As we continue in our vision for building a physical Yeshiva, I want to tell you about the work that is ongoing right now to completely update our online Yeshiva.
Our goal for Beit Netzarim Yeshiva is to combine elements from three different Yeshiva education models:
1. The ancient "academy" Yeshivas of the Second Temple Era.
2. The Orthodox Yeshivas that have functioned for hundreds of years.
3. The modern University/College format.
The Yeshivas of the Second Temple Era centered on a close relationship between the teacher and student. It was very much a mentoring program. The Book of Sira in the apocrypha is perhaps the earliest Yeshiva “text book” as it was the teachings of Yeshua Ben Sira written down for the students in his Yeshiva. Moreover the Mishna contains many accounts of the schools headed by Hillel and Shammai in the time of Yeshua’s childhood, and their successors in later years.
In Orthodox Yeshivas that have functioned for hundreds of years, the primary course of study is Talmud, Talmud and more Talmud. Part of this is because the Talmud is such a massive body of material that if one studied one page of Talmud a day (which is a healthy portion of Talmud) it would take seven years to complete the task! The typical Orthodox Yeshiva has two parallel lines of study, a general Talmud class that moves more quickly, and an in depth class that goes line by line through each tractate. Aside from this there are two other classes, one in Halachah and one in Ethics, or in Hasidic Yeshivas in Hasidism (for example in a Chabad Yeshiva this is a Tanya class). The Bible is not a normal course in these Yeshivas, because it is studied in depth in lower grades as children.
There is also much to be said with the systematic methods of the modern College and University systems.
Now there are four things to consider in creating a viable Nazarene Yeshiva course of study:
1. There are things many Nazarenes need to study in a Nazarene Yeshiva which are not covered in an adult Orthodox Yeshiva because in the Orthodox system they were already covered in elementary and primary levels of education. Many students will have to play catch up, because most of our students did not grow up learning the Tanak with Rashi and the Targums.... so we have to include this material in our Yeshiva as well.
2. A Nazarene course of study will also require study of the Ketuvim Netzarim from a truly Jewish perspective.
3. A Nazarene course of study should also include study of other documents related to Second Temple Era Judaism overlooked by Orthodox Yeshivas: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the writings of Philo of Alexandria and the works of Josephus. Orthodox Yeshivas offer no instruction in these areas, which are highly relevant to understanding Second Temple era Judaism.
4. There are academic courses of study appropriate to the systematic higher education of Nazarenes which are also not covered in an Orthodox Yeshiva: Classes in language, textual criticism, hermeneutics, systematic theology and apologetics.
As I mentioned above, the Orthodox Yeshiva system actually encompasses elementary and primary education. Our online Yeshiva system should eventually grow to include home schooling classes for young people, not just in the Scriptures from a Jewish perspective, but in math, science, history, English and biblical languages as foreign languages etc.; a complete course of education.
Our work is certainly cut out for us, but we are prepared to take on this monumental task as we begin to create video classes in all of these subjects (and others).
As in the antitypical restoration under Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubabbel, a key to this restoration effort will be the tithe of YHWH gathered into the storehouse.
I believe this was a calling to restore the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism to the world. This calling has been an awesome responsibility over the last quarter of a century, and it has not one that I have taken lightly. This was a call to restore Nazarene Judaism to this world. YHWH called me to call his people Judah to the Messiah and his people Israel out of Babylon.
There is a great picture of the restoration in the book of 1st Esdras. In this book Zerubabbel proves to the king that truth is mightier than all of the strengths of Babylon, and the on this foundation of truth Zerubabbel returned to the Land of Judah to rebuild the Temple of YHWH which had been destroyed by Babylon.
This event was not the final regathering of Israel, but it was an antitype of that event which is occurring even now. Many came out of Babylon and participated in the great restoration (as recorded in 1Esdras, Ezra and Nehemiah).
Now YHWH has called us out of spiritual Babylon to restore and rebuild that which Babylon has destroyed, Nazarene Judaism.
Key to this antitype of the restoration under Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubabbel was the tithe of YHWH. It was at this very time that Malachi wrote:
7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says YHWH Tzva’ot. But you say: ‘Wherein shall we return?’
8 Will a man rob Elohim? Yet you rob Me. But you say: ‘Wherein have we robbed You?’ In tithes and heave-offerings.
9 You are cursed with the curse, yet you rob Me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring you the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now herewith, says YHWH Tzva’ot, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency.
(Malchi 3:1-10 HRV)
Our forefathers responded faithfully to YHWH in building the tabernacle and two temples. They responded faithfully in bringing in the tithe of YHWH to bring about restoration. Shall we do any less in these last days? Elohim has given us greater blessings that He has given our forefathers, shall we fail to show our appreciation by being less faithful than they? Let each believer will have to answer this question for himself (and one day to YHWH).
Now is time to step up to the plate!
You can donate by going to the pay-pal counter at http://www.nazarenespace.com or donations can be sent by paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053