by Rabbi Dr. Yosef ben Haggai and Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham

While the messianic figure of the Rabbis has covered a plethora of ideals and personas, the two outstanding figures representing messiah are David and Yosef. While there are scholars, who postpone the two concepts until after the Bar Kokhba revolt, the “Gabriel Revelation”39 reveals the truth that the idea predates the first century C.E. by as much as 200 years. As Messiah ben Yosef, Yeshua was to suffer rather than reign, as pictured in the Davidic prototype. However, the Davidic son established the primary prototype for the messianic persona.

1Ki 1:39-40 Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.

1Ki 2:1-4 Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. “And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; “that the LORD may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, `If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, `you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

G-d’s promise to King David is most profound, “If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me (G-d) in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,” He said, “you will not lack a man on the throne of Israel.” The Messiah must be faithful to the Torah, its Chuqot (statutes), mitzvot, (commandments) eduyot (testimonies), mishpatim (judgments) and Derek HaShem (ethics).

All the accounts we have of Yeshua’s life demonstrate him as a man of great piety.

We are so accustomed…to make Jesus the object of religion that we become apt to forget that in our earliest records he is not portrayed as the object of religion, but as a religious man. Thomas Walter Manson, Teachings of Jesus (1935), 10140

As Geza Vermes points out, Yeshua is pictured from the accounts of his life and contents of his “Mesorah” as wrapped within the confines of a pious Pharisaic Jew of the late second Temple period. Judaism of the late second Temple period saw the Torah as the absolute maxim for life. Furthermore, it was the application of Torah and the Oral Torah, which governed the religious life of the pious Jew. Temple worship played a vital part in the role of the general populace of this era. However, it appears not to have been the primary concern for those Jews who lived in the distant locations of Eretz Yisrael. Geza Vermes seems to believe that the mandate found in our present Torah Seder41 was more idealistic than practical.42 Therefore, we would surmise that the Jewish people who actually “appeared before the LORD” three times a year were the more pious Jewish people. The picture portrayed of Yeshua in the Nazarean Codicil matches the image of Yosef. When the Sages of blessed memory, want to portray a man of piety, they use Yosef as their prototype. Consequently, Yeshua the son of Yosef is a fitting messianic title.

While the Biblical prophecies, which tell us that Messiah would intervene in the affairs of humanity, are somewhat cryptic, the Oral Torah contains a plethora of materials, which explain his role in redemption. Rabbi Akiva, with the failure of Bar Kokhba looked to the future for redemption. His parallel taken from the words of Rabbi Tarfon, taught that the first redemption from Egypt would lay the foundation and precedent for the final redemption in the distant future.43 We must assert that the Jewish view of redemption does not match the typical western view of “salvation.” Judaism saw the redemption as the end of exile. The analogy presented above clearly demonstrates that desire for Jewish autonomy. However, redemption is not merely autonomy. The Rabbis looked to the end of the age when the Jewish people would be the kings and priests of the earth. Therefore, the final phase of redemption would include the subjugation of the Gentiles by the Messianic redeemer. The violent abuse of Rome during the first century was intolerable. Hence, the Jewish people of that era longed for the appearing of this messianic figure.


Not only did Pilate refuse to acknowledge Yeshua as the Messiah, his cohort of nearly 600 men incessantly mocked Yeshua by placing a robe of purple and crown made of thorns on him. Then to show their disdain for the Messianic concept they spat and struck him repeatedly with a reed as it is written “6 I gave my back to the smitters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (Isa 50:6)”. As we will see the refusal of Rome to accept and acknowledge Yeshua as the Messiah is not relegated to a few Roman soldiers from Pilate’s militia.



The Tz’dukim of the late second Temple period established the mindset for the coming Roman “priesthood.” The defunct priesthood of the late second Temple period espoused Rome. This defunct priesthood surrendered a Jewish Messiah to the Roman hoard in order to become a new priesthood. The Tz’dukim who disappeared with the destruction of the second Temple reappears as the priesthood of “Christianity.” The “out of work” priests looked for new occupational territory and employment, which they find in Rome. Regardless, we see that the espousal of Rome as inevitable when one abandons true normative Judaism. We must concur with the above cited thesis and further that we see the Tz’dukim’s espousal of the Roman government as an analogy of what was to come. The Roman cohort of Pilate derided Yeshua through vicious behavior and conduct against a pious Jew as if he were a slave or a criminal. This behavior is nothing new for Rome. Nor should we be surprised at their conduct. Historically Rome has been the instigator for many of the atrocities leveled against the Jewish people. However, we must note that Rome’s treatment of Yeshua has yet to change. Consequently, we must restate that Rome has yet to accept Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah. By this statement, we mean that Rome and all of it siblings have NEVER accepted Yeshua as Jewish Messiah, albeit they have deified “Jesus” as their Christ. Accordingly, we have pseudo- priesthood with a pseudo-messiah. Messiah divorced from normative Judaism is not a Jewish Messiah but a Roman Christ.

One of the most heinous crimes perpetrated against Yeshua and the Jewish people is the crime of “replacement theology.” However, we must assert that this idea was not the brainchild of a later Christian strategist. The Tz’dukim and Samaritans developed this notion long before Christianity. Nonetheless, the idea of our present pericope, as found in the Nazarean Codicil is of Roman origin. Herod had the legitimate priests of Levitical lineage assassinated only to “replace” them with a pseudo-priesthood that would follow Roman rules and serve the interests of Roman authorities. Consequently, Judaism’s battle with Rome and replacement theology has existed for millennia. Furthermore, its Roman origins remain intact to this very day.


The world has survived these thousands of years in the midst of a struggle, brother against brother. Ya’aqob and Esau were not the first brothers with these troubles. The very first brothers of Biblical mention demonstrate the difficulties of rivalries between brothers. However, it is Ya’aqob and Esau, which the Sages use to depict the present Diaspora.

