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Judaism maintains that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. This has been the majority rule since the days of the Talmud. Judaism generally recognizes that Christians and Moslems worship the same G-d that we do and those who follow the tenets of their religions can be considered righteous in the eyes of G-d. Contrary to popular belief, Judaism does not maintain that Jews are better than other people.
Although we refer to ourselves as G-d's chosen people, we do not believe that G-d chose the Jews because of any inherent superiority. According to the Talmud Avodah Zarah 2b , G-d offered the Torah to all the nations of the earth, and the Jews were the only ones who accepted it.
The story goes on to say that the Jews were offered the Torah last, and accepted it only because G-d held a mountain over their heads! Another traditional story suggests that G-d chose the Jewish nation because they were the lowliest of nations, and their success would be attributed to G-d's might rather than their own ability.
Clearly, these are not the ideas of a people who think they are better than other nations. Because of our acceptance of Torah, Jews have a special status in the eyes of G-d, but we lose that special status when we abandon Torah. Furthermore, the blessings that we received from G-d by accepting the Torah come with a high price: Jews have a greater responsibility than non-Jews. While non-Jews are only obligated to obey the seven commandments given to Noah, Jews are responsible for fulfilling the mitzvot in the Torah, thus G-d will punish Jews for doing things that would not be a sin for non-Jews.
According to traditional Judaism, G-d gave Noah and his family seven commandments to observe when he saved them from the flood. These commandments, referred to as the Noahic or Noahide commandments, are inferred from Genesis Ch.
These commandments are fairly simple and straightforward, and most of them are recognized by most of the world as sound moral principles.
Any non-Jew who follows these laws has a place in the world to come. The Noahic commandments are binding on all people, because all people are descended from Noah and his family.
The mitzvot of the Torah , on the other hand, are only binding on the descendants of those who accepted the commandments at Sinai and upon those who take on the yoke of the commandments voluntarily by conversion. In addition, the Noahic commandments are applied more leniently to non-Jews than the corresponding commandments are to Jews, because non-Jews do not have the benefit of Oral Torah to guide them in interpreting the laws. For example, worshipping G-d in the form of a man would constitute idolatry for a Jew; however, according to some sources, the Christian worship of Jesus does not constitute idolatry for non-Jews.
The most commonly used word for a non-Jew is goy. The word "goy" means " nation ," and refers to the fact that goyim are members of other nations, that is, nations other than the Children of Israel.
There is nothing inherently insulting about the word "goy. Because Jews have had so many bad experiences with anti-Semitic non-Jews over the centuries, the term "goy" has taken on some negative connotations, but in general the term is no more insulting than the word "gentile. The more insulting terms for non-Jews are shiksa feminine and shkutz masculine.
I gather that these words are derived from the Hebrew root Shin-Qof-Tzadei, meaning loathsome or abomination. The word shiksa is most commonly used to refer to a non-Jewish woman who is dating or married to a Jewish man, which should give some indication of how strongly Jews are opposed to the idea of intermarriage. The term shkutz is most commonly used to refer to an anti-Semitic man.
Both terms can be used in a less serious, more joking way, but in general they should be used with caution. If you are offended to hear that Jewish culture has a negative term for non-Jews, I would recommend that you stop and think about the many negative terms and stereotypes that your culture has for Jews.
I once received a message from a man who told me that many Jews do not like gentiles. He knew this because his Jewish girlfriend's friends and parents disapproved of him. I explained that these people did not disapprove of him because he was Christian; they disapproved of him because he was a Christian dating a Jew, which is another issue altogether.
Traditional Judaism does not permit interfaith marriages. The Torah states that the children of such marriages would be lost to Judaism Deut. The National Jewish Population Survey found that only a third of interfaith couples raise their children Jewish, despite increasing efforts in the Reform and Conservative communities to welcome interfaith couples. This may reflect the fact that Jews who intermarry are not deeply committed to their religion in the first place: Certainly, the statistics show that intermarried Jews are overwhelmingly less likely to be involved in Jewish activities: These statistics and more are sufficiently alarming to be a matter of great concern to the Jewish community.
And the rate of intermarriage has grown dramatically in recent years: One Orthodox Jew I know went so far as to state that intermarriage is accomplishing what Hitler could not: That is an extreme view, but it vividly illustrates how seriously many Jews take the issue of intermarriage.
