Delving into well-hidden factors in the Scriptures which can positively advance the Drive towards Reconciliation and hence Geulah – if we only would care to confront it rather than sweep it under the carpet
#1 – The Untold Story of Tzipporah, Wife of Moses (see The Untold Story of Zipporah, Wife of Moses – Rabbi Levi Avtzon, Chabad)
#2 – The modern Ger controversy and its application to respond to the World Wide phenomenon of a rising Torah Awareness amongst non-Jews.
* Did you know that Moses separated from his wife, Tzipporah (meaning ‘bird’)?
* Tziporrah was not a Hebrew. She and her sisters introduced Moses to their Midianite Ruler father as an ‘Egyptian’ (Exod. 2:19) – obviously judging from his appearance. Moses grew up in the Royal Palace of Egypt since a baby.
* The Scriptures refer to Moses as a Ger, as was Avraham (Exod. 18:3; Gen. 23:4).
|Exod. 18:2 “So Moses’ father in law, Jethro, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after she had been sent away,
|בוַיִּקַּ֗ח יִתְרוֹ֙ חֹתֵ֣ן משֶׁ֔ה אֶת־צִפֹּרָ֖ה אֵ֣שֶׁת משֶׁ֑ה אַחַ֖ר שִׁלּוּחֶֽיהָ:
|3. and her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom, because he [Moses] said, “I was a stranger in a foreign land”
|גוְאֵ֖ת שְׁנֵ֣י בָנֶ֑יהָ אֲשֶׁ֨ר שֵׁ֤ם הָֽאֶחָד֙ גֵּֽרְשֹׁ֔ם כִּ֣י אָמַ֔ר גֵּ֣ר הָיִ֔יתִי בְּאֶ֖רֶץ נָכְרִיָּֽה:
We also learn from this statement in the Word, the horror of translations:
Moses was a Ger = a word causing much controversy today in the treatment by Judah of re-identifying Ephraimites seeking Return to their Divine Heritage. They are treated as “unacceptable to the ‘Jewish Torah Covenant’”, thus making the Prophesied Return of the Lost House of Israel – the Northern 10 Tribes exiled 2700 years ago – and the subsequent Geulah impossible. Did Moses’ being a Ger make him unacceptable to HaShem – not only for Torah but being the Teacher of the Torah?
A study of the use of the word ‘Ger’ in Scripture reveals a totally different concept of a stranger who was required to fall under the same Torah Requirements as the Hebrew, amongst whom they sojourned.
This ‘Ger’ concept started with the large masse of Egyptians who left Egypt together with the 12 Tribes of Israel. It developed over time to the total opposite that is understood of it today (In the Torah, is the ‘Ger’ ever a Convert? – Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi is Professor of Rabbinic Literature in the department of Jewish Philosophy and Talmud at Tel-Aviv University. A comprehensive overview of the development of the Biblical ‘Ger’ concept in Jewish history to this day.). Today, the modern Rabbinic concept of a Ger is: a stranger, who is not required to observe Torah and who is not really welcome to become an intrinsic part of Judah or Torah Judaism. Gerim are kept at arm’s length from Torah Judaism by a popular modern definition. According to a highly complicated series of interwoven definitions and discriminations, a Ger is preferred to become a Noahide, at best, with the obligation to 7 laws only – which exclude Shabbat observance. A main influence in the development of this concept was, of course, the persecution of Jews throughout millennia, for what they believed of the Word of God. The developing forming bond was that of self-protection of the Torah nation and its culture – certainly a vitally necessary and commendable goal.
Today, however, totally at odds with the shaping trends of history, we are coming face to face with the Divine Program of Restoration – i.e. Reconciliation with the hidden and yet developing inner embryo, the core of required Redemption (Geulah).
The Horror of translation
For the non-Jew, the Ger, the matter is further repressed by translations of the Original Hebrew Word of God. It is nothing short of nightmarish. Translators have made of it a free play of what suites their understanding and agendas best. These translators were obviously also guided by what they have learned and heard of Judaism – and not what they have experienced with thorough Rabbinic studies.
However, in all this, we have not been left rudderless; The Creator Himself has mandated the Israelite House of Judah (Judaism today) to be the Guiding Channel of understanding. Refer our study Judah, the Mechoqeck of HaShem.
