Messianic Congregations Across United States Move to New ‘Abuseless Shabbat’ Format Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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Murca — With a global pandemic at hand and the world rapidly changing, Messianic Congregations across the United States are being forced to re-format their weekly activities. Just as many corporations have moved their work online, Messianic Congregations are following suit. Synagogues are rushing to begin live-streaming their services, so as not to lose the attention of their attendees, while they are forced to close their physical locations for the unforeseeable future. Live-streaming services will allow Rabbis to continue giving their sermons, as well as collect online tithes. However, not meeting in person does present some challenges, including having to loosen their reigns on ensuring congregants stick by their side during this time of uncertainty.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what to do with myself on Shabbat right now,” said Missy W., a member of a nameless Messianic Congregation, located somewhere in the United States. “I can live-stream my Rabbi’s sermon while I’m still in bed. I don’t even have to get up. So that’s like 45 minutes of my life. I don’t even have to get dressed to attend services right now. On a normal week, as a member, I’m required to be at my Synagogue for 10 hours every Saturday. I have to be at my Rabbi’s every beck and call. Sometimes I lead worship, sometimes I am in the nursery, sometimes I am running the soundboard, sometimes I am just a gopher for leadership. If I even try to miss a week of services, they pretty much put out an Amber Alert for me. One week I had a 103º fever and I had five people tell me if I didn’t show up in the next 20 minutes they would have a Sheriff’s Deputy come to my house and escort me there. My Rabbi is a really gifted speaker, but I can do without the rest of his controlling behavior. Our congregation has been closed for two weeks already, and I feel so free right now. I feel like I can breathe. For the first time, in eight years, I can finally just rest and not have to worry about what will happen to me if I just take the day to myself. This new arrangement, where our congregation is 100% virtual, allows me to filter out the bad and only deal with the good. And I am kind of enjoying not dealing with the bad. I’m seriously considering not even returning to my congregation when they re-open in a couple of months. And I actually feel okay with that. Is it okay to do this for myself? I don’t even know if that’s okay. It’s okay, right? Please tell me it’s okay.”

More than 70 Messianic Congregations across the United States and Canada have moved their Shabbat services online, during this time of social distancing. If you would like to attend a virtual Shabbat service, please visit this page for a list of options: https://messianiccomedy.com/find-a-messianic-congregation/

Progressive Rabbi Volunteers Synagogue Building as Newest Site for Amazon Locker

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Pensacola, FL — Since 2011, internet retailer, Amazon, has been offering off site lockers in select locations. The lockers provide an alternative to having packages delivered to your home. As package theft becomes more and more prevalent, the need for these lockers is becoming greater. While Amazon lockers are typically found in retail locations, one Rabbi in Pensacola is providing space for them in his Synagogue.

“Well, we had some empty space available in our building that wasn’t being used for anything,” Rabbi Eric Tokajer, of Brit Ahm Messianic Synagogue, explained to the Messianic Daily News. “I’m always looking for new ideas for our congregation that will catapult us into the next decade, like a men’s conference, an inter-congregational cruise, and a coffee shop called ‘Java Nagila’ that we run once a month. Having Amazon Locker in our space is a great way to get people in the door that wouldn’t otherwise be setting foot in our building. We have so many events going on during the week, it’s likely they’ll walk in to pick up their package while a Bible study, dance class, or Shabbat service is happening. The hope is that they’ll either stay for the event, or come back for a later one. It’s even better if they select our congregation on Amazon Smile; not only are their packages giving back to us financially, but we wind up with more members, because they walked in and stayed for Shabbat, when they wouldn’t normally have been here otherwise. I know it’s a real forward thinking idea. I like to consider myself pretty progressive, which is why we own our Synagogue building, instead of renting it.”

After hearing about Brit Ahm’s new idea to acquire more members from the general population, it is expected that Messianic Congregations across the county will follow suit in hosting Amazon Lockers. At press time, Brit Ahm estimates they have five new congregants from this experiment; one of which Jewish.

 

 

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A New Slogan For Messianic Judaism: The Top 10 Finalists

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A few weeks ago we asked you all to come up with a new slogan for Messianic Judaism to replace “Returning to The God of our Fathers, by becoming fully devoted followers of Yeshua.” It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that slogan, but it’s almost 2020 and it’s time for a refresh. We received more than 100 submissions and we narrowed it down to 10. Please vote for your favorite and we’ll announce the winner on January 1st. The person who submitted the winning slogan will receive an all expenses paid trip for two to the Messianic Conference of their choosing, courtesy of our sponsor, Jewish Voice.

 

 

•Messianic Judaism: There’s nothing better than a Jew who believes in Jesus.

