A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Believers in Messiah Yeshua
What is HaDerech (Messianic Judaism)?
HaDerech, Hebrew for “The Way,” and in modern times called “Messianic Judaism,” is a sect of Judaism whose adherents, called “Messianic Jews,” “Netzarim,” or even “Christians” by their detractors who wish to separate them from Judaism, are disciples of Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef mi’Netzaret, and believe that he is the Moshiach (Messiah, Christ) of Israel, risen from the dead, and believe in his future return as the eternal King of Israel.
- They believe that Israel’s King, Savior, and Redeemer is HaShem, alone.
- They believe that the Messiah is this King, Savior, and Redeemer of Israel, and that to reject the Messiah is to also reject HaShem and his Torah which he gave to Israel for safekeeping, and and that such a rejection is to be in rebellion against him.
- They live out their lives in total obedience to Rabbi Yeshua and his teachings, and imitate his Torah observance out of love for G-d and others.
- They believe Rabbi Yeshua is alive, risen from the dead, after having been executed by the Roman Empire during Mincha (afternoon prayers) on Erev Pesach (afternoon before Passover) by means of crucifixion and being hung from a tree.
- They believe Rabbi Yeshua rose to life from the dead after Havdalah on the weekly Sabbath (the time after the Sabbath ends on sundown), during Maariv (evening prayers) and that night was also the start of Bikkurim (Firstfruits).
- They believe Rabbi Yeshua ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives ten days before Shavuot (Pentecost).
- They believe he will return to the Mount of Olives, on Yom Terurah (Feast of Trumpets) at some time in the future, and will usher in the Messianic Age, whereby he will rule and reign from King David’s throne, as King of Israel and the world, from Jerusalem, Israel, forever.
- Like other forms of Messianic Judaism, such as Chassidism, those who follow HaDerech believe their Rabbi is their tzaddik (righteous one), and believe that he is their physical interface between G-d and man.
- Messianic Jews believe that Rabbi Yeshua did not sin, and was perfect, and when Rabbi Yeshua died the death of the righteous, that he atoned for all Israel – a feat that not even Moses could do because he was not righteous enough.
- They believe that Rabbi Yeshua is the Davar HaShem (Word of the LORD), spoken of throughout the Torah.
- They believe Rabbi Yeshua is a man – a man born of a woman, in accordance with the teaching of the Torah.
- They do not believe G-d is a man, also in accordance with the Torah.
- They believe that Messiah is the beit (“tent” or “house”) of G-d, not made with human hands, wherein all the fullness of the G-dhead dwells in bodily form, but just as the Temple can not contain the fullness of G-d, so too Rabbi Yeshua can not contain the fullness of G-d.
- Adherents to Messianic Judaism consider themselves to be talmidim (disciples) of Rabbi Yeshua, a faith they believe is evident by their obedience to the Torah, which Rabbi Yeshua himself taught them to keep and do.
- Messianic Judaisim’s obedience to the Torah is done so by means of chesed (loving kindness, unmerited favor), a concept Rabbi Yeshua taught by example, and when he taught concerning “weightier matters of the Torah, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness.”
- Other Messianic Jewish teachings center on the idea of having a changed, or circumcised heart – a phrase used to describe one in whose heart is the desire to do what is right- a desire Messianic Judaism teaches only comes from G-d. This is in contrast to following one’s yetzer hara (evil inclination) – a desire to do what is wrong, which they believe everyone has since their youth.
- In addition to expressing Torah obedience through chesed (loving kindness), and the emphasis on having a changed heart (a desire to do what is right), Messianic Jews will therefore observe the Sabbath, and Festivals, keep kosher, wear tzitzit, and accept orthodox, and even Chassidic halacha as a standard way of walking out the Torah, with the teachings and halacha of Rabbi Yeshua being the final authority for any halacha that may contradict his halacha.