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Posted by: Benjamin
Avram Yehoshua and the people and organizations quoted on seedofabraham.net are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.

Kosher: Jewish vs. Biblical
by Avram Yehoshua


To abstain from all unclean animals (food), is Torah (the first five books of the Bible: Genesis through Deuteronomy). To 'keep kosher' the Jewish way, is both Torah and rabbinic. There is a big difference. God requires that we eat only clean meat (Torah: Lev. 11 and Deut. 14), and so do the Rabbis. But the Rabbis go further. Keeping kosher means that one doesn't eat any dairy products with meat. The Rabbis say that one cannot have cheese with clean meat, or even use a plate for meat, that once had cheese on it.

The separation of dairy and meat, with the rabbinic injunction that it's sin if one violates it, is based on the Scripture about not boiling a kid in its mother's milk. The rabbinic view is that one should not eat meat and dairy together thereby avoiding the possibility of breaking the Commandment.1 Of course, God never says in this Commandment that one can't eat meat and dairy together, but this is how the Rabbis have interpreted it.

Exodus Chapter 23
19 The choicest first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of YHWH thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.

Exodus Chapter 34
26 The choicest first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of YHWH thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.'

Deuteronomy Chapter 14
21 Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself; thou mayest give it unto the stranger that is within thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto a foreigner; for thou art a holy people unto YHWH thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.

This rabbinic rule came about through a perverse interpretation of Exodus 23:19 (the same verse being repeated in Ex. 34:26 and Deut. 14:21). The proper understanding of this verse deals with the ancient Egyptian and Canaanite idolatrous fertility rite.2 The liquid (milk), was sprinkled over the fields by the pagans, after the fall harvest, 'to ensure' a bountiful harvest from their god or goddess, for next year. Exodus 23:19 reads:

'The first of the first fruits of your Land you must bring into the House of Yahveh your God. You must not boil a kid in his mother's milk.'

From Manners and Customs of the Bible

As this injunction is put in connection with sacrifices and festivals, it seems to have referred to some idolatrous practices of the heathen. Cudworth says, on the authority of an ancient Karaite Comment on the Pentateuch, that it was an ancient heathen custom to boil a kid in the dam's milk, and then besprinkle with it all the trees, fields, gardens, and orchards. This was done at the close of their harvests for the purpose of making trees and fields more fruitful the following year. It will be noticed that the injunction of the text is given in connection with the feast of harvest.

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Posted by: Benjamin
Marina Rustow of The Jewish Theological Seminary, and the people and organizations quoted on jtsa.edu, are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.

Exhibit at the JTS Library
December 14, 2000 - April 5, 2001
Online selections available indefinitely



Who are the Samaritans and the Karaites? The Samaritans claim descent from the biblical Israelites of the Northern Kingdom in Samaria, while the Jews trace their origins to Judeans of the Southern Kingdom who were exiled to Babylonia. The Samaritans furthermore accept only the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, as their sacred text. The Karaites accept all twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible, and in this they agree with the Jews. But ever since their origins in eighth-century Iraq, they have rejected rabbinic law as expressed in the Talmud. They maintain instead that the Bible is the sole authentic source of Jewish law.

Deuteronomy Chapter 31
24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
25 that Moses commanded the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of YHWH, saying:
26 'Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of YHWH your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against YHWH; and how much more after my death?
28 Assemble unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them.
29 For I know that after my death ye will in any wise deal corruptly, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the end of days; because ye will do that which is evil in the sight of YHWH, to provoke Him through the work of your hands.'

The Samaritans and the Karaites do not have much in common beyond their special relationship to Scripture. While the two groups had some limited contact and even influence on each other during the Middle Ages, their histories have taken completely different paths. The Samaritans have always lived within pilgimage distance of their place of worship, Mount Gerizim, near Shechem in Samaria. Although during ancient and medieval times, Samaritans lived as far away from Mount Gerizim as Cairo, Damascus, and the Greek isles, the Samaritan diaspora rarely rivaled the Shechem community in religious and cultural importance.

The Karaites, by contrast, never lived in or near one particular place. For much of their history, they maintained a group of representatives in Jerusalem. But the majority of Karaites have always lived among the rest of the Jews. In the Middle Ages, the major communities of Karaites were in Iraq, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, North Africa and Spain. From there they migrated to the Balkans and Turkey, and then to the Crimean peninsula, Russia, Poland, and Lithuania. Until the twentieth century, western Europe was the only major Jewish habitation without Karaites.

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Posted by: Benjamin
Yaaqov Ben Yisrael & Jodell Onstott are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.

