Blog http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:00:11 +0000 en-gb Walking with the Enemy: Movie Review http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/walking-with-the-enemy-movie-review http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/walking-with-the-enemy-movie-review

Walking with the Enemy, a new Holocaust-centered film by a new director and a new production company, officially releases on the 25th.

Read More...

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Blog Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:30:27 +0000
Spring Cleaning That Affects Your Heart, Soul and Might http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/spring-cleaning-that-affects-your-heart-soul-and-might http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/spring-cleaning-that-affects-your-heart-soul-and-might

It seems, especially on the U.S. coasts, that major city dwellers are continuing to opt for more meat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-added-free, paleo-friendly, vegan-friendly, raw food dining options, whether at home or out. A fixation on fresh, raw eats with substitutions galore is trending. Food is one major part of existence, and this goes for those less healthy foodies, too. It can be elevated as a temporary or lifestyle change. With the reemergence of spring, and eventual warmer weather, you might be ready to come out of hibernation and freshen things up. Spring 2014 might be the time for alternative edible priorities. Blogs and photo-heavy social media accounts are bursting with ultra-fit, health-conscious people. Many of these people started a "cleanse" just to try it, but adapted it into a lifestyle.

So, what does the V'havta have to do with food and spring cleaning? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5) is definitely about a lifestyle commitment. This was important to a handful of Sephardic boys from the book of Daniel. They took on a special "clean eating" regimen for ten days. God honored their decision; their skin glowed compared to the Babylonian royal norm. The priority of these young men was to honor God and abstain from the unclean (non-kosher, idol-sacrificed) foods that the king served (Daniel 1:5). Their eating lifestyle came out of their devotion to God.

For those who follow God, he expects holistic devotion and love. Perhaps beyond body image or energy, you have felt dissatisfied with your mental and spiritual cleanliness. At this time of renewal, would you consider a dramatic lifestyle change? In knowing him, all other decisions, even meals, are filtered. Why not look to the ultimate reason to maintain internal and external purity? As food guru and author of Eat to Live Dr. Joel Fuhrman would likely say, food follows function. If God created you so that your main function would be to love God with your whole self, would you pursue that life? Ask God and see if change and challenge might be on the menu this spring.

Chat Live

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Blog Fri, 04 Apr 2014 01:55:40 +0000
Are you divergent? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/are-you-divergent http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/are-you-divergent

You’re a misfit. You don’t belong. That’s what it means to be “divergent” in the dystopian world created by Veronica Roth, a world where . . .

Read More...

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Blog Tue, 25 Mar 2014 01:44:06 +0000
How to Avoid Cooking This Passover and Still Be a Hero http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-avoid-cooking-this-passover-and-still-be-a-hero http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-avoid-cooking-this-passover-and-still-be-a-hero

If you're wondering how Passover crept up on you this year, and you're not ready, relax. Your worries are over.

If you live in Chicago, Max's Deli in Highland Park wants to do the cooking for you. Max is inviting guests of all religions to enjoy classic Jewish dishes and to learn about Passover with family and friends.

Can you trust Max to deliver the goods, you ask? Chopped liver? Gefilte fish? Matzo ball soup? Absolutely! No Passover would be complete without them. Roasted chicken, brisket, and matzo kugel follow.  For dessert, Max will display his homemade hamantaschen in honor of Queen Esther. (I guess Max is throwing in Purim for free.)

"Cross the Red Sea.
Turn Right at Mt. Sinai.
Reach Destination: Promised Land.
Arrival time: 40 years
"

However, if you can't face another chocolate dipped matzo at Max's, or even at your house, and want to get away from the relatives, you can book a Passover tour and stay at a Passover resort in places including Florida, New York, Italy and beyond.

But whatever way you slice it, celebrating Passover means work. Even if the work is packing a suitcase and schlepping across the country or the world.

Isn't it gratifying to know that someone bigger than Moses did the majority of the Passover work for you, back there in Goshen?

Wait a minute.

Moses was one of the greatest heroes of the Jewish Scriptures. He delivered the Jewish people from Pharaoh by bringing them out of Egypt through dry land. What could be more work than leading a nation of kvetchers with their animals and possessions from one land to another?

