In This Issue

From the Editor – Issue 30

Dear Kesher Friends, The bulk of this issue comes out of the papers that were delivered at Hashivenu Forum 2016 which focused on Sexuality. It was not too long ago that questions of the place of LBGTQ singles and couples were a taboo topic within Messianic Jewish circles. And it still remains so in many…

Messianic Jewish Ethics Concerning Intimacy and Sexuality

Rabbi Stuart Dauermann and Dr. Ellen Goldsmith Introduction Unpacking our assigned topic, we will be addressing five tasks in this paper: 1. We will present an overview and not a complete treatment of the subject; 2. We will examine what intimacy is and its place in the divine scheme of things; 3. We will address how sexuality is…

Response to Rabbi Stuart Dauermann and Dr. Ellen Goldsmith

In the introduction to their paper,1 authors Stuart Dauermann and Ellen Goldsmith (hereafter called authors) state their tasks. These are to present a general, not comprehensive, examination of intimacy as intended by God and how sexuality is integrated into this intimacy. They further intend to propose ethical guidelines for both and to frame them within…

Response to Rabbi Stuart Dauermann and Dr. Ellen Goldsmith

I would like to begin by acknowledging Stuart Dauermann and Ellen Goldsmith for their excellent introduction to our discussion on Intimacy and Sexuality.1 They have presented a thoughtful, and at times brilliant, overview of the topic, and have helped me better conceptualize some of my own thinking on some important related issues. I am truly…

Queer for Jesus: A Messianic Jewish Perspective

Concerning Alternative Sexuality and the Ethics of Identity I am aware that I could have chosen a less provocative title for this presentation. This was a working title that reminded me of an event which occurred over a decade ago and lasted for better than a year. It caused me to re-imagine my relational categories.…

Response to Rabbi Paul Saal’s “Queer for Jesus”

I would like to commend Rabbi Saal for his willingness to address such a sensitive subject.1 His shepherd’s heart and concern for individuals, as well as for the Messianic Jewish community are evident throughout the paper. This is clearly demonstrated in his relational approach to the topic, and his core premise of marginality and identification.…

Pursuers of Peace: A Response to Rabbi Paul Saal’s “Queer for Jesus”

I thank the Hashivenu board for inviting me to respond to Rabbi Paul Saal’s learned, provocative, and gracious essay.1 Let’s begin with a story. The Talmud (Berachot 61b) records that when the Romans forbade the teaching of the Torah, Rabbi Akiva continued to teach it. He explained himself by the following parable: Fishermen were casting…

Apostates, Heretics, and Sectarians in Messianic Jewish Context

In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post, modern orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of Efrat, Israel, railed against the boundary setting by ultra-orthodox rabbis in Israel. Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis have great power in deciding who is a Jew. Recently, hundreds of conversions were nullified by the Ultra-Orthodox who seek the backing of the…

Book Review

Book Review: Bible Gender Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

James Brownson’s Bible, Gender, Sexuality has gained a prominent place in church debates about homoerotic behavior. Brownson asserts that a revisionist view affirming same-sex unions can be just as biblical as the traditional view. However, his major premise is suspect. As Andrew Goddard puts it: Brownson has a commitment ‘to establish a wider, transcultural vision…

Book Review

Book Review: Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament by Peter Enns

Several years ago, a number of my friends confessed to me that they no longer identified with the Messianic Jewish movement. Each of them highlighted their encounter with modern biblical criticism as a significant factor in their decision. The pre-scientific features of the Bible’s origins stories, the presence of human agendas in biblical histories are…