Emergency Alert!

Our rent is due in two days and we do not have it. In fact we are short $150 to clear bills hitting our account tonight!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Or click HERE to donate

Rabbi Daniel Tzion – Another Orthodox Rabbi Who Accepted Yeshua as Messiah

Rabbi Daniel Tzion – Another Orthodox Rabbi
Who Accepted Yeshua as Messiah
By
James Scott Trimm

Rabbi Daniel Tzion was no only an Orthodox Rabbi, but he was the Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria. One fateful morning in the 1930’s Rabbi Tzion was doing his morning prayers, he saw the vision of a man standing in the sunrise. Not understanding the vision, he consulted some of the other Rabbis, but they had no answers for him. Upon the third recurrence of this vision during his morning prayers, he spoke to the man, who then identified himself as Yeshua. At this point Rabbi Tzion recalled the words of Rambam “Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.” (Maimonides; Introduction to the Shemonah Peraqim).

At this point Rabbi Tzion went to the patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Sofia and visited the Archimandrite Stephen. They had an honest and open discussion on several subjects including Yeshua and early Christianity. Rabbi Tzion decided that he should concentrate on Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah of Judaism, and not convert to Christianity.

Rabbi Daniel gathered a very select group of fellow Jews to study the teachings of Yeshua and his Emissaries in his personal residence each Sabbath after morning services. Among these Jews were some of the leading members of the Jewish community in Sofia.

Rabbi Tzion’s faith in Yeshua as the Messiah became a sort of open secret in the Jewish community of Bulgaria. He was so well restected that none of the Jewish functionaries in Sofia challenged him.

When Bugaria surrendered to the Nazis, Rabbi Daniel Zion was the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community and thus became the object of persecution and ridicule. He was even taken and publicly flogged in front of the Great Synagogue of Sofia.

Eventually the Nazis wanted the Bulgarian Jews shipped to Germany, Rabbi Tzion and his secretary A. A. Anski wrote a letter to the King of Bulgaria. In this letter RabbiTzion urged the King in the name of Yeshua not the allow the Jews to be taken out of Bulgaria. Rabbi Tzion wrote in this letter that in a vision that he had seen Yeshua told him to warn the King from delivering the Jews to the Nazis. On the next day the King was going to Germany for a meeting with the Nazi Government and Hitler himself. King Boris of Bulgaria stood his ground and did not submit to the Nazi pressure to deliver the Jews from Bulgaria to the death camps of Poland and Germany.

That Sabbath, Rabbi Tzion declared to his synagogue:

Fear not my dear brothers and sisters! Put your faith in the Holy Rock of our Salvation. . . Yesterday, I have been informed that the Metropolite Stephen has agreed to see me immediately and discuss about his conversation with the King of Bulgaria. When I went to see the Metropolite Stephen, he told me, ‘Tell your people that the King has promised that the Bulgarian Jews will not leave outside the boarders of Bulgaria’. . . I explained to the Metropolite that thousands of Jews are waiting for me in the Synagogue to hear this good news. When I returned to the Synagogue there was full silence in the large crowed that was gathered waiting to hear the results of my meeting with Stephen. As I walked in my announcement was, “Yes my brothers God has heard our prayers”. .

However on the 9th of September 1944, the Government of Bulgaria fell to the Communists, under the patronage of Russia. Rabbi Daniel Zion remained the chief rabbi of Bulgaria until 1949, when he, with most of the Bulgarian Jewish community, emigrated to Israel.

In Israel Rabbi Daniel was immediately accepted as the Rabbi of the Bulgarian Jews. When in 1954 Rabbi Samuel Toledano became the chief Rabbi of Israel, he invited Rabbi Tzion to join the Jerusalem Beit Din as a judge. But rumors started to fly that Rabbi Tzion believed in Yeshua. Rabbi Toledano invited Rabbi Tzion to his office and asked him personally about these rumors. Rabbi Tzion explained to Toledano that he accepts Yeshua as the Messiah but that he did not accept Christianity as a true expression of the teaching of Yeshua and his Emissaries. Rabbi Toledano told Rabbi Tzion that he could accept this position as long as Rabbi Tzion was keep his belief in Yeshua a secret. When Rabbi Tzion said that he did not think that such a message can be kept a secret, Toledano took Rabbi Tzion to the Beit Din, to decide what should be done about him.

In the court after evidence of Rabbi Tzion’s faith in Yeshua as the Messiah was presented in the form of four books he had written in Bulgarian about Yeshua. The right to speak was given to Rabbi Tzion. Here are the words which Rabbi Daniel Zion spoke in his own defense:

I am poor and feeble, persecuted and vulnerable, Yeshua conquered me, and with the New Man he honored me, He delivered me from the poverty-stricken self with his great love, he cherish me.

Every day the canny devil aspires to grab my faith, I hold on to my encourager, and chase the devil away. I stand here alone in my faith, the whole world is against me. I give up all the earthly honor for the sake of the Messiah my mate.

