הנה מה טוב
ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד
Hin'ney mah-tob u'mah-na'eem, shebet acheem gam yachad! (WOW! What a great thing it is that brethern can
dwell together in unity!)
-Psalm 133: 1
tradition recorded in the Christian Greek Scriptures, the New Testament is that Christianity started out as a sect within
Judaism, AND, although it is most likely that Jesus IS a historical person; the fact is that we actually have no contemporary
evidence for the existence of a historical Jewish person known as Jesus of Nazareth. The oldest references to Jesus, not in
Christian held or passed down works, such as Josephus, come from Roman 2nd century writings.
teachings of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are fully within the world of the Talmudic rabbinical writings, the Dead Sea
Scroll texts, the Essene teachings, and everyday Jewish beliefs and arguments, they are the very arguments and discussions that the rabbis of the Talmud were having.
It is the writings of Paul, not the "Teachings of Jesus," that created the nuclei
that later became Christianity. However, be that as it may, and, although the original writings of the Apostle Paul have not
survived from the late first century, most scholars accept that much of what is considered to be his writing is authentic,
even if somewhat fabricated, edited, and creative.
In the Talmud writings, the earliest recollections of the beginnings
of Christianity, (which were written four centuries after the fact), and were not favorable, probably due to the animosity
and competition between the two groups at the time of the writing of them down, in much the same way that the earliest recollections
of Mormonism through non-Mormon eyes (Alexander Campbell) were not favorable.
As far as can be determined, the Talmud
says little, or most likely, nothing, that can definitely be seen as to refer to the "Jesus of Nazereth" of the New Testament
fame. If he existed at all, he did not make a very great impression upon his own people at the time. The teachings ABOUT him,
written down at a later date, by his proponents, are what make the impressions.
In the time of Rabbi Shmuel HaKatan (c. 80 C.E.), the MINIM were
"excommunicated," or "exiled from the people of Israel" due to the alleged worshipping of two seperate gods (possibly Jesus
and YHVH?) instead of the One God. It is also possible that the term "minim" was used to refer to the early Jewish Christians,
among others, but it would not have referred to a Gentile religion as, according to the Torah (Deut. 4: 19) and the rabbis,
Gentiles were not expected to worship God in the same way as did the Jewish people. Also, since the Gentiles lifted up their
royalty figures (like Julius Caesar) to the status of a deity, usually upon the death of the king or emporer, they had a plethora
of gods (and Sons of Gods).
The synagogue and church archaeology of the first century C.E. time period shows that
Jews and Jewish-Christians continued to use the same synagogues for worship by both groups until the time of the Bar Kokhbah
Revolt (132-135 C.E.).
It is more probable that the early Jewish-Christians were still considered as "Jews,"
with the possible exception of the Gentile "God-Awers" who worshipped with them.
After the Hadrianic persecutions
that followed the Bar-Kokhbah War (135-137 CE), during which thousands of rabbis and their students were hunted down and murdered
by the Romans, and when Judaism, as a practice, was outlawed, and when Jews were forbidden to even set foot in the Holy City
of Jerusalem, that the Jewish-Christian followers of the family of Jesus were faced with making a decision as to whether they
were of the JEWISH RELIGION or NOT.
Like the Karaites, two thousand years later, the Christians chose NOT TO
BE IDENTIFIED WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE OR WITH ITS' TRIBAL RELIGION and therefore became a separate people
with it's own religious belief system and practices.
It is after this period in history (the second century CE) that
the Christian writings of the Gospels begin to be published as a "sacred work of scripture" to show that, according to the
Early Church Fathers, although Christianity began in a Jewish stable, and its founder ended up dying on a Roman cross
for claiming to be a Jewish king-messiah, murdered at the hands of the Roman Governor; yet, according to this revisionist
history, it was not the fault of Rome, but of the Jewish leadership who had rejected the claims to royalty (or "Messiahship")
of that king claimant, who was now being raised to the position of a god being.
Thus began the division of two millennium
that hearlded the Christian persecution and the teaching of hatred towards the Jews, as a people, and of Judaism, as a way
of practicing religion, that resulted in the murders of millions of Jews, the expulsion of millions more from Christian countries,
and the forced conversions of tens of thousands more.
At the present time, in the 21st century of the Common Era, the Roman Catholic Church has admitted to the role it has played
down through history in setting the stage for the teaching of anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred to its followers, and it has offered
an apology for its role in instigating the Inquisition of the 11th to 19th centuries, the Blood Libels that caused pogroms
through the Middle Ages and into the 20th century, and in the resultant Nazi Holocaust of the 20th century.
Many of the descendants of the forced Jewish born conversos and of the hidden Jews who tried to stay one step ahead of
the Church and its' Inquisition are coming forward today to claim full citizenship in the peoplehood of the Jewish Tribe,
even if this entails real or symbolic conversion to Judaism.
Meanwhile, genetic and other scientific studies are advancing to the point that mDNA markers that identify peoples and
the migrations of groups of people is becoming more reliable. Migrations of groups of people can now be traced using these
mDNA samples from bone, hair, and skin of long buried corpses. Within a short time period, it is expected that the descendants
of the "Lost Tribes of Israel" will be known through their mDNA testing.
Also, groups of people still living in the areas of upper Iraq-Turkistan-Kurdistan-Afganistan (many who are of the Moslem
religion) still claim ancestry to the Tribes of Joseph (the Ten Tribes) taken into exile by the Assyrians in the 8th century
RABBI GERSHON'S PERSPECTIVE ON THE L.D.S. CHURCH
It is the personal belief of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, that
although he does not agree with the THEOLOGICAL teachings of the LDS Church, nor with the thought-controlling and cult-like
practices of the LDS Church, he DOES view the members of the LDS Church as representing members of the "Lost" Ten Tribes,
in a spiritual sense, who are being gathered by the God of all of the tribes of Israel preparatory to their re-unification
with the Judahite Tribes that is to take place during the ushering in of the "Messianic Age."
Although Rabbi Gershon
does not believe that the Hebrew Prophets were able to divine future events as foretellers of the future, he does believe
that often the present, and the past, is repeated in the future, and the Hebrew Prophets were astute enough to know that
if they set certain events into motion; with certain ideals and hopes firmly believed in by the people, that the events hoped
for can become a reality.
In Rabbi Gershon's view, the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel hoped for, dreamed for, and planned
for a reunification of both exiled Joseph (the Northern Ten Tribes), exiled in the area of modern day Iraq now known as Kurdistan, and
exiled Judah (the Southern Two Tribes), exiled in what is now the Baghdad-Basra region of modern day Iraq. This reunification
was thus "prophesied" by the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 37 & 38 of his book, as it was the ultimate dream of the Prophet.
This prophesy actually became fulfilled when the exiles to Assyria
(the Josephites) were reunited with their Judahite brethern after the 200 year hiatus between the two exiles came to an end
during the Babylonian-Persian captivity period.
However, although the actual "prophesy" was fulfilled during lifetime
of the Prophet Ezekiel, the motif can still be used and reused when historical events seem to replay themselves out in
more modern times.
It is a historical fact that the LDS Church is one of the very FEW Christian churches that does
not have a history nor a theology of anti-Semitism, and is a group who also have a view of themselves as being literal
descendants of the ancient House of Israel, the Twelve Tribes, thus kin to the Jews.
The 10th Article of Faith of the Latter Day Saints Church, written
by the Mormon Church's first "Prophet," Joseph Smith Jr., reads: "We (the LDS) believe in the literal gathering of Israel
and in the RESTORATION of the Ten Tribes...."
According to the Vision of Ezekiel as recorded in the Hebrew version
of chapters 37 & 38 of the Book of Ezekiel, eventually the Lost Tribes of Israel (Ephriam) and the Jewish Tribes (Judah)
will reunite under the RENEWED Torah teachings of TRUTH. The LDS have defined this prophesy as a unification of the Book of
Mormon with the Holy Bible. However, this prophesy has nothing to do with uniting written records, but of tribal unification.
It is Rabbi Gershon Caudill's personal belief that God, through God's mysterious ways, is using the teachings
of the Mormon "Prophet" Joseph Smith, and the subsequent LDS "prophets," to "gather" in the spiritual "Lost Ten
Tribes" from among the other Christian-Gentiles. If God wants to wean these spiritual Israelite descendants away from
the paganizing and destructive (to Jewish tradition) missionary practices and doctrines of traditional Christianity and its
many and various Churches; then perhaps the best way to do it is through a religious institution as despised, unusual and
as unorthodox as is Mormonism, which itself, is not accepted as even being Christian by the majority of traditional Christian
Churches, including the Christianity of the politically aligned Religious Right that the LDS are an active part of.
Mormonism is to traditional Christianity what Jewish-Christianity was to traditional Rabbinical Judaism in the 2nd century,
we can view the future possibility of fulfillment of the scriptural vision of redemption and unification through the lense
of the past.
And, just as the new 2nd century Christianity added the books of their own Greek New Testament to the
sacred Hebrew scriptures of the Tanakh (Torah-Naviim-Khetuvim), Mormonism has also added its' own modern scripture (the Book
of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, & Doctrine and Covenants).
Unlike Judaism, Mormonism rests total control and
Patriarchal authority in a single male Prophet figure, and, just as Catholicism rests all religious authority ultimately in
the male Pope figure, both figures that claim to obtain instruction directly from God by revelation which then becomes
uncontestable and unquestionable doctrine.
While this allows for doctrinal changes to take place periodically as needed,
without the normal "going through channels," as it is the Word of God, it also allows for abuse of authority and a very slow
process of making changes that often conflicts with the political views of the majority of the elderly male dominated and
politically conservative leadership.
And just as the early Christianity of the so-called Apostle Paul's
followers redefined the ancient Hebrew teachings of the Torah of it's Mother religion, Rabbinic Judaism, to fit their "modern"
2nd century Greek and Persian perspectives, so too, Mormonism has brought in its wake changes in important doctrines
and customs of the traditional Christian teachings concerning the nature of important methods of understanding such concepts
as God, sin, Messiah, celibacy, marriage, purification, holiness, peoplehood, salvation, choseness, etc.
that the Mormons believe in "continued revelation" and that this revelation supersedes all previous revelations on the subject
addressed, allows for the LDS to develop towards a more true Israelitish perspective at some future time, in preparation for
the eventual union with the Tribes of Judah. Not that it is ever thought to be necessary for Mormonism to have to become like
In so far as LDS theology is 180 degrees opposite from that of the Jewish Constitution of the Hebrew
Scriptures and that of traditional Rabbinical Judaism, most Jews are not enticed to become members of the various Mormon groups,
except for an occasional one or two who convert because of love for a member of the LDS Church, or from a feeling
of estrangement from his or her own Jewish family. It is Rabbi Caudill's experience that most of the converts who come from
the Jewish people and go to the LDS religion are people who have passed through more traditional Christian religions
prior to becoming Mormon.
