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Controversy over Rabbinic Tradition

A few months ago an intense controversy was ignited in the Messianic Jewish community here in Israel. An Israeli leader in the Messianic community who is supportive of Rabbinic Judaism, sent an invitation to fellow leaders to come together to discuss our relationship to Jewish rabbinic traditions. Another leader replied to all concerned, intensely rejecting the very idea of having any positive relationship to this tradition. Using Yeshua's terminology, he called it "the leaven of the Pharisees" and issued very strong warnings. Following these intensely divergent communications, a meeting of leaders was called to discuss this controversy. The discussion was very heated and many people talked passed each other. However, some progress was made.

Two primary factors feed into the very negative response to Rabbinic Judaism in Israel. One, the secular mentality of the majority of Israelis; they see the ultra Orthodox Jews as a parasitic movement in Israel. They regard the ultra Orthodox as anti-Zionist. They point out that many are supported by welfare and do not want to work for a living, instead spending their days studying in Yeshivas. The Orthodox settler movement is seen by many as hindering the peace process and increasingly militant in their demands and behavior. In contrast, Modern Orthodox Jews serve in the military, work and pay their taxes. Yet, the negativity from all this is quite great. Two, the influence from some strands of Christianity do not have a positive view of the Torah. Add to this that the religious Jews in the land oppose us, and you get a good picture of the situation.

Tikkun and its related ministries have an approach to the rabbinic heritage of our people that I believe is both helpful and important both from a theological perspective and a practical contribution to Israeli society.

Rabbinic Jewish Heritage is a Mixture

The Bible exhorts us to give honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7). Those who have given us the post biblical Jewish heritage are to be honored for all that is good, true and beautiful in the legacy of our people. Most cultures have honorable traditions and practices due to the grace of God given to all people. For us as Jews, the Jewish heritage comes from our ancestral fathers and out of our covenantal relationship before God as His people. The wholesale rejection of that which is good and true in that heritage is tantamount to a rejection of our ancestors and the covenant. It violates the command to honor fathers and mothers; it denies God's faithfulness and His continued involvement with our people. When we think of Judaism, we do well to remember that the traditional prayer book is full of biblical material. The Siddur asserts again and again that our salvation is only because of the grace and mercy of God. It accurately affirms God's promises to Israel and for the redemption of the world. It includes a great confession of faith (the Amidah) based on the promises of the Bible which goes back to the time of Yeshua.

There is much more that is good. There is the wonderful recounting of Passover and even a ceremony that grieves over the suffering of the Egyptians. Our children answer four questions on why Passover night is different from all others nights. There are the three matzot (unleavened bread), the breaking of the middle matzoh, the broken matzoh being hidden away and returned after the dinner. This is in all probability a memory of Yeshua, being broken and hidden in burial until His resurrection. There are the practices of the Jewish wedding, the bringing of the bride under the special bridal canopy (the chupah) and the symbols of blood covenanting. We have the joy of the family gathering on Erev Shabbat (Friday evening), the festive meals and the deep sense of entering into rest.

However, we also have to be honest and point out that which is not good. There are rabbinic laws which contradict Scripture, and the multiplication of regulations based on Temple purity laws. All Jews are enjoined to observe these laws. It is as if the Rabbis wanted to bring every part of life under some kind of control. There are laws on how you can clean off mud on the Sabbath and how you cannot, laws on milk and meat dishes, and many more restrictions. Perhaps most troubling is a deep commitment to the tradition that rejects the uni-plural nature of God and opposes any idea of the incarnation of God in the Messiah. These are only a few examples of the many problematic issues found in Rabbinic Judaism.

A Right Heart Evaluates Rightly

Sometimes those who are enamored of the rabbinic heritage end up defending the indefensible. It is part of the human tendency to worship self or one's own people; pride takes over. Our view of the rabbinic heritage is that we must be discerning - approving what is good and rejecting that which is not good or not in accord with the letter and the spirit of the Bible. In addition, our adoption of any tradition not commanded in the Bible, even if it is good, should only be embraced as we are so led by the Spirit; there is to be no rule beyond that.

