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Hazak haYad: “Strengthen the Hand”

"It was as natural for Jews to construct a law-code on the basis of the indications given in the Pentateuch as it was for Christians to devise systematic theological statements in the Bible; both efforts refused to recognize that God could have done the work far better Himself, if that had been His purpose."

[H.L. Ellison, The Message of the Old Testament, p. 39]

This page lists materials of special interest to Messianic believers and disciples — that is, for Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Yeshua haMashiach.

The Hebrew phrase "strengthen the hand" is a metaphor for encouraging someone. It means giving them hope to carry on by raising their eyes on High, which gives enabling power to their weak feet, knees, hands and spirits.

When Jonathan's father, Saul, was trying to kill David, Jonathan went to David and "encouraged him in God" [yechazzeq et yado beElohim] — literally, "he strengthened his hand" (1 Sam 23:16). It helped greatly. Later on "David strengthened himself in the LORD his God" [yitchazzeq baAdonai elohayv] (1 Sam 30:6).

Strength, when received, can and needs to be given to others.

As Was Their Custom: The Jewish Disciples in Scripture
This 7-part article provides that Yeshua's Jewish disciples retained their spiritual heritage with the Hebrew ancestors and with the Hebrew Scriptures. [4 HTML pages]

Hanukkah and Yeshua
Some commentators say Yeshua celebrated Hanukkah, which commemorated the Maccabean revolt against paganism and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 164 BCE. But comparing the spirit and purpose of the memorial with the spirit and purpose of Yeshua's ministry suggests he did not endorse this anti-Gentile festival. [8 HTML pages]

The Hebrew Meaning of "Jesus"
Basic word studies that link "Jesus" to the Hebrew word of God.

The Holocaust Window
A memorial display in Princeton, New Jersey, created to remember Yeshua the Jewish Messiah and what we believe was his view of the Holocaust.

Israeli Jews Say Yes to Yeshua
YouTube links to video life witness. [1 HTML page]

Maimonides' 13 Principles of faith
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Rambam; 1135-1204) set down these principles as a semi-creedal expression of Jewish faith, partly to counter traditional Christian beliefs. [3 HTML pages]

A Messianic Kiddush
A Shabbat blessing that incorporates the traditional Kiddush with acknowledgment that Yeshua is the Light and Bread from God. Contains Hebrew text, transliteration, and English translation. [2 HTML pages]

Messianic Realities [New]
Jewish and Gentile disciples/followers of Yeshua face common issues in their walk of faith. Some are painful and threatening. Others are deeply peaceful. The Prince of Peace told them both realities would be true for them. [4 HTML pages]

Messianic Shemas in the New Testament
Messianic believers need legitimate biblical summaries of their faith. Israel has long used the Shema of Deuteronomy 6 as her banner of faith. But the Shema is not "Messianic." It says nothing about the Messiah Yeshua. The NT contains passages which could be used as affirmations that link him to the faith of ancient Israel. [1 HTML page]

Modern Messianic Creeds
Sample creedal statements by 9 contemporary Messianic congregations and organizations. [5 HTML pages]

The Myth of Jewish Rejection of Jesus
Israel was of divided, not one-sided, opinion about Jesus in his day. Thousands believed in him. The great historical myth of total Jewish Rejection is dismantled by the NT. And there are two prophecies in Isaiah that foretold the whole story. [8 HTML pages]

Nazarene Jewish Christianity by Ray Pritz
This book review outlines Pritz's history of the Nazarene Jewish movement in the early centuries after the age of the Jewish apostles. The Nazarenes were Torah-observant Jews who believed in the divnity of Yeshua the Messiah, in contrast to the Ebionites who did not believe in his divinity. Because they retained their Jewish ethnic identity, the Nazarenes were usually condemned by Gentile Christian church leaders. [4 PDF pages]

Recovering God: the Father
The God and Father of Yeshua is inextricably tied to the revelation of his Son Messiah. But too often in Christian teaching, the Av is eclipsed by a kind of Christ-unitarianism. This study focuses on restoring the Father's place of honor. [7 HTML pages]

The Shema is Not All (For Yeshua's Followers)
Deuteronomy 6:4 (the "Shema: Hear, O Israel") is expanded by Yeshua and the New Testament writers to include the fuller revelation about God found in Psalm 110:1, which could be called "The Second Shema." [4 HTML pages]

The Trinity Paradigm
This study contrasts and critiques Christian systematic theological statements and formulas about the Godhead with Bible texts that lead to clearer understanding. [12 HTML pages] A PDF version is available. Click HERE.

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