Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, July 4, 2020

Shabbat Shalom,

Happy Independence Day.  244 years ago today… In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…. 

And with these words, brave men affixed their signatures, pledging their lives and fortunes to launch what would become the greatest republic in history.  Not a “perfect union,” but a “more perfect union.”  Today, may we all give thanks to these great men of valor and to God for honoring their prayers and our own.  

Last Sunday, American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation organized a fundraising event to help support the IPO, whose revenues have been drastically cut due to Covid which has prevented performances.  Here is a link to some great music from the virtual gala. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib3O-9Sp6ss

You might think that this fourth affirmation is not necessary, however; I assure you it is.  There are many believers (don’t make me name names) who would rather curry favor with the non-believing Jewish community than express unity, love, and support with their Messianic Jewish brothers.  You might ask, why does it have to be a choice?  It only becomes a choice when non-Yeshua following  Jewish people force the issue.

4. We affirm our willingness as an ecclesiastical body to build bridges to the Messianic Jewish community; to extend the hand of friendship and to pray for their growth and vitality.

A prominent Spirit-filled friend of Israel (I don’t have permission to use his name) was invited to speak to the Knesset during one of his many trips to Israel.  He informed the leaders of the Knesset that he would be glad to accept the invitation, but that he would be visiting with his Messianic Jewish friends and would like them to accompany him.  He was told that he would we welcome, but his friends would not.  He declined the invitation, saying if my friends are not welcome, then I have to decline.  

It’s actually paradoxical on several levels.  Jewish people are well known for being inclusive and tolerant.  This applies to every belief and lifestyle, until it comes to Jewish believers in Yeshua.  Now I want to qualify my previous sentence.  The acceptance of Messianic Jews by (what I call) traditional Jews is growing, a lot.  I saw a recent survey that showed almost 40% of young Jewish people surveyed think it is acceptable to be Jewish and believe in Yeshua. 

Now consider this… there is so much intermarriage in Judaism today.  Some estimates are as high as 80% of Jewish people are marrying outside the faith.  Where else, other than Messianic Judaism, can these intermarried couples go to be affirmed?  (This is the subject of David Rudolph’s doctoral thesis which became the book, Growing Your Olive Tree Marriage.) https://smile.amazon.com/Growing-Your-Olive-Tree-Marriage/dp/1880226170/ref=smi_www_rco2_go_smi_g4368549507?_encoding=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0&ie=UTF8

Also, the one place Jewish people will find the answers to all of life’s questions is the one place Jewish people are forbidden by their rabbis to look for the answers.  (That’s another level of paradox.)  Let’s continue in prayer that the eyes of Israel will behold the Son.

Psalm 14:7 O may He give Israel’s salvation out of Zion! When Adonai  restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad!

Rabbi Trail:  Before we close this for today, I want to encourage us all to spend some time today praying for our President.  Personally, I can’t stand to watch 5 minutes of the nightly news.  It has to be by divine protection that our President Trump is withstanding the tidal wave of animosity being expressed toward him all day every day.  

Beyond that (his spiritual wellbeing), we need to pray for his physical safety.  The enemy is holding back nothing to attack every part of life in America under his administration.  The object is to cause the public to blame the President for our trouble, when just the opposite is true.  This may sound political, but it is written by faith in God and His Word.  Shabbat Shalom (again) my friends.  End RT.