Quote of the Day

“The name ‘Hashivenu’ has become emblematic in the Messianic Jewish world for the stream of Jewish Yeshua-believers who uphold Torah observance, Jewish tradition, and the importance of integration within the wider Jewish world. As such, those who identify with the name are also those exposed to the greatest temptation to deny or minimize the deity of Yeshua.

It is my hope that future generations will identify the name Hashivenu with a bilateral ecclesiology that rejects both the Christian and the Jewish negative boundaries – exalting the Torah as the covenantal constitution of the Jewish people, and the deity of Yeshua, light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of his people Israel.”

Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer, from a paper delivered at the 2010 Hashivenu Forum – Finding our Way Through Nicaea, p. 32.


About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue in Agoura Hills, CA, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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10 Responses to Quote of the Day

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is always excellent to see the diety of Yeshua lifted up !

  2. Judah Gabriel Himango says:

    Yeah, and that's precisely my concern, too. Kinzer nailed it there: those who place the utmost importance on acceptance and integration in the Jewish world will be the ones most tempted to minimize the deity of Yeshua.The bit Leman reported, about Kinzer saying we must gain acceptance as a legitimate Judaism or we'll die in a few centuries — now that's where I differ with Kinzer. I think that's negative, old generation fears. We, the new generation, have a brighter outlook, one that doesn't require the approval of others for our very survival.Personally, I think we're fantasizing about being accepted by the Jewish world as a legitimate Judaism. I think it's pure fantasy. Unless things change dramatically, a real miracle in changing of the hearts of Judaism's leaders, I don't see this acceptance taking place. It's a noble goal, I am glad Kinzer and friends are aiming at it. I think it's simply unachievable for the foreseeable future. And claiming we'll perish without it was foolish.

  3. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Hi Judah,Thanks for your comment. However, I still think you're reading too much into Derek's post without having actually heard or read Kinzer's comments first hand.Not once did I hear anyone at Hashivenu speak of that which you assume. Rather it is the opposite. Because so many of us just "live" (not forced) in the Jewish community – our parents, grandparents, friends, the schools we study in, the stores we shop at, etc. – we are just naturally a part of the community we live in. Despite your concerns nobody is naive about certain realities. However, many of us, despite our strong and visible faith in Yeshua, do have very normative relations within the Jewish community already – again not because we are trying so hard – but because WE ARE JEWISH! You're assumptions are that somehow once we became MJ's we have abandoned our families, our friends from Hebrew school, or have moved out of Jewish communities. That is actually not the case for some of us. Although there will always be those who vehemently oppose us, we cannot live in fear. We must just go about our lives and DEMONSTRATE our Jewishness AND faith in Yeshua.With all that said … Kinzer is still not wrong. History demonstrates that those Jewish communities (Ebionites, Nazarenes, etc.) that did end up isolating themselves from the wider Christian and/or Jewish communities disappeared. One cannot be Jewish by themselves. Jewish continuity (as demonstrated by history) only happens in community. So the discussion in question is not about acceptance, but rather existence. If we begin to see ourselves apart from the Jewish community we will become such – and will risk the end of all sociological groups that part from the wider whole.

  4. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "Because so many of us just "live" (not forced) in the Jewish community – our parents, grandparents, friends, the schools we study in, the stores we shop at, etc. – we are just naturally a part of the community we live in. "Well said, Joshua. This is one thing (among many others) that "messianic" folks outside of the Messianic Jewish movement simply can't relate to. We, as Jews, already move within a Jewish space, we are part of it, we are it and we don't expect others to feel the same connection to our people and our longing for them – because they just can't. How easy it is then for those who are not Jewish, those who have never lived in a Jewish family or community or have given it up completely through assimilation, to tell us: cut yourself off from the Jews and Judaism, you've gotten too close to THEM, stop, you are in danger… you got us, you don't need the Jewish world!I don't buy this talk.

  5. Judah Gabriel Himango says:

    Hi Rabbi,You said 2 things that appear contradictory. Please clarify:1. "Not once did I hear anyone at Hashivenu speak of that which you assume."2. "Kinzer is still not wrong. History demonstrates that those Jewish communities that did end up isolating themselves from the wider Christian and/or Jewish communities disappeared."The thing I assume is that Kinzer said we'll perish if we're not accepted by the Jewish world as a legit Judaism. If Kinzer didn't say this, my concern and critique disappears.

  6. Judah Gabriel Himango says:

    Gene,>> cut yourself off from the Jews and Judaism, you've gotten too close to THEM, stop, you are in danger… you got us, you don't need the Jewish world! I don't buy this talk.I don't buy that talk either. You're misinterpreting my concern.

  7. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Judah-I just went back and re-read Kinzer's paper and I could not find any reference even similar to your asumption that "we'll perish if we're not accepted by the Jewish world as a legit Judaism."Rather the nuance is what I previously suggested, and is even represented in the Kinzer quote above. What I undestand Kinzer to be saying is that we need to be involved and a part of our wider Jewish community (he argues for a similar relationship with the Church). As isolation has never been good for any social group within history. This is not just a Jewish issue. As I mentioned earlier, the issue is not "acceptance," but rather existence.Although I recognize G-d's involvement, the Torah always makes clear we have to do our part so G-d can do G-d's part (see my most recent post on Parashat Yitro). Don't think that somehow isolation on the part of MJ can result in a different end from that of the Ebionites or Nazarenes of history. We exist as Jews because we are Jews, not because we try to somehow earn acceptance. Jewish is a state of being. You either are or you are not.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Joshua. Perhaps you can explain your last sentence. What is the state of being Jewish? We're a people with ancient royalty, nobility (not Rothchild!), old families, bigotries, strengths, weaknesses. We have sects, secularists, atheists, Ashkinazim, Sephardim, Yeke, Litvish. . .You get my drift. Cicero wrote of us to his fellow Romans telling them "you know how influential they are in politics and how they stick together." I haven't seen a lot of that on the web. In fact, I haven't seen a lot of nicities on the web at all. I'm not saying you. But blogs' comments sections are often nauseating with snide disagreements over issues that have no real Jewish connection. There is an excessive need, it seems, to prove Jewishness by someone's impression of what is Jewish. I'll soon be parting from following the "movement" on line, so I'd like a pretty straight-forward answer, if you feel like it. Thanks,Dav

  9. Judah Gabriel Himango says:

    Hi rabbi,>> I just went back and re-read Kinzer's paper and I could not find any reference even similar to your asumption that "we'll perish if we're not accepted by the Jewish world as a legit Judaism."Ok, perhaps Leman misquoted or misunderstood him.Or maybe I just read him uncharitably. :-)Whatever the case, I would really like to read the paper firsthand. Is it available online?

  10. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Hi Judah,Just send me an email and I'll send you the paper – rebyosh@gmail.com.Cheers!

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