On Wednesday at Sundown we will be entering into the holy time of Purim and reading the Megillah of Esther. This year, for Jews in the United States, the story will hot home more than in previous years.
This year in the United States there is a certain political party that holds the legislative branch of government that has booed Israel in their 2012 convention. A political party, who's main representative in 2010 said that Israel needed to give land to Palestine. Apolitical party who's leader that same year put his feet on the desk with the bottom of his shoes pointed towards the Israeli Prime Minister which is a Middle Eastern insult.
Now in 2019, the same political party has a figure known as Ilhan Abdullahi Omar who has filled the chamber of the US House of Representatives with anti-semitic rhetoric, and has written several anti-semitic tweets, and her rhetoric has been supported by her political party. And yet, when a Fox News correspondent spoke out against Representative Omar's rhetoric she lost her job.
To make things worse, I recently was a part of webinar put on by the ADL and the statistics they showed shocked me. In 2018 276 anti-semitic complaints had been filed against CNN not by viewers but by workers, a staggering 38% jump. MSNBC and NBC had 319 complains filed, a 26% jump from 2017. ABC and Disney had 198 complaints, a 19% jump from 2017.
Today if you go to YouTube or Google and type in "Talmud", Google and YouTube promote anti-semitic videos to the top that are filled with lies about the Talmud as well as other jewish texts from anti-semitic bloggers and youtube creators.
Right now, the plethora of individuals who have thrown their hats in the ring to run for president all have a history of speaking out against Israel and against the Jewish people, and are silent on ISIS and radical Islamic extremism. I even once worked for one particular candidate that was the CEO of the US's largest coffee establishment.
When I went to work for this establishment in my area I had a payot and a beard. When I reported for my first day at work, I was asked, "are you Muslim?" I said, "no Jewish" and they said, "unless you are Muslim you need to shave your beard and get rid of those stupid curls. I thought it was a joke, then I was handed the company handbook with the company rules and it said that unless a man is a muslim he is not allowed to have a beard at this establishment.
Us Jews know that anti-semitism is a real thing, but unlike the LBGTQWTXYZ community and others we do not make make the loud cry these other groups do. We are a people whom many have called for our extinction and they have lost and we have thrived. But how long are we going to allow it to continue to keep getting worse? How long are we going to allow people to treat us like second class citizens? How long are we going to be the whipping boy? Well, the story of Esther vs Haman we read in the Megillah shows us that we are a more resilient people than those give us credit for. During Purim we remember having to practice our faith secretly or be killed. This is why we wear costumes on this holiday to remember that. As history repeats itself we know redemption is on the way, we know our extermination is not gonna happen. But it is gonna take a Mordechai, or an Esther, or a Judas Maccabee to stand up against the modern day Amalek and say "enough is enough.
For many Christians who come to the realization that the Messiah kept and taught the written Torah of Hashem it is a life changing realization. There is a mode of immaturity that comes forth at that time where they see their Christian brethren as pagans and use straw man arguments as though it is scholarship. After a few years a majority grow out of this if they are truly seeking the will of the Creator. The same thing is true when they realize that Yeshua HaNotzri also taught the oral Torah. This understanding for many reinvigorates their fire and takes them back to how they felt with their original revelation. But there is a proper way to approach this.
As a Lapid Jewish rabbi, the oral torah and the words of the sages are a huge part of our faith. Many who listen to my radio program, or download the podcast version or watch the videos on Vimeo or YouTube or this website are familiar with the way I teach. But also at the same time, I have also seen the dangers of being overzealous for the oral torah without proper balance. Let me explain.
Often a person gets immersed in this "new revelation" of the Oral law and the sages, and it is a vast and amazing amount of researching and knowledge. The issue I have seen is many jump into these things too quickly and they jump right into the deep end before going into the kiddie pool. Before long they are overtaken and they then do not focus on the written word and the Brit Chadasha collects dust on the shelf. They are immersed in Talmud, Tosefta, and other works. What then happens is that because of the joy found in this new revelation of the oral law they did not accept before they totally and completely immerse themselves in this world and they then deny the deity of Mashiach and the later ultimately deny Mashiach. The question then is do we then dismiss the Oral Law and the Sages? Chas v'Shalom (G-d forbid).
One of the things I advocate is for new believers to have a respect for the works of the Talmud and the sages but not to jump in head first. If you can afford the works have them ready on your bookshelf for when you are ready for them. But I would say, let them collect dust until that time. I would say to start out with the Complete Jewish Study Bible. Within there, there are footnotes all throughout the Bible from the Oral Law and the Sages. This Bible does an amazing job of helping people to have a healthy respect for the Oral Law and the Sages without causing them to drown. This is where a person should start.
