Nazarene Space

Calls for an International Nazarene Beit Din

An excerpt from David Stern's MESSIANIC JEWISH MANIFESTO (1988):

A Messianic Jew who realizes that the Torah still is in force... ought to be full of questions. How is the Torah to be applied? What is the Halakhah...? What ought to be done, and what ought not to be done in particular situations?

One can imagine creating a body of New Testament case law much like the Talmud, the Codes and Responsa of Judaism. It would take into consideration [Rabbinic] Jewish Halakhah, which has, after all, dealt with nearly every sector of human existence; yet everything would have to be reexamined... It would be created by both Jewish and Gentile scholars and judges familiar with the Bible and the halakhic process, with the prime text on which to base such a procedure being Mattityahu 18:18-46.
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David H. Stern; 1988 p.158)


An Excerpt from Messiah, Volume 1 By Avi Ben Mordecai (1997):

Rabbi (Haham) Sha’ul was a scholarly teacher of Torah, both of the Oral and Written codes. Not only did he order his life by it, but he also taught it to others, born Jews and born Gentiles alike. Since Sha’ul followed Messiah Y’shua, who also taught the Oral and Written Torah, I submit (at this time in my life) that we should be following in the footsteps of Judaism’s great teachers of G-d’s Law, so long as the halacha meets five conditions:

It does not contradict Y’shua’s teachings on Oral Torah.

1. It does not add to nor subtract from the words of the Written code of Sinai.

2. It is halacha that was recognized during the First and/or Second Temple periods.

3. It does not place an unnecessary burden upon the whole Jewish community, realizing that not everyone in
the community can bear the load.

4. It does not alienate Gentiles from Jews nor create a cause to shun them.

As I see it today (and things can change, but for now, this is how I presently see it), Nazerean (Messianic) halacha should be in place to help us as a global community of believers in Y’shua HaMashiach properly interpret the written code of Sinai for the community at-large.  Not only is this good government (i.e., "the kingdom of G-d on earth") but this is also the commandment of Y’shua. He said to go out into all the world (as you go) and make talmidim of all the goyim.  Understanding the concept that a Jewish talmid is a student of the rabbis’ Mishnah and Gemara (Mishnah is the Oral Tradition and the Gemara is the commentary and discussion, i.e., Mishnah + Gemara = Talmud, hence "talmidim"), I also recognize that our Rabbi Y’shua also had His Gemara (discussion and teaching) on the rabbinic Mishnah and the written code of Sinai. Thus, we are His talmidim or students of His Oral Traditions which is the proper definition of the term "Gospel." We are to follow His Mishnah and Gemara, i.e., His Talmud, and take it to the goyim, teaching them to observe all that He commanded us!

The council in Acts Chapter 15 led by its Nasi (Prince) Ya’acov HaTzadeq (James) and his Av Bet Din (Father of the House of Judgment) Kefa (Peter), was built on this very principle that biblical Jewish government must include the authority of a Bet Din and this means we have the responsibility and privilege to establish something like the Acts 15 council. And it should be done in Y’rushalayim! Unfortunately, I am not presently optimistic that this can be accomplished since there is not the kind of Torah scholarship and unity that is needed among the believers in Y’shua to build something so beautiful. I suppose we will have to wait for the Messiah to come and build it for us. In the meantime, what Jewish Oral Traditions are we to follow? Those of modern Judaism? Those of the Sephardim? Those of the Ashenazim? Or do we all just continue in this state of "do your own thing"?

Well, personally, I find the "do your own thing" and "make up your own interpretations on the Torah as you go" somewhat offensive not only because it violates everything Jewish but because it also says to G-d, "we don't need the teachings of Y’shua on Jewish government (Mattityahu 18)." On the other hand, we cannot keep alienating ourselves from our own people nor from those of Judaism’s ancient scholars and sages that I believe were far more knowledgable on the Oral Traditions than we could ever hope to be. However, if we try to establish a global halachic court and use the authority granted to us by the Messiah, I can tell you that this would be a staggering project! So, what do we do? Where do we stand today? I’m sorry, but I have no answer. Perhaps, though, we can at least start building some unity by teaching believers in the Messiah the written code of Sinai, the oral code of the rabbis, and the rulings of Acts Chapter 15 and then following the five principles that I outlined for you on the previous page.

If you are a born Gentile, I strongly encourage you take hold of your heritage and to live like a full member of the Jewish community, according to your new "grafted-in" birthright. If you are Jewish by birth, I also encourage you to get reconnected to the customs, traditions, and teachings of the Mosaic regulations, if you have been estranged from them.

May your life be enriched as you search out the truths of the Mosaic Torah, and put it into practice. May you find rest and enjoyment in learning even more about your Jewish Messiah Y’shua. In doing so, you will be fulfilling the words of Messiah Himself who said with boldness:

My mother and My brothers are these
who hear the word of God and do it.
(Luke 8:21).

Naturally, if one will step out in faith and obey the above words in their Hebraic context, then these words in Mattityahu 5:19 apply:

...but whoever keeps and teaches them (the Mosaic Laws of G-d), he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Messiah Volume 1; First Edition 1997; p. 301)

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