Why Rambam Rarely Mentions Customs

The Rambam was looking forward to the future when we would no longer be in exile and living in Eretz Israel, (may it be soon and in our day) and we would no longer need the local minhagim of our Hakhamim and bet din to keep us unified in the exile as a family unit (Klal Israel), but as a nation gathered together, with Shoftim as in the days of old. Bound by the minhagim of Eretz Israel and the great Sanhedrin.

This is the reason the Rambam did not focus on customs in his approach to his Halachah and writings.   The Rambam was both living in the future and anticipating our Kibbutz Galiot.

To Strengthen Judah. 2 Chronicles 11:17

I would like to submit this letter as a written record of my testimony concerning my return to Judaism. In 2001 September 11, 2001, I Gavriel ben David had a bat kol that instructed me to live as a Jew.

My ardent background consisted of first being raised in a Baptist church by my great-grandmother on my father’s side by Pennsylvania Upchurch and I later became an Altar Boy at the age of seven years of age at St. Martin’s Catholic Church where I served as an altar boy for 11 years. While in the military I had changed my faith to non-denominational and contemplated myself no longer a Catholic. In 1988 I was baptized at Buchanan Baptist Church and attended there for several months. Because of a doctrinal discrepancy, I immediately left and started going to a non-denominational church from 1988 to 2001, Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo Texas.

On September 11, 2001, an incredible change happened in my life, I was called to live as a Jew. I knew nothing of Judaism or what it meant to be Jewish, but I begin my pursuit to as- certain what it meant to be Jewish. One of the things I knew was Jews did not eat pork, and so, I immediately stopped eating and removed all foods from my diet that was declared unclean and was prohibited by the Bible. I also knew that Jews did not celebrate Christmas and in 2001, I stop celebrating Christmas.At that time in my life, things were very difficult within my family because of my wife, Christian herself, did not agree with my termination of Christmas.

This was a very difficult time for me in my life when I felt very alone and alienated from the world. In my prayers, I asked God, if I were crazy and was I doing what he wanted me to do. The very first Shabbat I celebrated was Parsha Miektz. The story of Joseph recognizing his brothers overwhelmed my heart, and I could not consummate reading the story because of the tears that flowed from eyes. I asked my wife to keep Shabbat with me that day, and it was then that my wife’s heart was touched and she began to see that I was very sincere and determined to do what God had asked me to do.

It was not long after this that while my daughter was in the hospital and the question still on my mind about me imagining all these things happening in my life and questioning my own sanity that I discovered a book while out getting a gift for my daughter. Mixed among books on music again God spoke to me and there was a book called my Journey to Jewish Orthodoxy by David Klinghoffer “The Lord Will Gather Me In” as I began to read the book my heart was touched and I had received my answer; I was doing what God wanted me to do.

It was in March of 2002 that I began preparing for Passover when my mother asked me about what I was doing. I informed her that I was preparing for Passover, and this was how Jews prepared by cleaning all the drawers in the kitchen and behind the furniture and re- moving the leaven from the house. My mother, with a strange look on her face, told me that every year about this time her mother had all the children remove everything out of the house and clean it. She said jokingly, “I thought she was punishing us.” I pondered what my mother had said about my grandmother and her doing the same thing that I was now doing.

Several weeks had passed since that incident with my mother, and we invited her to celebrate Shabbat with us. My mother joined us for Shabbat and my wife prepared herself to light the candles by covering her head with a scarf and began to light the candles. Lisa and I then called our three children to kneel before us so that we could bless them as we welcomed the Shabbat, and it was then that my mother began to cry. Lisa and I were confused and did not know why my mother was crying. I asked my mother, “What is wrong”? And her words change my life forever. My mother said to me,“Thank you, Junior, and I asked her,“thank me for what”? And my mother answered, “for letting me know whom I am” she said,“ I knew we weren’t Catholic, we did not do Catholic things.” My mother told me that every Friday night her mother would close the curtains and light candles and bless the kids, and she never knew why her mother did those things.

