Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Who is Congregation Beth Simcha?

Beth Simcha is a Messianic Jewish Synagogue. Beth Simcha literally means “House of Joy”: it is a joy to be in the presence of the LORD.

 

2. What is a Messianic Jewish Synagogue?

A Messianic Jewish Synagogue is a community of Jewish and non-Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) where the expression of that faith and worship is distinctly Jewish.

 

3. Is it only for Jewish people?

No. Beth Simcha is a house of worship for Jewish and non-Jewish people alike. All are welcome.

 

4. Is Beth Simcha a “Jewish Church” or a Christian Synagogue?

Beth Simcha defines itself as a Messianic expression in the Jewish community, and the Biblical Jewish expression of the Body of Messiah.

 

5. Who exactly is a Messianic Jew?

A Messianic Jew is a physical descendent of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is joined by faith to Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.

 

6. Are Gentile believers in the Messiah Yeshua welcome?

Yes! Jewish and Gentile people are equally in need of G-D’s one provision of atonement in the Messiah Yeshua. In the Messiah, both are equally a part of the Body of Messiah and are beloved of G-D.

 

7.Since Jewish and non-Jewish believers are equal before G-D, why have a distinctly Jewish oriented congregation?

Despite the fact that G-D has broken down the dividing wall between Jewish and non-Jewish, the Jewish people still retain a distinct calling, which G-D declares in the New Covenant. The New Covenant refers to this as the “saved remnant of the house of Israel”. The Biblical Jewish expression of the congregation also states the original context in which the New Covenant was declared and to whom it was promised—the Jewish people.

 

8. Do Messianic Jews keep the Mosaic Law?

Yes. Messianic Judaism teaches that the  New Covenant did not do away with the Mosaic Covenant, but rather brought it to completion. The New Covenant is the empowering of individuals through the death and resurrection of Yeshua and the outpouring of G-D’s Spirit to keep the laws contained in the Mosaic Covenant. Obedience to Torah (the Mosaic Law), however, is not the basis of salvation which is by faith in the finished work of Yeshua alone. The observance of Torah is practiced only in subordination to Yeshua. Living out the Mosaic Covenant practically, must depend on the leading and guidance of the indwelling Spirit of G-D (rather than as a legalistic set of rules). Non-Jewish believers are encouraged to keep the moral laws contained in the Torah and are encouraged, as all are, to be obedient to all of G-D’s Word. Jewish believers are to additionally keep the ceremonial, symbolic and festival laws. This is in accordance with Yeshua’s own words, when He stated that He “did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill.”

 

9. Why do you have services on Saturday?

The seventh-day Sabbath was given to Israel as a perpetual observance in the Mosaic Covenant.

 

10. What are the worship services like?

Services begin at 10:30 a.m. The first hour is given to worship in prayer, praise, singing, various traditional liturgical/cantorial aspects and Messianic music. Songs and liturgy are in both Hebrew and English. An overhead display is used as well. Verbal gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy, messages in tongues and interpretations, operate in the services “decently and in order”. Davidic dance/worship is also a part of the worship expression followed by the Torah service, blessing over the children, and a teaching from G-D’s Word. There are always opportunities for those who need prayer to be ministered to by the leadership.

 

11. What is Oneg Shabbat?

Oneg Shabbat means “Delight of the Sabbath”. Beth Simcha recognizes this as a special time of fellowship with refreshments. Visitors are welcome to attend and become acquainted with the people of the congregation. Regular attendees are expected to sign up to periodically bring food and help clean up. The food for the Oneg must be kosher, therefore pork products, anything containing animal fat, lard, or shellfish are not allowed.

 

12. How is the congregation governed?

Beth Simcha is governed by its Board of Elders, with the primary spiritual leadership residing in its Messianic Rabbi. In matters affecting the community as a whole, congregational meetings are held where members and regular attendees have the opportunity to present their views; however, this is not a voting congregation. Beth Simcha is affiliated with the I.A.M.C.S. – International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues.

 

13. Apart from the Jewish elements, what are some of the goals and objectives of Beth Simcha?

Yeshua, Himself, is the reason for Beth Simcha’s ministry. In Him, the highest priorities for the congregation are: a sense and spirit of community, unity, outreach and evangelism to “the Jew first, and also the Gentile,” family solidarity and Biblical upbringing of children, understanding Jewishness, teaching and learning, working with both the Jewish community and churches and restoring the Jewish roots to the Church. Beth Simcha also has a profound love for the nation of Israel and is strongly pro-life.

 

14. Why do the men wear head-coverings and prayer shawls?

These are the traditional items of Jewish life, history and worship. The prayer shawl is called a tallit and the small round cap is called a kepah (Hebrew) or yarmulke (Yiddish for “Reverence the King). All males worshipping with Beth Simcha are encouraged to wear one or both of these accessories, but the conscience of each individual is respected in this matter.

 

15. Is Beth Simcha the same as “Jews for Jesus”?

No. “Jews for Jesus” is an evangelistic organization based in California. Unfortunately, “Jews for Jesus” is typically a derogatory term used within the Jewish community for any Messianic Jew, much like “Jesus freak” or “Holy roller”. Beth Simcha and Messianic Judaism are more like a Messianic branch of Judaism with its own rabbis, centers of learning, materials, congregational federations, etc.

 

16. Does Beth Simcha practice Water Immersion and The LORD’s Supper?

Yes, but in their original Biblical Jewish context.

 

17. What does Beth Simcha offer for children?

Shabbat School along with a variety of children’s programs.

 

18. Does Beth Simcha offer Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

Yes, with wonderful teachers with expertise in the Hebrew language.