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From: Yair Davidi (email@example.com)
Subject: Notice of Brit-Am Meeting in Jerusalem - April 17, 2001
NOTICE OF APRIL 17 BRIT-AM MEETING IN JERUSALEM
On Yom Shelishi (Tuesday) 1700 17-4-01 there will be a preliminary meeting of Brit-Am.
The meeting will be in the Hilton Hotel in the lobby on the 2nd floor: (just go one flight up the stairs in the entrance) Subjects to be discussed will include:
Agenda and details of Main Meeting on May 1st.
Enhancement of Brit-Am message: deeper and wider penetration of the message.
Ways to deepen felt presence in Jewish community in Israel possibly through establishment of a think tank on national-religious ??? under the auspices of Brit-Am.
How to enable people overseas to become members of an international Brit-Am organization.
Any other ??? or subjects participants want to discuss.
The main meeting will be on May 1st. The purpose of the present meeting (on Tuesday) is to tone our approach up and attempt to clarify our attitude on some of the ???
People present will probably include:
Rabbi Avraham Feld
Del Griffin (ben Yosef) has his own following with ideas parallel to our own with some differences. He will give a short summary of his
ideas followed by discussion. Shmuel ben Yaacov Azriel ben Moshe Chaim
Hyman Benyamin Other Brit-Am followers and sympathizers will be
present. Anybody who is in Jerusalem at the time and wishes to attend
the meeting is very welcome to do so.
From: Yair Davidi (firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Brit-Am Meeting in Jerusalem
REPORTS FROM BRIT-AM MEETING IN JERUSALEM APRIL 17, 2001
On the 17th April we had a meeting.
The meeting lasted more than four hours from 1900-ca 2300
23 people were present which is not bad considering that only 2 days prior notice was given. The meeting was held on the patio of the Hilton Hotel in Jerusalem overlooking the Old City. It was quite intensive. The meeting has caused quite a lot of controversy though only very sketchy reports have gone out so far. We will post several reports describing the meeting: We will also have to answer some controversial points that have already been raised and more will follow. Below is a framework: Dell Griffin arrived accompanied by his wife, two Rabbis of calibre, and his lawyer. Dell said that
1. Brit-Am should not emphasize British and West European origins concerning the Lost Tribes.
2. He said that a framework should exist to enable Gentiles to convert to Judaism yet continue to consider themselves as "Joes" (from Joseph). Alternately a framework should exist to allow "Joes" to settle in Israel and keep the commandments without necessarily converting. He quoted sources. The people who came with him and spoke after him supported him on some points while expressing reservations on others.
1. That we base our claims on what we consider to be facts and these cannot be changed. We recognize the Lost Ten Tribes as being mainly in Western nations. This is what the Bible and history states. We also see a category of "Lost Jews" meaning people who had Israelite or Jewish ancestors who were lost amongst "Gentiles" and now feel a revival of Hebrew identification. Amongst Brit-Am sympathizers present at the meeting were people from Jamaica and Pakistan. They understand our approach and feel our movement expresses the truth and they can find their place with us. This is their home. They spoke on behalf of Brit-Am.
2. Frameworks to accommodate non-Jews already exist. Brit-Am supporter Rabbi Moshe Kornfield reported that the Rabbinical Institute with which he is associated has a program for these people. It was pointed out later by Yair Davidi that if enough "Joes" were to organize themselves and be genuine in their approach then the Israeli Rabbinical Authorities would provide a framework for them just as they have done for other groups. Examples were given and the theoretical justification explained. [On the other hand I also believe that this truth should be spread amongst the Jews and that at some stage the Jews should make an initiative of their own in reaching out to Joseph. In a small way this is what Brit-Am is already doing].
In addition several other topics were raised with criticisms, suggestions, etc. Dell's companions spoke and commented. Brit-Am members gave their points of view and spoke about Brit-Am and what our attitude should be towards the future and towards potential adherents. Rabbi Avraham Feld and Ephraim Frank especially raised points of interest but everybody spoke well. It was quite spiritual, intense, exhilarating. Brit-Am members were united and spoke out of mutual understanding. Brit-Am is love, righteousness, and strength on the spiritual and physical levels. This was emphasized by several of the speakers and felt by everyone. . We are more than a movement, almost a people.
