Rich Robinson | San Francisco

Scholar in Residence, Missionary

Rich Robinson is a veteran missionary and senior researcher at the San Francisco headquarters of Jews for Jesus. Rich has written several books on Jewishness and Jesus, and he received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.

Was Jesus the Founder of Christianity?
September 7, 2018
Author: Rich Robinson

Scholars and theologians debate the particular kind of Judaism Jesus represented, but it was Judaism nonetheless. There was, as yet, nothing called “Christianity.”

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A Tale of Two Rabbis
Author: Rich Robinson

Like other rabbis, Jesus taught the importance of Jewish core values. One such value is kibud av va’em, honor of parents.

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Healing, Health and the Ultimate Hope
Author: Rich Robinson

God brought us Messiah to restore things to the way they were meant to be. The time is coming when disease will no longer exist and all will be made new.

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Jews for Jesus Takeaways: a Companion to Barna’s Jewish Millennials —The Beliefs & Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America
September 29, 2017
Author: Rich Robinson

Introduction This bonus chapter to Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America is written for practitioners in the field of Jewish evangelism. Statistics and charts and analyses by demographers and academicians can only tell so much....

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Jesus’ References to Old Testament Scriptures
May 16, 2017
Author: Rich Robinson

The Torah is foundational to Judaism. That is why this article lists many references to the Old Testament found on the lips of Jesus in the Gospels.

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A Response to “Jesus Didn’t Eat A Seder Meal”
April 11, 2017
Topics: passover, seder
Author: Rich Robinson

It becomes rather moot, then, whether it is proper to describe Jesus’ Passover meal as a seder. It was a proto-seder, a pre-70 seder, a seder-in-formation; it was seder-like, it was seder-ish, it was kind-of-like-a-seder, it had elements of a seder—any way you put it, seder is the most relevant way to speak of it.

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jews and gender

When God Had Two Genders
Author: Rich Robinson

Humanity has brought sin into the world, resulting in estrangement from God, our own selves, one another and nature. We are no longer who God intended us to be—whether we identify as male, female, or one of Facebook’s 58 genders.

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Has Hanukkah Passed Its Expiration Date? A Slightly Contrarian—But Not Really—Reflection
Author: Rich Robinson

Quick, when I say “Hanukkah,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I admit that I thought of latkes before anything else. I light a menorah each year, but it’s an electric one (a safety matter, plus I got a really nice one at Bed Bath & Beyond), so there’s...

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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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Stories That Jews Tell (About Ourselves)
Author: Rich Robinson

We each have a paradigm through which we view our Jewish experience. What’s yours?

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Stories That Jews Tell (About Ourselves), Part Two
Author: Rich Robinson

We all bring certain assumptions to the paradigm through which we view our Jewish experience.

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The Day Purim Wasn’t Happy
March 14, 2016
Author: Rich Robinson

The day before Purim is traditionally a fast day in remembrance of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews. Purim itself is supposed to be a happy occasion, celebrating the subsequent deliverance of the Jewish people from genocide during the days of King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther.

It was different for some Jews in March of 1942.

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Thank God for Chesed
October 28, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

What is God’s chesed and why should we remember it this Thanksgiving?

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Quick tips for exploring key words in the Bible
October 27, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

 Enrich your Bible study with a Bible dictionary and a concordance. If you are not acquainted with these resources, here is a quick overview.

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Tisha B’Av: The Saddest Day On The Jewish Calendar
July 22, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

Here’s a great overview about a Jewish day you might not know much about…

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Shavuot – What’s Your Connection?
May 18, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, comes with many traditions. For example, tradition tells us: that on this holiday, God gave the Torah to Israel…

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Woman in Gold
April 14, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

Ignore the underwhelming ratings on the movie web sites. Woman in Gold is a movie well worth seeing, despite critics’ complaints of heavy-handedness, bad accents, too many flashbacks, and emotional mawkishness. I found none of those things in this story of Maria...

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Welcome to Groundhog Day 2015
January 30, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

As Groundhog Day aficionados know, if Punxsutawney Phil leaves his burrow and sees his shadow — we get six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow — spring is around the corner.

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All about rain
January 21, 2015
Author: Rich Robinson

Into every life rain must fall, but what does the Bible say about it?

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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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Did You Miss Kosherfest?
November 12, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

Did You Miss Kosherfest?

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If Madison Can Be the Name of a Pitcher, Why Can’t Jesus be the Name of the Messiah?
October 31, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

If Madison can be the name of a pitcher, why can’t Jesus be the name of the Messiah? Check out our World Series blog and leave us your comments.

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The Gospel According to Starbucks (or at least the Starbucks playlist)
October 22, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

My local Starbucks has recently been playing Paul McCartney’s cover of the Harold Arlen–Johnny Mercer song “Accentuate the Positive.” According to Wikipedia, the song “was published in 1944. It is sung in the style of a sermon, and explains that accentuating the positive is key to happiness.”

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Insights into giving thanks
October 1, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

This chart takes a look at thanksgiving from the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, and in Jewish tradition.

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A Kosher Christmas?
Author: Rich Robinson

If Jesus is the Messiah, maybe instead of Chinese food and comedy, we should think about celebrating his birth in Jewish style.

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The Jewish New Years – Collect Them All!
September 23, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

Check out the four Jewish New Years—or maybe even five!

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The Ultimate World Cup!
July 3, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

The 2014 FIFA World Cup continues! Brazil vs. Columbia! France vs. Germany! Belgium vs. Argentina! They say over 715 MILLION people watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup—and that more people view the World Cup than the Olympics.

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Mayor Bloomberg, God, and Jewish Values – Part One
May 29, 2014
Author: Rich Robinson

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, has been in the news recently. Well, he’s often in the news, but two recent articles come to mind. First, there is “Bloomberg Plans a $50 Million Challenge to the N.R.A.” (New York Times, April...

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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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Saturday the Rabbi Read the New Testament
Author: Rich Robinson

The New Testament should resonate with us Jews, not least because it reflects Jewish core values that are part of Jewish life to this day.

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Jews for Jesus Senior Staff Member Reveals: “I Used to Be An Ostrich!”
December 10, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s not that I grew up as a bird and somehow claimed my humanity later on. I’m thinking instead of this passage in the Hebrew Bible, from the book of Job: “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers...

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Yeshuacare Has Arrived
October 1, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

The United States government has now shut down. One reason is the intractable debate over Obamacare. Jews for Jesus doesn’t take a position on the president’s health plan, but we do have something to say about God’s health plan. Here to guide you is...

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It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Jewish Community, and We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Author: Rich Robinson

I am sitting here googling on, um, Google, to see what might have transpired 40 years ago. Why, you might ask?

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Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You: Part Six
September 4, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You, Part Six Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 Jewish Core Value Redeeming Captives — Pidyon Shvuyim (rhymes with “mid-phone, blue team”). According to this core value, it is worth it to pay a ransom for the...

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Which Roman Emperor Was Creamy Caesar?
August 30, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

Pop quiz: which name does not belong with the others? Julius Augustus Tiberius Creamy If you guessed “Creamy”  –  which I’m really hoping you did  –  then you’re right. But why? Well, the first three were renowned rulers of Rome who...

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Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You, Part Five
May 30, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

Redeeming Captives — Pidyon Shvuyim (rhymes with “mid-phone, blue team”). According to this core value, it is worth it to pay a ransom for the life of a hostage.

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How Do I Love the Omer? … Let Me Count the Ways
April 11, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

Currently, the Jewish community is in the midst of the 49-day period known as “counting the omer.” This tradition originates from two verses in Leviticus: From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven...

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Jewish Deli

If St. Patrick Had Been Jewish…
March 13, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

People would be standing in line for corned beef and cabbage on rye.
The national flag of Israel would have been white and green…

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Daylight Saving Time Is Coming!!!
March 8, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s time again to save a little daylight.

If only we can figure out what we’re supposed to do.

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Wailing Wall with a dove

So Why’d You Switch Teams?
Author: Rich Robinson

I’m Jewish and I believe in Jesus. So I’ve often been asked: So … why’d you switch teams? You belonged to the Jewish people, you had a great thing going for you — why did you go over to the “other side”? The side of the Christians,...

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Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You Part Four
January 31, 2013
Author: Rich Robinson

Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You, Part Four Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 Jewish Core Value Honor of parents, called kibud av va’em (“honor of father and mother”) Old Testament Basis The commandment to honor* one’s...

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Here Comes the New Wave
Author: Rich Robinson

The Latest Generation of Jewish Scholars Gives Us Its Take on Jesus The past several years have seen a “new wave” of Jewish publications about Jesus and the New Testament. In 2011, The Jewish Annotated New Testament (JANT) was published, the first time the...

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Is This the End?
December 21, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Today’s the day—December 21, 2012. The day the world is supposed to end according to the Mayan calendar. It turns out that the Mayans aren’t the only ones to claim to know when the world will end. What Others are Saying Vladimir Putin claims to know:...

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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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Missiles, Messiahs and Maccabees
November 20, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

A Hanukkah Meditation It’s Almost Hanukkah Hanukkah will soon be arriving (December 8, 2012 to be exact). The erev of the holiday falls on the night of December 7 — which happens to be the “date that will live in infamy” when Pearl Harbor was...

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Another Election?
November 7, 2012
Topics: chosen people
Author: Rich Robinson

As of last night (at the time of this writing), the American presidential election has been decided, along with numerous state contests and local measures. In the modern world it’s considered a touchstone of democracy for there to be fair and free elections....

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A Thought for the High Holy Days

Dan Brown’s Ghost?
September 20, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Everyone’s going to be talking about it, so we might as well jump in here at Jews for Jesus. Over the past few days, the Internet has been ablaze in virtual neon over a discovery made by Harvard professor Karen King. Professor King has acquired a fragment of...

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Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You, Part Three
August 7, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Jewish Core Value Do not oppress the stranger, orphan, and widow. Or phrased more positively, to extend help to the vulnerable of society. In Traditional Jewish Life According to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, more than just material support of widows and orphans is...

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“Kosher Jesus” – #7 The Gospel According to Shmuley
July 20, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Kosher Jesus Author: Shmuley Boteach Date Published: February 1, 2012 Publisher: Gefen Publishing House; First Edition (US) First Printing edition Genre: 1. Theology2. Jewish Life3. Biographies ISBN: 978-9652295781 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: July...

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When Opposites Go Bad
July 3, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

It is said that opposites attract, which seems to be a good thing in marriage. It’s certainly good for magnetism, which may have been the origin of the metaphor in the context of personal relationships. But not all opposites are created equal. In recent days, a...

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Jewish Believers, Muslims, and the Gospel
Author: Rich Robinson

A Changing World “We can speak of a Muslim people,” said P. J.,[1] a Jewish believer, mother of two and missionary to the Muslims of North Africa. What she meant was that the religion of Islam encompasses many peoples who all feel caught up in a common...

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“Kosher Jesus” – #6 Jewish Law
May 24, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Kosher Jesus Author: Shmuley Boteach Date Published: February 1, 2012 Publisher: Gefen Publishing House; First Edition (US) First Printing edition Genre: 1. Theology2. Jewish Life3. Biographies ISBN: 978-9652295781 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: July...

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“Kosher Jesus” – #5 Jesus the Rabbi
May 1, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Kosher Jesus Author: Shmuley Boteach Date Published: February 2, 2012 Publisher: Gefen Publishing House; First Edition (US) First Printing edition Genre: 1. Theology 2. Jewish Life 3. Biographies ISBN: 978-9652295782 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date:...

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On Mike Wallace (1918–2012) and Yeshua
April 23, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Many were saddened at the passing on April 7 of Mike Wallace, veteran reporter for 60 Minutes. Jewish, outspoken, hard-hitting, and no stranger to personal tragedy — Mike Wallace epitomized the no-holds-barred style of journalism that stops at nothing to get at the...

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A Passover Reflection on the Four Questions
April 3, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

At every Passover seder, one of the more dramatic moments is when the family recites the Ten Plagues that God sent against Egypt. Together everybody names each plague and pours out a drop from the aptly-named Cup of Plagues, the second cup of the evening. The idea is...