Well, some think Moses' life was meant to point to someone even greater who would save his people and free them from enslavement to sin. This deliverer's name is Yeshua (Jesus).

Now that liberation was no small undertaking.

It cost him his life.

Furthermore, he did it willingly out of his love for us. The Exodus pre-shadowed it and the prophets confirmed it (Isaiah 53:8).

So when you take a bite of your Passover meal, wherever you happen to be this year, let it remind you of what Moses did, but also think of Jesus who gave his life to be your Passover. You can rest in knowing that your people are free, and you, too, can be free personally through his sacrifice.

Are you ready to break matzo with Yeshua?

Chew it over in live chat.

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Blog Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:38:49 +0000
Megillas Lester http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/megillas-lester http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/megillas-lester

If you celebrate Purim, the next major Jewish holiday, you might like Megillas Lester, a new, animated feature from Kolrom studios. As might be inferred, the movie is a departure from the book of Esther from which Purim is based. In fact, Queen Esther never materializes throughout the course of the film. Instead, the narrative focuses on Doniel Lesterovich or “Lester,” a young boy who attends yeshiva in an area like Cleveland. Some degree of Jewish background, including light Hebrew reading ability and a bit of Yiddish vocabulary will boost viewers’ enjoyment of Megillas Lester; still, it has a positive, biblical message of trusting God to work out human struggles, which any viewer could understand.

Spoiler alert: Lester is entrusted with devising a new Purim play for his school. Amidst his scheming, Lester is transported into the Purim story, where he accidentally uses his knowledge to alter the outcome of its events, not unlike Back to the Future. Thankfully, unlike McFly, Lester seeks out the sage wisdom of Mordechai to help right the situation. Mordechai counsels Lester to daven (pray) and trust God to take care of the situation. At first, Lester continues to struggle to smooth out his well-intentioned blunders, failing each time. Ultimately Lester is forced to rely on God to fix everything, which is depicted in the number “Upside Down” where all the characters sing out their struggles. Of everyone involved, Lester alone turns to God to fix what’s beyond his control. He allows God to work things out for the good of all the characters, except Vashti and Haman, but that’s probably a given in any version of the Purim story.

Granted, the movie is meant for children, but there were two possible contentions for parents. Firstly, showing drunkenness in Shushan was jarring, as most kids’ videos don’t normally depict alcohol abuse. Secondly, the emphasis on Haman’s evilness was over-the-top. He demonizes himself (quite literally) in an unapologetically passionate scene not unlike Scar’s “Be Prepared” from The Lion King.

On a spiritual level, Megillas Lester promotes the idea of God putting us in the right place at the right time to fulfil our unique purposes. It supports His omnipotence and our needing to seek Him for direction and control over our lives. This writer couldn’t agree more. In the original Purim story, Queen Esther’s presence and righteousness in the king’s palace was the key to God using her to save His people. If God had not ordained her to save Israel, God’s promise to Abraham that his seed would prosper and that the messiah would come through him would have been broken. God is in the business of keeping His promises. We are grateful for that and that He brought messiah into the world at the perfect time to fulfil his role in saving all of us who accept him--the Jewish people and the nations--from living, and dying, apart from God.

If you are curious to know more about Purim from a messianic perspective, we would love for you to join us in live chat.


We pray that any struggles you might currently face you would bring to God, letting Him take over and reverse sticky situations which can be common when trying to solve problems that overwhelm us.

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Blog Tue, 11 Mar 2014 03:10:56 +0000
How to Respond to God When You Blow It http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-respond-to-god-when-you-blow-it http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-respond-to-god-when-you-blow-it

When I get sick I pray.
When there’s an accident in the family, I pray.
When someone is discouraged, I pray.
But when I sin badly, I don’t pray.
Why not ? I think it’s because my conscience tells me God is angry with me and I better not go near him. Just like Adam and Eve did in the garden when they sinned and then ran into the bushes. 

As an aside, that’s pretty funny because God is near me all the time. He sees everything, hears every thought, knows every feeling.

And the wonderful truth is he doesn’t disengage and retreat! Just like he didn’t flee from Adam and Eve. In fact, the text tells us, he went looking for them.

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, Where are you?” – Genesis 3:8-9

So why don’t I run to God when I sin badly? Because at that moment I don’t believe that God is for me. I get a big case of Jewish guilt, and it drives me away from God. I know I’ve messed up and I deserve a talking to. And my normal reaction is to run and hide.

But the Scriptures tell me otherwise. The counter-intuitive response should be to run right into God, who waits with outstretched arms to hear me admit my mess and turn to him for forgiveness and help. My bad conscience should drive me to Yeshua (Jesus)! It should take me by the hand and turn me in the direction of my Messiah, who bled and died precisely for those sins I committed.

“So then, the law was our guardian until Messiah came, in order that we might justified by faith.” – Galatians 3:24

So the next time I sin I hope to remember to run to Yeshua like a little child into her father’s arms. I know it won’t be easy because I’m much more used to running, but even in this, I can ask Messiah to re-direct my feet.
What about you? Are you ready to turn back with me?


Contact:
Carolyne Rohrig

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Blog Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:08:30 +0000
Time for a Heart Transplant? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/time-for-a-heart-transplant http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/time-for-a-heart-transplant

More and more these days the human body is becoming a user interface for technology.

For example, Google recently revealed a radical smart contact lens for diabetics that monitors tears and warns of dropping sugar levels.

Another tech company has engineered a prosthetic hand, with a rotating thumb, that you can control using your smart phone. Then there's nanomedicine. It's tiny technology that delivers drugs anywhere in the body.

We'll refrain from addressing in this blog what the Hebrew Scriptures might have to say about human cloning.

But what used to be the things of sci-fi movies is now reality.

However, the one organ our tech and medical wizards haven't been able to advance is the human heart. It continues to be as hard as steel.

No matter how wonderful our innovations are intellectually or scientifically, the heart is dead to the truest advancement of all – that of being spiritually alive to God.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." Matthew 15:19 ESV

And the reason is simple. The heart is God's domain and only He can change it. Actually the whole body is God's creation, but that's the subject for another post.

Without a changed heart, we can't know God.

With a changed heart brought about by God Himself, we not only know God, but are capable of loving him.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26 ESV

This verse was originally addressed to the nation of Israel a long time ago, but it's still a promise we can ask God for today.

So don't settle for just a clinical change that can only go so deep. Go after the grandest miracle God wants to give you!

Are you ready for a heart change this year?

Don't miss out!


Contact: Carolyne Rohrig
carolyne.rohrig@jewsforjesus.org

]]> Blog Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:45:17 +0000 Jewishness and the Trinity http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jewishness-and-the-trinity http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jewishness-and-the-trinity

Evidence from Hebrew Scriptures that God is a plural being! [Read More]

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Blog Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:01:47 +0000
The Groundhog Day Bowl! http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/the-groundhog-day-bowl http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/the-groundhog-day-bowl

The Super Bowl is being played on Groundhog Day (February 2) this year at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. What's the connection? Well, with all the pre-game festivities, the Super Bowl is as big an event in the five burrows of New York City as it is in New Jersey. And you may want to hibernate for six more weeks if your team loses in the Super Bowl. By the way, it snowed on three of the past five Groundhog Days in the East Rutherford area.

 Anyway, we hope you enjoy this broadside.

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Blog Sat, 01 Feb 2014 04:25:41 +0000
My Jewish Nose http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/my-jewish-nose http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/my-jewish-nose

In this country where everyone is an American first, I am different, because I am a descendant of Abraham

Read More...

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Blog Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:18:49 +0000
Our Roots: A Question of Jewish Allegiance http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/our-roots-a-question-of-jewish-allegiance http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/our-roots-a-question-of-jewish-allegiance

In the minds of most Jews and quite a few non-Jews, for a Jew to profess faith in Messiah involves a repudiation of Jewish allegiance. But is this actually the case?

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Blog Wed, 08 Jan 2014 04:31:06 +0000
Promises to Live By http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/promises-to-live-by http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/promises-to-live-by

There is nothing more liberating than to know that we have been freed from the power of sin and death through our Messiah Jesus. We hope you will use this season to reflect on the power God wants to have in your life. Read More

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Blog Mon, 30 Dec 2013 22:27:18 +0000
Could Jesus be God? Could God be a man? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/could-jesus-be-god-could-god-be-a-man http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/could-jesus-be-god-could-god-be-a-man

From a Messianic Jewish perspective, check out this "vintage" video from our senior researcher, Richard Robinson. Extra points if you can figure out from which year Rich's glasses originate.