It is Rabbi Gershon's firm belief that NO Jew knowledgeable of the Hebrew language, history,
tradition or of the Hebrew thought processes would, or could, be enticed into becoming a Christian of any kind if other societal
factors were not at play.
Let us also remember that that there were 12 Tribes and that each tribe had its own different
way of envisioning the teachings of how to worship God, so that there were twelve Jewish religions, not just one. Each Tribe
represented a DIFFERENT way of envisioning how God (the invisible ALEPH Force of the Powers of Creation) interacted with humanity
in the world of the Hebrew Bible.
Rabbi Gershon is convinced from having talked with some of the Mormon-Jews,
that most Jewish-born converts to Mormonism convert for reasons other than religious doctrine or belief, though
they soon convince themselves otherwise. Some convert due to "love for a Christian person," or ease of being accepted
in the dominant culture, or of a desire to shed oneself of the "burden" of being Jewish.
Again, it is a fact of history
that the L.D.S. Church is one of the few Christian belief systems that has not persecuted Jews. Therefore, Rabbi Gershon does
not see that the Jew who opts to become LDS is forever lost to the Jewish tribalhood and people, he/she just has become a
hyphenated Jew; a Mormon-Jew, and, like Buddhist-Jews, are still a part of the greater Peoplehood of Israel.
of the early Mormon Church shows that their Prophets were well disposed towards the Jewish people and their religious beliefs
and needs. The first Jewish cemetery and synagogue in Salt Lake City was built on ground donated by the LDS Church. The first
Reform synagogue in Salt Lake City was also built with the LDS Church financial help.
The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith
taught that the LDS were BLOOD KIN to the Jews, although DNA studies do not support that conception. So convinced of that
premise were the LDS Presidents Joseph Fielding Smith, Heber J. Grant and Ezra Taft Benson (perhaps others) that they were
willing to excommunicate members of their religion who became involved in anti-Semitic organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan
and American Nazi Party during the pre-World War 2 period, as well as later on.
The Latter-day Saint scripture, the
Book of Mormon, although representing, in Rabbi Gershon's view, the personal beliefs of it's author, Joseph Smith, Jr., forbids
the L.D.S. to be anti-Semitic (2 Nephi 29: 4-5), as does the teachings of it's modern and current General Authorities.
Book of Mormon is the only Christian book of Scripture that does so unequivocally. It is a fact, that the New Testament has
been used for centuries to support the Antisemitism of traditional Christianity. Modern Passion Plays are based upon the supposed
anti-Semitic passages of the New Testament to create division between Jews and Christians.
Rabbi Gershon has read
both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon many times and is familiar with it's contents, and although IT IS NOT HIS SACRED
SCRIPTURE, within its pages he can find much that is Holy to him, AS A PRACTICING JEW, just as he finds Sacred Words in the
other Sacred Texts of other holy religions, such as the Qur'an of Islam, and the Bhagavad-Gitas of the Hindus.
RABBI GERSHON'S JEWISH
PERSPECTIVE ON THE "GATHERING OF ISRAEL" (and its relationship to the various Mormon-Christian Churches)
the subject of the Ephraim-Judah relationship, Rabbi Gershon Winkler has written:
[The Jewish people is comprised
of] two tribes who are constantly in conflict with one another. The life objective of Ephraim, as inspired by the Creator,
is to concentrate on the halachah regarding every matter, and not to budge from obeying its every letter... And the root of
the life of Yehudah is to focus on the Creator and to be connected to the Creator in every situation.
[The Mormons view
themselves as mostly descended from the Tribe of Ephraim, and follow rigedly the teachings of their "Prophet," whoever he
And even though Yehudah perceives how the halachah inclines on an issue, he nevertheless looks to the Creator
to show him the core of the truth behind the matter at hand... [Yehudah] looks to the Creator for guidance in all matters
rather than engage in the rote practice of religious observances, nor is he content to merely repeat today what he did yesterday...but
that the Creator enlighten him anew each day as to what is the God Will in the moment. This sometimes compels Yehudah to act
contrary to established halachah... But in the time to come, we have been promised that Ephraim and Yehudah will no longer
be at odds with one another (Isaiah 11:13).
This means that Ephraim will no longer have any complaints against Yehudah
regarding his deviation from halachah, because the Creator will demonstrate to Ephraim the intention of Yehudah, that his
intentions are for the sake of the Creator's will, and not for any selfish motive. Then will there be harmony between the
two (Mei HaShiloach, Vol. 1, Vayeishev, 14b-15a)
From the [18th century] Rabbi Mordechai Yosef of Ishbitz (translated
by Rabbi Gershon Winkler in PUMBEDISSA, with comments by Rabbi Gershon Caudill in brackets).
As a JEWISH Rabbi and
Rebbe, Rabbi Gershon's Interfaith work is to help bring tolerance and understanding between the Jewish people and other people
of religious faith without denying the basics of his own JEWISH Paths to worshipping God. He does not seek to demean or destroy
the traditions or beliefs of any person with whom he is in dialogue. He seeks only to help get people together in an atmosphere
of respectful understanding, tolerance, and acceptance that whatever that person believes or practices is a Path to God.