Mal 1:2-3 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, `In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the LORD. “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.

Hakham Shaul cites this prophetic passage in his letter to the Roman talmidim of Yeshua.45 The Prophet speaks of the demise of Rome (Edom – Esau – Christianity).46 The “mountain laid waste” can only be understood as an analogy for the “government” of Rome. We will not delve into the imagery except to say that we must expect the Roman system and rule to crumble in the final redemption just as the Egyptian régime toppled under the leadership of Moshe Rabbenu. Our mention of the Roman government must be understood as the system, which has incessantly tried to strip Yeshua of his Jewish persona and Rabbinic profession. Like the Romans of Pilate’s cohort, they dress Yeshua in Roman garb mockingly honoring him as “King of the Jews.” However, before they placed him on the tree they redressed him in his Jewish apparel to show disdain and contempt for a Jewish Rabbi and Messiah. The death of a Jewish Prophet and Rabbi allowed them to resurrect a Roman god in his place. Their mental perspective of Messiah has yet to change. And, they have yet to accept a Jewish Messiah.

We have noted that Hakham Shaul wrote a letter to the community of believers in Rome. In short, Hakham Shaul sums up his requirements in the initial paragraph of his letter.

Rom 1:5 Through him (Yeshua) we have received chesed and a commission to bring into obedience47 among all gentiles, living in faithfulness to the Torah under his authority…48

Please note that the Gentiles are called to obedience and faithfulness to the Torah under the authority and Mesorah of Yeshua the Jewish Messiah. The letter of Hakham Shaul lays down the prototypical acceptance for the Messianic community. Those who follow Yeshua Must observe the Torah!49 I HAVE ACCEPTED YESHUA AS THE MESSIAH

Common nomenclature among Christians, as noted, is the acceptance of Yeshua as Messiah. The difficulty being, Christianity (Rome) has yet to accept a Jewish Messiah! The “Jesus we believed in in our youth was a blond- haired hippie type rebel, who was in rebellion against the “establishment,” which at the time we thought was the Jewish religion. Much to our surprise Yeshua turned out to be a pro – Torah Rabbi of the first century promoting rabbinic halakhah. Only after embracing the Jewish interpretation of Messiah could one say that he accepted Yeshua as the Messiah! There is no such thing as a Gentile Messiah!

Acts 10:1-2 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people (of Yisrael), and prayed to God appropriately.

Act 10:47-48 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be immersed who received the Divine Presence just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be immersed…

Cornelius demonstrates the profile for a genuine Gentile follower of Yeshua. While Cornelius appears here in our initially cited text as a “pious” man (Gentile) who “fears G-d” he converts to Judaism in verse 47. It is a fallacy to believe or purport that Cornelius became a “Christian.” In other words, the true path of Any follower of Yeshua is sooner or later to convert to Judaism. However, we have juxtaposed Cornelius against the Roman cohort of our present pericope to demonstrate the appropriate response to Yeshua by a Gentile. The passage cited above from Hakham Shaul’s letter to the Romans clearly instructs Gentiles to “live in faithfulness to the Torah under his (Messiah’s) authority.”


If the “First Redemption” can be pictured in the initial Pesach and “Yetsi’at Mitzrayim” (Exodus from Egypt) we must realize that there will be another redemption, a final redemption, which overturns all Roman rule in the earth. The demise of the Roman system will find masses themselves embracing a true Jewish Messiah rather than the false Christ they have worshiped for millennia.


Subjugation by Rome not only brought Yisrael to its departure, sending them into Diaspora, it infiltrated and plagiarized its religious aspects instituting a pseudo-Judaism, which mimicked nearly every aspect of this ancient religion. This plagiarism has wearied the soul of the Jewish people. G-d through His agent, Messiah will exact the appropriate vengeance upon Rome, Edom and those who have espoused their doctrines.

Targum Pseudo Yonatan Yesha’yahu 62:1 He is about to bring a stroke upon Edom, a strong avenger upon Bozrah, to take the just retribution of His people, just as He swore to them by His Memra. He said, Behold I am revealed – just as I spoke – in virtue, there is great force before Me to save.

We have cited this passage in the recent past. However, it suffices to cite it again for the present materials.

The prophet prophesies concerning what the Holy One, blessed be He, said that He is destined to wreak vengeance upon Edom, and He, personally, will slay their heavenly prince, like the matter that is said (supra 34:5), “For My sword has become sated in the heaven.” And afterward, (ibid.) “it shall descend upon Edom,” and it is recognizable by the wrath of His face that He has slain [them with] a great massacre, and the prophet is speaking in the expression of the wars of human beings, dressed in clothes, and when they slay a slaying, the blood spatters on their garments, for so is the custom of Scripture; it speaks of the Shekhinah anthropomorphically, to convey to the ear what it can hear. Comp. (Ezek. 43:2) “His voice is like the voice of many waters.” The prophet compares His mighty voice to the voice of many waters to convey to the ear according to what it is possible to hear, for one cannot understand and hearken to the magnitude of the mighty of our God to let us hear it as it is.

“The heavenly prince of Edom is destined to commit two errors. He thinks that Bozrah is identical with Bezer in the desert, which was a refuge city. He will also err insofar as it affords refuge only for inadvertent murder, but he killed Israel intentionally.”50

Rashi’s comments make clear that there will be a war waged against Edom (Rome – Christianity who has failed to embrace Yeshua as a Jewish Messiah). Messiah our Go’el, “Kinsman redeemer” will exact punishment on those who have been involved in intentional crimes against the Jewish people.


Jer 16:19-21 O LORD, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, The Gentiles shall come to You From the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things.” 20 Will a man make gods for himself, Which are not gods? 21 “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might; And they shall know that My name is the LORD.”

