Judaism – it is time for a change. Part 1

(4700 words)

It saddens me to see how the Judaism that I love has changed and distanced away from the connection with the true creator. To see that  it has become just another human religion. What are the causes for that change? They are deeply rooted in history, when unauthorized leaders misled the people of Israel.

Who are the lawful leaders of the nation according to the Torah?

According to the Torah, it is the priests and Levites who are supposed to lead Israel together with prophets that God has sent. In addition God would sometimes set up judges or soldier heroes as a response to special needs that arose. However, during the first centuries BC, the Pharisee movement arose, took the lead and changed the biblical Judaism that had been practiced until then.

The Pharisee stream arose, at the time, as an opposition to the leadership of the priests in the Temple, because the leadership of the priests had become corrupt over the years and therefore lacked spiritual relevance. However, the transfer of leadership from the hands of the priests (the Sadducees) to the Pharisees resulted in a number of far-reaching spiritual changes, and above all, a contradiction to the Torah was created.

In the original set of leadership there was great wisdom, divine, and balances that are impossible without them. The balance was created when, on the one hand, there was a stratum of people who were destined from birth to lead the people spiritually and to serve in the sanctuary (the priests and Levites) and are free from livelihood concerns and are educated from infancy in the rooted tradition of the priestly lineage.

On the other hand, God personally appointed prophets and judges whose authority was not inherited and was not given by virtue of attribution or tradition, nor by virtue of any electoral system. The role of the prophets and judges, among other things, was to balance the tendency of the priests to become corrupt after years of service.

The priests, for their part, contributed to the delicate balance by bringing the stable, permanent thing that does not rely on the personal prestige of this or that leader, but is deeply rooted in the tradition of the generations, and originates from Mount Sinai and the word of God to Moses.

It is this leadership in all its parts that was also supposed to teach the people the Torah, and not only from the scriptures but also to bring the contemporary, living and constantly renewing word of God to the people. The priests did this through the Urim and Tomim. The prophets and judges did this through visions they received from above. The prophets usually arose when the people went astray and God saw the need to correct. The enemies of Israel were the sign that they had gone astray and then the prophets and judges were supposed to pass on his behalf the necessary corrections (later the role of judges was transferred to kings although kings by nature are much less suitable for the position).

The leaders were supposed to be the announcer, the shofar, and the means of communication, through whom God Himself guided the people in every matter – from the big to the small, from the public to the personal life of each person. Every person in Israel was supposed to feel that God himself was leading him and the entire nation, while human leaders were supposed to be transparent. According to the Torah, the Hebrew leader is only a conduit, there is no emphasis, public attention, to his personal life, character and skills, and the only relevant thing about him was the degree of his loyalty to God and the messages he passed back and forth, between God and the people.

Whoever looks at the description of Moses’ leadership, the nature of the things that are said about him in the Torah and especially those that are not said, can see how the Hebrew leader should be presented to the public. The only personal story about Moses that the Pentateuch does dwell on is the story of his birth, upbringing and exile, until he received the appointment by direct revelation from God in front of the burning bush. This is described in the Pentateuch only to show and emphasize that Moses’ call to office – from the moment of his birth to his appointment – is a call from above and the appointment is from God through direct revelation and supernatural signs. The same should be clear about any other leader – that God appointed him, not humans.

The prophets, judges and kings should be appointed by God because only he should initiate the corrections and choose the appropriate people for the specific situation and the reforms he wants to carry out. The appointment of priests and Levites, on the other hand, is done automatically according to the lineages of the priesthood. Yet here too, God is the one who pointed out the family that would lead from the tribe of Levi.

Later, God also appointed kings on his behalf because the people insisted on being led by kings instead of judges. Already in this the original intention was distorted, because kings by nature are busy with their image, politics and ego, and not necessarily listening to God.

Who are the Pharisees?

However, at some point, in the later days of the Second Temple, the leadership system described above went seriously wrong. The priests became corrupt, the true prophets were stoned and persecuted then false prophets arose in their place, kings dynasties that were not directly appointed by God established, and Israel seriously deviated from its path.

The Pharisees saw the situation and wanted to correct it, but because they were not priests, nor prophets, judges or kings appointed by God, they created a new category in Judaism that is not in accordance with the Torah: scholars, who memorized the mitzvoth, dealt with the dead letter of Torah rules instead of the living God.

The Pharisees source of the power and authority was and still is their knowledge of details and not direct divine revelation, and this is the root of the problem. Judaism has become another religion of men, and lacks spiritual power. It lost its global uniqueness as a path based on a living and direct divine revelation.

