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I have been perusing this site and find it very interesting. I do have a couple of questions.
I have stumbled upon a group like no other. they call themselves Messianic Jewish. They appear to be vehemently opposed to any lost tribe ideas and also opposed to certain christianity and Rabbinical Judaism.
One group I believe calls itself Messianic Israel has posted a pretty long "expose' " on Brit Am.
I did read through it, and it does not seem to hold water both historically and scripturally. Have you refuted their claims? I would be interested to hear your opinion concerning these groups.
Second question, In light of the recent Annapolis conference, I find it hard to recon that Mannasah is to be found among the peoples of the united states etc. could you share some insight in this? Thank you and G-d Bless.
The group you speak of that has shown such dastardly effrontery
as to speak against Brit-Am is run by a European Continental who once claimed to be an Arab "Assyrian"
and is a nasty piece of work.
We have refuted his claims and others of a similar nature in our articles:
"The Completeness of the Exile. Answers to Deniers of Brit-Am Biblical Truth"
"Answer to an Anti-Identity Polemic"
If they speak against Rabbinic Judaism they may have personal problems
that are not really pertinent to why Rabbinic Judaism says whatever it says
but rather involve other matters.
Concerning the USA being Manasseh and Annapolis:
On the one hand,
My personal political opinions are so extreme that even the late Rabbi Mair Kahana may have blushed to hear them.
( "Many a true word is spoken in jest")
We have to recognize the long track record the US has of helping Israel and still helps Israel
and probably will help Israel in the future.
It may not be desirable to be in need of help but that is how Divine Providence has arranged matters and the USA on the whole
has come through quite well all things considering.
It has done this while managing to play all sides of the equation and in the face of almost universal hostility.
We do not know everything.
The secular Establishment in Israel may also have to bear some of the blame for the situation we are faced with.
Even if (God forbid) the US were to turn against Israel it would not negate the identification we make.
The USA is in Iraq for its own interests but incidentally this helps Israel and the feeling is that the USA is pleased
to be also helping Israel. The USA benefits in numerous ways through helping Israel (and could benefit even more)
yet these benefits appear to be incidental. They were not the intention behind the altruistic support that was extended to the
Zionist State but an incidental not entirely expected side-benefit.
US supremacy in the world today is a reflection of its help to Israel.
Winston Churchill would frequently quote a saying attributed to Benjamin Disraeli,
"The LORD deals with nations as the nations deal with Jews".
5. THE URIM AND THUMMIM ?Will it be used again?
by Stephen J Spykerman
(slightly adapted, with permission, by Brit-Am)
One of the most mysterious aspects of the clothing of the High Priest without any question is the URIM and THUMMIM. Whereas the Breastplate of the Kohen Gadol was highly visible, the Urim and Thummim were inserted into a pocket behind the BREASTPLATE OF THE HIGH PRIEST ? also called ? THE BREASTPLATE OF JUDGEMENT. Thus the invisible Urim and Thummim have acquired a famous almost ?oracle-like? reputation, as the High Priest, by consulting the Urim and Thummim was able to give a Heavenly answer to the most important questions facing the nation of Israel. NO PERSON OTHER THAT MOSES AND AARON AND HIS HIGH PRIESTLY SUCCESSORS HAS EVER SEEN THE URIM AND THUMMIM. Today, there is nobody around to tell you what they might look like! There is a mystical aspect to these sacred artefacts, as they represent God?s Divine interaction with His chosen nation and people. The use of the Urim and the Thummim by the High Priest invariably was miraculous in every sense of the word.
