In This Issue

From the editor – Issue 31 – Ellen Goldsmith

Dear Reader: This is a Memorial Issue dedicated to the life and times of Dr. Ellen Goldsmith, who lived and loved and entered into her eternal Shalom on January 3, 2017. This tribute to Dr. Ellen’s life is hardly sufficient to adequately characterize this woman of valor. Ellen was passionate about her life in Messiah…

Ellen Goldsmith: She Showed Us How to Live with One Another and with Our God

Ellen Beth Scherer was born in Bethpage, New York, on February 17, 1958, to Norton and Carol Scherer. She was intense from the beginning, and some aspects of her early life led to various kinds of acting out, to anorexia, to being very hard and acerbic with her peers, and to her personal verdict on…

The Centrality of Community and History to the Messianic Jewish Narrative

Foundations In contrast to current thinking, according to Scripture God expects a person’s response to him to emerge within the context of community—be it Israel or the community of the Messiah. So it logically follows that God’s voice cannot be fully “answered” by estranged or isolated individuals. It would appear to be possible, however, for…

Identity, Joseph, and the Hero’s Journey

The Lord’s long dialogue with Abraham opens with two words: Lekh l’kha (Gen 12:1). This phrase can be translated, “Go for yourself,” which Rashi interprets as “Go for your benefit and for your good.” It can also, and perhaps more literally, be translated “Go to yourself,” that is, go to find or to become who…

Messianism in Jewish Literature Beyond the Bible

This article is in honor of Dr. Ellen Goldsmith z’’l, a dear friend, study partner and confidant. One of my special memories from the times Ellen and I spent together, is that of studying the Scripture to learn more about the character and ways of Hashem and Messiah Yeshua through the guidance of the Ruach…

The Suffering Son of David

Introduction There is adequate evidence in the Hebrew Bible to conclude that the Jewish Messiah, the anointed Redeemer, would suffer at the hands of his people, and atone for their sins. The most graphic scriptures depicting this suffering are found in Isaiah 52:13–53:12, where it is said he will be “smitten” and “afflicted.” Rabbinic literature…

Tefillah & Temperament

Introduction As Jews, we are obligated to tefillah (prayer). There are those for whom engaging with the Siddur three times a day is an easy and pleasurable experience. Others, however, will struggle with the regularity and fixedness of the prayers. It is incumbent upon us as leaders within our movement to call people to regular…

Pots, Pans, & Seraphim: Messianic Jewish Prayer in its Heavenly Context

The Kedushah Perspective In 1899 an English missionary derided Judaism as “a dry husk from which all semblance of real spiritual life has departed.” Judaism is a contemptible “religion of pots and pans.”2 Nearly ninety years later Jacob Neusner published a volume in which he adopted this vivid culinary image as a badge of honor.3…

Partnering with God through Prayer to Restore a Broken World

This presentation expresses the very important role for followers of Yeshua as partners with Hashem through prayer in his plan of redemption for the whole world. Further, it attempts to show that prayer involves every part of our being: body, mind, emotion, and spirit. In our capacity as individuals and in community by the power…

Prayer in Community: Identity Politics for Messanic Jews

Prayer in Community: Identity Politics for Messianic Jews David Nichol Introduction If there is one statement that would garner broad, if not unanimous, agreement in the Messianic Jewish community, it is likely to be “prayer is important.” Beyond that basic statement, however, there is a considerable diversity of opinion about what prayer is, what it…

Book Review

Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg’s The Jewish Gospel of John: Discovering Jesus, King of all Israel

Though geared for a Christian audience, the question motivating the author is a deeply Messianic Jewish one. The challenge of the Gospel of John for a Jewish follower of Yeshua is this: if the Fourth Gospel is anti-Semitic, how can any Jew embrace its message? The author reveals to us the existential problem which motivated…

Book Review

Rabbi Ethan Tucker and Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg’s Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law

In Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law, Rabbis Ethan Tucker and Micha’el Rosenberg explore the complex history of the discourses of gender and halakha in Jewish prayer. They provide enough data to challenge what is often the dominant narrative in traditionalist halakhic settings and they offer new ways of framing the discussion of gender…

Book Review

Elliot Wolfson’s Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menahem Mendel Schneerson

Elliott Wolfson’s Open Secret offers valuable insights for those able to penetrate the book’s abstruse style. In the final chapter (coined “Postface”), Wolfson finally reveals his method and hypothesis. (Incidentally, he also reveals that this was the first part he wrote, which was supposed to be the introduction, but in the middle of writing he…