Issue 18 - Winter 2005 cover18sh

This issue of Kesher includes additional articles and book reviews. Deborah Kaplan and Elliot Klayman explore the two most popular Messianic figures of the last four centuries. Both Shabbetai Zevi and the Lubavitcher Rebbe have been heralded as messiah by many Jews in the modern era and continue to impact the Jewish community.

Articles and Book Reviews...
Andrew Sparks The last issue of Kesher caused some controversy with the publication of "Competing Trends In Messianic Judaism: The Debate Over Evangelicalism," by Gabriela Reason. As Editor-in-Chief, I feel that it is necessary to clarify the position of Kesher concerning this article. The author, Gabriela Reason, does not represent any constituency within the Messianic movement; neither is the publication of the article intended to exalt the UMJC over the MJAA or vice-versa. In fact, Reason makes critical and supportive statements of trends in both the UMJC and...Read More >>

Gabriela M. Reason One of the central challenges Messianic Judaism faces is how to orient itself against its two parent communities: modern evan­gelicalism and American Judaism. As modern Messianic Judaism is historically rooted chiefly in the evangelical movements of the twentieth century, I will trace Messianic Judaism's relationship with this particular parent. Nevertheless, one cannot discuss the one without the other: the further Messianic Jews move from evangeli­calism, the more closely they identify with the Jewish community. The central question to determine the extent of identification with evangelicalism will be whether, in the end,...Read More >>

Marc H. Ellis A few years ago a group from the local Jewish community met with the president (an evangelical Christian) of my university and demanded that he fire me from my position in Jewish Studies. The charge, repeated in a subsequent meeting with the group, with myself and the provost present, was anti-Semitism. How could I be seen as anti-Semitic? Easy. I have and continue to defend the rights of the Palestinians to be free in their own homeland. I remember the meeting well. Fifteen affluent southern Jews, including a...Read More >>

Russell ResnikThe mission of the UMJC can be captured in one sentence: We are committed to establishing, strengthening, and multi­plying dynamic congregations for Yeshua within the wider Jewish community. This one sentence, however, introduces the tension underlying Gabriella Reason's article-the inevitable tension of liv­ing at the intersection of Yeshua and Jewishness. This tension can be healthy as well as inevitable, if it moves us to refine and articu­late more clearly the biblical mandate for our community. For this reason, as much as I appreciate the article's insights, I find its...Read More >>

Daniel C. Juster Many years ago, one of my favorite philosophy professors made this point: before we have the right to criticize another per­spective, we should understand the perspective of the other. The acid test of this dictum is that we can repeat the perspective in our own words in such a way that the other will confirm that we have truly understood his perspective. On this basis, I found the article by Gabriela M. Reason some­times to be amazingly perceptive concerning the issues facing the movement. This included her analysis...Read More >>

Jamie Cowen In the Spring, 2004, issue of Kesher, Ms. Gabriela Reason tackles a series of complex and controversial issues facing the modern Messianic Jewish movement. Her thesis focuses on the tensions inherent in the movement between the pulls of Evangelical Christianity and Judaism. On the one hand, as she purports, Messianic Judaism was birthed from the modern Evangelical move­ment, and yet on other, the Messianic movement is increasingly identifying with and seeking to cooperate with the larger Jewish world. She throws down the gauntlet to the Messianic Jewish com­munity to...Read More >>

Murray Silberling I want to begin my response to Gabriela Reason's article titled, "Competing Trends in Messianic Judaism: The Debate Over Evangelicalism," with a "thank you" for her arduous work in gath­ering research. Every effort to gather data, whether sociological, historical, or theological, stimulates the Messianic community and advances us in defining our purpose and mission more clearly. I also realize this article was taken from her graduate level thesis and, therefore, had obvious limitations in its methodology and gathering of data. In framing the debate, Reason primarily selected one con­gregation from...Read More >>

Deborah Pardo-Kaplan Antinomianism has been defined as the "subversion of a religious or moral code." 1 On a superficial level, this may be perceived as motivated only by a rebellious attitude towards author­ity. Yet what might outwardly appear as subversive behavior may truly be an inner desire to affirm religious truth as the protagonists define it, or as they interpret a particular religious tradition. Unintentional factors may also motivate antinomian behavior, such as the psychological state of the individual or group involved. Jewish texts throughout the ages have offered theoretical...Read More >>

Elliot KlaymanToward A Quantifiable Approach To The Measurement Of Failed Prophecy In July 12, 1994 Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh dynastic rebbe of the Lubavitch sect of the Chasidim was pronounced dead. Some cried while others danced; some fasted and others gave themselves to strong drink.1 The hope of Jewish redemption was entombed in the ground. What was the reaction of the followers of this charismatic rebbe who had served the move­ment so faithfully as its spiritual head from 1951 until his death, and who was lauded...Read More >>

Jon Olson Is there any merit in an Orthodox Jew's theological objections to Jewish Christianity? Much, in every way! Can believers in Yeshua agree with all these objections, and still be faithful? By no means! However, in several instances, the objections are closer to the truth than what they resist. Resources for responses of faith­ful discipleship already exist within traditional Judaism, Christianity, and Messianic Judaism. The purpose of this article is to reflect on specific theological objections to Jewish Christianity by Michael Wyschogrod. John Howard Yoder entitled one of his essays,...Read More >>
Articles and Book Reviews
Book Review
Russell Resnik (reviewer)2006-11-13 12:45
(Chosen Books ©2004 A Division Of...
Book Review
Dr. Mark Kinzer (reviewer)2006-11-13 12:47
(Christian Focus ©2003 Scotland) In his recent...
Book Review
Jonathan Kaplan (reviewer)2006-11-13 12:49
(Princeton University Press © 2001 Princeton, NJ.)...
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