By the grace of God I have, after a great deal of prayer and exertion, been given the words to write this essay - a piece I wanted to write for so very long and didn't know just how. May God watch over me as I write and keep me, so that I do not fail.
THE GALUT IS MISINTERPRETATION OF THE MITZVOT - PART ONE OF A TWO-PART ESSAY
Let me reiterate that: The galut is misinterpretation of the mitzvoth, not an effect of misinterpretation, but the very misinterpretation itself.
Neither is there hope of the galut ending until we relearn to both read and interpret the Torah, as I will, with the help of HaShem, explicate. In this essay, part 1 of 2, I will discuss how the galut is the misinterpretation of the mitzvoth. In part 2, I will, with the help of God, explain how the galut is ignorance of the gematriot and go a bit more into depth explaining that truth and demonstrating how. For the time being, let us consider the gematria of the word זמן, it is 747, which is the gematria of the word מקראות as well as the gematria of the word להבין. From this gematria we learn that our understanding of time, and all that appears to be occurring, event after event, in that imagined continuum is nothing more or less than a representation of our level of self-awareness in המקראות. That which arises in our consciousness and appears to us to be happening in the continuum of time is entirely dependent upon our understanding and observance of ההלכה. As we understand and observe צדק ואמת ההלכות so the events of our lives as if unfold before our consciousness in a procession, i.e., תהלוכה. We now see the deep connection between the words הולכות and תהלוכה.
It seems there were Talmudic Sages who understood this truth. We find the following passage in Tractate Sanhedrin.
שאלו תלמידיו את רבי יוסי בן קיסמא: אימתי בן דוד בא? ...אמר להם: לכשיפול השער הזה ויבנה, ויפול, ויבנה, ויפול, ואין מספיקין לבנותו עד שבן דוד בא.
(Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 98a, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, GLOBAL JEWISH DATABASE (Responsa Project) Version 10].
Translation: The disciples of R. Jose b. Kisma asked him, 'When will the Messiah come?' — He answered … “When this gate falls down, is rebuilt, falls again, and is again rebuilt, and then falls a third time, before it can be rebuilt the son of David will come.” (Soncino Babylonian Talmud on Line
Ostensibly the “gate” being referred to is the gate of Caesarea Philippi, the home of R. Jose, a symbol of Roman power. Its fall would, similarly, be a symbol of the destruction of the Roman power by the Parthians (ibid. see note 45). However, we can understand the word שער on a deeper level, as referring to the gateway or portal that leads to the created world as we are now creating it and in which we are trapped in a procession of unforeseeable and painful, sometimes tragic, events.
Did you see the original movie called “The X-Men”? Do you remember the character “Magneto” who has the ability to control magnetic fields and can thus manipulate metals? There is a very cleverly done scene in the movie in which “Magneto” is walking on a bridge. The bridge is quite unlike what we think of as a bridge in that it is nothing more than two metal plates. As “Magneto” walks he moves one plate in front of him and steps on it as he steps off the plate that was behind him. He does this alternating his feet as he goes. Other than the two metal plates there is no bridge whatsoever. It is the magnetic influence “Magneto” exerts on the plates that keep them moving before him to step on as he goes. This is exactly how we are creating the realities that we live in. The only difference between “Magneto” and us is that we are not aware that we are doing this and are thus not in control of where the bridges that we are treading upon lead. That is the galut.
Just as “Magneto” was walking on a bridge that was not a bridge, but rather only that which was beneath his own two feet described by the magnetic force he was exerting on the metal plates, so there is no medium that is called “time”. Time is an artifact of our imagination. If time is an artifact of our imagination, then there is no history, no gilgulim and no space in objective reality “out there”. They exist, but only insofar as we perceive them. They exist as our illusions.
