Jews, Joes, and Gentiles for Judaism

Arutz Sheva reports on the latest development within the Kahanist “Sanhedrin” in Israel:

A council of non-Jewish observers of the Seven Laws of Noah has been selected and will be ordained by the reestablished Sanhedrin in Jerusalem this January.

B’nai Noach, literally “Children of Noah,” known as Noahides, are non-Jews who take upon themselves the Torah’s obligations for non-Jews – consisting of seven laws passed on from Noah following the flood, as documented in Genesis (see below)… Rabbi Michael Bar-Ron, with the Sanhedrin’s blessing, travelled to the United States to meet with representatives of the Noahide movement and select members for the High Council.

The best-known of these Noahides is Vendyl Jones, the self-styled archaeologist previously profiled on this blog, who keeps claiming to be on the verge of revealing the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Bar-Ron met with Jones at this event.

The “Sanhedrin”, of course, has no official recognition in Israel, and its members consist of the Israeli theocratic right. It has received glowing reports from Christian Zionists like Hal Lindsey, who believe that its existence is a sign of Israel’s increasing restoration, and of the last days. However, the Sanhedrin’s plans to include recognition of these “Gentiles for Judaism” may cause some tension. Back to Arutz Sheva:

A third goal of the creation of the High Council and the Sanhedrin’s efforts in regard to the Noahide community, is to “transform the Noahide movement from a religious phenomenon – a curiosity many have not heard of – into a powerful international movement that can successfully compete with, and with G-d’s help bring about the fall of, any religious movement but the pure authentic faith that was given to humanity through Noach, the father of us all,” said emissary Bar-Ron.

The idea is not to make converts to Judaism, since only Jews by birth are required to follow all the commandments laid out in the Torah. The rest of us, though, should be following these seven rules:

Shefichat damim – Do not murder.

Gezel – Do not steal or kidnap.

Avodah zarah – Do not worship false gods/idols.

Gilui arayot – Do not be sexually immoral (engage in incest, sodomy, bestiality, castration and adultery [Glad that “and” isn’t an “or” – RB] )

Birkat Hashem – Do not utter G-d’s name in vain, curse G-d or pursue the occult.

Dinim – Set up righteous and honest courts and apply fair justice in judging offenders and uphold the principles of the last five.

Ever Min HaChai – Do not eat a part of a live animal.

So is Christianity among the “religious movements” which deserve to “fall”? Some more of Bar-Ron’s views are available in English on a website named Torah Voice, which deals with a third category; we all know about Jews and Gentiles, but there are also the “Joes”, descendents of the lost tribes. In discussing how the “Joes” can be included in Israel, Bar-Ron gives his views about Christianity (emphsis in original):

R. Bar Ron states: Because certain members of the Lubavitch community hold that the late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, z’’l, was/is the messiah, the Sanhedrin “may” decide not to discriminate against those who hold Y’shua/Jesus to also be “an anointed one.”  Although believing in Jesus as a prophet, messiah, or tzadik is contrary to Jewish tradition and highly improper; such beliefs do not preclude the believer from becoming a kosher returnee to the Covenant of Abraham and the Israelite nation, according to Jewish law.  The absolute qualification is that no shi’tuf (association with the Deity) be made with Y’shua/Jesus, and that no prayers be directed to him, even as an intermediary.  Any Sadiq, a righteous man, be he Israelite or Gentile, must only have the most direct, unmediated, personal  relationship with HaShem (G-d).

The author of Torah Voice is Maggid ben Yosef (or “Maggid ben Yosseif”, “Maggid ben Yoseif”; formerly Dell Griffin), and he himself is a “Joe”. He got a brief mention in the Forward back in 2003, in a report of a Christian Zionist rally:

Many in the crowd identified themselves as “Joes” — Christians who have an affinity for Torah and try to adopt Jewish worship practices. The name refers to prophecies about the House of Joseph being scattered in the winds but being gathered in again before the end of days.

Maggid ben Yosef, president of Jerusalem Torah Voice, said Sunday’s event presented his “Joe-ish” group with a chance to take a dramatic stand. Ben Yosef’s organization has already mailed a copy of the King James Version of the Holy Bible to the White House, with more than a dozen specific admonitions and prophecies cited, to warn the president against pressuring Israel.