We should ultimately be reminded of the letters of Paul of Tarsus to the Romans and the Galatians. The Romans and the Galatians had people trying to get the believers to convert to full-fledged Judaism and immerse them in oral law. Notice that Paul took a "walk before you run" approach. We need to ultimately understand these positions of Paul. I would greatly suggest a person read Dr Mark Nanos' books on the subject, his works "The Mystery of Romans" and "Paul Within Judaism" are two books everyone should have on their shelves before they dive into Oral Law. I would also suggest D Thomas Lacaster's book "The Epistle to the Galatians".
It is important to understand that our Christian brethren are kosher, most of the Hebrew Roots movement and the Messianic faith's don't want to accept this because they want to grow a club through One Torah Theology which is a very dangerous and unbiblical ideal. Salvation is not through the Oral Torah, and it is not even through the Written Torah it is through Mashiach and through maintaining shalom. Dr Mark Kinzer speaks a lot about bi-lateral ecclesiology in his book "Post Missionary Messianic Judaism". Now, I don't agree totally with bi-lateral ecclesiology 100% but I do 90%. There are good premises within that book and Kinzer's view that mirror the words of Paul and Dr Nanos. A person should read these books mentioned above and then be in prayer about where it is G-d wants you to take the next step in your observance.
At this point as well a person needs to stray from what it is I call "internet theology" there are a lot of misquotes from the Talmud and other sources of Rabbinic Judaism online and they are the ones often quoted. Some are just flat out lies. One book has caused these lies to make their way into the mainstream. The book "Jesus in the Talmud" by Paul Shafer has made claims that the Talmud says Yeshua is boiling in excrement per Gotten 57b when in actuality it says Baalim is boiling in excrement. Many of the lies and misquotes of the Talmud towards Yeshua people have gotten from this book and Shafer has been shunned by the scholarly community because of his misquotes from the Talmud and flat out lies about it and his heavy anti-semitism. But Shafer's odd theology has become mainstream on the internet. So, I encourage people to purchase peer reviewed scholarly materials such as the ones mentioned above.
I also suggest in terms of looking at what publishers to purchase from, I would say First Fruits of Zion's stuff you can trust because it is peer reviewed and they help a person to have a proper balance of the written Torah and the Brit Chadasha as well as the Oral Law. Their Torah Club volumes, "Shadows of the Messiah", "Chronicles of the Messiah" and "Depths of the Torah" I highly endorse and I would say to spend maybe 3 years going through these three Torah club sets when you are at this point.
These steps I suggest because of the fact a person needs to be trained that whenever you start reading the words of the oral torah and the sages to be making the connections to Brit Chadasha. Making those connections is important and FFOZ, with their Torah Club sets do an amazing job at helping people to do that and it trains them to be able to fulfill mitzvos in a halakhic kosher way while being able to bring it back around to Yeshua. This is so important.
When I assembled by book the Rabbinic Gospel of Mark, I said that this book is not for everyone and it should not be for those young in their walk because it will cause their brains to explode with the over 320 footnotes from the sages and the oral law in the footnotes of the Gospel of Mark, and I maintain that. But also at the same time, it was assembled for the reason of helping those learn halakha in a kosher way and being fixated on Yeshua while they study the words in the Oral Torah and the Sages. This is so important.
Once the mind is grounded in finding Yeshua and his halakha in these writings. I would then say there are a variety of Chumashim that would be helpful as well as other commentaries. Such as the Gutnick Chumash, The Baal HaTurim Chumash, the Artscroll Onkelos set, the Stone Edition Tanach, and the Chumash with Talmud from Artscroll. I would also suggest if one finds themselves to be more align with the halakha of Breslov to get the set of Rebbe Nachman's Torah. At this time, one should check to make sure they are Yeshua centered. If they feel they are more oral torah centered then they should back off for another year and revisit Torah club for another year with another set of Torah club from FFOZ.
After this, one should study Shulchan Aruch and the Mishna section of Talmud. For these are the passages of universal halakha in every sect of Judaism and are the rulings of the Sanhedrin the written Torah tells us to observe. Take it slow, a chapter of Shulchan Aruch a week or 4 mishnas a week. One should not be forbidden at this point to study Gemara and Tanya in the Talmud at this time but it should not be their focus. If the Gemara and Tanya help with greater clarity in terms of the Mishna then it is helpful. If it is still confusing then try learning Shulchan Aruch. I have been doing a weekly set of videos every week that is free on Vimeo and YouTube on Shulchan Aruch and keeping it Yeshua centered. This may be a good start on this area of study.
There are other steps that come after this all the way up to kabbalah studies. But it is also important to note that one's favor from G-d does not come one's intellect, one's level of study, or even how many halakhic mitzvos one fulfills daily. Because one may have become a full convert like myself to Judaism, or if one who is born Jewish, we have no greater share in the Olam Haba than those who haven't. For the Talmud says that a B'nei Noach can be just as lofty in the eyes of Hashem as a Baal HaTorah.
A person mustn't engage in debates over levels of observance with others who are a part of the Biblical faiths of Judaism or Christianity. Us Lapid Jews realize it is not for everyone to be like us. Some belong in the Christian church and connect with Hashem in that way, some connect with Hashem though the Messianic faith, and some with our faith. It is not our job to have people join our sect of belief, we are just here for those who see this way of belief as aligning with where they want to go and where they think they fit in. That's it. For both Paul and R' Bachya talked about how the Torah of life can be the Torah of death. What gives life in my observance and in my faith may be bondage to someone else, and that is ok. Not everyone should be like me or others associated with the Lapid Jewish faith. We are evangelical for one thing, we are evangelical for Yeshua, not the Oral Torah or the Sages. But our reverence for those things are what it is we use for our evangelism for Yeshua, but we only do so if we walk out what it is we quote. We don't use the Oral Torah for solely evangelical reasons, we only do so if we are walking it out as to not be hypocrites and to be earnest and honest in our beliefs.
YouTube teacher Elisha ben Yabbadabbadoo has an amazing story to tell about when his soul left his body and he found out that Heaven was Catholic purgatory.
"Well, I am the YouTube teacher for the pagan police, I have 2 viewers in Israel and my job is to expose paganism", says Mr Yabbadabbadoo. "I realized that water is pagan, because pagans drink water, food is pagan because....well pagans eat food. Did you know that toilet paper is not mentioned in the Bible? But I heard once that Alister Crowley used toilet paper so no toilet paper for me. I temporarily died of starvation and dehydration and I was taken to heaven where all paganism can't exist. I was in a white room. No bed, no table, no air conditioning none of those pagan things."
When Yabbadabbadoo's wife noticed he wasn't breathing paramedics attempted to rehydrate him and inserted within him a feeding tube. Though in a coma for 2 weeks he was finally revived. When asked in the hospital what he thought of the feeding tube he said he will have to research if it is kosher to see if any pagans ever had a feeding tube. Though he says he says he has plans to sue the hospital for giving him a pagan bed and a pagan nightstand and a pagan tv in his room. His youtube followers are also up in arms and nearly a dozen of them have been picketing outside the hospital, without signs, because they claim Paul Bunion was a pagan and cut wood.
Here is the study notes for this week's Torah Portion Study which will be live at 8pm EST on Friday Night. To join the study click the allocated link below to join 10 minutes before the study (7:50pm EST) to join. If you want to see the previous study click the allocated button below.
Click Button Below to Join The Study
Click Button Below to See Previous Study
Here is the notes for the live study broadcast at 8pm EST on Friday on Zoom.
The sacred name community is buzzing over the discovery of a new discovery. Found within the hills of the Appalachian Mountains of Boone North Carolina, Apostle Prophet Yah ben Yah was on a trek.
"Well I was doing some work for the Appalachian Bigfoot society, trying to find droppings or just anything we can find" ben Yah says. "And a native American man approached me with this scroll, he said Yahbadabbadoo said to give it to me, he knew my name and even my real hair color. He handed over the scroll with some anointed tzitzit that will help me to stop the nephilim alien invasion."
Ben Yah continues, "He said, 'In two years YahbadabbaShua will return and you need to translate this and publish it soon.' I said, 'Two years?! OMG! That's tomorrow!'. And so I got home and started translating."
Sacred name scholars are stunned. "This is an extremely important find, we see there isn't any vowel markers and the penmanship is impeccable" says Abba Alohym from Christians are Pagan Ministries.
The scholars at 'Yahbadabbadoo Sacred Name International LLC met at an undisclosed head shop and they all unanimously agreed on this document's authenticity. They said to expect the first edition of their Bible after they learn how to use find and replace on Microsoft Word.
Reviews by Christopher Fredrickson
First of all, I have been asked to do this for some time now, and I am always asked about translations. I have purchased many translations since beginning my walk in Torah 16 years ago, so I decided to review all the Bibles I had purchased or have been given by people (in their hopes I would endorse them on my radio program). Now I need to make note, there is not a perfect translation out there. It does not and will never exist, so if that is what you are looking for then you simply need to stop looking. Now, let me say in terms of my beliefs, I am a jewish convert who lives a hasidic lifestyle, I also see Yeshua as my Melech, and my Mashyach, I don't ascribe to the belief of "he's not my Melech until he returns". I also am very much of the Artscroll persuasion when it comes to my bookshelf, so I hold a very high standard when it comes to scriptural resources because of my observance and because of my rabbinical training. So I tend to look at "Messianic" resources through those eyes and to those standards, if they do not come close to that level of scholarship or effort that is put behind the materials to the level of an Artscroll or Fieldheim or Breslov then I can be a little harsh, very fair at the same time, but a little harsh at the same time for the reason of encouraging the Hebrew Roots to put out better materials.
Coming Soon: Review of "The Chumash With the Teachings of the Talmud" and The "Zichron Meir Edition of the Targum of Onkelos"
I get several emails every week from people who say they do not have a Lapid or Messianic synagogue near them and they want to engage in Torah study each week with the Torah Portions. Many of which say they watch the teachings we do Monday night but also make note it is kinda one sided.
Over a month ago we ran a test with the Zoom video conferencing app. Zoom is great but there are some drawbacks, first of all we could not live stream on our social media accounts such as Facebook and others without paying a $40 fee monthly, plus if you have an external microphone (as I do) it is a juggling act to get it connected and to keep it connected considering the app was not really designed for external microphones. Below is our first study we did and you can see an example of the first test study
Now the Zoom app is great and the limitations are few, but we wanted to be able to stream live without paying an arm and a leg. So we signed up for BeLive which we have used in the past.
Now we want you to be involved. We want people in the study and below you can sign up for the first official study which will take place October 5th 2018 at 8pm EST (7pm Central, 6pm MT, 5pm PST). Now with BeLive you don't have to sign up for a BeLive account, all you do is log in through facebook when you attend a study. The Apple and Google Play stores have the BeLive App if you wish to use a tablet or cell phone. Click the links below and they can be downloaded
With the BeLive platform we are able to not only connect with all of you to engage in the study, but also we are able to stream the study live through Facebook using Facebook live. We can also get questions from people who are "only watching" in real time and display them on the screen. Now if you are actually in the study and on camera then you do not have to watch it on Facebook you instead are on screen and can talk and engage in real time. Those who wish not to can watch through the live stream. Here is what it looks like below:
The example above has three people in the video but we can do up to 20, and so it will look slightly different with more than three people. Now a little about this study:
In this weekly study Christopher Fredrickson will lead it off with a focus of the study or will ask, "what did you take away from this parshas this week?" "or do we have any questions about the Torah Portion?". The way it starts out will depend upon the number of people in the study. If there are 5 or below then we may start out with a particular verse or ideal in the Torah Portion to get it started. If we have more then we will start out with your input.
When questions or asked or something is discussed Christopher mainly cites Jewish sources such as Talmud, the words of Rebbe Nachman or Schneerson, he also uses FFOZ's Torah Portion commentaries from the Torah club series as well as things from numerous Jewish sages. This study may be too jewish for some so keep that in mind.
Ok I want to sign up but what do I need to do?
Sometimes when I am cleaning my apartment I take my iPhone, put in my earbuds and listen to podcasts of other teachers to get a beat on what is happening in the affiliated faiths such as Judaism, Christianity, the Hebrew Roots Movement and Messianic Judaism. I like to find out what kind of things the bodies of faith(s) associated with Lapid Judaism are having to deal with.
Today, I did just this, and I was shocked that a podcast dealing with one of the faiths mentioned has an apologetics podcast, and I will not mention the name of the podcast nor the host, because I am sure the person who did this is a lovely person but I was shocked to hear one of the arguments happening in the selected faith was "Apple vs Windows", this persons apologetics podcast was about settling the apple vs windows debate. Why in the world is this even a thing? The thing that shocked me even more is the host then said the prophecy of Daniel 12:4 which states that "knowledge will increase" is talking about Bible apps and Bible computer software. I had to stop what I was doing and ask myself, "this has to be a parody this person cannot be serious". And come to find out this host was serious. Let me outline the huge flaw in this and the progression we have seen since the advent of these modern forms of technology.
Many cite the formation of Messianic Judaism starting in the 60s, and stemming from the Hebrew Christians. Now, we can actually trace this back much further back with individuals such as Paul Phillip Levertoff and Isaac Lichtenstein who predate this idea by over 100 years and I am sure there are more. But lets skip ahead to today. If you look at what Messianic Judaism was in the 60s and 70s it is nothing like it is today. In fact, Lapid Judaism was created by Rabbi Yossi to bring Messianic Judaism back to what it was, as a fully Jewish and Rabbinic faith that the only difference between Hasidic Judaism today and Lapid Judaism of today is belief in Yeshua being the Messiah and the middle pillar of the sefirot of the G-dhead.
