Havurah comes from the Hebrew word "haver" which means "friend." Havurah usually describes a community of friends who gather together to discuss their common interests and concerns. Jewish believers in Jesus face unique challenges and questions and this publication is one way of addressing them.
How do I integrate my ethnic heritage into my faith in Jesus? How can I best relate to family members who do not share my faith? How can I handle the sentiment of many other Jews that by believing in Jesus, I'm being a traitor to my people?
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Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)
If one were to give a hard and honest look at the heritage of Israel's heroes, one would be forced to concede that it is not a triumphant past. Moses, at his apogee, came down from a holy mountain experience only to be "welcomed" by collective and unmitigated disloyalty in the shadow of the infamous golden calf. David, when he was anointed king of Israel, subsequently became the nation's most wanted outlaw—a fugitive and a mercenary. The prophets' popularity (or lack thereof) is well known, even to the most casual of Bible readers. According to tradition, Isaiah died by being torn in half. Jeremiah's tears still stain the pages of Scripture in his famous Lamentations, no matter the edition or translation. According to Yeshua, there was in fact a psycho-spiritual accumulation of suffering from the first tzaddik (righteous person) to the last, culminating in his own generation.[ 1 ]
For Jews in some parts of the world, suffering has been an especially intimate part of life.Havurah asked three Jewish believers, from Eastern Europe, France, and Israel, to reflect on Jesus and Jewish suffering.
Marc Chagall's extensive repertoire of artwork, in which Jesus and the crucifixion is the central subject, assuredly begs the question: "What's a nice Jewish boy like you doing painting a nice Jewish boy like him?" The artist's preoccupation with Jesus as a symbol of Jewish suffering and deliverance provides much fuel for discussion from both Jewish and Christian art critics. But can either side definitively claim Chagall as its "own"?
Ruth Gottlieb does not seem to be significantly different from any other octogenarian one might meet—other than her remarkable sharpness of mind. But then she begins to tell her story, one of sorrow upon sorrow. From the loss of nearly all her loved ones to the horrors of the Holocaust, Ruth has seen more suffering in her life than most of us can begin to imagine.
Several issues ago in Havurah we addressed the topic of unity within the Messianic movement, namely reconciliation between Jewish believers in Jesus who are pursuing God in various ways from different corners of the Messianic community.
- Category: Havurah Volume 17 Number 01
Suffering is international and cross-cultural. It is something that unites all human beings, because we all experience it at one point or another. Therefore, suffering is not specifically Jewish—although in Jewish history there has been a great deal of suffering.
- Category: Havurah Volume 17 Number 01
As its title suggests, Through My Enemy's Eyes: Envisioning Reconciliation in Israel-Palestine, promotes empathy as the virtue necessary for peace. Called to love their enemy by their Messiah, Israeli Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians are best suited to this task. The authors, Salim J. Munayer and Lisa Loden, a Palestinian Christian and an Israeli Messianic Jew, respectively, embody this effort to trade hostility for forgiveness.