A King, a Torah … and Ralph Messer

Two House teacher and self-proclaimed ‘rabbi,’ Ralph Messer, finds himself caught-up in a national scandal.

Another fraud. Yesterday on Facebook I encountered a video of Ralph Messer grossly mistreating a Torah scroll while staging a “coronation” service for megachurch pastor Eddie Long.  The video has drawn criticism from numerous Jewish and Christian groups, and was even the center of a response in several major media outlets, including the Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Huffington Post, and many others.

In the Huffington Post article, Reverend Dr. Wil Gafney writes:

The unidentified man who, (in the YouTube video to which I had access he is identified subsequently as Ralph Messer), represents himself as a Jew. He may well be some sort of Messianic Jew, a person who claims Jewish heritage and recognizes Jesus as the Son of God, but who is not part of one of the major Jewish movements: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, Renewal. He does not, however, represent recognizable Jewish thought or practice in his (mis-) representations of the Torah and other Jewish sancta — or for that matter, New Testament and Christian biblical interpretation and theology.

There are numerous problems with Ralph Messer’s actions and claims – many of which Dr. Gafney does a great job in addressing, particularly the two primary issues of Messer’s mishandling and misappropriating a Torah scroll as well as his “coronating as king” mega-church pastor Eddie Long, who was recently accused by five young men of sexual misconduct. After initially denying the allegations, Long is now in undisclosed settlement talks with them and his wife has filed for divorce.

It blows my mind how throughout the video Messer cannot even pronounce the correct name for the most famous concentration camp in history! – Auschwitz-Birkenau, which Messer keeps pronouncing as ‘Berkendahl.’ No one who is really Jewish ever gets that one wrong … especially someone who claims to be a ‘rabbi.’ However, since Dr. Gafney so eloquently addresses many of the other matters, I want to address another serious matter. In the YouTube video, Messer claims to speak “on behalf of the Jewish People, the Land of Israel, and the G-d of Israel.” Because so many people are identifying Messer with Messianic Judaism, I want to make very clear that Ralph Messer is not affiliated with the mainstream Messianic Jewish movement, nor is he a legitimately ordained rabbi. This was confirmed in a recent statement by Messer’s son, Russell Messer, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his father “has no formal rabbinical training.” And when pressed hard enough, Messer himself has confessed that he has never been formally ordained as a rabbi, as reported by the Florida Courier. Furthermore, Messer does not actually have the authority to speak on behalf of Israel, world-Jewry, or G-d.

Ralph Messer is the leader of a large congregation in Colorado and has quite a vast media ministry. I have been aware of his poor teaching, misuse of Jewish sancta, and his affiliation with the Two House movement for some time. However this recent video finally pushed me over the line.

Earlier today I confirmed with Rabbi Russ Resnik (UMJC Executive Director) and Dr. Dan Juster (one of the founders of the UMJC, and its first President) that Ralph Messer has never been affiliated with the UMJC nor has ever spoken at a UMJC conference. I also confirmed with Ari Hauben, with the MJAA, that Ralph Messer is not affiliated nor ordained through them. In my asking around today, I also was not able to confirm whether he is even really Jewish.

I cannot speak out more strongly against Ralph Messer, his teachings, nor his affiliations with the likes of Eddie Long. Ralph Messer should be ashamed of himself. If it were within my power he would be stripped of his congregation and ministry, defrocked of his self-appointed title, and publicly forced to offer an apology for mishandling a Torah scroll, defaming Messianic Jews, and coronating as king an accused pedophile.

Other Messianic Jewish Bloggers to Speak Out:

Gathering Sparks (Yahnatan Lasko & Jonathan Roush)

Messianic Jewish Musings (Rabbi Derek Leman)

The Messianic Agenda (Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann)

DrSchiffman’sBlog (Rabbi Dr. Michael Schiffman)

TowardBlog

Rosh Pina Project

Messiah’s Mandate (has some nice corrections to some of Messer’s erroneous claims)

UPDATE, 2/3: A joint statement has now been released by the UMJC and the MJAA which can be read HERE.

UPDATE, 2/4: An update on Messer from the Florida Courier.

UPDATE, 2/6: Joint UMJC/MJAA statement gets national press.

UPDATE, 2/6: CNN news clip featuring “apologies” from Long and Messer and a discussion.