The more liberal branches of Judaism have tried to embrace intermarried couples, hoping to slow the hemorrhaging from our community, but it is questionable how effective this has been in stemming the tide, given the statistics that intermarried couples are unlikely to have any Jewish involvement or to raise their children Jewish.
They note that if the non-Jewish spouse truly shares the same values as the Jewish spouse, then the non-Jew is welcome to convert to Judaism, and if the non-Jew does not share the same values, then the couple should not be marrying in the first place.
Many people who are considering interfaith marriage or dating casually dismiss any objections as prejudice, but there are some practical matters you should consider. And before you casually dismiss this as ivory tower advice from a Jewish ghetto, let me point out that my father, my mother and my brother are all intermarried, as well as several of my cousins. These are just a few of the more important considerations in interfaith relationships that people tend to gloss over in the heat of passion or in the desire to be politically fashionable.
In general, Jews do not try to convert non-Jews to Judaism. In fact, according to halakhah Jewish Law , rabbis are supposed to make three vigorous attempts to dissuade a person who wants to convert to Judaism. As the discussion above explained, Jews have a lot of responsibilities that non-Jews do not have. To be considered a good and righteous person in the eyes of G-d , a non-Jew need only follow the seven Noahic commandments, whereas a Jew has to follow all commandments given in the Torah.
If the potential convert is not going to follow those extra rules, it's better for him or her to stay a gentile, and since we as Jews are all responsible for each other, it's better for us too if that person stayed a gentile. The rabbinically mandated attempt to dissuade a convert is intended to make sure that the prospective convert is serious and willing to take on all this extra responsibility.
Once a person has decided to convert, the proselyte must begin to learn Jewish religion, law and customs and begin to observe them. This teaching process generally takes at least one year, because the prospective convert must experience each of the Jewish holidays ; however, the actual amount of study required will vary from person to person a convert who was raised as a Jew might not need any further education, for example, while another person might need several years.
After the teaching is complete, the proselyte is brought before a Beit Din rabbinical court which examines the proselyte and determines whether he or she is ready to become a Jew. If the proselyte passes this oral examination, the rituals of conversion are performed.
If the convert is male, he is circumcised or, if he was already circumcised, a pinprick of blood is drawn for a symbolic circumcision. Both male and female converts are immersed in the mikvah a ritual bath used for spiritual purification.
The convert is given a Jewish name and is then introduced into the Jewish community. In theory, once the conversion procedure is complete, the convert is as much a Jew as anyone who is born to the religion.
In practice, the convert is sometimes treated with caution, because we have had some of bad experiences with converts who later return to their former faith in whole or in part. However, it is important to remember that Abraham himself was a convert, as were all of the matriarchs of Judaism, as was Ruth, an ancestor of King David. The information provided at that site is written from a Conservative perspective, but is valuable to anyone considering conversion to any movement of Judaism.
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Messianic Judaism is a modern syncretic religious movement that combines Christianity —most importantly, the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah —with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition ,      its current form emerging in the s and s. Messianic Judaism believes that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and " God the Son " one person of the Trinity , and that the Hebrew Bible , Old Testament , and New Testament are all authoritative scriptures.
Many adherents of Messianic Judaism are ethnically Jewish  and argue that the movement is a sect of Judaism. From to , the movement grew from Messianic houses of worship in the United States to as many as , with over in Israel and more worldwide; congregations are often affiliated with larger Messianic organizations or alliances.
Efforts by Jewish Christians to proselytize Jews began in the first century, when Paul the Apostle preached at the synagogues in each city that he visited.
This activity, however, typically lacked any independent Jewish-Christian congregations, and was often imposed through force by organized Christian churches.
In the 19th century, some groups attempted to create congregations and societies of Jewish converts to Christianity, though most of these early organizations were short-lived.
Carl Schwartz in The September meeting of Frey's "Beni Abraham" congregation at the rented "Jews' Chapel" in Spitalfields is sometimes pointed to as the birth of the semi-autonomous Hebrew Christian movement within Anglican and other established churches in Britain,  though the non-Anglican minister of the chapel at Spitalfields evicted Frey and his congregation only three years later, and Frey severed his connections with the Society.
In Eastern Europe , Joseph Rabinowitz established a Hebrew Christian mission and congregation called "Israelites of the New Covenant" in Kishinev, Ukraine in Mark John Levy pressed the Church of England to allow members to embrace Jewish customs. In the United States, a congregation of Jewish converts to Christianity was established in New York City in Gaebelein , eventually repudiated his views and, as a result, was able to become a leader in the mainstream Christian evangelical movement.
After several changes in name, structure and focus, the organization is now called Chosen People Ministries  and has operations and staff in the U. Missions to the Jews saw a period of growth between the s and the s. The modern day Messianic Jewish movement is considered by many to have begun in the United States in the s and maybe even more specifically in Three factors played an especially important part in turning their world upside down: Members of the movement were called Jesus people, or Jesus freaks.
Its predecessor, the Charismatic Movement, had already been in full swing for about a decade. It involved mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics who testified to supernatural experiences similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, especially speaking in tongues. Both these movements were calling the church back to what they called primitive Christianity and recovery of the gifts of the Spirit.
The social, cultural and political environment in the United States created this very unique climate in which the modern Messianic movement was birthed. It was born among the young Jews and gentiles who had experienced a great awakening.
Prior to this time Jewish believers, had in most cases, assimilated into gentile Christianity, losing their Jewish identity and not passing on their Jewish heritage to their children. Now there seemed to be a greater desire and urgency among the young believers to maintain not only their individual Jewish identity  but to celebrate their Jewish traditions and culture with their families and Jewish friends.
I needed to be able to honestly profess that we were not an appendage, subsidiary, affiliate, or offshoot of any Christian Gentile denomination or ministry. We were a Jewish congregation and always would be. This idea of a Jewish identity and more specifically a Messianic Jewish identity was the main purpose of the effort to change the name of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America HCAA to Messianic Jewish Alliance of America MJAA.
While there are many individuals who made an impact on the movement there are several key figures. These are Manny Brotman, Martin and Yohanna Chernoff, Ray Gannon, and Dan Juster. Brotman, Manny , was a talented individual who excelled in everything he undertook. He founded the Messianic Jewish Movement International MJMI in Many young Jews in the Washington, D. His efforts lead to the establishment of the first youth branch of the Hebrew Christian Alliance HCAA , the Young Hebrew Christian Alliance YHCA in Chicago in His efforts defined the very identity of the modern Messianic Jew and modern Messianic Jewish life.
Chernoff, Martin and Yohanna , Joanna Joyner Martin Chernoff, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants to Canada,   become a believer in Jesus as Messiah in under the ministry of Morris Kaminskey, a faithful friend and mentor who had founded a congregation in Toronto under Anglican auspices. After graduating from Bethany University in Ray Gannon began a Jewish ministry in Los Angeles, California area.
Gannon taught missions and Jewish studies at Central Bible College, Valley Forge Christian College, and the Christ for the Nations Biblical Institute New York campus. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, Ray founded the Israel College of the Bible which provided the first successful, on-going, and fully-accredited Bible College for Israelis. Soon he opened special language departments for Jewish immigrants, both Russian and Ethiopian. Through the continued generosity of JVMI, the MJSP at TKU has become a quality undergraduate and graduate Messianic Jewish Studies option for serious students.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ray Gannon, Director of the TKU MJSP and V. The program also saw the first five D. In addition to teaching and developing Messianic Jewish educational programs Gannon worked for some seven years as a translator and team translator as part of a four-man theological editing team for the Tree of Live Bible TLV produced by the Messianic Jewish Bible Society MJBS.
As a scholar and theologian Juster has influenced the movement with over 30 Messianic Jewish books along with the foundational and highly regarded Jewish Roots: Understanding Your Jewish Faith which is now in its fourth edition.
Juster is a strong advocate for the Messianic movement to have an appreciation for the heritage of the Christian church even as their primary cultural expression is Jewish. Dan Juster currently serves as the Director of Tikkun International,  a Messianic Jewish organization headquartered in Israel.
Juster began his ministerial work as pastor of the First Hebrew Christian Church Presbyterian in  which had been founded by David Bronstein in After Manny Brotman resigned as the spiritual leader of Beth Messiah Congregation greater Washington D.
He served in that capacity till A kind and gentle individual, Juster was a teacher, a pastor and a mediator. He was exactly what the congregation needed at this juncture. He set up a committee structure within the congregation to deal with strife and dissension, and he fit well in the mild charismatic atmosphere of Beth Messiah.
