I have been pondering this all day. I work for some great Christian individuals. A majority of the people who listen to my radio show listen on Christian radio stations and they love me. Why am I bringing this up?
I see many "being led to Torah" who keep only a handful of laws more than their Christian counterparts. They make keep a small level of kosher, they may say Shabbat Shalom and take off work on Shabbat, they may keep some moedim. And that is about it, most don't go into halakha and into more factions of the Torah, outside of those things. But I see, their attitudes adjusted. They have attitudes of condemnation of their Christian brothers and sisters. They attack them for not keeping the level of Torah they themselves are supposedly are keeping. They become crass, angry, judgmental, accusatory, haughty, egotistical, and full of pride.
I then ask, considering their only keeping a few more laws than their Christian counterparts, yet they then obtain their Christian attributes. And they loose simcha and shalom, are they indeed in a better standing than Christians in the Olam Hana? I would say no.
Now I am the most Rabbinic guy you will ever meet. I do things in my Jewish observance that even makes the Hebrew Roots scratch their heads. And yet, I find I have more in common with my Christian brethren than I do those in the Hebrew Roots. Because of a level of shalom, simcha and decency.
I think of one lady who attends our study (though she has been out the past few weeks because she has been sick ☹️). But when Nolita comes to study, she is full of excitement and she brightens the entire room, she loves G-d more than anyone I have known. And yet, she may have a ham sandwich every now and then. And she is a sponge for all she learns in the study. She actually teaches it to her Sunday school and I say "Nolita I don't want you to get in trouble over there doing that" but then I think, "no one can be mad at Nolita". And I would dare say though she does Christmas and Sunday and everything else Christians do, I would say she is a much much much higher standing with G-d than 99% in the Hebrew Roots.
Let's be honest, I think many find something new, this Torah thing, and it is not about a connection with G-d with a majority of them. I think it is instead about "I found something, most don't know and now I want to be seen as smart and I wanna be validated." And for many the real connection with G-d goes straight out the window, and a connection with YouTube begins. Which is a poor poor poor substitute.
And the thing that is most heartbreaking for me, is to see these good decent individuals obtain these negative traits over reasons of intellectualism, and really loose that connection with Hashem. That is heart breaking.
So I do not find certain groups who try and intellectualize Christians to a certain level of observance as doing anything good, I think these groups don't trust in Hashem, and take matters into their own hands and actually scare or shame people into submission and they continue the trend that has been attached to them. I think Hashem will bring mussar to those in their time, not yours, not mine, and He will do it to a degree they can handle.
I find it despicable that it is not about Am Echad, but rather is it knock down drag outs. When a person calls a Christian a pagan because of their practices or lack of knowledge on a situation such as Torah. I see that as like calling a 3 year old a dummy because they don't know geometry.
To all my Christian friends, I want you to know, though we have our differences and though they may be drastic, I thank you for accepting me and loving me, and I want you to know, I find no issue with any of you and G-d has blessed your faith with great people.
I received a text message from someone I had considered a friend, blasting me for advocating for help for this special needs kid who attends an AME church and who is a Christian, telling me this kid doesn't deserve tzedakah and help and an opportunity, because he doesn't do shabbos. I will stand up for this kid, and not for the person I considered a friend. Because this autistic 22 year old has more decency and is more appreciative than most I currently know in the Hebrew Roots movement.
If you are looking for a translation from someone who is knee deep in sacred name theology yet doesn't know a lick of Hebrew but somehow puts out a translation....do I have a piece of cow manure for you....it is called the Eth Cepher. Now, I am usually not this tough on translations but this one takes the cake and everything else in the refrigerator as well as the baking soda box. Lets look at just some of the numerous issues with this Bible (oh wait, the guy who put this together said the word Bible is pagan).
First of all, without even opening the Bible, you can see two major issues, right there on the front cover. First of all, the printer (yes the guy who put this together has no theological degrees or any training in theology, or language....he is a printer) who out this together confuses the word את (et(h)) with the letter ה (the letter ה at the beginning of a hebrew word is the word "the" in english). He also claims the word את symbolizes divinity. Lets take a moment and look at this real quick. If this is true than many sentences in the Bible (ooops used that word again) are gonna cause issue for his theology. Lets just take....I dunno...Genesis 9:22 for example:
וַיַּרְא, חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן, אֵת, עֶרְוַת אָבִיו; וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי-אֶחָיו, בַּחוּץ
Vayar Cham avi Chenaan eth ervat aviv vayaged lishnei echav bachootz
"And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside"
Apparently that אֵת right there symbolizes the divine in that case as well as several other verses I could bring up as well. But lets just look at this in another verse you may be more familiar with:
בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ
Beresheet Bara Elohim Eth Hashamayim v'eth Haeretz
In the beginning created G-d the Heavens and the Earth.
