Why does the Hebrew University teach that anciently, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet waw has a “w” sound in their curriculum rather than the modern Hebrew “v” vav sound?
To answer this, we reached out to Professor Adina Moshavi, Ph.D. in Semitic languages and Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, this was her response:
“…there are many ways to demonstrate that the waw was not originally pronounced as a labiodental “v” as it is in Tiberian Hebrew. The fact that the waw is frequently used as a mater lectionis for a long u sound would be impossible to explain if it was pronounced v, like the bet rafeh, rather as the semivowel w. Furthermore, there are many Hebrew words where a historical diphthong aw, as evidenced from Semitic cognates, has been reduced to a long vowel, e.g., in hiphil perfect of w-initial verbs hawrid > horid “he brought down”, or in the word yawm > yom [יוֹם] “day”, and alternations between a diphthong and a long vowel, e.g., absolute mawwet vs. construct mot “death.” Such correspondences are only understandable if the phonetic value of the waw was a semivowel.”
Professor Adina Moshavi, Ph.D. Semitic languages and Literature
Biblical Hebrew syntax, Biblical Hebrew pragmatics
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hebrew Language Department
Q. What is your ministry’s position regarding the Synagogue of Satan, the Talmudist Satanists who call themselves Jews today? Are they seen as rejected by Yahweh for killing and rejecting Yahshua? Or is your movement a pro-Zionist modern Talmudist fetish?
A. Generally speaking, we believe that the Jews during the time of the Messiah and the Jews today are the actual blood-descendants of the tribe of Judah. Based on Scripture, there’s no reason to doubt this position.
John 1:11 states that Yahshua “…came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The reference to “his own” clearly refers to the Jews, as we know the Messiah was from the tribe of Judah. Any other explanation would be illogical. Therefore, this passage verifies that the Jews during the first century were indeed from the tribe of Judah and were not counterfeit Jews as you and others construe.
The Bible also confirms that the Jews will be in Jerusalem at Yahshua’s Second Coming. Zechariah 12:2-5 states, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith Yahweh, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in Yahweh of hosts their Elohim.”
Zechariah describes Yahshua’s return and verifies that the “house of Judah” will be in Jerusalem at this time. The “house of Judah” refers to the descendants of Judah. As John verifies that Judah existed at Yahshua’s first coming, Zechariah verifies that they be in the Holy Land at His Second Coming.
This belief that the Jews during Yahshua’s ministry and the Jews today are satanic and are of the synagogue of Satan is racism and bigotry in its worst form. Frankly, those who believe this should be ashamed and repent of espousing such hate.
While as a ministry we do not support every decision made by the Jewish state, we do support them as a people and believe the promise that Yahweh made to Abraham and to his seed still stands: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,” Genesis 12:3.
This racist belief also violates what Paul states in the third chapter of Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if ye be Messiah’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” verses 28-29.
Nationality and gender is inconsequential regarding salvation. Those who put up artificial barriers because of race or genetics are in defiance of Scripture. As believers, we are one in Messiah and heirs of Abraham, regardless of ethnicity or skin color.
Q. I agree that the idea of the Beit HaMikdash [temple in Jerusalem] being in the city of David (Mount Tzion) has many positives, however no one putting forth Mt. Tzion as the true location in videos have mentioned 2 Chronicles 3:1, JPS TANAKH: “1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where [the LORD] appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” This passage must be addressed and not ignored.
A. We believe that Mt. Zion and Mt. Moriah are synonymous, similar to Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb. As a side note, the location of Mt. Zion has been misunderstood for some time. Most still identify Mt. Zion west from the City of David, when in fact the Bible places it within the City of David. As for Zion being the location of the temple, consider the below passages:
Ps 2:6: “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Ps 20:2: “Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.”
Ps 51:18-19: “Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”
Ps 76:2: “In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.”
Ps 99:2: “Yahweh is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.”
Ps 102:16: “When Yahweh shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.”
Ps 132:13: “For Yahweh hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.”
Joel 2:1: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of Yahweh cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”
Based on the above passages, there is no denying that Zion represents the location of where Yahweh dwelt. Therefore, Zion and Mt. Moriah must be the same location.
For additional information on the temple, watch Discovering the Real Temple Mount, Pt. 1:
Q. Do you have a passage clearly stating that Yahweh would send the Messiah to die for our sins? Isaiah 53 does not confirm this. I agree with Judaism that Isaiah is speaking about Israel, who is Yahweh’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). You have to read Isaiah 51-53 to get the whole picture of whom Yahweh is speaking about. After reading several OT scholarly interpretations of ancient biblical Hebrew, it confirms that Isaiah is speaking of Israel as a nation (at least this is the consensus of those who understand biblical Hebrew and the analytical side of the language).
