If you are interested in finding out more about the origins of Rabbinical Judaism and why [some*] Jews don’t believe in Yeshua. [I had to write the word “some” as I’m a Jewish believer in Yeshua, I was born Jewish and I didn’t believe in Yeshua growing up, but later accepted Him as my Jewish Messiah and I’m still and always will be Jewish]. The discussion on Rabbinical Judaism starts around 16’50.
Evangelical communities in the United States have largely supported the nation of Israel and for good reason. Years of antisemitism and persecution have skewed the Jewish perception of their Christian counterparts, and has painted a false image of the very Jewish Jesus. Pastor John Hagee runs CUFI (Christians United for Israel) out of Texas, and over the years it has become one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in America. The Hebrew Roots movement and rise in Messianic Judaism may contribute to the fairly recent explosive support for the Holy Land.
Growing up as a reform Jew, my religion and ethnicity were so intertwined that Zionism was just as much of a religious virtue as say, tzedakah (charity) and mitzvoth (commandments and good deeds). I looked in awe at scenic laminated photos of the Western Wall and the Jerusalem skyline proudly displayed after a group from synagogue returned from a trip. Twice a week at Hebrew school the American and Israeli national anthems were sung and the flags were brought down together to the bimah (raised platform in the synagogue from which the Torah is read and services are held). Before Jesus found me and completed my Jewish identity in him, I was spiritually lost and wondered why I needed to travel across the world to experience God in a more powerful way. Since God created the heavens and the earth, it didn’t make sense to me that I was ‘less of a Jew’ if I hadn’t yet taken up my birthright trip or had tourist photos taken in a Middle Eastern desert.
As a thirteen year old studying for my bat-mitzvah, my knowledge of the Torah wasn’t extensive, but the various questions I had weren’t taken too seriously by my tutor. My portion was Korach, and after inquiring about the possibility of a man getting swallowed by the earth and how that could possibly relate to Jewish life here and now, he replied “Who knows if any of this sh*t is real”. (this is an example of a ‘flashbulb memory’. I don’t remember much else from bat mitzvah study at 13 but those words were so utterly shocking (and funny at the time) that they never left me and probably never will)). I figured that my religious confusion would be wiped away once I made it to that patch of land and that God would solidify my Jewish pride as I touched the wall. This wasn’t exactly the case. I visited Israel with my local church last summer as a hoopla after finally, through Jesus, achieving the assurance of an authentic relationship with God that I had always been searching for. I got the touristy desert photo & everything!
The potential drawback of this thinking is putting religious piety before humanity and care for the lowly. This is exactly what we’re told not to do (Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 23:9, James 4:6, James 4:10, Philippians 4:3, Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 27:2, Proverbs 29:23, Luke 14:11, Matthew 23:12, etc..). The word ‘humble’ occurs 71 times in the Bible, not including the variances ‘humility’ and ‘contrite’. That would give us an even 100. We know that the fullness of God’s plan will unfold regardless of our human attempts to assist, and Jesus makes it clear that our job is to simply obey and draw those from every tribe, nation, and tongue into his kingdom so they too can experience his peace. I will not put myself with one camp or the other, because labels don’t help us to actually understand people. Jesus ministered to individuals as well as to groups, and the need to assimilate can draw us away from our unique, God given identity and into a watered down form of spirituality. This conflict is more complicated than meets the eye, and Christians need to be a light and safe haven for the Jewish and Muslim communities pitted against each other. At the end of the day, we want every people group to notice something different about us. I’ve been called a pacifist, but knowing that Christ is the ultimate authority over every world power gives us the peace to walk confidently through tumultuous situations and show unconditional kindness to those who seem strange or unfamiliar.
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men came forward, seized Jesus, and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reaches for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its’ place,” Jesus said to him,”For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” ~Matthew 26:50-52 (NIV)
During this holiday season my hope & prayer is that we focus on our similarities rather than our differences. Reversal of fortunes is a common theme weaved through God’s story, and it’s a call to us to treat our ‘enemies’ as his sons and daughters with infinite potential, marked with his fingerprint. As the wise Martin Luther King said,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Antisemitism across Europe has been increasing over the past couple of years. This week, a number of UK Labour Members of Parliament broke away from the UK Labour Party due to antisemitism within the party (and their Brexit policies). In France, there have been numerous incidents including the murder of Jews. As a result of the most recent incidents this week, Israeli Immigration Minister Yoav Galant, called for French Jews to move to Israel. The message is clear: Come home!
I’ve included a documentary from Vice news and the news reports about Yoav Galant and UK Labour MPs resigning below:
Is 2019 the new 1939?
Cabinet minister to French Jews: ‘Come home’
Minister Galant says vandalism of French Jewish cemetery “reminiscent of dark days in the history of the Jewish people.”
Minister and Cabinet member Yoav Galant on Tuesday condemned anti-Semitism in France in the wake of the vandalism discovered at a Jewish cemetery, calling on French Jews to “come home” to Israel.
Earlier on Tuesday, swastikas were found sprayed on some 80 graves in a Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, close to the border with Germany in the Alsace region.
The vandalism was discovered ahead of planned rallies in Paris and other French cities to denounce a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in the country, culminating with the harassment of Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut at a “yellow vest” protest on Saturday.
Galant tweeted that the vandalism at the Jewish cemetery was “reminiscent of dark days in the history of the Jewish people.”
“Last week I visited the French Jewish community, which faces anti-Semitic attacks and a process of assimilation.
“The State of Israel is the protected national home for the Jews of the world. I strongly condemn the anti-Semitism in France and call on [its] Jews – come home, immigrate to Israel.”
Seven MPs leave Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership
Seven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism.
They are: Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.
Ms Berger said Labour had become institutionally anti-Semitic and she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay.
Mr Corbyn said he was “disappointed” the MPs had felt unable to continue working for the policies that “inspired millions” at the 2017 election.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the “honourable thing for them to do” would be to stand down as MPs and seek to return to Parliament in by-elections.
- Kuenssberg: What next for Labour’s breakaway MPs?
- Who are the Labour MPs resigning?
- ‘Cowards and traitors’ – how Twitter reacted
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, in a video message on Facebook, urged the “hard left” to stop celebrating the departure of the seven MPs, saying it was “a moment for regret and reflection not for a mood of anger or a tone of triumph”.
“Betrayal narratives and shouting insults at the departed might make some feel better briefly but it does nothing to address the reasons that good colleagues might want to leave,” said Mr Watson.
He said Luciana Berger’s decision to quit was a “wake-up call for the Labour Party” over anti-Semitism, saying: “We were slow to acknowledge we had a problem and even slower to deal with it.”
Labour had to “broaden out” and become more tolerant, he said, adding: “I love this party. But sometimes I no longer recognise it, that is why I do not regard those who have resigned today as traitors.”
What is the new group trying to do?
The seven MPs, who all back a further EU referendum, are not launching a new political party – they will sit in Parliament as the Independent Group.
But Chuka Umunna said they had “taken the first step” and urged other Labour MPs – and members of other parties – to join them in “building a new politics”.
“It is time we dumped this country’s old-fashioned politics and created an alternative that does justice to who we are today and gives this country a politics fit for the here and now – the 21st Century,” he said at a launch event in central London.
I haven’t written a blog post for a couple of months. Since the middle of last year, I started working for another company which takes up most of my time. What else has been happening? I developed an interest in flower photography (or let me rephrase this: I walk around with my mobile phone and take pictures of flowers) and I thought it was too soon, but my beard has decided to go grey in certain spots. This happened almost overnight [and that might be too much personal information]:-)
I’m currently reading from the Book of Daniel and I find Daniel a fascinating character. He was of Jewish nobility, lived in a foreign land but held a high ranking government position in this country’s government, he had the ability to interpret dreams, vision and messianic revelations, he was saved from a certain death and he was “much loved” [Daniel 9: 23]. Even with all these amazing blessings and that he was “much loved”, there are 2 verses [Daniel 6: 10 & 11] that just captures my attention. He didn’t take this for granted. He gave thanks to Adonai, made requests and pleaded (and sometimes even with sackcloth and ashes). It is mentioned that he prayed 3 times a day. When I read these verses, this reminds me of what Yeshua said in Matthew 7: 7 & 8:
7 “Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who keeps asking receives; he who keeps seeking finds; and to him who keeps knocking, the door will be opened”
And in everything gives thanks to Adonai, for He is good, for His grace continues forever -[Psalm 107:1 1 Thessalonians 5:18]
Keep the communication going – that is pray and continue to do so! When everything in your life is going well, during the challenging times, when you need guidance on decisions you have to make….pray anytime and about anything.
I’m also reading the Book of Daniel because of the prophecy about the abomination that causes desolation that was revealed to Daniel. You could read more about this in Daniel 11:29-32 & Daniel 12:11. Yeshua also makes reference to this in Matthew 24. There are some that speculate for this to happen, there needs to be a “third temple” building or similar structure. There has been talk for a couple of years now that a particular Member of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) is seriously advocating to build a third temple. Some of the orthodox rabbis also regard the war in Syria as prophetic, as the current events taking place in the Middle East could lead to the abomination that causes desolation [ You could read more about this for example 2 Thessalonians 2]. There are all kinds of rumors and opinions that the Anti Messiah will be someone representing Iran, or a European Muslim convert or even an Israeli military leader. I’m not an expert on this, it’s just some food for thought and you can’t (and shouldn’t) believe everything you hear. With all these rumours, just remember Yeshua‘s words in Matthew 24:
23 “At that time, if someone says to you, `Look! Here’s the Messiah!’ or, `There he is!’ don’t believe him.
24 For there will appear false Messiahs and false prophets performing great miracles — amazing things! — so as to fool even the chosen, if pos sible.
25 There! I have told you in advance!
26 So if people say to you, `Listen! He’s out in the desert!’ don’t go; or, `Look! He’s hidden away in a secret room!’ don’t believe it.
27 For when the Son of Man does come, it will be like lightning that flashes out of the east and fills the sky to the western horizon.
Let’s continue to hold on to Yeshua’s words by reading the Bible.
I’ve included some of my photos in the post.
Have a good week!
Psalm 23 is probably one of the most famous psalms. Written by King David, this psalm has inspired painters and even composers such as Johnn Sebastian bach to compose music to the words. But have you heard the words in Hebrew?
Israeli Band, Miqedem has recently released a new album called “Vol II” and
Psalm 23 is one of the featured songs. Enjoy! The other songs from Vol II are also amazing!
Shabbat Shalom, friends!
I hope that you have been well!
Over the past couple of weeks, I read various random verses from the Word, and I kept returning to the same topic which is the fear of ADONAI (the Lord). One particular verse that stands out, is the first section of Psalm 111:10 “the first and foremost point of wisdom is the fear of ADONAI“. In the Hebrew text, it is even shorter, only 4 words (רֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה, יִרְאַת יְהוָה). In my opinion, it’s very clear what the starting point of wisdom is. We could spend hours and hours studying the dietary requirements given in the Torah, bible prophecies, bible history etc, but if we don’t fear the Lord (that is, obey), it’s a bit of a waste of time. It only takes a second to read Psalm 111:10 and gain invaluable wisdom instantly.
Stay focused on Yeshua the Messiah!
I hope you have a peaceful weekend and Shabbat!
You are welcome to follow my Instagram account: @nechemyah5778
Shabbat Shalom, friends!
The State of Israel celebrated 70 years of Independence on 19 April. This isn’t a coincidence, but bible prophecy.