Even a slight misinterpretation of Torah will cause distortions in the mind so that the messages it is receiving from Soul are not being interpreted properly. Diversions from the correct way of doing the mitzvoth result in distortions in the created world as will be explained anon. The mind receives its dictation from the heart and not the other way around. The mind is nothing more than that which creates symbolic representations of our spiritual/moral state. If we have not been utterly honest in interpreting Torah we cause the heart to be twisted. In turn the mind will be forced to concoct convoluted reasoning to try to justify the dishonest emotions. In so doing it creates a very complicated world for us indeed; a world characterized by multi-dimensionality, time frames, fantastic distances, imperfect mathematical systems, personal problems that are redoubled and compounded by circumstances, indeterminable data, uncertainties that are not interesting but rather frightening and all of the other problems we are familiar with that vex and torment us and from which we do not know not only how to extricate ourselves, but even that we can, and should, extricate ourselves from them. The world we live in appears to be an imperturbable given. This is the cruelest illusion of all. There is no hope for us to escape from so tangled a web of perceptions so long as we do not read and interpret Torah correctly.
Thus, if our Rabbis have not interpreted the Law with absolute and uncompromising straightness, rectitude, integrity, and dedication to צדק ואמת they create distortions in the realities we live in and we, in turn, increase and compound those distortions when we perform המצות. Those who have taught us Torah have misguided us and they have no less than led us into a universe of deception and pain.
We are המצות. Understand this. The gematria of the word המצות, written as it should be with only one ו' is 541. This is also the gematria of the name ישראל. ישראל = המצות. We, ישראל, are not merely doing the המצות, we are the המצות. More correctly, we are the mitzvoth being and doing themselves (ourselves) and creating a world. We must be extremely careful, then, to remain true to ourselves. It is precisely for this reason that we cannot make the slightest compromises with what we know to be true in our deepest levels of Being and why we must not act improperly. When we allow any amount of untruth and compromise to enter into our understanding and performance of המצות we have doomed ourselves to being distorted and living in a distorted common reality. We are connected to one another and the reality that we inhabit is necessarily a common and composite one, the result of the kavvanot and behaviors of each and every one of us. This is true even though each of us experiences what he or she does in accordance with his or her own moral/spiritual achievement. Despite the fact that we are individuals, and individually responsible for our learning, understanding and doing ההלכות, we are also connected as a People, not only in this generation, but also in every generation. In reality there is no time, as we have said, thus the entire Jewish People exists at once, even if it doesn’t appear to the eye as such. If even one of us is amiss we will all suffer the effects and live in a distorted reality. קל וחומר (Argumentum a minori ad majus or a majori ad minus; corresponding to the scholastic proof a fortiori) if wanton misinterpretation of ההלכה is the norm, as is the case under Rabbinic Judaism, we suffer the compounded effects of each and every one of us who is not interpreting Torah correctly and become trapped in and endlessly complicated world of distortion upon distortion. This and more: since we are the mitzvoth any distortion of interpretation of the mitzvoth results in a distortion of our expression of being in whatever world we express ourselves.
Flagrant contraventions of Torah like prozbul or heter mekhirah were ‘justified’ by the Rabbis by saying that they were socio-economic considerations that supposedly protected the poor. There is an explanation of why Hillel instituted prozbul on:
http://www.elijahnet.org/The%20Oral%20Law%20as%20InterprA98.html . It behooves the reader to consider (or reconsider) everything that is written on that page. Now anyone with a heart and mind can see that what is written there is utter nonsense and that prozbul is nothing but protecting the interests of the rich. It is very likely true that the rich were not giving loans to the poor close to the Yovel. Why then did the Beit Din not exert pressure upon the wealthy to do as is written in Torah? Why was a ruling harming the poor that is in contravention of Torah devised instead?
