THE THREE OATHS, ISRAEL, and EPHRAIM.
Religious Zionism, Jewish anti-Zionism, and the Lost Ten Tribes Today.
Adapted from CHAPTER VII of a work in preparation.
Preliminary Note by Brit-Am Editorial Staff:
A small group of Ultra-Religious Jews are opposed to Zionism and the State of Israel.
They base their case on an obscure Talmudic comment on a Biblical verse.
These are known as the Three Oaths that some interpret as forbidding Jewish
en masse immnigration and occupation of the Land of Israel until the Messiah comes.
Alexander Zephyr examines the sources, discusses the pros and cons of different opinions and commentaries in the
light of historical fact. He comes to the conclusion that if the Three oaths are at all applicable then
they apply to "Ephraimite Israel" meaning the Lost Ten Tribes and not to the Jews (Judah).
Brit-Am does not agree with Alexander Zephyr on this matter but we think his article nevertheless makes a valuable
contribution to these studies. Information of interest and importance is given and discussed and the conclusion
is worth noting.
THE THREE OATHS, ISRAEL, and
Religious Zionism, Jewish anti-Zionism, and the Lost Ten Tribes Today.
Adapted from CHAPTER
VII of a work in preparation
What are the Three Oaths? Where did they come from? How are they
connected with the State of Israel? What effect do
they have on Judaism, Zionism and the movements of Satmar and Neturei
Karta? In this article, we will try to give answers to these and other
Let us begin with the smallest book of the Bible, where the Three Oaths are
found, the Song of Songs. It contains only 117 verses, but it is the most
controversial and puzzling book of the Tanakh.
Some people believe that authorship of this book belongs to Solomon
because the first verse of Chapter 1 says: 'The Song of Songs, which is
Solomon's.' Others have argued that right translation of the title should read
as 'which is for Solomon,' meaning that someone else wrote it for Solomon,
as was common practice in ancient times. There is a solid tradition in
the Talmud that Hezekiah, King of Judea (715 b.c.-687 b.c.), was the author of
the book. He has been greatly praised by the Bible:
'For since the time of Solomon the son
of David king of Israel there was not the like (Hezekiah) in Jerusalem.' (2
There is also a suggestion that the book was written by God and dedicated to His
love for Israel. There is no mention in the book about Solomon's ancestry,
specifically, that his father was David, as we find in the Books of Proverbs and
Ecclesiastes. The name 'Solomon' in Hebrew is pronounced as 'Shlomo', which
could mean [the King] "to whom peace belongs", and God is the source of all
The time of this book is also in dispute. It varies from the earlier circa
950 b.c. which is close to Solomon's time, to a very late 300-200 b.c., the
times of an anonymous writer. Linguistic analysis points out that the vocabulary
of the book is derived from ancient Hebrew and from post- exilic languages, such
as Persian, Greek, and Aramaic.
The title 'The Song of Songs' depicts supremacy, greatness, excellence of the
1005 songs Solomon wrote (1-Kings 4:32), like similar titles such as 'the king
of kings,' or 'holy of holies.' In Hebrew it is rendered as 'Shir ha-Shirim,' in
a short version of Latin it is called 'Canticles.'
The Song of Songs is found in the last section of the Hebrew Bible, known as the
'Ketuvim' (Writings), where the special group of 'Hagiographa' books are
located, such as Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.
Disagreements about the contents of this book have persisted up to this
day. Some early expositors thought that the book was explicitly religious,
written in allegorical form and represented the relation between God and Israel.
It is interesting to note, that the name of God is never mentioned in the Song,
as it wasn't in the books of Esther or Ecclesiastes either. Nevertheless, it has been
insisted that the book depicts the allegorical love between the Israelite
people and God.
Others say that the book is a wonderful poem celebrating human love
and sexuality. It is regarded as one of the greatest pieces of erotic literature
ever written. Socrates called the Song 'the erotic mania of the soul for the
In Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, in the book of Zohar, the Song
became the most important Biblical text, regarded as sacred erotica. Kabbalistic
Sages view Shir-ha-Shirim as a craving dialogue between the rational soul and
active intellect imprisoned within the human body, which is an obstacle in the
path of their union with Hashem.
Some scholars insist that the Song of Solomon is nothing other than a
hymn, glorifying the ideal human love between King Solomon and a poor shepherd
girl named "Shulamite" before, during and after marriage. There are some views
on the numbers of characters involved. In addition to Solomon-lover and
Shulamite-beloved; man is Solomon, woman is 'Wisdom'; lover is Messiah, woman is
Israel; the Lord is Lover, Jewish people are beloved; there is Shepherd-lover in
between, who Shulamite chose over King Solomon despite all his riches and
splendor. The Young shepherd was victorious because he was the one 'whom my soul
loveth', his true love satisfied her heart and soul whereas the love of the
King offered only pleasure and luxury for the bodily senses.
Others maintained that this is a true story of the first love between Solomon
and Abishag the Shunammite, although they accepted parallel allegorical
interpretation of God's love for His people, where God praises Israel and Israel
praises God. Who was Abishag the Shunammite? Her story is recorded in
1-Kings, chapter 1:
'Now King David was old and
stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. So
they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the costs of Israel, and found
and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the
king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.' (Verses 14)
Young Solomon met beautiful Abishag in the palace of his father David and fell
in love with her. Since King David never had intercourse with her and had not
married her, she was free, and Solomon, after getting rid of Adonijah, made
Abishag his wife.
According to one of the different opinions the book may be regarded as a
criticism against King Solomon who had 700 wives and 300 concubines in his harem
(1-Kings 11:3); against sexual exploitation of women and promiscuity; and as a
triumph of true pure love and beautiful marriage over unfaithfulness, temporal
bodily pleasure and broken dreams of the heart outside marriage.
How could Solomon be the author of such a Divinely-inspired holy book,
glorifying the institution of marital love, people argued, since he had the
reputation of being a violator of the Ten Commandments, a sinner?
'For Solomon went after
the goddess of the Zidonians,
and after Milcom
the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord,
and went not fully after the Lord, as did David, his
On the other hand, there is a Jewish belief that in no way may a profane person
produce a holy book. The Canticles, the Holy of Holies, must have been written
by a holy man, which is Solomon.
This book has also been considered as just a collection of ancient Near Eastern love ditties
similar to Sumerian erotic passages, the Egyptian Ramesside love poetry, and the
Syrian Wedding Songs, where the groom is presented as a King and the bride plays
a role as the Queen.
If the Song of Solomon is just promoting human sexual love and marriage,
sometimes passionately and frankly erotic; without well expressed religious or
theological motives or prophetic insides, how come, then, that this little
puzzling book, after long debate, was accepted by the Council of Jamnia (Yavneh)
in 90 a.c. in the Bible canon and placed within the category of the
'Writings' [Hagiographa] Sacred books in the Tanakh? The Song definitely entered
the canon not only as a secular love poem. Something else had moved the wise men
of Jamnia to render their decision. What was it?
Allegory? Yes, it is the allegorical interpretations of the text with hidden
meanings, which have little or no connection with the meaning of the words of
the text translated. That is the answer!
That is why Rabbi Akiba said: 'Heaven forbid that any man in Israel ever
disputed that the Song of Songs is holy.'
The Song of Solomon is the most difficult and intriguing book of the Old
Rabbi Saadia explained:
'Know, my brother, that you will find
great differences in interpretation of the Song of
resembles locks to which the keys have been lost.'
Jewish Sages have interpreted the Song as allegorical love between God and
Israel. The concept of identifying God as a husband and Israel as a wife is very
well known in Hebrew Scripture:
'For thy Maker is
husband. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in
spirit, and a wife of youth: 'For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with
great mercies will I gather thee.' (Isaiah 54:5-7).
'I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has closed me with the garments of
salvation, He has covered me with the rope of righteousness, as a bridegroom
Himself with ornaments, and as a bride
herself with her jewels.' (Isaiah 61:10)
'They say, if a man put away his
wife, and she go from him and become another man's, shall he return unto her
again?...but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to
the Lord.' (Jeremiah 3:1).
'Return, O backsliding children,
the Lord; for I am married unto you.' (Jeremiah 3:14).
These are just few examples of the typological expression of a metaphorical
relationship between God and the People of Israel, as a human relationship
between husband and wife.
Despite the fact that some scholars have argued against allegorical
interpretation, saying that the Song of Songs nowhere gives hint to an allegoric
understanding, and even using the allegorical approach, the result is so
subjective, that there is no way to rightly identify correct interpretation. The
text itself, they say, does not indicate that we should interpret this book
differently than any other Biblical book. The Song of Songs events really took
place, and Solomon and Shulamite were real historical personalities. All things
are possible to those who allegorize.
Although the Canticles is accepted by most scholars according to the concept of
an allegorical interpretation, the discussion has not reached a unified
consensus and leaves other possibilities open.
No other book in the Scriptures involves so many controversies and variety of
interpretations than the Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
THE THREE OATHS
[The Three Oaths refer to
(possibly-hypothetical) self-imposed obligations that the Jews and Gentiles took
upon themselves when the Jews went into Exile. They are explained by referring
to certain verses in the Song of Solomon.]
The Verses of the Song of Songs, that originated the Three Oaths are:
2:7; 3:5; 8:4.
What are they saying?
'I charge you, O ye daughters of
Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor
awake my love, till it please.' (Song of Songs 2:7).
The wording of verse 3:5 is identical to 2:7.
[These represent two of the oaths.]
The third verse of Oaths is Song of Songs 8:4:
'I charged you, O daughters of
Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until it please.'
Whose words are these? Who is speaking in verses 2:7; 5:3; and 8:4?
Many modern-day commentators have understood that these 'chargers' belong
to the beloved Shulamite, the main female character, whose intimate thoughts,
feelings and dreams are recorded 53% of the time, while the male lover speaks
39% in the book. They interpret these passages literally, thinking that the main
message here is the human love between the lover and beloved:
'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not
arouse or awaken love until it so desires.'
Love needs time. Do not rush it, do not excite it, and do not stir it up. Wait
for the right time, no matter how long it takes. Let love take its natural
course. To illustrate their point, they explain that as the gazelle is a
member of the antelope family, and the hind is a female deer, both animals are
very skittish, easily frighten, and if anyone wants to approach them closely,
must exercise extreme patience and caution. And so too with love.
From the same three verses of Song of Songs come the Three Oaths of
These are the subject of our discussion here.
These Three Oaths are recorded in the narrative, Ketubot 111a of the Babylonian
Talmud, containing a discussion defending Rav Zeira's decision to leave
Babylon and go to the Land of Israel.
They were taken from Solomon's Song of Songs, and in large part consist
of an exegetical analysis of the three verses of allegorical text translated as
a love relationship between God and Israel.
Here are the quotes of the Oaths as they are conveyed in the Gemara (Talmud):
# What are these Three Oaths?
Israel should not storm the wall (Rashi:
forcefully return to the Land of Israel).
Two, the Holy One made Israel take an
oath not to rebel against the nations of the world.
Three, the Holy one made the nations vow
that they would not oppress Israel too much. #
The Torah Jews Against Zionism have taken these Oaths as a prohibition for the
Jewish people to end the Exile, to emigrate to the Promised Land and build there
a state before God allows them to do so and sends the Messiah. This has been
their theological base for a more than a century without any significant
There are a variety of opinions among Jewish Sages on this subject.
The Rambam [Maimondies] may have considered the Oaths as a Divine Decree and as a warning
that these actions would be unsuccessful in his time. Nevertheless, in his "Epistle to the
Jews of Yemen" he interpreted the oaths metaphorically, not literally, and did
not include them in the main work of his life, the "Mishne Torah" as legally,
Rabbi Chaim Vital (16th century Kabbalist) said that, according to our Sages,
the time of these Oaths had expired, because the Oaths were binding only for one
The Ramban [Nachamnides] had never treated the Oaths as Halakhically binding. On
the contrary, he propagates the idea that Jews have to conquer and settle in the
Land of Israel in every generation as a positive commandment, and considered
such actions as a great Mitzvah [commandment, injunction] in the sight of the Lord.
The Maharal of Prague (1525-1609) is often understood as saying that the Oaths were legally
binding and that Jews could not violate them even though the nations threatened to kill them with terrible tortures....
The Oaths are Divine decrees that the Exile cannot be shortened, and our effort to do so
will only end in disaster. The same tragic way as it happened to the descendants
of Ephraim, who tried to shorten the predestined time of exile and hurry the
[ A legend says that members of the
Tribe of Ephraim who were in Egyptian Bondage with the rest of Israel before the Exodus
miscalculated the Time of Redemption.
They thought the time had come 30 years beforehand and attempted to leave. The
Philistines met them and killed some of them so the rest turned back.
"KNOW YOUR BIBLE", I CHRONICLES CHAPTER 7
"And the sons of Ephraim. and the men of
who had been born in the land killed them because they came down to take their
cattle" (1-Chronicles 7: 20-21).
Targum on v 21 brings the story
of how some of the tribe of Ephraim tried to leave Egypt and enter the Promised
Land before the foreordained time, only to lose their lives: "And
his son and Shoothelah
his son and Ezer
were leaders of the House of Ephraim and they calculated the date of the
redemption from the time of God's Covenant between the Pieces with Abraham (Gen.
15:9ff), but they were mistaken because they should have counted from the day of
the birth of Isaac. Thus they went out of Egypt thirty years before the end,
because the Covenant between the Pieces was thirty years before the birth of
Isaac. When they went out of Egypt, 200,000 armed warriors from the tribe of
Ephraim went out with them, but the men of
who were born in the land of the Philistines, killed them because they came down
to capture their cattle"]
The Satmar Rebbe (1887-1979) [head of a Chasidic group originally from
Hungary but now mainly in the USA] built a vehement position against Zionism and
the State of Israel based on the Three Oaths which he valued as strict legal
prohibitions prohibiting the Jewish people to 'ascend like a wall' to the Holy
Land and establish their state. It is the Zionists, he said, who were 'guilty
of the Holocaust and it is because of them that six millions Jews were killed'.
His writings and leadership in this regard have caused deep divisions and hatred
among Jewry, mainly in Orthodox communities, where some radical Torah Jews of
the Naturei Karta cult proclaimed the Jewish State of Israel and the Zionists enemy
#1, and have done everything in their power to dismantle (or destroy) the State
and send the Jewish population back to the countries of their exile, where they
are supposed to wait for permission from Almighty to end the exile and be redeemed.
For the Satmar Rebbe it makes no difference whether the Jews, in their
unquenched lodging for the land of their fathers, repented and turned to God:
'Even if the whole Government were all pious, as men of old, any attempt to take
their freedom prematurely would be to deny the Holy Law and our faith.'
The Religious Zionists have claimed: The Three Oaths were Aggadic (homiletic)
Midrashim, they were not Halakhically obligatory;
The fact that the Jews have returned to
the Promised Land and successfully established the modern State of Israel, which
continues to exist today, is evidence that the Oaths were void and the Divine
Decree has ended.
The nations of the world violated their end of the Oath to
not excessively persecute the Jews, therefore the validity of the other two vows
was nullified, and the Jews were allowed to immigrate to the Land of Israel
The Jewish people could not be considered to have rebelled against
the nations because the UN acknowledged the existence of the Jewish State of Israel.
To put it simpler, the Jews
have not violated any of the Three Oaths of Shir-Ha Shirim.
Anti-Zionists, of course, have denied everything stated above and
maintained that the Three Oaths were Halakhically binding, and therefore the Zionists
were heretics and rebels against God.
'THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM'
'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem.'
Who do they represent, these daughters of Jerusalem?
Are they the Jewish People as Satmar and Naturei Karta claim?
Do the prohibitions of the Three Oaths apply to them?
The answer is - not at all!
In the book, there is a dialogue between the two main characters,
God and His beloved, House of Israel. The Song of Songs was written, when
Solomon was the King of the United Israel, prior its division into the two
separate, politically independent kingdoms of Israel and Judea. Among the
geographical references to the cities and towns in the book, there is no mention
of Samaria, the capital city of Northern Kingdom of Israel, founded later by the
Israelite King Omri (reigned 876-868 b.c.).
The 'daughters of Jerusalem' cannot be the Jewish people. They
are, probably, the [Ten Tribes] People of Israel (the reason we use the word
'probably' is that there is another meaning of 'daughters' as 'heathens destined
to ascend to Jerusalem' or 'the righteous souls'). There is a huge difference
between the Jewish people and the People of Israel. They are not synonymous! If
they were the same, why would God, throughout the Scriptures, have dealt with
[ The writer is working on the
understanding that in prophecy the terms "Israel" refer to the Ten Tribes and
"Judah" to the Jews.
This may hold for most of the Prophetic Books but not for all of them. In the
book of Ezekiel for instance there are passages were the term "Israel"
refers to Jews from the house of Judah. e.g. Ezekiel 2:3,3:17, 8:12, etc.
See the Brit-Am Commentary to Ezekiel.]
Now, let us go back to the Three Oaths. We have learned that the 'Daughters
of Jerusalem' could be translated, besides "the house of Israel', also as
'heathen nations', which resulted in more various interpretations of the Oath
Song of Solomon 1:5 'I am black, but
comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem'' has been explained to mean:
(a) 'Though I am black with sin, I am comely with virtue, O nations who are
destined to ascend to Jerusalem;'
(b)' I am black all the days of the year, and comely on Yom Kippur";
(c) 'I am black in this world, and comely in the world to come.'
In all these verses, explained Rashi, 'the nations of the world' are
figuratively referred to as 'daughters of Jerusalem.'
The Targum, for instance, translated Song of Solomon 2:7 as referring to Moses
charging the Israelites in the desert after return of the spies:
"I adjure you, O assembly of Israel, by
the Lord of Hosts, and by the strength of the land of Israel, that you presume
not to go up to the land of Canaan until it be the will of Heaven".
[Numbers chapters 13 and 14 tells us how
the Israelites sent 12 spies into Canaan as a preliminary step before conquest.
Ten of the Spies brought back a bad report about the Land and the formidable
strength of its inhabitants. The people became afraid and disheartened and
wished to return to Egypt. God was angry with them and decreed that none (apart
from two) of that generation would merit to enter Canaan but they would all die
in the Wilderness and their children take the Land in their place. Numbers
14:39-45 relates that upon receiving this decree the Israelites had a sudden change
of heart and wanted to enter the Land immediately. Moses urged them to stay put
and not go against the will of the Almighty. Nevertheless they went ahead but
were driven back by the
Amalekites and Canaanites. ]
The tractate Kesubos 111a in the Talmud renders this verse as God speaking to
Israel, adjuring Israel not to rebel against the yoke of the nations and not
ascend 'as a wall' to the Holy Land.
Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (1040-1105 a.d.), Teacher of Israel, the Father of all
Commentators, better known by the acronym Rashi, explained the Song of Solomon
1:5; 2:7; 3:5; 8:4 as being Israel speaking to the heathen nations (his opinion
is supported by Sforno and Metzudas David):
'I adjure you, O nations who are
destined to ascend to Jerusalem, lest you become as defenseless as gazelles or
hinds of the field, if you dare cause hatred or disturb the love while it yet
gratifies.' (2:7; 3:5)
'O daughters of Jerusalem' might
be also translated as, 'You nations in whose midst I dwell.' (Rashi)
'If you will wake or rouse the love until it pleases',
Rashi understood it as to say:
'If you will try to sway my
Beloved's love for me by persuasion and incitement to abandon Him, while His
love is still desirous of me',
Rashi interpreted meanings of 'gazelles and hinds of the fields' as
'Know, you nations: Although I complain
and lament, my Beloved holds my hand and is my support throughout my Exile.'
