By Ben Cohen
The reason we are here is we’re trying to
stick together as one tribe, as one family. We can each contribute what we
have to say and what we feel.
When we are talking about Judah and Ephraim,
there are a few approaches that we could take. What we want to concentrate
on, is to try to see Judah and Ephraim as one family. Though we have had a
family feud, we’re trying to bridge that now. It’s a family. We’re all
familiar with our families back home, and we do know that we have a few
disputes here and there and we try to bridge them somehow.
Judah is represented by the tribe of Judah,
the tribe of Benjamin and most of the tribe of Levi. The rest of the tribes
were led by Ephraim. Where are they now is what we want to know.
from his Hebrew Bible
I would like for you to turn to Jeremiah 31.
Jeremiah is talking very clearly about the regathering of Ephraim into
Judah, and it really is assorted conversation between God and the people of
Israel. God comments, “This people that survived the sword found favor in
the wilderness. . . Among them will be the blind, the lame, the
pregnant and the birthing together. A great congregation will return there.
With weeping they will come and through supplication I will bring them. I
will guide them along the streams of water in direct paths in which they
will not stumble. For I have been a Father to Israel” (vs. 1, 7 & 8).
Esau and Jacob were twins. Esau, the first to
come out, represents basically the pagan nations of this world. They also
come and claim that the covenant goes through them, but God gave the
firstborn rights to Jacob, who is the youngest.
If you look at the tribes, you see that the
first was Reuben. Judah was the fourth to be born, but Judah took a leading
role, at least in Judaism, as a firstborn. Then when we come to Ephraim and
Manasseh, Ephraim is identified as the firstborn – He has the right of the
Let’s go on with Jeremiah 31 and maybe we can
understand what Ephraim is all about. In verse 14, “Thus said HaShem: a
voice is heard on high where is bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her
children. She refuses to be consoled for her children for they are gone.”
Here is a key to the situation we are considering today. Rachel, the mother
of Benjamin and Joseph, is the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh. She
looks down from heaven and she doesn’t see them. The northern part of Israel
is people who are gone. They disappeared completely as a part of Israel. She
cannot identify them. She cannot see clearly who they are. “Where are they?”
And what does God say to her? “Restrain
your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears.” Don’t cry, don’t
worry about it. “For there is a reward for your accomplishments
[reward of HaShem] and they will return from the enemy’s land.” Not
only are they going to return, but where are they going to return from? From
the enemy’s land. On this there is an interpretation that actually the
children of Rachel, Ephraim/Joseph, are not only coming from the enemy’s
land, but they represented the enemy of Israel for many generations.
So we see that the family feud is much deeper
than we think it is. Really the picture is composed of black and white
elements and that creates the picture. The black and the white, the conflict
and contrast between the two colors, is what creates the picture and the
balance that we can visualize with our eyes like in a movie. The picture is
there and it evolves and continues on. The question is where do we want to
be in this? We cannot, as one person, or in a small group, change the script
of the movie. However, there are a couple of scenes from that movie that
could be modified, as God explains in the Scripture. We’re going to get into
it in a minute.
The main thing, like when you go to a movie,
you want to learn something. You come out of the movie and say, “Hey, look,
we got a little smarter.” We learned something in this movie. It’s a human
thing, a story built on something. But what is the lesson of this
movie we’re talking about? It starts in Genesis and I guess it ends in
Revelation. Everything God said is going to take place. But right now we are
at a turning point where we have to get back the family we constructed,
BECAUSE we are facing this Messianic Age, and as a part of the Messianic Age
the Bible is saying that Judah and Ephraim have to get together. Those two
sticks have to come together into one tree.
Now, I know that for most of Christianity
this notion of Judah and Ephraim is very, very poor. It is completely out of
it. But we are not here to change the world. We cannot. Only God has the
time for its fulfillment. So this is like a very deep, very unusual
commitment for us.
It doesn’t hold up in a democratic group. For
in a democracy, how can somebody commit himself for a people that are not
even alive yet and hasn’t been asked if they are willing? We were not asked
either – but what happened is that our great, great grandparents – our
fathers – did make that commitment. That’s what they were asked to do in
return for inheriting the land. It was basically the greatest real estate
deal on the face of the earth. It was land for certain statutes, for certain
commitments. The deal was made, and it was signed in blood.
The father and the son share the same house.
The father is the one who is making the rules of the house. The son and the
rest of the family are asked by the father to please adhere to the rules.
“You cannot do what you want,” he says. “This is the house I have set up,
and I will keep death away.”