Only a person who has a renewed mind (with their heart priorities in order) can correctly evaluate these matters, since evaluation is a function of the whole person. I have traveled to many countries and pleaded in my teaching that we must all understand the centrality of Yeshua and the power of the Spirit as primary. If this is not established, we will not be able to evaluate with mature judgment. Yeshua is to be explicitly central and pervasive in our preaching and our worship. In John 5, Yeshua declares that the Father desires that we honor the Son as we honor Him. Only then can we have God's powerful Presence among us. We must teach people to seek the presence of the Spirit and to appropriate His power, without which we cannot accomplish God's works of love and service.

To emphasize this teaching I have devised an acrostic: F.Y.S.T.R. The acrostic represents the priority of emphases that we should seek. First, we emphasize the Father and Yeshua in our worship and preaching. This is in accord with the devotional expression in the New Covenant Scriptures and the consistent and pervasive affirmation that Yeshua is fully deity and fully man. Then we emphasize the Spirit, without whom we do not have the power for obedience or the ability to extend God's kingdom. The gifts and power of the Spirit are critical. Then there is the Torah - the teaching of God's ways - the very commandments themselves. Last in priority is the Rabbinic heritage, which has its proper place, but only in accordance to the relative emphasis of the acrostic.

Post-biblical Christian understanding is also a source for wisdom provided that it too does not contradict Scripture. I think that if we keep this proper order, we will see a strong and vibrant Jewish expression of our faith. I emphasize this again as in my previous article on the quest for Jewish authenticity (see, Israel's Restoration, March '06). It does bear repeating!

By Daniel Juster

Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International. Donate to Tikkun International.

Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.
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09:21 04Dec08 Leigh Ann Bookhout-Kohne -
Thank you for your article on Rabbinic Tradition. As always, I learn something with each publication. I am a gentile who loves the Jew and Israel and I pray for the peace of Israel who is Yeshua. The Lord bless and protect you as you do His work and will.

09:41 04Dec08 Eliza -
I agree with your conclusions. In addition to Shabbat traditions (not the prohibitions Yeshua objected to but all the good things), there are also traditions associated with Sukkot and the other festivals, as well as beautiful prayers and music. I would add, for the consideration of those attracted to rabbinic Judaism beyond the scope you approve, that Yavne must be taken into account (the threshold event in the 2nd century CE). Those present deliberately reformulated Judaism to survive the loss of the temple and the diaspora, but in doing so they negated the necessity of blood atonement and made it impossible for anyone who proclaimed Yeshua as Messiah to stay in the synagogues. Any fruit that came from that tree is - cannot help but be - poisonous. I concluded this after years of reading and prayerful thought, but am open to correction if you disagree. I consider you to be one of the voices of sane and Yeshua-centered Messianic Judaism in our day, praise God for His Spirit poured upon you.

  -- Dr Juster replies: I would add a few points. There is controversy concerning Yavneh. Did it really occur and ban Messianic Jews via a curse? Recently Daniel Boyarin argued no, and that the story was a reading back in the later Talmud. However, Oskar Skarsaune says yes. Rabbinic Judaism is not just one tree that can only produce good or bad fruit. It is the culture formation ground of the Jewish people and, as such and, as in any human culture, it produces good and bad fruit. One could also say of the Western Church after it officially rejected Israel, that it is a bad tree too, but it is also a mixture with some good fruit and some bad. It is not one simple tree. Discernment by those who walk in the Spirit is ever the key. God has not left any culture without good things that come from him.

10:19 04Dec08 Andre Tavares -
I'm attentive to your opinion about Jewish tradition since I read Jewish Roots but mainly your article "The value of tradition" (available on Hashivenu). As a Social Scientist I'm conscious of tradition's role in culture, but to me Dooyeweerd's explanation of it is amazing! In "In the Twilight of Occidental Thought" he says that to accomplish the cultural mandate we have to develop human culture (then all Creation) and unfold the possibilities (in submitted partnership with G'd, as you say) G'd have gave to us. So, H.D. says that tradition holds and preserves the memory of one people, and it is important to collect and bring together all those cultural material. Nevertheless, it's necessary to develop and freed the spheres, the aspects of life, to differentiation and to reach complexity and fullness. Tradition has, some times, lose control over culture, forbear and give place to history processes of disclosure.
I think that Judaism gathered uncountable quantities of cultural material, building one of (if not the most) incredible living tradition. But it's out of time (delayed) to freed, to separate and classify it's traditon to bless the nations of Earth. Haskala tried to do that and failed much than had success, but German Judaism did what was a urgent need to put Judaism up to date - I'm not saying about "modernization" but about awareness, attention to own time.
But to develop, to do the proper use of our tradition, or other else, it's necessary to be under G-d's rule, will, purpose and Sovereignty in obedience. I think that neither ordinary Judaism or Messianic Judaism are totally in this position.
We, Messianic Jewish, have much influence of free evangelical position about tradition... they are dying for lack of doctrine, memory and history, because rejected all of it. At least here in Brazil, we have some pastors and leaders from "free background" looking for more traditional churches (we have a little but consistent Reformed group of churches, and others are joining Anglicanism) because they are seeing to where "free evangelicalis" is leading them.
And just a question to you: Don't you think that even to understand G-d, Yeshua, the Holy Spirit and Torah, and how to honor and obey them, we need to be informed by a tradition, that is also a vehicle to G-d's had in History?

  -- Dr Juster replies: Few reference Herman Dooyweerd to me. Amazing! I have heard of this book, but mostly reference H. D.'s Critique of Theoretical Thought that sits in my library. I think it is not possible to read without cultural tradition, but this does not make me a relativist, because we transcend our limits in dialogue. H. D. sounds closer to H. R. Niebuhr in your recounting than I would have thought.

10:58 04Dec08 Tom Dolph -
Anyone who knows me will tell you, I have an opinion about EVERYTHING! Not this time. As an "outsider looking", I don't feel I'm in any position to add my 2-cents worth. However, YOUR opinion strikes me as showing more wisdom and balance than anything I've heard or read thus far (including my own private thoughts). I'll support YOUR position on the matter.

14:13 04Dec08 Sean Steckbeck -
That was very good!!!!!! I think we have alot to learn about the value of tradition, especially as messianics, Jewish tradition. Recently, I have just been amazed at the tradition of arts and paintings in the Catholic tradition to tell stories to a people who can't read. As messianics, how much more should we appreciate the covenant meals and the traditions that follow that teach the family the stories and the Word of God by mouth through experience.

15:57 04Dec08 Marla Sternburg -
I lived in Jerusalem for 2 yrs and had very good relationships with many Orthodox Jews. Often they showed more mercy to me than most Christians and Messianics there. I was an Ambassador of Reconciliation - and treated them with Love. They are not paracites - they pray day and night - which has held off much Judgement vs. Israel and helped during Wars and Crises. They do Spiritual Warfare and repent for Israel - in a like manner that we do. It is the same Mitzvot. Most are very charitable and social minded. I have found them to be more obedient to many New Covenant principles - because they are the same as the Old Covenant - whereas the Church - which is zealous - is often lacking in Compassion, kindness, mercy and supporting their own. While they are blinded to the Messiahship of Y'shua - we also forget that we also used to be blinded - and often came from more sinful and disobedient backgrounds than the Orthodox Jews. Reb Y'shua Himself prayed and worshipped The Father/HaShem. That's what they do - and they get the same answers to prayers, miracles and healings! As Romans 11 says - They are blinded in PART - not completely blinded!!!!!!!

