Issue 16 - Fall 2003 cover16sh

This journal is a testimony to the maturity of the Messianic Movement and the growing influence of messian­ic leaders and scholars in the academy, the church and synagogue, and the wider Jewish world. Our contributors and subscribers are from a variety of backgrounds: some are messianic, while others are interested in the distinct voice of messianic Jews; some live in America and other major Jewish population centers, while oth­ers live in Israel; some are scholars and spiritual leaders, while others have a spe­cific or general interest in Jewish history, spirituality, language, messianism, or congregational life.

The first article in this issue is "The Way of Life." The article reflects my heart for Messiah and vision for the Messianic Movement. "The Way of Life" and the fol­lowing articles demonstrate Kesher's ongoing contribution to serving the spiritu­al needs of our faith communities.

Andrew Sparks

Editor-in-Chief

Articles and Book Reviews...
Andrew SparksYou favor humanity with knowledge and teach understanding. Favor us with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom . . . Blessed are you, O Lord, who grants knowledge. May your compassion be upon the remant of your sages (the Amidah).   I would like to introduce myself and Kesher, and then provide a brief overview of the current issue. It is a privilege to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of Kesher. My service to this unique journal gives expression to a life-long love for learning, espe­cially in the areas...Read More >>

Andrew Sparks A Vision I had a vision. A vision of our people turning toward the Messiah in unprecedented numbers. A vision of thousands of messianic congregations spreading across the world. A vision of a thriving messianic seminary where our young people can be trained to go forth with boldness, wisdom, and compassion. A vision where we, as messianic Jews and a united movement, stand side by side with our Jewish brothers and sisters and work toward a messianic age of peace and harmony...Read More >>

Jonathan Kaplan Though the history of preaching1 is rooted in the liturgical life of the ancient synagogue (which is amply evidenced in the Gospels and Acts), preaching does not play a prominent role in the worship of the modern synagogue.2 The synagogue service is a serv­ice of the heart, Avodah, in which prayer and the recitation of scrip­ture are the central elements. The freight of the liturgy rests in the Matbea 'Shel Tefillah (which consists of the Recitation of the Shema and its Blessings...Read More >>

Marc H. Ellis This month my new book arrives in the bookstore and I am won­dering whether its arrival is already too late. The subject matter is Israel and Palestine and carries two subtitles. The first, "Out of the Ashes," is easily understood with the situation on the ground in the Middle East as it is today. During the last few months, Israel has re­occupied the West Bank and Gaza has been cut off from the world. An earlier statement by United States President George W. Bush that demanded Israel's withdrawal to previously-held positions was...Read More >>

Russell L. ResnikAddendum 1: What Do We Mean By "Jewish"?   The UMJC Theology Committee defines Messianic Judaism as a Jewish congregational movement for Messiah: Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish congregations and congre-gation-like groupings committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, and renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant. Since the adjective "Jewish" appears twice in this basic state­ment, and is clearly at the heart...Read More >>

Chaim UrbachAre We Becoming An Unbalanced Fiddler On The Roof? I would like to begin this article with a note of appreciation for the work that has gone into the UMJC's self-definition statement of Messianic Judaism. I affirm the need to be integrally part of our people, as well as the need to function and witness from within our community. Without it, we cannot be true intercessors or function in a priestly role for our people. Without that, our Jewish identity would be hollow and inauthentic. Any efforts...Read More >>

Adam B. Ruditsky Recently, I had a conversation about the task of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) to define Messianic Judaism. The individual with whom I spoke said, "Good luck, why not just follow the Lord?" My first thought was, "I did not know that the two were mutually exclusive." In addition, the question that entered my mind was, "What exactly does it look like to, ‘just follow the Lord?'" At that moment, I did not actually respond to my con­versation partner, yet once again, I found myself confronted with...Read More >>
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