The case of heter mekhirah is a similar case of protecting economic concerns ‘against HaShem’ Laws’ because “Moshe did not know the halakhah”, a contention the Rabbis were so outrageously brazen as to write in the Talmud for posterity and teach to their students assiduously generation after generation (generations in a galut created by lies such as these). How the heart hurts to read such things! Anyone with a mind and heart can see that in reality prozbul and heter mekhirah are mechanisms that maintain the economic status quo. Rather than devising a system of economics that would protect the society as well as Torah observance, subversions of the Law were devised. Could it be that HaShem’s Laws if kept would harm society? Did we need “chakhamim” to protect us from HaShem and his servant Moshe who “didn’t know the halakhah”, Ch”V? There is no estimating the twists and turns of self-deception the heart must make within itself and how it must harden itself in order to be able to tolerate such self-deceit and deception of innocent others. In turn, the dictates of the heart that are relayed to the mind, which transcibes those dictates into perceptions, become likewise twisted and distorted in proportion to the heart. This is the galut. The result of rulings such as these is that we have lost the ability to calculate שנות שמיטה with certainty, and thus we do not know when the יובלות are. We have thus been rendered incapable of setting slaves and debtors free by the distortion of the Law that is prozbul. The distortions that those rulings created locked us in “time”, from which we cannot extricate ourselves, because we compound and complicate the distortion every time we conduct ourselves according to these rulings, and thus the galut is perpetuated indefinitely.
Only if we live in correct accordance with the Torah can we live in a world that will be punctuated and described by the holy מועדים. As things stand we do not know the correct time of our מועדים, we are locked in galut, we are out of touch with the other generations of ישראל and we are incapable of getting ourselves out of this sorry estate. All of this is because the Torah as it is being taught and practiced is not the true interpretation. That is not to say that it is wholly untrue. That is not to say that there isn’t a need for continuing הלכה and חדושים. Of course פרשנות is absolutely necessary. No one from any school of Jewish thought has ever denied this. In fact, the desirable and correct creation and description of time is the continual unfolding of the hidden depths of Torah and the adaptation and application of the mitzvoth to the realities that are created as a result of proper kavvanot, learning, doing the mitzvoth aseh and not doing the mitzvoth al ta’ase. The only question is whether or not we are being honest in our פרשנות. The proof is always in the proverbial pudding. The reality is that our common, composite reality is uninhabitable for sensitive, moral, spiritual Human beings – Jew and Gentile alike.
One must be true to one's heart. God has planted many tenets that are anathema to the sensitive heart in each religion. Why? It is so that you will question - not question the truth of the precept, but question your own understanding of it most profoundly. If one comes to God with an honest and humble prayer and says: "I respect what I see written here, but my heart tells me otherwise. How shall I proceed? How shall I act? Have I understood what is taught? Surely I have not seen to the depth of Your wisdom. What do You desire of me?" that person will have fulfilled God's true Will in planting the tenet in the faith - that person will have entered a dialogue with God. This
is God's true desire - to teach you the depths of Torah directly, so they you may see for yourself. This is one of the bases of true Torah Sh’be’al peh – learning those aspects of Torah intended just for you to learn and reveal for the very first time as intended from Beraysheet from HaShem’s “mouth” to your consciousness directly. This is the process of Tush’ba that can never be written down, although the revelations so received can be preserved and shared with others, indeed they are intended to be. Such a one who prays this way will be blessed with vision and insight heretofore unknown to him/her or to the world-at-large. That person will see ways of understanding and interpreting Torah that *resolve* that which s/he thought were contradictions, precepts which limit the freedom of the Soul and harsh commandments. S/he will come to see the righteousness and compassion that exists in the seemingly harsh precepts with clear eyes, in a way that is compatible with all of God's creation. The ability to express these understandings to others will be granted to that person as well. The מסורת will not be contradicted or contravened in any way. Au contraire, it will be strengthened and made more comprehensible. The one who enters into a dialog with God will understand the mitzvot with ever-increasing depth as God personally takes the person “by the hand” and leads her or him through eternity.
