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Elul/Tishri 5773    SEPTEMBER 2013



High Holiday Services
The High Holidays are special, please dress appropriately. Click here to see the Shema Standards For Dress.

September 4: Erev Rosh HaShana, 7:30 p.m. Set up for volunteers at 5 p.m.
September 5: Rosh HaShana, 10:30 a.m.
September 13: Erev Yom Kippur, 7:30 p.m.
September 14: Yom Kippur, 10:30 a.m. Please stay after services if you can help set up for the Break-Fast.
September 14: Yom Kippur, 7:15 p.m. closing service. After the service, break the fast with a Chinese dinner. The cost is $8 per person. Registration and payment are due by noon, September 12. To register by mail, send a check and indicate that it is for breaking the Yom Kippur fast. To register online, go to
September 15: Build and decorate the Sukka, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Bring leafy branches, flowers or colorful fruits and vegetables; some food to share (nothing non-kosher please – call if you need to know more); and a desire to be happy and draw closer to the God Who Dwells Among Us on this joyous holiday!

Evangelism Updates

In July, 20 of us wore “Jesus Made Me Kosher!” t-shirts at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Thousands saw us. There were lots of comments (good and bad – but mostly good) about the shirts. We got into a lot of good conversations and handed out 3,800 pamphlets.

Also in July, Rabbi Loren and Martha mailed letters to 220 homes, inviting their neighbors to discuss evidences for God’s existence; why the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God; and why Yeshua is the Messiah. Rabbi Loren reports: “Even though no one came to our home for a discussion, we are comforted knowing we sent a letter that contained a lot of truth, directed our neighbors to the Shema website and invited them to interact with us.”

Rabbi Glenn and Alexandra also invited many of their neighbors to their home. Rabbi Glenn reports: “Four adults and one child came to our first discussion. We distributed more invitations around the neighborhood and two adults came to our second discussion, including a Russian Jewish neighbor. Three adults and one child came to our third discussion. Everyone agreed that this kind of home-based outreach is a good idea and we hope to do more of this.”



Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the Roman statesman and philosopher, observed: “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future … to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.” Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, conveyed this same idea to the believers in Philippi, writing: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances; and to Timothy: There is great gain in godliness with contentment. To be content is to take nothing we’ve been given for granted, but to be grateful to the Giver of all good things. To that end, we at Shema wish to express our gratitude to the God of Israel, and to you, our readers and supporters, without whose prayers and gifts we would be hard-pressed to carry on the work of evangelism “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.” May the favor of God rest on you and His choicest blessings given to you!



The High Holidays will soon be here. Yom Truah, the holiday to blow the shofar (popularly known as Rosh HaShana), anticipates the return of King Messiah Yeshua. Ten days later comes Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which is a time of judgment. It’s also a prophecy of the inevitability of judgment, the great Day of Judgment, and the need to make sure we are in a right relationship with the Three-In-One God that is characterized by obedience, by holy living, by mission-driven living. God is great. He is vastly intelligent. He is all-powerful. He is greater than the universe with its billions of galaxies and trillions of stars, a universe whose distance is measured in billions of light years. God is not only great in power, size and intelligence, but He is morally great. He is infinitely righteous and pure and holy. He will tolerate sinful men and fallen angels for a time, while He is working in time to save and repair fallen men and women; helping them end their rebellion against Him; helping them become good and righteous and holy and loyal sons and daughters who will live with Him forever. He will not allow anything that continues to rebel against His perfect nature to co-exist with Him forever. Anyone who continues to rebel against Him will come to an end.A very special day is coming when the Lord will have finished His work of redeeming human beings, reconciling them to Himself. Many will be redeemed and transformed and fit for eternal life in the New Jerusalem – millions and millions – but even more will be rejected. After the Creator’s work of saving, fixing, redeeming, atoning for, reconciling and transforming human beings is finished, there will be a Day of Judgment. That momentous day is as certain as death and taxes – even more certain than death and taxes, for not all may die and not all pay taxes!

All human beings will appear before the all-powerful and all-knowing and all-righteous God and be judged for their actions, thoughts, words, morality and motivations; how they used their time and energy and talents; whether they lived for God or for the world; lived for God or lived for self. They will be judged for what they did do but shouldn’t have done; and for what they didn’t do but should have done – sins of omission as well as sins of commission. They will be judged on whether or not they ended their rebellion against the Three-In-One God of Israel: if they recognized that Yeshua is the Messiah and the Son of God and the Savior and became loyal to Him and His mission. The Day of Judgment is real and absolutely certain, and all human beings will be there for it. Therefore, if we are wise, we must be prepared for it so that we will pass through it and be welcomed into God’s wonderful and eternal kingdom.

John, who seems to have been closest to the Son of God while He was on Earth, and one of the greatest men of God who ever lived, was privileged to foresee that great day. John was a faithful and reliable witness and recorded what he saw. I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. The Earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and there was no place for them.This throne, this seat of supreme authority and judgment, is great. It is big. And it is big in importance. It is of supreme importance for those who will be judged. This great white throne is greater than the universe and everything in it. The heavens and the Earth, the whole physical universe, flee from it. It’s white. It is pure. The One who is on it is completely innocent, absolutely pure, perfectly just. He is perfect in judgment. The One sitting on this great white throne is King Yeshua, the Son of the High King, to whom all judgment is given. The High King, God the Father, will not judge anyone, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent the Son into this world.

John, this faithful witness, gives us more trustworthy information about what will take place on the Day of Judgment. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books ... Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into Gehenna, Hell, the Lake of Fire. What this great man of God saw and wrote will take place, and you had better be ready for it! Almost nothing else matters! If your name is not written in the Book of Life, you will not make it through the day when you will be judged, and you will be condemned and sent to the Lake of Fire. If you are not welcomed in God’s real and eternal kingdom, then all of your other efforts, accomplishment, achievements, will turn out to be worthless.

It’s possible to make sure you are ready for the Day of Judgment. It’s possible to make sure your name is written in the Book of Life. Here’s how: You know the Judge who will be sitting on that great white throne. Before you leave this world, you are reconciled to Messiah Yeshua. You end your part in the great rebellion against Him and His Father. You prove you are on Messiah’s side and the side of His Father by holy living; by serving God, not yourself; by serving God, not the world. You prove you are on Messiah’s side and the side of His Father by faithfully carrying on Messiah’s great mission of evangelism, teaching and good deeds. Whoever becomes loyal to the Father and the Son and proves it by living according to Messiah’s teachings, will not be condemned on the Day of Judgment but will cross over from death to life.

Everyone will appear before King Yeshua to be judged. If you are a Messianic Jew or Gentile Christian, you will give an account. You may be embarrassed. You may be ashamed. You may lose some rewards, but you will survive your Day of Judgment and be acknowledged as one of God’s beloved sons or daughters, the least of whom will live forever as a king or queen of the New Heavens, New Earth, New Jerusalem!

Are you ready for the Day of Judgment? I hope so! If you are, won’t you make it your mission to warn those who are not ready for it to get ready? And if you are not ready to come before your Creator on the Day of Judgment, I strongly advise you to get right with God – today. Don’t wait! Don’t delay! There’s too much danger, too much risk of the greatest possible loss. If you need help getting right with God, making sure you are ready for the day of judgment, I urge you to make an appointment to talk to me or Rabbi Glenn right away!


Rabbi Loren