TWO HOUSE or UNITED ISRAEL
(Is Two House Theology Jewish?)
James Scott Trimm
Over the years there have been some attacks on the so called "Two House" movement. Many of these attacks have also put forward a "two Torah" theology.
I recall back around '98 or '99 someone asked me what I thought of "Two House Theology" and I asked what they were talking about. When they explained what they meant I told them I had believed and taught that for many years, but that I had never heard it called "Two House Theology". Instead, I was familiar with this doctrine from within Rabbinic Judaism and I knew of a number of teachers in Rabbinic Judaism who had been professing this doctrine for decades, not under the name "Two House Theology" but under the name of "United Israel" Theology.
Back in 1944 Rabbinic Jew and prominent Zionist David Horowitz had founded an organization known as "United Israel World Union". This organizations statement of purpose was as follows:
The primary purposes of UIWU are to represent a universal version of the Hebraic faith to the non-Jewish world, based primarily on the Hebrew Bible, as well as to provide a meeting place for Jews with non-Jews who are accordingly drawn to this message. The hallmark of the organization is Isaiah’s prescription that “My house will become a house of prayer for all peoples.” Central to this mission is the conviction that scattered among the Gentiles are untold numbers of descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel who are discovering their identity and their kinship to the Jewish people. Membership is based on the simple declaration of faith in the One God of Israel and a commitment to live according to the principles of the Hebrew Bible. Members, accordingly, observe the Sabbath day, Jewish festivals, and a biblical “kosher” diet, although the manner and extent of such observances is left to one’s individual conscience.
I knew David Horowitz, we spoke many times (my belief in Yeshua was never a problem for him). He continued to lead United Israel World Union until his death in 2002 and the organization still exists today.
While some attacking the so-called "Two House" movement have criticized Gentiles keeping the Torah, the motto of Horowitz's United Israel World Union was ""Mosaic Law for one world- restoration, unity, peace."
Back in 1987 there was an article published in the Orthodox Jewish (Chabad) Journal B'Or HaTorah titled "Did any of the Lost Tribes Go North?" by Yochanon Ben David (John Hulley) (B'Or Ha'Torah 6 (1987): 127-133). The object of this paper was to identify the Sabbatayon and thus determine the location of the Ten Lost Tribes. This article concluded that the Sabbatyon was in fact the Bosphorus straits between the Mediterranean Sea and the the Black Sea. Hulley showed that the Straites were anciently referred to as a river and that due to current fluctuations between the two Seas, the Bosphorus slows down, stops or changes direction approximately once every seven days. He concludes that the legend might further be based upon a Sabbath day crossing of the Sabbatyon coinciding with the current being at rest. This would mean that the Ten Tribes had migrated across the straits toward Europe.
In 1993 Orthodox Israeli Jew Yair Davidy published his monumental book The Tribes: The Israelite Origins of the Western Peoples (I still have my first edition- it is now in its 4th edition). Davidy is another Jew to proclaim the message of United Israel and the Ten Lost Tribes. Davidy lives in Israel where he runs the organization Brit-Am Israel. He has written several books on the topic of the Lost Tribes and their migrations into Western Europe. Many of these books have a letter in the front, giving them Rabbinic Approbation from Rabbi Avram Feld. Among Yair's books are The Tribes: The Israelite Origin of the Western Peoples (1993); Ephraim and Lost Israelite Identity. Yair Davidy's thoroughly documented research shows that the Lost Ten Tribes, which had been transplanted to the outskirts of Assyria came to be known as the Sakeans (they were previously known as Yitzakheans or in Aramaic Isakeans). These Sakeans are known to have migrated northwest and made their way into Europe to become the Scythians (S'kitheans) and Saxons (Saksons). Davidy's research has shown that other tribal groups of the Lost Ten Tribes also emerged in Europe under names similar to those of the Tribe of Israel, such as: Galics (Galileans); Danes (Dans); Cimereans (Simeons); Goths/Gots (Gads "Gad" is pronounced in Hebrew as "God").
Also in 1993 James Tabor and Dennis Jones (old friends of mine) sought to create "United Israel Jerusalem" a Jerusalem based organization, with David Horowitz's blessing and John Hulley's cooperation to proffess the United Israel message based on Hulley's reaearch to identify the Lost Tribes and call them to return to Torah. They wanted to make sure they did this under "the endorsement of an Orthodox Rabbi in Israel who could offer advise based on accepted Halacha (Rabbinic teachings)." They went to Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute:
"After some time in deep thought, Rabbi Richman consulted the Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin. Then in a surprising statement, the Rabbi announced that not only is such a scenario for the return of the 'lost tribes' in the last days acceptable biblically and historically, but is completely supported by the Jewish Oral Tradition.... he offered his assistance in any way."
(Jezreel's Call, Number 3; Av, 5754/July, 1994)
United Israel Jerusalem was officaillay created on Iyar 1, 5754/April 12, 1994. Some years later United Israel Jerusalem was merged into United Israel World Union.
I have subscribed to the United Israel message as taught in Rabbinic Judaism since the early 1990's perhaps even the late 1980's! So when Baya Wooten published her book "Who Is Isreal? Any Why You Need to Know" back in 1998 starting the "Two House" movement... so called "Two House" Theology" to me was just a recasting of "United Israel" theology. To me this was not a new theology, this was an old theology that I knew well from Rabbinic Judaism!
You can imagine my surprise when I hear people now trying to claim that this theology is somehow at odds with Judaism!
The recent issues have made me realize something. Being that I personally have roots in Rabbinic Judaism and my contact with this theology was originally in context of Rabbinic Judaism, and being that I personally knew David Horowitz who was teaching United Israel theology in Rabbinic Judaism well before World War II, it is going to be my role to stand up for the Jewish roots of this teaching. As part of this role, I am returning to the term "United Israel" rather than "Two House". The term "Two House" by its very nature implies division and seperation of the Two Houses, while the term "United Israel" implies unity.
As part of this effort I have created the United Israel group at NazareneSpace.com
The primary purposes of United Israel is to discuss the identity of those portions of the Lost Ten Tribes which migrated northwest from the Assyrian captivity and to provide the Scriptural historical framework which will facilitate their return to Torah and their reunion with the House of Judah as they discover their identity and their kinship to the Jewish people.
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