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What are your theological beliefs?
Beth Immanuel is a Messianic Jewish congregation. That means that we are devoted to Yeshua (Jesus of Nazareth) as the Jewish Messiah within the general framework of Judaism. Beth Immanuel accepts and affirms the theological statement of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.
In addition, the elders of Beth Immanuel have endorsed Paul Levertoff's Ten Principles of the Faith of the Hebrew Christian Church.
Is it OK for non-Jews to attend Beth Immanuel?
Most people who attend Beth Immanuel are not Jewish, but we all practice Messianic Judaism together. Beth Immanuel teaches that Gentile believers are fellow heirs within the greater commonwealth Israel by means of Messiah. As sons of Abraham by faith in Messiah, we all have access to Yeshua’s Jewish heritage. This does not mean that Gentile believers become Jews, but they should not be discouraged from practicing Messianic Judaism: the Jewish roots of their faith.
What is a Virtual Member
Beth Immanuel virtual members participate remotely and stay connected through our online teachings and newsletter. To learn more, see our virtual membership page.
What is the Torah?
In its most specific sense, Torah refers to the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy. Torah means teaching or instruction, and is often translated as Law. The Torah is God's initial revelation of Himself to mankind, and as such it is the basis upon which all further revelation of God is tested, and the foundation upon which all else is built.
The scroll used in our Scripture reading ceremony contains the entire Hebrew text of the Torah.
Are you Messianic Jews?
Messianic Judaism refers primarily to Jewish believers in Jesus who continue to practice Judaism. Most people who attend Beth Immanuel are not Jewish, but they practice Messianic Judaism in imitation of Jesus. We are part of the larger Messianic Jewish movement.
Do you have a dress code?
Beth Immanuel does have a suggested dress code for the Sabbath. We ask that men and women wear gender appropriate attire. Throughout history, Sabbath keepers have always endeavored to dress their best in honor of God's holy day. In addition, we place a high priority on modest dress. Shorts are discouraged. Dresses and skirts should be long enough to cover the knees when seated. Shirts should have sleeves and cover mid-sections. Necklines should not be low-cut. Everything private should be covered.
What is your leadership structure? or Who is your pastor? or Do you have a rabbi?
Beth Immanuel's leadership consists of four elders who share pastoral responsibilities. There is also a board of directors that makes financial and administrative decisions. We have volunteer cantors who develop and lead prayers and services. Deacons, also called shammashim, direct practical functions of community life such as set-up, cleaning, and seating.
Do you use the Sacred Name of God?
Scripture tells us to sanctify the name of God and not to take the name of God in vain. We refrain from using the personal name of God in keeping with the practice observed by Yeshua and the early believers. For more information about why we don't use God's personal name, we recommend the book Hallowed Be Your Name.
When do you take communion?
Jesus’ Last Supper took place at Passover. The ceremony known today as communion (or the Eucharist) was originally part of a Passover Seder. A Passover Seder is a traditional Passover meal containing symbolic elements commanded in the Torah, such as matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs, as well as some traditional additions, such as the four cups of wine collectively referred to as the Cup of Salvations. Jesus took the unleavened bread and cup of wine and gave them new meaning, and commanded us to partake of them in remembrance of him. For this reason, we take the bread and the cup annually in the context of our Passover meals.
What day is the Sabbath?
The seventh-day, biblical Sabbath day begins at dusk on Friday nights and concludes after dark on Saturday nights.
Why do you observe Jewish Tradition?
Jesus was (and is) Jewish and practiced Judaism while he was among us. At Beth Immanuel we strive to be like Jesus in everything we do, which includes observing Jewish tradition.
Why do use Jewish Liturgy?
The traditional synagogue liturgy is an essential part of Messianic Jewish expression and continuity with the rest of the Jewish world. Liturgy has been used in the Temple and in synagogues for thousands of years. The prayers are based heavily on Scripture and most them were in use in the Temple and synagogues of Yeshua's time. The early apostolic community used liturgy extensively, and it is a hallmark of authentic Messianic Judaism.
Many at Beth Immanuel have found that the traditional liturgy expresses our thoughts in a way that is poetic and deeply meaningful. Its broad scope enables us to widen our perspective and directs our attention to those issues that are most important. Liturgical prayer also grants us unity and focus as a congregation.
For those who prefer not to pray liturgically, we offer a contemporary praise and worship service on Wednesday nights.
Why do you pray in Hebrew?
Hebrew connects us with the wider Jewish people and other synagogues throughout the world. It creates continuity that stretches back to the Temple in the days of the apostles. In the Messianic Era, the whole world will speak Hebrew (Zephaniah 3:9). Hebrew is considered to be the Holy Tongue, since it is the language that God used to speak the world into existence, and to speak the words of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. However, the majority of people attending Beth Immanuel don't know Hebrew. For this reason the cantor leads in both Hebrew and English, and all Hebrew has an English translation. We encourage people to learn Hebrew to increase their understanding of the Scriptures, and to pass this understanding along to the next generation.