The אֵת is dependent upon two nouns and a verb. בָּרָא is the word for "created" which is the verb, and הַשָּׁמַיִם and הָאָרֶץ are two nouns that were created, but they were created by whom? The placement of the אֵת after אֱלֹהִים and before הַשָּׁמַיִם shows that it was Elohim that did the creating of the heavens and the earth as opposed to being visa versa. This is the job of the word אֵת.
Now notice with the phrase Eth Cepher, there is one noun, and no verb. So I guess we could say the Ethics's Cepher was created by a lack of something (some of you may get that joke). Because the phrase Eth Cepher makes zero sense, grammatically.
Ok, what about the other issue on the front cover alone. The word סֵ֫פֶר means book, But the letter סֵ֫ does not and has never made a C sound or is ever transliterated as a C. How could this be done? Well it seems the printer who made this Bible, we have already established doesn't know a lick of Hebrew, may have picked up a copy of Aryeh Kaplan's study on the Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation (In Theory and Practice). A very good kabbalistic work work and a text revered in Judaism. But in Sefer Yetzirah 1:1 the printers have even acknowledged there is a misprint. They spelled Sefer accidentally as "Cepher" in the first edition. It was corrected in later editions. But this guy with the Eth Cepher claims it is correct and that the Samech makes a C sound, further showing he doesn't know even basic words in Hebrew such as Sefer (meaning book) and yet he translated an entire Bible? Oh wait it gets even worse.
Now, this guy's big push was in "the proper names" for G-d and the Messiah. Further showing he doesn't know a lick of Hebrew. And he uses the usual talking points "the name of ____ has been removed from your Bible". Has anyone noticed that those who know Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek don't use a 4 letter name of G-d? Why is this? Because we know what the word שֵׁם means. The word שֵׁם is often translated as "name" but it is a semitic concept of "name" which doesn't mean a printing or vocalization but rather it means and embodiment of one's character and personality. Not actual recitation or printing of a Holy name of G-d or the Messiah. But, the sacred name movement knows for the novice and the beginner that the sacred name movement theology is like a bloody juicy steak on a hook for the beginner (get that joke?). Sacred name theology is also how these publishers put out sacred name texts using a search and replace method on Microsoft Word or OpenOffice and they make full use of the 1993 parody copyright law to use already existing translations and then altering them with sacred name theology to change the 10% needed to get a brand new copyright. So sacred name theology is a big business, not about theology but rather about the almighty dollar. Now, I am a capitalist, I have no issue with someone making a buck, but only if done honestly. And this as you are seeing is dishonest, and they are lumped in with the Halleluyah Scriptures, IRS Scriptures, The Besorah, the Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures as well as many others who have taken advantage of the 1993 parody law. How does it feel to know that you may be holding a Bible that is classified as a "parody"?
But the particular use of which version of the 4 letter name of G-d they chose to use is even more concerning and shows once again.....he doesn't know a lick of Hebrew. He calls G-d "Yahuah" in this Bible, now the word "Huah" in Hebrew means "destruction, mischief, trickery, and ruin" according to Hebrew dictionaries. So, we are combining the 2 letter name used in Isaiah (Yah) with the word "Huah" thus he is saying "G-d is full of mischief, trickery and ruin." This is beyond blasphemy. And the origin of this name actually comes from a 1970s hippie sex cult known as The Source. Hindu mystics told James Baker (later Father Yod, then later Yahoah) that the 4 letter name of G-d is pronounced "Yahuah". So this bad theology was made popular by this sex cult leader and was used in their numerous records they put out, that caught the attention of a guy named Lew White in his headshop and music store. But he decided to put a new spin on it, to make it appear more kosher. He claims if you take the דָ out of the word יְהוּדָה then you get the proper rendering of the 4 letter name of G-d. Well sorry Lew, Hebrew does not work like that, if you subtract a letter in the middle of a word the nikkudot does not stay the same. Lets also consider the fact that Hebrew is considered "Lashon Kodesh" (The Holy Tongue), Hashem created the word through the Hebrew language, Jews and Christian both agree on this theology. So you mean to tell me, that a created entity (יְהוּדָה) if you subtract part of it's creation you get G-d? How does that make any sense whatsoever? That is a lowering of the ideal of G-d to a very low level.
He does the same thing with the Messiah adding a ה to the name of the Messiah, making it Yahusha which would be the equivalent of me typing djkfhsjsfkjfhs in English saying that was the name of the Messiah. Plus, every single ancient manuscript such as the Khabouris Codex, the Yonan Codex, as well as modern codexes such as the Old Syriac, the DuTillet etc all have יֵשׁוּעַ which does not include a ה. The adding of the ה is a modern invention by individuals like Michael Rood who take sacred name theology to a whole new level of goofiness.
Then we have the extra books, and this is like poisonous kool-aid that has a sweet aroma, and so many fall for it when they are young in there walk. And I am only gonna focus on two of these books, because these particular two I have studied a great deal and advocated for in the past until I saw the error of my ways, in fact I even wrote a book pushing for the canonization of one of those particular (lost books) and now I tell people to not buy that book I had written because it is complete garbage (hey it will make a great companion with your Eth Cepher lol). But lets look at Enoch. The author claims to have translated Enoch from the Dead Sea Scrolls, so that would mean that he only has a few of the later pages of Enoch in the Eth Cepher right? Because only a few pages of Enoch were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Wrong, he has the complete book of Enoch sandwiched in there. How is that possible when there are only a few pages in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Well, there are many public domain translations of the Ethiopic Text, which is used by many self publishers today who try and push the Enoch craze to make a dishnonest buck. This i what is used here, in sacred name form. Now one thing we must realize is that the Ethiopic text varies a great deal from the few pages in the Dead Sea Scrolls, to the point it is almost a complelty different account. Similar, but not even close to being identical.
For anyone who has read Enoch, it is obvious there were several authors, which causes huge issues with the Ethiopic text. Most scholars agree there are parts that may be a part of an original book of Enoch but 90% is a forgery by gnostics. Because we have huge issues with the first 20 chapters, most notably Yeshua saying angels are unable to marry (Matthew 22:30). The whole idea of fallen angels or aliens etc does not fit the Hebrew of Genesis 6. But the gnostics came up with their own story and that is what we have in the Ethiopic text of Enoch.
Ok what about Jasher (aka Sefer HaYashar). Jasher, for those who have read it, you can see is not a spiritual account at all, instead it is like a high school book report on the cliff notes of the Torah. And that is is essentially what Jasher is, it is a secular summary of the Torah She BikTav. Now it is mentioned in the Tanach, but not the Jasher many see it as today. Was there an actual book of Jasher at one point? Most evidence says no, and several of the sages refer to the book of Genesis as "Sefer HaYashar" (which means the "book of the upright") referring to Abraham Isaac and Jacob as the "upright ones". And the sources from the Tanach that mention Sefer HaYashar, are found in the teachings of the oral Torah about the events mentioned.
The sections from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha added to the Eth Cepher, are riddled with so many problems to list and thus is why they are not canonical books. As Jews we even reject the books of the Maccabees as Scripture, because no full copy in the semitic languages exist, but we do accept the story for Hanukkah but we do not and have not ever taken it as Scripture. Sp the books of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha as well as Enoch and Jasher are good historical books, but they have never been accepted as Scripture and not G-d breathed. And to put these books on the same level as the Torah, Ketuvim, Nevi'im and Brit Chadasha is beyond disgusting.
Now these are just a few of the numerous issues with the Eth Cepher. I also realize many of you are trying to find a Bible that works best for you. Being a radio and television hosts I receive Bibles in the mail all the time from those wanting an endorsement, I have received some good ones, I have received some duds, and I have purchased some good ones and I have bought some duds. So I have put together a review of several translations, and I have tried to exclude many of my personal biases, and many you will find one that works well for you. In this list in the button below:
It is important to note, there is no such thing as a perfect translation, because Hebrew and Aramaic cannot equate directly to english, so there are variances. My goal in the above link is to help you find a Bible that has the readability at your level and the features you are looking for in a Bible that will work for you. I also must stress if you do not know the semitic languages, then make sure to have many translations and you will see the three dimensional aspects of the Bible through those many translations.