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Chapter 3,

“Kosher Jesus” – #3 Romans and Jews
March 5, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Kosher Jesus Author: Shmuley Boteach Date Published: February 2, 2012 Publisher: Gefen Publishing House; First Edition (US) First Printing edition Genre: 1. Theology2. Jewish Life3. Biographies ISBN: 978-9652295782 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date:...

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The Message of the Mezuzah
March 1, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Visit the home of an observant Jew, and even some who are secular, and as you enter, you will notice a small rectangular box attached to the outer doorpost. This object is a mezuzah (pronounced mehZUZah; plural is pronounced mehzuZOTE). Though it is small, it carries...

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Chapter 1,

“Kosher Jesus” – #2 The Rabbi and the Stranger
February 6, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Kosher Jesus Author: Shmuley Boteach Date Published: February 2, 2012 Publisher: Gefen Publishing House; First Edition (US) First Printing edition Genre: 1. Theology2. Jewish Life3. Biographies ISBN: 978-9652295782 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date:...

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“Kosher Jesus” – #1 Jesus Maccabee?
February 3, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Kosher Jesus Author: Shmuley Boteach Date Published: February 2, 2012 Publisher: Gefen Publishing House; First Edition (US) First Printing edition Genre: 1. Theology2. Jewish Life3. Biographies ISBN: 978-9652295782 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date:...

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The Sound and the Fury: Kosher Jesus
January 18, 2012
Author: Rich Robinson


It’s not officially out just yet (that should come about February 1st), but Shmuley Boteach’s latest book Kosher Jesus is already, in a very public way, running the gamut of Jewish responses. Just google “Kosher Jesus” and you’ll have enough reading material for an entire airplane ride.

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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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When Non-Negotiables Go Bad
Author: Rich Robinson

As Susan Perlman’s article shows, discussions in the Jewish community about assimilation are nothing new. In fact, even prior to the Maccabean revolt, the assimilationist vs. non-assimilationist scenario was playing out in soap-opera fashion.  The high priest...

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So You Wanna Be a Green Lantern?
June 22, 2011
Author: Rich Robinson

So You Wanna Be a Green Lantern? A Reflection on the Film Now in Theaters Who wouldn’t want to be … Chosen for a great task? Equipped with a really cool power ring? Outfitted in an awesome glowing green bodysuit? Test pilot Hal Jordan did! Of course he also had...

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A Holocaust Remembrance Day Reflection
April 27, 2011
Author: Rich Robinson


A friend’s post on Facebook alerted me to an article which appeared April 22 on The Wall Street Journal’s web site and has since been reposted or commented upon on numerous other sites.

The article is about portrayals of Jesus in film, but the part that is most striking concerns the Holocaust and a story related by the filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille. In 1928, a Polish man by the name of William E. Wallner viewed DeMille’s movie King of Kings. He thereafter became a Lutheran pastor in Prague… “

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Overview of the Minor Prophets: How Well Do You Know the Jewish Bible?
March 6, 2011
Author: Rich Robinson

Overview of the Minor Prophets: How Well Do You Know the Jewish Bible? or click here for major prophets chart Minor Prophets* dates of ministry 1 Number of chapters Theme Points of Interest New Testament Connection Hosea 760-722 B.C. 14 God’s love for Israel in the...

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Happy New Year, Trees and People Who Are Like Trees
March 5, 2011
Author: Rich Robinson

January 20, 2011 is Tu Bishevat, which means “the 15th of the month Shevat” and falls—are you ready?—on the 15th of the month Shevat. To spice things up a bit, it is also the new year for trees, which has something to do with Leviticus 19:23-25 and figuring out when you can start eating fruit from trees, though the holiday is not actually mentioned there. “

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Biblical Locales, Then and Now
January 1, 2011
Author: Rich Robinson

Biblical Locales, Then and Now Facts Then Today Words and Incidents Nazareth Facts: Located in a high valley with a mild climate. Name may derive from natzerat, watchtower” or netzer, “branch.” Not mentioned in the Old Testament or anywhere outside of the New...

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Columbus Day, Yom Kippur, and My Big Fat Jury Duty Day: A Few Random Thoughts on Fair Trials
October 8, 2010
Topics: yom kippur
Author: Rich Robinson

I was called to jury duty the other day. After sitting through an orientation, a video, a roll call, and a wait outside the courtroom, we were finally admitted. Inside, we heard shouting from the front. It turned out to be the defendant, who was loudly, and repeatedly, insisting that he was not getting a fair trial. Unfortunately, he flubbed his chance of getting any trial, because after a few minutes of nonstop ranting, the judge had him removed and we were all dismissed.

I have no idea if the man in question ever had, or will have, a fair trial or not. Certainly the Jewish people throughout history have often been as it were on trial in the court of non-Jewish opinion, where a guilty verdict has been rendered for the ?crime? of … being Jewish.

October 11 marks Columbus Day, commemorating his voyage of 1492 that led to the discovery of the Americas. It was both a bad day and a good day for the Jews. Bad, because it coincided with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (deliberately set for Tisha B?Av, the day of mourning over the loss of the Temples and other tragedies). Good, because it led to the discovery of what would become a safe haven for Jewish people…

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Jesus the Jewish Martyr?
July 30, 2010
Author: Rich Robinson

As I write these words, a somewhat controversial exhibition is underway at the London Jewish Museum of Art’s Ben Uri Gallery. Co-chair of the gallery, David Glasser, remarked that “what was considered as the most sacred and holy of images—the Crucifixion—has evolved into a universal and generic motif.”…

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Shavuot Among Ashkenazi and Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews
May 1, 2010
Author: Rich Robinson

Shavuot Among Ashkenazi and Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews Ashkenazi Jews* Sephardic/Mizrahi* Jews (often varies country to country). For convenience, both are referred to here as Sephardic. Pronunciation of the holiday Shavuos (to rhyme with “ya knew us”) Shavuot (to rhyme...

