THE BIRTH & DEATH OF THE ISRAELI
To the average person, Benjamin
Franklin seemed like a paradox. He despised religion, but he loved God. He had no interest in nor time for ritualistic or
ceremonial worship of the Creator, but he believed in serving God by serving man. He believed in doing well and achieving
success, but only by doing good. And he believed in freedom, but did not believe in democracy overruling our Republic.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with inventing the lightning rod, bifocals, vented streetlights.
He began the fire department, and developed a cleaner chimney to minimize the production of soot. Mr. Franklin is best known
for giving us two types of representation for government. And he is probably least known for returning his salaries to the
new government he helped to found.
When he walked out of the First Continental
Congress, Ms Powell, a reporter asked him, “Mr. Franklin, what type of government have you given us?” The founding
father answered her, “We’ve given you a republic – if you can keep it.”
When Israel received its independence from Egypt, God brought the new nation into the Wilderness of
Sin, i.e., the Sinai Desert. In Hebrew, this region is called Midbar Sin. Midbar means wilderness, but it also means m'daber,i.e.,
speak. This is where God spoke to Moses and the nation of Israel, provided the Constitution
and made Israel a Republic. A republic means rule by law. To this day the Torah, i.e., the written law is Israel’s Constitution,
and the Creator, its Author, is the King of Israel and the entire universe. Israel’s history is blood stained with episodes
begun by men who have ignored both the King and His Torah, His Law. Korach and his cronies rebelled against Moses while the
miracles were around them. God opened the earth which swallowed them, and the rest of the rebels died in God’s fire.
Righteous kings came and went, but none was so true as Josiah whose father and grandfather were unmatched for evil. The Prophets
risked their lives warning Israel to repent, but Israel always knew right from wrong. They knew they were indulging in idol
worship and they knew when they were brought back to God as with Josiah’s reformation.
When the Romans controlled Israel, four main factions struggled for influence over the people. The
Essenes saw the corruption of the day and retreated to the desert where they wrote their documents and preserved biblical
ones for us to find at Qumran in 1947. The Sicari were the zealots who tried to foment an uprising against Roman rule. The
Tsedukim or Sadducees controlled the Temple services and wanted civil authority as well. They denied the validity of the oral
law taught by the rabbis. They also denied the biblical fact of the Messiah. The Porshim or Pharisees were the fourth major
group. They believed that God gave an oral law to Moses ( other than those referred to in Genesis 26:5 ) at the same
time as He gave the written Torah Laws. They also believed in the coming of the Messiah from the House of King David.
At that time, only God knew which group would become preeminent in Jewish life.
As it turned out the Pharisees, i.e., the members of the Sanhedrin and the forerunners of Israel’s rabbis became the
predominant influence in the lives of the nation of Israel for 2000 years. Perhaps this was due to their faithfulness in teaching
of the coming of the Messiah. It certainly wasn’t due to their faithfulness to the written word of God.
The Sanhedrin followed a democratic decision making process as opposed to cleaving to the Laws of God and thereby changed
the republic ruled by God's Laws to a democracy ruled by men.
case in particular demonstrates this rebelliousness. An account in the Talmud details a decision regarding a woman’s
earthen oven. When she found a dead lizard in it she went to the rabbis of the Sanhedrin. According to Torah Law the oven
could not be purified if a dead lizard was found in it and it had to be destroyed (Leviticus 11:29-33). All the rabbis said
it could be purified. Only Rebbe Eliazer was faithful to the Law and said it had to be destroyed. The 69 other rabbis disagreed.
Rebbe Eliazer said that if he were right a carob tree in the garden should walk over to the other side of the garden.
This supposedly took place. Still the rabbis insisted that the oven could be purified. Then Rabbi Eliazer said that the walls
should cave inward if he were right and they did. Rabbi Yehoshua jumped up and ordered the walls back, but supposedly they
remained concave and did not return. he said the halachah was like him. And Rabbi Eliazer said it was like him. Then a voice
from Heaven called out that the halachah was like Rebbe Eliazar and that Eliazar was right. The response from Rabbi
Yehoshua was a disingenuous use of a concept in Deuteronomy 30:12 ( Parshat Nitzavim). Rabbi Yehoshua quoted that the
Torah doesn’t come from Heaven, but from the earth, i.e., their earthly tribunal will decide the meanings and interpretations
of God's laws. The halachah went to the left. And from this point on the rabbis legislated away the strict constructionist
perspective of our Creator. I challenge anyone to read this section of Torah and then stand up and tell his Maker that
Rabbi Yehoshua is correct. And if he says he agrees with Rabbi Yehoshua, would he bet his life on his statement; because our illustrious
rabbis did just that with every man, women and child in the nation of Israel from that time on with absolute and unmitigated
arrogance. This was a formal rebellion and the institutionalization of the democratic process, i.e., rule by majority,
a process seen as contradicting God’s republican law, i.e., rule by law, and a legacy left over from the pagan
Greeks for whom it worked because they had no God who provided them with a Law upon which to base a republic as Israel was
intended to be. Indeed the rabbis were often sanctifying pagan custom of Jews who imitated Greeks yet wanted to feel Jewish.
A visit to the Beit Alpha synagogue built during this period has the odd feature of a mosaic floor depicting the pantheon
of the Greek gods and goddesses. Yes the pagan male gods were not separated from the female ones. All kidding aside this was
rebellion and today we venerate these apostate leaders who are responsible for modern Judaism which has less faithfulness
to the written Laws of God than it does to these rabbis who commented about the Talmud with all of its contradictions, " That
all these words are the words of the living God". What audacity to equate their reasonings, allegorical and symbolic
renderings of the written Torah, not to mention their outright disagreements with the absolute truth of the Creator.
This was the point where Israel as a nation blessed by God became derailed. It would founder for 2000 years in a quagmire
of legalistic rabbinic circumventions and contradictions to the Bible of Israel with an occasional compliance. Even today
one of the rabbinic dynasties fraternizes with Israel’s mortal enemies, citing rabbinic legalisms while other dynasties
deny the validity of the secular state - not that they aren’t capable of arguing the life out of a religious state
with which they wouldn’t agree based on one rabbi’s viewpoint or another. The view that the written Law supersedes
rabbinic law or the mythological oral one upon which the rabbis based their laws is simply considered heresy. Talk about
the pot calling the kettle black. In the 18th Century the Gaon of Vilna, I believe was the one who dreamed that he went to
heaven and asked Eliayahu HaNavi ( Elijah the Prophet) about this episode with the earthen ware oven and how the rabbis went
against Rabbi Eliazar's judgment. He said that Elijah said that God replied that His children have (nitzchuni) beaten
Him). God, he said did not give Israel a closed document and that we can find new and fresh ideas and that we are God's
partners. Well I'm sorry but freshness is not rebelliousness which leads to a warped identity and a loss of mission. Freshness
is in the Torah and we are certainly partners when we remain true to Torah and receive revelations as the Zohar says we will
if we study Torah for its own sake. Try looking through Torah Universe for freshness that never departs from God's Written
To my fellow Jews I ask the following consideration:
Imagine that this claim that the oral and rabbinic laws do not comply with the Torah, had been made 1800 years ago. Even the
reason for such a debate at that period might never have existed. However after our gruesome history we have every right,
indeed we have the moral responsibility to investigate the reasons for our suffering. How could it be that so many religiously
observant Jews were slaughtered unless they were not truly in compliance with God’s Laws and intentions? The notion
that we were meant to prove our loyalty through such suffering simply doesn’t comply with the Torah. Therefore I ask
you to inquire of each other and your rabbis to explain this claim. We will certainly be the better for it. And
then ask non-observant friends if they refuse to observe the Torah because they understand it from the traditional rabbinic
perspective which they simply cannot understand and are unwilling to abide. I believe that we loose some of our best to the
quagmire of secularism because our traditional interpretations seem so outlandishly illogical. Israelis, e.g., grow up with
many orthodox groups around them. When they see all the industry involved in Sabbath observance, they are turned away from
the Sabbath, the Torah and God. This is a disaster for the entire nation and the world. The idea that the individual
elements of work are in and of themselves considered work is an illogical notion. The halachah allows us to carry a piano
up and down the stairs of our house on Shabbat so long as we remain within our private little domain. However, if we carry
a handkerchief or gloves in our hand and walk out of our homes into the public domain, this is considered a desecration of
the Sabbath. Further, in the past when most Jews heated their homes and food with fire ignited before the entry of Shabbat, we
were forbidden to add wood to the fire as if each additional log was somehow the creation of a fire. The logs were simply added to a pre existing fire and each additional log is no more a new fire than
adding a new word to a conversation makes it a new conversation.
We would be wise to bring logic back to the representation of Torah
so that all of our brothers and sisters can be persuaded to return to God and the blessings history has demonstrated that
we desperately need at times such as these in which our existence is once again in question. And keep in mind
all the Torah passages which warn us to observe the written law : Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 13:1; Deuteronomy 28:58; Deuteronomy
30:10; Joshua 1:7,8; Joshua 23: 6; First Kings 2:2,3,4.
Yes my people, these passages prove we have been led astray. And if this isn't proof positive to all of us, you
have to acknowledge that these passages demand an honest revisiting of our religion's underpinning. To ignore such
passages or to spin them away to preserve our nation's big lie that Judaism is actually an accurate representation of
God's Torah, will not serve us well when the Moshiach chastises us for such an irresponsible oversight. I thank God that
He will transform our nation from the cartoon - like Judaism perpetrated by rabbinic intransigence to the Torah true worship
of God by a noble, holy nation of warrior priests our patriarchs and matriarchs would view with pride.