A light, fluffy bracha this week, light on the count, high on the content. This week’s bracha is like Snickers: you don’t have to eat too many to get some fine nourishment.
Before we hop in, I want to let you all know we have made some progress on the Bracha Futures idea. In case you forgot, the goal there is to move the Weekly Bracha onto its own website (e.g. bracha.com), democratize it, let users vote up stories, submit their own, etc. It’ll be kind of like Digg or Reddit, but for Messianic items.
As of some late nite coding over the weekend, I now have a barebones skeleton of the site running locally.
So keep an eye out for that, it’ll be great!
Until then, here’s the bracha bits from the past week.
- Is Messianic Judaism in Crisis? – UMJC rabbi Joshua Brumbach cites statistics showing the growth of Messianic Judaism is not sustainable:
Much of the energy which has propelled our Movement forward is based on events in the past out of which the modern Messianic Jewish phenomenon was birthed. Although lip service has been given toward the future, until very recently, very little has actually been done to practically prepare for the future and set a vision for what will happen after the current pioneers are gone. Add to this the huge influx of non-Jews, the higher numbers of intermarriage among Messianic Jews, and the very small numbers of young people currently being raised-up into leadership - the numbers can no longer keep up.
- Back To the Future – Gev writes on the contribution of Messianics to the church, and, hinting at assimilation into the church, asks, “Where are all the descendants of these great Messianic Jews?”
- What Did Jesus Teach About the Torah? – 11 posts deep into exploring what Yeshua commanded his Jewish disciples to teach gentile believers, James reaches some conclusions on Acts 15: it cannot contain the totality of the expected gentile behavioral compliance to God.
- Calev Myers: The Red Cross must visit Gilad Shalit – Calev Myers, the Israeli human rights advocate, one who’s fought for Messianics in Israel, gives an excellent speech calling out the the backwards morality of the world today, the evil of Palestinian terrorist leadership Hamas, and calls on the Red Cross to visit and help free Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas and held now for over 4 years.
- Cataloging the New Testament’s Hebraisms, Part 2 – Looking at densities of Hebraisms within complete stories in the gospels.
Relatively few of the Greek NT’s Hebrew (or Aramaic) idioms suggested by scholars constitute clear-cut proof for a Hebrew undertext, but a high density of Hebraisms in a given passage increases the probability that it is “translation Greek,” perhaps a descendant of a Greek translation of a Hebrew source, and raises the chances that any purposed Hebraism in such a passage was translated from a Hebrew source at some point in the transmission process rather than having been originally composed in Greek.
- A’La Carte Observance – Schiffman argues that for people not born into a life of total observance, becoming more observant is a process.
- Riverton Mussar – Rabbi Kinbar points us to a new Messianic Jewish blog/website on mussar, Jewish ethics. Multiple contributors including some big names in the Messianic movement. Here’s a sample: Finding Equilibrium.