Who am I

meI’m an ordinary guy walking (or stumbling) along a path of faith and trying to understand my relationship with God. I’m not a Pastor, teacher, or leader of any kind. All of my opinions are solely my own. I don’t claim to have any special insight into what makes the Bible, Jesus, or God “tick”.

A lot of this blog has to do with my struggles with faith and my unique role as a Messianic Gentile. I’m far from being a perfect person so some of the struggles I write about here are with myself. Sometimes I write reviews of sermons, books, and other “religious” content. I also write a great deal about how a disciple of Jesus can look through a “Jewish lens” and get a better perspective on life and the God who made us all.

In addition to “Morning Meditations,” I maintain two other WordPress blogs:

Powered by Robots is my newest BlogSpot and highlights my short story and flash fiction writing in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres with a side of social and political commentary.

The Old Man’s Gym is where I chronicle my experiences as an over age 60 strength trainer, focusing on senior weightlifting and health, as well as breaking stereotypes about who can and can’t be strong and healthy and why.

Use the form below to send me an email (your address will not be visible publicly) or scroll to the bottom of the page to leave a public comment.

46 thoughts on “Who am I”

  1. Love your blog thanks for sharing with us blessings and love to you and your family.

  2. I have likewise enjoyed stumbling upon your blog. I wanted to use a quote from one of your posts in an article I am writing for a church newsletter. However, I do not know how to reference the quote. I’d like to write more than just “James” or “Author Unknown.” Please let me know how you feel about this.

  3. http://searchingforthelightonthepath.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-is-halachah-for-gentile-disciples.html
    For those of us who are “Not Jewish Yet Drawn to Torah”, it might be better if we were not so drawn (and I’m sorry…I’m “drawn” and I don’t know why).
    I found this blog through searching google “Can a gentile wear tefillin?” and I was struck by your words. My husband and myself are both gentiles who, ironically, have been keeping the Shabbat (by keeping, I mean resting- not working) and Holy Days for over 10 years though a christian organization whom we seperated from a few years ago, only to drift closer and closer to a more Hebrew faith- through a man we used to know as ‘Jesus’ whose real name was ‘Yeshua’- and now we are at yet another impass- more like a great divide. As gentiles who love the Torah, we have much in common with Conservative- dare I see even Orthodox- Judaism, but we are also kept apart by the very thread which brought us to Torah- the man Yeshua. As being unwilling to forsake the Rabbi who inspired us, but also unwilling to accept the dogma of modern Christianity (and forsake Torah)- we are truly on a very narrow, oftentimes winding and foggy path.
    It is nice to know that we are not the only truth seekers out there 🙂


  4. Hi Jenn,

    Glad you found my blog. I hope you find some of my posts of interests and perhaps even inspiring.

    We’re all ‘truth seekers” walking along a “very narrow, oftentimes winding and foggy path.” There are those of us who are not Jewish who nevertheless, find ourselves gravitating toward Torah and Talmud, though it doesn’t seem to make sense that we should. In my case and probably yours, this is the path we have been created to walk. Other’s walk a different path. In the end, by His grace, we’ll all end up at the same destination: God.


  5. Shalom! I am a non Jew married to a Jewish husband. We too left the religious system of churchianity, and now worship at a Messianic Jewish Synagogue. Very traditional, with the liturgy, etc. We are slowly learning to obey Torah, and I am finally beginning to understand the Scriptures, by looking at it from an Hebraic view, instead of a Hellenized view. I have “assimilated” into the Torah observant lifestyle quite easily and happily. This is in NO way a smear on Christianity (true Biblical Christianity). Nor do I feel better than “Christians”. I am simply happy where I am with my my husband. As long as Jesus/Yeshua is the LORD of our lives, we are all ONE, in Messiah. Blessings to you- enjoyed your blog.

