by Christopher Fredrickson from Brutal Planet and The PaRDeS Radio Torah Portions on PaRDeS Radio and KKVV 1060AM
There was a man, who wanted to celebrate one of the Biblical feasts. Yet he had many things in his way. First of all he was new in his walk, and had not celebrated the feast in the past. He also had physical limitations, and could not afford the things needed for the feast. He even asked his Rabbi if he could use milk instead of the wine that is traditionally used and commanded to be used in the said feast.
The Rabbi tells his secretary to bring him a box of matzo from his private stash and some candles. The Rabbi knew the difficulties of the man, he knew the man struggled with alcoholism before attending the Rabbi's shul, and he knew financially the man was in dire straights. So the concession was made, yet it is written bread and wine. Why was the concession made? Because the man had a heart for Hashem and wanted to celebrate the feast.
Another story is that of a Tzaddik and a Rabbi who were entering into the shul to take their students to Sukkos. A party was held and half the students were drinking wine and being merry, the others abstained and were sober. The Rabbi asks the Tzaddik which of the students were righteous in their actions. The Tzaddik turns to the Rabbi and says, "do you know why one half drinks of the wine in preparation of the feast?" The Rabbi ponders and was unable to give an answer he was confident in giving. The Tzaddik says, "the ones who drink are acting righteously because the wine causes them to exaggerate the good qualities of their fellow men and they bring shalom. But the ones who abstain are acting just as righteously because if they were to drink they would exaggerate the negative of their fellow brothers"
The reason I bring up these two stories is because of the fact that I have come to see the Hebrew Roots and the Netzari or Messianic faiths as becoming our own worst enemy. The young believer goes through a mourning period and an anger period which is natural feeling that they have been lied to by their former religious institution. Thus a spirit of hate festers from within their yetzer , their own inclination, the focus then becomes that of what is pagan, and the perceived evil of their former religious institution in through the crafters of that particular faith. They then take the sins of a few and say that it is the sins of all. The Torah even speaks against this ideal in terms of a family.
"Fathers shall not be put to death because of sons, and sons shall not be put to death because of fathers; a man should be put to death for his own sin" (Deuteronomy 24:16) (SET)
Thus to damn a person because of their ignorance and because of their upbringing does not mean they are condemned to death because of the sins of the crafters of their former religious institution. All too often I see those within our faith as Netzarim call those in the Christian world, "pagans", the "tools of HaSatan", "deceived", "idolaters" etc. It has even becomes the status quo to go on pagan witch hunts and have that be the infestation of radio and television teachings and these teachers get a great deal of coverage. The question then becomes, why would someone act in this matter? And I mean REALLY why? And does this behavior helps advance the Kingdom?
Let us first tackle why a person does this and acts in this matter, subconsciously a feeling of validation and community is needed because this is the infancy stage and for some reason us as human beings love to carefully guard our egos and we love to feel like we are smarter and we need to be assured of that. So what a person young in their walk does is they throw rocks at their former religious institution and invites everyone to throw rocks with them, but what in turn happens is within the building they are throwing the rocks into is a defenseless infant who is stuck on the head an killed. A militia is formed and we are not better than our former religious institutions and their crusades of death and destruction. Only this time we are not taking out the physical man, but we are destroying the thing that is eternal within him, his spirit, the thing that lives on. We cause many to stumble and a majority do not agree with us but rather they dismiss God all together because they do not see God in the truth you are claiming to be presenting to them. Secretly these people want nothing more than a pat on the back and they want to feed the ego by surrounding themselves with those with whom only agree with them. This is dangerous and causes a person's spiritual growth to be either stunted or lessened as they do this. A person who needs to be validated can never grow, they only wish to be right, they feel they are above the prophets above the Talmidim and even in many cases feel they are above Yeshua feeling that they should never be corrected. Because it is no longer about truth at this point it is instead about validation and the selfish attributes one wishes to feeds which in turn kills the man, spiritually.
Does this behavior advance the Kingdom? Some thump their protruding chests and say, "I am teaching truth!!" with an emphatic explanation of their own piousness. A servant, never props himself above that of the person he is speaking to.
Let it not be thus among you, but whoever among you desires to be great, let him be a servant to you. And he who among you desires to be first, let him be a servant to you. Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give himself as a ransom for the sake of many.” (Matthew 20:26-28) (AENT)
The fruits then of the Spirit are these: Love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against these there is no instruction put in place. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I must be honest, I see why it is we seem ridiculous to the orthodox and why we seem ridiculous to the Christians. The reason is we feel we are in a cable news channel debate 24/7 in terms of our faith. Thus is the reason why I, personally, have found myself listening to mainly orthodox and chassidic teachings now. I am confident beyond the shadow of a doubt that Yeshua is my Messiah. But when I listen to an orthodox teacher or a chassidic teacher, they are confident in what they believe and they say, "let's learn it an apply it" in the Hebrew Roots a majority of our "teachers" do not do this, instead they argue their case, they feed head knowledge, and are always on the defense. This goes to show we have some major problems when teachers who talk about application are few and far between. This is sad, we need to turn this around. This is also the reason why PaRDeS Radio is looking for new radio show hosts. Given that we have the biggest internet radio audience in the world in terms of the Hebrew Roots, we have an opportunity to lead the way in the right way to teach the faith of Torah and Messiah.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism