Y H V H and The Jewish Messiah

Messianic Rabbi Henry Morse (right) with Holocaust victims at Cobb Corner Shopping Center in Stoughton, MA raising money for the Holocaust Memorial in Nashua, NH.

By Fred Comella

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Truth and reality are often difficult words, or at least we make them difficult. From the missteps in “the garden” to this day, human kind has sought to mask and/or manipulate what we know to be true and real. There are many reasons for this, not all of which were, or are necessarily intentional. Historically speaking, there is something to be said for things like time, language and translation. One can even argue over interpretation to some degree. But in the end, truth is truth, specifically when reconciled against the intent of YHVH or “Yahweh” (my Lord). And the reality of our day to day lives is wholly dependent upon how close we are to that truth.

In the case of our Christian faith there is a beginning, middle, and eternity. I’ve personally struggled with the truth of my faith to be sure. It’s never been a matter of believing really, but rather understanding all related things which preceded my faiths journey. I’m a history geek by nature, (for those who wouldn’t have guessed), and the desire to learn of the most extraordinary figure in human history, (Yeshua “Jesus” the Jewish Messiah), has been nothing short of overwhelming for me. With that said however, it’s equally important to me to get it right, and learn the factual answers to my queries. Not only for the historical value (if any) of the words I’ve written, but so I may project my faith in the light of truth.

To be clear, and as a sort of Resurrection Day prologue to this article, I have and will continue to celebrate the Christian “traditions” if you will, that simply remind (and inspire) me of the significant events which bracket my belief system. These times resonate deep in my heart and cause me to reflect on the life and death of Yeshua, who stepped in sins path for my sake. Nevertheless, I also continue to seek the true historical and scriptural foundations of His life story, if for no other reason but to be as close to Him as possible. And so it was that…

When I was a young boy, my father relented and purchased a home that my mom simply had to have. It was a picture-perfect white raised ranch with a blue spruce tree smack in the middle of the front yard. It was also smack in the middle of a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. My neighbor Steven would become my best friend in the world, and is to this day, besides my wife, and my time there would cement the truth of the Jewish God in my mind for the rest of my days. Make no mistake, as a Catholic, I was keenly aware of the quasi-bigoted undercurrent which existed in the hearts of many on both sides of my friends and family network. But the inherent and (unique) goodness and sensibilities of my parents, allowed me to see past the ever-present human element, as I like to call it, through to what was right. In the decades that followed, my tolerance for the fools and demagogues on either side of the argument over our Savior, was greatly diminished. “The Good News” is, I’m learning to “fight less and learn more” of my faith and its origins today, than at any other time in my life.

The late Jim Sobiloff was an early contributor to the “The Good News Today”. In 2004 he wrote of a Rabbi who understood very clearly, the origins of the Jewish/Gentile struggle, that article is available upon request. I caught up with Rabbi Henry Morse recently, and in one of the fastest moving interviews I’ve done to date, learned more about “Yahweh” than I could ever have imagined. You see, YHVH or “Yahweh” (my Lord) is his real name.

This ordained Messianic Rabbi Morse, with a degree in Bible and Theology from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, is not your average Rabbi though. He has been in full time ministry for over thirty years, serving as youth minister, evangelist, missionary and congregational leader. Rabbi Morse has ministered in over twenty countries and forty-five states, and his mission if you will, is to remind Yahweh’s people, that the most Jewish thing they can do is to believe in Yeshua the Jewish Messiah as prophesized, but also that the most Christian thing for Gentiles to do, is to learn more about and acknowledge the undeniable Jewish roots of their own faith, stressing also, that both should put aside “religious systems” and simply walk with Him. Mind you our conversation was “fast and furious”, with much in the way of information. So forgive me if editorial constraints prevent me from taking up all of this fine publication. I only hope the article will inspire your due diligence for Him.

Henry M. Morse was born in Mattapan, MA to orthodox Jewish parents, thus straight into the very Jewish/Gentile religious turmoil I mentioned earlier. Hearing of Jesus when he was just a child, Henry would eventually travel as a young adult, struggling with all of the things many young folk do. Witnessing and learning along the way nonetheless, and at times reading a Bible by candlelight, Henry was often homeless by choice. The lean athletic Morse even pursued a state championship in gymnastics at Brockton High School, finishing third.

Those years helped form the man who articulated fundamental truths to me in such short order that I had to take a deep breath after the interview just to collect my thoughts. It occurred to me that if all those “teaching” the (Common Core) today were as well-versed in the truth as this Jew on a mission, we’d be gradating our kids out of high school and ready for college at 12.

