Sunday, March 27, 2011

LaShone Hara: Are Their Any Cases Where LaShone Hara and Rechilus are Permitted?

Are Their Any Cases Where LaShone Hara and Rechilus are Permitted?

After reading such stringent principles which govern what is LaShone Hara and Rechilus you may think, “Gee, I can’t say anything without it being LaShone Hara is some fashion!”

Not so, there are rare occasions when one should speak out against another, but only after certain steps (Matt. 18:15-20) are followed and the motive behind such speech against them is not to hurt that person but to protect others from them and their harmful ways and hopefully cause the offending party to reconsider their ways and repent. For instance, if a believer is living in open rebellion against YHWH, clearly breaking His Torah (I John 3:4) and you have confronted them privately, tactfully, and lovingly, one on one and urge them to repent and they refuse to do so, then take one or more brothers or sisters in the faith with you (Deut. 19:15) to again lovingly and tactfully confront this person and persuade them to repent. If they still refuse after this then you bring them before the “church,” which means here the Beyt Din (House of Judgment), the Counsel of Ruling Elders of the Congregation to review the charges against them and lovingly and tactfully urge them to repent. If this fails then the Beyt Din can rule to have the person excommunicated from the Congregation and shunned until they return in repentance. But rarely have I seen it used appropriately in the modern day Christian Church. Restoration is the ultimate goal of excommunication and shunning, not punishment. The offender is excommunicated and shunned in an attempt to:

1. Let that person know they did wrong.

2. To give them space to figure things out.

3. To show and remind them of the fellowship they are missing out on.

Shunning is never done in a, “Humph,” snotty kind of way, but in a quiet, mournful politeness. As if the person was terminally ill and you are speechless.

Then, and only then it is permissible to relay to others what this person had said or done in order to protect others from getting caught up in and being partakers of their sin. The only exception to this is that if for some reason one is in a position that somehow makes it impossible for them to contact or confront the offender properly and personally.

We should not ask, “When MAY I speak LaShone Hara or Rechilus,” but “When MUST I speak LaShone Hara or Rechilus?”

The following are guidelines to be considered when trying to determine if LaShone Hara or Rechilus is in order.

·        Be certain the danger to others if you do not speak out is real and not imagined or exaggerated.
·        If there are any other ways or methods in which to warn people which do not include LaShone Hara or Rechilus, you must do that first. All other acceptable alternatives must be first exhausted.
·        Be sure your motives are pure and you have nothing to personally gain by speaking out.

The following are guidelines in speaking out against others when the circumstances are appropriate to do so.

·        You must have personally witnessed the sin yourself and be sure you indeed without a shadow of a doubt saw what you saw.
·        You must speak out with the offender’s full knowledge of you doing so. This is beneficial because it may cause the person to repent and thus you wouldn’t have to speak out.
·        You must speak out publicly and not secretly behind closed doors or others backs.
·        Your motives in speaking out against or about the person must be out of a pure motive to warn or protect others from getting caught up in the offender’s sin and not punishment, humiliation revenge or personal gain.
·        You must relay only bare essential facts with out exaggeration.
·        You must be willing to say what you have said as if the offender was right there face to face in your presence.
·        You must do everything possible to ensure that the results of your speaking out will be positive and not cause undue harm to anyone.
·        You must not speak out in such away so as to cause the offender to suffer more than they deserve.

There are a few other rare occasions when one may speak LaShone Hara against another, such as positively knowing something about ones future spouse or business partner that is not already well known in order to protect one from physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or financial harm.

In short according to the teachings of (Natsari) Judaism it is permissible to speak out against:

·        An unrepentant believer after properly going through the steps found in Matthew 18 and refuse to abide by the decisions of a Beyt Din.
·        A Rasha which is a wicked person who knowingly, blatantly, unashamedly and overtly sins.
·        An Apikores (Atheist or Agnostic) ONLY if by doing so will produce constructive results, such as keeping a believer from straying from the Faith.


How do we keep from engaging in and perpetuating LaShone Hara and or Rechilus?

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

In the Service to the G-d of Israel,
-- Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

LaShone Hara: Rechilus: What is it?

Rechilus: What is it?

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Exodus 23:1-2a Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil…

Lev. 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.

Prov. 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Also associated with LaShone Hara, and is actually seen as being worse that LaShone Hara itself is Rechilus. Rechilus means “merchant or peddler,” like one who peddles goods off the street, such as the old fashioned paperboy, or today the outdoor news stands we see in big cities. Rechilus is defined as someone who goes and tells people what others have said or supposedly have said about them either by good or hurtful motives. Some people by committing Rechilus may feel they are doing a person a favor by giving them a heads up, while others knowing tell tales just to relish in the drama of the sparks of discord that are thrown off between two other parties. This is a person is a tattle-tale, talebearer and a gossip and therefore is an enemy of G-d Himself.

LaShone Hara: Not Just Spoken, but Heard

LaShone Hara: Not Just Spoken, but Heard

Not only is it a sin to speak or act in such away that is defined as LaShone Hara, but it is just as equally a sin to listen to it. It is seen as being an accessory to a murder, guilty by association.

