What is “Jewish stuff?”

Have you noticed all the Halloween decorations in the department stores? Pretty soon the candy sales will be all over the place, and before the first little kid tries on his costume, they will be putting up Christmas lights along Main Street. Everyone is getting ready for something that is still a month away.

Yet, how many Gentiles realize we are in one of the most Holy of all periods, right now? These are the 40 days before Yom Kippur, and starting on the evening of October 2, Erev Rosh Hashannah (the eve of New Year) we will begin the 10 Days of Awe, when the Jewish people are supposed to introspectively review their commitment to God and to realize how close to (or how far from) meeting what God wants of them.

On the evening of October 11 we begin Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we fast and pray all day for forgiveness for our sins, which we humbly and constantly remind ourselves we have committed against God. We are praying that He will move from the Throne of Judgment to the Mercy Seat, and inscribe us in the Book of Life.

As a Messianic Jew I am often asked by Christians why I fast, since Jesus (Yeshua is His real name) died for our sins. My answer is very simple. It is as complete an answer as I believe anyone can give, and as complete an answer as anyone who worships God should accept. My answer is, “Because God said we should.”

I fast because God said I should. Not because Yeshua died for the sins I have committed (which He did), not because I am not fully forgiven by God (which I am), and not for the sake of honoring and communing with my Jewish brothers and sisters (which I do): it is because God commands us to do this.

Leviticus 23, and other parts of the Torah, specify that on this day we are to afflict our souls, which nearly everyone agrees means to fast. I do it because I am Jewish and it is what Jews do, but I do not do it because it is “Jewish stuff”: God gave the Torah to the Jews not for them only, but for them to bring to everyone else!

Christianity has been teaching that the Torah is for Jews, but that is a wrongful teaching- the Torah is for everyone. What is being called “Jewish stuff” is really “God-fearing stuff” and anyone (more correctly, everyone) who professes to believe in God is supposed to do it.

The bible is absolutely crystal clear- the Jews are God’s chosen people, chosen to be priests to the world (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9) and to represent Him to everyone else. A Priest is not the only one who serves God, is he? No- the Priest is the spiritual leader of the community who acts as intercessor between the people and God. That is the function of the priest. So, to do what God commanded us to do is not just worshipful, or God-fearing, or even holy (although it is all of those things, too): to obey God’s Torah is so much more than just being “Jewish.”

I have had many Gentile’s come to me over the years and tell me how proud they are that somewhere in their family history they have recently discovered a Jewish Grandparent or a Jewish ancestor. They are so happy to be “real” Jews.

I think they want to be Jewish for all the wrong reasons.

If you want to be Jewish, then do what a Jewish person is supposed to do- honor the Torah by obeying it. Honor God by obeying His commandments without trying to box this one in and shut that one out. Don’t be what I call a “Buffet Believer“, picking and choosing whatever commandments you like, rejecting the rest and using Yeshua as your excuse for disobeying God!

If you don’t feel comfortable identifying with Judaism, then obey the commandments because that’s what Jesus did. How many Christians wear that silly bracelet with the “WWJD?” on it, but don’t do anything that Jesus would’ve done? He would’ve fasted on Yom Kippur, you betcha!

The term, “Jewish stuff” is a demonic slur created by the Replacement Theologists who are, in truth, the Synagogue of Satan Yeshua talks about in Revelations 3:9. They want to be Jews but reject the one thing that identifies Jews as Jews- obeying the Torah.

Hey, listen up! GOD HAS NO RELIGION! He has rules for worshiping Him, and rules for treating each other, and that is what He gave to the people who were descendants of the one man God chose to represent Him to the world, Abraham. It is only by geographical and linguistic relationship that we call those who follow the Torah, “Jews.”

Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?”; to paraphrase the rest, “That which we call a “Jew” by any other name, would still follow Torah.”

Don’t be concerned with what your religion tells you about how to worship God; you must read God’s word on your own to learn what He wants from you. Then do it to the best of your ability.

Yeshua’s death did not free us from Torah- it freed us from the results of our failure to follow Torah perfectly. His sacrificial death was never a means to avoid Torah- His life, His teachings, His very existence is all about Torah: Yeshua is the Living Torah!

