FAQ’s

 

 

Question Answer
1.  Why do you have services on Saturday instead of Sunday? The seventh-day Sabbath was set forth in the Torah (first five books of the Bible) as a day of corporate worship and rest. We believe that God gave us Shabbat as a perpetual sign of His covenant promises (Genesis 2:1-2, Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-17; 35:1-3) and His love for us. Each Shabbat we remember the rest that Yeshua (Jesus) gives us through His work on our behalf (Heb. 4:1-11) We also look forward to the eternal rest that we will enjoy in the World to Come.
2.  What is your view in regard to the relationship between Christians and Jews? A great shift is taking place between Christians and Jews as evidenced by the following eight statements written by a group of Jewish scholars and published in the New York Times on September 10, 2000.

  1. Jews and Christians worship the same G-d.
  2. Jews and Christians seek authority from the same book – the Bible.
  3. Christians can respect the claim of the Jewish people on the land of Israel.
  4. Jews and Christians accept the moral priciples of Torah.
  5. Nazism was not a Christian phenomenon.
  6. The humanly irreconcilable difference between Jews and Christians will not be settled until G-d redeems the entire world as promised in Scripture.
  7. A new relationship between Jews and Christians will not weaken Jewish practice.
  8. Jews and Christians must work together for justice and peace.
3.  Is Valley of Blessing a Jewish mission arm of the church or denomination or is it associated with “Jews for Jesus”? We are not associated with any church, denomination, convention or with Jews for Jesus. Jews for Jesus is an organization that sets as their priority direct Jewish evangelism to convert Jews to Christianity; that is not our goal. We believe that Jewish people are obligated to remain Jewish, and live Jewish lives in obedience to their covenant relationship with God, through the redemption found in Yeshua the Messiah. Valley of Blessing is an independent Messianic congregation. We have no official connection to other denominations or ministries. As a community committed to each other, we always welcome fellowship with those who confess Yeshua and desire to walk in his ways. “There is one Lord, one faith, one immersion” and “one body” (Ephesians 4:4,5). Valley of Blessing will also reach out to the churches and Christians with an educational and supportive ministry, presenting the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith. We will recognize partnerships with other congregations for the purpose of prayer support and educational ministry.
4.  How long has Valley of Blessing and Messianic Judaism been around? We have existed as a congregation since 2005. Messianic Judaism has been around since the time of our Messiah.  The early congregation was made up of all Jewish believers in the Messiah and was known as “The Way.”
5.  From where does the name Valley of Blessing come? Valley of Blessing (Emek B’rachah in Hebrew) comes from II Chronicles 20:26.25  When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies,and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much. 26 And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD. 29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
6.  What are your services like? We have the sounding of the shofar at special events and the lighting of the Sabbath candles during the summer months. We welcome the Shabbat with lively songs of worship in Hebrew and English, followed by the Barchoo and the Shema and worship. Children are blessed with the Birkat Yeladim before the congregation and then released to their class. After the children are released, the service continues with the reading of the weekly Torah portion, Haftorah portion and a passage from the Brit Chadasha (New Covenant). Following the reading is the Shabbat teaching. The teaching is followed by the Birkhat haKohanim (Aaronic Benediction), the Kiddush and Ha-motzi (blessings over the juice and the challah) and everyone is invited to the fellowship hall for a light oneg (refreshments).
7.  Do you pass a collection plate? No. We provide a tzedakah box or pushke (box for offering) for tithes, special needs of members, or for special events/speakers.
8.  Is Valley of Blessing only for Jewish people, or are non-Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua welcome to attend? Non-Jewish believers are always welcome. Our congregation is a mixture of people from Jewish and non-Jewish heritages.
9.  Do you have to believe in Yeshua to come or can I just check it out? You do not have to believe in Yeshua to attend. You are certainly welcome to check us out.
10.  Is there a dress code? Do men have to wear a kippah? Dress in a manner that shows respect for G-d and will not distract your neighbors. The kippah (head covering) is a traditional way to show respect for HaShem–we recommend but do not require wearing one. Kippot are offered for use during the service for those who desire to wear one, but who did not bring their own.
