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Sunday, Chabad, torah, bible study, jewish

I’m growing weary of the Messianic banter. It’s tiring and there isn’t really any growth. It’s stagnant bickering and from what I’ve witnessed there are rampant groups of people being “blown all over by every wind of teaching”. People are debating the Sabbath times, the holy days, the new moon, the calendar, the extra biblical texts– and none of this really matters. It doesn’t matter because none of us have mastered our walk. None of us truly has a grasp on the Torah and the ones that do are quickly shunned, blocked, or unfriended. There’s little dialogue and what little there is never ends with either party learning or growing. It ends with blocking, unfriending, retaliation videos, or entire movements.

What does that have to do with me? Nothing. Because I threw the proverbial deuce and got outta there.

I respect the Jews. I respect the way they guard G-d’s commandments. I respect their wisdom and insight. I respect the Talmud and rabbinic teachings. It’s a rich history filled with 3D images of the Torah we all claim to love and follow. Yet so many are angered when “traditions” or “oral law” or “rabbinic law” are discussed. But the Jews are our big sister! Why we can’t learn humbly at her feet I will never understand. Learning isn’t practicing. And studying from Talmud or any other text¬†isn’t denying Messiah. (Messianics are so quick to extrapolate from the Book of Enoch yet when one studies Judaism it’s cataclysmic.)¬†Learning the history of our faith is making informed decisions. And I can respect those that choose to do that.

Today I went to a Chabad center in the city where I live. It’s a small building in a shopping center with a modest amount of people that attend. I live in South Texas and I really wasn’t expecting a large crowd. I met the rabbi and a few other people and we sat down for a Torah study. We were given a chumash and we sat at a plastic folding table. Next to me was a woman named Ruth who happened to be a holocaust survivor and across from me an older man that had driven 40 minutes into town. The rabbi taught and his 7 year old son sat next to him. I have never felt more at home or welcome than I did sitting at that table. Everyone was courteous, polite, and friendly. It wasn’t an hour of Jesus bashing or Christian hating. In fact, the topic of Messiah never came up. (Well, if you don’t count my “about me” conversation with the rabbi, but even then he was polite about it.) It was a place of learning. And it was encouraged! The rabbi acknowledged my “spiritual journey” and respected my reasons for wanting to study Torah with them. In fact, he welcomed it! (If you end up going to a Chabad to study make sure you adhere to some simple courtesies. As a woman I wrapped my hair, wore elbow length sleeves, and wore an ankle length skirt with close toe shoes. I didn’t wear cross jewelry as it can be offensive to some. I wore minimal makeup and I didn’t use my time at Chabad as an evangelistic one.) You can also go here to learn a few rules of etiquette here and here.

I will tell you that in the hour that I sat learning from the Torah I have never heard such passion for the word of G-d. A few times I felt like crying because I was so overcome with emotion. Everything he said agreed with NT teachings. Several of the phrases he used he sounded like Paul!! The Rabbi spoke about us being a light to world and that the Torah is that light. We learned about Jacob and Esau, Issac and Rebecca. I learned not only the topical meaning of the story, but very deep insights that left me with several day’s worth of information to digest, study, chew, and apply. The rabbi’s passion for the Torah was something of what a father feels for his son: pride. But it went deeper than that. It was a belonging to a group of people. A rich, intricate history that G-d himself wove with the very threads He spoke into existence. At the very least, it was humbling.

Guys, we have to rid ourselves of the anti-semitism that we brought with us when we came out of the churches. Everyone wants to be a “purist”, but it’s never going to be that way. Either G-d left a gray area or you make your own traditions. You’re never going to have a “Torah only” walk. There will be many things you integrate into your journey. There will be many things you omit. I think Ms. Candee Rue is correct when she says

I think that the attitude I had toward the religious jewish people and their practice of the religion is what led me to grave misunderstanding of the Bible and subsequently led me to bad theology.

How many of us are suffering from bad theology? If it doesn’t negate or usurp Torah, it’s not “wrong”. Messiah didn’t tell the Pharisees that their traditions were wrong, only that they were putting their traditions above Torah. I doubt the study of such things falls into either category.

This write up isn’t up for debate. I won’t entertain comments about Talmud, rabbinic law, or oral traditions. I won’t argue it because this isn’t the platform for that. I’m encouraging you to dive deep into the faith of your Messiah. You follow a Jewish Messiah. That quoted Hillel. (The “golden rule” Yeshua speaks in Matthew is similar to

That which is hateful unto you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah, the rest is commentary. Go forth and study. (Shabbat 31a)

Paul quotes from the Talmud and he also references Hillel (makes sense since he was educated by his grandson Gamilel!) Dig into the root of your faith! Read what your Messiah read. Study what he did! Fill in the gaps of scripture with wisdom from those that have been guarding our faith for centuries. Give yourself a chance to have a tangible understanding of who you follow and what you believe. Learning is half the battle.

 

Many blessings! And don’t forget this week’s Torah portion {free} printable!

 

 

2 Replies to “My Sunday at Chabad”

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! And thank you for reading my blog! The Chabad center here in Corpus Christi is a bright light shining for the coastal bend! They do a lot of outreach and truly have a heart for service! It’s a privilege to be able to study with them. <3

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