UPDATE, 2/7: The UMJC/MJAA press release featured in national Jewish press (JTA).


About Rabbi Joshua

I am a rabbi, writer and thinker, as well as the proud father of a toddler son. 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 Ahavat Zion Synagogue in Beverly 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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40 Responses to A King, a Torah … and Ralph Messer

  1. Thank you for this much needed response R’Brumbach.

  2. Pingback: Ralph Messer is not a Messianic Jewish Rabbi | Messianic Jewish Musings

  3. Christo Chaney says:

    I’m entirely heartbroken over this! May Ralph Messer very soon turn away from this path he is following & learn to revere the Eternal One properly for the rest of his days…

  4. Cheryl Hunt says:

    I watched about 6 minutes of that video and could watch no more. It was one of the most disgusting things I have seen in a long while. I want to say that I am a Torah observant believer in Yeshua. I can’t identify myself with the Messianic movement because of the likes of some of this stuff going on. I knew I did not care for Ralph Messer in the past, but this seals it. I believe he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  5. Shirley Braggs says:

    Well said, Rabbi Brumbach. Thank you for being an answer to prayer that someone in leadership within the Messianic Jewish Movement would speak on behalf of our movement. I watched the video and I was horrified to see this man extolling a personage such as Mr. Long, and as king, no less. This was too much to bear and more than sickening. I was grieved to my very soul that he could take a Torah scroll and, while saying that it has the dust of Auschwitz still on it, use it in such a defiling way. He has no respect for Torah and no respect for the Jewish people who died while loving and respecting these scrolls; willing to die for their preservation. I wish you had the power to do as you said, but, of course, since he doesn’t stand accountable to any recognized biblical or Jewish authority, there is nothing that can be done except to renounce any association or recognition for him or his actions. I thank you for doing so with all of my heart. May the G_d of Israel render a righteous judgement against this defamer and may He vindicate the Messianic Jewish movement of any connection or association with such disgusting displays. Since this happened at an Economic Summit hosted by Eddie Long, one wonders about his motivation to do such a thing.

  6. Judy says:

    Thank you for confirming my opinion of the video. It was hard to watch the entire thing and as a Catholic, I found it highly unlikely that this represented any sort of Jewish tradition, Messianic or otherwise. Another site suggested that this is not an actual Torah scroll and was even held together with scotch tape. I hope that’s true. The thought of such a false preacher being in possession of any sacred object offends me.

  7. Jonathan Roush says:

    Strongly worded, but rightly so.

  8. This impostor will bring a curse down on himself and on Mr. Long. Let God deal with him. I wrote about this on my blog as well.

    be well my friend.

  9. Thanks for taking the time to address this situation so well.

    I remain utterly heartsick, and cannot even bring myself to watch the video. It would only nauseate and enrage me Just the photograph of Eddie Long wrapped in the Torah and Messer blessing him is enough for me.

    My heart cries out. As does yours.

  10. Speaking as someone involved in the the Hebrew Roots and Two House communities, I abhor this. I was uncomfortable just watching the thing; televangelists and religious showmen are an embarrassment to faith in Messiah.

    • David Beadle says:

      I was very disturbed in my spirit while watching the video about how Mr. Messer handled the Torah and proclaimed Bishop Eddie Long a king. I know to respect the Torah and what it stands for because as a Gentile believer, my wife – (a Messianic Jewish beleiver) and I were involved in starting and establishing Messianic congregations in New Orleans and you don’t handle and abuse the Torah as shown in this video. I don’t think Mr. Messer really knows what he is doing and I think he just wants to draw attention to himself and his ministry.

  11. Kevin Powell says:

    When I saw this video, I couldn`t believe what I was seeing or hearing. The “rabbi`s” treatment of the scroll was jaw-droppingly disrespectful, and his invocation of the holocaust deeply disturbing, as he is appropriating the pain, suffering, and deaths of millions for himself. His intellectual and spiritual dishonesty was astounding, and was an insult to those faithful Jews who lived and died according to their traditions. Disgusting.

  12. Rev. Reuben Mitchell says:

    I’m going to say what was given to me to say without QUESTION, without FEAR, & without DOUBT to FALSE people like you Eddie Long and to you also Ralph Messer (Who is NOT) a Rabbi..

    Within the church GOD has placed some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelist, some Pastors and some Teachers……, ALL who are subject to HIS authority. ALL MUST BE WILLING to do what He has commanded, seeking ONLY to please HIM and not man. BUT we have some “VASHTI’S” within the group of the f…ive-fold Ministry who have rebelled against the commandments of the Lord and have chosen to do things their way. You have brought into the church FALSE doctrines, and have diminished the power of TRUE repentance & you have taught others it is alright to continue to live in sin, saying that the Lord has paid the price for our sins past, present and future and according to YOUR doctrine, repentance is not necessary to receive salvation….LIES…You’re teaching them NOT to repent, but to utter a weak and insincere “I’m sorry” from the mouth, but not the heart and to believe instantly they are forgiven..DID YOU THINK THERE WOULD BE NO CONSEQUENCE? You’re living your life like this and the lost souls are copying after you (FALSE TEACHER) and for this, you shall be “TERMINATED OF YOUR POSITION!”

    You have arrogantly clung to YOUR FALSE DOCTRINE, proudly boasted and bragged about YOUR FALSE DOCTRINE through your conduct, your speech, YOUR FALSE DOCTRINE, many have followed and many have been kept from entering into the kingdom of God. The Lord said to Peter before he ascended into heaven “FEED MY SHEEP”, and HE has asked you to do the same. BUT you have given the sheep food that has entered in, and instantly out again as NO meat of TRUTH has been given that the sheep may digest it well and GROW. They are crying out for meat, and you’ve given them milk, and a WATERED DOWN version at that. What you’ve given them is not healthy to spiritually digest, this is why they become hungry again (AFTER NIBBLING AT YOUR TABLE)…Look at all of the FAILED marriages…BROKENESS…DEPRESSION….HOMOSEXUALITY…MOLESTATIONS. …FINANCIAL STRUGGLES…and all of this while under your covering and believing what comes out of your mouth.

    Heed my words..You WILL be held accountable for every sheep that has gone astray because of your conduct and doctrine (FAKENESS). THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING… HEAR this and REPENT and be RESTORED BACK to the position God had called you into…THE PROPHETS OF CORRECTION coming to knock on your door VERY SOON….Rev. Reuben.

  13. Mark says:

    How did and where did he get the Torah scroll?

  14. Julie Sagissor says:

    I TOO abhor what Messer and Long have done. I was literally dumb-founded and speechless (and I am NEVER speechless) at Messer’s bald-faced lies, his arrogant presumption to speak for the Jews and for Israel, his blatant insensitivity toward Biblical customs, and the utter disdain he showed for the Holiness of the Most High. For pity’s sake, he treated the pure written Word as an ego-boosting, anti-Kryptonite ‘Superman’ cape for an unrepentant leader. Anyone who truly fears the Holy One would abhor this man’s despicable actions. 

  15. Julie Sagissor says:

    I just learned today that this is not the first time Messer has done this with a Torah scroll — just the first time it made the national news. In this video, he wraps Paula White up in the same way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21_D3jDRQHQ

  16. Terry Loving says:

    AMEN!
    My, my, my – the truth sounds so good to discerning ears. I also expressed my feelings concerning this blasphemous charade. If you care to take a look, here is the link:

    http://ssofdv.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/eddie-long-it-is-not-his-fault/

    I enjoyed reading your post, especially the truth. Thank you!
    Peace

  17. Toldu So says:

    Here is a video showing Ralph Messer Wrapping a Torah Scroll Around Evangelist Paula White.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=21_D3jDRQHQ

  18. I agree with the above comments, and yet I feel there is something more I’d like to contribute to the conversation. In the name of Y’shua haMashiach I send greetings to Rabbi Joshua, Dr. Stuart Dauermann, Judah Himango, and the Ahavat Zion community.

    What we have here is a guy who needs counsel about how to proceed. This is why we need to bolster the concepts of Beit Din which relates to accountability – also a somewhat “foreign” concept in churchianity.

    While it’s easy to condemn such harmful behavior, the hard work lies in seeking to bring about change in such a guy, because he may not respond so well at first. But by speaking the truth with enough LOVE, anything is possible: he may even repent.

    The whole purpose of the correction process in Matthew 18:15-17 is to win back a lost lamb (Matt. 18:11-14). Who’s going to go after Messer to bring him into truth and light?

