Messianic Jews in Modern Israel
November 13, 2018
Author: Shimon Eitan

Messianic Jews are a small, growing, and diverse community of believers in Jesus, living our faith in a world that fails to see us as either Jewish or Christian.

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A Messianic Girl’s Search for a Church
October 25, 2018
Author: Rachel Sanrelus

My church search was rough. I didn’t want to limit my faith. I wanted to be where the Bible was the center of the teaching, the people believed in a God who loved and cared for them. And I did not want to lose my Jewish identity.

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Explain yourself! How should we talk about our faith as Messianic Jews?
August 21, 2018
Author: Arielle Adler

Explain yourself! How should we talk about our faith as Messianic Jews? “What’s your religious background?” We’ve all been there – the awkward dinner party you are obliged to attend where you get drilled by a friendly guest. Or perhaps it’s in the middle seat, stuck...

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You Just Found Out You’re Jewish – 3 Things You Need to Consider
May 8, 2018
Topics: jewish identity
Author: Arielle Randle

You Just Found Out You’re Jewish – 3 Things You Need to Consider In an unexpected plot twist to your life, you just found out you are Jewish. You may or may not already realize that in the twenty-first century this has become quite common. For several reasons, more...

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Jewish Identity in America: A History
April 9, 2018
Author: Stan Meyer

Jewish Identity in America: A History On July 11, 1883, 200 guests strolled into the luxurious banquet hall of the Highland House, atop Mt. Adams in downtown Cincinnati, towering above the Ohio River. An elegant orchestra played as lavishly dressed Jewish dignitaries...

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Is a Messianic Jewish Family an Interfaith Family?
March 21, 2018
Author: Arielle Randle

What is interfaith? Does it describe Messianic Jewish life at all? Is an intermarried family automatically an interfaith family? Read about one mother’s experience, and her research and conclusions here.

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The Diaspora Dilemma: How Do You Create a Jewish Home in the Middle of Nowhere?
February 2, 2018
Author: Rosie Richards

How do you survive and thrive living far away from a Jewish cultural center, like my family does in Southern Indiana? In our town, there is a very small Jewish population, and we are the only Messianic Jews that I know of. But nurturing my own identity—and building up...

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Jewish Identity: A Game of Hide and Seek
November 17, 2017
Topics: jewish identity

Jewish Identity: A Game of Hide and Seek A certain man walks into a Messianic congregation on Shabbat morning. He’s a total stranger, looks a little lost and, frankly, seems uninterested in what’s going on around him. The rest of us look askance at him, and, finally,...

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“Strange” International Facts About Hanukkah and Christmas
Author: Rich Robinson

Jews might be surprised to learn about some Hanukkah and Christmas customs that take place in countries other than their own. For example: In nineteenth-century Alsace (a region of France), two-tiered menorahs holding sixteen candles were used: one tier for the...

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Recipe: Award-Winning Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
Topics: recipes, jewish food
Author: Melissa Moskowitz

I don’t like to brag, but I did win first place for this recipe at a Hanukkah party held by the Chicagoland-area Messianic community. What won the judges over? “We loved the onions,” they said. Latkes are traditionally eaten with homemade applesauce or sour cream, but...

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Death: How Do We Respond?
Author: Rich Robinson

This article is adapted from the original which appeared in the Winter 2012 print edition of Havurah. We are republishing it in this Tisha B’Av season. Tisha B’Av memorializes tragedies that befell the Jewish people as a nation. It is also an appropriate season to...

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Nothing New Under the Sun
Author: Arielle Randle

What Jewish Young Adults Today Have in Common with Their Parents’ Generation, and Why They Are Just as Open to The Gospel by Arielle Randle “How do we reach Millennials?” This is an important question to raise at a time when many people are analyzing the spiritual...

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A Portrait of Messianic Jews
Author: Rich Robinson

Someone once perceptively said, “Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off.”

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Israeli Traveler Ministry: An Intentional Missions Response to Contemporary Israeli Culture
Author: Aaron Trank

Each year 30,000–40,000 Israelis travel the world as a rite of passage. Many are uniquely open to considering the Messianic claims of Jesus.

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To whom does the Prophet Refer?
Author: Rich Robinson

Aaron Trank’s conclusions may surprise some. But what does the text itself say? There are in fact valid reasons to see applications of Isaiah 53 to Israel as well as to the Messiah. First, Isaiah often identifies the servant as Israel, yet in some way as apart...

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Marc Chagall and Jesus

Marc Chagall’s extensive repertoire of artwork, in which Jesus and the crucifixion is the central subject, assuredly begs the question: “What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing painting a nice Jewish boy like him?” The artist’s...

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Jesus and Jewish Suffering: a Perspective from Paris
Author: Joshua Turnil

If one were to give a hard and honest look at the heritage of Israel’s heroes, one would be forced to concede that it is not a triumphant past. Moses, at his apogee, came down from a holy mountain experience only to be “welcomed” by collective and...

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Jesus and Jewish Suffering: an Israeli Perspective
Author: Dan Sered

Suffering is international and cross-cultural. It is something that unites all human beings, because we all experience it at one point or another. Therefore, suffering is not specifically Jewish—although in Jewish history there has been a great deal of suffering. My...

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The Suffering of Jesus and the Suffering of Israel A Reflection on Isaiah 53
Author: Aaron Trank

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be...

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From Generation to Generation: A Tale of Two Kings
Topics: king david, solomon
Author: Aaron Trank

From Generation to Generation: A Tale of Two Kings
by Aaron Trank

Forty years ago the world of Jewish missions was altered forever. That was when Moishe Rosen incorporated Hineni Ministries in San Francisco and began reaching out to the Jewish community with the gospel under the slogan: "Jews for Jesus."