HaShem has given us a “yetzher hara” to assist us in interpreting the mitzvoth that are harsh and difficult for our “yetzer tov” to understand. Those mitzvoth the chesed in which is revealed can be easily apprehended by our “yetzer tov”. We do not need to exert ourselves overmuch to understand those precepts. The goodness in them is apparent. We readily understand the kindness inherent in such mitzvoth as not taking the garment of the poor as collateral or of having just weights and measures. We may have to exert ourselves to consider the many applications of the mitzvoth in our everyday lives, but we have no trouble whatsoever in recognizing them as being good immediately. We have far more trouble in seeing the kindness and goodness in the ordeal of the woman accused of being a Sotah, or the mitzvah aseh to put the ben sorer u’moreh to death. We might be tempted either to carry out the mitzvoth as it appears to our untrained and undeveloped consciousness, as the ordeal of the suspected Sotah appears to have been in those cases in which the woman agreed to it, if we can trust the reports of and allusions to the ordeal in the Talmud, or not to carry them out at all, finding loopholes as it were, in the case of the ben sorer u’moreh, again assuming that the passages concerning this matter in the Talmud are in earnest. While we see that the simple meaning of these mitzvoth disturbed the Rabbis, neither carrying out the ordeal nor contriving impossible conditions that render the mitzvah de facto impossible to carry out comes from the depths of wisdom. Neither of those reactions comes from inducting both the yetzer tov and the yetzer ra into the service of understanding the mitzvoth and thus gaining a deeper level of insight such that the p’shat presents itself differently to our consciousness and thus we act on it differently. If we do not engage both the yetzer tov and the yetzer ra when learning Torah we do not have the “stereoscopic” insight needed to understand what Torah is saying to us. We read one-dimensionally and arrive at conclusions that are shallow, even spurious. We then carry out meaningless, even dangerous, actions and, in so doing, create an absurd, nightmarish world for ourselves.
It is the nature of the yetzer tov to be good and kind, but rather insipid, simple and not very creative, interesting or fun. The yetzer hara, on the other hand, while capable of cruelty and perversity, is crafty, cunning, colorful, riveting and creative. It is only when we use both of these abilities in tandem that we can understand Torah properly and, correspondingly, Torah is written and devised in such a way as to encourage us to develop both of these faculties for the sake of serving Hashem. This is the reason why Torah contains both mitzvoth aseh that are apparently good and those which, upon encountering for the first time, shock and offend our yetzer tov, if we are honest with ourselves, even while they engage the attention of the yetzer hara. If we are not honest with ourselves we suppress our yetzer tov when interpreting and carrying out those mitzvoth. If we engage only the yetzer tov we never arrive at the profoundest levels of understanding Torah. Neither of these reactions is correct. We are to summon both our yetzer tov and our yetzer hara to look deeply into those troubling matters and find the chesed hidden within them. The depths of the chesed inherent in the mitzvoth that appear offensive upon perfunctory consideration is far greater than those inherent in the mitzvoth the goodness of which need not be searched for. We are being invited to look very, very deeply into Torah when we encounter disturbing mitzvoth. We are not expected either to deny them or to carry them out according to a perfunctory understanding.
We have seen why HaShem has given us the ability to be wily. This ability is not to be destroyed, but rather harnessed in order to serve HaShem and one another. When our being crafty is used to deceive and otherwise hurt others we create dark chambers in space/time that did not exist before within which to hide our intentions and ourselves. Once caught in those dungeons of the mind and emotions we are locked in them and shackled to their impenetrable walls on all of the levels of our being that exist in the created world. The world that is created by performing the mitzvoth as misunderstood and distorted by Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism is a nightmare world of insecurity, upheaval, constant danger, feelings of persecution and proactive persecution, hatred, destruction, death and genocide. The terrible pity of it all is that those who practice Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism do not have the first inkling that it is they who are creating that world or that the world does not have to be that way. They heap calumnies upon the Gentles attributing to them every negative trait. They do not, nay will not, understand that it is they who are creating those ignominies and horrors for themselves; they who are attracting those experiences to themselves.
In contradistinction, when we use our ability to be wily and shrewd in order to protect one another and create that which is salubrious and lovely for one another, we create dimensions that did not exist before. We create a world that is complex, interesting and ever changing but not threatening unpredictable, sinister and dangerous. The worlds we create when we ask ourselves how we can apply the Written Torah to deduce, induce and decide הלכות that will serve us, all of us, while remaining true to the Law fascinate the mind, and delight our playful intelligence, even as they protect one another, and us, from harm and shame. One such example from the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition of the proper use of the shrewd aspect of our creative intelligence is the following הלכה:
עני שאינו רוצה ליקח צדקה, מערימים ונותנין לו לשם מתנה או לשם הלואה.
[Shulchan Arukh 253:9, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, GLOBAL JEWISH DATABASE (Responsa Progject) Version 10
Translation: “(In the case of) a poor person who does not want to receive charity we act cunningly and give it to him in the guise of a gift or a loan.”
The radical ערם in this case means: to be shrewd; to be crafty; to be sly; to be cunning. It was in the utilizing of our ability to be ערמומיים, even as we are guided by the dictates of our yetzer tov that we come to a הלכה that is a beautiful example of our good and bad inclinations supplementing and complementing one another to serve Humanity.
It has been amply, and chillingly, demonstrated that matter is compressed energy. There is, to date, no satisfying definition of ‘energy’. Energy is thought of in terms of what it does, and can do, i.e., work. This author should like to posit the following, interim, definition of energy: Energy is the creative Will made corporeal enough to transfer itself from one body to another in the physical worlds. Matter, then, would be extremely compressed creative Will. Matter is not in a form in which it can transfer itself from domain to domain or from body to body, but needs to be transferred. In the case of humans this is accomplished by a motile being that has a will of its own and does the work of transferring purposefully. The world as it appears in our consciousness is characterized by the presence of space, both stored (potential) and flowing (kinetic, mechanical) energy, and matter the form of which is determined and set to some extent over a period of “time” yet also continuously changing. (The question of whether one or any of these “precedes” the others temporally or in importance that might arise in the mind is based on our illusion of time and need not be entertained at all.) In our present state of consciousness matter exists in two states: the material with which we are confronted by nature (raw material) and the statements of our imposition of our will upon the world (finished products). In reality, however, it is our own creative Will, i.e., the aspect of HaShem that takes on the form of human consciousness, that is becoming the space and energy that we perceive as well as all of the matter. The mitzvoth are that which guide us to use the Godly creative Will and our actions to create the best possible reality.
It should not be understood that there exists a cause and effect relationship between Will and the world created by it. There is no time lapse. With the Will the world created by the Will arises spontaneously and “simultaneously” for lack of a better word. Finished products differ from raw materials in that while our Will is creating both by considerable effort required in order to pour our own Life Force into creation, the former is the result of the additional physical effort as well. The strain of existence that we feel is not our struggle with the material world, so much as our exertion to create the physical world. The exertion we put into Talmud Torah is the creation of the world, be it as it may in accordance with our learning.
From this understanding we can draw the simple conclusion that the quality of our lives, indeed how the universe reflects itself back to us, is wholly dependent upon what we will and what we do. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that our intentions be pure and that our actions be correct; for our intentions are that which create the raw material of the universe and our actions determine the finished products.
If we do not both intend and act properly we expend incalculable effort creating a physical reality that is neither hospitable nor benevolent. The collective world that we create becomes increasingly untenable and unmanageable when we do not use our will properly or perform the mitzvoth as they should be performed. Thus, we have to invest greater and greater amounts of effort into maintaining that which is unstable. We exhaust ourselves as we pour our own Souls into a world that affords us precious little joy, serenity or security.
The mitzvoth were designed to create a world of absolute maximum happiness and utility for us. If we perform the mitzvoth as they should be performed with the correct intention the energy that is created transfers the Love, Knowledge and Creative Will of HaShem that is within us unimpeded. The raw material that is created forms the basis of a world of optimum level of habitability. We create finished products that are stable, serve us wisely and well and are maintained with the minimum amount of exertion so that we may be free to learn and contemplate Holiness.
May we have the courage and honesty to admit the error of our way, return to HaShem, to the true Torah and to end this bitter exile.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Doreen: I am happy to answer honestly posed questions that may, with HaShem's help, clarify some misunderstandings and elucidate points many are not aware of.
Interlocutor: If the Essenes had become the majority at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, how do you envisage an alternative Jewish history?
Doreen: Jewish society would have been like their society: based on common property so that the only power that the leaders had was the power invested in them by the respect and love they won due to their wisdom and integrity; commerce would have been in strict accordance with the Torah; the entire world would be a more sanguine and gentle place in which to live because it would be created based on learning of the highest level of integrity. We would not be confined by the dictates of time and space that now confine us. There would be time, but it would be punctuated according to the rules of Hebrew grammar and HaMo’edim as taught in Torah Sh’bikhtav. Neither would there be chambers within which to hide secrets. God would be clearly perceived in all that is created and more Godliness would be continually being revealed.
Interlocutor: How long would Jewry have survived in the Exile without the Pharisaic fences and restrictions of the Talmudic Sages?
Doreen: There would have been no need for those fences because there wouldn't have been threats. It was the distortions of the teaching of the Prushim and those Tzaddokim who loved money and power more than Torah that created the Greco/Roman/Seleucid menaces. Once we have created a nightmare for ourselves as a result of swaying from Torah, punishment is heaped upon us in that we have to then defend ourselves from the nightmare. In the extreme stages, the stage we are in now, most of us do not even have any inkling that we are creating the events that present themselves to us. We think that we are the innocent victims of happenstance and that someone else is responsible for our woes.
Let’s see what HaYachad had to say about those fences, which were already busily being built long before the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion. So, you cannot argue that they were created as a means of protecting the Torah in the Diaspora.
“They even rendered impure their holy spirit and in blasphemous terms opened (their) mouth against the Laws of the covenant saying: “They are not correct” And they spoke abomination about them.” [Tzaddokite Fragments (Damascus Document) 5:13]. Evidently the Prushim were already claiming that “Moshe didn’t know halakhah”, Ch”V, during the time that the Temple stood.
“All these thing the builders of the wall and the daubers of plaster did not understand. For one who raises wind and preaches falsehood preached to them, because of which God became angry with His entire congregation.” (ibid., 8:12-13; cf. 19:24-26)
“Since he hated the builders of the wall, He became angry.” (ibid., 8:18; cf. 19:13)
Interlocutor: The Essenes may have been a group of apocalyptist idealists, but halacha l'ma'aseh is what counts, and the fact that they disappeared utterly from the scene of history means that they were not up to the task.
Doreen: They were not apocalyptic idealists. They were very grounded in reality. Their society ticked like a Swiss watch. They were also fully aware of the reality of the situation that the Rabbis and the Maccabim had created for themselves and were filled with compassion for them as they were also fully aware of the reality of the world within Torah. Again and again they reached out to the Pharisees, to the Macabbees, and to the Tzaddokim in Yerushalayim who were not keeping the true way and instructed them how to disentangle themselves from the times and events they were creating. Insofar as they were able to, since they were removed from the Temple Service which had become defiled they continued to make expiation for Am Yisra’el, as Cohenim are supposed to do. They did this by performing chilufim and elevations as I hope to explicate and demonstrate in a separate essay. Unfortunately, the Prushim had gone very far down the road in distorting the meaning of Torah Sh’bikhtav in order to win the favor of the masses and placate the rich and powerful, the Macabbim had become monstrously barbaric and the Tzaddokim were engaged in intrigues and money-makeing, so none of them could understand what the Yachad was telling them. The world that was a creation of their own twisted minds and hearts and sins had taken on a life of its own and they were ensconced in it.