    “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.” (Prov. 11:30).

    • Rabbi Joshua says:

      Teddy,

      I appreciate your desire to see peace and reconciliation (as we all do). However, please understand that this is not the first time we are all becoming aware of Ralph Messer. His recent fiasco which was picked up by the media and responded to by the wider Jewish community only forced us to respond. In the past people have tried to reach out to him. He has refused. And as far as a Beit Din, you cannot force someone to be accountable to a Beit Din they refuse to recognize . He has refused any correction in the past and has been unwilling to admit any wrong. For example, watch his supposed “apologies” even regarding the recent events. He just does not get it.

      So we have decided after years of this mess to finally “call a spade a spade.”

      • Shalom Rabbi Joshua,

        Obviously there’s alot of water under the bridge, history that I’ve not been privy to, or even aware of.

        But if this situation has reached the point of “calling a spade a spade,” then that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all.

        It is in fact consistent with step 3 of the Matthew 18 procedure, contained in verse 17.

        I’d love to see more congregations/communities following the procedure:
        First, approach the wayward person alone (v.15). Do not berate him publicly, do not talk behind his back in any way. Do not gossip by way of seeking counsel about it. Rather, make every effort to lovingly bring him to correction while preserving his dignity. Hopefully, it will be a win/win situation.

        If not, then gradually increase the heat (v.16). With 2 or 3 others, the shame increases slightly, that shame which may motivate the person to repent. Hoping to win the brother/sister.

        If not, then “calling a spade a spade” before the whole congregation/community is the final step. Since we have more global connectedness through technology, there’s nothing wrong with using the internet as a forum for such a step, if and only if the previous two steps have been already taken.

        If any individual, congregation or community publicly shames a person for wrongdoing without carefully going thru the first two steps, then that is a massive failure for which they must stand before YHWH. That failure may lead the sinner to despair of ever being able to repent.

        However, if the first two steps have been faithfully executed, then step three is necessary in order to protect the rest of the flock. We try as hard as we can to bring back a lost sheep (vs.11-14) but if he insists on joining the wolves, let him go.

        I do not mean to preach to the choir; I do not mean to insinuate that any specific congregation does not follow this policy; I only intend to use all this as and example, to exhort us all to right behavior.

        With a bit of study and a lot of Messiah’s grace, lots and lots of congregations (of various streams) can learn to properly execute this procedure, and develop a Beit Din. The culture will change. Soon, disciples everywhere will insist on only being part of a community that operates on such principles of accountability.

        And those who show no interest in accountability will become more and more obvious as the “outsiders” they are, through their own behavior and choices. Maybe then they will repent and return. But at least the flock will be safe sticking together meanwhile.

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  23. gail robberson says:

    All I have to say in Rabbi Messer’s defense is while reading your comments I noticed you all have a lot of hate and you gossip about someone you know nothing about. You are all judgmental. I would never visit your churches if this attitude is what you endorse. I know Rabbi Ralph Messer and I have learned so much from him. I’m actually learning all about God’s attributes from studying the Torah. My life has changed tremendously. He works very hard doing what God wants him to do, spreading Torah and the knowledge of God’s Kingdom to the nations. The fact that you aren’t posting my comments is proof enough for me that you are all full of hate and the Torah plainly states that hating is the same as murder. I feel pity for you because you don’t have anything better to do than bash people that are working harder than you are at teaching people the Torah and the Kingdom of God. Rabbi Messer is spreading the gospel all you are spreading is gossip!

    • Rabbi Joshua says:

      Gail,

      This has nothing to do with “hate” and “gossip.” It has to do with speaking the truth. Either you are correct, and Mr. Messer is an honest, upstanding gentleman, and all of this is just a misunderstanding, or it is not. You have to honestly ask yourself, why would not only I, but all the other news agencies, organizations and Messianic Jewish leaders (many which are linked above) be finally calling him out? He has now been caught in so many lies, untruths and such poor theology and teaching, that it is finally catching up with him.

      Honestly ask yourself Gail, if he really is a rabbi, who ordained him? Where did he receive his theological education? Why doesn’t he actually know anything about Judaism? Why did he lie about the Torah scroll being from the Holocaust (it turns out it was just a photocopy of a real scroll)? If he really is Jewish, why doesn’t he know anything about the Holocaust? Why can’t he read Hebrew? There are just far too many issues.

