Messianic Judaism is a recent syncretic religious movement whose religious ideology is Christianity--most importantly, the belief that Jesus is the Messiah-- yet takes the name of and appropriates cultural and religious practices of Judaism and Jewish tradition. It's primary goal is to convert secular or semi religious Jews to Christianity. Its current form emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.
Messianic "Jews" believe that Jesus[a] is the Jewish Messiah and "God the Son" (one person of the Trinity), both being the key distinction (between Jews and Christians), and that the Tanakh[b] and New Testament are the authoritative scriptures. They do not recognize the most important text of rabbinical Judaism: the Talmud.
Salvation from Hell in Messianic Judaism is achieved only through total acceptance of Jesus as one's savior, and Jewish laws or customs which are followed do not contribute to salvation. Belief in the messiahship of Jesus, his power to save, and his divinity are the defining distinctions between Christianity and Judaism. Both Jewish and Christian groups perceive Messianic Judaism as a rebranded form of Christianity.
Some adherents of Messianic Judaism are ethnically Jewish and while raised without religion to be secular, claim that the movement is a sect of Judaism. Many refer to themselves in Hebrew as maaminim (believers), not converts, and yehudim (Jews), not notzrim (Christians). Jewish organizations and the Supreme Court of Israel have rejected this claim in cases related to the Law of Return, and instead consider Messianic Judaism to be a form of Christianity.
From 2003 to 2007, the movement grew from 150 Messianic houses of worship in the United States to as many as 438, with over 100 in Israel and more worldwide; congregations are often affiliated with larger Messianic organizations or alliances. As of 2012 , population estimates for the United States were between 175,000 and 250,000 members, between 10,000 and 20,000 members for Israel, and an estimated total worldwide membership of 350,000.
Efforts by Jewish Christians to proselytize Jews began in the first century, when Paul the Apostle preached at the synagogues in each city that he visited. However, non-biblical accounts of missions to the Jews do not mention converted Jews playing any leading role in proselytization. Notable converts from Judaism who attempted to convert other Jews are more visible in historical sources beginning around the 13th century, when Jewish convert Pablo Christiani attempted to convert other Jews. This activity, however, typically lacked any independent Jewish-Christian congregations, and was often imposed through force by organized Christian churches.
In the 19th century, some groups attempted to create congregations and societies of Jewish converts to Christianity, though most of these early organizations were short-lived. Early formal organizations run by converted Jews include: the Anglican London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews of Joseph Frey (1809), which published the first Yiddish New Testament in 1821;[verification needed] the "Beni Abraham" association, established by Frey in 1813 with a group of 41 Jewish Christians who started meeting at Jews' Chapel, London for prayers Friday night and Sunday morning; and the London Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain founded by Dr. Carl Schwartz in 1866.
The September 1813 meeting of Frey's "Beni Abraham" congregation at the rented "Jews' Chapel" in Spitalfields is sometimes pointed to as the birth of the semi-autonomous Hebrew Christian movement within Anglican and other established churches in Britain, though the non-Anglican minister of the chapel at Spitalfields evicted Frey and his congregation only three years later, and Frey severed his connections with the Society. A new location was found and the Episcopal Jew's Chapel Abrahamic Society registered in 1835.
In Eastern Europe, Joseph Rabinowitz established a Hebrew Christian mission and congregation called "Israelites of the New Covenant" in Kishinev, Ukraine in 1884. Rabinowitz was supported from overseas by the Christian Hebraist Franz Delitzsch, translator of the first modern Hebrew translation of the New Testament. In 1865, Rabinowitz created a sample order of worship for Sabbath morning service based on a mixture of Jewish and Christian elements. Mark John Levy pressed the Church of England to allow members to embrace Jewish customs.
In the United States, a congregation of Jewish converts to Christianity was established in New York City in 1885. In the 1890s, immigrant Jewish converts to Christianity worshiped at the Methodist "Hope of Israel" mission on New York's Lower East Side while retaining some Jewish rites and customs. In 1895, the 9th edition of Hope of Israel's Our Hope magazine carried the subtitle "A Monthly Devoted to the Study of Prophecy and to Messianic Judaism", the first use of the term "Messianic Judaism". Hope of Israel was controversial; other missionary groups accused its members of being Judaizers, and one of the two editors of Our Hope magazine, Arno C. Gaebelein, eventually repudiated his views and, as a result, was able to become a leader in the mainstream Christian evangelical movement. In 1894, Christian missionary and Baptist ministerLeopold Cohn, a convert from Judaism, founded the Brownsville Mission to the Jews in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York as a Christian mission to Jews. After several changes in name, structure and focus, the organization is now called Chosen People Ministries and has operations and staff in the US and 11 other nations.
Missions to the Jews saw a period of growth between the 1920s and the 1960s. In the 1940s and '50s, missionaries in Israel, including the Southern Baptists, adopted the term meshichyim (? "Messianics") to counter negative connotations of the word notsrim ( "Christians", from "Nazarenes"); the term was used to designate all Jews who had converted to Protestant evangelical Christianity.
The modern day Messianic Jewish movement is considered by many to have begun in the United States in the 1960s and maybe even more specifically in 1967. Mark Kinzer writes: "The cultural ferment of the 1960s threw Hebrew Christians in America and their institutions into the same turmoil that characterized the rest of American society. Three factors played an especially important part in turning their world upside down: a social movement (i.e., the youth counterculture), a cultural trend (i.e., ethnic self-assertion and pride), and a political-military event (i.e., the Six-Day War)." The Six-Day war (The Arab-Israeli war of June 5 to June 10, 1967) brought Jerusalem back under Jewish control. This was seen as a fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy: "Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."(Luke 21:24 TLV)
The social and cultural movements can be seen in the Jesus movement which had its "beginning on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spreading primarily throughout North America, Europe, and Central America, before subsiding by the late 1980s. Members of the movement were called Jesus people, or Jesus freaks. Its predecessor, the Charismatic Movement, had already been in full swing for about a decade. It involved mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics who testified to supernatural experiences similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, especially speaking in tongues. Both these movements were calling the church back to what they called primitive Christianity and recovery of the gifts of the Spirit." "According to author Peter Hocken, 'The new thrust that turned Hebrew Christians into Messianic Jews was distinctly charismatic.' This reflected the influence of the charismatic Jesus movement at the same period."
The social, cultural and political environment in the United States created this very unique climate in which the modern Messianic movement was birthed. It was born among the young Jews and gentiles who had experienced a great awakening. This was most evident in the youthful surge experienced in the Hebrew Christian Alliance (HCAA) that resulted in the formation of the Young Hebrew Christian Alliance. Joe and Debbie Finkelstein along with Manny Brotman were the primary leaders of this movement. At the 1971 HCAA conference "the number of young people equaled the number of older members." As such this movement was seen as a fulfillment of the Ezekiel 37 Dry Bones prophecy where verses 1 through 8 apply to the establishment of Israel as a nation when the bones come together and verses 8 through 14 when life is given to the bones.
Prior to this time Jewish believers, had in most cases, assimilated into gentile Christianity, losing their Jewish identity and not passing on their Jewish heritage to their children. Now there seemed to be a greater desire and urgency among the young believers to maintain not only their individual Jewish identity but to celebrate their Jewish traditions and culture with their families and Jewish friends. Understanding Jesus within his historical Jewish context was of great importance as well as seeing Jesus within modern day Judaism especially in the observance of the Shabbat and the celebration of the festivals. This conflict of identity as a Hebrew-Christian and passion for their Jewish identity was summed up by Paul Liberman where he writes about the founding of Beth Messiah Congregation.
Almost as soon as Beth Messiah began to hold meetings on May 18, 1973, I realized I would be required to "explain" our purpose to the outside Jewish community. I needed to be able to honestly profess that we were not an appendage, subsidiary, affiliate, or offshoot of any Christian (Gentile) denomination or ministry. We were a Jewish congregation and always would be. We absolutely were not a "church." For this reason, if we identified as, "Beth Messiah, a Messianic Synagogue" immediately followed by, "affiliated with the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America," it would seem an inherent contradiction in our stated goal. How could you have a "Christian synagogue?" ... If this fledgling thing -Beth Messiah--was to have a future, it couldn't be under the banner--Hebrew Christian Alliance?"
This idea of a Jewish identity and more specifically a Messianic Jewish identity was the main purpose of the effort to change the name of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (HCAA) to Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA). Dan Juster comments on this by saying that "Hebrew Christianity, at times, saw Jewishness as merely an ethnic identity, whereas Messianic Judaism saw its Jewish life and identity as a continued call of God." David Rausch further explains that "(t)he name change, however, signified far more than a semantical expression--it represented an evolution in the thought processes and religious and philosophical outlook toward a more fervent expression of Jewish identity."
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While there are many individuals who made an impact on the movement there are several key figures. These are Manny Brotman, Martin and Yohanna Chernoff, Ray Gannon, and Dan Juster.
