Dear Pastor Rob:
My name is Henry M. Morse I am the Messianic Rabbi of Congregation Sha'ar Hashamayim in Stoughton MA. We are 3.1 miles down the street from Sharon MA. Sharon, as you might know, is the most densely Jewish populated community in the United States; approximately 72% of Sharon is Jewish. I hosted your DPPJ event at our congregation last Sunday. And while I can admire the intent of the event and your intentions, I do have some concerns. With your permission, I would like to address them with a brief thought. Please don't misconstrue my note as one of criticism - this is not my intent. I would just like to point out some of my concerns.
I noticed that during your event, many groups were represented except one very important group. There was no one from the Messianic community. Now maybe you invited them and they refused to show, I wont presume. But as a Messianic Rabbi who has led his congregation for the last 11 years, I have taken note to the fact that anytime there is an event similar in our community, there is never a Messianic representation to be seen or heard. I have attended a number of these gatherings, and most of the time I have been received with suspect.So here are my thoughts.
As long as Christians, who say they support Israel, refuse to except and support the place of Messianics as also a part of Israel and not as converts to Christianity, then their message of support will always be like a double-edged sword. Until Christians make a stand in front of the non-believing Jews to this effect, then they will continue to erect a wall of separation between faith in Yeshua the Messiah of Israel and His remnant. The remnant of Israel who believe in Yeshua are no less Israel then the no non-believing Jews. The work of Christians that is done in support of Israel cannot be done without acknowledging the remnant and seeking their full involvement. The problem I see is this: If the Christian includes the Messianic, then there is going to be an offense caused and the non-believing Jew will not accept this scenario. This causes tension for many Christians. I am not suggesting that we bushwhack people and surprise them. What I am saying is by just including the Messianic Jews at your events is enough to reinforce the idea that you acknowledge that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel and not someone who has established a separate religious entity. When you refuse to include the Messianic Jew you are in effect saying to these, my brethren, that "Jesus" is the Messiah for the Christians and not the promised one of Israel. This is a very subtle point and not recognized by most. But I promise you that this is what is going on in the minds of the unbelieving Jewish people. I deal with this now almost every day and have for the last 30 years in my ministry. I could be wrong, but this is why there are never any Messianic Jews represented at these "support Israel" events.
Yeshua is a stumbling stone for those who refuse to believe in Him, and there is nothing we can do to soften that blow. Again, I am not suggesting that we make the message unnecessarily offensive so as to repulse people before we have a chance to communicate to them. All I am suggesting is that to not include the Messianic brethren is to close the door that sends a message to my people that believing Yeshua is the most Jewish thing they can do. That the Gentile believer is the grafted in branch and that what they believe in has to be conformed to the Jewish root.
I submit this respectfully and hope you will respond to my inquiry. I just wrote a book on the subject "why did the Lord create the Jews". I would love to send you a copy if you would like. I am not sending this book to you to promote it. If there is information in the book that would help you understand the role of the Messianic Jew then that is all I expect from sending you this book.
Shalom uvracha b'Yeshua (Peace and blessings in Yeshua) Rabbi Henry