Messianic Judaism and the Hebrew Roots today is a shadow of it's original self. Today, we have believers and influential teachers within both of those faiths teaching that the earth is flat, using various variations of the 4 letter name of G-d, and various variations of the name of the Messiah, even adding extra letters to it. We see, the racial identity theology of the Nazis known as Two House Theology being propagated, we see conspiracy theory taking over, we see various pet doctrines that are not only far off but dangerous within the represented faiths that shows a lack of understating of the basics of Scripture. We see big name teachers taking trips to Israel and having to bring, for themselves, translators. In the 1970s 80% of those attending a Messianic synagogue knew hebrew and/or took classes in Hebrew. A majority of the liturgy was in Hebrew. Today about 5% of attendees of Messianic synagogues know basic hebrew phrases. This is a problem. Where does it stem from?
The issue stems from intellectual laziness that is thrust upon us in the technology age. We live in a time where popular Bibles can be imported into Microsoft Word and a find and replace option is used and words replaced to where a new translation comes out every few days with the protection of the 1993 parody law, which states that if 10% of a text is changed it then is considered an original work. This is where the sacred name theology really was birthed. We started to see knowledge DECREASE during this time.
Skip forward 10 years later. In the early 2000s, you started to get Bible softwares like BibleWorks and e-Sword and others sprouting up. I personally started to really see things go down hill at this time. I found it odd previously that a Messianic synagogue I attended in Marion NC, used to tell congregants, "open your Holy Strongs Concordance to Strongs number _________". After leaving there, I attended Natzrim HaTorah in the Burke County area, and everyone there did not bring their Bibles they brought their laptops. We were told to "pull up your e-sword and go to______".
Now at this time, I couldn't figure out the softwares people were using they were very complicated. You had to download modules and install them and then figure out how to go back and forth it was just very confusing. But I also didn't know any better at this time and thought, "well these are good resources I am sure, but I just don't know how to use them."
Several years passed and I started learning semitic languages and I would carry my interlinear Bibles with me whenever I would attend various Torah studies. I attended a place called Shofar of Ephraim (yeah i was still 2 House at that time) and the "Rabbi" there, who didn't know Hebrew of course, did a sermon on one word from Jeremiah. And after the sermon I asked, "what codex was used that you cited that from?" And he said, "whatever the complete Jewish Bible says". I then pulled out Stone Edition Tanach, to show, "well the CJB relies upon these texts which use the Masoretic and that word is not used there."
I then forked over $50 for a Strong Concordance for the reason of research. I then realized that the Strongs uses the English text and translations as though it were the base text and then works backwards, saying essentially "basically because the english says this then the Hebrew would be this". I found that because of that method almost 2/3 of the time Strongs was incorrect. Not only that but certain letters, James Strong didn't realize could make a variety of sounds, one would be the letter bet, he didn't know it makes 2 sounds based upon if it contains a dagesh or not, so even the transliterations within Strongs were hit and miss. And this, is what a majority of Bible software is based on. That is scary.
Now, with this newer software builds upon the failed concepts, but adds other features. But with a faulty basis, the cards start to fall. But lets say you purchase Logos or Bible Accordance for the reasons of textural commentary. Now these programs offer many things in terms of textural commentary from both Jewish and Christian sources. They are highly revered software in the Messianic community. But with this provides another issue.
Is my issue with the commentaries provided? Chas v"Shalom (G-d forbid)!. Here is my issue:
Though my conversion and ordination, one thing that was taught was the journey to find what you are looking for for brings about da'at (knowledge) and chochmah (wisdom). I never understood that until I started to build my library for my radio show and for citation of writings I do. Anyone who knows anything about Talmud for instance knows that verses of the Bible are cited within the text, but it doesn't have an appendix, and this is for a reason. The reason is to engage in Daf Yomi and to learn many things along the way as you are searching for one thing in particular. I have spent hours at a time trying to find information in the Talmud and through that journey I am keeping notes and saying, "Oh wait I can do an entire radio episode on this in the future." I am often teased by my friends when they stop by because I have books sprawled out on my desk and my bed searching for citation. Many of you have probably noticed in my video teachings I always have a stack of books I am opening up when quoting commentary and other citation.
The journey is important and valuable in true da'at and chochmah. Why? Because, not only does Hashem bless the hard work but you learn so much more along the way and what you find from having to do the hard work is valued and thus better remembered. There is time put into it. As the Bible says, "Do your best to shtel zich (apply yourself), to present yourself to Hashem as one approved, a po’el (workman) without bushah (shame), keeping on a derech yashar the Dvar HaEmes." (2 Timothy 2:15). This is key and vastly important. How so?
Think about how many times you have eaten fast food. Now think of the best meal you have had in your entire life. Chances are it didn't come through a drive through. Chances are you either spent a lot of time preparing it and cooking it, and it took several tries to get it right, or someone else had made it and you had to wait for it to be prepared and they had to go through the tedious process of preparing it. If the best meal of your life is so dependent upon this formula, should we treat our study of the Scripture like a drive through? Chas v'Shalom!
When you are diligent in actual study and don't rely on YouTube or Bible software, the journey is more fulfilling and the knowledge stays with you longer and is better applied. Because we have new technology, the assertion that knowledge is increasing at this point in time is very much a misnomer. In fact the evidence shows that it just means the guf hamashiach is just getting lazier and they are treating the Torah of Hashem like a $1 double hamburger through a drive through window.
We live in a time to where people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter because of technology, because of social media. Why is twitter so big? Because when it formed it limited you to only 140 characters. This reliance on technology influences study habits, and the most minimal amount of work possible. When we can type in key words and get the information we need instantly and we rely on that it is a symptom of a greater problem.
Some may say, "well I rely on this because I don't have the money to buy the resources." That is nothing more than a lame excuse. And I will prove it. I work at a diner, I make less than 99% of the working population, I make minimum wage. Most people have an entertainment budget, they have a budget for their cable tv and a budget for vacations etc. Why aren't people who claim they live for Mashiach and for the Torah of Hashem not set aside a budget for their own resources to help them to study the Scripture diligently? Is the NFL package more important? I own 3 huge bookshelves full of books I can afford by setting a little back after paying my bills every month. That is where my exposable income goes. Because of it I own a set of Talmud and a set of Zohar as well. I also have a library of over 100 peer reviewed books from well known scholars. The fact is, no matter how small your income is, you can do it. Invest in your faith. Don't invest in being theologically lazy.
In Philippians 2:5-11 we have:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Moshiach Yeshua. Who, though existing in the demut (likeness) of the mode of being of Elohim, nevertheless Moshiach did not regard being equal with G-d as a thing to be seized. But poured out and emptied himself, taking the demut (likeness)of the mode of being of an eved (servant), and was born in the likeness of Bnei Adam (Son of Adam), and having been found in appearance as an Adam, Moshiach Yeshua humbled himself and took the path of shiflut (lowliness), unto mishma'at (obedience) even unto death, and that, a death on HaEtz (the Tree). Therefore, also Hashem exalted Yeshua, and gave to him haShem (the name) above every name, That at haShem (the name) of Yeshua, kol berech (every knee) will bow, of beings b'Shomayim (in heaven) and ba'Aretz (in earth) and mitachat laAretz (in the world below), And kol lashon (every tongue) shall make hoda'ah (confession) with an Ani Ma'amin (I believe) that is an open and public admission that Yeshua is Adoneinu (L-rd), to the kavod (glory) of Elohim Avinu (G-d the Father).”
Here we see Paul using very deep Jewish language that many take for granted in Christianity and the Messianic world of who it is Yeshua really is.
There are many denying the divinity of the Messiah and the fact that he is indeed HaShem, because they haven’t studied Judaism. And many in the Hebrew Roots and Messianic world seek not to learn about the Jewish Messiah but rather have a goal to diminish the ideologies of their former religious institution.
Now, I was reading this verse today, and I decided to look into my commentaries, (Stern’s Complete Jewish Commentary, the Complete Jewish Study Bible, and The Jewish Annotated New Testament, as well as David Daube’s The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism, as well as Lightfoot’s From the Talmud and Hebraica) and didn’t find any Jewish citation at all whatsoever on this passage in relation to Rabbinic works. A lot of great scripture was given in these commentaries that showed the point but could be contested within Judaism in terms of the interpretation of the verses given. And this is to be expected given that within our Jewish faith we argue the scripture in order to grow and we have the arguments of the sages on these matters. So I went on a quest to find the Jewish citation on the matter. And I found something no one seems to ever mention.
There is a concept in Kabbalah called Tzimtzum, and the word tzimtzum means “restriction” and in Zohar Beresheet A 8:41-44 in The section called “The Lock and Key” we are told about the tzimtzum. It says:
During the process of creation, spiritual forces were unlocked ii order to ignite and propel the birth of the universe and the divine worlds. As the Zohar describes the procedure by which these forces were unleashed, we acquire the same power to unlock spiritual forces within ourselves.
“This paragraph also reveals another secret concerning the word Beresheet בראשית. When the word is broken down, two words are revealed: "Bara" and "Sheet," which means "created six." This refers to the spiritual realm of Zeir Anpin, which contains six Sfirot [dimensions]. All six dimensions [Chesed, Gvurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod} are compressed and locked into the one realm called Zeir Anpin. With the emergence of superstring theory, modem physics has revealed a model of reality that resembles the Zohar's. Both the Kabbalist and the proponents of superstring theory agree that ten dimensions comprise reality, and that six of these dimensions were compacted into one at the moment of creation, or Beresheet.”
(Zohar Beresheet A Intro)
Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were walking along. As they reached a field, Rabbi Chiya said to Rabbi Yosi, what you have said that Bara Sheet (created six) IS ALLUDED TO IN THE WORD BERESHEET is certainly so. Because the supernal six days, THAT IS TO SAY, ONLY THE six EXTREMITIES OF BlNAH HAVE A BEARING on the Torah. WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, and no more. While the others, NAMELY THE UPPER THREE SFIROT OF BINAH are concealed.
(Zohar Beresheet A 8:41)
But we have already seen in the hidden mysteries of Beresheet where he says that He who is holy and concealed engraved a certain form in His bowels, THE SECRET OF BlNAH, of a secret one, SECRET OF THE NUKVA OF ATIK, who is designated by a thrusting point. This engraving, WHICH WAS MOLDED IN BlNAH was incised and hidden in it. as someone who hides everything, locks it up, and puts the key away. This key is kept hidden in a certain chamber and although everything is hidden in that chamber, the most important thing is that key, which locks and unlocks everything!
That chamber has a lot of hidden treasures one upon the other. In that chamber there are fifty gates, which are supposed to be closed, MEANING THAT THEY BLOCK THE FLOW OF LIGHTS. There are 49 gates engraved upon the 'four directions' of the world. One gate has no direction (side); it is not known whether it faces up or down. This is how this gate REMAINS closed.
(Zohar Beresheet A 8:42-43)
Inside the gates is a lock with a tiny narrow keyhole this lock is marked AND KNOWN only by the impression of the key. And no one is to know about THIS NARROW KEYHOLE without having the key. And upon this secret IS BASED THE VERSE, "In the beginning (Heb. Beresheet) Elohim created (Heb. bara)" (Beresheet 1:1). Beresheet is the key by which everything is hidden, as it locks and unlocks. With this key six gates are locked and unlocked. So when it locks those gates and includes them within itself, then it is for sure Beresheet: a revealed word that includes within it a concealed word. Bara, wherever it appears, is a word that hides and guards a secret, IMPLYING THAT THE KEY locks it up and does not unlock it.
(Zohar Beresheet A 8:44)
And if we continue in the Zohar, as it continues to talks about the premise of tzimtzum we then come across this passage in Zohar Beresheet A 10:49:
Rabbi Chiya prostrated himself on the earth, kissed the dust and cried out, Dust, dust how stiff-necked (stubborn) you are; how shameless you are that all the delights of the eye perish within you! You consume all the beacons of light in the world and grind them. How impertinent you are. The Holy Luminary that illuminated the world; the great leader who governs the entire world and whose merit sustains the world is consumed by you? Rabbi Shimon, the Light of the Illumination, the Light of the Worlds! You perish in the dust while you sustain and govern the world! He then fell into a reverie for a moment and said. Dust, dust, be not proud! Because the pillars of the world will not be delivered into your hands; and Rabbi Shimon shall not be consumed by you
(Zohar Beresheet 10:49)
Now, it is interesting the constant mention of “dust” in this passage which, the text also says chapter 10 is talking about the Messiah as seen in the picture below. Here is why this is important.
The word for dust used here is עַפְרָא (aphra) which is the Aramaic version of the Hebrew word אדמה (adamah: meaning, dust, earth, dirt, ground). Now the Zohar goes back and forth between Hebrew and Aramaic. Now when you see a switch from a concept being talked about that is basically identified you see the clue is to hide it by switching languages to give you the answer. You will actually use the language not used to get the answer in terms of what the secret is to be revealed. It sounds complicated but if you know Semitic languages the patterns are very predictable in terms of that in the Zohar.
Now the reason this is interesting is because of the various definitions and also their application. Let us go to Genesis 2:7:
וַיִיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה וַיִפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָה:
Vayitzer Hashem Elohim et ha’adam afar min ha’adama vayipach be’apav nishmat chayim vayhi ha’adam le’nefesh chaya.
In which the Gutnick Chumash renders:
God, Almighty made man out of soil from (the four corners) of the Earth. He blew into his nostrils a living soul, and man became a living, (thinking and speaking) being.
(Genesis 2:7; The Gutnick Chumash)
Even if you don’t know Hebrew you can see something going on between the words, הָאֲדָמָה (ha’adama) and הָאָדָם (ha’adam). The word הָאֲדָמָה you know, it means the dust, earth, soil and ground. But extract the ה and you have the word הָאָדָם (the man). Man came from dirt showing us the concept of tzimtzum in many ways through the language. Now let’s break all this down, since we have set the stage.
Now the concept of "dust" coming from the hebrew אֲדָמָה is a reduction to formulate something great אָדָם (Adam: The father of all humanity). Now it is interesting that the Bible refers to Yeshua as the second Adam:
So also it has been written, "vay'hi HaAdam l'nefesh Chaya" (and the first man became a living soul); but Adam HaAchron (the last Adam) became a Ruach mechayeh (life giving spirit).
(1 Corinthians 15:45)
The concept mentioned in Philippians 2 of Mashiach emptying himself and taking on the form of אָדָם is the definition of tzimtzum. Now this concept is in relation to Zeir Anpin lets see if the Zohar says anything else in terms of Zeir Anpin.
The correctlons of Zeir Anpin were established through the Corrections of Arich Anpin, and His Corrections unftirled from this side and this side, MEANING FROM_RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTER, like the countenance of man'. MAN IS INDICATIVE OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN THAT INCLUDES ALL THREE COLUMNS in order that the spirit of the concealed of all concealed, THAT IS ARICH ANPIN, wffl reign in him. So he will sit on the throne, WHICH IS MALCHUT, since it is written: "And upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it" (Yechezkel 1:26). 'The appearance of a man," MEANING LIKE THE FACE OF A MAN, that comprises all aspects, SINCE THE THREE FACES, LION, OX, EAGLE, ARE CONTAINED IN MAN'S COUNTENANCE. THAT IS FROM THE ASPECT OF MALCHUT WITHIN HIM, SINCE MAN ENCOMPASSES Zeir Anpin AND MALCHUT. IT IS ALSO "the appearance of a man," as it includes all the names, BECAUSE ZEIR ANPIN is CALLED YUD HEI VAV HEI THAT INCLUDES ALL THE NAMES. 'The appearance of a man" in which are sealed all the worlds above and below, SINCE IT is THE SECRET MEANING OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN THAT SEALS ALL THE REALMS IN THE ASPECT OF THE FIRST THREE SFIROT OF MALCHUT BY DIMINISHING THE LEFT COLUMN. SO IT SHOULD NOT ILLUMINATE EXCEPT FROM BELOW UPWARDS. ALSO, "the appearance of a man" that he includes the secrets that were expressed and established prior to the world's creation, MEANING in THE SEVEN KINGS IN THE FORMLESS WORLD, even though THEY WERE DESTROYED AND did not endure.
(Zohar Naso 24:172)
Now we see here the concept of G-d in the flesh is not outside of Judaism. In fact Zeir Anpin is the most mentioned aspects of Sefirot in the Zohar, and the Zohar is one of the holiest collection of books within Hasidic Judaism.
Now our only source cannot be the Zohar, we also have understand what Paul understood and what was taught in Pharisaic realms in Paul's time which influenced his understanding and his words. To do this we are gonna go to Pirkei Avos:
"Moshe received the Torah from Sinai, and transmitted it to Yehoshua; and Yehoshua to the Elders; the Elders to the Prophets; and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly, They (the Men of the Great Assembly) said three things: Be diligent in judgement; develop many disciples; and make a fence around the Torah."
(Pirkei Avos 1:1)
Now on the biggest commentaries on Pirkei Avos is by the Maharal of Prague, it is known a Derech Chaim. Here is what the Maharal says about Pirkei Avos 1:1
It seems superfluous for the mishnah to count how many things were said; after all, we can easily count them ourselves. The mishnah states "They said three things" to teach that the remedy consists of precisely three parts. No less would be adequate and no more are required. The number three is characteristic of a complete entity. An entity consists of three parts: two opposite extremes and an intermediate part that joins with those extremes to form a unified whole.
(Derech Chaim, Maharal pg. 13)
This is a core part of Judaism that we find within only a few lines from the beginning of the Torah.
כו. וַיֹאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדוּ בִדְגַת הַיָם וּבְעוֹף הַשָׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ:
Vayomer Elohim na’ase adam betzalmenoo kidmootenoo veyirdoo vidgat hayam oovof hashamayim oovabehema oovchol ha’aretz oovchol haremes haromes al ha’aretz.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps
Now, the "us" in "Let us make man in our image" is often speculated, devoid of Jewish theological sources. Some say it is the angels, some say other heavenly beings. Yet, we see the word אֱלֹהִים is used there, which is a huge indication showing a singular plural of G-d. And it is actually in relation to sefirot when it says "we", the 3 pillars of the Sefirot. The right hand side is Ruach HaKodesh the left is G-d the Father and the middle pillar is Yeshua, which encapsulates the tzimtzum and Zeir Anpin.
Be on the lookout for a radio episode on this premise, you can check to see if said episode is posted on-demand yet by clicking the button below:
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah from the Brutal Planet Radio Program