May/June 2013 – Why Be Part of a Messianic Synagogue?
Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue Newsletter
Volume 29, Number 5 May/June 2013 Sivan/Tamuz 5773
**Shavuot Service, May 14
**KA Israel Study and Humanitarian Trip, June 23-July 4
**UMJC International Conference in LA, July 25-28
Why Be Part of a Messianic Synagogue?
by Rabbi Barney Kasdan
We live in a day of amazing religious diversity and options. Many are drawn to varying alternatives from the eastern and metaphysical traditions. In the Judeo-Christian world, there are a plethora of options of both churches and synagogues. While many would claim a personal, spiritual faith today, it often does not translate into involvement in any religious community. With this almost unending array of choices, why would a person (Jew or non-Jew) choose to affiliate with a messianic synagogue? In our 32 years of existence at Kehilat Ariel, I have seen some compelling reasons.
First, a messianic synagogue enables a Jewish person to continue in their rich heritage even while they embrace Yeshua as Messiah. This may seem obvious to some but, frankly, it has not always been the case in history. More often than not, if a Jewish person wanted to believe in Yeshua they were pressured to give up their identity and assimilate into the Gentile forms of Christianity. While we affirm the vital place of the church, it is very difficult in practical terms for a Jew to retain their biblical identity. Messianic synagogues provide a community for Jewish believers to continue with our holy days and culture. It has been one of the greatest ironies of history that many times when a Jew professed belief in their Jewish Messiah that they were then asked to change their culture! If Yeshua is indeed the Messiah, then we would expect him to be the final piece of the puzzle for our faith, not to take us away from it. In his own words, Yeshua said he came not to abolish the Torah and the Prophets, but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17). The life of his earliest believers (all Jews) also testifies that this is how they understood the teaching of Yeshua. Decades after his resurrection, it is recorded that there were many thousands of Messianic Jews in Jerusalem and that they were all zealous for the Torah (Acts 21:20). Saul/Paul who is often misunderstood on this point, even exhorts the Jewish believers in Yeshua to continue in their God-given calling and not become “uncircumcised” (I Corinthians 7:17-18). Most contemporary Jewish believers appreciate their heritage and know that they should live it somehow. The messianic synagogue is the most logical solution. It offers the Jewish believer a place to not only talk about their heritage but to live it out in practical terms. Instead of just reminiscing about by-gone days of our bar mitzvah, we can continue to grow in our faith within the blessing of our Jewish heritage. It also provides a natural place for non-Jewish followers of Yeshua to learn about their roots and even to apply it to their everyday life.
Not only that, but the messianic synagogue provides the most viable answer for the kids of Messianic Jews. Understandably, the average church does not provide a Hebrew School, bar mitzvah training or High Holy Days. Yet the average synagogue, while strong on Jewish heritage, does not incorporate Yeshua as the cornerstone of our faith. Only in the messianic synagogue can we have the best of both worlds; both of which are important in the eyes of G-d. Messianic Jewish kids will more naturally be able to integrate their heritage with their faith in Messiah without neglecting either.
A final reason to be part of a Messianic synagogue? You are needed! An important Jewish value over the generations has been “community.” It is difficult to live a Jewish lifestyle or be a follower of Yeshua in our own secluded world. We may have “faith” but we can actually be in disobedience to the One in whom we have that faith. The Jewish believers in the first century were exhorted “not to forsake the assembling together, as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:25). These are challenging times and the messianic community is here to offer support, guidance and deep friendships. The simple reality is that we all need that kind of mutual encouragement today….and we are also needed to help bring such encouragement! For Jewish believers, inter-married families and non-Jewish members, the messianic synagogue provides a wonderful spiritual home. Are you fulfilling your calling in Messiah?
May 14, Saturday, 7:30pm. KA Shavuot Service. Come out for this joyous celebration of the giving of the Torah plus the giving of the Ruach/Holy Spirit. There will be lots of music and dance as well as important liturgy for the holy day. All this followed by our Mt. Sinai Cheesecake Social to celebrate the “milk of the Word.” Invite a friend!
May 19, Sunday, 10am-6pm. KA @ Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance. (sold out!) A group of 40 will be visiting this world-famous museum in West LA. With our tour guide Dvora Kasdan (rabbi’s daughter). We will also enjoy the Jewish shops in the area and dinner at a deli.
June 8, Saturday, 7:30pm. Special Concert with Maurice Sklar. This world-class violinist has traveled the world sharing his special music and testimony as a Messianic Jew. Free event. Love offering received. Invite a Jewish friend who loves music!
June 14, Friday, 5pm- Sunset. Shabbat at the Shores. Welcome in the summer season with this great sunset service at La Jolla Shores on the grassy area by the main lifeguard tower. Bring your dinner, a chair or blanket as we celebrate Shabbat together at this beautiful location. Bring your surfboard for a 4pm surf session with the Rabbi at the checkered flag!
TBA, KA Music and Dance Teams at SD County Fair. Zemer Yeshua and Nagila B’ariel will give a special program in this open air concert. Bring the family and invite your friends to this great outreach event!