      Sadly you have been led astray.

      As I mentioned in a similar comment above, I appreciate your desire to see peace and reconciliation. However, please understand that this is not the first time Mr. Messer has been caught-up in controversy and caught in lies. His recent fiasco which was picked up by the media and responded to by the wider Jewish community only forced us to respond. He has refused any correction in the past and has been unwilling to admit any wrong.

      • gail robberson says:

        I just want you to know I meant no disrespect toward you Rabbi Joshua. I have been so happy there, learning Davidic dances and learning what I have learned but I need to make sure that I learn the truth. Now my heart hurts. I have a lot of questions but it will take a little time to sort them out and write those questions down. If I may I would like to present these questions to you if that would be all right?

  24. gail robberson says:

    Rabbi Joshua,
    It strikes me as strange when you say he doesn’t speak Hebrew, as I am learning Hebrew as I listen to Rabbi Messer’s teaching. I can say the Shema in Hebrew, I do Erev Shabbot in Hebrew and I am learning how to have some conversation. I’m learning the Amida. He always has the Hebrew words and translations and root words and it is all very educational. I know the Hebrew alphabet and as far as writing it well that is on me, it is difficult but I try. I can only read a few words in Hebrew. But I have learned all that since going to Simchat Torah Beit Midrash. It is very intence study. When I read the old testament I understand it more clearly of course you can read the bible again and again and there is always something else that opens up. He collects Torah scrolls and gives them to people in honor of them.
    I saw the program with Paula White and I looked at it differently than you I guess. What I saw was a man trying to bring people to an understanding of the Torah, how very important it is to acknowledge it and have an understanding of why it is important. A lot of the Christian churches say Yeshua coming cancelled it out. But when I was going to these churches I always felt there was so much missing. I would say ” Ok I’m saved and Jesus loves me but now what do I do? There has to be more.” Plus I have always felt a very strong connection to Israel, always praying for Israel and always watching what is happening over there. I never fit in, in this world and wondered why. Now I know why and now I know what was missing. When I saw that show with Paula White and Rabbi Messer wrapped the Torah around her I understood it as the Torah being our protection and love from God. If you lived Torah you would be wrapped in God’s protection and be a part of His glorious Kingdom right here now on Earth. That program got me going to church again because before that I was fed up with the churches, with religion. Too little knowledge of God and too much traditional dog and pony shows. I found those churches insulting to my intelligence. To me they were making a mockery of the bible. The Pentecostals, rolling around on the floor and blowing whistles and acting like weirdoes screaming Holy Spirit coming thru. I never felt I had to summon up the Holy Spirit, Jesus was always in me or around me even when I didn’t want Him, He was always watching over me and He told me each time when a church wasn’t right. I don’t want religion, I want God to be my way of life and now I am living a way of life and God is my way of life. You say Rabbi Messer doesn’t teach us to repent……..Oh yes he does! Everyone there that I personally know including me (and I had a past and not a good one) has repented and changed. Having Yeshua and the Torah is very powerful and you just learn so much about who God is that you want to change because you fall deeply in love with Him. Plus things just started changing after awhile, generational curses broken, diseases healed, thoughts change, actions change. I used to not like people, didn’t want anything to do with them for the most part, but God has put love in my heart. You try to tell me that Holy Spirit doesn’t live within me, that Yeshua doesn’t live in me. I know for a fact He is. People don’t want to hear convictions and they don’t want to change some parts of their lives and people usually condemn because of their own shame. I know, I have lived and I’ve been all around the world. Rabbi is teaching me all about the Torah, I have felt very convicted and I have changed, forgiven others which was not an easy thing. If that is a bad thing then give me more of that because I am joyful, life isn’t a bowl of cherries without the pits but it is so much better and now instead of hating the sinners I realize that those sinners are innocent because they don’t know. They don’t know any better. Plus I could have wrote the book on sin, so I am in no place to look my nose down at anyone. I am however very careful who I let into my life. Like Yeshua, I preach a little but if they aren’t teachable I move on. I have learned since my life has changed that there are people who would vey much like to sabotage me or destroy me. Some hate me some love me. I’m good with that because it is the light in me that the dark people want to snuff out but I feel like the Torah is wrapped around me and I know I am safe in God’s love and protection. I’ve lost friends, friends that I’ve had for 20 + years but I made new ones and better ones. No subtracters are allowed in my life, I have had way enough of that. I have overcome being severely abused, I have overcome cancer 3 times 4 different kinds. I overcame the brokenness I had when my 20 yr old son died. I am an overcomer because of Yeshua and the Torah. It is amazing. Jesus said his sheep would know his voice and the truth will set them free. Well now I am free!