In Isaiah 9:7 we have an oddity we have לםרבה (lemabeh) meaning "of his increase" now, anyone who knows Hebrew, can see something is not right here. The thing that is out of place is the מ which is written as ם now the מ is written as ם if it is the last letter of a word. Never ever at the beginning or middle. We have several letters that have a beginning and ending form. They are known as otyiot sofit. So as we can see the scroll should properly read, למרבה as opposed to לםרבה.
With the Masoretic text which is the standardized text in Judaism there is a commentary within the text through broken letters, misspelled words, letters added or missing, letters bigger or smaller etc. This was to retain the original meaning of the verse. Now, after a long search through the Talmud I have found that the only time a ם sofit is mentioned is in Shabbat 104a-104b. No where else. So now I have to jump to the medieval times and Rashi. And Rashi says that the "Wonderful Counselor" mentioned in verse 6 is speaking of Mashiach, but he attributes Mashiach to Hezekiah. Then he kinda backs away from the thought that Hezekiah is Messiah and lists the reasons he couldn't be.
Now the Targums, translate this verse not as G-d but as Mashiach, and the Targum of Jonathan is also a standardized Jewish text. So this concept was there and understood at this time. And it is not a "Christian invention" as the anti-missionaries claim that the Messiah was born of a virgin signifying a womb that is closed in the first coming of Mashiach where the word Almah is used.
But we also have to have a second testimony of this. And it comes from the book of Nehemiah. And in Nehemiah 2:13 we see הפרוצימ which should read הפרוצים (perotzim) meaning "broken one" signifies Mashiach coming to repairs that final mem to make it ם through his previous brokenness. And Radak, the great sage connects the two and says that the Messiah will appear when the walls of Jerusalem are sealed through tikkun from within the wall and he relates this to Amos 9:11 when it says "in that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen and close the breaches there of (ם) and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."
Now this carries on over into an unlikely of places, Sukkah 52a of the Talmud which is making note of verses about the Mashiach in Zechariah, but we see the premise is there, not only of two Messiah's but also the interpretation of Radak and the reason for Mashiach through our own internal issues with the Yetzer Hara. I have scanned Sukkah 52a in it's entirety for you to see for yourself:
Ok so you maybe saying to yourself. "well obviously Judaism taught about 2 comings of Messiah or 2 Messiah's but what is this Evil Inclination business?" That is one of the big keys to the parallel of Radak's words. Because to bring tikkun one has to defeat the evil inclination (yetzer hara), so the attributes of Mashiach Ben Yosef, break us, and humble us, and the attributes of Mashiach ben David put it into action in confidence that is properly allocated within the soul. Therefore, the thought pattern from the Talmud about another verse about the Messiah from Zechariah carried many many many years later in an unbroken halakha to Radak.
by Rabbi Eved Banah (Host of Brutal Planet and the Rabbi of Beit Geulah)
The word תוֹרָה (Torah) is often not properly defined in Hebrew Roots circles and I am gonna attempt here to give you guys a fuller answer than you maybe accustomed to. So let's start:
Torah (תוֹרָה) can indeed mean "law" but it signifies a collection of "law" and we see this in the phrases Torah She Biktav (תורה שבכתב) (meaning the Torah which is written) and Torah She Be'al Peh (תורה שבעל פה) (meaning: the Torah which is spoken aka the Oral Torah). Now the Bible does make note of both of these in the words of Genesis 26:5 where the word תוֹרֹתָי (torotai) or תוּרֹת (torot) are used, these words are also used in several other passages but this one is the most famous. These words signify both the Torah She BikTav v'Torah She Be'al Peh (written Torah and Oral Torah) as a cohesive unit. The fact they are considered a cohesive unite is the reason why when you speak to us Jews, when we say Torah, we are referring to both as a cohesive unit. As a Lapid Jew however we see the Living Torah as well as the third part to complete the cycle based on John 1:1-14.
So in terms of "commandments" or "law" we tend to use several words based upon what kind of "law" in the specific sense is being referred to such as מִצְוָה or מִצְווֹת (mitzvah or mitzvot) which are usually translated better to "law" or "commandment" better than the word תוֹרָה. Another classification is the word מִּשְׁפָּטִים (Mishaptim) which deals with "civil law". Then there is חוֹקם (chukim) which deal with "law in the form decree". All three of these make up the law of the written Torah and the written Torah and these words are found all through your Hebrew Bible. Now let's go back to the word.
