As Messianic Jews and Gentiles in a seemingly ever-fledgling movement, to find stability, we must plant our feet firmly on the strong shoulders of those who came before us. We must rely on our forefathers and predecessors.
For the last month and a half here at the Bram Center, we have been hosting a weekly class on the Messianic Jewish luminaries. Quite appropriately, this course has been entitled “Broad Shoulders to Stand On.” We have surveyed the lives and works of a different luminary each week: Yechiel Tzvi Lichtenstein, Isaac Lichtenstein, Chaim Yedidiah Pollak (Theophilus Lucky), Paul Philip Levertoff, Abram Poljak, Pauline Rose, and Franz Delitzsch.
This may perhaps be our most well-attended class to date, with consistent attendance and high numbers. The main thrust of this course is to inspire Messianic Jews here in Israel to learn from the pioneering work of master Messianic Jewish theologians who came before us. We explain their lives to give context to their writings; then we discuss their works, vision, and theological perspectives. We want the luminaries to continue to inspire and teach all of us today.
Abram Poljak, one of the most visionary of the luminaries, called the Messianic Jewish movement “A Home for the Homeless.” Only Messianic Judaism can bring both Jews and Gentiles underneath the umbrella of the kingdom of heaven, only Messianic Judaism can provide a home for Jews who believe in Yeshua and Christians who have recognized the Jewish foundation of their faith.
Here in Israel, we are finding homeless Messianic Jews who desire to be in a movement that is firmly rooted in Torah and some form of traditional Judaism. They don’t want to give up their Jewish identity and amalgamate into a church-like environment. There are a few congregations here in Israel that are Torah-positive, but not many.
Our hearts swell when we get people coming to us thanking us for being a stable light for education, for the gospel, and for the Torah. They tell us that we are a home for their homeless souls. A home where they can be who they are, whether they are very observant, moderately observant, or hardly observant at all, they feel they have the space to learn and be in fellowship with other disciples on the long journey to becoming better followers of the Messiah.
We are blessed to hear these words, and we pray that we can continue to be a home welcoming all the homeless Messianic Jews here in Israel, and contributing to the continuation of a mature Messianic Judaism here in Israel.