His qualities as a peacemaker have currently extended to his being a mediator between Hebrew Christianity and Messianic Judaism. And, while he believes firmly in the tenets of Messianic Judaism, Juster emphasizes the historical importance of Hebrew Christianity and the debt Messianic Judaism owes to it. The desire of many young Jews to maintain their Jewish identity and to maintain a Jewish lifestyle following the Jewish calendar, observing Shabbat, etc.
In Juster started the Messiah Bible Institute MBI with Asher Intrater and Eitan Shishkoff as the first graduates. Michael Brown and Dr. Michael Rudolph were several of the teachers. The shift from a Hebrew Christian identity to a Messianic Jewish identity was a key factor in the establishment of Messianic Jewish congregations.
In , the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America changed its name to the Messianic Jewish Alliance, reflecting the growing Jewish identity of Jewish followers of Yeshua.
It is at this point that a major question comes into focus: What is the distinction between Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Christianity, which was the traditional designation for Jewish believers in Yeshua?
Hebrew Christians, traditionally, have not emphasized the planting of Jewish congregations, but Messianic Jews have. Hebrew Christianity, at times, saw Jewishness as merely an ethnic identity, whereas Messianic Judaism saw its Jewish life and identity as the continued call of God.
Cincinnati, Chicago and in Los Angeles. The Peniel Community Center established and directed by David Bronstein also gave birth to the First Hebrew Christian Church which later became Adat HaTikvah Messianic Synagogue. The most influential work was the Peniel Center est. David Bronstein was the founder of both these works. Although by my theology they did not achieve an authentic Jewish expression of faith, progress toward this ideal was made.
As Messianic Jewish community identity become more of a core issue to the movement Hebrew Christian congregations made a transformational shift as noted by Russ Resnik:. In the mids, Dan Juster, who was to become a key Messianic Jewish figure was leading the First Hebrew Christian Church, founded in Chicago in by the Presbyterians.
Dan caught a vision of expressing his faith in Yeshua in a more Jewish way and shifted to worship on Shabbat, keeping the Jewish holidays, and a positive attitude toward Torah.
One of his worship leaders was Joel Chernoff, who went on to pioneer Messianic Jewish music as part of the group Lamb. Joel had come to the congregation with the revolutionary idea of employing Jewish style worship songs in place of the old hymns.
The idea took off. First Hebrew Christian Church was renamed Adat Hatikvah to reflect its new Jewish self-image. David Bronstein, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and McCormick Theological Seminary, won many of his family members to his faith including his brother-in-law Morris Kaminskey under whose ministry Martin Chernoff was saved.
Beth Messiah was founded by Paul Liberman, Sid Roth, and Sandra Sheskin in May 18, with 15 people present. For music, we brought Christian records and someone else brought a record player. We played the records, and we sang along with the words. Beth Messiah was also one of the original congregations that formed the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations UMJC. BMC was also the birthplace of Ets Chaiyim School, one of the first Messianic Jewish day schools. While the school closed in after nearly three decades, the legacy of Ets Chaiyim continues to bear fruit through the hundreds of students who attended.
Jeff Adler, Bruce Adler, Robert Cohen, Mark Dayan, Elliot and Joyce Klayman, and Dr. Robert Winder along with many others. Later in it would align itself with the International Associations of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues IAMCS. David Chernoff assumed the leadership role in when his father Martin died at the age of Joseph and Debbie Finkelstein, Jeff and Diane Lowenthal, Michael and Rachel Wolf, Jeff and Janet Forman, Steve and Pat Weiler, Bruce and Debbie Cohen, David and Helene Rosenberg, and Jan and Marlene Rosenberg.
Ahavat Zion started as Temple Beth Emmanuel in Encino, CA in In the congregation hired Hebert Goldberg as its next spiritual leader and then in changed its name to Ahavat Zion Synagogue AZS. Stuart Dauermann and his wife, Naomi, served as the spiritual leaders of AZS till when he stepped aside to teach, write, and travel full-time. Currently there are over Messianic Jewish congregations in the United States with maybe half of their attendance being Gentiles.
The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America MJAA began in as the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America HCAA. In as more young Jews become believers in Jesus as their Messiah they felt the need to maintain their Jewish identity and voted to change the name. The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations UMJC envisions Messianic Judaism as a movement of Jewish congregations and groups 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.
In the MJAA formed a congregational branch the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues IAMCS.