  6. Hi Robin,

    My wife and I originally attended a church in our community when we both first came to faith (prior to that time, we were both secular and non-religious). We also entered into a period where we attended a Messianic congregation together but, long story short, she continued to investigate her Judaism and became affiliated with the Reform, and later, the Chabad synagogues, while I left, re-entered, and then many years later, left the Messianic movement. Currently, I self-identify as a Christian but do not attend any particular house of worship. I do study from a number of Jewish sources as I believe the voice of Jesus is a Jewish voice and that he is speaking to us all. I also maintain a number of contacts, both in my community and on the web, with Jewish and Gentile believers.

    As you continue to read my various blog posts, I’m sure you’ll pick up my views on the Torah relative to Jewish and non-Jewish obligation, intermarriage, and the interaction (and sometimes “collision”) between the Jewish and Christian worlds. Please feel free to ask about what I write and to offer your thoughts.


  7. Thanks for being easy on me. I’m not going to post that much. I can’t write. I just like to share videos and links to educate people who know how to write. I posted your blog in several places on facebook for Hanukkah. You have my e-mail address and if you send me yours I can send the links and videos privately, because it takes me awhile to figure out what someone accepts or not. I usually find this out by getting blocked or deleted and I’m learning not to take it personally, but I’m over sensitive.

  8. Kittii, I apologize for any offense I may have given, but sometimes I do find it necessary to edit the responses of some of the folks who come here for the sake of brevity or to limit the dissemination of information I cannot support (though I don’t mind differing viewpoints). I sometimes have difficulty with too many videos being embedded in the comments section but my actions are not personal.

    You don’t have to be a good writer to comment here. You can just write what you would say if we were talking face-to-face. Even if you don’t always have anything to say, you can still visit and read. If you really said anything I found too out of line, I’d just shoot you an email. If I disagree with anything you say, again, it’s not personal. That’s part of discussion too and it’s part of learning.

  9. James,

    My name is Lyndsay. I was born and raised in a Christian family and have been surrounded by a Christian environment for most of my life. In 2010 I took a trip to Israel and have never been quite the same. I’ve been learning a lot from a couple that use to got to my church who about a year ago switched to a Messianic Jewish Synagogue. From last September through this past August I’ve been in Texas working with a faith based non-profit doing work in inner city Houston, my friends made the switch to synagogue during that time. Since I’ve been back I’ve attended the synagogue with them until about 3 weeks ago when my friends and the Rabbi got into a fight about something that the Rabbi had said on facebook. They have since been asked to leave (obviously there’s more to the story than that but for sake of brevity I’ll leave it out.) My family and some friends have been wary of me learning further about the Hebraic roots of Christianity and were especially taken a back when I told them I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Christian Holidays.

    I have not fully jumped into any different boat just yet though I am extremely excited and fascinated about the movement. I have this bad habit, whenever I am presented with information and evidence from people I perceive have greater knowledge about a subject than me, I seem to always take it on as fact, before trying to refute it. I began doing online research (a horrible idea, I know) about Messianic Judaism and ran into several (what seemed to be) prominent figures in the movement like Michael Rood and Jim Staley. I don’t know if you’ve heard much about either of them but I was intrigued and confused about what they taught. I now see that they seemed to be pretty close to both the One-Law and Two-House theological standpoints. The rabbi at the synagogue I attend/attended is definitely a One-Law Messianic.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m a truth seeker. I went to Israel and experienced God’s love for His people and the land in a way I couldn’t ignore. I desire to be as close to God as I possibly can. I was beginning to believe (and still kind of do?) that following Torah was the way to walk closer to God, though there are many laws that were confusing to me but I figure if God desires (requires?) them of me I want to try and follow them. I kind of was viewing Messianic Judaism as the next step further into closeness with God. This is something that my friends, the couple who use to attend the church I went to, would tell me as well. When trying to look up a book the rabbi recommended to me I stumbled upon the Daily Minyan blog and your blog as well (I actually wrote Gene about a week ago and haven’t heard back, I figure he’s just busy and because we have more in common you might understand me better anyway). I’ve been following your blog and a few other resources recommended on your site (including FFOZ and another synagogue I researched which is located where I hope to be moving in the next couple of years that seems to have similar beliefs as FFOZ, they’re called Beit Messiah in Seattle http://www.shalomseattle.com) for a few weeks now and what you and the other resources are saying makes a lot of sense to me. I really want to make a well informed, non-biased decision/direction about all that I’ve been studying. I guess I just want to ask… what led you to return to Christianity? What was the proverbial nail-in-the-coffin evidence you received in the Word concerning your decision… or was it more of a gradual realization for you? What’s the for/against theology of God fearers? What kind of non-biased Biblical resources would you suggest?