Two people sent in e-mails saying that judging by the posts Dell sent out it appears he arrived at a Brit-Am meeting and took it over. This is a mistaken impression. He had something to say and arrived with people of standing who have sympathized with us in the past and who also had something to say. Out of four intensive hours Dell and his people maybe spoke for not more than one hour. This includes 7 to 15 minute introductory speeches made by the "guests" and various comments made in the course of the evening. This is a lot but they did not dominate the proceedings. They did serve as a catalyst for discussion amongst Brit-Am people enabling us to become aware of the common thread at a higher level between us. In my opinion the deepest impressions were made by rank and file Brit-Am members who spoke with one voice emanating from one heart.
From: Yair Davidi (email@example.com)
Subject: "What Should Have Been"
"What Should Have Been" or "The Need For Sponsors".
see in conjunction with the accompanying posting entitled:
1. What Was:
The meeting lasted for four hours up unto after 2300.
The meeting was held on the patio of the Hilton overlooking the walls of the Old City. We need some place like the Hilton for these meetings since it is easy to find, has an ambience conducive to inter-personal communication and is adaptable.
The meeting was outside but protected and very nice. The lights were semi-dimmed and there was also a dim reflection from the city lights outside. This added something extra to the atmosphere. Light refreshments were served. Brit-Am footed the bill. The bill was not exorbitant but it seriously dented our ready cash. We have a problem with funding - there is none - or very little. We do a lot on a very low budget but to do anything money is needed. We can always cut corners and do things more cheaply but expenses remain. Lack of funds cripples our ability to act and spread the message. Some people lack money and others have prior commitments. Even so this is important and an effort should be made to support us and encourage our efforts. This is the Will of the Almighty and all they who contribute will surely be rewarded.
Yair Davidi and Rabbi Avraham Feld chaired the meeting. Chaim Hyman began taking notes but had to leave early due to a prior engagement. Rabbi Feld then took over the note-taking. He did this while participating in the discussions, answering questions and commenting on the speeches. These notes are quite copious and detailed.
We have no staff, no secretary or typist and lack the funds to go to an Office Service. Yair Davidi does all the typing. The notes will therefore be greatly summarized when possible. A few posts will go out enabling people to get some notion of what happened. We did not video or tape the meeting and a lot of valuable experiences and expressions were lost. I hesitated until the last meeting to request someone to videotape the meeting simply because of the cost.
What Should Have Been in a More Ideal Situation:
1. We should have sent out invitations well in advance.
2. We should have videotaped the proceedings and then be able to sell or otherwise distribute video-films of what occurred or put them on the web.
3. We should have equipment for videotaping, viewing, and processing. Since the whole thing took four hours, shortened versions of the video depicting points of special interest should be available.
4. The same applies for audiotapes.
5. The meeting should have been taped and a transcript made of the taping which would then be available upon request.
6. We should not have to hesitate in the future about calling such meetings or otherwise doing things of a similar nature due to the expenses involved. By expenses I include the loss of time that could be avoided. Even little things often cost money.
7. We need sponsors to help us in these endeavors. The sums involved are not necessarily high ones considering the results that can be achieved.
From: Yair Davidi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Yair Davidy perspective of Dell Griffin's presentation
BRIT-AM MEETING REPORT FROM APRIL 17 IN JERUSALEM
YAIR DAVIDY'S PERSPECTIVE OF DELL GRIFFIN'S PRESENTATION
Dell Griffin (Ben Yoseph) believes (as I understand him) that all Gentiles belong to the Lost Ten Tribes. He says that this is the meaning of "the fullness of nations": In the KJ it translates the relevant passage as Genesis 48;19 [GEN 48:19] ...AND HIS [i.e. Ephraim's] SEED SHALL BECOME A MULTITUDE OF NATIONS.
