As we know, Christianity deifies Yeshu and also views him as the promised Messiah; thus, some Jews who have adopted Christian beliefs in recent years have begun to call themselves “Messianic” Jews. We need to remind ourselves, however, that they are not entitled to this title, for it belongs to the Jews who have remained faithful to Judaism and who are therefore awaiting the true Messiah. One major reason why Jews that have adopted Christian beliefs, including the deification of Yeshu, should not be called “Messianic” Jews is because our Sacred Scriptures define the Messiah as a human being. For example, the Prophet Isaiah describes the Messiah as a man who descends from Jesse, the father of David, and he states:
“A staff will emerge from the stump of Jesse, and a shoot will sprout from his roots. The spirit of God will rest upon him – a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and awe of God.” (Isaiah 11:1,2)
The above passage clearly indicates that the Messiah is an enlightened human being who is in awe of God, but who is not God. The Christians, however, call the man they view as the Messiah, “God and Savior” – a belief which contradicts the following Divine proclamation:
“I, only I, am God, and there is no Savior aside from Me.” (Isaiah 43:11).
Another major reason why Jews who have adopted Christian beliefs should not be called “Messianic” Jews is because Isaiah reveals in the following passage that the Messiah will inaugurate an age of world peace and spiritual enlightenment when he comes; moreover; in the age of the Messiah, God will also gather in all the exiles of Israel:
“They will neither injure nor destroy in all of My sacred mountain; for the earth will be filled with knowledge of God as water covering the sea bed. It shall be on that day that the descendant of Jesse – who stands as a rallying banner for the peoples – to him shall the nations inquire, and his peace shall be with honor. It shall be on that day that the Master of All will once again show His hand, to acquire the remnant of His people who will have remained, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations, and assemble the castaways of Israel; and He will gather in the dispersed ones of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:9-12)
The above prophecies were not fulfilled during the life of Jesus; thus, to view him as the Messiah is a betrayal of the prophetic tradition. The real Messianic Jews are those who await the true Messiah who will inaugurate the age of peace and spiritual enlightenment for Israel and the world. In this spirit, they proclaim the following principle of our faith:
“I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, nevertheless, I wait every day for his coming.”
In this spirit, HERE IS an mp3 recording of the Hebrew words of the above proclamation sung to a Chassidic nigun (melody). When I was a boy, I heard this nigun on a record put out by the Gerrer Chassidim.
May all of our lost brothers and sisters who have adopted Christian beliefs return to the pure faith of Israel and join us in singing, “I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, nevertheless, I wait every day for his coming.”
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen
P.S. There is another, well-known nigun to, “I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah,” and it is often sung at Holocaust memorials. My friend, Reb Yitzchak Dorfman, told me that the composer was Reb Azriel David Fastag, a Modzitzer Chassid. He composed it during the Holocaust. Above is a video of Modzitzer Chassidim singing this nigun at a special celebration which is held at the end of Simchas Torah.
Reb Yitzchak Dorfman translated the Chassidic story about how this nigun came about for the Modzitz website. You can find it HERE.
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