In the Bible, before the Pharisees leaders normally used the phrase: “Thus said my Lord” and the bible testified that: “Thus the Lord said to Moses“, or to Samuel, etc., Also: “Then God appeared to Abraham” or to Moses or to Jacob, etc. In the world, there is no other religion, movement or faith that describes such events. Even common people under the influence of the right leadership from God, could received direct divine revelation. But from the rise of the Pharisees on, this uniqueness have disappeared.

Rebecca for example was a simple woman, a daughter of shepherds, still, simply and naturally, in her own language, not by a rabbi, written text, or dictated prayer, “she went to inquire of the Lord” (Genesis 25:22).

Rebecca asked then for the direct and the living word of God to tell her why the “children struggled together within her“, then she immediately receives an answer. Here she does not deal with mysticism, Kabala, numerology. She does not go to ask for a blessing from a ‘saint’, ask for ‘holly water’ etc. All these things clearly belong to foreign theology. All this is very much presence in the Pharisaic Judaism, as they try to substitute the direct revelation with it.

The only source of spiritual power that Rebecca may have is the power of the Shekinah (spirit of God). She can never receive this kind of power from traditional ‘Torah study’. God sent down his Shekinah also on Abraham following the covenant he made with him. The covenant and the Shekinah passed from Abraham to Isaac and Rebecca, to Jacob, to Joseph and onward, to the people who chose it (there were also those on the way who did not choose it and were cast out).

There is no covenant with God without the Shekinah descending clearly for every eye to see, and vise versa; there is no Shekinah without a covenant.

Therefore, a Jewish leadership that is not clearly anointed by the Holy Spirit does not know how to speak His words. They cannot perform the covenant making procedure correctly; therefore they cannot delegate the spirit to the people. On the question of how today the covenant should be made, in order to be able to have a direct revelation of God through the Shekinah as Rebecca, see the post on the subject, here. (This post is in Hebrew, wasn’t translated yet).

Note that the answer to Rebecca, like to many others in the time of the Bible, is specific and accurate, and its correctness can be checked and proven. It is not answers like those given today, like: ‘God said everything will be fine’. It’s not that God cannot say that everything will be fine, except that such answers do not indicate whether God actually spoke to a person or whether he heard it in his imagination.

Today, because the covenant was not renewed in accordance with God’s directions, and because the Jewish leaders are rabbis who are not priests, prophets or judges that God appointed, rather then they were appointed by humans, then I may ask: Am I, as a believer, supposed to accept their laws and Torah?

The prophet Jeremiah had already said: “This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water…” (Jeremiah 17:5).

According to the Torah, I must accept only the words of men who clearly and directly convey the word of God and do so according to the rules he established. Over the years and especially after the destruction of the temple – when the priests finally lost their source of power – the Pharisaic stream became the only stream in Judaism, today we do not know any other Judaism. But the God of Israel is always faithful to His Torah and His way and the question is, are we ready to let go of the diasporas ways and return to the source? Are we ready to return to Him?

What are the basic principles of Judaism?

According to the Torah, it is impossible to lead a public or private Jewish life without priests and Levites along with judges and prophets, and these cannot act if there is no temple and no sacrifice is offered. The temple is the only spiritual device that can bring the Shekinah of God to dwell in Israel, and without the Shekinah, God is not present neither He nominate leaders. The Pharisees, because they are neither prophets nor priests, are not authorized nor able to build a temple.

Therefore, it does not matter what substitutes they people made for temple worship, like prayers three times a day in the synagogue instead of the priests worshiping three times a day in the temple, atonements on Yom Kippur instead of the high priest entering the Holy of Holies to shade the blood of the sacrifice to atone for the people, eating the head of a fish or a lamb or anything else that is done on Pesach instead of the Passover, the lighting of Shabbat candles and presenting two loaf of bread instead of the show bread and the lighting of the menorah that the priests had to do on the temple – all these substitutes have no validity because they were not given by God, but by scholars who sought substitutes for His word.

According to the Torah, without the work in the temple there is no atonement for sins and therefore the whole nation including the Pharisees rabbis, are in impurity and the Shekinah distances from them. If so, what is the point of synagogues? What is the point of keeping Sabbaths and holidays with God not present and not listening? What is the point when He is not with you in the Sukkah, on Shabbat, or on a holiday through his Shekinah?