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Havurah Interview: Rabbi Michael Robert Wolf
Author: Jews for Jesus

By now you may have heard about the full-length movie, The Sound of the Spirit, directed by Messianic Rabbi Michael Robert Wolf of Beth Messiah Congregation, Cincinnati, OH (www.bethmessiah.net). The film is an exploration of what happens when a bat-mitzvah age Messianic Jewish girl, having lost both parents, goes to live with non-believing Jewish relatives. Rivka, the protagonist, is played in a stunning performance by Anna Lasbury.

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The Apostles on Unity and Diversity: A Quick Primer
Topics: unity
Author: Jews for Jesus

We can find examples of disunity among God’s people throughout the Bible. But the apostles’ experiences can be particularly relevant for us. The following examples speak of three kinds of disunity: The disunity that results from overzealous, prideful...

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Death: How Do We Respond?
Author: Rich Robinson

Death: How Do We Respond? As followers of Yeshua, we have assurance of being inscribed forever in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We don’t talk as much about death as we talk beyond it. Yet for many of us, death is often present in our thoughts. This year Jews...

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Our Losses, Our Thoughts
Author: Jews for Jesus

For memorial comments or videos, please see the web links given below. Jhan Moskowitz, 1948–2012 Stan Telchin, 1924–2012 Holly Meyer, 1957–2011 Sveta Karpovetski, 1980—2012 Zecher tzaddik livrachah. The memory of the righteous will be a blessing. Proverbs...

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Here Comes the New Wave
Author: Jews for Jesus

The Latest Generation of Jewish Scholars Give Us Their Take on Jesus and Jewishness If you could go back a few centuries to a shtetl in Eastern Europe—or even to the early 1900s in the Lower East Side of New York City—and ask, Who do you think Jesus is?, you might...

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From Moses’ Blog
Author: Jews for Jesus

It’s not just modern scholars who debate about Yeshua. Jews have always had opinions about Jesus. We recently discovered some discussions online on Moses’ own blog. January 19, 1235 B.C.E. Moses said … So yesterday God said to me, “I will raise...

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Six Questions for Amy-Jill Levine
Author: Jews for Jesus

HAVURAH: The Jewish Annotated New Testament has made quite a splash in some circles. What were your expectations as co-editor in terms of its reception and impact among Jews and Christians? Have those expectations been met so far? AMY-JILL LEVINE: Rather than thinking...

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When Cultures Meet
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah interviews a Messianic Jewish/Muslim Background Believer Couple Havurah: Can you tell us how you came to faith in Yeshua? Basrah: I was born into a Muslim family, but came to believe in Yeshua through a process in which God used several things. The first was...

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Review of Free Men
Author: Jews for Jesus

2011, France; directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi. 99 minutes. In French with English subtitles. Free Men, an official selection of the Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festivals, is based on the true story of the Paris Mosque, which hid Jews in occupied France...

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From the Editor
Author: Rich Robinson

Readers of Havurah will notice that Aaron Abramson’s usual lead article is missing from this edition. In the summer of 2011, Aaron moved with his family to New York City in order to head up our outreach in “the Big Apple.” As a former New Yorker, I...

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Assimilation or Acculturation?
Author: Susan Perlman

What Hanukkah Has to Show Us If you listen to the Jewish experts, they all seem to agree on one thing: one of the greatest threats to Jewish survival is assimilation.  Some say that assimilation is a result of intermarriage and are quick to point out that the rate of...

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A Hanukkah Prayer
Author: Jews for Jesus

At Hanukkah, our Jewish people recite this prayer: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time. The late Vera Schlamm was a Holocaust survivor who understood such prayers. In the story of...

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Something Different for This Hanukkah!
Author: Jews for Jesus

Judah Maccabee didn’t know this, but “without Hanukkah, there would be no Christmas!”  Now, though, your Jewish friends and family can know when you send them our special Hanukkah postcard. You can view it full-color here where you can also download...

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The Aliyah Question
Author: Aaron Abramson

“Jewish believers belong in Israel!” There was an awkward moment as we mulled over the statement. Then the conversation picked up again. An Israeli Messianic leader had challenged a group of American Jewish believers about Messianic Jewish identity. His...

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To the Jew First and Also to the Gentile
Author: Jews for Jesus

We spoke to several pastors who are Jewish and who also lead evangelical churches. Their stories are testimonies of God’s faithful leading to bring three men to Himself from their Jewish backgrounds, as well as leading them into ministry in the church. They feel...

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Wonder What You Can Do with the Wonderbook?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Book Title: The Wonder Book: Answers to Kids’ Questions Author: Child Evangelism Fellowship Date Published: 2000 Publisher: CEF Press ISBN: 978-1559760249 Reviewer: Jews for Jesus Scores of books on evangelism are available, but little has been written that...

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Is Messianic Music Dead?
Author: Jews for Jesus

My dad has always been into music. I remember the smell of vinyl and the hundreds of interesting (and bizarre) album covers scattered throughout our living room. We used to sit and listen to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Cream; The Who; The Rolling Stones; Dylan;...

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Reconciling An Artist to His Creator
Author: Jews for Jesus

by Remy R. I found myself surrounded by some forty-odd pairs of stoned and glassy eyes, staring at me and soaking in my every word. I was used to being in front of an audience, performing for people, but I could not have foreseen this: having a platform to speak to...

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Contribute* to This!
Author: Jews for Jesus

*We’re not asking for money. We want YOU! Camp Gilgal’s Wonderful Winter Weekends — February 2011. For children and youth ages 8–18. www.campgilgal.com And now’s the time to think about: Summer Witnessing Campaign 2011 — If you’re a Jewish believer age 18–30,...