A. To apply Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel is nonsensical! This passage is clearly speaking about a single individual that would atone for man’s sins. Below are several excerpts that confirm this passage is speaking about a person and not to a nation or collection of people:
Isaiah 53:2-3: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
We see here the personal pronoun “he.” While it may be possible to apply this collectedly to a nation, it’s highly improbable that such conditions could be used to describe an entire nation. Although, considering the persecution of the Jewish people through history, especially during the Holocaust, it’s certainly possible to apply this perhaps to the majority, but not to the entirety.
Isaiah 53:5-6: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahweh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
This passage cannot apply collectively to the Jewish nation. It’s not possible for a nation to be wounded for the transgressions of mankind. This must apply to a single person with the ability to atone for man’s sins.
Isaiah 53:8: “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”
We again see the personal pronoun “he,” indicating a single individual. Also, this man was cut off from the land of the living, i.e., he died. If we apply to this the Jewish nation at large, we would need to conclude that the Jewish nation has died off. However, we know this is not the case. In His mercy, Yahweh has preserved the Jewish people and even restored them to their land.
Isaiah 53:9: “…because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”
While we at this Ministry are slow to criticize the Jewish people and believe that they will always hold a special place with Yahweh, it would be dishonest to claim that the Jewish people have not done violence or are without deceit or sin.
Isaiah 53:11: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
As we saw earlier, Isaiah prophesies that this person would “bear their iniquity.” How is it possible that a nation bears the iniquity of anyone? This must refer to a single person with the position and moral authority to provide himself as a propitiation for sin.
Based on the above examination, it is far more reasonable to apply Isaiah 53 to a person and not to a nation. And the only person throughout the history of mankind who fits this description is Yahshua the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh.
I enjoyed your video on the Temple Mount, but definitely disagree as scripture makes it clear that Solomon’s temple was built on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1) and not in the city of David. This video was very convincing until going to scripture. The Temple Mount is the site of the temple as the Jewish people confirm and scripture is 100% clear that the temple was built on mount Moriah, which is what we call today the Temple Mount. Still worth watching, but go to the Bible and you will see what they say in this video is not correct. (This was in response to the Lost Temple Mount video)
Thank you for your comment. We believe the Bible confirms that Mount Moriah is within the City of David and not on the traditional Temple Mount. Mount Moriah is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 3:1: “Then Solomon began to build the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem in mount Moriah,
This passage identifies that Mount Moriah was within the ancient city of Jerusalem and at the location of Ornan’s threshing floor. Modern archaeology has verified that the Jebusite city (and the original City of David) was limited to the 12-acre crescent-shape hillside south from the traditional Temple Mount. Today this location is called City of David National Park (also called Jerusalem Walls National Park). The Jerusalem of today, including the Temple Mount, did not exist under David or Solomon.
There was one change under the reign on Solomon regarding Jerusalem proper. The Bible records in 1 Kings 11:27 that Solomon filled in the Millo and by so doing, connected the City of David with the Ophel. When this occurred, the Ophel became part of the City of David. We got the chance to view the Millo during our last trip to Israel.
According to scholars, threshing floors were susceptible to theft. Therefore, besides the fact that 2 Chronicles 3:1 confirms that Mount Moriah was within the ancient city of Jerusalem, it is highly unlikely that Ornan’s threshing floor would have been unprotected on the traditional Temple Mount, not to mention a third of a mile away from the Jebusite city.
In addition, the Bible is clear that Zion is where the Temple was located.
Consider the following:
Psalms 76:2: “In Salem [i.e., Jerusalem] also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.”
Psalms 102:16, 21: “When Yahweh shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory…. To declare the name of Yahweh in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem.”
Psalms 132:13: “For Yahweh hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.”
We find that Zion is synonymous with the ancient City of David.
2 Samuel 5:7: “Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.”
1 Chronicles 11:5: “And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.”
Based on these facts, we believe the Bible and archaeology confirms that the ancient City of David was limited to the 12-acre plot of land a third of a mile south from the traditional Temple Mount and that Mount Moriah and Mount Zion were both located within the City of David, possibly on the Millo that Solomon filled in and expanded.
From my perspective, the biggest hurdle for the traditional Temple Mount being the location of the temple is the prophecies and historical accounts of the temple’s destruction and the existence of Fortress Antonia. Josephus writes that the only thing that remained after Titus destroyed Jerusalem was the monument of the Romans, i.e., Fortress Antonia. The only ancient monument remaining from this time is the foundation and walls of the Temple Mount.
According to the historian Eusebius in Proof of the Gospel, Jerusalem, along with the temple, was so utterly destroyed that it appeared as Sodom, i.e, nothing remained: “Their ancient holy place, at any rate, and their Temple are to this day as much destroyed as Sodom” (Bk. V, ch.23, sect. 250).