Note that the Prophet reiterates the justice, which G-d will pour out on those who refuse to accept the true path to G-d in the words “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might.”

Messiah’s death in the present pericope of Mordechai is not so strange when we stop to count the millions of Jews destroyed by senseless malice and hatred. Why did the Romans crucify Yeshua? Rome crucified a Jewish Rabbi in order to replace him with a gentile god. No self-respecting Jew could accept such a messiah. The demise of a Roman god is at hand. And, the footsteps of a Jewish Messiah are echoing in the near distance.



35 Believing that you are mentally aloof
36 Those who have true humility of the soul
37 Verbal connection to D’barim 17:5
38 Verbal connection to D’barim 17:18
39 BAR 34:05, Sep/Oct 2008 “Messiah the Son of Joseph”

40 Vermes, G. (1993). The Religion of Jesus the Jew. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. p. 184 41 D’barim 16:16
42 Ibid
43 Cf. m. Pesachim 10:6

44 Here I use “Rome” as the people, and the religion developed from Rome. I further the understanding that “Rome” is Edom. It must also be stated that Rome is Catholicism and all of it siblings, i.e. Protestant Christianity, which fails to accept a JEWISH messiah and the Torah, written and Oral.

45 Cf. Rom 9:13
46 For an in-depth presentation of the relationship of Easu with Edom and Rome, see… Harry Sysling, Teḥiyyat ha-metim: the resurrection of the dead in the Palestinian Targums of the Pentateuch and parallel traditions in classical rabbinic literature. Mohr Siebeck, 1996
47 Note: It is G-d’s grace, if I may use the term, to bring Gentiles into faithful obedience of the Torah and Oral Torah through the agent of Yeshua our Messiah.
48 My rendition

49 Mt assertion is that they must accept the Torah Written, Oral along with the Mesorah of Messiah. The Mesorah of Messiah will take us to deeper levels of commitment in some areas which may not be comfortable for some of his followers.



In The School of the Prophets

In The School of the Prophets

Amos 8:4-10 +9:13-15

By: Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai


Our Ashlatamatah for this week covers four Petuchot (Pericopes/Paragraphs): )1Amos ;8:4-8 )2Amos ;8:9-10)3 Amos 8:11 – 9:12(divided into two sections –Amos 8:11-14and ;)9:1-12and )4Amos .9:13-15

Rabbi Dr. S. M. Lehrman,45 divides the contents of these Petuchot (Pericopes/Paragraphs), and to which we have added further subdivisions, as follows:

  •  Amos 8:4-14 –The Fourth Vision: The Coming Judgment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel
    1. (i)  Earthquake –vv. 4-8
    2. (ii)  Eclipse –vv. 9-10
    3. (iii)  Famine –vv. 1-12
    4. (iv)  Drought –vv. 13-14
  •   Amos 9:1-4 –The Fifth Vision: G-d’s Sentence on the Northern Kingdom of Israel
  •   Amos 9:5-6 –The Might of G-d
    1. (i)  Judgment Begins in the Sanctuary
    2. (ii)  There are No Privileges When Righteousness/Generosity and Justice are Abandoned
  •   Amos 9:7-15 –Final Message of Hope

    The Primary Verbal Tally between the Torah Seder and our Ashlamatah is as follows:

    Torah Seder (Deut. 15:7 –:)16:17 Deut. 15:7

    ֶאת-ְלָׁבְבָך, ְתַאֵמץ ָׁלְך–לֹא ֹנֵתן ֱאֹלֶהיָך ֶשר-ְיהָׁוה ֲא,ְשָׁעֶריָך,ְבַאְרְצ ְבַאַחד ַאֶחיָך, ֵמַאַחד ֶאְביֹון ְבָךִּכי-ִּיְהֶיה הֶאְבין. ֵמָׁאִּחיָך, ֶאת-ָׁיְדָך, ִּתְקֹפץְולֹא

    7If there be among you a needy man, one of your brethren, within any of your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, you will not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from brother;

    Amos 8:4

    ָׁאֶרץ. ֲעִּנֵיי-) ְשִּבית,ענוי-( ַל ְו ֶאְביֹון; ֲאִּפים ֹש ַהִּשְמעּו-זֹאת, 4Hear this, O you that would swallow the needy, and destroy the poor of the land,

    TheHebrewword Eb’yón–translatedas“Needy”isalsoequatedinourfirstverseofourAshlamatah–ֶאְביֹון

    (Amos )8:4as: ֵיי ִּנ ֲע –Aniyei –translated as “poor” and from the Hebrew root –עניOní (Strong’s #H6041), and from which the Matsa (unleavened bread) for Pesach (Passover) receives the name of “Lechem Oni –Bread of the Poor.”

    Now the Hebrew word ְביֹון ֶא –Eb’yón (Strong’s #H34) at one time in history also became the name (i.e. Ebionites)46 by which Nazarean Jews were identified –since the word means: destitute, beggar, needy, poor (man). And the reason they were called by this name is because of the strong persecution that Nazarean Jews went first by the hands of the Romans and then even more fierce persecution at the hands of the Christian Church, so that they were left literally “destitute” and needing to “beg” or remain poor and wondering from place to place in order to survive. In the end, between the Christian Church and Islam succeeded, but only for a time, to exterminate this important group of Jewish people. There are some who erroneously claim “that their name suggests that they placed a special value on voluntary poverty.” This is nothing but a cover-up and an obfuscation of the relentless extermination by the Christian Church of the Nazarean Jews.47

  • Wikipedia48 correctly states:

    Since historical records by the Ebionites are scarce, fragmentary and disputed, much of what is known or conjectured about the Ebionites derives from the Church Fathers, who wrote polemics against the Ebionites, whom they deemed heretical Judaizers. Consequently very little about the Ebionite sect or sects is known with certainty, and most, if not all, statements about them are conjectural.