Since September 11, 2001, I have been trying to find proof of my Jewishness and at this time I have no legitimate proof outside my DNA and the testimony of my uncle’s and aunt and my mother Lorina Diaz concerning these traditions of lighting candles on Friday night and, also, the lighting of the Hanukkah candles. I do have relatives that have said we are Jewish through oral tradition. Also, I have a fourth cousin that is a Cohen with a family genealogy and history. I am writing this letter as a record of the Jewish people and to my own family of the journey that I have been on for these 15 years of my life. On January 12, 2017, I received the results of my uncle Yosef Diaz’s DNA test and I discovered that he was a Cohen match by the Jewish DNA group FamilyTree.com. This would make my grandfather Luz Diaz a Cohen and confirm the oral tradition of my family and our history.

I am convinced in my heart and my soul bears witness that I am connected to a land called Israel and to the Jewish people.  My grandfather was Luz Ramirez Diaz and this is my uncle’s DNA.

Sincerely yours,
Gavriel Ben David.

Israel and Edom

Israel and Edom vs. Ishmael

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

In the beginning, the Satan came to incite man to rebellion against G-d.[1] He was Adam’s test. Adam’s only task was to ignore him, but by listening to him, Adam, so-to-speak, gave him existence. Now the task is changed. Midda-keneged-midda, Adam must destroy the Satan. So what did he do? Adam cut the Satan’s cable, so-to-speak, cutting him off from the flow of kedusha. But the Satan was smart, he quickly spliced his cut cable into Adam’s (the yetzer hara was formerly outside of man, but now it resides within us). So now, the kedusha that we receive from the sefirot can be siphoned off by the Satan.


Adam’s task was passed on to us. Our relationship to the Satan is one of combat. We have to grab all the kedusha and keep him from getting it. Hashem however, put conditions on it. If a Jew does a mitzvah, the kedusha goes to him, but if a Jew does an aveirah (a sin), it goes to the other side, to the Satan. And he turns around and gives it to the goyim so that they can destroy us with it.


HaShem gave the Jews gifts and we, through the loss of the kedusha to the other side, gave it away to the goyim, deepening the exile.


Mitzvot allow us to testify that the will of HaShem is supreme because there is a natural tendency for us to be in-charge. We do not readily allow others to dictate our actions. Because of this tendency we are prone to stray from His word and to serve our own pleasure. When we sin, HaShem has some tools to bring us back to Him and at the same time create a tikkun, a correction that will fix us up and fix up the world in order that we should bring the Geula, the redemption and Mashiach.


The primary tools that HaShem has to restore us and to effect a tikkun for the damage we have brought are: Teshuva, mitzvot, suffering, and the destruction of His House whereby we are sent like a child out of his father’s house to fend for ourselves until we come to our senses. When HaShem sent us out of His House, this earth shattering change caused us to focus on what we had when we were in His House.
We no longer had the nearness to HaShem that we felt when we witnessed His ten constant miracles and mitzvot of the offerings which provided a near constant reminder of who we are and our place in the world.

Because man strives to replace HaShem and to put himself in that position of being in-charge, HaShem begins the corrective process by bringing pain and suffering into our lives. Suffering diminishes man’s ego to zero and brings him to understand that he is not HaShem. If we are helpless in the hospital with an illness, then our ego finds very little cause to believe that we are controlling our own destiny. The pleasures of our sins are soon forgotten in our desperation to be restored in body (and soul to our Creator, if we are very fortunate). Likewise, midda-kneged-midda, measure for measure, the suffering brought by HaShem removes the pleasure that our sin had acquired.

Tisha B’Ab, when the Temple was destroyed and we were evicted, will bring the Geula because we feel the lack when we are kicked out of the house and no longer have the support of our Father. The churban, the destruction of the Temple will bring Mashiach because of the ensuing exile and suffering. This is the tikkun. The end of days will inevitably bring the Geula, redemption, but we have a choice: We can do it the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. So far we have always chosen the hard way, hence this long and bitter exile.

Avraham’s life shows that his descendants will have many ups and downs that will be unbelievable. Consider that HaShem told him to get up and go away from his home, his family, his friends, and all that was familiar to him. When he arrives in the ‘promised land’ the first thing to happen is a terrible famine where he is forced to descend to Egypt. When he gets to Egypt the head honcho, Paro, steals his wife, and once gone she can never be restored because Paro can’t be insulted by having his cast-off wives becoming the wife of another man. So Avraham is really struggling with these awful events that all started when he obeyed HaShem. Then just when things could not possibly get any worse, suddenly his wife is returned to him along with copious quantities of wealth. His was truly a life of ups and downs! However, in HaShem’s plan, both the ups and the downs will bring the Geula. The very suffering we despised becomes the catalyst for a new beginning. However, suffering is not the only tool that HaShem uses to bring about the Geula.