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Blog Thu, 19 Dec 2013 05:11:56 +0000
Hockney a Chinik! http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/hockney-a-chinik http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/hockney-a-chinik

There is a Yiddish expression, Hoch mir nit a chinik, which literally translates to "Don't you hit me with a tea kettle!" Since Jewish people are not generally being inclined to smack one another with teapots, the phrase really comes to mean, "Stop nagging me!" Presumably at some point in history someone felt that their significant other's repeated verbal bombardments felt like the blows of a kitchen implement, and the expression was born.

Among American Jews, the phrase is often anglicized and shortened to "Don't hock me!" (For the curious, there is additional information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakn_a_tshaynik.)

David Hockney,
October 20 - January 20
at the De Young Museum

"Hock me" is not to be confused with "Hockney," as in the British artist David Hockney, who has an exhibition currently in progress at the DeYoung Museum here in San Francisco

I'm not a great connoisseur of art, though I know what I like. Hockney's works include the use of super-saturated pinks and greens, making those paintings seem like they belong in a Miami Beach flamingo colony. Others are only slightly more muted, landscapes of almost overly verdant hills or comprising a variety of visual takes on a single tree-lined country road. There are portraits, often arresting and nearly all quite somber; works done in the iPad; and huge wall-size video screens depicting a slowly changing seasonal landscape. I found the winter scene - full of snowy, leafless trees bent like a protective tunnel over a tire-rutted path, the visuals slowly changing in each of nine panels - to be mesmerizing. I wanted to take it home. Seeing one Hockney for the first time, I wasn't sure if I liked it, or even if it was good. Taking in the huge swatch of works on display, the man does have talent. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Taking in the exhibition, with some pieces taking up huge swaths of wall space and the impact growing from room to adjoining room, it indeed felt like I had been hit with a tea kettle - but in a good way. There is something to be said about the cumulative effect of seeing one artist's output en masse, with all its colors, seasons, landscapes, portraited faces, and embrace of new media. I came away with a feeling of having experienced vibrancy and perhaps a heightened appreciation for color, and for trees, and for country roads.

When I came to embrace the Greatest Artist, God himself, I had a similar feeling. My journey took me over several years of rocky terrain. In the end, I came as a Jew to faith in Jesus. At the start, following Jesus was a bit like seeing one painting, one piece, one portrait. After a while though, as faith cohered, took on greater shape, and began to sculpt my life, it became an accumulation of new insights, realizations, and perspectives. Faith became an entire exhibition, and moving day to day through my life, the whole became greater than the sum of its parts. That's how it is for me with David Hockney. I enjoyed being "hit with a kettle" in his work, and I think that God has, and continues to, "hock me with a chinik." For Hockney and for God (who gave Hockney his giftings, whether or not he realizes it), the experience is not one of being nagged, but of being awakened to a greater reality.

 

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Blog Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:14:05 +0000
The Daft Punk Gospel http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/the-daft-punk-gospel http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/the-daft-punk-gospel

"Human attainment v. divine accomplishment" is a phrase I heard this past weekend to describe the major paradigms of faith worldwide. Human attainment is a core value in Judaism, for example. Pharisaical law - layering around each of the 613 commandments in Torah - further complicated religious life for the Jewish people of Y'shua's (Jesus') day. Perhaps some following modern Orthodoxy feel similarly. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus offers, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." These words… resound in a world where every other religious teacher says, "Try harder, work harder, do more, and become better" (Platt 56). Jesus offers us a replacement for this "Harder Better Faster Stronger" Daft Punk gospel. The truth is our work can be over.

"Our greatest need is not to try harder. Our greatest need is a new heart" (Platt 57). This has become undeniably clear to me, especially as the depravity of the human heart is constantly spot lit. For example, over Thanksgiving I heard my friend's father discussing the corporate greed of a car company recently found out for sending off their product to developing countries with fewer safety bells and whistles, yet identically marketed and sold. These stories, though popping up daily, still shock. But we cut corners on individual levels, too. Especially when no one is looking.