Mormons (a common colloquial name for members of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;" or L.D.S.) teach that
most of their members are descended from the ancient Hebrew Tribe of Joseph, specifically from the Tribe of Ephraim. They
also teach that the American Indians are mostly descended from the other son of Joseph, Manasseh. They give each member a
"Patriarch's Blessing" that tells the member which Tribe of Israel that they are descended from.
As Rabbi Gershon is a Jew and not a Christian and so thus views the Book of
Mormon from a different perspective, he looks at the Jewish chapters (1 Nephi 1-11) from a Jewish historical perspective.
For one thing he does not see every gentile as a Jew in disguise. Yet, he wants to create some sort of relationship with those
who find an self-identity with the Jewish people through seeing themselves as being Israelites.
One of the Mormon books of Scripture, "The Book of Mormon," teaches
them how the ancient Israelite Sub-Tribe of Manassah, of the Tribe of Joseph came to be present among American Indians. This
is the Mormon myth of Israelite heritage for American Native Aboriginals.
This belief is not supported by modern scientific genetic studies that do not find a connection
between the peoples of the Middle east and American Indians.
Maimonides suggested that Christianity may be a tool chosen
by Providence to prepare the Gentile world to ultimately accept the Original Faith of Moses (in its many varients). Since
the Lost Ten Tribes are now mainly Gentiles, so too Christianity prepares them to ultimately accept a higher truth. Christianity
leads to belief in the Bible and through the Bible comes salvation. Judaism does not seek a confrontation
with Christians. Judaism is not against them and is happy to work with them. Judaism does not feel itself
qualified to engage in theological discussions that seek to divide neither does it have any will to do so. Judaism
does not wish to offend anyone and appreciates the willingness of others to relate to it.
Rabbi Gershon Caudill feels that it is only those Gentiles whose
belief is that their ancestry and spiritual heritage is from the so-called "LOST" Ten Tribes of Israel who will ultimately
convert to the "Faith given through Moses on Mt. Sinai" (not to Judaism, the tribal religions of the Jewish people).
Vision of the Prophets Micah and Isaiah accept that there will be many tribal religions in the "Messianic Age." The only difference
of that day from today, will be that all religions will understand that every other religious path (not just monotheistic
religions) also worships the same God as does their own religious path, but by a different code name or names for the Supreme
Infinite Creative Power (Micah 4: 5, Isaiah 2: 2-5).
GATHERING OF ISRAEL
"Kee yira'hem YHVH et-Ya'acov, uba'har od b'Yisrael, v'hinee'ham al-admatam: v'nilvah hageyr aleyhem, v'nispe'hu al-Ya'acov
(For ADONAI will have mercy on Jacob (the Jewish people), and will yet choose Israel (the scattered people of Israel), and
set them in their own land: and the convert will join with them, and they shall all be joined together with the House of Jacob-the
Jews)." ISAIAH 14: 1
According to the November/December 2003 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, the Assyrian kings Tiglath-pileser III (745-727
B.C.E.), Shalmaneser V (727-722 B.C.E.), and Sargon II (722-705 B.C.E.) were each responsible for taking Israelites from the
Northern Josephite Kingdom of Israel into captive-exile along the northern reaches of what today is Kurdistan and Northern
Most of these captive slaves became thoroughly assimilated into the Assyrian culture and people, as witnessed by documents
and contracts from the time period. The 6th century B.C.E. Judahite exile from Judea, the Prophet-Priest Ezekiel is speaking
to the regathering of THIS group of Israelites in his writings, though we of this day use his writings to suggest a different
"regathering" of Israel, one that would seek to create a future reconciliation between peoples.
BOTH THE RELIGIONS OF JUDAH AND THE RELIGIONS OF JOSEPH WILL NEED
TO REPENT OF STRAYING FROM THE FLEXIDOXY OF TORAH TRUTHS and will need to return to viewing LOVE of one's neighbor, the honoring
and respecting and preservation of the environment, the respecting of the rights of others to worship God as they view God,
and the obligation to an ethical social justice system for all life on the planet and full equality for all of humanity despite
ethnic, racial, religious, or sexual orientations.
Further reading on the subject of the restoration and re-unification
of the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes" with the Tribe of Judah (the Jews) may also be found at the Home page of The United Israel
UNITED ISRAEL WORLD UNION WEBSITE (click here)
THE TORAH VIEW OF THE MESSIAH
The statements in 1 Kings that there shall not be a generation cut off from having a MESSIAH ben David to sit upon the throne
(1 Kings 2: 4; 8: 25; 9: 5), tells us two things: 1) The Messiah is to always be of the lineage of King David; and, 2) the
Messiah is an office that shall be in EVERY GENERATION ("There shall not be cut off for you a person to sit upon the
throne of Israel, etc.").
The office of MESSIAH is not that of being a god or being God, but being a KING like unto King David. See Ezekiel 37:
Read the story of King David in the Books of Samuel and Kings. He was not a god, he was VERY human, very real; and the
office of Messiah is to be like King David.
BEING THE MESSIAH**
1) The Messiah must be of the lineage of King David through his/her paternal line. "There
shall not be cut off for you a person to sit upon the throne of Israel" 1 Kings 2: 4; 8: 25; 9: 5; 2 Chron 6: 16; Jeremiah
2) The Messiah must act in the office of Messiah.