As Avraham had to leave his father’s house, so also did Tisha B’Ab and the churban forced us to leave our Father’s house. Yet this churban, as we have already mentioned, is yet another way to bring the Geula.

We need to be like Avraham. We need to be obedient and at the same time try to understand the ups and downs that HaShem brings into our lives. We need to figure out what HaShem is doing because it is a catalyst for building emunah, faithful obedience, which leads us to put HaShem in-charge rather than ourselves. Part of the focus of this study is to begin to see the hand of HaShem as He brings about the Geula by bringing a tikkun for all of our misdeeds.

I have previously noted that HaShem uses signs in the heavens to communicate with His people. The lunar eclipses, on Pesach and Succoth, of 5774, 5775, and 5776 were certainly signs. While their message may be difficult to understand, never-the-less it is impossible not to have a sense of foreboding as He diminishes the moon on His festivals. Yoel chapter 3 adds to this gloom:

Yoel (Joel) 3:1-5 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; 2 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit. 3 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 4 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of HaShem come. 5 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of HaShem shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as HaShem hath said, and among the remnant those whom HaShem shall call.

So these ominous signs are going to bring the Geula for those who call upon His name, to those involved in His service through prayer. Those who have researched astronomical events have said that a series of four lunar eclipses[2] that fall on Pesach and Succoth have only occurred four times in the past: 1493, 1949, and 1967. All occurred shortly after events which mitigated the exile, the galut.

The last lunar eclipse will be at the very end of the Shmita[3] year,[4] and some say the beginning of the Yobel (Jubilee) year, and Yobel brings freedom. In the Yobel year all of the land goes back to it’s original owner. It would be appropriate for Jews to be gathered back to their land in a Yobel year.

Now let’s look at the brighter side of this long exile. Consider that the founding of America softened the exile by allowing Jews to escape the persecution in Spain. Recall that 1492 was a very bad year for Spanish Jews in Spain because that was when the expulsion of the Jews took place.[5]

Christopher Columbus’s diary begins with: “In the same month in which their Majesties [Ferdinand and Isabella] issued the edict that all Jews should be driven out of the kingdom and its territories, in the same month they gave me the order to undertake with sufficient men my expedition of discovery to the Indies.” The expulsion that Columbus refers to was so cataclysmic an event that ever since; the date 1492 has been almost as important in Jewish history as in American history. On Tisha B’Ab, July 30, of that year, the entire Jewish community, some 200,000 people, were expelled from Spain. Thus the very source of our pain and exile also was the source of its mitigation by providing a place for the Jews to escape persecution. And so America has softened the exile by providing a wonderful land for our exiles. This is a messianic advancement! Just as the churban began on Tisha B’Ab, so also did the exile and expulsion from Spain begin on Tisha B’Ab. Thus our Geula begins on Tisha B’Ab!

Similarly, the eclipse in 1949 came shortly after Israel became a nation and provided an escape from the wandering exile. This too was a messianic advancement that would provide refuge to the Jews after World War II. It is as though HaShem is beginning to bring the exile to a close in stages.

Finally, the eclipse series of 1967 came shortly after the Jews reclaimed Jerusalem in the six day war. This further mitigated the exile by bringing us closer to the place where HaShem put His name. This suggests that the eclipse series that culminates on Succoth 5776 will also be related to our exile. Thus even though a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for the Jews, it contains a tikkun that ultimately is for our benefit. From this we learn that a bad omen is mitigated by the festival.

During a lunar eclipse, if there are minimal atmospheric disruptions,[6] the moon turns red. Now red is the color of Esav. It is as though Israel has overcome Esav.

Now let’s begin to look at more of the cause and effect that reveals the hand of HaShem in the world. To begin we must understand that the Satan can grow or diminish based on how much kedusha, holy energy, he receives. If all Jews do mitzvot, and never sin, then the Satan dies. If they sin and become lax in the performance of mitzvot, then he grows. When the Satan grows it is bad news for the Jews.

History is about the balance of kedusha in the world, who controls it.

The Torah tells us that Yitzchak, our Patriarch, hinted to Yaaqob that there was a disconnect:

Bereshit (Genesis) 27:22 The voice is the voice of Yaaqob and the hands are the hands of Esav.

