Tree of Life Messianic Congregation of Greater Houston Rabbi’s statement on shooting at the Pittsburgh Synagogue

I do not presume to speak on behalf all of the Jewish Community of Houston, I will leave that to others, but as someone who is Jewish and as a Rabbi of a Messianic Jewish congregation, I can say that our hearts go out to the Pittsburgh Jewish community at this time. We share their sadness at their loss because of this senseless, cowardly act of (apparently) one individual. We also want to say thank you to the men and women of law enforcement who selflessly attempted to protect the worshipers, and in some cases were injured as a result.

Also, as one who believes every word of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Covenant Scriptures to be inerrant in its original language, I want to state unequivocally that a true understanding of the New Covenant Scriptures does not provide any basis for anti-Semitism or any type of anti-Semitic act. Jesus whom we call by his given Hebrew name, Yeshua, was Jewish (Matthew 1:21). All of his disciples were Jewish. All of the writers of the New Covenant Scriptures were Jewish (except perhaps Luke). The New Covenant was made with the Jewish people according to Jeremiah 31:31(30) and the Apostle Paul’s writings in Ephesians 2. The New Covenant Scriptures quote extensively God’s faithfulness to His promises to the Jewish people from the Hebrew Scriptures (called the Old Testament by some). Anyone who calls themselves a Christian and is anti-Semitic in their beliefs is like a house divided against itself, it will not stand (Matthew 12:25).

We bring a message that all true Christians should understand that they are followers of a Jewish Messiah, and that through him, they are able to share in the promises of blessing that God has made to the Jewish people (Ephesians 3:6; Romans 9:1-5). In the Greek, he is the Christ, which means Messiah. His true followers are called to love all, and in particular the Jewish people (Romans 11). While God has provided moral absolutes and hates hypocrisy, we are to bring His message to the world in love; nowhere do we find any justification to force others in any way to agree with our beliefs. I call on all Christian leaders to join with us to show solidarity with the Jewish people as God’s chosen people in the past, in the present and in the future. May we continue to bring the message of God’s redemptive plan, including His love for the Jewish people, which starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation.

May the Holy One of Israel bring peace to all who mourn and comfort us all in our time of sorrow.