There was no need for HaYachad to be up to the task of having to deal with a brutal world because the brutal world was not of their making. They didn't disappear from history because they couldn't hack it, they disappeared from history because they did not need to do a tikkun and didn't need to be punished for anything.
Interlocutor: G-d put the care and successful survival of Jewry in the able hands of the genius Pharisee Sages, the splendour of our nation eg R.Gamaliel,Elazar ben Azariah,Tarfon, Ishmael, Akiva,Yehuda Hanasi, Abaye, Rava, Mar Ukva, Reish Lakish, R.Chisda, R.Huna,R.Yochanan, Bar bar Channa, Rav Ashi etc etc
Doreen: HaShem had mercy and did not obliterate us entirely, but not one of the Pharisees or their students the Rabbis was ever able to lead us out of the exile.
Interlocutor: The name of not one Essene is known to us
The names of a few members of the Dead Sea Sect are known to us. They were subject to admonition on the part of the sect and the proceedings were recorded. They did not call people by names generally. They did not record the names of their members except in the case I just mentioned, they did not refer to the Prushim by name, they referred to a wicked priest when they obviously meant a Macabbee who came to their settlement on horseback on Yom HaKippurim in order to disrupt their t’fillah, but did not call him by name. They used shemot g’nai for the Romans as well.
There are a few ambiguous cites in the Talmud that may, I repeat may, be interpreted as one of the Rabbis revealing himself to be an Essene. I refer to the argument between Rav Asi and Rabbi Shila in which Rav Asi suddenly declares himself as Isi and gives his lineage. See:
There is also a reference to one Isi bar Hini in Chulin 137b.
These passages are admittedly obscure and it is hard to determine whether these were Isi'im who learned with the Rabbis or not. It is entirely possible that at least some of them did learn together.
Interlocutor: (though some scholars say Jesus was one, to the Essenes' chagrin)
None of the Jewish scholars entertain the idea that Yeshu was an Essene. That is Xian wishful thinking and the contention of Orthodox Jews who wish to remain in a state of denial concerning the fact that they are practicing wannabe Judaism. They denigrate the truth of the way of HaYachad by falsely claiming that Yeshu was one of them. The wholly mistaken notion that Yeshu was an Essene never would have circulated had the scrolls that were sold to Jordan not been resold to Xian researchers originally and had the Israelis not been kept out of the research team for decades. The Xian researchers published their baseless conclusions with unbridled irresponsibility and wanton excitement. Many of those researchers were anti-Semitic and delighted in publishing supposedly scholarly opinions that they knew would hurt the Jews. John Strugnell, a Protestant who converted to Catholicism, was one such researcher. He was on the original team that was comprised entirely of Xians. In 1990 when the research team was finally in Jewish hands he made disparaging comments about Judaism and was summarily fired. It devolves upon us to clean up the mess that Strugnell and others like him made.
Anonymous Interlocutor: So basically you are saying that the Essenes were so righteous that they were taken off the scene of history, like Enoch "who walked with G-d, and he was no more because G-d had taken him" (Genesis 5).
Doreen: Well said!
Anonymous Interlocutor: Whether the Essenes were viewed by G-d as truly righteous who would have led us into an Edenic existence, or as dissidents and kofrim, like the many other wayward groups that multiplied in the last days of the Second Temple, we will have to await Judgement Day & the Resurrection of the Dead.
Doreen: This is one of the most central problems with Pharisaic/Judaism, you are awaiting an end that will never come because you keep generating more time by practicing distortions in the law. It is very interesting that the Tzaddokite Fragments were "archived" in the genizah in Kahir around the time that the writings of the Ramba"m were being published. He, or those who recognized the mind control potential in this writings, had the truth put away so that Yad HaChazakah could take over mainstream Judaism without any conflicting opinions. In so doing the Jews of the Diaspora were locked into it. Can't you let yourself see that the Ramba"m was leading you around by the nose when he made it a principle that you must await the Mashiach. He locked you into time and every major commentary on halakhah since: the Tur and the Shulkah Arukh use that mind and emotion control mechanism because it works so well on the gullible.