The Midrash explains this to mean that as long as the voice is that of Yaaqob, which is as long as there are the ‘chirpings’ of the children studying Torah in the synagogues and the adults in the study halls, the hands will not be that of Esav. As long as the Jewish people (and their children) are engaged in Torah study, the power of Esav (Edomites) is held at bay and is incapacitated. However, if the voice of Yaaqob is silent then Esav will have the upper hand.

It is well known that Yitzchak blessed Esav after giving the major blessing to Yaaqob. The blessing of Esav was not a true blessing. It was a conditional blessing. In:

Bereshit (Genesis) 27:40 Yitzchak states, And it shall come to pass, when you (Esav) shall break loose and you shall shake his (Yaaqob) yoke from off thy neck.

Rashi comments that when Israel will violate the precepts of the Torah then Esav will achieve the blessings of the physical. Thus Isaac did not bestow upon Esav any new blessings but rather he limited the blessing of the physical, which he had previously given to Jacob. If Jacob uses the physical as a means to achieve intellectual perfection then he will truly merit the blessings of the physical. However, if he violates the Torah and seeks the physical as an end, in and of itself, then Esav will have the upper hand and merit the blessings of the physical.

Upon reflection of the history of our people we can appreciate the authenticity and veracity of the blessings of Isaac as their ramifications have been manifested throughout the experiences of our nation. We will not explore a few of those times when the baton changed hands.

When the first Temple was destroyed, 2500 years ago, the Shechinah left the Temple and was given to the Satan for nourishment. When he grows, then the power goes to Esav, in the guise of the Gentiles, as a way to connect with HaShem in an impure form. So, 2500 years ago (within 100 years of the destruction), Buddhism, Confuscism, and Taoism suddenly appeared in the east. Science and Greek philosophy began at the same time: Aristotle, Plato,[7] Socrates, and Pythagoras all arose during this period. At about the same time, in 509 BCE, Rome became a republic.

I am reminded of the story of the encounter between the Jewish prophet Jeremiah and the Greek philosopher Plato. When Jeremiah returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile and saw the ruins of the Holy Temple, he fell on the wood and stones, weeping bitterly. At that moment, the renowned philosopher Plato passed by and saw this.

He stopped and inquired, “Who is that crying over there?”

“A Jewish sage,” they replied.

So he approached Jeremiah and asked, “They say you are a sage. Why, then, are you crying over wood and stones?”

Jeremiah answered, “They say of you that you are a great philosopher. Do you have any philosophical questions that need answering?

“I do”, admitted Plato, “but I don’t think there is anyone who can answer them for me”.

“Ask,” said Jeremiah, “and I will answer them for you.”

Plato proceeded to pose the questions that even he had no answers for, and Jeremiah answered them all without hesitation. Asked the astonished Plato, “Where did you learn such great wisdom?”

“From these wood and stones,” the prophet replied.

The subscript to their not-so-Platonic dialogue is as follows: To the philosophic mind of Greece, human reason marked the limit of wisdom. Plato could not entertain the possibility that the answers to his questions could be discovered in the holiness of the Temple, where the Divine Presence resided. Jeremiah told him that there is wisdom that lies beyond man’s intellect; the pathway to that wisdom now lay in ruins, and that was the cause of his tears.
It says in Psalms, “The stone that the builders despised will become the cornerstone”. There are those who would build a society on materials other than the materials of Jewish tradition; but the stones of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem, mourned by some and despised by others, will ultimately be the cornerstone of human wisdom and peace among the nations.

When the Jews have the Shechinah they have beauty and might with wisdom. When they sin, this great beauty and wisdom went to the Gentiles in the form of Greek and Eastern philosophy. The might went to the Roman republic founded in 509bce. In Eicha we find our kings and princes went to the Gentiles after the first churban:

Eicha (Lamentations) 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from HaShem.

When the second Temple was destroyed, in 3839AM, Christianity appeared. Baseless hatred and Lashon HaRa caused it’s destruction, midda-kneged-midda Christianity began using these same sins against us. Their cathedrals had much beauty, but their ‘victories’ in war, science, and the arts were astounding. They have what was ours. (Think about the ramifications when they become our inheritance).