Henry Morse is clearly a busy Rabbi now, who told me we must accept our Jewish Messiah for who he was and is according to scripture, something I know many of us take for granted. We all know as much as we’ve been taught to be Christian in our endeavors, but I’ll bet few understand there are nearly 38,000 brands if you will, of Christianity, cultivated over thousands of years, with many born of selfish ideological and/or political interpretation. Somewhere along the way, Christ became a Christian “God”, and not the “Jewish Messiah” as foretold. Rabbi Morse expressed great passion toward the reconciliation of this confusion, not in a judgmental way, but as he describes on his website, “The purpose for the existence of Messianic Congregation Sha’ar Hashamayim is to provide a place in the South Shore of Boston for Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua to worship, grow in their faith, experience fellowship with people of like mind, study His word and to reach out to our Jewish community with the message of hope and salvation through their Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus). We also desire to educate the church body at large so that they might see the need to understand their Old Testament prophetic roots. This we will do by teaching them the Jewish nature of the Gospel. Romans 11:17-22”

Throughout the annals of time, religion and its myriad of “definition(s)”, has been largely a product of mans interpretive vanity. For this reason, it has been difficult for me to formulate an opinion without sounding like many of the hypocrites I’m quick to admonish. A man’s faith must be the single most difficult hurdle in his life, or at least it’s come to be mine. Separating interpretation from truth is made even more difficult as I read into the scriptures, and then engage those who may choose a different translation in order to navigate around or redefine truth to avoid accountability. However my time with folks like Rabbi Morse has allowed me to remove myself from the petty confrontations, born of closed minds and misinformation, so I might look deeper into the Bible where I know I’ll find what I seek.

And while I’m not one to plug celebrity books, my conversation with Rabbi Morse was almost immediately preceded by a reading of O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus”. The book was defiantly more a forensic analysis of the end of Jesus’ life, but it was also heavy on Jewish culture, traditions and prophecies. It made me think a great deal harder about Yeshua the “Jewish Man/Messiah”, as well as the sacred and perfect manner in which He lived the foundational tenets of the Messianic Prophecies. The history of both, are inexorably linked and should always be told and taught as one. To deny or manipulate the truth of Yeshua’s life, or for that matter the history which made way for Him, in order to give weight to either argument about who He was, seems almost a futile endeavor in view of historical and Biblical fact. It also seems to divide into two segments that which “Yahweh” intended to be one. To that end, Rabbi Morse emphasizes “original intent”, (a phrase I’m intimately familiar with), and which when properly applied and vetted, can penetrate any wall of ideology, misinterpretation or revision.

I’ve said many times, I’m no Biblical or religious scholar, and this remains true today. But this is a story I can relate to by way of some personal experience. I’ve struggled over the years to reconcile the evil of things like the “Holocaust”, and anti-Semitism. Blind or manipulative hatred has always been easy for me to spot however, but the question of how and why always seems such a senseless paradox. To me, Rabbi Morse seems like a man who may be able to help us understand, that the answers to difficult questions like these must begin with truth. Not truth as defined by a co-worker or even necessarily by a pastor or rabbi. No, truth of scripture, and prophesy fulfilled, truth that was intended to bring us together, not drive us apart. Mind you, I’m not so naive’ to believe we may achieve perfect harmony among nations and men on earth, but I do believe that if we do our homework, and strive to understand and accept the truth we find, we’ll be one step closer to living as He intended.

Someone wrote me regarding a political argument recently, and questioned “my version” of the truth. I shot back that there was only one truth. Reactionary maybe, at least in terms of the political arguments of our time. But the older I get, the more I understand that statement, and the more I realize the truth of the “Jewish Messiah”, and His words. “I am the way the “truth” and the light. No one comes to the Father but through me”. I suppose if we can’t get that truth right, there’s little hope for the rest...

And Rabbi Henry Morse said: “So we challenge you to read the Prophecies in Tanach (Old Testament) that speak of the promised Messiah. Here are a few to start, Psalms 22, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 53, Micah 5:2. Find out for yourself.”

Yes my fellow Christians, “find out for yourselves”. Do not be blind or ignorant of the truth by choice. For my part, I’ve finally discovered who I am, and come to understand my personal relationship with my Savior. Now I want to know more of Him, his life, and his people, who are my people. It just makes sense.

Rabbi Morse also has a new book out called, “The Lord Chose...Who???” free in the PDF version on the website, though all donations are appreciated to make the hard copy more available, currently found at Amazon.com.

May Yahweh keep all of you and bless you this Passover and Resurrection Season…

Learn more about Rabbi Henry Morse and his mission at Sha’ar Hashamayim Messianic Congregation, 2 Canton St. (Suite A21), Stoughton, MA. Call 781-344-4701 or visit their website at www.themessianiccongregation.com.