The Dilemma of the Ger: Commentary on “Has an Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged After 2500 Years?”

The Torah Awakening among Christians is creating something the world has not seen for two thousand years:  a growing body of non-Jewish people who are doing the best they can to live by God’s eternal standards (His Torah – Law, Teaching, Commandments), but who do not intend to convert to Judaism.

What is the world to do with such people?  Perhaps the more immediate question is, what are the Jewish people and the State of Israel to do with such people?

Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler explored these questions recently in an article for Breaking Israel News.  Her article, “Has an Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged after 2500 Years?”, presents the biblical concept of ger, (גָּר, Strong’s H1616), or foreigner, as a possible status for Torah-keeping non-Jews.  Dr. Adler and I have shared some correspondence on this question, and hopefully will be able to continue that conversation in a point-counterpoint discussion.  Here is my initial offering.

According to Strong’s Concordance, a ger is a “sojourner; a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking inherited rights; of foreigners in Israel, though conceded rights”.  The implication is that such people are not Israelites, not Hebrews, and not members of the nation or commonwealth of Israel. 

This is where we run into several issues.  The easy path is to argue these points, but that is not necessarily the wisest path.  What we all need is the path of wisdom and reconciliation, and that is what I hope to investigate.

Many of us who have embraced Torah have also embraced our Hebrew identity.  We believe we are part of the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel, which Scripture also calls the House of Joseph (Yosef) and House of Ephraim.  The single greatest topic of prophetic writings in the Bible concerns the restoration of these Lost Tribes at the end of days and their reunification with the Jewish people, whom we understand to be the House of Judah.  The story of how these two pieces of the nation split apart is in I Kings 12.  The story of their reunion is explained in many places, such as Ezekiel 37 and Isaiah 11.  If we modern-day Hebrews are the returning House of Joseph/Ephraim, then that means we are not strangers and aliens, but are in fact full-fledged members of the nation of Israel, just as are our Jewish brethren.

But our Jewish brethren, and our Christian brethren, and the rest of the world operate under the paradigm that Israel consists entirely and exclusively of the Jewish people.  That is as true today as it has been since 720 BCE, when the Assyrian Empire conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and transformed the House of Joseph/Ephraim into the Lost Tribes.  That present reality shapes the way this reunion is to happen.

There is another awkward reality that impacts the reunion.  We who are coming from the Christian side are inextricably attached to Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ), whom we believe to be our Messiah, and whom we do believe is the incarnation of Almighty God.  That is why we cannot convert to Judaism, and why our Jewish counterparts are reluctant to have anything to do with us.  However, our awakening to Torah and to our Hebrew identity is because of Yeshua.  We know now that he was very Jewish, that he kept Torah, and that he taught his disciples to do the same and to respect the Jewish spiritual authorities of his day.  This compounds the dilemma for our Jewish brethren:  the very person they insist cannot be Messiah is the one who has brought us to Torah, and whom we understand to have opened the way for us to have a relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Truly he is a stumbling block to both houses of Israel, just as Isaiah 8:14 explains.

How, then, can we return to the Land of Israel when the Jewish people are not ready to consider admitting multitudes of Yeshua followers, no matter what we do with Torah?  Perhaps the concept of ger provides a way forward.

It seems that Yeshua himself alluded to the ger in one of his most famous teachings:  the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Many of us in the Hebrew Roots movement have come to understand this parable as a prophetic telling of the reunion of Ephraim and Judah.  Here it is in full.  Perhaps you can see the connection:

Then He said:  “A certain man had two sons.  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’  So he divided to them his livelihood.  And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.  But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.  Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.  But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.  Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

“And he arose and came to his father.  But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’  And they began to be merry.

“Now his older son was in the field.  And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.  And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’  But he was angry and would not go in.  Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.  So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’  And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”  (Luke 15:11-31 NKJV)

Do you recognize in the younger son the lost House of Joseph/Ephraim?  The original Joseph may not have acted as selfishly as the Prodigal, but he was separated from the family and counted as dead.  So, too, were his descendants, only they did act selfishly and wickedly.  It was they who broke the family and shattered the nation.  The fruit of their rebellion created insurmountable problems for older brother Judah – problems that required continuous Divine intervention just to keep the Jewish people from perishing off the face of the earth.

