Don’t Let Your Left Hand See What Your Right Hand Posts on Instagram

“But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭3‬-‭4‬ ‭

Gotta love all these congregations and ministries and people who claim to work for The Lord, posting all their good deeds on social media for all the world to see.

“Look at us!! We went to Feed My Starving Children today! Here are the pictures for proof!“

“Look at this video of me giving money to a homeless person!”

Or how about the mega church near where I live that posts all their charitable ministries on their website to show how much they help people, but then when you call for help, they tell you you have to become a member in order to receive help?

I get trying to inspire other people to do good deeds, either on their own or to join in on a group event. Believe me, I do. But if you say you follow The Bible, then actually follow The Bible.

The specific instructions are to do these things in private. 1) So it doesn’t look like you’re just doing it for attention and/or to make yourself look good and 2) So the person on the receiving end doesn’t feel embarrassed that they needed help to begin with.

When you donate to a GoFundMe, donate anonymously. Don’t post what you’re doing on social media or send out a newsletter showing off. No videos of you in the act.

Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

Matthew 18 as a Tool to Control

Matthew 18:15-17 gives specific instructions on how to handle a situation when you have an issue with someone.

Since this is Biblical instruction, it is highly encouraged to follow this in the Messianic movement. Unfortunately, since we have been conditioned to follow oral instructions, and not do our own research, it’s presented to us skewed, and as a way for leadership to have control over whatever the situation is.

What we are told is that if you have an issue with someone, you first speak privately to them about it. If they don’t listen, you then bring it to the Rabbi and/or Elders, and they will speak to the person(s) about it. At that point, they can decide if the person is not listening, and tell the congregation (or just the members) about it.

What it actually says is to first speak privately to the person about it. If they don’t listen, then come back with one or two people with you (it says absolutely nothing about the witnesses having to be in any kind of leadership position). Then, if they still don’t listen, YOU can share it with the community.

This passage gives the person with the issue authority to handle the situation in an orderly fashion. And it takes the pressure off of those in leadership roles to not have to be bothered or get involved with every single issue in the congregation. Which they shouldn’t have to! And we shouldn’t have to tell on people to leadership over every minor issue.

So not only are we misinformed and trusted to follow blindly, but then the leaders don’t even follow the steps of Matthew 18 themselves.

This weekend I was sent a mass e-mail from a Messianic/Messianic adjacent organization from another country announcing that they had fired their director as soon as they found out he made a choice they didn’t like. To fire someone ‘immediately’ (their words) means there was no one on one discussion. It seems they skipped over the first two steps of Matthew 18 and went straight to public shaming.

This Bible passage is meant to help create peace amongst brothers. If you follow it, it is helpful. If you twist it around or ignore it, that’s just going to exacerbate any situation. And it is meant to put the solution into our hands and not automatically hand everything over the leadership for them to be able to control it.

Shayna Purim

Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim, which commemorates Queen Esther, and her cousin, Mordechai, stopping the Jews in Persia from being wiped out.

In my religious deprogramming, I’ve been going through the holidays one by one and seeing for myself if they’re actually Biblical, and which traditions are Biblical or align with The Bible, and I’ve been avoiding Purim for quite a while, but it’s time.

As a child, I loved Purim. It’s a big celebration with a carnival and lots of food and everyone wears costumes, and there’s always a play, called a “Purim Shpiel,” that is a creative retelling of the story of Purim, which comes from the book of Esther in The Bible.

I started struggling with Purim in my late 20s, for a few reasons. First of all, I lost someone very close to me to suicide. I was beginning to write the Purim Shpiels for my congregation, but I had to stop, because the graphicness of Haman’s execution and necessity of that being in the Shpiels was really upsetting to me. It was also getting harder and harder for me to justify spending money on a new costume every year, to be worn once for a few hours. On top of this, my Rabbi put a rule in place that you could not dress up unless your costume was someone or something from The Bible. I don’t like my creativity to be stifled like that, so I stopped participating, out of protest.

I also do not like hamantaschen, which is a special cookie that is eaten traditionally for Purim. There is a bakery in the Chicago area that makes yeast hamantaschen with a sweet cheese filling (think cheese danish, but even better), but it’s not exactly down the street, and I only make it out there once every few years.

My church does not currently celebrate Purim, so I was able to avoid figuring this out last year, but today it was time.

So I opened my Bible, and what I found was interesting. Purim is absolutely in The Bible. The date of which to celebrate it is there, and it also says to celebrate, to feast, to send gifts of food to one another, to give gifts to the poor, to never forget, and to make sure your children are taught these things. BUT, unlike what my church refers to as the Spring and Fall Feasts, celebrating Purim is not a commandment from God, rather that the author of the Book of Esther is the one urging us to do so.

