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Weekly Bracha 39

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., 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.
Enjoy the tasty bracha bits, fine blog readers.


  1. Thanks for another mention of one of my blog posts. Much appreciated.

    I've already read the most recent Yinon blog and even commented. I'm always a little hesitant to comment on a blog such as Rabbi Joshua's since I'm certainly not the "commenter of choice", not being Jewish or even a Gentile supporter of BI. I suspect I won't be so much flamed as ignored. This brings up (for me at least) one of the critical problems with "the movement": the boundaries that BI finds necessary to maintain identity integrity also strangle communication, not to mention any sort of unity in the Messiah. Of course, I've been wrong before.

    Gilad Shalit. Don't get me started. I've been praying for this kid and bugging people all over the place for the last two years or so. I have twin sons who are his age and one just finished his stint in the US Marine Corp. Since he's Jewish (it says so on his dog tags), I was fearful that he'd be captured by Muslims in Iraq or Afghanistan and suffer Shalit's fate or worse. If the Palestinians want "peace talks", they can start by releasing Shalit, or at least allowing a visit to him be the Red Cross.

  2. I commented on the Yinon blog, too. I thought their whole vision is off and said so.

    If I'm not mistaken, Hamas doesn't want peace talks at all, so there's not much Israel can do in the way of Shalit's release during the negotiations. My understanding is that the talks are between Israel and Fatah.

  3. Yeah. So much for a "united" Palestinian people.

  4. One thing I've noticed in the Messianic movement is's hard to find single, young Messianic believers who stay that way. I have to wonder if part of the problem is how few and scattered we are. I'm very blessed to have found my future husband, but honestly don't know where my younger siblings will find spouses that believe like we do.

    My adult brothers have decided that the Messianic movement is not for them. My older brother has nothing to do with Christianity period, whereas my younger brother (23) does still walk with God, but doesn't keep the sabbath, the holy days, etc. I wonder if it's partly due to so few like-minded believers our age - he's engaged to a lovely Christian girl who has no desire to get involved in a Messianic congregation.

    It's a problem. I worry for my younger siblings. They have no like-minded friends. It's very hard...

  5. I recall a friend of mine, a young Messianic fellow, stuggled for years to find a woman he could connect with, Krista. He finally did get married not too long ago, but not until after many false starts.

    There is also some difficulty in being able to keep teens engaged in the Messianic movement if there aren't enough of them to form a "youth group" or similar collective. Some families return to the traditional church in order to be able to access those "services".


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