Congregation Beth Simcha
Questions and Answers
At Congregation Beth Simcha, we get a lot of questions from visitors. For many, both Jews and Christians, Messianic Judaism seems to be, at best, a curiosity. And at worst? Oy veh. Thus, we here address many of the questions people have.
Please keep in mind as you read the questions and answers that there is only one God. The Christian idea of a "trinity" is not biblical.
For our brothers and sisters in both the Jewish and Christian communities, who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we present these simple questions and answers.
When does the Sabbath start?
Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. …11 For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself. Exodus 20:8-11
God established the Shabbat (Sabbath) on the 7th day of the week, and Israel has kept a remarkable counting of days and time since it was given them as a sign of the covenant God made with them. It falls every week without fail on the day we in the USA call Saturday. But back to the question: when does it start? Genesis 1:5 answers the question for us: "God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day." The Shabbat begins on Friday night at sundown.
How do we know Saturday is the Seventh Day?
The Jewish people have kept the Sabbath from Sinai until now. That in itself is proof enough. However, if it's not, then simply check a calendar and you'll see that Saturday, the Sabbath, is the 7th day shown.
The New Testament says the disciples gathered on the first day of the week.
Doesn't that make it the new Sabbath?
The problem here is in the question. If the question is not right, the answer can't be trusted.
1) There is no such document that calls itself the "New Testament". That is a man-made name for the New Covenant scriptures. The idea of a new covenant is found in Jeremiah 31. To call it a new testament is to attempt to remove the covenant from its Jewish origin.
2) The book of Acts does state that the disciples gathered on the first day of the week. That also is very Jewish. Allow me to explain. The people of Israel were gathered in synagogues or at the Temple (depending on where they lived) on Shabbat, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. At sundown, and the beginning of a new day, it was common to stay together for "motzi Shabbat", or to continue enjoying the time together. At the end of Shabbat, the disciples gathered together. It's that simple.
3) If that explanation doesn't satisfy, I would ask: does the Bible actually say the Sabbath was changed by anyone? It doesn't. Did disciples have desire or authority to change anything? And the answer is no. They remained observant Jews throughout their lives.
Why do you kiss the Torah scroll?
It’s not a “kiss” as such. It’s our way of saying, “God, we want Your Word upon our lips.”
If the Word of God is in our hearts, it will also be on our lips. To borrow from a credit card commercial, "What's on YOUR lips?"