•Messianic Judaism: There’s nothing better than a Gentile living as a Jew who believes in Jesus.

•Messianic Judaism: How many extra syllables can we shove into this song?

•Messianic Judaism: Free food with every service.

•Messianic Judaism: Conferences and disagreements.

•Messianic Judaism: Many organizations; zero organization.

•Messianic Judaism: You aren’t being abused; The Lord is just testing you.

•Messianic Judaism: Stop the ride; I want to get off.

•Messianic Judaism: We’d tell you to drink the Kool-aid, but it’s not Kosher.

•Messianic Judaism: 30% Jewish, 100% Stubborn.

 

 

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Worship Leader High Fived for Covering Up Rape in Congregation

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Amarillo, TX — Alarming news from Messianic Congregation Tikvat Shalom in Amarillo, TX, after a worship leader was rewarded with a high five for sweeping a rape under the rug. Jenny Morgandorfer, who plays guitar and sings with the worship band every Shabbat, was out to lunch with another congregant, who informed Jenny that she had been raped by a member of the prayer team, after giving him a ride home last week, and was too afraid to go to the police. Jenny advised her she did the right thing by not going to the police, as it’s best to keep things quiet in this situation. The man was already on the national sex offender registry, and reporting this to the police would send him to jail. Not wanting to lose him from the prayer team or let anyone find out that he is already a sex offender, Miss Morgandorfer went directly to Rabbi Milt Schwartzberg to apprise him of the situation, at which point Schwartzberg high fived Morgandorfer for the decision she made at how to handle the quandary.

“She dun good,” Rabbi Milt said to himself, in his own head. “She dun real good. Look, when it all comes down to it, this is the Bible Belt. And not only is it the Bible Belt, we’re a Messianic congregation. It doesn’t matter what’s actually happening within these walls, it only matters what appears to be happening to the rest of the Messianic movement. If the wider community doesn’t see us as spotless, then we’re doing something very very wrong. Nevermind if we’re actually doing something wrong; I just want to be able to make it look like everything is okay when I see my peers at the conferences we attend together. And anyway, Yeshua said, ‘Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.’ And they’re all sinners too, so who are they to judge us? Who is anyone to judge us? We’re fine. It’s fine. This is all fine.”

At press time, Tikvat Shalom continues to operate under the pretense that everything is okay, and all attendees of their congregation have done no wrong and have experienced or caused no trauma.

 

 

*******If you know of any affiliated Messianic Congregations where some or all of the leadership is covering up rape or any other kind of sexual, physical, spiritual, verbal, or other type of abuse directed at you or anyone else, and you are not comfortable reporting it yourself, let us know and we’ll report it to the affiliated organization for you.*******

“You’ll Have to Pry This Congregation Out of My Cold, Dead Hands,” Says 84 Year Old Messianic Rabbi, After 5th Heart Attack

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Champaign, IL — Being in a small college town, far away from any major city, Congregation Shmatte Yarmulke has had its ups and downs over the years, but none more so than their long-in-the-tooth Rabbi suffering from a smattering of heart attacks and multiple bypass surgeries. While those who attend the Synagogue are concerned that their leader has reached the end of his career, he has no such plans to make any changes.

“I may be 84 years old, but I’m a young 84 years old,” Rabbi Paul Millburn said to his congregants, in a members meeting this week. “So I’ve had a few setbacks recently, but here I sit before you, fully capable of running this congregation. Look, are most 84 year olds retired? Yes. But here’s the thing…who would be able to take over this congregation if I did retire? A lot of Messianic congregations across the entire country are having this problem. Nobody in the next generation is stepping up. Nobody is ready. And even if they were, this congregation of 30 people couldn’t pay my retirement! I’d be out on my tush. Call me stubborn, call me an alter cocker, call me what you will, but you know I’m right. I’ve survived five heart attacks, three bypass surgeries, and my pacemaker failing; I can survive you trying to overthrow me too! You’ll have to pry this congregation out of my cold, dead hands before I just give in and move to Boca.”

Though Congregation Shmatte Yarmulke is at a crossroads, as their Rabbi is rapidly aging, yet not quite ready to step down, at least they aren’t the only Messianic Congregation in this same situation. At press time, the congregation’s Assistant Rabbi could not be reached for comment.

 

 

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Messianic Couple Swears Their House Sold Faster After Burying Upside Down Statue of Joel Chernoff in Their Backyard

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Walla Walla, WA — Astonishing news out of Walla Walla this week, after local Messianic couple, Frank and Janice Walkervicz, claim their house sold immediately after burying an upside down statue of famed Messianic musician, Joel Chernoff, in their backyard. The pair had been trying to relocate to Florida, but their house was not selling. After more than seven months on the market, the two finally reached a point of desperation.