    I think at this point I’m just realizing that God asks us to do the best we can with what we have… and to always remember that its His great mercy in Yeshua that saves us and that’s what matters… Sorry if this is super long, don’t feel a rush to reply.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  10. Oh wow, Lyndsay. That’s a lot to respond to, but I’ll do my best.

    I’ve been writing about my intentions and struggles with returning to church for months in my “Days” series. I probably first stated it in this blog post. My “Days” series was a countdown to January 1st, 2013 which was my hard limit for either quitting this blog or sticking with it and quitting church or sticking with it.

    Long story short, I’ve decided to stick with both the blog and with church.

    Certainly Hebrews 10:25 was a major motivation to return to some sort of community and Boaz Michael’s book Tent of David (which I highly recommend, by the way) played a large part.

    I’m a Christian husband married to a (non-believing) Jewish wife and that drives a lot of what I write about here. My story is way too long to recount here, but basically, I did attend a One Law congregation up until about a year and a half ago, when I finally concluded that One Law was not a viable expression of a non-Jew’s faith in the Jewish Messiah. Watching my wife explore her own Jewish identity was a major eye-opener for me in this area.

    Anyway, I thought that perhaps I could attend synagogue with the missus but that never reached fruition. I think it was too difficult for her to reconcile my former religious affiliation with the local Jewish community. There’s a lot more to this but as I said, I could write a book (if you managed to read all my blog posts here, you’d eventually get the whole story).

    Ultimately, I’ve come to the conclusion that even though we non-Jewish disciples of the Jewish Messiah are grafted in to the root of Jesse, that doesn’t make us Jewish in any sense or delete the covenant uniqueness of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. We *are* co-heirs of the Kingdom of God and are equally loved in His sight, but that doesn’t translate into any actual requirement to keep the Torah mitzvot (although voluntary following some of the commandments isn’t objectionable and most Christians already keep the “weightier matters of Torah”).

    I’m somewhat hesitant to discuss my opinions of Michael Rood and Jim Staley since I don’t want to “tell tales out of school,” as they say here in Idaho. As you already know, I tend to recommend FFOZ as an excellent information source. You’ve already visited Gene’s blog, and you’ll probably want to visit Derek Leman’s blog as well. We all share pretty much the same understanding and vision for the Messianic movement and for Christianity. Also, as you’ve already determined, anything with the name “Messianic” attached to it potentially is located inside a verbal and conceptual “minefield” of opinion and sometimes “heated discussion,” so be careful out there.

    Most or all of the answers to your questions are probably located in the last two months or so of blog posts I’ve written. Since I write a ridiculous amount of “morning meditations” (and “extra meditations”), that’s a lot of material to go through. You could also just follow what I produce from here on in to get an idea of what I’m thinking and feeling about everything you’ve asked. I’m relatively uncensored, so what you read is who I am.

    More than anything else though (and I hope I’ve answered at least some of your questions), as a friend of mine recently reminded me, don’t seek Christianity and don’t seek Judaism. Seek God. That’s always a good place to start.


  11. Your website was featured on a recommended list from WordPress so I decided to stop by and say hello. On my homepage is an interesting and relevant video that I would like to share with you and your readers titled, “Is Christianity Jewish?” It’s very insightful the way it presents Christianity through the eyes of a Jewish believer.