16:14 04Dec08 Raymond E. Wiggins Sr. -
Your "acrostic order of priorities" is in keeping with the wisdom of Yeshua when He set the precedence for such cautious observance of "rabbinic tradition" when He testified saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do." (Matthew 23:2,3)
As you well pointed out, there are many "good" things that we can "learn" and "practice" from those who "sit in Moses's seat" in their "rightful place!"

16:28 04Dec08 Simon -
Wise words, yet disappointing for in dealing with the challenges of our time and various mixes of cultures, should we not look first to Scripture?
The Messianic community in Israel and beyond struggles for identity. It is not the gentile church and it is not Judaism. Perhaps it could be be the gentile church with added Judaism? But that is to treat Judaism as a cultural add-on and ignore the foundation of our faith in the Hebrew Tenach and the Jewish Yeshua. Perhaps it could be Judaism with added Yeshua, but Yeshua is no add-on but the centre.
The Messianic community is called to distinct identity for that is its prophetic role from the Tencah and what Paul sought also. That it was submerged for so long, yet now has re-emerged illustrates how high the stakes are.
So, what does Scripture say? In Romans 3 and 9, Paul identifies the Jewish distinctives as having been given the oracles of God, and having belong to us the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants (plural), the giving of the Law, the temple services, and shared ancestry in the flesh with Yeshua. Quite a list!
The oracles, the adoption, the glory, we can but humbly give away to those who are grafted in with us. The temple services are not for the present. The Law and some of the covenants are in some sense distinctive to us. And the common ancestry in the flesh is necessarily specific to being a Jew.
So, it seems to me this points us toward understanding and helping others understand the foundations in the Hebrew Tenach, and what the covenants and the Law and the temple ceremonies reveal of Yeshua. In this, should we look to mainstream Judaism? As Eliza points out, since Yavne, there has been as deliberate turning away from the very things which signify Him. From the Lord's viewpoint, it is Messianic Judaism which is true Judaism and what calls itself Judaism is heresy. Should what is true measure itself by what is false, can that be our plumbline? Surely not.
We can still look to rabbinical Judaism to understand what holds our people (and perhaps to some extent ourselves), and to be able to dialogue with and understand the culture. We can show where Judaic thinking has found it difficult to avoid the implications of the Messiah. We can draw on what it has carried into the present age of the feasts and traditions. We may find illuminating commentary on Scripture by the sages.
But that does not make rabbinical Judaism part of us, even as the last of a string of letters. And that makes the process of discovering our identity in Yeshua all the more painful and difficult.

  -- Dr Juster replies: There are some good comments here. Well, I do think that our way of life is part of us including. However, in my little list of letters there is much more than can be said in two pages. Some is said in your response; a supplement. However, the letter Y means that we really are attached to Yeshua, to who he is in his cultural context of Jewish life in the first century, as the Jewish Messiah. He is connected indeed to Torah, but He is the living Torah. Torah includes what is described in Romans 9 and all that is distinctly part of us. However, we can not say that the good things of tradition are not part of us too. We have had 36 years of Passover seders. For us and our children, this is part of our lives; centering in Yeshua. All that is in Judaism without Yeshua has to be transformed in Him if it is in keeping with the spirit of the New Covenant.

17:10 04Dec08 Jeffrey Seif -
Bravo Dan! Instead of accepting the polarization between the old guard and the innovative impulses and creative elements within our movement, you respectfully look to move the conversation between both forward. This is why I find you one of our more able theologians.

20:05 04Dec08 Peter Dickson -
You know, I don't always agree with everything you say. But this is a really solid, well thought out article written in humility. I agree with your conclusion that those whose primary focus is God/Y'shua/Spirit and Torah may be able to correctly discern what parts of rabbinic Judaism are worth holding on to. You are the man.

