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I am committed to a life provoking the invasion of The Coming Kingdom through: human service, ecstatic prayer, halakhic observation, community building, nurturing hope, and drawing down abiding faith...

Friday, December 31, 2010

What should we be focusing on?

It seems to be rather obvious that everyone has his/her unique calling toward advancing those things which are crucially important for the Messianic Jewish movement:

Jewish-Christian relations
Hebrew education
Creative thinking
Developing halakhic standards
Developing siddur material and music

All of this goes towards the ultimate goal of developing community that addresses the needs and goals of the MJ movement for itself and the world.

I am preparing a book revew of Rabbi Elie Kaunfer's Empowered Judaism which I will be presenting late next month. As a part of this review I will be touching on the applicability of Rabbi Kaunfer's model for the MJ movement. As I have been engaging in this project some questions have manifested:

How can the way we move forward respond to our particular needs as a community (as opposed to making us look like a particular, already-existing, form of 21st century Judaism)?

What does being an empowered Messianic Jew look like...what should we be focusing on?

I'm looking for some feedback from all of you on your answers to some of these questions :-)
I hope some of the feedback I receive here will help me develop a more diverse and responsive presentation.


  1. Benjamin,

    As a fan of Rabbi Kaunfer's book, I am loioking forward to reading your review and thoughts. Yasher koach!

  2. Ben,

    I have high expectations for your presentation as well.

    Reading back over the list, I thought there was something else worth mentioning: theology. I think there is still much to be said by people devoted to creating Torah-positive, non-supercessionist theology in solidarity with Israel which will continue to impact and develop the way we perceive and discuss the nature of God, revelation, the Scriptures, Yeshua, the Spirit, etc...

    I'll try giving a brief answer to your question "What does being an empowered Messianic Jew look like?" A few thoughts in no particular order--I think empowered Messianic Jews:

    - have a transformative spiritual relationship with Yeshua
    - have a way of seeing G-d's activity in the world through the Ruach in small and big ways
    - have a deep personal connection to the Jewish people
    - are comfortable and well-versed in Jewish tradition and feel a personal ownership of it
    - want to draw people to Hashem, and are energized to share about Messiah with anyone who will listen
    - have faith that G-d can do big things
    - are not ashamed to serve in the simplest ways, yet willing to serve in big, challenging ways too
    - spend their time helping others

    Anyone want to add to the list?

  3. Good list, Yahnatan... I would also add:

    - living an identifiably Jewish lifestyle by putting knowledge of Torah and traditions into practice

  4. Gene and Yahnatan:

    Thank you both for your answers. These are most helpful.

  5. Benjamin,

    I love this book and look forward to reading your review.

    I can't think of anything I would add to Yahnatan and Gene's suggestions, except perhaps to add (however redundantly):

    - have the willingness, confidence, and grasp of Judaism (and Christianity) to innovate ways of expressing fidelity to Yeshua (liturgically, theologically/halakhic-ally) that are authentically Jewish
    - have Jewish identities solid and authentic enough to afford them the ability to engage with the Church without compromising their Jewishness