If we are the returning House of Joseph/Ephraim, then this is our heritage.  We may believe we are Hebrews and Israelites with as much right to the Land as our Jewish brethren, but what do they think?  And what are we really?  How many of us speak Hebrew with any degree of fluency?  How many of us do business with Israel?  How many of us even have Jewish friends?  And how many of us have even tried to learn and obey Torah for more than a dozen years? 

And how many of us and of our ancestors have been complicit in the endless suffering of the Jewish people?

When we see the issue this way, it seems the prayer of the Prodigal is the one we should be speaking right now.  One day, when God Himself welcomes us back, we can step into the fullness of our Hebrew identity.  Until then, we can only speak to it in humility and repentance according to Scripture, expecting that reconciliation with our God and our brethren will happen in time.

This is why the name of ger applies to us.  Perhaps it will apply to us for some time yet – even after we have opportunity to live in the Land of Israel.  Ezekiel 47 presents the division of the Land among all 12 tribes.  Near the end of that passage are these curious words:

“Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.  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.  And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God.  (Ezekiel 47:21-23 NKJV)

Are these gerim us, the returning Hebrews of Joseph/Ephraim?  If so, then perhaps we are to return as strangers and hired servants, humbly repenting for what our people have done over the last 3,000 to break this nation apart.  If that is what pleases our God and advances His Kingdom purposes, then let us not allow our pride to turn us away from it.


Has An Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged After 2500 Years?

Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler
Published in Breaking Israel News
 on January 15, 2017

“One law and one ordinance shall be both for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.”  Numbers 15:16 (The Israel Bible™)
Moses with the 10 Commandments. (José Camarón y Meliá/Wikimedia Commons/US Public Domain)

Moses with the 10 Commandments. (José Camarón y Meliá/Wikimedia Commons/US Public Domain)

Most people think the Bible separates humanity into two basic categories – Jew and Gentile.  In truth, the Bible has a third category, known in Torah literature as Ger.

There are 60 verses in the Hebrew Bible that use the Hebrew word Ger (plural Gerim).  It is almost always mistranslated as stranger or foreigner.  It is also understood to mean convert.

According to Rabbis Chaim Clorfene and David Katz, co-authors of The World of the Ger, Ger is actually a third category, between Jew and Gentile, that existed in Biblical times and is re-emerging today as redemption draws ever closer.

Rabbi Clorfene spoke to Breaking Israel News about the connection between Ger and geula (redemption).  “The Maharal (famous 16th century Jewish scholar) says that before the geula can come, the old order has to collapse, along with its institutions and processes and systems.  I believe that the primary agent of the collapse will be the Gentile who comes to the Torah, connects with the Jewish people, and keeps the Sabbath,” he proclaimed.

“Our God is his God, but he does not convert.  This is the non-Jewish Ger.  He can thrive only in geula.  This Ger has now fully reemerged, for the first time since the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, 2500 years ago.  And as he increases in numbers and in wisdom, the golus (exile) will collapse.”

Rabbi David Katz has spent thousands of hours researching what Jewish law has to say about the status of Ger.  Recently, he translated an important rabbinic work on the topic from Hebrew to English.  He will be in South Africa this month to meet with individuals who identify as, or are considering becoming, Gerim.  He answers their questions according to Torah law.

Rabbi Katz plainly states, “In the Messianic era . . . there will be Ger in the world.  They will come back.  They will not convert [because] we will not accept converts in those days.”  He further explained that Gerim “need Torah for their souls. . . . .  There is a Ger in the fabric of creation and they are starving and thirsty for Torah.  It’s a hundred billion percent kosher.”

