NOTE – These responses are from the pen of OvadYah Avrahami (co-founder KHT) in a Forum Discussion by HAVERIM- a broad based Gathering Venue created by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum (AZAMRA) and Rod Bryant (NETIV)
There is a current amazing World Phenomenon of millions of non-Jews across the world who are turning to Torah, to befriending Jews, and to the Land of Israel, and even to Judaism. These are generally referred to as ‘Hebraic Roots Restorers’ and are followers of the New Testament Messiah. They have left the Churches and many no longer regard themselves as ‘Christian’.
On the other hand, there also is a substantial cross over of traditional Jews who have come to believe in the New Testament Messiah of the Christians (though they do not join Churches but practice authentic Judaism in congregations that may, at worst, resemble some Christian influences and theology). In this discussion, these will be referred to as ‘Messianic Jews’ and grouped together (for purposes of this topic) with the millions of Hebraic Roots Restorers.
In this international Wave of turning to the Torah which is developing Tsunami proportions, there is a 3rd category that can be defined: millions of souls from 3rd World countries who specifically acknowledge and claim Jewish heredity and reflect ancient Jewish traditions and religious practices. For this discussion, we will include them in the overall whole.
In reality, it all is a great clutter of transition from non-Torah anti-Jewish and diluted Torah religious culture to Torah Judaism – a great multi-cultured Wave. Though observed from the outside it is a clear transfer to Torah founded Judaism, there rages great confusion and denial of identity amongst the supporters of this Trend on both mentioned sides, i.e. orthodox Judaism and Messianic Judaism.
The wider topic, of course, encompasses the reawakening and re-identifying of ‘Lost Ten Tribers’ (a.k.a ‘Ephraim’ to Rabbis and others who are updated and aware of this Scriptural topic). This is in fulfillment of the Dry Bones prophecy, the Skeleton come alive, by Ezekiel in ch.37.
The question in our Topic concerns the core problem which is the final obstacle in the Way of Reconciliation amongst this Great Divide and the answer should present the solution on which the Geulah (Final Redemption) and the establishment of the Universal Kingdom of the Creator depends.
Is uniting possible between Jews and Messianic Jews?
“The topic of the NT Messiah that has been raised here is the Final Stumbling Block preventing Reconciliation between the House of Judah and the Lost House of 10-Israel. It is a potentially IMPOSSIBLE issue to solve, yet there can be NO Geulah (Final Redemption at End of this Dispensation) without solving it.
Yosef Werner gives us the Scriptural Key when he writes “The New Covenant will be given for both, Juda [2-Israel] and Ephraim [10-Israel restored] AFTER they have united in the land. … [we are given] a special sign …: ‘nobody has to preach to the other,'” (Jer. 31;31 —>)
Jer. 31:31 “The days are coming,’ declares HaShem,
‘when I will make a New Covenant
with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.'”
Do we really grasp what is written here by the Prophet?
Firstly, it is the Christian misinterpretation of this New Covenant (NC) issue (f0r which they quote Jer. 31:31) which is the foundational flaw in NT theology, i.e. that their Messiah has “done away with the Torah, Moses”, etc. They have jump-started the NC era by 2000 years, for it comes only AFTER the Ingathering (Ref. the 1st 30 verses of Jer. 31). This discussion here is very much part of and as a result of this Ingathering NOW taking place – 2000 yrs after the Christian milepost!
Secondly. Judah has to realize that the establishment of this NC, and of the Geulah, is DEPENDANT on the Return of and reuniting of these 2 Houses. This requires the reawakening of exiled, lost 10-Israel amongst the nations (Skeleton reliving of Ezek. 37, and the 30 verses in Jer. 31 preceding v. 31). nd it requires the acceptance of them by Judah who holds the Gate Keys to the Return of 10-Israel. This is a minefield topic for Jews. 10-Israel (like the Biblical metaphor of Yosef representing the Restoration of the 2 House of the broken Family) like Yosef, is cloaked as an Egyptian – thus, for Jews, they represent paganism. Yet – Yosef HAS TO restore Peace in the Family reunion. He is not recognized by any of his brothers – not by ‘Judah’ neither ‘Efraim’. For he holds the Key as the Family Restorer. He has to reunite them on Torah and on the Covenant. (Can that be why the Gaon of Vilna credits Messiah ben Yosef (MbY) with the sole task of re-uniting the Family (for the Geulah Restoration)?