In 5000AM, the year 1240CE, the Zohar says that the light of Mashiach begins to come down. This time frame corresponds to the start of Friday, Erev Shabbat. This Ohr Mashiach,[8] the light of Messiah, is inner light. The Zohar was discovered right after 1240. Because of our sins, the Gentiles are getting this light along with the Jews. So why are they not getting all of the light? The answer is that Jewish suffering is nearly complete for their sins. It is time for the light to begin returning to its owner.

What does Ohr Mashiach look like with the Gentiles? Science! It lets them see the inner light. In 1240 science began with Roger Bacon and his advocating of the scientific method. He was the connector between philosophy and science. Bacon sent the Pope his Opus Majus, which presented his views on how to incorporate the philosophy of Aristotle and science into a new theology. Bacon also sent the Pope his Opus minus, De multiplicatione specierum, and possibly other works on alchemy and astrology.

So, the Jews get kabbala[9] with the Zohar in 1240CE (5000AM), and it’s study of the inner light while the Gentiles get science and it’s inner light. We get the spiritual and they get the physical.

In the 1700’s, the great Gentile Sir Isaac Newton,[10] the father of modern science, began to affect the world. At the same time a renewal is happening in the Jewish world as this era saw the advent of most of the major Achronim[11] and Chassidic leaders.

The Zohar[12] interprets along prophetical lines:

In the 600th year of the 6th millennium (i.e., in the years 5,500-5,600 in the Hebrew calendar corresponding to the years 1740-1840 CE.) the upper gates of wisdom will be opened and also the wellsprings of wisdom below (science and technology). This will prepare the world for the 7th millennium like a person prepares himself on Friday for Shabbat, as the sun begins to wane. So it will be here. There is a hint about this in the verse “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life …all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened”.[13]

This passage,[14] from the Zohar, has been explained by the Talmudic Sage-Mystics of Israel, the Hassidic masters and specifically by the Sages of Shklov, as referring to the fact that from the 18th, and especially from the 19th, century onward, the Kabbalah would experience a profound renewal clarifying and rendering more accessible her own esoteric traditions.[15] Any student of contemporary mysticism cannot but be astounded by the relatively recent dramatic accessibility of the Kabbalah and its new and ever increasing popularity.[16]

Paralleling the revelations of “wisdom from above,” this prophecy necessitates revolutionary discoveries occurring simultaneously in the secular world, re the “wisdom from below. ” Stimulated by the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the wellsprings of theoretical models and new technology have incessantly burst forth. A wholly new paradigm of scientific thought – and consciousness – is emerging. The year 1840 witnessed the emergence of electromagnetic theory, which in turn paved the way for the discovery of radio waves, telecommunications, television, computers, and the investigation of atomic energy and the development of the atomic bomb. New psychological and neurological descriptions of the brain, ethnopharmacology, black hole phenomenon, genetic engineering, lasers and holography, are further examples of the changes and ideas that have taken place in our generation. Of even greater significance has been the effect of the early 19th century breakthroughs of non-Euclidean geometry, which set the stage for the 20th century theories of Einstein’s relativity, quantum mechanics, and the search for the Unified Field Theory. Currently, under the name of “Super Strings,” this theory is being proclaimed by leading physicists as an unmistakable genesis of a new physics. Most recently, the scientific community and public at large are being initiated into a new world of fractal geometry, chaos theory, virtual reality and the ever accelerating, neural network of the worldwide Internet.

The wellsprings of wisdom below is interpreted as the industrial revolution, which according to Wikipedia, had its origins in the 1780’s but was not felt until 1830’s or 1840’s. We are still feeling the effects today with all the scientific revolutions that followed.

According to the teachings of esoteric Judaism, all knowledge, both spiritual and material wisdom, originally coexisted in a seamless unity within a higher dimension. Together, these two modes of wisdom comprised a larger, all-encompassing Universal Torah (Torah literally meaning “instruction” or “teachings”). A collapse, i.e., the episode of the eating from the Tree of Knowledge, however, ensued in which the database of all knowledge split itself into “spiritual” and “material” planes of existence. Thus, we have the roots of the conflict between “religion” and “science.” Yet, any given mystical or technological truth can only be one of two sides of the same puzzle. Thus, the material world is also a mode of spirituality, only externalized and concretized. Vice-versa, the spiritual world is a mode of the material reality, only internalized and spiritualized.

