Import jQuery

Weekly Bracha 11

Hello fine blog readers, hope you are enjoying your Super weekend.

Here’s this week’s interesting reads from the Messianic blogosphere.

  • Framing the Messianic Movement – Ovadia argues that there ought to be a distinct “Messianic Judaism” apart from other branches of the Messianic movement. Check out the comments, where Messianic music, Messianic dance, and the existing Messianic culture come under attack by some who consider them too Christian, too evangelical, and not Jewish enough.

  • The Unfamiliar Face of Jesus – This one’s a few months old, but it’s new to me.

    Is this Jesus?


    And is this Paul?


  • In Defense of Religion – Rabbi Russ Resnik writes how it’s OK in today’s culture to talk about spirituality, but ugly-ugly to talk about religion. How do you feel about a Jesus who “plays fast and loose with the legalism of Sabbath keeping…subverts the whole religious system. . . [and is] antireligious”?

  • Introducing Myself – Yeze, author of the popular Rosh Pina Project blog, reveals himself to the world: a 3rd generation Jewish follower of Yeshua, Joseph Weissman.

  • Anglican Vicar Uses Police to Silence Messianic BloggerYeze Joseph Weissman from the Rosh Pina Project wakes up to find the British police knocking on his door. His crime? Exposing an anti-Zionist Anglican vicar’s associations with Holocaust-deniers.

  • Christian Feminism, Second Temple Judaism and Messianic Jewish Femininity – What role do women have in the Messianic movement? Joseph Weissman explores the question in a short article.

  • History vs. Theology – How much history does your theology require? Does history influence your theology? Is Genesis 1 historical? Did you know some prominent rabbis, including the Rambam, considered the book of Job to be fictional? Do you accept the Bible as true because the community does, or because you trust in God’s guiding hand?

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I remember seeing the BBC Jesus when they first came out with it a few years ago. If I recall, the only thing that connected it with Jesus was that it was based on the excavated skull of a Jew who lived in Israel 2000 years ago. Then they gave it hair and skin appropriate for the time and region.

    So while I appreciate that it surely looks more like Jesus than any of the classic European depictions, it is still no more likely to look like Jesus than say, Barabbas, Caiaphas, Peter, Choni, or Hillel. Personally, I think they mistakenly grabbed the skull of the historical Fred Flintstone.

    By the way, Judah, thanks for promoting community interaction and making Messianic blogs into a blogosphere instead of a bunch of lonely voices.

  2. Personally, I think they mistakenly grabbed the skull of the historical Fred Flintstone.

    LOL! That just made my tired Monday a little bit better. :-)

  3. Judah,
    For the record, Seth's comments are much more the conversation I was trying to start than what actually happened. It was not an attack on Messianic culture, but on the idea that those cultural markers and that identification are the only legitimate way to express faith in Yeshua. Something that Messianics should be especially cognizant of after all the flack we take for not being "Christian" while still following Yeshua.
    And I defended instrumental music on Shabbat in the comments, giving a link to a source that shows that the the idea "instruments on Shabbat = assur" isn't so simple.
    If you're going link to my posts on your blog as you so frequently do, at least be more honest what they were about or what positions I took.

  4. Ovadia,

    I said it was the comments. The comments was where Messianic music, culture, etc. was ridiculed as non-Jewish, Evangelical flag-waiving. (And it was done mostly by your readers.)

    In this blog, the only position I said you took is the one about making distinctions in the Messianic movement.

    Fair enough?

  5. So long as no-one calls the cops on each other here, we're fine :D

  6. "Messianic music, culture, etc. was ridiculed as non-Jewish, Evangelical flag-waiving"

    Charismatic / Pentecostal flag-waving, to be exact. And not ridicule or judgement of anyone, just describing the facts of it not being of any Jewish origin.

    What's more, if this is how you or any other similar group (or church) wants to worship G-d, bless you and more power to you! I believe that non-Jewish groups have G-d endowed flexibilty and freedom to develop their own worship as they see fit (sing anything you want, dance your heart out, wave the flags, glorify G-d with all your might, etc), without any need or requirement to stay relevant to any Jewish community or be faithful to traditions of the fathers. We, the Jewish followers, however, do want to and I believe must stay both relevant and familiar to our Jewish people.

  7. Gene is correct here, as dancing and flag waving largely originated in Pentecostalism. There are evangelical Protestant traditions that have liturgical services with hymns, which even though are not as elaborate as what is seen in various branches of Judaism, are nevertheless closer to the Synagogue than not.

    I would never allow polyester flag waving in a congregation--ever! I have been hit far too many times, and consider them a serious safety hazard. I have told people waving banners to be careful, and am just ignored.

    Personally, if I could I would also ban dancing entirely from a Shabbat service--not for being opposed to dancing itself, but because a "dance team" is generally the place where many congregational splits erupt. But, I think the cat's out of the bag with Messianic dancing, so limiting it as much as possible is probably more likely.

  8. Thanks for the link Judah!:)

  9. I suppose the faces are as good a guess as any. While I think it's important to re-inject Jewishness back into Yeshua, including how we visually depict him, there's no way to know exactly what he looked like. The absence of a description of him in the Gospels is probably deliberate, so we don't go around worshipping a bunch of paintings and drawings.

    Of course, if you take into consideration how Yeshua is described by John at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, we might be encountering a completely different looking Yeshua someday.

  10. Hi all!

    Totally off topic and only because I don't have private email addresses for you fine blog readers and writers:

    I've promised to do a presentation on Passover for Australian Christians Supporting Israel's March meeting.

    I am without inspiration... somebody help!

    I know some details about Pesach from a Messianic point of view...but I have no ideas about how to form a coherent message, or even have a point...

    Can anyone point me towards a good study on Pesach, particularly in regards to Jewish traditions which are themselves prophetic of Messiah? Some sourced in the Mishna, ideally...

    I've got one of JK's articles on TNN online (on the "Last Supper), many thanks JK, it's a good overview and I intend only to use some details, not the structure...

    Also, can anyone tell me where there is a good English translation of the Mishna online?

    All acknowledgements will be duly given, of course...I don't intend to plagiarize anyone, just need a leg-up for inspiration...

    Blessings all!

    PS- Did Seismic ever actually accuse Sizer of anti-semitism outright? Or was it only implied by association?

    What a goose. I know some anglicans like that in Australia...

  11. P.H.:

    I've got a much larger article on the Last Supper now that I just finished last week, including an educational haggadah that you might want to consider. Obviously, you may have to tailor some things for the needs of your audience, shortening them up, etc., but I think you will find these useful tools. Drop me an e-mail and I can send you the appropriate PDFs.

  12. "Did Seismic ever actually accuse Sizer of anti-semitism outright?"

    No, Sizer just accused Joseph of accusing him in order to deflect from the issues being raised.



Appending "You might like" to each post.