Check out Part 1 of Pastor Randy’s sermon on the Temple Mount:
What do you call yourselves? Do you identify with a specific faith or denomination? I share similar beliefs and have been referring to myself as a Messianic Jew, because I’m not sure what to call myself. However, I am finding that there are a lot of wrong beliefs within Messianic Judaism.
The Bible does not provide a specific denomination or label for New Testament believers. Many in this walk use the term “Messianic” to describe their beliefs, which refers to a believer in Messiah. While there’s nothing wrong with this label, it is very broad and carries with it many different beliefs. Many within the Messianics mix Christianity and Judaism together and believe this is the truth. The problem, though, is that both Christianity and Judaism have added their own man-made traditions and deviated from Scripture. For this reason, YRM does not identify itself with either. We simply say that we’re followers of Yahshua.
If you don’t care for “Messianic” as a label, there are a few other terms you might consider: the Way (based on Acts 9:2 and 24:14); inward or spiritual Jew (based on Romans 2:28-29); Israel, spiritual Israel, or Israel of Yahweh (Galatians 6:16), saint (Revelation 14:12), Nazarene (based on Acts 24:5); However, as you might find, there are certainly undesirable connotations with these terms. Historically, the followers of Yahshua were probably simply viewed as another form of Judaism, similarly to Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, etc. It’s also important to note that as the church grew, it deviates from its Jewish or Hebraic foundation to a more Greco-Roman philosophy to appease its growing gentile base.
Paul says we are grafted in, but are we supposed to become Christians or Israelites? Also, what do you believe John the Baptist meant in Matthew 3:9?
The Bible speaks about us being grafted into the same promise given to Israel of Old. For example, Paul in Romans 11 states, “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if Elohim spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Elohim: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off,” verses 16-22.
The olive tree here represents the Hebraic promise that was given to Abraham and the patriarchs of the Old Testament. This olive tree contains both natural and wild branches. The natural branches symbolize natural-born Israelites and the wild branches represent the gentiles who are grafted in. It’s important to realize that the same root, which represents the promise given to Abraham, bears both the natural-born Israelites and gentiles. Paul also warns here not to boast. There are many more passages confirming that we must be grafted into the Hebraic promise to be part of Messiah.
Regarding the word “Christian,” there are questions whether this word was ever used by early believers. It comes from the Greek christianos and means, “…a Christian, i.e. follower of Christ,” Strong’s. It’s first used in Acts 11:26, where it may have been applied to early believers by the local pagans. We also see Agrippa using it sarcastically in Acts 26:28 in reference to himself. Peter also uses the term in 1Peter 4:16. Since there is strong evidence that much of the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, we choose not to use this term. Also, this term conveys a Greco-Roman religion, instead of the Hebraic faith, which is another reason we abstain from its use. No Hebrews would call themselves a Greek term.
While we don’t believe becoming a “Christian” is important, baptism into Yahshua’s Name is. Paul speaks about this in the sixth chapter of Romans. Baptism is significant for many reasons. Through baptism we find remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38. Also, those immersed into Yahshua’s Name will also share in the likeness of His resurrection, Romans 6:5. In essence, baptism is what seals us as believers in the Messiah.
Regarding Matthew 3:9, the Jews there were responding to John the Baptist and claiming that they were the children of Abraham. From their perspective, this gave them a preeminence as a people. In response, John states that if Yahweh so chose, He could make the rocks cry out. John here is simply confirming that Yahweh is not limited by man and that salvation is based on more than ethnicity, as is also seen in Romans 11.
In the third chapter of Galatians, Paul ties together baptism, the acceptance of all nationalities, and the promise to Abraham: “For ye are all the children of Yahweh by faith in Messiah Yahshua. For as many of you as have been baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if ye be Messiah’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” verses 26-29.
Paul confirms here several critical points. One, baptism represents a type of adoption as sons of Yahweh. Strictly speaking, we will be sons of Yahweh at the resurrection, when we are changed from heavenly beings. Two, for those immersed in Messiah, there is no separation or distinction in gender or ethnicity. And three, those baptized into Yahshua’s Name are heirs of Abraham, showing the Hebraic tie in the New Testament.
When did Judaism begin? When was it established? I have a theory. I would like to get your take on it.
We can define Judaism’s starting point at four different times throughout history. One, Judaism can be used interchangeably with the faith given to Abraham, even though we know that Abraham was Hebrew and not Jewish and that Judah constituted only one of the 12 tribes. Two, you can define Judaism beginning with the division between Israel and Judah during the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. Three, you can also define Judaism beginning during and after the Babylonian exile. This was the beginning of Talmudic Judaism. Four, the final form of Judaism can be defined as beginning with Yahshua and the apostles. Paul in Romans 2:25-29 defined the uncircumcision (non-Jews/Israelites) who obey the commandments as inward Jews. I pray that this helps.
