Messianic Judaism Recognized in Israel and Elsewhere

The Messianic Action Committee (MAC) led the fight against two proposed laws meant to make Messianic Judaism illegal in Israel, and both of these proposals failed to become law in the land. Now, the MAC (under the name Action Committee for Messianic Judaism in Hebrew) has been officially recognized as an Israeli not-for-profit organization. This means that the government of Israel now officially recognizes Messianic Judaism!

This is really incredible news! Now, because Messianic Jews have stood their ground, Israelis will be faced with a decision. Is whatever type of Judaism they practice (or don't practice) more true than our form of Judaism—Messianic Judaism?

Recently, several books have been published describing Messianic Judaism in a rather positive light. A new book, written by a rabbi and yet to be published, describes Messianic Judaism as a branch of Judaism. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw a sketch of a seven-branch menorah that included our brand of Judaism along with Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist.

Because the Messianic synagogue movement respects its Jewish heritage and upholds our national homeland, Israel, the Jewish community is beginning to show us favor. But this is not an entirely new thing.

When Yeshua walked through the Land, He was followed by thousands of Jewish people, seeking to know more about God. They sought his comments on the Shabbat (Sabbath) laws, on the greatest commandment, on the laws of kashrut (kosher). He was popular—at least with the am ha-aretz (the common folk).

Likewise, as the first Messianic community grew, the book of Acts states that the believers had favor with the Jewish people. Not only that, but when Rabbi Shaul (a.k.a, Paul the Apostle) went on his "missionary journeys," he was often asked to address the local synagogues. He was considered a Jew, albeit a Jew that varied from the norm.

I believe that Messianic Judaism will be more effective presenting the claims of Yeshua by making our movement and each congregation within this movement appealing to Jewish people. We will find favor, but it will take discipline and hard work.

God has plans for our people. He called Israel to be "a light to the nations." But right now, Israel, for the most part, is still in darkness. Only a small percentage of Jews have seen the Light of the World.

These are awesome times—Israel is softening toward Messianic Jews. Some are even embracing us. Books are honestly describing what Messianic Judaism is all about. Less and less are we depicted as "tricky missionaries," bent on destroying the Jewish people, as we have been described in the past.

Messianic Jews are more able to take a stand with the rest of the Jewish community. This has lead to normal discussions in which we can introduce our rabbi, Yeshua, the Messiah. Plus, there is information the non-Messianic Jewish community can share with us. This give-and-take will be used by the Lord to accomplish his purpose. Remember, we're all a part of the same menorah. Get ready! I sense something great is about to happen.

Shalom u'vracha (peace and blessings).

Rabbi Baruch Rubin is president of Messianic Jewish Communications (www.messianicjewish.net) and Rabbi of Emmanuel Messianic Jewish Congregation (www.godwithus.org) both of Clarksville, Maryland.


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