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New Joseph Forum no.14 

Ephraimites, Two Houses, Joes, Ten Tribes Teachings
18 January 2010, 3 Shevet 5770
1. Questions from David
Bedwell on the Jewish Attitude Towards Ephraimites Keeping the Commandments
2. Difficult Questions to
Ephraimites About Keeping the Commandments
3. Brit-Am Message from


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1. Questions from David Bedwell on the Jewish Attitude Towards Ephraimites Keeping the Commandments

Letter One from David Bedwell
Re Brit-Am Now no. 1443
#4. David Bedwell: Lost Ten Tribes = Gentile?


Shalom, Yair:
Thank you for the response.  It was very helpful.....Does Orthodox Judaism have a stance on this? 
David Bedwell

Letter Two from David Bedwell
.... it is my perception that Ephraimites generally perceive Rabbinic Judaism does not favor Ephraimites, which they consider Gentiles, to keep Torah.  And if they keep the written Torah, but not the writings of the rabbis (Talmud, Shulcan Aruch, Midrash, etc), then they are even more "out of favor."  Certainly, my perception may be wrong in this, in that RJ may desire Ephraimites to keep the Torah, or that Ephraimites may not share my perceptions concerning RJ. 
Further, it seems to me that those accepted to be Jews (within the covenant) by RJ, such as secular Jews, are less willing and maybe even antagonistic to keeping the Torah, but are still accepted by RJ as Jews.  Additionally, there are those, such as Karaites, that keep the Written Torah, but reject the rabbinic writings as obligatory, but are still considered Jews by RJ.  It appears that Ephraimites have the highest standard put toward them, at the present time, in order to be accepted as family by RJ.  This is highly confusing to me.
Thank you for all your work in this area of preparing for the restoration of both houses, Yair.  God bless you.
Brit-Am Reply:
You asked about Ephraimites wanting to keep the Commandments.  This is positive and in line with Prophecy.

Brit-Am just tries to emphasize that according to our understanding it is not an obligation.
It is not on the same level as the obligation that Jews have. If a Sanhedrin existed and other requirements were in place Jews could be physically punished, even put to death in some circumstances, for not keeping certain of the commandments.
This would not apply to Ephraimites or to any other non-Jews.

As to what the Orthodox Jewish attitude is it depends on who you ask and on how the question is formulated.
Brit-Am does not represent anybody but ourselves and our answers may be accepted only with reservations.

Despite this we may say that Judaism is against Gentiles creating their own religions and imitating Jewish practices.
Gentiles who wish to keep Torah Laws are however on the whole praised for it.
Concerning descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes keeping the Torah Judaism would also consider this desirable and almost necessary even though
at the individual level no specific obligation may be involved.

If Ephraimites say they belong to the Lost Ten Tribes and therefore wish to keep the Commandments the reaction will depend on why they believe they descend from Israel.
If Ephraimites say it is because of Brit-Am Type Biblical and historical studies it is one thing.
If they say it is for other reasons then that may be a different case.

We are preparing an article on these matters that may make things clearer.

Concerning the difference in attitude by Religious Jews towards Secular Jews and Karaites versus Ephraimites.
Secular Jews are Jews who it is hoped will return to the right path.
 Those you know as Karaites are considered as not really Karaites but rather nut-cases who might yet wake up to themselves.

Ephraimites are often considered wanna-bes who (sometimes secretly but often also openly and in the loudest of voices) want to tell the Jews what to do and missionize them.

We may or may not have a partial solution. It may lay in keeping the commandments as the Rabbis said but without the extra numerous and difficult safeguards?
The matter is still being discussed and may take time.
At all events no-one should expect immediate acceptance from Judah.
That is something we will not be able to offer and should not be anticipated at this stage.

God bless you

2. Difficult Questions to Ephraimites About Keeping the Commandments:
What in your eyes makes a non-Jew an Israelite?
Concerning People who you agree are definitely not Israelites but assert that they are and want to keep the Commandments:
How do you relate to them?

None of us are really racists. Some of us are mixed or have relations or in-laws who are. At all events life teaches us to accept people as you find them.
Even so,
How would you react if theoretically 50 million people from some isolated part of China suddenly started keeping some of the commandments, such as not eating pork, etc, called themselves Israelites and wanted to come immediately to Israel.
Should they be accepted?
If not, Why Not?

3. Brit-Am Message from Avigdor

Brit-Am Preliminary Note:
Avigdor sent us the following message. The Biblical Version he used was the Hebrew Original with an English Translation based on the King James (KJV). We have changed the version used for that of the New King James Version (NKJV).  In the past we always used the KJV now we have changed over to the NKJV. Since changing we have noticed that on some points the KJV is closer to the original Hebrew BUT the style really is difficult to read. This applies even for those (such as myself) who admire the literary qualities and other merits the KJV does have.

Brit-Am, the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel Movement, concerns itself with clarifying where the Lost Ten Tribes are. That is our main goal
and everything else for us, in the operational sense, is secondary to that.
We are and always have been in favor of non-Jews of Israelite Descent keeping the commandments. We never said otherwise.
We do however understand that technically from the legal point of view they are not so obligated.
Nevertheless the message below is worth considering:

Message from Avigdor
Yair Shalom,

For those Tribes of Yisrael that want to come home to the land of eretz Yisrael...I think that Isaiah 58 says volumes.

Isaiah 58
 1 Cry aloud, spare not;
   Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
   Tell My people their transgression,
   And the house of Jacob their sins.
   2 Yet they seek Me daily,
   And delight to know My ways,
   As a nation that did righteousness,
   And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
   They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
   They take delight in approaching God.
   3 ? Why have we fasted,? they say, ?and You have not seen?
   Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice??

   ? In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
   And exploit all your laborers.
   4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
   And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
   You will not fast as you do this day,
   To make your voice heard on high.
   5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
   A day for a man to afflict his soul?
   Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
   And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
   Would you call this a fast,
   And an acceptable day to the LORD?
   6 ? Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
   To loose the bonds of wickedness,
   To undo the heavy burdens,
   To let the oppressed go free,
   And that you break every yoke?
   7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
   When you see the naked, that you cover him,
   And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
   8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
   Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
   And your righteousness shall go before you;
   The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
   9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
   You shall cry, and He will say, ?Here I am.?
   ? If you take away the yoke from your midst,
   The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
   10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
   And satisfy the afflicted soul,
   Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
   And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
   11 The LORD will guide you continually,
   And satisfy your soul in drought,
   And strengthen your bones;
   You shall be like a watered garden,
   And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
   12 Those from among you
   Shall build the old waste places;
   You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
   And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
   The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
   13 ? If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
   From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
   And call the Sabbath a delight,
   The holy day of the LORD honorable,
   And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
   Nor finding your own pleasure,
   Nor speaking your own words,
   14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
   And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
   And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
   The mouth of the LORD has spoken.?

This is a time when all Israel and Judah should be crying out to G-d for the sins of division and animosity and finger pointing (vs 9) and helping each other (vs 10) by putting our prayers into action and taking care of one another (vs 7). If the house of Israel will look after the needs of Judah wouldn't G-d recognize this effort?
Honoring the day when G-d rested from all that HE made and turn from all our own ways honoring Holy Shabbat.  The following chapters show what will happen when this occurs and by faith it will.


See our sister feature:
Telling it as it is.
Discussion of Ephraimite Questions in a Brit-Am Context


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