A study of the word ‘Ger’ reveals the confusion brought into an already plaguing topic that withholds Final Redemption. However, such an exercise, vital as it is, simply opens up yet another deviation from finding the core requirement facing us. In fact, the issue about a ‘Ger’ and its relationship to association with Jewish Israel has absolutely nothing to do with the real Issue which we are facing: i.e. What should be our reaction to the approach of “Our Captive brothers and sisters of the House of 10-Israel being called back from Exile and their responding to the Call of HaShem for Return – the ‘Lost Child of Israel’! These are not Gerim in the true sense of the word, either ancient or current. They are descendents of their forefathers who stood with Judah, representing the Whole House of 12-Tribed Israel, at Sinai. They are heirs to the Covenant Promises and obligations which HaShem entered into with them. They are the promised descendants of Avraham who have lost their Hebrew Identity in exile. Their Return was Divinely oathed in Prophecy after Prophecy, page after page of the entire Tanach. This is in fact the Main Theme of prophecy.
What is Judah’s response to this Phenomenon? How far are they prepared to go to bring back the ‘Lost Child of Judah’; and the ‘Captives of 10-Israel in ‘Egypt’? How does reawakening 10-Israel react to this Divine Call Home? This entire topic of the Ger is a Deviation from Reality.
Deciphering the Original Word and the Intent of HaShem should go a long way to kindling what shall surely become a nuclear inferno resulting from the re-uniting and Restoration of the 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel as ONE Nation – the Israel of HaShem. The igniting of this inferno should originate with us. HaShem is doing His part of the Consolation –imbuing the exiles with an urge to return and so formulate the regathering of the exiles. Rather than opposing it, as is evident in both Houses today, we should activate and inspire it.
This is the Prophetic theme of the weekly Bible Reading of the Haftarah for Parashat Eikev from Isaiah 49. Listen to the inspiring Message and insight provided by Rabbi Machlis, Jerusalem.
#3 – Based on Parashat Re-eh
(Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17; Haftarah – Isaiah 66:1-24, 23)
Our Parashah opens with a counseling statement by Moses. This counsel to the nation remained throughout; it was the Gate Posts of Mt Eval and Har Bracha when they entered the Land at Shechem and it was the foundational conditions that resulted in the exile of both Houses of Israel at various times throughout history. As this Parashah will also confirm, it remains the Gate posts of the Promised Land at their Return from Exile in the Times of Consolation which we are approaching now. As such it directs the Way to Return – also and especially to the House of 10-Israel who lost their Israel Torah identity and thus escaped persecution in exile, unlike the House of Judah. Their part of the Curse of banning from the Land will only be felt at the Time of Restoration when, due to their loss of Torah Identity, they have caused the Gates of Return to be shut on them. The Times of Consolation (founded on HaShem’s Promise of Return) not only welcomes and strengthens Judah at their Return, but are also meant for the House of Israel at their reawakening. To both Houses, however, it is still subject to Moses’ Counsel featured in this Parashah and throughout Scripture.
|כו רְאֵה, אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם–הַיּוֹם: בְּרָכָה, וּקְלָלָה.
|26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse:
ַקְּלָלָה – Klallah – Curse, Syn. Damnation, denunciation, scorn, disdain, disrespect (Opp. of admiration); utter offensive words against someone or something in anger or annoyance.
We have noted the serious consequences of the Divine Reprimand for those who bad-mouth and disrespect Jews In a more definitive analysis of Gen. 12:3, (ref. “I will Bless those who bless you, Israel and curse (arirah) those who scorn (mekalel) you …”. In Gen. 12:3 the word קְּלָלָה Klallah is also used but with a wider meaning than ‘curse’ – ארירה – arirah. Few anti-Semites curse Jews, but bad-mouthing and disdain for Jews are commonplace, even amongst reawakening Ephraimites (10-Israel coming to life amongst non-Jews). So, Gen. 12:3 uses mekalel (derived from the same root and serving as an alternative to the word ‘Curse’ arirah which will befall those who bad-mouth and disrespect Jews and the Rabbinic leadership of Judah (who is destined to guide returning 10-Israel and the exiles Home and back to Torah).
If we now follow the same interpretative analysis of Parashat Re’eh (Deut. 11:26) to this statement in our opening text by applying the wider meaning of Kallah – ‘Curse’ to the exiles, then we realize why Jews were so despised during their 2000 years exile. Under King David and Solomon, Israel was a Blessed Nation leading the World as a mighty Super Empire that stretched to the Euphrates River – the Kingdom of Israel.
