Frequently asked questions

We know that many people have questions about Messianic Judaism and our congregation.  Please review this page to find the most the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we have found over the years here at Tikvat.

  • Why membership?  What are the benefits of "membership"?

    Membership at Tikvat provides: First, a personal benefit to you because when you are committed, we bear greater fruit together, it also brings stability with a strong core of people. 2. It places you and your family under the anointing of the congregation and its leadership 3. It places you and your family under the prayer ministry of the congregation and it leadership. 4. Membership gives you access to pastoral counseling for important decisions and or problems, etc. and visitation when needed. 5. It opens the door for your serving ministry in the congregation 6. It opens the door for leadership opportunities as the Lord leads. 7. It opens the door for involvement in our small groups 8. Gives you participation in our community services.  9.  Membership gives you the love and support of other members of the congregation who see you as a committed member and not just a visitor. 10. Enables leaders to know for whom they are accountable (the shepherd must know who is in the flock).

  • are you "Jews for Jesus"?

    We are not affiliated with the organization "Jews for Jesus".  Jews for Jesus is an evangelical organization based in San Francisco CA., we are a Messianic Jewish Synagogue, and are affiliated with the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations & Synagogues. See our affiliations page.

  • How should I dress?

    Modest dress is all that is required at Tikvat.  You may dress comfortably for the season here in Cleveland.  Seasons are extreme here in Cleveland, from bitter cold in the winters to 90s+ in the summers.  Our environment is comfortable as well.  Kippot are provided and extra tallit are available if you choose to wear them. 

  • What is the difference between a messianic synagogue and a church?

    Click here for the Full Article on the differences between a Messianic Synagogue and a Church.

  • What are the facts surrounding the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

    We can separate the Myths from the Facts with this downloadable document click here. Or you can get a summary of dispelling the misconceptions by viewing the video here...Video

FAQ's continued...

  • What is  עונג "Oneg" and what foods are permitted?

    The word "Oneg" in Hebrew means "Delight".  Tikvat Yisrael celebrates and delights in holidays and festivals often with a community meal together.  Many people maybe unfamiliar with the Biblical Laws of Kashrut, or what is referred to as simply "Kosher".  While there is a difference between "Biblical" Kosher, and "Rabbinical" certified Kosher, here at Tikvat we adhere to the Biblical Rules, while observing the Rabbinical whenever we participate in the greater Jewish community.  For a description of the Biblical rules, click here.  For a resource on What is Kosher? click here.  For information on "Jewish Holidays & Food"? click here

  • What is "Jewish Identity"?  How can a Jew believe that Jesus is the messiah, and still be Jewish?

    The foundation of Messianic Judaism, is each individual's personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Messiah Yeshua. In the Hebrew Law God clearly demands a blood sacrifice for the remittance of sins. Each Messianic Jew recognizes his or her own sinfulness and has accepted that Yeshua Himself provided this sacrifice. Another important aspect of the Messianic Jewish movement is Jewish congregational worship. If Yeshua really is the Jewish Messiah of whom all the Jewish Law and Prophets spoke, then it is the most Jewish thing in the world to follow Him! Should Jews really attempt to assimilate into churches and forego their Jewish identity when they choose to put their faith in the Jewish Messiah? Messianic Judaism answers, "No!" As Yeshua Himself embraced His Jewishness, Messianic Jews seek to embrace theirs, by meeting in congregational communities with other Jewish believers and by maintaining a Biblically Jewish expression of their faith. Every congregation is different, but this expression often means worshiping in Hebrew, following Mosaic Law, dancing as King David did before the Lord, and keeping Biblical holidays such as Pesach, Sukkot, or Shavuot. Also important is Messianic Judaism's ministry to both the Jewish community and the Christian body of believers. Messianic Jews are part of the larger Body of Messiah throughout the world, and Messianic Jews hope to help all believers in Yeshua to better understand the Jewish roots of their faith. Finally, Yeshua declared that no-one can comes to the Father - the God of Israel - except through Him (John 14:6). Messianic Jews seek to share this way, this truth, and this life with their Jewish brothers and sisters.  Jewish Identity is defined by Tikvat Yisrael here in this white paper.  CLICK HERE

  • How do non-Jews fit in at a messianic synagogue?

    Tikvat Yisrael is home to many Jewish-Christian couples!  The Bilble speaks of a mystery, like a "marriage", how God can make the two become "ONE", Jew and Gentile in Messiah become: "Adam Echad" "One Man".  Ephesians 2:15 - בְּבַטְּלוֹ הָאֵיבָה בִּבְשָׂרוֹ אֶת־תּוֹרַת הַמִּצְוֹת וְהַחֻקּוֹת לִבְרֹא בְנַפְשׁוֹ אֶת־הַשְּׁנַיִם לְאָדָם אֶחָד חָדָשׁ וַיַּעַשׂ שָׁלוֹם׃ While Messianic Judaism is the "Jewish" part of the Body of Messiah, we do not teach that all Gentile Believers are called to be at a "Messianic Synagogue".  However, there are certain non-Jews that God has called to stand with us and be with us in community.  We refer to this calling as a "Ruth-like Heart", or the "Heart of Ruth".  Ruth in the Bible said to her Jewish mother-in-law, "Your People are my People, Your God is my God, and where you go (the "Land"), that is where I'll be buried."  (Ruth 1:16).  For more in this topic, check out the book, "What about Us"? by Eitan Shishkoff, which is written all about this subject.  Find it HERE

  • conversion

    Another frequent question is regarding "conversion" to Messianic Judaism.  Do Messianic Jews practice conversion?  1 Corinth. 7:17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, let him walk in this way. I give this rule in all of Messiah’s communities. 18 Was anyone called when he already had been circumcised? Let him not make himself uncircumcised. Has anyone been called while uncircumcised? Let him not allow himself to be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing—but keeping God’s commandments matters. 20 Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called.

    See the attached article explaining more   HERE

  • what is "counting the omer" and how to do it?

    For good resources on what the Biblical commandment is regarding Counting the Omer, click here

    More resources on Counting the Omer  HERE

    A good Omer Chart is available HERE

  • Why do you raise your hands and dance during worhip?

    Psalm 134 2 says, " Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and bless Adonai."  and Psalm 149:3 says, "Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp." We believe in Davidic style worship, praise and dance.  Our services are lively yet always remaining "In Order".  All are welcome to participate at their own level of comfort.  All prayers that are done in Hebrew are displayed in English as well for all to follow and comprehend.

  • Does tikvat provide transportation?

    Our office often receives calls asking if Tikvat provides transportation to our services. Long ago it was a common practice for many churches to own buses and vans driven by “volunteers” who provided transportation to their members and guests. Unfortunately, due to increased liability and insurance costs towards churches and communities of faith; it is no longer feasible to provide such a service. Tikvat Yisrael’s policy has been and remains that we (Tikvat) does not provide transportation to, or from our services. Furthermore, our recommendation for all members and guests who do not have access to private transportation, is to utilize either public transportation or acquire their own taxi service or perhaps “uber”. For those who are handicapped we also recommend RTA’s Para-transit Service 216-566-5124216-566-5124, or go to:

    A word of caution is also in order for all members who car-pool or provide transportation to others. First, never provide transportation to someone you do not know. For safety purposes, use discernment and do not agree to transport individuals in your personal vehicle who you do not know. No one is allowed to solicit transportation at our services from our members. If someone asks you for a ride, contact an usher or an Elder immediately and our policy will be explained to that individual. Tikvat has a separate policy for indigents or those in need of benevolence.

    Secondly, you should be aware that if you agree to provide transportation to a friend or another member of Tikvat that you are familiar with, you are subject to the laws of the State of Ohio, and legal liability for that person’s safety while in your vehicle. Regardless, if you are transporting an individual to Tikvat or anywhere else, you are the one taking the personal risk, not Tikvat Yisrael.

    You should check with your insurance carrier to make sure you have adequate liability coverage in the case of an accident and injury to one of your passengers. Additionally, you also are taking the personal liability if you check someone out of a medical facility. Remember, if you sign someone out of a hospital or other medical facility, you are taking the personal responsibility for the care of that person while they are in your personal care. The leadership of Tikvat Yisrael does NOT recommend carrying or lifting or transporting someone out of a wheelchair into your own vehicle especially if you do not have the professional training and background on how to transport the elderly and handicapped. We suggest using RTA or another professional medical transit service provider.

    It is the desire of the Board of Elders to send this reminder to make sure that all of our members remain safe and make responsible decisions regarding their own transportation needs and assisting others. We appreciate your attention to this reminder and consideration in following this policy. Contact our office if you have any questions regarding this matter.  (posted: May 3, 2016

  • What is "mikvah"?  baptism, where did it come from?

    Click here to download Rabbi Eric's new book explaining Mikveh.