At the time, when the Shekinah would descend upon the prophets of truth or upon the mighty man He appointed, the judges, or the kings appointed by the God by direct revelation, He would also purify them and give them the necessary skills so that they could perform their work not humanly but with superior heroism. For example, you can see the clear power of the Shekinah, working in the process of appointing Prophet Samuel, or following the work of Gideon, David, Ezekiel, Jonah and others. Today we don’t see this power at work in Israel, neither among the leaders nor among the people, because as mentioned, Judaism has lost the power that is supposed to operate with, and has become just another religion. Today the God of Israel does not send people on his behalf, does not purify them in a unique way in his Shekinah and gives them his word directly and personally, because the people of Israel, religious and secular alike, do not seek to uphold his Torah according to what was given at Sinai, but are content with the substitutes given to them by the Pharisee rabbis, when any such substitute is like a heresy and saying no to God.

(When the people of Israel will want truly to obey God of the Torah from Sinai, without looking for manmade substitutes, then they will see God’s plan for the modern time which is beyond the laws of the Torah).

When there is a rooted spiritual problem, what happens over time is that distortion upon distortion is created because the root is not in place. The Pharisees, who over the years became the rabbis we know today, in order to establish their authority, had to add interpretations and prohibitions and laws that were seasoned with fairy tales, peppered words and mysticism along with superstitions. All these were not typical in the pre-Prussian culture, and are characterize foreign religious.

With no Temple and no Shekinah, the Pharisees had to shift the focus of their work to prohibitions and ‘commandments’. Over the years they added commandments and prohibitions until the Jew who wants to keep them is drowning in a sea of rules and he needs the rabbi to explain to him what to do. While the Torah does not mean this precision, but wants the believer – while he sticks to writing as much as he knows, and even if he does not understand everything, do the best he personally knows – this is the work of the heart before the Lord, not the work of men!

Personal worship of God should mostly be internal (internal process) and not external. And why does the God of Israel care if they wear one or another tassel or tefillin? And why does He want prayers that are read from a written text (Jewish Sidur) if he is seeking the heart of the believer and the personal inner process he is going through? According to the Torah and throughout the entire period of the Bible, there were no dictated prayer text and when the individual wanted to pray, he did so 1. Privately 2. by his own words 3. whenever he wanted to be close to his God and not at predetermined times.

The external, ritualistic, actions should not be the focus of the individual believer’s life. The external, ritualistic expressions of faith were designed to be on the temple because this is where the public and ceremonial connection to the God of Israel is made. The connection to God there was done by symbolic variety of ritual. The individual also had a part in it, for example when he went up three times a year to the temple to make a sacrifice. However, the daily center of gravity for the individual is the work of finding his personal way to approach and create a personal relationship with God. Therefore, in the Torah, the instructions for observing the commandments between him and God are given in general, with very little detail and a lot of room for personal interpretation, each person according to his place in the process and the unique way in which he is spiritually built. In contrary, the instructions in Torah regarding the work in the temple were given with many details and specifications.

The journey that the Jewish believer is supposed to go through with the personal commandments between him and God is a private journey that lasts a lifetime and there the Torah is only act as a babysitter. for example, if the believer had to feel a certain thing by observing the command of purification, that will help him go through a process of sanctification then a better understanding of God’s way and personality, and if there was some lesson that the God of Israel directed to him personally and for that purpose He chose certain words in the Torah and not other words, and He expanded where it was necessary and condensed it where it was necessary – now instead of going through that unique internal process, which is the main purpose of the commandment, the believer needs to memorize all kinds of matters that were added or subtracted by people who are not authorized.

The result is that there is no trace of God’s original spirit left there and we have already lost the feeling and intention that keeping the commandments is supposed to bring.

How has Judaism  changed?

In the days of Moses there were no denominations, different ethnic groups or traditions. Anyone who didn’t accept what Moses said in the name of God was simply eliminated (see Korah and his committee). This is how it works when the Shekinah is present and God determines and not humans. But when there are arguments and divisions you can know that the Torah is the Torah of humans. After all, the entire Mishnah and Talmud are based on these debates and personal opinions of this or that rabbi. The teachings of men are always accompanied by doubt and human weaknesses involve in it, like lust, chasseing after honor or wealth. Then the leaders tend to harden the burden of commandments, get stricter and sink into meaningless details in order to cover up the doubts and confusion.

For example, along the years Rabbis tried to give precise, clear and uniform instructions for how to observe Shabbat, but in this way they empty the idea of Shabbat from its original divine purpose.

