Having grown slightly bored with the Shema, this Messianic worship leader decided to mix things up by pretending to perform the Birkat Kohanim at the same time. “If this doesn’t excite the congregation,” he thought, “I’ll try the Batusi next week.”
Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) is a place mentioned in the Tanakh as the destination of the dead. Shaul (שָׁאוּל) is the Hebrew name for Saul, the first Israelite king, as well as Paul the Apostle. Messianic congregations frequently use “Shaul” in place of “Paul” to make the New Testament seem more Jewish.
Note that the consonants for both words are the same in Hebrew. As you can imagine, this poses problems for Messianic congregations whose leaders can’t actually read Hebrew—for example, Yeshuat Yisrael, which put together this slide for one of the many PowerPoint sermons it offers on its website.
These people are going to give themselves whiplash if they keep bowing every time someone says “baruch” or “blessed.”
Also, did anyone else read Highlights for Children growing up? This video reminds me of the “What’s Wrong?” puzzles on the back cover. “Can you spot the five silly things this congregation is doing during the Torah service?”
I was prepared for him slaughtering Hebrew and adding a line about Jesus to the blessing for putting on a tallit, but he still managed to surprise me by unknowingly ending his blessing with “todah rabah” (“thank you very much”).