Friday, April 14, 2006

Joseph isn't Jewish!

My sojourn at Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan, where I served as a kibbutz volunteer for five months in 1982-1983, blessed me with memories to cherish a lifetime. One of those experiences occurred immediately after our volunteers' trip to the Golan Heights. While we were there, near the former Syrian bunker overlooking the Sea of Galilee, I spotted an eagle in the sky with a snake in its talons and pointed it out for all to stand in awe and ooh and aaah! I love God's good creation.

While having breakfast with around 10 other people, all kibbutzniks except for one volunteer girl from France, in the kitchen of the matgeria - the chicken incubator where the eggs were stored, chicks hacked, then inoculated and sent to Europe (David, a Moroccan Jew, used to make the best shukshuka) - I used my very limited Hebrew to mention how the volunteers had just visited Ramot HaGolan (the Golan Heights). I was very happy to have seen part of the biblical inheritance of shevet Menashe ben Yosef (the Tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph), especially since the descendants of Menashe today are Americans. I said, “Yosef lo Yehudi.” Joseph isn't Jewish!

Immediately there was quite a stir, a conversational commotion, and I asked the French girl who spoke Hebrew what was going on. She said everybody was debating whether or not Joseph was Jewish. They all started to say to me, “You need to talk to Professor Karniel, you need to talk to Professor Karniel.” I said, “Who is Professor Karniel?” They informed me he was a professor at Haifa University who lived at Ramat Yohanan and that he knew his Bible. I said, “If he knows his Bible, then he'll know the difference between Joseph and Judah.”

Just so happened Professor Tzvi Karniel's wife was there and she said she would talk to her husband and arrange a date to meet. We met and Professor Karniel was most gracious and said he understood the difference between Joseph and Judah, but was curious why I believed Joseph isn't Jewish. I explained why and gave him a copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong and The Plain Truth magazine. He said his class was now discussing the story of Joseph, and knowing how God can work, I wouldn't be surprised if he brought up what I said about the United States being the prophesied single GREAT NATION of Menashe (Gen. 48:19). He said I was welcome to return for further conversations.

I was also later invited for coffee and conversation to the kibbutz home of a widower who was present at the breakfast and appeared angrily adamant that Joseph was Jewish. God blessed our meeting as well.

Blessed be the God of Joseph and Judah! May the modern identity of our twelve tribes continue to be restored and the reconciliation process be fulfilled. I'm pleased to help in whatever way I can to let all know that, "I am Joseph your brother!"

The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy

Brit Am Israel

Origin of Nations

The Plain Truth About the "Lost Ten Tribes" and Why You Need to Know!

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out the Beyond Babylon blog.

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