    Many scholars distinguish the Ebionites from other Jewish Nazarean groups, e.g., the Nazarenes., others consider them identical with the Nazarenes.

    Small historical pointers of the extermination of the Nazareans/Ebionites do exist, and one such of them is mentioned in Church History, the so called “Quartodeciman Controversy” between the Roman Bishop Victor and the “so called” Bishops of the East regarding the exact date and whether to celebrate or not the Jewish Passover.49 The reading of this Ashlamatah (Lesson from the Prophets) when viewed in connection with the history and mass extermination of the Nazarean/Ebionite Jews in the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine as head of the Christian Church is most apt for this season as we are preparing in this coming week to celebrate Chanukah whereby the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes profaned the Temple by sacrificing a pig in the Holy Altar, enacted laws to forbid circumcision and the study of Torah, etc. and how the Maccabees in a long revolt regained and cleansed the Temple precincts.

    The festival of Chanukah for us, has a very special meaning, since in our generation we are seeing a small but miraculous revival of the Jewish Nazarean movement albeit with many other sects around it trying to asphyxiate it and prevent it from attaining its goals, but G-d, most blessed be He, is the owner of this work, and He will see to it that it prospers, and becomes a trustworthy instrument in His hands to achieve the final redemption, amen ve amen! We cry from the bottom of our heart together with the Psalmist: “We are small and despised; We have not forgotten Your commandments.” (Psalm 119:141).

    In suma, the pericope of Hakham Tsefet (Peter) by the hand of his scribe Mordechai (Mark) shows that what happened to the Master also happened to his “real” Jewish disciples in the first four centuries of the common era, and to the Jewish people in general as his body even to this very day. But the time is near whereby these crimes will be punished most severely by G-d as He did to the unfaithful Northern Israelite Kingdom, as it is said:

    Amos 8:7 The LORD who gave greatness to Jacob swears; “None of their deeds will ever be forgotten.” Amos 8:8. Will not the land be laid waste for this, and all that dwell in it be desolated? A king will come up against it with his army which is great like the waters of a river, and he will cover it all and drive out its inhabitants and it will sink like the river of Egypt.{P}

    People can hide behind their theologies, vain imaginations, and as Hakham Shaul puts it: “strong delusion,”50 but our G-d, most blessed be He, can’t be fooled or permit righteousness/generosity and justice to be abandoned. We know that in many instances human history has been doctored in what is called “revisionism” to favour the guilty and dress them as righteous. But the prophecy in our Ashlamatah (Lesson from the Prophets) and the coming festival of Chanukah testify that true and genuine history is but His (i.e. G-d’s) Story in His dealings with the universe, mankind, and His chosen people, and in His Story the Psalmist sates: “There is great peace for those who love Your Torah in this age, and they have no stumbling-block in the age to come”” (Targum Pslam 119:165).

    Another question that rises from this Ashlamatah is: Why are there poor and needy amongst G-d’s people? This very poignant question should give us much to think about. The best answer to this most profound and soul searching question, and which amongst us perfectly judges in G-d’s eyes those who are “genuine” and those who are “fake” is found in last week’s Torah Seder in Debarim (Deut.) 15:4 and in the first verses of our Torah Seder for this week (Deut: 15:7,11), according to the translation of Targum Pseudo Jonathan:

    15:4 “If you will only be diligent in the precepts of the Law, there will be no poor among you;” 15:7 “But if you be not diligent in the precepts of the Law, and there be among you a poor man”

    15:11 “But forasmuch as the house of Israel will not rest in the commandments of the Law, the poor will not cease …”

    I remarked in my last Sunday Table-Talk on the Torah Seder and allied readings, that “being diligent in the precepts of the Law” amounts to having a heart full and overflowing with Chessed – (Heb. for: “loving-kindness”). I further remarked that in Acts 4:34-35 we read:

    Acts 4:34 For there was not even anyone needy among them, because all those who were owners of [surplus] plots of land or houses were selling them and bringing the proceeds of the things that were sold Acts 4:35 and placing them at the feet of the apostles (Nazarean Hakhamim/Rabbis). And it was being distributed to each as anyone had need.

    This was neither communism nor the abolishment of private property amongst Nazarean Jews of that time, as some so called Scholars want us to believe. No! Never in a million years! G-d forbid! What we are seeing here is that as the Jewish people were being filled with the Ruach Ha Qodesh (Heb. for: “Spirit of Holiness”) the Nazarean Jews developed a keen awareness of the needs of the community and were selling any surplus possessions and “placing them at the feet of the Nazarean Hakhamim/Rabbis” so that the command of Deut. 15:4 “If you will only be diligent in the precepts of the Law, there will be no poor among you;” be fulfilled among them – such was their love and zeal for G-d’s Torah/Law!

    Hakham Yochanan (John) in a passage that we will read for Chanukah elucidates this further when he writes:

    “But whoever has the world’s material possessions and observes his brother [in need] and shuts his heart [overflowing with Chessed – loving-kindness] against him, how does the love of God reside in him?”

    Therefore, from a Jewish perspective, whether Nazarean or non-Nazarean, “Shomer Mitzvoth” (Heb. for “keeping/ guarding the commandments”) without Ahavah Yisrael (Heb. for “love of the Jewish brothers”) that is a heart overflowing with Chessed (Heb. for “loving-kindness”) cannot be considered a proper “Shomer Mitzvoth” (Heb. for keeping/guarding of the commandments). The sure sign that a person is a Nazarean Jew, above everything else is aptly described by Hakham Shaul as:

    2Cor 9:7 Each one [should give] as he has decided in his heart, not [reluctantly] or from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful (hilarious) giver.
    2Cor 9:8 And God is able to cause all grace to abound to you, so that in everything at all times, [because you] have enough of everything, you may overflow in every good work (Heb. “G’milut Chasadim” – “Deeds of Loving-Kindness”)51. .

