1. What is Messianic Judaism?
Messianic Judaism is the expression of faith in the promised Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) within its historical context; keeping the biblical cycle of days (Leviticus 23) for the worship template of practice, as taught by Yeshua and celebrated by His disciples.
2. What is a Messianic Jewish lifestyle?
A Messianic Jewish lifestyle is a lifestyle consistent with the teachings and instructions of the entire Word of God (Tanach and Apostolic writings) characterized by keeping the festival cycle of the nation of Israel, as outlined in the scriptures. Having received the free gift of salvation, our desire is to walk in the footsteps of Yeshua (Jesus), our Jewish Messiah, is a response to this unmerited and unearned free gift.
3. Why do we use words like Yeshua and Mashiach instead of Jesus and Christ?
Jesus is the English spelling from the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua. Christ is the transliteration of the Greek word Christos which is the same as the Hebrew word Mashiach which means “anointed”. We choose to use the original Hebrew name of our Jewish Messiah.
4. Why do we observe the Sabbath day instead of Sunday?
We believe the Sabbath day (the 7th day of the week) is the day of rest sanctified by God at the time of Creation. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:3) There is nowhere in scripture that God changed His day of rest and worship to Sunday.
5. Why do we observe the festivals of the Old Testament (Tenach)?
God declared these festivals as His feasts. “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” (Leviticus 23:4) The festival (feast days) are: Passover, First Fruits, Unleavened Bread, Shavuot (Pentecost), Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha-Shana), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) In addition to the Sabbath, these days are given by God as a perpetual ordinance.
6. What is kosher food?
Biblical Kosher food is described in Leviticus chapter 11. God declares to us which animals is food and which animals is not food for us to eat. God further describes unclean meat as detestable which in Hebrew is the root word used for abomination (see Strong’s 8251 and 8262). We do not consume pork or shellfish or any other detestable meat as described in scripture.
7. Why do we not engage in commercial or business activity on the Sabbath?
We are instructed by God that the Sabbath is a day of rest as explained earlier. “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work.” (Deut 5:13) The exchange of money on the Sabbath creates a business relationship between you and another person or entity. Deut 5:14 clearly states that you shall not cause your servant to work. A servant is anyone you have a contractual relationship to provide a product or service.
8. What is a Torah scroll and why do you parade it around during worship services?
A Torah scroll is the first five books of the Bible handwritten in Hebrew on animal skin. The Torah scroll is the foundation upon which the entire Bible stands. As a sign of affection for the Word of God, we parade the scroll around during worship services. Some people like to touch it with a prayer book (siddur) or Bible to celebrate His provision and Salvation. It is not an object of worship.
9. What are Tallit and Tzit Tzit?
A Tallit is the Hebrew word for prayer shawl. It is a four cornered linen garment that is traditionally worn by men during worship services. (Except for Yom Kippur, it is not customary to wear it during evening services) There is no prohibition for women to wear a Tallit. On each corner of the Tallit there are fringes or strings which are called Tzit-Tzit. There is also a garment usually worn by men called a Tallit-katan which is a four cornered garment with Tzit-Tzit attached that is worn either under or over another shirt. “Speak unto the children of Israel, bid them that they make them fringes in the borders (corners) of their garments throughout their generations…that you may look upon and remember all the commandments of the LORD.” (Abbreviated rendering of Numbers 15:38-39)
10. Why do we use a prayer book (Siddur) during worship services?
In Messianic Judaism we use the traditional model of worship customarily used by other forms of Judaism. In the Siddur there is liturgy, prayers and blessings used which are paraphrased or literal rendering of scripture.