New book by Messianic Israelis takes on Judaism’s Oral Law
Two Israeli believers have just published a book that sets out to debunk one of Judaism’s fundamental pillars: adherence to the Oral Law.
According to rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Law contains all of the directives that God is believed to have shared with Moses on Mount Sinai, none of which are recorded in the Torah.
In their book, Eitan Bar and Golan Brosh set out to critique traditional rabbinic Judaism which has held the religion “hostage” by its reliance on Oral Law.
“The focus of the rabbinic religion has been to study and meditate on the Oral Law. In fact, the Oral Law serves as the foundation upon which all the traditions of rabbinic Judaism stand,” the authors write in the introduction.
If the Oral Law is proved invalid, all of Judaism falls, the authors contend.
Bar, one of the authors, is known in Israel for his evangelism and apologetics of the Messianic faith. He said adherence to the Oral Law is keeping Jews from understanding their need for a savior.
“The idea that God gave Moses an Oral Law on Mt. Sinai — which only the rabbis have the keys for — is the foundations and base for Judaism,” Bar told KNI. This “basically keeps them away from understanding their need for a savior, for Yeshua,”
Bar and Brosh note that the book is not an attack on Judaism or on other Jews but rather a “discussion between Jews who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) and those who do not yet follow Him.”
“In order to establish their authority over the Jewish people, the rabbis came up with the revolutionary idea according to which their philosophy, traditions and teachings (i.e., the Oral Law) were passed on through the generations, beginning with Moses and ultimately with God Himself,” they write. “Henceforth, the focus of the rabbinic religion has been to study and meditate on the Oral Law (Oral Law). In fact, the Oral Law serves as the foundation upon which all the traditions of rabbinic Judaism stand. Without the rabbis’ traditions, rabbinic Judaism losses all its validity and existence. In other words, if the divine origin of the Oral Law is nothing but a myth, then rabbinic Judaism has no leg to stand on.”
The book also examines “the implications of the Oral Law on Judaism today, especially in regard to Israel’s relationship to the New Testament and Yeshua.”
“We are not objective, we do not believe that God gave Moses an Oral Law on Mount Sinai, that is our premise,” Bar told KNI. “We are making polemics from many different directions, including the debunking of the classic, pro-Oral Law rabbinic claims which are well known in Judaism.”
The book will be expanded and released in Hebrew by 2020, Bar said.
Bar is also known for a video series “Eitan and Moti” which has now expanded to “Eitan, Moti and Anastasia” in which the three Messianic Jews seek to prove that Yeshua is the Messiah as they take on popular rabbinic concepts. The video series has earned them more than one death threat from rabbis here.
Bar also co-authored Reading Moses, Seeing Jesus: How the Torah fulfills its goal in Yeshua and just published another book, Did God punish and kill God?: Did God the Father punish and kill God the Son? He holds a degree in Biblical Studies from Israel College of the Bible and an M.A. in Theology from Liberty University. He was born and raised in Israel. He currently serves as One for Israel’s director of the Media & Evangelism\Apologetics departments.
Brosh, also a native Israeli, is a professor at Israel College of the Bible.
The book, The Oral Law Debunked: Debunking the myth of Rabbinic Oral Law, is available on Amazon in Kindle form.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
KNI Israel Prayer Corner :: Mar 20, 2018
Prayer for Community News
We encourage prayer for Israel since, even though God is sovereign, He still is moved by the prayers of His children. This is why we ask for prayer for our soldiers, including many believers serving valiantly in the IDF. Messianic soldiers are not exempt from the battles against the enemies of Israel. In 2014, a young First Sergeant and a Messianic believer, who wrote praise songs and played guitar in his youth group, died in combat during the Gaza War. Last year, another praise and worship leader serving in the IDF was seriously injured by a thrown grenade while on guard duty in Nablus (biblical Shechem). As a guitarist, it appeared his dreams of leading worship had ended. Earnest prayer was made on his behalf, and we are happy to report that his recovery has been miraculous. Prayer changes things! Please pray for the safety and protection of all Israel, for those serving in the military and police, and pray especially for the believers serving on the frontlines. God is watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12) and “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire. . . .Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:7, 14)
Preparations are already underway for the Passover holiday which begins this year on the evening of Friday, March 30th, and goes through April 7th. Jewish families in Israel and around the world will celebrate the Passover in homes and congregations, including Messianic Seders that show how Yeshua is the Passover Lamb of God. “These are the feasts (moed’im) of the LORD, even holy convocations (sacred assemblies, rehearsals), which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.” Lev 23:4-55 Please pray with us for the nation of Israel according to Isaiah 42:6-7: “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”
Prayer for Israel News
This week tragedy struck Israel yet again as a terrorist rammed his car into a group Israeli IDF soldiers, killing three soldiers. Additionally, the Israeli Security Services announced the arrest of a man who worked in the French Consulate in Jerusalem for smuggling approximately 70 pistols and two assault rifles to an arms dealer in the Palestinian controlled area. As the Psalmist cries in Psalm 120:6-7, “Too long has my soul had its dwelling With those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, They are for war.” Pray with us for the Israel Security Services to expose and arrest those who are preparing for violent attacks against Israel. Romans 13:4 declares, “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad. …For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not carry the sword in vain. He is God’s servant, an agent of retribution to the wrongdoer.”
On a happier note, despite all the threats that Israel faces, there are many reasons to rejoice. One recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) named Israel as having one of the world’s strongest economies with 15 consecutive years of “economic expansion” and low unemployment as factors for its growth. Hallelujah! Pray with according to Jeremiah 31:10-12 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord.”
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
A year of praise, progress for Israeli Messianic soldier injured in attack
Just over a year ago a young soldier’s dreams and aspirations literally exploded out of view obscuring his dreams and his future.
In an ambush attack a hand grenade’s powerful blast ripped through David B’s hand leaving horrific damage while he was on active duty protecting Jewish worshipers in Nablus, the biblical town of Schem. With bones missing and tendons and ligaments torn, surgeons were not very hopeful that the Messianic worship leader from Beersheba would regain full use of his limb.
The Messianic community at large banded together immediately in earnest prayer, and, after three months, doctors gave the soldier a cautiously optimistic report on David’s recovery with hope on the horizon.
KNI met up with David recently to find out what he has been up to since then and how his hand has been healing. Since we last communicated, David has completed his compulsory army service and had time to travel, including time spent in New Zealand.
The young leader is still very active in his congregation, Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua, and is once again playing the guitar for the worship team — something doctors warned may never happen again.
“The last year in itself was just a miracle from Almighty God,” he told KNI. “My recovery and the way the functionality has returned to my hand is miraculous, there is no denying the hand of God in it all.”
David said that the day before this interview his doctor also marveled at his smooth and speedy healing. The doctor told David that the recovery and outcome is far more than he could ever have expected.
David is grateful.
“I want people to know that prayer is heard by God. God heard the prayers offered up on my behalf and really, it was God who saved my hand through the doctors who treated me,” he continued. “Even the doctors and surgeons are thankful for the results and how my hand is functioning after only a year since the terrible trauma. It only confirms to me how strong God is and how truly sovereign He is.”
David wanted to thank everyone who has prayed for him and wanted to encourage believers.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who prayed and remind you that it is written that if we pray faithfully, God will grant it according to His will,” he said. “I prayed, and many people prayed, that I would be able to play the guitar again and use my hand properly and God granted this. God gave me healing to be able to praise him with my guitar which was my dream. Thank you.”
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
Israeli-born Dee Catz is a Jewish believer in Yeshua, happily married with children. She has an interest in cooking and baking and all things Biblical. History, Geography, and Archaeology are some of her favorite hobbies, as well as touring Israel's national parks and landmark sites with her family and friends. She has been contributing to Kehila News Israel since December 2015.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
KNI Israel Prayer Corner :: Mar 14, 2018
Prayer for Israeli Messianic Community News
As we touched on last week, sharing faith in Israel is a quite different situation than it is in most Western nations. The avenues are more organic, people to people expressions. One of these expressions is the Shelter Hostel in Eilat which has provided free lodging to hikers on the Israel National Trail (INT). In Israel, hiking is a number one recreational activity and “Trail Angels” who offer lodging along the way are greatly appreciated. Israeli Messianic believers, John and Judy Pex who operate the Shelter Hostel, open their doors to all to meet “physical, emotional and spiritual needs.” Pray for this ministry and for all the ways that Israeli believers are sharing their faith.
Israel is a nation that is absorbing Jewish immigrants from the four corners of the earth. At times, people come with the clothes on their backs, unable to speak Hebrew or to take up the professions they had in their original countries. That is one of the reasons why there is such a high rate of poverty in Israel with approximately 1.8 million living under the poverty line. KNI published a series featuring the believer ministries who help the poor in Israel. There are no strings attached to humanitarian aid, but pray for many lives to be changed by the labor of love of Messianic ministries serving the poor.
“A Dangerous Calling” is the name of a recent conference attended by Arab and Jewish senior pastors at the Israel College of the Bible to study the seriousness of a pastoral calling and the life challenges faced by every servant of God in Israel. When Arab and Jewish believers join together in harmony it is a witness to the world of their brotherly relationship in the LORD. Please pray for all those who are seeking to live together as brothers in the Messiah and for all pastors living the “dangerous calling” as servants of God in Israel.
Prayer for Israel
While Prime Minister Netanyahu is under investigation in Israel, his visit to the U.S. has been hailed as a beloved ally and friend among Americans. Netanyahu clearly expressed Israel’s appreciation for the support of American Christians, saying “We have no better friends in the world and I mean that”. One sign of truly recognizing Christians’ alliance with Israel is the new Israeli Knesset Bible study with 200 Christians and Israeli Jews.
Please pray for the growing recognition of the whole community of faith in Yeshua in Israel, both Christians and Messianic Jews.
Please pray for the leadership of the nation of Israel, that God’s appointed person serves as its Prime Minister, with a government formed that will serve the purposes of God in this season.
Pray for Israel as she is entering the “beginning of months” this Saturday which is the point that all the “Feasts of the LORD” are calculated from. These holidays, appointed by God, are set times for Israel. They are also opportune times for terrorists who have often planned terror attacks on the major biblical holidays. Today the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that two smuggling attempts had been thwarted: trucks smuggling into Gaza various dress IDF uniforms and fatigues, and also mercury, which is used in terror making material. Please pray for God to thwart and expose all attempts and terrorist plots, that “no weapon formed against Israel during the holidays or at any other time may prosper”. (Isaiah 54:17)
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
Your blood upon us and our sons
In between all the events that I have shared in the last couple of weeks, one more thing happened – a historical one. I am so glad I attended it.
Reuven and Benjamin Berger are two brothers, who pastor a Messianic congregation in Jerusalem. For nearly a decade they prayed about the need of the messianic body to repent on behalf of our nation, and especially for rejecting Yeshua. Finally, this year, they called a special meeting during the fast of Esther.
We are so used to nations asking our forgiveness for their part in hiding His Jewishness from us. But the time has come for us to own our part and repent of the choices we made ourselves.
Pastors and believers gathered at the beautiful Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. As worship began, my tears started flowing. The first song was “Aveenu, Malkenu” – Our Father, our King. It begs for the remission of sins, confessing that we have no deeds we can pride with. This song has been sung in synagogues for centuries. It echoed within me as if something ancient was waking up, like this prayer-song was calling up something that has been dormant for ages and is now paving its way out. I can’t really explain it in any other way.
It was so different than the usual worship – it was some kind of a combination between synagogue music and something else. A cry, a lamentation, a plea for forgiveness.
Reuven than stood and explained how he sees our sins towards Yeshua. He spoke about some points I never thought of before: about the covenant we have made with death when we rejected the Way, the Truth and the Life. About how we drove the Son outside the vineyard (Mat. 21:38-39). In a way, nothing new, but something in the language of all these verses was highlighted to me. And we were all so ready to mourn.
Than the pastors attending were called up front. One by one they approached the mike and repented, each one for whatever was on his heart. Some wept, and some confessed, “Lord, our nation is rebellious and we have acted very wickedly towards You”. One pastor sounded like his heart would burst. Another buried his face and asked forgiveness for our pride.
Then a few women were invited to repent as well. One lady from an orthodox background shared how her mouth was rinsed with soap when she was a child, whenever she dared to say the J-word. She asked forgiveness for the way Yeshua’s name has become a curse in our nation. I repented on behalf of the widow who refuses to see her Husband for who He really is, for not thinking He understands our needs, for not wanting to see His Jewish Face.
A humble Arab pastor from Abu Gosh was then invited to the front. He sobbed in identification with his Jewish brothers, affirming that the land belongs to us and thanking God for us allowing them (the Arabs) to live in Israel. Can you believe that?
Pastor Yaser from Abu Gosh
Benjamin led us all in communion. As we were chewing on the round flat loaf and drinking the sweet wine, one leader commented that we should reverse the curse we brought upon ourselves centuries ago, when we cried in Pilate’s court: “His blood on our heads and on our sons’ ”, and thus bringing a horrible curse upon our nation. This leader stated that it is time to welcome His blood on our heads and on our future generations, not as a curse, but as the only thing that can cleanse us from that ancient curse and its ramifications. “Aveenu, Malkenu, wash the curse away, we beg You! And let it become a blessing”.
A fine common line in between recent events
I look at the events I shared with you recently, and I find a thread that runs through all of them all the way back to the Battle Cries that were heard on October 31 [Cooo-eee! In Those Days, At This Time]
100 years ago, on October 31, the ANZAC soldiers paved the way for General Alenby to march all the way to Jerusalem. Where did he enter Jerusalem? On Jaffa Gate. A few months ago the same battle cry was heard in the same location, inviting Yeshua to come back to His people. Two weeks ago leaders gathered to repent for rejecting Him for centuries. Where did the repentance take place? At Jaffa Gate.
Interesting, to say the least!
This article originally appeared on Ot OoMofet Ministries, March 12, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Orna, born and raised in Israel, is a lover of books, and especially The Book. She is fascinated with the Hebrew language and with the God who created the world through the mere expression of Hebrew words. In 2003 she established Ot OoMofet Ministries (Hebrew for “A sign and Example”), whose main focus is turning stories of brokenness and hardships into stories of victory. Besides ministering to the broken hearted in Israel, she now teaches worldwide about the widowhood of Israel, the role the church plays in its restoration and on a variety of other subjects.