- Murder of Israeli Family Stuns Nation – An Israeli family in Samaria was murdered this week, stabbed to death in their home by Palestinians. Included among the dead was the father Udi Fogel, his wife Ruth, their 11 year old son Yoav, their 4 year old son Elad, and their 3 month old daughter Hadas. Hat tip to Rosh Pina for the following video coverage (warning, graphic):
- Yad L'achim compares Messianic Jews to Hitler – Anti-messianic organization Yad L’achim juxtaposes Jews being led to Nazi gas chambers with images of Jews being baptized in the Jordan. Of course, YL is no stranger to obscene, ridiculous claims. (Related: Yediot HaDarom Israeli newspaper poll on Hitler/Messianic Jews comparision.)
- Jews Laud Pope’s Insistence Jews Did Not Kill Jesus – Pope Benedict XVI declares Jewish people are not responsible for Yeshua’s death. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as the World Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League, applauded the declaration.
My fervent hope is that your clarity and courage will strengthen the relations between Jews and Christians throughout the world and help promote peace and reconciliation for generations to come.
-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Catholic declarations aside, Rabbi Schiffman is none too swayed by the showing of goodwill, pointing to the Church’s recent anti-Israel statements.
- Birth Issues – Messianic theologian Derek Leman highlights problems in the gospels’ accounts of Yeshua’s birth. Can they be harmonized?
- Think Before You Speak – Rebbetzin Michelle Schiffman says some Messianic Jews are too overt in their faith; suggesting our best witness isn’t our words, but our lives.
- Murex trunculus confirmed as Biblical Tekhelet – Darren points to new research based on a discovery of an existing fragment of a Jewish garment from Masada, where scientists have resolved the debate that the biblical blue (tekhelet) of the priestly garments and the ritual fringes (tzitzit) worn by every Israelite was made from the Murex trunculus, a sea snail living off the coast of Israel.
- A Reasonable Argument for God’s Existence – Manhattan rabbi Adam Jacobs combats the atheist theme that religious systems rely solely on unsubstantiated faith to support their beliefs. Is belief in God blind faith?
- We Are Living Torahs – Messianic blogger James argues that it’s not enough to mechanically obey the commandments, but more important is that the intention is correct. He suggests that Paul’s anti-Torah statements in Galatians may be more against the Galatian community’s malformed intentions, e.g. “You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ.”
- Israel My Servant – How the Tenakh and the New Testament prove Israel’s ongoing chosenness; God’s commitment to his chosen people Israel.
- End-Times Fever – Rabbi Resnik looks back to when he was young and inflicted with “End Times Fever”. Though he’s since matured, he now wonders why there’s so much complacency about the end times today.
For my first few years as a follower of Yeshua, [shortly after 1967] I suffered from what one of my colleagues later diagnosed as end-times fever. And I wasn’t alone. Friends, mentors, the voices on the radio or cassette tapes—we were all convinced that Messiah’s return was so near that we should devote all our energies to being ready and helping everyone we knew to get ready too, before it was too late.
Now the end-time fever has broken and I’m doing things that I would have thought unimaginable back then—hanging out with the grandchildren and wondering how we’re going to make it through retirement. The irony is that signs of the end are far more abundant now then they were thirty or forty years ago.
The odd thing is, amidst all this action, we’re not really seeing a return of end-times fever. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing. We’re not calm; we’re complacent.
On related note, in Messiah Is Coming, one Messianic leader suggests all these wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East, combined with the recent natural disasters, may be a sign of the times and the coming return of Moshiach.
- To Each His Own – The Sacred Sandwich comments on modern church specialization:
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tasty weekly bracha bits, fine Kineti readers. Salute!