Tag Archives: bad hebrew

The MJAA Doesn’t Know if It’s Coming or Going

Next month, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America will hold a regional conference in Grapevine, Texas (a small suburb of Fort Worth). Here’s a screenshot of part of the conference webpage:

MJAA incompetence

Unsurprisingly, the MJAA managed to grossly screw up one of the three Hebrew words it used. Surprisingly, though, the MJAA managed to screw up the English as well.

The cited verse, Isaiah 59:20, states that “a redeemer will come to Zion.” The excerpt on the website, though, is part of Romans 11:26 stating that the deliverer will come from Zion. In other words, the MJAA not only cited the wrong Bible verse, but also cited a verse with a contradictory meaning.

But hey, at least last year’s merchandise tables appear to have been fully stocked!


Object-ionable Markers

I abandoned this website last year after becoming occupied with other matters—among them, working on online material for a real Jewish organization. Unfortunately, I’ve recently encountered far too much Messianic Jewish/Hebraic Roots/Nazerene silliness, both online and offline, which inspired me to update the site again. Updating right before Yom Kippur is not the best time, admittedly, but better now than never.

The full name of the so-called Hebraic Roots “synagogue” in this video is Messianic Voice Ministries את-Bnai Israel, which again shows that people who have no idea how Hebrew grammar works have no business naming these organizations. In this context, “את” is merely an object marker with no meaning on its own,[*] yet this group appears to have made it a central part of their identity.

Even better, the person leading services has the non-word “את” on the front of his cap. The closest parallel in English I can think of would be a Japanese teenager—one who didn’t speak English, obviously—wearing a shirt with just a semicolon and expecting it to make sense to others.

As for the service, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a group of people who don’t realize that “את” has no meaning on its own. I do like the hanging picture they have, though, of Jesus apparently giving the Vulcan salute (47:30).

G’mar chatima tova, and may everyone have an easy fast.

[*] “את” can also mean “you (feminine)”, of course. Or “spade.” So you can say that I’m calling a spade a, uh… never mind. I thought I had a good joke there, but didn’t.

Edit: Thanks to Michael Miller for pointing out that there’s more to the “את” thing than meets the eye. Apparently, there’s a popular idea in Messianic circles that it’s a reference to the alpha and the omega in the New Testament. The idea is still nonsense, but it does explain why this congregation is so fond of “את”.

The Crazy Factor

Nicole Czarnecki, the person in this video, claims to be Jewish after she decided that her great-great-grandparents on her father’s side were crypto-Jews. As a “Messianic Jew,” she has uploaded numerous YouTube videos attacking “non-Messianic Jews,” including this recent video in which she explains that they actually worship the pagan gods described in Amos.

The video itself is rather boring, I admit, although you do get to hear her butcher the Hebrew names for Isaiah and Jonathan. I find the video interesting nonetheless because it illustrates the weird blend of philosemitism and antisemitism you find in some parts of the Messianic movement. She clearly dislikes Jews, yet desperately wants to be one.

Making a Real Messer Things

If you’re a megachurch pastor accused of molesting teenage boys, one would think that you’d stay out of the spotlight for a while after you settle with the accusers. If you’re Bishop Eddie Long, though, you decide instead to let Ralph Messer, a self-proclaimed Messianic “rabbi,” wrap you in something that he claims is a Holocaust Torah. And then you let the God-awful ceremony be filmed so that you horrify everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike.

As you can imagine, other so-called “Messianic Jews” have scrambled to distance themselves from Messer—and, in doing so, prove that the No True Scotsman fallacy is alive and well. From an Associated Press article about the scandal:

Messianic Jews believe that Jesus Christ, or Yeshua, is the Messiah, putting them at odds with traditional Jewish theology. Most Jews consider the faith to be a form of evangelical Christianity.

Rabbi David Shiff of Congregation Beth Hallel, a Messianic Jewish synagogue in Roswell, condemned the actions in the video.

“Ralph Messer in no way represents Messianic Judaism,” Shiff said. “He is not affiliated with any legitimate branch of Messianic Judaism. His actions in no way reflect the position of Messianic Judaism. I found the presentation to be repulsive and inappropriate.”

The good news from this event, if any, is that more people will understand what makes the Messianic movement so offensive to Jews.

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.)

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.”)

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