Manny Brotman (1952-1999), was a talented individual who excelled in everything he undertook. He was "quarterback of the championship high school football team and pitcher for the winning city baseball team." Besides sports, Manny succeeded in business eventually becoming a corporate president and later Chairman of the Board of Fourth Television Network. He was married to Audrey Yvonne Kitchen for 28 years until her passing and then married Sandra Frances Sheskin. Manny was a graduate of the Jewish Studies program at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. As a young Spirit-filled Messianic Jew he was a forerunner to the events of 1967 which were so instrumental in establishing the modern day Messianic movement. He founded the Messianic Jewish Movement International (MJMI) in 1963. Many young Jews in the Washington, D.C. area were affected by his enthusiastic sharing of his beliefs. His efforts lead to the establishment of the youth branch of the Hebrew Christian Alliance (HCAA), the Young Hebrew Christian Alliance (YHCA) in 1967. Yohanna Chernoff writes that the establishment of the YHCA, "proved to be a very timely innovation, since Jewish youth were being saved in visible numbers and were seeking fellowship with others like themselves." Manny served as its first President and Executive Director and organized its first conference at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania in 1970. It was renamed the Young Messianic Jewish Alliance (YMJA) in 1975. During this time Manny "changed his base of operations from Chicago to Florida and began producing materials to foster an emphasis on Jewish heritage and culture. The name of his Shalom International was changed to Messianic Jewish Movement International (MJMI), and he began a 'fellowship' in Miami that was 90% Jewish in background." Manny was the first pastor of Beth Messiah Congregation in Rockville, Maryland (1974-75), founded by Paul Liberman, Sid Roth and Sandra Sheskin. This was the first Messianic Jewish congregation to own its own facility and it "was the planting agency for another ten congregations." David Rausch wrote in 1982 that Manny was "an inspiring and well-equipped speaker" while Ruth Fleischer notes that "Brotman had perhaps the clearest vision of the Messianic congregation. He established the synagogue and, like Laurence Duff-Forbes, referred to himself as a 'rabbi' (literally translated 'teacher')."
Manny, often called by many the "Father of the Modern-Day Messianic Jewish Movement," was instrumental in the development of the foundational structure of the movement through materials, terminology, organizations and congregations. His efforts defined the very identity of the modern Messianic Jew and modern Messianic Jewish life. As a founding father figure Manny produced "the first pictorial Messianic Catalog in the modern movement" and he "pioneered and popularized the use of Messianic terminology, Messianic evangelism materials and training, planting Messianic congregations and Messianic Jewish television and radio."
Martin Chernoff (1920-1985), the son of Russian Jewish immigrants to Canada, become a believer in Jesus as Messiah in 1940 under the ministry of Morris Kaminskey, a faithful friend and mentor who had founded a congregation in Toronto under Anglican auspices. Kaminskey was a brother-in-law to David Bronstein who had founded the Peniel Community Center and the First Hebrew Christian Church in Chicago (Presbyterian). Martin met and married and Joanna (Yohanna) Joyner (1930-2014) in 1949. After ministry in Atlanta, Georgia (1949-1953), they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1954 which was the hub of Reformed Judaism and established a community that later was to become Beth Messiah. Martin and Yohanna became committed to the efforts of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (HCAA) to maintain Jewish identity while attending the HCAA conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1965.  In 1969 Martin was voted to the HCAA Executive Board and elected as president in 1971. This was another step in their transformation from a Hebrew Christian identity to a Messianic Jewish identity. Yohanna reports that in 1970 Martin received a "vision from the Lord: two electrifying, simple words stretched across the sky in the form of a banner, bringing into focus and confirming what we had been sensing over the years: MESSIANIC JUDAISM." 1970 was also the year their sons, David and Joel become "on fire for God" and the Chernoff's began congregation Beth Messiah in their home. In attendance at the 1971 biennial meeting of the HCAA in Oak Park, Michigan were twenty-five "Jewish Jesus freaks" from Philadelphia known as "Fink's Zoo." In 1974 Martin was invited to Philadelphia to organize "Fink's Zoo" into a congregation which became Beth Yeshua when established in 1975. In that same year the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (HCAA) voted overwhelmingly to change its name to the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA). In 1985 David Chernoff assumed the role of Messianic Rabbi of Beth Yeshua upon the death of his father.
After graduating from Bethany University in 1970 Ray Gannon began a Jewish ministry in Los Angeles, California area.</ref> In 1973 Gannon, along with Phillip Goble established one of the oldest Messianic Jewish synagogues, Beth Emmanuel Fellowship, under the auspices of the Assemblies of God in Encino California.> Beth Emmanuel was renamed Ahavat Zion Synagogue (AZS) in 1978. Gannon opened new Jewish outreaches in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1975 to 1979, and "later pioneered and pastored Messianic congregations in Long Island (1980) and Queens (1983) as well as directing Beth Emanuel Fellowship in Northeast Philadelphia from 1983 to 1988."
"Before moving to Jerusalem to co-pastor King of Kings Assembly in 1989, Dr. Gannon taught missions and Jewish studies at Central Bible College, Valley Forge Christian College, and the Christ for the Nations Biblical Institute (New York campus). Upon arrival in Jerusalem, Ray founded the Israel College of the Bible which provided the first successful, on-going, and fully-accredited Bible College for Israelis. Soon he opened special language departments for Jewish immigrants, both Russian and Ethiopian."
In 2007, with the vision of Jonathan Bernis, and in conjunction with Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI) and with the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI), Gannon, along with Dan Juster, launched the Messianic Jewish Studies Program (MJSP) at The King's University (TKU), founded by Dr. Jack Hayford. "In 2013, the joint JVMI/MJBI leadership of the TKU Messianic Jewish Studies Program (MJSP) was moved to the primary oversight of the MJBI. Through the continued generosity of JVMI, the MJSP at TKU has become a quality undergraduate and graduate Messianic Jewish Studies option for serious students. Under the leadership of Dr. Ray Gannon, (Director of the TKU MJSP and V.P. for Academic Affairs for the MJBI), the program has greatly developed and grown. The program also saw the first five Dr. of Ministry (D.Min.) graduates in Messianic Leadership."
In addition to teaching and developing Messianic Jewish educational programs Gannon worked for some seven years as a translator and team translator as part of a four-man theological editing team for the Tree of Life Version Bible (TLV) produced by the Messianic Jewish Bible Society (MJBS).
In his book, Messianic Judaism, published in 1982, David Rausch called Dan Juster a "key figure in the Messianic Jewish congregational movement> In the years since, that assessment remains true but could be expanded and applied to not just the congregational movement but to all aspects of the broader Messianic Jewish movement. As a scholar and theologian Juster has influenced the movement with over 30 Messianic Jewish books along with the foundational and highly regarded Jewish Roots: Understanding Your Jewish Faith which is now in its fourth edition. Juster is a strong advocate for the Messianic movement to have an appreciation for the heritage of the Christian church even as their primary cultural expression is Jewish.
Dan Juster currently serves as the Director of Tikkun International,  a Messianic Jewish organization headquartered in Israel. Juster began his ministerial work as pastor of the First Hebrew Christian Church (Presbyterian) in 1972 which had been founded by David Bronstein in 1934. The First Hebrew Christian Church was renamed Adat Hatikvah in 1975 under Juster's leadership as "Dan caught a vision of expressing his faith in Yeshua in a more Jewish way and shifted to worship on Shabbat, keeping the Jewish holidays, and a positive attitude toward Torah."
After Manny Brotman resigned as the spiritual leader of Beth Messiah Congregation (greater Washington D.C. area) the congregation chose Juster to be their leader after hearing him speak at the Messiah '77 conference. He served in that capacity till 2000. David Rausch writes:
A kind and gentle individual, Juster was a teacher, a pastor and a mediator. He was exactly what the congregation needed at this juncture. He set up a committee structure within the congregation to deal with strife and dissension, and he fit well in the mild charismatic atmosphere of Beth Messiah. ... Juster is highly respected, and his opinions and insight carry considerable weight. His qualities as a peacemaker have currently extended to his being a mediator between Hebrew Christianity and Messianic Judaism. And, while he believes firmly in the tenets of Messianic Judaism, Juster emphasizes the historical importance of Hebrew Christianity and the debt Messianic Judaism owes to it.
The desire of many young Jews to maintain their Jewish identity and to maintain a Jewish lifestyle (following the Jewish calendar, observing Shabbat, etc.) led to the formation of Messianic Jewish synagogues. In seeing this need Juster worked for the formation of a body to help in the "initiation, establishment, and growth of Messianic Jewish congregations worldwide." Thus in June 1979 nineteen congregations in North America met at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and formed the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) with Dan Juster as its first president.
In 1981 Juster started Messiah Bible Institute (MBI) which, along with efforts by Jonathan Bernis, become Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI) in 1995.
The shift from a Hebrew Christian identity to a Messianic Jewish identity was a key factor in the establishment of Messianic Jewish congregations. Juster writes:
In 1975, the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America changed its name to the Messianic Jewish Alliance, reflecting the growing Jewish identity of Jewish followers of Yeshua. It is at this point that a major question comes into focus: What is the distinction between Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Christianity, which was the traditional designation for Jewish believers in Yeshua? Hebrew Christians, traditionally, have not emphasized the planting of Jewish congregations, but Messianic Jews have. Hebrew Christianity, at times, saw Jewishness as merely an ethnic identity, whereas Messianic Judaism saw its Jewish life and identity as the continued call of God."
Fleischer reports that "in 1974 there were five Messianic congregations in existence in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. Cincinnati, Chicago and in Los Angeles." Currently there are some 300 Messianic Jewish congregations in the United States with the estimated number of Messianic Jews ranging from 30,000 to 600,000.