From both a secular and scientific perspective, as well as from a fundamentalist religious perspective, this unique synergistic re-union is very challenging, if not intimidating and appears “heretical.” Yet, this is the explicit doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna and his clandestine cadre of Talmudic Sage-Mystics of Skhlov. The ultimate truth is not revealed through the supra-natural alone nor is it only discovered through scientific development – it is more than both. Both forms of wisdom are destined to reunite. Perforce, this is stimulating a worldwide paradigm shift in consciousness. These stages of global evolution are aspects of the Messianic Era which is central to the teachings of esoteric as well as traditional Judaism.[17]

The greatest challenge to religion is science because science can offer an alternative to HaShem and His creation. That is why the Satan makes this offer to those who would choose this path. As a matter of interest, we have no record of any atheists before the rise of science, and in particular the idea of evolution.

According to this tradition, our role as the “Final Generation” in the re-unification of these two modes of wisdom is achieved by matching the right tool with the right job. In other words, we must use the new maps, models, and metaphors of the “wisdom from below” in order to grasp the “wisdom from above.” In turn, the transcendent wisdom of the Torah will cast its light of clarity and direction upon the enchanting and often overpowering tools of science and technology.

The “gates of wisdom above” parallel the opening of the “wellsprings of wisdom below.” This refers to revolutionary discoveries in the sciences that would completely change our view of the world.[18] We have also seen ongoing examples of the revelations of “wisdom from above.” We can see it historically, in the release and publishing of crucial Kabbalistic teachings. Although a number of the works of the Arizal were circulated after he died in 1572, the most authoritative texts of Lurianic Kabbalah, the Shemoneh Sh’arim (The Eight Gates) by R. Chayim Vital, remained in closely guarded manuscript until the beginning of the 20th-century. The availability of previously unpublished esoteric manuscripts of the early Kabbalists, the teachings of the Ramchal and the Hasidic masters,[19] and finally the esoteric writings of the Gaon and his disciples (including Kol HaTor) have given our generation increasing access to these crucial teachings.

This does not mean that our generation is more advanced than our predecessors. To the contrary, our grasp of the “inner” wisdom is decidedly more “external.” It does mean, however, that this wisdom is no longer restricted to a select few. In order to hasten the redemption, the inner wisdom has come down into the public domain, with all the inherent dangers that this “descent” suggests. This is born out, on the one hand, by the emergence of the Kabbalah as an accepted field of academic research in universities in Israel and in the world at large. This is in sharp contrast to the Kabbalah’s previous status of belonging to the “Old World” and the realm of superstition. On the other hand, this prophecy is reflected in the appearance of Orthodox yeshivot (mainly Sephardic), which openly teach Kabbalah side by side with Talmud and Halachah (Jewish Law). Further, any longtime student of the Kabbalah cannot but be staggered by the recent proliferation of classical Kabbalah literature, in Hebrew, English, and other languages, which continues to increase in momentum.

1990CE, 5751AM, is Friday noon[20] (between the eves). Thus the intensity of Ohr Mashiach is rapidly increasing. This time frame saw the collapse of the Berlin wall and the beginning of the demise of communism in Russia. It also the time when the internet opened up.

In our day we are seeing 7500 journal articles published every single day! These all represent new ideas and understanding in the many fields of science. That’s how fast science is growing. The sum total of man’s knowledge doubles every 5.5 years. Just remember: This all brings the Geula by preparing the world and effecting the needed tikkun.

Kabbalah, together with scientific discovery and its technology, is essential in ushering in, and even accelerating, the incoming and final stage of global evolution, traditionally referred to as the Messianic Era. Thus, modern science and technology are one of the very manifestations of the messianic process itself. The doctrine of (combined and intertwined) “Kabbalah and science” securely grabs hold of both extremities of the separate, and often opposing, disciplines of ancient religious truth and evolving scientific knowledge. Accordingly, the true confluence and interpenetration of these systems will only emerge when these two things happen. Paradoxically, the newly discovered models and metaphors provided by the “external wisdom” of science will help illuminate the deepest secrets of the ancient mysteries of the “internal wisdom” of the Kabbalah. Reciprocally, those same ancient mysteries of the Kabbalah’s “internal wisdom” will define, explain, and help reshape our perception of the entire phenomenon of the external physical world.