In the Preface to The World of the Ger, Rabbi Clorfene writes, “In the times of King David and King Solomon, the Land of Israel’s population included hundreds of thousands of righteous Gentiles.  This is the Ger Toshav, the foreign resident mentioned in the Torah.  And so it was throughout the First Temple period.  But then, the Kingdom of Israel was exiled to Assyria as the Ten Lost Tribes.  And the Kingdom of Judea was exiled to Babylon (those few who Nebuchadnezzar left alive).  And the Noahide (all Gerim Toshavim are Noahides) got lost in the shuffle.”

The Biblical Ger has a different status than a Gentile.  The Ger of the Bible was an absolute monotheist who accepted the Seven Laws of Noah.  The Biblical Ger has permission from the Torah to adopt Jewish practices, such as learning Torah, celebrating Shabbat and avoiding pork and shellfish.  The true Ger is a kosher non-Jew according to Torah law.

The Noahide Laws

The Noahide Laws

Among the most well-known Gerim in the Bible are Shem, the son of Noah, Yitro (Jethro), the father-in-law of Moses and the Queen of Sheba.

There are multiple categories of Ger found in Judaism’s rabbinic literature and explaining the nuances extends far beyond the purview of this article.  The concept of Ger is not a simple one and the existence of Ger today is a matter of great controversy among rabbis.

Most Jewish people today are misinformed, or completely uninformed, that such a Torah category even exists; they use the word Ger to refer to a convert to Judaism.

Nevertheless, there are individuals today who identify as Ger.  There are small communities of Gerim in Texas and in South Africa and a number of Facebook groups where people who are exploring, or have committed themselves to, the Torah category of Ger are able to network.

Russell Kirk, a self-identified Ger from Waco, TX, spoke to Breaking Israel News about his spiritual journey, which began in earnest 17 years ago.  “What I have learned in my pursuit of understanding Ger that strengthened my faith in God is that even from the foundation of creation, HaShem (God) considered me in His Torah.  The Torah of HaShem is totally complete with a plan for grace, mercy, and salvation for the non-Jew. From the very beginning HaShem has always considered the Ger.”

In 2014, the Chief Rabbinate formally recognized a Ger for the first time in 2,500 years.  This unusual action was taken in connection with the observance of Shmittah, the Biblical requirement to rest the land of Israel every seven years.

But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for Hashem:  thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.  Leviticus 25:4

The 2014 decision of the Chief Rabbinate was not intended to set a precedent for Israel to formally recognize Gerim in our day.  However, it is clear that according to many leading rabbis, the time of the Ger is at hand.

Source:  Has An Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged After 2500 Years – Breaking Israel News


bfb161221-rivkah-adlerDr. Rivkah Lambert Adler is a Bible and Prophecy Watch reporter on Breaking Israel News.  She made aliyah in 2010 from Baltimore, where her husband served as a synagogue rabbi.  Rivkah currently lives in Ma’ale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem.  On September 11, 2001, she became passionate about the Land of Israel and the Final Redemption, about which she has been writing, speaking and teaching ever since.  Rivkah also enjoys writing about women and Judaism and about making aliyah.  She has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2017.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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About Albert J. McCarn

I am a lifelong disciple of Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth, an avid student of the Bible, a devoted husband and father, a 29-year veteran of the United States Army, and a historian who connects people with their own stories.

18 responses to “The Dilemma of the Ger: Commentary on “Has an Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged After 2500 Years?””

  1. Pete Rambo says :

    Terrific article, a first offer on a conversation that will surely affect us all. May Abba guide you in this discussion!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pete Rambo says :

      On pondering this further, I want to thank Dr. Adler for opening the topic and being willing to discuss the matter of the ger.

      From he article, I have two questions/concerns… The first is connected to the Noahide laws. I have heard this term and understanding before, but really do not see it as a concept in Scripture. I understand the process of extrapolating them from the Noaich story, but they are never expressly given or referred to by YHVH.

      What I do see YHVH saying, regarding the ger is that there is to be one Torah for the native born as well as the ger. There is very little difference between the two in how to stand before Hashem. To wit: Numbers 15:14-16, 26-29; Lev. 24:16, 22; 17:15; etc… Over and over the ger is given and expected to receive equal standing before Hashem and the requirements are the same: one Torah.

