Sparks of Torah—The Light from Zion

The Torah must be rooted in Zion in order to go out from Zion.

Image: Morgan Session, Unsplash.com

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Terror and unease in Jerusalem are signs that our exile has not yet ended—the modern State of Israel represents, at best, only a partial redemption. We still await our final redemption—the redemption only Yeshua can bring.

Isaiah describes the redeemed land and people of Israel:

Many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

The “law” to which Isaiah refers is the Torah; the redeemed people of Israel will bear the standard of Torah, and the Torah will be the law of the redeemed land.

As Messianic Jews and Gentiles, we follow the Messiah King, Yeshua. He is the one who will sit in judgment in Zion in those days. He will govern his people according to the just laws of the Torah. He is the one to whom the nations will come, asking to be taught the ways of God.

Isaiah goes on to exhort his people, “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD” (Isaiah 2:5). Isaiah’s coupling of prophecy and exhortation rings as true today as it did for his generation. We know that only God, through Messiah, can redeem Israel. Yet he continues to call his people to walk in his light, the light of Torah. The final redemption is connected with the Jewish people’s repentance, to the time when they finally heed that call—the call of every prophet from Moses to John the Immerser—the call to Torah, to good deeds, to faith and faithfulness.

By all rights, then, Messianic Jews in the land of Israel should be exemplary advocates for Torah. Yet to date, due to a multitude of social, religious, and cultural pressures, Israeli disciples of Yeshua have drawn back from exploring the beauty of the Torah and the life it describes. In the very place in which Isaiah foresaw the nations, the Gentiles, coming to learn Torah, one would be hard-pressed to find a single community of Messianic Jews living out the precepts of the Torah in a traditional Jewish manner.

The Torah must be rooted in Zion in order to go out from Zion. It’s ironic that Messianic Judaism seems to be at its weakest in the most Jewish place in the world—thank God we have many Messianic Jews in Israel—but it seems that the practice Messianic Judaism is sometimes frowned upon within the community. This is not the fault of Israeli believers—there are, as I mentioned before, many issues to consider and various social and religions pressures that taint one’s ability to understand what Torah observance looks like for Yeshua followers.

We possess enormous spiritual potential—after all, the Torah is written upon our hearts resulting in faithfulness (ref. Jeremiah 31), and the work of Messiah has set us free from disobedience to the Law of God and empowered us to walk in faithfulness:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

The body in Israel is built on outreach, music, worship, and evangelism. We believe that the time has come to strengthen the foundation of Torah. Since we are a prophetic, kingdom-based work, we often think, “How can the Torah go forth from Zion unless there is solid Torah teaching within the Messianic community in Zion?

To that end, FFOZ has established The Bram Center for Messianic Jewish Learning in the heart of Israel, in the center of Jerusalem. The Bram Center is a place for Israelis of all stripes to come and learn that there is no conflict between Yeshua and Torah. Please prayerfully consider becoming an FFOZ Friend or increasing your monthly donation. With God’s help and your support, we will be advocates for the Torah in the place where it is needed most—in the land of promise, in the city of the King.

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About the Author: Boaz Michael is the Founder and Director of First Fruits of Zion. He resides in Jerusalem, Israel. From there he directs First Fruits of Zion’s international efforts and is active in establishing a Messianic Jewish learning center in Jerusalem. More articles by Boaz Michael

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