  25. gail robberson says:

    I will pray about this to YHWH for He is the one who knows everything. As far as this world goes and this age of time the world is insane and I do not know what to believe anymore.

    • Rabbi Joshua says:

      Shalom Again Gail,

      I am very happy to hear about your experience. It is helpful to also show another side of things. With that said, however, I hope you will indeed ask some difficult questions because there are some serious issues which are not kosher. And of course I am more than happy to continue dialoguing with you.

      • gail robberson says:

        Shalom Rabbi Joshua,

        I do have a lot of questions. Is there a difference between Rabbinical Judaism and Biblical Judaism? Do you pray at 9, 12 and 3 ? I want to know all I can because YHWH said his people would parish for lack of knowledge. Do women wear a tallit and if so do they have to be bat mitzvah first? Is the Torah the male and the new testament the female, and is the new testament the oral Torah? I read this morning that the Torah is female but want to make sure. Is there such a thing as the rapture? Eventually will we all have to go back to the physical land of Israel? ( I really want to).

  26. gail robberson says:

    I know there is no rapture, but what is meant by being caught up in the air with him? Do you think Mr. Ralph Messer really intended to desecrate the Torah? That really hurts my heart so bad. The cover of the Torah he called a foreskin, and according to everything in the bible the foreskin is considered unclean and is cut off, also I heard a Rabbi speak about it that there was only one time in history where the Torah was wrapped around someone and that is when an enemy wrapped the Torah around the Rabbis and set it on fire. Oh Lord God in Heaven what other things that are not kosher has Mr. Messer done? Where do you find out if someone is a Rabbi or not?.. I’m in a play that will air on March 8th, about Esther and it is a beautiful play but now I’m wondering if I should just back out?

  27. gail robberson says:

    I meant to say the cover of the Torah is NOT called the foreskin.

    • Rabbi Joshua says:

      Hello Again Gail,

      These are all really great questions and ones that cannot simply be answered in such a short amount of time.

      However, I will try to respond to your questions.

      As far as the “rapture,” it depends on what you mean? Will Yeshua return? Of course, and he will usher in the Messianic Age and those who are united with him will spend eternity with him.

      There are indeed three different prayer times during the day, but they are extended beyond just the times you listed (although those are the traditional times). There are differing opinions, but in a nut-shell, the morning service, halachically, may be said up to around 11:00am. The afternoon prayers must be recited before sundown, and the evening prayers preferably before midnight.

      As far as women wearing a Tallit, it is permissible and even encouraged, but there are also other factors to be considered. One should consult their local rabbi for the local community’s customs. For further guidance on issues, you can also always consult the website of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (MJRC) at http://www.ourrabbis.org.

      There will be a regathering back to the Land for the Jewish People and in some way, I guess that will include the righteous from among the Nations, at some point.

      Words in Hebrew have gender (we don’t really have this in English). The word, Torah, is feminine and would be used in a sentence accordingly. The New Testament, in Hebrew, Brit Chadashah, is also feminine.

      As you already noted, the mantle on the Torah is not, in any way, ever referred to as a foreskin. There are so many teachings like this that clearly demonstrate that Mr. Messer may be a good person with good intentions, but he really has no clue about Judaism.

      As far as whether or not a person really is ordained as a rabbi, two good places to start include inquiring with the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) or the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA).

      Lastly, Jews are very careful about the way we treat a Torah scroll and we would NEVER handle it the way it is handled in several online videos, and especially wrapping someone in it. As you noted, the only time that happened was when Jews were burned alive wrapped in Torah scrolls. Not exactly a positive image to be exploited.

      As far as what you should do currently, I think you need to seek G-d. I am not sure if you necessarily need to back out at the moment, but you definitely need to use sound wisdom and discernment. Maybe, like Esther, G-d is preparing you for such a time as this.

      I hope this helps. All the best.

