Study Shows World Is Moving Towards Judaism. But Is Israel Ready?
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz March 15, 2017
ְנִלְווּ גוֹיִם רַבִּים אֶל-יְהוָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם; וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְתוֹכֵךְ
וְיָדַעַתְּ, כִּי-יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלָיִךְ.
“Many nations (Hebr, Goyim) will bind themselves to the Lord on that day. They will be my people (nation), and I will dwell in your midst.”
Falashmura Ethiopians (Vimeo screen capture)
Millions of people around the world are connecting to Judaism in a historically unprecedented way which could greatly benefit Israel, but the movement is encountering challenges from within Israel and Judaism over the definition of ‘what is a Jew’. One prominent rabbi believes the rabbinic authorities are failing in what he believes is this generation’s most important prophetic imperative.
In their recent book, Becoming Jewish: New Jews and Emerging Jewish Communities in a Globalized World, Dr. Netanel Fisher, of the Open University of Israel, and Professor Tudor Parfitt, from Florida International University, revealed that millions of people around the world are discovering their ancestral roots in the Jewish People. This includes the Igbo and Lemba of Africa, Bnei Menashe from India, Chinese Jews of Khaifeng, and millions of descendants of Anousim, Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism during the Iberian Inquisition.
According to Rabbi Chaim Amsalem, a prominent Sephardi rabbi, recognized authority on halacha (Torah law), and former Knesset member, connecting to these people is the most important mission for the Jewish People today.
“We have to go out and do everything in our power to return them. It is commanded to us in prophecy,” Rabbi Amsalem told Breaking Israel News, quoting Ezekiel.
The weak have ye not strengthened neither have ye healed that which was sick neither have ye bound up that which was broken neither have ye brought back that which was driven away neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force have ye ruled over them and with rigour. Ezekiel 34:4
“That is our mission in this generation,” Rabbi Amsalem said. “We are blessed with new tools, genetic and academic, to investigate this and to determine who has Jewish roots.”
The rabbi noted that as important as the mission is, rabbinic authorities are struggling to respond. “The rabbinic authorities are not even coping with the hundreds of thousands of descendants of Jews in Israel right now, and their problems with their Jewish status,” he said.
The study by Fisher and Parfitt confirm the rabbi’s claim against the rabbinic authorities. According to the study, there are today 300,000 residents of Israel who made aliyah – immigrated to Israel – under the Law of Return but are not considered Jewish according to Jewish law. Only 25,000 of those residents have converted, meaning 250,000 Israelis are not considered Jewish, though they are now a part of the Jewish State.
Dr. Fisher described an even more surprising phenomenon revealed by his study: millions of people outside of Israel with no genealogical connection are connecting to Judaism for spiritual reasons. This movement, he believes, creates an even greater conflict within the Orthodox Jewish world.
“There is a big fight inside the Jewish world as to whether to accept this new movement,” explained Dr. Fisher. “The traditional Orthodox point of view is to reject this movement, because these people may not intend to keep a traditional Jewish lifestyle. The Orthodox see this as fake, diluting Judaism. They see it even as a threat, because it lures away the borderline Jews. As a result, discouraging conversion has grown in recent years.”
Ivanka Trump (Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com)
Dr. Fisher noted that this global religious phenomenon of connecting to the Jewish People is very recent, and he credits it to the creation of the modern State of Israel.
“The US president’s daughter can marry a Jew, and you won’t have a single person viewing it as degradation,” Fisher notes. “Fifty years ago, it would never have happened that prominent people openly married Jews. It is a new phenomenon that so many people in America now want to connect to Judaism. If you connect the dots , Ivanka, Russians in Israel, and all the people in Africa and around the world, all this is happening in the last decade. People want to be part of the Jewish story. It is an enormous change.”
(End of article)
COMMENT FROM COI Judah Platform
We have some very prominent names here who comment on this Phenomenon.
As per the norm, this article once again features Africa and the East only. While there are murmurings in this article which could be construed as referring to the masses of Western Ephraimites who are turning towards Torah, it is clear that these leading commentators probably have no concept of how this fits into the Prophetic Promises of ‘The Return of Ephraim / Yosef” which is now raging and increasingly so, throughout the world.
This confusion lurks right from the first sentence of this Report down: “… millions of people with JEWISH Roots.” Should that not be “Israelite Roots” – “Hebrew Roots” as these millions in the West refer to themselves? Unlike other Jewish commentators (like Rav Avraham Feld and Yair Davidiy) I personally do not claim them to be ‘only’ from the West, neither ‘only’ from Africa and the East. I think Scripture and logic is clear enough that they are from ALL the Ends of the World – every corner as repeatedly stated “North, West, South and East.