So basically, anything that is not allowed to be said is also not allowed to be heard.

The best thing to do when someone is speaking LaShone Hara privately to you is to gently and tactfully remind the speaker that such stories or information should not be relayed when one is not in the presence of the one being spoken about and then simply change the subject. In a group situation it is best to simply walk away. I realize sometime we find ourselves in situations where we cannot escape from hearing LaShone Hara by simply plug our ears or walk away. So what are we to do? We may reject what is being said about another as untrue by given that person being spoken about the benefit of the doubt by considering that the speaker may have:

·        Misunderstood and misinterpreted of the circumstances surrounding the person being spoken about or simply failed to take into consideration their true intentions.
·        Exaggerated the story.
·        Actually for unknown or unclear reasons been justified by what they said or did.

For example, let us say person was relaying an eyewitness account of a former drunk staggering down the street with bottle in hand beside a known drunk.

From the story one could very easy assume the person being spoken about relapsed and fell back into alcoholism when in fact the truth behind the story was the former drunk saw one of his former bar buddies stumbling drunk down the street and in order to keep him from getting hit by a car or falling into a ditch stops, takes the bottle from his hand and assists him home. And because his former bar buddy is of a bigger stature with him and is leaning on the other man for steadiness, causes the former drunk to appear as if he is stumbling and is drunk too.

Recall what the Torah tells us in regards to judging our neighbor.

Lev. 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Also remember the very words of our Messiah.

Matt. 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

LaShone Hara: What is it?

LaShone Hara: What is it?

Much confusion abounds on what LaShone Hara is. I hope to plainly and simply define what it is for you.

“LaShone Hara” is Hebrew translated “Evil Tongue” and is in brief defined simply as any spoken, written or bodily expressed word that causes another person loss or to be hurt or harmed in any way, shape or form.
Two main examples of LaShone Hara taken from the Booklet, “Guarding the Tongue” by Dean and Susan Wheelock is:

·        Making a remark that in any way puts down or belittles another person.
·        Making a remark which causes another person to feel bad or be hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or financially.

Again we can commit LaShone Hara not only by what we say, but what we write or say with our attitude, actions, and or body language. And it is also a sin to listen to, believe and or repeat the LaShone Hara of others.
It is said that by simply controlling and wisely using our tongue we can fulfill up to 31 different mitzvot (commandments)!

Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, better known as the Chofetz Chayim is best know for his detailed teaching on what constitutes LaShone Hara.

Let us take a moment and break down and further define the above definition in order to fully know and understand what LaShone Hara is.

·        If what you hint, say, write or even communicate with your body language, whether intentional or not, ends up hurting or causing loss to another person, regardless if anything derogatory or hurtful was actually intended or said, you have just committed LaShone Hara.
·        A story about another person could potentially become LaShone Hara even if one does not mention any names because someone may be able to figure out who is actually being referred to in the story.
·        Belittling others is prohibited and is LaShone Hara even if no harm to the other person results due to the fact the one you are speaking to does not believe your words.
·        Repeating a belittling story concerning another person is a LaShone Hara even if the story is public knowledge.
·        Even if the words you speak are not technically defined as a form of LaShone Hara, but irregardless has a harmful or negative effect on another, has become LaShone Hara.
·        If you say something harmful, even in jest, it is considered LaShone Hara due to the fact of the potential harm it can cause.

LaShone Hara is spoken, implied or gestured hate, lies, falsehood, gossip, rumor, false accusation, slander, or action towards another person that causes them ridicule, humiliation, shame, embarrassment, loss or harm.

How does one keep from committing LaShone Hara? Well, to put it simply in the words of mother, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Sad to say, but if you really think about it, some legitimate news broadcast, but especially tabloid or “entertainment” news is full of LaShone Hara.

“Congressmen So and So did or said this or that.”

“Governor So and So was seen here and did or said this, that or the other.”

Political campaign advertisements are filled with bias half truths of LaShone Hara.

“Such and such athlete was said to have said this or that.”

“Such and Such Actress did this or that.”

LaShone Hara in Judaism is equivalent to the sin of murder. Why!? Because of the potential it has to draw blood. How does LaShone Hara draw blood you may ask? When one speaks LaShone Hara, and it causes embarrassment in another person this is usually manifested by the victim blushing, which actually is blood being released and surfacing to the skin resulting in the red hue. We sometimes call this today assassinating or killing ones character.

Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Lev. 17:11, 14 For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood…

Hate leads to LaShone Hara of the heart that if left unchecked will manifest into LaShone Hara of speech or deed; both deemed the same as murder.

Lev. 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

Matt. 5:21-22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

I John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Seeing as the sin LaShone Hara is taken so seriously in the Bible and in Judaism we must be willing not to hurt or harm others by our speech or actions, even if it causes us harm. We must prefer our brother over ourselves and be willing to suffer in their place if it will save them unnecessary harm.