It is worthwhile for us to enquire into this considerable mystery to see what we can learn about these strange sacred objects, through which God Himself used to give His Divine answer to the questions that were of national importance to Israel. I BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING GOD HAS WRITTEN IN HIS TORAH IS RELEVANT FOR US. THE VERY POSITIONING OF THE URIM AND THUMIM BEHIND THE VERY BREASTPLATE OF THE HIGH PRIEST MUST GIVE THESE A SPECIAL RELEVANCE. As we examine up this most unusual subject we are bound to learn more about our GREAT GOD. Another reason why it is important to cover this subject is for us to pose the rather intriguing question:
?COULD IT BE THAT THE URIM AND THUMMIM MIGHT BE USED AGAIN? COULD IT BE THAT THE URIM AND THUMIM ARE YET TO PLAY A FUTURE ROLE IN THE REUNIFICATION OF THE TWO HOUSES OF ISRAEL????????
The URIM is mentioned SEVEN times in the Bible and it means ?LIGHTS?. At this time of Chanukah this should therefore have special significance for those of us who are from the House of Judah. The THUMMIM is mentioned FIVE times in the Scriptures and it means COMPLETENESS. Thus the Urim and Thummim together speak of COMPLETE/PERFECT LIGHT.
The names of the tribes were engraved on the stones as a ?memorial? or as a ?remembrance? so that God will see them and recall their righteousness. (EXODUS 28: 5-12). The High Priest wears two stones upon his shoulders that are inscribed with the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. We are speaking here of the High Priest of Israel! Aaron has to wear the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, so that God, looking on from above, can see the names of the Twelve Sons of Jacob written upon the shoulders of His appointed High Priest. (EXODUS 28: 15-21). On his chest Aaron wore an ornament that was called THE CHOSEN MISHPAT OF JUDGMENT ? THE BREASTPLATE OF JUDGMENT for two reasons:
[1. It atoned for erroneous decisions made by the courts of judgment
[2. In itself it provided clear rulings for the nation through the use of the Urim and the Thummim.
(EXODUS 28: 29-30). Whenever the Kohen Gadol [High Priest] entered the Sanctuary bearing on his breast the names of Jacob?s twelve sons, God would remember their righteousness and bring blessing upon their offspring according to their merit e.g. obedience to His Torah. Again can we not see how terribly significant this is? Here we have Aaron ? the High Priest of Israel - an Israel that is comprised of all of the Twelve Tribes of Israel - wearing the Breastplate of Judgment ON HIS HEART. He has to wear it on his heart! (See verse 30!) On this same Breastplate are engraved the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel! CAN WE SEE WHERE GOD?S HEART IS?
The breastplate was folded in half to form a pouch like pocket. Into it Moses was to insert a slip of parchment containing the ineffable and unutterable Name of God known as the Tetragrammaton. According to Ramban, there was more than one Name. This Name was called ?URIM? from the word ?LIGHT?, because it would cause individual letters of the tribal names on the Breastplate to light up; and it was called THUMMIM from the word COMPLETENESS, because, if read in the proper order, these luminous letters presented complete and true answers to the questions of national import that the High Priest would ask of God. The process of asking for Divine aid through the ?Urim? and ?Thummim? was done as follows: When a question of national importance arose, such as, for example, the question of whether or not to go to war ? then, the king of Israel (or the commanding army officer) would ask this question of the High Priest. The Kohen Gadol (High Priest) would stand facing the ark of testimony, and the questioner stood behind him, facing the High Priest?s back. The questioner did not speak aloud but posed his question quietly, to himself, like someone who prays in silence before His Creator. The High Priest enveloped by the spirit of Divine inspiration, gazed at the Breastplate and, by meditating upon the Holy names of God, was able to receive the answer through a prophetic vision. The letters on the stones of the Breastplate would light up and shine forth with a bright luminous light to spell out the answer to the question.
(From: The Holy Temple of Jerusalem, 1997, page 39, by Rabbi Chaim Richman)
Josephus Flavius ? the great Jewish historian writes that the Stones in the Breastplate also shone brilliantly when Israel went forth into battle. This was considered as an auspicious sign for their victory (Antiquities 3.8.9).