      I do thank and bless Dr. Adler for tackling this topic. May you both find grace and blessing in leading the discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pete Rambo says :

    Reblogged this on natsab and commented:
    Only rarely in each generation does a truly important topic get put n the table for discussion. In this response from Al McCarn to Dr. Rivkah Adler, we find the opening exchange of a most important topic for our generation. Who and what is the ger, and what is their right standing before Judah. Hundreds of thousands of non-Jews across the world are coming to Torah observance with no intent of converting to Judaism. What to do? How are they to be treated? What is their standing before God? Even more important, what is the nation of Israel to do about this phenomenon and the desire of many to come alongside Judah and live in the Land?

    Many questions in a most complex issue.

    Dr. Adler opens the discussion with a piece in Breaking Israel News about the Biblical ger and the Jewish perspective. Al responds with some significant thoughts from our side…

    Check out this most interesting first exchange and ponder the magnitude of what this conversation might mean!!

    Like

  3. Cathy Helms says :

    Reblogged this on Wilderness Report and commented:
    Why are Christians keeping Sabbath and the other Feasts of the LORD described in Lev. 23? Al McCarn presents some compelling facts and conclusions.

    Like

  4. Marcus G says :

    All very interesting and thought provoking, thanks.

    Three things struck me as I read through the parable here (and I know we must be careful not to take the parable too far).

    Firstly, that the son (Ephraim) returned full of humility to the Father. A very good thing for us to remember!

    Secondly, that it was the Father who spoke with the other son (Judah), and it was with the Father that the elder son made his complaints.

    Thirdly, that the Father was the one who accepted the son (Ephraim) and allowed him back into the household (land?). There is actually no interaction between the two sons in all of this.

    I’m not saying these things to suggest we don’t interact with the House of Judah today. In fact, I think that is right and good. However, perhaps there are some things that we may try to do that go against some of these principles!? It is the Father who must remain our priority!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Barking Fox says :

      Very good point, Marcus. Ron Campbell made the same points at the Second B’ney Yosef Congress last October. The Father must be our priority, for it is ultimately against Him we have sinned. He is the One Who reinstates us. Wisdom, though, says that in our approach to the Father, we do whatever we can to open the way for reconciliation with our older brother – which may means simply avoiding words, actions, and perceptions that could throw more obstacles in the path of reconciliation. Humility and wisdom are at a premium in this process. Hopefully we have acquired them in sufficient measure over the last 2,700 years!

      Like

  5. Sue in Aqaba says :

    Had a wonderful conversation today with Gidon Ariel and Bob O’Dell of Root Source, and they, too, are now aware of ‘folks like us’ and are asking the hard questions: Who are these people? How do we deal with them?

    More importantly, WE are having to ask ourselves some really hard questions: What ARE our ‘rights’? Do we have any? Or are we willing to be like one of His hired servants, and rejoice at simply having the privilege of being part of His household? Can we learn the humility of our Messiah Y’shua, Who “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.”

    Such a Kingdom life is quite a switch from the church’s promises of golden streets, harps and clouds….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. François-Xavier says :

    Bonjour Al,

    Thank you for your article and for sharing Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler’s article.

    You state: “If we modern-day Hebrews are the returning House of Joseph/Ephraim, then that means we are not strangers and aliens, but are in fact full-fledged members of the nation of Israel, just as are our Jewish brethren”

    To be fully correct, your statement should be as follow:… If we modern-day BORN AGAIN Hebrews are the returning House of Joseph/Ephraim, then that means we are not strangers and aliens, but are in fact full-fledged members of the nation of Israel, just as are our SAVED Jewish brethren”.

    Sadly, what is missing from Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler’s equation is Yeshua. Unfortunately, she and the rabbis she quotes fail on 2 critical issues:

    1- Putting the oral torah above Yahweh’s Torah to settle important issues (which is the case here),

    2- failing to understand that without being covered by the blood of Yeshua, one does NOT belong to Israel.

    Rivkah starts her article by stating that “most people think the Bible separates humanity into two basic categories – Jew and Gentile. In truth, the Bible has a third category, known in Torah literature as Ger”.

