Lately, I have had multiple interesting articles/emails come across my desk regarding the building of bridges between Jews and non-Jews. The sources have been both Jew and non- with perspectives that have been varied, but a largely unified message:
Like most of you, I came out of Christendom and have a considerable amount of ‘Christianese’ in my vocabulary that means one thing to me and something altogether different to those of Judah. We may be well meaning, but our terminology, lingo and expectations can be heard as decidedly antisemitic. Friend and fellow blogger, Peter Vest, recently published a post titled, Unintentional Antisemitism: Why Christian Institutions and Ideologies are Antisemitic Despite the Philosemitism of Individual Christians. It is a short but instructive read about underlying expectations of Christendom upon Jews that have negative consequences.
Another recent source is a forwarded email I received from OvadYah Avrahami of Kol Hator titled We need to delete the word ‘conversion’ from our vocabulory. He writes,
In fact, the word or concept ‘conversion to Judaism’ does not exist in the Bible.
Ruth did not convert to Judaism – she joined the Nation of the God of Israel (12 Tribes).
Nowhere in the process is the convert ever told, ‘You are now a Jew’.
The process that we call ‘conversion to Judaism’ and which so many Ten Tribers fear and resist, is simply like a Marriage. You do NOT marry Judah – Judah is simply like the Marriage officer – to formalize the re-covenanting with the God of Israel and to ensure that it is done according to all ‘legal’ (Biblically defined) requirements. The Marriage (covenanting) is with God.
This has become clear from our recent discussions about the potential and promised Return of the masses of uncovenanted Hebrews in the world plus the de-covenanted 10 Tribers. The latter regard themselves as ‘covenanted by their Messiah’. What they fail to see is that they have been called to a Torah (Covenant) rejecting Messiah, as the Church commonly teaches.. Never yet have they formally re-covenanted, that is, accepted the Torah principles of the Covenant, like circumcision and Halacha as defined by the appointed Lawgivers from the Tribe of Judah. They have simply been called, awakened. They can ONLY recovenant on HaShem’s Torah principles as proclaimed throughout the ages by the Divinely appointed Mechoqeck of Judah.
These uncovenanted Hebrews and Ten Tribers need to re-covenant and ONLY Judah can facilitate that for them for they have maintained these principles throughout. It is absurd to suggest that the uncovenanted and the decoveenanted who have lost all Torah foundations until their recent Calling, can now come and lay down the legal conditions the way they interpret it (and in objection to the Jewish principles). The citizen, in any country or society, does not make the Law neither interprets it – that is the duty of the Justice department and executive arm of the Law to apply in the country. Those are the basics of Law and Order.
Re-covenanting with HaShem entails 3 Basic concepts:
– Circumcision. This was never for Jews alone but for all souls who wished to be part of His nation, thus also for the 10 tribes, strangers and returnees to the faith.
– Mikveh – a concluding process symbolizing re-birth through water (not just for Jews but for all concerned) after
– A sincere commitment to follow the rules NOT of Judah, but of HaShem (Judah simply being the interpreter).
The twelve Tribes covenanted at Sinai – and re-covenanted at Mt Eval (Joshua’s Altar) at their Entry (Return) to the Promised Land after their trials and reconciliation period in the Wilderness.
The pattern is clear.
Prospective returnees need to do the same.
Kol HaTor Vision for the Restoration of the 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel
Now, before some of you flip your lid… I do not agree with OvadYah’s recommendations, but it is clear that he understands the word ‘conversion‘ to Judaism is offensive to us, just as Peter Vest points out that to the Jew ‘conversion to Christianity‘ is offensive.
To build bridges between Jews and Torah-pursuant non-Jews, we must recognize centuries of abuse, injuries and bad theology… from both sides. Truly, Christendom has been the far worse aggressor due mainly to their size. We must seek to be sensitive to the other party’s perspectives and understandings. I believe, as we are sensitive and wait on the Mashiach, we can grow closer together until HE finally performs the unification much prophesied in the Tanach.
Let us seek to be sensitive to out brother Judah in our words and actions.