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Random Thoughts on Chesing a Make
April 21, 2010
Topics: valentines day
Author: Rich Robinson

Groundhog Day has its groundhog, Thanksgiving has its turkeys, and Valentine’s Day has its Valentinus (or Valentine). It was on this day in the year 270 that

…according to tradition, Valentine, a priest in Rome during the reign of Claudius II, is beheaded along the Flaminian Way. One explanation for Valentine’s subsequent relationship to the romantic holiday is this: Claudius, seeking to more easily recruit soldiers, removed family ties by forbidding marriage. Valentine ignored the order and performed secret marriages—an act that led to his arrest and execution.

The romantic associations may have even come later:

The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

Translation: For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird comes there to choose his mate.

It’s not clear who is responsible, but some of the ideas surrounding Valentine’s Day are a tad bit odd.

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Not of This World: Reflections on the Death of J. D. Salinger
February 1, 2010
Author: Rich Robinson

Jewish (on his father’s side) author J. D. Salinger has just died at 91 years of age. For many decades he had been a recluse, the “hermit crab of American letters1,” according to TIME magazine, the “Garbo of letters2” in the New York Times obit. “Famous,” the Times continues, “for not wanting to be famous.”

What Salinger is even more famous for is, of course, his 1951coming-of-age novel The Catcher in the Rye, which struck a chord with rebellious youth. Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist, was not not comfortable in this world. Nor were Salinger’s other characters, such as the Glass family. The Times article observed,That the Glasses (and, by implication, their creator) were not at home in the world was the whole point, [journalist Janet] Malcolm wrote, and it said as much about the world as about the kind of people who failed to get along there.

A statement released by Salinger’s literary agents reads in part,Salinger had remarked that he was in this world but not of it….

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Four Nerds and the Limits of Science
December 28, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

 I’m not sure what it is that I like about the popular TV show The Big Bang Theory. I don’t share many of the characters’ values especially when it comes to relating to women, but it could be the fact that they are nerds so I don’t feel like I have to measure up to them anyway. Maybe it’s that they have ordinary names like Sheldon and Leonard (coming in at #487 and #228 respectively on a list of the most popular one thousand names of the 1980s) instead of names like Brandon (#17) or Adam (#22). Or Penny instead of Ashley or Caitlin or Latoya or Toyota or Katyusha.

Or it could just be the fact that zingy one-liners, though there are plenty of those, take a back seat to characterization. These are definitely real people living in real apartments who have real jobs, real lives and a real perpetually broken elevator. Plus, I can relate to the fascination with comic books, since at one time I wanted to be a full-time comic book writer for Marvel, back in the day before Tobey MacGuire was even born.

All that said, I regularly tune in at 9:30 pm on Mondays, except that I’m currently between television sets. (The volume on my previous model died a long and tortuous death. I gave it away to Goodwill about the time I had to sit 4″ from the screen to hear anything.)

The Big Bang Theory is about life. And though the four male protagonists are all scientific geniuses, science is not all they’re about…

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Golems in the News
September 29, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

This item came to my attention from the Prague Post:

“Contemporary alchemy: Petr Nikl offers a ritual to reanimate the Golem”

The Golem is a figure best-known from late medieval Jewish folklore, though it has earlier roots. Essentially it is a human-like figure made of clay, brought to life with the aid of letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and is meant to act as a protector of the Jews. In some stories, though, the Golem turns on its creator. Some have noticed similarities between the Golem and popular superhero characters such as the Hulk. In this news item, Eastern European artist Petr Nikl’s installation is described in this way: “Upon entering the gallery, visitors are given instructions on a video screen to look for a sign or word that will revive the Golem.”

You may or may not want to revive the Golem, but in the spirit of the Yiddish folk stories of yesteryear, I wanted to offer my own take on the Golem story, one that intimates that the God of Israel is not only for the Jews but for the entire world. Of course, we know that this has taken place through the coming of the Jewish Messiah Y’shua. But the inhabitants of Vaysechvoos–they probably do not know, though it is possible that some of them do and aren’t telling. It is may even be that some of them are descended from Rabbi Loew of Prague, and who knows what knowledge they keep to themselves about God and Messiah?

Enjoy the tale, and if you want to know more about the Golem, you can jump from the 16th century to the 21st by plugging in the word “Golem” into the search engine at amazon.com.

Read about Golems in Rich Robinson’s entry of “In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos”

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The Crucified Chicken?
August 27, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, falls in 2009 on September 28 (but begins the previous evening). In English it is known as the Day of Atonement. On this day, many Jews whether religious or secular, will be in the synagogue praying to God to forgive their sins. They will listen to the chanting of the cantor and participate in responsive readings. Many will fast; some will walk to synagogue rather than drive; some will not wear leather shoes. A very few will do something many Jews are unfamiliar with: shlogn kapores

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The Sabbath: A Look Back, A Look Forward
August 1, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

Most of our summer outreaches are over, and our campus outreach, High Holiday services and Fall Ingatherings are yet to come. Many people on our missionaries’ case loads are away for summer vacations. We are still continuing to do the work this month, but for many...

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Where Will William Shatner Show Up Next?
June 2, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

I enjoyed screening the new Star Trek movie the other week.  It was great seeing Spock, Kirk, Bones et al. in their more formative years, and wonderful to see Leonard Nimoy reprise his role as the “older” Spock. Conspicuous by his absence, of course, was...

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The Jesus Problem
May 1, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson


“Do Jews Have a Jesus Problem?” asks Jay Michaelson in The Forward, commenting on Peter Schafer’s recent book, Jesus in the Talmud. Schafer thinks the rabbis of the Talmud saw Jesus, and Jewish believers in him, as a threat. So they wrote what essentially was a “counter-story” to the gospels… [Read More]

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Fifty Years On?. Herman Wouk’s This Is My God Revisited
February 4, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Herman Wouk’s classic précis of Orthodox Judaism and personal statement of his faith, This Is My God. I have just pulled my dog-eared copy, probably handed down by my grandfather or father, from the shelves, and over the past several days I have read, or possibly re-read, it. I have little recollection of having gone through it as a child, though I may well have done so.

As of this writing, Wouk is still living, having been honored by a lifetime achievement award in 2008 at age 93. There is also a follow-up volume, The Will to Live On, which saw the light of day in the year 2000, but I have not yet obtained a copy. It would be interesting to see how his views have or have not changed over the past forty years, the span of a biblical generation.

