Community: One-Off Events
The Bible shows believers from the community of faith practicing the religion of our fathers at both fixed and one-off times. Fixed dates include the weekly Sabbath, annual holidays, and appointed times, including Passover and Sukkot. Below are the four main times a Jewish person makes a statement about him/herself:
At each of these moments of passage, we use ceremony and food, and gatherings and testimony to allow participation and inclusion to occur. Life-cycle events are significant to our families. When we, as believers in Yeshua, continue to regard them as significant, we reassure family and friends that we value our common heritage.
Birth / Brit Milah
A bris (or brit) is the ceremony of circumcision for Jewish boys when they are eight days old.
For information about Messianic Jewish brit milah, you will want to contact your local general practice doctor and / or our office.
For some controversy about circumcision, read here ›
You may modify these rites or email or ring us, and we will help you construct one of your own.
You will want to have food and comfortable seating including a separate room for the mother of the child to sit during the brit milah. You may want to publish a bulletin/notice sheet for the event. Personal invitations and thank you cards will add a special touch to the event.
Bar / Bat Mitzvah
Bar mitzvah (“son of the commandment”) refers to a boy who has reached 13 years of age. At this time, he is considered a man in the sense of being responsible to take on the religious obligations of Jewish life. It also refers to the ceremony of the threshold after which the boy is now a man.
As this article points out, the bar mitzvah ceremony is a sign to the child that he is a Jew and a sign to the Jewish community that we are Jews. The bat mitzvah ceremony is for girls who have reached 12 years of age.
Read more about a bar / bat mitzvah here
In our marriage to our life partner, we state publicly that God has chosen this person for us and we want our home to look like this. Then we build a ceremony with flowers and dresses, bands and rings, and seating and color charts to match.
If you want to reflect your home as a Messianic Jewish home, you want to have Messiah as central. You might include a chuppah, a smashed glass, and any number of other items which demonstrate that reflection.
“There was every reason that our wedding should include all these things, for we had not become nor felt any less Jewish because of our belief in Jesus. In fact, these outward symbols were merely an indication of our inner convictions and our desire to honor and perpetuate our Jewish heritage.”
David Brickner wrote an excellent article about marriage here.
And that which lasts the longest: our BURIAL in a cemetery
A Messianic funeral honours the life and testimony of the deceased, points others to Messiah Yeshua, and features some standard prayers like the kaddish, the el male rachamim, and the reading of Psalm 23. Some use video flashbacks and eulogies. Sometimes there are two locations to the burial: the service at a funeral home and the burial itself at the cemetery. A Messianic leader often officiates at the funeral. Each person has an opportunity to bury the deceased by shoveling dirt onto the grave. This is the greatest mitzvah a person can perform as there is no opportunity for the deceased to reciprocate.
In Sydney we have reserved a section in the Woronora Cemetery for Messianic burials. In the same way that a person makes a testimony in their life during a bris, bar mitzvah, or wedding, so in death, a Messianic Jew can also testify. We are buried near one another in a section called ‘Messianic’. Typical set up is so that the community esprit d’corps continues even after we have passed on. Arrangements are made by individuals for plots or niches directly with Woronora. Their contact details are (02) 9545 4677. Location: 121 Linden Street, Sutherland, NSW 2232.
The cost of the plot is in the thousands and may be shared with a spouse. The rate will no doubt increase over the years. The cost of a niche (for those who choose to cremate) is appreciably less. The niche is shown here. The plots may be sold (like real estate), should circumstances warrant or situations change.
Anyone who wants to identify with the Jewish people, and in this case with Yeshua, the Messiah of the Jewish people, may be buried in the Messianic section of Woronora. This serves intermarried couples who would otherwise be prevented from being buried together by other religions.
Each plot in Woronora is monumented with the same Headstones, although there is opportunity for variation in measure. Due to the method of the MBS (Modern Burial System) employed, the headstones will remain exactly as they are laid from the beginning. This is new and will prevent the ‘jagged teeth’ of the Prague Jewish cemetery or falling headstones even at Eastern Suburbs or Rookwood.
Where do we go when we die?