It is considered a mitzvah to allow others to think less of us rather than bring shame upon another, even if the other person was in the wrong. It is much preferable to suffer shame on behalf of others than be the one to cause such harm to another person, especially if the other person is a brother or sister in the Faith.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Prov. 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

So we are not permitted to speak or display LaShone Hara even if:

·        We are pressured or persecuted to do so
·        We stand to personally loose from it
·        It means others will speak LaShone Hara against us or cause them to think less of us

LaShone Hara: The Biblical Back Story

LaShone Hara: The Biblical Back Story

In order to even begin to understand the concept of LaShone Hara we must see where the concept of Judaism’s doctrine of LaShone Hara comes from and how it is viewed Hebraically with a few samplings from the rest of the Bible before we can truly fully and rightly discuss and define it.

Numbers 12:1-16 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

Tzara’atz, which is rendered in most translations as “leprosy,” but is defined as being virtually any skin disorder from acne to cold sores to rashes to actual leprosy, is a spiritual malady which results with evidence of a physical manifestation. 
Miriam, a leader in Israel and Moses’ sister contracted Tzara’atz because of LaShone Hara (Evil Tongue), speaking evil about Moshe. She was afflicted with Tzara’atz despite being Moses’ sister wasn’t shown any preferential treatment and was confirmed by the Priests and as a result was put outside the camp for a week (Lev.13). This was done so as to give the person with Tzara’atz a chance to think about what they have done and to make Teshuvah (Repentance).

I bet you will never read passages regarding leprosy the same ever again.

Now let us now look at a passage in the Tanak (Old Testament) regarding Leprosy and LaShone Hara and see if we cannot draw any spiritual and practical applications from it.

II Kings 5:1-19 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? Wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? For thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

As we learned in Leviticus 13, Leprosy was a blanket statement for various skin ailments and diseases. Secondly it is a physical manifestation of the sin of LaShone Hara (The Evil Tongue) like gossip, slander and such.

Nama’an, being a leader he was most likely used to making quick assessments and decisions and this most likely spilled over into all areas of his life.

We do not know exactly why or how Na’aman contacted Leprosy, but perhaps he saw a servant who just finished a task and briefly sat down before tackling the next one and Nama’an may have walked in at that moment and said, “Humph! Lazy servant!” I know this has happened to me in the workplace. It seems the supervisor is never around when you are working your tuchas off, yet the moment you take a breather they shows up and assumes you’ve been sitting around all day.

Anyhow, we can say that presumptuous words can be a form of LaShone Hara and presumption was clearly seen in Na’aman’s life and attitude.

Nama’an was an army captain for the king of Aram and he had an Israelite slave girl who cared for her master and suggested he visit Elisha Ha Navi (the Prophet) to be cured.

Nama’an came to Elisha with a preconceived idea of how he was going to be healed. So obviously he had faith. This wasn’t the problem; the problem was he assumed how G-d was going to heal him.

I’ll never forget a spiritual slump I was in, and I was on my way to a service and I thought, “I’ll go to the altar and pray, someone will come and pray over me and prophecy over me and I’ll fall out in the Spirit and my spiritual dry spell will be over!” In fact the opposite happened. I went to the altar and no one came to pray with me and I left lower that I came. On the way home I actually had the foolish chutzpah to get mad at G-d. Then I heard G-d say to my spirit:

“Don’t you ever tell Me how I’m going to heal you!”

The lesson of the sin of presumption is one I’ll never forget. David prayed that G-d would keep him from presumptuous sin.

Looks like Nama’an eventually learned his lesson, for in fact he ends up converting to Judaism!

V.17-19 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? For thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

Now let us look at Leprosy and the Evil Tongue as it is in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) and how Yeshua Messiah seen it.

Matthew 8:1-4 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Here we see Yeshua the Messiah, Like Elisha with Nama’an in the Haftarah portion and Moshe in the Torah portion praying on behalf of his sister Miriam imploring G-d to heal her of the dreaded disease of leprosy.

Notice Yeshua didn’t say, “Congratulations Mr. Former Leper, you have just been healed by the Messiah, Go on now and enjoy your life!” NO! He said:

v.4 “See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”

He told the man to fulfill the requirements of the law/Torah when one has been cleansed of leprosy to show yourself to the Priests.

Lev. 13:49; 14:2

“And if the plague be greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and shall be shewed unto the priest:

This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:”

And he didn’t even say, “Now when you come to the Priests be sure to tell them that Yeshua the Messiah sent you!” NO! He said:

V.4 “See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”

Now, to be cleansed of leprosy, assuming it was as Jewish Tradition states, that it was a physical manifestation of the sin of some sort of evil tongue spoken by the leper.

V.2 “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

That is to say he learned his lesson concerning LaShone Hara (the Evil Tongue) and that he was repenting. For we see Yeshua said:

V.3 “I will; be thou clean.”

In other words, “I accept your repentance.”

He is healed.

