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.”
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!
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.
I hope that you and your family will have a peaceful Passover and festival of matzah. Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you are a Jew or a Gentile as these “appointed times” are “[t]he designated times of ADONAI which you [Moses] are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times” [Leviticus 23:2 CJB] and we (i.e everyone) should keep these.
I’ve included four interesting videos related to Passover below:
!חג פסח שמח
Please note that I don’t necessarily endorse any comments made in these videos. I’m posting these out of interest.
Shabbat Shalom, friends!
This week, I needed some encouragement. It’s just work…you know how it is sometimes…the ups and the downs. I felt a bit like this:
I was paging through the Word of God and I saw the verses from the prophet Habakkuk 3:17-19:
For even if the fig tree doesn’t blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines,
even if the olive tree fails to produce,
and the fields yield no food at all,
even if the sheep vanish from the sheep pen,
and there are no cows in the stalls;
18 still, I will rejoice in Adonai,
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 Elohim Adonai is my strength!
He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer
and enables me to stride over my high places.
Biblical truth is beautiful. Our Protector is always there to give us new strength!
After reading these, I started to read chapter 2 of Habakkuk: Some of the verses stood out: “Look at the proud…Woe to him who amasses other people’s wealth…. Woe to him who seeks unjust gain for his household… Woe to him who builds a city with blood… Woe to him who has his neighbor drink, adds his own poison and makes him drunk…What good is an idol… (You can read the full chapter below and here)
It made me think of how people will act (or are acting now, to be more precise) in the acharit – hayamim (the last days). In 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 we read:
3 Moreover, understand this: in the acharit-hayamim will come trying times. 2 People will be self-loving, money-loving, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, uncontrolled, brutal, hateful of good, 4 traitorous, headstrong, swollen with conceit, loving pleasure rather than God, 5 as they retain the outer form of religion but deny its power. Stay away from these people!
Yeshua also said in Luke 14:11 :
11 Because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”
We also read in Galatians 2:20:
20 When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
In this “me” generation, I say to myself:
Less of my hopelessness and more of ADONAI
Less of my negative thoughts / words and more of ADONAI
Less of my pride and more of ADONAI
Less of my lust and more of ADONAI
Less of my self-centeredness and more of ADONAI
Much less of me and much more of ADONAI and the Word of God!
All glory to Yeshua, King of Israel! I hope you have a peaceful shabbat!
Habakkuk 2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
2 I will stand at my watchpost;
I will station myself on the rampart.
I will look to see what [God] will say through me
and what I will answer when I am reproved.
2 Then Adonai answered me; he said,
“Write down the vision clearly on tablets,
so that even a runner can read it.
3 For the vision is meant for its appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and it does not lie.
It may take a while, but wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.
4 “Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright;
but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness.
5 Truly, wine is treacherous;
the arrogant will not live at peace
but keeps expanding his desires like Sh’ol;
like death, he can never be satisfied;
he keeps collecting all the nations for himself,
rallying to himself all the peoples.
6 Won’t all these take up taunting him
and say about him, in mocking riddles,
‘Woe to him who amasses other people’s wealth! —
how long must it go on? —
and to him who adds to himself the weight
of goods taken in pledge!
7 Won’t your own creditors suddenly stand,
won’t those who make you tremble wake up?
You will become their spoil.
8 Because you plundered many nations,
all the rest of the peoples will plunder you;
because of the bloodshed and violence done
to the land, the city and all who live there.
9 “‘Woe to him who seeks unjust gain for his household,
putting his nest on the heights,
in order to be safe from the reach of harm.
10 By scheming to destroy many peoples,
you have brought shame to your house
and forfeited your life.
11 For the very stones will cry out from the wall,
and a beam in the framework will answer them.
12 “‘Woe to him who builds a city with blood
and founds a town on injustice,
13 so that people toil for what will be burned up,
and nations exhaust themselves to no purpose.
Isn’t all this from Adonai–Tzva’ot?
14 For the earth will be as full
of the knowledge of Adonai’s glory
as water covering the sea.
15 “‘Woe to him who has his neighbor drink,
adds his own poison and makes him drunk,
in order to see him naked.
16 You are filled with shame, not glory.
You, drink too, and stagger!
The cup of Adonai’s right hand
will be turned against you;
your shame will exceed your glory.
17 For the violence done to the L’vanon
will overwhelm you,
and the destruction of the wild animals
will terrify you;
because of the bloodshed and violence done
to the land, the city and all who live there.’”
18 What good is an idol, once its maker has shaped it,
a cast metal image and a teacher of lies,
that its maker puts his trust in it,
and goes on making non-gods, unable to talk?
19 Woe to him who tells a piece of wood, “Wake up!”
or a speechless stone, “Rouse yourself!”
Can this thing teach? Why, it’s covered with gold and silver,
without the slightest breath in it!
20 But Adonai is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.