Is the Pronunciation of the Name YHWH Lost?
האם ההגוּי שׁל השׁם יהוה אבוּד
By: Yaaqov Ben Yisrael
Edited by Jodell Onstott


In the book of Exodus, we are introduced to the name of the Creator. This is not to say that His name was not used prior; yet we are given a more personal introduction to His name.

The author states that zeker means "mention" and the JPS translates it to be "memorial". Perhaps, a more direct translation might be "remembrance". wiktionary.com defines "remembrance" as that which serves to keep in or bring to mind; a memorial; a token; a memento; a souvenir; a memorandum or note of something to be remembered. In this case, the name by which God is to be remembered.

Exodus Chapter 3
15 And God said moreover unto Moses: 'Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is My name for ever, and this is My memorial unto all generations.

Micah Chapter 4
5 For let all the peoples walk each one in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of YHWH our God for ever and ever.

From Exodus 3:15
וַיֹּאמֶר עוֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶל מֹשֶׁה כֹּה תֹאמַר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם | זֶה שְּׁמִי לְעֹלָם וְזֶה זִכְרִי לְדֹר דֹּר

Elohiym (God) again spoke to Moshe (Moses), thus you shall speak to the sons of Yisrael (Israel), Y'HWaH God of your fathers God of Avraham (Abraham) God of Yitshaq (Isaac) God of Yaaqov (Jacob) sent me to you; this is My name from everlasting, and this is my mention generation to generation. (YBY Translation) Exodus 3:15

Joel Chapter 3
5 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YHWH shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as YHWH hath said, and among the remnant those whom YHWH shall call.

We are further told in Joel 3:5:
וְהָיָה כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה יִמָּלֵט | כִּי בְּהַר צִיּוֹן וּבִירוּשָׁלִַם תִּהְיֶה פְלֵיטָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהוָה וּבַשְּׂרִידִים אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה קֹרֵא

And it shall be, all who call upon the name Y'HWaH shall be delivered; for in mount Tsiyyon (Zion) and in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) shall be deliverance, like Y'HWaH said, and in the remnants who shall be called. (YBY Translation)1

Seeing that YHWH's name and mention has been given, and He tells us to use his name throughout our generations, even commanding us to call upon his name for deliverance, you would think we would know how to pronounce His name.

According to many Biblical scholars, among all religious affiliations, there exists a consensus of opinion that the true pronunciation of this name has been lost. That there is no way to know for certain the true pronunciation of the Creator's name.

In this paper, we will examine the Biblical evidence for this pronunciation. We will investigate the vowels and accents left to us by the Masoretes2, as well as many compound usages. We will discover the reason that the traditional Masoretic Text (MT) has left us in a state of ignorance regarding the pronunciation of the Creator's name. By using simple rules of Hebrew grammar, we will try to reproduce possible pronunciations.

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06/01/09: Who is born a Jew?

Posted by: Benjamin
Beta-Gershom.org (i.e. half-Jewish.org), and the people and organizations quoted on Beta-Gershom.org (i.e. half-Jewish.org), are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.

Some commentary at the end of the article has been added for further clarification. Anyone having additional information - please add a comment.

Who is born a Jew?


The question of who is born a Jew has been much debated. We consider first the views of Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism and Karaite Judaism.

Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism considers that according to the Torah a person is born a Jew only if that person's Mother is Jewish. On the other hand, Karaite Judaism considers that according to the Torah a person is born a Jew only if that person's Father is Jewish.

We will examine the two readings in the Pentateuch that imply a status of the child of Israelite intermarriage to a non-Israelite. We will examine these two readings in light of the Rabbinical position as well as in light of the Karaite position. The two readings are: from Deuteronomy 7:3-4, and Leviticus 24:10-16.

Deuteronomy Chapter 7
1 When YHWH thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before thee, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
2 and when YHWH thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them;
3 neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
4 For he will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of YHWH be kindled against you, and He will destroy thee quickly.

First, from Deuteronomy 7:3-4 "Neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give unto his son, nor his daughter shall you take unto your son. For he will turn away your son from following Me, that you may serve other gods."

The first interpretation of this is as follows (we have added in brackets the interpretation of the text):
";Neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give unto his son ["he" being the Canaanite man, and "his son" being the son of that Canaanite man], nor his daughter [again "he" being the Canaanite man, and "his daughter" being the daughter of that Canaanite man] shall you take unto your son ["you" being the Israelite to whom the Torah speaks to, and "your son" being the son of that Israelite]. For he ["he" being the Canaanite man] will turn away your son ["your son" being the son of the Israelite] from following Me, that you may serve other gods. " In this interpretation, the concern expressed in the Torah is that the Israelite's son is given in marriage to a pagan woman and the pagan woman's father will teach paganism. In this interpretation there is no implication being made on the status of any possible offspring between the mixed couple.