Leprosy, as we have read is traditionally thought in Judaism to be the result of sinful or harmful speech or actions to or about another during the times of the Temple or Tabernacle. Remember, Tzara’atz can take the form of any skin disorder, not only just what we know today as leprosy.  So why do we not get “leprosy” today due to the evilness of our tongue. We still do, we just get better at hiding it. Medications contain and prevent acne and cold sores from fully breaking out and make-up hides what has already broken out.  But due to the desensitization and normalization of such sin, skin ailments may not be as profound as they were in the times of the Tabernacle and Temple. YHWH has created our bodies to react and protest against us when we sin in such ways. For example, when one lies or knowing speaks or does that which is hurtful to others the person, which can be considered a spiritual action, they tend to feel all knotted up inside and it creates a bodily reaction which results in various physical skin ailments; rashes, hives, pimples or cold sores.

I can personally attest to this as I recall one time in my life when I was knowingly being deceptive in front of others and the nervousness of being discovered resulted in me breaking out with a nasty fever blister on my bottom lip. I could actually feel it coming on as a result of me being nervous about my willful deception.

LaShone Hara: The Tongue Seems to Have a Mind of its Own

The Tongue Seems to Have a Mind of its Own

Messiah Yeshua’s brother and the leader of the Natsari Sanhedrin of believers in the first century was a well versed and educated Jewish man, who knew full well the potentials, good and evil, regarding the tongue.

James 3:1-13 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.


Ya’akov (James) describes the tongue as if it was a whole other entity that had a mind of its own; a creature that was prone to extremes like a person with a bi-polar disorder; sweet one minute and hellishly nasty the next and thus needed to be controlled and tamed like a wild animal.

We are made in the image of Elohim (G-d) (Gen. 1:27, 9:6) and used words; usually associated with the organ we call the tongue, to create, to give life, to speak things into existence (Gen. 1, John 1). So too we have the power to create and destroy with out tongue (our speech). As King Solomon said:


Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

One gets the impression that King Solomon was referring to the tongue as a double edged sword, one edge, like a weapon kills and the other like a surgical scalpel heals.

Job spoke of the killing capacity of the tongue.

Job 5:15 But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.

The Psalmist describes the tongue, when used in praise is able to slay the enemy.

Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;

So we see the tongue as a deadly weapon. And with any deadly weapon one must be trained to use it properly so as not to harm oneself or the innocent. Any swordsmen trains, any hunter or police officer goes to a firing range to practice and improve ones aim and handling of the firearm; so spiritual warfare and praise takes practice.

King Solomon knew that the power of life and death, the capacity to build up and destroy another resides in the tongue (Prov. 18:21). We can bless or curse, create or destroy; it’s all in the delivery. We especially see this in our dealings with our own children.

Here is an example of using our tongue to kill: “Darn it son! You can’t do anything right! You’ll never amount to anything! How can you be so stupid?”

Here is an example of using our tongue to heal: “Whoa son, what happened buddy? You gave it a good try and I appreciate your desire to help, but let me show you another way to do it.”

See the difference? One is considered a curse, and the other is a blessing and an encouragement. We can make and break our kids and other like people like our familial or spiritual relatives, employees, co-workers or even strangers for that matter by what we say.

We have seen already how our tongue can be used as a sword to kill. Let us now see how the tongue can be used as a scalpel to heal.

Prov. 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 

Prov. 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

Matt. 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

When one has cancer or dead tissue that needs to be removed, or serious risk to ones health that could result in death could ensue; one goes to a surgeon who has training and skill with an extremely sharp instrument called a scalpel. The surgeon uses the scalpel to remove harmful things from the body and in such a way promotes healing and well being. This is why the tongue is referred to as double edges sword that can be used to kill or heal.

So with G-d, so with us.

Rev. 1:16 … out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Where YHWH is infinite, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent and thus has total control over His speech and actions we on the other hand are fallen and finite and thus lack total control over out speech and actions. Yes, we are made in the image and likeness of Almighty Elohim, but the tricky part is knowing when and how and having the control when needed to use our tongue as a sword or a scalpel.

If we can fully learn how to use and control our tongue we will be blessed with a good full life as the Psalmist promised.

Psalm 34:12-14 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

After the Psalmist, King Solomon said:

Prov. 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

Sheliach Kefa (Apostle Peter) urged us…

I Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

In order to please HaShem and live a long and peaceful life with our fellow man it behooves us to fully realize not only the power of our tongue, but more importantly how to control and properly use it.

LaShone Hara: The Sword and Scalpel - Introduction


LaShone Hara, The Evil Tongue: a common buzz word for anyone who has navigated Messianic or Natsari Jewish circles for any significant length of time. It is a word that tends to be used by people who knows the word and the general concept of the word, yet does not fully understand what the word really means. A lot of people just like to say it because it is a Jewish word and it makes them sound Jewish, mystical or educated, especially in front of Rabbis or religious leaders. It’s like a child who learns a new word and tries to use it every chance he gets by interjecting it into any everyday conversation he possibly can, especially around adults, so as to impress. Most do not know what principles govern what is and what is not LaShone Hara. All to often, in a childish, finger pointing, accusatory way when “LaShone Hara” is even slightly suspected, like kindergarteners on the play ground the tattle-tales among us gasped with eyes wide and arm and finger extended, “Ommmm! They spoke LaShone Hara!” But what is it really!? And what defines it!? How do I know if and when I am speaking LaShone Hara!?