    And as the Nazarean Talmud for this week reads:

    Rom 12:9-21Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; be attached to what is good, 10being devoted to one another in brotherly love, esteeming one another more highly in honor, 11not lagging in diligence, being enthusiastic in spirit, serving the LORD [G-d], 12rejoicing in hope, enduring in affliction, being devoted to prayer, 13contributing to the needs of the saints (Heb. “Tsadiqim”), pursuing hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute, bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16Think the same thing toward one another; [do not think arrogantly], but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise [in your own sight]. 17Pay back no one evil for evil. Take thought for (be considerate in) what is good in the sight of all people. 18If it is possible on your part, be at peace with all people. 19Do not take revenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the LORD (Deut. .)32:3520But “If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs ,25:21 .)2221Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    May all the needs of this ministry be speedily fulfilled, and may there never be any needy among us, and among all of our most noble and beloved Jewish brothers and sisters and Torah Scholars, amen ve amen!


    45Lehrman, S. M. ,)1961(in Rev. Dr. A Cohen (Ed.), Soncino Books of the Bible: The Twelve Prophets, London: The Soncino Press, pp. .116-124

    1. 46Cf. Wikipedia –“Ebionites, or Ebionaioi, (Greek: Ἐβιωναῖοι) (derived from Hebrew ,ebyonimאביוניםebionim, meaning “the poor” or “poor ones”), is a Christian patristic term referring to a Jewish Nazarean sect or sects that existed during the first centuries of the Christian Era. They regarded Yeshua as the Messiah and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish religious Law and rites.” – http://en.wikiped ionites

      47This horrendous mass murder of Nazarean Jews (men, women and children) is little spoken of by historians, but in my humble opinion it is one of the many crimes against the Jewish people perpetrated by Christianity together with inquisitions, progroms, the holocaust, etc. etc. No, historian, to date, has dealt yet comprehensively with this dark episode.

    48 Ibid.
    49 Schaff, P. & Wace, H. (1982), Nicene And Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series: Eusebius’ Church History, Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., pp.242-244. See also Wikipedia: (but careful, this last citation contains some errors as for example that the Bishop of Rome Victor did not excommunicate those that celebrated Pesach, and that the Council of Nicea did not deal finally with this so called heresy, and whereby by edict of Constantine those Nazareans/Ebionites that observed Pesach were to be put to death – the meaning of excommunication in those days).
    50 Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

    51 The Mishnah also describes G’milut Chasadim as one of the few mitzvoth (commandments) for which there is no minimum amount sufficient to satisfy your obligation. (Pe’ah 1:1; reiterated in Talmud Chagigah 7a). That verse also describes G’milut Chasadim as one of the few things that one derives benefit from in this world and yet still be rewarded for in the world to come. The Talmud says that G’milut Chasadim is greater than Tzedakah (charity), because unlike Tzedakah, G’milut Chasadim can be done for both poor and rich, both the living and the dead, and can be done with money or with acts. (Talmud Sukkah 49b).

In The School of the Prophets

In The School of the Prophets

Isaiah 63:8-16 + 65:9        By: Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

As usual, our Prophetic Lesson for this Sabbath in the Hebrew text extends along two Petuchot (Closed Paragraphs) –the first starting in Isaiah 61:10 and concluding at Isaiah 64:11(with section breaks at 62:9 and ;12 ;63:6 and ,)64:2 and the next Petucha (Closed Paragraph) starts in Isaiah 65:1 until verse 12(with a section brake at .)65:7 However, our Sages full of compassion for the congregation stipulated that for public reading from the Teba (pulpit) we only read from the Prophets ten verses (Isaiah 63:8-16 + .)65:12 This of course, does not limit the preacher to refer or use in the course of his homily (sermon) from Isaiah 61:10 through to .65:12

This also brings the point that Archbishop Stephen Langton and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro developed different schemas for the systematic division of the Bible into chapters and verses in the early 13th century (for the so called Old Testament) and Robert Estienne in 16th century (for the so called New Testament). Both the Hebrew Scriptures and the earliest manuscripts of the Nazarean Codicil did not have verse divisions, and the only divisions they have is that of Closed Paragraphs (Heb. Petuchot) and Sections (Heb. Setumot) within those paragraphs. 17

Again, since the first Petucha (Paragraph) is rather long we have limited ourselves only to comment from Isaiah -63:1 ,65:12otherwise this commentary would be too long and tiresome. I think that in this respect I learned from my mentors well.

The verbal tally between our Torah Seder and Ashlamatah (Prophetic Lesson) is as follows:

Debarim (Deuteronomy) 14:1 ָּבִניםַאֶּתם,ַליהָּוהֱאֹלֵהיֶּכם:לֹאִתְתֹגְדדּו,ְולֹא-ָּתִשימּוָּקְרָּחהֵביןֵעיֵניֶּכם–ָּלֵמת.

You are children of the LORD your God: you will not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

Isaiah 63:8

ְלמֹוִשיַע ָּלֶּהם, ָּבִניםלֹאְיַשֵקרּו;ַוְיִהי ֵהָּמה, ַאְך-ַעִמיַויֹאֶּמר “For He said: ‘Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely’; so He was their Savior.”

The term “children” (Heb. Banim), does not only refer to young human beings but also it refers to “progeny” irrespective of age, as in this instance. Ha-Shem speaks to the Jewish people and their proselytes and says –“You are My progeny.” This raises a very important question: Are not all human beings “progeny” of the LORD our God? To answer this question, we need to realize that the above texts were written in Biblical Hebrew, and as such, when translated to English they loose much of their original meaning.