In the Torah there are detailed instructions about how to perform the sacrifice in the temple, including the details of the priest’s clothing, the location of the altar, its dimensions, etc. But for the Sabbath, which is undoubtedly one of the pillars of Judaism and one of the Ten Commandments, there are only two or three short verses that are supposed to contain all the laws for it. Why it is so? Becouse the work in the Temple symbolize God’s kingdom and its detailed meticulous perfection, also the Shabbat in the temple needed to be observed in this manner, but God’s instructions for the individual regarding Sabbath are intentionally general and not specific.

May the believer sit on the Sabbath day, and turn away from all his other concerns to try to understand what the Sabbath means. What does it mean for God? What work or correction or tuning or purification is the Sabbath supposed to do in his soul? Why this is such an important spiritual principle? Let the believer try to connect with this deep principle of Shabbat and try to understand how it can connect him with the God of Israel. Why is it that also God himself rests on the 7th day? After all, God Almighty does not get tired, why does He need to rest?

All this work is private internal intimate work with God, while the work in the temple is a ritual public symbolic work, and here the God of Israel does ask for precision and uniformity in the performance. With the Pharisees all these ideas are lost.

Obviously this was God’s intention when he dictated the Torah to Moses. Because if he wanted people to add or subtract from it, He would erect someone like Moses or greater then Moses, to dictate the changes He wants.

The Pharisees also wanted to give their leaders appearance of a divine chosen, therefore they have stories about supernatural acts that concern this or that rabbi, but these are fairy tales. And how do I know that these are fairy tales and the stories in the Bible are true history? Because I familiar with the God of Israel and how he works. always when God does a supernatural action through a person, He will give himself 100% of the credit, and He will do it to glorify His name, not the name of the person. This is the case in all the stories of the Bible, while among the Pharisees the storys always comes to glorify the Rabbi’s name and to give him credit.

Still, someone may ask, If God did not intend to give strict commandments for the individual about Sabbath for example, why does the Torah tell about the man who went out to chop wood on Shabbat and was stoned to death (Numbers 15:32)? Because the man in the story, choped wood with rebellious intent. David, on the other hand, when he fled from Saul, ate the holy bread intended for the priests; something that was forbidden according to the Torah, but was not punished (1 Samuel 21:7). Why? Because David did it when he was in distress and did it without any rebellious intent.

In these stories from the bible we can also see the essential need for Shekinah to be present. Because God, not human beings need to judge between one case and another, between one man and another, becouse He knows the hearts and the deep meaning of anything.

Because the power of the Shekinah is not at the disposal of the Pharisees, they have to claim that their interpretations and regulations are an oral Torah that was also given in Sinai. It was given orally because it was impossible to write everything in a book. But we clearly refuted this argument, since the Torah does specify in detail about the work of the sacrifices, a sign that when it wishes to specify it has no problem doing so.

Becouse of all this confusion The Pharisees needed also to declare that their authority prevails over that of the Torah given in Sinai and even over God himself. Otherwise, how can they explain why Moses, for example, did not say: Although I am writing to you, “ou shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk”, still, you must know that the Oral Torah was also given, and there it is something completely different, and there they say that you shouldn’t eat meat with milk at all and you even shouldn’t use the same plate for both.

After all, even the prophets who throughout the Bible rebuke the people for a variety of crimes and sins never specified or mentioned any oral Torah or a problem about mixing meat and milk. The prophets always rebuked the people only with regard to this or that commandment from the written Torah – only the written Torah. Nor does any other Jewish writing, external to the Torah, indicate the existence of an oral Torah until the time of the Pharisees. But from the time of The Pharisees, in all their writings, it is almost only about the oral Torah and the original Torah is almost never mentioned, almost never studied.

It is important to add that The Pharisees movement rose in a particular time in history, not without purpose. Its purpose was to allow the people of Israel who survived the destruction of the temple and the exile to preserve also the original bible, the original Hebrew language and the desire to return to the land of Israel. However, today Israel has returned to its land and it is clear that the time has come to correct the distortions of the exile and to return to the original Judaism in order to restore God’s divine presence in the land Israel and in His people.

It must be understood that two thousand years ago God exiled his people and we still have not come out of this exile even though we live in the Holy Land. This is absurd. The exile is supposed to end and the time has come. All the prophecies of the Bible involve the physical return of Zion with the return of God to dwell among the people, and this absurdity must stop. According to the prophecies of the Bible, the Temple is supposed to be built even before the coming of the Messiah. The Messiah will not come if there is no temple! Therefore the hope of some people that the Messiah is the one who will solve all the distortions and the political problem of building the third temple is a false hope.

to read the second part of “Judaism – it is time for a change” press here.

4 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *