By Carol Harris-Shapiro
There are a few Jews who think that the Messiah has already again. even though those Jews are thought of cult contributors or apostates via many, Carol Harris-Shapiro-herself a rabbi-engages one group of Messianic Jews to determine what their presence says approximately American Jewish identification, spiritual association, and the emergence of hybrid faiths in an earthly society.
When first released, Messianic Judaism stirred controversy in the course of the state. the 1st publication to seriously learn the position of Messianic Jews in American spiritual lifestyles, it strains the background of this religion that that accepts Jesus because the savior from its past due nineteenth-century starting place in evangelical Christian missions. Reconstructionist Rabbi Carol Harris-Shapiro bases this portrait on her conversations with individuals of a giant Messianic Jewish neighborhood. Messianic Judaism provides major new insights into the character and types of non secular adventure in usa.
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Extra resources for Messianic Judaism: A Rabbi's Journey Through Religious Change in America
Here Hebrew Christians could be themselves, expressing their novel identity in relative comfort. Despite these continual efforts at self-definition, the Hebrew Christian movement was not dynamic. The average age of the people involved was one factor (about fifty to fifty-five years old). A second factor was the generation to which they belonged. In the history of American Judaism, the second generation of immigrants was often more assimilated, eschewing the old-world religion of their parents and choosing more secular routes to Jewish identity.
Known more popularly (but misleadingly) as "Jews for Jesus," Messianic Jews have a paradoxical identity: they take two identities which have represented "the Other" for one another and made them one. Jews have served Christians for centuries as the examples of ''those who killed/rejected Christ," the bearers of values antithetical Page 2 to Christianity, and even representatives of Satan himself (Ruether 1974, 117183). In turn, Jewish literature used the figure of Esau as the carnal, violent, rather stupid brother of Jacob to portray Christians and their persecutions of the Jews (Liebman and Cohen 1990, 39).
Jews who cross the boundaries are seen to be traitors, almost violating a law of nature. One notes the journalist Susan Schwartz McDonald (1976) comparing a Messianic Jewish service to the "ambiguous sexuality" of Renee Richards, a sex-change recipient. Solomon Goren, the chief rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces, called one who is Jewish by nationality and Gentile by religion a ''hermaphroditic creature" (Litvin 1965, 47). In order to explain this anomaly, Messianic Judaism, almost since the group's inception, has been labeled a cult by the mainstream Jewish community, on the assumption that adherents have to be brainwashed into their assertion that one could believe in Jesus and remain Jewish.