From where did the practice of wearing the kippah or yarmulke develop?
The Old Testament is silent on the wearing of the kippah or skull cap. It is also nowhere found in the New Testament. “Wearing of a head covering (yarmulka, skullcaps, kippah [pl. kippot]) for men was only instituted in Talmudic times (approximately the second century CE).” The Jewish Virtual Library So if the kippah is absent from the Bible, how was it adopted? The tradition likely goes back to Greek culture. Antiochus Epiphanes, the Seleucid emperor, made it his personal goal to force the Greek culture upon all of his empire, including the Jewish people. This is what motivated the Maccabean revolt and the rise of the Hasmonean Empire. In the year 175 BCE, Jason, of the Oniad family, was appointed high priest. As recoded in 2 Maccabees 4:7-17, he favored the Greek culture and vigorously sought to incorporate Antiochus’ policy of assimilation:
“When Seleucus died and Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, succeeded to the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias obtained the high priesthood by corruption, promising the king at an interview three hundred sixty talents of silver, and from another source of revenue eighty talents. In addition to this he promised to pay one hundred fifty more if permission were given to establish by his authority a gymnasium and a body of youth for it, and to enroll the people of Jerusalem as citizens of Antioch. When the king assented and Jason came to office, he at once shifted his compatriots over to the Greek way of life.
“He set aside the existing royal concessions to the Jews, secured through John the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to establish friendship and alliance with the Romans; and he destroyed the lawful ways of living and introduced new customs contrary to the law. He took delight in establishing a gymnasium right under the citadel, and he induced the noblest of the young men to wear the Greek hat. There was such an extreme of Hellenization and increase in the adoption of foreign ways because of the surpassing wickedness of Jason, who was unholy and no true high priest, that the priests were no longer intent upon their service at the altar. Despising the sanctuary and neglecting the sacrifices, they hurried to take part in the unlawful proceedings in the wrestling arena after the signal for the discus-throwing, disdaining the honors prized by their ancestors and putting the highest value upon Greek forms of prestige. For this reason heavy disaster overtook them, and those whose ways of living they admired and wished to imitate completely became their enemies and punished them. It is no light thing to show irreverence to the divine laws—a fact that later events will make clear.”
As seen from the above excerpt, Jason made several radical reforms to the Jewish culture in an attempt to promote Antiochus’ policies of integration into the Greek culture. In his fervor to adopt the Hellenistic culture, he even changed his own name from Yahshua (possibly, Yeshua) to the more Grecized “Jason” (Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, book 12, chapter 5, p. 239).
In addition to neglecting the sacrificial offerings and establishing a gymnasium, he also introduced the “Greek hat.” There is general agreement that this hat refers to the hat of Hermes (a.k.a. Roman deity Mercury). Ancient depictions of the hat of Hermes are very similar to the modern kippah. The only notable difference was that the hat of Hermes often had wings on each side.
Whether this was the exact time that the Jews adopted the wearing of the kippah, there is little doubt that the kippah or skull cap arose through the adoption of the Hellenistic culture. Except for the High Priest’s turban, there is no command in the Old Testament to wear a skull cap. The only possible connection between the kippah and Old Testament is where Yahweh commanded Israel not to round the corners of the head in Leviticus 19:27.
In reference to this command, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary states, “It seems probable that this fashion had been learned by the Israelites in Egypt, for the ancient Egyptians had their dark locks cropped short or shaved with great nicety, so that what remained on the crown appeared in the form of a circle surrounding the head.” Interestingly, most kippahs are designed with this same circle design.
Besides its absence in the Torah, nothing is said about men’s headcoverings in the New Testament, except for Paul’s statement in 1Corinthians 11:7, “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of Elohim.” If Yahweh commanded that men wear a kippah, why does Paul specifically command the opposite? The reason is obvious, the kippah is not rooted in Scripture, but in Greek culture.
As believers we must avoid wearing kippahs or following any man-made, heathen practice not ordained in Scripture. Our Heavenly Father has a disdain for synchronizing with pagan beliefs. Writing to Israel in Deuteronomy 12:30-31, He says, “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their mighty ones, saying, How did these nations serve their mighty ones? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hateth, have they done unto their mighty ones; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their mighty ones.”
Where does Yahweh draw the line between Christianity and Judaism, specifically in Acts 15?
Yahweh made a covenant with Israel only. Others not of Israel can be grafted into that covenant promise, however, as Paul explains in Romans 9 and 11. The issue in Acts 15 was whether the new convert had to first convert to Judaism through circumcision before becoming a believer in Messiah. James explains in verses 19-21 that for now they must quit their worst heathen religious practices. They would in time learn the laws given by Moses as they came together each Sabbath day. They did not need to convert to Judaism first as the Jewish religious leaders were telling them.