Two Sides to Isaiah 53
11 billion miles and 36 years
away from the earth, Voyager 1 has passed our solar system and is exploring interstellar space. The awe inspiring ideas that
there is something beyond the beyond of human imagination observed by a man made invention is considered by many humans as
products of random occurrences and humanity’s evolutionary development. We, however, who are imbued with a sense of
humility at the Creation, have as a concomitant virtue, the wisdom for which humility is a prerequisite.
the phenomenon of the nation of Israel, freed from slavery in Egypt, wandering in the wilderness of the Sinai peninsula and
receiving its Divine constitution, i.e., her Covenant; one might justifiably wonder with awe as some notables as Mark Twain
did, at the presence of this nation in the modern world. Who could imagine that this people could survive all the horrors
and tribulations, fire storms and hells to which this unusual nation was subjected during the course of almost 4000 years
? A veritable voyager among the nations, Israel has weathered the storms of history and become a major player in the global
Israel was selected to serve God and mankind by serving as a witness to God’s Presence in Creation
and in human affairs. The caveat was simple: Israel’s compliance with the Torah, i.e., her Covenant yielded sublime
blessings rendering the nation invincible, wealthy, healthy and a model for other nations to emulate. Israel’s non-compliance
led to successively more devastating punishments (see Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28). The French philosopher Voltaire tempered
his proclamation that he was an atheist with his admission that the history of Israel reflecting the ancient prophecies of
the Hebrew Bible made him wonder about whether atheism was a valid belief.
The question of how Israel fits into
the role of the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is this : Did God create Israel to be the bearer of an impossible burden in
the sight of the nations ? After almost 4000 years, 3500 of which were under the obligations of the Covenant; we see that
except for a few years of glory, Israel failed to comply and reaped a constant storm of curses. All the nations and people
of the world could see that God’s Hand was turned against His chosen servant as a result of Israel’s failure to
live by her Divine constitution or Holy Covenant. The only ones who don’t see this obvious fact are the people of Israel
who think that their rabbinic based rendition of the Covenant is the right path in spite of their suffering and the
atheists who just deny anything associated with the Divine because of their fascistic agenda of dominating mankind. Since
Israel is unconscious of the cause of her suffering, yet persists in maintaining her national identity and existence, we might
consider that she is in fact God’s suffering servant by whom all of mankind can reel in fear of upsetting the Creator
and Master of the Universe who could easily inflict the same horrors on them as well if they remain intransigent in fulfilling
their Divine obligations.
However, there is another side of this suffering servant question - one which
the nation of Israel alone is want to consider. The 12th chapter of the Prophet Zachariah ends very strangely. After describing
His Divine, miraculous intervention in a world war in which Israel is victorious, God speaks to the Prophet about Israel and
her elites mourning over someone as though he were an only son. It is this chapter of Zachariah which should lead to honest
and obviously painful soul searching as to the true identity of the one man in Israel’s history which could be linked
to a national cleansing following this mourning period and also to the identity of the suffering servant of the 53rd chapter
of the Prophet Isaiah !
Brothers and sisters, I am a humble and simple man who has spent a few decades searching
out the truth of many matters. Such a sojourn is not continued without the growth in courage, humility and perseverance. Fortunately,
for me the unlikely voyage has led to the penetration of many layers of human and Divine ideas and a virtual unraveling of
the Gordian Knot of human enthrallment. This success has humbled me and left me a child of the universe, in awe of life, the
Creation, its Creator and mankind’s destiny to reach the final frontier of human evolution in what appears, by virtue
of the current events unfolding in the Middle East, to be in our lifetime !
It is with this sense of humility
and awe that I ask my fellow Judeans to consider deeply, humbly and free from all preconceived beliefs, whether the man whom
the House of Israel will mourn, after God establishes Israel’s victorious presence in the global arena after providing
her with the defeat of all of her enemies, will in fact be the beloved Rabbi Yehoshua whom the people of the world know as
Now I am NOT saying that he was the Messiah. This idea is FALSE because he never achieved the objectives
which the Bible says the Messiah will achieve. In fact the exact opposite of these objectives occurred just after his martyrdom.
However, If ever a man or human entity fit the biblical descriptions in Isaiah 53 and also Zachariah 12; it was not
Israel, the nation; but it was Rabbi Yehoshua by whose punishment we are healed IF, IF WE BELIEVE THAT THIS PROPHETIC STATEMENT
OF GOD IS TRUE !!!
Contemplation upon the above was not a short event for my simple soul. And I am sure that more
clever people can reach the obvious without as much obfuscation as I experienced. I am ashamed to admit that it took about
6 or 7 years to finally free my mind and except the simple words in the Hebrew Bible. I read so many commentaries and reread
many I had read decades ago before being clear about the inescapable probability of Rabbi Yehoshua fitting the description
in both prophecies. Of course, the prophets themselves, especially Jeremiah and Isaiah were candidates in my research, but
only Yehoshua could be the catalyst for a mourning and humbling on a national scale that would culminate in a national cleansing.
And so at this time of year, marked by the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War when Israel’s existence
was more in the balance than any Judean wants to acknowledge; I exhort you all to remember that thousands of Yom Kippurs never
got Israel to her destined state of grace which would bring her God’s treasure house of blessings based upon the merit
of her compliance with her eternal and Divine Covenant. Was this even humanly possible ? We will never know, will we ? Did
God know in advance that Israel would drift from storm to storm; never getting closer to redemption ? And did He provide this
one key element to attain grace, i.e., the belief that Rabbi Yehoshua’s martyrdom was the only means by
which human beings would be able to attain the humility which would lead to their salvation ?