    Blessings to you and your wife.

  12. Greetings, messiah gate,

    It’s usually considered poor form to post your first comment on someone else’s blog for the express purpose of redirecting traffic to your site. Nonetheless, I’ll tolerate what appears to be borderline spam for the sake of being a good host. I just hope you don’t abuse the privilege. If your future comments involve recommendations to visit your site, I will consider that an abuse of my hospitality and will remove them. If, on the other hand, you choose to politely discuss whatever matter is being discussed here, I’m fine with that.


  13. Hello, I found your blog via Michelle Van Loon, and I look forward to reading more. Christianity is thoroughly Gentilized (probably not a word, but it communicates a meaning:) in our culture. I, for one, appreciate perspectives such as yours and Michelle’s. Judy

  14. Hi Judy and welcome. Yes, I saw your comment on Michelle Van Loon’s blog. I’m glad you decided to read my humble missives as well. Please feel free to comment and ask questions.


  15. Shalom James and all: One issue with Jewish people who came to faith in Yeshua during modern times and currently, is that we/they had been cast out of the synagogue and the Jewish community and forced into the welcoming arms of the church. So, if rabbinic authorities want to claim that belief in Yeshua as Messiah causes Jewish people to abandon the Jewish community and Judaism, they are the cause. Yeshua said that the Son of Man had no place to lay his head. If we really purpose to follow him, this will be our lot. You will not find a home in the church, the synagogue or most of the stop off points in MessyWorld. What you will find is fellow travelers, and places to stop off for refreshment.

  16. Greetings, Chaya,

    I can certainly appreciate your sentiments, although these days, there are a few places such as Beth Emmanuel that provide a very Jewish synagogue experience for Jewish followers of Yeshua. Alas, they are rare in our world, but I’m hoping more will spring up as the time for Messiah’s return approaches.

    May you find my blog one of those places to stop off for refreshment.


  17. I grew up Jewish, but traditional, rather than religious, although I was Bat Mitzvahed. We went to synagogue only on High Holidays. So, I can’t say that I desire to sit through 3 hour liturgical services; I don’t have the patience and with my bad back, I can’t sit that long 🙂 Not that I don’t enjoy traditional liturgical elements to a time of worship. I don’t know what happened to Rabbi Lichtensteins’s descendents, whether they left their faith, or left their Judaism. I had been informed that none of the descendents of the early (19 and 20th century) Jewish followers of Yeshua maintained their Jewish identity. Levertoff’s descendents are now Catholic. I believe we will soon be returning to the land, so that may not be an issue for us. Since you like in-depth studies, I recommend Bill Bullock of The Rabbi’s Son: http://www.regionschristiancenter.org/the-rabbis-son/ I also like Skip Moen.

  18. Dear chaya — no one sits through 3-hour Jewish liturgical services. Those who really daven for any lengthy period are much more active, sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, sometimes bowing — and if they have a hasidic bent, sometimes dancing.

    I often lament that the late-nineteenth to early twentieth-century traditionally-observant Jewish messianists were unable to foment a popular movement such as arose in the USA shortly after the 1968 six-day-war in Israel; but perhaps the time was not yet ripe until then. Even now, a generation later, it is too rare to find communities of those who have kept or returned to Torah. The influences that drove or drew Jewish messianists into semi-Christian fellowships or outright Christian denominations have not been eliminated, and too many such Jews are too assimilated, but the number who are returning to Torah and halakhah is growing as the aggregate level of spiritual maturity increases among Rav Yeshua’s Jewish disciples. Even in the land of Israel the conflict still persists between Messianic Jews who are actually pursuing reflections of evangelical Christianity and Jewish Rav-Yeshua messianists who pursue obedience to Torah by means of halakhah. Nonetheless, this situation is an improvement over an earlier period when there was neither conflict nor halakhah to distinguish Jewish disciples from their Christian counterparts. Thus, the prototypical examples of Jews like Levertoff and Lichtenstein are not wasted, even though they could not themselves bring about a wider continuing practice of the vision they pursued.

