Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Toronto Post article on Messianic Jews and Christmas

The Toronto Post has a lengthy article on Messianic Jews featuring Emmanuel Messianic Jewish Congregation (founded in 1915!  website: http://godwithus.org/).  Here's an excerpt from author Alen Abel's conversation with Rabbi Barry Rubin:

In the rabbi’s study above the part-time prayer hall, we enjoy a lively conversation about the Nazarene and his disciples.
“Virgin birth?” he says. “That’s very Jewish. The first three matriarchs – Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel – were barren. God performed a miracle and ‘opened their wombs.’ One would expect the pattern to continue with the birth of a messiah, too.
“Christmas is a thoroughly Jewish holiday in essence. But like a lot of Christians, it has lost its Jewish roots. I honour the birth of the Messiah – that’s important. Isaiah predicted it. It’s foreshadowed in Genesis. It’s theologically essential, but Christmas isn’t.
“Look, I’m an American. The American Christmas is fun, it’s beautiful. The decorations are pretty but they’re not Jewish, plus they’re not Scriptural.”
Rabbi Rubin says that his research leads him to conclude that the Son of God was born at harvest time, not the winter solstice.
“Why won’t you say the name ‘Jesus’? “ I ask.
“We’re trying to overcome two thousand years of anti-Jewish actions by Jesus’s followers,” he replies. “We’re trying to make a point. When he was a child, his mother would have called him Yeshua. She wouldn’t have yelled ‘Jesus! Time to come in for dinner!’ “
Read the rest at http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/12/20/alen-abel-the-jews-who-believe-in-jesus/.


James said...

Wow! 1915. That's pretty amazing.

The news article is pretty typical for its type and unfortunately may attract as much bad publicity for the congregation as good. It would be interesting to visit a Messianic congregation that's been around for almost 100 years and find out more about their history.

Do you have any experience with these folks or are you aware of them only because of the news article?

Yahnatan said...


In the last year I've been able to get to know Barry Rubin and some of the folks at Emmanuel personally, which has been a real blessing. Also, for a number of years, Rabbi Barry has worked for unity among Messianic leaders of all stripes in the MD/DC/VA area.


James said...

This illustrates to me that there are plenty of areas of the Messianic movement of which I am completely unaware. Guess we're not just like a small town after all.

Thanks for the info.