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Frequently Asked Questions

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What do you mean "Hebraic" fellowship?

Without trying to put anyone in a box, most people who believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah fall into one of two categories - either they are "Christians" or they are "Messianics".  Both terms have their shortcomings.  Most Christians believe that Jesus came to change all or part of God's law.  Messianics, while holding on to certain aspects of God's law, tend to incorporate customs that give them a "Jewish" identity.  In addition, Messianic Judaism supports somewhat of a wall between those with Jewish and those with non-Jewish heritage.  Hebraic, on the other hand, implies a return to the time when ancient Israel (including all Israelites, both Jewish and non-Jewish) under Joshua's leadership, crossed over the Jordan and began to implement God's way as a way of life.  Most people in the Hebraic "awakening" believe that God does not change, and thus God's way does not change. Therefore, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus brought forgiveness of sin, but did not change any of His Father's laws.

Are you Jewish?

Probably not.  But most people (including the Jewish people) don't really understand the term "Jew".  The Jews do not represent all Israel, for they are simply a subset of Israel.  Jacob (whose name was changed to "Israel") had 12 sons, the fourth being Judah, the father of the Jewish people.  The other sons were Israelites, but not Jews.  Contrary to what many believe, Abraham was not a Jew; he was a 'Hebrew'. The same holds true for many of the patriarchs of the Bible including Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and Samuel - all of whom descended from Jacob, but not through Jacob's son Judah. We believe we are probably physical descendents of Jacob and thus descendants of Abraham, but even if not, Paul explains that if we are Christ's, then we are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:29).

Do you believe in Jesus?

Absolutely!  There is only one way to salvation and that is through Jesus the Messiah. But unfortunately, "Jesus" has been mischaracterized down through the centuries as a man who came to abolish His Father's instructions.  We therefore choose to call Him by his Hebrew name - "Yeshua" which means "salvation".  Yeshua shows throughout the gospels that He did not come to destroy the law (Torah), but to restore it to it's proper position as a guide to the people of God.

What is the "Torah"?

The first five books of the Jewish and Christian Bibles in commonly referred to as the Torah.  They are the foundational teachings of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and thus serve as the words of life for the people of God.  They are often referred to as "the Law", but the Hebrew word 'torah' actually means "direction" and "instruction" and comes from a root word that means "to hit the mark". Yeshua (Jesus) often refers to the Torah as part of the text that teaches about Himself (Luke 24:44).  Some believers consider the entire Old Testament to be Torah, and many in the Jewish community erroneously  include all or part of their "Oral Law" as Torah.

What is a "Torah Study"?

Sometime before the birth of Yeshua, the Jewish sages divided the Torah (five books of Moses) into portions that would be read every Sabbath, with the intent that the entire Torah would be read in the congregation once every year.  The purpose was to keep the instructions of God in front of the people all the times.  After the Babylonian Exile, certain portions of the Prophets was added to the weekly readings.  Yeshua appears to have participated in the weekly Torah readings (Luke 4:17).

Why do you meet on Saturday instead of Sunday?

From the creation, God established the seventh day as the day of rest. Throughout the Bible we see the people of God observing the seventh day Sabbath, after all, it is a sign between God and His people (Exodus 31:13).  It was the custom of Yeshua and the apostles after His death and resurrection to observe the Sabbath (Luke 4:16, Acts 17:2).  What would Jesus do?  Keep the Sabbath!

Why do you use Jewish words and terms?

Though we are blessed to have wonderful translations of the Bible, a lot is lost in translation.  For instance, the Hebrew word "torah" essentially means "to hit the mark".  Unfortunately, the translators associate Torah with "law" and thus miss the intended meaning of the way and instructions to help you reach the goal.  Such holds true for many Hebrew words.  Unlike English, Hebrew names carry with them an intended meaning, such as "Levi" which means "to join" and "Yehoshua" (Joshua) which means "Yah is Salvation".  We believe a person develops a closer understanding of the text by using as much Hebrew as possible.

Why do you follow the Jewish calendar?

There are a number of beliefs about how a person should determine the New Moon and the beginning of the Biblical months. We choose to use the traditional Jewish calender because it has proven effective in keeping the Jewish people together. Since the Bible is relatively void of instruction concerning the determnation of the new month, most New Moon determinations are based, at least in part, on tradition. If we're going to follow tradition, why not follow a proven and effective tradition?

Do children attend your fellowship?

Yes.  Children are included in practically every aspect of our Sabbath fellowship meetings.  The are encouraged to take their turn reading the Torah Portion, commenting during the interactive session, and in offering up prayer.  They participate in the worship dance, and often give special dance presentations.  In past years the fellowship has had separate children's classes, but now believes it's better to keep the children with their parents throughout the entire service.

What do you do in your services?

Our weekly fellowship begins with a 90 minute sit down reading and discussion of certain portions of the Torah (five books of Moses, the prophets, and the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament).  This is followed by a 30 minute break, then a "traditional" service which includes song and dance, prayers and blessings, a recap of the day's Torah reading, and a short teaching.  We do not have any type of altar call nor do we collect offerings.  Dress is nice-casual.

Why do you dance?

Rejoicing through dance as an expression of praise to God was quite prevalent in the Bible; Miriam danced after God defeated the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20), David danced when bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14), and in the Millennial Kingdom of God, young men and old will dance (Jeremiah 31:13).  A study of the Hebrew word for festival (chagag) in Leviticus 23, would reveal that one of the ways God expects his people to rejoice during the festivals is through dance.  The fall festival of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) is one of the major festivals (Heb. - chag) in the Bible, picturing the 1000 year millennial kingdom.  It is pictured by the weekly Sabbath, thus it would seem appropriate to dance in praise to God on Shabbat.  The Bible is silent in opposition to appropriate dance . . . thus we choose to dance.  For more information, go to http://season-of-our-joy.com/Dance.html.  You may also want to read an extensive article on this subject by clicking here.

Do you have an "oneg"?

Oneg Shabbat, or simply "oneg" is a time of fellowship that takes place on the weekly Sabbath.  In Messianic circles it usually refers to a meal that's eaten together as a group. The Hebrew word 'oneg' actually means 'delight' as in "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight (an oneg)". On most weeks, our fellowship has a somewhat shortened "oneg" (only 30 minutes long,  and the food is limited to finger foods and snacks), but on the 1st Sabbath of each month, we have a full meal.

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