Do the Natsarim Have a Talmud and Zohar?
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
In Orthodox Judaism Torah is taught from birth to age 12 or 13. Then the Talmud and its many volumes are studied from ages 13-40. Only at age 40 is one permitted to study the Kabbalistic Zohar until death, and let’s be generous and say one dies at the ripe old age of 80.
· 13 years is spend studying Torah
· 27 years is spent studying Talmud
· 40 years is spent studying Zohar
And this is the rigorous life of study of one who was raised in Orthodox Judaism.
Whith that being said, some Torah obedient believers in Messiah Yeshua have the arrogance and foolish audacity to study or want to study such things as Talmud and Zohar and they have barely been introduced to the Torah! And to study such documents that are anti-Yeshua and anti-Natsarim on top of all that! Oy Vey! No we are losing believers like flies! No wonder many who come to Toarh obedience through Messiah either turn to Anti-Yeshua Orthodox Judaism or back to Anti-Nomian Christianity. Why do we persist in pursuing Rabbinic Knowledge that is way over our heads and out of context of our Western minds? Why do we crave legitimacy from a group that hates, will never accept us and rejects our Messiah? A Nerd has a better chance of being accepted as a Jock than a Natsari/Messianic believer does by an Orthodox Jew!
I am NOT saying we should not or cannot cite or use Rabbinic and or Kabbalistic literature, but we need to get our priorities straight and not be so spiritually impatient and arrogant to think we (those who were not raised in Orthodox Judaism) can neglect Torah and pursue Talmud and Zohar and it not impact us in a negative way. There is a reason the Talmud tells of four men who studied Kabbalah and only one became righteous as a result, the others, went insane, one became a blasphemer, the other an apostate.
Talmud and Zohar are like a toddler given keys to a Harley. Can you say, “Instant Death!?” First, the child must master the Big Wheel, Tricycle, Bicycle, moped, dirt bike and THEN the Harley! And this does not happen overnight. We are talking YEARS here; so too with the study of Rabbinic literature.
All we have ever needed has been under our nose the entire time. We are so arrogant thinking that we know all of that, “been there, done that,” that we fail to realize that we have barely scratched the surface!
The Brit Chadasha (New Testament – Renewed Covenant) is our Talmud and Zohar. The four Gospels (Besorah) is our Halacha, even covering the four levels of Hebraic Hermeneutic Interpretation: PaRDeS; P’shat (Literal), Remes (Allusions), Drash (Applicable), Sod (Spiritual/Mystical). Act, Kefa (Peter), Yaakov (James), and Yochannon (John), and are like our Talmud and The Writtings of Rav Sha’ul (Paul) and Yochannon the Revelator (John) Zohar.
No wonder most people coming to Torah have a problem with Paul, because he is speaking he is speaking on a mystical level, most aren’t ready for, and most of us have no business reading his stuff yet, just like a pre-Bar Mitzvah boy has no business studying Kabbalah.
I’m a simple man, sure Paul threw me for a loop at first but I said to myself, “If GOD revealed to me that the Torah is true and still in effect then I simply must be misunderstanding and misinterpreting Paul.” Peter even said this is a possibility:
As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. – II Peter 3:16
And I was until I was ready to delve into Paul’s writings I accept his apostleship and he knew he wasn’t anti-Torah.
That’s partly what faith is all about. Understanding is not always required. I don’t have to understand atoms, molecules, and the periodic table in order to breathe and benefit from oxygen! I breathe and benefit without understanding. But when I got into high school I was ready to understand the mechanics behind that which I had benefited from all my life.
Some of us have no business reading Paul yet. Stick with the Halacha in the Renewed Covenant (New Testament) books.
Christianity has it all backwards; they try and build the roof before they have even laid a foundation! They read the book in the middle without first reading the beginning! They try to understand Paul without first understanding Torah or even Messiah’s words and work.
Ever notice I don’t speak much on Eschatology or prophecy? Why? Because I am living for today which prepares me for tomorrow. I don’t need to know all about tomorrow yet. I’m still feasting, absorbing and growing in the Torah and Messiah’s teachings. I have no shame in admitting I have no business studying Daniel and Revelation right now. I’m smart enough to know I am not ready for it.
I stink at math. I passed math by the skin of my teeth, I never got past multiplication and division. When I was in College, I said to myself, “I’m going to conquer math!” so I told algebra! I dropped out before the deadline to change classes and I took an extra science class instead. Did math defeat me? No, I just wasn’t ready for algebra yet and I had enough sense to know it! Then I discovered I also had a mild form of dyslexia that involves numbers. Numbers would flip flop on me all the time. When someone asked me the time, I’d look at the clock and say 5:35. The person would say, “What!?” I double checked and it was actually 3:55.
Notice despite the nice wall charts on revelations that map it all out has changed and the preaching on revelation has changed regarding the identity of Mystery Babylon, the Beast, the False Prophet, etc.? In the 80’s it was the Roman Catholic Church, in the 90’s Islam was the culprit, now it’s both! Okay make up your mind! Why has it all changed? Because people have attempted to interpret prophecy to make it fit the contemporary news headlines. So who’s right? Don’t know and don’t care because it doesn’t matter because much prophecy will not be understood until right before or right after it happens. We cannot interpret prophecy to make it fit the nightly news.
We are Natsarim not Orthodox Jews.
We are Natsarim, not Charismatic Protestants.
Let’s stop trying to cater and please both camps and be Natsarim!
Just because most of us were raised in church and know all the Sunday school lessons like the back of our hands does not mean that we can read and understand Rabbinic literature, let alone Daniel or Paul!
We need to be wise enough, big enough, man enough, and humble enough to admit and acknowledge what we should and should not tackle in our personal studies. Let’s be humble and honest with ourselves and get our priorities straight and sit under Messiah’s Halacha before we unwittingly slit the throat of this infantile Phoenix of Natsarim Judaism that is desperately trying to rise from 1st century ash! We must have something substantial to hand off to the next generation of Natsarim.
- Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr