Archive for the ‘Judaism’ Category

Facing the biggest problem

July 10, 2017

Choosing between being Jew or gentile. I think this was what Paul had in mind when writing Romans 9 and thinking about his people. “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people.” (Rom.9:2-3) The question was (as it seems to me) whether to be with them under the curse of denying Jesus, or to be with those outlawed of Judaism and mostly gentiles believers. But Paul rejoiced however to be with the latter because he firmly believed Jesus was the Messiah. In Romans 9-11 he pointed out what the matter was of the Jewish people; they would go in exile for the sake of the gentiles. (Rom.11:11)

This was a great choice. Paul saw that he couldn’t be part of the Jewish people because of their denial of the Messiah, since he opposed to them, clearly saw the Messiah.

I can feel that today similar circumstances are in place when a Jewish believer clings to Messianic Judaism. He also has a choice. But that choice easily could culminate in accepting or rejecting Jesus.

In fact it should be that there was no choice at all. But we have yet the same Jewish people as in the time of Paul: you will not be accepted if you believe in Jesus, and hitherto you will not be a “real” orthodox jew.

It looks like the Jewish people must first recognize the Messiah as a nation, as a whole people.

Orthodox Jewry does not accept Messianic Jews. Even in politics. When they apply for citizenship during the immigration process, their application is denied simply because they believe in Jesus as their messiah. It looks like this is even against the Jewish Law of Return, but this is still how it goes.

Obviously, there will be other times ahead of us. For now we have to deal with this situation.

Report of lecture of Rabbi Chaim at Nijkerk

April 4, 2014

A report of a lecture (4/2/2014) given by Rabbi Chaim Eisen, an orthodox Rabbi in Jerusalem, dean at Yeshivath Sharashim, lecturer at Orthodox Union. Organized by Christians for Israel at Nijkerk, the Netherlands.

Lecture can be downloaded here.

The topic was: Israel, the heart of the nations.

The topic doesn’t come from scripture. Heart isn’t used as a metaphor in the Bible. It comes from Kuzari, a book of Rabbi Jehudah haLevi. (Completed not long before his dead in 1141.)

Rabbi Chaim began with ps. 1:2. Blessed is the man whose delight is in de Torah of the Lord. He desires the word of God. I that sense, she stressed that the audience chose the topic.

The foundation of Israel lies in the verse Ex. 19:5, particular the word segulah, be mine. This word also appears in the verses Ecclesia 2:8 and 1 Chronicles 29:3. Where it means a (royal) property.

Then he goes on showing Israel as to be a light for the nations. This is written so in Deuteronomy 26:17-19. It is about being “for a praise and for renown and for glory” of God.

This is seen in different verses.

Isaiah 60:3 (nations will go by your light)
Exodus 19:6 (Holy nation)
Isaiah 61:6 (Holy nation / priests of God)
Priests are servants of God, teachers (Leviticus 10:11, Deu.34:10)
Ez.44 vision of the future priesthood
Mal.2:1, 6-7 (The Torah of truth was in the mouth of the priests)
Isaiah 42:6, 49:6 (de servant of Israel) Isaiah speaks about the suffering servant.

Priests are there to teach the people. In the time of the temple there were many priests. Priests served in the Temple at least (and usually only) two weeks a year, on a once in 24 week rotation. What did they do in the other time? Teaching.

And who is Israel? Israel is the firstborn son. But he is not the only son! Many are the sons of God. And God cares about all the people, He has compassion on everything, even animals. (Jonah 4:10-11)

Israel leads all humanity. Deu.27:2 When Israel entered the Jordan to go to the land, they wrote down the Torah in 70 languages, well explained. That means for all the people. And verse 9 says: This day, this very day, you’ll become Gods people. If you do this. So it is a priestly task to teach the world.

In the afternoon the part of the suffering servant came. Suffering also is a great deal of the people of Israel. Amos 3:2 states: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

Now he first pointed us to the origin of the expression “Israel as the heart of the nations”.

First it is found in the Zohar, volume 3, page 221b: “The Holy One blessed be He made Israel into the heart of the world.” From that centre (the temple) they have to teach the Torah. But the heart also experience anguish and suffering.

