Russ Resnik encountered Yeshua as Messiah in the early 70s as a young radical in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Later, he was drawn into the Messianic Jewish movement and founded Adat Yeshua, a Messianic congregation in Albuquerque, NM, which he led for nearly 20 years. Today, he serves as executive director of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), an association dedicated to establishing, strengthening, and multiplying congregations for Yeshua within the wider Jewish community. Russ is ordained as a Messianic Rabbi through the UMJC and also maintains credentials as a clinical mental health counselor. He has an international speaking and teaching ministry, contributes regularly to Messianic Jewish publications, and is the author of Gateways to Torah: Joining the Ancient Conversation on the Weekly Portion,Creation to Completion: A Guide to Life’s Journey from the Five Books of Moses, and the just-released Divine Reversal: The Transforming Ethics of Jesus. Russ and his wife Jane live in Albuquerque and have four children and six grandchildren.
One of the high points of the traditional morning prayers comes right at the beginning. As the worshiper concludes putting on the tefillin, he wraps the leather strap around the middle finger three times, reciting the words of Hosea 2:19–20.
You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? -- Matt. 17:17a
A good friend recently described me in public as a patient man. I appreciated the affirmation, of course, but I was tempted to jump up and protest.
Father in heaven! What is a man without Thee! What is all that he knows, vast accumulation though it be, but a chipped fragment if he does not know Thee! What is all his striving, could it even encompass a world, but a half-finished work if he does not know Thee: Thee the One, who art one thing and who art all! --Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing, Soren Kierkegaard
And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. —Matthew 6:28–29
Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. --Matthew 5:8
I yearn for simplicity, but life insists on complicating itself.
Our chavurah is reading together through Luke in the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels, and this week we came to this verse: “Therefore, be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate” (Lk 6:36), the climax to Messiah Yeshua’s instructions to love our enemies and be generous toward the undeserving.
I think I’m a pretty patient guy, but I saw something this week that put my patience to shame.
Responsibility has become a sort of hot potato in our times. We want others to take lots of it, and we don’t want to take any ourselves.
One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our kids were growing up, came toward the end, when we’d recite the Great Hallel, Psalm 136.
Travel always provides lots of opportunities for practicing the middot—standing in a TSA security line is ideal for developing patience; staying strapped into a narrow seat on a crowded plane is perfect for equanimity; and there are boundless opportunities for humility. On my latest trip I had a chance to learn about the middah of generosity.