FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does Adon Olam mean?
Adon is Hebrew for “lord” or “master” and Olam is Hebrew for “world” or “universe,” thus Adon Olam means “L-rd of the World.” It is the name of a Hebrew prayer that has been set to different melodies and sung as part of the synagogue liturgy for many years. It was chosen as the name of our congregation because we believe that the G-d of Israel is indeed “L-rd of the World.” (Adon Olam is pronounced, “Ah DOAN Oh LAHM”)
Why do you use G-d and L-rd?
The name of our Creator is described as Holy. It represents His character and His reputation. The Jewish people treat His name as Holy and because we don't know how to pronounce His name in the original Hebrew, the Jewish people substitute the Hebrew word Adonai (from adon meaning lord or master). Also, any document containing His titles becomes holy and must be handled and disposed of in a proper manner. Therefore, we omit the vowels in the English G-d and L-rd so as not to generate holy documents.
What is Messianic Judaism?
Messianic Judaism is Biblically-based Judaism. It is a movement of Jewish and non-Jewish people who believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the promised Messiah of the Jewish people and of all mankind. Yeshua’s first followers were Jewish people who continued to worship in synagogues on the Sabbath and maintained their Jewish culture. Later during the first century, non-Jewish people began to accept Yeshua and identify themselves with the Jewish people. They, too, worshipped in the synagogues on the Sabbath and identified with Jewish culture as they served the G-d of Israel.
The modern Messianic movement began around 1967. Messianic believers still maintain their Jewish heritage and lifestyle by worshipping Yeshua in a Jewish context. A Messianic lifestyle includes observing Shabbat (Sabbath) and the mo’adim (appointed times) of the L-rd with the added understanding of G-d’s revelation in the B’rit Khadashah (New Covenant) Scriptures. Messianic synagogues provide a place where people can consider the claims of Yeshua in a Jewish context and also provide an opportunity to experience the Jewish roots of the New Covenant faith.
What is the New Covenant?
Jeremiah prophesied that the L-RD would make a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. However, this covenant would be different from the one He made with their forefathers. The covenant that He made with the people of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt was written on tablets of stone. He tells us that the New Covenant will be written on their hearts. The sign of the Mosaic covenant was circumcision of the flesh, but the sign of this covenant will be circumcision of the heart.
Yeshua (Jesus) instituted this new covenant during His last Passover supper with His talmidim (students/disciples) when He took the matzah (unleavened bread) and explained that it represented His body, which was sacrificed for their sin (Luke 22:19). He then took the cup after dinner (the “cup of redemption”), and told them that it represented the new covenant in His blood (Luke 22:20). Under this covenant, Yeshua’s sacrifice makes atonement available to Jews and Gentiles alike.
What should I expect at a service?
What is the order of the service?
The order of our service is similar to that of a traditional Jewish synagogue. We begin with the traditional lighting of the Shabbat (Sabbath) candles. This is followed by the reciting of the Sh’ma (Hear) based on Deuteronomy 6:4. Other traditional Jewish liturgy is also a part of our services. These prayers and Scriptures are recited in Hebrew, the language of our people, and the original language of the Bible. They are then translated into English. Each part of the service is explained, so that visitors can be comfortable participating. Praise and worship in our services involves both music and dance. Messianic music combines words and concepts from the Scriptures with many different types of melodies. Davidic dance is a combination of Biblical dance steps and Israeli folk dancing. Clapping, dancing, and singing are described in Scripture as forms of praise. (Ps. 150) The Scripture passages that are read from the Torah and Haftarah each week are the same as those read in many other synagogues around the world. The cycle of readings is set up so that the entire Torah is read through in a year and then the cycle begins anew. The reading from the B’rit Khadashah (New Covenant) Scriptures is the same one that is read in numerous other Messianic synagogues. Our Rabbi brings an insightful, challenging message based on the Scripture that gives practical application for daily life. It also shows the need for a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe through His Son, Yeshua, the Messiah. The service concludes with the blessings over the fruit of the vine and bread, the benediction, and a closing song. Following the service, we have a time of eating and fellowship.
The entire service is designed to bless the individuals who attend and draw them closer to the Creator.
What should I wear to a service?
We do not mandate clothing standards, but encourage everyone to dress modestly and nicely. Within those parameters, you will see a wide variety of clothing styles at our services. Just keep in mind that you are coming to worship G-d and you should be fine.
What should I bring to a service?
You don’t need to bring anything to attend a service. However, if you have a Bible, you may want to bring it with you. If you do not bring a Bible, we have Bibles for visitors to borrow during the service and most of the Scriptures used in the service will be on the PowerPoint screen.
Men who own a tallit (prayer shawl) or kippa (covering) and want to wear them at the service should feel free to bring them. Women who own a head covering or scarf and wish to wear it during the service should feel free to bring it with them.
Can non-Jewish people attend the service?
Absolutely! Both Jewish and non-Jewish people can attend our services and join our congregation. We offer a place where all people can come to worship the Messiah of Israel together.
What does Shabbat Shalom mean?
Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath and shalom means peace and wholeness. Thus, Shabbat shalom means Sabbath peace. It is a traditional way to greet and bless others on the Sabbath.
What are the special garments that some people wear during a service?
The tallit (prayer shawl) is a four-cornered garment with fringes on the corners. Some have a blue cord wrapped with the white cords on each corner. Some men wear a tallit during the service. According to Numbers 15:37-41, it is to serve as a reminder to keep the L-RD’s commandments and not follow after our own hearts and our own eyes.
Some men wear a kippah (covering) (yarmulke, in Yiddish) as a sign of reverence. It has been a symbol of Jewish identity for hundreds of years and serves as an outward sign of respect for the house of G-d.
Some of the women in our congregation choose to wear a head covering or scarf during the service. This is also done as a sign of reverence for the L-rd.
What is the unusual horn that is blown at some of your services?
The shofar (horn) is a trumpet made from the horn of a kosher animal. A ram’s horn is often used as a symbol of the ram that was caught in the thicket by his horns and sacrificed in place of Issac (Genesis 22:9-14). The horn of any kosher animal may be used. The long twisted shofarot are often made from the horn of an African kudu. A cow’s horn is never used, because it might remind the L-rd of the time when the Israelites had turned away from Him and worshipped the golden calf (Exodus 32:7-8).