• Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Derech Yeshua

  • Siddur Sar Shalom

דרך ישוע / Derech Yeshua: The Way of Salvation

Publication Announcement

Derech Yeshua picIs Yeshua the hoped for Messiah? Is he Salvation as his name implies? What makes Yeshua different from all the other would-be Messiahs scattered about Jewish history?

As a Jew who believes that Yeshua was and is King Messiah, a number of years ago, I attempted to teach a course on the Good News about Yeshua, and predictably found a tremendous lack of appropriate material, so I began to write up my own explanation of the דרך ישוע: the Way of SalvationDerech Yeshua being an obvious play on words, I yet felt it to be a convenient title, and so have stuck with it. Since that time on the University of Washington campus other contributions have been made. Thankfully. Since then Sam Nadler, Derek Leman and others have produced great literature, but I still needed something I felt that I could comfortably put in the hands of Jewish person who I was talking to. I wanted something that would answer at least some of their questions about my faith that Yeshua is Messiah. At the end of a long, slow process, with the help of an excellent proofreader (thank you Meirav!) and a talented Messianic Israeli graphic artist (thank you, Steve at www.giantjellyfish.com!) and Lois Gable (thank you, too!) who did a great cover, not to mention generous donations that helped to cover our many costs, Derech Yeshua is now in print.

One of the issues that needs to be addressed, and I hope that I have at least partially done so, is that Jews who are considering the claims of Jesus are also implicitly required to accept a whole truck load of other baggage. This ‘baggage’ is a load of cultural and communal expectations. In many cases this culminates in a rejection of the Jewish people in favour of the church. Derech Yeshua says that yes, you can be Jewish and believe in Jesus. It is my heartfelt desire that this might be at least one spark that will help to ignite an acceptance, turning to, and recognition of Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel from within the Jewish world.

If you are in the UK, you can order the book from this link. Derech Yeshua is 128 in paperback.

Every chapter concludes with discussion questions, making this book suitable for small study groups.

Lastly, if you are a Jewish person who wants to know more about Yeshua – or if you have a Jewish friend who is enquiring and wants to know more about Yeshua – please just email my office at info@chosenpeople.org.uk or call +44 208-455-7911 and we will send you a copy for free!

Want to Be Jewish?

A few weeks ago a gentleman turned up at the door for our Erev Shabbat service. The first words out of his mouth were ‘I want to be a Jew.’
I wonder if I would be married to Deborah today if the first time I ran into her (25 March 1989) I had started with ‘I want to be your husband’. Yikes! Talk about getting off on the wrong foot!
Why do so many Gentiles want to be Jewish? Israel is meant to be a Light to the Nations, not to relegate the Nations to obliteration by making the Nations all Jewish, or all Israel. Israel’s very raison d’etre is linked to the fact that Hashem ‘so loved the world’ that He blessed Abraham that in him all the nations of the world should be blessed. Israel is a peculiar treasure of the L-rd but certainly not His only treasure. Egypt will one day be called ‘My people’ He says. His praise shall be declared in the Islands, Isaiah says. I would like to suggest to you that there is as much to rejoice in being a Gentile as there is in being a Jew.
The Shliach Shaul (Apostle Paul) reminds us that there is no distinction between male and female, slave and free, Jew and Gentile in our Messiah. Awesome! Along with our Conservative (Masorti) friends we can now amend the prayers that say ‘thank you that you have not made me a woman/slave/heathen’ to a more egalitarian form. While we all have clearly different roles in the world He has created, we also have a wonderful unity.
All the more not to insult G-d by saying ‘I want to be a Jew (or woman or man) when He has divinely ordained that we should be other than in His infinite Wisdom He has created us.
So please, please, do not come to my door and say ‘I wanna be a Jew’

UK Jewish Population Growing

It has long been my contention that far from being in decline, the Jewish population of the world is set to increase – significantly. While decline has been a result of assimilation, both before and after the Shoah which tolled it’s own death-knell, growth is inevitable because of the non-assimilating orthodox community’s rapid growth. The Orthodox community worldwide is both statistically and visibly becoming a larger component of the Jewish community as a whole. It’s higher birthrate means that it is continuing to grow numerically even in many places where the total Jewish population is in decline. Over time those who choose to assimilate will do so – and be lost to us forever. On the other hand, I expect the orthodox communities to continue growing.

The demographic and political implications are no less than explosive.

Here in the UK, where we are so resigned to a community in decline, we should take note of Dr Wise (Manchester Uni) and his comments:

“The birth rate has exceeded the mortality rate for the first time since the war in each year since 2005.

 “Secular Jewish women have on average 1.65 children whereas the ultra-orthodox have on average 6.9 – a huge difference.

“ultra-orthodox Jews are set to outnumber their more secular counterparts by the second half of this century.

 “In Greater Manchester, for example, the ultra-orthodox number over 8,500 which is almost a third of the 28,000 Jews in the region. This is up from around one quarter only ten years ago.

 “And in Greater London the ultra-orthodox now account for 18% of the Jewish population, up from less than 10% in the early 1990s”

Good news? I would say so. But for the generation after me – I would suggest getting more used to the norms of traditional Judaism!

Did Yeshua Intend to Start a New Religion?

If Yeshua (Jesus) intended to create a new religion, he went about it all wrong. He aroused the suspicion, and then the hostility, of the religious establishment. He picked an oddball assortment of disciples, deliberately allowed himself to fall into harm’s way, left no writings of his own (an essential if you ever want to start your own religion!), and after making a good start, generally resisted performing further signs and wonders that were convincing the crowds to follow him.

Yeshua’s key message was not revolutionary, but simply the cry of the prophets before him: “Make teshuvah [repent], for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17). His apparent aims were parochial “I have only come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). His followers generally had no idea of his Messianic claims, and when they did begin to figure things out, their subsequent actions proved they just didn’t quite ‘get’ it.

Nevertheless, it is indisputable: Out of Yeshua’s teachings and life, a new religion was born.

Christianity and Judaism are indeed different religions. Judaism the mother, Christianity a child. Is this what Yeshua intended? Did Yeshua intend to start Christianity? The witness of those who heard him teach, and of those who taught his teachings and concerning his significance to the world, is also conclusive.

No, Yeshua did not intend to start a new religion. Yeshua intended to bring people to God, the God of Israel. He intended to draw ‘all peoples’ to himself (John 12:32). John Lennon wistfully sang ‘Imagine’ there’s no religion. Was Yeshua all that more enamoured with it himself? What really matters is that we make teshuvah, turn to God, and lift HIM up.

Messianic Marzipan

Thoughts of a Messianic Jew

On Messianic Judaism

The On Messianic Judaism Podcast

Daniel Nessim

Daniel Nessim PhD

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

Prophecy is the history of the future, and the future of history

Egypt and the Bible

David A. Falk - Egyptologist, Bible Scholar, Author

Egypt and the Bible

Thoughts of a Messianic Jew

Kehillath Tsion - קהלת ציון

Vancouver's First Messianic Congregation

Messianic view

A Messianic Jew in the Orthodox World

Morning Meditations

"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

%d bloggers like this: