Brit-Am and Judah:
Answers to Criticism
Against Ephraimites
and Reflections

The Brit-Am Rose
Symbol of Israel United

Answers to Criticism against Ephraimites
Biblical Proofs Are Only an Introduction
Ephraimite Nations, Jewish Nation
Religious Jewish Perspective: The Mixed Multitude
Personal Experiences of Yair Davidiy
Ephraimite Scandals
The Source of Ephraimite Confusion

Brit-Am and Judah:
Answers to Criticism against Ephraimites



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Below is an article written against "Ephraimites".
The article was written by someone calling herself
Tomar Devorah
She says:
"Recently, I was asked to submit a report on the subject of "Ephraimites" to a member of the Jerusalem City Council.
EPHRAIM EXPOSED is the result..."

The article indicates that the authoress spent some time researching it and read the relevant material.
The article is well-written, sounds authoritative, and quite poisonous.
Together with some truthful inciteful comments the article contains gross exaggeration and paranoid observations, misleading commentary, and outright falsehood.

The authoress is a fan of conspiracy idiocy.

She was once interested in the Brit-Am Explanation Concerning the Lost Ten Tribes.
If her claim that ca. 200,000 "Ephraimites" passed through the Messianic Movement and converted to Judaism is correct, Where are they all?
Perhaps they do exist and identify as Jews?
if a few hundred people from Burma can turn the world upside down why cannot these Ephraimites do the same?
We are not asking Ephraimites to convert.
We are just suggesting that Ephraimites who have converted or who genuinely want to do so should perhaps make some kind of "noise" regarding their Lost Ten Tribes origin.
It might help.

She writes (elsewhere):
I wonder if even you know how very truly you have spoken, as Erev Rav [Mixed Multitude] are to be found also among the goyim where they assimilated alongside the Israelites associated with the ten so-called "lost" tribes. We know that they were never lost to Hashem [the Almighty] and the prophets foretold that they, too, would be regathered at the end of days.

There is one estimate that 200,000 former
xians passed through the so-called "Messianic" movement and have converted to Judaism. A spiritual 'call' went out into the world in the year 5750 and everyone with the spiritual acuity to hear it responded. In addition to the Jewish neshamas [souls] held captive among the nations who heard, so did the Erev Rav [Mixed Multitude] who have always been attached to them.

The Jewish
neshama comes humbly and submissively, requesting. The Erev Rav come haughtily and arrogantly, demanding. While the Jewish neshamas convert back into the family, these refuse and insist that they be "recognized" and "accepted" as they are. They intend to come to Eretz Yisrael [Land of Israel] and "reclaim" their "rightful heritage." They promote a new religion called Judeo-xianity
"Tomer Devorah" mentions Brit-Am in her article and uses Brit-Am sources.
Some of what the article says may be valid but much is underhand and misleading.
The article is quoted below in full with breaks at various segments in which we reply to certain points or make observations of our own.


The subject I wish to introduce here is so broad and so deep that I cannot do more than simply make you aware of its existence. My goal is to give you a working basis from which to investigate further in whichever direction you choose.

The subject is a segment of an emergent stream of Christianity known as Hebrew Roots Restoration. Twenty-five to thirty years ago, an awakening began amongst evangelical Christians who desired to reconnect to a purer, truer form of worship which they believed could be found by eliminating the pagan influences which had collected within church practice over the millennia and by restoring the gospel to its "Hebrew roots," i.e. first-century context.

Regarding the Hebrew Roots Restoration movement, Professor Desmond Maxwell of Belfast Bible College, Ireland, says:

"I think if this really gathers momentum, the implications of it require something on the scale of... well, virtually another reformation." The Hebraic-Christianity Colloquium

I daresay there is not a church in the world today that has not been affected in some way by this phenomenon.

So far, so good. The phenomenon exists. It is to our minds an indication of instinctive arousal on the part of Ephraim. It is a sign of the end times and ultimate re-union between Judah and "Joseph". Our impression is that the overwhelming majority of those involved in this phenomenon may be of Israelite origin.

Not so coincidentally, the so-called Messianic "Jewish" movement got its start at about the same time. Their paths crossed and brought Jewish ritual inside the church for the first time in perhaps two thousand years.

