|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
When one is able to shake loose the indoctrination of Deity associated with Y'shua, he surfaces in the reNewed Testament as a tzadik who personified the Torah. Curiously, the mystic sages have the same understanding of a tzadik as a manifest Torah capable of creative acts similar to those of God and with the authority to annul the decrees of God. A careful analysis of the historical-biblical role of a tzadik, indicates he is capable of the love, mercy and descent crucial to atonement and renewal of covenant of the Assimilation of the Northern 10 Tribes of Israel with The God of Israel. This raises the question of whether the House of Joseph should cling to the Christian doctrine of deity especially when it remains the No. 1 stumbling block between the reunion and reconciliation of Joes and Jews.
Removing the michshol (stumbling block) between Joseph and Judah
© 2005 Maggid ben Yosef
Disputation Series X
The tzadik, Y'shua:
A human bridge to recovenant between The God of Israel
and the Assimilation of the Northern Tribes
The rabbis praised the righteousness of the tzadikim* as being greater than that of the ministering angels (Sanh. 93a), and held that if the tzadikim desired, they were capable of creative acts similar to those of God (Sanh. 65b). It was believed that the tzadik could annul the decrees of God (MK 16b), and that he is constantly remembered for a blessing by virtue of his good deeds (Prov. 10:7; Yoma 38b). The rabbis attributed the barrenness of the matriarchs to God's desire to hear the prayers of the righteous before he would bless them with children (Yev. 64a). It is because of the merit of the tzadikim that the world exists (Yoma 38b), and God will never destroy the world as long as there are 50 righteous people alive (Pd RE, 25; cf. Gen. 18:26). People are divided into three classes: the completely righteous, the completely wicked, and the intermediate class (RH 16b; cf. Ber. 61b). Although the verse "For there is not a righteous man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not" (Eccles. 7:20) implies that the concept of the completely righteous is purely theoretical. The completely righteous are immediately inscribed in the Book of Life on Rosh Ha-Shanah and they are similarly forthwith inscribed for everlasting life on the Day of Judgment (RH 16b). The tzadik even has powers over life and death. God may have decreed that a person should die but the prayers of the tzadik can nullify this decree. This is because the tzadik's soul is so pure and elevated that it can reach to those worlds in which no decree has been promulgated since there, only mercy reigns.
The bridge of the tzadik is made of 'love'
Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhansk's No'am Elimelekh, portrays the tzadik as a spiritual superman, a miracle-worker, channel for divine grace and the human whose prayer is the medium for God to cede control of the universe to man. His practical use: To bring man nearer to God and bring down God's bounty to man.
This type of bridge would appear linked to the Hebrew root of tzadik, and its ties to the concept of tzedekah or charitable "love," which is the parallel of agape and ironically is usually translated charity in the Greek/English reNewed Testament. Elimelech is emphatic that his followers must support the tzadik, and in doing so, they merit the same reward in the world to come as the tzadik who they support. Moreover, he is to be dependent on them, which attaches them to him and which he readily accepts in his love for them. He is in them and they are in him and their welfare thus becomes his. His prayers on their behalf can the more readily be answered, Elimelech concludes.
Plea for mercy and descent to rescue sinners
A major function of the tzadikim is to plea for mercy for those without hope. Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev was such a tzadik. He challenged God Himself to show mercy to His people. Jewish sages and the modern Hasidim also allude to the yeridah (descent) of the tzadik into the spheres of evil toward the sinner in order to uplift him. When the rescue is completed, the tzadik then ascends from the domain of sin having beforehand pledged to do so, but is reliant himself only on the mercy of The God of Israel, who the tzadik calls Tzadik" to make the ascent.
However noble the act of confronting evil and treading in places that angels fear to tread, the descent is believed necessary to transfigure the material world through good. This includes especially the cries of men to whom The God of Israel has tuned the tzadiks ears and softened the tzadiks heart.
The wellspring of life and atonement for the souls of the wicked
The mouth of a tzadik is a well of life (Proverbs 10:11) his labor tendeth to life, (10:16) and his fruit is a tree of life, (11:30). Note especially Proverbs 22:18 which may allude to the tzadiks pursuit of life as a kofer or atonement for the souls of the wicked, the spiritual seed of the tzadik that shall be delivered, (11:21).
The descent involved with this kofer is alluded to in Isaiah 53:11-12: The tzadik shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul (his descent) and shall be satisfied; by his Daat (knowledge), shall my servant tzadik turn many to righteousness and he shall bear their iniquities. Surely I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he laid open his soul (descended) unto death, and was numbered with pshim (transgressors of the Covenant); and he took off the cheit (sin) of many and made intercession for the pshim.
