Simchat Torah, Messianic Style

If I had to join these people for Yom Simcha Torah [sic], I’d start drinking well before services began.

My favorite part of the video is the little boy at 3:10. He’s clearly having none of their Jewish playacting.

(The song they’re singing, by the way, is “Hine ha Torah” by Adán Hernández, who now goes by “Adam ben Joshua.” As for the so-called “soferet,” she merits a separate post.)

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Yom Kip-Poor

Yom Kippur is almost here, which means that Messianic rabbis are gearing up for their most theatrical performance of the year. Take this 2007 service led by “Senior Pastor and Messianic Rabbi” Jonathan Cahn, for example, which even has stirring background music worthy of a TBN evangelist.

As always, there are numerous things—aside from the constant references to “the Messiah,” of course—giving this service away as an example of Christians playacting at Judaism. Take, for example, the way someone keeps tossing the Sefer Torah atop a pile of papers and books at 4:40. Or take the way Cahn places his fingers on it at 5:20 as he pretends to read Hebrew. Or take the tallit he wears with a large lamb in front of a Star of David.

By the end of the service, though, Cahn can no longer keep up the playacting, and he finally calls upon “the name of Messiah, Jesus” at 7:10. Oops.

(For the record, Cahn describes himself as a “Jewish believer in Jesus” “descended of the line of Aaron.”)

The Orthodox Jewish Bible: Neither Orthodox nor Jewish

The Orthodox Jewish Bible

What do you get when you take a Christian Bible, add a bunch of Hebrew words in odd places, and slap a Star of David design on the cover? You get The Orthodox Jewish Bible, written by an Assemblies of God missionary named Phillip E. Goble.

Here’s an excerpt from the “Bersuras HaGelula according to Mattiyahu”—better known as the Gospel of Matthew:

The huledet (birth) of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was as follows. When Moshiach’s Em, Miryam, had been given in erusin to Yosef [ben Dovid], but before they came together, she was found with child through the Ruach Hakodesh. Her shidduch, Yosef [ben Dovid], being a tzaddik and not wanting to humiliate her publicly, planned to deal with the get (divorce) in a private arrangement. Now just when Yosef [ben Dovid] had thought through to this tachlis (purpose) hinei! A malach Hashem appeared to him in a chalom, and said, Yosef ben Dovid, do not shrink from taking Miryam in nisuim (marriage) as your [basherte (destined mate) aishes chayil (virtuous woman)] kallah (bride), because what has been conceived in her is through the Ruach Hakodesh.

You can even “listen to a professional actor” read aloud the first chapter of Genesis! If you’re expecting the rich baritone voice of James Earl Jones, though, prepare to be disappointed: the so-called “actor” is simply Goble himself.

I was tempted to dismiss this as an obscure work of a lone Internet kook, especially after checking out a video of him on YouTube. However, he appears to have some support from other missionaries, who distributed copies of his work in Crown Heights. As you might guess, the Jews there were not amused.

Diving into Davening

Having grown slightly bored with the Shema, this Messianic worship leader decided to mix things up by pretending to perform the Birkat Kohanim at the same time. “If this doesn’t excite the congregation,” he thought, “I’ll try the Batusi next week.”

Edit: The Rosh Pina Project claims that the person in this video is not a Messianic Jew. However, according to his “NazareneSpace”profile, he self-identifies as one:

Do you consider yourself a:
Messianic Jew

No Solace in Saul

Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) is a place mentioned in the Tanakh as the destination of the dead. Shaul (שָׁאוּל) is the Hebrew name for Saul, the first Israelite king, as well as Paul the Apostle. Messianic congregations frequently use “Shaul” in place of “Paul” to make the New Testament seem more Jewish.

Note that the consonants for both words are the same in Hebrew. As you can imagine, this poses problems for Messianic congregations whose leaders can’t actually read Hebrew—for example, Yeshuat Yisrael, which put together this slide for one of the many PowerPoint sermons it offers on its website.

More About the Southern Baptist Convention

 

 Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is still heavily involved in the Messianic Jewish movement—no surprise there, given that they remain dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity. Here’s a photo from an affiliated service held right before the 2011 SBC Annual Meeting in June:

“Ric Worshill, left, a police chaplain in Lindenhurst, Ill., and David Foster, a member of Beit Yuash Shem [sic] of Meridian, Miss., worship during the meeting of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship at CrossPoinTempe Church in Tempe, Ariz. The services were held Saturday, June 11 prior to the start of the June 14-15 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz.”

The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, by the way, has a membership of just over thirty congregations and twenty ministries with names like “Tikvat L’Chaim” and “Congregation Adat Shalom.” And that’s not counting the congregations I mentioned earlier that are part of the SBC itself.

(Oh, and how funny is it that the SBC website misspelled “Yeshua?”)