There is now an entire spectrum of Jewish-influenced groups within the greater framework of Hebrew roots restoration. It runs the gamut all the way from Presbyterians and Lutherans who have added Passover seders to their Easter celebrations to self-described "Torah-observant" Messianic Jewish congregations who build their own "synagogues" out of imported Jerusalem stone, for added authenticity.

Many at the more Jewishly-oriented end of this continuum have convinced themselves that they are more legitimately Jewish than the actual Jews. And this is where the whole subject becomes a bit muddy.

These distinguish between "Biblical" Judaism (based only upon the written Torah) and Rabbinic Judaism (which includes the Oral Torah as well). They hold the opinion that the Oral Law is mere "traditions of men" which have been elevated above the Torah, an idea based on New Testament writings and a "sin" for which the Pharisees were richly condemned. In their minds, this already sets them apart as superior to the Jews of traditional Judaism.

Make no mistake. What they all retain in common is a statement of beliefs which continues to follow the standard of classical Christianity. For example, they claim to worship the "One G-d of Abraham Isaac and Jacob" and then turn right around and say that He "manifests" Himself as Father, Son, etc. A cursory perusal of their websites will confirm this.

The depth of (self) deception and duplicity that is inherent in Christianity cannot be underestimated. Language is all-important. They can comfortably deny being followers of "Jesus," because they recognize him only as "Yeshua." They adamantly deny being missionaries or proselytizers because they believe that if they can elicit an invitation to "share" the reason for their love, their generosity, or their faith, then this does not meet their definition of proselytizing.

Missionizing, in their minds, is only such if it is at their initiation and uninvited. Hence, they deny a missionary agenda and promise not to proselytize, but will gladly and eagerly detail their faith and belief system to any Jew who comes out and asks about it. All of their humanitarian work is geared to promoting relationships, which will lead to opportunities to "share" their faith.

The phenomenon described might exist.
An aspect of Christian belief is the need to bring others to believe as they do. Many Christians are therefore potentially missionaries.
Some Christians take a Two-House attitude whereby they see both Orthodox Judaism and their own brand of Christianity as valid pathways to the Almighty.
This approach is not a new one and has appeared amongst devout Christians in the past. Pelagius was a British (Scottish or Welsh) Churchman who in the 300s CE advocated a similar approach.
Pelagius held that "the Law as well as the Gospel gives entrance to heaven" and that one could (or should) be either Jewish or Christian since each were legitimate.
At all events the question of Missionary activity or intention is part of a general problem in Jewish-Christian relations. It is endemic to Christianity and not specific to "Ephraimites".

Important as these issues are, they are only on the periphery of the matter at hand.

At one of these crossing points I described earlier, Hebrew roots restoration collided with Messianic Judaism and created a spark which has now grown into a raging wildfire which threatens to consume Eretz Yisrael.

Gentiles "returning" to the "Jewish roots" of their faith found a comfortable niche within Messianic Judaism, but over time, as Messianic Judaism itself evolved and gained more Jewish-born adherents, it began to distinguish between believer and believer. Some congregations offered full membership only to Jews while gentiles were eligible only for "associate" membership.

This distinction between Jew and gentile violated clear New Testament teachings that the "middle wall of partition" between Jews and Gentiles was eradicated by the cross, since now gentiles were, by virtue of their faith, considered as spiritual children of Abraham and "co-heirs" of the promises with their Jewish brethren.

From the dissatisfaction generated by their relegation to "second-class status," the gentile believers quickly embraced a new teaching that came down from one couple, Angus & Batya Wooten who formed The Messianic Israel Alliance. They wrote: "Who is Israel?" and "Is the Church Ephraim?" These became the foundation for other groups known variously as Messianic Israelites, Nazarene Yisraelites, "Two-House," Ephraimites, Beit Yosef or simply as "Joes" (as opposed to Jews).

From the MIA website:
The Messianic Israel Alliance began in 1999 as a gathering place for believers in Messiah who were awakening to their lost heritage as Israel. By connecting these believers, the MIA was able to birth relationships throughout the world. Those who once had lost their heritage now had a place they could call home; a place where both Jew and non-Jew could worship the God of Israel as equal brothers in Messiah.

