More Answers to Rick Halpern

Yeah, I know this took me long enough.  I had some distractions crop up, and I really needed a break.  In any case, here are the next two videos (really parts 1 and 2 of one video, since I couldn’t get it in the 15-minute YouTube limit):

Enjoy and shalom.

5 Replies to “More Answers to Rick Halpern”

  1. At the 7:01 mark, you quote Isaiah: “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

    Isn’t this a poor translation of וּבָ֤א לְצִיּוֹן֙ גּוֹאֵ֔ל וּלְשָׁבֵ֥י פֶ֖שַׁע בְּיַֽעֲקֹ֑, which ought to be translated as “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob.”? The two translations are radically different. (I’m mainly referring the second half of the sentence, even though “out of Zion” vs “to Zion” is a potentially importance difference, too.) In the translation I offered, the people are doing the repenting. In your translation, the people take a passive role.


  2. You’ve given some interesting thoughts here. You say that Yeshua endorsed the Pharisees and Rabbinic Judaism. I have a question for you then: As a convert to Messianic “Judaism,” which I assume you see as a subcategory under Rabbinic/Orthodox Judaism, do you keep the holy Sabbath in accordance with all its details and laws as expounded in the Mishna and Talmud? That is, do you cook, carry money, use electrical lights, drive a car, etc. on the Sabbath? I haven’t met a Messianic yet who fully keeps the Sabbath. Secondly, do you keep a fully kosher diet? Do you eat in non-kosher restaurants, etc.? Do you mix meat and milk? I’ve yet to meet a Messianic you keeps 100% kosher.


    1. Shalom again Meir. Sorry for the delay; I needed a break from blogging. Hopefully you’ve chosen to have replies come to you by email so that you’ll see this.

      Beth HaMashiach has deliberately chosen to follow the rulings of Conservative Judaism here in the States. The reason is logistical rather than a rejection of Orthodox Judaism.

      For example, by the very nature of the Messianic movement, we do not yet have communities deliberately built around our synagogues so as to afford everyone the ability to walk to synagogue on the Sabbath, for example. I myself don’t live close enough to walk, though I eagerly wish to do so. Now, we could simply rule that everyone stay home on Sabbath and meet for prayer on another day, but one of our main callings is to draw back Jews who believe in Yeshua and have been worshiping in Christian churches on Sunday into keeping the Torah and the traditions of our people. By following the Conservative rulings–which permit, though they do not encourage, driving on the Sabbath–we make that possible.

      Is it ideal? No, and one of the matters under discussion in our leadership is how to transition the synagogue so as to be able to build a more traditional community around it.

      On the issue of kashrut, I and my wife keep a kosher household, buy from licensed kosher butchers, keep our meat and dairy separate (including having separate dishes), etc. However, just as my Master did, I will bend the rules of kashrut into a pretzel and even break a few to eat with “sinners” (cf. Mat. 9:11-13) in fellowship for the purpose of drawing them nearer to Hashem. We do prefer to invite them to eat at our table so as to satisfy both Yeshua’s commands and the requirements of kashrut. When we do eat out, we make sure our hosts understand and are willing to follow certain minimums.

      Rabbi Gavriel keeps kashrut more strictly than I and rarely, if ever, eats outside of his own home or the oneg hall of our synagogue–and in the latter case, the Rabbinit takes on cooking the meat for the meal just to make sure. (We have been known to quietly remove contributed dishes from our community meal because they contained or might have contained dairy.)

      As you look for things to criticize in the above, I would ask you to keep in mind that Messianic Judaism as any kind of real movement is only a little over 20 years old and our synagogue is only about 8 years old. We are constantly learning, growing, and tightening our practice, but because the majority of those in the movement come from a Christian or a secular (dead) Jewish background, such growth is going to be slow as we constantly adjust our practices and rulings, give people a chance to get used to it, and then repeat the process.

      There will also always be areas in which obeying our own Rabbi and Mashiach will create tensions with the Rabbnic halakha that we will have to resolve (as in the above examples of kashrut). And there will be occasions (fewer than most Christians and Jews think, but they do exist) when we must follow our Rabbi and Mashiach in direct contradiction to the accepted halakha–not out of any disrespect to the rabbis of our people, but out of the far greater respect deserved by our King.



  3. No, Ronaldo, it is not a poor translation.
    It is a deceitful translation. Sometimes y’just gotta twist the text to paint Jesus into it. The NIV gets it correct, though.


    1. Whoops. I made a mistake about the NIV. Just scratch that last sentence in my previous comment. It’s not the Bible translations that translate Isaiah right or wrong; it’s Romans itself. The author of Romans twists the Isaiah verse out of context.


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