We can with some difficulty still see the shadow of the meaning of these verses in Hebrew. Notice that the first clauses in both verses are in the present continuous tense –an eternal present. Since G-d is Eternal then his progeny will enjoy eternal life. However if his progeny rebels and/or apostatize then that progeny is only temporal. Accordingly Isaiah 63:8 says

Note that our verbal tally equates “the children of the Eternal One” with “My People (Israel)”; and with “children who will not deal falsely”; and with “God is their Savior.” That is, those who do not know G-d –i.e. those who do not have a permanent and regular connection to/with Him, and those who are not part of the Jewish people observing and guarding His commandments, whether by birth or adoption cannot have G-d, most blessed be He, as their Savior.

And since “G-d is their Savior,” it follows that they are continuously released from “the law of sin and death”


footnote: 17Cf.

(propensity to habitually commit sin which leads to spiritual death).18 And as it is written in Debarim (Deuteronomy) 15:1 – “At the end of seven years you will make a release”; and as Hakham Shaul states (in Romans 8:35-39):

“35Who will separate us from the love of G-d in Messiah King Yeshua [and in God’s Torah/Law]? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword do it? 36As it is written (Psalm 44:23): ‘No, but for Your sake are we killed all the day; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him (i.e. G-d) that loves us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah King Yeshua our Master [and in G-d’s Torah/Law].”

And as the Psalmist, Messiah King David most elegantly puts it this week:

Psalm 119:113. I hate those who think vain thoughts, but I have loved [or, I continuously love] Your Torah/Law.
Psalm 119:114. You are my hiding place and my shield; I have waited long for Your Word.
Psalm 119:115. Turn from me, evildoers; and I will keep the commandments of my God.

And this is the remarkable noted difference between those that genuinely love G-d, His Law, and their fellow Jewish people versus those that despise G-d, His Law, and His people the Jews, Whilst the former do whatever possible to release their fellowmen from bondage (slavery) to sin and death, negativity, vain thoughts, mediocrity, rudeness, stinginess, dealing falsely, and injustice; the later bind (enslave) their fellowmen to all of these evils. Consequently, despite our many faults, how pleasant, how beautiful, invigorating and refreshing it is to dwell with the brethren – “for there (i.e. where the brethren dwell together and in unity) the LORD commands the blessing, even eternal life!”19

Now, Isaiah 63:8 is not a verse that stands alone, but its contents continue in the next verse, so that we read:



8. And He said, “They are but My people, children who will not deal falsely.” And He became their Savior.

8. For he said, Surely they are My people, sons who will not deal falsely; and His Memra became their Savior.

9. In all their trouble, He did not trouble [them], and the angel of His presence saved them; with His love and with His pity He redeemed them, and He bore them, and He carried them all the days of old.

9. In every time that they sinned before Him so as to bring affliction upon themselves, He did not afflict them, an angel sent from Him saved them; in His love and in His pity upon them He delivered them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Note that in verse 8, “G-d becomes our Saviour,” and then in v.9 it is stated that “the angel of His presence saves us.” How can this be reconciled? Rashi, therefore comments on v.9 –

“He did not trouble [them] He did not trouble them according to their deeds, that they deserved to suffer, for the angel of His presence i.e., Michael the prince of the Presence, of those who minister before Him saved them always as an agent of the Omnipresent.”

From this, we learn the principle of agency – i.e. that the agent is as the one who sent him. If for example, you do something good to anyone or to the world at large as an agent of G-d, most blessed be He, it is accounted as G-d doing it, and not you. Thus, most certainly Messiah King Yeshua does bring salvation and release, but he is only a faithful agent of G-d, therefore we like David profess: “G-d has become our Saviour!” This, in no way means that Messiah King Yeshua is a god, no! G-d forbid! He is simply an agent of G-d like all of our Sages and heavenly ministers.

This, again we find in our Pericope of Mark for this week, where we find Pilate as an agent of Rome releasing a murderer and condemning to death a Tsadiq (righteous/generous man) and the King of Israel. This is Gentile Justice, and therefore the command that we do not recourse among the brethren to Gentile courts of justice in order to solve legal problems amongst us. And so Hakham Shaul teaches:

1Co 6:5I say this to your shame. So is there not any wise man (Hebrew: Hakham/Rabbi) among you who is able to render a judgment between his brothers?
1Co 6:6But brother goes to court with brother, and this before unbelievers [unfaithful men to the Torah]!

And this is in accordance with Rashi’s commentary on Exodus 21:1where he states:

before them But not before gentiles. Even if you know that they [gentiles] judge a certain law similarly to the laws of Israel, do not bring it to their courts,

as it is said: “For not like our Rock [God] is their rock, but [yet] our enemies judge [us]” (Deut. .)32:31When [we let] our enemies judge [us], this is testimony to [our] esteem of their deity.- [From Tanchuma ]3

Thus, the Hakham/Rabbi that renders judgments based on the Commandments of G-d, among the congregation of the people of G-d act as “saviours”20 since they render this service on behalf of G-d as agents of G-d, most blessed be He, to the end that “G-d becomes our Saviour!”

18 Cf Romans 8:2 – “For the law of the Spirit of life (i.e. the Jewish Oral Torah) in Yeshua King Messiah has made me free from the law of sin and death (i.e. propensity to habitually commit sin which leads to spiritual death).”

19 Cf. Psalm 133:1ff.

“Sola Scriptura”

 By: Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai


Our Ashalamatah for this Sabbath falls into a Petuchah (Pericope) that includes two chapters of Isaiah (i.e. Isaiah 54:1-17 and 55:1-13. However as we have said, whilst for public reading purposes we only read from 54:2-9, 17, yet for homiletic and didactic purposes all verses in the two chapters of Isaiah are open to us. The verbal tally between the Torah Seder for this Shabbat and our present Ashlamatah is as follows: Torah:

Deut. 12:20 – ִּכי- ַיְר ִּחיב ְיה ָוה ֱאֹל ֶהיָך ֶאת- ְג ֻב ְלָך, ַכ ֲא ֶשר ִּד ֶבר- ָלְך When will enlarge (Heb.: Ki-Yar’chiv) Ha-Shem, your G-d, your border as He has promised you …  Isaiah 54:2 – Make larger (Heb.: HaR’chivi) the place of your tent … ַהְר ִּחי ִּבי ְמקֹום ָא ֳה ֵלְך Taken at face value, the text of Isaiah 54:2 commands the Jewish people to prepare themselves to render hospitality and accommodate large numbers of peoples who are desiring to accept the G-d of Israel, His Commandments and His people as their own..