"And he shall speak peace unto the non-Israelites."
Zechariah 9: 19; "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares..." Isaiah 2: 4; "Elijah shall turn the heart of the fathers
to their children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." Malachi 3: 23; All world government leaders shall acknowledge
his/her leadership. Psalms 72: 11; He/She will be a leader in the United Nations. Zechariah 9: 10; Daniel 7: 27.
The Messiah must be part of the Messianic Age.
"It shall be in the latter days, that the mountain of the house of YHVH
shall be established in the tops of the mountains." Isaiah 2: 2; Micah 4: 1-4.
(The Messiah) shall judge among the
world nations and arbitrate for the multitude (of peoples), and the (weapons of war will be no more)..." Isaiah 2: 4; Micah
The war against Gog and Magog (a Hebrew code for Babylon (Iraq) and its leader) will happen in his/her time
period. Ezekiel 38: 1-8.
The Ten Tribes will be re-united with Judah. Hosea 3: 5; Daniel 2: 44; Ezekiel 37 & 38.
4) The Promises of the Prophets concerning the Messiah must be fulfilled. Again, Daniel 2: 44.
The world will
become a place of religious tolerence, for they will understand that ALL Names for God as used by different peoples and cultures,
refer to the very SAME God. Micah 4: 5; Zechariah 14: 16; Zephaniah 2: 11.
The Ten Tribes will return to Torah observance.
Deuteronomy 30: 6; Isaiah 52: 1; Isaiah 66: 17; Isaiah 66: 23; Zechariah 14: 16; Zechariah 8: 23; Zephaniah 3: 8-13; Jeremiah
3: 25; Ezekiel 36: 25; Ezekiel 37: 23.
Because the world will recognize that all versions of God are but different
perspectives of the ONE GOD, idolatry will disappear from the earth. Zechariah 13: 2; Isaiah 2: 18; Zephaniah 2: 11.
will reign between the ferocious and the meek. Isaiah 11: 6-9; Isaiah 65: 25; Ezekiel 34: 25 & 28; Hosea 2: 20.
the time of the Messiah there will be a lack of hunger, homelessness, illness, disposession, etc. Isaiah 65: 16-22.
the time of the Messiah all Israel will be at peace and the Holy Temple will be rebuilt. Ezekiel 37: 26-28; Ezekiel 39: 29;
Ezeliel 43: 7; Ezekiel 48: 35; Joel 2: 27 & 3: 1, 17, 21; Zechariah 2: 14; Isaiah 11: 9; Jeremiah 31: 34.
Moses ben Maimon (RAMBAM 1135-1204 CE) wrote in Mishnah Torah the following: "In the future, the Messianic King will arise
and reestablish the Davidic dynasty, returning it to its initial sovereignty. He (she) will build the Temple and bring together
the dispersed Tribes of Israel.
In his (her) days, all of the statutes of the Torah will be observed. We will offer
sacrifices (vegetarian), observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to all the particulars mentioned in the Torah.
Anyone who (is a Jew and) does not believe in him (her) or does not wait for his (her) coming, denies not only the
statements of the other Prophets, but also those of Torah and Moses, our Teacher. (See Deuteronomy 30: 3-5; Numbers 24: 17-18)
One must not presume that the Messianic King must work miracles and wonders, bring about new creations within the world, resurrect
the dead, or perform similar deeds. This is not true.
Rabbi Akiva, one of the greater Sages of the Mishnah, was one of the supporters of King Bar Kozibah and would describe
him as the Messianic King. He and all the Sages of his generation considered Bar Kozibah to be the Messianic King UNTIL HE
WAS KILLED because of his sins. Once he was killed, they realized that he was NOT the Messiah! The Sages did not ask him for
any signs and wonders.
If a king will arise from the House of David who is learned in Torah and observant of the mitzvot, as prescribed in the
Written and Oral Law, as David, his (her) ancestor was, and will cause all the Tribes of Israel to walk in the paths of the
Torah and reinforce the observance of the mitzvot; and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him (her) the
IF HE (SHE) SUCCEEDS IN THE ABOVE, BUILDS THE TEMPLE IN ITS PLACE, RE-UNITES THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL, HE (SHE) IS DEFINATELY
Then he (she) will improve the entire world for all nations and they will serve God together as Zephaniah 3: 9 states:
I will make the peoples speech clear that they might all be able to call upon the Name of HaShem, to serve (HaShem) with one
burden." [Micah 4: 5 offers clarity to this: "For ALL people will each walk (as one people) according to their Name
for God, and we (Israelites) will walk in the Name of our God YHVH forever and more."]
If he (she) did not succeed to this degree or he (she) was killed, he (she) surely is NOT the redeemer promised by the
Torah. Rather, he (she) should be considered as all other proper kings of the Davidic dynasty who died. God only raised him
(her) up in order to test the many.
All of the prophets spoke of the Messiah as the redeemer of Israel and its savior, who would gather them from their dispersion
and strengthen their observance of the Mitzvot.
By contrast, Christianity caused the Jews to be slain by the sword (through teaching anti-Semitism), their remnants to
be exiled and scattered, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord.
Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for God's ways are
not our ways, nor are God's thoughts, our thoughts. All of the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and (Mohammed) who arose after him
will only serve to prepare the way for the (True) Messiah's coming and the improvement of the entire world, (which will cause
people to understand that all Names of God are but Names of the very same God), as Zephaniah 3: 9 states.