Talking myself into MbY here: Wow! In him, we really have the ‘Unknown’. Very little is written by our sages about him. The Gaon expounded most comprehensively on the Messiah ben Yosef (MbY), but few read it!
This brings me to my main question which I suggest we try and resolve here to further this discussion and the Restoration: We are faced by this huge Stumbling Block of a Messiah whom the reawakening non-Jewish Torah masses out there, believe in, whom they totally misinterpret and so causing further rejection by Judah – not productive for Restoration. To solve this issue, we require as 1st and foundational measure of consideration, surely, WHAT ARE THE BIBLICAL IDENTIFICATION SPECIFICATIONS FOR ‘MESSIAH’?
Nowhere does Scripture specifically define such identification credentials to a person by the use of the Hebrew word “Mashiach“. The few times that the term ‘messiah’ appears, it always refers to normal humans, though with good credentials, nothing anywhere near what is required for ‘The Messiah’ that we in Judaism have created. Nowhere does it speak of a MbY or a Messiah ben David (MbD). Yet we, BOTH Houses, have made of it the Impossible Stumbling Block in the way of essential reconciliation.
The identifications that we are applying to such a Messiah Being are all interpretations and conjectures based on Scripture. Scripture does NOT apply it specifically to ‘Messiah’ – and certainly not to a MbY and a MbD which we have awarded 2 different dispensations and credentials for.
I have raised this same question in the Discussion sector of this Forum to Rabbi Greenbaum’s request for suggestions of possible ‘Messiahs’ living today. I received in answer a ref. to Isa. 11. Again – this sector does NOT mention even the term ‘Messiah’. It does NOT identify who this Personage would be. In fact, these are the credentials that NT Messianics claim for their Messiah. Surely, in order to qualify or disqualify prospective Messiahs. we should have a definitive Identification List which specifically refers to the Identity of ‘The Messiah’ -which is a non-Scriptural term anyway.
Now, my main concern and the question behind all is: When I read Tanach, then ALL these claims which our Sages (and Christians) have applied to their ‘Messiah’, are uttered by HaShem Himself in Scripture, without leaving any doubts that HE SHALL do this and that and that HE is this and that and does this and that which we award to a ‘Messiah Being’ which Judah forbids to be “God Himself.” Now the only way this question can be answered is by providing those Scripturally defined Identification specifications to correct. negate or justify not just mine but all of our questions and understandings. And these do NOT exist.
In conclusion: Having been directly involved in discussions like this for 60 years and being involved on top level with 2 organizations that promote the restoration of the Reunited 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel, (i.e. Kol Hator Vision and COI Vision), I have certainly gained a solid overall conclusion of the thinking on both sides on this topic. My conclusion?
On the Christian NT Messianic side (even Jewish and Hebraic Restoration NT Messianic side) they promote a Messiah whom they have failed to conclusively and consortedly define, given 2000 years trial run. They differ from sector to sector and even person to person with the prime result that no 2 can sit together. Thus prime Division. worst of all, they almost unitedly assume their Messiah as being ABOVE the God of Israel, the Creator, the Most High; they inadvertently do this by expecting Jews to accept their Messiah or ‘go lost’, by claiming all power and expectations from their Messiah rather than from the God of Israel Whom Jews worship; by bugging or expecting Jews with their Messiah for accepting their Messiah and accepting them with these interpretations – something totally unacceptable for a race who have been haunted to death for 2000 years in the name of that Messiah. They need to learn how to handle this if there should be any hope for Reconciliation across this Messiah Barrier. On the Jewish side. There certainly rages as much division and lack of agreement on the Identity of MbD to come. MbY, a term coined by Jewish Sages, is even more mystic and unknown, indefinable.
