Rejoice, Messianic sons & daughters of Abraham! The weekly bracha may be a day late, but it’s back with powerful punditry, bearing fine, fine, fine items from the Messianic blogosphere over the last week-ish, plus related news bits from the Jewish world.
- Non-Jews as the Saviors of Judaism – Famed Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post suggests Judaism will be saved by non-Jews doing a kind of Judaism. A gentile can become a Judaizer (his term), and thus save Judaism, by doing 7 things:
- Having a family night on Friday night
- Eating kosher
- Celebrating the biblical feasts
- Studying the Torah, Talmud, Zohar, and other Jewish texts
- Observing niddah (marital purity laws)
- Acts of kindness
- Boteach's Non-Divine, Non-Messianic Jesus? – In response to the above article, Derek Leman responds to Shmuley’s take on Yeshua, whom Shmuley labeled thus:
For the past six years I have been working on a book, to be published shortly, on a new understanding of Jesus as prophet rather than deity, based exclusively on the New Testament. The real story of Jesus as teacher of traditional Jewish spirituality to his disciples lies explicitly in the text. I have lectured Christian audiences about rediscovering the uniquely Jewish Jesus as a way of deepening their spiritual understanding of Christianity and stripping it of any acquired pagan coating.
Derek responds powerfully:
Shmuley’s upcoming book is about Jesus. Jesus the prophet, he says. But not Jesus the divine man or Messiah. Problems? You bet:
If Jesus is a prophet (I certainly think so) then his words are from God. There is no way Shmuley can believe this. I predict some sort of game-playing will ensure so that many of Jesus’ words will be ignored through either denial of authenticity or clever reinterpretation.
Derek ends with some Scriptures where Yeshua, in his own words, claims status as the bread of life, the unique son of man with authority to forgive sins, the Messiah, sitting at the right hand of power, having been handed all power in heaven and earth by God himself. Oh, yes! Go, Derek, go!
- Seven Steps to Jewish Living for Non-Jews – James was the first Messianic blog to comment on Boteach’s article, with some interesting comments from James’ readers.
- Boteach's Judaism for Non-Jews – Another reactionary post, Rabbi Brumbach wrestles with another aspect of Boteach’s controversial post: how do gentiles fit into Judaism? This question is particularly relevant to those in Messianic Judaism with its massive influx of gentiles.
- US State Department's 2010 Religious Freedom Report – Prominent in the report is the Jewish terrorist anti-missionary group Yad L’achim, detailing its vigilante acts against Yeshua’s followers (e.g. the firebombings, explosive packages, intimidation, expulsion, etc.). It further links the terrorist group’s activities with government support from the Israeli Ministry of Interior.
- Israeli Army Radio refuses to air Yad L'achim advertisement – Perhaps recognizing the futility of fighting terrorism in Israel while promoting terrorism on its own airwaves, the Israeli Army does the right thing (hooray!) and rejected Yad L’achim terrorist organization’s advertisement. Good on them!
- Good News of Messiah – A new Messianic blog! Well, not really, he’s been blogging for over a year now, but it’s new to me, and probably new to most of you.
- Do You Obey All The Commandments – James writes,
No, even the best of you don’t obey all of the commandments listed in the Torah; not even the Ultra-Orthodox Jews obey all 613 commandments for the simple reason that they (and you…and we) can’t obey them all. Cool your jets. It’s OK.
- What Is Grassroots? – Yahnatan talks about a
conferencenon-conference for young Messianic believers, and how,
One year, a dozen or so people who grew up in the UMJC sat down with a dozen MJAA people and basically said, "Here's what we (learned to) think about you." The conversation led to a lot of repentance--changing minds and hearts about our fellow believers.
That’s rather encouraging to hear. I think if folks in the various factions of the Messianic movement got together like this, there would be less fighting.
- One Torah To Rule Them All – First Fruits of Zion’s new issue of Messiah Journal has an article on gentiles keeping Torah. James reviews the article, offers his views, and some FFOZ folks respond in the comments. Interesting discussion.
Enjoy the tasty day-old Bracha bits, fine Kineti readers!