We don't do what's right when it's up to us even from a young age. Good parenting means we need to train children to fight the natural tendency of putting self first. If you choose to accept it, God permanently covered our sin through the substitutionary sacrifice of His son for His people and every nation. Each of us could only dream of such a parent's love. Or could we?

You may be familiar with certain songs sung around this year including "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," with lyrics such as, "God and sinners reconciled" through "the newborn king," and "Now He lays His glory by/Born that man no more may die/Born to raise the sons of earth/Born to give them second birth."

While we were still struggling, God offered to replace our depravity with a heart after His (Ezekiel 36:26). God knew the cost beforehand. He knew it required humbling Himself, arriving as a susceptible newborn. Before even Eden, before people could fail Him, God planned for it. We are extended God's sacrificial and unconditional love. Without it, we are sentenced to punishment and separation from Him forever. I hope this December you will consider letting God do the work for you and give you spiritual heart transplant.

Over a year ago one of our best missionaries passed away. He was the child of Holocaust survivors, and as a kid, remarked of a nativity scene on a church's front lawn, "Daddy, what is our king doing on their lawn?" The connection is certainly there. If you find yourself asking questions like that this season, we would be happy to tell you more about why we, as Jewish people, have placed our hope in Jesus as our Messiah.

Please comment below or enter a live chat.


An expanded version of this post is also available on Arielle's personal blog, Metropolitan Paisley. It was written to honor Sean Trank, our media producer at Jews for Jesus headquarters.

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Blog Thu, 12 Dec 2013 03:24:27 +0000
Jews for Jesus Senior Staff Member Reveals: "I Used to Be An Ostrich!" http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jews-for-jesus-senior-staff-member-reveals-i-used-to-be-an-ostrich http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jews-for-jesus-senior-staff-member-reveals-i-used-to-be-an-ostrich

It's not that I grew up as a bird and somehow claimed my humanity later on. I'm thinking instead of this passage in the Hebrew Bible, from the book of Job:

"The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers of the stork.
She lays her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand,
unmindful that a foot may crush them,
that some wild animal may trample them.
She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,
for God did not endow her with wisdom
or give her a share of good sense.
Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
she laughs at horse and rider.
- Job 39:13-18

Chapter 39 is the Animal Planet of the Book of Job, a paean to wildlife. More particularly, it is a paean to the Creator of wildlife, with whom Job cannot hope to compare. As the poem paints the portrait of one animal after another, we come upon the passage about the ostrich. The New Bible Dictionary sums up these verses:

Some animals are wild and free and untameable; others, like the ostrich, are simply ridiculous. It is the popular view of the ostrich as a cruel and careless parent that is used here. In fact, it is only during the day that its eggs are abandoned; at night both cock and hen take turns at keeping the nest warm. God has even created animals whose behaviour makes no sense - not by human standards, at any rate.

Some animals symbolize great things: the lion is majestic, the beaver is industrious, the eagle is unfettered freedom. The ostrich, though, is an ungainly creature whose behavior suggests, at least for the book of Job, a spaced-out, ditzy mother who can't properly care for her young and then runs off giggling hysterically.  And we laugh at her.

Or maybe with her. Wisdom in the Bible is not what Groucho Marx once made it out to be. "I'm wise to you," someone tells Groucho. "So you're wise?" he replies. "Then what's the capital of Nebraska?" Biblical wisdom (Hebrew, chochmah) is not about accumulating factoids. My rough-and-ready definition is "living a successful life according to God's standards." The key phrase is "according to God's standards." It is navigating life, with all its ups and downs, pains and pleasures, according to the way God has created us to be.

Sometimes biblical wisdom equates to common sense. The sluggard doesn't get very much out of life, according to the book of Proverbs. As a rule, that's true for everyone. But in the final analysis, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," Proverbs 9:10. You can't have real success without him.

And that is why I confess that I once was an ostrich. "For God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense." Before I entered a relationship with Y'shua, I didn't know God, I didn't know myself, and I didn't know the purpose of existence. I did not have the wisdom that comes from "the fear of the Lord."