Forget Jewish; forget Christian; forget religious titles and canon. These things are useless to The Lord; all He wants is for you to do what He said to do so that you can live with Him eternally.


Too much stuff, too little content

I read Facebook every day, and wonder how I got this deep into it. I like hearing from, and being in touch (if you can really call it that) with family and friends. Some of these are friends from way back in high school with whom I would never be in touch with at all, if not for FB.

Yet, there is so much dreck and kvetching and stuff without content. I hear people spouting off, posting comments from other sites, reposting what someone reported that they were asked to share. Garbage and stupid requests, like some pretty-sounding emotional plea to copy and paste or share this picture or post if you agree. It’s the modern form of chain mail.

If I called you up and asked you to call everyone in your phone book and ask them if they agree with an opinion, would you? I doubt it. I expect you would feel that it was an imposition, and you would be right. Yet we have no qualms about spouting out our feelings about politics and religion and posting it to the world, then asking them all to share it with everyone they know. Something we would never do if we were talking to them in person.

And, yes- you’re right- no one is making me read this or even go to the FB site. Yet, I do see things that I want to comment on, and so I have to walk through all the cowpies in the field if I want to check out the few cows that I have grazing there.

The world is a cow pasture, and we have to walk in it. We have to be careful with every step we take, watch where we walk, and not piss off the bulls. And we also have to realize that we will fail to do each of those things, sooner or later, and often. The trick is to do it as little as possible.

What’s this got to do with God? Simply this: the world hates God, the world hates Yeshua/Jesus, and the world really hates those who love them both. Even within the circle of people who profess to love God, they hate each other (this is because of religion.) Jews love and worship God, and Christians love and worship God, but Christians have killed Jews since Yeshua came. And then within the Christian religions there is strife and hatred and destruction. The Protestants in England always fought the Catholics in Spain, and the Catholics in France persecuted the Huguenots. The WASP’s in America took almost 200 years before electing a Catholic President.

Hatred is the primary way we humans react when someone disagrees with us. Here’s how it works: the hatred stems from anger, the anger stems from frustration, the frustration stems from people not doing as we think they should, and wanting people to do as we think they should stems from pridefulness. Pridefulness is the mother of all sins. That’s the way it works- everything evil and hateful is born from pridefulness.

We need to talk as we would want to be talked to, but more than anything else we need to listen to others as we would have them listen to us. Everyone wants to be heard, and everyone wants to be talked to nicely, but it seems almost no one wants to listen with compassion.

Communication is essential if we are to live together. Yeshua talked in parables so that they would have to think about what He was saying!   People only believe 50% of what they hear, but 100% of what they say. So when you talk to them, you need to have them talk back, and you need to help them say the right things. The best way to communicate with someone is not to tell them what you want to say, but to concentrate on hearing what they are trying to tell you.

God talks to us plainly, God tells us what we should do, and He is very clear how we should do it. He has no pride, He has no ulterior motive, and He has no respect for persons. What God has is a plan for salvation, a means to be part of that plan, and the way to live according to that plan. I don’t think I should tell you what to think, how to live, or what you should do. God has done that: who am I to overrule God? Who are you to overrule God?

Give your opinion when it is asked for (it will have much more weight with others that way); talk to people with compassion and listen to them the same way you would want them to listen to you. Here’s the really hard part: you need to understand and accept that for the most part, people you deal with everyday of your life will not do these things for you. So what? You do what you know to be right.

It’s hard to be a light in a dark world, and it’s hard to hold one’s tongue when others are in such desperate need to have theirs pinned to their cheek! But we have to do the right thing.

And when you feel frustrated and angry, remember that Yeshua said we shouldn’t throw pearls before swine, and it’s silly to kick against the goads.

Don’t tell people what you think unless they ask you to, don’t offer your opinion until it is asked for, and more than anything else, show people what God has done for you by being a living example of the spiritual peace you have from His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit.)

Actions do speak louder than words, so act the way God says to act and you won’t need words.