The Peniel Community Center established and directed by David Bronstein also gave birth to the First Hebrew Christian Church which later became Adat HaTikvah Messianic Synagogue. The need for the church arose out of the inability for some Jews to adapt and dropped out with others drifting away altogether from their faith. As Dan Juster writes:
The most influential work was the Peniel Center (est. 1921) and the First Hebrew Christian Church (est. 1934), which became Adat Hatikvah (1975). Rev. David Bronstein was the founder of both these works. Although by my theology they did not achieve an authentic Jewish expression of faith, progress toward this ideal was made. Accusations of re-erecting the "wall of partition" were made against Bronstein then, as today against Messianic Judaism. Although Christian hymns and Sunday worship provided a church atmosphere, Bronstein's own teaching, the symbolism and design of the worship hall and the remembrance of feasts by preaching and demonstration were closer to a Messianic Jewish style than anything else in America."
As Messianic Jewish community identity become more of a core issue to the movement Hebrew Christian congregations made a transformational shift as noted by Russ Resnik:
In the mid-70s, Dan Juster, who was to become a key Messianic Jewish figure was leading the First Hebrew Christian Church, founded in Chicago in 1934 by the Presbyterians. Dan caught a vision of expressing his faith in Yeshua in a more Jewish way and shifted to worship on Shabbat, keeping the Jewish holidays, and a positive attitude toward Torah. One of his worship leaders was Joel Chernoff, who went on to pioneer Messianic Jewish music as part of the group Lamb. Joel had come to the congregation with the revolutionary idea of employing Jewish style worship songs in place of the old hymns. The idea took off. First Hebrew Christian Church was renamed Adat Hatikvah to reflect its new Jewish self-image. 
David Bronstein, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and McCormick Theological Seminary, won many of his family members to his faith including his brother-in-law Morris Kaminskey under whose ministry Martin Chernoff was saved. Ed Brotsky, another who came to faith under Kaminskey, started the first Messianic Jewish congregation in Philadelphia."
Beth Messiah was founded by Paul Liberman, Sid Roth, and Sandra Sheskin in May 18, 1973 with 15 people present. Liberman writes: "We began to meet, and we didn't know what the heck we were doing. For music, we brought Christian records and someone else brought a record player. We played the records, and we sang along with the words. 'Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters.'" Even though they didn't know exactly what they were doing they knew that they wanted "a place where new and prospective Jewish believers could come and feel comfortable ... that they will not have to give up their Jewish heritage, identity, and culture" and for "our own families to have something of a Jewish style and culture in which to raise our children."
This new congregation was first lead by Manny Brotman during which the "community grew significantly and purchased its first synagogue building." Brotman was succeeded by Dan Juster in 1978 who lead the congregation until 2000. During this time it "birthed a number of ministries both locally and globally. Beth Messiah was also one of the original congregations that formed the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC)."
The Beth Messiah website states that it "has been a pioneering community in Messianic Jewish music and education. Musicians Paul Wilbur, René Bloch, and Marc Chopinsky of Israel's Hope met and led worship at Beth Messiah. BMC was also the birthplace of Ets Chaiyim School, one of the first Messianic Jewish day schools. While the school closed in 2009 after nearly three decades, the legacy of Ets Chaiyim continues to bear fruit through the hundreds of students who attended."
In 1970 the Chernoff's moved their Sunday morning worship services from their home to the Community Room of the Standard Building and Loan Company, in the suburb of Pleasant Ridge. Then in October of 1970 the Chernoff's resigned from the Christian association they were part of and incorporated their community as Congregation Beth Messiah. This was also the year Martin had his third vision of a large banner in the sky with the words, "Messianic Judaism." And thirdly it was also the year their sons, David and Joel become "on fire for God."
Joe Finkelstein called the Chernoffs in late 1974 about going to Philadelphia to organize their group of young people called "Fink's Zoo" into a congregation. The Chernoffs left for Philadelphia in 1975 turning Beth Messiah over to Rachmiel Frydland. Michael Wolf became the congregational leader in 1977. Many Messianic leaders were raised up in Cincinnati: Jeff Adler, Bruce Adler, Robert Cohen, Mark Dayan, Elliot and Joyce Klayman, and Dr. Robert Winder along with many others.
In 1975 Martin and Yohanna Chernoff, moved to Philadelphia to establish a congregation from the Finkelstein's youth group which was affectionately known as "Fink's Zoo." Thus Beth Yeshua (House of Salvation) was established as a self-supporting, independent community. Later in 1986 it would align itself with the International Associations of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS). The congregation moved several times from the Chernoff's home to the Marriott Hotel, then the Holiday Inn and eventually to their current location at 7501 Haverford in Philadelphia.
David Chernoff assumed the leadership role in 1985 when his father Martin died at the age of 65.  Messianic leaders who were once a part of Beth Yeshua include: Joseph and Debbie Finkelstein, Jeff and Diane Lowenthal, Michael and Rachel Wolf, Jeff and Janet Forman, Steve and Pat Weiler, Bruce and Debbie Cohen, David and Helene Rosenberg, and Jan and Marlene Rosenberg.
Ahavat Zion started as Temple Beth Emmanuel in Encino, CA in 1973. This Assemblies of God effort was a "significant move toward Messianic Judaism." In 1974 it was one of the largest and fastest growing congregations in the world. In 1970 Ray and Kassiani Gannon, after graduating from Bethany University, moved to Los Angeles and began a Jewish ministry in the bustling Jewish Fairfax district. The small group they started soon outgrew their apartment so they "founded a small chavurah called the Beth Emmanuel Fellowship at a private home in Beverly Hills." The congregation continued to grow under the leadership of Ray Gannon and his associate, Phillip Goble. In 1976 the congregation hired Hebert Goldberg as its next spiritual leader and then in 1978 changed its name to Ahavat Zion Synagogue (AZS).  Barry Budoff served as its next leader from 1980 until 1991 at which time Stuart Dauermann, a "well-known Messianic Jewish pioneer and musician" became the fourth spiritual leader. "Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann and his wife, Naomi, served as the spiritual leaders of AZS till 2011 when he stepped aside to teach, write, and travel full-time." In 2016 the congregation moved to Santa Monica, California under its current leader Rabbi Joshua Brumbach who succeeded Dauermann in 2011.
Currently there are over 300 Messianic Jewish congregations in the United States with maybe half of their attendance being Gentiles. Most of these congregations belong to the International Association of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS), an arm of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), or to the Union of Messianic Congregations (UMJC) or to Tikkun International.
The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) began in 1915 as the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (HCAA). In 1975 as more young Jews become believers in Jesus as their Messiah they felt the need to maintain their Jewish identity and voted to change the name. The MJAA was and still is an organization of individual Jewish members. As a result of this renewed interest in maintaining a Jewish identity these young Jews began to gather together to maintain a Jewish lifestyle (following the Jewish calendar, observing Shabbat, etc.) which lead to the formation of Messianic Jewish synagogues. The next step in this progression was the formation of a body to help in the "initiation, establishment, and growth of Messianic Jewish congregations worldwide." Thus in June 1979 nineteen congregations in North America met at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and formed the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) with Dan Juster as its first president. In 2005 they revised their statement on Messianic Judaism:
The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) envisions Messianic Judaism as a movement of Jewish congregations and groups committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, and renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant."
In 1986 the MJAA formed a congregational branch the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS).
"Tikkun International is a Messianic Jewish umbrella organization for an apostolic network of leaders, congregations and ministries in covenantal relationship for mutual accountability, support and equipping to extend the Kingdom of God in America, Israel, and throughout the world."
The Messianic Seal of Jerusalem is a symbol for Messianic Judaism and Christians. The symbol is seen as a depiction of the Menorah, an ancient jewish symbol, together with the Ichthys, an ancient depictive representation of Christian faith and the community of Jesus followers, creating a Star of David at the intersection. The Messianic Seal is not the only symbol of Messianic Judaism, which has other graphical representations such as the Menorah and Star of David, the cross in the Star of David, among others.
As with many religious faiths, the exact tenets held vary from congregation to congregation. In general, essential doctrines of Messianic Judaism include views on:
Certain additional doctrines are more open to differences in interpretation, including those on sin and atonement and on faith and works.
The place of Jesus in Messianic Judaism is usually clearly defined. His Jewishness and that of all the original disciples is affirmed. Messianic Judaism asserts that Jesus is the Word of God become manifest (John 1:1-14), a belief that is identical with normative Christian doctrine regarding the nature and identity of the son of God. Furthermore, Messianic Judaism generally asserts that the Messiah has a dual aspect as revealed in Scripture. Messianic Jews believe Jesus' first role as Messiah was to rescue the world from spiritual bondage, and that he will return to rescue the world from physical oppression and establish his unending Kingdom--again, a belief that is identical to the normative Christian view of the Messiah. George Berkley writes that the Messianic Jews of the MJAA "worship not just God but Jesus" whom they call Yeshua.
Both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament[c] are usually considered to be the established and divinely inspired Biblical scriptures by Messianic Jews. With a few exceptions, Messianic believers generally consider the written Torah, the five books of Moses, to remain in force as a continuing covenant, revised by Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament, that is to be observed both morally and ritually. Jesus did not annul the Torah, but its interpretation is revised through the Apostolic scriptures.
