Most people have heard the tale of the curate’s egg, but in case you haven’t, here’s a quick precis from Wikipedia: (Link)
“The term derives from a cartoon published in the humorous British magazine Punch on 9 November 1895. Drawn by George du Maurier and titled True Humility, it pictures a timid-looking curate eating breakfast in his bishop’s house. The bishop says: “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr Jones.” The curate replies, desperate not to offend his eminent host and ultimate employer: “Oh no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent!” (This clearly cannot be true of a bad egg.)”
So why am I linking the Hebrew roots movement to this tale? Well, genuinely the Hebrew roots movement IS good in parts, and in fact the premise of it is sound and scriptural and in following the Law of Moses, you are able to follow Yeshua in what He did – this is ALL good. I have no reservations about those parts of it.
What I am worried about is the ‘Leaving Jesus’ message which I came across just yesterday. Take a look:
Their information is based on the works of two Orthodox Rabbis, one Rabbi Tovia Singer, and the other Rabbi Michael Skobac. They have written books, and produced materials that are turning these Christians away from Jesus (Yeshua) and into Judaism. Many are converting to Judaism because these Rabbis have ‘debunked’ Yeshua as Messiah.
First of all, let me say here that both these Rabbis accept the Talmud – that is as fas as I need to go, bearing in mind what Yeshua said of those Talmudists – the Pharisees and Scribes who made up traditions in addition to the Law of Moses – in His day:
Matt 23:1Then Jesus spake to the multitudes, and to his disciples,
2 saying, `On the seat of Moses sat down the scribes and the Pharisees;
3 all, then, as much as they may say to you to observe, observe and do, but according to their works do not, for they say, and do not;
4 for they bind together burdens heavy and grievous to be borne, and lay upon the shoulders of men, but with their finger they will not move them.
5 `And all their works they do to be seen by men, and they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the fringes of their garments,
6 they love also the chief couches in the supper, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 and the salutations in the market-places, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 `And ye — ye may not be called Rabbi, for one is your director — the Christ, and all ye are brethren;
9 and ye may not call [any] your father on the earth, for one is your Father, who is in the heavens,
10 nor may ye be called directors, for one is your director — the Christ.
11 And the greater of you shall be your ministrant,
12 and whoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.
13 `Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut up the reign of the heavens before men, for ye do not go in, nor those going in do ye suffer to enter.
14 `Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye eat up the houses of the widows, and for a pretence make long prayers, because of this ye shall receive more abundant judgment.
15 `Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye go round the sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and whenever it may happen — ye make him a son of gehenna twofold more than yourselves.
16 `Wo to you, blind guides, who are saying, Whoever may swear by the sanctuary, it is nothing, but whoever may swear by the gold of the sanctuary — is debtor!
17 Fools and blind! for which [is] greater, the gold, or the sanctuary that is sanctifying the gold?
18 `And, whoever may swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever may swear by the gift that is upon it — is debtor!
19 Fools and blind! for which [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that is sanctifying the gift?
20 `He therefore who did swear by the altar, doth swear by it, and by all things on it;
21 and he who did swear by the sanctuary, doth swear by it, and by Him who is dwelling in it;
22 and he who did swear by the heaven, doth swear by the throne of God, and by Him who is sitting upon it.
23 `Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye give tithe of the mint, and the dill, and the cumin, and did neglect the weightier things of the Law — the judgment, and the kindness, and the faith; these it behoved [you] to do, and those not to neglect.
24 `Blind guides! who are straining out the gnat, and the camel are swallowing. (YLT)
There’s a lot more in that chapter of Matthew – I recommend you read it.
That being true, do you think it is in any Rabbi’s interest to prove that Yeshua is really the Messiah? They are writing books saying that Christianity has twisted the scriptures to prove that He is.
Rabbi Michael Skobac runs an organisation called ‘Jews for Judaism’ which is specifically for keeping Jews Jewish – in other words he is opposed to the Messianic movement.
On a page where he shares his debunking of Yeshua, this comment leapt out at me: (source) my emphasis added
“If you are going to hang onto the coat tail of a Jew make sure it is one that believes only the written Torah given to Moses. Rabbi Skobac, while very knowledgeable, is mixing the oral torah with the Written Torah. Any addition to what Moses recorded is breaking the Commandments of Yehovah. The traditions of man become more important than the Commandments of Yehovah. The Torah clearly warns against this syncretism. No Jewish Sage has the authority to change the written Torah. You have to do quite a bit of twisting of Scripture to justify changing Yehovah’s Torah. Which sadly Judaism has done. Jews for Judaism is not the answer. Judaism has adulterated the Torah of Moses with extra instructions that are from man and not Yehovah. Jews and Gentiles for Yehovah’s Written Word would be a better goal.”
There have been others in the Hebrew Roots movement which have been a source of concern for me. This site (Link) shows the progression the Rabbi there wants Christians to take:
The very idea that Christians are to be ‘anti-conversion’ – that is to NOT preach the Gospel to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, as Yeshua commanded, is appalling. And then on top of that to take on what they call the Oral Torah – the Talmud – that is just wrong!
The Talmud states that: (source)
“Gittin 57a. Says Jesus is in hell, being boiled in “hot excrement.”
Sanhedrin 43a. Says Jesus (“Yeshu” and in Soncino footnote #6, Yeshu “the Nazarene”) was executed because he practiced sorcery: “It is taught that on the eve of Passover Jesus was hung, and forty days before this the proclamation was made: Jesus is to be stoned to death because he has practiced sorcery and has lured the people to idolatry…He was an enticer and of such thou shalt not pity or condone.”[…]
Sanhedrin 90a. Those who read the New Testament (“uncanonical books”) will have no portion in the world to come.
Shabbath 116a. Jews must destroy the books of the Christians, i.e. the New Testament.”
Any Orthodox Jew is likely to be in favour of the destruction of Christianity based on these words in the Talmud, only the Karaites keep to the pure word of the Torah: (from the same article as above)
“There is a tiny Jewish sect which makes considerable effort to eschew Talmud and adhere to the Old Testament alone. These are the Karaites, a group which, historically, has been most hated and severely persecuted by orthodox Jewish rabbinate.”
I could go on here, but you get my point – Christians are risking losing their salvation through Yeshua! So be warned – the Hebrew roots movement is an interesting place to go and look – yes, do the feasts and follow the laws. If you read the bible you cannot help but see that this is the correct way to go to follow Christ. However, to take any detour into the traditions of man is very dangerous – as I’ve written about before with the mezuzah (Link). This is one area where you need to open your mind and then close it again (Link). For more on the differences between Karaism and and Orthodox Judaism, watch this whole series by Nehemiah Gordon – I’ll give you just one to look at here:
The sad thing is that the Christian church has no answer to these problems – questions that arise in confusion from those seeking God earnestly. Pastors cannot help because they do not follow the bible either.
I ask you to stand in prayer with me for a moment:
Heavenly Father, I pray to you today for the lost sheep who once followed Yeshua, but have turned away from Him. Father, if they are now under a strong delusion, I ask you to get them over it quickly, to show them their mistake with all speed so that they can come back to knowing You and your beloved Son Yeshua. I pray this in Yeshua’s Holy Name. Amen.
God Bless you