Michael Rood’s Shabbat Night Live broadcast recently hosted a Q&A session called “Hebrew Roots Vs. Jewish Roots?” While it can be appreciable that the faith heritage of today’s Believers is being stressed to primarily originate from the Tanach or Hebrew Bible–is it at all true that today’s Believers in Israel’s Messiah really have no Jewish Roots? While all of God’s people surely do have a spiritual heritage and Hebrew Roots in Israel’s Scriptures–is there no such thing as “Jewish Roots”? Was not Yeshua the Messiah a First Century Jew? Are there are not significant things for God’s people today to be taught from Second Temple Judaism, the post-Second Temple Jewish experience–and most especially the Jewish experience of the past two centuries involving Zionism, the Holocaust, and the rebirth of the State of Israel? Are there are significantly edifying Jewish traditions and customs which can enrich all of us, and are spiritually enlightening–or should mainline Jewish traditions and customs be totally discarded?
Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee sorts through some of these difficulties. He stresses how today’s non-Jewish Believers in the Messianic movement, indeed do have Hebrew Roots from their spiritual heritage in Israel’s Scriptures and Jewish Roots in the Second Temple Judaism of Yeshua the Messiah and His Apostles. He also discusses the unfortunate reality of how many non-Jewish people in the independent Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement are not too concerned with issues involving Jewish outreach, Jewish evangelism, and Israel solidarity. While many of them think that they are a part of the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13), Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), and grafted-in to Israel’s olive tree (Romans 11:16-17)–regarding themselves as participants in the restoration of Israel’s Kingdom (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:15-18)–the paradox is that they do not recognize that you cannot have an authentic restoration of Israel without Messianic Jews.