2nd par.: “…millions of people around the world are discovering their ancestral roots in the Jewish People. “ Should that not read “roots in the Israelite / Hebrew people?” (which is required to be Torah based under the Mechoqeck Mandate entrusted to Judah (Gen. 439:10).
I was distraught after a recent discussion with a Rabbi who is equally exposed to this Phenomenon, when he clearly expressed the need to ‘bring lost Jews” back with no concern seemingly for Lost Ten Tribers. According to him (and it seems to me, Rabbinism generally) Judah IS 12-Israel and that there are only lost Jews out there. Surely this makes ridicule of the millions of Ten Tribers from Northern Israel who were evicted and exiled by HaShem after the split of the Kingdom in Solomon’s time? And of the Promise to re-identify and bring 10-Israel back in the End Times? Ref. the repeated emphasis on this in the extract of Prophecies we feature on the KHT Web Site at http://www.kolhator.org.il/bible_confirmations.php
This concept held by most Rabbis, it seems, overlooks the very Divine Intent to have exiled 10-Israel amongst the nations – NOT as Jews, but as ‘Israelites’ to serve as a Testimony to Him (when He restores them in the End Times as prophesied unendingly. The binding factor is Torah Judaism, over which Judah has been mandated the Mechoqeck (Lawgiver, judicial) status.
The ‘Jewish’ effect of this entire End Time Revelation of re- identifying 10-Israel is a return to Judaism – sure. And for that reason Returnees should convert. We find though, in the ‘market place’, that this is the greatest obstacle for Ephraimites: the idea to ‘have to’ become ‘Jews’. They rightly claim that they are not of the Tribe of Judah. So we have a ginormous clash of interests between the two here (which is exactly what we are trying to overcome with the COI Vision and the Conference).
We need to clearly define what the relationship between Judah and 12-Israel is? During the time of Solomon and after, who were ‘the Jews’? All of 12-Israel or only the Tribe of Judah (and of course those who wanted to join Judah in order to serve HaShem the Torah way).
It seems that Rabbis are missing the entire point today of an ‘innumerable mass’ of GOYIM (yes!!!!- as promised by G-d to Sarah and Ephraim in so many definite words) who are our ‘Captive Brothers’ .
The strong point of this article is that “the rabbinic authorities are failing in this generation’s most important prophetic imperative.”
We cannot even solve the 3-400,000 Russian / Israelite ‘Jewish’ problem right on our door step. How on earth are we going to accommodate one billion ‘Egyptian / Yosephite Captives’?
We serve the G-d of Miracles – but we have to do the walking, talking, planning and warring to have Him achieve it. Am I right?
I believe so, yes.
This review and conclusions mentioned above brought me to a clearer understanding of Judah’s treatment of this Phenomenon generally. This book’s reviews seem to all be about those non-Jews who identify with and want to identify with Judah and Judaism.. Rightly, many of those whom they do recognize then are probably lost Jews rather than lost Ten Tribers (Ephraimites, the ‘House of Israel’ – who are destined by Prophecy to be re-identified and returned in the End Time. But even here, there is a lot of confusion, like with the B’ney Menashe from India – in one breath they are referred to as lost Jews, in another as lost Tribes. The main feature though of these people are that they want to be and claim to be Jews – as even the Ethiopians do. And in their countries they have synagogue type of services. They probably also are not mixed up with Christianity.
The massive group though that we at COI observe internationally, are generally ‘ex-patriots’’ from the Church. Their being drawn to Torah and Jewish rituals takes them out of and away from the Church. However, they generally still maintain Christian type worship centers rather than synagogue type. And they are generally vehemently opposing of taking on Jewish identity. The concept of Jewish conversion is abhorrent to them. In the process of Hebraic Restoration that they are involved with though, the religious evolutionary process increasingly evolves towards a desire to convert.
There no doubt are also many lost Jews amongst this group, but who have been caught up in Christian Messianic theology and practice. This does NOT and could not possibly affect their Hebraic identity as Lost Tribers or Lost Jews. Interestingly, some of their commentators claim that their Messiah is really the Messiah ben Yosef of Judaism. Some would quote the Gaon of Vilna who in his writings observes that “it is Messiah ben Yosef’s main mandate to bring Israel back into Covenant with Torah.” Their having been cut off from the Covenant at the time of their exile (after Solomon kingdom split) they claim, requires such ‘reconnection’ to the Covenant. Judah who has never been cut off from the Covenant therefore does not need the Messiah ben Yosef, they say. This eliminates all attempts of such Ephraimites to proselytize Jews.
It seems then that the main difference between these two groups is their desire to identify with Halachic Judaism or not. Because the African and Easterners generally opt for Judaism, they are more acceptable to Jews.