My thoughts – I would not dare to give a suggestion! – is that BOTH sides need to have an in-depth review of how far we are going to allow a topic which neither of us can truly emphatically define, to be the cause of division in our Family and nation – the Nation of HaShem, which He requires to be reconciled. I see no Biblical pattern for HaShem doing such things Himself – which both sides turn to at the end of insolvable discussions, by claiming: “HaShem will do it…” Just as He never ‘carried’ them on a cloud to the Promised Land. In fact, HE was in that Pillar of Fire and Cloud by day, which encompassed them on the Way. But THEY had to do the walking and the warring. And, where they froze (as with Tisha B’Av’, right at the Gates), He still did not push them over and into the Land – to the contrary – He was greatly upset by their resistance to carry on by themselves.
No doubt in my mind: We stand at those Gates again!
What shall we do about it?
If Restoration has started and is in process: “Where is Messiah Ben Yosef’ then, Who is mandated to bring this about?
Facts for which we do have overwhelming Scriptural support:
- The Geulah is dependent on the presence and uniting of the greatly divided 2 Houses of Israel: Judah and 10-Israel (Ezek. 37:15 –> + a boatload of defining Prophecies ref. Bible Confirmations of the Return of the Tribes of Israel)
- The 2 Houses were divided because of disagreement on Torah interpretation, i.e. 10-Israel rejected Judah’s Divinely mandated Mechoqeck (Law interpretation) status. Any reconciliation logically should, therefore, require a Return of exiled 10-Israel to Judah Torah interpretation and observance.
- there are millions of non-Jews across the World today turning to Jewish Torah. This is a strange phenomenon for Gentiles who historically have been Jew-haters and Torah Judaism rejectors, to turn 180 degrees around against the anti-Semitic culture that they grew up in. Being a masse Phenomenon in a Time that all Rabbis agree is the start of the Messianic era (which again is dependent on Reconciliation and Restoration of 12-Tribed Israel), surely should be a strong pointer to the reawakening of the Lost House of Israel to their lost Hebrew identity? Now it so happens to be that the far greater majority of these Torah Returnees are from the Church, following a NT Messiah (strange that the Gaon of Vilna maintains that “the sole mandate of MbY will be to bring the Exiles Home”. Now, if this refers to Judah exiles, then the question is: Where is their MbY? Similarly to 10-Israel).
- Reconciliation towards Geulah can NEVER take place by insisting on Messianic claims, rejections, and emphasizing of differences in opinion between the opposing 2 sides. It is for this reason that Kol Hator Vision for the Restoration of the 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel (KHT) has set as suggested parameters for Reconciliation, the shelving of ALL references to or discussions of the purported NT Messiah – on BOTH sides. Ref. Uniting Factors
In fact, COI Vision (which is 50/50 represented in its management by reps of both Houses) has successfully convened 2 International Conferences in Jerusalem on this basis. Refer to video: Historic Conference concluding in the symbolic handing of 2 Sticks of Ezekiel between representatives of Both Houses
Guidelines to Reconciliation
Further contemplation on this intriguing topic brought the following awareness to me:
In order to further the inauguration of Geulah by working for Reconciliation between Judah and NT pro-Judah Messianic Torah observers, the following goals should be pursued:
NT Messianics (whether Jewish or not) should stop seeking and presenting Judah with Scriptural or other proof in order to obtain Judah’s recognition of their Messiah. They should abandon attempts to get Judah to accept them with their acknowledgment of their Messianic faith. This only broadens the void between the two sectors. What could assist in establishing reconciliation would be their acknowledgment of Judah’s Divinely mandated Mechoqeck status and to join Judah in worshipping the God of Israel according to His Torah and Covenant. This would also fulfill the End Time prophecy of Ya’akov to Judah in Gen. 49:8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father [Ya’akov’s] sons [patriarchs of the Hebrew Tribes] will bow down to you.”
Judah, on their part, should stop attempting to disprove the ‘falseness’ of the NT and its Messianic claims. The far greater majority of NT Messianics would rather face death by the cruelest means than deny their Messiah. This means an absolute stalemate for the Geulah ever taking place. Though HaShem never enforces any of His Requirements on His People, yet, we need to afford Him the opportunity to draw them to the ultimate Truth, just as He has drawn them out of exile in spiritual Egypt to Torah. This should give Judah sufficient inspiration for acceptance and Return of their ‘Captive Brothers’ from the Lost House of 10-Israel.
