The Book: The Unified Body | The Blog: Am Echad | |


"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

Yom Yerushalayim Sameach

Today, we celebrated the re-unification of Jerusalem under Jewish leadership through the Providential hand of HaShem in 1967.

How did we celebrate it? The Israeli Air Force is busy bombing Hamas rocket launching stations in Gaza, in an attempt to ward off the latest round of barrages into Israeli towns including Sderot, which has basically been bombarded non-stop since the Jewish eviction from Gush Katif in August 2005. In the meantime, the Israeli government has passed legislation requiring a general referendum before future land withdrawals can be arranged, keeping Judea, Samaria, and the Golan safe--at least, for now.

And the Messianic community is still busy arguing over who's the better Jew, and, more importantly, which Jew is better at getting Jews to believe in Messiah. It really is as asinine as it is entertaining. Considering the fact that it is the Ruach that convicts, and as servants of Yeshua we are to be operating in tandem with the Ruach, the only thing we're scoring points at is giving ourselves too much credit while arguing over a moot point.

In the meantime, I recently attended an awesome Yeshiva hosted by one of the most educated Bible scholars I've ever met. In a private conversation regarding all things Israel, he can openly state that he is a Messianic Jew. However, when publicly addressing a room full of gentile Christians eager to know and understand the truth of their faith in Messiah, the most he can say is, "We're One New Man." Tell me where in scripture Yeshua is quoting as saying, "I came to establish One New Man"? Then again, I can't blame the guy: when one of the largest Messianic associations in the country refers to gentiles as "Associate Members," can you really expect any Christian to embrace, let alone believe, that they, too, have been made Jewish through their faith in Messiah Yeshua?

In the meantime, the United States continues to turn her back on Israel in bigger and bolder ways. The Evangelical Christian community feels free to voice their opinions about the matter and even train American Christian college students to advocate for Israel on campus. Yet, where is the Messianic Jewish community's Zionist voice? How many praise and worship songs do we sing about Zion-- yet how many of these passionate claims can we back up with truth and actions?

Sometimes, I get the feeling I should've titled this blog "The Disunified Body". The Ruach is no respecter of persons, but apparently the believing community can like and dislike, use and abuse anybody they want. They can pick and choose which causes suit their needs and fit their agendas based on which side of the argument they're currently on. And if it really doesn't suit them, they don't need to pay attention to reality at all. Now, if that doesn't bring glory to HaShem and edification to the nation of Israel, I don't know what does.

So many people argue that right after we regained the Temple Mount, we rescinded it back to the Arabs out of fear. Instead of joining the bandwagon, tell me, as a believer: What are you doing to get it back? You're a stone in the living temple, right? What are you going to do about finding yourself--and your fellow stones--a home?

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posted by Shoshana @ 9:37 PM

Zionism and Americanism

The more I embrace my Jewish identity, the more I realize how all-encompassing it is: Jewish identity translates into faith (Messianic Judaism), into nationalism (Zionism), and into a code for daily living (Torah). Judaism, when done the right way, is an all-encompassing essence, because HaShem is an all-encompassing G-d; He is El Shaddai.

As I reconnect with the Christian world, I am startled by the differences I see when it comes to the concept of "living out faith." Because of the cultural stripping of nation (Israel) and creed (Torah) the Christian world (at least in America) is often like a ship set adrift into the ocean with no real captain or land-goal. What I've really started to notice is this strain in American Christian thinking that prompts Christians to view America as some sort of Zion of the Christian world. Perhaps this is a notion subconsciously fed by replacement theology--but I doubt it. The motivation isn't so much about hating the Jews as it is about being envious of us. That is, to say, Christians are realizing how incredibly polarized they are as a community in America, therefore, as they dig more and more into scripture, and read all about how G-d gave the Israelites a land to call their own, the Christians realize that they want a land to call their own, too. They want that safe haven where they can worship G-d freely.

Now, to a Christian mind that is trained to believe in anything ranging from replacement theology to dual-covenant theology, Israel is not the land they have in mind to call their own. Besides, why would they want a strip of land the size of New Jersey that's riddled with terrorists, when they can stay right here in the "greatest country on the earth"? These Christians are also nostalgic for the America that was- the America that prayed in school and had good, solid, Biblical values. So, what do you see arising in Christian circles? Talk of reclaiming the nation for Jesus. This translates into both non-fiction speeches and writings by noted Christian figures, as well as a slew of historical fiction novels set on the American frontier line the Christian section in your local bookstore.

Ben Franklin originally wanted our national seal to depict Moses standing over a parted sea with the Israelites crossing to safety. That is how heartily he correlated the American revolutionary experience with the liberation of the Hebrews in Exodus. As heartwarming as that notion is, I can't help but think, as a Messianic Jew who understands the fullness of scriptures like Deuteronomy 29, Ezekiel 47, and Romans 9-11, that there is more to the future and hope of the Christian world than a reclamation of America. Not that seeing America return to her Biblical foundations would be a bad thing-- quite the opposite is the case! It's just that, well, why go for a slice of the pie when you can have the whole cake?

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posted by Shoshana @ 9:24 PM