There is no unanimity among Messianic congregations on the issue of the Talmud and the Oral Torah. There are congregations which believe that adherence to the Oral Law, as encompassed by the Talmud, is against Messianic beliefs. Similarly, there are congregations which deny the authority of the Pharisees, believing that they were superseded, and their teachings contradicted, by Messianism. There are adherents which call rabbinic commentaries such as the Mishnah and the Talmud "dangerous", and state that followers of rabbinic and halakhic explanations and commentaries are not believers in Jesus as the Messiah. Other congregations are selective in their applications of Talmudic law, and may believe that the rabbinic commentaries such as the Mishnah and the Talmud, while historically informative and useful in understanding tradition, are not normative and may not be followed where they differ from the New Testament. Still others encourage a serious observance of Jewish halakha.
Messianic Jews generally consider the entire Christian Bible to be sacred scripture. Theologian David H. Stern in his "Jewish New Testament Commentary" argues that the writings and teachings of Paul the Apostle are fully congruent with Messianic Judaism, and that the New Testament is to be taken by Messianic Jews as the inspired Word of God.
There are a number of Messianic commentaries on various books of the Bible, both Tanakh and New Testament texts, such as Matthew, Acts, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. David H. Stern has released a one-volume Jewish New Testament Commentary, providing explanatory notes from a Messianic Jewish point of view. Other noted New Testament commentary authors include: Joseph Shulam, who has written commentaries on Acts, Romans, and Galatians; Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel Ministries, who has written commentaries on the Epistles, Judges & Ruth, and Genesis, and 7 systematic doctrinal studies; Tim Hegg of TorahResource, who has written commentaries on Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, and is presently examining Matthew; Daniel Thomas Lancaster, who has written extensively for the First Fruits of Zion Torah Club series; Stuart Sacks, author of Hebrews Through a Hebrews' Eyes; and J. K. McKee of TNN Online who has written several volumes under the byline "for the Practical Messianic" (James, Hebrews, Philippians, Galatians, and surveys of both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Scriptures).
Messianic Jews understand (as suggested by some recent scholars) that Paul the Apostle (who is often referred to as Sha'ul, his Hebrew name) remained a Jewish Pharisee even as a believer until his death (see Paul the Apostle and Judaism). This is based on Acts 23:6, detailing events after Paul's acceptance of Jesus as Messiah. "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men [and] brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."
Messianic believers cite the cutting off of Paul's hair at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken (Acts 18:18), references in passing to him observing the Jewish holidays, and his consistent good standing with his Rabbinic master Gamaliel, to show that he was wholly in continued observance of the laws and traditions of Judaism. They maintain that Paul never set out to polarize the gospel between faith and righteous works, but that one is necessary to maintain the other. The New Perspective on Paul is important in Messianic Judaism.
Some Messianic believers define sin as transgression of the Torah (Law/Instruction) of God and include the concept of original sin. Some adherents atone for their sins through prayer and repentance--that is, acknowledgment of the wrongdoing and seeking forgiveness for their sins (especially on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement). Disagreeing with these rites and practices, other Messianics hold to a belief that all sin (whether committed yet or not) is already atoned for because of Jesus's death and resurrection.
Messianic Jews believe God's people have a responsibility to spread his name and fame to all nations (Psalms 96:3, Ezekiel 3:18-19) It is believed that the Children of Israel were, remain, and will continue to be the chosen people of the God, and are central to his plans for existence. Most Messianic believers, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, can be said to oppose supersessionism (popularly referred to as replacement theology), the view that the Church has replaced Israel in the mind and plans of God.
There exist among Messianic believers a number of perspectives regarding who exactly makes up God's chosen people. Most commonly, Israel is seen as distinct from the church; Messianic Jews, being a part of both Israel and the church, are seen as the necessary link between the 'gentile' People of God and the commonwealth of God's people of Israel. The two-house view, and the one law/grafted-in view are held by many identifying as Messianic, although some Messianic groups do not espouse these theologies.
According to the Messianic group Jerusalem Council, "the people of Israel are members of the covenant HaShem made with Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya'akov. Covenant membership is extended to converts to Judaism from the nations, as well as to the descendants of covenant members. Israel is a nation of nations and their descendants, or more specifically a people group called out from other people groups to be a people separated unto HaShem for his purposes. HaShem's promise of covenantal blessings and curses as described in the Torah are unique to Am Yisrael (People of Israel), and to no other nation or people group. The bible describes an Israelite as one descended from Ya'akov ben Yitzhak ben Avraham, or one who has been converted or adopted into that group by either human or spiritual means."
According to certain branches of Messianic Judaism, Jews are individuals who have one or more Jewish parents, or who have undergone halakhic conversion to Judaism. As in Reform Judaism, those who have Jewish fathers but gentile mothers are considered Jewish only if the individual claims Jewish identity. The statement of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council on Jewish identity is often disputed among Messianic believers who either don't find it necessary or discourage halakhic conversion, in accordance with their interpretation of Romans 2:29 (that a "Jew" is not one who is one "outwardly" but is one who is a Jew in his heart). They also believe that salvation is received by accepting Jesus into one's heart and confessing that he is Lord.
Messianic believers from other nations are also considered to be part of the People of God. Depending on their status within various Messianic Jewish groups, such as the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, an allowance for formal conversion is made based on their understanding that Messianic converts are not automatically considered Jewish. The reasoning for this variance is as follows: While Titus may have been the norm in the epistles, a Gentile not converted to Judaism, Paul nevertheless made an exception for Timothy, whom he circumcised and brought under the Covenant, probably because though Timothy's father was Greek, his mother was Jewish. According to the statement of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council regarding Conversion, converts to Judaism do not in any way have a higher status within Messianic Judaism than the Messianic believers who are considered by the UMJC to still be gentiles who are attached to their communities.
One Law theology (aka One Torah for All) teaches that anyone who is a part of Israel is obligated to observe the Covenant and its provisions as outlined in the Torah. Dan Juster of Tikkun, and Russ Resnik of the UMJC, have argued against the One Law movement's insistence on Gentiles being required to observe the entirety of Torah in the same way as Jews. Tim Hegg responded to their article defending what he believes to be the biblical teaching of "One Law" theology and its implications concerning the obligations of Torah obedience by new Messianic believers from the nations. The Coalition of Torah Observant Messianic Congregations (CTOMC) likewise rejects Bi-Lateral Ecclesiology (BLE, i.e. Jewish Dispensationalism) in favor of the One Torah for All (one Law) position.
Proponents of Two House theology espouse their belief that the phrase "House of Judah" in scripture refers to Jews, while "the House of Israel" refers to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, or Ephraim. Where scripture states the House of Israel and Judah will again be "one stick" (Ezekiel 37:15-23), it is believed to be referring to the End Times, immediately prior to the Second Coming, when many of those descended from Israel will come back to Israel. Advocates of this theology postulate that the reason so many "gentiles" are converting to Messianic Judaism is that the vast majority of them are truly Israelites. Like One Law groups, the Two House movement has many superficial similarities to Messianic Judaism, such as their belief in the ongoing validity of the Mosaic Covenant. While much of the Two House teaching is based on interpretations of Biblical prophecy, the biggest disagreements are due to inability to identify the genealogy of the Lost Tribes. Organizations such as the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations have explicitly opposed the Two House teaching.
Historically, Christianity has taught supersessionism (replacement theology), which implies or outright states that Christianity has superseded Judaism, and that the Mosaic Covenant of the Hebrew Bible has been superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus, wherein salvation is brought about by the grace of God, and not by obedience to the Torah. This is generally complemented with the concept of God having transferred the status of "God's people" from the Jews to the Christian Church. Messianic Jews, in varying degrees, challenge both thoughts, and instead believing that although Israel has rejected Jesus, it has not forfeited its status as God's chosen people (Matthew 5:17). Often cited is Romans 11:29: "for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable". The core of supersessionism, in which the Mosaic Covenant is canceled, is less agreed upon. Though the mitzvot may or may not be seen as necessary, most are still followed, especially the keeping of Shabbat and other holy days.
All Messianic Jews hold to certain eschatological beliefs such as the End of Days, the Second Coming of Jesus as the conquering Messiah, the re-gathering of Israel, a rebuilt Third Temple, a resurrection of the dead, and many believe in the Millennial Sabbath, although some are Amillenialist.
Some Messianic Jews believe that all of the Jewish holidays, and indeed the entire Torah, intrinsically hint at the Messiah, and thus no study of the End Times is complete without understanding the major Jewish Festivals in their larger prophetic context. To certain believers, the feasts of Pesach and Shavuot were fulfilled in Jesus's first coming, and Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot will be at his second. Some also believe in a literal 7000-year period for the human history of the world, with a Millennial Messianic kingdom prior to a final judgment.
There is a variety of practice within Messianic Judaism regarding the strictness of Torah observance. Generally, "Torah observant" congregations observe Jewish prayers, biblical feasts, and Sabbath. While most traditional Christians deny that the ritual laws and specific civil laws of the Pentateuch apply to gentiles, certain passages regarding Torah observance in the New Testament are cited by some Messianic believers as proof that Torah was not abolished for Jews. They point out that in Acts 21, Jewish believers in Jerusalem are described as "zealous for the Law".
Some Messianic Jews observe Shabbat on Saturdays. Worship services are generally held on Friday evenings (Erev Shabbat) or Saturday mornings. According to the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship (SBMF), services are held on Saturday to "open the doors to Jewish people who also wish to keep the Sabbath". The liturgy used is similar to that of a Jewish siddur with some important differences including the omission of "salvation by works" as the Messianic belief is salvation through Jesus. According to the SBMF, the main purpose in using a liturgy similar to a Jewish siddur is to bring others to Jesus. Other branches of the movement have attempted to "eliminate the elements of Christian worship [such as frequent communion[d]] that cannot be directly linked to their Jewish roots". Almost all such congregations in Israel observe Jewish holidays, which they understand to have their fulfillment in Jesus."
The Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council recommends the observance of Jewish holidays. Most larger Messianic Jewish congregations follow Jewish custom in celebrating the three biblical feasts (Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot), as well as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
The observance of the kashrut dietary laws is a subject of continued debate among Messianic Jews. Some Messianic believers keep kosher purely for the purposes of evangelism to Jewish people. Most avoid pork and shellfish, but there is disagreement on more strict adherence to kosher dietary laws.
Messianic perspectives on "Who is a Jew?" vary. The Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council, (West Haven, Connecticut, 2006) a global Messianic body, acknowledges a Jew as one born to a Jewish mother, or who has converted to Judaism. Copying from the Reform stream of Judaism, the Council also recognizes as a Jew one who was born to a Jewish father (but not a Jewish mother) on the condition that the family of the child (or the individual as an adult) has undertaken public and formal acts of identification of the individual with the Jewish faith and people.
Large numbers of those calling themselves Messianic Jews are not of Jewish descent, but join the movement anyway as they "enjoy the Messianic Jewish style of worship". The MJAA views conversion for Gentiles an unbiblical practice, but accepts gentiles into their congregations, and other Messianic organizations hold to similar views.
Some within the Ephraimite movement seek to convert themselves for identification with Israel, but most Messianic governing bodies acknowledge the presence of gentiles in the congregations, and do not see a need for them to convert to worship in the Messianic style and understanding. When conversion is sincerely desired by a gentile Messianic believer, Messianic Jewish halachic standards (including circumcision) are imposed to maintain integrity among the world Messianic Jewish community.
The movement generally avoids common Christian terms, such as Christ and cross (tsalav--), and prefers to maximise the use of Hebrew terms. Messianic Jews take a similar approach as the Sacred Name Movement and almost exclusively use Yeshua, the original Aramaic/Hebrew name of Jesus.
Messianic Jewish hymnologies are not merely Christian evangelical ones. Many of the hymns relate to Israel's role in history, convey a messianic hope, and refer to Jesus as the Savior of Israel. In addition, small changes differentiate them from the usual contemporary evangelical hymns, such as the use of the name Yeshua instead of Jesus. Messianic hymnals also include a large number of Israeli songs.
The movement also has several recording artists who consider their music to be Messianic in message, such as Joel Chernoff of the duo Lamb, Ted Pearce and Chuck King. Many of these artists have been influenced by Jewish music and often incorporate Hebrew phrases into their lyrics.
In the United States, the emergence of the Messianic Jewish movement created some stresses with other Jewish-Christian and missionary organization. In 1975, the Fellowship of Christian Testimonies to the Jews condemned several aspects of the Messianic Jewish movement.
In Israel, the linguistic distinction between Messianic Jews and mainstream Christians is less clear, and the name "Messianic" (Meshiyhiy ) is commonly used by churches anyway, in lieu of Notsri (Hebrew?), the secular government administrative term for "Christian". The Israel Trust of the Anglican Church, based at Christ Church, Jerusalem, an organization that is ecumenical in outlook and operates an interfaith school in Jerusalem, gives some social support to Messianic Jews in Israel.
As in traditional Jewish objections to Christian theology, opponents of Messianic Judaism hold that Christian proof texts, such as prophecies in the Hebrew Bible purported to refer the Messiah's suffering and death, have been taken out of context and misinterpreted. Jewish theology rejects the idea that the Messiah, or any human being, is a divinity. Belief in the Trinity is considered idolatrous by most rabbinic authorities, though there is a minority view that it constitutes shituf (literally, "partnership"), an association of other individuals with the God of Israel. While shituf is, according to some opinions, permitted for gentiles, it is considered idolatrous for Jews. Further, Judaism does not view the role of the Messiah to be the salvation of the world from its sins, an integral teaching of Christianity.
Jewish opponents of Messianic Judaism often focus their criticism on the movement's radical ideological separation from traditional Jewish beliefs, stating that the acceptance of Jesus as Messiah creates an insuperable divide between the traditional messianic expectations of Judaism, and Christianity's theological claims. They state that while Judaism is a messianic religion, its messiah is not Jesus, and thus the term is misleading. All denominations of Judaism, as well as national Jewish organizations, reject Messianic Judaism as a form of Judaism. Regarding this divide, Reconstructionist Rabbi Carol Harris-Shapiro observed:
To embrace the radioactive core of goyishness--Jesus--violates the final taboo of Jewishness[.] ... Belief in Jesus as Messiah is not simply a heretical belief, as it may have been in the first century; it has become the equivalent to an act of ethno-cultural suicide.
B'nai Brith Canada considers messianic activities as antisemitic incidents. Rabbi Tovia Singer, founder of the anti-missionary organization Outreach Judaism, noted of a Messianic rabbi in Toledo: "He's not running a Jewish synagogue ... It's a church designed to appear as if it were a synagogue and I'm there to expose him. What these irresponsible extremist Christians do is a form of consumer fraud. They blur the distinctions between Judaism and Christianity in order to lure Jewish people who would otherwise resist a straightforward message."
Association by a Jewish politician with a Messianic rabbi, inviting him to pray at a public meeting, even though made in error, resulted in nearly universal condemnation by Jewish congregations in Detroit in 2018. Although it is an exaggeration to say that Jewish or Israeli condemnation of Messianic Judaism or respect or belief in Jesus in universal, it is the majority opinion in both Israeli and American Jewish circles.
Messianic Jews are considered eligible for the State of Israel's Law of Return only if they can also claim Jewish descent. An assistant to one of the two lawyers involved with an April 2008 Supreme Court of Israel case explained to the Jerusalem Post that Messianic Jews who are not Jewish according to Jewish rabbinic law, but who had sufficient Jewish descent to qualify under the Law of Return, could claim automatic new immigrant status and citizenship despite being Messianic. The state of Israel grants Aliyah (right of return) and citizenship to Jews, and to those with Jewish parents or grandparents who are not considered Jews according to halakha, e.g. people who have a Jewish father but a non-Jewish mother. The old law had excluded any "person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion", and an Israeli Supreme Court decision in 1989 had ruled that Messianic Judaism constituted another religion. However, on April 16, 2008, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled in a case brought by a number of Messianic Jews with Jewish fathers and grandfathers. Their applications for Aliyah had been rejected on the grounds that they were Messianic Jews. The argument was made by the applicants that they had never been Jews according to halakha, and were not therefore excluded by the conversion clause. This argument was upheld in the ruling.
The International Religious Freedom Report 2008, released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the US states that discrimination against Messianic Jews in Israel is increasing. Some acts of violence have also occurred such as incident on March 20, 2008, a bomb concealed as a Purim gift basket was delivered to the house of a prominent Messianic Jewish family in Ariel, in the West Bank, which severely wounded the son. The bombing was eventually traced to Yaakov "Jack" Teitel, a serial killer who immigrated to Israel from the United States, and who was found to be responsible for several bombings, murders and attempted murders in Israel.
This antagonism has led to harassment and some violence, especially in Israel, where there is a large and militant Orthodox community. Several Orthodox organizations, including Yad L'Achim, are dedicated to rooting out missionary activity in Israel, including the Messianic Jewish congregations. One tactic is to plaster posters asking Israelis to boycott shops where Messianic Jews are owners or employees; another is to report Messianic Jews to the Interior ministry, which is charged with enforcing an Israeli law forbidding proselytizing. In another incident, the mayor of Or Yehuda, a suburb of Tel Aviv, held a public book-burning of literature passed out to Ethiopian immigrants. He later apologized for the action.
The US Navy made a decision that Messianic Jewish chaplains must wear as their insignia the Christian cross, and not the tablets of the law, the insignia of Jewish chaplains. According to Yeshiva World News, a website covering stories of Jewish interest, the Navy Uniform Board commanded that Michael Hiles, a candidate for chaplaincy, wear the Christian insignia. Hiles resigned from the program, rather than wear the cross. Rabbi Eric Tokajer, a spokesman for the Messianic Jewish movement, responded that "This decision essentially bars Messianic Jews from serving as chaplains within the U.S. Navy because it would require them to wear an insignia inconsistent with their faith and belief system."
In the late 1960s and 1970s, both Jews and Christians in the United States were surprised to see the rise of a vigorous movement of Jewish Christians or Christian Jews. For many observers, such a combination seemed like an oxymoron, because they saw the two faiths as completely separate from each other. While Christianity started in the first century of the Common Era as a Jewish group, it quickly separated from Judaism and claimed to replace it; ever since the relationship between the two traditions has often been strained. But in the twentieth century, groups of young Jews claimed that they had overcome the historical differences between the two religions and amalgamated Jewish traditions and customs with the Christian faith. Attempting to overcome the historical difference between the two religious traditions, these Jewish converts to Christianity define themselves as Messianic Jews, thus pointing to the movements ideology of returning to the roots of the Christian faith.
[Messianic Judaism's] syncretism confuses Christians and Jews ...
This interest in developing a Jewish ethnic identity may not be surprising when we consider the 1960s, when Messianic Judaism arose.
But the generation that came of age in the 1960s and 1970s thought differently about these matters. They wanted to make their own choices and did not feel constrained by old boundaries and taboos. Judaism and Christianity could go hand in hand....In the first phase of the movement, during the early and mid-1970s, Jewish converts to Christianity established several congregations at their own initiative.
