Not To Be Crossed

July 3, 2013

In your article about Messianic Jews (“Fusion of Faiths,” June 21), I was quoted throughout the article, and I feel the need to clearly reiterate my position that those who identify themselves as Messianic Jews are not Jewish. Har Sinai Congregation has always been a very welcoming congregation to many diverse populations. We especially work hard to welcome all of our interfaith families, and we respect the different religions that are observed in their households. All that being said, I firmly believe that if you believe in Jesus as your Lord, you are by definition a Christian. To state that one can believe in Jesus as their Lord and be a practicing Jew does a disservice to both Christians and Jews. Contrary to the implications in the article, I for one am not ambivalent nor do I stumble over this issue. I feel it is important to continue to have the conversation about the differences in theology, worship and practice between Judaism and Christianity. But I do not feel that that this is one delineation that will ever be crossed.

Rabbi Benjamin Sharff
Har Sinai Congregation Owings Mills

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