Messianic Judaism is a religious movement that differs from mainstream Christianity and mainstream Judaism by combining elements of each into a single faith.

Like other Christians, its adherents believe that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they call by his original Hebrew name,Yeshua, is the resurrected Messiah and often the Divine Savior. Messianic Judaism adds to this some observance of Jewish Law which is often discouraged in churches. These observances include observing Jewish Shabbat, abstaining from pork, shellfish, and other foods banned by Jewish law, and observing Jewish holidays. As of 2003, there were at least 150 Messianic synagogues in the U.S. and over 400 worldwide. By 2008, the number of Messianics in the United States was around a quarter million. The number of Messianic Jews in Israel is reported to be anywhere between 6,000 and 15,000 members, including the mainly Messianic Jewish village of Yad HaShmona, near Jerusalem.

 

Although some Messianic Jews are ethnically Jewish, and argue that Messianic Judaism is a sect of Judaism, the various streams of Judaism are unanimous in their rejection of Messianism as a form of Judaism, and both Christians and Jews consider Messianic Judaism to be a form of Christianity. Messianic belief in the divinity of Jesus is seen by the great majority of Christians and by Judaism as being the defining distinction between Christianity and Judaism. This is also the opinion of the Supreme Court of Israel which ruled that the Law of Return should treat ethnically Jewish individuals who convert to Messianic Judaism same way it treats Jews who convert to Christianity.

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