The term Messianic Judaism came into public use in America in the early 1970s....The term, however was not entirely new. It was used in the internal debates in the community of converts as early as the beginning of the century....Missionaries, such as the Southern Baptist Robert Lindsey noted that for Israeli Jews, the term notzrim, "Christians" in Hebrew, meant, almost automatically, a alien hostile religion. Because such a term made it nearly impossible to convince Jews that Christianity was their religion, missionaries sought a more neutral term....They chose Meshychim, Messianic, to overcome the suspicion and antagonism of the term notzrim....It conveyed the sense of a new, innovative religion rather that [sic] an old, unfavorable one. The term was used in reference to those Jews who accepted Jesus as their personal savior, and did not apply to Jews accepting Roman Catholicism who in Israel have called themselves Hebrew Christians.
The origins of Messianic Judaism date to the 1960s when it began among American Jews who converted to Christianity.
In the 1970s a number of American Jewish converts to Christianity, known as Hebrew Christians, were committed to a church-based conception of Hebrew Christianity. Yet, at the same time, there emerged a growing segment of the Hebrew Christian community that sought a more Jewish lifestyle. Eventually, a division emerged between those who wished to identify as Jews and those who sought to pursue Hebrew Christian goals.... In time, the name of the movement was changed to Messianic Judaism.
Hebrew Christians are quite happy to be integrated into local Christian churches, but Messianic Jews seek an 'indigenous' expression of theology, worship and lifestyle within the whole church. The latter group emerged in the 1960s when some Christian Jews adopted the name Messianic Jews ...
There is one God, who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Every divine action in the world is accomplished by the Father working through the Son and in the power of the Spirit. This God has revealed Himself in creation and in the history of Israel as transmitted in Scripture....In the fullness of time, the Divine Son became a human being--Yeshua the Messiah, born of a Jewish virgin, a true and perfect Israelite, a fitting representative and one-man embodiment of the entire nation. He lived as a holy tzaddik, fulfilling without blemish the mitzvot of the Torah. He brings to perfection the human expression of the divine image....Yeshua died as an atonement for the sins of Israel and of the entire world. He was raised bodily from the dead, as the firstfruits of the resurrection promised to Israel as its glorification. He ascended to heaven and was there enthroned at God's right hand as Israel's Messiah, with authority extending to the ends of creation....Forgiveness of sins, spiritual renewal, union with Messiah, the empowering and sanctifying presence of the indwelling Ruach Ha Kodesh, and the confident hope of eternal life and a glorious resurrection are now available to all, Jews and Gentiles, who put their faith in Yeshua, the Risen Lord, and in obedience to His word are joined to Him and His Body through immersion and sustained in that union through Messiah's remembrance meal. Yeshua is the Mediator between God and all creation, and no one can come to the Father except through Him....Messiah Yeshua will return to Jerusalem in glory at the end of this age, to rule forever on David's throne. He will effect the restoration of Israel in fullness, raise the dead, save all who belong to Him, judge the wicked not written in the Book of Life who are separated from His presence, and accomplish the final Tikkun Olam in which Israel and the nations will be united under Messiah's rule forever....The writings of Tanakh and Brit Hadasha are divinely inspired and fully trustworthy (true), a gift given by God to His people, provided to impart life and to form, nurture, and guide them in the ways of truth. They are of supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe...The Bible, consisting of the T'nakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and the B'rit Hadasha (Apostolic Writings) to be inspired and the only infallible and authoritative Word of God [2 Timothy 3:16-17]....There is one God as declared in the Shema [Deuteronomy 6:4], who is "Echad," a compound unity, revealed in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit [Isaiah 48:16-17; Ephesians 4:4-6]....In the Deity of our Lord, Messiah Yeshua, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His personal future return to this earth in power and glory to rule.
For example, Messianic Jews, without exception, believe that the way to eternal life is through the acceptance of Jesus as one's personal savior and that no obedience to the Jewish law or "works" is necessary in order to obtain that goal....Remarkably, it has been exactly this adherence to the basic Christian evangelical faith that has allowed Messianic Jews to adopt and promote Jewish rites and customs. They are Christians in good standing and can retain whatever cultural attributes and rites they choose.
To convert to the Jewish sect of HaDerech, accepting Yeshua as your King is the first act after one's heart turns toward HaShem and His Torah - as one can not obey a commandment of God if they first do not love God, and we love God by following his Messiah. Without first accepting Yeshua as the King and thus obeying Him, then getting circumcised for the purpose of Jewish conversion only gains you access to the Jewish community. It means nothing when it comes to inheriting a place in the World to Come.... Getting circumcised apart from desiring to be obedient to HaShem, and apart from accepting Yeshua as your King, is nothing but a surgical procedure, or worse, could lead to you believe that Jewish identity grants you a portion in the World to Come - at which point, what good is Messiah Yeshua, the Word of HaShem to you? He would have died for nothing!... As a convert from the nations, part of your obligation in keeping the Covenant, if you are a male, is to get circumcised in fulfillment of the commandment regarding circumcision. Circumcision is not an absolute requirement of being a Covenant member (that is, being made righteous before HaShem, and thus obtaining eternal life), but it is a requirement of obedience to God's commandments, because circumcision is commanded for those who are of the seed of Abraham, whether born into the family, adopted, or converted.... If after reading all of this you understand what circumcision is, and that is an act of obedience, rather than an act of gaining favor before HaShem for the purpose of receiving eternal life, then if you are male believer in Yeshua the Messiah for the redemption from death, the consequence of your sin of rebellion against Him, then pursue circumcision, and thus conversion into Judaism, as an act of obedience to the Messiah.
Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because: 1. Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies. 2. Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah. 3. Biblical verses "referring" to Jesus are mistranslations. 4. Jewish belief is based on national revelation.
Hebrew Christian, Jewish Christian, Jew for Jesus, Messianic Jew, Fulfilled Jew. The name may have changed over the course of time, but all of the names reflect the same phenomenon: one who asserts that s/he is straddling the theological fence between Judaism and Christianity, but in truth is firmly on the Christian side....we must affirm as did the Israeli Supreme Court in the well-known Brother Daniel case that to adopt Christianity is to have crossed the line out of the Jewish community.
Missionary Impossible, an imaginative video and curriculum guide for teachers, educators, and rabbis to teach Jewish youth how to recognize and respond to "Jews-for-Jesus", "Messianic Jews", and other Christian proselytizers, has been produced by six rabbinic students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Cincinnati School. The students created the video as a tool for teaching why Jewish college and high school youth and Jews in intermarried couples are primary targets of Christian missionaries.
What is ALEPH's position on so called messianic Judaism? ALEPH has a policy of respect for other spiritual traditions, but objects to deceptive practices and will not collaborate with denominations which actively target Jews for recruitment. Our position on so-called "Messianic Judaism" is that it is Christianity and its proponents would be more honest to call it that.
The Christian idea of a trinity contradicts the most basic tenet of Judaism - that G-d is One. Jews have declared their belief in a single unified G-d twice daily ever since the giving of the Torah at Sinai - almost two thousand years before Christianity. The trinity suggests a three part deity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19). In Jewish law, worship of a three-part god is considered idolatry; one of the three cardinal sins for which a person should rather give up his life than transgress. The idea of the trinity is absolutely incompatible with Judaism.
It should now be clear to you why Jews have such a problem with 'Jews for Jesus' or other presentations of Messianic Judaism. I have no difficulty with Christianity. I even accept those Christians who would want me to convert to Christianity so long as they don't use coercion or duplicity and are willing to listen in good faith to my reasons for being Jewish. I do have a major problem with those Christians who would try to mislead me and other Jews into believing that one can be both Jewish and Christian.
Thirdly, there is Jews for Jesus or, more generally, Messianic Judaism. This is a movement of people often of Jewish background who have come to believe Jesus is the expected Jewish messiah.... They often have congregations independent of other churches and specifically target Jews for conversion to their form of Christianity.
And while many evangelical Churches are openly supportive of Messianic Judaism, they treat it as an ethnic church squarely within evangelical Christianity, rather than as a separate entity.
Messianic Judaism is proactive in seeking Jewish converts and is condemned by the vast majority of the Jewish community. Although a Jewish convert to Christianity may still be categorised a Jew according to a strict interpretation of the halakhah (Jewish law), most Jews are adamantly opposed to the idea that one can convert to Christianity and still remain a Jew or be considered part of Jewish life. From a mainstream Christian perspective Messianic Judaisms can also provoke hostility for misrepresenting Christianity.
We recognize the desire of people from the nations to convert to Judaism, through HaDerech (The Way)(Messianic Judaism), a sect of Judaism.
By the mid 1970s, Time magazine placed the number of Messianic Jews in the US at over 50,000; by 1993 this number had grown to 160,000 in the US and about 350,000 worldwide (1989 estimate).... There are currently over 400 Messianic synagogues worldwide, with at least 150 in the US.
Nonetheless, Paul appears always to have preached first in the synagogues to offer his fellow Israelites the first opportunity to hear about their Messiah ( cf. Rom 1:16).
...the perspective of the Holy Land the most important of these societies was the London Jews' Society. Founded in 1809 during the high point of evangelical endeavour, the London Jews' Society was the work of Joseph Samuel Frederick Frey...
The first Yiddish New Testament distributed by the BFBS was published by the London Jews Society in 1821; the translator was Benjamin Nehemiah Solomon, "a convert from Judaism, who [had come] over to England from Poland.