11.  Why do the men wear a head covering (kippah)? I thought that 1 Corinthians says that a man should not cover his head. The head covering for men is called a kippah, skullcap or yarmulke. The word kippah comes from the Hebrew word for “covering.”In 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 Shaul (Paul) is addressing Corinthian men and their pagan practice of covering their hair with veils like women. The Greek word translated ‘covering’ means ‘that which flows down’.  The literal translation is: “every man praying or prophesying have (anything) down over (his) head shames his head.” This is a violation of the Torah (Deuteronomy 22:5). Shaul is by no means saying that men should not wear a head covering, for HaShem commanded the Cohanim to wear migba’ot (headpieces), embellished with the words “Holy to the Lord”. From the days of Moshe, the head covering, whether kippah or hat, is one of the distinguishing marks of the Jewish people. The tradition of men wearing kippot likely originated with the priestly head covering and later in history the Jewish community at large began to wear head coverings. For if the priests were required to cover their heads, then it was appropriate for men to show their submission to God by also covering their heads. Rabbis and communities approached the head covering many ways; some wearing a covering at all times and others only covering their heads when praying or engaging in religious studies.
12.  Why do some women wear head coverings? Women may wear a prayer shawl or a head covering when praying or during the service to show respect and submission to God’s natural order.
13.  Why do some people wear prayer shawls? A prayer shawl is a rectangular garment with a tzitzit attached to the four corners.  It fulfills the commandment to wear tzitzit and provides a garment for prayer.
14.  What is an Oneg Shabbat? Oneg Shabbat means “delight of the Shabbat.” It’s a time after the service when we eat and fellowship with each other. It’s a great time to catch up with friends and meet new ones.
15.  Does Valley of Blessing practice water baptism and the Lord’s Supper? We as a congregation practice water immersion.  It is called a mikvah. We observe what is called ‘the Lord’s Supper’ within the context of the Passover meal as it says, “1 Corinthians 5:8  Therefore let us keep the feast; not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
16.  How does one become a member of Valley of Blessing?
  • Attend Shabbat services regularly
  • Give evidence of your salvation by personal testimony, written or oral
  • Shall have been immersed
  • Be willing to serve in the congregation
  • Agree to hold up the Covenant of this congregation
  • Such persons shall attend membership classes and/or whatever other prerequisites the Zakanim (Elders) deem necessary
17.  Do you study the New Testament? Yes. We provide teachings that cover the whole Bible, which includes the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings and the Brit Chadasha (New Covenant). We believe that it is impossible to understand the Brit Chadasha without first having a foundation of the Torah. If you’ve found the Bible to be disjointed, our teachings will enlighten you to just how connected the Bible really is when studied in its Hebraic context.
18.  Is the Law still valid today? Do you teach, “Christ is the end of the
Law”?
The Greek word ‘nomos’ is translated as law and is used in many different ways.  Peter reminds us that some of Paul’s writings are hard to understand.2 Peter 3:15-16: And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation as our beloved brother Paul also has written to you according to the wisdom given to him  (16)  as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.“Christ is the end of the Law” is from Romans 10:4 which says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes.”  This is ambiguous in meaning.  The Greek word ‘telos’ could be rendered as ‘termination’ or ‘purpose’.  “The goal at which the Torah aims is acknowledging and trusting in the Messiah, who offers on the ground of this trusting the very righteousness they (the Jewish people) are seeking. (quote: David Sterns Jewish New Testament Commentary).
19.  Do you keep the Sabbath? Yes. We encourage one another to set aside the seventh day (Saturday) as a day of rest and study of God’s Torah (instruction).
20.  Do you celebrate Christmas and Easter? No. We celebrate Biblical festivals, which are Scriptural. The festivals come alive for us, not only because of their relevance to Moses and the Children of Israel, but also because of their significance to the life and death of Yeshua HaMashiach (the Messiah).  These festivals teach the first and second comings of Messiah to this world.  We enjoy rehearsing the second coming and enjoy celebrating the first coming through the Feasts of the LORD.
21.  Do you observe the Biblical feasts? Absolutely! We celebrate our weekly festival of Shabbat. During the year we celebrate Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Hanukkah as well as other important events and times of the Jewish people.
22.  Why do you avoid using the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament”? We use different terminology for a number of English words but they mean the same.  We try to provide an atmosphere that will not cause offense to either Jewish people or non-Jewish people.  We also have found by using different terminology, it frees us from taking great Biblical truths for granted and allows us to understand their Hebraic context. For example, we use the ‘given’ Hebrew name Yeshua for the Greek Jesus and the Hebrew title Messiah for the Greek Christ.
23.  Do you use the title “Rabbi” in this congregation? Rabbi is a word that simply means teacher.  Some will call their congregational leader ‘Rabbi.’  Our congregational leader goes by the title of pastor.
24.  Why do people follow the “food laws?” I thought that Shaul (Paul) taught that the food laws are no longer valid since the death and resurrection of Messiah. We encourage one another to eat and enjoy the foods that the eternal One has taught us are good for the human body.  The Scriptures have a lot to say concerning this important area of a person’s life.  We understand the New Testament as supporting the dietary instructions in the Tanach (OT).