It is through this Breastplate of the High Priest that we can discern how important Israel is to God. We can tell from the twelve stones engraved with the names of each of the twelve tribes that God is concerned about each of His twelve tribes. He is not merely concerned with the Jews only, but His special concern extends to all twelve sons of Jacob. Whereas, the Jews have largely, at least in part remained faithful to His Torah and His Sabbath, the other sheep of His Israelite flock have sadly gone astray.
The Prophet Jeremiah most emphatically speaks of the day when the LORD promises to, "MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH" (JEREMIAH 31: 31-34 SEE ALSO JEREMIAH 30: 3-4).
So, what of this restoration of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, when the House of Israel and the House of Judah are finally reunited into one Kingdom again? Will the URIM and THUMMIM be employed again? Could it be that the URIM and THUMMIM be found and used again? The Scriptures give us an interesting hint that this may indeed be the case. The last time the URIM and THUMMIM are mentioned in the Bible is in the Book of Nehemiah. The occasion concerns a group of men returning from their captivity in Babylon who could not identify their father's house or their lineage, or even whether they were of Israel. (Nehemiah 7:61). Some of them sought their listing by genealogy to no avail and hence they were excluded from the Priesthood. The problem is to be resolved when the Urim and Thummim will be restored and a future High Priest be consulted to determine the issue. (NEHEMIAH 7: 64-65)
Thus on this occasion they will be used not to decide crucial questions of war and peace, but instead to determine the identity and ancestry of Lost Israelites who will have lost their identity. The Urim and Thummim will be used to help identify true Israelites who have completely lost proofs of their identities, and some of them will even be of priestly families. This was mentioned by the Rabbinical Commentator Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1509):
"AND I WILL ALSO TAKE OF THEM FOR PRIESTS AND FOR LEVITES, SAITH THE LORD" [Isaiah 66:21].
<<From those Childen of Israel who will be brought from distant lands, who were immersed among the Gentiles and intermixed with them. From these Israelites will also be taken individuals for Priests and Levites. These will be they who [oringinally] came from Priestly and Levitical families. It will not matter if they had once been sold as slaves and against their will had become Gentiles. How will it be known what family they came from? Doubtless it will be through Divine Inspiration as predicted by Malachi: ?AND HE SHALL SIT AS A REFINER AND PURIFIER OF SILVER: AND HE SHALL PURIFY THE SONS OF LEVI, AND PURGE THEM AS GOLD AND SILVER, THAT THEY MAY OFFER UNTO THE LORD AN OFFERING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.
?THEN SHALL THE OFFERING OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM BE PLEASANT UNTO THE LORD, AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD, AND AS IN FORMER YEARS? [Malachi 3:3-4]. >>
Think how many Israelites there are in the world today. Think about that remnant which is prophesied to return to Zion. They will have made their journey whilst being battered by the Time of Jacob?s trouble in that Great Second Exodus the prophets have spoken of. How many of them will have lost their records, their identities with most of them not knowing who or what they are, yet some of them are Jews, some are of Issachar and Zebulon, whilst others are of Ephraim, Manasseh or Reuben. Yet all of them are guided by an Unseen Hand which is leading them back to the land of their fathers in Eretz Israel. One thing is sure, THE WHOLE OF JACOB?S DOZEN ARE COMING HOME. IS IT THEREFORE NOT CONCEIVABLE, especially in view of the prediction that was made in the days of Nehemiah, that the URIM AND THUMMIM WILL BE USED AGAIN TO ASSIST IN THIS FINAL REGATHERING? To sort out, to clarify, to make sure, without a shadow of a doubt, by this Divinely ordained miraculous process, who is who and what their genealogical origins are. There are Scriptures, among other places in the last few chapters of the Book of Ezekiel, which indicate that each tribe will be allocated its own tribal territories. In those territories you will even be given the very same parcels of land that formerly belonged to your ancestors! How can this possibly happen if you do not know who your ancestors are or even which tribe you belong to? One thing we can be sure of and that is that HaShem, the Holy One of Israel has it all in hand.
Stephen J Spykerman ? December, 4th 2007