Sheilot uTshuvot

(Questions and Answers)

Ask Torah Teacher Ariel

(Note: all quotations are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, translation by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., unless otherwise noted)

QUESTION 1:

I have a problem when at the messianic congregation they bring out the Torah and everyone kisses it as it passes by. I am very uncomfortable when this occurs and wonder if this borders on idolatry? I know it is tradition but I do not have peace about doing it myself. I am a gentile believer and support the idea of Jews retaining their culture but not if it is a wrongful practice.

ANSWER:

The practice of kissing the Torah scrolls, whether it be a Messianic Jewish service, or a non-Messianic one, has meaning for some&.but not all. Our individual traditions need not serve the Adversary, in the form of idolatry, or superstition. Sadly, some people are unaware that those are the actual reasons behind many of the things done in the name of God and His Torah. Carefully listen to your spiritual discernment on each issue. If you have serious questions about participating in something, ask the pastor, or rabbi, for spiritual guidance. Shaul taught the Congregation at Corinth that, ""Everything is permitted," you say? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permitted?" Maybe, but not everything is edifying. No one should be looking out for his own interests, but for those of his fellow."" Even though the immediate context of this passage has to do with food offered to idols, the application for todays Messianic Community is valid. In the present case, the leaders of the congregation or church should be "looking out" for the "interests of their fellow members".

Torah Teacher Ariel ben-Lyman HaNaviy