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A New Year?s Thought
December 31, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s virtually obligatory each December 31 (the date I am writing this) to recap the old year and/or say something about the new one. So let’s see … as to a recap, this morning I heard a radio commentator tell about the ten most overblown news stories of 2008, such as whether some gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics were really 14 rather than 16 years old, though he could easily have mentioned others, such as the thankfully short media spurt on what kind of dogs the Obamas will be getting.

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Hanukkah Heroes and Christmas Shtarkers
December 1, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

I saw the Maccabee Menorah advertised somewhere (the individual candles are the Maccabee brothers, though somehow they squeezed nine candles out of a family of five), and a Judah Maccabee Action Figure somewhere else. They seem more appropriate for Hanukkah than the ad where the guy was wearing an electric menorah-hat, which made him look like a very weird moose and also seemed to require him to stand near an electrical outlet. After all, Hanukkah is supposed to be about heroes, and the Maccabees are remembered as powerful guerilla warriors who smashed the might of a pagan army. They fought, they won, and we get to eat latkes…

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Two Types of Biblical Offerings
November 1, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

With the Day of Atonement just last month, and with many of us thinking of Thanksgiving this month, we wanted to present a biblical look at sacrifices for sin, as well as for giving...

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An UNCONVENTIONAL Truth
August 29, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

I don’t usually attend conventions. But with the donkey-and-elephant shows in having just been wrapped up, I wondered what I would say to convention-goers if I DID go to conventions. Maybe something like this: Mazel tov! You made it to the CONVENTION!...

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Extra!! Extra!! New Discovery Challenges Beliefs About Jesus!! Read all about it!!
July 29, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

Got your attention, didn’t it? Some media announcements about archaeological discoveries paint them as shaking the very foundations of faith in Jesus. The latest such has been described on many blogs over the past month. In a nutshell, the media storm concerns a stone tablet that is said to date from the 1st century B.C. and which appears to describe a pre-Jesus messianic figure who dies and rises on the third day.

Well, maybe. Or maybe not. CNN has a helpful video summarizing the possible implications of “Gabriel’s tablet”…“

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Tisha B’Av. The Saddest day on the Jewish Calendar
July 28, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

In her article titled, “Four Startling Facts About the Identity of the Messiah,” author Susan Perlman* shows that, according to Jewish prophecy, the Messiah has already come.

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Mother’s Day, Jews, and Jews for Jesus
May 2, 2008
Topics: mothers day
Author: Rich Robinson

The most obvious connection between Jews and Mother’s Day would seem to lie in perennial jokes about Jewish mothers (think of the scene in Woody Allen’s film where his mother appears to him in the sky).  Or maybe in riffing Saddam Hussein’s...

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Expelled
April 2, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

  To re-phrase Chaucer, “When April with her sweet showers, the drought of March has parched to the root,… Then do folk get expelled…” Yes, this April marks two expulsions, in a manner of speaking. Passover (beginning the night of April 19) is not really...

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Adding a few more questions to the mix this Passover
Author: Rich Robinson

The number four plays a significant role in Judaism. There are the four species of plants for Sukkot; four kingdoms in the book of Daniel; four Torah portions in the tefillin; four Matriarchs in the book of Genesis. At Passover, we find this number in abundance. In the course of the seder we have four sons, four cups of wine, four expressions of redemption (Exodus 6:6-7) and perhaps the most famous “four” of all—the Ma Nishtana, known in English as the Four Questions…

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Yeshua or Yeshu – What does it mean?
March 1, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

Get an in-depth look at the name of Jesus, in our article “An Introduction to the Names Yehoshua/Joshua, Yeshua, Jesus and Yeshu” by Kai Kjµr-Hansen Ask any Israeli how to say “Jesus” in Hebrew, and you’ll invariably hear the response: Yeshu (pronounced Yay shoo). Yet...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Golem
February 28, 2008
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Rich Robinson

Vaysechvoos is a fictitious village in 19th century czarist Russia. Stories from Vaysechvoos often appear in our 21st century publication Issues. This story is typical of the kinds of tales Jewish authors wrote once upon a time. This is not an endorsement of kabbalah,...

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What is Authentically Jewish?
Author: Rich Robinson

How do we answer the above question when, in every age and Jewish sub-culture, we have absorbed many influences from non-Jewish societies around us? These influences have not only affected food and fashion, but even religious expression and doctrine.1 They include:...

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Is A Tu b'Shvat Meditation Ready for Prime Time?

Is A Tu b’Shvat Meditation Ready for Prime Time?
January 7, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

Sometimes I think I want to invent a new reality show. Not that we don’t have enough already. But I think it would be cool to have something along the lines of, Who Wants to Dance with a Survivor? or Xtreme Life Swap Makeover. You know, something that’s a little edgier that what’s out there right now.

It’s kind of ironic that most of our reality shows don’t deal with reality. Nothing about Iraq, nothing about nuclear arms. Instead they’re mostly about dancing, singing, and looking better. I guess some people’s reality is different than mine.

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Remembering those who have gone before us in the faith.

Thanksgiving — for Spiritual Veterans
November 7, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Midrash time again. Two prominent American holidays this month are Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Put them together and we can give thanks for the sacrifices our soldiers have made over the years. Separate them out and we can think of other kinds of veterans and other...

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Click for a larger graphic.

October Holidays
October 15, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

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An Ashkenazic Look at Sephardic Sukkot Customs (What one Reform Jew from Brooklyn learned)
September 1, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

An Ashkenazic Look at Sephardic Sukkot Customs (What one Reform Jew from Brooklyn learned) I come from an Ashkenazic family, which means we have an Eastern European Jewish background. Sephardic Jews come from Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, North Africa and Iraq....

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Vote for God

Ruminations on Recent Political Debates
August 9, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

The old Simon & Garfunkel song Mrs. Robinson includes some lines which are particularly apropos just now: Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Going to the candidates’ debate. Laugh about it, shout about it When you’ve got to choose Every way you...

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Everything* You Always Wanted to Know About The Three Branches of Judaism
August 1, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Everything* You Always Wanted to Know About The Three Branches of Judaism * OK so maybe it's just a few things but it's all we could fit on two pages! Names of the branches ORTHODOX CONSERVATIVE(in North America; called Masorti elsewhere) REFORM(called Liberal Judaism...

