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rabbi russ resnik
middot humility rabbi russ resnik

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rabbi russ resnik

rabbi russ resnik

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 Divine Reversal: The Transforming Ethics of Jesus. Russ and his wife Jane live in Albuquerque and have four children and seven grandchildren.

Friday, 20 September 2013 15:08

The wrong sukkah

It's already a week past Yom Kippur and I'm still thinking about the Book of Jonah, which we read on the afternoon of the holy day. 

God tells Jonah to go up to Nineveh and declare its impending doom; instead Jonah goes down to Jaffa and finds a ship headed in the opposite direction. God deals with him, but also shows him great mercy, and Jonah finally does what he’s told; he warns the Ninevites, and they repent en masse. The Yom Kippur themes are all in play—repentance, God’s sovereignty over the nations as well as Israel, and his boundless mercy over all. Toward the end of the story there’s also a subtle connection with Sukkot: “Jonah left the city of Nineveh and found a place east of the city, where he made himself a sukkah and sat down under it, in its shade, to see what would happen to the city” (4:5).

Monday, 09 September 2013 01:40

Holy days and humility

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live . . .” (Amos 5:4).

The connection between humility and the High Holy Days might seem pretty obvious. For the whole month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, and especially through the ten Days of Awe from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, we’re supposed to devote ourselves to self-examination, to making amends for wrongdoing, and to confessing our sins before God. The lengthy confession of sin on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is followed by Avinu Malkenu, when we all stand before the open ark and recite, “Our Father, our King!  Be gracious to us, and answer us, for we have no good works of our own; deal with us in charity and kindness, and save us.”

Sunday, 08 September 2013 00:47

Jonah—a midrash on responsibility

On Yom Kippur afternoon, we read the Book of Yonah and, in many congregations, spend some time discussing it through the long hours of the fast. It seems like there’s something new to discover every year, so this year let’s do a quick review of Yonah in light of the middah of responsibility.

Sunday, 01 September 2013 17:25

responsible for all Israel

Last night our chavurah joined the wider Jewish community here in Albuquerque for a multi-congregation Selichot service. For those unfamiliar with this tradition, “Selichot” refers to prayers for forgiveness and restoration. The custom since early medieval times is to recite these prayers early in the morning, before sunrise, for at least four days leading up to Rosh Hashanah. Some commentators relate these four days to the four days during which an offering was examined before being presented in the temple. Since we present ourselves as an offering on Rosh Hashanah (very much in line with Romans 12:1), we examine ourselves in God’s presence for four days leading up to the holy day.

Monday, 26 August 2013 16:36

chesed in action

art-tuffChesed or loving-kindness is an essential human attribute, but it’s first of all a divine attribute. If we want to cultivate chesed, we should pay attention to how Hashem exercises it. And God’s chesed is on display at the conclusion of the Haftarot of Comfort, the passages from Isaiah that we read during this period between Tisha B’av and Rosh Hashanah.

Sunday, 25 August 2013 19:08

chesed in action

Chesed or loving-kindness is an essential human attribute, but it’s first of all a divine attribute. If we want to cultivate chesed, we should pay attention to how Hashem exercises it. And God’s chesed is on display at the conclusion of the Haftarot of Comfort, the passages from Isaiah that we read during this period between Tisha B’av and Rosh Hashanah.

Monday, 19 August 2013 18:48

moderate repentance

art-appleI have to admit that I approach the Days of Awe with some ambivalence. Unlike any of you, I’m a bit melancholic by temperament and I don’t look forward to the somber, gloomy, endless-confession aspect of these days.

Monday, 19 August 2013 16:29

moderate repentance

I have to admit that I approach the Days of Awe with some ambivalence. Unlike any of you, I’m a bit melancholic by temperament and I don’t look forward to the somber, gloomy, endless-confession aspect of these days.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 12:22

immovable mercy

Adaptability is rooted in security.

Those who are insecure become rigid, dogmatic, inflexible. But if I know I won't break, I can bend. I can return to Hashem, do teshuvah, the deepest adaptability, because I know he is merciful and won't smash me when I come back after all my wanderings.

Monday, 12 August 2013 20:16

adaptibility and teshuvah

art-wavefieldsI love it that adaptability is included among the middot. If it weren't, we might be tempted to think of mussar as simply a set of rules, and rigid adherence as the way to virtue. We might think of mussar as saying to us, "Just stay within the lines I set and you'll be safe." But, of course, real life provides too many exceptions, dilemmas, and puzzlements to allow for such an approach.

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this week


Moshe Rabbenu teaches loving-kindness
Here's a drash on loving-kindness adapted from my book Creation to Completion, wh . . .
chesed and truth
For the Torah was given through Moshe; chesed and truth came through Yeshua the M . . .
chesed and forgiveness
In his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi . . .
how the world stands
A woman died and left no money to pay for her funeral. She was an inhabitant of o . . .
His chesed is always there!
One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our ki . . .
do a chesed
There was an older gentleman I used to to interact with fairly regularly at a Ra . . .
bottled up kindness
'The kindnesses of the Lord I shall sing forever; to generation after generation . . .
showering chesed
The Hebrew word for loving-kindness is chesed.    . . .

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