The Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (MJRC) was formally established in May 2006. It consists of a group of ordained Messianic Jewish Rabbis and associated leaders who share a common vision for Messianic Jewish practice rooted in Torah, instructed by Tradition, and faithful to Messiah Yeshua in the twenty-first century.

The MJRC had its beginnings five years earlier. At that time a set of Messianic Jewish leaders from New England invited some of their colleagues from outside the region to join them in working on a common set of halakhic standards for themselves and their congregations.

Standards of Observance

While other areas of Messianic Jewish life are of profound importance, such as worship, ethics, education, and social concern, we believed that halakhic standards had received far less attention than their place in Messianic Jewish life warranted. We saw the need for such standards in our own lives, and as Rabbis also received numerous requests from others for halakhic guidance - guidance which up to this point we had been able to provide only in an improvised, ad hoc, and provisional manner.

The standards of observance contained in the present document are the fruit of our continued study and deliberation over the course of those five years. They embody in practical form the core beliefs and values that are at the heart of the MJRC.

We, the members of the MJRC, have committed ourselves to implement these standards in our own lives, and to teach and promote them in the congregations we lead. We also commend these standards for the consideration of the entire Messianic Jewish movement, and hope that others outside our immediate sphere will benefit from the work we have done.

The Document

This document includes two types of material. The main body of the document, in sans serif font, consists of decisions approved by the full Council. Each of these decisions derives from hours (and sometimes days) of Council deliberation. Together they constitute the Standards of Observance, referred to in the document’s title.

The document also contains reflective introductions and explanatory commentaries on the Standards, printed in a serif font. Prepared under the auspices of the MJRC Faith and Halakhic Standards Committee, the commentaries aim to explain the meaning of the Standards, the reasoning behind them, and their importance for our lives. While the commentaries are endorsed by the MJRC, they do not possess the same level of authority for the MJRC as the Standards themselves.

Like most Messianic Jews, we acknowledge the Torah as the constitution governing all Jewish life and seek to obey it in accordance with the teaching, example, and redemptive work of Yeshua the Messiah while also drawing upon Jewish tradition, especially those practices and concepts that have won near-universal acceptance by devout Jews through the centuries. This commitment to the Torah has motivated us to seek a common approach to its practical observance.

We rejoice in the opportunity to work together as Messianic Jewish leaders who desire to discover together what obedience to the Torah means for our daily lives. Like others in our movement, we are only beginning the journey. But we are determined to walk together, and to grow steadily in knowledge and observance of the Torah, and in faithfulness to our Righteous Messiah.