by YahChannah Wolf
(published with permission from www.qumran.com)
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What? Can such an idea be supported from Tanakh (TN’K)? Does Torah tell the non-Israelite not to study Torah? What is the status of a non-Jew when he accepts the Almighty Creator, the Elohiym of Israel as his Elohiym? What is/was the status of the ‘stranger’ when he attaches himself to YHWH, to Torah, to the Torah faithful Children of Israel?
I received the following disturbing communication from a friend and brother and will share his fears and the response to him in the hope this may assist others in the same situation:
Can you please help me know the correct, G-d’s, or Tanach’s view on the following questions:
1. Are non-Jews or Gentiles, according to the Scriptures, Prohibited from studying any of Tanach books, Torah, or any Torah related study articles?
2. If such a prohibition is correct then, what about those non-Jews or Gentiles who unknowingly have studied Torah and related study material - What should they do to undo their guilt or guilty feelings?
Following is the reason for my above questions:
Just over four months ago I started afresh, a deliberate, very slow and, thorough study of Torah and Tehillim; and during that time, with a sincere contemplation, I started to study a book called, JEWISH CONVERSION ITS MEANING AND LAWS BY RABBI YOEL SCHWARTZ. When I reached 12th chapter of this book under the subheading, ‘Studying Torah’; I was truly shocked to read that, “A non-Jew who studies Torah (or observes the Sabbath) commits an offence”.
Now, because of my true, deep, and respectful Fear of my Heavenly Father; soon after reading this, I very strongly felt that I may have really committed a terrible Sin against my Heavenly Father and G-d, “YHWH” (because not only that by this time I was well into the last book of Torah but I have been reading the Bible quite regularly for decades).
However, the pressing matter is, that, Immediately after reading this, I stopped the study of Torah, Tanach, and all Torah related material, such as, ‘Torah on Line’, and ‘QB Sabbathmessage’ and so forth. Obviously, at present, I find myself in a terribly desperate situation not knowing what to do.
No doubt there are many diverse views on Tanach related matters and beliefs. However, it is very difficult, in fact impossible, for me to totally ignore such a powerful statement on matters related to the Almighty G-d, and His Word.
I desperately seek your views, indeed, based entirely on G-d’s Word, Tanach!
Please reply very soon!
The response to this gentleman is as follows below. Much could be added to this reply and your additions will be welcomed. If you wish to comment email YahChannah.
Dear Friend and Brother,
What harm we may do sometimes with careless words. Before I give any scripture from TN’K, I would like to say that you are not constrained from Torah study, if fact just the opposite. We are to study, to obey, and to make Torah a part of us. We are to look to His Torah continuously.
When Avraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, there were no ‘Jews’, there were no ‘Rabbis’, there was only a man who listened to the Almighty when He spoke and a man who obeyed. When Moshe led the people put of Mitzrayim, there came out with him a ‘mixed multitude’. When he came down from the mountain and began to share the ‘LAW’ with the people, he did not send away the ‘mixed multitude’ so they might not hear. Moshe’s wife Zipporah was a Midianite. When Yoseph lived in, born to him from a, wife were Efrayim and Mannasheh who were given tribes within the nation of Israel. Though half Mitzrayim they were given equal status with the sons of Israel.
Shemot 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them, flocks, herds, and very many cattle.
The ‘stranger’ who dwelled among those who were by blood Israel were to be treated no differently, in fact they were to learn and obey the Law (Torah)
Shemot 12:48-49. And when a stranger shall dwell with you, and will keep the Pesach to YHWH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that is homeborn and to the stranger that dwells among you.
Bereshith 17:12-14 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of your seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with your money, must be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
Shemot 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
You cannot be cut off if you were not a part of the congregation.
Vayikra 24:22 You shall have one manner of law (Torah) for the stranger, the same as for one of your own country: for I am YHWH, your Elohiym.
BaMidBar 9:14 And if a stranger shall dwell among you, and will keep the Pesach unto YHWH according to the ordinance of the Pesach, and according to the manner thereof. The stranger shall do the same as the one born in the land: you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.
Over and over we read that whether it be one home-born or a stranger, the rules are the same. How do we know the rules, either we study Torah or another reads it to us and helps us to understand but Torah is required, not forbidden.
Devariym 31:11-12 When all Israel is come to appear before YHWH, your Elohiym in the place, which He shall choose, you shall read this law (Torah) before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and your stranger that is within your gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear YHWH your Elohiym, and observe to do all the words of this law (Torah).
We cannot follow the following admonition if we do not study Torah.
Yehoshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate in (Torah) day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in (Torah): for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.
Melakim Bet 17:36-39 But YHWH, Who brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim (Israel and the mixed multitudes) with great power and a stretched out arm, Him shall you fear, and Him shall you worship, and to Him shall you do sacrifice. And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do for evermore; and you shall not fear other mighty ones (including rabbis who would turn you from Torah).
Tehillim 37:29-31 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. The law (Torah) of his Elohiym is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
How do we learn wisdom, justice and the law other than the study of Torah? Sadly the following can refer to many ‘Rabbis’ today. They are not necessarily Torah observant themselves and often seek to lead away those who would be Torah obedient.
YermeYahu 2:8 The priests did not say, Where is YHWH? They that handle the law (Torah) did not knew Me. Pastors also transgressed against Me and the prophets prophesied by Ba’al, and walked after things that do not profit.
Where may we get knowledge and wisdom?
Hoshea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest (rabbi?) to Me because you have forgotten the law (Torah) of your Elohiym, I will also forget your children.
We should be able to trust the priests (rabbis) as the messengers of YHWH but if they have not followed the way of YHWH all they can do is lead others astray.
Malaki 2:7-8 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law (Torah) at his mouth: for he is the messenger of YHWH of armies. But you are departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law (Torah); you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says YHWH of armies.
A warning to Israel, a warning to all men.
Devariym 12:32 What ever I command, observe it, do it: you shall not add to it, nor diminish from it.
Who knows whom and where YHWH’s people are today other than YHWH? Can I say you are not His? Can you say I am not His? Of course not so should any be forbidding Torah to another, especially when we see so many directives for even the stranger to obey Torah?
When you commit yourself to Torah, to the Almighty Father of all, you are as much (and sometimes more if the Israelite is not obedient) a child of YHWH as one born ‘Jewish’.
YermeYahu 32:37-40 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in My anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be My people, and I will be their Elohiym: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them but do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me.
Hechezkiel 36:24-28 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. I also will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your Elohiym.
YesheYahu 56:8-11 YHWH Elohiym Who gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him. All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts in the forest.
His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
We must be cautious of whom we listen to, lest we be devoured.
Hoshea 1:10 The number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, You are the sons of the living Elohiym.
Finally I wish to point out one more thing:
ZecharYah 8:23 Thus says YHWH of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men out of all languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew. They will say, “We will go with you: for we have heard that Elohiym is with you”.
When a man, a rabbi, a pastor, a teacher, a friend, whoever tries to turn you from learning what YHWH says you must learn from the law (Torah) perhaps Elohiym is NOT with him.
I hope what I have shared here will help you. I pray your mind will be eased. We do not need to turn from Torah; we need to turn to Torah,
In His love and shalom,
YahChannah of Qumran Bet
Please do not allow anyone to rob from you that which YHWH has given. Why anyone would tell anyone that they are not to study TN’K I can only imagine. Yahudah is to be a light unto the nations but this cannot occur if the light of Torah is either concealed or extinguished.
Ps 119:105 Your word (Torah) is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
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