I have ultimately decided that Purim is okay to keep in my repertoire, and that it is a good thing to celebrate every year. Though, without a community that celebrates it, I will have to figure out my own way to celebrate it, moving forward.

Chag sameach! (“Happy holiday” in Hebrew

Gut yontiff! (“Happy holiday” in Yiddish*

Buen moed! (“Happy holiday” in Ladino**




*Yiddish is the language of Ashkenazi Jews, who originated in Eastern Europe. It is a cross between Hebrew and German, and is what all of my Grandparents and Great Grandparents, etc spoke. Ich red a bissl Yiddish (I speak a little Yiddish), much more than I speak Hebrew.

**Ladino is the language of Sephardic Jews, who originated in Spain and Portugal. During the Spanish Inquisition, Jews were told to convert or get out. Many Catholics from that part of the world were actually Jews that converted to Catholicism. Ladino is a cross between Spanish and Hebrew.

Circumcision is Not a Spectator Sport

When Jewish baby boys are eight days old, they get circumcised. This comes from Genesis 17:11-12.

In Jewish tradition, there is a public circumcision ceremony called a Bris or a Brit Milah, where the parents of the baby invite their family, friends, and congregation to watch their son’s foreskin get cut off. Some people also pay photographers and videographers to document the occasion.

I don’t have any brothers, and I was so young when we left our Jewish community, so this wasn’t even on my radar, until I started dating my ex husband, and his Mom showed me his baby albums, beaming as she showed me the MULTIPLE pages of photos from his Bris, which I thought was really weird. Why do I need to look at photos of my boyfriend’s penis from when he was a baby?!

Why does ANYONE need to look at your or anyone’s infant son’s penis?

Yes, God said to have your sons circumcised at eight days old, but doesn’t say to have an audience. Why can’t it be done discreetly? It’s a covenant between the baby and The Lord. Not the baby, The Lord, and the entire congregation.

So, yes, have your sons circumcised at eight days old, but don’t invite an audience, and don’t have pictures or video taken. It’s creepy.

Inscribe These Words Inside of a Box You Bought from Etsy

Let’s talk about mezuzahs. A mezuzah is a small box/case that contains a prayer called the Shema, and gets nailed to your doorframe. This entire tradition is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, where it says to write/inscribe these words on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Somehow this turned into writing the words on a scroll and putting it in a decorative box you can buy from Etsy or a Judaica shop, and charging $$$$$ for them, and charging even more if you want the scroll to be ‘certified Kosher,’ and you can only affix it with nails, and it has to be on a certain angle, and it has to be on a certain side of the doorframe, and it has to be on the upper 1/3 of the doorframe, and it has to go on every room of your house EXCEPT THE BATHROOM.

Problem is, it doesn’t say these things in The Bible. It simply says to write the words on your doorframes and your gates.

So why are we not literally taking a Sharpie and writing these words on our doorframes??

The blessing you are supposed to say when affixing the mezuzah translates to saying God commanded us to affix the mezuzah. But guess what. God did not command us to affix a mezuzah. What He did do is command us to write the words on our doorframes and gates.

Now, if you’re in a season of renting or living in someone else’s home, and you’re not in a position to be able to write on the doorframes, another thing to consider is to write it on paper and put the paper on the doorframes, but we should be the ones writing these words on the doorframes of our residences, and not buying a scroll from someone else.

“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words, which I am commanding you today, are to be on your heart. You are to teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. Bind them as a sign on your hand, they are to be as frontlets between your eyes, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬-‭9‬ ‭TLV‬‬

Warning: Remove Label

Christian? Messianic? Do these words matter? Are they interchangeable?

I do not identify as a Christian. To most people, the word Christian means a follower of Christ. To me, it means a Gentile who celebrates Christmas and Easter, doesn’t keep Kosher, doesn’t care about Shabbat, and probably treats other people like garbage in the name of Jesus. That doesn’t describe me, and I don’t want to be associated with that. I also don’t use the word “Christ,” unless I am explaining something, so when I think of Jesus, that’s not a word that even comes to mind.

I do not identify as Messianic. To most people, this word describes someone who’s Jewish and believes that Jesus is The Messiah/Son of God. To me, it is someone who is part of a very specific religion that I no longer associate with. I have separated myself from them, and don’t want to be affiliated with what they allow to happen in their world.

People get very angry at me when I don’t want either of those labels put on me. I don’t know why it has to be one or the other or either. Or why it makes people so upset. (I’m also neither Republican nor Democrat, and that upsets people as well).

What did Jesus’ disciples call themselves? Definitely not Christians. Probably not Messianics either.

I don’t have one word to describe myself/my religious views right now, so I’ve started telling non believers that I’m a Jewish follower of Jesus, and telling other believers that I’m a Jewish believer.

Names are important. Throughout the Bible, God has given His followers new names for new seasons. This confirms that chosen words/labels/names do matter.

Last summer I changed my Hebrew name. Jewish babies are given a Hebrew first and middle name for ceremonial purposes (Bar/Bat Mitzvah, wedding, being called to read from the Torah, etc). For boys this name is given when they are circumcised at eight days old, and for girls when they are dedicated in front of the congregation.

Normally a Hebrew name is chosen based off of the correlation of the meaning of the child’s legal name, or a name that starts with the same first letter. Sometimes they are named after deceased family members. My parents, however, opted to choose random names.

My given Hebrew name was Yael Mirit, and I always hated it. But last summer I decided to do something about it. Since it’s not a legal name, I prayed about it and felt it was okay to just change it and make an announcement on social media.

Yael is a woman from the book of Judges who drove a tent peg through some bad dude’s head.

Mirit is up for debate whether or not it’s a real name, but there are two possible meanings here.

1) The root of the name translates to “bitter.”

2) The name is allegedly in the Talmud (I say allegedly, because I don’t have any occasion to read said book), and is said to translate to “sweet wine.”

I have struggled with bitterness my entire life, and I want to break free from that. I also want nothing to do with the Talmud, and I don’t drink. So any way you slice it, I don’t feel this name suits me at this point in my life.

After praying about it, even though I always thought Yael was an ugly name, I felt I should keep this one. Yael was a badass for The Lord.

After praying for The Lord to show me a more suitable name for me, I changed my middle name to Hadassah, which was Queen Esther’s Hebrew name. Another badass for The Lord in a completely different way.

So now my Hebrew name is Yael Hadassah. I am named after two badasses for The Lord, as I can only strive to be one as well. I have peace about my Hebrew name for the first time in my life.

Shalom on Shabbat

Throughout The Bible, Shabbat is mentioned as a day of rest. We are to do no work. We are to keep it holy. And even God rested on the seventh day, after creating the Heavens and the Earth and everything in it (Genesis 2:2-3).

I love the YouVersion Bible app for so many reasons, but if you type in the word “Shabbat” on the search function of a Messianic translation (TLV or CJB), you can see all the verses that come up about Shabbat. Unfortunately, in the English translations, they sometimes use the word Sabbath, and sometimes say something else, like day of rest. In this particular app, you can compare verses in any Bible version you like…my favorite feature! But the best way to see what is said about Shabbat, is to use a translation that actually uses the word Shabbat.

So Shabbat is supposed to be a day of rest, but being in a Messianic congregation, it had become very much not a day of rest for me, and I didn’t fully realize that until I came to my church.

For me, part of resting is being able to sleep in. I’ve been living with burnout for over a decade, so if I’m not lying in bed all day, the day does not feel restful at all.

In the Messianic congregations I attended, the services were all on Saturday mornings. So I would have to set an alarm and wake up early to get there. This is not restful at all.

Some Messianic congregations have Friday night services, which would have been a lot better, but this is more of a thing on the East Coast, where they focus less on The Torah and more on worship. Where I’ve lived, it’s been more Torah focused, and you’re not allowed to take The Torah out during an evening service, unless it’s Yom Kippur, so why have a service at all if you can’t take out The Torah? And where is that in The Bible? And, also, where in The Bible does it say that men cannot wear a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) during an evening service, unless it’s Yom Kippur? Again, more man made traditions treated as law.

On top of waking up early for a Saturday service, most Messianic congregations have oneg after service, which is free lunch and fellowship. And people like to stay forever. I get that it’s partially there for accountability, so that you aren’t running errands and renovating your home and doing laundry, etc, but spending alllllll day at services, when I work five days a week, is not my idea of rest at all. And I’m not even an introvert, so I can only imagine how introverts feel about it.

And to the point of not being able to run errands, I know Shabbat is not supposed to be convenient, and that is the point, but when you live paycheck to paycheck (and get paid on Fridays) and your gaslight comes on on your way home from services, which is 45 minutes away, and you can’t stop for gas, because you can’t run errands on Shabbat, that is very stressful.