There is even more to the unique vision of the role that secular wisdom must play in the messianic unfolding. Not only does science and technology play a prophetic and mystical role, alongside the ancient mystical teachings of Judaism but, according to this tradition of the Talmudic Sage-Mystics, this synthesis depends upon the Jewish nation being re-centered in a rebuilt Jerusalem.

The Satan is dying because after 2000 years the Jews have suffered enough.[21] This means that all of the kedusha given to the Satan and to the Gentiles is being taken back by the Jews. The monumental suffering of the holocaust greatly speeded up the tikkun. Consider that during the holocaust every nation was involved in the killing of the Jews, whether overtly or covertly by denying them safety (The east may be an obvious exception[22]). This was the Satan’s first strategy – kill the Jews and bring them such suffering that they no longer perform mitzvot.

The Satan’s second strategy was to use the Erev Rav[23] to divert the Jews from mitzvot. The Erev Rav[24] believes that pickled herring, gefilte fish, and Jewish culture is what makes a Jew, not Torah. The Erev Rav[25] are the reformed, conservative, and reconstructionist leaders of the Jews.

Consider that Israel was not formed by Torah observant Jews; rather it was formed by secular[26] Jewish leaders.[27] They were trying to destroy Torah Jews. They are a fifth column[28] within the ranks of the Jewish people. They were not seen as an enemy, they were our brothers.

Rome has been providing the Satan the kedusha he requires … until they become so wicked that he can no longer suck from this source. The Satan needed kedusha from another place so he goes to his ‘ally’, Ishmael. Ishmael has some kedusha because it was put into him by Avraham when he pleaded with HaShem to give him life:

Bereshit (Genesis) 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

So Ishmael had kedusha, but Ishmael wants a quid pro quo.[29] Instead of the Satan working with Edom (Rome),[30] Ishmael wants the Satan’s exclusive help for himself. Ishmael’s nation is destined to supplant the Roman nations. Thus the Muslims are taking over Israel, Europe, and even the United States. They want a Moslem like president in the US. Obama’s job is to destroy Rome and thereby elevate Ishmael. Obama has to support the Palestinians. He supports Morsi who self-destructs. Obama must elevate and empower Iran. Yet Ishmael is running out of kedusha as seen by the collapse of multiple Arab states. Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria… Ishmael is running out of kedusha.

In a recent lecture, Rav Moshe Wolfson shlita, the esteemed mashgiach[31] of Yeshivat Torah V’Daat said that the fall of a nation is preceded by the fall of it’s sar, or administering angel. Once the sar falls, then the nation will fall. This is based on the Zohar[32] which says that what the Jews saw on the banks of the Red Sea was the sar of Egypt dying. Note that Ishmael has 12 sarim.

Israel has discovered oil and gas which will cause them to grow stronger as the Arab states implode (If we can’t get oil from the Arabs, then we will surely buy from Israel). Because Ishmael[33] knows he is dying, he must go super-nova by creating ISIS which is the death throes of Ishmael. ISIS is a banding together of many nations of Muslims[34] in one desperate move to survive.

At the Reed Sea HaShem said to stand back and see the power of HaShem. God will fight for you. In modern times this manifests as Israel stands on the sidelines while the Arabs destroy each other. Israel is just protecting their borders while the Arabs kill each other without any help from Israel. It means we are approaching the end[35] where HaShem is able to openly manifest His power. Further, the Arabs are now killing Christians (Edom).

A piece of rabbinic literature [written 2000 years ago] known as the Yalkut Shimoni touches on many future scenarios both for the nation of Israel and for the world. In its section on the biblical Book of Isaiah and the prophecies contained therein, a rabbi cited by the Yalkut Shimoni[36] states:

“Rabbi Yitzchak said that the year the Messiah will arrive when all the nations of the world will antagonize each other and threaten with war. The king of Persia (Iran antagonizes the King of Arabia – Saudi Arabia) with war. The King of Arabia goes to Edom (The Western Countries, headed by USA) for advice. Then the King of Persia destroys the world (and since that cannot be done with conventional weapons it must mean nuclear which can destroy most of the world). And all the nations of the world begin to panic and are afraid, and Israel too is afraid as to how to defend from this. G-d then says to them, ‘Do not fear for everything that I have done is for your benefit, to destroy the evil kingdom of Edom and eradicate evil from this world so that the Messiah can come, your time of redemption is now’.” [Persia and Ishmael are one people according to the Maharal. Persia[37] represents the Syrians, Lebanese, and Arabians.]

