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A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

All Contents ©2004-2007 Stuart Dauermann - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Friday, February 27, 2004

Well, wasn't I surprised! Today I defended my dissertation. I had been forwarned by two of my committee members that they had significant criticisms/comments concerning my work. One of them said "I am going to be hard on you." I fully suspected that I was going to have to spend months correcting/reconstructing my dissertation. But as it turns out, although there are considerable changes to be made, most of them are cosmetic or involve being more forthcoming with personal interpretative comments which my committee members felt were lacking. I also need to add a few pages, but really not more than ten or so. The session began with prayer by Bobby Clinton, then I shared a seven or eight minute retrospective on how I came to do this dissertation and what the journey has been like. Afterwards, the comments of the outside reader were read and commented upon, then each of my committee members read and explained their comments, each in turn. I interacted lightly as opportunity was provided. The critiques were all very reasonable and appreciated. . .I will do all of them. My committee members told me they consider me a brilliant person.... I recorded the comments! At the conclusion, I was asked to leave the room, then called back after about one minute. When I returned, I was told "Congratulations, Dr. Dauermann." Not bad! We then went outside, where we enlisted passerby Anne White to take two pictures of us. I then phoned family members and friends. Quite a day. Quite a day!

What remains is to spend time reflecting on what having a PhD will mean for me and the work to which I have been called.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

On subject of PhD. Ran into Marilyn Clinton on campus today. She told me Bobby has been reading my paper each night and feels it is bright work somewhat over his head [that is because my expertise is not his area]. Also had brief discussion with Dan Shaw, another of my commitee members, who has been reading my paper until midnight the last two days. When I thanked him for taking the trouble to read it in such a detailed manner, he commented that "I do so when the work is fine/excellent" or words to that effect. I know also from a phone conversation that my outside reader is really enjoying the paper, and of course my mentor is very much on my side. So I expect that I will certainly pass tomorrow [Friday], and by 4:00 PM will be Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

I found myself quite relaxed walking around campus today. Frankly, since I have been around there for so long (fifteen years!), when I walked around I felt that faculty and staff members were feeling "Is HE still here??? My docorate is a vindication of my presence. Feels good.

More later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


Many zealous believers in Yeshua speak and act as if there is a hierarchy of priorities vis-à-vis the Jewish people: that what is most important is that we win them to faith in Yeshua, and that maintaining their Jewish identities and communal linkage is secondary or simply optional. Such people may reassure themselves by saying that preserving Jewish community cohesion is God's job, and that we need not worry: he will take care of it without our help. This principle directly contradicts these assumptions.

Even though God is at work in history toward this end, we are not exempt from doing all we can to preserve Jewish community continuity. Failure to do so will bring harm to ourselves and the Jewish people for which are culpable before God. Therefore, any approach to outreach which disrupts or destroys Jewish communal cohesion is wrong, as is passivity about Jewish community survival.

The Mordecai Mandate derives its name from Mordecai's charge to name Esther in Esther 4:13-14: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

History and Scripture bear multiple testimony to God's activity in preserving Jewish continuity. Aside from the rebirth of the State to preserve after almost two millennia of dispersion, and the preservation of Jewish continuity the Jewish people despite the violence-ridden scourge of anti-Semitism, campaigns of forced conversion and assimilation, and genocide--most recently the Holocaust, Scripture's testimony is clear and multiple that God will preserve the Jews as a people. See for example Jeremiah 33:14-26.

It is not only morally wrong, but incorrect for any Jewish person to
imagine that the plight of other Jews is not their problem for the peril that visits other Jews imperils them as well, regardless of their social position. No Jew can truthfully say, "It's not my problem."

Passivity increases harm because we are not doing what we could
do to make a difference--so in reality passivity increases the harm.

God holds us responsible for not doing what we can to prevent
harm to others. However, this especially true of those who are complicit in harm to Israel. See, for example: Zech 2:8b For this is what the LORD Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you-for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye." Prov 24: 11-12 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? Lev. 19: 16 b - Don't just stand by when your neighbor's life is in danger." Psalm 105:12-15 "When they were few in number, Indeed very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, From one kingdom to another people He permitted no one to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, 'Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.'"

God favors Jewish community cohesion [that the Jews should remain
a distinct people], and his glory is diminished and will despised when this is thwarted. See Isaiah 43:20c-21 - I give waters in the wilderness people And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise. Deut 4:1-2,6-9 Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."

This is my first post. Isn't this neato!