June 23-July 5: KA Israel Study and Humanitarian Trip. Join us for our next mission to Israel led by Rabbi Kasdan. 8-day study tour followed by a 3-day Mitzvah Project of renovating a bomb shelter at an Israeli apartment complex. This is part of a larger trip with our denomination (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, UMJC) including many other believers from around the world. 2 spots left for the unique trip! More info at umjc.org or talk to Rabbi Kasdan. This year in Jerusalem!
July 25-28: UMJC International Conference in LA. Join hundreds of messianic believers from all over the globe at this unique gathering! Worship services, Shabbat, teaching workshops and wonderful fellowship with this international crowd. Special concerts from a variety on messianic artists including Lev Shelo, Roman and Alaina as well as Misha Goetz. At Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills (LA valley). Make your reservations and more details at umjc.org. Don’t miss this local event!
Shabbat Morning Services: at 3219 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., in Clairemont, Saturday, 10:30am. Join us for this uplifting time of worship, fellowship and study. Our current sermon series is “Foundations of Messianic Judaism” which is an in-depth study of our beliefs based on the Tenakh and New Covenant.
Children Shabbat School: Our children join us for the first part of the service, then break for different classes. Classes for ages 4 through High School which include a Bible lesson plus background on Jewish studies and Hebrew.
Dance Ministry: Dance Review Workshop is held every Shabbat, 9:30-10:25am in the upstairs Dance Room. All welcome to learn the dances for that day’s service!
Tuesday Minyan and Messianic Jewish Institute of San Diego: Corporate prayer from 6:30-7:00 as we lift up Israel and the needs of our synagogue. Class from 7:00-8:30pm.
“Genesis–A Messianic Perspective”. This 9-week course will take an in depth look at this foundational scroll and what it means to us today. $60 per student. Call our office for further information.
“A Taste of Torah” Classes: Saturday 9:00-10:00am. This survey of the Torah class will take you through the Parsha in one year. Currently in Vayikra/Leviticus. A great way to learn the foundations of our faith! There is also a Spanish Torah Study at this same time. Contact Gabe Pacheco or Luciano Rivera for info.
Men’s Club: All men are invited to this Monday evening group (2nd and 4th at KA) for connecting, dialogue and encouragement on vital issues that we deal with today. Always some good discussion and study along with service projects for men to be involved with. Also a group meets every Wednesday 5am. Contact Frank Rosas or Rome Remigio for more information.
Sisterhood: This dynamic group of women meets monthly for study, friendship and service projects. Call the KA office for the latest info on the next luncheon and meeting. All women and daughters are welcome!
Messiah TV: Check out our TV outreach program as we share Mashiach and the Jewish background of the New Covenant faith in Yeshua. Seen cross-country! Check your local cable listings and spread the word.
Barney Kasdan, Rome Remigio, Frank Rosas Luis Garabay, Patty Kolb, Tovik Liberman, Bob Haas, Ron Wallace
Audio: Gabe Pacheco
Dance: Sue Rubin
International: Eddie & Yrena Niewald Music: Eric & Joanne Kragenbrink
Office: Jan Folb
Prayer: Patty Kolb
Singles: Bob and Jeannette Haas
Translation: Paty Garibay
Ushers: Tony Savavese
Youth/Education: Michael & Jeannie Stinton
Havurot/Small Groups (connect with the community!)
Del Cerro, Tony & Joan Savarese, 2nd & 4th Fri, 6:30 pm. Cover dish.
UTC/La Jolla, Tovik & Colleen Liberman, 2nd & 4th Weds. 7:00 pm.
Carlsbad, Eddie & Yrena Niewald, 2nd & 4th Thurs. 7:00 pm.
Bay Park, Mike and Sylvia Ferson, every Thurs. 10 am.
Oceanside, Frank and Marianne Rosas, every Fri, 6:30 pm. Shabbat dinner.
Yachad (Singles Fellowship), Bob & Jeannette Haas, Various events planned.
Espanol, Luciano & Lucia Rivera, every Weds, 6pm.
Tijuana, Yisrael and Aviva Vazquez, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Thurs plus last Friday 7pm.
Sisterhood, monthly meeting.
Carlsbad (women), every Tuesday, 10am.
Men’s Club, Rome Remigio every Wed, 5:00 am or 2nd and 4th Mondays at KA 7pm.
3rd Sun, 6:30pm, various events planned.
(NEW) Hiking Havurah, Gabe Pacheco, 7am every Sunday at Cowles Mountain in SD.
Contact the KA office for more details and contact information.
If you would like to send a special love gift donation for our work within the Jewish community, you can donate online at kehilatariel.org or send a check to:
P.O. Box 178755
San Diego, CA 92177
Thank you! And may God return a special blessing to you as you bless our people! (Genesis 12:3)
Nu? News is published bi-monthly by Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue. We welcome your testimonies, poems, humor (no kvetches) or any creative submissions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org