Secondly it is found in the classic work of Rabban Jehudah ha Levi, his book Kuzari. Jehudah haLevi was a physician and he described Israel as the heart among the nations. The heart is the most central part of the body affected by all physical, mental and emotional circumstances. The heart can be most diseased and most healthy. That’s how Israel suffers in an unrighteous world. It’s a curse and a blessing too to be such a people.

I personally was thinking about Romans 9:1 where the apostle Paul was anguishly regisaiah-53-5retting the fact that Israel didn’t accept their Messiah, their suffering Messiah. Paul also rightly saw Israel as the heart of the world. And he knew too that Israel would be completely restored and he ended up in a blessing: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God … For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom.11:33-36)

The iniquity must reach its full measure as we can learn from Gen.15:16. In contrast to Israel, the Emorites were not punished constantly, which led to their destruction. Israel is punished continuously. Israel must bear his iniquity.

A principle of Jehudah haLevi is the suffering of the Servant in Is. 53.

Who is My Servant (avdi)?

Rabbi Chaim gave us an investigation. All places in Isaiah where my servant (avdi) is written, are given here:

reference – meaning

Not Israel:
Is. 20:3 – Isaiah
Is. 37:35 – David
Explicit Israel:
Is. 41:8 – Israel /Jacob
Is. 43:10 – Jacob / Israel (it refers to verse 1)
Is. 44:1 – Jacob / Israel (also verse 2)
Is. 45:4 – Jacob / Israel
Is. 48:20 – Jacob
Anonymous:
Is. 42:1-  18-19  (verse 22 is people)
Is. 49:  (perhaps Isaiah or Israel)
Is. 52/53 (could be Messiah, Israel or prophet Isaiah.)

The suffering servant who bears the pain of the nations is Israel. And how do we respond to the multiple possible explanations of prophecy? The answer is: humility. Just be humble, until dawn breaks through.

Conversations between Jews and Christians in the past almost 2000 years often were harsh and disputes were one against the other, said Rabbi Chaim. But now times are changed. It’s a blessing to be here together. To learn from scripture. We share the same word, the Tenach. This was also the base of Jesus and the apostles. They were Jews who taught according to the Jewish way of teaching. They often taught in a midrashic way. As an example of approaching midrash, Rabbi Chaim gave us a tradition which shows that the words of Psalm 22:1 were explained as meant for, and used by queen Esther. When she came before the great king Ahasuerus (which was a death sentence to do unsolicited) she was very afraid and said: Eli, Eli, lama asavtani! (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?)

In that manner of applying midrash, Jesus and the apostles also explained scripture, he said.

What a beautiful tradition! In the same way Jesus used these words when he came before the Kings of Kings, just before his dead, he cited these famous words! However, (what a blessing!) God didn’t forsaken Him and all those who are with Him.

The most intriguing answer on that day for me was definitely on my question on what does suffering means. His response: “What a blessing!”. Wow, such an answer! Here we are. Just my thoughts: How close did we come together although the differences are as high as the sky? Where’s the real Christian? Where’s the real Jew? Aren’t they both suffering a lot? And they both would answer with Asaph in psalm 73 the last verse: In all the punishment and suffering: It is good for me, to be close with God. Didn’t our Messiah show it? The suffering king is a great King. Didn’t Jesus say: pick up my cross and follow me? Wasn’t there an era of suffering following for almost 2000 years now? What a blessing to have a share among the righteous people, persecuted because of the sins also of another one. Because of the gracious God who wants you to get ready to be his child. He who heals the soul! What a great work does He do! Blessed be He Who build his kingdom already even without worldly countenance!

 

A Rabbi speaks at Church

November 5, 2013

2013-11-04 21.38.07Rabbi Chaim Eisen, an orthodox Rabbi from Jerusalem, spoke in our church last night. This a very rare event, an orthodox Rabbi in an orthodox church. I believe this is a step forward towards a mutual understanding of our common believes and for us as a church another step in the process of returning to our Jewish roots, what we lost.

He was speaking about Ruth: “Your People are My People, and Your God is My God” (Ruth 1:16) He stressed the fact that Ruth converted to the people of Israel and that this does not apply to the attendees, to the Christian people. He also was not looking for converts to Judaism. Remain in your calling he said. (Like Paul said in 1Cor.17-18) And just keep the seven Noachide laws. (Like the apostles said, Acts 15)

Personally I was affected by hearing him saying that they as Jews were highly offended by the fact that some Jews calling themselves “Messianic” Jews. In fact Jews who believe in Jesus. They implicitly are saying by such a statement that the common Jews are not Messianic. This while the concept of the Messiah is a deeply rooted Jewish idea. To say with such a statement that the Jews don’t believe in the Messiah is to spit in their face he said. With that said, he was very clear to leave Jews Jewish and Christians Christian. I thought the world is not ready to adopt a common Messiah. In between is in plain sense not possible. Messianic Judaism is not regarded as Judaism, if you want it or not. Judaism has to accept their own accepted Messiah, which is a future event.

We made one step. I know that the Christian passion is take a few steps more instantly. But we cannot go ahead of time. We made one step forwards, and I’m glad of it. We stood shoulder to shoulder and spoke to each other. And that’s good.

Update: you can listen here to the lecture or download it here.

(Scroll to 12.00 min. to begin with the English introduction and lecture.)

Our Place – my new book

December 17, 2012

Finally, my new book is ready!

Our Place

Our Place as Gentiles in the community of Israel

This book is about a key text of the song of Moses, that God went to a no-people (the gentiles, Deut.32:21) what marks the beginning of the time of the gentiles. Paul fixes his view on that since he saw a great gathering of gentiles to the community of Israel. This is described in Romans 9-11.

This book is written for people who are interested in the position of Christians or Messianics related to the Jews. Don’t think it’s a finished study. I hope it will give provoking thoughts and will draw to rethink certain prophecies.

You can purchase this book here on Lulu.com. There you can also download an eBook for free.

And here you can download a pdf-version for free. (I got it for free, you got it for free…)

Update – Now also available at:
Apple iBookstore (Free ebook)
Amazon.com ($9,00 for paperback, 78 pages)
Barnes&Noble (Free ebook)

Please give it a try and let me know what you find of it!

Paul’s grafted in strangers analogy (Our Place – part6)

May 4, 2012

If there’s a covenantal relationship with Israel, and a divine calling of Jew and Gentile, then Paul comes into picture who merged these two into one, with his “ingrafted branches” analogy in Rom.11.

This analogy has a scriptural base and we can find that in Is.56 among other places. Isaiah speaks about the foreigners who join Israel. It’s the word of God which states:

“Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” (Is.56:3-8)

Rashi comments on it that this strangers and eunuchs are converts. These (converted heathens) have surely a place in the house of God and in His covenant, according to this words of God. But this also implicitly states that gentiles are not the same as the people of Israel. Otherwise these converts would not be mentioned as strangers, but were fully regard as Israelites.

What we see here is that there are people who are faithful to the God and the Jews, but they are not regarded Jewish. Probably because they are not fully Torah observant. What they did do however, is keeping the Shabbat and are faithful to the covenant. And here is a very significant remark about them, they choose the things that please me. (v.4) About them is said: Blessed are they who do this. (v.2) To keep the judgement and do justice (v.1)

When the ingathering of the Israelites happens, these ones are also ingathered with them.

This must be the idea of the apostles (Acts15) that the gentiles have a place amongst the people of God. They may dwell in the tents of Jacob (Gen.9:27) and may come to Sion (Ps.87). And especially because the most profound thing ever happened since the giving of the Torah, that gentiles receive the Holy Spirit (before they convert to Judaism), the apostles believe firmly that the Messianic times were started and thought it is not good to obligate gentiles to keep the Torah to become part of the commonwealth of Israel.

In fact they created a new community within Judaism of Geriem we-Toshaviem (strangers and so-journers). This is a status of gentiles described in Leviticus 25:35. Now, since the Messianic age has began, they have spiritually the same share in Sion as the Jews, “as many as are called”. And this is what Paul called “grafted in”. Now they become part of Israel, spiritual. And in this Messianic age there’s no difference between Jew and Gentile, “no difference between Jew and Greek” (Ro.10:12) “They are one in Christ”. (Gal.3:28) It is not that the status of so-journer is of less importance. At a deeper spiritual level such a confession shows a higher devotion to God. David himself claimed this status too, in Psalm 39:13, “For I am a stranger with thee, A sojourner, as all my fathers were”. And compare what Jesus said: “But one who is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and one who is governing, as one who serves.” (Luke22:26)
On the other side Paul warns the gentiles not to be proud of it and not to think they are now the replaced Israel, because that was certainly not the case. It even doesn’t abolish or change the existing covenant with the Jews.

Now if we see Jews and Gentiles, separate on one plane, together on another plane, we can understand the message Paul gives us much better.

Covenantal relationship (Our Place, part 5)

April 20, 2012

Covenantal relationship advantages

We can learn that God’s Glory (Shechinah) did not rest upon the gentiles outside Israel. We see this in Ex.33:15-16. There it states that God would go with the Israelites and not with other people:  And Moses said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go [with us], do not take us up from here. For how then will it be known that I have found favor in Your eyes, I and Your people? Is it not in that You will go with us? Then I and Your people will be distinguished from every [other] nation on the face of the earth.”
Rashi commented on it: “how will the finding of favor be known? Is it not in that You will go with us? One other thing I ask of You [I ask] that Your Shechinah shall no longer rest upon heathen nations. -[from Ber. 7a]” And: “Then I and Your people will be distinguished: Heb. וְנִפְלִינוּ. In this respect, we will be separated from every [other] nation, like “And the Lord will make a separation (וְהִפְלָה) …between the livestock of Egypt” (Exod. 9:4).”
Verse 17: “And the Lord said to Moses: “Even this thing that you have spoken, I will do, for you have found favor in My eyes, and I have known you by name.”
Rashi on it: “Even this thing: [namely] that My Shechinah should no longer rest upon heathens, I will do.

Why does it say: “I have known you by name?” Does God not know his own creatures? We can learn from here that God knows one, but also doesn’t know one another. As is explained by Jesus were it states: “I have never known you.” (Lu.13:27, Mat.25:12)
This leaves that there’s a community of God “amongst” outsiders. In the same sense is spoken about “Your [Gods] people/nation” and other people.

This covenantal relationship has prerequisites, to be holy, it sets people apart. This not only depends on the individual, but the whole congregation or nation of the covenant has a meaning in it. And this will give great responsibilities. In the midst of this environment, in this holiness, the Shechinah, the glory of the Lord will come down. And the people are called to be holy. God demands it and even will give it in their heart. “But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.” (Deu.30:14)

This covenantal relationship is extended by the coming of the Messiah Jesus to the gentiles, “as many as the Lord our God calls”, according to Peter. But it is also narrowed because narrow is the path and few are there who found it. (Matth.7:14) And the fearing of God would be no less, even for new upcoming gentiles. Jew and gentile even gain more fearing from the baptism of the Spirit. “For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, tempest, the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which those who heard it begged that not one more word should be spoken to them, for they could not stand that which was commanded, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned ;” and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” But [even more fearing] you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling”. (Hebr.12:18-24) They have a share in the heavenly place and in the world to come. But now they are set apart and live under the yoke of the Messiah which is light because of the Spiritual Comfort of the Godly presence, but is heavy because of the burden of persecution. No one could ever reach this heavenly Mount Zion, except those who are called and adopted through mediation of the Son of God. Who shall see God and live.

This setting apart with God will persuade the soul and will give the advance of knowing the sonship of God. This personal relationship is foremost important. But there is also a community what functions as a boundary to guard it for the bad influence of the outside world. In Christianity the church played an important role here. I mean the little local churches. (The mainstream (Roman) church always misused their power.) In Judaism the family is more important than the synagogue, but togther with the rabbinical authority, it serves the same role as the church. They guarded the covenants to some extend.

See also my post here.

Our Place (part3)

April 5, 2012

What is “righteous before God”

This is a most important question. According to Judaism the righteous ones of the gentiles keep the 7 Noachides and the righteous ones of the Jews keep the 613 mitswot. However, righteousness is not because of the keeping of the laws. To be righteous before God is something that derives directly from God. He is the source of it. It comes through teshuvah (repentence) and circumcision of the heart. It is both human and divine. Nobody comes to righteousness but through God. That’s the rule of the Messiah who was righteous before God, and will give that to mankind. This Godly righteousness is applied to those “as many as the Lord our God  calls.” (Acts2:19) That’s the righteousness from God which come through faith. (Phil.3:9) That’s what is said: “The righteous shall live by his faith.” (Hab.2:4)

Although it is not because of the law, it is undoubtedly true that the righteous one has a zeal for keeping the law. It’s obvious that there is a distinction between those and the ungodly people and idolaters. And who are the righteous? It’s not a Jew or Gentile, but the man whom is spoken about in Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers: But his delight is in the law of JHWH; And on his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, That bringeth forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also doth not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The wicked are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For Jehovah knoweth the way of the righteous; But the way of the wicked shall perish.”

But to narrow this question of who is righteous further, we have to look at Psalm 2. (Why gether the nations together against the Messiah.) Because there’s a spiritual warfare between true and false faith. Between good and bad. And this all turns out to a battle of the highest order. It is about the Godly King or the human king. It’s about serving yourself or serving God. One who serve his physical pleasures is in slavery of the world and its head, the devil. Every man has this evil inclination and by lack of fear of God the heart and desires are about to fight against the Messiah, the King. Also here, Jew and gentile have to deal with spiritual personal warfare. And the distinction line is where the soul repents and gives the glory to the only King. To take part in this battle causes the righteous soul to find “the King of the Jews”, the hidden Messiah but revealed personal in victory and majesty there were personal desires are buried.

Hidden

It’s hard to see the right picture of the true people of God. Because they become like their Master. A Man of sorrow and pain, not from this world, hidden before the eyes of the natural people. It’s only in the last days that they should say it and confess: this is the Servant, the one who was despised and rejected. (Is.53) But now they will become spiritually like the new man. (Col.3:10) Who is about to appear when the Messiah appears. Now they are buried, their flesh died in advance to the glorious revelation of the most glorious King, to live in his kingdom as righteous ones, without any blemish. The neshama (soul) is prepared for righteousness by receiving grace. That’s what Paul said: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col.3:3-4) They are one with the Messiah. In his dead and in his life. And the life in heaven is already but not on earth yet. On earth is dispersion. This is not the world of the righteous.

The state of the true Godly people is given by picture of the Man of sorrow in Isaiah 53. They have a share in it. They share the same state. They have a physically broken state, at least they will die, but spiritually they gain the real life which is to come from above and turns to above. This real life is not the life of this world, but for the world to come.

That’s why almost nobody sees the right picture of true Christianity, the true people, and remain in deviation from the truth. And become organised anti christian and anti semitic powers (within the church) because they deny God, the King to rule over themselves. The church also didn’t appear in a glorious state, the glory you see is all fake. The great buildings in Rome are far, far away from the picture the real people of God should show. Just a few will be saved in respect to the many who perish.

The Messiah, the King, also didn’t appear in a glorious state. He first appeared in Jerusalem on a donkey (Za.9:9) and “the judge of Israel” was smitten. (Micha4:14or5:1)

Our place is like Israel watched by the nations who watched Israel as the Servant who suffered. They suffered together with so to speak the Shechinah, the Kaboth, the glory of God, the great Messiah himself who put the human body on to be one with His brothers. He suffers as long as His brothers suffer. He exiled as long as His brothers are in exile. Are we adopted by this Messiah? Then we suffer like Him and like them. Then we are part of that suffering people.

Our place also is that of the glorified Messiah (but still seen as the Man of sorrow), exalted above all others. Why? Because of Him who is the Messiah and gives salvation and forgiveness of sin, all who have faith in Him. Given to all the nations, however, it turns out in history that only a very small part became true followers. The greatest part is anti-Messiah.

When the time (of the gentiles, Luke21:24) is fulfilled, however, He will build up His kingdom on earth. (Acts1:6)

Our Place (part1)

March 23, 2012

The place of the gentiles within Israel and its God, or the accommodation of the Christians with respect to the Jews.

For many years, lets say two millennia, the church fits in the place which was initially made by Israel at the time they rejected Jesus. For the treasures of Heaven came especially to the gentiles while the Jews commonly entered a stage of dispersion and curses, as said in the Torah, De.31. At that time, what churches stressed to be the beginning of the Christian Church, the apostle Peter said when the Spirit came down on Jew and Gentile alike, that this is the promise for you and your children (Israel) and for “all who are far away”, everyone whom the Lord our God calls him. (Acts 2:39) It looks like he is citing a verse from the Tenach, but that is not so. What he does do is summarizing for who the Torah was meant. For who the covenant relationship was meant. For who the promises were meant.

His saying was commonly known and understood by Jews at that time. And even now it’s easy to understand for a Torah learned Jew, what Peter meant by this. He said the Torah (and its promises) was first and only for the Jews (you and your children) but it was also for those “who are far away”, who joined Israel with prayer and worship. Obviously the gentiles are meant here. And more specifically, those who joined not only the people of Israel as their fellowship, but also the God of Israel with true love, as many as “the Lord our God calls”.

What was commonly known was the relationship between gentile and Jew, but what was totally new was the direct attachment to Israel and God by the gift of God of renewal and rebirth. The very baptism of the spirit was never seen before, not among the Jews but certainly not among the gentiles. This signifies a brand new era of Messianic proportions. But there were still difficulties to overcome where the Jews, I mean the apostles, meet the (not knowledgeable) gentiles. The struggles the apostles faces whether a gentile must be fully converted or not, are clearly presented in the book of Acts and the letter of Paul to the Galatians. How could one be holy and gentile at one time?

It’s all about the calling of the gentiles by way of rebirth through the gift of the Holy Spirit. They enter the special covenantal relationship of grace, the same as the true Israel, but remain gentile. In the Torah they are called a Ger. Here the distinction line is the real calling and rebirth.

The Path of the Just – Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto

January 9, 2012

I was very pleased to hear about Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746), RaMCHaL, from a teaching from rabbi Yosef Mizrachi. Since I live in the Netherlands it got my attention when I heard that he lived in Amsterdam for nine years. I didn’t know him! Such a great rabbi, now honored all around the Jewish world and I didn’t hear from him? His life and experiences were beyond normal, they were mystical. Undoubtedly that was the reason.

At the age of 18 an angel appeared to him to reveal the secrets of the Torah. This was not accepted and the rabbinical institution banned him at the age of 20. He was not allowed to teach.

He was born in Italy and came through many difficulties to Amsterdam in 1735 (what was called that time the Jerusalem of the West) and wrote his famous work: The Path of the Just (Mesillat Yesharim, 1740). He didn’t seek publicity and refused teaching. He studied Kabbalah unhindered with a small group in Amsterdam. He became one of the greatest Kabbalists.

When we value his work The Path of the Just on its content we are surprised. An extraordinary work but it pretends to be ordinary. This pictures directly the problem of man: We don’t understand the ordinary things. He began to say: “I did not write things that people do not know.” Who in the world does ever write a book with that idea, to write things that people already know? It’s quite the opposite, people tend to learn from the other, but here it is that people have to see the things they already know. And it’s not only that we don’t see, but we won’t see also. The problem is we don’t see the path of the Just, or the way to follow to be righteous. People also obvious don’t have interest in it. How close does it come to sayings like this: you have eyes but didn’t see. (Is.6:9)

The effect of the book does come to people only when they read it again and again and again, said Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi. But the ultimate purpose of man is not reachable by just following the rules of a book.

If you ask me, how in the world is it possible that such a human being, a sinner, who doesn’t saw (like me) is drawn to the very Creator, the Holy One, and his will is turned to seek righteousness and his goal is to get re-unified with the Holy One … ? Then I have no other answer then Yeshua. For me, as a gentile, as a sinner before, He was the Hand what leads me and the Path what guides me. And if I look at it I see that the mitswoth spoken of and pointed to, by Rabbi Luzzatto, are truly the manner to come to God. It not only comes from man however, but we need a Divine Power. And I believe Yeshua is that Divine Messiah who leads us toward the principle Beginning by Love, which is the Only One and Holy God. What other way is there? He says (in some sense) the same things as Luzzatto, only with giving actually the Power and Light to fulfill everything. Luzzatto gives the words but He does give the life too for me.

How does anyone come to that stage, that level of chassid, Luzzatto wrote of? Isn’t it that this prophecy must be fulfilled personally: I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it. (Jer.31:33)

David Flusser

August 16, 2011

I do not think that many Jews would object if the Messiah -when he came- was the Jew Jesus.
David Flusser

This is an oral statement of him. Brad H. Young (a student of him) wrote it in his book Meet the Rabbis, p.160