“We’ve all heard the bubbemeis about how if you bury an upside down statue of Joel Chernoff in your backyard, your house would sell faster,” Frank Walkervicz explained to News Channel 9. “We’d tried everything up to this point: praying in English, praying in tongues, deliverance, tithing extra, and nothing was working. We’re just ready to get out of this state and retire to Florida, and Janice and I were just tired of waiting, so we thought, ‘what the heck?’ ya know? We had this old Joel Chernoff bobble head laying around that was given to us for being one of the first 100 people in the door at Messiah Conference one year, so we figured we’d give it a go. We buried it upside down in the backyard, as the legend foretold, and sure enough, our house sold just two hours later. Two hours! We couldn’t believe it! We can’t recommend this trick enough, if you want to sell your house. Goodbye, Walla Walla; hello, Sunshine State!”

While the aforementioned collector’s edition Joel Chernoff bobble head dolls are now out of print, we were able to locate some on Ebay, going for as much as $100,000 each. We hope the MJAA will begin offering them again someday, so all Messianics around the globe can partake in selling their homes in a more timely manner.

 

 

 

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Rabbi to Hand Out Mezuzahs to Trick-or-Treaters After Purchasing Hundreds on Bulk Clearance

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Lincoln, NE — After a local Judaica store offered a going-out-of-business liquidation sale, Rabbi Gerry Barry of Beth Jesus House of The Lord in Lincoln, Nebraska, made sure to take advantage of the clearance prices. Barry cleared out the store’s entire inventory of mezuzah cases, as the store promised an extra discount for anyone with the chutzpah to do so.

“I don’t know why Lincoln’s only Judaica store would go out of business in the first place, but I was more than happy to purchase 720 mezuzah cases at only $2 a piece,” Rabbi Barry explained. “Now that’s a metziah if I ever saw one! Initially I had no plan for the mezuzot, but at those prices, I simply could not pass up the bargain. Now that I have them, the only thing I can think to use them for is trick-or-treaters. I’ll be honest, I HATE Halloween! It’s from HaSatan and I usually hide in my basement every October 31st and turn all my lights out, but what else am I going to do with 720 mezuzah cases? At least this way the children have something meaningful and not just an extra way to rot their teeth. What little boy or girl in Nebraska wouldn’t want a free mezuzah case?! They’ll have to get their own Kosher scroll though; I’m not made of money after all!”

Rabbi Barry says he will be handing out the mezuzahs at his house tonight from 4pm-8pm; the town’s trick-or-treating hours. He said any child dressed as a witch, the devil, or Harry Potter will be given an extra mezuzah case, as well as some anointing oil.

 

 

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Jonathan Cahn Calculates Apocalypse Happened Two Years Ago, Locks Himself in Emergency Bunker

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BREAKING: It has now been just over four hours since New York Times best-selling author, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, locked himself into the emergency fallout shelter in his backyard with his wife and children. According to Congregation Beth Israel member, Sam Shapiro, the situation apparently began at the Rabbi’s office earlier this morning.

“I had a 9:30 A.M. meeting with him,” said Shapiro, “but at 9:45 he was still locked in his office; I think he was working on his message for the Messiah Conference. Anyway, I could kind of hear him through the door. He was clearly agitated, and kept saying something about the mystery being all wrong. I finally went to knock on his door to see if he was okay, and when he came out he had this wild look in his eyes. He grabbed me by the shoulders and said, ‘It’s started. It’s started and we didn’t even know. Get to the shelters!!’ Then he just ran out of the building and drove off.” 

Upon looking into the Rabbi’s office, Shapiro noticed five open Bibles and a stack of notes. “The notes were a real mess, filled with a jumble of dates, calculations and verse references. Right at the top of the first page, Rabbi Cahn had written the word ‘APOCALYPSE,’ and directly underneath it he’d written a date: April 13, 2017. It was underlined like five times and circled repeatedly. Apparently he’d calculated out the date of the Apocalypse, and it’s already happened. I’m no expert, but I looked through the notes and the math seems solid. Who’d have thought, right?”

Friends and relatives have gathered at the Rabbi’s home, attempting to force their way into the shelter or otherwise coax him out, but so far have met with no success. Communication with Cahn has been limited, but from what little can be heard through the thick, lead-lined door, it appears they may have to prepare themselves for a long wait, as the Rabbi seemingly plans to remain barricaded within until the calculated end of the Apocalypse approximately five years from now.

As for the members of the Rabbi’s congregation, most seem to be taking his concern to heart. “If the Rabbi says the end of days is here, it’s here,” said Jessica Cohen. “I’ve got a shelter, and I plan on getting in there as soon as my cleaners come by next week to spruce it up a bit.”