Another thing that’s not the least bit restful on Shabbat is when you attend a toxic congregation where the leaders don’t practice what they preach, and fear God more than they fear men.

Many Messianic congregations also have business meetings on Shabbat, which is technically not allowed, but it’s the only way to make sure all their members come, as people travel quite a distance to come to services. Perhaps another reason to do away with membership.

So when I started attending my church, they meet on Sundays, so I am free to run errands during the most convenient time now, which is after church. So I can stop at the grocery store and get gas, and I cannot even say how freeing that’s been to be able to do that, as I was never able to run errands after Synagogue and always had to just go straight home.

This is one of the things I had to unlearn. I had to remind myself for months that it was okay to run errands on the way home from church, since it wasn’t Shabbat!

And I no longer have to think about these things on Shabbat, and that truly brings me shalom (peace).

Healing Prophecy 2/26/23

Since I’m posting about my journey, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t post about this.

I woke up around 5am on Sunday, from what initially felt like a nightmare. However, after processing it, it was evident that it was actually a prophetic dream about being able to trust my church community, which is a very hard thing for me, because I’ve been burned by everyone in my entire life.

After the church service the same day, someone in my congregation, that has zero knowledge of what I’ve been through, came up to me with Hebrews 13:6-7, and told me not to be afraid to trust and talk to the leaders of our congregation. What confirmation!

“so that with confidence we say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What will man do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭TLV‬‬

God Commanded Us to Light What??

I want to start this entry off by saying that Jews are not raised to follow The Bible; Jews are raised to follow tradition. And many of those traditions are not from The Bible, but they get treated as if they are.

Now it’s time for a short quiz! According to The Bible, what did God command us to light?

A) Shabbat candles

B) Chanukah candles

C) The world

D) All of the above

E) Only A and B




If you picked C as your answer, then you are correct. Matthew 5:14-16 says we are to be a light to the world. And lighting Shabbat (Sabbath) and Chanukah candles come from the Talmud, which is a book of Rabbis discussing their own interpretations of The Old Testament, as well as traditions, and hypothetical situations. It is sometimes referred to as the “Oral Torah.” It also adds tons of extra rules, like a boy not being able to get his first haircut until he is three, or not being able to eat cheeseburgers, not being able to press an elevator button on Shabbat, needing to have two dishwashers, not being able to drive on Shabbat, etc.

Now, let me say, I cannot stand the Talmud. It’s not that I necessarily have an issue with its existence, I just have an issue with traditions being treated like law. I have an issue with man made interpretations being treated like law.

And if you don’t follow The Talmud, you’re told you aren’t practicing Judaism. I’ll take following Jesus over Rabbinical man made law, thank you.

Some people will try to tell you that Jesus practiced ‘Talmudic Law,’ but I disagree with this. I believe Luke 11:46 is an example of Jesus not being a fan of all the man made rules.

In case anyone is wondering why I am posting references to Bible verses, but not actually typing out the passages, it’s because I want you to see for yourself instead of just taking my word for it. This is about my personal journey, and where I’m at. So go ahead and pull your favorite translation and look it up. We may not have the same taste in Bible translations anyway. 🙃

Anyway, I’m finding out, that even in Messianic Judaism, a lot of traditions come from The Talmud. And I’m trying to slowly go through one by one and kick everything out of my life that comes from The Talmud and not The Bible.

One of those things is lighting candles. Now, I have no issue with lighting candles for Shabbat, but the traditional blessing says that God commanded us to light Shabbat candles, which He did not.

So go ahead and keep lighting Shabbat candles, if that ceremonial symbol of ushering in Shabbat means a lot to you, but remember when you say the blessing that God did not command us to light the candles.

I have another blessing that I was trying to upload the audio for, and WordPress will not allow me to do so, but basically it replaces the line about God commanding us to light candles with God commanding us to be a light to the world. You can e-mail me if you would like the audio file.

Now, in regards to Chanukah, God definitely did not command us to light the Chanukah candles. In fact, the only mention of Chanukah in The Bible is in John 10:22-23, which basically just says it was Chanukah and Jesus was there. A lot of people will use this as “proof” that Jesus celebrated Chanukah, but that’s not proof at all. Even if it was proof, to what extent did He celebrate?

I’m struggling with celebrating Chanukah right now, because it’s not Biblical, and I’m trying to just celebrate Biblical holidays. Unfortunately, this realization came the night before a Chanukah party I was helping my friend with. So I still have more research to do for myself, especially with regards to 1 and 2 Maccabees, but I haven’t gotten there yet, because this realization was very jarring to me. And I feel like a fool for blindly following traditions without looking it up myself.

