One of my life goals is to stop "looking westward" (meaning, depending on the lands thereof for my livelihood) and start focusing my energy and time here in Israel, where I live, after all.
A very important issue that has always been a part of my looking homeward (towards E"Y) is the infiltration by Xians, both Gentiles and Jews who "converted out", in order to convert Jews to worship of their mangod, J****, using the strategy of bonding closely with Jewish "non-believers" and then presenting it to them as though it is part of Jewish mesorah (passing down, tradition).
They present it as though the Sages were divided on whether Xians are true idol worshipers, or their religion is merely a lesser form of idolatry, or even not-quite-idolatry. But the Noahides, according to at least one I know of thanks to Devash, are clear that it IS idolatry. Why be on the negative side when you can be on the positive side of G-d's ledger? And I tend to believe the Noahides and gerim more on this issue because it seems to me that they are closer to it than born Jews are. I'll even bet that the spiritual ancestors of the former Xians among them, while they were "redacting" (fancy word for editing and censoring) many of our Talmud passages that formerly fearlessly denounced Xianity back in the Middle Ages, also inserted the "controversy."
It is bad enough for Xians and "Messianic Jews" / "Jews for Jesus" to preach to and convert other non-Jews to their religion, and even Jews outside Eretz Yisrael. It is quite a bit worse to do this within the Land of Israel; and even worse than that, to pose as Jews (just Google "Ephraimites" and "Hebrew Roots Movement" and see what you get there!). No matter what one thinks of their right to free speech and public assembly and all the rest of it, they have crossed a line with G-d that cannot, and must not, be ignored.
Interestingly enough, the Xian site "Got Questions?" criticizes Ephraim in the following manner:
- "While God gifted the tribe as warriors and valiant fighters (1 Chronicles 12:30), Ephraim failed to follow God’s order to remove the Canaanites from the Promised Land (Exodus 23:23–25; Judges 1:29; Joshua 16:10)."
- "During the time of the judges, the
Ephraimites became angry with Gideon because he had not initially called
for their help in battling the Midianites (Judges 8:1).
Gideon wisely displayed godly kindness and extolled the tribe’s
commitment and willingness to serve the Lord, thus diffusing what could
have become an ugly situation (Judges 8:2–3).
"However, ugliness did arise later, and again it can be linked to Ephraim’s pride, jealously, and self-centeredness. When Jephthah [Yiftah - CDG] chose to fight (and defeat) the Ammonites without the aid of the proud Ephraim warriors, a civil war erupted, and 42,000 warriors from Ephraim were killed."
Man cannot be G-d, and G-d will not be man. He had a hard enough time before the Xians came along, teaching people the difference between idols and Himself. Why would He choose to turn Himself (or part of Himself, as if there were such a thing) into a man, and confuse mankind all over again?
Note: The Tana"kh (they call it the "Old Testament") links connected with quotes to their article above came with the text. I highly recommend that you also search the Chabad web site for a better translation from the Hebrew, as well as the original language itself. Rashi's commentary is invaluable here too.
For the last two or three months, Tomer Devorah has been liveblogging the progress of various Xian and Ephraimite groups here in E"Y. Her "Waller-War" series (begins here) is the beginning of the most recent news. From there, you can read the incredible amount of material Devash has compiled and commented on.
I believe that we Jews must rectify the world, as we are told; however, we cannot really do that effectively without first fixing our own land, and ourselves within our land. I see the Ephraimites/Joes/Hebrew Roots movement (1) as both an offshoot from the Messianic Jewish Movement (hereafter MJM) and an answer to a problem within the MJM. This non-Jewish version of the MJM uses many, if not all, of the same tactics and strategies the "Messianics" do regarding approaching "non-believing" Jews dressing as they think Jews dress, using Hebrew terms they basically made up from whatever Hebrew knowledge they have, with help from Jews who might actually have such knowledge. Having grown up non-Jewish and not knowing the difference between Torah-true Jews and secular Jews, perhaps never having lived among believing Orthodox Jews (who believe in HaShem, and not the trinity), they don't know the culture from inside. Even those who did grow up Orthodox perhaps missed some points.
But enough about the Jews among them for now; the real problem is the government, anyway: allowing our enemies free access to us, no different today than when R' Meir Kahane, zz"l, wrote about this incident in May 1989. My focus is on the Gentiles who took to themselves leadership of a sort outside the framework of the MJM, and decided to use the framework of Jewish externals -- dress, language, and cherry-picked customs -- and exploit the needy among us, making sure to proclaim that these are CHRISTIANS doing all this wonderful work for them, leading to the necessity for Devash and a number of others to expose them.
I hope this post is a bit helpful in connecting dots between the MJM and the so-called Ephraimites/"Joes." It ties into last week's parasha, Balak, which looks at two kinds of enemies of the Jewish people: Balak, king of Moav, who openly hates the nation of Israel who is camped out near his people; and Bil'am the sorceror, who has been hired by Balak to curse this people before the Moavim dare go out to battle against us. Most interesting are the comparisons between Balak and Bil'am: Balak, being more open about his anti-Hebrew stance, is more like the Muslims of today, and so we understand who and what he is; while Bil'am shows a smiling face and speaks pretty words, but after failing to overcome us as he was asked to do, he advises Balak on how to deal with us so that haShem ceases favoring us long enough to kill a significant number of us (largely from the tribe of Shimon) in the next parasha - thus, the "sneaky enemy" of the title. This is more like the Xian approach: They are working to change our attitude towards Jesus, have us call him the Hebrew Yeshua, and normalize him in our eyes, so that we would be more easily led to accept him as our savior and lord, and believe that he is one and the same as the G-d of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaa'qov. This is more like the approach of Esav. What will happen, if we don't make them leave our blessed land, is also an approach of Esav. Remember the 400 men he took with him when he met Yaaqov...
May our G-d, Avinu sheh-ba-shamayim, deliver us from Esav, from "our brother," no matter what approach he may take toward us.
And, may all those who are captured by him and his religion who do not wish to remain in error, be freed from it with the help of the Almighty as they set their hearts and minds toward the truth.
You might want to take a look at two new sections on my sidebar: Anti-Missionary Activists and Missionaries in Israel and Their Supporters - Beware! I hope to add more to each of them.
P.S. An interesting article on the Brit Am/Hebrew Nations site exposes the Ephraimites too. I won't give either of them any credibility unless they are confirmed by Mashiah Tzidqenu, and only to the extent that he does so.
Here's some relief from R' Ephraim Sprecher. May my readers be blessed and protected during the Three Weeks, starting Tuesday.
Bilam's Legacy: Belief in Moshiach
Also see this 3-part video series by R' Yehuda Richter over at Tomer Devorah: Why Shouldn't Jews Praise the Christians?
(1) They're all the same movement, with different names; it is mainly a Gentile movement trying to pass themselves off as Jews descended from Joseph, specifically his son Ephraim.