The Beit Din striped Rabbi Daniel from his Rabbinical Title, but the Bulgarian Jews continued to honor Rabbi Daniel as their Rabbi. A Russian Jew who was one of the early Zionist settlers in Rishon LeZion, and had become a “believer”, had given Rabbi Daniel Zion a building on Yeffet St. in the heart of Jaffa for a Synagogue. In that Synagogue Rabbi Daniel officiated until the 6th of October 1973. In this Synagogue Rabbi Daniel Zion did not often speak of Yeshua openly, but many times he brought stories and parables from Yeshua and the Emissaries. However, each Sabbath after the Synagogue Rabbi Daniel would bring home a group of his fellow worshipers from the Synagogue and they would study about Yeshua and from the Ketuvim Netzarim all the Sabbath afternoon until they would go back to the Synagogue to say the evening prayers.

In the following years, Rabbi Tzion refused many offers from Christian organizations, to become a paid Christian missionary. He insisted on remaining Jewish and teaching Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah of Judaism. Rabbi Tzion taught in his synagogue on Yeffet Street in the heart of Jaffa until October 6, 1973.

In 1979 Rabbi Daniel Tzion passed away at the ripe old age of 96. The Bulgarian Jewish community of Israel gave him full military, and state honors. He was buried at the Holon cemetery as the Chief Rabbi of Bulgarian Jews who saved them from the Nazi holocaust.

He never left his Jewish identity and never became a Christian. He always insisted that Yeshua was simply the Jewish Messiah of Judaism.

Emergency Alert!

The rent is past due and we must raise $1,000 ASAP!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Or click HERE to donate

What is the Earliest We Should Say the Evening Shema?(A Study in b.Berachot 2a-b)

What is the Earliest We Should Say the Evening Shema?
(A Study in b.Berachot 2a-b)
By
James Scott Trimm

Lets begin at the beginning, with the very first Mishna in the Talmud (In fact for context I will post the first two):

1:1 From what time may they recite the Shema in the evening?
From the hour that the priests enter [their homes] to eat their heave offering.
“until the end of the first watch” the words of Rabbi Eliezer.
But the sages say, “Until midnight.”
Rabban Gamliel says, “Until the rise of dawn.”
M’SH’SH: His [Gamliel’s] sons returned from a banquet hall [after midnight].
They said to him, “We did not [yet] recite the Shema.”
He said to them, “If the dawn has not yet risen, you are obligated to recite [the Shema].
And [this applies] not only [in] this [case]. Rather, [as regards] all [commandments] which sages said [may be performed] ‘Until midnight,” the obligation [to perform them persists] until the rise of dawn.”
[For example,] the offering of the fats and entrails—their obligation [persists] until the rise of dawn [see Lev. 1:9, 3:3-5].
And all [sacrifices] which must be eaten within one day, the obligation [to eat them persists] until the rise of dawn.
If so why did sages say [that these actions may be performed only] until midnight?
In order to protect man from sin.
1:2 From what time do they recite the Shema in the morning?
From the hour that one can distinguish between blue and white.
Rabbi Eliezer says, “Between blue and green.”
And one must complete it before sunrise.
Rabbi Joshua says, “Before the third hour. For it is the practice of royalty to rise [at] the third hour [thus we deem the third hour still to be ‘morning’.]
One who recites later than this [i.e. the third hour] has not transgressed [by reciting a blessing at the wrong time, for he is viewed simply as one who recites from the Torah.
(m.Berakhot 1:1-2)
Here we have a good example of building a fence around the Torah.

Let me explain what I mean about building a fence around the Torah.

We read in the Mishna (Avot 1:1):

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly. They [the Men of the Great Assembly] would always say these three things: Be cautious in judgment. Establish many pupils. And make a fence around the Torah.
(m.Avot 1:1)

Building a fence around the Torah means to make prohibitions which are more strict than the actual requirements of Torah so as to provide a protective barrier around the Torah itself.

If the Torah says “be in by midnight” then the fence would be to be in by eleven. The idea being that if you are trying to be in by midnight and are late, then you have violated Torah. However if you are trying to be in by eleven and are a little late, you have still not violated the Torah itself.

We have here a dispute between Rabbi Eliezer, the sages (that is the majority) and Rabban Gamliel.

The primary dispute is between Rabbi Eliezer and the majority over where (or when) to place the fence, with Rabbi Eliezer holding a stricter view than the majority. While Rabban Gamliel was not in favor of a fence for this mitzvah at all.

In our Mishna (Ber. 1:1) the actual requirement of Torah is to say the Shema before dawn, but our halacha is a “fence” which is to say the Shema by midnight, so that even if we fail to recite the Shema by midnight, we still have not violated the actual Torah itself unless we fail to say the Shema by dawn.

Our Gemara says:

On what does the Tanna base himself that he commences: FROM WHAT TIME? Furthermore, why does he deal first with the evening [Shema’]? Let him begin with the morning [Shema’]! — The Tanna bases himself on the Scripture, where it is written [And thou shalt recite them] . . . when thou liest down and when thou risest up, and he states [the oral law] thus: When does the time of the recital of the Shema’ of lying down begin? When the priests enter to eat their terumah. And if you like, I can answer: He learns [the precedence of the evening] from the account of the creation of the world, where it is written, And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Why then does he teach in the sequel: THE MORNING [SHEMA’] IS PRECEDED BY TWO BENEDICTIONS AND FOLLOWED BY ONE. THE EVENING [SHEMA’] IS PRECEDED BY TWO BENEDICTIONS AND FOLLOWED BY TWO? Let him there, too, mention the evening [Shema’] first? — The Tanna commences with the evening [Shema’], and proceeds then to the morning [Shema’]. While dealing with the morning [Shema’], he expounds all the matters relating to it, and then he returns again to the matters relating to the evening [Shema’].
(b.Berakhot 2a)

Our Gemara opens by posing two questions:

1. It seems unreasonable to debate the time of the evening Shema before first proving that it is a Mitzvah at all! What is the Tana’s source for the obligation to recite Shema in the first place?’

