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MESSIANIC JUDAISM

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 scene.

Most 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!

Though he 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.

There are many Jews today that believe that Yeshua [Jesus, whom the gentiles call "Christ". Christ means "Messiah".] is the Messiah of Israel.

These 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 Zecheriah 12:10

When a 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.

The 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:

  • A 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,

  • A belief that Messiah Yeshua died and rose again to redeem mankind from sin and death,

  • A belief in the [tri] unity of God.

Most 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
(520) 326-2020


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About Us  l  What We Believe  l  Q & A  l  Biographies  l    Special Events  l  Directory  l  Links

Articles Index Pages:  Messianic Living, Law & Grace, Theology  l  Evidence for Messiah Yeshua  l  Israel & Zionism