Anonymous Interlocutor: "This is not the best of all possible worlds. But it is the best of all possible ways to the best of all possible worlds!". What you shamefully call "distortions", the Babylonian & Jerusalem Talmud, are the discussions, applications and rulings of our Sages on the Oral Law that was given together with the Written Law by Hashem to Moses on Mount Sinai, and are as sacred to Orthodox Jews as the Pentateuch itself.
Doreen: Not in every case, but they would sure like you to believe that and seem to have done an impressive job of convincing you of that. I know it is emotionally hard to realize that your soi dissant "tzaddikim" duped you. What do you expect they are going to say?: "We're really sophisticated manipulators and what we say is intended to confound you."
Anonymous Interlocutor: The sagacity and insight of the Mishnah and Gemara and its study over 2000 years is what has preserved Jewry to this day.
Doreen: Actually, it has only perpetuated the galut. It has caused the many persecutions we have endured.
Anonymous Interlocutor: You say your observance is "indistinguishable" from that of your Orthodox Perushi neighbours in South Safed, meaning you physically follow the very rulings and minutiae you call "distortions": is this not hypocritical, or even cowardice, showing lack of faith in your Essenic convictions? Why do you observe the Shulchan Aruch if you believe it is in gross error?
Doreen: It is not a matter of dishonesty. First, I do not follow the all of the minutiae blindly. I choose that which is obviously intelligent in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition. Secondly, I accept the dictum not to cut oneself off from the community. Third, we do not have the entire corpus of Essene Judaism in hand. From what we do have it is obviously superior and infinitely more authentic than Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism, but there is not enough extant to reconstruct the whole way of Torah life. If there was I would most probably live their way. For the time being I have no choice but to drink unclean water until clean water becomes available.
Anonymous Interlocutor: Maybe its time you showed courage in your convictions and made a demonstrable, public break for all to see, with these Pharisaic rulings and observances, and became eg like a Karaite, who like you disdains the Talmud and the Rabbis, and observes the strict letter of only the Written Law eg no fire, flame, electricity or hot food on the Sabbath, or literally gouging out an eye for an eye etc!
Doreen: It is you who needs to find courage. I am not a Karaite and it is not you who will determine how I will conduct myself. Clearly you are trying to goad me. You are a simple person, "Anonymous Interlocutor", and your intentions are all too obvious. It takes considerable courage for a person to stand up against the Pharisaic/Rabbinic world and say: "The Rabbis aren't wearing any clothes." Where is your courage, er, "Anonymous Interlocutor". Like every person in denial I have ever encountered, you project your own distortions and games onto others. You become abusive and make yourself ridiculous when you cannot answer intelligently. You also do things like call me "hefty" and make allusions to my husband wearing jeans and having long hair (I do not see the connection in any of these things to my writings) then accuse me of resorting to ad hominems when you cannot answer. Clearly, it is you, not I, who employs every fallacious argument in the book, most especially trying to hurt feelings. You do not employ humor, true, only because it is evident that you do not have a sense of humor (unless the malapropisms are intentional, in which case you really should consider doing Norm Crosby imitations in the Catskills). One of the surest signs that someone is not sure of himself or herself is that they can never laugh at himself or herself, and you clearly cannot. Not one of your answers has ever come close to the least of mine either in depth, in knowledge or in erudition. In order to be what you are you have to be the kind of person that you are - cowardly, angry, in denial, distorting the truth, disturbed, abusive, racist and self-satisfied thinking that you are privy to the absolute truth when clearly the Orthodox world is a spiritual shambles.
Keep talking, though. No one could do a better job of demonstrating the kind of people who cling desperately to the Pharisaic/Rabbinic, such as it is, than you do. How weak and pathetic you sound. How evident it is you are grasping desperately at straws. Keep talking.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat