective by habit, for once takes editorial license and goes after what he sees are the problems with the bilateral ecclesiology adhered to by many Messianic groups, particularly MJTI, UMJC, and friends, describing it as essentially another form of dispensationalism.

    I’ll be blogging later this week about this issue.

  • God and the Tragedy in Haiti – Hebrew Christian Dr. Michael Brown discusses whether the Haitian disaster is judgment, or just a manifestation of natural events. Brown deals with an open mind towards both sides.

Hope you all had a good weekend, my fine blog readers. Hope you fared better than my ill-fated Vikings! ;-)


  1. "There you have it, folks, all you have to do is deny Yeshua is Lord and you may gain acceptance among some religious leaders of Judaism. Just as I predicted."

    Judah, I don't know of any mainstream Messianic Jewish leader or a group who either seeks acceptance of "some religious leaders of Judaism" or would be willing to trade Yeshua's lordship for it. Where do you get this from?

    I also think that it's quite a stretch (to say that least) for you to predict that mainstream Messianic Judaism's insistence on the biblical and apostolic fact that Gentile followers of Yeshua need not observe Mosaic Laws / live as Jews to be acceptable to G-d as somehow inevitably resulting into Messianic Jews' denial of Yeshua.

  2. I predicted that the bottom-line divide between Messianic Judaism and the greater Jewish world is Yeshua-as-Lord. Everything else is a smokescreen, including the blessing of gentiles keeping God's commandments.

    I haven't seen Messianics clamoring to gain acceptance through denial of Yeshua, at least, not outside the Jews and gentiles that have abandoned Yeshua altogether, both as Lord and Messiah.

    I do fear the denial of Yeshua-as-Lord happening, especially in the UMJC/MJTI branches. There, the desire to be approved by greater Judaism, to be seen as a legitimate form of Judaism, to be recognized in the Jewish world...there lies the temptation. All we have to do is concoct a theology that blurs the line about Yeshua being God, and find some Scriptures to support this, and voila, MJs are accepted by the reformed Sanhedrin.

    This is mostly theoretical at the moment. I hope to be proven wrong, I hope this fear is unfounded. We'll see in the decade ahead.

  3. "UMJC/MJTI branches....desire to be approved by greater Judaism, to be seen as a legitimate form of Judaism, to be recognized in the Jewish world"

    I am not part of UMJC/MJTI, so I can't speak for them, but I view Messianic Judaism (in its best, admittedly idealistic form) as indeed a legitimate form of Judaism and they probably do the same. What's wrong with that? Nothing, as far as I am concerned. Also, it's only a matter of time until we are recognized in the Jewish world - BUT for that all we have to do is to wait for Yeshua to return. I have not met any Messianic Jewish leader under illusion that true acceptance will occur before that. Otherwise, why would we even care to persist in our Messianic Judaism, be rejected by our own families and our beloved nation for our faith, and continue to put up with all the tsuris that goes along with Messianic Jewish movement?

  4. I want MJ to be viewed as a legitimate form of Judaism as well, if only that more Jews would turn again to Messiah.

    Are there folks that think MJ can be viewed as a legit form of Judaism before Yeshua returns? Yeah, I think so, particularly among the UMJC and MJTI strains.

    Dauermann, Leman, Emslie, any of you guys care to comment?

  5. If people want to keep Torah and be part of Judaism, fine, but we shouldn't ignore Paul's words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 3-11:

    3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. 5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. 7They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that law[a] is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    Let's be honest with ourselves - if this was a problem in 1st century Messianic Judaism, it will also be a problem in 21st century, for there is nothing new under the sun.

  6. Well, despite common misconceptions, Yehoshua` never claimed to be HaShem himself. Its impossible, after all, the Tanakh says quite plainly and in good context: "HaShem is not a man". Its impossible that HaShem walked on earth as a man. However, it is not impossible and not untrue that Yehoshua` is divine and above Creation, and is the Word of HaShem (which is what is meant by "alef and taw") by which all Creation came into being. However, to be the actual Author of Creation, who cannot be seen and has no tangible physical form--this is just impossible. A representation? The Malakh HaShem who is called "the Lesser YHWH" in Kabbalistic literature and commentary? Absolutely! "Metatron"/Malakh HaShem? Absolutely!

    Yehoshua`/Yeshua`=Torah=Word of HaShem=Malakh HaShem=representation/representative of HaShem=Image of HaShem, etc, etc

  7. Well said regarding Yeshua as Lord but not necessarily God incarnate. I have to disagree though regarding, at least in its current state, "Messianic Judaism" being a Judaism. In fact, our general theology is more Christian than Jewish (despite the "Jewishness" of our liturgy and such), deity of Yeshua included. Only a minority of Messianic congregations take the Jewish viewpoint that the Messiah isn't expected to be God.

    In the future, that is, when Yeshua returns, we'll all be straightened out by him and issues of whether or not our faith is a "Judaism" will be rendered academic. We all are looking for significance and validation, both on the individual and organizational levels, but as I recall, we're supposed to seek the approval of God and not men. That means checking our egos at the door, humbling ourselves, and turning to God with an open mind and an open heart.

  8. Aharon, I was wondering if you are by any chance linked to Moshe (Marshall)Koniuchowsky. The reason I ask is that a lot of what you say here sounds very much like what he teaches.

  9. Judah,

    The "re-formed Sanhedrin" is a joke, and no one aside from the people on it, extreme Christian Zionists, and certain Noachides take it seriously. It has absolutely no authority outside its own very small circle, and American Judaism (of whatever stream) will not take anything it does seriously.

  10. peterygwendyta,

    I'm not associated with any Messianic organization, because I'm not Messianic.

  11. Ovadia,

    I'm not familiar with them. Thanks for the heads up.

  12. Ovadia,

    I don't know very much about the new Sanhedrin. But from listening to Israel National Radio they seem to take it very seriously.