2. Why does the Tana first ask about the time for the nighttime Shema? Shouldn’t we first ask about the time for the morning Shema? (After all the Torah speaks of the morning Tamid before it speaks of the afternoon Tamid.)

The Gemara first offers an answer to both questions. The Tana expounds upon the Torah “[And thou shalt recite them] . . . when thou liest down and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6:7) Therefore, he first asks about the time of Shechivah (lying down).

The Gemara then answers the second question. We learn from creation of the world that night comes first, like it says “there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

The Gemare then asks another question looking ahead at m.Berackot 1:4: In the morning, there are two Berachot before Shema and one after; at night, there are two Berachot before and two after. Why does our present Mishnah (1:1-2) begin with the evening and goes to morning, when later the Mishna (1:4) begins with morning and then goes to evening?

According to both answers, the Tana should speak of the Berachot of the nighttime Shema first.

The Answer is that the Tana begins our Mishnah with the nighttime Shema and then concludes it with the morning Shema (1:1-2). Once the Mishna speaks of the morning Shema, it goes on to cover all of the laws pertaining to the morning Shema, and then the Mishna returns to speak of the nighttime Shema again.

The Master said: FROM THE TIME THAT THE PRIESTS ENTER TO EAT THEIR ‘TERUMAH’. When do the priests eat terumah? From the time of the appearance of the stars. Let him then say: ‘From the time of the appearance of the stars’? — This very thing he wants to teach us, in passing, that the priests may eat terumah from the time of the appearance of the stars. And he also wants to teach us that the expiatory offering is not indispensable, as it has been taught: And when the sun sets we-taher (and he/it is clean), the setting of the sun is indispensable [as a condition of his fitness] to eat terumah, but the expiatory offering is not indispensable to enable him to eat terumah. But how do you know that these words ‘and the sun sets’ (literal Hebrew: the sun comes) mean the setting of the sun, and this ‘we-taher’ means that the day clears away? It means perhaps: And when the sun [of the next morning] appears, and we-taher means the man becomes clean? — Rabbah son of R. Shila explains: In that case, the text would have to read we-yithar (and the rest). What is the meaning of we-taher (and he/it is clean)? The day clears away, conformably to the common expression, The sun has set and the day has cleared away. This explanation of Rabbah son of R. Shila was unknown in the West, and they raised the question: This ‘and the sun sets’, does it mean the real setting of the sun, and ‘we-taher’ means the day clears away? Or does it perhaps mean the appearance of the sun, and we-taher means the man becomes clean? They solved it from a Baraitha, it being stated in a Baraitha: . Hence you learn that it is the setting of the sun [which makes him clean] and the meaning of we-taher is the clearing away of the day.
(b.Ber. 2a-2b)

Now our Gemara turns to the statement in our Mishna FROM THE TIME THAT THE PRIESTS ENTER TO EAT THEIR ‘TERUMAH’ and the question of when the Cohenim (priests) who have become unclean and undergone T’villah (immersion) may eat the Terumah.

The question is posed as to why the Mishnah does not instead say “at the time that stars appear” instead of “at the time when the priests enter to eat the Terumah”. Because the Mishnah is written very concisely and so a second halachot is embedded here in our Mishnah. This Mishna also resloves another issue, as to whether the Cohen who has become unclean and been immersed can eat the Terumah that same evening, or must he wait until daytime the next day for the cohen to undergo any needed sin-offering in connection with his uncleanness before he can eat the Terumah?

Our Mishnah tells us that since our context speaks of the evening, the priest who had become unclean and was immersed, may eat the Terumah before his sin-offering the next day.

Our reference is Lev. 22:7

6 The soul that touches any such, shall be unclean until the even, and shall not eat of the Set-Apart things, unless he bathe his flesh in water.
7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and afterward he may eat of the Set-Apart things, because it is his bread.
(Lev. 22:6-7 HRV)

However the Gemara records a dispute over the meaning of Lev. 22:7, does this verse refer to sunset or sunrise, and does it refer to the man or the day being “clean”?

The Sages resolved this dispute relying on a baraita (which is actually Tosefta Ber. 1:1D) which says “The sign of the thing is the appearance of the stars”.

Thus our Mishnah has “killed two birds with one stone” by also teaching us that the Cohen may eat the Terumah in the evening “at the appearance of the stars”.

From this we learn an important element of halacha that we ourselves can apply each week: evening, and therefore a new day begins with the appearance of the stars. (This is understood as three stars).

Thus Sabbath begins when three stars are visible and ends when three stars are visible.

The Shabbat lights must be lit before three stars appear, and havdallah must not be done until after three stars appear.

Our Gemara continues:

The Master said: FROM THE TIME THAT THE PRIESTS ENTER TO EAT THEIR ‘TERUMAH’. They pointed to a contradiction [from the following]: From what time may one recite the Shema’ in the evening? From the time that the poor man comes [home] to eat his bread with salt till he rises from his meal. The last clause certainly contradicts the Mishnah. Does the first clause also contradict the Mishnah? — No. The poor man and the priest have one and the same time.
(b.Ber. 2b)

Our Gemara begins now to deal with the subject of when is the earliest time for reciting the Shema in the evening.

