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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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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Messiah Conference 2019 Livestream to Move to Five Second Delay After Guest Speaker Drops Four Letter Word on Stage

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Grantham, PA  — Messiah Conference 2019 is quickly approaching, with the early bird registration due next month already. After many months of discussion, the MJAA Executive Committee has made the difficult decision to move this year’s livestream to a five second delay, after a series of unfortunate events at the 2018 parley.

“Last year’s conference had some…unexpected incidents that we have never had to deal with before,” MJAA Executive Board Member, Rabbi David Chernoff, explained in a Facebook post, early this morning. “For a number of years now, we have offered a livestream of the conference, for those who are unable to attend. The livestream of Messiah Conference gets anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 views every year, depending on whether you’re using actual metrics, or just wishful thinking. Last year, we invited the Founder of the Israel Empowerment Lobby, Eli Nacht, to speak on the main stage, and The Ruach moved him to let everyone know what ‘BS’ stands for. But that’s not all: Susan Perlman, from Jews for Jesus, showed everyone her underwear, Rabbi Michael Stepakoff told us about his sex life, with all four of his children on stage behind him, and three of our musicians sang ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah.’ All of these things, coupled with the fact that we still allow Kevin Solomon to speak in public, means we have no choice but to take precautions to make sure any further instances will not be made public. We do have an image to uphold here. So, if you’d like to continue seeing Messiah Conference live and uncensored, I’m sorry, but you will have to come see it in person this year.”

While this year’s presentation may be restricted for the livestream audience, we have found the secret stash of all the aforementioned videos from last year’s conference. Warning: Parts of Messiah Conference 2018 is Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of Messianic America.

 

 

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YMJA Curfew Golem Runs Amok, Causes Chaos At Messiah Conference 2017

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Grantham, PA – What started as a noble attempt at curbing teenage hooliganism at Messiah Conference quickly spun out of control, deteriorating into a catastrophe of truly massive scope by the end of the week. After three nights of flawless, efficient curfew enforcement, on Wednesday afternoon the YMJA’s experimental new golem suddenly began terrorizing the campus, leaving a trail of minor injuries and major property damage in its wake.

While the investigation into the cause of this debacle is still ongoing, early reports indicate that it began when one or more YMJA leaders decided to expand the golem’s duties, amending its life-giving instruction scroll to include enforcement of all other YMJA rules as well as the curfew. The identities of the leaders in question have so far not been released, but those following the investigation have noted that much of the scrutiny seems to be directed toward newly elected YMJA President, Ravi Goldberg, and the now former YMJA Vice President, Danielah Blackburn.

Regardless of the culprits’ identities, what followed is beyond dispute. Upon receiving these new, considerably more complex instructions, the golem promptly went about hunting down and apprehending supposed rule-breakers, many of whom were clearly innocent of the infractions for which they had been targeted. “I just suddenly felt this massive hand on my shoulder,” said Jason Jenkins. “This unimaginably deep voice said, ’No drugs or alcohol,’ and next thing I knew I was being lifted up into the air and carried away. I kept trying to explain that it was only a cough drop, but the golem just wouldn’t listen.”

Jenkins was far from the only attendee to suffer the golem’s undeserved wrath. According to Nick Lewis, a member of the YMJA leadership team, he and his wife had just settled in for the night on Thursday when their dorm room door burst off its hinges. “Before we could even react, it walked over and lifted the entire bed over its head with us in it. It kept screaming ‘Purple!’ over and over again. Purple is YMJA code for someone being in the room of someone of the opposite gender, and apparently the golem didn’t realize that the rule doesn’t apply to married couples sharing a room.”

Even those beyond the purview of the YMJA weren’t safe from the golem’s enforcement, as the crowd in the main auditorium discovered on Wednesday evening. “Rabbi David Chernoff had just started his message when this giant clay monstrosity lumbered onto the stage behind him,” recalled Jonathan Rutter. “It yelled ‘dress code violation’ really loudly, then wrapped the Rabbi in a massive bear hug and dragged him off stage. I heard that when security finally tracked it down, the whole YMJA exec committee was yelling at it that a crooked tallit is not a valid dress code issue.”

The golem’s reign of terror and overly zealous legalism finally came to an end on Friday afternoon when it tried to apprehend a group of children for possession of toy lightsabers, which it deemed a violation of the “no weapons” rule. Upon being grabbed, a young girl named Joelle Hackett became fascinated by the star-shaped clay medallion on the creature’s chest. She pulled it off to investigate it more closely, not even realizing as she did so that it contained the words that gave the thing life. Once the words were removed, the golem immediately became inert, at which point it was a simple matter to smash the thing and burn its instruction scroll. In the end, no trace was left of it but the numerous bruises, smashed door frames, and traumatic memories that it had caused.

While obviously disappointed by the golem’s failure, the YMJA executive team has vowed to continue to perfect the art of rule enforcement in future years. “I seem to remember Rabbi Kevin [Solomon] saying something about training a pack of curfew dogs,” Blackburn was heard saying. “Maybe we should look into that.”

 

 

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