Do You Mind The Gap?

A popular T-shirt sold as a souvenir of the London Underground sports the phrase “mind the gap”. The gap of course is in between the tube train and the platform edge. The warning “mind the gap” is painted on the floor of the platform as well as being announced gapinside the tube train before and after the tube train stops at the station and opens its doors to let people on and off. The warning has been sounded and painted on tube platforms for many years and like many of the nursery rhymes like “rock a bye baby”, have been sung so many times, people are blissfully unaware of the meaning and ramifications of what they are singing! The warning of “mind the gap” in reality points out the potential horror of what could happen if somebody does not mind the gap: you fall under a train and you don’t have to be drunk to fall under a train either. Falling under a train and the train moving off again does not paint a pretty picture!

Travelling the religious tube train also comes with a “mind the gap” warning too. Chronologically speaking the earlier stations of Judaism as defined by the written torah certainly indicates a journey comprising the following:

12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? 14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. Deut 10

The book of Deuteronomy provides a grand summary and exposition of all that has been stated previously in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. The rest of the Jewish scriptures shows a ‘warts and all’ history of how we the Jewish people with failure, success and ambivalence have and still to this day keep to the journey which G-d had planned out for us: to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you. for the naysayers we have the final word from the final prophet Malachi of the original testament:

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

If the above admonition was not sufficient for us we also have further “mind the gap” warnings to the effect that even if someone from our own people comes along and performs miracles and tells prophecies which come to pass BUT instead offers a different journey to the journey G-d commands we are to put that dreamer or prophet to death (see Deut 13).

Other “mind the gap” moments of recent history include the attempts of the two clowns at One for Israel Ministry to convince Jewish folks of the historical validity of so called ‘messianic’ Judaism all married up with modern day evangelical Protestantism as with thehistory.png case of a recent propaganda article to fill in the gap with a short history of messianic Judaism. The history of messianic Judaism is indeed short rather like the short history of the Palestinian people. The facts on the ground is that so called messianic Judaism was invented in the 1960s as a syncretic movement that combines Christianity—most importantly, the Christian belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah—with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition[1]. Prior to the invention of messianic Judaism in the 1960s there is a gap which goes way back to the time of the New Testament and the Gamliel test recorded in Acts 5:

38 So in the present case I advise you: Leave these (apostles including Peter) men alone. Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.” 40 At this, they yielded to Gamaliel. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them.…

To go along with the idea of a continuum in the time gap between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism, one must assume that the Apostles including Peter, were pork eating Sunday keeping Baptists. The reality is that there is no historical record of a messianic Judaism historically existing between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism. In other words, Peter and the apostles failed the Gamliel test. The dangerous time gap includes therefore such wonderful pagan ideas of the Trinity, the virgin birth  and a divine messiah.

To defend the historical fact that so called messianic Judaism failed the Gamliel test, One for Israel Ministry would insist that the continuum in the time gap between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism has so called ‘authentic Judaism’ of Moses replaced by so called “Rabbinic Judaism”. Is there really such a thing as Rabbinic Judaism?

heritage.png

The book Torah’s Goal published by One for Israel Ministries is an example of a theological agenda projected onto the Jewish Scriptures and Judaism. The theological agenda is a seriously flawed agenda emphasized right from the beginning of the book in the ‘definitions’ section. The definition section refers to the “Oral Law” as the “rabbinic traditions”.

Did the Sages “invent” Rabbinical Judaism? Did they change Judaism to fit their own “image” of G-d?

TUTUS2

Paradoxically messianic Judaism quotes Sages (Rabbis) who post-dated Yeshua himself. Another thing to note is that 100% of these Rabbis themselves said what they said and rejected the possibility that Yeshua was the Messiah let alone a divine Messiah. In other words, what the Rabbis said and meant by their words was COMPLETELY different to how messianics quote their words and then reinterpret them within their own Christian traditions and their latest spins doing the rounds of the various messianic circuits. Nothing could be further from the truth! Read the T’nach! Rabbis are mentioned in the Torah (just not by that term) – they are the judges and the teachers (just as they are today). They were the men Moses told you to listen to! The system of justice (rabbis are judges), then as now, follows the mitzvot (the “do” and “do not” rules) in the Torah — this includes how courts are established and how they “operate.” The Jewish system of judges began under Moses. Read Sh’mot (Exodus) chapter 18:

“But you must [also] seek out from among all the people capable, G-d-fearing men – men of truth, who hate injustice. You must then appoint them over [the people] as leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens. 18:22 ‘Let them administer justice for the people on a regular basis. Of course, they will have to bring every major case to you, but they can judge the minor cases by themselves. They will then share the burden, making things easier for you. 18:23 If you agree to this, and G-d concurs, you will be able to survive. This entire nation will then also be able to attain its goal of peace.’” Sh’mot / Exodus 18:21-23.

From the time of Moses to today there have been Rabbis in every single generation from Moses which includes judges / teachers who have maintained the Torah and Jewish law. There has never been a break in that chain. “Rabbinical Judaism” has been handed down לדור ודור / l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation).

Messianic Judaism and its marriage with evangelical Protestantism fails to realize before it was written, the Torah already existed in our world as a lesson from Moses to the people (especially the elders) and their discussion with him. That’s what we call “the oral Torah,” which, contrary to popular misconception, preceded the written Torah. You could say, then, quite literally, that the fullest manifestation of that G-dly wisdom we call Torah is not how it is written in a book, but how it exists in the minds of the people that received it and put it into practice. And since the Torah is a way of life for all seasons, the Torah includes all the discussions and innovations that have organically emerged from it through the medium of those people over the past 3,300 years. A modern day innovation for example concerns what to do with electricity on Shabbat.

After all, a G-dly wisdom must be given by a G-d who is above time and foresees all. He gave us His Torah through Moses like a gardener plants a seed or a forester a sapling; yet unlike those, knowing all that would sprout and grow over the long life of that tree. “They are the shoot of My planting,” He says, “the craft of My hands in which I take pride.” Like a gardener, He plants the seed. Like a craftsman, He forms the final product, step by step.

Simply stated, with Judaism there is no gap to fall into unlike the gap between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism. The gap of so called messianic Judaism invented and funded by evangelical Protestantism would have us believe in the idolatrous idea of a divine messiah which has to be part of a Triune godhead if their missionary funding is not to dry up that is!

In contrast any messiah according to what has always been understood by Judaism will always lead people to belief in G-d alone and for his people to follow his commandments according to the historically verifiable ongoing continuous discussions and innovations of our teachers and leaders over the centuries under a system established originally by Moses. The added bonus of being G-d’s chosen people is that we are already described as a kingdom of priests (Ex 19:6) and also that each one of us is a messiah (moshiac, see Psalm 105:11-15). In sum our ongoing traditions, innovations and discussions as an anointed and holy priesthood of people will be to the attraction of the gentiles:

19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months [Rabbinic festivals folks] will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”

20 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.”

23 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”

 MIND THE GAP!

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[1]  Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Infobase Publishing, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8160-5456-5, p. 373. “Messianic Judaism is a Protestant movement that emerged in the last half of the 20th century among believers who were ethnically Jewish but had adopted an Evangelical Christian faith… By the 1960s, a new effort to create a culturally Jewish Protestant Christianity emerged among individuals who began to call themselves Messianic Jews.”

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