The question now arises about the exiled Northern 10-Tribed House of Israel: How does this Klallah apply to them? Having lost entirely their Israel Identity (contrary to the House of Judah who always retained it), they were not exposed to the scorn and the disrespect and persecution by the nations. They were exiled and rejected by HaShem because of the rejection by their forefathers of Judah’s Torah guidance. However, today, as the Skeleton (revived Israel) is receiving Life (Ezek. 37), they are now becoming the scorn of the nations. They are rejected by the religious sectors of the nations as ‘Jews;’ while the Jews reject them as ‘strangers’ (Goyim, pagans or more specifically, ‘Gerim’). They are drawn back to Torah and their heritage in the Land of Israel by HaShem, but many, due to the culture they grew up in during exile, oppose this direction back Home because they still share the Klallah rejection of Judah by the nations. Inadvertently, therefore, they receive the Divine Klallah from HaShem for having rejected and disrespected Jewish Torah Israel. Even if they turn around and now bless Israel, the Klallah turns in reverse upon them where they themselves now, like Judah, become the target of the nations to receive “scorn, disdain, disrespect (Opp. of admiration); utter offensive words against them in anger or annoyance” from the nations and from Judah. ‘From Judah also’, because after 3500 years, the Gates for Return which are still controlled by Judah (because Judah was never de-covenanted from HaShem like 10-Israel), are almost locked to them. And from HaShem: “Just as these have chosen their ways and enjoy their disgusting practices, 4 so I will enjoy making fools of them, and bring on them the very things they fear.” (Isa. 66:3,4).
“Moreover, I have made you despised and humiliated in the view of all the people, since none of you keep my ways or show respect for Instruction.” (Mal. 2:9 CEB with regard to rejecting the Mechoqeck Mandate of Judah).
This, all in fulfillment of the Divine Reprimand of “Blessing and Curse.”
Judah, rather than welcoming back their ‘brothers in captivity’, keep them away from the Torah with involved theologies of Noahide Laws (7 only) or with a “2nd Class association as Gerim – (strangers). The Divine Order of ONE Restored reunited Nation of Israel has been moved to the back burner; the predictions of our Jewish Sages and Biblical Prophets forgotten and shelved.
Our Parashah Re-eh inspires and advises us (both Houses) how to overcome the ravages of exile by establishing reconciliation and restoration with pro-active measures of accepting each other as members of the same Family.
This Shabbat is the third of seven Shabbatot of consolation which follow Tisha b’Av. It provides consolation and revived hope to the returning exiles for building a renewed Land and nation.
This re-comforting passage prophesies the reestablishment of the ideal Davidic kingship along with the centrality of the re-established nation on the world scene. This Kingdom nation is destined to be formed by the restoration of the 12-Tribed kingdom of Israel. It cannot be established by the House of Judah (2 Tribes) alone. These consoling promises of Isaiah 40 to 66, which underlie the seven Sabbaths of consolation between Tisha B’Av and the 7th month Feast Days, ensure greatness and prominence to a beleaguered nation who will return from exile to their national Land. These writings of consolation were meant to raise the morale of a people who had only recently come home to a land which they had lost due to their failure to comply with the Covenant with the God of Israel. It established an ideal and allowed them to reclaim their faith in God.
The prophecies of Jeremiah, the prophet of the destruction of Judea and the First Temple, are contrasted with those found in this second section of the book of Isaiah.: “Isaiah healed that which [Jeremiah] and others cursed: Jeremiah said: ‘How she has become as a widow’ (Lamentations 1:1); Isaiah retorted: ‘as a bridegroom rejoices over a bride’ (Isaiah 62:5).
One Prophet offered a message meant to deal with forewarning the nation of tragedy to follow their non-compliance with the Covenant requirements – while the other Prophet redirected their goals and gave them hope when they needed to rebuild their lives for the Ingathering of the exiles and rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Land. The Prophet’s God-given role was to assess the needs of his nation and lead them along God’s path to Restoration and Redemption.
This same role and pro-active promotion should be maintained today by the spiritual leaders on both sides (i.e. Judah and re-identifying 10-Israel).
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.