My vocation as a rabbi is to teach and model the ways of God for Israel, especially the Messianic Jewish community. My main passion as a rabbi is to study and teach Torah. The best way to explain this passion is to describe what I do.
I am engrossed in fashioning an approach to Messianic Jewish Torah study that fully integrates the person, teaching, and work of Yeshua with serious study of traditional texts. It must honor those texts while also grappling with their problematic features. My Messianic Jewish students are my partners in this project - I do not only teach them, I learn from them.
I teach locally, lead seminars in various locales, and teach on the Internet. Since moving to Austin, Texas four years ago, I have offered private study to Messianic and non-Messianic Jews. It has been a great joy to witness non-Messianic Jews become more engrossed with God and/or to seriously consider the claim that Yeshua is Messiah, the Son of God.
I also lead one or two advanced midrash seminars each year. The most remarkable feature of these seminars is that students from a variety of backgrounds quickly adapt to midrash study and end up "on the same page," as we engage with the unique voice of the midrash and discuss its application to Messianic Jewish life.
But most of my teaching is via the Internet, where it has been my privilege to teach committed men and women from across the U.S. and even overseas. I have taught in MJTI's online graduate School of Jewish studies for seven or eight years now. Along with valued colleagues, I recently started the online college-level New School for Jewish Studies to teach the Hebrew texts of the Tanakh and the writings of Hazal, the sages of the formative period of Judaism. I was never skeptical about the viability of online classes, but the level of learning that takes place online has exceeded my expectations by miles.
I also have a special interest in reaching out via the Internet to Messianic Jews who have no Messianic Jewish congregation where they live. For the most part, their personal situation does not currently permit them to move in order to be part of a Messianic Jewish community. I do more than teach these men and women - I am their rabbi and chief encourager.
Torah study is rightly a form of worship in which heart, mind, soul, and strength are united in the love of God. My greatest gratification as a rabbi is to witness Messianic Jews coming to understand and embrace this form of worship as a lifelong practice.
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