An Upcoming and Very Needed Book

Tefillin, or phylacteries as they are known to many Christian readers, are a vital part of Jewish devotion. The practice of tefillin comes from four scriptures in the Torah, which speak of

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12 Responses to An Upcoming and Very Needed Book

  1. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Derek….

    I have not seen many MJ leaders wear tefillin in public. Would be interesting to learn about THEIR perspective.

    As far as FFOZ goes and their materials, I have a real problem with them (as I have a problem with the One Law and similar movements as a whole). It’s not a small problem in my opinion. I consider them a pseudo-Jewish organization, not really part of the mainstream JEWISH Messianic movement, led and staffed primarily by Gentiles (nothing wrongs with Gentiles, of course). Personally, I avoid using their materials to teach Jewish believers (although I am sure that they have many good and valid points to share – as many other movements and denominations do also).

    I see them as compelling Gentiles believers to live as Jews (judaizing) under the guise of Torah education, while at the same time seeking to blur or at least de-emphasize the distinctions between Jews and Gentiles. I won’t speak for the G-d of Israel, but I can’t see Him being happy about this (at least if I read NT correctly).

    Anyway, looking forward to your book review.

    Shalom

  2. Gene:

    I’m glad you brought this up, because this is an important point. FFOZ is no longer One-Law. FFOZ makes a distinction between Jew and Gentile and recognizes Gentile freedom. They have changed.

    Where we still part ways is that they are still more prone to encourage non-Jews to be Torah observant than I am.

    I believe in some limited cases, non-Jews are called to participate with Jews, keeping some of the identity markers of Israel (Shabbat, diet, fringes, etc.) and in some cases (like mine) are called to convert. I do not encourage Gentiles to adopt Israel’s identity markers, but I think forbidding it is wrong too. I’d guess you and I are in the same place.

    Well, my point is, I perceive FFOZ as having moved quite a bit in our direction. And their materials are well-produced and well-researched.

    I encourage you to take a look at the new FFOZ.

    Derek

  3. Gene:

    About MJ leaders and tefillin, here is where I can challenge you a bit. I am in the UMJC and connected with Hashivenu and MJTI. The circle of rabbis I am learning with does lay tefillin. Maybe you should look into our neck of the MJ woods. I know the circles you are in and I’m not surprised you have not seen tefillin.

    Don’t shoot me.

    Derek

  4. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Derek…

    “FFOZ is no longer One-Law. FFOZ makes a distinction between Jew and Gentile and recognizes Gentile freedom. They have changed.”

    If they indeed have, than I say good for them!

    “I believe in some limited cases, non-Jews are called to participate with Jews, keeping some of the identity markers of Israel (Shabbat, diet, fringes, etc.) and in some cases (like mine) are called to convert.”

    I also believe that proselytes in Yeshua’s day who were part of the Jewish community (believing and not) have done so as well.

    “Well, my point is, I perceive FFOZ as having moved quite a bit in our direction.”

    Let’s hope so. I wonder what brought about that change of heart – do you know?

    “And their materials are well-produced and well-researched.”

    That I agree with.

    “About MJ leaders and tefillin, here is where I can challenge you a bit. I am in the UMJC and connected with Hashivenu and MJTI. The circle of rabbis I am learning with does lay tefillin. Maybe you should look into our neck of the MJ woods. I know the circles you are in and I

  5. boazm says:

    What changed? Our language regarding Gentile obligation to the whole of Torah.

    Why the change? Our inability to reconcile Gentile obligation/mandate to the whole of the Torah with Acts 15, 21.

    Realizations that led to the change? Here are three:

    1. The division and bad fruit that was being produced in the Torah movement that removed biblical distinctions. The One-Law dogma not only obligated everyone, but gave everyone a sense of entitlement to redefine Torah, subtly removing the unique role of the Jewish people. Obviously there is only one Law, but that Law has various levels and legislative distinctions within it.

    2. Our need to personally grow in our own observances, integrating various levels of traditional Torah application without placing personal convictions and interpretations on others as

  6. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Thank you Boaz, for clarifying your position. I have been, on and off, observing FFOZ for some time, and did not think such a change was ever possible.

    Although I still have some concerns that FFOZ position regarding Gentiles keeping the Torah as given to Moshe (other than its moral aspects) has been only somewhat softened in language but still largely unchanged at its core, I am very encouraged by this new development.

    Only time will tell. Shalom to all whose intentions are pure.

    Gene

  7. Boaz:

    Your response was so good, I’d like to make it a blog post so more will see it.

    Gene:

    I love it when good dialogue like this happens. I see you are still quite cautious. That’s alright. Progress happens and we get closer to speaking that one language of Zephaniah 3:9.

    Derek

  8. Thomas says:

    It sounds like an interesting book. I wasn’t aware that Messianic Jews felt the need to wear these.
    I am wondering if Revelation 14:1 speaks to this issue in that the name of Jesus and his Father will be written on the foreheads of the 144,000. This seems to stand in opposition to those who have accepted the mark of the beast (Rome) and a replacement for the tefillin that you are speaking of. The sign and memorial is now Jesus and his Father’s sending him to accomplish their exodus from the world rather than the Exodus from Egypt.
    Are there any thoughts along those lines?

  9. tbyjanicki says:

    Derek,

    Thanks very much for the kind words!

    Thomas,

    I think you have some valid points there. I talk a little bit the connection between tefillin and the mark in my book.

    Shalom,
    Toby

  10. Thomas says:

    Hi Toby,
    I’m sure Derek will let us know when the book comes out. I look forward to hearing about what you have to say.
    Thomas

  11. I also noticed the FFOZ change … it’s a step in the right direction.

    The very practical reality that “it feels funny” in the 21st century when non-Jews begin living quasi-frum (without converting to Judaism) is not going to go away.

    I wonder if FFOZ has done any further sociological/anthropological thinking on the costs/benefits of promoting “Torah for Gentiles,” even if they’ve abandoned their prior position that it’s obligatory.

    On the issue of laying tefillin, I was under the impression that MJews don’t do it publicly because our morning services usually begin too late to pray Shacharit!

  12. err … what I meant to say is that most MJ congregations only have one service, on Saturday morning … when we DON’T lay tefillin.

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