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The Changing Face of the Jewish Community: Meet the Asian-Jewish Intermarrieds
Author: Stan Meyer

The face of the Jewish community is changing. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of intermarriage. In fact, many readers of Havurah may be Jewish and married to a non-Jew, or know someone who is. Five years ago we ran an article by Tuvya Zaretsky on...

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In Their Own Words – Four Asian-Jewish Couples
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah posed several questions to Asian-Jewish couples who are both believers in Y’shua. Below we excerpt some of their answers. For the full responses, go to http://www.jewsforjesus.org/asianjewish Oded and Bimini Cohen Havurah: What are some aspects of your...

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Hear My Cry, O God! The Mystery and Power of Prayer
Author: Aaron Abramson

Not long ago, the father of my friend passed away. The family had prayed for his salvation for years. At the end, he was physically unable to respond, leaving his family uncertain whether he had ever received the gospel. Another friend prayed for his father, a...

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real-life conflict: four vignettes
Author: Jews for Jesus

CONGREGATIONAL CONFLICT Robert Rose The congregation I serve experienced conflict surrounding the resignation of the previous pastor. The presenting issue was how the church should respond to a homosexual couple whose house had burned down: should the church reach out...

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DOUBT: the film
Author: Jews for Jesus

reviewed by Remy Remigio The scene is St. Nicholas parish, the Bronx, 1964. Father Flynn, a progressive young priest, has been accused by the long-standing principal, Sister Aloysius, of foul play with the school’s first African-American student. Sister Aloysius...

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my father’s gift
Author: Amer Olson

I was sitting on the floor, carefully scrutinizing a selfportrait by Rembrandt. There was something in his handling of chiaroscuro, the way his features emerged from the dark umber shadows into brilliant light and color. There was something too in his confident...

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Art by Amer Olson
Topics: art
Author: Amer Olson

Mike Lynch”, oil on linen   “Freya”, charcoal on paper “Pears”, oil on linen “Carl”, oil on panel “Old Friends”, oil on panel “Stella”, oil on linen “Tea and Fortunes”, oil on linen...

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Art With A Mission
Author: Aaron Abramson

In the beginning, God created a breathtakingly beautiful universe. And then God created men and women with eyes, minds, and souls to appreciate his creation and to be inspired by it. He made them not only with an eye to behold his beauty, but to dream, imagine and...

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Messianic Prophecy: Are we using it for all it’s worth?
Author: Aaron Abramson

That’s Jesus,” he admitted, flashing me a ‘you-got-me-there’ kind of grin. I had been studying Isaiah 53 with Uri, an Israeli now living in Manhattan’s trendy Upper West Side. He had just uttered the very words I had hoped to hear! Carefully, he reread the passage in...

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Four Questions for Dr. Michael Brown
Author: Jews for Jesus

Dr. Michael Brown is a Jewish believer in Jesus and a well-known apologist and author. For more, visit his web sites at askdrbrown.org  thelineoffire.org and realmessiah.com. We interviewed him to draw on his expertise in the area of messianic prophecy. Havurah: In...

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t o g e t h e r a s o n e

Corporations spend millions of dollars annually training their employees in it. Universities offer courses on it. And every culture on this planet uses it on a daily basis. I got to experience it within the framework of a cross-cultural missions trip this past summer...

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A Messianic Jewish Approach to the Middle East Conflict
Author: Aaron Abramson

The signs said, Stop Zionist slaughter of Palestinians.” Sure, I’d seen signs like those before. But in the hands of ultra-Orthodox Jews? Yet there they were—dozens of them— shoulder to shoulder in their black coats, alongside others holding Palestinian...

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An Arab Christian Perspective
Author: Aaron Abramson

Abdu Murray is not only an Arab for Jesus; he is a former Muslim for Jesus. Aaron Abramson interviewed this brother to see how he deals with tensions and struggles similar to the ones we face over loyalty, conflicts, and maintaining a godly perspective concerning the...

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Jewish Gentile Couples Ministry Website

Jewish-Gentile Couples: becoming one flesh and one spirit
Author: Tuvya Zaretsky

In 1972, the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie,” which had at its nexus a Jewish husband and a Gentile wife, was cancelled after one season because the intermarriage theme was considered too controversial. Evidently immune to the fuss, the stars of the show, Meredith...

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JEWISH BELIEVERS AND THE JEWISH COMMUNITY: How do we see each other?
Author: Rich Robinson

Looking back on my experience as a new believer and a university student, I remember two distinct Christian groups on our campus: Campus Crusade for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The two had not so much a rivalry as hermetically sealed lives. Among...

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THE LIBERATED WAILING WALL: Past, Present and Future…
Author: Aaron Abramson

Liberated Wailing Wall | Albums | Downloadable Music I have been surprised, as I encounter various Jewish believers, that so many first encountered the Jews for Jesus ministry through the Liberated Wailing Wall (LWW). This mobile evangelistic team continues to present...

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Heat and Light: A review of The Christian and the Pharisee
Author: David Brickner

Book Title: The Christian and the Pharisee Author: R.T. Kendall and David Rosen Date Published: January 3, 2007 Publisher: FaithWords ISBN: 978-0446697347 Reviewer: David Brickner In today’s “politically correct” environment, honest and respectful debate over...

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What’s It to You?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Aaron’s article stated: When Isaac was called, he was reminded of Abraham’s special relationship with God and of the covenant promises (Genesis 26:2-5). Jacob was reminded of the Lord’s relationship with both Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 28:13). Moses...

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If You Feed Them, They Will Come

When we think about serving God we often imagine going here or there to meet people, or to do projects. It is easy to overlook one of the best resources that many of us have for serving Him: our homes. Hospitality is becoming rare in our fast-tracked, Blackberry,...

