Brief Half-Page Hanukkah Sermon Miraculously Lasts for Eight-Week Message Series

ThreeDavidChernoffs

Philadelphia, PA – The season of Hanukkah may be long past for most of us, but at Congregation Beth Yeshua in Philadelphia the holiday has lasted far longer. This weekend, Rabbi David Chernoff delivered the final installment of a Hanukkah a message series based on a mere half page of notes that seemed as though it would barely last for a single service.

“It truly is a Hanukkah miracle,” said Rabbi David. “I searched through the Word of God for hours, looking for a new message to give during the Hanukkah service. In the end, I was only able to come up with about half a page of notes. I would have considered myself incredibly blessed if I’d been able to make it last 10 minutes, but here we are eight weeks later and I only reached the end this weekend.

The message started out as a rather typical sermon, focused on dedicating your life to the Lord. But a couple of minutes in, witnesses say, something truly remarkable happened. “Shortly after he started,” recalled long-time congregation member Nate Yesner, “he decided to tell a story about a personal experience that vaguely related to the topic at hand. It seemed like a pretty standard Rabbi David tangent at first –- we usually get one or two of them per service. But then, as he was telling the story, it started reminding him of other aspects he wanted to talk about, which led to another tangent, which led to more new elements to the message. He must have run at least 20 minutes late, and he still hadn’t even gotten to the first point on his notes.”

At the end of the service, the Rabbi promised to conclude the message the following week. However, by the time the next Shabbat arrived he had supplemented the scant half page of initial notes with five full pages of addenda, and it quickly became clear that it would take far more than a single service to wrap things up. By the time the message series finally grew to a close this weekend, the annotations had expanded to more than a dozen pages.

“It really is amazing,” said Rabbi David. “To be perfectly honest, I was pretty much running on empty in terms of message ideas. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do after the Hanukkah message. But God took a tiny amount of material, only enough for a single service, and made it last for eight full services until new message ideas could be produced. Even this past weekend, when it looked like I was going to come up a little short with the remaining Hanukkah material, The Lord provided an Eagles Super Bowl victory that I was able to tie in to fill the rest of the time.”

As for what he expects to do for messages now that the series is finally over, Rabbi David says he has a few ideas. “Once I saw that this message was finally wrapping up I started brainstorming, and I think I’ve got a few viable concepts. For now, though, it’s been a while since I spent a service updating everyone on the status of the new building. After that it’ll be time for a Purim message, and if that goes anything like Hanukkah I can ride it straight into Passover.”

 

 

 

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NEW for 2018: The Messianic Zodiac!

Ram

We all know horoscopes and the zodiac come from Satan himself, but if we make our own then it’s okay! So without further ado here is the all new Messianic Zodiac. Simply look up the year you were born and find out all about your life!

•The year of the Shofar:

1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032

You are stubborn and love free food. People tend to abuse you, especially when they are trying to impress a crowd. Don’t hide your talents from the world, but don’t let people use them incorrectly either.

•The year of the Hummus:

1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033

You are stubborn and love free food. Keep that garlic breath to yourself, especially when on a date with someone you met online.

•The year of the Bagel:

1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034

You are stubborn and love free food. You are crusty on the outside and empty on the inside. Try filling that void with Yeshua.

•The year of the Matzah Ball Soup:

1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035

You are stubborn and love free food. You are warm and comfort those around you when they are sick. Sometimes you will float and sometimes you will sink, but either way, you will always prevent people from pooping when they consume high doses of you.

•The year of the Kugel:

1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036

You are stubborn and love free food. You stand on your own without adding any unnecessary accoutrements, like raisins. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

•The year of the Vegetable Spring Rolls:

1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037

You are stubborn and love free food. Word on the street is you are so much better than your pork-filled counterparts. You’re most popular on Christmas.

•The year of the Joel Chernoff:

1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038

You are stubborn and love free food. You are full of lais, but where would we be without you? Probably in the UMJC.

•The year of the Challah:

1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039

You are stubborn and love free food. Gluten is so last year and so are those shoes you still wear to Shul every week. Try getting a personal shopper or a stylist.

•The year of the felt banner that covers up the cross in the sanctuary of the church you rent from:

1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040

You are stubborn and love free food. You’re not fooling anyone by covering up your secrets. We know. We all know.

•The year of the Belt Loop Tzit-Tzit:

1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041

You are stubborn and love free food. Some people have you wrapped around their finger, while others keep you in their pocket. Don’t worry if people tell you you are not as important as head-coverings. They don’t care much for fringe benefits.

•The year of the Manischewitz Wine:

1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042

You are stubborn and love free food. You are way too sweet for most people, but nonetheless you are a timeless classic. We can always count on you to stick around through the ages.

•The year of the Conference:

1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043

You are stubborn and love free food. There’s sure a lot of you to go around, but without you, life as we know it would crumble.

 

 

 

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Church Potlucks vs. Synagogue Potlucks: A Holiday Guide For Those Who Are Straddling Two Worlds

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With Chanukah and Christmas approaching, if you attend religious services somewhere, you are bound to have at least one potluck to attend in the near future. If you’re reading this, I would assume that, like me, you have spent at least part of your life bouncing back and forth between synagogues and churches. Maybe you’re unsatisfied with your local Messianic congregation, maybe you didn’t discover Messianic Judaism until later in life and are struggling with where you fit in, or maybe you are in a relationship where one of you is Jewish and the other is not. Whatever the case may be, you know that churches and synagogues, regardless of the sect or denomination, are vastly different from each other.

Though all four of my Grandparents were Jewish and my DNA test came up approximately 98.5% Ashkenazi, I was raised in a very Gentile area. Being Jewish in Mundelein was like being gay in 1953. You probably weren’t the only one, but nobody talked about it. And if you did talk about it, you were treated like you had Leprosy. So it was much easier to go to church and live my life as a Christian. It wasn’t until I was well into college that I found my way back to Messianic Judaism. And even then, I spent quite a while going back and forth between synagogues and churches. Because of this, I have been able to observe many potlucks, in both types of settings, and I am going to share with you what I’ve learned from these experiences:

When it comes to church potlucks, mayonnaise is key. That’s right; mayonnaise. Gentiles love mayonnaise based dishes. It doesn’t matter if it’s chicken, potatoes, macaroni, or old shoe laces. If it’s swimming in mayonnaise, they will eat that #@%! up. And by eat it up, I mean figuratively, of course. Don’t expect any food you bring to a church potluck to actually get eaten, despite the fact that you don’t have to worry about picky people, like you would at a Jewish potluck. Gentiles love to talk about eating food more than they actually love eating it. As a Jew, I can’t figure this one out, but we’ll get to that later. I’ve been to many a Gentile potluck and only once have I had something completely finished off, and that is my ‘Magic Guacamole.’ (And don’t think you’re getting the recipe, because that one’s gonna cost you). Everything else has no more than a few bites taken out of it, by the time the event ends. It doesn’t matter how good it is, how much people tell me they love it, or how much effort I put into it, it will not get eaten. I’ve given up. Why should I put effort into making food for people that won’t eat it? The last time I went to a potluck at a church I wound up just bringing a tub of cookie dough and stuck a few spoons in it. It was just as big of a hit, and I didn’t care as much when it didn’t get eaten.

Jewish potluck culture is pretty much the exact opposite of church potluck culture. First of all, every single person at a Synagogue or other Jewish function’s potluck is lactose intolerant, or can’t have gluten, or is allergic to something else, and everyone is incredibly picky and has certain things they absolutely will not eat. On top of this, you have varying levels of Kosher observances. Most Jews do not eat pork or shellfish, some will not mix meat and dairy, some will only eat food that is Kosher certified. Oy, there is so much to remember. Despite this, you can rest assured that your food will be eaten and you will not bring home anything more than a dirty dish. Unless of course what you made was terrible. In which case, I suggest you just stop at the store and pick something up before hand next time, instead of making it yourself. I have also been to many Jewish potlucks and I have never once brought home leftovers, which is amazing, because to a Jew, it is a great insult when people do not eat our food. There was once an almost of leftovers, however, when I brought a double batch of my mandel bread to a mezuzah hanging, but people found Ziploc bags and took the leftovers home with them! My synagogue has also started providing to-go boxes for everyone after the Yom Kippur break-fast. The only thing Jews love more than fresh food is leftovers. And, remember, the theme of every Jewish holiday is, “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.” I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a Jewish function that didn’t revolve around food. Weddings, funerals. In fact, most Messianic synagogues even serve food after all of their services, including on Shabbat. And, from personal experience, I even gain weight during Yom Kippur, which involves a 25 hour fast, because it begins and ends with stuffing your face!

In summation:

•Church potlucks: They say they will eat anything, especially if it’s got mayonnaise in it, but they don’t actually eat anything after all

•Synagogue potlucks: Work around food allergies and dietary restrictions and all of your food will be eaten

 

 

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Pre-MLR Will Make Its Re-Branding Debut This Weekend as ‘MLR Jr.’

NEW-MLR-Logo

Phoenix, AZ — The 10th annual Messianic Leadership Roundtable will take place this weekend, starting with what was formerly known as “Pre-MLR.” Pre-MLR is the day before MLR and is geared toward the next generation of Messianic leaders. MLR is the only leadership conference in the entire Messianic movement that brings together leaders from every major Messianic Organization and allows them to be in a controlled environment with plenty of security officers to prevent them from killing each other.

“Originally, this year’s MLR was going to be an African Safari in Kenya, but due to rising costs, we very unfortunately had to cancel that trip and move the conference back to Phoenix,” explained Jewish Voice and Messianic Movement President Jonathan Bernis. “Since this is our 10th MLR, we still wanted to do something to make the 2018 conference stand out. It was always our intention to change the name of Pre-MLR. That name was temporary until we could come up with a better one, and I really think we have a winner with ‘MLR Jr.’ it’s got a much nicer ring to it, and it also describes what the event actually is: a day for the youngsters. And I know those youngsters love catchy names they can pound sign on Instatwitter. So make sure you pound sign MLR Jr this year if you’re attending. And if you’re not attending, it’s only because you weren’t important enough to be invited. I’m looking at you, Messianic Meow! But I digress. Seriously though, pound sign MLR Jr. I’m not quite sure exactly what that does, but Matt Rosenberg told me it was a thing.”

If you’d like to be invited to MLR/ MLR Jr in the future, you may want to consider becoming a Rabbi. Most the MJAA and UMJC congregations in the U.S. are ready to start training up their next Rabbi, and it could be you…unless you’re a woman!

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FDA Retroactively Warns: Smoking Marijuana with Bob Dylan in the 1970s May Cause You to Become Messianic Rabbi

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Silver Spring, MD — The Food and Drug Administration issued a retroactive warning this week that smoking marijuana with Bob Dylan in the 1970s may cause you to become a Messianic Rabbi. The warning was issued after The Messianic Behavior Research Institute found that 92% of Messianic Rabbis over the age of 60 had smoked marijuana with Bob Dylan on at least one occasion during the 1970s, leading to a necessary study to find out if there is a direct correlation between previously doing drugs with Bob Dylan and becoming a Messianic Rabbi. The study found that there is, in fact, a direct correlation between the two incidents.

“It’s really appalling,” said Dr. David Matzah of the Messianic Behavior Research Institute in Pennsylvania. “After rigorous research on the testimonies of various Messianic Rabbis over the age of 60, we have come to realize that 92% of them had smoked marijuana with Bob Dylan, at least one time during the 1970s. Unfortunately, all of that marijuana is long gone by now, so it would be impossible for us to analyze the drugs in question to see if they were laced with something that affected the brain of young Jews and made them think they need to lead congregations for Jews who believe Jesus is The Messiah. But then again, we don’t really need to run tests on the drugs. I think the proof is in the pudding. The drugs were clearly laced with something very weird. This may also explain why all Messianic gatherings have to have food present.”

Robert “Bob Dylan” Zimmerman initially could not be reached for comment, though we suspect he was intentionally tampering with the aforementioned drugs to ensure he was not the only Jewish believer in the country. Dylan later responded only with, “It ain’t me, babe.”

 

 

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All Messianic Recording Artists Change Their Names to Shae

Beckah Shae

Philadelphia, PA and Nashville, TN — Interesting news this week out of the Messianic music scene, as every Messianic recording artist simultaneously changed their name to Shae. In an effort to come together as one, in our very divided community, the musicians opted to make a very bold statement to the world, by all taking on a shared name.

“Beckah Shae was the first, but then Sharon Wilbur started going by Shae Wilbur, which was ‘unrelated’ to Beckah’s name, of course,” explained Nate Benjamin, now Nate Shae, in a press release. “As Jews we’re supposed to be set apart, and as Messianic Jews, well you know…We’re REALLY set apart. But sometimes our music doesn’t set us apart from Christian artists, so if we all have a common name, then everyone will know exactly Who/what we represent.  Besides, when you’re as masculine as I am, sometimes you need a little help showing your feminine side. And what better way to do that than by using a girl’s name?”

Shae, which is Hebrew for “unique” or “one of a kind,” is gaining popularity on the Billboard Top 100 Baby Names Chart, thanks, mostly, to Messianic artists. Artists, such as Paul Shae, Joel Shae, Joshua Shae, Shae Pearce, Heartcry of Shae-vid, Blue Mo-shae-ic, Shae Sol, How to Shae, and Shae-mie Hilsden. At press time, Marty and Misha Goetz are both still on the fence over exactly where to fit “Shae” into their names, as ‘Shae Goetz’ is too close to the derogatory Yiddish term for a Gentile male.

 

 

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