Wisdom is a life-long learning curve, and I'm certainly not at the final goalpost. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It takes a lifetime and beyond to get to the end.


Read the story of Rich's journey to Y'shua here.

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Blog Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:35:14 +0000
Today's Rituals: Reminders or Replacements? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/today-s-rituals-reminders-or-replacements http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/today-s-rituals-reminders-or-replacements

Most modern Jews have significantly departed from a Jewish religion that held a hope for a coming Messiah—a Judaism that was sacrifice-centered and looked to a time when the Temple would be restored. Its destruction in 70 C.E. and the acceptance of ritual substitutes played a major role in that shift. [Read More]

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Blog Thu, 05 Dec 2013 03:37:12 +0000
Jewish Spirituality and the Holy Spirit http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jewish-spirituality-and-the-holy-spirit http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jewish-spirituality-and-the-holy-spirit

A look at the Jewish yearning for spirituality questions whether increased spiritual practices will provide a real connection with God. [Read More]

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Blog Wed, 04 Dec 2013 23:34:38 +0000
Commitment and Why It Matters http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/commitment-and-why-it-matters http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/commitment-and-why-it-matters

We're stuck with certain realities. On a basic level, the meat-and-matter body is greatly influenced by gravity. Have fun freeing yourself from that. You were born into a certain family, with biological parents, and most likely siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Enjoying them is preferable to the contrary, especially with the holiday season swiftly approaching. Then, assuming you're employed and not a solo excavator of Antarctic lands, working with certain people can present its own challenges, which are best remedied by long suffering, quick apologies and a commitment to better the institution for which your are putting in your hours. In marriage, the same is true of spouses. While we could still attempt to run away from these things, be it with an unhealthy addiction to movie-going, or even the help of various substances, it seems we experience the most pleasure when we commit to working through our momentary displeasure for the betterment of those to whom we are obligated. The fullness of life that God intended for us to have is best found when we choose to stand firm in standing with others, despite times of hardship. God designed us this way.

We're committed, initially against our will, to life on earth. We were born and didn't have much say in the matter. But when we embrace our lives here, God who created us can bless us with fullness of life. By working through things, we can build better, deeper connections with others and with our environment.

The reason this holds true for us is because this system of commitment is based on a God who first made himself committed to us (I John 4:19). We believe that this is most greatly evidenced when we read about his promise to come be with us (Isaiah 9:6) and die for us (Daniel 9:26) to bring us back into a perfect relationship with him (Lamentations 5:21). Because of God's absolute commitment to humanity, he sent his Son to sacrifice life in heaven and come to earth to die for us. None of us could stand before his holiness and know him and be reconciled to him otherwise. Y'shua (Jesus) wasn't just a prophet or a great teacher. He carried the monstrous burden of atoning for humankind's wrongdoing based on a commitment that he had to love us (John 3:16).

As we are entering a season of thanks and renewed relationships, would you consider, perhaps for the first time, reconciling your relationship with God? Not sure how?

Leave a comment below (we read every one of them) or chat live with us.

We trust that God will draw you nearer to himself if you are truly interested in the abundant life that comes in knowing and loving him.

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Blog Tue, 03 Dec 2013 03:05:22 +0000
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/the-hunger-games-catching-fire http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/the-hunger-games-catching-fire

 "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" burned up box offices, pulling in some 161.1 million dollars in just one weekend.

Fans want to see Katniss, with her nearly superhuman survival skills

  • outsmart evil President Snow
  • get a clue about handsome hearthrobs Gale and Peeta
  • destroy the despicable system of "reaping" innocent victims for the entertainment of privileged onlookers.

Katniss (with help from the mockingjay) has become the symbol for hope ... because of her willingness to die rather than kill. And apparently her fiery courage is catching.

But as Snow senses his system of fear-based control falling apart, he concocts a diabolical plan to protect his power.

So much drama!

So many special effects!

What a way to escape from reality!

I mean, it's not like anyone in the real world uses fear to manipulate and control others, right?

And who ever heard of a corrupt system that exploits innocents?

Or a real world where some starve while others who've never known hunger are obsessed with entertainment?

Sound familiar?