The Hebrew words translated as "multitude of nations" are "malo
HaGoyim" literally the fullness of nations. Onkelos and others say
this means they will rule over people. We gave an additional
explanation as meaning that other nations will need them, will depend on them. Dell Griffin says it means that all nations will be populated by them through intermarriage and natural increase. He says that The Ten tribes multiplied exceedingly and intermixed with other peoples so that today all nations belong to them. He admits to an especial preponderance of Israelites amongst Europeans. He also holds that these Gentiles whom he calls "Joes" (after Joseph) should convert to Judaism and be accepted by the Rabbis as a separate entity. Alternately he says they should remain Gentiles but adopt as many of the commandments as possible and be allowed to settle in the Land of Israel as a separate entity. He puts out a news report about events in Israel which is quite good. He also sends out postings describing his spiritual experiences, some of which may be of interest. I understand that He believes in Jesus as a messianic figure to some degree. He is not an adherent of Brit-Am. He spoke critically of Brit-Am at a Brit-Am meeting and we replied to him. This does not make us responsible for his beliefs one way or another. His background is that of evangelical "Gospel" Christianity and he is acquainted with many people in that field and has had a lot of experience. The same applies to the Hebraizing Messianic communities, Bnei Noach, and all the rest. He and his family are currently undergoing a process of conversion. He is quite active and says that some of his postings are seen by about 20,000 people. he has a reputation of being a genuine and enthusiastic person. He is interested in the Lost Ten Tribes and active amongst North Americans who he believes to be (along with the rest of the world) descended from Israel. In other words the people he talks to and the subject he talks about to a degree overlaps that of Brit-Am. That is the background to our dialogue. He was critical of our emphasis on the West European and British descended peoples and wanted us to change it. We pointed out that our conclusions are based on research and we cannot change facts. Also the point is whether we are right or wrong more than what we agree to say or would wish to say.
First a word about the meeting. We had wanted a meeting and on the agenda were several possibilities to discuss none of which were urgent at that stage. At all events we had already decided to leave all important final decisions to the big meeting on May 1st. Even so we wanted a meeting. Dell Griffin had expressed a need to talk with Rabbi Avraham Feld who would be present at the meeting so we invited Dell to say a few words about his views and we would discuss them. Dell took our invitation as being very significant and arranged to arrive with an entourage of Rabbis and his lawyer. Two of the Rabbi (Rabbi Bar Chaim and Rabbi Chaim Richman) were known to us, had expressed sympathy for our activities in the past and also assisted us when they could. They are also people of high calibre and original thinking. They came prepared to speak on topics that concern Brit-Am and questions that people in Brit-Am face quite frequently. There happened to be present at our meeting Brit-Am members Rabbi Avraham Feld and Rabbi Moshe Kornfield Shmuel ben Yaacov Azriel ben Moshe Ephraim Frank and other people who are all qualified to answer the type of questions that would be raised. Rabbi Gavriel Sussman was also there on behalf of Brit-Am in an advisory capacity.To get everybody together again as they then were on another occasion even for a pre-planned forum would be quite difficult. We therefore let the agenda take its own course. We participated with remarks of our own concerning Brit-Am as well as the topics raised and their relevance to Brit-Am and discussion. Below is Dell's report. He has an introduction followed by the speech he gave at our meeting. I have interspersed his introduction with a few comments: Dell describes himself in the forwarded posting as "A Joe amongst Jews". Not everyone in our ranks at the meeting was Jewish. On the contrary. It is true however that when people from Brit-Am meet there is no longer a real consciousness of the said distinctions. Maybe for Dell all Brit-Am people seem Jewish?
On the other hand, Those who criticized Dell or expressed reservations about his points of view the most openly were those who he brought with him.
From: Ephraim & Rimona Frank
To: Shevet Achim
Subject: The Brit Am meeting in Jerusalem
As most of you know, more recently I have been involved in helping and supporting Yair Davidi and Brit Am. Last night we had what was supposed to be a planning meeting for the May 1st gathering. However, there seemed to be another agenda before us. The following are my observations and a few comments on that meeting.
Although not as planned, the meeting turned out very interesting. Some of you may have been reading for a while now Ben Joseph's (Dell Griffin) materials. He has been an advocate of the Two-House concept for many years, and last night gave a portion of his personal testimony and his opinion regarding the Ephraimites and their right to return to the land of our forefathers. Currently he is challenging the State of Israel and the rabbinic Halachic authorities to accept him as a "Jewish Joe" (as he puts it), or an Ephraimite. He has submitted himself to the conversion process, which basically establishes that one must leave all aspects of another religion and become a Halachic Jew. He and his lawyer, along with other friends who are rabbis, are looking into whether or not Halachic law can be expanded to include the incoming Ephraimites or allow for someone to go through the conversion process and still remain identified as an Ephraimite (and yet be considered Jewish). Quite a juxtaposition of terms there!