The father, at one point, will kick his son
out of the house. Why would he do that? That’s because he really loves his
son. He wants him to understand and appreciate what the home is all about.
Because the son has gotten used to having everything granted to him, he is
rebellious and kicks to the left and to the right. Now the lesson for him is
to be without a land, without a house, so many years and he is open to all
kinds of attacks from animals, from other people.
This is what Jews went through from the
nations. They were kicked out of the land, and they had to experience
hardship. The Holocaust about 60 years ago was probably the top of the bad
experiences that took place. This is because we did not have a land of our
own for so many years. For a long time we were away from that land. We were
You have to understand very clearly, that
with all the compassion you Christian people have for the Jewish people, the
fact remains that the rules of the house were not kept, and that’s why it
all happened. So when a son goes out and he has no place to stay, he stays
in the cold weather, rain, snow, outside without a sweater on, without
protection from God, because God says, “I’m going to hide my face from you
for all this time.”
In other words, God wants us to go through
the experience of not having a father, being fatherless, being Godless, so
many years. He’s saying, “Hey, look, let’s try it. You go out and see
what happens to you outside of the home that I gave you without my
intervention. I’m not doing good or bad for you. I’m just going to leave you
and let’s see what happens to you.” And indeed when we look back we see all
the cruel, every kind of holocaust taking place for the last 2,000 years.
Are we going to learn from this experience?
And if so, what is the lesson that needs to be learned here? How are we
going to change our ways to come into compliance with God? Should we do it
in a business way, a family way, or take another approach?
Let’s take an approach as a husband and wife.
The husband provides for his wife, working for her, giving her everything
she needs, – and then she goes to other men. She leaves her first husband,
as we see in Hosea, and she harlots with other people. She forgot the
goodness of what the first man gave to her. So now she is at a point where
she’s not attractive anymore. She had new men along the way, but they’re
gone now. She has nothing. She’s on her own completely. No man is looking at
her anymore after all these years.
We turn to Hosea, to try to understand it a
little better. Hosea 2 starts with a very good announcement.
“If the number of the Children of Israel
would be like the sand of the sea which can neither be measured nor counted,
it will happen that in the place of their exile where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people.’ It will be said to them, ‘Children of the Living
God, the Children of Judah and the Children of Israel will be assembled
together and they will appoint for themselves one head, and ascend from the
land, for the day of Jezreel is great.’
“Say to your brothers, ‘Ami’ (my People) and
your sister, Ruhamah (pitied), ‘Contend with your mother. Contend: for she
is not my wife, and I’m not her husband. And have her remove her harlotries
from her face, and her idolatries from between her breasts, lest I stripped
her bare, and set her as on the day she was born, and make her like a
wilderness, and render her like a parched land, and cause her to die of
“And upon her children I will have no mercy,
for they are children of harlotry. For their mother has committed harlotry;
she who conceived them hath shamed herself; for she said, ‘I will go after
my paramours, those who provide my bread and my water, my wool, and my
linen, my oil and my drink.’
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge your way
with thorns, and I will hem her in with a fence and she will not find her
paths. And she will pursue her paramours, but not reach them. She will seek
them but not find them.
“Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to
my first husband, for it was better for me there than it is now.’ For she
did not realize that it was I who gave her the grain and the wine and the
oil. I lavished silver and gold upon her, but she used it for Baal.
“Therefore I will return and take my grain in
its time and my wine in its season, and I will remove my wool and my linen
of protection that I gave her to cover her nakedness. And now I will reveal
her repulsiveness before the eyes of the paramours, and no man will save her
from my hand. I will terminate her every rejoicing, her festivals, her New
Moon, her Sabbaths, and her every appointed season.
“I will lay waste her vines and her fig
trees, of which she said, ‘These are payment for me that my paramours have
given me.’ And I will make them like a forest, and the beasts of the field
will devour them. And I will repay her for all the days of the Baalim, to
which she burned incense and she adorned herself with her earrings and her
jewelry, and followed after her paramours, but me she forgot – the word of
HaShem” (Hosea 2:1-15).
Legend: Circle represents
countries Funding Terrorist Groups, Square represents countries Hosting
Terrorist Groups Within Borders, Triangle represents countries Sponsoring
When the Towers Fell
Palestinians cheered the terror strikes while
marching through the streets, firing weapons in the air in glee and passing
out candy. In the West Bank town of Nablus, crowds of Palestinians gathered
in celebration chanting “Beloved bin-Laden, strike Tel Aviv!”
Foreign journalists accused the PA of making
“direct threats” against them and failing to stop gunmen from preventing
camera crews from recording the jubilant scenes.