One thing about the Talmud is that it is not always linear, at times it deals with parts of matters which have not yet been revealed to the reader. In this case the Gemara references a Baraita of Rabbi Hanina that is not actually stated and attributed to him until much further down page 2b.

The poor man comes home to eat his bread before it is completely dark, because he must conserve the oil for his lamp, and his meal is short.

We might conclude from this baraita that the earliest time to recite the Evening Shema, is from the time that a poor man eats his meal. One might conclude that this baraita is addressing the the latest time to recite the Shema, but that conclusion is not clear, because it can be said that a poor man eats at the same time that the Kohenim eat the Teruma.

Our Gemara Contniues:

They pointed to a contradiction [from the following]: From what time may one begin to recite the Shema’ in the evening? From the time that the people come [home] to eat their meal on a Sabbath eve. These are the words of R. Meir. But the Sages say: From the time that the priests are entitled to eat their terumah. A sign for the matter is the appearance of the stars. And though there is no real proof of it, there is a hint for it. For it is written: So we wrought in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rise of the dawn till the appearance of the stars.(Neh. 4:15) And it says further: That in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labour in the day.(Neh. 4:6) (Why this second citation? — If you object and say that the night really begins with the setting of the sun, but that they left late and came early, [I shall reply]: Come and hear [the other verse]: ‘That in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labour in the day’). Now it is assumed that the ‘poor man’ and ‘the people’ have the same time [for their evening meal.] And if you say that the poor man and the priest also have the same time, then the Sages would be saying the same thing as R. Meir? Hence you must conclude that the poor man has one time and the priest has another time? — No; the ‘poor man’ and the priest have the same time, but the ‘poor man’ and the ‘people’ have not the same time.
(b.Ber. 2b)

The Gemara (believe it or not) seeks to minimize conflicts, and resolve issues where ever possible. Thus previously the Gemara had proposed that perhaps there is no conflict between the tradition that says we say the evening shema from the time the priests eat their terumah and the tradition that says we say the evening shema from the time a poor man eats his dinner, because perhaps these are two ways of referring to the same time.

But after proposing this conclusion, our Gemara will now question that conclusion, and yet still propose an effort to reconcile the traditions.

Some will find the Talmud difficult to follow, because it will seem to come to a conclusion and settle a matter, then reopen it, then settle it again, then reopen it and come to a different conclusion entirely. This is because the Gemara is preserving for us its complete thought process.

Here our Gemara suggests that our previous resolution cannot stand, because of another tradition (preserved in the Tosefta to Berachot 1:1) of a dispute between the sages (the majority) and Rabbi Meir. If we assume that poor men eat dinner at the same time that “[average] people” eat their dinner, then we find a conflict with this baraita, because the Tosefta is recording a dispute between the sages and Rabbi Meir, so they cannot be saying the same thing.

Our Gemara proposes another way of resolving the conflict. Perhaps we could conclude that poor men do not eat at the same time as average men. Then poor men could eat at the same time that priests eat the Terumah but not at the same time that average men eat their dinner.

Many so often quote the Talmud out of context. They quote the Talmud as proposing a conclusion that it goes on to question and dismantle before coming to a completely different conclusion. If you do not understand how to read Talmud, you can completely miss this process, or be hopelessly confused by what appear to be contradictions.

And that is the Gemara’s resolution… but not for long, as we will find, as our Gemara continues….

As we continue our study in Tractae Berachot:

But have the ‘poor man’ and the priest really the same time? They pointed to a contradiction [from the following]: From what time may one begin to recite the Shema’ in the evening? From the time that the [Sabbath] day becomes hallowed on the Sabbath eve. These are the words of R. Eliezer. R. Joshua says: From the time that the priests are ritually clean to eat their terumah. R. Meir says: From the time that the priests take their ritual bath in order to eat their terumah. (Said R. Judah to him: When the priests take their ritual bath it is still day-time!) R. Hanina says: From the time that the poor man comes [home] to eat his bread with salt. R. Ahai (some say: R. Aha). says: From the time that most people come home to sit down to their meal. Now, if you say that the poor man and the priest have the same time, then R. Hanina and R. Joshua would be saying the same thing? From this you must conclude, must you not, that the poor man has one time and the priest has another time. — Draw indeed that conclusion!
Which of them is later? — It is reasonable to conclude that the ‘poor man’ is later. For if you say that the ‘poor man’ is earlier, R. Hanina would be saying the same thing as R. Eliezer. Hence you must conclude that the poor man is later, must you not? — Draw indeed that conclusion.
(b.Berachot 2b)

Up to this point our Gemara has managed to reconcile all of the views, but that is about to change, because there is another Baraita to consider. This Baraita records five different views as to what is the earliest time to say the evening shema.

Our earlier proposal, that the poor and the Kohen eat at the same time, but that the poor and the regular people eat at different times, can no longer be upheld, because then Rabbi Haniah and Rabbi Joshua would be saying the same thing.

Obviously they cannot be saying the same thing, because this is a record of a dispute.

So now our Gemara asks which of these times is later. Why do we want to know which is later? Because we want to know when is the earliest time to say the Shema, so we need to know which if these times is latest.