What a difference of meanings is derived if one takes the 'daughters' as meaning
the 'heathen nations'!
In verse 8:4 the adjuration sounds a little different.it lacks the previous the threatening of
making trhem as vulnerable as the 'gazelles and hinds of the field,' because the timing of this adjuration (in this verse) is
Closer to the Final Redemption, and its purpose is not to frighten the nations, but to let
them know that whatever they plot, their efforts to disturb God's love for
Israel are in vain (Divrey Yedidiah).
'If you keep the adjuration, well and
good; but if not, - you will become ownerless and your flesh will become pray
like that of the animals of the field.'
Targum explains that in verse 8:4 it is the Messiah talking to Israel
'I adjure you, O my people of the house of Israel, why do you
war against the nations of the earth to leave the exile? Stay here a little
longer, until the nations who have come up to wage war against Jerusalem will be
destroyed; and after that the Lord of the Universe will recall the love of the
righteous, and it will be His will to redeem you.'
This is a quiet interesting translation! First of all, why would the
'nations wage war against Jerusalem and be destroyed'? Against what nation in
Jerusalem? Arabs? Chinese? Europians? Not so! The heathen nations of the world
will wage war against the Judah, i.e. the present Israelis who will happened to live in the Holy Land
and in Jerusalem, right in the aftermath of the 'Wound of Judah', which may result from the iniquitous
ongoing "Peace Process". This is according to God's will as expressed
in the Bible's prophecies of Zechariah 12 and 14; Zephaniah 2:7; Hosea
5:13 and many others.
Secondly, why will the nations be destroyed?
Because God will protect Judah, His servant, against the murderous armies of God's
haters, the same way as He will protect Israel (The Ten Tribes) in the battle of Gog
and Magog with the same results (Ezekiel 38, 39).
As we can see, the allegorical interpretations of the Three Oaths by the
Sages are very different and lead to various conclusions.
It is not surprising, that the Ramban [Nachmanides] implicitly rejected the
Three Oaths as Halakhically binding because to treat them as such would
effectively nullify a Biblical commandment:
'The Jew in every generation has a
positive commandment to attempt to conquer the Land of Israel.' (Numbers 33:53).
Analyzing the Three Oaths, we suddenly discovered some very important
'Daughters of Jerusalem' are the same heathen nations, 'who are destined to
ascend against Jerusalem to wage war' and be destroyed. This future event was
precisely prophesied by God in Zechariah 12:2-3, 9 and 14:2-3.
'Behold, I will make Jerusalem a
cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the
siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem' (Zechariah 12:2).
In the next verse the prophet indeed confirmed that all heathen nations of the
world will attack Jerusalem:
'And in that day will I make
Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it
shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together
against it' (Zechariah 12:3).
God Himself will defend the Jewish people and Jerusalem,
'And it shall come to pass in that day,
that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.' (Zech
From being the most excellent Song of human love, Shir Ha Shirim is changed into
a book with a deep prophecy inside, Divinely connected to the prophetic Word,
the holiest book of the Bible.
'The entire universe is unworthy
of the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel. All the Writings are
holy, but the Song of Songs is the holy of holies,' said Rabbi
Maimonides in his Epistle to the Jews of Yemen, "Iggeret Le-Teiman", wrote:
'Solomon, of blessed memory, foresaw
with Divine inspiration, that the prolonged duration of the exile would incite
some of our people to seek to terminate it before the appointed time, and as a
consequence they would perish or meet with disaster. Therefore he admonished and
adjured them in metaphorical language to desist, as we read, 'I adjured you, O
daughters of Jerusalem' (Song of Songs 2:7; 8:4). Now, brethren and friends,
abide by the oath, and stir not up love until it please' (Ketubot
We would like to make a little comment on it. According to traditional
rabbinical sources, King Solomon completed building the first Temple in
Jerusalem in 960 b.c. In his dedication speech on opening ceremony in front of
the 'assembled elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of
the fathers of the children of Israel'. Solomon foresaw with Divine inspiration,
that the Israelites for their sin and disobedience will be punished by God and
sent into exile to the lands of their enemies. It was the best time for Solomon to
make the People of Israel swear to abide by the 'prohibition' Oaths, if it would have been
necessary. Instead, Solomon prayed to God in plain literal, not metaphorical
or allegorical language, as follows:
'When Thy people Israel be smitten down
before the enemy, because they have sinned against Thee, and shall turn again to
Thee, and confess Thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto Thee in this
house; Then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel, and
bring them again unto the land which Thou
unto their fathers.' (1-Kings 8:1, 33-34)
Solomon did not mention any prohibitions or oaths in his divinely
inspired speech, nothing concerning rules and conditions of the exile. All he
asked the Almighty to do was to listen to the repentance and prayers of the
children of Israel in the time of need and forgive their transgressions, and
restore them to the Promised Land. Not even a hint of how long the exile would be.
