Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations Answers Questions concerning the so-called Ephraimites.
3. Let Scripture Decide! The Ephraimite Ruckus. More Replies.
(a) The Bible is Our Authority!
(b) Was Yair Influenced by his Jewish Peers!
(c) Need to Clarify Various issues.
Here are my questions:
1* Has there been any progress made with the legal status of Ephraimites in Israel? I mean I know the Law of Return is still the Law of Return, but has there been any forward movement with the Rabbinot of Israel towards special recognition of their status? Please elaborate any any recent developments in the passed few years.
2* Other than Rav Feld, are there any other respected Rabinical authorities in Israel that have a favorable tolerance towards the House of Ephraim? And that are working on their behalf or are reaching out to Ephraim in order to work together towards the common goal?
3* Basically, since I am just looking to get an overall understanding of the landscape of acceptance of the House of Ephraim in Israel, and whether there are more individuals, organizations or government representatives on board?
4* It was rumored that Netanyahu once had a favorable view towards the two house theology, I'm curious if this has translated into any progress on the ground in recent years, or is everything status quo as it was in '05 with yourself and Feld as the sole voice of Ephraim in Israel?
Answers to J:
First of all what really are the so-called Ephraimites? Recent developments have suggested that they may not be so interested in spreading knowledge of physical origin from Israel especially when the ancestry of concrete groups is specified.
If such is the case they are in effect Christian enthusiasts who at best have replaced Replacement Theology with fraternalism. Unlike advocates of Replacement Theory they may not say they are the True Israel who have replaced the Jews as the Chosen People. They rather claim to be brothers of the Jews by virtue of religious inspiration. Some of them are very pro-Jewish but others are not and seem anti-Jewish and wallowing in Pseudo-Karaite notions and sinister Conspiracy Theories as well as in some cases having fanatical missionary convictions.
We say the Lost Ten Tribes are mainly amongst Western Peoples BUT NOT ALL these peoples are Israelites.
So a certain overlap concerning Israelite Ancestry between us AND the Ephraimites exists. Many of them however may not like us that much and may not really be interested in what we have to say.
In other words the Ephraimites have been presenting themselves to us, and those like us, as one thing while really being more of something else.
Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations has its own following and teachings. We have merited to receive knowledge and insights on some matters. We wish to make this known. We may seem limited in our approach and conceptions but that is what there is. It is still a lot and may yet have far-reaching results.
As for your questions:
1. As far as I know NO progress has been made nor will there be. Forget it.
2. Rabbi Feld and Obadiah from Kol HaTor are probably genuine in their approach. We disagree with them but they seem to genuinely believe in what they do. They look with favor on some of the so-called Ephraimites coming to Israel. They want them however to convert to Judaism or at the least become the equivalent of Bnei Noach on the way to Judaism.
This has nothing to do with us.
It could be that Gentiles who feel an inner urge to come to Israel, with or without conversion, are in fact descendants of Jews or of Israelites from the Ten Tribes.
If they really want to do something they should take an interest in the Bible and in Hebrew Nations treachings and help spread them. We all need things in this life and sometimes the satisfaction of some of our needs may be delayed or go unrealized altogether. If one feels an inner imperative and compulsion in a certain direction however then it may be worth attempting to make something of it. Personally I doubt that such is really the case, in most cases.
Do not expect ANY Rabbinical authority to be favorable to Ephraimites coming here without conversion.
3. Brit-Am/Hebrew nations has supporters in Israel and those who are sympathetic. Our aims and beliefs however are distinct from the Ephraimite movement.
We emphasize Hebraic ancestry in the physical sense and the fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy. They who have trouble with this are not allowed to interfere with us.
4. Benyamin Netanyahu is reportedly open to Christian support for Israel. According to Rabbi Feld, Netanyahu is against antagonizing Christians even when they missionize.
Netanyahu also could be open to countenancing the concept of Israelite ancestry. A supporter of ours (Alan Youngerman) attended a memorial service for Orde Wingate some years back. Orde Wingate was a British Officer who befriended the Zionist Jewish cause and helped create what later became the IDF. Benyamin Netanyahu spoke at the service and his message was compatible with our teachings.
We consider ourselves spokesmen for Joseph, the Ten Tribes, and Judah.
As far as we are concerned no substantial changes can be expected unless our teachings become better known.
Instead of helping us, some Ephraimites seem to have placed themselves as a barrier against us.
In the long run this could work to our advantage.
Our aims are to:
Research the Ancestry of Western Peoples regarding their Israelite origins.
Recognition -Bring the Results of our Research to Public attention.
Reconciliation - Work towards the eventual re-unification of Joseph and Judah.
By Joseph we mean the Ten Tribes as a physical reality!
Question: Here and there in earlier Brit-Am writings we find support for "Ephraimites" settling in Israel.
e.g. "Brit-Am Now"-555,3. Ephraimite immigration development
Your recent announcements seem to contradict this. How so?
Western Peoples should be told that the Lost Ten Tribes are amongst them. This information needs to be spread and acted upon by the governments of the said nations supporting the State of Israel instead of its enemies. This knowledge confirms the truth of the Bible. It should be accompanied by an intensification of Biblical Consciousness.
Now to your question,
It appears that some confusion exists over the term Ephraimite. In the beginning we understood this term to simple mean a non-Jewish descendant of Israel who recognizes their Hebraic ancestry. This is still how the term is understood by most people.
Another application of the name "Ephraimite" however is a group of Christians who at first attached themselves to the Jews for Jesus. Later they were disappointed by what they perceived to be a supercilious attitude towards them due to their non-Jewish origin. They separated themselves and set up their own group based on physical and spiritual identification with Israel. [Researcher, John Hulley, supplied us with this explanation.]
Today most Ephraimites are newcomers and do not necessarily feel any connection with the former JforJ wannabees. The influence however remains.
Brit-Am is a independent development emanating primarily from Jewish and Biblical sources.
See: The History of Brit-Am
At the beginning we were helped by Avraham Feld (who is NO LONGER with us) and befriended by Ephraimites. For us the term Ephraimite at that time was simply another way of saying Joe i.e. descendants of Israel.
At the first, we had been against Ephraimites coming to live permanently in Israel.
We wished to emphasize Israelite Ancestry and the need for the peoples in question to respond as collective entities.
For us our belief in Israelite Ancestry emanates from the Bible and Judaism. It supplements and complements our Jewish Belief and does not contradict it.
The subject however is not a simple one. We had, and have friends, who live in Israel or want to do so. We may be in favor of this in some cases but not as a general rule.
There was a short period where we allowed ourselves to be mislead into supporting (with reservations) large scale immigration of Ephraimites or at least discussions etc in that direction.
We saw this as a means of arousing interest in the subject of Israelite identity, and perhaps helping to solve the problem of those Ephraimites who feel an overwhelming urge to come and stay here.
In addition it could have helped support for Brit-Am.
Quite a few of those who have helped us, or have promised help for us, have been strongly in favor of the State of Israel enabling non-Jewish believers to live here. Let us call people who have such beliefs "Homelanders" (?) or "Israellanders". Here and there pressures have been placed on us in this regard. It should be stressed however that amongst our supporters were Israellanders who continued to help us even though they knew that our position was against the Israellander one.
We changed our mine from an initial opposition, to temporary support, and later back to opposition.
Factors leading to this transformation included:
a. Clarification of Doctrine. This evolved. We do not always have all the answers all at once. Sometimes it takes time and learning.
Seven Reasons. Why Descendants of the Ten Tribes are not Accepted into Israel at Present.
1. Brit-Am Findings (concerning Israelite Ancestry) are not Suffiiciently Known About.
2. A Significant Percentage of Israelites does not necessarily mean a majority.
3. Individuals are unable to guarantee their Israelite Ancestry. The Uncertainty is there for a reason.
4. The Change of Status from Israelite to Stranger has not been reversed. Religious Uncertainty.
5. The Tribe or Nation as a whole needs to act on the knowledge, not solitary individuals.
6. Prophecy Needed. Prophecy will be renewed. We will have the answers then.
7. Task to be Fulfilled. The Ten Tribes have their own role to play and its members should do their part.
Other factors include:
b. Israelalderism arouses Opposition from Judah leading to a Misunderstanding of our aims.
c. Suspicion of Motivation of some Israellanders. This is a minor problem but it exists.
d. Over-emphasis on Israellanderism at the expense of spreading knowledge of Israelite Ancestry. We often got the impression that Israelalanders were not that interested in whether or not the Ten Tribes were amongst Western Peoples. They seemed more concerned with attracting others such as themselves to come here.
e. Sex and Food. People are human. Those who come to Israel should help the Jewish State of Israel.
As per no.6 in the Seven Reasons above, even AFTER THE REUNIFICATION and the Greater Land of Israel (from the Nile to the Euphrates) is divided amongst the Tribes EACH TRIBE WILL DWELL IN ITS OWN TERRITORY!
13 Thus says the Lord God: These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14 You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance....
21 Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance, says the Lord God.
1 Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border.... 29 This is the land which you shall divide by lot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their portions, says the Lord God.
There are many cases where individual non-Jews feel an overwhelming urge to dwell in the Land of Israel. This may be because they are descended from Israelites or Jews. It may be Hand of the Almighty. An individual solution exists for everyone.
3. Let Scripture Decide! The Ephraimite Ruckus. More Replies.
(a) The Bible is Our Authority!
Criticism was made of us as if our position, concerning Ephraimites not being allowed legally now to live permanently in the land, is based on personal caprice.
It is not. It is based on the Bible. [Apart from that we have no truck with governmental or official Rabbinical sources. What we say or think on this issue does not really matter. It might however be important in eventually persuading others to objectively consider our sources concerning Ancestral Identity.]