  19. It’s a complex situation. IMNSHO “Messianic Judaism,” doesn’t exist anymore. You have the HR faction that is made up of non-Jews, that are alternately rabbinophiliac or rabbinophobic. Then there are the various fighting factions of MJ, that are also overwhelmingly non-Jewish. Boaz Michael, aka Christopher Detwiler, and Derek Leman are not Jewish, although they claim to be. Persons who are not Jewish are telling those of us who are Jewish how to be Jewish. In addition, persons who have some Jewish biological background, but never grew up in the Jewish community also believe they understand those of us who did grow up in the Jewish community. My motivation in living torah is the walk the narrow path as I follow the Good Shepherd, not to seek the approval of the rabbinical or Jewish establishment or any of their various divisions.

  20. I don’t know where you live, Chaya, but “Messianic Judaism” has not ceased to exist, nor has it been overwhelmed entirely by non-Jews. While I do recommend that you could be a little more charitable toward former converts who should now halakhically be treated as Jews and not continually denigrated and abused, there do exist Jewish Rav-Yeshua messianists who observe Torah and the general Jewish traditional lifestyle in accordance with halakhah. I know of such groups both in the USA and in Israel, and there are undoubtedly others elsewhere. Their motivation is not to seek anyone’s approval (and they rarely receive it); they merely wish to pursue the implications of the essential messianic Jewish paradigm that Jewish disciples of an Israeli rabbi should not be expected to live as anything other than Torah-observant Jews. That does not mean that all of them will behave as haredim; nor that all of them are equally knowledgeable or equal in their progress in pursuit of Torah, but they do understand the essential idea.

  21. In response to your other post, financial and career interests drove and drive some of these congregations and ministries, because he who pays the piper calls the tune. I would never say that I don’t hold biases, as we all do, but at least I can say that no one is paying me, nor are there any social or political constraints upon me. To those of us who are Jewish, the sages of our people play a role in our thinking. How much we want them to play a role is our decision.

    I didn’t mean that MJ had ceased to exist, but it has ceased to be Jewish. Even when I was involved in the 70’s and 80’s, it would be rare to find a congregation that was more than 50-60% Jewish, and in many Jewish members would be the minority. I do believe it is a problem when someone undergoes a fake or questionable conversion, and is now an expert on what Jewish people should think, how we should live and of course we should buy their stuff. Their market is mostly non-Jews, and they proclaim themselves to be Jewish to sell to this market. Not that God can’t use even those who, as Sha’ul mentioned, preach with selfish motives. There is a Korean church up the street from me. I am sure that almost all the members are Korean, except perhaps non-Korean spouses and some with a special interest in this people-group. They don’t have to bill themselves as, “Koreans and non-Koreans worshipping together as one,” nor do they seek financial support from the surround majority of other ethnic groups. I am sure as a non-Korean, I would be welcomed and well-treated, but it wouldn’t occur to me to tell Koreans how to be Koreans or how to minister to their own people. The Korean church doesn’t have the problem of non-Koreans taking over their church, and the majority calls the shots. And the Korean single women in the church don’t have to sit back and watch as their men marry the preferable Caucasian blondes with a Korean heart who know how to make kimchee.

  22. Actually, young Koreans do face the temptation to marry outside the community, and too often must watch their friends do so, though you are correct that they do not face the problem that Jews do of being both the chosen and the picked-on people. Their churches represent an ethnic Christianity and I’m pretty sure they do not have to contend with pseudo-Koreans or Korean wannabees. Of course, my insight into their community has been very limited, though conversations with Korean neighbors in one place where I lived did offer a glimpse.