    Biblically speaking this is not so. We are only dealing with two distinctions:

    – One between Israel and the Nations (goyim),
    – And one between the saved (whether Jews or non Jews) and the not saved (whether Jews or non Jews).

    As human beings we are either in covenant with our Creator through faith in His Son or we are not. If we are, we belong to the entity God has chosen to deal with all throughout the Bible, that is Israel. If we are not, then we are “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (it does not make a difference whether one is a Jew or a non Jew).

    This is the hard truth…

    With love and blessings from France,

    François-Xavier

    Like

    • The Barking Fox says :

      Shalom François-Xavier.
      Thanks for your comments. What you have shared is the truth as we have learned it in the church. It is not wrong, but as I am coming to understand, it is not complete.
      Neither Dr. Adler nor her sources should be expected to include Yeshua in the equation, just as those coming from the Christian side should not be expected to cite Torah. This is the paradox and the dilemma before us: from Moses we receive the Word of YHVH in written form, and in Yeshua we see that Word in living form. To us Yeshua has been revealed as the Living Word, but not to our Jewish brethren. To them the Written Word is revealed, but it has been obscured from those of us who come from the Christian side. This is a double-blindness that has come upon all Israel, which I believe Paul is explaining in Romans 11.
      I cannot pretend to understand this completely, but I do know now that it is counterproductive to reduce our God’s means of salvation/redemption to a formula. Yeshua as Messiah and as the only begotten Son of the Father is the means by which all are redeemed, regardless whether we know and call on his name at this moment. The standard of righteousness that all people are supposed to live out is the Torah, regardless whether they understand this is so. That, I believe, is the point Paul makes in the passage just before the one you referenced in Ephesians 2:
      “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV)
      When I encounter Jews who clearly have a relationship with the Father, even though they do not acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah, then I must reevaluate what I have learned and seek a better understanding. In the same way, when our Jewish brethren encounter Christians who revere Moses and do their best to keep Torah, they must reevaluate what they have learned. That is what Dr. Adler is doing. Somewhere along the way we shall all come to the fullness of God’s truth as He reveals it. I believe we will all be surprised in the end at what we missed, and at the grace of the Almighty Who rewards those who are faithful to the truth He has given them.

      Like

      • François-Xavier says :

        Bonjour Al,

        Merci for your reply!

        Your answer raises some questions…

        You wirte: “To us Yeshua has been revealed as the Living Word, but not to our Jewish brethren”.

        What do you mean?

        Biblically and historically speaking, the Jews were the first to whom Yeshua was revealed as the Living Word!

        Yeshua and all the apostles stress over and over again the need for anyone to receive (ie: believe and obey) the Son in order to have eternal life.

        You write: “Neither Dr. Adler nor her sources should be expected to include Yeshua in the equation”

        Why not?

        What do you think would happen if Dr. Adler were to die tonight (that is without Yeshua)? Would she be in the bossom of Abraham or with the (suffering) rich man?

        Blessings from the old continent!

        FX

        Like

      • The Barking Fox says :

        Shalom François-Xavier.
        Everything we have and know is due to the revelation of the Almighty, even the knowledge of Messiah’s identity. This we know from Solomon, Son of David:
        It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)
        We know it also from another Son of David, Yeshua himself. At the instant Peter made his astounding confession, “You are the Messiah, son of the Living God!”, Yeshua said to him:
        Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:17)
        This is not an isolated thing. Throughout the gospels, and indeed throughout the entire Bible, we find examples of God revealing things to certain people, but concealing them from others (see, for example, II Kings 6:16-18, and Luke 9:44-45). We do not always, or even often, know why this is so. All we can do is trust that He is accomplishing something through this and that it will be well in the end. This, in fact, is at the heart of Paul’s exhortation to us regarding the blindness that has come on Israel:
        For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
        “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
        Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. (Romans 11:25-32)
        The “blindness in part” that has happened to Israel is not only the blindness of our Jewish brethren to Messiah’s identity, but also the blindness of us from the Christian side to the Torah of God and the full understanding of His Kingdom. All of us, Jew and non-Jew, are blind to the full counsel of God regarding how He brings His people together again. That is why the worst thing we can do is insist that we all conform to our own particular understanding of what is true. The best thing we can do is let God be God while we communicate freely with one another from an attitude of mutual respect, knowing that He will make all things right in the end.
        You ask, “What do you think would happen if Dr. Adler were to die tonight (that is without Yeshua)?” I do not offer an answer because I am not able to speak either for Dr. Adler or for the Almighty. Knowing that God’s thoughts and ways are far above my own, I can only say He will not be reduced to anyone’s formula.