Katniss and her friends aren't real but the ugliness and corruption they face are.

Hunger is also real, and it's not always about feeding the stomach. Maybe people exploit and oppress each other because they are spiritually starved and don't even know it.

Well it doesn't have to be that way.

There once was a reaping of just one person, not in a movie but in real life.

The innocent victim wasn't picked in a lottery, but predicted by Jewish prophets. And he wasn't really a victim because he turned his death into a victory ...

Y'shua (Jesus) is a real person whose death and resurrection still inspire hope and shake up the status quo today.

Don't wait for the odds to be in your favor.  You can receive God's favor, based on Jesus' sacrifice for you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Hungry for more info?

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Blog Mon, 25 Nov 2013 23:36:45 +0000
Doctor Who Celebrates 50 Years! http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/doctor-who-celebrates-50-years http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/doctor-who-celebrates-50-years

Saturday November 23rd marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who.

When Daleks are determined to EX-TER-MI-NATE all other life forms…

When a crack in your bedroom wall erases individuals and events from time and history ...

When the Silence manipulates humans who cannot remember ever seeing them ...

When you can't blink without Weeping Angels sending you to the past ...

Then the TARDIS materializes and the Doctor emerges. Doctor who? Exactly.

Dr. Who was first broadcast on BBC One on November 23, 1963. The series is now watched by an estimated 80 million viewers in 206 countries. Guinness World Records has declared it the longest running and most successful science-fiction series in the world.

For fifty years, loyal fans have watched as Doctor Who, with his sonic screwdriver, wit and hand-picked companion for each adventure, has worked out a way to save the day as he shows them the incredible wonders of the universe.

He travels in a remarkable time machine - the TARDIS - a police box which is somehow much bigger on the inside than the outside..

 When problems arise, when alien races wreak havoc, the Time Lord travels through time and space to rescue the past and secure the future.

Of course, Doctor Who is just a TV character. No aliens (that we know of) are threatening our world.

But there is a very real threat. And it doesn't wreak havoc from without, but from within. It causes war, destruction, selfishness and deceit. "It" is called sin.

Is there someone with a solution?

A Jewish doctor* named Y'shua (Jesus) came to rescue us from our past and secure our future. He gave his life to take the punishment for our sins, so we can receive eternal life!

Y'shua is the only solution to the threat of sin. And he holds the key to our ETERNAL future. The Bible says,

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

Is there time to save your future? Yes, but don't wait:

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1–3)


*The Great Physician was one of his titles.

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Blog Mon, 25 Nov 2013 23:56:09 +0000
“Once Upon A Time” and Redemption http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/once-upon-a-time-and-redemption http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/once-upon-a-time-and-redemption

Taking a break from my tales tonight to reflect on something that's been both an inspiration and a frustration to me as I've been writing them.  My husband and I recently discovered the ABC show, "Once Upon A Time."  We loved it from the first episode, and have been watching it almost every night for the last six weeks or so.

But what started out as a really truth-filled, faith-bolstering fairy tale seems to have lost its way in the episodes we've watched recently.  The most disappointing choice that the writers have made is in Snow White's storyline.  (Warning: spoilers ahead.  If you're a fan and haven't yet gotten to the end of Season 2, you may want to read this post after you do.)  You see, Snow White's "talent" was that she was pure of heart.  Even faced with the darkest acts of evil, she was always able to see the potential for future redemption in her enemy.

But then, Snow made a dark choice herself.  She chose vengeance rather than love.  That, in itself, was not disappointing to me, because that made her human.  It made her relate-able.  The disappointing part is the way that the show presents her redemptive path.

Rather than showing that love, repentance, and forgiveness are the key ingredients in redemption, it is instead required that Snow earn her redemption by doing good deeds, specifically toward those whom she has hurt.  But even when she has done these things, Snow is still tormented by the knowledge that there is a dark spot in her previously pure heart.  It seems that the show's writers understand that good deeds can never equal redemption; but they don't know what to do with that fact, so they just send Snow on an endless journey, attempting to earn her purity back and purge the darkness from her soul.