We read about this in various verses in the Bible and I particularly like Ezekiel 39:28 “ [t]hen they will know that I am ADONAI their God, since it was I who caused them to go into exile among the nations, and it was I who regathered them to their own land. I will leave none of them there any more”
Happy Independence Day Israel!
I’ve found this interesting article and I’d wanted to share it.
In the final paragraph the writer notes the following:
“And I can tell you as an eye-witness here that the ayin is returning to Israel and the Jewish people as never before. Through visions dreams, study of the prophets and testimonies, many Jewish people are joyously discovering the Messiah, King of the Jews. That final letter is now being grafted back onto Yeshu and becoming Yeshua, the Hebrew word for salvation, and eyes are opening to see Him who is our very Jewish brother and King.”
All I could say is that I’m also an example of someone who was secular and found Yeshua Mashiach (or actually Yeshua Mashiach found me!) 16 years ago. When I became a believer, I only knew 1 other Jewish believer in Yeshua, but during the last year or so, I’ve “met” many believers over social media. In my opinion, there is a great messianic awakening happening!
I was speaking in Hebrew to a friendly middle-aged Israeli woman about Yeshua and was very surprised that she agreed with everything I said. Finally I felt there was something not quite right, so I asked her if she understood about whom I was speaking. She said yes, Yehoshua ben-Nun. So I clarified and said, “Yeshu.” Then and there she screamed at me and said, get away from me, missionary! and she left in a huff.
“Yeshu” is the abbreviation of the name Yeshua as found in the rabbinic writings. It is the removal of the last letter of the name, which is the letter ayin, or ein. Ayin is also the word for eye, but is also the word for a spring of water, as in Ein Gedi- the Goat Spring. The use of the same word for eye and spring define the spiritual nature of the eye, which is like a spring of water. A good eye, or spring, puts out much good water, and a bad spring, or eye, is one who is not generous, which is the biblical and common expression, ayin rah – evil eye – meaning stingy, as opposed to generous – ayin tova – good eye (see Deuteronomy 15:9, Matthew 6:21-24).
By removing the ayin from the name Yeshua, one removes the eye, causing blindness. The Hebrew for blind is eiver, also beginning with the letter ayin. As Paul writes in Romans 11:25, ‘For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in‘, and Isaiah wrote, “Who is blind but my servant…” (Isaiah 42:19). Some even construe the name Yeshu to be a curse, which indeed it is.
As there are no numbers in Hebrew, the letters define numbers- the first letter alef being one, beit, two, etc. The letter ayin is the number seventy. According to biblical exegesis, seventy is the number of the nations, the Gentiles, the goyim, based on the scripture, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of
Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:8), which is seventy Hebrews that went down to Egypt with Jacob (Genesis 46:27). That ayin, or eye, which is given for vision, and the spring of living waters, has gone out to give that vision to the nations, and that yeshuah, which is the Hebrew word for salvation, has gone out from Israel to the world, now for nearly two millennia, to either be accepted or rejected by the Gentiles.
Now, in these latter days, Israel has been re-gathered back to the Promised Land of Israel, a phenomenon unprecedented in history, and seen before the eyes of all the nations. Both Yeshua and Paul inform us that Israel shall be set apart until the time and fullness of the nations be come in (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25-32), and then all Israel will be saved.
And I can tell you as an eye-witness here that the ayin is returning to Israel and the Jewish people as never before. Through visions dreams, study of the prophets and testimonies, many Jewish people are joyously discovering the Messiah, King of the Jews. That final letter is now being grafted back onto Yeshu and becoming Yeshua, the Hebrew word for salvation, and eyes are opening to see Him who is our very Jewish brother and King.
Shabbat Shalom, friends!
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we read about “the thorn” (a messenger from the Adversary) in Sha’ul’s flesh:
7 Therefore, to keep me from becoming overly proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from the Adversary to pound away at me, so that I wouldn’t grow conceited.8 Three times I begged the Lord to take this thing away from me;9but he told me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness.” Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah’s power will rest upon me.10 Yes, I am well pleased with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties endured on behalf of the Messiah; for it is when I am weak that I am strong.
