This is a guest post by our associate Pastor, Moti Cohen. Moti is a native born Israeli who came to faith in the mid-nineties. He has been a key leader for many years in the national Messianic youth movement here in Israel.
The central part of traditional Jewish prayer is the “Amidah,” also called “The Eighteen Blessings.” These prayers reflect the rabbinic world view since Yeshua’s time, primarily based on Scripture.
Actually there are not 18 but 19. Why? Because one was added later. It was not a part of the original set. In fact it is not a blessing at all, but a curse. It is a curse upon all heretics, yet specifically intended against Jewish believers in Yeshua:
Considering that these prayers are repeated 3-5 times daily by 2 to 3 million Orthodox Jews, they represent approximately 10 million curses against believers, especially Messianic Jewish “apostates” every day. (This may explain in part why we feel so much spiritual oppression here in Israel sometimes!)
We as a community choose to “bless those who curse us” (Luke 6:28). We forgive them as Yeshua said, because they “know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Our only desire is to see our people saved. However we also break the power of this curse, as Yeshua promised us “authority over all the power of the evil one” (Luke 10:19).
The curse calls for us to be “cut off” and removed from the book of life. Yet we know that we are written in the book of life, despite persecution against us. “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Thank God, that nothing can remove us from the life and love we have received from Yeshua.
Take a minute now and pray for the Jewish people. We hold no grudge against our brothers and sisters after the flesh, but like Paul, we long for their salvation.