The Gemara and concludes that the poor man must eat later than priests. This is because we know he eats at a different time from the priests (the appearance of stars) and it cannot be earlier, because the only time earlier than the appearance of stars is sunset, but that would put Rabbi Hannia in agreement with Rabbi Eliezer. And since the Baraiata is a disagreement, they cannot be the same. We know that poor men don’t quit work and eat before everyone else, so they must eat later.

Our Gemara continues:

The Master said: ‘R. Judah said to him: When the priests take their ritual bath it is still daytime!’ The objection of R. Judah to R. Meir seems well founded? — R. Meir may reply as follows: Do you think that I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by you? I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by R. Jose. For R. Jose says: The twilight is like the twinkling of an eye. This enters and that departs — and one cannot exactly fix it. There is a contradiction between R. Meir [of one Baraitha] and R. Meir [of the last Baraitha]? — Yes, two Tannaim transmit different versions of R. Meir’s opinion. There is a contradiction between R. Eliezer [of the last Baraitha] and R. Eliezer [of the Mishnah]? — Yes, two Tannaim transmit two different versions of R. Eliezer’s opinion. If you wish I can say: The first clause of the Mishnah is not R. Eliezer’s.
(b.Berachot 2b)

The Gemara will now pick up the debate between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Judah, which in essence becomes a debate over how we define twilight. We are told that Rabbi Judah and Rabbi Meir used different definitions of twilight. Rabbi Meir, the tradition holds, followed a tradition of Rabbi Jose that twilight was an undefined point, which could not be fixed.

Now our Gemara admits that this makes a contradiction between our traditions as to Rabbi Meir’s view. One tradition cited earlier in our Gemara was:

“From what time may one begin to recite the Shema’ in the evening? From the time that the people come [home] to eat their meal on a Sabbath eve. These are the words of R. Meir.”
(b.Ber. 2b)

“R. Meir says: From the time that the priests take their ritual bath in order to eat their terumah.”
(b.Ber. 2b)

But we have already established that one of these times is before twilight and the other is after twilight. These cannot both be the view of Rabbi Meir, so one of these traditions is wrongly attributed to Rabbi Meir.

Out Gemara also points out an appaearnt contradiction regarding the position of Rabbi Eliezer.

On the one hand we have just read:

“From what time may one begin to recite the Shema’ in the evening? From the time that the [Sabbath] day becomes hallowed on the Sabbath eve. These are the words of R. Eliezer.”
(b.Ber. 2b)

But our Mishna says:

“From what time may they recite the Shema in the evening?
From the hour that the priests enter [their homes] to eat their heave offering.
“until the end of the first watch” the words of Rabbi Eliezer.”
(b.Ber. 2a / m.Ber. 1:1)

These views may at first appear to contradict, however it may be argued that only the phrase “until the end of the first watch” is the view of Eliezer and the phrase “”From what time may they recite the Shema in the evening? From the hour that the priests enter [their homes] to eat their heave offering.” is simply anonymous.

I am often asked how we can trust the oral traditions. Are they not subject to mistransmission?” I am asked.

Of course they are, just as the text of Scripture is susceptible to scribal errors. Just as we must compare variant readings to determine which readings are most likely the original, so the Talmud recognizes that the transmission of Oral Tradition is subject to error, so we must compare the traditions and determine which ones are most likely to be original.

This wraps up the Gemara’s treatment of the first precept in our Mishna (m.Ber. 1:1), the Gemara will move now move onto the next precept.

We must raise at least $275 by the end of the day tomorrow (10/27/22), or our account will plunge into the negative and trigger a cascade of returned items and fees.

As you know donations have been very low during the Fall Feasts.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Or click HERE to donate

Sanhedrin Restoration: The Surprising Connection Between Rabbinic and Nazarene Efforts

Sanhedrin Restoration:
The Surprising Connection Between Rabbinic and Nazarene Efforts
By
James Scott Trimm

In 2004 there was an effort to restore the Rabbinic Sanhedrin. There is a very thorough treatment of this effort in the Wikipedia Article on the subject: 2004 attempt to revive the Sanhedrin. Here I want to relay something of the history of the predecessor to this Sanhedrin, the Supreme Rabbinic Court of America,

The Supreme Rabbinic Court of America was founded in 1974 by Rabbi Marvin Stuart Antelman and my friend and teacher Rabbi Herbert J. Gilner and initially consisted of five members.

In 1976 the court officially excommunicated Henry Kissinger. The Court also excommunicated Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, founder of the Reconstructionist Movement.

In 1978 the court excommunicated six rabbis when they were found guilty of being on the payroll of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

In 1979 the court held a trial for seventeen Jews who were charged as operating actively with the “Jews for Jesus” movement. Ten were found guilty and excommunicated (Moishe Rosen, Baruch Goldstein, Barry Leventhal, Jeri Goldberg, Jeff Steinberg, A. Kurt Weiss, Manny Brotman, Mike Michel, and Joe and Debbie Finkelstein.) but the court did not excommunicate seven other Messianic Jewish leaders, whom they said were still “under investigation” (Among these were Martin Chernoff and Monty Garfield).