  28. gail robberson says:

    Shalom Rabbi Joshua, Thank you so very much, I am feeling better now. I am happy that women can wear a tallit, I have one and it is very special to me. I have been wearing it and on Erev Shabbat I wear it also to light the candles and bless my grown children and my grand children. Thank you again you have been very helpful. I do know that God is working in me. Have a blessed day!

  29. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Gail,

    By the way, this article, by a Messianic leader in Israel, helps clarify some of the points made in the Eddie Long video posted above. It is worth reading through – http://messiahsmandate.org/rabbi-messer-crowns-eddie-long-king-a-messianic-response/

    • gail robberson says:

      Dear Rabbi Joshua,
      I was doing some research on Judaism. You and others mentioned that Rabbi Ralph Messer doesn’t know much about Judaism. Well I came across this site
      http://www.jewfaq.org/movement.htm. I must say it is very confusing. I was wondering which form of Judaism is everyone talking about. There are so many different sects of Judaism. For example: Reformed Judaism does not believe that the Torah was written by God, and there are so many others that have included tradition and customs handed down by their forefathers. God is not a God of confusion and I ask you which form of Judaism does he not understand? Simchat Torah Beit Midrash is not part of any religion. We are learning and studying the word of God without including traditions of men. We never claim to be Messianic Judaism. We celebrate the biblical feast days that are in the bible, we follow the Torah’s dietary law, no pork, no shellfish, vultures etc. Yuch, it made sense to me that if we ate scavengers, vultures may as well be included on the menu of a pagan diet lol. But seriously, We worship YHWH dancing the Davidic dances and we do intense study of God’s word. We do not celebrate the pagan holidays although we have our get togethers with our families who still do celebrate the other holidays. But I have introduced the biblical feasts to my family. Rabbi also means teacher and mentor and that is what Rabbi Ralph Messer is, a teacher of God’s word. As far as Eddie Long is concerned, I went to the source and I want to ask you something. If you only had one chance in a million to try and bring someone that desperately needs to come back to God and repent what would you do to shock him into reality? We all fall short, that is why Yeshua is in the big picture. Rabbi Messer was trying to make him understand about God’s word, that if you live according to God’s principles, God’s love and protection is all around us. As wrong as everyone thought this technique of teaching was, we can’t be so quick to judge. And though it seemed as though he was calling Mr. Long a king Rabbi Messer was speaking about the king inside of him, meaning God could be inside IF he follows God’s word which he totally violated with homosexual acts. Rabbi Messer only tried to get his full attention the best way he knew how. I don’t think it proper to smear his name negatively all over the internet. And I have never heard Rabbi Messor speak ill of anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Judaism of any form as many as there are, but when I see religion after religion fighting against each other I have to ask, “Is this really what God wants, for people to cause division and chaos ? Aren’t we all God’s children?” That is why I have been turned off to religion., too much fighting and arguing and division. There are just way too many religions in the world that don’t agree on any one thing or another. I think personally if we were to get rid of tradition and customs that past generations have passed down and just studied God’s word for what it is and for who HE is this world would be a whole lot better off. Maybe then we could have the love for each other that God so desperately wants us to have. We are not enemies, because we worship YHWH. Rabbi Messer does not teach lies, he made a mistake in his technique so lets not let it be a huge distraction of what the big picture is. More people need to get out of that little box that they are in, no disrespect intended. But God is not in a little box, He is bigger than all that. He is deeper than all that. YHWH deserves more than that! I have also read that Judaism believes that Allah and YHWH are one and the same. I know for a fact that this isn’t true. The Quran only has 50% of the Torah in it. According to the Quran Allah does not have a son, and Mohammed is just a mere man, a prophet so to speak not another name for Yeshua. The Quran also says it is okay to lie to the infidels, and Islam is a Religion of the sword. Anyone who does not believe in Allah and bow down should have his or her head cut off, true story, that is in the Quran . Now we all know who is the master of lies, and it isn’t YHWH. So how could Allah be the same as YHWH,,,,, no way!. All of us have to be aware. It is everyone’s responsibility to check all the facts. With that said I hope this kind of wakes some things up inside us and I wish you Shalom. Please find it in your hearts to forgive. Rabbi Messer is a good man of God and it shows in his whole family. They are wonderful people, so I say anyone who is without sin……..let him cast the first stone. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless you!

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