|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
NOTE: The book, Messiah III: Understanding His Identity and Teachings through the Soul of the Torah, by Avi ben Mordecai (Brad Marcus), published in 2001, is the major source of teachings promoting a mystical shtuf. It has become a major source of confusion among Joes to whom it has been widely promoted and disseminated. |
Disputations IV - VII are refutations of this book. However, we have never believed it proper to be critical of the work of another without offering an alternative that could resolve the issues at hand. Disputations VIII - X, therefore will also offer what we hope to be 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.
The author contends that repetitive usages of Divine names in the same or adjacent Scripture are evidences of the duality of the God of Israel and multiple powers in Heaven. However, the context of these passages reveals to the eyes of any editor, the idiom of writing either in the third person, a popular narrative style to this day, or the idiom of Majesty. They do not reveal one Deity calling down judgment from another or an abnormality in the Hebrew text" as the author alleges. First Century heretics known as the Cerinthians and Netzerim made the same mistake and promoted the idea of a lesser Deity from the same passages. Their heresy further demoted the God of Israel below a "higher power," the Ein Sof, who they claimed was the manifest Y'shua and the true Creator. The author makes similar claims. If the text were referring to multiple Deities, it would either use different names for each or, the verb associated with their appearance in the same passage would be plural. Neither is the case. The author cites 22 other references of inconsistent usage of pronouns replacing the Divine name, for the God of Israel. To which we submit that the biblical idiom, however jarring to our ears today was the custom then.
Removing the michshol (stumbling block) between Joseph and Judah
© 2005 Maggid ben Yosef
Disputation Series VI:
"The Lord God does what the Lord God pleases." That is not Scripture. It is a statement we are making about God, that He does whatsoever He wills. This style of describing actions by others by using their proper names rather than pronouns is a common means of writing in the third person to express royal majesty or kingship. Example, "The king does what the king pleases." This sentence describes the sovereignty of the king or tells us who is boss -- the king and only the king. If the sentence read, "The king does what the queen pleases," then the implication is that the king answers to the queen. However, if there are two persons of royalty involved, identification is by separate names.
Identity and identification
In the book Messiah 3: Understanding His Identity and Teachings Through the Soul of the Torah, by Avi ben Mordecai (Brad Marcus), this expression would imply two Gods or two kings. First, the Lord God and King and second, the Lord God and King who does whatever the first Lord God and King pleases. It is also common for a king to speak with the majestic "we," which is his means of identifying with his subjects. We have a close representation of this writing style in what is referred to as the "editorial we." Although one person usually writes a newspaper editorial, you never see an editorial using the first person singular pronoun. The "we" identifies the publication with the community.
P'shat* does not support duality or multiple powers
The author contends that repetitive usage of Divine Names in the same or adjacent Scripture are evidences in the Torah of the "duality of The Lord God of Israel" and "multiple powers in Heaven.". He cites Genesis 19:23, Exodus 24:1-2, and Exodus 19:24. Disputation V, "P'shat is King" dealt with these latter two Scriptures. We concluded that their p'shat or simple meaning relates to the revelation at Sinai where the One single God declared He was the One who had rescued the children of Israel from Egypt, they should have no other gods "on, upon or over His face" and He was a Jealous God. Contextually Exodus 19:24 and Exodus 24:1-2 relates to neither a second Deity nor multiple powers in Heaven.
Genesis 19:23 reads: The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then The Lord rained on S'dom and 'Omorrah brimstone and fire from The Lord out of heaven
The judgment on S'dom and 'Omorrah
The personality credited with recording the Torah was Moshe. Here he is again writing in third person. He is making the statement that the judgment upon S'dom and 'Omorrah came from The Lord and secondly the judgment came from some cataclysmic event, such as a meteor or earthquake. But the author contends that this passage is one Deity calling down judgment from another" or evidence of a greater and lesser Deity.