In 1982 the court excommunicated all members of the liberal New Jewish Agenda organization and a number of Jews who supported Palestinian and homosexual rights and who signed an advertisement placed in the June 24 edition of The New York Times criticizing Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. The court deemed this to be a collaboration with the enemies of Judaism and a treasonous act. (Among those expelled were Noam Chomsky, linguistic expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Salvadore Luria of M.I.T., who shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1969, Rabbi Everett Gendler of Andover and Rabbi Ira Axelrad of Brandeis University.)

The Sanhedrin Ktana

In 1994 the Supreme Rabbinic Court of America established a Sanhedrin Ktana (minor Sanhedrin of 23 members) in order to take on one of the biggest halachic problems in Orthodox Judaism, recalcitrant husbands who refuse to grant divorces to their wives. It was during this time that I was a Rabbinic talmid (student) of Rabbi Hebrert J. Gilner, so I was well aware of this while it was actually happening.

During this time, the Chief Justice, Rabbi Marvin Stuart Antelman published a court ruling as a book (לפדות מחכי גט / משה שלמה אנטלמן – אב”ד.) allowing a beit din to serve a get to a wife where the divorce is beneficial and the man is unwilling, on the basis that the court may perform a transaction on behalf of a man if it is to his benefit.

The Sanhedrin Ktana also issued the following protocols:

Protocol Regarding Certain Recalcitrant Husbands of Agunot

The Supreme Rabbinic Court of America, founded in 5735 (1974) by disciples of the Moetzet Gdolai HaTorah (Council of Sages); to consider and adjudicate extraordinary Jewish problems and issues, has also addressed itself since 5739 (1979) to cases involving recalcitrant husbands who refuse to grant divorces to their wives, when Jewish law has clearly dictated that they must be coerced. The Court’s Chief Justice has written a definitive legal text dealing with the Court’s halachic resolution of such matters, entitled “Lifdot Mechakai Gait” (To Release Those Awaiting a Divorce, Second Edition, Yaron Golan) Tel Aviv 5754 (1994) 416pp 8.5 x 11). In addition he has just completed, his soon to be published “The Great Agunah Debate” in English.

During the past year the Court has dealt with a new situation which arose in a case where parties had previously sought our advise, namely the attempt by a husband to arrange “kidushai ktana” ie betroth a minor as a further act of extortion against his oppressed Aguna wife. While that case is formally before a Rabbinic Court; and the husband ignored the decrees of said Court, our Court decided to invoke extraordinary halachic measures if there is a clear and present danger to the Jewish Community, as when “kiddushai ktana” appeared to be adopted by other unscrupulous recalcitrant husbands as a nefarious addition to their crimes.

Accordingly, our Bet Din has gleaned from its rank and file a “Sanhedrin Ktana” being a body of 23 justices comprising Rabbanin and Dayanim, to deal with all cases of “kidushai ktana” in general and two husbands in particular who attempted to implement it. Furthermore, we are also addressing the case of one recalcitrant husband, whose aggravated treatment of his Aguna wife has been barbaric and a burden to the Jewish community. We invoke, by edict “universal jurisdiction where igun is involved (Rashbash 46)”.

Applying the principle of “Even though the Sanhedrin was discontinued, its four capital punishments still persist (Sanhedrin 37b),” our minor Sanhedrin acting under the rubric of Horaat Shaah -emergency measures- as articulated in the Shulchan Aruch Choshen Ha Mishpat (Title 2) and its enabling statues to execute capital punishment in extenuating circumstances; hereby:

1.Serves warning that our Court is prepared to sentence to death any husband who within the next 30 days fails to release his Aguna wife voluntarily with a “gait”, who has been involved directly, or indirectly by threat, in actuality and/or innuendo in kidushai ktana. More specifically, we identify two such husbands, Israel Goldstein and Yosef Shereshevsky. The latter has been in contempt of the Gedolai Torah Bet Din since Sivan 5753 (1993).

2.Extends said death penalty to any witness from now on who will participate in the aforementioned type of betrothal of a minor daughter of an Aguna by her father. This protocol is a warning.

3.Defines the crime of wilfully neglecting to release an Aguna as one of “gnevat nefesh” ie the stealing referred to in the Decalogue (Ex.20:13), as that of a person, which is the capital crime of kidnapping (Sanhedrin 86a).

4.Declares that the death penalty for said, kidnapping is “chenek” – death by strangulation (Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1 (84b); and that the element of exploiting a captive by an act such as “kidushai ktana” we deem to be exemplary of “Vehitamer Bo Dt. 24:7) as explained by Ramban (Dt. 21:14) – which is a case of “smichat parshiot,” of the close proximity of kidnapping, to the laws of divorce (Dt. 24:1-4).

  1. Upholds the ruling of Rav Shlomo Z.Auerbach, z”l, as articulated by Rav Eliahu Romineck of Far Rockaway concerning kidushai ktana and hereby declares by the power invested in it as a Sanhedrin Ktana; that such betrothals are “null and void as the dust of the earth.” according to the enabling statutes of Hafikaat Kidushin (Ktuvot 3a; Enc. Ha Talmudit (II, p137).

6.Clarifies that any punishment it metes out, be it corporal, and/or capital, shall involve sentencing only, for there are no enabling statutes known to us in American law which empowers us to carry out in actuality such a punishment; as was done by other high Rabbinic Courts such as the Bet Din of Rabbi Shlomo Adret (1235-1310) which sentenced and executed an informer to death (Igeret HaRashba JQR (1896) p228.) under Don Pedro III in 1283 CE and in the Seville Bet Din which executed by “sayif” ie beheaded under Don Juan I; Yosef Pichos on August 21, 1379 CE. Such punishments were acknowledged by the Rambam in his day as common occurrances in the West (Hil. Chovel Umazik 8:11), and involve accepted halachic principles ( SA Choshen Ha Mishpat, Title 388) as applied to a “mosair-rodef”, informer who aggravates the community. These husbands are in that category.