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Passing It On
Topics: our stories
Author: David Lovi

My name is David Lovi. I was born in 1980 and I grew up in a mixed home. My father is a non-practicing Jew and my mother was Catholic. We sometimes went to a cousin’s house to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, and my mother would take me to a Catholic church for...

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Resources to Consider: Why Care About Israel by Sandra Teplinsky and Arabs in the Shadow of Israel by Tony Maalouf
Author: Ruth Rosen

Book Title: Why Care About Israel Arabs in the Shadow of Israel Author: Sandra Teplinsky Tony Maalouf Date Published: June 1, 2004 November 10, 2003 Publisher: Chosen Books Kregel Academic & Professional Genre: 1. Pentecostal & Charismatic2. Judaism3....

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About Torah Observance
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s been a long time coming but The Messianic Movement: A Field Guide for Evangelical Christians from Jews for Jesus is finally in print. One of the eleven chapters explores Torah observance among Jewish believers in Jesus. (We’ve slightly abbreviated it...

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Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People
Topics: book reviews
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People Author: Mark S. Kinzer Date Published: November 1, 2005 Publisher: Brazos Press Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism2. New Testament3. Other Religions, Practices & Sacred...

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Resolutions That Guard Your Heart
Author: Susan Perlman

We don’t always know how the resolutions we make may one day guard our hearts—or even our bodies—as I discovered at the Israel in the Garden” celebration in San Francisco. It is amazing how many ways people can make their displeasure known when you are...

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The Holiday Driven Life
Topics: sukkot
Author: Deanne Ebner

Ah, the holy days; a phrase that brings to mind thoughts of honeycakes, sukkahs and the hope of Messiah’s return…the hope, that is, of Messiah’s very soon return, like before lunch maybe? But this time of year also carries its own unique weight in my home,...

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Food and Jewish Life

All people eat, but for Jewish people eating is an event! What holiday would be complete without food? Even Yom Kippur ends with a break fast. Food provides sustenance, strength and a sense of nurture, and even helps bring meaning and sanctity to Jewish life and...

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Susan Perlman’s Bubbe’s Teglach Recipe
Author: Jews for Jesus

Susan Perlman's Bubbe's Teglach Recipe The story is told of three-year-old Sammy, the youngest child ever to enter the synagogue’s after-school cheder program. After several weeks of classes, he was eager to show his grandfather how much he had learned. But the...

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Seeing Anyone Special?
Author: Ruth Rosen

Is there any group of people within the Jewish community or, at times, even the Messianic Jewish community, whose family status is as much discussed as those who have “married out”? I think that those who have not married at all run a close second....

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Young Jewish Adult Ministry: Is it all Greek to You?

Shortly before this edition of Havurah went to press, a co-worker read the copy, including the lead article I’d written and said to me, You know, Melissa, your article and advice on young adult ministry are good, but for the lead, it might be good to let a young...

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What Makes Mentoring Meaningful
Author: Ben Wertheim

When I was 14, my parents invited Jim for dinner. Although he was ten years older than me and an attorney, all through dinner he treated me with respect. After that evening we spent a lot of time together, doing things like going out for dinner, hiking throughout the...

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On Being Mentored and Mentoring

I believe in mentoring young people because mentoring was a powerful force in my own life for great good when I was young. I came to the Lord out of a very traditional Jewish background when I was in high school, a bumpy time for most young people. For the first two...

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Young Adults: Fanning Their Faith
Author: Letitia Suk

For those of us who are old enough to remember, the big headlines in 1970 were about the breakup of the Beatles, the Apollo 13 crisis, the Kent State killings, and the Vietnam war. It was also the Jesus Revolution,” and many Jewish youths were becoming...

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Keeper of Israel: Reflections on Psalm 121

Imagine that early this morning you and some of your friends left the comfort of your homes to begin a long and often arduous journey. Underfoot, stones invade your sandals; you and your friends must watch for larger ones that could threaten your balance. As you walk,...

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Trees from the Forest: The State of Evangelism in Israel

Here in Israel there are no experts” on evangelism. There are many believers who are doing the work of evangelism, but most of us are in the middle of the task and cannot see the trees from the forest. While there are no experts, there is no lack of opinions or...

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Living on the Edge

There are so many adjectives one could use to describe living in a place that changes daily, if not hour-by-hour. At the risk of beginning on a negative note, let’s just say that great” or “awesome” are not always at the top of the list. When...

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A Light to the Nations
Author: Jews for Jesus

This edition of Havurah celebrates the contributions of contemporary Jewish believers in Yeshua to the larger body of Messiah by focusing in on a few mishpochah: Meredith Feldstein DeRidder, who with her husband Aaron, ministers in a little village in Papua, New...

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In a Strange Land
Author: Peter Gittlen

To our family, our lives are pretty unspectacular. But over the years, many people—including my parents—haven’t hesitated to tell us that our lives are unusual. Years ago, my wife Laura and I sat down with my mother and father on a grassy hill outside the...

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Only One Life

Shortly after my bat mitzvah, my nice Jewish mother shocked our family by becoming a Jewish mother for Jesus! Naturally, she wanted her family to accompany her to the messianic congregation where she had begun worshipping. I resisted for a long time, but one Saturday...

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Brace Yourself
Topics: our stories
Author: Steve Feldstein

For many years I was a businessman whose highest priority was to provide health and happiness for my family. I worked hard so we could live on the highest level. I housed my family in increasingly fine homes, drove expensive cars and provided the best of everything...

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Blessing Gentiles
Author: Jews for Jesus

Blessing Gentiles While we affirm that the Jews are God's chosen people, it is important to note that God's plan from the beginning has always been to bless all people through the Jewish people. TORAH Hebrew Scripture promise or principle of blessing to the non-Jew...

