Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Vision for the Hebrew Roots Movement: Question 32

"When there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18)

"…A cord of three strands is not easily broken" (Ecc 4:12)

"If one takes in hand a number of reeds bound together, can one break them?  Only if they are separated, each from the other, can they be broken," (Tanchuma Nitzavim 1).

The Hebrew Roots movement shows a lot of promise.  It is only a fledging movement but through grassroots efforts it has spread all over the country and even the world.  Believers from all different denominations and even religious backgrounds are awakening to the beauty of G-d's Torah.

But there are serious dangers threatening the movement.  HR congregations are typically isolated.  As individual communities are faced with resolving complex doctrinal issues (e.g. what role should traditional Jewish halachah play in communal life?), many have become confused and discouraged.  And, very recently, major organizations affiliated with main line Messianic organizations are directly attacking the core values of the Hebrew Roots movement.

Aside from those threats, there are individual congregational needs that are not being met.  Key institutions that are the hallmark of healthy religious organizations are largely absent from the Hebrew Roots movement.  We need congregational networks, centralized leadership training, boards tasked with developing much-needed liturgical publications.

The Sages (I know you are out there) must come forward and start developing a long range plan for the Hebrew Roots movement, a plan that will organize long range plan committee(s) and allow the movement to work together to achieve goals much larger than anything achievable by any single community.  I think this is why the Ruach put a verse into my head that I recently put in a blog post:  "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour"  (Ecc 4:9).  Together we can achieve things that we could ever achieve individually.  Together we can pool resources, allow the gifted ones with various specialties to bless the Body.  Plans fail for lack of counselors.  So we must have scores of counselors!  You must all come forward now and be courageous as we move to establish a worldwide community of one law (hakahal chukah achat).



How do we establish a long range plan?  What sorts of nuts and bolts need to go into it?  Are there any Sages out there who can help us?  Who out there specializes in strategic planning?




  1. Centralized School:
    TorahResource Institute

    Classes Start 11 Sept 2012

  2. Just thinking out loud, so pardon the roughness but:

    1. Identify what the end product should be. You can’t aim at what you can’t see.
    2. At this point very few people see the need. Get those visionary people together to hammer out the key elements of the movement.
    3. Of those people, find the ones that have the best leadership skills. These are not the loudest or even the most knowledgeable. They are the ones who will maintain humility, make peace, and steadily work for the good of the many. Everything rises and falls on leadership. If we don’t have people of excellent character, we will not only create room for power plays but we will not have God’s blessing.
    4. Determine the elements necessary to produce such an institution.
    5. Start writing up and disseminating documents that set out the largest differences between the movement and cultural Christianity. Don’t focus so much on the points that divide us (i.e. Gentiles vs. Hebrew, Replacement etc). Focus on the advantages of the system and begin selling that to others.
    6. Determine which elements necessitate others and place them later in the scheme.
    7. Start formulating a hierarchical tactical plan.
    8. Begin meeting on a regular basis, doing research and bringing our results together in a type of accountability group. Be willing to set aside whatever projects don’t seem to be bringing results. Be willing to set aside whatever people cannot get along and be a part of the team.
    9. There will be opposition to what we are doing. There are always is to something new. We’ll need to have someone who is good at dealing with people, and is sufficiently quick witted to deal with some of the opposition. Each question that comes up should be prayed over, researched, formally answered and posted online so we don’t have to answer it again.
    10. Start choosing and training leaders. They need to not only understand the theology, but also the culture and the leadership principles we espouse.
    11. On the movement’s website we list groups with whom we cooperate and those who have joined completely. People like winners and this will help create the idea that we are not a few loners out on the fringe beating on pots and pans. We want them to see that we are actually a movement.

    1. C,

      Reading through your list is like listening to one of those rare albums in which every song is a hit. I'll need some time to think and pray about what you've written.


  3. I probably should've used the term "federal" rather than "centralized." Torah Resource is probably the best Hebrew Roots school as of right now. But it was not born out of a representative process. To truly unify the body, we'll need to network every HR congregation and ensure that each congregation has representation at the federal level.

    We need organizations like Torah Resource not just to mold future leaders. We need such organizations to provide consultation in the critical initial stages of long range planning.

  4. My suggestion, pray the Father sends Elijah to restore all things. Anything WE could build would be extend out of the mess we ALREADY make of things.

    Where is Elijah, by the way?

    1. We're men of war; We don't pray for Elijah to come and save us. If you don't have the stomach for the fight, that's fine. Go on your way. I would not die in the company of a man who hesitates to die with me and my brothers.

  5. I agree that we are to be a prayerful people (James 1:5). We must be careful to not fall into the trap of thinking that we make ourselves, without the help of God (Deuteronomy 8:17-18). Yet what is prayer unaccompanied by good works (James 2:17)? I pray every morning “Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!” (2 Peter 3:12 cp Revelation 22:20). Then spend the day trying to speed that day. I am a warrior/priest. I pray as I fight. My greatest wish is that when my Lord returns he finds me in the midst of being a wise steward of the resources He has offered me and a faithful elder, still rendering justice (Deuteronomy 16:20) without favoritism (1 Timothy 5:21; James 2:1; 3:17).

  6. "We're men of war; We don't pray for Elijah to come and save us. If you don't have the stomach for the fight, that's fine. Go on your way. I would not die in the company of a man who hesitates to die with me and my brothers."

    Malachi wrote "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come.

    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

    If G-d is going to send Elijah that must mean it is his will. I will pray the will of the Father be done on Earth.

    But, you are above such things.....ha!

    1. The other day this guy was cussing in front of some women and children. I probably could've prayed for G-d to work in his heart so that he'd stop cussing. But I said "Hey, watch your language--there's women and children here." He gave me a look and so I narrowed my eyes at him and said quite firmly: "You ARE going to watch your mouth." And so he left. If I don't put up with men speaking filth around women and children, I'm certainly not going to put up with the enemy attacking my spiritual family.

      I suggest you read Cajun's comment above.

  7. Here's everything you wished for and more. Come check us out:

    There is already a solid Beit DIn in place:

    1. Wow, nice! I just glanced through some of your teachings as well of the Statement of Beliefs:

      "In addition, we believe that the Torah was meant for Yisra'el and all Gentiles who join its commonwealth (Ephesians 2) and take hold of its covenants (Zechariah 8:23). Any Gentiles joining themselves to Yisra'el's commonwealth will be welcomed with open arms and will be treated as an equal citizen with equal responsibilities and privileges (B'midbar/Numbers 15:15-16)."

      I'm looking forward to dialoguing with your leadership. Perhaps I can assist you on the East Coast.

  8. I appreciate and agree with that statement. If we examine the Torah, we quickly ascertain that "Jewishness" was NEVER a biological but a spiritual imperative. For example, the same laws, including those regarding Passover, applied to both native Israelis and goyim (Exodus 12:48-49; Numbers 15:13-16). Goyim who desired to serve the Lord and were willing to abide by Hashem's commandments were to receive the same consideration as a native-born Jew (Leviticus 19:33-34). We have the practical example of Ruth the Moabitess not only gaining citizenship but becoming the grandmother of no less than King David and eventually the Messiah by the simple statement "Your people will be my people and your God will be my God." (Ruth 1:16)Thank you for sharing that site with us.

  9. "If I don't put up with men speaking filth around women and children, I'm certainly not going to put up with the enemy attacking my spiritual family."
    You say praying to the Father for Elijah to come is akin to speaking filth around women and children.

    Now you are starting to talk and act like Derek. So much for open honest dialogue. I see this web site is coming to another place where the bully rules the playground.

    1. Re: "So much for open and honest dialogue."

      First, I've never censored comments on this blog. Derek Leman censors comments all the time and it's really frustrating.

      Second, I never equated praying for Elijah to speaking filth. My point was that it is not constructive to say that everything we do will be a mess and therefore the best we can hope for is to pray for Elijah to bail us out. I don't agree with that. I think we can be champions. I want to surround myself with champions who think positively. I don't have a lot of patience for comments that bring down moral. But neither will I censor such comments.

      Third, this site is about trying to be constructive. There are several ways to be constructive (e.g. deconstructing false doctrines, studying Torah, studying how to build communities, etc). But your comment that anything we do is just going to create more of a mess--that is not constructive.

      Fourth, I've dialogued with you each time you commented. Maybe it wasn't what you wanted to hear, but I still responded to you. So it is a dialogue. And since I haven't censored you then it has also been an "open" dialogue.

      Fifth, I would love to be able to get along with you. But I don't promise that I'll get along with you. You have to meet me half way. Show me that you can be constructive.



  10. I can't wait for Sixth....Just kidding.....

  11. "My point was that it is not constructive to say that everything we do will be a mess and therefore the best we can hope for is to pray for Elijah to bail us out."

    OK, that makes sense, you could have said so rather than tell me to get lost. :)

    You may disagree with my position that things we touch (I include everyone who claims the name of Messiah)end up a mess. I don't think looking at the state of things is not constructive. When I clean a house, I first view the mess and look for the solutions. You see the solution as "men of war" attacking the mess and sorting everything out, taking the reigns and leadership and setting them in order according to your wisdom.

    "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

    I think we need the leadership of Elijah to accomplish the restoration of all things but, I am not advocating we do not finish the work he gave us to do. Preach the good-news to every creature and make disciples of all nations.

    I'm sure when Elijah comes he will appreciate every man who is willing and ready to roll up their sleeves and set about the work of the restoration. There are many who think they can do the work of Elijah, but if that were so he would not have to be sent to prepare the way before Yeshua.

    I appreciate that I can comment here, I was banned from Derek for "not being constructive" and "not educated enough to state my views in a proper way".

    Constructive is in the eye of the beholder, in my opinion. That you for letting me write my comment.

  12. "He gave me a look and so I narrowed my eyes at him and said quite firmly: "You ARE going to watch your mouth." And so he left."

    What if he had not left, would you have beat him up? Is your method of threatening gestures to fight down any man who you think is abusing one of Christs little ones or those who disagree with you? Did you "bless those who curse you"? Do good to those who persecute you? Set a good example of peacemaker to that woman and child? Are you a man of temper?

    Just wondering because your comment was threatening and ungentle. You seem ready more to fight and beat up others than to turn the other cheek. But, I don't know you at all....maybe it's just rhetorical?

    Sorry to sound critical and I don't want to bring down moral, but is this the way to start a movement...with violence towards those you perceive are attacking you? I see by your own words you have little patients with certain types of comments. I'll try not to make any comments you don't like, but in truth that means I am already censored.