04:09 05Dec08 Even -
Yeshua is Torah (The Word). Those who honour Torah honour Yeshua even if they don't know it. All Jews are commanded to keep the Law always everywhere and if you not being Jewish is grafted upon the Tree should and will you not also pertain of the sap of the Tree which is Torah?

12:00 05Dec08 Calvin E. Kaiser -
Once again, Dr. Rabbi Juster has hit a grand slam.
Succinct, compelling, and comprehensive, a Rauch led piece of literature. My hope is that the reasonable, objective (think no idealogues) thinking, Messianic community is listening.

12:13 05Dec08 Rose-Line Simon -
When you came in to teach a few years ago about this (keep what is good and reject the evil) that was plain and simple and yet it has helped me, to live as a Jew that I am, and also to shine (hopefuly) to those who watch me from "outside". It's not burdensome as some suggest; it's clear, wise and it just makes sense. I love the way you convey your message, you can bring simplicity out of complexity. A true gift to us.

12:19 05Dec08 Rabbi DF Eukel -
First, your heart, head and hands display mature seasoning. You are clear, concise and compelling while walking compassionately. You serve our Messianic community well. Second, both your written work and the comments of the community deserve publication by both audio & visual means - preferably across the Internet for wider dispersion. I would encourage you to invite, much like Dr Michael Brown, representatives of opposing viewpoints who will engage and be engaging. Third, and finally, I am in strong disagreement with your acrostic. It continues the digging in of the heels perspective of those who fail to acknowledge GOD is Echad (not yachad) first, as our first faith foundations fathers clearly understood. Additionally, we must anchor our spirit impressions with The Spirit of GOD's Word first, not fourth, as your acrostic does.

  -- Dr Juster replies: The issue here was not the issue of authority which is of course the Word of God. It was rather what from the emphasis of the Word of God we should emphasize. These emphases arise out of the Word.

14:50 05Dec08 Jonathan Switzer -
This is a classic auto-immune disease problem. Due to the build up of bad toxins in valuable organs, the body's immune system begins to think that the organ itself is the problem and begins to attack the important organ. The problem is not the organ but the poisonous toxins that have built up in the organ. We struggle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms.

17:36 05Dec08 JG -
Tradition and the role that it plays is a very difficult subject for those hungry for fresh acts of the Ruach. Sadly. Few Holy Spirit focused congregations have enough meaningful tradition in their lives and services while the tradition centered invariably are Spirit-resistant. It is critical that we make room for living manifestation "when we come together" without losing touch with tradition.

18:36 05Dec08 Susan Fiedler -
Wonderfully balanced article and approach. In our small congregation we have a wide range of observance of various customs. As each person follows as he is led by the Spirit, our lives are enriched. Customs that point to Yeshua and deepen our relationship with Him are wonderful. Those that don't should be avoided. However, different customs have different effects on different people at different times of their lives -- which is why freedom in Yeshua to follow as led (but always within the overall framework of scripture) is so important.

21:54 05Dec08 Bruce Kelso -
Lord, grant us the strength of Jane O.'s daughter.

01:42 06Dec08 Dan (not Juster) -
So where does this leave us? Is it wrong to be Torah observant or only if we are extreme or radical in our observance? Knowing that the first commandment is to Love The Lord our G-d with all our heart, strength,mind and spirit, is obeying His Torah loving Him or loving ritual? As messianic Jews are we to be like christians and forsake our traditions? Or hold to our traditions and alienate both christian and Jew alike (Christians who do not keep Torah and Jews because they do not believe we can keep Torah and believe in Yeshua) so what would Yeshua say of all this? Didn't HE keep Torah? Can we keep Torah and Love The Lord and our neighbor at the same time? Wouldn't this be a real witness to all?

  -- Dr Juster replies: The issue is emphasis. We are to abide in the Vine, Yeshua as our number one emphasis. When this is in order, then we are to apply the Torah as is fitting to the New Covenant order. Only abiding in the Vine, Yeshua, and being filled with the Spirit enables us to obey the Torah.