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Posted by: Benjamin
Today is Sunday, May 31, 2009 -


Day 50 of Omer
Chag Sameach Shavuot!

Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest
Feast of First Fruits

Baruch YHWH!



Rabbinical Jews start the counting of the Omer on the day after Passover. Karaites believe the counting of the Omer starts the day after the shabbat that occurs during passover. Let's try to understand what the Torah actually says.

A couple simple verses leading to the first day of Omer starting the day after shabbat during Passover:
- We are to count 7 shabbats which logically points to shabbat as the shabbat, not Passover as the first shabbat -- there are not 7 Passovers. Shavua is hebrew for week - Shavout is afterall interpretted to mean Feast of Weeks. Having the name for week in the Feast name and still interpretting shabbat as week rather than 7th day of rest seems extreme.
- Most revealing is Lev 23:16 where it specifies the fiftieth day being the "morrow after shabbat", which clearly would be a Sunday.
Therefore, the count would begin on the day after shabbat during Passover.

Interestingly enough, those following the lunar calendar would have the same count in the year 2009 since Passover fell on shabbat according to the lunar calendar.

Contrary to popular belief, the Counting of Omer leading to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks/Pentecost) begins after shabbat, not after Passover.

From http://www.karaite-korner.org/shavuot.shtml:
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks/Pentecost) is the Biblical harvest-festival celebrated 50 days after the Sunday which falls out during Passover. These fifty days are called the Counting of the Omer.

A more accurate translation of Lev 23:15-16 follows:


Leviticus Chapter 23
15 And you shall count for yourself from the day after the seventh day of rest (the shabbat - הַשַּׁבָּת), from the day that you brought the sheaf of waving; seven seventh days of rest (a shabbatote - שַׁבָּתֹות) shall there be complete;
16 even unto the day after after the seventh day of rest (the shabbat - הַשַּׁבָּת) shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto YHWH.


The references to shabbat in these verses specify a definite article using "the shabbat" rather than "a shabbat". The definition of shabbat occurs a few verses earlier in Lev 23:3.

Leviticus Chapter 23
3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest (a shabbat shabbathown - שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתֹון), a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a sabbath (a shabbat - שַׁבַּת) unto YHWH in all your dwellings.

Leviticus Chapter 23
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest (הַשַּׁבָּת), from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks (שַׁבָּתֹות) shall there be complete;
16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week (הַשַּׁבָּת) shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto YHWH.
17 Ye shall bring out of your dwellings two wave-loaves of two tenth parts of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven, for first-fruits unto YHWH.
18 And ye shall present with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams; they shall be a burnt-offering unto YHWH, with their meal-offering, and their drink-offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto YHWH.
19 And ye shall offer one he-goat for a sin-offering, and two he-lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace-offerings.
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first-fruits for a wave-offering before YHWH, with the two lambs; they shall be holy to YHWH for the priest.
21 And ye shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

Posted by: Benjamin
Karaite Jewish University, and the people and organizations quoted on kjuonline.com, are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.

Thanks Zvi for corrections to Hebrew grammar -- see comments...


On the relationship between Tahor and Qadosh
by Benjamin ben Daniel
(with Tanakh references from JPS 1917)



The children of Israel are instructed to be both Tahor (clean) and Qadosh (holy). While Tahor and Qadosh have different requirements and seem to have different goals, they can appear equally important to the reader of the Tanakh. Teaching the differences between the Tahor (clean) and the Tamei (unclean/defiled) as well as between the Qodesh (holiness) and the Chol (common/profane) is commanded; but this essay is not about those differences. This essay will explore the relationship between Qadosh and Tahor. Hopefully, this will lead to a greater understanding of their goals and how each is applied.

Leviticus Chapter 10
8 And YHWH spoke unto Aaron, saying:
9 'Drink no wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tent of meeting, that ye die not; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
10 And that ye may put difference between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean;
11 and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which YHWH hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.'

Ezekiel Chapter 22
26 Her priests have done violence to My law, and have profaned My holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and the common, neither have they taught difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Ezekiel Chapter 44
23 And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

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Category: General
Posted by: Benjamin
Karaite Jewish University, and the people and organizations quoted on kjuonline.com, are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.


Karaite Jewish University - Class 2009


My friends, it is an honor and a privilege to report another successful year for Karaite Jewish University. The staff at KJU and each proud member of class 2009 can and should stand up to take a bow. I can not express enough gratitude for those involved. Todah!

Baruch atah, YHWH Eloheinu, melech ha-olam oseh ma'aseh vereshit.
Blessed is you, YHWH our God, King of the Universe, the source of creation and its wonders.

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