In this book I hope to dispel any and all confusing surrounding this vitally important topic. If believer’s world wide could grasp, understand and live by these Biblical principles in regards to guarding the tongue, quite possibly unity of believers and Tikkun Olam (Fixing/Repairing the World) could be achieved virtually overnight.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Curse of Slavery

The Curse of Slavery
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
Messianic Nigerian/Igbo Consultant: Rabbi Gavriel Ogugua

The Curse of Slavery: a hot button topic that many may feel I do not understand nor have the right to speak on because my skin is “white.”

Gen. 9:25-27 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Deut. 28:15, 36, 68 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: … The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone… And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen…

Prior to delving into this topic we must establish a few things; namely, who Noah’s sons were and what Noah’s prophetic proclamations over them meant.

Noah had three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth; brothers, which whether born as triplets or separately, could have been born various shades in color which ended up producing the diversity of ethnic colors in the world today.

To begin with, from Adam to Noah, everyone was black in skin color. G-d created the first man and the first generations of man up till Noah as black people. Everyone had an abundance of melanin. Scientifically it had to be this way; you first have to have an abundance of melanin before you can have a lack of it. Why and how a “white” couple can birth a “black” child is because man at first was black and when other variances of melanin came to be in man kind it became a recessive trait so to speak in fair skinned folks that could, ever so often, pop back up in a generation. Black is the presence of all color and white is the absence of color.

Hamm who gave birth to Canaan was black like his parents and is the progenitor of all the black ethnicities today.

Shem was dark but lighter than Hamm and their parent Noah and was the father of all the Semitic, Arabic and Latino peoples of the world.

Japheth was born fairest of all, “white” yet not albino white, and the Caucasian and most Asian peoples came from this son of Noah.

So the racist, white supremacist notion and bigoted propagandic doctrine of twisted religious fanatics among the Caucasoid peoples that Canaan was cursed with blackness is outrageously illogical and ridiculous, because as we have established from Adam to Noah, all peoples of the earth at that point and time were black. So Canaan could not have been cursed with blackness. There is no biblical narrative that says the curse that was upon Canaan was a visible one such as with Cain. And there too, Cain could not have been cursed with “blackness” of skin. No one is even certain what the visible curse of Cain was, we can only speculate. But if we were to go the skin color route it would make more sense that Cain was cursed with whiteness! Why? Because again, all mankind up to that point was black and the Torah states that white is the indication of a curse or a sickness, more specifically that of a skin malady called in the Hebrew Tza’aretz and in English we know this to be Leprosy, the sign of which was a whiteness of the skin (Lev. 13). White cannot show upon white, so the first Hebrews, the first Jews had to be black or dark in color for the blight of leprosy to be clearly seen and recognized on the skin.

So what of Noah’s pronouncements upon his sons and what did it mean?

Gen. 9:25-27 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Ham was the eldest of Noah’s sons and inherited the role of patriarch and leader, though due to his eventual rebellion and ungodliness fell to Shem and Japheth equally. Canaan, Ham’s sons curse by Noah was, I believe, two fold. First, like the blessings of obedience in Deut. 27, in the best of times he was to bear the joyous burden of being a servant in regards to a leader, a ruler, which is defined as a servant of the people. The first rulers of the world were black, Nimrod and the Egyptians of Moses’ time. It is interesting to me that early white archeologists have tried to conceal the powerful history of the black man from the world by stripping artifacts of the Hammetic features on artifacts, namely the nose, lips and occasionally the hair, which prominently shows the distinguishable Hammetic features. Secondly it meant, in the worst of times, like those who are disobedience in the vein of Deut. 28, Canaan’s descendants was to be bondservants, slaves, forced to serve their brothers whom they once ruled.

Like Yeshua, Canaan, Hamm’s son was privileged to be a “Servant of Servants” to his brothers and the world. His job was to equip and assist Shem and Japheth to fulfill their divine calling and mandate in the world. Without Hamm, Shem and Japheth could not achieve their full potential in HaShem. No man is an island. We all need one another to fulfill out calling in YHWH. G-d purposely made it this way so we would have to unite, depend on each other and work together for a common holy end. For example, I need the wisdom and direction of Hamm and the muscle of Japheth to fulfill my calling and visa versa; the sons of Noah need one another, we cannot truly and effectively live without one another!

Shem was proclaimed spiritual leader and advisor of the three brothers whom both Canaan and Japheth were to assist. Japheth was to be explorers and conquerors that assisted Canaan (Hamm) and Shem.

Can you imagine if healing, reconciliation and unification was once again achieved among the three brothers of Noah!? Talk about Tikkun Olam! Talk about Revival! Talk about Heaven on Earth! Oh, how well the world would run if we all operated in our destined and divine callings!

