I am Jewish, and I want to know more about Yeshua, but I have never attended a Messianic Synagogue. What can I expect?
If you have attended a Synagogue or Temple before, you'll experience many of the same components of a traditional service that you may be accustomed to. Shabbat blessings, liturgical Prayers, worship, reading from Torah and Haftarah, and a teaching from our Rabbi. The core difference is a focus throughout the service on the redemptive work that Adonai did through Yeshua HaMashiach, the perfect Kippur that provided atonement for all mankind. Because of this, our Torah service includes reading from the B’rit haChadasha, the New Covenant scriptures, which proclaim the Good News of Messiah Yeshua "first for the Jew, then for the gentile." Romans 1:16. The Messianic Jew considers both the Hebrew scriptures and the writings of the apostles as the complete, authoritative, inspired Word of God. You will also hear reference to Yeshua in the liturgy, worship and teachings during the service.
May I come even if I don't believe that Yeshua is the Messiah? I'm still working through that question.
Even if you're not sure if Yeshua is the Messiah, the best way to find out is to look into it with an open an honest heart, and attending services or listening to Rabbi Levine's podcast is a great resource for doing this. The truth is, he either is or he isn't the Messiah, and we think it's definitely worth figuring that out for yourself!
We welcome you to join us no matter where you are on this subject. All we ask is for people to be respectful of each other and to be respectful to our belief in Yeshua.
I thought that believing in Yeshua (Jesus) meant that a person is a Christian. Aren't you a Church with some Jewish stuff mixed in?
At Beth Israel, we reject the long-standing and widespread notion that accepting Yeshua as Messiah somehow nullifies our Jewishness. On the contrary, we believe it is a fully Jewish idea to believe in Yeshua, and has been since the days of the apostles (being Jews themselves). Furthermore, we are dedicated to the importance of carrying on our Jewish heritage by remaining Jewish in custom and life-style, so long as it does not go against the scriptures and the redemptive work accomplished by Yeshua's Kippur sacrifice. We exist within the fabric of Judaism, and live as Jews, holding on to the eternal covenant that Adonai has made with our people throughout the scriptures.
I am not Jewish. May I attend a service?
Beth Israel is a home to both Jewish and Non-Jewish families that share the vision of Beth Israel. You are welcome to join us for services anytime!
What should I wear? Should I wear a Tallit or Kippah?
Semi-casual to professional is the common type of dress at Beth Israel. That said, we welcome anyone to come in attire that they feel comfortable in, so long as it is modest and respectful of others. It's common practice for men to wear a Kippah to cover their heads, and some men will wear dressier hats instead. On Yom Shabbat (Saturday) many men will wear a traditional Tallit that drapes over the shoulders. Others choose to not wear either a Tallit or a Kippah. Some women wear head coverings, while others do not. Hopefully this gives you an example of the diversity that makes up the congregation at Beth Israel.
When are your services?
Friday Night: Erev Shabbat Services 7:30-8:45pm
Saturday Morning: Yom Shabbat and Torah Service 10:30am-1pm