  1. Maintains that once the death sentence is pronounced on a recalcitrant husband he is considered a “bar ktalai” (Makot 5a) ie halachicly dead and his wife is free to marry even a kohain; and it is unnecessary to actually carry out the sentence as we learn from the case of “shor haniskal”, the ox sentenced to death by the Bet Din (Ex 21:28;
    Yad, Hil. Maachalo Asurot 4:22; Chinuch M.52).
  2. Serves notice upon Lawrence Larry Fine of Queens, NY, who was issued a Seruv in the fall of 1991 by the Rabinical Alliance of America; that should he fail to divorce his wife within 30 days, he will be sentenced to the punishment of castration, which will automatically terminate his marriage upon sentencing.

The following 21 members of the 23 member Sanhedrin Ktana among who are it 5 governing board members who reside in Eretz Yisrael; and also among who are included members of the Igud HaRabanim, Histadrut HaRabanim, Agudat HaRabinim, and Agudat Yisrael of America; subscribed to the above Protocol. Two abstained. Adopted 20 Tammuz; Effective date 15 Av 5755.

THE SUPREME RABBINIC COURT OF AMERICA 141 Arcola Ave Silver Springs MD 20902

M. Antelman Av Bet Din – R. Bernstein – M. Blitz – M. Brown – S. Fishbein –
M. Friedman – Y. Gersh – I. Gilner – Y. Glasner – P. Goldsmith – C. Hershanov – Y. Jacobson – Z. Kaftort – N. Maas – K. Meir – D. Nachmias – I.
Iguber – Y. Silver – S. Sorsher – E. Sprecher – Y. Vizenblut

Then in 1998 the same body filed an AMICUS CURIA ON THE KNESSET BILL (5757) CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF CONVERSIONS BY CLERICS OF THE CONSERVATIVE, REFORM, RECONSTRUCTIONIST ANTI JUDAIC RELIGIONS.

The International Nazarene Beit Din

It was about this same time, in 1996, that I and a group of Nazarene Rabbis, established the International Nazarene Beit Din, based on my experience with these events as a talmid of Rabbi Gilner.

Re-Establishing the Sanhedrin Gadol

In 2002 my friend and Rabbi Herbert J, Gilner Passed away. By this time Rabbi Marvin Stuart Antelman, who had been Cheif justice of the Supreme Rabbinc Court of America, and Av-Beit Din of the Sanhedrin Ktana, which it had established, had made aliyah to Israel. And in 2004 Rabbi Antelman participated as one of the founders of the famous Re-Establishment of the Sanhedrin (A natural step after the creation of an Sanhedrin Ktana). However, in 2006, he resigned in protest of the involvement of increased involvement of the Root and Branch organization in the Sanhedrin. In 2013 he passed away, at the age of 80.

So there is an actual background connection, between the International Nazarene Beit Din in 1996 and the creation of a Rabbinic Sanhedrin Ktana in 1994 and the attempt to restore the Rabbinic Sanhedrin Gadol in 2004.

I must pay for a medication for my wife which is almost $400 (our cost!) and donations have been very low through the Fall Feasts. We need your help today!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

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My Teacher the Eminent Rabbi Herbert J. Gilner

Herbert J. Gilner
Born on 7 January 1929 (25 Tevet 5689)
Passed away on 17 May 2002 (6 Sivan 5762)
Passed away in Waco, Texas

After Rabbi Moyal left Texas, I sought to continue my Rabbinic studies under a new teacher and was fortunate to find the eminent Rabbi Herbert J. Gilner who, in September of 1993 had just relocated to Arlington, Texas. After reading a newspaper article (at bottom) about his arrival, I contacted him to discuss our common interest in Hebrew and Aramaic New Testament origins. Rabbi Gilner maintained a non-hostile view of Yeshua, saying that he was “a great Rabbi of the Second Temple Era,” but that the “New Testament” had been originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic and had been mistranslated and misunderstood. As such, Rabbi Gilner had no problem with my belief that Yeshua was the Messiah, and took me on as a Rabbinical Student.

I studied one-on-one under Rabbi Herbert J. Gilner from 1993 until he signed off on my graduation in 1995. However we continued as close friends and fellow students of Judaism until his death on (Rabbinic) Shavuot in 2002.

Rabbi Herbert J. Gilner, was a graduate of Bet HaSefer HaReali Ha’Ivri, Haifa, Israel. Rabbi Gilner, whose native languages were Hebrew, Aramaic, English, and Spanish, received private instruction and apprenticeship from Rabbi Emanuel H. Baron, Brooklyn, New York; completed Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University, New York, NY and received a degree in Political Science and International Relations from Columbia University, New York, NY. Rabbi Gilner received his Rabbinic Ordination, Yoreh Yoreh, from Yeshivat HaGiborim VeHaKana’im LeRabbeynu Yosef Me’ir Jacobson, Newton, Massachusetts.