Paras[38] will incite a war against other Arabs. Edom will seek counsel before Paras destroys Edom.[39] The last great war is Paras[40] vs Edom.[41] The great city of Rome (New York?) will be terrorized. Then ben David will sprout. It sounds like Mashiach is born in America. To do this Iran needs the atomic bomb. At the end of Yoel we see Edom vs. Ishmael. Obama is Ishmael’s savior. He is giving them the bomb within 10 years. Obama as a Muslim must empower the Iranians with missile and bomb technology. Iran (Shiites) wants to destroy the world to bring the 12th Imam.

One of the ways that we recognize the hand of HaShem is when the actions of our leaders do not make sense. This is clearly the case with Iran. The leaders of Iran have shouted “death to America” and “death to Israel” many times. In the midst of this kind of talk, Obama wants to give them an atomic bomb. This does not make any sense, it is idiotic bordering on insane. Yet, that is exactly what is happening.

The countdown has begun and within 10 years we will see the last war. Then Israel will evict the Arabs for their own survival.

Edom must be weakened because they have given the Jews the ability to study Torah. This strength must be weakened by the Supreme Court to legitimize same-sex marriage. Rampant immorality is what Rabbi Nachman says will flood the world. The Mabul was destroyed partly for this reason.[42] The rest of the world is following the lead of the US. Except Ishmael kills homosexuals to their credit! The end game is the end of exile, of Ishmael, of Edom, and the Erev Rav. This is Tisha B’Av. Obama’s job is to destroy Edom in favor of Ishmael. Thus Obama is a fool in order to accomplish this task. Thus the Satan will bring the Mashiach.

In Esther we see that everyone brings the Geula. Mordechai because he serves HaShem, gets a reward. Haman brings the Geula and is destroyed because he wants to destroy the Jews.

Klal[43] Israel is at their lowest point because of intermarriage and mitzvot. They have greatly descended. They need to be brought low so that they are not culpable for their sins and He can save them despite their sins. Like Avraham who descended to his lowest point when Paro took Sarah, but that turned out to be his greatest reward. The Jews must be uplifted to be able to do Torah and mitzvot, otherwise when Mashiach comes they will be destroyed by His kedusha.

* * *

There are four major nations / exiles mentioned in Daniel chapter 2. Ishmael is not on the list. the four are really 8. The final exile is Edom according to the Midrash Sacher Tov. the bottom of the feet is Ishmael and Edom.

The four diasporas among the eight kingdoms are:
1) Babylon-Chaldea,
2) Media-Persia,
3) Macedonia-Greece,
4) Edom[44] ( = Rome) and Ish­mael[45] ( = Arabia).

The secret of these kingdoms is found in Had Gadya which is read by Ashkenazim (and some Sephardim) at the end of the Pesach seder. Israel is the kid. The two zuzim are the two luchot. There are eight nations between the kid and HaShem:

Nebuchadetzer = cat
Belshazar = dog
Modai = stick
Achashverosh = fire
Macedonians = water
Greece = ox
Rome / Edom = Slaughterer
Ishmael = Angel of Death

When Ishmael falls Mashiach will come.

The following image depicts Daniel 2:33–34, 41–43:





From Daniel we see that the Jews will endure only four exiles before Mashiach comes. However, Rav Chaim Vital, who is the disciple of the Arizal, writes something very fascinating. He teaches that there will be a fifth galut which will sprout out from the exile of Edom, called galut Ishmael.

As we see today, the media speak about the terrible cruelty and killings which Islamic extremists are performing around the world, even within their own people. Of course there is the focus of carrying out these atrocious acts in Israel. It appears that we are now in the Fifth galut: Galut Ishmael – the Arab exile. As Rav Chaim Vital continues and writes, that this will be the worst of all exiles. The situation will get so bad that our only salvation will be for us to cry out to HaShem and HaShem will listen and bring the redemption. This last statement was always puzzling. how is it possible that all Israel will put their differences aside and unite as one people to cry out to HaShem? Now we can see the brutality that will bring us together.

This study was written by
Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David
(Greg Killian).
Comments may be submitted to:

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian
4544 Highline Drive SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Internet address: gkilli@aol.com
Web page: http://www.betemunah.org/

(360) 918-2905



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 ia.org/wiki/Eb 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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartodecimanism (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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible

(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.

House of The Water Pouring