(Because of Christianity and Islam) the entire world have knowledge of the Messiah concept, the Torah, and Mitzvot. Even
the furthest islands, stubborn nations even, discuss these things and the commandments in the Torah. They say:"The mitzvot
When the True Messiah King arises and proves successful, being exalted and uplifted, (the Israelites among the nations)
will all return (and be re-united with Judah) and they will realize that their ancestors endowed them with a false heritage
and that their prophets and ancestors caused them to err. (based on Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Melachim u'Milchamoteihem Chapter
**THE MESSIANIC AGE**
In the Messianic Age the nature of this world will not change nor will there be innovations in the work of creation. Rather,
the world will continue according to its pattern (as God made it and called the creation VERY GOOD; Genesis 1: 31).
Though Isaiah states in chapter 11, verse 6, that "the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down
with the young goat," these words are a METAPHORE and a parable. The INTERPRETATION of the prophecy is as follows: All
Israel will dwell among the nations securely. The Gentiles are likened to a wolf and a leopard in the prophecy of Jeremiah
5: 6, so it is the same here. (See Numbers 23: 7, where the Hebrew word MASHAL [metaphore] is used as a synonym for prophetic
discourse). They will all return to the true faith (of tolerence) and no longer steal souls (missionize) nor destroy (in the
name of religion).
Rather, the nations will dwell at peace with the House of Israel.
There will be no difference between the present age and the Messianic Age EXCEPT that Israel will not be under subjugation
to the Gentile nations.
The simple [pashat] interpretation of the Prophet Isaiah's words appear to imply that a war with Gog v'Magog [Leader of
Babylon in Hebrew code] will take place at the beginning of the Messianic Age. Before that war, a prophet will arise to prepare
Israel for the re-building of the 3rd Temple, as Malachi 3: 22 states: "Behold, I am sending you (an incarnation) of
Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children." He (She) will come to establish peace between the factions
of Jews and bring the Tribes of Israel into the peoplehood.
After the re-unification of the people of Israel has been established, the Messiah King will declare (through DNA research?)
the pure linage of the Levites, as Malachi 3: 3 states: "He (She) will sit as a refiner and purifier."
When the Messiah King defines the lineage of the "Lost" Tribes of Israel, he (she) will determine the tribal
origin of each person, but he (she) will not state of a person presumed to be of unblemished lineage "that he is not
legitimate," for the law is, that once a family (of Israelites) is intermingled (with the Jewish people) they may remain
The Messianic Age is not a time when the Israelite nation will have dominion over the entire world, or will rule over
Gentiles, nor be exalted. Rather, it is a time when Israel will exist as a free, democratic, Torah based (not "religion"
based) nation, with wisdom and high educational standards. Israel will be without pressure or disturbances or discrimination
between Jew and Arab, or Jew and Gentile, or Jew and Jew.
In that era, there will be neither famine nor war, envy or competition, for good will will flow in abundance and all people
will be fed, housed, clothed, and medically cared for. The major occupation of Israel will be to UNDERSTAND the Will of God,
as Isaiah 11: 9 states: "Then the world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the sea fills the ocean bed."
(Based loosely on Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Melachim u'Milchamoteihem Chapter 12).
Rabbi Yitzok Ginsburg offered the following explaination concerning Christianity and "The man from Nazareth:"
We all believe that Divine Providence directs every detail of each and every one of our lives. Even when a person chooses
to follow a certain course of action for his own reasons, it is God that is directing his steps from on high for His own purposes.
In most cases, this direction remains entirely hidden from man. In the words of King David, the Sweet Singer of Israel, "Man's
steps are established by God, and He desires his path" (Psalms 37:23).
True for every detail of every private person's life, this becomes immensely more significant for those whose lives have
proven to be of crucial influence on the overall history of mankind. Here, too, there is both the individual's revealed, conscious
intention and the hidden dimension, which is revealed only to God, as He wondrously directs the fate of the world that He
created for His glory.
Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, chapter 11) writes that Jesus of Nazareth imagined that he was the messiah.
He tried to actualize this, but failed. Instead of redeeming Israel and the entire world, he caused Israel to be slain by
the sword, their remnant to be scattered and humiliated, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to be deceived
and serve a god other than God.
Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for [to paraphrase
Isaiah 55:8] "His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts." [Ultimately,] all the deeds of Jesus
of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite who arose after him [i.e. Mohammed] will only serve to pave the way for the coming of the
Messiah and for the improvement of the entire world, [motivating the nations] to serve God together, as it is written [Zephaniah
3:9], "For I shall then make the peoples pure of speech so that they will all call upon the Name of God and serve Him
with one purpose."
How will this come about? [As a result of these religions,] the entire world has already become filled with talk of the
Messiah, as well as of the Torah and the commandments. These matters have been spread among many [formerly] spiritually insensitive
nations, who discuss these matters as well as the various commandments of the Torah. Some of them [i.e. the Christians] say:
"These commandments were true, but are not in force in the present age; they are not applicable for all time." Others
[i.e. the Moslems] say: "Implied in the commandments are hidden concepts that cannot be understood simply; the messiah
has already come and revealed them."
[The stage is thus set so that] when the true Messianic king will arise and prove successful, his [position becoming]
exalted and uplifted, they will all return and realize that their ancestors endowed them with a false heritage; their prophets
and ancestors caused them to err.
