A reasoned Jewish overview of the messianic movement

Finally, a Jewish web site has offered a nonemotional, nonantagonistic look at the messianic movement.

A typical Jewish take on the messianic movement is frothy with anger or misinformation. In fact, messianics have mostly been coming to attention through attacks on them by haredi Jews in Israel.

But My Jewish Learning offers this overview of the movement. Quite a change from the Tovia Singer approach.

‘God’s partners’ in life and death

Barack Obama tells a group of rabbis that:

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.”

It’s believed that Obama’s reference was to a prayer from services for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Problem is, that prayer doesn’t say that “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” It says that who will live and who will die in the next year is determined by the Lord on Rosh Hashanah, but that the decree of an untimely death can be modified by repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

Now, being God’s partner in something isn’t totally foreign to Jewish or even some Christian thought. Jews traditionally teach that we have been given the task of completing the creation of the world. Reform Jews, especially, would probably have no problem with Obama’s statement. I have a suspicion, though, that the more orthodox a Jew is, the more likely he would be to have a problem with Obama’s teaching. It’ll be interesting to see their response.

But, spoken in the context of a discussion on health care reform, the “partners in matters of life and death” is a bit disquieting and gives credence to Sarah Palin’s reference to a “death panel” under ObamaCare. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he meant it in the sense that providing health care to all people can mean the difference between life and death. Like always, though, Obama left himself wide open on this one.

But his activist view of man’s place in the world was known before this, which leads me to think that I shouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. In 2007, he said at a church appearance that:

“I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”

Again, nothing original about a statement like this. Plenty of Christians and Jews believe that as well, but others believe the Messiah will need to return or appear for the first time for it to happen.

All in all, this seems like another Obama overreach and a sign of desperation to rally anyone he can to his health care efforts.