On 9 September 1813 a group of 41 Jewish Christians established the Beni Abraham association at Jews' Chapel. These Jewish Christians met for prayer every Sunday morning and Friday evening.
What does the Hebrew-Christian Alliance signify? is asked by well-wishers and opponents. True, its objects have been clearly stated.... Let me try briefly to state the nature and objects of the Hebrew-Christian Alliance.
As I interviewed their leaders across the United States, I found a prevalent belief that they had coined the term "Messianic Judaism". Others thought that the term had originated within the past ten or 20 years. Most of their opponents also agreed that this was so. In fact, both the term "Messianic Judaism" and the frustration with the movement go back to the 19th century. During 1895 Our Hope magazine, which became a bulwark in the fundamentalist-evangelical movement under the editorship of Arno C. Gaebelein, carried the subtitle "A Monthly Devoted to the Study of Prophecy and to Messianic Judaism".
Gentile churches do not need to look like Messianic Jewish synagogues. Christianity reflects aspects that are a legitimate contextualization of truth in gentile cultures. To conform the Church to the whole of Torah and seek to make churches into Messianic Jewish synagogues in expression is a mistake.
Paul likely uses the term Kyrios here as a Greek substitute for both the tetragram- maton and the Hebrew word Adonai ("My lord"), which in Jewish practice acts as its surrogate. In this way he builds upon the most fundamental biblical confession of faith, the Shema, highlighting the two primary divine names (Theos/Elohim and Kyrios/Adonai) and the word "one." Paul thus expands the Shema to include Yeshua within a differentiated but singular deity. The nicene Creed adopts Paul's language ("one God, the Father...one Lord, Yeshua the Messiah..."), and thereby affirms its own continuity with the Shema. Paul's short confession is a Yeshua-faith interpretation of the Shema, and the nicene Creed is an expanded interpretation of Paul's confession.
This then is who Yeshua is: He is not just a man, and as a man, he is not from Adam, but from God. He is the Word of HaShem, the Memra, the Davar, the Righteous One, he didn't become righteous, he is righteous. He is called God's Son, he is the agent of HaShem called HaShem, and he is "HaShem" who we interact with and not die.
The material presented below has been researched to great lengths and is based totally on the Scriptures. I have examined both sides of the subject and can assure you that I have no ax to grind, but have found that the information on the Trinity is without any foundation, nor is it supported by the language of the Scripture. Let me state that I believe in our Heavenly Father and in his Son Y'shua (Jesus) and that the Father sent Y'shua to be a way back to Him and a means for our salvation, but I do not believe the Scripture supports the idea of the Moshiach (Messiah) being G-d of very G-d. When wrong ideas of the Mashiach are espoused they put us on the course of misinterpretations and a misconception of who our Mashiach and his Heavenly Father are. These misconceptions and misinterpretations lead us further away from the truth and ultimately further away from the Father who is the only true G-d.
Micah the prophet not only gives further detail about His Divine Nature, but also specifically where He would be born. "But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, little among the thousands of Judah, out of you will go forth for Me, one who will be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from days of eternity" (Micah 5:2-v.1 in the Hebrew text). Micah clearly states that Israel's Ruler would not only be "born", in Bethlehem, but his "goings forth" would be from eternity (olam). That is, He who would be born in Bethlehem is God, the Eternal One!
We believe that Yeshua HaMashiach is the Jewish Messiah. "Therefore, the L-rd Himself will give you a sign: the virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel (G-d with us)." Yeshayahu 7:14. We believe in His virgin birth conceived by the Ruach HaKodesh. We do not believe that a man can become G-d. "For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us, dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name PELE-YOETZ, EL GIBBOR, AVI-AD SAR SHALOM (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty G-d, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace)" Yeshayahu 9:6-7. "That in honor of HaShem (the Name), Yeshua took the form of humanity and that G-d has given Him the name above every name". Philippians 2:6-11
A more rapidly growing organization [than Jews for Jesus] is the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America which seeks to incorporate many of the trappings of Judaism with the tenets of Christianity. Its congregants assemble on Friday evening and Saturday morning, recite Hebrew prayers, and sometimes even wear talliot (prayer shawls). But they worship not just God but Jesus, whom they call Yeshua.
To study the whole and authoritative Word of God, including the Tenach (Hebrew Bible) and the B'rit Chadasha (New Testament) under the leading of the Holy Spirit
Within Tanakh, Jewish tradition has always regarded the Torah (the Pentateuch) as possessing unique authority in the development of Halakhah. While the Prophets and the Writings amplify and clarify the intent of the Torah, the Torah is always foundational in matters of Halakhah. In addition to Tanakh, we as Messianic Jews have another authoritative source for the making of halakhic decisions: the Apostolic Writings.... In addition, the Book of Acts and the Apostolic Letters provide crucial halakhic guidance for us in our lives as Messianic Jews.... They also provide guidelines relevant to other areas of Messianic Jewish Halakhah, including (but not restricted to) areas such as distinctive Messianic rites, household relationships, and dealing with secular authorities.... As Messianic Jews we affirm the special precedence given to Scriptural law in Rabbinic Halakhah. However, we also affirm the Scriptural character of the Apostolic Writings. While the Torah is foundational in relation to the teaching of Yeshua and the Shelichim (Apostles), the writings that record that teaching (the New Covenant Scripture) are also inspired, and they offer us an entirely reliable guide to the meaning and intent of the Mosaic Torah.
The Torah is the full description of the Messiah, Yeshua ben Yosef mi'Netzaret. Thus by implication, and often by reference, the Torah of G-d (which he gave to Moses) is the Messiah, who is the Word of HaShem. Since the Torah is the Messiah in this sense that he is the Word of HaShem, then it is rightly said that he is also the Covenant G-d makes with all men.... When G-d makes his Covenant with us as sinners, which was made on that day with all who were "there" and "not there" in Deuteronomy 29:14-15, our inclination to sin caused us to break it the moment we sinned (and all have sinned in Adam). So then when G-d renews his Covenant with us (as a new regenerated man alive to the Messiah, the Torah) it is therefore to us, renewed, and to the new man (that is, we who are the righteous in Messiah) it is "new". Thus that is why it is called a "new" or "renewed" Covenant.... Brit Chadashah = Covenant Renewed
We believe that the Torah (five books of Moses) is a comprehensive summary of God's foundational laws and ways, as found in both the Tanakh and Apostolic Scriptures. Additionally, the Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see God. We believe in the Doctrine of Sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation. Therefore we encourage all believers, both Jews and Gentiles, to affirm, embrace, and practice these foundational laws and ways as clarified through the teachings of Messiah Yeshua.
...I will present some foundational truths from the Scriptures, and as you continue to research the matter for yourself, these truths will lead to one inescapable conclusion: It is the Tanakh rather than the Talmud and the rabbinic traditions that must be followed if we are to be totally faithful to the Lord....Which, then, will you follow? The written Word or the traditions of men? When you stand before God, what will you say?
When we begin to study and observe Torah to become like Messiah, there are pitfalls we must avoid. One such pitfall is the study of Mishnah and Talmud (Rabbinic traditional Law). There are many people and congregations that place a great emphasis on rabbinic legal works, such as the Mishnah and the Talmud in search of their Hebrew roots. People are looking to the rabbis for answers on how to keep God's commands, but if one looks into the Mishnah and does what it says, he or she is not a follower of the Messiah. Or, if one looks into the Talmud and does what it says, he or she is not a follower of the Messiah - he or she is a follower of the rabbis because Rabbi Yeshua, the Messiah, is not quoted there.... Rabbinic Judaism is not Messianic Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism is not founded in Messiah. Rabbinic Judaism, for the most part, is founded in the yeast - the teachings of the Pharisees. Yeshua's teachings and the discipleship that He brought His students through was not Rabbinic Judaism. There is a real danger in Rabbinics. There is a real danger in Mishnah and Talmud. No one involved in Rabbinics has ever come out on the other side more righteous than when he or she entered. He or she may look "holier than thou" - but they do not have the life changing experience clearly represented in the lives of the believers of the Messianic communities of the first century.
"Orthodox Messianic" groups (they go by many names) teach that you must keep the commandments in order to be saved, and not just the commandments in the Scripture, but the traditional rules as coined by Judaism since the Temple was destroyed... essentially, they teach that we must keep Orthodox Judaism, but with the addition of Yeshua. We do NOT teach this in any way, shape, or form. Some of the traditions are right and good, and in keeping with the commandments. Others are not. Only by studying to show ourselves approved of God can we rightly divide the word of truth and discover how God calls us to live.
The Torah in our usage never refers to the Talmud but, while we do not consider the Talmud or any other commentary on the Scriptures as the Word of G-d, we believe that the writings of Oral Tradition, such as the Talmud, the Mishnah, and the Midrash Rabbah, also contain further insight into the character of G-d and His dealings with His people.
In Jewish tradition as a whole, Scripture is of paramount importance and authority in the development of Halakhah. In principle, issues become "Halakhic" because they are connected to some area of life in which Scripture reveals certain authoritative norms. In addressing those issues, Scripture is not the only resource consulted. However, it is always the source of greatest sanctity. Thus, when Rabbinic literature distinguishes between laws that are d'oraita (biblically mandated) and those that are d'rabbanan (rabbinically mandated), precedence is always given to those that are d'oraita.