There is no indication here whether Israel should end the exile on its own or wait for the Messiah.
Nothing that says they are to emmigrate to the Promised Land 'en masse' or like 'a door'in small numbers.
They are not told if they should be obedient citizens and 'pray for the welfare' of the countries of their exile,
and not to rebel against the nations.
It laso doesn ot say that the nations of the world were adjured not to
oppress Israel too much.
Solomon said nothing along these lines!
The old questions still have not been answered: When and where did the
People of Israel or the Jewish people make these Oaths? And what about the
heathen nations? When and where had God made the heathen swear not to overly
persecute Israel in their 'host' countries?
And how much is 'overly'? Why would God impose such an obligation on the
nations, if they know nothing about it?
Rebbe Avnei Neizer (Stones of the Crown, 1870-1910) commented that since the
Gemara (Talmud) was not clear about determining the precise definition and
parameters of the term 'not enslaving Israel too much', it could not be
understood as having Halakhic force.
He also taught that 'the Daughters of Jerusalem' were 'the souls of the
The main point he made was that the Oaths were not meant as an Halakhic
injunction because they were not worded in a Halakhically mandated manner nor were
they specific enough in definition, especially as applies to the third Oath
given to the heathen nations of the world.
If we were to take the meaning of 'Daughters of Jerusalem' as being the 'heathen nations' of
the world who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem and be destroyed by God, there
remains no validity for the Three prohibitory Oaths to be applied against Israel in the Song of
Songs; This conclusion would not take from the book its holiness and greatness
Despite this possibility, let us first examine an application of the 'Daughters of Jerusalem' as meaning
DO NOT ASCEND AS A WALL!
This is the first prohibition to Israel:
Do not forcefully storm the wall, do
not come back to the Promised Land 'en masse.'
Or, as Rabbi Chelbo said, 'do not ascend like a wall from the Exile.
If so, why
is the King Messiah coming? To gather the exiles of Israel?
Beside the fact that we already indicated that Israel is not Judah, and that the
People of Israel are not the same as the Jewish people, the prohibition 'do not
ascend as a wall' can no longer apply to Judah.
The grievous violations of the nations against Jewish people, and the consequent Resolution of the United Nations
have nullified the Oaths.
The Oaths were only in effect for a thousand years.
At all events, they are not Halakhically binding.
Many great Sages of Israel had
Beside all of this, we still can not see how the immigration of
the Jewish people before the establishing of the State of Israel, and during or after
it, might be considered as a mass immigration of the house of Israel 'en masse'
or as a 'wall'. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject of the immigration to
Israel as a 'wall' and as a 'door' in connection with the Tree Oaths of Solomon.
Everybody seems to have forgotten that there are two main characters in the Song of Solomon.
God praises Israel and Israel praises God. There is no name of Judah mentioned anywhere in the book!
The Three Oath Prohibitions were designed only for Israel and the particular
time of Final Redemption and Advent of the Messiah, son of Joseph.
Fine, Judah was part of the Twelve Tribes of the house of Israel
before the United Monarchy split, but after the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel
had gone into exile and disappeared until the appointed time to meet their
future destiny, the two and a half tribes of Judah will remain a separate and
different entity. Judah can not bear the name of Israel, because it does not
belong to him. This name belongs to Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:5, 16).
As we explained elsewhere, the Almighty has dealt with Israel
and Judah separately until the final Redemption and Reunification in the end of
Times, in the 'Latter Days' and advent of the Messiah. (Ezek. 37:24).
Nowhere in the Scriptures does God say that Israel is Judah,
and Judah is Israel!
To demonstrate that immigrating 'en masse' or 'ascending like a wall'
of the Jews to the Holy Land has no sense and doesn't hold up to criticism, when
examining the mass immigration of any nation in numbers, and particularly the
Jewish nation, all we have to do is to use the simple mathematic.
In the beginning of the 20th century, between 1919-1923, in the wake of
WWI, 40,000 Jews arrived to Palestine, mainly from Russia.
Between 1924-1929 another 59,000 immigrants settled in Eretz Yisroel [the Land of Israel] from Poland
During the period 1929-1939, with the rise of Nazism in Germany, 250,000 immigrants
arrived, mostly from Eastern Europe as well as professionals, doctors, lawyers
and professors from Germany. By 1940 the Jewish population in Palestine had
As a result of the Arab- Jews tensions, leading to a series of bloody Arab
riots in 1929 and the 'Great Uprising' of 1936-1939; and in order to please
their oil rich Arab partners and protect their own oil interests in the Middle
East, the British issued the White Paper of 1939, severely restricting Jewish
immigration to a limit of 75,000 for five years.
Despite the British effort to curb the illegal immigration, during 14 years of
its operation from 1933-1948, Aliyah Bet smuggled& a total of 110,000 Jewish
immigrants into Palestine.
The largest immigration of the Jews was recorded in 1948-1950, when new
waves of anti-Semitism and persecution resurged in Eastern Europe, and in
increasingly hostile Arab countries. The total numbers of refugees reached over
If we look at the immigration by separate countries, numbers of Jewish
immigrants are so small and insignificant, that one can not call it ascending as
'a wall' or 'en masse.'
Let's take the former USSR, the larger contributor of immigrants, for
example. In 1968 exit visas to Israel were given to 231 Jews; in 1972 - 31,652;
in 1978-12,090; in 1984- 340.
You can not call it mass immigration, and by no means can immigration in
stages by small numbers of people be described as 'ascending as a wall'. But this is only
the first part of the equation. The second part is the following: What is the population
of Israel now? Before we answer to this question, let us see what the Bible said on this matter.
God said to Abraham: 'In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will
multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand of the sea shore.' (Genesis 23:17).
To Isaac God said: 'And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of
heaven. (Genesis 26:4).
To Rebecca: 'And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, Thou art our sister,
be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate
of those which hate them.' (Genesis 24:60).
The promise of Multiplication was reaffirmed by God to Jacob: ' a) And thy
seed shall be as the dust of the earth, b) and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east,
and to the north, and to the south: c) and in thee and thy seed shall all the
families of the earth be blessed.'
And more, which is very important for our discussion here:
'And, behold, I am with thee, and will
keep thee in all places whither thou
and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I
have done that which I have spoken to thee of.' (Genesis 28:14-15)
In these two verses we have found a treasure-trove.
Remember, God changed the name of Jacob to Israel' (Genesis 32:27; 35:10).
So, we find that Israel will multiply as the stars of the heaven and
as the sand of the sea shore, which undoubtly means hundreds of millions of people;
that the House of Israel will spread abroad to the four corners of the globe; that
God will be always with Israel, and bring them to the Holy Land again; that all
the nations of the world will be blessed through Israel; and that God would not leave
Israel until everything written and spoken will be done.
Clearly, God does not speak here about Jewish people,
whose total population in the world today numbers 13,155,000, of which 5,634,300
live in the state of Israel, and the rest are in the Diaspora, mainly in USA
6,444,000. And the Jews have had no nations and kingdoms, except that of
Judea in the past and the modern State of Israel today. Meanwhile God predicted to
Israel that 'a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings
shall come out of thy lions;' 'I will make of thee a multitude of people.'
(Genesis 35:11; 48:4) Surely it is not referring to Judah, but to Israel!
Today's total population of the House of Israel in the world, the so
called 'Lost' Ten Tribes, are about 450,000,000 people! And the tribes of Israel
have never been lost, at least not for the Almighty God. These tribes are around
us, some of them, such as the United States of America (Manasseh) are among the mightiest countries of the world.
Others have lost some of their greatness having
formerly been an Empire or Commonwealth such as Britain (Ephraim) was. Others are otherwise
distinguished e.g. Australia, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland and
others. They are all Israelite countries, originating from Israel's Tribes. If
somebody wants to know much more about this subject, we gladly recommend
visiting the web-site of:
The Brit-Am, Movement of the Ten Tribes of Israel.
Brit-Am is headed by its
founder, Yair Davidiy from Jerusalem, a very knowledgeable and dedicated man.
All the Scriptures and Sages say that the Israelite Ten
Tribes eventually will return to the Promised Land and receive the Heavenly
Torah once more. Whosoever does not accept this plain Biblical truth is guilty
of denying the Word of God.
There are many people, Jews and Gentiles alike, who have understood
these prophecies of the End of Days; who have found and rightfully identified
the countries of Israelite origin, and have feverously worked towards the
awakening and reunification of all families of Israel in order to fulfill the
prophecies of final redemption and the Messianic Age.
Back to the prohibitions of the Three Oaths: Like Rabbi Chanina
said in the Gemara (Talmud), the Holy One had made Israel take these Oaths.
Israel was prohibited to ascend as 'a wall' 'en masse' to the Promised Land.
Keep in mind that the population of the Ten Tribes of Israel is approximately
450,000,000 people, plus ca. 13,000,000 million of Judah bringing the total to
ca. 463,000,000 million. The Jews (even including those who were born in the
state of Israel), in numerous stages of immigration, for one hundred and ten
years in the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century have managed to bring
5.6 million people to the land of Israel. This makes only 0.12% of the total
population of Israel. How in the world can one call this kind of immigration as
'ascending as a wall' or in 'en masse'? It simply goes against logic and any
kind of imagination!
