Hi Brian, I’m very happy to see you again 🙂 Feel free to read along, glad to have you!
It’s awesome that you have a Messianic character in your book! I have never in my entire life encountered one, and precious few Jewish characters, and it’s amazing to see it represented 🙂
Also, I notice that you refer to Jesus as Yeshua. That’s how we do it too 🙂
And I remembered some stuff I forgot to clarify so I’m going to add it here XD
Messianics are more a spectrum than a central group. On one end you have the Messianics that follow the Oral Torah and still do most of the traditions, on the other end you have the Messianics that are essentially Christian, might still go to church on Sunday for the fellowship besides keeping Shabbat and follow none to few of the traditions and only follow the laws of the Bible.
My family would be far more on the Christian side. We do not follow the Oral Torah, though we have studied it some for context, like you said, Brian. For example, we don’t keep Chanuka or Purim, because they’re not Biblical feasts. (We do have Messianic friends that do, as I said, it differs a lot between people.)
The only laws and traditions we follow are those that come directly from the Bible, not from an external source.
Another common myth is that all Messianic Jews were Jews first, then came to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. This definitely happens, but there are also many Christians who come to recognize that the Mosaic laws are still valid. My family doesn’t have any Jewish heritage. My parents were raised Protestant but later recognized the Mosaic laws.
Messianics don’t have a centralized church/synagogue. There are many, but they all differ a lot, and many are more like study groups, though there is often a leader that prepares a teaching. I’d say this, and the ‘only following the Bible’ are some of the key reasons why Messianics differ so much. Everyone interprets the commandments differently, so there are many differences of opinion.
You see this appear in subjects such as the dietary laws. (And many of the ‘smaller’ commandments that don’t have much clarification and are open for interpretation.)
For an example of how a commandment can be interpreted differently, we have friends who believe mushrooms aren’t kosher because they don’t have leaves. (Based on Genisis 9:3) We believe this to be incorrect because of Genisis 1:29 which states that you can eat everything that has seed.
That’s just one of the examples of how you get little differences of opinion. Anyway, hope this was interesting 🙂
Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?