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The Challenge Of Our Messianic Movement, Part 2
Author: Rich Robinson

Us and Him People have been asking, So when are we going to see ‘Part 2’ of this Havurah article?” Apparently, Part 1 stirred plenty of interest and even some controversy. Truthfully, “Part 2” has been through various permutations as we...

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The Challenge of Our Messianic Movement, Part One
Author: Rich Robinson

In the ’70s, the messianic movement” was understood as a moving of Jewish people to faith in Yeshua in the context of Jewish culture. “Messianic,” while not formally defined, had a clear connotation of “Jewish and a believer in...

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Zayde
Topics: poetry

Zayde You used to call me Shayna maidele, your pretty one As you bounced me on your knee. Oh, your grey beard scared me so! Zayde Did you know I looked In your dresser drawer and found the cherry drops. They were for me, weren’t they? Zayde I can still feel Your...

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Question Authority
Author: Moishe Rosen

In the ’70s many of us were inspired, instructed and even informed by bumper stickers. Some people used their bumpers to speak out, others to talk back. One Christian group had a bumper sticker that proclaimed, We found it,” to which a group of Jewish...

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Christmas Is Still a Jewish Holiday
Topics: christmas
Author: Ruth Wardell

It was my joy to share Yeshua with Jewish people in New York City as far back as 1946! As a missionary with the American Board of Missions to the Jews, I recall that some of our greatest times of outreach were through holiday services. I’m not talking about Rosh...

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Yeshua, Yom Kippur And You
Topics: yom kippur, fasting
Author: Stephen Katz

Yom Kippur can be somewhat of a conundrum to Jewish believers in Yeshua. Do we fast and confess our sins like the rest of the Jewish community or do we rejoice in the knowledge that we’re forgiven in Messiah? I remember my first Yom Kippur as a new believer. I...

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David Lewinsohn
Topics: yom kippur
Author: David Lewinsohn

I was raised in a traditional Jewish home in Melbourne, Australia. My grandparents were killed in the Holocaust. Our family were founding members of the Moorabbin and Districts Hebrew Congregation, where I attended weekly until I was 19. I married a Jewish woman in...

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A Guide to High Holiday Thought
Topics: charts, yom kippur
Author: Andrew Barron

A Guide to High Holiday Thought What do the rabbis tell us about the following key theological themes? And what can we learn from the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament understanding? This chart will help you prepare your heart for the High Holidays. THEOLOGICAL...

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Yom Kippur and You: How Some Jewish Believers Observe the Day
Topics: yom kippur
Author: Jews for Jesus

I observe the fast to the end that God would bang on the hearts of our unsaved...

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Celebrating Shavuot in Israel
Topics: recipes, shavuot
Author: Daphna Sadan

Celebrating Shavuot in Israel Labaneh In Israel, at Shavuot time the children come to school dressed in white clothes. The little ones wear crowns of flowers and leaves. We decorate baskets with flowers and leaves and put in fruit as a symbol of the firstfruits that...

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Two Walls
Topics: poetry

In his hands, he folds the note, Smaller and smaller The words he’d found so hard to write The question he’d found so hard to ask His feet move slowly Towards the stones touched by holy men Black coats, black hats, gray beards these begin to fill his eyes....

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Hinei Ma Tov
Author: Stephen Katz

Three congregations stand firmly on the solid rock of God’s Word. The first is the Spit And Be Healed Congregation.” Yeshua healed a blind man by spitting on his eyes, so they base their congregational life on that practice. The second is the “Touch...

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A Sidebar from September

I’m putting together this edition of Havurah in late October with the images and impact of September 11, the war in Afghanistan and bio-terrorism at home fresh on my mind. Our very own Jews for Jesus office in Toronto was the recipient of a letter with some...

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Meet the Parent: Paul

As we take a closer look at the issue of discipleship in this edition of Havurah, we can gain insight from reading about the Apostle Paul’s relationship with those whom he mentored. Expressions revealing the heart of a spiritual parent are scattered throughout...

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A Challenge to Congregations
Author: Kiel Cooper

All too often, discipleship has been relegated to elective programs on the congregational calendar. Yet Yeshua gave us a mandate to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). So how do we do it? Congregation as Warehouse or Factory? To begin the process of transforming a...

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The Jewish Roots Movement: Pros and Cons
Author: Stephen Katz

As Jewish believers, we often encourage Gentile Christians to learn about the Jewish roots of their faith. But could an excessive interest in their Jewish roots be harmful to their spiritual health?

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If You Can’t Get to the Synagogue: A Home Shabbat Celebration
Topics: sabbath
Author: Jews for Jesus

Perhaps you live in Yennevelt—far, far away from a Jewish community or a messianic congregation. Maybe you’re the only Jewish believer in your town and you want to celebrate Shabbat. You long for a meaningful Shabbat experience, a transition for you and your...

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Double Angst: Keeping Your College Student in Touch With God
Author: Jews for Jesus

Often, believing parents experience the double angst of sending their child off to college AND releasing them in hopes that they will continue to walk in their faith. For many, there exists the concern that one’s young adult child, when plucked out of his family...

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What in Yeshua’s Name Is Happening to the Ethiopian Jews?
Author: Lev Leigh

Between 1984 and 1985, a covert series of airlifts known as Operation Moses” transported more than 12,000 Ethiopian Jews from neighboring Sudan to the State of Israel.1 In 1989, diplomatic relations were restored between Jerusalem and Addis Ababa and, “At...

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Ethiopia

  From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering” Zephaniah 3:10 It is best to have no expectations when visiting Ethiopia and it is vital to arrive there with a very open mind. Ethiopia is a...

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Persecution of Ethiopian Believers in Israel

The Ethiopian messianic community in Israel developed as a result of Operation Solomon, beginning in 1990. Included in the earliest immigrations to Israel were some of the Jewish believers, pastors and elders from Ethiopia. Once settled in the Land, they organized...

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Tribute to the Real Hero
Topics: purim
Author: Stephen Katz

There I stood, “Super Mordechai,” in my red-dyed long underwear, sporting a cape and a big “M” emblazoned on my thermal undershirt. I’m not sure if the costume shaped my understanding of Purim or vice versa, but for most of my life I have...

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Losing All; Gaining All
Author: Ruth Horak

Losing All; Gaining All I was born in Czechoslovakia in 1935. Our family owned one of the largest textile factories in the Czech Republic. In 1940, when the Germans occupied this area, they first took the industrialists, and my father was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. We...

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Raising Children in Two Worlds
Author: Stephen Katz

Mommy, does Grandma believe in Yeshua? “No, sweetheart, she doesn’t.” “But why not? She’s Jewish, isn’t she?!” All four of our children have initiated conversations much like the one above with my wife or me, and some of you...

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Messianically-Correct Candle Blessings
Topics: hanukkah
Author: Loren Jacobs

While God has never commanded us to light the Hanukkah candles, our Jewish tradition beckons us to do so. Written here are some blessings we use with our own family at home, as well as with our congregational family, Shema Israel Congregation in Detroit. The first...

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Celebrations of Light
Topics: poetry, hanukkah
Author: Janna Sanders

In the beginning the world was in darkness God speaking, the Spirit moving let there be light we remember the miracle God’s wondrous act. The temple in darkness desecrated, defiled, a small band of warriors, the victory won, we remember the miracle God’s...

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Something Keeps Me Wanting to Hear
Topics: family issues

I asked David*, an unsaved Jewish man we’ve befriended through our Skokie office, to meet with me. David’s sister Susan* is a believer. I told him that this issue of Havurah was about encouraging Jewish believers to keep sharing their faith with their...

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Unequally Yoked: What Does God Say About Mixed Matches?
Author: Stephen Katz

You may have heard it called evangelistic dating.” You may have heard it called “throwing caution to the wind.” Either way, serious problems arise when believers date and marry non-believers. Perhaps you know someone who is contemplating such a...

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Celebrating Shavuot With the Mishpochah
Topics: shavuot
Author: Jews for Jesus

A Bit of Background Shavuot begins on the evening of the sixth of Sivan. In Bible times, this holiday was an agricultural festival—a time for our people to present the firstfruits of the crops to God. It was a holiday of gratitude; of giving back to the Lord that...

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The Art of Messianic Ketubot
Topics: jewish art, marriage
Author: Leah Snyder

Nancy Jardine is a Detroit-born artist who has infused the art of making ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts) with a personal spiritual dynamic. She holds a degree in Fine Art from Madonna University and currently works as an art teacher at a Christian school. Nancy...

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Milk and Honey: Forms that Reflect our Faith
Author: Jews for Jesus

One of the challenges we face as Jewish believers is finding forms that reflect and connect our faith in the God of our ancestors, our new birth in the Messiah Yeshua, and our Jewish heritage. Our desire is to keep those forms biblical and distinctly Jewish and to...

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A Holy Appointment

Worship is like the wind. Sometimes it appears as a gentle breeze. Other times it appears with great power and might. The wind can lift us up, propel us forward and refresh us. We can approach the wind with wonder and awe or as something that is an everyday part of...

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What Do We Do With Yizkor?
Author: Stephen Katz

What childhood images do the High Holidays stir in your memory? I remember my impatience over the seemingly endless synagogue services balanced with the excitement of knowing something special was happening. Then there was the unusual sight of Jews in uniform, piling...

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On Faith and Creativity

Although this is only the second issue of Havurah, we’ve already begun a tradition: Each edition will feature an article about what’s happening in the Messianic Jewish art world. At this rate—if the Lord tarries—Havurah will need to be published well into...

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An Old Command
Author: Stephen Katz

Havurah. It’s a good title for a messianic publication, don’t you think? After all, the word means company, band or group.” In fact, in Hebrew, the root of the word is used to make other words like “join together, friend, member, society,...

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Hands Put to Use for Creator’s Glory
Author: Jews for Jesus

What’s crimson, gold, cadmium yellow and appliqued all over? A Michael and Virginia Crosby banner. These two Ohio-based craftspeople paint” with fabrics of all colors, using corduroy, satin, silk and wool, even fabric that’s leftover from a bed...

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Letter Concerning Southern Baptists
Author: Jews for Jesus

Rarely have I taken the time to comment in writing to anything sent by mass mail but the occasion of your article (Mishpochah Message, Winter, 1997) warrants a response. In the article you advised Messianic Jews to embrace the evangelical thrusts of the Southern...

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Forum: Alarming Our Community
Topics: community
Author: Stephen Katz

In January, the Jerusalem Report ran an article titled, The Rabbi Who Lost His Faith…and Found Judaism.” The rabbi to whom the article referred was Chuck Snow—a Jew who renounced his faith in Jesus after 22 years as a professing believer. Snow, who led the...

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Moishe’s Musings on Leadership
Author: Moishe Rosen

As you read this, Jews for Jesus is in transition. In May, David Brickner was elected the new Executive Director of Jews for Jesus! David decided to remain in New York until after the Summer Witnessing Campaign since he was slated to lead the Campaign before he was...

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The Messianic Bar Mitzvah
Author: Stephen Katz

Well I had a bar mitzvah when I was thirteen, The greatest bar mitzvah that you’ve ever seen. The temple on the corner of Mayfield and Lee was filled with my friends and my family, all of them proud as proud could be, with catering far as the eye could see—...

