Multitudes of Jewish men and women are taking hold of Torah and putting faith in His Majesty Y’shua Mashiyach for salvation, and living righteous lives as the “Israel of Elohim”. Many Jewish men wear tzit tzit (not seek after their own heart), kippot (in observance of YHWH’s calling as a priesthood), and are well versed in Hebrew and Aramaic. These have turned away from Hellenism to seek a Torah based walk in Y’shua. The spiritual “Seed of Abraham” most certainly walk by Faith… (not by the religious traditions of men).“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed , through the Torah, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the Torah be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of no effect: Because the Torah works wrath: for where no Torah is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the Torah, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.”
We know that being a Jew doesn’t make you anymore the spiritual “Seed of Abraham” than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger (thanks Keith Green).“Not as though the word of Elohim (G-d) has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Elohim: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:6-8
Most Jews will experience some degree of anti-Semitism during their lives regardless of their religious choices, it’s rather annoying and tiresome really. However, there are those folks who are truly “enchanted” by Jews, who recognize Jews as “G-d’s Chosen People”, the “apple of G-d’s eye” etc. One Christian* ministry, for example, while fund raising for Jewish evangelism, estimated that the value of one Jewish soul was worth the same as ten Gentile souls. Jews can be highly prized targets for Christian efforts towards “making disciples”.
In America some Jews began distinguishing themselves as “Jews for Jesus” and many Christian denominations put forth a concerted effort for these Jews to find other Jews and turn them into, “Messianic Jews”. It seems painfully obvious that if there were no Torah, there would be no such thing as a Jew. However, many Jews who adopt Christianity maintain Christianity as a sect of “Judaism”. This thinking follows that Jesus was a Jew, all the Disciples were Jews, Paul was a Jew, so then Christianity is essentially a Jewish thing. Well no, far from it. Jews who use their Jewish identity to slap some sort of authenticity on the Christian religion are referred to by many Jews as Token Jews.
Yeshua, his talmidim, and Apostle Paul were responsible for what is referred to as “Netzarim Judaism”. What Christianity is based on is called “Hellenism”, these are two worlds apart in many respects, how many examples would you care to see?
Let’s look at the phrase “token Jew”. We all know a token is what you purchase at the car wash, at miniature golf or the driving range. One must use real money to purchase a token, then the token is valued by both purchaser and the vendor, but, the token is not worth the same as real money. One can’t take the token to the grocery store and buy something. So it is with the “token Jew”. As a Jew, his or her value in the eyes of the “vendor” is very real. The odd time a token Jew will be referred to as being authentically “Jewish”, however, if this Jew were actually to be zealous for Yeshua and Torah, his or her importance as a Jew would vaporize.
The Torah differentiates Jews from the Hellenists or pagans, what it means to be a Kedoshim (Set Apart People) is to be differentiated according to the Name of Yahweh and the Kingdom of Heaven and a Nation called to maintain the Sceptre of Yehudah (Judah). Any Jew who lives as a Jew is often called a “Judaiser”, which is a very bad thing among Christians who are not under “the Old Testament”, but under Hellenism or paganism.
Regarding the “Judaisers” we read…“You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel.”
Exodus 19:4-6 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
Numbers 23:9-10 For you did separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by the hand of Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O YHWH Elohim.
1 Kings 8:53 For YHWH has chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
There are hundreds of other references that establish Jews as being established by Promise, by Covenant and by Torah. To the Jew in Mashiyach Y’shua said,“You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
It is not a new thing for Jews to become Hellenized. In the days of the Maccabees Jews would have operations to reverse their circumcisions. Today the love affair Jews have for Hellenism extends to “Hebraizing Hellenism”. Jews referring to themselves as “Hebraic Catholics”, “Hebraic Christians”, “Hebraic Moslems” will always find themselves in conflict with their own Jewish Heritage. The fact of the matter is that most Jews have no idea how much Judaism has been Hellenized since Judah went into Babylon. A Jew who lived during the days of Jeremiah the prophet has a far different lifestyle that a Jew who is living a modern Orthodox lifestyle today. Jeremiah never lived according to ideas from the Talmud or Mishna or Gemara or Zohar. Jeremiah sought the Word of Yahweh, but modern Judaism rejects the Word of YHWH and believes in following the “logic and reason” of the rabbis… a very different type of “Judaism”.
To follow Mashiyach and to live by Torah is to truly live like and be a Jew. Y’shua is the King of the Jews which means that He is the one who YHWH gave the authority to establish halakha (Jewish law) rather than the traditions of the rabbis. This means that Jews who follow Y’shua as Mashiyach are preparing for his return and rehearsing his halakah (way to walk) so as to flow with his government in the Millennium when he will rule and reign.
Heaven and earth shall pass away but the Word of YHWH endures forever, if the salt loses it’s savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men. There is a big difference between a Torah Jew and a Token Jew. A Torah Jew is proud to live as a Jew, proud to be able to salt the earth with Torah based Judaism. Proud of the Heritage and promises of the land of Israel, proud to serve YHWH who is merciful and just to all people and proud to claim Y’shua Mashiyach as our Head Rabbi and King of all Kings.
If YHWH was proud to create a people, give them a name and a calling, and refer to Jews as His own special treasure it shouldn’t be a burden to show our gratefulness to Him and live for Him. The greatest Jew who ever lived said, “I have not come to abolish the Torah and the Prophets, but to fulfill.” That should be good enough for the rest of us, Jews or not, to walk in Torah, be salt the earth and define ourselves by how the Creator of the Universe revealed in Torah.
Baruch Ben Daniel
*The word “Christian” is derived from the Greek word “Krist’yana” which was transliterated into the text (in Acts 11:26) in favor of the Aramaic term “Mishikaye” that was used for Jewish talmidim. It is clear from reading the Ketuvim Netzarim (writings of the Nazarenes or New Testament) that early Christians abandoned Hellenism and joined with Jewish Talmidim of Y’shua to have Torah written up their hearts and have circumcised hearts along with Jews. The early Christians (Greek Talmidim) also suffered also at the hands of Hellenists who fiercely protected their pagan traditions. Christians and Jews together are to be as salt, helping others to know Yeshua Mashiyach and understand the sufferings of Mashiyach according to righteous justice. “You are the salt of the earth”, Mashiyach said. To be a Jew according to Mashiyach means to season the world with His Righteousness, and not to be conformed to Hellenism. Torah and righteousness is everything that Hellenism is not. When it comes to being a Jew by Faith then, there is no such thing as a pagan Jew. Either one is a pagan, or one is a Jew, so herein is the dichotomy of the token Jew who basks in the accolades of anti-Torah Christianity and still likes to be respected as being Jewish. These folks are fooling nobody.