09:42 06Dec08 Marion Carrozza -
I think your article is very good and truthful. I am a gentile and go to a messianic group. I feel that the man is too legalistic. There seems to be no joy in the group. I feel we should be celebrating Yeshua. I also attend The Bridge church, which is part of JP Jackson ministry. I have been to conferences with Dan Justine as speaker for as far back as 1988 while I lived in Brooklyn NY. I've been part of Sid Roths ministry in 1988 in NY so I've been involved in Messanic groups. Been to Israel 3 times. Will be going with Don Finto group as we support the Messianic groups. But as a gentile I find some Messianic groups too severe with the old laws.Yeshua came to give life more abuntantly. I'm a christian 27yrs and before that a Catholic. I understand traditions. We celebrate all the feasts and shabbot. My prayer is that Jew and Gentile truly come together without all this pride business. I see Sid Roth with that kind of love, also Jonathan Burnis, Kurt Landry, Robert Stearns.

  -- Dr Juster replies: The brothers you mention are all old and dear friends. We all emphasize that our focus on Yeshua and the power of his Spirit must be first if we are to apply Torah rightly and not fall into legalism.

11:23 06Dec08 PL Henry -
Excellent (metzuyan!!) article, Dan!! It is so easy to fall into to seeing things as "either or", not as "both and". Thank you for presenting a godly balance to a sensitive topic. Shalom.

05:48 08Dec08 Tibor Ruff -
First of all, sorry for my poor English. I am a new-born, Spirit-filled pastor in Hungary. In main points I agree with your conclusions. I am a Ph. D. of Jewish Studies, I earned it at the Beth HaMidrash (Jewish Theological Seminary) of Budapest. My thesis was: 'The New Testament and the Torah'. My opponents were a leading Jewish philosopher of the greater secular university of Hungary and one of the chief rabbis (age 87), the best Talmudist in our country, and a Christian theologian. They all agreed with me in the main points. I studied the relationship between Jesus, the Twelve and Paul and the written and the oral Torah in details. My final conclusion is: Jesus and His disciples did not reject the whole oral tradition and did not accept the whole oral tradition. Their relationship to it was SELECTIVE, CRITICAL and CREATIVE. This was usual in their time, because Judaism was a PLURALISTIC world before the Churban. There was no NORMATIVE JUDAISM then. Normative Judaism begun only in the galut, because of the losing of the spiritual centre: Jerusalem, the Temple and the High Priest with the Sanhedrin. What measure is a qav, a hin, a cubit? We know all those only from the ancient halachas. Jesus never questioned those. We know all those only from the ancient halachas. Jesus never questioned those.
What is the canon of the Tanach, which books does it contain? We know this only from oral tradition (not one of the books in the Bible contains a list of the canon). Jesus never questioned this. Which one is the authoritative text of the Tanach (Septuagint differs in many points for example)? We know this only from the masoretic tradition. Which is the right calendar (written Torah does not solve the problem of the delay between the lunar and solar year)? About all those unsolveable problems the written Torah itself gives the authority to the High Priest and the judges of the Temple (Deut 17:8-13) to decide and punishes with death who is unobedient to their decision. Jesus agrees with this (of course, this is the written Torah itself!) even if the Priests and the Sanhedrin are fully corrupt (Matthew 23:2-4), as they really were. This was the main, very, very deep, hard and serious moral and social problem of the Jewish society in His time for every honest and obedient Jew. After the Churban, Sanhedrin lost this great legal authority, because in the Torah it is explicitly connected to the Temple. The Sanhedrin of Yavne or Tverya doesn't have so great authority. And so on. The rabbinic tradition has very many levels. There are ancient halachas; the decisions of the High Priests and the Sanhedrins of hundreds of years before the churban; the decisions of the Sanhedrins and local authorities after the Churban; there are later halachas; some of them made by simple rational conclusions; or simple local or general customs; takkanot of rabbis of all times; and infinite number of sheelot utshuvot and aggadot, and different opinions about everything. All these are the oral Torah. ALL THESE LEVELS HAVE DIFFERENT AUTHORITY. For example, if somebody denies the canon or the right text of the Tanach - it's a great sin and false teaching, even if he is a Gentile Christan! If a Jewish Messianic believer goes to an excursion with his family by car on Sabbath - this is his opinion about the topic, no problem, I think.