Rabbi Gilner was a member of the Supreme Rabbinic Court of America. He served on the executive board from 1975-1978 and as executive director from 1978 until his death in 2002. In that capacity in 1976 he participated in the famous excommunication from Judaism of Henry Kissinger. Rabbi Gilner presented the case and blew the shofar.

He served as president of the National Guild of Rabbis in 1979. He served as an associate Rabbi and teacher at Temple Shalom in Sayville, NY from 1983-1991 and was assistant editor of Saga of Traditional Judaism from 1975 until his death in 2002. He was a member of the Manhatten Regional Executive Committee and president of the local district’s Zionist Organization of America from 1957-1964. He was post commander and chaplain for Jewish War Veterans from 1970-1976 and served as a chaplain for Disabled American Veterans from 1985-1987.

Rabbi Gilner was a descendant of members of the first Haganah (first defense force in Israel). He was also descended from RASHI, Rabbi Hayyim de Volozhin of Elijah (the Gaon of Vilna), and Rabbi Moses Samuel (Chief Rabbi of Dublin, and translator of the the first English translation of the Book of Jasher). Once also a militant Zionist, Rabbi Gilner was closely associated with Rabbi Mier Kahana (may his memory be for a blessing), and was a close friend of Rabbi Marvin S. (Moshe) Antelman (author of To Eliminate The Opiate Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Zahavia LTD., New York-Tel Aviv) and of Vendyl Jones, American Noahide scholar and director archaeological searches for biblical artifacts such as the Ark of the Covenant.

Rabbi Gilner, second from left, serving Supreme Rabbinic Court of America in 1976. (Third from left is Rabbi Marvin S. Antelman, (sitting in the middle), presiding as Chief Justice.)
Rabbi Gilner blowing the shofar at the excommunication of Henry Kissinger in 1976.

Thru the Zohar Part 1

Part One in my Thru the Zohar Series takes you line by line thru the Zohar.

Thru the Zohar Part 1

Update: We must raise at least $1,255 by the end of the day Tuesday (10/11/2022) or our account will plunge into the negative, causing a cascade of returned items and fees!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

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Thru the Damascus Document Part 1

Part One in my Thru the Dead Sea Scrolls Series takes you line by line thru the Damascus Document.

Damascus Document Part 1 Handouts

The Qumran Community were Essenes

We need your help today. Where else do you get this kind of teaching?

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

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They Sought Smooth Things – The Dead Sea Scrolls and Hebrew Matthew

They Sought Smooth Things – The Dead Sea Scrolls and Hebrew Matthew
By James Scott Trimm

Yesterday while I was preparing a teaching on the Damascus Document (from the Dead Sea Scrolls) I found a very interesting connection between the Damascus Document and the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew.

I was dealing with a portion of the Damascus Document which appears to be criticizing the Pharisees, saying:

(18)…For they sought smooth things and chose illusions, looked for (19) breaches (i.e. loopholes), and chose the fairest neck (i.e. the easiest way), and they justified the wicked and condemned as wicked, the righteous, (20) and they transgressed the Covenant and broke the statute…
(Damascus Document 1, 18-20)

The passage is referencing Isaiah 30:10-13:

10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions:
11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
12 Wherefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly at an instant.
(Isaiah 30:10-13)

The Hebrew for the phrase “they sought smooth things” is דרשו בחלקות D’rashu B’Khalakot which seems to be a wordplay for Midrash Halachah. Some of the earliest Midrashim were the Halachic Midrashim which related halachah, nit under the categories of the tractates of the Mishna, but as midrashic commentary to the Torah.

What is even more interesting is that this passage connects nicely with a passage in the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew. The passage in question is Matthew 11:7-10 which reads in the KJV:

7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
(Matthew 11:7-10 KJV)

In the DuTillet Hebrew text of Matthew 11:8 the phrase for “soft clothing” is literally “clothed in smooth things” and the Hebrew is לבוש בחלקות!

When we add to this the many connections between Yochanan and Qumran (see my blog John the Baptist and Qumran) and that Yochanan called the Pharisees and Sadducees that came to be immersed by him “generation of vipers” (Matt. 3:7; Lk. 3:7) just as the Damascus Document states of the “Wall Builders” (Pharisees):

Also they have corrupted their Holy Spirit, and with blasphemous language they have reviled the statutes of Elohim’s covenant, saying, “They are not well-founded.” They continually speak abhorrent things against them. “All of them are kindlers and lighters of brands” (Isa. 50:11); “the webs of a spider are their webs and the eggs of a viper are their eggs” (Isa. 59:5) Whoever touches them shall not be clean.
(Dam. Doc. 5, 13-14)

…about whom Elohim said: “Their wine is the venom of vipers, and the cruel poison of asps” (Deut. 32:33)
(Dam. Doc. 8, 9-10)

The agreement here between the Hebrew of the Damascus Document from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Hebrew of the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew is beyond any reasonable argument of coincidence. The DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew here has clearly preserved the original Hebrew of Matthew for this word, which originally paralleled the language of the Hebrew of the Damascus Document!

Our rent was due on the first and we are still short. We need your help today. Where else do you get this kind of teaching?

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

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Emergency Alert!

We need your help today! We have not gotten a donation since last Wednesday and we must raise at least $450 by the end of the day today, or our account will plunge into the negative and trigger a cascade of returned items and fees.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Or click HERE to donate