One of the 13 articles
of Jewish faith drafted by Maimonides states:
" I believe
with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah;
and, though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming. "
Jewish people have long awaited the coming of
the Messiah. In fact, over the centuries there have been many
messianic pretenders who have come on the scene and led many of
our people astray. Two noteworthy pretenders were Simon bar Kosiba and
Shabatai Tsvi. Bar Kosiba became known as bar Kochba [Son of Kosiba to
Son of the Star; a messianic title referencing the verse in Torah that
says a star shall rise to rule...Nu. 24:17]. Bar Kosiba led the revolt
against Rome in the 2nd Century. He was proclaimed Messiah by the
famous Rabbi Akiva. It is a shame that Akiva can still be looked to as
a great sage and Rabbi when he was so deluded and led so many of
Israel astray. Shabatai Tsvi is seen as the greatest phony who ever
rose to the claim. The "greatest" I say for he led the most
astray. He lived during the 7th century. Much can be read of him. He
converted to Islam on pain of death and disappeared off the historical
recently the late Rabbi Schneerson of Lubavitch Hassidic fame claims
the title of most recent Messianic pretender. Though he himself didn't
claim Messianic status, many of his followers attributed the status to
him. His death was even expected to precede a resurrection!
didn't rise from the dead, this expectation again raised to the fore
of Jewish minds that there is a strong "Jewish" belief that
the Messiah is to rise from the dead.
many Jews today that believe that Yeshua [Jesus, whom the gentiles
call "Christ". Christ means "Messiah".] is the
Messiah of Israel.
beliefs are usually rooted in the Messianic prophecies of the Jewish
Bible. See for example Isaiah 7:14; 9:6 and the entire 53rd chapter of
Isaiah. In addition to this there are such passages as Micah 5:1,2 and
Jewish person believes in Yeshua as Messiah and maintains a Jewish
identity, this person is said to be a "Messianic" Jew.
Messianic Judaism is the faith of Messianic Jews. There are many types
and styles of observance amongst Messianic Jews. Some try to obey the
ancient laws of Moses as their Messianic Rabbi interprets them. Some
are what might be deemed "Orthodox". They feel it important
to keep the dietary laws as well as many of the Biblical and
traditional practices of Judaism, such as the wearing of Tsitsit and
kippot. Some differ from the typical [if such a word can be used]
Orthodox Jew only in that they affirm that Yeshua is the Messiah.
majority of Messianic Jews however do not fit the "Orthodox"
mold. But here again the degree of observance varies. It however can
be safe to say that most Messianic Jews have the following in common:
belief that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel,
A belief that the New
Covenant Scriptures are just as valid as the Old,
A belief that the Old
Covenant scriptures still contain practical and valid truths and
are not obsolete,
A belief that Israel is
the ultimate home of all Jews with Messiah reigning on the throne,
belief that Messiah Yeshua died and rose again to redeem mankind
from sin and death,
belief in the [tri] unity of God.
Messianic Jews join in the celebration of the major Jewish holidays to
some degree and participate in a "Jewish lifestyle". You are
invited to contact us to learn more about the joy we have in being
followers of Yeshua, the Messiah of both Jew and Gentile !
by Steve Shermett ©
1997, from www.ShalomTucson.org
the website of
Congregation Beth Sar Shalom
5002 E. 4th Street
Tucson, Arizona 85711