Some believe it was Japheth’s descendants who predominately furthered what we know today as Christianity and it was birthed from Judaism (Shem), this is the spiritual meaning of the reference of Japheth dwelling in Shem’s tents his tallit (prayer shawl) if you will.

Deut. 28:68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen…

Egypt is both literal and spiritual. Spiritually it represents any place of bondage and slavery. This is reminiscent of the African Slave Trade. But you may ask, are the African slaves Hebrew? Yes, most of them were.

Specifically Gad whose mother was Leah’s handmaid Zilpah is rumored to have been a black woman. Both handmaids (Zilpah and Bilhah) are speculated to have been Hammetic and so a portion of the 12 tribes were black men. Also, we must remember that Moses married a black woman and so thus a portion of the priestly tribe Levi became black. Song of Solomon is written about a black woman, so even parts of Judah are black.

25% of all African Americans and 60% of Jamaicans, and an unknown percentage of Haitians are descendants of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, which were the first slaves the white men took from Africa and now has been discovered is a portion of the lost tribe of Gad. It was prophesied that some tribes would be scattered beyond Egypt and even beyond Ethiopia (Isa. 11:11-12, Zeph. 3:10, Psa. 68:31). So Deut. 28:68 applies to a portion of those whose ancestors suffered in the slave trade. For more information on this please see my book “Finding Gad: The Quest for the Lost Tribe of Gad.”

G-d has always used the nations to punish His people when they disobeyed Him by disregarding the Instructions of Torah and thus the nations were given permission by G-d to scourge His people. We read how the two Kingdoms, Judah and Israel suffered at the hands of other nations when they were in rebellion against G-d’s Torah. How they were carted off into Babylonian and Assyrian Captivity respectively. However, when the divinely ordained enemy scourge went go overboard on Judah and Israel, they in turn end up being punished by G-d directly for being to harsh to His chosen people. But it was the punishment they received by the nations which caused them to once again seek G-d and His ways and return to Him. So in light of the subject at hand, I am by no means excusing the blight of the slave trade in American history, but I must point out that the Rabbi’s and Sages believe that even in curses there is a silver lining designed to bring the disobedient back to G-d. It was within this curse of slavery which was predicted in Torah and by the prophets due to his peoples disobedience, that the lost tribes were introduced to Messiah through the means of the evangelization of Christianity and today the equilibrium is beginning to find its balance as these same peoples and lost tribes are finally coming full circle in returning to Torah obedience as they discover their true identity as Jews and Hebrews, and thus in this way Israel is being saved (Rom. 11:26). 

A lot of generational animosity, anger and hate is kept and felt by some of those whose ancestors were slaves and in some cases has produced black supremacy movements which are just as evil and wicked as the white supremacy movements. So one must be aware of and examine the Black Israelite and or Black Hebrew movement when they find and run across them because many times it tends to be the black version of white supremacist groups, movements and organizations. The majority of what they say is half truths as well as historically and scholarly manipulated propaganda. They give real, genuine and proven black Jews and Hebrews of the world, such as the Ethiopian Lemba tribe, who are proven to be of the Israeli tribe of Levi and Igbo, which comes from the Israeli tribe of Gad through Gad’s son Eri, a bad name and leaving a bad taste in the mouth of believers of all ethnicities.

To perpetuate and proclaim that Jews/Hebrews are ONLY black or ONLY white is extreme, foolish and a harmful, prejudiced, unbalanced lie. Because of the captivities and migration of all the 12 tribes, the sons of Israel has mingled and mixed with virtually every ethnic group in the world and in this way bringing unification, reconciliation and a holy oneness to the world and the peoples of the world, Noah’s three sons. Nimrod had a similar yet evil, perverted notion of this in the whole incident at Babel.

Even though through disobedience to Torah the people brought slavery upon themselves, there is no excuse for slavery of such magnitude as was seen in the American Slave Trade. However, we must recognize that on the other side of that dark veil of shameful history, after healing, reconciliation and restoration is made, a gateway of light, freedom and prosperity for the black Hebrews was made. Holding on to the anger and resentment of the past which lay buried in the dust, in this case, clouds the mind, darkens the heart and is useless seeing as due to the disobedience of Torah the people brought slavery upon themselves anyhow, despite the slave traders taking it to an unnecessary degree in which judgment is in store for that. 

I, as a white Jew could choose to hold on to unforgiveness, hate and animosity toward the Gentiles, because of the pogroms; especially the Germans, at whose hand six million of my people died a cruel death, slaughtered like animals. Through the holocaust the Jews became slaves. But I choose to forgive, but never forget lest history repeats itself. As the slogan goes, post holocaust, “Never Again.” I had a young blonde haired blue eyed German man come up to me crying and asking for forgiveness for himself and his people because of the holocaust and I told him, no forgiveness is necessary. He wasn’t born yet, he personally had no hand in the holocaust. I nonetheless praised him for his heart and the gesture of healing and reconciliation, I hugged him and told him that I loved him and his people and that I hold no unforgiveness, malice or ill intent in my heart. For I realize we Jews partially brought the holocaust upon ourselves due to our disobedience to Torah, for the majority of Jews in the holocaust were far from being religiously observant. They were in the death camps not because of the practice of their religion, but simply because they were children of Abraham and Judah, just because they ethnically were Jews. And it was due to the holocaust and many righteous gentiles of the holocaust who were Christian introduced us to Messiah and as a result the Natsari movement, the Jewish movement of the first century Torah Obedient believers in Messiah Yeshua was resurrected. Again, things come full circle as this too is a way that all Israel is being saved in fulfillment to the prophecies; the tribes of Israel and the Tribe of Judah coming to walk in Messiah’s footsteps by keeping Torah.


What does all this say about the acceptance and approval of slavery in the Torah? The issue of Scriptural Slavery has been taken out of contest because most people look at it in light of the cruel African, Asian, and Native American slave trades. Slavery in Torah terminology between two Hebrews is best understood in regards to an indentured servant or a hired hand.

May times a Hebrew would find themselves in debt with the threatening prospect of being sold into slavery as a result. So the Torah says it’s best to be indebted to a Jew as opposed to a foreigner because the Torah gives guidelines on the treatment of slaves and it reads like an Employer / Employee hand book. It even makes room for a type of severance pay. Hebrew slaves are treated so well that it can turn into a full time position.

Deut. 15:12-18 And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.

Rav Sha’ul (Paul) knew this concept real well and was proud to call himself a slave, servant, and or bond servant to G-d, depending on what translation you use (Rom. 1:1, Titus 1:1).

Even non-Hebrew slaves serving a Hebrew had it good. Eleazar, Avraham’s servant would have gotten everything if Ishmael and Isaac didn’t come along. Abraham trusted him to find a wife for his son Isaac (Gen. 15:2).

But the Torah also says:

Deut. 23:15 (16)Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:
 16 (17) He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

We are always to remember where we came from as a people, that we to were once slaves in Egypt.

Rav Sha’ul (Paul) found himself in a tough rabbinical position. In his letter to Philemon we see that Rav Sha’ul is in prison with a run away slave named Onesimus. Rav Sha’ul knowing the Torah full well probably had these very verses in mind when dealing with this dilemma. For the verses above tells us that a Jew must not return a run away slave to his former master. But on the other hand apparently at some point during his stay with the Rav, Onesimus converted to Natsari Judaism (1:14) and was thus no longer just a Gentile slave, but a Hebrew brother in the Messiah. So Rav Sha’ul convinces Onesimus upon his release to return with this letter to Philemon; the letter implores Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a brother (1:16). Rav Sha’ul even vouches for Philemon that he himself would be held responsible if Philemon stole anything or damaged him in any way (1:18).

I imagine Rav Sha’ul was thinking of the good relationship that Avraham and Eleazar had as a model for Philemon and his Master to follow, which was similar to a father and son relationship rather than a slave / master or even employer/employee relationship.

In our dealings with each other, let us keep in mind that whatever situation we may find ourselves in the body, that we are all mishpocha (family) and need to treat one another as such.

Folks, coming full circle here, it is time to stop bearing the grudge of history, pointing the finger and laying the blame just because we are each a different color or come from a different brother. The bottom line is we all have the same Father. It is time we learned from out mistakes and bury the hatchet, forgive, love one another and unite in such a way as Adonai intended. Maybe it is not unfulfilled prophecy keeping Moshiach from coming back, but perhaps it’s our refusal to reconcile with one another and heal each others wounds. If Ishmael and Isaac could reconcile (Gen. 25:9), why can’t Shem, Hamm and Japheth? Moshiach will not return for a Bride at war with herself. Let us seek out our brethren and being echad (one), let us be a Bride that Moshiach cannot wait to return for.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Lost Tribe of Gad Part VIII

First and Second Wave of Gadites to Nigeria

As we have discussed earlier, there appears to be a pre-exodus, exodus excursion to Nigeria by Gad’s son Eri and his traveling companions. There is evidence to suggest that there was a second wave of Hebrew and Gadites to Nigeria after the destruction of the First Temple to join the first Gadites of Eri, Arodi and Areli that were already there. As it says in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) letter of Ya’akov (James):

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Again, this means that during the first century, prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE (AD) it was generally known where the 10 tribes taken into Assyrian Captivity were. So it is reasonable to believe that Gadites in the Jerusalem and surrounding areas knew where their brother Gadites were in Africa and stayed in contact with them and decided to join their brothers after the Temple was destroyed.

Prof. O. Alazei in his book “Ibo Exodus” page 74-75 that this second wave of Gadite and possibly other Hebrew and Jews first passed through Egypt, Libya and Sudan and eventually camped at Chad Basin in North Eastern Nigeria. From there some settled around Zaria, Benue, Ingala, Idoma, Uburu and the Delta regions. Some went as far as Cameroon to settle. But what is consistent in every account is that many made it to Aguleri, where the first wave settled and fanned out from there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Lost Tribe of Gad Part VII

What Prophecy Says Concerning Gad
Ya’akov (Jacob) prophetically blessed the children of Gad:

Jasher 56: 6-16 And Jacob said, Call all your children unto me, and all the children of Jacob's sons came and sat before him, and Jacob blessed them, and he said unto them, The Lord God of your fathers shall grant you a thousand times as much and bless you, and may he give you the blessing of your father Abraham; and all the children of Jacob's sons went forth on that day after he had blessed them. And on the next day Jacob again called for his sons, and they all assembled and came to him and sat before him, and Jacob on that day blessed his sons before his death, each man did he bless according to his blessing; behold it is written in the book of the law of the Lord appertaining to Israel. And Jacob said unto Judah, I know my son that thou art a mighty man for thy brethren; reign over them, and thy sons shall reign over their sons forever. Only teach thy sons the bow and all the weapons of war, in order that they may fight the battles of their brother who will rule over his enemies. And Jacob again commanded his sons on that day, saying, Behold I shall be this day gathered unto my people; carry me up from Egypt, and bury me in the cave of Machpelah as I have commanded you. Howbeit take heed I pray you that none of your sons carry me, only yourselves, and this is the manner you shall do unto me, when you carry my body to go with it to the land of Canaan to bury me,  Judah, Issachar and Zebulun shall carry my bier at the eastern side; Reuben, Simeon and Gad at the south, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin at the west, Dan, Asher and Naphtali at the north.  Let not Levi carry with you, for he and his sons will carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord with the Israelites in the camp, neither let Joseph my son carry, for as a king so let his glory be; howbeit, Ephraim and Manasseh shall be in their stead.  Thus shall you do unto me when you carry me away; do not neglect any thing of all that I command you; and it shall come to pass when you do this unto me, that the Lord will remember you favorably and your children after you forever.  And you my sons, honor each his brother and his relative, and command your children and your children's children after you to serve the Lord God of your ancestors all the days.  In order that you may prolong your days in the land, you and your children and your children's children for ever, when you do what is good and upright in the sight of the Lord your God, to go in all his ways.

Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Moshe (Moses) prophetically blessed the children of Gad:

Jasher 87:5-8 And Moses called to all the children of Israel and said to them, You have seen all the good which the Lord your God has done for you in the wilderness.  Now therefore observe all the words of this law, and walk in the way of the Lord your God, turn not from the way which the Lord has commanded you, either to the right or to the left.  And Moses taught the children of Israel statutes and judgments and laws to do in the land as the Lord had commanded him.  And he taught them the way of the Lord and his laws; behold they are written upon the book of the law of God which he gave to the children of Israel by the hand of Moses.

Deut. 33:20 And of Gad he said, Blessed [be] he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.

Jacob tells us that Gad would be a troop that is at first overcome and defeated but in the end will have the last laugh and be the conqueror of the conqueror.
The blessing of Moses upon Gad implies that Gad is a ruling military force that destroys the military arm and rule of the head of any opposing nation. It is interesting to note that like Judah, Gad is likened unto an intimidating, fierce and roaring, ruling Lion. The only other tribe likened unto a lion was Dan (Deut. 33:22). The phrase, “dwelleth as a lion” means that Gad’s character and nature as a people and a tribe are like fierce roaring lions that will vehemently defend territory and pride. “teareth” refers to the lions mighty clawed paws and its way of hunting by chase and tackle, by hooking the legs with its claws and ends in a bite upon the neck below the head, breaking it causing swift instantaneous death, or by a throat bite which ends in a slow death suffocation. Whereas Judah is the alpha male lion king of Israel, Gad is like the lioness hunters and young male enforcers and warriors. When lionesses hunt, they will drag the prey away and eat just enough to give it strength to drag it back to the pride where the lion king and males eat, then the females and finally the cubs. Gad as a tribe knows their rank, place and purpose in the nation of Israel.

The Pseudopigraphal book, “The Testament of Gad,” has a theme of guarding ones heart against hate and murder, which would what a warrior tribe would need to balance and keep in check their war-like tendencies prophesied in the Torah.

In the book of Revelation 7:5, it says 1,200 of Gad were sealed, meaning that the tribe of Gad, lost to the Assyrian captivity and Diaspora will once again be found, and indeed a portion of them has been found in the Nigeria people of the Igbo’s. I have met the Igbo King and he wears a necklace that has a Star of David with a lion in the middle of it.
Moses tells us that when Gad’s time comes, he will utterly over take his enemies like a lion. This and Jacob’s prophecy has come to pass when Gad (Igbos) was temporarily overcome and ended up overcoming in the Nigerian Biafran War. The History of the Igbo’s and of the Jews today parallel and are practically in sync with one another. The sleeping Lion of Gad is now rousing and can only become more powerful, woe unto those who attempt to taunt this waking Lion. Moses also tells us that those who help the cause of Gad, fight on behalf of Gad will be blessed. You, just by reading this book are partaking in the unfolding of prophetic history and helping to “enlarge” Gad and therefore you will be blessed! Did you ever think that you would ever partake in any way the recovery of the “lost tribes” or be a part of prophetic history in any way!?