Since the word תוֹרָה can mean a collective set of laws, and considering it also has other meanings let's look at those other meanings, the best English definition of the word תוֹרָה can mean instruction. That is why it is closely related to the words תַלמִיד (Talmid: meaning student or disciple) and the word תַּלְמוּד (Talmud: meaning study).
We must understand the relation of these words that stem from the root being ירה (Yarah) which is a word used in archery and hunting meaning "to hit the mark". This is the root for the word תוֹרָה. Which the opposition to this word is the word חָטָא (Chata) meaning "to miss the mark" and it is also the word for "sin" as well in contextual definition. Thus, this defines Chata as missing the mark and the root of Torah being Yarah, meaning to hit the mark. Thus, this defines for us "sin" which is turning away from the "instruction" given to us by the Living Torah, the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. I pray this was helpful.
by Rabbi Eved Banah (Host of the Brutal Planet Radio Program and Rabbi of Beit Geulah)
Ok, I keep seeing memes and getting emails, that say the name G-d is the name of a pagan deity. Let me educate those who think this. First of all the word G-d is the English equivalent of אֶל, אֶלוּה and אֶלוּהַי which are all names for......G-d in Hebrew. These individuals claim that the word גָּד equates to not only word luck but a deity of fortune. They don't realize one of the names of the tribes was גָּד and that גָּד does mean luck but it also means troop. Which brings us to another one they go nuts over.
The word בּעַל has many meanings, it means L-rd, Master and Husband. Now many equate the word בּעַל to a pagan deity in 2nd Kings. Thought it is the same word, the word בּעַל was not a personal name to a deity. Just like how many religions refer to their god(s) as G-d, they also do with the word בּעַל because their god is their master. And the scripture refers to our G-d as בּעַל several times in the Tanach and also in the New Testament we have the word ܡܪܝܐ via the Peshitta text referring to G-d, which also means "Master" but wait in the Aramaic we see the scribal tradition, proving its authenticity in the 1st Century by referring to G-d not by a sacred name Tetragrammaton but rather as ܐܠܗܐ which is the Aramaic equivalent to אֶלוּם meaning....G-d.
Brethren this is why it is important to learn the languages so you don't fall victim to the armchair theologians who makes these ridiculous memes saying you shouldn't say G-d or L-rd. These people have no knowledge of their Bibles in the original languages.
Now let's take this in the realm of sacred name theology. We have proven the ignorance of these individuals with their missteps and untruths. They claim we are commanded to annunciate, and pronounce יהוה as opposed to saying "Hashem" or "G-d". Their talking point is "Hashem is not a name" or "G-d is a title" yet we see it as a part of the many names for G-d found in the Bible, many of the 72 of them. So what we need to do is investigate what שֶׁם means. Though שֶׁם literally translates to name, in Semitic idiom it is better translated as "personality" "character" or "encapsulation". It doesn't mean a vocalized or pronounced personal name. Instead it deals with attribute.
Now with this, G-d is the ultimate authority right? Now, anyone in authority, we have a title of elevation for them, such as President _____. Mr ____, Miss____, Mrs _____ Dr _____ Professor _____, mother or father etc. we do not call people in authority by a personal name. If we do then we are lowering them and elevating ourselves. This mustn't ever be done with G-d. Sadly, the sacred name movement carried with it not only an amazing amount of ignorance, but also arrogance thinking they can pull Hashem down go their level. This should not be done and it is because, I think, a majority don't know the real definition of the word שֶׁם.
But this brings up another point that needs to be addressed. Many of the youtube theologians push for sacred name theology anyway because of their sacred name Bibles. But, I have to ask, was any translating really done on these Bibles? Or did they just replace Jesus with Yeshua, replaced the word G-d with a form of the 4 letter name, change L-rd to Elohim, and Sabbath to Shabbat using a search and replace function on Microsoft Word from a doc file of a previously translated Bible or did they actually translate them? Well if they actually translated them I would have to ask, "Why didn't you include in your translation the 71 other names for G-d that are found in the Tanach alone?" Such as these below:
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah at Beit Geulah in Morganton, NC (www.BeitGeulah.com)