If they couldn't be accepted as gentiles, then they would invent a new identity as Israelites---descendants of the ten lost tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

The author describes the "Ephraimite Movement" as "a raging wildfire which threatens to consume Eretz Yisrael"! This is news to us! We are at the center of the matter and hardly hear of ourselves or of anyone else in the field.
This type of exagerration would be amusing were it not for the panic-mongering attitude it reflects or wishes to arouse.
The authoress recalls the "MIA" which indeed is active but by no means holds a monopoly on Ephraimite interest.

Enter Brit Am, a Jerusalem-based Jewish organization whose website states the following:
Brit-Am is an organization centered in Jerusalem capital of Israel and comprised of Jews and non-Jews. Brit-Am traces the Lost Ten Tribes to Western Nations. The evidence that Brit-Am relies upon is Biblical in the light of Rabbinical Commentary supplemented by secular studies. Brit-Am avoids the discussion of religious differences between Judah (the present-day Jews) and the Lost Ten Tribes represented by "Joseph".

Tribal Identities: The English-Speaking Peoples Today Descend from the Tribe of Joseph

As a result of the work of these two parallel organizations, an entirely new theology evolved. Based on these teachings and this passage from Ezekiel 37:16-19...

"As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel, his companions.' "Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. " And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, 'Will you not show us what you [mean] by these?' -- "say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."

...massive numbers of gentiles, still holding basic Christian beliefs, have come to view themselves as Israelites with an equal inheritance in the Land of Israel. The only difference between this and replacement theology is that they have moved over and made room for us to sit beside them. But know that it is no longer enough for them to be spiritual Israel. They want to be recognized as physical Israel as well. And they are demanding the "right" to make aliyah and this is the most pressing problem of the entire matter.

They believe that they (Israel) must "re-connect to Torah" and that the Jews (Judah) must accept Yeshu as Mashiach and they must join us here in Eretz Yisrael, becoming ONE PEOPLE IN THE LAND, before the Redemption and Mashiach can come. (See Addendum 1)

In making this claim the authoress refers to an article by Angus Wootten, The Challenge of Establishing The Messianic Kingdom
Angus says:

"If we are going to open the door to Ephraim’s acceptance in Eretz-Israel, by his brother Judah (and only with Judah’s blessing), we need to dramatically increase the numbers of lost sheep who realize their call to be part of the Commonwealth of Israel."

We would not consider this threatening.
Angus wants more "Ephraimites" to be aware of their Israelite origin and would like Judah to ultimately accept them.
This is an old point that we have spoken of at length previously.
The Land belongs to Judah because they did not loose their identity and they keep the Law or at least do not deny their connection with it. Judah at present is doing the will of the Almighty and fulfilling a Biblical injunction. Judah is preparing the way for all the rest of Israel who in the End Times will return to Greater Israel which includes all of Syria, Jordan, along with Persian Gulf territories, parts of Saudia, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, and Cyprus. In the meantime "Ephraimites" must intensify their Israelite Biblical consciousness and help Judah.
See our article,
Returning to the Land of Israel
These and similar points are made in numerous articles on our web-site and in repeated declarations of intent in letters to our Brit-Am e-mail Discussion Group.
If Ephraimites really want to be involved then they should help Brit-Am function and promote Brit-Am Knowledge however they can.

To facilitate these goals, they have established the following:

1. Advance groups within the Land of Israel to prepare the way physically and financially if the State chooses not to recognize them officially and offer them a sal klita. (See Addendum 2 & Addendum 3)

We failed to see the logic in this claim from the sources quoted.
One of the URLs mentions plans for a "Provisional Israelite Council in Exile".
This is in effect the action of a single religious group.
At the most it will serve as a means to propagate Ephraimite consciousness and arouse public interest in the subject.
This is not negative in our opinion and at all events no more than another means of spreading the message.
Both URLs refer to the same group who have their own Church. They also happen to hold "Ephraimite"-type beliefs but this does not mean that all "Ephraimites" including Brit-Am are associated with them.
Both URLs also speak of Ephraimites coming to live in Israel at present.
Brit-Am does not encourage such activity in most cases.
People get married. Young people meet each other. The best interests of everybody should be kept in mind and problems avoided if possible.
Nevertheless, Christian groups are active in Israel and Christians live here. This is both good and bad. It is negative in so far as Christians sometimes missionize Jews or try to influence Jews in a negative direction. Even so, there is also a positive side to this. It is part of a social and political reality that has existed since before the founding of the State.
Again, it is an aspect of Jewish-Christian relationships in general. It is not specific to Ephraimites and there is no reason why Ephraimites should be singled out and discriminated against as the authoress seems to suggest. If anything, our experience indicates that most Ephraimites (especially Brit-Am ones) are positive contributors to society in general and genuine friends of the Jewish People.