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If you can’t take the heat…
May 30, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

…then, you know the drill, “get out of the kitchen.” I recently devoured the book Heat by Bill Buford, writer for the New Yorker magazine.  He recounted his experiences as a “slave,” then line cook, then pasta maker in the kitchen of celebrity chef Mario Batali. ...

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Einstein: A Reflection
May 22, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

The April issue of TIME magazine featured a book excerpt (last accessed 4/13/07) from the forthcoming Einstein by Walter Isaacson. Titled “Einstein and Faith,” the excerpt clarifies the nature of Einstein’s belief in God as well as his relation to...

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Three Days and Three Nights
March 30, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

As Resurrection Sunday approaches, many Christians will wrestle with the following question: Matthew 12:40 states that Jesus would be in the ground “three days and three nights.” Doesn’t that make it impossible for Jesus to have been crucified on Friday and raised on...

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Lessons from Leaven
March 1, 2007
Topics: charts, purim
Author: Rich Robinson

Lessons from Leaven Next month is Passover, which lasts for one night and is immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasts for seven. In preparation for these holidays, we have an in-depth look at leaven. The word “leaven” (chametz, חָמֵץ)...

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Films and Freedom
February 20, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

I don’t know much about Wilberforce (though I’d love to read up on him). But I have to wonder … did he see any connection between the British slave trade and the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt? And did he see a relationship between the Egyptian...

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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 Misunderstood Jew
January 30, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Misunderstood Jew Author: Amy-Jill Levine Date Published: November 20, 2007 Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition Genre: 1. History2. Judaism3. Historical Theology ISBN: 978-0061137785 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: January 30, 2007 Update:...

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The New Testament: Contradictory or Consistent?
Author: Rich Robinson

Some efforts to resolve various difficulties the Bible presents have been simplistic, naive or sometimes even seemingly desperate.

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“When Worlds Collide!” Jews, Comics, and Alternate Universes*
Author: Rich Robinson

What is the link between the Jewish people, superheroes, and the world as we know it?

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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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Two Levitical Offerings and Their Meaning to Us Today
November 1, 2005
Author: Rich Robinson

The Burnt Offering Hebrew Term OLAH, literally ascending,” that is, the sacrifice “ascends” to God. It is translated as “burnt offering” or “whole offering.” Description of the Ritual The actual ritual was divided between the...

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Why Passover and Easter are a Month Apart This Year
April 1, 2005
Author: Rich Robinson

To paraphrase the First Question asked each year at Passover: Why is this year different from all other years?” Or most other years, anyway. Answer: in most other years, Passover and Easter fall within close proximity of each other, but in 2005 they fall a month...

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Rich Robinson: Coming In Through the Back Door
January 1, 2005
Author: Rich Robinson

Rich Robinson: Coming In Through the Back Door Like many Jewish people, I was raised in a home where Jewishness was more cultural than religious. Our family celebrated Passover and Hanukkah at our home in Brooklyn, we went to the Temple on the High Holy Days, and...

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Tough Jews: Hanukkah, Heroism and the Identity of the Messiah
Author: Rich Robinson

There is more than one way to view strength when it comes to the Jewish people and the Jewish Messiah.

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Prominent Titles of Jesus
December 1, 2004
Topics: charts
Author: Rich Robinson

Prominent Titles of Jesus Title Selected NT Passages OT Background Remarks God John 1:1; 20:28 1 John 5:20 Disputed as to correct manuscript reading: John 1:18 Disputed as to correct translation: Romans 9:5; Tit. 2:13 Isaiah 9:6 is the classic OT verse on the deity of...

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Firstfruits Then and Now
April 1, 2004
Author: Rich Robinson

This is not an exhaustive study on the meaning of firstfruits, but we hope it will whet your appetite and tempt you to open your concordance (or computer Bible...

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Jews for Jesus…For the Nations—Isidor Loewenthal
Author: Rich Robinson

The first two articles of this series focused on Jewish believers who were missionaries to China and to Japan, respectively. Isidor Loewenthal was a missionary to India. Born in 1826 in Posen, Poland, Loewenthal grew up in a somewhat liberal Jewish home. He excelled...

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Jews for Jesus… For the Nations
December 1, 2003
Author: Rich Robinson

In Genesis 12:3 God promised Abraham that in you all the families of the earth [nations] shall be blessed.” God has fulfilled that promise in various ways, including contributions Jewish people have made in fields such as medicine. However, the blessing has come...

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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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Messianic Judaism: A Book Review
January 1, 2003
Topics: book reviews, bible
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Messianic Judaism: A Rabbi’s Journey Through Religious Change in America Author: Dan Cohn-Sherbok Date Published: August 4, 2000 Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism2. Other Religions, Practices & Sacred...

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To the Jew First: A Biblical Analysis of the ‘Two-Covenant’ Theory of the Atonement
January 1, 2002
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: To the Jew First: A Biblical Analysis of the ‘Two-Covenant’ Theory of the Atonement Author: Joseph P. Gudel Date Published: July-September 1998 Reviewer: Rich Robinson The two-covenant theory has circulated for some years among non-evangelicals and even...

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Win-Some Witnessing 101
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Win-Some Witnessing Author: Steve Cohen Date Published: 1998 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Jan 1, 2002 Steve Cohen is a Jewish believer in Jesus who directs The Apple of His Eye, a Jewish evangelism arm of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod....

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Did Jesus teach his disciples to hate their parents?
January 1, 2000
Author: Rich Robinson

Some claim that Jesus taught his followers to hate their mother and father. If true, that would obviously make Jesus an immoral and unethical teacher, since one of the Ten Commandments is to honor one’s parents. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you,” the Torah says in Exodus 20:12.

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Star Wars Webzine Excerpt
August 1, 1999
Author: Rich Robinson

The Star Wars webzine has already come and gone, but here is an excerpt from a piece that Rich Robinson wrote for the site: I get the feeling that the Force is not very personal. I wouldn’t want to have lunch with the Force. Or go bowling with the Force. And...

