Rich Robinson | San Francisco

Scholar in Residence, Missionary

On staff since 1978, Rich has served at several Jews for Jesus branches and was a pianist and songwriter with their music team, the Liberated Wailing Wall. He now works at the San Francisco headquarters, where he conducts research, writes and edits as the scholar-in-residence. He is author of the book Christ in the Sabbath and co-author of Christ in the Feast of Pentecost. Rich received his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary.

The Sabbath: A Look Back, A Look Forward
August 1, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

Most of our summer outreaches are over, and our campus outreach, High Holiday services and Fall Ingatherings are yet to come. Many people on our missionaries’ case loads are away for summer vacations. We are still continuing to do the work this month, but for many...

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Where Will William Shatner Show Up Next?
June 2, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

I enjoyed screening the new Star Trek movie the other week.  It was great seeing Spock, Kirk, Bones et al. in their more formative years, and wonderful to see Leonard Nimoy reprise his role as the “older” Spock. Conspicuous by his absence, of course, was...

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Fifty Years On?. Herman Wouk’s This Is My God Revisited
February 4, 2009
Author: Rich Robinson

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Herman Wouk’s classic précis of Orthodox Judaism and personal statement of his faith, This Is My God. I have just pulled my dog-eared copy, probably handed down by my grandfather or father, from the shelves, and over the past several days I have read, or possibly re-read, it. I have little recollection of having gone through it as a child, though I may well have done so.

As of this writing, Wouk is still living, having been honored by a lifetime achievement award in 2008 at age 93. There is also a follow-up volume, The Will to Live On, which saw the light of day in the year 2000, but I have not yet obtained a copy. It would be interesting to see how his views have or have not changed over the past forty years, the span of a biblical generation.

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A New Year?s Thought
December 31, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s virtually obligatory each December 31 (the date I am writing this) to recap the old year and/or say something about the new one. So let’s see … as to a recap, this morning I heard a radio commentator tell about the ten most overblown news stories of 2008, such as whether some gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics were really 14 rather than 16 years old, though he could easily have mentioned others, such as the thankfully short media spurt on what kind of dogs the Obamas will be getting.

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Two Types of Biblical Offerings
November 1, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

With the Day of Atonement just last month, and with many of us thinking of Thanksgiving this month, we wanted to present a biblical look at sacrifices for sin, as well as for giving...

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An UNCONVENTIONAL Truth
August 29, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

I don’t usually attend conventions. But with the donkey-and-elephant shows in having just been wrapped up, I wondered what I would say to convention-goers if I DID go to conventions. Maybe something like this: Mazel tov! You made it to the CONVENTION!...

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Expelled
April 2, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

  To re-phrase Chaucer, “When April with her sweet showers, the drought of March has parched to the root,… Then do folk get expelled…” Yes, this April marks two expulsions, in a manner of speaking. Passover (beginning the night of April 19) is not really...

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Adding a few more questions to the mix this Passover
Author: Rich Robinson

The number four plays a significant role in Judaism. There are the four species of plants for Sukkot; four kingdoms in the book of Daniel; four Torah portions in the tefillin; four Matriarchs in the book of Genesis. At Passover, we find this number in abundance. In the course of the seder we have four sons, four cups of wine, four expressions of redemption (Exodus 6:6-7) and perhaps the most famous “four” of all—the Ma Nishtana, known in English as the Four Questions…

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Yeshua or Yeshu – What does it mean?
March 1, 2008
Author: Rich Robinson

Get an in-depth look at the name of Jesus, in our article “An Introduction to the Names Yehoshua/Joshua, Yeshua, Jesus and Yeshu” by Kai Kjµr-Hansen Ask any Israeli how to say “Jesus” in Hebrew, and you’ll invariably hear the response: Yeshu (pronounced Yay shoo). Yet...

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Remembering those who have gone before us in the faith.

Thanksgiving — for Spiritual Veterans
November 7, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Midrash time again. Two prominent American holidays this month are Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Put them together and we can give thanks for the sacrifices our soldiers have made over the years. Separate them out and we can think of other kinds of veterans and other...

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An Ashkenazic Look at Sephardic Sukkot Customs (What one Reform Jew from Brooklyn learned)
September 1, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

An Ashkenazic Look at Sephardic Sukkot Customs (What one Reform Jew from Brooklyn learned) I come from an Ashkenazic family, which means we have an Eastern European Jewish background. Sephardic Jews come from Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, North Africa and Iraq....

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Ruminations on Political Debates
August 9, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Ruminations on Political Debates The old Simon & Garfunkel song Mrs. Robinson includes some lines which are particularly apropos just now: Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Going to the candidates’ debate. Laugh about it, shout about it When...

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Everything* You Always Wanted to Know About The Three Branches of Judaism
August 1, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Everything* You Always Wanted to Know About The Three Branches of Judaism * OK so maybe it's just a few things but it's all we could fit on two pages! Names of the branches ORTHODOX CONSERVATIVE(in North America; called Masorti elsewhere) REFORM(called Liberal Judaism...

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If you can’t take the heat…
May 30, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

…then, you know the drill, “get out of the kitchen.” I recently devoured the book Heat by Bill Buford, writer for the New Yorker magazine.  He recounted his experiences as a “slave,” then line cook, then pasta maker in the kitchen of celebrity chef Mario Batali. ...

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Einstein: A Reflection
May 22, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

The April issue of TIME magazine featured a book excerpt (last accessed 4/13/07) from the forthcoming Einstein by Walter Isaacson. Titled “Einstein and Faith,” the excerpt clarifies the nature of Einstein’s belief in God as well as his relation to...

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Three Days and Three Nights
March 30, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

As Resurrection Sunday approaches, many Christians will wrestle with the following question: Matthew 12:40 states that Jesus would be in the ground “three days and three nights.” Doesn’t that make it impossible for Jesus to have been crucified on Friday and raised on...

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Lessons from Leaven
March 1, 2007
Topics: charts, purim
Author: Rich Robinson

Lessons from Leaven Next month is Passover, which lasts for one night and is immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasts for seven. In preparation for these holidays, we have an in-depth look at leaven. The word “leaven” (chametz, חָמֵץ)...

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Films and Freedom
February 20, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

I don’t know much about Wilberforce (though I’d love to read up on him). But I have to wonder … did he see any connection between the British slave trade and the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt? And did he see a relationship between the Egyptian...

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The New Testament: Contradictory or Consistent?
Author: Rich Robinson

Some efforts to resolve various difficulties the Bible presents have been simplistic, naive or sometimes even seemingly desperate.

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About Torah Observance
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s been a long time coming but The Messianic Movement: A Field Guide for Evangelical Christians from Jews for Jesus is finally in print. One of the eleven chapters explores Torah observance among Jewish believers in Jesus. (We’ve slightly abbreviated it...

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