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A Bit About Stephen Katz
Topics: our stories
Author: Jews for Jesus

Stephen Katz was born in Highland Park, Illinois, and raised in a traditional Jewish home in Skokie. He received a Jewish education in a Conservative synagogue where he became bar mitzvah and confirmed. He has been a believer in Yeshua since May of 1975. Prior to...

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It’s No Fun Being Shunned
Author: David Brickner

Jewish Leaders Unite To Declare ‘Hebrew Christianity’ Not Jewish,” the headline declared. The Jewish Community Relations Council’s press release announced a statement by Dr. Lawrence Schiffman and apparently endorsed by the four major Jewish...

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Blessed Are You…
Author: Jews for Jesus

God never asked us to go looking for rejection, but He does expect us to confess our faith openly. If you find it difficult to do this, you are not alone! Maybe you don’t know where to start. Not everyone can go on a Summer Witnessing Campaign, but there are...

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Are You Called?
Author: David Brickner

The voice startled him into wakeful alertness. He sat up on the edge of the bed. Did someone call?” His question was answered by silence. Perhaps it was a dream, though if it was, he had dreamed it for the second time that night. Perhaps he should inquire of his...

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Distinct or Divided?
Author: David Brickner

The table was laden with a sumptuous feast. No one would be left hungry after this repast! Better yet was the satisfying fellowship: the lively conversation, the laughter and the warmth that each person felt being together with friends cut from the same cloth.”...

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The Facts of Death
Author: David Brickner

Some believe that we are the same as other Jews and have merely added our faith in Jesus as an extension of Judaism. This is not true! Our faith in Yeshua causes us to be different in many ways, and those differences are not insignificant. They are matters of life and...

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Questions and Answers on Jewish Law and Tradition Concerning Death
Author: Jews for Jesus

  Why does Jewish law require that the deceased be buried within twenty-four hours of death? Are any exceptions allowed? The biblical basis for this law is questionable, as a portion of Deuteronomy 21:23 is cited: His body shall not remain overnight…, but you shall...

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The High Road and the Low Road
Author: David Brickner

The crowd moved down the road in a bright wash of sunlight. They had paid dearly to go on this journey. All had left the comforts of home; many had left family and friends who refused to make the journey themselves. But the fellow-travelers soon became friends and...

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Think Your Parents Will Never Consider Yeshua? Read This!
Author: Martha Jacobs

We have been praying for 17 years that my husband’s family would accept the Lord. In the face of apparent spiritual obduracy, it often felt like we were praying for a fairy tale to come true. Yet it was not a fairy tale, but a very real hope that was...

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Tips on Giving a Story
Author: Jews for Jesus

Are good things happening in your life? Are you eager to tell others how Yeshua has redeemed you, but uncertain about speaking in public? Try out the following suggestions: Plan more, talk less. Organize your thoughts by writing out what you want to say—but do not...

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Don’t Give Up on Your Local Church!
Author: David Brickner

I’ve been asking some of you what issues you want addressed in the Mishpochah Message. One Jewish believer answered, I need some encouragement out here in the trenches. I go to a church, not a messianic synagogue. I enjoy the fellowship, but sometimes I feel out...

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What About Jews for Jesus and Messianic Congregations?
Author: David Brickner

When the Mishpochah Message gets controversial we have readers who care enough to let us know they disagree. We also have readers who gently remind us when we could use a little more tact or sensitivity. That is what makes us mishpochah—we keep each other on our toes!...

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Our Identity–In Crisis or In Christ?
Author: David Brickner

An article entitled, Israel cracking down on ‘Jews for Jesus’ ” appeared in the February 4 edition of the Chicago Tribune—section 1, page 2, no less. In the article, the sympathetic reporter (Tom Hundley) raises the question: Why should Jews be...

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Symbols and Substance
Author: David Brickner

In this twentieth century, a religious movement known as the Cargo Cults threatened to destroy a number of tribal peoples. These Cargo Cults were particularly destructive in Melanesia. They sprouted up when local people observed that colonial officials and...

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Shepherds and Sheep–Leading and Following for Jewish Believers
Topics: false teachers
Author: David Brickner

Once upon a time, not so many years ago, a fellowship of Jewish believers in Jesus had a vibrant and vital story for Yeshua. That fellowship was characterized by the strong leadership of one man and the supportive elders with whom he had surrounded himself. In fact,...

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Perspectives on Messianic Marriage
Author: David Brickner

A world-class concert pianist was approached by an admirer after a stunning performance. I would give my life to play the way you played this evening,” declared the adoring fan. “I have given my life,” responded the virtuoso. Stop and think for a...

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Wonder of Wonders! Miracle of Miracles!
Author: David Brickner

The door burst open and in rushed the shammes, his eyes alight with holy fervor. Rabbi!” he shouted, upon entering the tzaddik’s study. “A cripple just approached the bimah, laid his hand on the Torah and threw his crutches away! I witnessed the...

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How Goes the Battle?
Author: David Brickner

You have seen their pictures in the newspaper or on television. Still wearing army fatigues, they are encamped in the jungles” of Northern California or Oregon, or wandering, homeless, on the streets of New York or Los Angeles. They speak in apocalyptic terms of...

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Who Needs God?
Author: Ruth Rosen

Who Needs God? by Harold Kushner. Summit Books, New York City ?1989, pp. 208. Who needs God? A cursory glance through Harold Kushner’s newest bestseller might give the impression that the sensitive and compassionate author of When Bad Things Happen to Good...