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Messianic Jewish Classics, by various authors
March 1, 1999
Author: Rich Robinson

Various titles. David Baron, Adolph Saphir, A. Bernstein. Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 1999-2000. Jewish believers in Jesus share a common history and destiny. It’s easy to find books that address that destiny in the context of God’s future plans for...

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The Problem With Paul
September 1, 1998
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Problem With Paul Author: Brian J. Dodd Date Published: November 3, 2012 Publisher: IVP Academic Genre: 1. Paul’s Letters 2. New Testament ISBN: 978-0830818716 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Sep 1, 1998 Once upon a time, Jesus was a villain...

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Israel: The Land and the People: An Evangelical Affirmation of God’s Promises
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Israel: The Land and the People: An Evangelical Affirmation of God’s Promises Author: H. Wayne House Date Published: January 1998 Publisher: Kregel Publications; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition Genre: 1. History 2. Theology ISBN:...

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The Aish Phenomenon: Targeting Skeptics
Topics: bible codes
Author: Rich Robinson

Arthur J. Magida. Moment [June 1998], pp. 52-57+. Forum: Aish HaTorah and the Bible Codes” [Letters to the editor]. Moment [October 1998], pp.20+. Magida swashbuckles his way “60 Minutes” style through this portrait of the Orthodox Jewish...

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Decoding the Bible Code: Can We Trust the Message? and The Bible Code: Fact or Fake?
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Decoding the Bible Code: Can We Trust the Message? The Bible Code: Fact or Fake? Author: John Weldon (Author), Clifford Dr. Wilson (Author), Barbara Wilson (Author) Phil Stanton Date Published: January 1, 1998 April 1, 1998 Publisher: Harvest House...

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Bible Codes
Author: Rich Robinson

Does God’s word hold secret messages that have only recently been discovered?

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The Bible Code
March 1, 1998
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Bible Code Author: Michael Drosnin Date Published: April 7, 1998 Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Ed edition Genre: 1. Prophecies2. Old Testament3. General ISBN: 978-0684849737 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: March 1, 1998 Maybe it’s...

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The Signature of God: Astonishing Biblical Discoveries
September 1, 1997
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Signature of God: Astonishing Biblical Discoveries Author: Grant R. Jeffrey Date Published: September 1, 1997 Publisher: Tyndale House Pub Genre: 1. Prophecies2. Religion & Spirituality ISBN: 978-0842367950 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Sep...

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First Fruits in the Bible: What Does it Have to Do with Resurrection from the Dead?
March 1, 1997
Author: Rich Robinson

Explore the literal, spritual and prophetic aspects of “first fruits” in the Bible, as well as how this concept can apply to your faith today.

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Jewish Identity and Faith in Jesus
September 1, 1996
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Jewish Identity and Faith in Jesus Author: Kai Kjaer-Hansen Date Published: 1996 Publisher: Caspari Center ISBN: 978-9659008407 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Sep 1, 1996 Kai Kjµr-Hansen has put together another book of seventeen essays following The...

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Shalom: One Man’s Search for Peace; A Filmmaker’s Autobiography
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Shalom Author: Warren Marcus Date Published: September 20, 1993 Publisher: Thomas Nelson Genre: 1. Religious2. Christian Living3. Religion & Spirituality ISBN: 978-0840767905 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Sep 1, 1996 Every story book by a...

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A Rabbi Talks With Jesus: An Intermillennial, Interfaith Exchange
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: A Rabbi Talks With Jesus Author: Jacob Neusner Date Published: January 19, 1993 Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition – Stated edition Genre: 1. Theology2. Christology ISBN: 78-0385424660 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Sep 1, 1997 In this book, I...

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Old Testament Word Study on Humility
March 1, 1996
Author: Rich Robinson

Three main words or word groups are used to describe humility: First, the related words ‘ani and ‘anav; second, the word shaphel; third, the word kana’. 1. The most common group uses the related words ‘ani and ‘anav. ‘Ani usually...

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Old Testament Word Study on Humility (Chart)
Author: Rich Robinson

[They] cast their crowns before the throne, saying: You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:10b,11 ‘ani ‘anav shaphel kana’ Describes...

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Joseph Rabinowitz and the Messianic Movement: The Herzl of Jewish Christianity
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Joseph Rabinowitz and the Messianic Movement: The Herzl of Jewish Christianity Author: Kai Kjaer-Hansen (Author), Birger Petterson (Translator) Date Published: December 1994 Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co Genre: 1. Religious2. History3. Christian Books &...

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Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee Author: Alan F. Segal Date Published: 1990 Publisher: Yale ISBN: 978-0300052275 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: March 1, 1996 There was a time when those who opposed Jewish evangelism...

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Jewish Buddhists: A Meld of Mezuzahs and Mantra?
Author: Rich Robinson

A challenge to Rodger Kamenetz’s idea of the “JUBU,” Jewish Buddhists.

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Sweet Singer of Israel: Unpublished Poems and Devotional Thoughts of Max I. Reich, With a Memoir by His Son
September 1, 1995
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Sweet Singer of Israel Author: Max Isaac Reich Date Published: 1972 Publisher: Books for Libraries Press ISBN: 978-0836981278 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: Sep 1, 1995 This unusual book is a little gem for anyone interested in Jewish missions and...

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Tisha B’Av and Related Mourning Times
August 1, 1995
Author: Rich Robinson

These days are observed only by traditional Orthodox Jews. Some non-Orthodox Jews tend to recognize them as important in Jewish tradition but do not encourage traditional observance. Sheva Asar be-Tammuz Meaning of Name: The 17th of Tammuz English Name: The Fast of...

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The Chosen People
April 1, 1995
Author: Rich Robinson

Some disdain the term Chosen People as implying superiority or arrogance. But it is a biblical term, found in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 43:20) and in the New Testament (1 Peter 2:9). Chosen ones” and “my chosen ones” occur even more frequently....

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The Long Journey Home
March 1, 1995
Topics: book reviews
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Long Journey Home Author: Ron Levin Date Published: 1994 Publisher: R. Levin Ministries; 1 ED edition ISBN: 978-0964072008 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review Date: March 1, 1995 There are many testimonies of Jewish believers in Jesus, but Ron Levin’s...

