I wrote, in a very recent post , “Are there some things very special about Judah that we need to acknowledge? Absolutely!! ”
Even as I wrote it, I was thinking of a few things I am very thankful to my brother Judah, or the Jews, for. Only later did I think, “I’m not sure I’ve ever said ‘thank you’ publicly!”
Indeed, all mankind has much to thank the Jews for as a cursory look at Nobel Winners will reveal a wildly disproportionate number of winners that are of Judaic decent. Countless inventions, scientific findings, technologies, etc are directly attributable to those of Jewish descent.
But this is more personal. As a believer in Yeshua, the Mashiach, there are a number of very specific things that I am deeply thankful for!!
I’m thankful, first of all, that YHWH chose Israel, of which, Judah is a part!! Unlike most of Israel who rebelled and were rejected by Yahweh, I am thankful that Judah remained faithful… if even only partly. (They were exiled to Babylon for their own sins…)
While in Babylon, Judah learned his lesson and going forward, was much more zealous for the Torah. His zeal for righteousness fostered the rise of the Maccabees who led a revolt that captured and cleansed the Temple for the coming of Yeshua the Mashiach. Many died!! Men, women and children! Gross atrocities were carried out against Jerusalem and the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes, yet the Jews remained true to their calling and without a deep passion and love for creator God Yahweh, they would have caved to pressure to conform to the nations instead of being set apart! THANK YOU!!
The Jews have been much denigrated for failing to recognize the coming of Mashiach ben Joseph, but the truth is, it was the Lord’s will to put Him to death. It was MY sin that hung the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel on the tree. Roman AND Jewish leadership were in cahoots… Thank you to the many Jews who believed, followed and remained true to Mashiach through persecution by their own and by the Roman Empire in the decades after!! It is Jewish brothers in Mashiach who were the first believers, who wrote the Gospels and recorded letters to fledgling fellowships of aliens and sojourners who sought righteous refuge in Yeshua and learned to walk Torah.
A HUGE ‘thank you’ to the many scribes who invested their lives copying and recopying the Tanakh with flawless precision so that today we have the ancient oracles first given to Moses!! Thank you for caring for and protecting the inspired, breathed Word of God so that today it can be freely distributed across the globe! How many countless dedicated men and their supportive wives made sacrifices so that we have this treasure today??
Thank you to my Jewish brothers who quietly led persecuted lives and rather than cave or conform, you died, starved, wandered and mourned. Rather than give up and let your children be absorbed into culture, you swam against the tide for 2000 years of unbroken generations holding to promises written in Scripture that one day, YHWH would restore you to the land He gave Avraham. Thank you. You prove that He is true through walking in His divine preservation. You establish an example, while following in the steps of your fathers.
Thank you for patiently bearing the antisemitic spirit that pervades Christian theology, a spirit I have repented of and call others to acknowledge and cast off. Thank you for patiently bearing with all the stupid stuff we have said and the horrid things we have done. We owe you!!
Honestly, ‘thank you’ is not enough… It will never be enough, but it is all I have. A heart of true gratitude and honest recognition of what you have endured and what you have quietly accomplished!
My prayer for you, from the Siddur (Artscroll Self Edition pgs. 137-138),
Establish abundant peace upon Your people Israel forever, for You are King, Master of all peace. And may it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel at every time and every hour, with Your Peace. Blessed are You, Yahweh, who blesses His people Israel with peace!!
Shalom! …and, Thank you!!
Thank you, Pete for speaking for us. You have said it well. It speaks my heart. I hope it reaches our brothers/sisters Yuhudah. How can we express to them to so convince them of our sincerity, love, and repentance that we can be joined together again?!?!?!?! Amein and Amein.
There is a LOT of water under that bridge. It will ultimately take the hand of the Father softening hearts on BOTH sides to bring us together. We can only control US, therefore, we need reach out in love and do our our own ‘shuv,’ but also be an example to the rest of non-Jewish believers in Messiah. The Father will do the rest in HIS timing.