Import jQuery

Weekly Bracha 38

Happy Feast of Tabernacles, you knowledge-hungry interweb-dwelling Messianics! Behold, this past week(ish) in the Messianic blogosphere, plus Israel news items plus noteworthy bits from the Christian world:

  • Happy Birthday To Jesus – Scholar James Tabor explains how New Testament evidence suggests Jesus’ birth may well have occurred during Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.
  • Jesus Didn’t Preach Tolerance – Commenting on the widespread condemnation of the Qur’an-burning pastor from Florida, the author notes Jesus didn’t actually preach tolerance. He taught love. The difference?
    Tolerance costs me nothing. Loving others — seeking their good, willing their prosperity and happiness, genuinely desiring their companionship — this is the hazardous business of community, of relationship-building, of making and sustaining friendships for the long haul. Tolerance is all too happy to avoid all this. Tolerance turns out to be a means for keeping us estranged from one another while we pride ourselves on our progressive politics or our general open-mindedness whatever our politics.

    Tolerance has kept us at a safe and sterile distance.

    It’s easy to condemn a publicity-seeker like Terry Jones. Righteous indignation abounds. It’s hard to engage in the slow, patient work of love -- of our Muslim neighbors, and of wayward souls like Terry Jones. Yet this is the work we’ve been given to do, the work of love that is the way of Jesus.
  • Messianic Judaism And Coffee – Rabbi Brumbach suggests many Messianics aren’t really committed to building a Judaism around Yeshua.

    Messianic Judaism is like coffee. We can either be true connoisseurs with a deep value and knowledge of our history and tradition, or we can continue to drape our faith with a Tallis and call it "Jewish." It is my deepest conviction that the only Messianic form of faith that can survive into the future is one that truly is a Messianic form of Judaism.

  • Trinity – Do Messianics really believe in the Trinity, the idea that God is comprised of 3 persons? Yes? Consider that the word trinity does not appear in the New Testament and wasn’t codified until the 4th century.
  • View From a Sukkah – Dwight Pryor from the center for Judaic-Christians Studies writes on how we’re commanded to be joyful during Sukkot.
  • Inviting Jesus Into Your Heart – An investigation into the Greek text that Christians often cite as the sinner’s prayer, where a person gains everlasting life through inviting Jesus into one’s heart.
  • Metatron – The Prince of the Face – Guest blogger Rey lists many correlations between Metatron, a kind of super-angel mentioned in the Talmud and the Zohar, and Yeshua. Bonus chatter in the comments.
  • When Did Jesus’ Followers Begin to Worship Him? – New Testament scholar Scot McKnight dissects the new book Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?
  • A Ministry Grows In Brooklyn – Messianic leaders explore new strategies, including the purchase of a 11,000 square foot building the heart of Orthodox Brooklyn, for reaching the Jewish community.
  • Art Lesson For the Day – Egyptian state newspaper’s photoshop handiwork exposed, they explain the deception as a kind of art form. See for yourself:

    Real photo:

    Egyptian newspaper’s version:

  • What Did Jesus Teach About Being Good Fruit? – Digging deeper into the question about what Jesus meant when he said “go into all nations and teach them everything I have commanded you”, James blogs poignant commentary on the Messiah’s “7 Woes” to the Pharisees, concluding with a summarized, paraphrased version of the woes. He arrives at conclusions that may surprise you:

    Yeshua is arguing against choosing the Law over Grace and arguing against choosing Grace over the Law. He is saying there's nothing wrong with the practice of what Christians call "ritual" (wearing tzitzit, keeping Kosher, ceasing work on the Shabbat, and so forth) and in fact, he's saying that the "ritual" practice should be kept and we should also do the "grace" part of Torah.

  • Isaiah 53 – eisegesis or exegesis? – Anti-missionaries claim Isaiah 53 is about Israel only, and not Messiah. However, Gev examines the surrounding texts within Isaiah notes that Eliakim, Isaiah, David, Jacob, and another ambiguous individual, are also called “servant”.
  • Magen David Nanoparticles Discovered by Israeli Researchers – Not that I think this is some miracle or anything, but it is an amusing coincident that Israeli researches discovered this nanoparticle:

    Magen David nanoparticle
  • Passover Next Door – James highlights a new children’s book written with a Messianic perspective by a Jewish couple:

    How many Messianic Jewish children’s books do you have on your shelves? How many do you find at Barnes and Noble? How many can you find at Amazon? To the best of my knowledge, David and Betty Weinberger have written the only one, and it’s on the Messianic Passover “next door”.

  • Atoning For One Another – Rabbi Kinbar has some noteworthy thoughts on the midrash for Sukkot.


Enjoy the bracha, and enjoy the remainder of Sukkot, fine blog readers!


  1. Just read the blog post When Did Jesus' Followers Begin to Worship Him? Short, but powerful. I haven't read all the comments in response, but I can only imagine the explosion of reflexive outrage is tremendous. It's interesting that you should post this article right now, since I've been making a similar inquiry in my blog post Trinity. Another controversy maker.

  2. Yes, actually, I should have linked to your Trinity post. I will update the bracha with this one, you pose an interesting question there that deserves a spotlight.

  3. I just hope that doesn't end up being "torchlight" instead of "spotlight, as in angry villagers going after "the Monster"! :-O

  4. Hahah. Usually the torch comes when you question someone's place in the Messianic movement. Questioning a tenet of Messianic doctrine doesn't get people too upset, maybe just some discussion.

  5. Just read Messianic Judaism and Coffee at the Yinon blog and I wonder if Messianic Judaism or even any form of Judaism is really "the coffee". If MJ is the coffee, that is, the undiluted core method of accessing God, then 99%+ of the Earth's population is limited to drinking "cream and froth"; tasty, but without much substance, Less than 1% of humanity is actually able to enjoy a nice, hot, steaming cup of Sumatra (I'm using my favorite, full-bodied blend as an example) if coffee is MJ.

    What is the common element that all human beings use, Jews and Gentiles alike, to access God and to define our identity in Him? Faith. Genesis 15:6 or Paul's commentary on Genesis in Romans 4:3, take your pick. Hot, bitter (not a really good quality coffee, to be sure) and an acquired taste? I'll buy that. But once you get past your personal aversion and start drinking from the cup, you'll love it and never be able to put it down.


Appending "You might like" to each post.