Let us look at the situation of the world today: Nearly two thousand years have passed since the establishment of the
Christian religion. During these generations, the suffering and pain of millions of people have not abated despite the great
strides made by civilization, especially in the fields of science and technology. Every passing day, the heartfelt cry for
God's salvation intensifies, the cry for the true and ultimate Redemption to be ushered in by the Messiah. In the words of
the prophet Daniel (who according to the Sages of Israel was a clear messianic figure): "How long until the end of these
awesome things!" (Daniel 12:6).
The time is ripe, and the sages of the Jewish People have confirmed that our generation will witness the final redemption.
In order to hasten the coming of the true Messiah, we must endeavor to live in accordance with the new order he will establish.
The time has come for the nations of the world to live with the Messiah as well, and, as Maimonides stated, realize that their
forefathers bequeathed them a false heritage. This truth can be sensed and accepted only when preceded by the recognition
that "My thoughts are not your thoughts," as quoted above.
The past two thousand years have demonstrated both the special Divine Providence that has protected the Jewish People
and the failure of other religions to live up to the role of bearer of God's message that they appropriated for themselves.
Enlightened people the world over have acknowledged both these points.
It is now time that God's hidden intention, which has guided all of history to this day, be revealed to all. Only in this
way can each and every individual sincerely acknowledge the truth and prepare himself and his surroundings to greet the true
Messiah, who will imminently arrive and redeem us all.
All of us yearn for salvation: we are all aware of the terrible suffering throughout the world, and we all believe that
the great goodness and joy humanity is destined to inherit will come with the arrival of the true Messiah. And since the essence
of the Messiah's message is joy, our return to the true faith, the Torah of Moses (in which 613 commandments were given to
the Jewish People and 7 commandments to the gentiles) can only be accomplished in joy. Such a return will awaken the messianic
spirit within all humanity, and will culminate in the advent of the Messiah himself.
For the sake of God and for the sake of the goodness promised mankind, the time has come for all nations of the world
and their religious leaders to make a radical transformation, to face reality candidly, ... and acknowledge the absolute truth!
Imagine how gratified our One Father in heaven, our blessed Creator, would be to see such an unparalleled display of courage
THE "CHOSEN PEOPLE" CONCEPT
The several variants of the tribal religion of the Jewish people
REJECTS all notions of caste and race ideologies. Being a JEW is NOT based upon being a member of a particular race, as ALL
races, and ethnicities are represented among the Jewish peoplehood and tribe due to its accepting converts and intermarriage
continually throughout its' history, though it does not proslytize nor advocate intermarriage. Hierarchy of ethnicity is not
a "Jewish" concept.
Judaism denies all notions of racial, religious or ethnical superiority
where-in any one religion, race, or ethnic identity, etc., is better or more preferred than any other in the eyes of the Creator.
The Prophet Amos made it unmistakenly clear when he wrote, in the 8th century BCE; "Are you not just like the Ethiopians to
Me, O people of Israel? says YHVH. It was I who brought the people of Israel up out of Egypt, also, it was I who brought the
Philistines from Caftor and the Syrians from Kir" (Amos 9: 7).
One must realize that both the Philistinians and the
Syrians were traditional enemies of Israel, and the Ethiopians were thought of only as a people worthy of being enslaved.
But the Hebrew Prophet tells the Twelve Tribes of Israel that his Yahweh-God is also the God of those people, even if they
call God by a different Name, and that this God guides the destinies of those peoples as well, and most important, that they
are all alike in the sight of the Hebrew God.
In the Messianic Age, the Age of Shekhinah Consciousness, the Aquarian
Age, so the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah (7th century BCE) tells us; "Israel will be in a three part partnership with Egypt and Assyria
as a blessing in the midst of the earth, with the blessing of YHVH Tzvaot that 'Blessed be Egypt MY PEOPLE, and Assyria THE
WORK OF MY HANDS, and Israel MY HERITAGE"' (Isaiah 19: 24-25).
The ancient Sages tell us that the Hebrew Torah, the
Israelite Creation and Identity Myth, begins with the story of Adam and Eve to remind us (Israel) that all people descend
from the same two parents. The tradition also says that God took earth from the four corners of the earth to make the first
Adam. Red from the North, Yellow from the East, Black from the West, and White from the South. This story was to remind us
that our first parent was of all colors and races.
Just as with all other people's tribal stories of CHOSENNESS, the
chosenness of Israel was dependent upon Israel serving its God as a HOLY people, a LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS, as an EXAMPLE,
not as a missionary religion. "And you shall be holy unto Me" (Exodus 22: 30). The first century rabbi, Rabbi Ishmael said:
"IF you are holy then you are Mine."
Holiness is not a self-glorification but a hard discipline of self-purification
and doing good for others (Leviticus 19: 18). It was never assumed that Israel would be perfect, beyond sin or transgression.
God does not ask the Israelite people to be PERFECT. THERE ARE NO PERFECT PEOPLE OR NATIONS!
It is not an accident
that the supposed founder of the Christian religion, but who was totally within and a part of his JEWISH heritage, Rabbi Jesus
(Yeshua), used as his example of the RIGHTEOUS MAN, the Samaritan heritic. Jesus did not use him as the example of righteousness
because of his belief system but because he did a MITZVAH - a good action, and bound up the wounds of the mugged Jew and took
him to a safe place, and even provided for his care until he should become well (Luke 10: 30-37).