One of the most well-known of all the Halachic rabbis in Jerusalem (if to judge by the way he was treated) was also there last night. I was quite amazed at what he had to say. It was tantamount to a revolution in Judaism itself. Apparently, within their own circles they see the present rabbinic judicial system as absolutely and totally corrupt and needing to be replaced. According to this individual, there is a need to begin to develop another Beit Din (Halachic court), without any political ties to the secular government. This Beit Din would ultimately develop into a Sanhedrin. This judicial organization could then study and come to conclusions in regards to religious and national issues, such as what was being presented by Dell.
This particular rabbi, along with the others, could not deny the
phenomenon emerging out in the nations, especially amongst the
Christians who are claiming to be of the lost ten tribes of natural
Israelites. He said that if there were just a handful of such people it could be brushed off as a syndrome of some fanatics, but because it involves thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people, these rabbis, who have a concern for the preservation of the Jewish identity, but as God-fearing men must consider how to handle gentiles (Israelites) who want to come to the Jewish State. The fear is that the present system is so corrupt and controlled by the secular government, that there is no guarantee that we will remain a Jewish entity in the long run.
Rabbi Haim Richman, of the Temple Institute, a well-known teacher who travels and has a lot of contact with Christians, expressed major concerns about the possibility that this movement could turn out to be another attempt by Christians to make the claim that they are the real Israel and that the Jews are not. Apparently, in his travels he has run into Christians who have hurled the doctrine of replacement theology in his face. However, he did acknowledge the phenomenon, and felt that the Jews will have to take a closer look at this, in light of the present situation.
Rabbi Feld stated that basically we have to use the present system of Yeshivot (Jewish colleges for religious studies) to teach young Jewish people about the Two Houses and begin to think about the process of their reunification. He emphasized the importance and place of Halachic law, but that it needs to be practiced and taught with love, compassion and mercy.
A great deal of emphasis was placed on the relationships of "God-fearing people" amongst each other, stressing that they are all welcome to apply for conversion which would then grant them the right to live in this land, (whether they have the feeling of being Israelites or not). And, indeed, theoretically nothing is stopping anyone from going through the conversion process and becoming Jewish (but whether or not this is the path Abba has for Ephraim is another matter...). A comment made by the lawyer present was also very interesting: "If we all are on the paths of truth, ultimately they will converge".
My impute was basically in support of Brit Am, which is a group of people supporting Yair Davidi in his research and distribution of materials that have to do with informing interested people on their Hebraic, or Abrahamic, roots. I shared that at this point in time the only stick that is recognizable as a nation is that of Judah, and that the second one is just beginning to be gathered by HaShem into the identifiable "ten (lost) tribes", not yet a nation. I commented, half jokingly, that perhaps Zechariah chapter 10 offers the solution to the problems that are facing Judah and its Halachic laws. Zechariah 10 states that Ephraim will return to Lebanon and Gilead (which is at the moment part of northwestern Jordan). Being outside of Jewish national jurisdiction would make that area free of the need to impose Halacha.
At the end Dell was encouraged to simply drop the dual identity issue and move on to simply becoming Jewish.
I would surmise that out of the 15 people sitting there, we each had a different view and opinion on what went on at the meeting. The one thing that did not happen was a discussion concerning the May 1st meeting. I asked Yair about it, and he thought that we might have to have another get-together. He agreed that what took place last night was essential and important, but was not connected in any what to Brit Am.
I would suggest that when groups of Ephraimite-Messianic-Zionists come over here that they need to be exposed to and get a perspective of where their brothers from the Jewish side of the family are coming from. This would involve Judah taking the responsibility (and perhaps an organization such as Brit Am), and initiative to begin to organize tour conferences and seminars. We need relationship building experiences in order to enhance trust and confidence. There are Fundamentalist Christian Zionist organizations that are successful in building very positive relationships with the Jewish nation. I would suggest that this could also happen among the ranks of those who have basically left the Christian religious systems and practices, but continuing to recognize Yeshua as Messiah. This, incidentally, means that in the eyes of the Jews these Ephraimites are still considered Christians. Nevertheless, I believe that we can build a brotherly relationship when walking in the paths of righteousness while not hiding anything from each other. We both need to find our rightful place in our sovereign G-d of Abraham's hand and land, especially at this time in our mutual history, as our paths are starting to converge.
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