Isn't this just like what so many of us do?  We feel that there is something wrong in our hearts–that we're not pure as we ought to be–but we don't know what to do with that knowledge.  So, we just keep trying to do our best–to give to charity, to be kind to our children, to volunteer at the local public school or soup kitchen, to recycle and compost our trash–but we never seem to quite expunge the guilt that lies underneath our conscious thoughts day after day.

Here's the hard truth, one that the "Evil Queen" tells Snow in the show:  There is no way to remove the dark spot in our hearts.  Like Lady Macbeth, we are doomed to spend our lives crying "Out, damned spot!" and wringing our hands in futility.  Unless…

Unless we invite the One who truly is pure of heart to take the stain from our souls.  Y'shua (Jesus) is the only one who has the "magic" necessary to clean our hearts.  He doesn't require that we perform a list of good deeds or ritualistic activities to earn His love and favor.  All we have to do is ask, and believe, that He can free us from the unwieldy weight of our own bad choices, and He will.  He will clean our hearts and restore us to the relationship with God that we all deeply long for.  Whether we've been believers for a long time, or are just now finding our hearts opened to acknowledge God's existence, we need to know that it's not our own efforts that can save us from ourselves.  It is only God's effort on our behalf.

G.K. Chesterton once said, "Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that they can be beaten." Jesus took the punishment that we deserve–death–and then he overcame it, like a knight defeating the world's most gruesome dragon.  Like the fairy-tale prince that He is, Jesus overcomes evil and offers to rescue our hearts, if we'll let him.

I hope that "Once Upon A Time's" Snow White finds some peace, but whether the show's writers figure out a way to do that or not, I'm grateful that the Author of my" fairy tale" has written a "Happily Ever After" ending, and that He invites us all to partake in it.

We can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
― C.S. LewisThe Last Battle


To read more by Sarah Mebasser you can visit her blog Reflections on Truth. http://reflectionsontruth.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/once-upon-a-time-and-redemption/

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Blog Tue, 26 Nov 2013 03:13:54 +0000
Grand Opening of Rosen Center in Israel http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/grand-opening-of-rosen-center-in-israel http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/grand-opening-of-rosen-center-in-israel

Support the grand opening of the Rosen Center in Israel. Your gift will fund evangelism events to reach Israel's younger generation with the gospel.
[Read More]
[Donate Now]

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Blog Thu, 21 Nov 2013 02:34:43 +0000
Jewish and for Jesus: Is Separation Inevitable? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jewish-and-for-jesus-is-separation-inevitable http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/jewish-and-for-jesus-is-separation-inevitable

What would it be like to be a Jewish believer in Jesus in the first century? How would it have affected your relationships with family members? With friends? What would the implications have been regarding participation in the larger Jewish community? Does it matter today? [Read article]

]]> Blog Fri, 08 Nov 2013 04:40:49 +0000 Fear the Beard! http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fear-the-beard http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fear-the-beard

Go Red Sox! 2013 World Series Champions!

Wow! Our BoSox finally clinched the World Series at Fenway after 95 years!

As 37-year-old World Series MVP David Ortiz told his teammates in his intense dugout speech during game four, you never know when you'll get another chance. They took his message to heart and, as they did all year, played like a true team.

Starter Felix Doubront willingly worked out of the bullpen and was lights out!

Daniel Nava, who hit .303 during the regular season, was replaced by Jonny Gomes in the postseason for several games because of a gut feeling by manager John Farrell. Nava took it well.

Gomes hit the three-run homer that won game four! Farrell was amazed by his team's camaraderie this year. 20+ players regularly had dinner together.

We congratulate all our veterans and young players, our starters and super reserves. It was a great team effort. There is no underestimating what a team working together can do!

It's also true in the game of life. To play it well, we need the support of one another - but most importantly, we need the MVP of all time, Y'shua (Jesus), on the team.

Y'shua, the ultimate team player, did it all. He took our errors (sin) on himself.* He laid down the perfect sacrifice (his own life) for the rest of the team and rose from the dead, so that we can be champions in this world (series) and the next.**


* "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows." (Isaiah 53:4a)

** "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)


Interested in knowing more about being on Y'shua's team? Let us know at: boston@jewsforjesus.org!

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Blog Thu, 31 Oct 2013 23:34:16 +0000