Israel was only
referred to as "chosen" (in OUR BOOK, a book written for OUR JEWISH PEOPLE) to teach us Jews that ALL people can progress
to a better understanding of God and the relationship between God and humankind, and of the requirement of STEWARDSHIP towards
the environment. If God can cause Israel, a miniscule group within the earth's populations, to become a better, and more compassionate,
caring people , then any people can do it. That is the goal! It is up to us who have accepted the mission to rise to the challenge!
IF YOU CHOOSE TO RISE TO THE CHALLENGE - THEN YOU ARE CALLED - ISRAEL!
On the Chosen People Syndrome
By Rabbi Gershon Winkler
Regarding the question about the Jews claiming to be the chosen people, and how that has led to antisemitism: my feeling
is that we never claimed to the world to be the chosen people. We claimed it to ourselves, no less and no more than did the
Celts claim that they were the chosen ones, or the Hopi Indians, or the Lakota Sioux or the Egyptians, or the Greeks. It is
not our fault that Christianity TOOK our personal diary from us and published it all over the world. It is the early Church
in its claim to be the only true religion that used our scriptures to prove this by quoting about how we were chosen by God,
so that by replacing us, they became automatically the NEWLY chosen ones.
But we Jews never publicized to the world that God had chosen us over any other. On the contrary, throughout the Tenakh
we were reminded again and again that we are not THE chosen people, but A chosen people, meaning a people chosen amongst
Here are a few examples from the Tenakh, the private diary of the Jewish people:
"In that day shall Israel be third alongside Egypt and Assyria, as a blessing on earth; for God will bless them,
saying: 'Blessed be my people Egypt, my handiwork Assyria, and my inheritance Israel'" (Isaiah 19:24).
"Are you not just like the Children of the Ethiopians unto me, O Children of Israel? Did I not bring out Israel from
the Land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caf'tor, and Aram from Kir?" (Amos 9:7).
From the Talmud:
"It is written, 'There never again arose among the Israelites a prophet as great as Moses' (Deuteronomy 34:10) --among
the Israelites there never again arose a prophet as great as Moses, but amongst other peoples, it is certainly probable!"
(Midrash Bamid'bar Rabbah 14:19).
Martin Buber put it this way: "As a historical people, Israel enjoys no precedence over any other. Like Israel,
the other peoples were all wanderers and settlers; they came 'up' from a land of want and servitude into their present homeland.
The one God, the Redeemer and Leader of the peoples, strode before all of them upon their way -- even the hostile neighboring
peoples -- protecting them by His might. He guided their steps, gave them power, let them 'inherit' the soil of a people that
had been ruined by its sins and abandoned by history." (From "Martin Buber On the Bible", edited by N. Glatzer
[Schocken Books, 1982], p. 80).
I believe that we believe that God does not discriminate between one people and another. That God loves the Palestinians
as much as [God loves] the Israelis. Sort of like a mother who writes six letters to her six children, and in each letter
she writes "You are my favorite. I love you more than anything in the world!" This is why we never went out missionizing
to people. We believed every-one had their own divine revelation and each their path is sacred as long as they don't use it
to destroy others. A tzadik (righteous person), the Talmud teaches, is not someone who is a holy Jew, but someone of ANY faith
or [ANY] people who is righteous by their actions. A tzadik is not determined by belief or religious affiliation but by how
they live their life.
So, no we are not any more chosen than the aboriginals of Australia. We are equally chosen. And when we say "asher
bachar ba'nu mee'kol ha'ameem" (who chose in us from all the nations) we mean that we thank God for choosing us, too,
from among all the other nations, meaning from among all those other peoples who were chosen long before we were.
Of course the average traditional Jew will think about this differently. I believe that is because we have as a people
been persecuted for so long that our religious teachers kept impressing upon us how precious we were to God in order to lift
up our downtrodden spirits. A people oppressed for close to two thousand years needs to hear that they are important, chosen,
the highest of the high. But theologically it is totally incorrect. We are different than most, yes. But we are not more
important to God than most. God likes us because we are funny. We gave the world more comedians than anyone else.
We are not hated because we claim to be chosen. We are hated because of the venom spread against us by the New Testament
story of the Jews calling for the crucifixion of Jesus, which has been proven again and again as historically and theologically
fictitious, but it is already a poison well-entrenched in every-one influenced by the Church, whether Christian or not, which
is practically the entire world today.
I think another factor of this chosen people problem is not anything we say or said to the world as much as what the world
assumes we say about ourselves or think about ourselves, because the world sees us as uncompromising, tenaciously clinging
to our peculiar and often politically-incorrect ways, even when those ways clash with the rest of the world. We have always
been different, and always refused to conform to the religious and cultural ways of those who have conquered us, whether Babylonian,
Greek, Roman, Christian, etc. which led them to assume that we thought ourselves special. Why don't the Jews give in? They
couldn't understand it. Everyone else who was conquered adopted the conqueror's ways. Everyone but the Jews. Which may naturally
lead people to think that we think we are too special, chosen by God or the gods. Our crime was our stubborn refusal to compromise
our beliefs and our ways, and so we chose death more often than any other conquered people, rather than conform or convert.
Our crime was not our claim to be chosen. Our crime was our claim to the right to believe as we wished.
And for that we have paid dearly.