Since we have established the truth: that Israel, the Ten Tribes in
Exile, and Judah, the Jewish nation, modern Israelis, are not the same people
today and, in fact, are completely different nations, living in different
countries of the world; that God has separate Prophetic Plans for both entities,
and He will deal with them in such regard until the End of the Days; we feel
that there is no need to continue our discussion against the Satmar group and
Naturei Karta radicals because we have successfully made our case.
Even if the 'Daughters of Jerusalem' in verses 1:5; 2:7; 3:5; and 8:4 of the
Songs represent Israel (who is the 'Beloved' then?
Isn't it commonly accepted that the 'Beloved' is Israel?), as in tractate Ketubot [also pronounced as "Kesubos"]
111a, and not 'heathen nations who are destined to ascend against Jerusalem? as
Rashi, Sforno, Metzudas David and others translated, or 'the souls of the
righteous', as written in the holy Zohar Vayechy (242a)?; none of the three
prohibition Oaths can apply to Judah, because they were designed for Israel, the
Ten Tribes in Exile, which is not the same!
In Song of Solomon 8:8, 'We have a little sister, and she has no
breasts; what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken
Ramban interpreted 'little sister' as Israel in Exile, and the Angels of Heaven
asked 'what shall we do with her?' She is not ready for Redemption (she is not
yet ripe for Redemption, Rashi); for she has been exiled from Eretz Yisrael, the
Land of Life, and separated from the place of Torah. The Great Ramban knew
precisely who the Ten Tribes are, and where they were living in Exile!
'For a long time Israel had been without
the true God, And without a teaching priest and without Torah.'
And without the great leaders like Moses, Aaron or David, we should add.
Metzudas David translated this verse differently: It is the Jewish
people at the time of imminent Redemption who are asking this question about the
fate of their brothers Israel, the Ten Tribes, who are still scattered in exile
and unprepared for Salvation (He perfectly understood the subject of Judah and
'By what merit, Israel asks, will they become deserving of Your
deliverance at the predestined time?'
'If she be a wall,' God answered.
Rashi commented:' If Israel will gird herself with faith and act towards the
nations as if fortified with walls of brass (Jeremiah 1:18), which they cannot
infiltrate, than shall we be with her, and the nations shall have no power to
rule over her.'
And what was the response of 'a little sister'?
In verse 8:10 Israel proudly and
'I am a wall, and my breasts like towers.'
translated: # Your fear is unjustified. I comfort myself not like the 'door',
but like the 'wall.' You thought me not ripe for Redemption, know that I am
quiet ripe: my synagogues and study-houses, which nurture Israel with words of
Torah, are like towers# (i.e. fortifying and serving as towers of strength for
Speaking of the terms 'door' and 'wall', we can assure our readers
that in 1948 Judah did ascend to the Land of Israel like a 'door' ( in small
numbers), but the Ten Tribes of Israel in the future, when they will be ready
('ripe') and when the appointed time arrives, together with the remnants of
Judah in the Diaspora, will definitely ascend to the Land of their fathers like
'a wall'! ('en masse').
The Three Oaths might be a future guide for Joseph (Israel), when
they will awaken to their Israelite identity (with the help of Judah, Jeremiah
3:18) and turn to God with repentance and prayers; and God will hear them, and
will sent the Messiah, son of Joseph, who will successfully fight God's wars,
rebuild the Temple and bring the Tribes of Israel to the Promised Land for
reunification with Judah and final Redemption with the advent of Messiah, son of
David. (There are Talmudic opinions that the interval between the two Messiahs
will be 40 years).
Elsewhere we have discussed the Zionists and their State of Israel.
We have proven in detail by Scriptures, that Almighty God prophesied and blessed
the immigration of the Jewish nation to the Promised Land and the establishment
of the State of Israel as the first stage of Return and Final Redemption.
Meanwhile, there is no single word in the Hebrew Bible suggesting that Israel
(the Ten Tribes) rebelled against the nations of the exile, immigrated to the
Holy Land as a 'wall', 'en masse' or restored the Kingdom of Israel without the
permission of God. Nothing of this has yet transpired. The Last Exodus of the
House of Israel (i.e. Ten Tribes) and the rest of the Judah definitely will take
place in the not so distant future, as will everything else, prophesied by our
Creator, the God of Israel.
Those Jewish anti-Zionists, who call themselves the True Torah Jews,
ought to re-evaluate their position and reexamine the Torah and Scriptures more
carefully in a new direction, rather than spend their time on the political
front, organizing demonstrations against Israel and its leaders, embracing the
enemies of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, endangering the lives and
wellbeing of the Jewish nation, to whom they belong.
We hope, that this work will help them to understand God's Plan for the
'last years', and through an act of repentance before God and the people they have
offended; with their new knowledge and love of God, they will go to their
brothers and sisters of the Ten Tribes of Israel to bring them the light of the
Torah; to help them to awaken for their and our glorious Divine Destiny, the
last Exodus, Reunification and the Final Redemption on the Mountains of Israel.
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by Alexander Zephyr.
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