“Sadly, I don’t have a shelter of my own,” said Josh Isenberg. “It’s kind of hard to build something like that when you live in an apartment. But I’m in talks with a few of the other members, and hopefully I’ll have a place to wait out the rest of the Apocalypse within the next month or so.”

As for Shapiro, he seems to have a somewhat more pragmatic view of things. “I mean, sure, it’s the apocalypse, but it hasn’t been too bad these first two years, so I think I’ll just ride it out up here. Besides, I talked to a few of the others and none of their shelters have Netflix. So yeah, I’m good.”

 

 

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Auditions for Yeshua HaMashiach Superstar to Take Place at Messiah Conference Next Month

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Grantham, PA — Groundbreaking news from the MJAA this week, as Messiah Conference is planning to produce its first ever full length musical at the 2020 Conference, with auditions taking place next month. The show will be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” with the title and lyrics being changed to fall in line with Messianic Culture. Host of popular Messianic radio show, “Bagels and Blessings,” Ethel Chadwick, will direct the historic event.

“I am so excited to make history with Messiah Conference’s first ever Broadway musical performance next year!!!” Chadwick announced on Facebook. “I do have to let everyone know that a few of the roles have already been filled: Rebecca Rudolf will be playing the part of Miriam Magdalene. Joel Chernoff insisted that he play Yeshua, or else we will have to cancel the entire thing, saying the fact that his initials are ‘JC’ is a sign! As well, Pontius Pilate will be played by Marc Vidito. All other roles are wide open and I encourage anyone with a love of theatre to audition! It’s going to be great!”

Auditions will be held at Messiah Conference on Wednesday, July 3rd at 9am in the High Center – Parmer Hall, with rehearsals taking place over video chat, throughout the year. Please prepare 16 bars of your favorite Lamb song, and come dressed to learn a light dance combo. 

If this production goes well, plans are in place to host future productions of Godspell and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Joel Chernoff has also been cast in the respective leads of those productions.

 

 

 

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Sold Out Congregational Seder Not Attended By Any Congregation Members

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Montpelier, VT – Last night, Congregation Beth Messiah of Montpelier, Vermont, held its biggest event of the year: their congregational Passover Seder. After months of hype, announcements in every service and over a thousand mailers sent throughout the city, the event was sold out, and every seat was filled. However, as Rabbi Jacob Felberbaum and his elders proceeded through the Seder, they began to notice something peculiar.

“I looked out into the crowd, and there were absolutely no familiar faces,” said Assistant Rabbi Mark Weissman. “Then I wandered a bit during the meal, and when not a single Bubbe grabbed me to talk my ear off about her thoughts on the morning’s service I knew something was wrong. So after the Seder, I went back and checked through the ticket sales records, and it was just as I’d suspected – not a single member had bought a ticket.”

“It’s a bit of a shock,” said Rabbi Felberbaum upon hearing the news. “Sure, we’ve had somewhat low turnout among members for the past decade or so, with most of the seats these days going to church groups and Hebrew Roots folks looking for a taste of the ‘Jewish experience.’ Still, we’ve always had at least a few members – newer folks in particular, plus a few old stalwarts bringing out friends or relatives. I’m not sure what changed this year.”

Rank and file members of the congregation, however, were significantly less surprised by the revelation. “I don’t know why anyone in the synagogue would go to that thing,” said Becca Meltzer. “It’s $35 a pop, catered by goyim who couldn’t make a decent matzah ball soup if their life depended on it, and it’s on a random night that has no significance, whatsoever. Besides, I was already invited to two other home Seders this week, and my attention span can only sit through so much; why would I pick the one that costs money?”

“I attended the Seder once when I first joined, but I’ll never make that mistake again,” said Josh Wingert, echoing Becca’s sentiments. “They take even longer to get to the meal than my parents, and my Dad spends like an hour on the Passover story alone. But the last straw for me was the charoset, which until that night had always been the highlight of the Seder for me. I don’t know what they were thinking; the stuff is supposed to remind you of mortar, but what they put in front of me looked more like dry trail mix.”

A further survey of members also revealed that, even if they’d been interested in attending the Congregational Seder, most had already committed to one of the five other Seders held that night by Beth Messiah members. The largest of these was held by the Rabbi’s own mother, who hosted just over two dozen people in her spacious dining room.

“Of course I went to Mama Sarah’s Seder,” said Sam Finkel. “I wouldn’t have gone to the Synagogue one anyway, but anyone who’d even consider turning down an invitation to her Seder has either never eaten her cooking, or he’s gone completely meshuggah.”

At press time, Rabbi Felberbaum had not responded to The Meow’s inquiries as to whether he’d been invited to his mother’s Seder.

 

 

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