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An Age-Old Challenge
Author: David Brickner

Growing old is no joy, but Pearl Weinberg hadn’t realized how awful it could be until the death of her beloved Jacob. Two years had passed, but she often forgot Jacob was gone and set the table for two or bought herring (which she had never liked!) because it...

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Still Burning Brightly
Author: Mitch Glaser

…And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being...

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Have You Ever Wondered Why Your Family and Friends Are So Upset That You Believe in Yeshua?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Where did they get the idea that Jews who believe in Jesus are traitors? Most of us know that atrocities committed against Jewish people became even more atrocious when people falsely claimed that their wicked deeds were somehow a service to Christ. Memories of these...

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Relating to Non-Believing Children and Grandchildren
Author: Moishe Rosen

My wife and I became believers in Jesus a few years ago. We are retired and live in Florida. We have lots of fellowship and have found a group of Messianic Jews with whom we worship. But, our hearts are broken for our children and grandchildren. Our three children are...

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Raising the Children of Jewish Believers with a Jewish Identity
Author: Mitch Glaser

We attend a great church; our pastor cares about Jewish people and genuinely appreciates our desire to live as Jews. My two children are involved in the church’s youth ministry and both have accepted the Lord. The problem is, there aren’t many Jewish...

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Choosing Between a Local Church and a Messianic Congregation
Author: Moishe Rosen

Choosing Between a Local Church and a Messianic Congregation The below article contains a response written in 1989 by our founder, Moishe Rosen, to a question concerning Messianic congregations. To read our stance on why we support Messianic congregations, which can...

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Should Jewish Believers Make Aliyah to Israel?
Topics: aliyah
Author: Mitch Glaser

Some Jewish believers we met told my husband and me that it is our duty to make aliyah, since the Bible says all Jewish believers in Jesus should live in Israel. We feel drawn to Israel but are confused about this teaching and whether or not we now have the option not...

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Moishe’s Musings
Author: Moishe Rosen

According to the Official Sage Handbook, sages should be skinny. Not only that, but a sage (especially when functioning as a prophet) should wear uncomfortable clothing and pursue a lifestyle of conspicuous self-deprivation. Many of you know that Moishe Rosen...

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From the Editor

These days, it’s a rare occurrence to hear about people coming together in unity. Around the world, we are enmeshed in battles, wars and tensions. Closer to home, members of the messianic community are entangled in our own battles, be they theological, doctrinal...

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Promoters of the Silent Witness
Author: Ruth Rosen

A growing number of unbelievers have become more committed to stifling the gospel than believers are to telling it. When we accept the idea of a silent witness as the proper way to do evangelism, we fall into the very hands of those who want to neutralize our story....

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A Messianic Progress Report
Author: Mitch Glaser

These are exciting days for Jewish believers in Jesus…perhaps the most exciting since the first century! The Messianic movement has made tremendous headway in dispelling the myth that developed—the myth that Jews cannot believe in Jesus. The dynamic growth which has...

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What Is a Church?
Author: Jews for Jesus

The Greek word commonly translated into church” is ekklesia. It means “the called-out ones.” The Hebrew word, kehilla, means “congregation” or “gathering.” A church is simply the gathering of believers who have been called out...

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Twilight
Topics: yom hashoah
Author: Andrew Barron

Twilight, by Elie Wiesel. 1987 Summit Books (NY, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo), hardbound, 217 pages. Some of the most moving literature of the 20th century has been penned by Elie Wiesel, and Twilight is no exception. Twilight is Wiesel’s first book since his...

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Anti-Missionary Mischief
Author: Mitch Glaser

Received any harassing letters lately telling why you should reject faith in Jesus? The Jews for Jesus staff have been receiving unwanted and unwelcome mail. Some letters and literature are to annoy us, other communications are designed to dissuade us from our faith....

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Will the Witness Please Take the Stand?
Author: Ruth Rosen

So your family is hard-headed when it comes to Yeshua? Listen, I’ll tell you about hard-headed. Once when Papa (that’s what we called my mother’s father) was visiting us, he fell in the bathtub and his head hit the porcelain soap holder—you know, the...

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The Crisis of Christmas
Topics: christmas
Author: Mitch Glaser

One of my first real jobs was working for one of my mother’s friends, named Morris. Each November Morris’ Christmas store would reopen and I would busy myself with stocking the shelves. I saw to it that the brightly colored balls, the tinsel, the lights...

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Letter to the Mishpochah
Author: Mitch Glaser

Dear Mishpochah,

Shalom in the matchless name of Y’shua. Some months ago Moishe Rosen sent you our first Mishpochah Message. I hope that you gained some worthwhile insights from his discussion of the need for unity among Jewish believers. Thank you for your many letters sent in response to the Mishpochah Message. They have encouraged us to want to continue this new facet of our ministry.

Continue Reading 6 min

Witnessing to Your Family This Passover
Topics: passover, haggadah
Author: Ruth Rosen

We all struggle with knowing how to witness to our unsaved families, and there are no easy answers. But Jewish holidays provide opportunities for witnessing that are too good to miss! Our redemption from Egypt is so typical of the way God works his salvation plans....

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A Congregation Grows in Johannesburg
Author: Eliyah Gould

The Friday after Jews for Jesus missionaries, Laura and Andrew Barron, stepped off the plane onto South African soil in November 1989, they immediately initiated a weekly fellowship meeting. To their delight, it was quickly attended by 30 people and the numbers grew...

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Fast Foods
Topics: yom kippur, recipes
Author: Jews for Jesus

Fast Foods "Kosknop" A popular Jewish cookbook features sample dinner menus that would knock your socks off and stuff you up to your eyebrows. One suggested meal consists of homemade knishes, stuffed breast of veal, sweet and sour cabbage, kasha varnishkes and...

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