Thursday, November 22, 2007

Messianic church wants synagogue designation

Chapter 1
Chicago Jewish Star wrote:
Dear Rabbi Ginsburg,

There has been a complaint about the Skokie Public Library listing the Devar
Emet Messianic Synagogue under the "Synagogue" listing of community groups
on its SkokieNet website, on the basis that it is not a Jewish institution
and so should not be listed as such. The library responded that it was
initially listed as "Other", but the group said they are a synagogue and
wanted the listing changed. The library complied, saying that it follows a
group's own definition of itself.

We are doing an article on this for this week's issue, and I wonder if you
would comment briefly.
My answer

I have 4 videos on youtube about this Jewu 35, 200, 201, 202, Jews not for Jesus series.
Messianic Jews are not Jewish. It is completely misleading to call themselves a synagogue. Once someone declares themselves Jesus believers, they leave the Jewish community. The Supreme Court of Israel so ruled, and the Jewish people agree.

They quoted it in the paper.

Follow up on Messianic Church wanting Synagogue designation.
Chicago Jewish Star wrote:
Dear Rabbi Ginsburg,

This week, following the article in the Nov. 16 Jewish Star on the SkokieNet
listing of Devar Emet under the "Synagogue" heading, the library has changed
the designation, now listing them as "Synagogue", but under the category
"Messianic". In your view, is this a satisfactory resolution of the matter?
Or would you have preferred to see it changed in some other way? (All the
synagogues are now listed under denominational categories, with Devar Emet
as messianic.)

I look forward to hearing from you, and appreciate your timely response.

Have a pleasant and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

My answer:

Thanks for asking. Synagogue is not a Jewish word, but Greek, meaning place of assembly. BUT, it is 100% associated with Jewish places of worship. Since "Messianic" believers (ie Jesus followers) are NOT Jewish, it is misleading and false advertising. It would be like us calling ourselves a Church. Its a free country and they can call themselves whatever they want I suppose, and the free market place of ideas will determine their successful or not. Real Jews have our own problems about name calling, with the former chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel's disgusting comments about Reform and Conservative synagogues last week.

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