2. They've made inroads politically through the Christian Allies Caucus in the Knesset. Their interim goal seems to be to obtain rights to long-term visas for visiting Christians so they are not encumbered with leaving the country every three months to renew them. This becomes an unbearable hardship on people who are determined to stay here long-term.

The Christian Allies Caucus exists and has received support from right across the Jewish political and religious spectrum as may be seen by running a search through Arutz-7 articles.
If Ephraimites are involved (and we have not heard that they are) then they are not prominent and it is not specifically associated with them. If Ephraimites were involved then many people would consider it to their credit.

3. They have received coaching from Jews to refrain from using certain terminology and to accept calling themselves Bnei Noach, appearing before the nascent Sanhedrin to take an oath as Bnei Noach in order to receive Ger Toshav status. They've been led to believe this might be one possible way to gain a foothold in the land until a more satisfactory arrangement can be obtained. (See Addendum 5, #4 and Discussion )

The first source Tomer refers to is a web site hosted by Rick Richardson about the "nascent Sanhedrin".
For those interested in a short attractive article on the subject of the would-be "Sanhedrin" it is a site worth visiting.
The second source referred to by Tomer to back her claim are articles on the Brit-Am site.

"Brit-Am Now"-785
#4. Brit-Am Meets With "Ephraimites" in Jerusalem
#5. Raymond Lee: Joes Needed for Defence

DISCUSSION: The Return of "Ephraim"
as recorded by Carmelita Lee with slight amendments.

Tomer Devora claims above (as if quoting Brit-Am) that we advised Ephraimites to pose as "Bnei Noach".
The only words that even remotely relate to this matter emanating from Brit-Am are:

"Rabbi Avraham Feld pointed out that since Israeli law recognizes a status of Noachides that it might be one avenue for Ephraimites to consider."

After that the Brit-Am article quoted follows with a clarification of what Rabbi Avraham meant and that he was not advocating that they beome Noachides only that a parallel arrangement may be possible. Then, there is an Important Brit-Am DECLARATION in which Brit-Am expressly disassociates itself from the Noachide Path unless one is already upon it. In other words there was no such advice given and no such discussion took place other than that of a single remark and even that did not say anything like Tomar Devorah said it did.
It should be pointed out that a good proportion of "Noachides" hold beliefs concerning their ancestry similar to those of Brit-Am and "Ephraimites" or they are very open to considering them.

4. They are creating a "Provisional Israelite Council in Exile" in the USA.
"This is a first step in re-establishing the fraternal bonds between B'nai Yosef (Sons of Joseph) and their companions, and his brother, Judah and his companions, with the goal of having one united and eternal house of Israel." (See Addendum 6)

Tomar refers to another article by Angus Wootten. Is Angus the Only Ephraimite Leader who makes statements worth quoting?
Anyway, the article by Angus suggests that if the State of Israel really does abandon the territories of Judah and Samaria then perhaps Ephraimites should be in a position to make a claim of their own. To our mind this is a good positive idea though perhaps not a realistic one. At all events we see nothing sinister about it.

This issue is not going to just go away, as evidenced by this query from an 'Ephraimite' to an aliyah blog:

Can you please help me? As far as I know, I do not have Jewish blood line however I have for over 30 years felt Jewish. I study the Bible daily and see the command to make Aliyah for the ones Elohim has scattered. His promise is to gather the house of Ephriam along with the house of Judah back into the land at the end days. I know the Orthodox pray three times a day for Ephraim to come home. Yet, I cannot find anywhere that we are accepted into the land as a citizen. I have found 61 passages calling ALL Israel home. As far as I can tell, only Judah has returned to the land and that is perfectly according to scripture in Zech 12:6-10 that the tents of Judah shall be saved first. How can Ephraim make Aliyah? thank you for your time, shalom, tina

It is true the issue is not going to go away. It can only be for the good. Instead of nagging on about marginal issues, making panicky statements that are not justified, and besmirching others, Tomar could more productively spend her time analyzing the Brit-Am Biblical Proofs of Israelite Ancestry and everything connected to them.