This definition is not quite accurate, though. For one thing, as with a Jew, it’s possible to be a Joe without realizing it, since in fact it’s genetic. Ben Yosef tells us:

Interest by non-Jews in the land and people of Israel and Torah has never been more noticeable.

This unexplainable “Israel thing” may have an explanation, however. A biblical one. Hashem (G-d) may be preparing vast numbers of long-assimilated descendants of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to return to their ancient homeland. These stirrings, motivated by the Ru’ach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness) of Hashem, point to the future reunion of the Jewish descendants of Judah with the non-Jewish “Joes,” (descendants of Joseph), if not a remnant from all of the Northern Kingdom.

The only alternative, of course, would be that people like Ben Yosef are just ordinary folks, devoid of specially blessed DNA – which simply would not do. Ben Yosef also rejects the idea of Jesus as being God; instead, he was a holy man with a message about the restoration of the lost tribes. He claims to have found

conclusive evidence that Y’shua was not Deity, but rather renewed the Covenant to the Assimilation as a tzadik, consistent with the expectations of noted Jewish mystics concerning the role of the tzadikim

Further, Ben Yosef believes that the West Bank properly belongs to Joes like him, and his site includes a curious map which supposedly proves his point. Don’t worry about the present inhabitants: they can go to Gaza, while “the annihilation of the Palestinian population who remain in Judea-Samaria (the West Bank), is a biblical certainty” (Unsurprisingly, he’s also a fan of the late Meir Kahane). He also gives us some more details about both himself and Bar-Ron:

Maggid ben Yoseif  has Orthodox “smichah,” from the Rebbe Shani Dor, also known as the Breslov Hasid Rav Yisrael Tzvi Yehudah Schneider of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.  His beloved “Rav, esteemed teacher, Nachman mysticist, travel companion, prayer conspirator and Dodi,” of 13 years, was recently chosen to fill the 23rd seat in the Revived 71 Seat of Moshe known anciently as “The Sanhedrin.”

MbY is also in a dialogue with the Rabbi Michael Shelomo Bar-Ron, to whom Rebbe Shani-Dor passed his spiritual baton and blessing for the work of “bringing back Rachel’s kids.” R. Michael is one of the nine members of the revived Sanhedrin’s ruling council and the English spokesman for that council. Due to health issues, in January of 2005,  Rebbe Shani Dor instructed MbY to work with R. Michael.

However, ben Yosef and Bar-Ron are not in complete agreement about everything. Ben Yosef believes that Jesus had a “true message” about the restoration of the ten tribes into the West Bank; Bar-Ron asks ben Yosef to “leave Jesus out of it”. Bar-Ron also makes the following observations in a letter published on ben Yosef’s website:

As I specifically told Dr. Jones, I do believe there is a historical base for Anglo-Saxons to claim mixed Israelite descent, a source of inspiration to many to return to the Hebrew nation, and the Jewish People…Like Mr. Davidy, (albeit in your own unique style, and your own strong sense of purpose and destiny) continue to do what you’re doing, raising awareness of mixed Israelite ancestry of Northern Europe.  It’s powerful stuff.

OK, first off a sort of Christian who believes God will annihilate the Palestinians so he can live in the West Bank, and now a Jew who believes in British Israelitism. And I thought Prophet Yahweh was way out there…But Bar-Ron is not the only one; “Mr Davidy” is Yair Davidy (or Yair Davidiy, Yair Davidi), and his organization Brit-Am is devoted to the subject.

So, what about Bar-Ron and ben Yosef’s mutual guru, Shani Dor/Yisrael Schneider? Schneider is a long-time Greater Israel activist; back in 2003 he sent this message to protestors at an anti-road map rally in Houston, making reference to the Joes:

“Fight the road map! Israel’s greatest threat today is not from Arafat. It is from Bush and the State Department. No one is better prepared to fight this enemy than the children of Joseph in America. Bush and the State Department have raised a Palestinian flag over Joseph’s and Judah’s possessions. That flag must come down. The children of Joseph have the side of right and justice with them. But you must be united. Come down from the theological pinnacles which divide you and unite in the spirit of service and sacrifice. Make your stand united and the world will take notice.”

Like a dodgy British salesman selling fake aristocratic titles, it seems the “Sanhedrin” really knows its market among certain credulous Americans. And those of us cursed by fate to be neither a Jew nor a Joe can at least take solace in one thing: in God’s eyes, you’re only at the bottom of the pile if you’re a Palestinian.

UPDATE: Maggid ben Yoseif graces the comments section! He tells us that the Joes have been “excluded from consideration by the Sanhedrin”.

UPDATE 2: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach discusses the Noachides in the Jerusalem Post:

Already, there are whole Christian congregations that have removed the cross and steeple and transformed themselves into Noachide communities who reject the deification of Jesus, observe the Sabbath on Saturday rather than Sunday, study the Torah for its general prescriptions of a spiritual life, but do not embrace all the rituals of biblical law.

…The Jewish community should be spearheading this movement, and should fund a global campaign to have non-Jews join a Jewish confederation, if not adopt Judaism in its entirety.

This is not to knock Christianity or portray it as a lesser faith. On the contrary, Judaism and Christianity, both Godly religions, simply have vastly different appeals, even as they share a great deal in common. Christianity will always appeal to those who prefer a more corporeal religion, where God is incarnate in human form, just as Judaism will always appeal to those attracted to a more subtle and intangible God, and those who wish to approach God without intermediaries.

21 Responses

  1. I invite you to comment on my blog.

  2. How about commenting on mine first? Or is this just kabbalah spam?

  3. […] Cleveland Jewish News has a piece on non-Jews who are adopting a Jewish identity, which has been a recent topic of this blog. Reporter Stephanie Graber names the phenomenon as the “Hebraic Roots” […]

  4. Your report is comprehensive although a few of your facts are incorrect. First, I do not advocate the anihilation of the Palestinians. But they must be disengaged from Judea-Samaria to the Gaza and regions contiguous, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron as per Zech 9:1-6. This would offer them a CONTIGUOUS state. Those who remain in the fields of the Shomron and the fields of Samaria, will unfortunately become as stubble. I do not say this. The prophet Obadiah wrote it.

    Second, the Joes have been completed excluded from consideration by the Sanhedrin. You may want to read my most recent newsletter now on line.

    Third, Rebbe Shani Dor was not present at the summer 2003 rally. But he did issue the statement you quoted.

    BTW at the Return of the House of Joseph seminar I will be teaching in Cleveland Tenn on Dec. 22-24, I will be going into more detail about the biblical “two-state” solution.

    Shalom Shalom MbY

  5. Thanks for the correction concerning Rebbe Dor at the Houston rally. So, if the Palestinians refuse to budge from the West Bank, will God be sending some supernatural disaster to get rid of them (a fire from heaven or plague, etc), or will an Israeli/Joe army be empowered by the deity to do the job?

    • O’siyo Barholomew,

      I believe I may now be able to answer your question at least in part.

      We may be proposing mutual disengagements as I explained earlier, but the international precedent for this is the Cherokee Removals. Unlike those Removals which separated my gggg and ggg grandfathers from Sacred Council Fires — these disengagements would be MUTUAL, HUMANE and ABBREVIATED. The whole transfer can be accomplished over a few weekends with moves not further than 75 miles on the part of all Disengaged.

      As also explained the region bounded by Gaza, Ashdod, Ashquelon and Ekron (and the adjoining fertile Sh’felah) would give the Palestinians THE most fertile region in Israel, (five crop rotations a year), oil-rich Mediterranean and beaches and two modern and currently Israeli cities! Those Removed would be given better than they have on both sides of the disengagement. Better and larger farms, orchards, homes, etc.

      NEITHER SIDE WILL BE HAPPY ABOUT THIS but when two families cannot get along and refuse to reconcile (as their mother, Rivka, was told) you have to separate them.

      The Zechariah Plan, based on Zechariah 9:1-6, would PERMANENTLY separate the separate leumim (a leum is a group characterized by a similar mindset, ideology or world view) of Esau and Jacob again, as per the wisdom of their mother, Rivka.

      Only the question of Jerusalem is at issue. Al Quds, the Arabic reference to Jerusalem in the Koran, is only mentioned in connection with a dream Muhammad had of his horse ascending to Heaven. Muhammad never journeyed to Jerusalem as he did to Mecca and Medina and many, many other cities.

      Further, when Moslems pray on the Temple Mount, they always face Mecca, meaning many actually show their rear ends to the Place of the Holies.

      The Islamic Palestinian community must yield the Temple Mount but there is no reason that the Dome cannot be moved even at Israeli expense.