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Weak on the Feast of Weeks or Whatever Happened to Shavuot?
Author: Rich Robinson

The meaning behind Shavuot, an overlooked-but-major Jewish holiday and its fulfillment.

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Rabbinic Perspectives on the New Testament (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity, vol. 28)
September 1, 1994
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Rabbinic Perspectives on the New Testament Author: Dan Cohn-Sherbok Date Published: December 1990 Publisher: Edwin Mellen Pr; 1St Edition edition Genre: 1. Paul’s Letters2. Saints3. Christology ISBN: 978-0889466890 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Review...

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The White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall

Jesus and Jewish Art
Author: Rich Robinson

It has become fashionable among the modern day Jewish historians to present that controversial Jew, Jesus, in a favorable light. Yet, depictions of Jesus in Jewish art and literature remain rare. To be sure, Jewish literature has portrayed the encounter between Jews...

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The Message of the Mezuzah
January 1, 1994
Author: Rich Robinson

Visit the home of an observant Jew, and as you enter, you will notice a small rectangular box attached to the outer doorpost. This object is a meZUzah (plural, mezuZOTE). Though it is small, it carries a big message. The Word Mezuzah In Bible times, mezuzah was simply...

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The Tallit and Tzitzit
Author: Rich Robinson

Learn about the history, significance and traditions of the Jewish prayer shawl.

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Book Excerpt from Jehiel Lichtenstein’s Hebrew Commentary on the New Testament by One of His Students
September 1, 1993
Author: Rich Robinson

(in German; Leipzig, 1895). Out of print, but available at some large libraries or through inter-library loan. One of the most intriguing eras in Messianic Jewish history is the 19th century, and one of its more fascinating characters was Jehiel Lichtenstein...

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Israeli Groups Involved in Third-Temple Activities*
August 1, 1993
Topics: end times, temple
Author: Rich Robinson

* Based on information in Ready to Rebuild: The Imminent Plan to Rebuild the Last Days Temple by Thomas Ice and Randall Price (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992). Though not all Christians may agree with the authors’ views of the end times, this book...

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Who’s Angry at Who?
Author: Rich Robinson

Steve was a good accountant, but it was hard to sit in front of a video display screen all day with nothing but numbers before his eyes. One day, when he was particularly tense and squinting, Steve stood up to take a break. He walked over to the water cooler—which was...

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When Opposition Knocks
Author: Rich Robinson

We need to think about opposition to the gospel. Though there is diversity within the messianic movement, we are united and can express our unity. We need to do things together. Facing our opposition can be a very positive thing if we are willing to look, learn and be...

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Will the Real Messiah…
Author: Rich Robinson

When Messiah comes!” That phrase has often been the catch-all answer to the troublesome questions of life. When the Messiah comes there will be peace; or, Messiah himself will bring peace; or, Messiah will come when all Israel observes one Sabbath together. The...

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The Mission of Israel in the Old Testament
June 1, 1991
Author: Rich Robinson

God destined Israel to be a nation with a mission, to be a blessing to all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3). For Israel to fulfill that mission, she had to: Repudiate all that was contrary to God’s truth; Remember that she had embarked on a new life...

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Jewish Revival: Where To From Here?
Author: Rich Robinson

Secularization” is defined as the process in which those things religious transfer to nonreligious use, possession or control. To say that something is “secular” means that it is without religion or religious significance. Secularization has become a...

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Monotheism of the Ancient Hebrews: Evolved, Invented, Stolen or Revealed?
Author: Rich Robinson

Whatever else may be in question, we all agree that in the Jewish religion there is only one God. Yet there is disagreement as to the origin of Jewish monotheism.

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Russian Ministry
May 1, 1986
Author: Rich Robinson

In our daily work among the Jewish people of New York City we spend a great deal of our time in Manhattan itself. There we usually encounter business people, college students and upscale” Yuppies. While these people comprise one segment of Jewish life, I...

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The White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall

Jesus in Jewish Art
Author: Rich Robinson

It has become fashionable among the modern day Jewish historians to present that controversial Jew, Jesus, in a favorable light. Yet, depictions of Jesus in Jewish art and literature remain rare. To be sure, Jewish literature has portrayed the encounter between Jews...

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Akedah
Author: Rich Robinson

In the painting of The Sacrifice of Isaac, Marc Chagall draws a parallel between the story of Isaac and that of Yeshua. In doing so, he is going back to the biblical account which has occupied a substantial place in Jewish thought: the Akedah, or Binding of Isaac. In...

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The Yom Kippur Dilemma
Author: Rich Robinson

If you journeyed back in time 3,500 years and saw Jewish life as our forefathers lived it, you would be astounded at how vastly it differed from today’s practices. Instead of synagogues and Jewish community centers, you would witness a tent-like tabernacle, or...

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An Education in Tract Distribution
April 1, 1985
Author: Rich Robinson

One of the most famous places in the Los Angeles area is Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where movie stars have set their footprints in cement and busloads of tourists come to gaze at them. (It became famous many years ago as Grauman’s Chinese...

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Passover: Why is this night different since Yeshua observed it?
Author: Rich Robinson

Just as the Israelites were redeemed from Egyptian slavery by an unblemished lamb, now men could be freed from slavery to sin by the Messiah, the Lamb of God.

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Book Review: Christ in the Passover
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Christ in the Passover Author: Moishe Rosen (Author), Ceil Rosen (Author) Date Published: May 1, 2006 Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition Genre: 1. Judaism2. Ritual3. Evangelism ISBN: 978-0802413895 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Christ in the...

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The Messiah Texts
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Messiah Texts Author: Raphael Patai Date Published: December 1, 1988 Publisher: Wayne State University Press Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism ISBN: 978-0814318508 Reviewer: Rich Robinson Everyone knows that through the ages, the sum and substance of Jewish...

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Over The Counter Conversation
September 1, 1979
Author: Rich Robinson

Oftentimes we emphasize that many of us in Jews for Jesus came to the Lord through the ministry of a Gentile Christian. Sometimes too, it is the combined witness of Gentile and Jewish Christians that helps somebody take the first step of faith . Recently, I had the...

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