Thus, in Isaiah 54:3-5 we read: “3For you will spread abroad on the right hand and on the left; and your seed will possess the Gentiles, and [they] will make [your] desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 Fear not, for you will not be ashamed. Neither be  you confounded, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood will you remember no more. 5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth will He be called.”

Again, at face value, the text is implying that the Jewish people at some point in their history will come to the understanding that G-d has prepared a great number of Gentiles to join with the Jewish people in the land of Israel to “repopulate” all the land of what the Scriptures call the promised Land (also known by some as the land of “Greater Israel”). Some, like Yair Davidiy29 propose that these Gentiles are none other than the Exiled Israelite Tribes who commixed with the Gentiles and became like the Gentiles. Some, have also found that the Nazarean Codicil supports this argument and cite James 1:1 and possibly I Peter 1:1 as support. Personally, I find the proofs adduced by His Excellency Yair Davidiy to be truthful and most accurate (in contradistinction with the dogmas of British Israel and Messianic Ephraemites).

The distinction here is that Yair Davidiy like the Nazarean Codicil and us make the Torah as taught by our Sages and the acceptance of our Sages teachings and authority to be in the end the litmus test of who will be “in” and who will be “out.” The Psalms this week have also this to say who believe that they may have Jewish blood in them or that they descend from the ancient Israelites: Psalm 119:74 “Those who fear You will see me [as the Messiah] and rejoice for I hoped for Your word. Psalm 119:79 “May those who fear You and those who know Your testimonies return to me [and recognize me as their King Messiah].”

Those who are returning, be they descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, or descendants of the Jewish people, need to understand that there is only one door available to all who want to return to the covenant. This door consists as our Sages have taught the binding one-self to the yoke of the Kingdom of G-d (i.e. the yoke of King Messiah) and the binding oneself thoroughly to the yoke of the commandments as taught by the Jewish Sages. Without this resolute double binding no one has any authority whatsoever to claim to be a follower or a disciple of the Messiah.

Any other ways are defective, and promote nothing more than anarchy and anti-Semitism cloaked in a veneer of pseudo-holiness. Clorfene and Rogalsky30 in their seminal work on the Seven Laws of Noah make this point perfectly clear, that even to claim one is a “righteous Gentile” or “G-d fearer” one must of necessity accept Rabbinic authority. And if this is so concerning the “Righteous Gentile” how much the more those who claim to be descendants of ancient Israel, or of the Jewish people.

The Torah Seder for this week makes this point also clear when it says:

Deut. 13:5 “After the LORD your God will you walk, and Him will you fear, and His commandments will you keep, and unto His voice will you hearken, and Him will you serve, and unto Him will you cleave.”

Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel31 notes regarding positive Commandment # 6 – Cleaving to G-d, according to the order of Maimonides;

By this injunction we are commanded to mix and associate with wise men (Hakhamim), to be always in their company, and to join with them in every possible manner of fellowship: in eating, drinking, and

29 Cf. 30 Clorfene, C. & Rogalsky, Y. (1987), The Path of the Righteous Gentile: An Introduction to the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah, Feldheim Publishers 31 Maimonides (1967), Translated by R. Dr. Charles B. Chavel, The Commandments: Sefer Ha-Mitzvoth in 2 Vols, London: Soncino Press, Vol I, p. 9. 

business affairs, to the end that we may succeed in becoming like them in respect of their actions and in acquiring true opinions from their words. This injunction is contained in His words (exalted be He), And to Him will you cleave,32 which are repeated in the verse And to cleave to Him.33 The Sifre says: ‘And to cleave unto Him means that we should cleave to wise men (Hakhamim) and to their disciples.’34 The Sages also use the words to Him will you cleave as proof that it is one’s duty to marry a wise man’s (Hakham’s) daughter, to give one’s own daughter in marriage to a wise man (Hakham) to confer benefits on wise men (Hakhamim) and to have business relations with them. ‘Is it possible,’ they say, ‘for a man to cleave to the Divine Presence, seeing that it is written, For the LORD your God is a devouring fire?’35

Hence we must conclude that whoever marries a wise man’s (Hakham’s) daughter [or gives his daughter in marriage to a wise man (Hakham), or confers benefit on a wise man (Hakham) out of his possessions, is to be regarded in the light of this verse as cleaving to the Divine Presence].’36 Two important further notes should be mentioned here for the sake of clarity. First, all returnees whether of Jewish ancestry or ancient Israelite ancestry must clearly note that all present translations of the so called New Testament whether they be from the Greek or the Aramaic Peshitta are all full of errors, because those who made those translations carry in their minds a Christian baggage that will not allow them to objectively see and understand truth in Hebraic terms.

For, we must realize as Wittgenstein so aptly stated: “A whole mythology is deposited in the language of the writer.”37 And thus, a translation of the Nazarean Codicil (so called New Testament) which teachings are not consistent with the 613 commandments of the Torah as taught by our Sages is to be deemed a work of idolatry and a mistranslation of the original intentions of its writers. To our knowledge there is no such translation of the Nazarean Codicil in the market. Their Honours Rosh Paqid Adon Hillel ben David, and Paqid Dr. Adon Eliyahu ben Abraham and myself are the only ones who are endeavouring to the best of our abilities to bring such work to light despite the many difficulties and lack of resources, great obstacles which with the generosity of some most wonderful souls and the work of the Ruach HaQodesh are totally surmountable.