      But Zechariah 9:1-6 in an End Times context that looks especially toward something going on in Syria, indicates that peaceable “Plishtim” (the Hebrew equivalent of the Arabic word used by Arafat to describe his people) will dwell in this region.

      Gah geh you e,
      ben Yoseif

  6. It is a little known fact, but the prophet Obadiah who gives this warning to the people he calls “The House of Esau” who are dwelling in Jacob’s possessions at the time Jacob “reclaims them” is himself descended from Esau and would share common ancestry with the Palestinians.

    More painful disengagements than this one will be necessary to put the biblical map in order. As soon as I can figure out the problem with my website timing out, I have some later info to post.

    MbY

  7. You obviously have not read any of the information at the nascent Sanhedrin’s website “thesanhedrin.org”, its history, halachic foundation, goals and approach. You completely misrepresent the organization.

  8. Seeing as I have next to no Hebrew, I hardly see how I could have referred to your site. Please enlighten us.

  9. […] symbol is pagan and a Satanic deception. Maggid ben Yoseif, meanwhile, has been noted on this blog before – formerly known as Dell Griffin, ben Yoseif is a “Joe”; someone who has an inner […]

  10. Much more info on your subject is available at my web site. Thank you for presenting your research.

  11. […] Mariano Otero is also known as Moshe Otero, and his “Christians for Moses” was part of an organisation called “The Ways of Israel“. I have blogged on Noahides in the past, see here. […]

  12. Those of us who have been called by YHVH to serve Him, through the new blood covenant of Messiah Y’shua, are indeed, grafted into the root and fatness of the good, cultivated olive tree of redeemed, believing remnant Israel. According to Jeremiah 31:31, YHVH would make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, (Yehudah), and part of that covenant is that He would write Torah, the law, instruction, on their hearts. Hebrews 8:8, in the Apostolic Writings, says that, in fact, YHVH did make that new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah. Rav Sha’ul, the Pharisee, says, in his letter to the believers in Rome, the book of Romans, chapter 11, that gentiles are the “wild branches”, previously cut off, that are, through the new covenant of Messiah, who have been grafted in, along with any true gentiles, goy, who wish to attach themselves to the true Israel of YHVH. It doesn’t ever, say, anywhere, that YHVH
    made a new covenant with the gentiles and started a “new religion” called “churchianity”, with its own sabbath, the “venerable day of the sun”, its own festivals, based on the pagan solar calendar, and now we could eat bat, rat, cat, mouse, dog, swine, cockroach, blood, horse, squid, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Furthermore, the commandments/statutes/ordinances of YHVH, are NOT “Jewish” laws, they are the laws/ordinances of YHVH, God’s laws, and they were to be universal, and that is why YHVH made a covenant with people which He called out of pagan Chaldea, as they heard the call, heeded the call, and obeyed the call, He established them as a set-apart nation to obey Him and to draw the rest of the world to His Torah, His commandments/statutes/ordinances. The Feasts, including the seventh day Sabbath, are NOT Jewish feasts, they are YHVH’s FEASTS! Do we obey perfectly? Are we perfect? NO, because no one has perfect knowledge/understanding! We do what we GET to do, because we are grafted/regrafted in , according to our present understanding. The reason there is layer upon layer of confusion in “religion”, is because everybody, including “christians”, ethnic Jews, and Arabs/Moslems, all do what is right in their own eyes. Even secular Jews, gentiles, Arabs, etc., just decide for themselves what they want to do or not to do. While I champion everyone’s “right”, so called, to chose, I do NOT champion and will NOT defend to the death their wrong choices. If anyone makes the wrong choice/choices, then they must suffer the consequences of those choices. I am under NO obligation to accomodate those bad choices. NO ONE PERSON/S< or any nation, is obligated to tolerate sin, defend sin, propagate sin and then legislate sin! Period! “Sin is transgression of the law, (Torah), and since “All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of YHVH”, everyone who has been born physically is a son and/or daughter of Adam and Eve, and have the stain of sin on them, original sin, none of us are capable of obeying His righteous commands unless we are born again of the Spirit. It’s a supernatural thing. And it is NOT the dark side of the supernatural, it is the side of light, and life, and truth, and hope! Yeshua said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father, but by me”. Either He is who He says He is, or He is a lying prophet! He is either liar, lunatic, or Lord, (Master). But He is NOT the “gentile Jesus, weak and defiled”, ( a parody on “gentle Jesus meek and mild) Read Bonhoeffer’s book “The Cost of Discipleship”, which states on page 135, beginning chapter 8. In that book, he also declares that Yeshua came NOT to abolish the “law”, but to fulfill it. (Uphold, establish correctly) We don’t get eternal salvation by obeying Torah in the flesh, His mercy and grace enables us to obey Him, by the set-apart Spirit. What we obtain by obeying is temporal blessing here and now, and eternal blessing hereafter. Faith begets righteousness, obedience begets blessing! YHVH “gives us that measure of faith, whereby we may believe”. We cannot even begin to believe Him, unless He initiates the belief. Then we, by an act of our will, make a decision to accept that gift of faith, then unwrap it to appropriate it. We need not only believe IN YHVH, we must believe Him. We not only need to know ABOUT Yeshua, we need to KNOW Him, personally! YHVH is NOT the author of confusion, but of peace and of a sound mind. Our minds have been polluted through secularism and false religion. That is what Yeshua died and rose again for! To set us free FROM the world, the flesh, the devil and false religion, and free TO worship and serve the living Elohim, YHVH, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe!! He said, “NO ONE takes my life from me, I lay it down of my own accord, and I will take it up again”. So, to lay to rest the lie that any one group of people crucified “Jesus”, either He, Himself did it, or we ALL did it!
    So there! I am NOT a “Jewish” wannabe. I am either a true gentile, grafted into the root and fatness of the good, cultivated olive tree of redeemed, believing remnant Israel, (not necessarily modern, secular, political nation, “Israel”) or I am one of the scattered House of Israel, to whom Yeshua said that He came for, “I came only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”, and to whom the Apostle Sha’ul was sent to deliver, those of the House of Israel scattered in the nations”, the gentiles. Rav Sha’ul said that he was an “Israeli of Israeli’s, of the tribe of Benjamin”. While all ethnic Jews are part of greater Israel, not all Israeli’s are Jews. And there is a redeemed, believing remnant Israel within greater Israel, those who have entered into covenant with YHVH, through the Messiah, on HIS terms, not ours. Does any of this make sense? It should. I am ashamed of those who get on the web and make outrageous assertions about people and things that they know very little about. Of course, there are very many levels of belief and practice, even among the redeemed, because we all grow in grace and knowledge at different rates, depending on how much we need to unlearn. Most of us have been raised with a mixture of truth and error, the most deceptive form of destruction, but we are only deceived if we are open to deception. Suffice it to say that this is a word to the wise. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, then read and listen to His Word, that has not been redefined by people who have rejected the covenants of YHVH! As for Moslems, the covenants and promises of the redeemer, Messiah, came through Isaac, NOT Ishmael, although YHVH promised to bless Ismael temporally. I don’t get into the covenant unless I accept the ultimate atonement, the blood of the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. No one else does, either, whether ethnic Jew, ethnic Ehpraimite Israel, Arab, African negro, white European, East or West Indian, Oriental, Occidental, etc., etx. The covenants were initiated by YHVH, not by any of us. We just respond. And I am not responsible for your response. I am responsible for speaking the truth in love, and love is NOT gushy sentimentalism! Respectfully, from a bondservant of Messiah Yeshua, jennifer schmidt

  13. […] pseudo-archaeologist Vendyl Jones, who, although non-Jewish, is an ex-Christian who holds “Noachide” views. In the USA, apocalyptic Christian Zionists such as Hal Lindsey overlooked these  […]

  14. […] on internal spiritual assurance rather than any actual evidence – I’ve blogged them here and here. Further, although their beliefs give a Messianic role to Jesus, they reject the name of […]

  15. […] Barthsnotes has a Michael Bar-Ron quote from a now defunct website: […]

  16. […] Sanhedrin Rabbi Michael Bar-Ron has a different theory: […]

  17. […] Her view of Christianity includes not just support for Israel, but an emphasis on “Hebrew Roots”, which means that Christian expression ought to adopt Jewish cultural forms and idioms (I blogged on this trend here). In 2007, it seems that she had some association with Yair Davidy of “Brit-Am“. […]

  18. […] Orleans to talk to a group called “Manna from Heaven Ministries“. He also met up with Maggid ben Yoseif, who is a ”Joe”; this is someone who has an inner conviction that he is a member of […]

  19. […] wrote about Yair Davidy and his “Brit-Am” organisation some time ago. However, Moser was keen to add […]

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