Heretic sects used same scripture
Two early sects of heretic Christians known as the Cerinthians and Netzerim promoted the idea of a lesser Deity using the same scripture. However, their heresy was in demoting The Lord as this lesser Deity, who they claimed answered to a higher power, the Ein Sof,* who in turn was manifest through Yshua.
The intent of the Sh'ma
The Sh'ma of Deuteronomy 6:4, is the profession of faith of every Hebrew:
The pshat is clear. He is not more than one. The Masorites double-underlined this fact by spelling the word One with a larger than normal Dalet so it would not be confused with a Resh, which is written similarly. If the word would be read "achaR" with the Resh, instead of "echaD" with the Dalet, the meaning of the sentence would be just the opposite -- "Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God is "another!" which, of course, is blasphemy and idolatry. So the Masorites made the Dalet in echaD extra large. The Sh'ma begins with the word Sh'ma, spelled with an abnormally large ayin at the end of the first word. These two larger letters, which appear in the same verse in the Masoretic text, taken together, spell the word "eyd," which means, "witness." So the Sh'ma, a declaration of the indivisibility of The Lord God of Israel, is a witness to all of Israel who "hears," that the God of Israel is One and His Name is One.
Echad or y'chad
The Zohar in Reya Mehemna, 43b, alludes to this One, not as an echad but as a ychad, (or unity that can be divisible). The easiest way to remember that echad is not the same as a y'chad is the song, Hinei ma tov, umah na'eem, shevet achim gam y'chad." (Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together). Here y'chad means various brothers living together. They are surely one in purpose and have the same mind and same heart, but the word echad appears nowhere in the verses of that song or its chorus.
The oneness of Adam and Eve
Another argument usually raised to support the idea that echad and y'chad are the same is that The God of Israel made Adam and Eve separate beings yet told them to exist as vsar echad (one flesh). To which we would say, a man and his wife should function as One as an indivisible unit. Disloyalties, distrust, infidelity, lack of support, divisive friends, or lack of mutual goals divide that sacred Oneness. Some marriages never discover it, because the biblical command to leave father and mother (and it goes without saying, the other dividing influences) and cleave to one another is not followed. It is a conditional evolution into Oneness, they shall become One flesh only if they cleave to one another. The God of Israel ordained this Oneness in function and purpose to be indivisible, as He is indivisible. This would imply that "individuality," which would represent the personality of both husband and wife within the context of their indivisible existence, would be a desirable trait. "Independence" between spouses however, would be a dividing force. The great mystery of the marriage bed when it is not violated or its sanctity disturbed through infidelity and both spouses function as a y'chad, is an "echad" or oneness that will be the glue of a relationship. The couple that clings together remains One, but those who do not cling together will fall apart.
The majestic plurality of Royalty
The author also cites Isaiah 6:8, 44:6, 48:15-16 and Zechariah 2:11, 14:4-5 and Daniel 7:9,13 as evidence of "multiple persons" in The God of Israel.
Isaiah 6:8: Then I heard the voice of Adonai saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
This is the call of Isaiah to the work of a prophet and the setting is a court in the World to Come, consisting of at least two sraphim.* There is no question that in the World to Come, the God of Israel has multiple servants, angels, sraphim and possibly some of the Tzadikim, who are believed to straddle two worlds; this one and the World to Come. The p'shat of this verse, is that Royalty from a Heavenly court is speaking and Royalty speaks in the majestic plurality.
Messianic prophecies and the Torah
The rabbonim believe that Isaiah 48:15-16 echoes the words and mission of the messiah and an end-times judgment on the land of Babylon and the Chaldeans (modern Iraq and Kuwait). It is therefore the spirit of the messiah to come speaking through Isaiah not the God of Israel speaking when Isaiah said,
Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there have I been; and now The Lord God, and His Spirit, hath sent me.
