Now also a National ‘Rebirth’?
By OvadYah Avrahami – from the COI, Judah Platform
The COI Vision is all about promoting Reconciliation between the two opposing and greatly divided Houses of the original Biblical nation of Israel, i.e. Judah and Ephraim. This destructive Family feud has been reigning for 2,700 years now – but it seems that we are reaching the end. Awakening is happening on both sides – reconciliation is in progress on various fronts and Peace is looming.
The major part of the Ephraimite Re-awakening is driven by a spiritual religious rejuvenation which Ephraimites themselves refer to as a ‘rebirth’. The trend towards reconciliation between the two estranged Houses of Israel (the foundational pillar of the COI Vision), has now extended the parameters of this ‘rebirth’ beyond spiritual values only. It now targets cultural and even national values also, to form the ‘Nation of the God of Israel’ – His Kingdom …. The “Two Sticks becoming One” of Ezekiel 37. This really completes the Rebirth.
This formation of the Kingdom of God which is now coming under the spotlight right across the world, takes on an extra dimension which calls for even greater consideration to remove disturbing factors, for it is more than the formation of a nation – it is the reconciliation of two sections of the same nation which have become enemies of each other; two greatly and totally opposed cultures; two opposing religions.
As in the case of a marriage formation or restitution, issues that cause friction have to be discarded; actions disapproved of by either party have to be regulated and corrected to assure peaceful co-habitation. A specific family culture has to be adopted and respectfully pursued. Even vocabulary needs adjusting and refreshing.
One such restitution that requires serious consideration is the ever increasing usage by Ephraim of the word ‘Abba’ to refer to the Most High. Though it is a Hebrew word, ‘abba’ (father) is not in popular usage as a reference to the God of Israel in Judaism which holds an extreme level of respect for God. ‘Abba’ is the form of address used by every child in Israel towards their earthly parent, father. It is more in the sense of ‘Daddy’ while the more respectful word is ‘Av’ (father). There are similar occurrences in many other languages but we will discuss here only the English version: ‘Father’ as opposed to ‘Dad’. In addition there is Pappa or Daddy which are more familial enduring usages to address one’s earthly father. In common, ‘father’ is a more respectful way of address, as opposed to the more casual ‘Dad’ or ‘Daddy’.
Now fondly as this address of the Most Holy may be for Ephraimites, it does not say much for their submission to the One so lofty and respected by Judah. There are Ephraimites who, believe it or not, do not hesitate to refer to Him as ‘Big Daddy’ – and that after all is the impression that calling Him ‘Abba’ leaves with Jews. It is truly inconceivable that the Supreme Deity could be addressed as ‘Daddy’ in public. and few Ephraimites would use such address in English for the Most High. This does not refer to private and intimate communication with God by a worshipper. Then why use the Hebrew word which publicly infers disrespect? This does not make for Reconciliation.
Additionally, this form of address used by Ephraimites in Jewish company immediately labels reawakening Ephraimite returnees as ‘that opposing faction which does not revere the Judaism of the Bible and the Torah. It builds walls of Division rather than advance reconciliation.
To rectify this disturbing element in the reconciliation process, COI has drawn attention to the correct usage and address by way of a stirring Song from the Jewish High Holyday liturgy which expresses the true respect and adoration for the Supreme One. You can listen to this song in our Music Studio on the COI Web Site here. May this rendering by Babra Streisand move our beloved reawakening Ephraimites to address Him as ‘Avinu’ – Our Father, as Ephraim’s NT renders it in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ – or will they here also pray, “Our dear Dad Who is in heaven…?”
PS. ‘Avinu’ is the plural conjunction of ‘Av’, i.e. ‘our father’