No atonement for pesha except the suffering of the tzadik
In Disputation VIII, we explained that nowhere in the Torah is there found any sacrifice that atones for the willful intentional sins called pesha which severed the Assimilation of the non-Jewish House of Israel from its covenant at Sinai with The God of Israel. Among Judah, who was never severed from the covenant, these sins are mitigated into a lesser category once reconciliation with aggrieved parties and restitution, if necessary, is evidenced as part of confession and repentance.
Job was a much-afflicted self-declared tzadik who was restored only after he interceded for his friends, who had chided him for his self-righteousness. Job and both of the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel were called son of man. Ezekiel was addressed that way 79 times in Holy Writ. Literally this means a mortal or human. But the mystic sages and the 18th Century Rebbe Nachman of Breslov also describe the son of man as a tzadik or bridge able to persuade God even about His covenant with Israel.
Mortal 'son of man' and the tzadik
Yshua may have been called by others, the son of God, but the name he chose for himself was son of man. In Disputation VIII, we also suggested that a Halachah pertaining to the relationship between a father and his son and the sons betrothed, could explain the need for one to be called the son of God.
Those still struggling with the stumbling block of associating the anointed tzadik, Yshua, with Deity, in light of the oral traditions of the House of Judah equating "son of man" and tzadik, should also consider Numbers 23:19: God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent. The Torah could not be more plain. God and "son of man" are two different entities; since both are T(t)zadikim the One is in the other and the other in the One.
The anointed tzadik
Pauls witness is understood from this foundation; that the obedience of one tzadik brought about the righteousness of many, (Romans 5:19). At least this clarifies the ministry of Yshua that lines up with the Torah and Tanach as that of a "moshiah" or "anointed" tzadik. A prophet and a tzadik are not the same. (Matthew 10:41; 13:17, 23:29) The hallmark of a Hebrew prophet was the phrase attributing everything said under the inspiration of the Ruach Hakodesh (Spirit of the Holy): Ko amar Hashem, (Thus saith the LORD). Since the Gospel accounts never quote Yshua as using this phrase, one must concede that his role was not that of a prophet; but rather this moshiah tzadik, which also translates into English, anointed one and righteous one.
The charitable work of the tzadik by which one may know The God of Israel
The work of intercession by the tzadik is his tzedekah, charity, defined and modeled best in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: long-suffering, taking no thought of wrongs to oneself, not envious, vaunted or puffed up, not behaving unseemly or selfishly, not easily provoked, not thinking evil, rejoicing in the truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things. As the teaching concludes, prophets, interpreters of tongues and those with gifts of knowledge will ultimately fail. The charity of the tzadik never fails and contextually is that which is perfect that does away with that which is in part (knowledge and prophecy) (13:9-10) and is the key to knowing (The God of Israel) even as one is known (by The God of Israel).
Ordained and anointed to suffer
It should be clear that the job of tzadikim is mostly and sometimes exclusively spiritual intercession. He is ordained and anointed to suffer, be chastised, despised and rejected, acquainted with grief and sorrow. (Ezekiel 53), part of the job of atoning for the pesha of the people to whom he is sent.
We find this theme of the suffering of the tzadik in many passages of the reNewed Testament but here are some of the more obvious ones from my personal translation of the 2nd Century Aramaic Peshita text:
For the moshiah (anointed one) also has suffered for sins, the tzadik on behalf of unrighteous ones in order that he might bring you to God, being put to death on one hand in the flesh and quickened on the other in the spirit, (1 Peter 3:18). While the context is the admonition to suffer if God wills it necessary, note that moshiah and tzadik are used in parallel.
An advocate for sinners with The God of Israel
My little children, these things I write to you in order that ye sin not. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father: Yshua moshiah tzadika (Ara.) The Hebrew translation of the Aramaic phrases this: Yshua Ha-moshiah (the anointed one) Ha-tzadik (the righteous one); and he is a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only but also concerning all the world. And by this we know that we have known him if his commandments (the Torah he lived and taught), we keep, (1 John 2:1-3)
And the anointing which you received from him remains in you and you have no need that anyone should teach you; but as his anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and as he taught you, remain in him. And now little children remain ye in him in order that if he is manifested we may have confidence and not be shamed from him in his presence. If ye know that he is a tzadik, know ye also that everyone doing tzedekah (love as defined above) has been born of him, (1 John 2:27-29).
John, Paul identify Y'shua as a tzadik
"Everyone sinning also transgresses the Torah; for sin is the transgression of the Torah. And ye know that that one was manifested in order that he might bear sins and sin is not in him. Everyone remaining in him sins not; everyone sinning has not seen him nor has known him. Little children let no man lead you astray; the one doing righteousness is a tzadik as that one (Yshua) is a tzadik, (1 John 3:4 7).
But you denied the holy tzadik and desired a murderer to be granted unto you (Acts 3:14).
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them announcing beforehand the coming of the tzadik of whom now ye became betrayers and murderers who received the Torah by dispositions of angels and did not keep it, (Acts 7:52).
Analogies to the exiled Assimilation -- brother-strangers
For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I thirsted and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye entreated me, naked and ye clothed me, I ailed and ye visited me, in prison I was and ye came to me, (Matthew 25:35-36) Then he answered the tzadikim: inasmuch as ye did to one of these, the least of my brothers, to me ye did, (Matthew 25:40).
In Luke 18:9, Yshua upbraided the Pharisees who trust in themselves that they are tzadikim and yet despise others (In the context of Matthew 25 above, it pertains specifically to the neglect of the brothers who are strangers, the Assimilation of the Northern Tribes. Perhaps, naked without Torah, sick unto death from the fruit of their transgression and imprisoned in exile.
Admonition to the House of Judah: Be your brother, Joseph's keeper
The movie, The Passion of Jesus Christ has revived the debate of who is responsible for the murder of the tzadik, Yshua. We collectively the ones for whom he was sent, in his words the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel are all responsible. The House of Judah remained in covenant with The God of Israel and those who drifted still had the mercy extended to them to find their way back. But Joes were scattered, without the mercy to find Him if God even wanted to be found by us, since He declared emphatically that He was no longer our God and we were no longer His people (Hosea 1). If we find fault with the House of Judah at all, it is for not being your brother, the House of Joseph's keeper, earlier. Nevertheless, Yshua righted that wrong in renewing our covenant, which is commemorated each Passover. And Hosea charged even Judah to isolate Joseph-Ephraim as long as he clings to his idols, (Hosea 4:17).
Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God saying: Really this man was a tzadik, (Luke 23:47).
Necessary to be a tzadik to remit sin
Being made just freely by his grace through the redemption that is in the anointed Yshua, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith (in, by means of or with) his blood, for a showing forth of his tzedekah because of the passing by of the sins having previously occurred. In the forbearance of God for the showing forth of his tzedekah in the present time that he should be a tzadik justifying him which believeth in Yshua, (Romans 3:24-26). Paul states convincingly that it was necessary for Yshua to be a tzadik in order to remit sins through the forbearance of God.
No man is justified by the Torah in the sight of God, for the tzadikim shall live by faith, (Galatians 3:11; Romans 1:17).
Intercession from the grave
Now the telios (goal) of the commandment is agape (tzedekah or charitable love) out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned from which some have swerved and turned aside unto vain jangling desiring to be teachers of the Torah; understanding neither what they say nor whereof they affirm; but we know that the Torah is good if anyone uses it lawfully; knowing this -- that the Torah is not made for a tzadik but for the lawless and disobedient; for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:5-10).
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was a tzadik, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh, (Hebrews 11:4). This would appear to validate the role of the tzadik to make intercession from even the grave, which is why the tombs of the tzadikim are popular to the Torah-observant community. The tzadik straddles both worlds, whether alive in the flesh or not. This is the everlasting life promised to the tzadikim.
The power of the tzadikim prayer
Confess your faults therefore, one to another your sins, and pray ye on behalf of one another, so as ye may be cured. The effectual fervent prayer of a tzadik availeth much, (James 5:16).
For the eyes of The God of Israel are over the tzadikim and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of The God of Israel is against ones doing evil things, (1 Peter 3:12).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and a tzadik in order that he may forgive us the sins and he may cleanse us from all iniquity. (1 John 1:9).
Tzadikim needed to turn hearts of the children to the fathers
From the wife of Pilate: Have thou nothing to do with that tzadik for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him, (Matthew 27:19).
And he (John the Baptist) will go before him (the tzadik, Yshua) in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn hearts of fathers to children and the disobedient to the understanding of the tzadikim to make ready a people prepared for The God of Israel, (Luke 1:17). In Malachi, the latter part of this verse reads: turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. To Lukes understanding, this involves the work of the tzadikim as well as their teaching, which is charged with revelation and anointing from the Spirit of the Holy.
The evidence abounds to suggest that Y'shua could accomplish all expected of him as a mortal tzadik. This is the spirit that attests that Y'shua moshiah came in the flesh -- as a mortal -- who achieved immortality not through the works of Torah, but through the higher law of tzedekah and its sacrificial love.
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