    One of the problems faced by MJ is the existence of a much too large contingent who think it is identical with the ethnic Christian sect of Hebrew Christianity. However, I do not believe that problem is suffered by the publically-visible former converts you cited previously. If they should be subject to any criticism, it should be based on how their exhortations align with Chazal and other Jewish literature, particularly Tenakh. They do, nonetheless, along with a number of native Jews, direct some of their attention to educating many non-Jews. Some of these are seeking spiritual authenticity and thus are exploring the Jewish roots of their faith in what they previously did not realize was the teaching of an Israeli rabbi. Others merely need to understand and eschew the errors that have been committed during centuries of Christian and pseudo-Christian hegemony against Jews and Judaism. Something that has been made a little clearer within MJ in recent years is the distinction between such non-Jews and the Jews who are returning to HaShem in repentance and turning to the Israeli ben-Yosef Messiah for instruction and discipleship.

    Thankfully, not everyone is subject to non-Jewish financial, political, philosophical or religious pressures to distort MJ and warp it toward some form of ethnic Christianity. But even Jews need to make a living, so we shouldn’t be too disdainful of their marketing efforts to sell their “stuff”, even if those marketing efforts must capitalize on the misconceptions that abound in the marketplace. It is always better, of course, when marketing efforts can succeed in being educational as well, and the world is still in much need of all sorts of “tikun”. But, for now, it is for us to fix what we can, improve what we may, and attempt to walk in humble purity with HaShem.

  23. I have purposefully absented myself from the fray and can only look in from the outside, which can be good because I don’t have a pony in the race, and bad, because I may not be privy to some details. But I am aware, through those who are involved in the fray and through those who seek to be peacemakers, that the various MessyWorld factions are fighting for marketshare amongst themselves, to the point of threatening musicians and leaders that if they attend of speak/perform for a competitor, they will suffer blacklisting and loss of their smicha (ordination.) So there is more than pandering to Christian money and influence.

  24. Thank you for a wonderful, thought-provoking blog!
    What do you think about Paul’s words in Romans 2:28, “For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God” (RSV)?

  25. Greetings, newheavenonearth, and welcome.

    I think that Romans 2:28 has to be looked at within a larger context, not only of that section of Paul’s letter, but relative to other letters, particularly Galatians. The messages, for all their complexity, contain a very simple message: being ethnically Jewish in and of itself does not justify one before God.

    Consider the words of John the Baptist:

    …and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

    Matthew 3:9

    I suspect that in the late second temple period, many Jewish people felt that just being born Jewish made them more righteous than the occupying Romans and the other Gentiles around them. We see John rebuking a group of such people, and Paul, in Romans 2 is saying that being ethnically Jewish is not sufficient for a right relationship before God. To me, Romans reads like Paul is toggling back and forth between Jewish and Gentile believers who, apparently in a mixed setting, were having some sort of “competition” as to who was the more righteous, Jews because of birth, or Gentiles who were saved by grace without having to convert to Judaism. Paul is cautioning both populations against arrogance. No one is righteous and meets God’s standards, not one of us.

    I don’t think Paul is saying that some people who were born Jewish really weren’t Jews because of a lack of faith or because of arrogance. I think he was saying that there’s an ineffable quality to being a Jew before God that goes beyond mere ethnicity or DNA, a status and identity that is only fully realized in a life of faith and devotion. God is the source of righteousness for all people, not something we are born with.

    Hope that answer helps. Enjoy the blog and feel free to comment again.

  26. Thanks for the explanation! I appreciate it! As to your comment “no one is righteous and meets God’s standards, not one of us” is so true and thank God that we can be adopted by Our Father God! Thank God we can be grafted into the wild olive tree! Thank God that when I returned Home to the Father as a prodigal he put his robe of righteousness on me and he put his signet ring on my finger giving me a full inheritance!!! I thank God for sending Yeshua to earth to willingly be the sacrificial Lamb for all of us, Jew, Greek or Gentile, so we could give him all our sins and he could give us in sin’s place his righteousness, his holiness, his purity, his blamelessness, his irreproachability and his love and acceptance. I am so thankful that I cannot contain it sometimes! It is the most amazing gift I have ever received! Such Love! Such Goodness!!!