It is therefore my recommendation to all returnees that they beware of what they are reading or being taught about the Messiah or his Messengers – all must agree with the 613 Commandments of the Torah as taught by our Jewish Sages to be true and acceptable! This is what Messiah King David and his descendant Messiah King Yeshua latter affirms, when he penned the following injunction: Psalm 119:79 “May those who fear You and those who know Your testimonies (Heb.: ֵע ֹד ֶתיָך – Edotekha) return to me [and recognize me as their King Messiah].”

The Hebrew term used here, i.e. Edoth – are according to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch38 “the symbolic observances representing truths which form the basis of Israel’s life” such as the prohibition of work on Shabbat (Sabbath), Pesach (Passover), Shavuoth (Pentecost), Sukkoth (Tabernacles), and Shemini Atzereth (Feast of the 8th Day); the prohibition against the enjoyment, use and possession of Chamets (leavened substances) and the commandment to remove Chametz (leavened substances) for the whole week of Unleavened Bread; the commandments to erect and dwell in the sukkah for seven days during the Festival of Tabernacles, as well as purchasing a Lulav for the Festival of Tabernacles; observance of the Fast Days, Purim and Chanukah, and all of the Rosh Chodashim (New Moons); the commandments concerning the Tsitzith, and Mezuzah, etc., etc. If the

32 Deut. 10:20. 33 Deut. 11:22 & 13:5. 34 Ibid. Sifre. 35 Deut. 4:24. 36 Ibid., Sifre. 37 Wittgenstein, L. (1979), Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough, ed. Rush Rhees, trans. A. C. Miles, rev. by Rush Rhees, Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, p.10e. 38 Hirsch, S. R. (1962), Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances, translated to English from the German edition by Dayan Dr. I. Grunfeld, London: The Soncino Press, p. II, 184. 
Messiah or any of his teachers or followers are not proclaiming these EDOTH as commandments of the Messiah, then what we have is either a false or defective Messiah or teachers who have totally misinterpreted the commandments of the Messiah and of his disciples. All of this, of course brings us to what Professor Hanson39 most eloquently and truthfully has enunciated: “Scripture without an interpretative tradition is dumb and useless. This does not mean that any tradition will do, but that it is a delusion to imagine (as apparently the Reformers did) that Scripture is self- interpreting.

Some element of tradition, some theological presuppositions are essential if we are to succeed in interpreting Scripture at all.” The concept of “Sola Scriptura” invented by the Reformers and the inheritance of all Protestants and Messianics of whatever stripe and colour is a fairy tale, a fable and figment of their imagination that miserably distorts reality. In fact, what the Reformers did was to inject Catholic and Anglo-Germanic values and traditions into their own interpretations of the Scriptures, and pass it on as the true meaning of what the Scriptures literally mean.

Unless a returnee whether he/she be a descendant of the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, or a descendant of the Jews, catapults this notion of “Sola Scriptura” to where it belongs, i.e., to the dustbin of pagan fables, and accepts fully and totally the traditions of our Sages and as taught by the Master His Majesty King Yeshua the Messiah, when his words and those of his disciples are translated correctly and in the light of the Torah!

Second, the Torah and the Nazarean Codicil (so called New Testament) can’t cope with the illegitimate Greco- Roman/Christian concept of “personal salvation,” for, in truth, in reality such animal does not exist but again is a figment of Greco-Roman culture and values. “Salvation” in its true meaning must be communal in nature.40 This sacrosanct concept is embodied in the words that an angel of Ha-Shem spoke to a Righteous Gentile, one of Hakham Tsefet’s first converts to Judaism – “Who will tell you words (or, “commandments”), whereby you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). Similarly, the Master himself in his abbreviation of the Amiddah commands to pray “Our Father” and not “My Father.”

All returnees will do so in community. Therefore, it behoves all those of Israelite or Jewish ancestry to make that return with their family, as well as with others of like-minded persuasion. To this end, therefore returnees should seek to actively participate in a close knit community of like minded persons, dedicated to the observance of the commandments as the Sages have taught, to the adherence and faithfulness of His Majesty King Yeshua the Messiah, and to support fellow Jews in need. Help is available to all those who like our father in the faith, Abraham did and “called upon the name of Ha-Shem” – i.e. had a prayer service and taught the Torah together with his family and together with “the souls that they (Abraham and Sarah) had gotten (i.e. converted) in Haran.”.

Unless returnees start creating Torah Observant communities then their faith and observance does not avail much. This is what the Prophet speaks to all returnees throughout all Diaspora today irrespective of the context of the original words: Isaiah 54:2 “Widen the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations, do not spare; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” That is, start opening your house or some other place to hold prayer or Torah/sharing services/meetings, or join with another group of like minded people in your area to do so. But these prayer services and Torah teachings must be done in accordance with the commandments of the Torah as taught by our Sages and the faithfulness of His Majesty King Yeshua the Messiah.

In doing so the prophecy utter by King David the Messiah will surely come to pass: Psalm 119:79 “May those who fear You and those who know Your testimonies (Heb.: ֵע ֹד ֶתיָך – 39

Hanson, A. T. (1980), The New Testament Interpretation of Scripture, London: SPCK, pp.18ff. 40 Cf. 
Edotekha) return to me [and recognize me as their King Messiah].” And above all, do not be neglectful of the injunction in our Torah Seder for this week: Deut. 13:5 “After the LORD your God will you walk, and Him will you fear, and His commandments will you keep, and unto His voice will you hearken, and Him will you serve, and unto Him will you cleave.” May we all of the House of Israel and of the House of Judah be found doing so with alacrity and style, amen ve amen!