What I will say, is even if I come to the conclusion of celebrating Chanukah again, it’s not going to be done with fried food and teaching children to gamble.

I want to post a song now. This song was my prayer the final year I was in my congregation, about God shaking up my religion and my traditions and to just empty myself of those things that don’t make sense to make room for the things that actually come from Him. I think it worked.

Final note for now, if you like this blog, you can visit Blog Shortcuts and subscribe to receive an e-mail notification every time I post a new entry.

Seven Words You Can Never Say in a Messianic Congregation

Seven dirty words that must never be uttered in a Messianic Congregation or Conference. The first six cannot be uttered because they are ‘too Gentile.’ The final entry cannot be uttered because it is actually legitimately improper, and theologically incorrect.

1) Jesus.

Jesus is the Greek name for Yeshua. Messianic groups will change song lyrics that use the word Jesus, and add in an extra syllable to make it say Yeshua.

I wish I had saved this, but somebody once sent me a picture from a conference they were at, where they were singing a song by the Christian band, Jesus Culture, and the slide actually was changed to say “Yeshua Culture.”

I have recently started using Jesus more than Yeshua 1) because I am attending a church now and 2) because any Messianic related words are somewhat triggering to me right now. As I heal more, that will change.

It is kind of funny that a lot of people in my church say Yeshua instead of Jesus. A+ for awareness.

2) Christ.

Same as Jesus. Christ is the Greek word. The acceptable words are either Messiah, or usually people will say Yeshua HaMashiach…Jesus The Messiah.

Song lyrics with the word Christ are fun when you shove a whole bunch of extra syllables in (Christ ——> Messiah) just to prove a point.

I very rarely use the word Christ, unless I’m speaking to a very specific audience.

3) Baptism.

What a Gentile word! Messianics do not get baptized, they either have a mikveh/get mikvehed, or there will be an immersion service.

But John the Baptist is still John the Baptist, because contradiction and inconsistency are everything in the Messianic Movement.

4) Cross.

Jesus died on a cross. Yeshua died on a TREE.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the word itself, but because Gentiles use a cross as the symbol of Christianity, Messianics can’t give any indication that they are Gentile.

Most Messianic congregations rent from churches and will cover up all the crosses in the sanctuary with a felt banner.

5) Communion.

Messianics don’t take communion, they have The Lord’s Table or The Lord’s Supper. I even went to one congregation where people insisted it should be called Yizkor, because it means “rememberance.” This is even more bizarre, because a Yizkor service is a tradition on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement…the most somber day on the Hebrew calendar) to remember your friends and relatives that have died, and light a special candle in their memory.

6) Christmas.

Since there is such a gamut of backgrounds in the Messianic movement, everyone has different views on Christmas. Regardless, Christmas is not something that gets talked about much in a Messianic congregation…except for those who feel if they refer to it as “Messiahmas,” that it’s okay to celebrate.

I don’t personally think that changing the word makes Christmas anymore okay to celebrate, but I will save that for another day.

7) Yahweh/Jehovah.

This one is actually something that should never be spoken anywhere ever. Whoever started this doesn’t know anything about Hebrew.

So the English transliteration of God’s name is YHVH. This is known as the Tetragrammaton.

In Hebrew, vowels are not the letters, but rather a series of dots and lines underneath or next to the letters. In the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament), there are no vowels, so what you will see for God’s name are the letters Yod Hay Vav Hay, without any dots or lines.

Somewhere along the way, the true pronunciation of this got lost (yet they managed to pass down a lot of toxic traditions, not sure how that works. Glad their priorities were in order).

Because of this, we use the word Adonai, which means “My Lord,” instead of trying to guess how it’s pronounced. Just think, you would feel weird or possibly disrespected if someone pronounced your name wrong. It is an insult, so we offer that respect to God by not pronouncing His name when we aren’t sure if it will be correct. Many non believing Jews will use the word “HaShem” instead of Adonai. The translation of that is “The Name.”

That being said, while we don’t know how it’s pronounced, we know for a fact that it can’t be yahweh, as there is no “W” sound in Hebrew, and we also know it’s not jehovah, because there is also no “J” sound in Hebrew.

Some people that have gotten weird information either from the internet or a fringey congregation with weird theology will try to tell you that it is correct to say “yehovah.” Again, we don’t know for certain how it is pronounced.

If you remember the children’s song “I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas,” where they keep changing the vowels in the words apples and bananas…it’s kind of like that. There are a lot of possibilities and variables, but since we don’t know, it’s better to just not try to guess.