Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you Jewish?
A: Well, we’re Jew-ish, hahaha, but no, we’re not Jews by nationality or religion. We are often mistaken for being Jewish because we do many “Jewish” things, like worship on the 7th day, celebrate the Biblical holidays, and eat “kosher”. We do these things because we believe they are commanded by God for all believers in Yeshua. We identify with Christians because we believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah, and we identify with Jews because we realize that Yeshua was Jewish and followed the Torah.
Q: What is Hebrew Roots, and what does Messianic mean?
A: These terms can be interchangeable, however some people identify more with one term than the other. Hebrew Roots is the recognition and re-discovery of the Christian faith having its foundation in Judaism. Yeshua (Jesus) himself was Jewish, as were his first disciples and followers. People who identify themselves with the “Hebrew Roots Movement” are generally from a Christian or non-religious background, and find themselves drawn to Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah and learning about him through a Hebrew perspective. Messianic Believers or Messianic Jews often come out of a Jewish background or are drawn to a more traditionally Jewish way of thinking and doing things. In Messianic Congregations or Synagogues, both Jews and “gentiles” are always welcome, and worship together as one. Both Hebrew Roots and Messianic believers teach and follow the whole Bible.
Q: What is Torah?
A: The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, sometimes referred to as the Pentateuch. It includes the covenants that God made with His people, Israel, which we are a part of as believers in Yeshua. The word Torah, sometimes interpreted as “Law”, is a Hebrew word more literally interpreted as “instruction”.
Q: Why do you say “Yeshua” instead of “Jesus”
A: The name Jesus is the English name given to our Messiah, which is transliterated from Greek, which is transliterated from Hebrew. The Hebrew name Yeshua means salvation, which accurately describes him, because we can only gain salvation through him. We choose to call him Yeshua because it is his correct given name.
Q: What does “grafted in” mean?
A: “Grafted in” is a term that is used often in the Hebrew Roots and Messianic community. It refers to how, through belief in the Messiah Yeshua, we are “grafted in” or made one with Israel, God’s people. (See Romans 11:17-24) This makes both Jewish and “gentile” believers one in Messiah.
Q: Why do you follow the laws of the Old Testament? Weren’t those done away with when Jesus died on the cross?
A: Yeshua, in obedience to his heavenly Father, followed the whole law. In fact, he said (in Matthew 5:17-18 ESV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Heaven and earth still exist, right? So the “law” is still in effect, and we believe we should follow the example of Yeshua and follow the law to the best of our ability. We know that it is impossible for us to follow God’s instructions perfectly, because we are not perfect as Yeshua was, and we know that we are not saved by our actions, but only by our faith in Yeshua. But out of obedience and a desire to show our love to God, we try to worship him as He wants us to and to live our lives as He has instructed us to.
Q: It is true that you don’t celebrate traditional Christian holidays, like Christmas and Easter?
A: Yes, it’s true that we don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter. While at first glance, these holidays seem to celebrate and glorify the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have learned that Christmas and Easter have their origins in pagan practices and traditions. We see many of these traditions still used in today’s celebrations of Christmas and Easter. For more information on this, some valuable teachings available on YouTube are: Truth or Tradition by Passion for Truth Ministries, and Sunburned by 119 Ministries. (Links to these ministries can be found on our Messianic Links page.) Instead, we choose to celebrate the holidays that God gave to us in the Bible. These include Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot), Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). All of these holidays point to Yeshua the Messiah, and through celebrating them we are reminded of the many promises that God has given us, and we are brought closer together as a family and as a body of believers. We also celebrate the traditionally Jewish holidays of Purim and Hanukkah. These holidays commemorate miracles that God performed for His people, and are wonderful expressions of love and thankfulness to Him.
If you have any questions that are not covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be more than happy to answer you!