John Fischer affirms that Yeshua himself supported the traditions of the Pharisees which were very close to what later became rabbinic halacha. Messianic Jews today should not only take note of rabbinic tradition but incorporate it into Messianic Jewish halachah. The biblical pattern for Fischer is that "Yeshua, the Apostles, and the early Messianic Jews all deeply respected the traditions and devoutly observed them, and in so doing, set a useful pattern for us to follow." Citing Fischer, John, "Would Yeshua Support Halacha?" in Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism, Albuquerque, New Mexico: UMJC, 1997, pp. 51-81.
Paul calls himself a Pharisee. We should listen to what Paul tells us about himself. In fact, there is no evidence anywhere in the New Testament, that he departed from his firm convictions as a Pharisee. [Note that others cite I Cor. 9:20-21 as evidence that he no longer strictly followed the Torah and as explaining why he sometimes did so in front of his fellow Jews.]
Just as the prophet Isaiah foretold (Isa. 56), Yahweh is gathering many from the nations to those whom He already gathered (Israel). Together these individuals comprise the universal church (covenant community of Yahweh). These Jews and Gentiles in Messiah collectively are called Israel throughout the Scriptures. There is no other "church" or covenant community; just one new man, one torah, one Messiah, one Spirit, one God.
In Messianic Judaism, children are generally regarded as being Jewish with one Jewish parent. Since we are one in Messiah, both Jew and Gentile, there is not sharp division between the two groups. Therefore, if a Gentile has a heart for Israel and God's Torah, as well as being a Believer in Yeshua, and this person marries a Jewish Believer, it is not considered an "intermarriage" in the same way Rabbinic Judaism sees it, since both partners are on the same spiritual plane. Children born from this union are part of God's Chosen, just like the Gentile parent who has been grafted into the vine of Israel through His grace.
Yeshua is the Messiah promised to Israel in the Torah and prophets. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, He provided the atoning sacrifice that gives assurance of eternal life to those who genuinely trust in Him. Jewish people, along with all people, need the spiritual redemption that is only available in Messiah Yeshua, and need to put their trust in Him and His sacrificial work.
The purpose and reasons are obvious. There are three functions in the good work we do in Mashiach. When it is not about bringing others to Yeshua we should forget about it. If it is not about our gaining more of Yeshua in our lives, we must forget about it. If it is not about Yeshua we better forget about it. It is about Him, and service to Him. He is the giver of Salvation. We can do nothing except choose Life in Yeshua and yet He chose us first (John 15:6-17).
The Messianic movement has eliminated the elements of Christian worship that cannot be directly linked to their Jewish roots. Communion is therefore associated with Passover, since the Eucharist originated during Ushua's Last Supper, held at Passover. In this way, Passover is given a new, Yshua-centered meaning.
The process of Jewish Conversion is: 1. Repent by keeping the Covenant (Return to the Torah, get circumcised if male, and commit to the Torah).... 2. Believe Yeshua is the Messiah, and that he is coming as the King (Obey everything He commands, which is the Torah).... 3. Be immersed in the name of Yeshua, witnessed by others (Go through a mikveh in his name).
For a Jew, however, any form of shituf is tantamount to idolatry in the fullest sense of the word. There is then no way that a Jew can ever accept Jesus as a deity, mediator or savior (messiah), or even as a prophet, without betraying Judaism.
Though Hebrew Christianity claims to be a form of Judaism, it is not. It is nothing more than a disguised effort to missionize Jews and convert them to Christianity. It deceptively uses the sacred symbols of Jewish observance ... as a cover to convert Jews to Christianity, a belief system antithetical to Judaism.... Hebrew Christianity is not a form of Judaism and its members, even if they are of Jewish birth, cannot be considered members of the Jewish community. Hebrew Christians are in radical conflict with the communal interests and the destiny of the Jewish people. They have crossed an unbreachable chasm by accepting another religion. Despite this separation, they continue to attempt to convert their former coreligionists.
Messianic Jewish organizations, such as Jews for Jesus, often refer to their faith as fulfilled Judaism, in that they believe Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Although Messianic Judaism claims to be Jewish, and many adherents observe Jewish holidays, most Jews regard Messianic Judaism as deceptive at best, fraudulent at worst. They charge that Messianic Judaism is actually Christianity presenting itself as Judaism. Jewish groups are particularly distressed at the aggressive evangelistic attempts on the part of Messianic Jews.
"I could see nothing more offensive or more poorly calculated than to make this decision," said [a local Jewish leader] "The reaction and the rage in the community right now is very significant."
In rejecting their petition, Supreme Court Justice Menachem Elon cited their belief in Jesus. 'In the last two thousand years of history ... the Jewish people have decided that messianic Jews do not belong to the Jewish nation ... and have no right to force themselves on it,' he wrote, concluding that 'those who believe in Jesus, are, in fact Christians.'
In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court of Israel ratified a settlement between twelve Messianic Jewish believers and the State of Israel, which states that being a Messianic Jew does not prevent one from receiving citizenship in Israel under the Law of Return or the Law of Citizenship, if one is a descendent of Jews on one's father's side (and thus not Jewish according to halacha). This Supreme Court decision brought an end to a legal battle that has carried on for two and a half years. The applicants were represented by Yuval Grayevsky and Calev Myers from the offices of Yehuda Raveh & Co., and their legal costs were subsidized by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice. There is a growing trend, today, to use the term Messianic Believers, which solves the objections of Jews and makes the movement more 'accessible' to Gentiles as well, who make up a significant proportion of those who attend Messianic fellowships. This is important because some fellowships under the heading Messianic Judaism, do not actually have any Jews as members and the title does not, therefore, reflect the reality on the ground.
Messianic Jews are not entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship, Israel's Supreme Court has ruled, concluding that their belief that Jesus was the Messiah makes them Christians instead of Jews. The ruling, published in Israeli newspapers today, supported Orthodox religious interpretations of the state's 1950 Law of Return. The law forms the basis of Jewish immigration to Israel. The law and its subsequent amendments define a Jew as a person born to a Jewish mother or who converts to Judaism and professes no other faith. Orthodox politicians have long sought a more precise definition, and the court's Christmas Day ruling has resolved one issue. The 100-page decision said that belief in Jesus made one a member of another faith and ineligible for automatic Israeli citizenship, The Jerusalem Post, Hadashot and Yediot Ahronot reported.... "Messianic Jews attempt to reverse the wheels of history by 2,000 years," Justice Elon wrote in a passage quoted by the Israeli newspapers. "But the Jewish people has decided during the 2,000 years of its history" that Messianic Jews "do not belong to the Jewish nation and have no right to force themselves on it. Those who believe in Jesus are, in fact, Christians."
The Supreme Court of Israel ruled Wednesday that being a Messianic Jew cannot prevent Israeli citizenship if the Jewish descent is from the person's father's side.
Our vision also includes the hope of re-appointing a beit din for Messianic believers worldwide, to be called the Jerusalem Council, or Beit HaDin HaYerushalmi, modeled after the original, and submitted to the new Jewish Sanhedrin in issues that do not contradict obedient faith to Messiah Yeshua or his teachings; to provide guidance in issues that may conflict with the Sanhedrin, or in issues that contradict the primacy of the written Word of God, or in issues which may divide the Body of Messiah; to promote the unity of the Body of Messiah worldwide by Spirit-led direction through means of accountability, open dialogue, reasoned doctrine, and sound leadership; and to provide corporate and individual edification by providing apologetic, midrashic, and halakhic guidance for the Body of Messiah.
This section will detail common halakha accepted by the known orthodox Messianic Jewish community. References will be provided, and links back to the discussion forum will be available for continued discussion. Accepted halakha follows the centrality of the written Torah as the final arbiter and standard for behavior and right living. Primary consideration is given to the teachings of the Messiah, Yeshua, and those of his immediate disciples. Other sources include traditional rabbinic Judaism, with emphasis on understandings and traditions accepted during the period of the Taanitic Sages (Jewish teachers that existed during the time of the 2nd Temple period), as well as accepted halakha practiced by the majority of the Israelite community today. It is hoped that by organizing a code of law that is at a glance a reflection of who the Messiah is and what he does, that the community of the Body of Messiah at large can better imitate Him, and thus mature in their love of HaShem and of people in the way HaShem has intended since the foundation of the world. In short, what follows is a short behavioral description of what it means to be a member of the Jewish sect of HaDerech - the Way (Gen 18:19, Ex 18:20, Deut 5:33, Deut 11:28, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 85:13, Psalm 119:30, Prov 2:8, Prov 4:11, Prov 6:23, Prov 8:20, Prov 9:6, Prov 10:17, Prov 12:28, Isa 26:7, Isa 26:8, Isa 30:21, Isa 40:3, Isa 48:17, Isa 62:10, Jer 5:4, Jer 21:8, Eze 18:25, Micah 2:13, Mal 3:1, Matt 3:3, Matt 21:32, Matt 22:16, John 14:4, John 14:6, Acts 9:2, Acts 18:25, Acts 18:26, Acts 24:14, Rom 3:17, 1 Cor 14:1, 2 Pet 2:2, 2 Pet 2:21).[dead link]
At that time a set of Messianic Jewish leaders from New England invited some of their colleagues from outside the region to join them in working on a common set of halakhic standards for themselves and their congregations. While other areas of Messianic Jewish life are of profound importance, such as worship, ethics, education, and social concern, we believed that halakhic standards had received far less attention than their place in Messianic Jewish life warranted.
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