In verse 10, we read about Sha’ul being “well pleased” enduring his hardships and difficulties. I have been reflecting on this particular verse for a while as I’m have been experiencing issues in my life and I must admit it’s hasn’t been pleasant. I think to myself that, what I’d like to call : the “Entitled Me” is overly upset and this “Entitled Me” is really trying to dominate. The “Entitled me” wants me to ask whether it is really wrong to feel upset about the situation? Is it or isn’t it?
To ward off this “Entitled Me”, I was drawn to Psalm 19:12 -13:
12 Who can discern unintentional sins? Cleanse me from hidden faults.13 Also keep your servant from presumptuous sins, so that they won’t control me. Then I will be blameless and free of great offense.
After “meditating” on these two verses for a while, I turned to Psalm 20:1 and these words: May ADONAI answer you in times of distress, may the name of the God of Ya’akov protect you”.
Thus, I pray:
ABBA (אבא), The Almighty Living God of Israel, in the name of Yeshua ha Mashiach (Yeshua the Messiah), please hear my prayer. Thank you, ABBA (אבא) for everything You do in my life – all Your grace You have given to me. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in Your presence. I have sinned. Please cleanse me. Please forgive my sins. Please protect me. I ask this in the name of Yeshua ha Mashiach (Yeshua the Messiah).
Shabbat Shalom, friends!
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. I hope you and your family have been well!
I’m currently reading through the Book of Joshua. This book records the history of the people of Israel as enter and take possession of the Land of Israel. Joshua is their new leader, ADONAI leads them victory as long as they obey HIM. I follow the Kehilat haKarmel congregration in Haifa, Israel on Youtube. This congregration is currently reading through the entire book. These sermons are both in Hebrew and English; and definitely worthwhile listening to (in my humble opinion). I’ve include the video from last Shabbat’s sermon below:
As I was reading, I was drawn to Joshua Chapter 5 verses 13 – 14:
13 One day, when Y’hoshua was there by Yericho, he raised his eyes and looked; and in front of him stood a man with his drawn sword in his hand. Y’hoshua went over to him and asked him, “Are you on our side or on the side of our enemies?” 14 “No,” he replied, “but I am the commander of Adonai’s army; I have come just now.” Y’hoshua fell down with his face to the ground and worshipped him, then asked, “What does my lord have to say to his servant?” 15 The commander of Adonai’s army answered Y’hoshua, “Take your sandals off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy.” And Y’hoshua did so.
After I’ve read these verses, I thought of the following: Firstly, this could be seen as Joshua’s “burning bush” experience as Moses was also asked to remove his sandals. Secondly, it also reminds me of when Yeshua successful completed his testing by the adversary and the angels came to take care of Him (Matthew 4:11). Yeshua also mentioned that ADONAI would sent armies of angels to protect him, but He had to die for our sins. (Matthew 26:53).
We might not always think about this, but we have the best protection. Psalm 91: 11- 12 really describes it very well:
11 for he will order his angels to care for you
and guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their hands,
so that you won’t trip on a stone.
As long as we obey and trust, ADONAI’s protection and grace will never fail us.
I hope you have a peaceful Shabbat!
Shabbat Shalom, friends!
It’s a busy time of the year for me and I’d just wanted to write a quick post to say that I hope you and your family have a blessed and peaceful Shabbat!
We read in Psalm 18 1 to 3 these words by King David:
1 For the leader. By David the servant of ADONAI, who addressed the words of this song to ADONAI on the day when ADONAI delivered him from the power of all his enemies, including from the power of Sha’ul. He said: “I love you, ADONAI, my strength!2 “ADONAI is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer, my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter, my shield, the power that saves me, my stronghold.3 I call on ADONAI, who is worthy of praise; and I am saved from my enemies