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Posted January 31, 2016 - 10:55pm

On December 10, 2015, the Vatican issued a paper highlighting and clarifying their ongoing dialogue with Judaism. Many may have heard about this through Facebook or church organizations who immediately began criticizing the paper’s pivotal statement, which seems to be theologically opposed to the message of the gospel. Many people have assumed that the paper simply means “Jewish people don’t need Jesus.” But what exactly does it mean and how did the Catholic Church arrive at this conclusion? What I would like to do is divide the discussion into three parts: First, I would like to give a little background as to what lead to this development. Second, I would like to accurately communicate the statements made by the Catholic Church. Third, I would like to explain the significance of these statements, particularly in light of how biblical covenants work, as well as help to clear up any misunderstandings of these statements. Please keep in mind that while I am not in agreement with Roman Catholic theology or practice, it will become obvious that this paper is a watershed in Jewish-Christian relations and understandings. I can only see this aiding the Messianic-Jewish movement. I can also see this statement as marking the advent of a new era in the progression of the Kingdom of Messiah on the earth.

Posted November 3, 2015 - 5:27am

Observant Jews (Messianic or otherwise), and many Messianic Gentiles like myself, read Genesis 22:1-19 every morning during Shacharit (morning) prayers. It is the story of the binding of Isaac. In Hebrew it is called the Akeidah, which means “binding.” How should we understand this story from a Messianic Jewish perspective? Let’s take a look at just a few of the dozens of connections to the Apostolic Scriptures found within this story.

The Akeidah is considered the last of ten tests that Hashem placed upon Abraham. Jewish literature makes reference to ten tests that Abraham passes in faithful obedience. However, there is some confusion over exactly what those tests are. Both Rashi and the Rambam have differing lists, which you can see in the chart below:

Posted October 15, 2015 - 7:36am

Shalom, everyone! I hope you all were blessed during the High Holy Days. There have been so many things going on with Emet HaTorah the last few months that I thought I would take a few minutes to review and try and catch everyone up on what all is going on.

You may be asking, "What happened to the newsletter?" And rightly so. Since even before the Patterns of Praise conference in August, we have been running non-stop. There was a lot of preparation involved in putting together our first conference and it took a lot out of us. However, in my estimation, it was a huge success. I am still hearing reports of the life-changing impact it had on those who attended. Joe and Debbie Good did such an excellent job of helping us to understand Jewish prayer and giving us details on using the siddur (prayer book). I believe everyone in attendance was blessed and walked away with a challenge to begin a life of prayer.

Speaking of the Patterns of Praise conference, we will be doing a duplicate conference next month in Macon, GA at Nachamu Ami Messianic Synagogue (NAMS), just a little over an hour outside of Atlanta. The dates are November 13-15. Please mark your calendars, register on our website and spread the word through social media or word of mouth! If you didn't make the first one, we hope you'll consider coming to this one. We are very much looking forward to it.

Posted June 12, 2015 - 6:32am

In our previous articles, we have been debunking the myth that the Torah (the “Law”) is impossible to keep. We mentioned the misunderstanding of Peter’s words in Acts 15, where he refers to “a yoke … that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10). We discussed the misconceptions within Christianity about the Torah and the perceived difficulty of following its directives. We also discussed the purpose for which God gave his Torah (Law), and listed several commandments found within the book of Leviticus as examples of these “difficult” laws. In this article, we will begin to seek an understanding of Peter’s specific terminology for his phrase, “a yoke … that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear.” What yoke was he referring to, and was it truly unbearable? Let’s take a look at a few instances of the metaphorical use of the word yoke in rabbinic literature to see if we can uncover a pattern and extract an understanding that can be used within our context.

“Yoke” in Rabbinic Terminology

Fortunately for us, rabbinic literature has a number of parallels to this type of language. Let’s explore a few from both the Mishnah and Talmud:

Rab said, On account of four things is the property of householders confiscated by the state treasury: On account of those who defer payment of the labourer’s hire; on account of those who withhold the hired labourer’s wages; on account of those who remove the yoke from off their necks and place it on [the necks] of their fellows [an allusion to the burden of paying taxes] and on account of arrogance. And the sin of arrogance is equivalent to all [the others] whereas of the humble it is written, But the humble shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (b.Sukkah 29b)

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Latest Book Review

The Magerman Edition

Author: Daniel Rose & Jay Goldmintz
Publisher: Koren Publishers
Year: 2014

The Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur is one of the latest in Koren’s growing collection of siddurim (prayer books) geared towards a specific demographic. Koren describes Ani Tefilla as “an engaging and thought-provoking siddur for the inquiring high school student and thoughtful adult.” Koren says that Ani Tefillah has been developed in order “to help the user create their own meaning and connection during the Tefilla [prayer] experience.” The name of the siddur is connected with its objective. Ani Tefilla means “I pray.” 

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