The author alleges there should be no confusion that one "Lord" is speaking to another. The verse appears to be a clue that the coming of messiah will follow a judgment of some kind on the land of Babylon and the Chaldeans. Nevertheless, the Sod alluded to in this passage indicates a link between the messiah-to-come and the Torah, which was present with The Lord in the beginning. A future Disputation will explore this link through the office and mission of a Tzadik.
Prophet characteristically speaks as The Lord
In the next verse, this messianic spirit speaking through Isaiah, begins his exhortation with Ko Amar Adonai, (Thus saith The Lord), which is necessary for him to be recognized as being sent from The Lord and which characterized all of the prophets. The message is clear to all of Israel: The Lord God of Israel is your God. He teaches you to profit as you walk in the paths He directs. Nevertheless, the prophet characteristically speaks in the first person as though he were The Lord God of Israel.
The judgment on My people
Similarly, Zechariah 2:15 is the voice of this messianic spirit who also begins his oration with Ko Amar Adonai in verse 11. There is an interesting twist in this prophecy, however. The reference to many nations joining themselves to The Lord and becoming li lam (literally "to Me for a people") fits with the remedy for the judgment of the Assimilation of the Northern Kingdom who was given the decree in Hosea 1:9, lo-Ami," or not My people.
Messianic mission and the Assimilation
It is our belief that the messianic spirit here prophesying -- when later manifest as the messiah -- is the means to rejoin these Assimilated peoples to The Lord by renewing, restoring or repairing a covenant with them. This appears to be the purpose of the rectification of this specific judgment as it appears in the prophesies about Yshua before his birth and at his infancy in the New Testament. It is the only conclusive evidence that he was the messiah sent to the Assimilation of the Northern Kingdom.
Mountains and thrones
Zechariah 14:4-5 quotes either this messianic spirit or the prophet Zechariah. The speaker is not The LORD, but rather, the speaker alludes to The Lord:
And in that day, His (The Lord's feet (an idiom for the earthquake to follow) will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east And you will flee by the valley of the mountains (the construct state of the Hebrew, which the author translates My mountains). Another reference to an earthquake follows Then The Lord, my God will come and all the holy ones (tzaddikim) with him.
Daniel 7:9,13: I kept looking until thrones (plural) were set up.
The Hebrew reads that the thrones were cast down not set up. No one will argue that when the messiah comes he will rule as Israels king. Whether the thrones are set up or cast down changes the meaning of the verse. Cast down is another assertion of The Lord's sovereignty. Set up, implies more than one throne but surely not more than one Sovereign else p'shat would be violated.;
Identity according to The God of Israel's functions
Isaiah 44:6: Thus says The Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, The Lord Tzvaot: I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.
The God of Israel is variously identified by his functions to Israel, first as King and secondly as Redeemer by the title The Lord Tzvaot, a militaristic term that indicates The Lord will fight on behalf of Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces have adopted this same word to describe its army. The remainder of the verse clarifies that the text may not possibly relate to one called The Lord, King and Redeemer and another called The God of Israel "Tzva'ot." Rather The God of Israel Tzva'ot is a means of describing The Lord's role as the Tzva'ot, the One who directs armies.
The goal to know The God of Israel
The cry from the heart of many Joes is to "know The Lord." But is this possible so long as He is confused with the sh'tuf of others? Can those who associate The Lord with another God, really get a clear picture of His Sovereignty? They may not know Him to the extent it is possible to know Him and the depth He desires them to know Him. Second, we all have preconceived ideas about Him that limit our understanding. Another way of saying that: We do not come to him with an open mind and an open heart. Third, some do not understand his holy (which is to say, set-apart) nature. Finally, on the very path we walk in pursuit of Him, the shtuf associating Him with another and others, can be a detour to discovering Him and His ways.
Note: Ordinarily, we do not copyright our writings. The Disputation text may be disseminated with permission via email from the author. They must be disseminated in their entirety with no editing or changes permitted. This is being done to ensure that this highly controversial material is not taken out of context.