To be honest, I was rather reluctant to write a blog about the service that occurred a week ago today.
After I saw this video, I almost didn't even comment because I felt I would give Mr. Messer a platform to peddle his wwear on.
But in my heart, I knew the damage this mockery of a service could do to Messianic Judaism, to Jewish-Christian relations that have been building the past several years, how non-believers could have a field day with this.
I had no idea how right I would be. In less than twenty-fours of my viewing the King Long Video, as it is being called, it affected not just the body of believers, but the Jewish world as well. As a former Messianic Jew, I knew I had to speak out, to add my voice to those being raised, it to make it clear bot Christian and Jewish communities, to people of good will, that Mr. Messer is not a part of mainstream Messianic Judaism. But has soundly been denounced for his actions. Mr. Messer is not received as a Messianic, but known as a Lone Ranger and has been an object of offend for years.
Yes, I believe in forgiveness and restoration. I believe G-d indeed forgives and we must be willing to return that person back to G-d, to faith.
However, as I stated in an earlier blog entry, there is nothing Torah based or traditional about what Mr.Messer did in "restoring Eddie Long."
In a response to those of us who were outraged with his actions, Mr Messer, said "people misunderstood his intends of restoring a fallen brother." Mr Messer still see he has done anything wrong.
Mr Messer is a self-appointed Messianic Rabbi, who declaring the soon-to-be divorced and accused pedophile Eddie Long (Long settled out of court.) to be a king. I threw up over this video. I watched in disbelief as this man desecrated a Torah scroll, one he claims survived the Holocaust no less (I have a hard time believing this) and committed one of the most offensive acts towards Jews by a so-called believer that I have seen.
As I stated in my last entry there were a number of false statements made, including calling the Torah Mantle a foreskin.
False. Unheard of as well as offended.
A brand new scroll starts at $60,000.
False. That is the most one can pay for a scroll.
Thirty-nine lambskins are used to make a Torah.
False. I spoke to a Rabbi friend of my (and I thank G-d he is still speaking to me) he told me it is more like 80 skins used, depending on the need and it is a cow skin, more often than not, than lamb.
Trying to make a connection to a connection to Yeshua's flogging, Messer said there are thirty-nine seams in a Torah Scroll. Now, a seam is one piece of skin which three or four columns of text will appear.
Again false. My friend said it usually between 62 and 84 seams.
Because of the oil on our hands, we do not use our finger to touch the parchment. We use a Torah scroll pointer called a Yad, Hebrew for Hand, not finger.
Messer say it takes three and half years to write a Torah scroll; once again reaching to connect this three and a half years to Yeshua’s three and a half years of ministry.
Sorry, false. If a scribe works about six hours a day, the Torah scroll could be finish in a year, just a little longer. Not three and a half.
Holocaust Torahs is given to cities that need to be released into a new anointing.
FALSE. Almost every synagogue and Messianic synagogue in every city has a Torah scroll. Also as stated in my last post, individuals, families, Jewish schools and other places of higher Jewish learning, have Torah Scrolls.
And the nonsense of 90% of the world's Jews never seeing or touching a Torah Scroll is also false. Weekly the Torah is lifted up around the world for ALL to see.
I could go on, but much of that has already been covered.
So why are you writing about this again, Laini?
Because the damage that has already been done.
A quote from Rabbi David Shiff, a legitimate Messianic leader in Atlanta, said, “Ralph Messer in no way represents Messianic Judaism. He is not affiliated with any legitimate branch of Messianic Judaism. His actions in no way reflect the position of Messianic Judaism. I found the presentation to be repulsive and inappropriate." My Jewish brothers and sisters have been offended and rightfully so. I don't have a problem with the Torah being shared with all who wish to learn her truths. But those who claim to be 'rabbis' must teach her properly, teach the proper way to present the Torah, to carry Her, to apply Her. Torah is liken to a Woman, because She is precious. Like the woman of the home, Torah is the heart and the jewel of our faith, She is to be desired more than sliver and gold. Just as the only one who would play marbles with rubies is a child becuase he doesn't it their worth, so too Torah. So many people play with Torah, with G-d, like a toy. Not realising they are playing with Holy Fire.
One just cannot handle Torah or the Holy One as one wishes.
As I watched Eddie Long being wrapped in the Torah, I thought of the kings and queens of Israel. None were ever 'crown with a Torah Scroll.' In fact, each monarch was to write his or her own Torah Scroll.
There was a woman who brought a tallit (a prayer shawl) forth. It was dragging the grow. This was something I had to be corrected in years ago.
While watching me handling my tallit, my first hebrew teacher showing me both how to properly don it and gently reminding me the tallit must never touch the ground. This is how we teach Torah.
It is not my intend to get in a discussion if it is proper for a woman to wear a tallit. Some say yes, some say no. But everyone who dons the tallit shows how to not only wear it, but take great pains not to allow it to touch the ground.
All Messianic Jews have ever done is try to live a life that says you can be Jewish and believe in Yeshua. They spent the last half-century contending for their Messianic faith and in one day, a YouTube video hits the Internet and it in essence white-wash all of us with Messer's brush, threating to to discredit us all.
Thankfully, the Jewish friend who send me the video knew us well enough to know that Mark and I didn't alight ourselves with Messer.
But how many people; Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc believe we are all like this?
The Bible is filled with warnings not to believe every new doctrine that comes around the pike. To test every teaching, even if it sounds right.
Throwing around Hebrew words doesn't make one a Hebrew sholar or teacher. Not everything that glitters is gold.
And for the record, Mr. Messer himself has admitted he has never been ordrian as a Rabbi. He knows no hebrew.
I know his followers feel people like myself are out to get their leader.
Not so. What we ask is Mr. Messer takes some time and learn what the Torah truly says. Learn the true meaning of holy objects before he claims to be an authory.
Mr. Messer's teachings and actions reflect badly on all of us who name the Name of Yeshua. And it is the actions of men and women like Messer that has caused many to leave the Messianic Movement, return to the church or synagogues, keeping our beliefs to ourselves, wanting nothing more than to live in peace, learn Torah and serve G-d.
There are more smarter, more educated men and women who can and have addressed this matter better than I.
But I having been caught up in a cult in my teens; though now free some 30 years, I still remember the pain and heartache it caused me and my family. I have been held under the spell of a Mr. Messer, caught up in a web of lies. Again, I am thankful for freedom. Mostly in part because I began to study the book for myself and not just accept something a 'learned man or woman" taught me."
So when I saw the video, I couldn't help but weep for the peopl witnessing this mockery, even for Eddie Long. For none any idea the snake had entered their garden and were willing to accept the deadly fruit he offered.
I now I know how the Apostle Paul felt, when he in tears and pleadings, warned about false teachers coming into the fold:
Acts 20:29-31 "I know that after my departure, fierce wolves will come in amoung you, not sparing the flock; and from amoung your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert,"
It is my hope and prayer that the events of last week can be turned around and in the end, lead people to be curious enough to see what all of this fuss is all about.
And who knows, maybe draw men and women to G-d and His Holy Word.