  -- Dr Juster replies: I think you have a very good grasp here. I would only add that while the Rabbinic tradition is largely post Temple as you say, it did begin in the land of Israel after the destruction of the Temple.

08:47 08Dec08 Mary Drakeforrd -
I was most impressed with this article. I agree with everything stated. I liked the acrostic because it is so true. We must first acknowledge the Father and Jesus. The spirit is sent out to us then. It is written we can't get to the Father without first going through the Son. Once we do that the Holy Spirit will be sent to us. The Holy spirit represents the Father and Son. In other words we have the complete Godhead working through and in our lives. This is the best thing that has ever happened to be. Everything Christ said in HIS word is true for those who truly believe. HE will give us power to become a witness for HIM.

18:30 08Dec08 Moshe Liebschutz -
I am a Jew who is perplexed at how Messianic Judaism should instruct the goyim to keep from being a stumbling block to his Jewish brother who is in fact called to keep the Mitzvot. Currently, most gentiles act as if halachic concerns are for the Jew only and, therefore, do not weigh in much as how they should act when both are together, i.e. showing little reverence or minimal regard for the Shabbat which I am called to uphold for my family. Why is there such a vacuum in this regard?

  -- Dr Juster replies: Although the early Church rejected Marcion who rejected the Hebrew Bible, the Church has always been confused as to the application of Torah. The early Rabbis understood that the Torah applied to Jews and Gentiles but in a different way. There were commands for Jews and universal commands for all. All are to take the Torah seriously and seek to apply it in the New Covenant order. If this were done, Christians would understood that they are called to encourage Jews to be loyal to their Jewish life and calling.

11:23 19Dec08 Amani Tshimenga -
This subject is of higher importance than as it looks. Not only is the difference between the ultra Orthodox and the modern Orthodox controversial, also the position of some messianics/christians is controversial to the whole of Orthodoxy. The Modern Orthodox position is in between ultra orthodoxy and messianism/christianism as they comply indirectly to the commands of Lord YeSHuaH, by serving in the military, by working and paying taxes. This is the same as our Lord said to Peter to give to God what is His and to Caesar what is his. Then Lord YeSHuaH allowed a fish to be caught from which He extracted the money to pay the taxes. Peter caught that fish by casting his net in the sea, so he worked! What I want to draw to the attention of both messianics and christians is that the fact of rejecting YeSHuaH by the Orthodox does not mean that they are completely out of the comprehension of the word of God. Some of Orthodoxy's views are still valid and we messianics/Christians are often mistaken on certain comprehensions. On a point of view, the apostle Paul before conversion can be viewed as an Orthodox Jew working the Truth with a wrong comprehension. Some Jewish traditions cannot be discarded from the way of believe in YeSHuaH, so they must be practiced by believers in YeSHuaH. E.g. Most of celebrated feasts have hidden values for messianics and they must not be considered as old belief. In all of these, despite our discrepancy with Orthodox, one has to record that they are Israelis and are soaked in the Torah. I suggest that messianism is revealed orthodoxy under the light of Holy Ghost. So the judgement of Orthodoxy by messianism/christianism is a much deeper matter than it appears to us.

22:50 20Dec08 Wm BenCarl -
Very good article! And right on the point as to the biggest problem the Messianic movement has got into especially the last 5 years or so! Messiah Yeshua said beware the leaven of the Pharisees... not to elevate the doctrines and words of men on a parity with, or even over, YAH's Holy Word! :-)

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