The Bible is an authority.
The Bible seems to say that the Ten Tribes will return as tribal groups and settle in the Land as such.
There are some passages that say they will also go up to Jerusalem but this would seem to be to worship.
There are no indications that they will join Judah, intermix with Judah, and settle in Jewish settlements. If they are returning Jews coming back to Judah then that is one thing. If however they are members of the Ten Tribes then that is something else.
Where is the Biblical Justification for members of the Ten Tribes returning outside of a Tribal context?
If a person wants to attach themselves to Judah and live amongst Jews then it stands to reason that one should abide by the requirements that Judah makes.
The same applies everywhere.
If, as a non-American, I want to live legally permanently in the USA then I have to go through the required rigmarole of getting accepted, making applications, living in the country for a trial period with subservient status, and then going before committees after which (if accepted) I have to swear fealty.
(b) Was Yair Influenced by his Jewish Peers!
It was alleged that our position was influenced by local Jewish criticism and I having "succomed to the pressure of your peers".
There has been no criticism.
The only pressure that was ever put on me was to support "Ephraimites" and company coming to Israel. We lost money because of it and possibly also supporters. Our rivals built themselves up over it.
On the other hand we may also have benefited due to our position. Our integrity and adherence to Scripture have benefited. There are those who appreciate this and continue to support us. The only answer must be in accordance to the Bible.
(c) Need to Clarify Various issues.
It was said,that we want the Tribes to become self aware, but stay where they are.
This is so, more or less. Stay where you are, spread the word, live good lifes, heighten your Biblical Consciousness and support the State of Israel! Is there something wrong with all that?
Do not come here permanently at the moment until issues with the house have been cleared up and your own status has been 100% (not from 20% to 70% as at present according to us and much less according to everybody else) confirmed.
We repeat the Bible is our authority.
If anyone has Biblical sources suggesting we are wrong let us see them!
We ourselves hope to prepare an article on the matter quoting the sources.
It should also be noted that other people need to be convinced of this truth and we are the ones doing the convincing.
Red herring is an English-language idiom that commonly refers to a type of logical fallacy in which a clue is intentionally or unintentionally misleading or distracting from the actual issue. It is also a literary device employed by writers that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion, often used in mystery or detective fiction.
... The origin of the expression has a number of theories. Conventional wisdom has long been that it originated from a supposed technique of training hounds to follow a scent, or of distracting hounds during a fox hunt; however modern linguistic research suggests that it was probably a purely literary invention by English polemicist William Cobbett in 1807 and never an actual practice of hunters.
In other words a Red Herring is something that misleads a Searcher who should be looking for something else.
Determining WHO the Ten Tribes are and having this knowledge made known and accepted should be our main aim and occupation at this stage.
All other considerations are relatively-speaking subsidiary or superfluous.
They who emphasize their desire to have Ephraimites settle permanently in Israel may well be genuine.
Nevertheless, it is a red herring, a wild goose chase, whose effects are diversionary and distracting. Perhaps this too is the intention of some enthusiasts?
To all those who speak of bringing Ephraimites permanently to Israel:
Whether or not, Yair Davidiy, agrees with you in that matter makes little difference.
No-one is going to listen to you in a positive manner.
You are liable to arouse the suspicions of the Israeli authorities in a negative direction.
The State of Israel already has had one such negative experience with the Black Hebrews in Dimona. [The Black Hebrews were Afro-Americans who said they were from the Lost Tribes. They came to Israel and were helped with accommodation etc. Eventually it became clear that this was an anti-Jewish cult who smuggled in many more of their families. They also caused numerous problems in many areas. The State of Israel wanted to evict them but threats were made that revenge would be taken against Jewish communities in the USA. So Israel left them alone and the problems remain.]
As stated, agitation to allow Ephraimites to come here permanently is not going to change matters BUT experience shows that failure in this direction leads to resentment amongst "Ephraimites" that in some cases has anti-Jewish overtones.
Energies, resources, funds expended in such an endeavor are liable to go to waste or have negative results.
We on the other hand are headed in the right direction which may yet yield very fruitful results but we have to fight every inch of the way.
There is an organization, Kol HaTor, headed by Obadiah and Avraham Feld that claims it is in favor of such activity BUT they expect their charges to either convert to Judaism or to become Noachites. After that, no-one promises anything (unless the conversion has been succesful) because the authorities still will not listen. This type of solution may be suitable for select indivuals.
So if you want to beat a dead horse and wear yourself out instead of supporting Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations, go ahead.
Change can come, if it does, only through knowledge of Israelite Ancestry becoming known and accepted.
PS. While arranging this article I overheard a program of advertising experts. They were commenting on the present Election Campaign now going on in Israel. They seemed to agree that the most succesful campaigns were those that chose one central theme and stuck to it. That is what we think should be done and the theme should be proving where the Ten Tribes are and bringing this knowledge to public attention.