Ten Tribes Studies (27 December, 2013, 24 Tevet, 5774)
1. An Outline of the Book of Joshua, ch.1
2. Learning to Listen to Rebuke (Proverbs 17:10).
3. Question on Conversion to Judaism and Brit-Am Reply
5. A Reminder: 2 Important YouTube Clips of reasonably good quality were recently made available.
1. An Outline of the Book of Joshua
Joshua chapter 1
Moses had passed away.
The Almighty appointed Joshua as the new leader of Israel.
The Israelites were to cross the Jordan and conquer the rest of the Promised Land. From the Wilderness and all of Lebanon up to the Euphrates River in the north and northeast, all the Land of the Hittites in the north and eastward up unto the Persian Gulf was to be the Hebrew border. God promised HE would be with them in conquering the Land.
The Land was to be divided unto all the Tribes of Israel. If you keep the Torah you will prosper and be successful in every direction you turn. It was commanded to learn Torah day and night. Joshua told the people to prepare themselves to cross the Jordan in three days time.
Joshua addressed the two and a half tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh. They had been given all the region east of the Jordan. Joshua reminded these tribes how Moses had already commanded them to leave their wives and children in encampments where they were. Meanwhile the warriors were to joined the other tribes and participate in the conquest of the rest of the Land to the west of the Jordan. They answered in the affirmative and gave Joshua the recognition due to a king which in fact (according to Maimonides) he was. Whosoever should disobey the orders of Joshua was to be put to death.
2. Learning to Listen to Rebuke (Proverbs 17:10).
10 A rebuke strikes deeper into a discerning person
than a hundred blows into a fool.
The Hebrew may be translated more literally as saying:
It is preferable to rebuke one of discernment
than hit a fool a hundred times over.
We should learn to deal with criticism in a constructive way.
We should try to listen to what others say about us even when it is not pleasant.
We should perhaps consider these words of adversity as warning message from heaven and correct what can be corrected while we can.
These matters are easier said than done but deserve to be kept in mind.
A balance is also necessary: Sometimes we are better off ignoring bad things said about us or even answering back vigorously to them.
We at Brit-Am have had some experience with these matters. At different times we have probably done all the right things as well as many of the wrong ones (or vice versa).
I have read much on your website and very much appreciate your content. I find it most interesting and quite helpful.
In your material I have read that, while you discourage LTT conversions, you support the desire of LTT to reconcile with Judah and that conversion might be a natural expression from the LTT because of a possible reconciliation between brothers. ...
Our desire for conversion is for a single purpose: COMMUNITY. We all long for acceptance and association with a group in which we might express our desire to know Hashem in more appropriate ways and practice our devotion to Him in our daily walk and within our family practices. ... My reservation with conversion is twofold: 1) real acceptance with the Jewish community and 2) losing identity as a direct member of one of the LTT. Firstly, I have been in enough dialog with Orthodox Judaism to know that a convert, while valued - is still a convert. ...
Secondly, Hashem had determined the number of tribes to be 12, or 13 with Joseph being fulfilled in Ephraim and Menashe, so that we all do not need to be Judah or Benyamin. We have taken the course of Ruth, have left our pagan past, and have chosen the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. By converting to Judaism and being associated with Judah, are we possibly turning our backs on a possible true tribal identity of one of the LTT and by this disassociating ourselves with the exile of our LTT brothers in not waiting upon Hashem to bring us back from our exile and recognize us (shine His Face upon us) once again? In conversion, do we not, in our great desire to leave the exile and be reconciled with all our brothers, our Davidic Kingship, and our G-d as Master, prematurely and incorrectly bring about the restoration in OUR own way rather than the true way of Hashem?
(a) 1st message.
I have not much experience in answering questions of this nature but I understand your situation somewhat.
Perhaps my own experience will help.
I myself was born Jewish technically but was not brought up as such.
At first I read works by Reform and Conservative Jews. They may be helpful in the beginning but they can also be misleading.
We need to believe in the Bible and consult with Jews who also so believe.
The Ultra-Orthodox bear the legacy of Moses and the Patriarchs. Only with them lies the answer.
In a sense I accepted the practice of Judaism on myself. I was obligated to do so and am glad of it.
If you so feel obligated then you should do what it takes to make it official if you can.
This means going to the Orthodox Jews for direction.
Paradoxically you may find the Ultra-Orthodox more helpful than the Modern ones.
If one has:
Belief in One God,
Consciousness of an Obligation to keep the Commandments
A Desire to associate with the Jewish Community
then to my mind one should convert.
If one has doubts on any of the above then re-think the situation.
As for being accepted or not accepted by the Community it is easier in the State of Israel than in some communities outside of Israel.
Nevertheless, it is mainly psychological.
If you have no other problems then this too will not be a problem.
You sound like a very balanced happy person and are probably successful in what you do.
Even so there may be problems.
It is a known phenomenon that families that convert often break up. May be they would have broken up anyway?
You may be faced with a struggle but it could still be worth it.
Your last remarks return to the points that worried you, i.e.
1) real acceptance with the Jewish community and 2) losing identity as a direct member of one of the LTT.
(1) Real acceptance by the community depends mainly on yourself.
If you are religious it should not be much of a problem but for some people it probably is.
If you are acceptable to the Almighty then you will also be acceptable to your fellow.
[None of us are angels however and nothing is guaranteed. Nevertheless, on the whole the less one worries about what one is, the less others will.]
(2) losing identity as a direct member of one of the LTT.
I would not worry on this point.
There are thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of converts to Judaism and their descendants from the LTs amongst the Jews today.
If you really feel a responsibility towards the LTs then you may well be enabled to assist them from within Judaism.
Judaism contains many of the answers.
God bless you
(b) 2nd Message.
Following our previous message we would like to add the following.
In most cases one should try to do the best one can even if it entails effort and sacrifice.
Your children and spouse should naturally be consulted. If they are in favor then you should probably go ahead even if you have personal reservations on the matter. Otherwise you have a problem.
You say you have been associating with a Jewish Conservative congregation. I do not know what these are like. Their conversions however are not recognized by the Orthodox nor (whatever anybody says) by the State of Israel.
Orthodox Conversions can go quite quickly but usually they take anywhere from one to several years. Nor are they certain. Sometimes people go through all the rigmarole etc only to be turned down at the end.
Your letter indicates that the option of staying as you are has already been considered by you and is feasible.
Concerning the LTTs and Judah we may shortly begin a more intensive Hebrew language activity.
We have been holding back on this matter for several reasons.
One of our conundrums is that while we are certain that Judah should know who the Ten Tribes are, what should be done about it by Judah is not clear to us.
Perhaps it is enough at this stage that the message of Hebrew Ancestry be made known?
Members of the LTTs who wish to convert should organize themselves.
They should get together but for mutual support, advice, and fellowship and NOT to create their own religion.
At the least they should have their own email discussion group.
Attempts in the past along these lines have not been successful.
We cannot help very much in this matter though we would do what we can. Someone else should undertake the main effort.
A significant number of people, many of them of high quality, may be involved.
(b) Ten Tribes of Israel to Rule the World
Duration: 14.32 minutes