        Like

  7. Tommy Wilson says :

    Excellent articles and comments by all!!….these verses came to mind.

    Acts 10:34-35 “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” and

    Isa 56:3-7 “A foreigner joining Adonai should not say, Adonai will separate me from his people”;…..As for the eunuchs who keep my Shabbats, who chose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant: in my house, within my walls, I will give them power and a name greater than sons and daughters; I will give him an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai….I will bring them to my holy mountain….”

    Comment: From the very beginning Abba YHVH created mankind equally, loved mankind equally, and has always wanted ALL of us to shema (hear and obey) His Torah. The difference that we have observed and experienced between “jews and gentiles” is simply the ROLES each have been given.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Barking Fox says :

      “the ROLES each have been given”.
      That’s a paradigm-shifting way to look at this, Tommy. I think that’s at the heart of the division of the Kingdom. It was, after all, His idea, as counter-intuitive as it seems to us now and to our ancestors 3,000 years ago (I Kings 12:24).

      Like

  8. Barry Miller says :

    Al,
    Very good article. Thank you.
    A number of years ago I connected the passage from Jeremiah 31:15-20 to the prodigal son story. This passage, just before the New Covenant is written by Jeremiah shows Ephraim grieving.

    I think your points about learning Hebrew and Torah are well said and a challenge worthy of acknowledgement.

    My question to my Hebrew roots Brothers and Sisters is are we grieving or are we demanding our rights. We in the West have been trained to demand our rights.

    Our position has to be one of “I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.
    Shalom,
    Barry

    Thus says the LORD,
    “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    Lamentation and bitter weeping.
    Rachel is weeping for her children;
    She refuses to be comforted for her children,
    Because they are no more.”
    16 Thus says the LORD,
    “Restrain your voice from weeping
    And your eyes from tears;
    For your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD,
    “And they will return from the land of the enemy.
    17 “There is hope for your future,” declares the LORD,
    “And your children will return to their own territory.
    18 “I have surely heard Ephraim grieving,
    ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised,
    Like an untrained calf;
    Bring me back that I may be restored,
    For You are the LORD my God.
    19 ‘For after I turned back, I repented;
    And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh;
    I was ashamed and also humiliated
    Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’
    20 “Is Ephraim My dear son?
    Is he a delightful child?
    Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him,
    I certainly still remember him;
    Therefore My heart yearns for him;
    I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the LORD.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Barking Fox says :

      EXACTLY! This passage has been on my mind quite a bit, but it was not until the last few days that I began to understand the meaning you have shared. The enormity of our inherited wrongdoing is something we have yet to grasp. It should generate repentance on the same level as Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9. That is what moved the heart of the Almighty to bring Judah back. Ephraim hasn’t reached that point yet, but maybe we are close.
      Thanks Barry.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Barry Miller says :

        In our excitement about finding out who we are we have forgotten the repeated pattern.

        Every time Joseph’s people do well they are arrogant toward their brothers and their pride ultimately destroys them.

        The only way this will ever work is for Joseph’s people to humble themselves.

        Like

      • The Barking Fox says :

        It took Joseph 20 years of humbling in Egypt before he was ready to meet his brothers. Most of that time was as a slave and a prisoner, but even in the 7 years or so as Pharaoh’s deputy he surely had a number of reminders to keep his pride in check. If not, then those tests he devised for the brothers to determine what was in their hearts might have turned out disastrously.

        Like

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