God's Appointed Customs: A Messianic Jewish Guide to the Biblical Lifecycle and Lifestyle [NOOK Book]


Explains Jewish customs from the bible through modern-day practice and meaning to Christians.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
God's Appointed Customs: A Messianic Jewish Guide to the Biblical Lifecycle and Lifestyle

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$12.99 List Price


Explains Jewish customs from the bible through modern-day practice and meaning to Christians.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936716050
  • Publisher: Messianic Jewish Communications
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 785,694
  • File size: 513 KB

Read an Excerpt

(Excerpted from the Introduction)



While the song and concept were popularized by Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof, tradition is something that has been with the Jewish people for several millennia. The Hebrew Scriptures have long been the foundation of Jewish life and practice. Yet, as immense as the Bible is, many details need explaining. Welcome to the world of tradition!

Every culture has its own traditions. Whether it be Israel, Africa, China or the western Church, it does not take long to realize that tradition is an important foundation on which to operate one's life. Even those who say that they are "non-traditional" have, in reality, established their own new tradition. The issue, therefore, is not whether believers in Yeshua have traditions or not, but what the approach should be to these traditions.

This book is about certain traditions and customs that come directly from the Bible. One may note that these are usually identified as "Jewish" customs, but the fact is they are actually "biblical" customs. This means that these traditions are not only enriching to Jews, but that any Bible-believer can be blessed by an understanding of biblical culture. After all, every Christian knows that the Messiah lived as a Jew within the land of Israel. He had a Hebrew name, Yeshua ("Salvation"), and all of his earliest disciples were Jewish.

It is unfortunate that many Gentile believers in Yeshua have had little exposure to the Jewish roots of their own faith. The Jewish people also need to take a fresh look at the biblical/Jewish customs to understand their true meaning. Many in the modern Jewish community are being challenged to see the connection between Jewish culture and the New Testament. Today, hundreds of thousands of Jewish people believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and savior of mankind. The Jewish people are rediscovering that Yeshua is a Jew and that the New Testament is a Jewish book. As summed up by Dr. David Flusser of Jerusalem's Hebrew University:

One should view Jesus against his Jewish background, the world of the Sages, to recognize and appreciate his great influence on those around him. Only thus shall we be able to understand how Christianity was formed. Jesus was part and parcel of the world of the Jewish Sages. He was no ignorant peasant, and his acquaintance with the Written and the Oral Law was considerable (Jewish Sources in Early Christianity, p. 18).

What better way to understand the Messiah than to study the context of the New Testament? The biblical customs are often the missing key to unlocking the depths of the Scriptures.


Why is it that many people are so ignorant of the customs of the Bible? Undoubtedly, many fear that an emphasis on tradition might lead some people away from the pure teaching of the Word of God. It is true that a spirit of legalism has all too often afflicted the church and synagogue. Isaiah the prophet rebuked his people for making the customs of Israel an empty expression (Isaiah 1). Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides), the great rabbi of the Middle Ages, similarly wrote:

Man should try to understand why he is asked to observe precepts and customs; but even when he fails to fathom their reason he should not hastily pronounce them as trivial (Birnbaum, Mishneh Torah, Me'ilah 8:8).

Such ideals reflect the words of Yeshua. He denounced the emptiness and hypocrisy of those with a skewed view of the ancient traditions (Matthew 23:13-32).

This book is not about legalism. Salvation is not contingent upon keeping the Law or the customs, but is based on faith in Yeshua's atoning sacrifice and resurrection. Therefore, believers need to practice the freedom to choose and the withholding of judgment (Romans 14:13-15). Believers in Yeshua can have differing convictions in the area of lifestyle. However, this book will show that by practicing God's appointed customs, the believer in Yeshua will receive a multitude of spiritual blessings.

This book is about gaining an understanding of the biblical customs. Historically, the church has had a deficient understanding of its own roots because of its fear of legalism. What is even more ironic is that the Christian world has often rejected the biblical/Jewish customs and substituted non-biblical ones. The danger of legalism is always present, yet incredible blessing can be found through a biblically-based study of these God-appointed customs.


This book seeks to present a balanced approach to understanding the importance and the danger of traditions. There are good traditions and there are bad traditions. Additionally, there is a good spirit and a wrong spirit in which one can approach the customs. These were certainly issues that faced the first Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua.

On the Jewish side, the acceptance of Yeshua did not mean that they converted to a new religion. The Jewish believers actually saw themselves as having received the fulfillment of what was spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures. They understood this to mean that they were now Messianic Jews who would naturally continue in their God-given heritage. This fact is confirmed in a description of this Messianic Jewish community in the Book of Acts: "You see, brother [Saul], how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealots for the Torah" (Acts 21:20).

These first Jewish believers in Yeshua continued in the only lifestyle they knew: the Jewish life based on the Scriptures and customs consistent with the Bible. Their new understanding that Yeshua of Natzeret ("Nazareth") was the Messiah made them even more zealous for their traditions, as they understood the spiritual reasons behind them. Modern Messianic Jews frequently feel the same way and share the same enthusiasm.

The Gentile believer in Yeshua was not excluded. Saul wrote to many of them concerning their new life in Messiah: "Therefore, brothers, stand firm; and hold to the traditions [italics mine] you were taught by us, whether we spoke them or wrote them in a letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

The first-century, non-Jewish believers in Yeshua understood many of the details of the Hebrew Scriptures and many of the traditions that enhanced them. An example of this is the cup shared at Messiah's last Passover seder. This element is not mandated in the Hebrew Scriptures, yet it became part of the tradition of Passover. The third cup is called the Cup of Redemption and, although it is a rabbinic tradition, it was blessed by Yeshua himself.

All traditions were weighed by the authority of the Bible, yet these believers were blessed as they understood the Jewish roots of their faith in Messiah. This is the balance that believers in Yeshua need to return to today. This book is an effort to bring out the spiritual richness of the biblical/Jewish traditions. It is a daunting task, but one that will enrich those believers who put forth the effort to study God's appointed customs.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Part One: Biblical Lifecycle

B'rit Milah/Covenant of Circumcision
Pidyon Ha'ben/Redemption of the Firstborn
Bar-Bat Mitzvah/Son-Daughter of the Commandment
The Jewish Wedding
Death and Mourning

Part Two: Biblical Lifestyle
M'zuzah/The Doorpost
Kashrut/Dietary Laws
Mikveh/Ritual Water Immersion
Tzitziyot/The Fringes
Kippah/The Headcovering
T'fillin/The Phylacteries


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Great beginners book

    What I miss was any info on Jewish Holidays. This book isn't about the holidays.

    In all other aspects it was a terrific read. Gave thorough information of the very basics of the lifecycle of Messianic Jewsish religion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)