Thus the supreme Goal should be: Restoration and Reconciliation founded on a commitment to Torah and to the God of Israel, Most High.
The “Captive Jewish Child” is amongst those NT Returnees to Torah!
Should we be delving into what Christians believe wrongly, anciently, today, etc. – or should we be thankful that many of them are seeking Torah and closer association with Judah and build on that and help them forward? This is surely what HaShem expects from us. No accommodating them, NO GEULAH! There can NOT be a Geulah just with Judah. The millions of lost 10 Tribers (mostly Christian) HAVE TO Return and be accommodated. This is what the Forum Topic is about, as I understand: HOW do we accommodate them?
Certainly, Christianity today is pagan to the core. Yet, from amongst all their theologies, it cannot be denied that they do acknowledge the Creator, HaShem amongst all their confusion. That lifeline thread they have not lost.
What we have today is that millions of these Christians are turning to Jewish Torah and to even the Jewish Faith and the Jewish Land of Israel. They are generally hoarded off by our Rabbis to a 7-Law “Noahide Covenant” while their forefathers stood with Judah at Sinai and were covenanted to the God of Israel together with Judah, 12 Tribes, as it shall be at the Geulah (Final Redemption) and in the Eternal Kingdom.
As Jews, our predicament is that there are multi-millions of lost Jews amongst those Christians, sitting in the Church. An audio review by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum on Arutz 7 about the ‘Lost Jewish Child’ mentioned in the Talmud affirms this eruditely. How was this child derived? By Jewish mothers captured and exiled through the centuries by Assyria, Babylon, Roman Empire – and on and on. Many lost their total Jewish identity, rendering their children as ‘lost Jews’ without any Torah identity or Jewish culture. The Jewish line though continued through their daughters to this day – lost Jews! – millions of them.
What shall we do now with these lost Jews imprisoned by Christian theology and culture today? What is the difference between them as modern Christian ‘pagans’ and the 12-Tribed Hebrew nation in ancient Egyptian bondage, bereft of their Hebrew identity, theology and culture – steeped in pagan Egyptian culture? What was HaShem’s attitude towards them? I am sure that you will agree that we have an obligation to accept these ‘pagans’ back as our captive brothers and sisters. Now should that apply only to those who are amongst the millions of Gentiles who are turning to Torah and coming forward towards Judaism, with that unquenching Hebrew soul touched by HaShem’s Promise to Call them back in the End Times? Or do we have an obligation also to search even for those who have not awoken or reacted to His Call yet?
Our predicament does not end there with these millions of lost Jews. Divine Promise also includes the reawakening and reidentifying of the souls of the Lost House of 10-Tribed Israel – Wow!!! … must be multi-millions more! Are they any less of an obligation to us than those of the House of 2-Tribed Judah? Should the fact that they are pagans make any difference to our obligations?
Wake Up to our Divine Mandate!
Surely – we, the Jewish nation (and all those of the Lost House of Israel being called to Return in these End Times) need a total rethink and a major alarm Wake-Up to Divine Intent and to our Covenantal obligation towards our Captive Brothers and Sisters whom HaShem has oathed to bring Home. Perhaps we are facing a grave warning: Let us not be found opposing the Will and Purpose of HaShem!” (viz. to reconcile the broken Family and Nation of HaShem). Let us join the ranks of ‘Yosef the Family Restorer” who used and exhausted all his military and leadership tactics until he did succeed to reunite the Family.
We need to find ways and put ALL our effort into this End Time Obligation.
Acknowledgement – These responses are from the pen of OvadYah Avrahami (co-founder KHT) in a Forum Discussion by HAVERIM- a broad based Gathering Venue created by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum (AZAMRA) and Rod Bryant (NETIV) for anyone who feels attracted to Torah, Judaism and the Land of Israel. You can follow it fully by subscribing and joining the Family at haverim.info
Independent research scholar. He works tirelessly as an activist promoting Israel and settlement of the Land of Israel, and as Webmaster and co-ordinator of Kol HaTor. Read More.