  27. I am Reform (Jewish) with a goy last name, but not raised a Christian.

    Recently the Rabbi was doing a Bar Mitzvah, there was an interesting response to Reading the parsha, Vayikra (Leviticus).

    Both the Bar Mitzvah and the Rabbi expressed gratitude, in the middle of and part of the service, that the sacrificial system is not currently in effect, obviously a common view with Reform Jews.

    I am curious. For illustration purposes, let’s say 30 years from now the Temple is complete, all requirements have been met the sacrificial system is officially reinstated.

    After the initial phase and large number of Jews participate, I just wonder what percentage of Jews on average would participate on a regular basis.

    I wonder if there are any, clearly defined, studies out there that indicate anticipated participation, either from Israeli Jews or Diaspora Jews visiting Israel for the Holy Days.

    Curious also: What would such a system do the views, how would the system affect the views of those Jews and Rabbis that like the Rabbinical system we now have.

    A “whole lotta” re thinking going on, uh ?

  28. Well, Jack, it is a common and well-recognized human tendency to resist change. Certainly we can expect to see such resistance on a large scale in connection with the restoration of a sacrificial system, both in finding agreement about the standards and methods of its operation, about the ultimate practical quality of its operation, and in the average Jew’s appreciation of it. After two thousand years, no doubt it will take some getting used to; and it will require a great deal of rabbinical effort to produce literature that revisits the Talmudic discussions which enabled Judaism to function without it. After all, it took forty years of desert wandering to get the rabble that left Egypt accustomed to the Torah and its sacrificial system. Wouldn’t we expect something similar for its restoration? Throughout our history we have had multiple viewpoints including that of the haggadah’s wicked son who asked “What’s all this have to do with YOU (not me)?” So it is likely that Reform Jews and others will try to rely on their individual inclinations rather than accept a firm requirement from an authority structure demanding their participation.

    As for the likelihood that anyone had already tried to conduct a study or opinion survey, I think it would be impossible to project accurately how some average set of survey respondents would reply, and such replies would likely be different if they were not entirely theoretical and sacrifices were already being offered in an impressive new Temple. They would be different also if the concept framework were to shift from the notion of a take-it-or-leave-it voluntary participation, where the impetus for it would be “what’s in it for me; how do I benefit?” to an alternative view that requires certain kinds of performance in order to prevent negative consequences. How many people would pay their taxes under the USA’s system of “voluntary” taxation if it were not backed by legal sanctions that include fines and imprisonment? What if participation in the Temple at least three times a year were enforced similarly?

    As you said: “a whole lotta re-thinking”.

  29. Hi Jack. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I think if it were a matter of a group of people just building the Temple but otherwise life on our little planet stayed pretty much the way it is now, then you’d have a pretty good point about their being much inconsistency among Jewish populations relative to accessing the sacrificial system.

    But the way I read the “future history” in the Bible, a great deal is going to change, there will be terrible wars, Israel will be all but defeated by her enemies before Hashem fights for Israel and rescues her.

    People and systems don’t change easily, even when the change is beneficial. Many times change won’t occur until prompted by a crisis or other traumatic event(s). If God desires Messiah to build the next Temple and to restore the sacrificial system, then I imagine He will make that come about at the proper time.

  30. So glad I found your blog and looking forward to following you. Being a Messianic Jew I find this all so interesting! God bless!

  31. I look forward to learning from your journey as a messianic gentile, I am very much drawn to the cultural and historical context of Yeshua. Thanks for your writings and research, I am looking forward to reading through them.

    1. Thanks. I recently “turned off” comments on my blog but apparently missed this page. Please continue reading. If you want to contact me, there’s a form on the “Who am I” page that will let you send me an email.


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"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

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