This movement is already showing the potential to cause much trouble for Jews as can be seen by excerpts taken from a group of self-styled “Ephraimites” who made a “spy” trip to Eretz Yisrael and then wrote reports on their experiences and expectations. (See Addendum 7)

Tomar quotes from Why a Spies Report? which describes a 2003 tour of Israel led by Bruce Brill and Wendy Sutherland.
Wendy has since converted to Judaism. What is there in the article that could possibly "cause much trouble for Jews" as Tomar claims??
What agenda has Tomar got anyway?
It seems that Tomar is irked by Ephraimites expressing a wish to settle in the Land of Israel.
This is perhaps understandable on both sides. Ephraimites should understand that religious differences exist and that Judah is not going to change.
Even Ezekiel chapter 48 describes the Last Day settlement of ALL Israelites in the Land of Israel as each Tribe dwelling separately.
There is something to be said against Ephraimites wanting to force themselves on Judah. In the past we have stated our opinion that Ephraimites should endeavor to establish colonies along the periphery of the Promised Land. This is not realistic at present since no-one wants to live with Arabs and if they did the Arabs would not let them. Nevertheless where there is a will there is way and this option should be kept in mind.
As for becoming Jewish,
Brit-Am in most cases does not recommends that Ephraimites convert to Judaism unless they are sincerely convinced about it and psychologically able to do so.
Most are not.
It might therefore be wiser for Ephraimite Leaders and Activists NOT TO ADVOCATE settlement in Israel until matters become somewhat clearer. For the moment it is enough to spread knowledge of Israelite Ancestry and the need for Reconciliation with Judah and support for Judah in the Land of Israel. We all need to learn more of the Bible, strengthen our relationship with the Almighty and try to understand things at a deeper level.

Action must be taken to protect Am Yisrael. It’s not possible to be too educated or too informed. As the old saying goes, “Forewarned is forearmed.” And this is what I am advocating---education, information, and active opposition within the religious and political realms.

15 Adar Alef 5768
See further:
Ephraimites or Ephra-I-am-nots?
Brit-Am Q&A on 'Ephraimites'

Here Tomar refers to an old article concerning Angus Wootten and Eddie Chumney and to articles on the Brit-Am Web Site.
The article that refers to Eddie Chumney has been answered in the past by Brit-Am:
Brit-Am, The Jewish Aspect, and Eddie Chumney.
Tomar Devora may give the impression of meaning well but she is a dangerous person who says things that are not true and paranoid. She spreads a false report.
Brit-Am is constantly struggling to spread the truth of Israelite Identity and to bring Judah and Joseph closer together.
Brit-Am beliefs and the Brit-Am organization may be criticized and there is much that may be discussed. We are prepared to talk and discuss most issues but we cannot abide false and misleading writings especially when they spread their poison against us and attempt to incite others.

John Hulley tells us that many Christian leaders are vehemently OPPOSED to the Ephraimite Movement foremost amongst them being "Jewish" Messianics.
They have their own reasons for being against Brit-Am type beliefs. The few articles that exist on the web against Brit-Am are paid for by they who call themselves "Jewish" Messianics but are often not Jewish.
Tomar Devorah is in de facto alliance with such people.
Angus Wootten is an Ephraimite Leader who has his own ideas and heads a Church of his own.
He does not represent all Ephraimites. Neither does Brit-Am.
Brit-Am disagrees with Angus on many major issues but Tomer has presented us as acting in concert.
She has also misrepresented Ephraimites who want to live in Israel.
We have been forced to correct the misleading impression given by Tomer on this issue even though we ourselves have gone out of our way to discourage Ephraimites from such a course.
This has cost us supporters and probably also some financial support.
We have lost in the past because we do not agree with Ephraimites settling in Israel at this stage.
Now  Tomar is identifying us with Ephraimites who do want to settle in Israel, presenting them in a paranoid fashion as a "danger", exaggerating the whole issue. This forcing us to try and defend the very people we disagreed with in order to correct the picture.
Tomer and other critics of Brit-Am frequently use the same tactic of trying to associate us with those we are not in association with. This reflects intellectual paucity and lack of honesty on their part.


  Brit-Am and Judah Continued: Reflections