Volume 1, #7  NL

February 24, 2023

אדר Adar 5783 


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Shalom mishpucha v haverim,


Our focus in this month’s issue is a joyous one indeed! That is, the celebration of Purim, when lots were cast to determine the fate of our Jewish people. The Jewish people dress in costumes, donate to the poor, exchange gifts, and have a festive time to celebrate the occasion. On Purim, we also read the story of Esther, which unlocks a profound and perhaps, a familiar mystery.


Jewish followers of Yeshua have often been accused of being Judaizers, or Jews who try to convince Gentiles to become Jews. This accusation has also been waged against non-Jewish believers. What was a Judaizer in a first century context?


The Greek verb ioudaizo (to Judaize) appears only once in the Septuagint (Esther 8:17) and once in the New Testament. (Gal 2:14) In the Septuagint, this verb describes Gentiles in Persia who adopted Jewish practices in order to avoid the consequences of breaking King Achashverosh’s decree. (Esther 8:13) They converted out of fear so that their lives would be spared. The edict allowed Jews to take vengeance on their enemies and to protect themselves.

The Gentiles in Persia felt forced to convert to Judaism. Hence, the Septuagint uses ioudaizo (Judaize) to translate the Hebrew mityahadim (to become a Jew) in a context of being forcibly “Judaized” and insincere about living a Jewish life. 

This was not the case with Shaul’s disciples, nor is it the case today in Messianic Judaism. Messianic Judaism’s adherence to Judaism and to Torah are born out of love--not fear. We approach the teachings of Torah and Judaism as an answer to Yeshua’s call in our lives. As an act of free will, a disciple may or may not undergo conversion.  


Romans 2:25 For circumcision is indeed of value if you do what Torah says. But if you are a transgressor of Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision!” CJB

1 Corinthians 7:17-20  “Only let each person live the life the Lord has assigned him and live it in the condition he was in when G-d called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the congregations. 18 Was someone already circumcised when he was called? Then he should not try to remove the marks of his circumcision. Was someone uncircumcised when he was called? He shouldn’t undergo b’rit-milah. 19 Being circumcised means nothing and being uncircumcised means nothing; what does mean something is keeping G-d’s commandments. 20 Each person should remain in the condition he was in when he was called.” CJB.

We are told that circumcision (conversion) is of value only IF you keep

the commandments, then, we see Paul apparently talking out of the other side of his mouth.

There seems to be a dichotomy between Rom. 2:25 (good and valuable to be circumcised), and 1 Cor. 7 (stay uncircumcised). How do we harmonize these passages? 

The common denominator in I Cor. 7:19 brings these verses into agreement, emphasizing that the most important thing is for the believer, Jew or non-Jew, to keep the commandments/mitzvot. Rom 2:25 also states that keeping Torah is tantamount/equivalent to being circumcised. Keeping the commandments is the common thread. Whether circumcised/converted, or unconverted, keeping Torah is a must.

Today, we are confronted with believers on their own journey to G-d and Torah. Should we marginalize those that are not in the same place as we are? No! We all come from different walks of life and are on our own Journey.

If being a Judaizer means forcing conversions, may we not be that. If being a Judaizer means that we teach adherence to Torah and share in the richness of Judaism, and to shine a light into the darkness, let us be that Judaizer!

The Apostle (Paul) Shaul‘s mission was to persuade those practicing paganism to flee from paganism, and to practice Torah. If this is what it means to be a Judaizer, let us gladly be called Judaizers. To follow the G-d of Israel through Yeshua according to Torah and to be saved and to bring people to the light of Torah and Yeshua.

This Purim, may we approach our L-rd through Yeshua in complete sincerity and unity, regardless of where we are on our journey. 

May we join together in unity and bless the G-d of Israel for sending His only begotten Son, who would not have come if Haman had successfully stamped out the Jewish people!

Chag Purim Sameach!

Happy Holiday of Purim!

Rav Ken

We Celebrate a Great Deliverance!

Mordekhai recorded these events and sent letters

to all the Jews in all the provinces... both near and far, 

instructing them to observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and the fifteenth day, every year, the days on which the Jews obtained rest from their enemies and the month which for them was turned from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday;

they were to make them days of celebrating and rejoicing,

sending portions [of food] to each other

and giving gifts to the poor.

Esther 9: 19-22 CJB

Avinu Malkeinu,

make us brave and beautiful, kind and true.

Father, position us and use us in this

darkening world and in these last days

to bring you honor and glory.


The Masks of Purim

Rabbi Richard 'Aharon' Chaimberlin

Beit Din

PURIM is perhaps the 'silliest' holiday on the Jewish calendar. It celebrates the victory of the Jews over their enemies over 2500 years ago. This is a common theme for other Jewish holidays as well: "They tried to kill us. They lost. Let's eat!"

An enemy seeks to enslave, destroy, or simply to assimilate the Jewish people as being a unique people. Ultimately, the Jews arise victorious. That is an important message to the enemies of the Jews of today. When the Jews arise victorious again, there will be another Jewish holiday to celebrate! And all of these victories are with incredible odds against the Jewish people. No sane person expects the Jews to win, but we did, and we will again!

With the holiday of Purim, the situation against the Jews was very drastic. The enemy wasn't seeking to assimilate them or to destroy the Jewish religion, as was the situation when Antiochus Epiphanies sought to keep Jews from observing their faith. The enemy wasn't seeking to continue enslaving the Jews, as was the case with the Israelites in Egypt. No... Instead, the goal of Haman and his cohorts was the complete physical annihilation of the Jewish people - every man, woman, and child.


You can read all about Purim in the Book of Esther. Martin Luther hated this book, and almost excluded it from his German translation of the Bible. Martin Luther (the founder of the "Protestant Reformation") was a rabid anti-Semite, and no doubt did not like seeing the Jews victorious over their enemies. The good news is that he ultimately did include it in his German translation, and it is still found in both Catholic and Protestant Bibles to this day, and of course is also in Jewish Bibles.

The Jews were wearing masks...

The Book of Esther describes a situation in which the Jewish people had been highly assimilated into the Persian culture of their day. In a sense, the Jews were wearing masks, in an attempt to appear as Gentiles to those in the surrounding cultures. Sometimes it takes the enemies of the Jews to remind the Jews that they have a special calling to be a unique people, with unique responsibilities as God's missionary people, with a divine mission to bring forth the knowledge of Adonai, His salvation, and His Torah to all the people groups on Planet Earth. Instead, the Jews at that time chose to "pass" for being Gentiles.


God is figuratively masked...

This is the only book of the Tanakh (O.T.) in which the name of God (YHWH) is not mentioned even once. There is not even any mention of prayer in this book. There aren't any miracles of deliverance, as you can see in the Book of Exodus, with the supernatural plagues on the Egyptians, as well as the miraculous escape of the Israelites from Pharaoh's army. However, as you read through the Book of Esther, you can see God's fingerprints all over it. There is a series of "coincidences" taking place. Each one by itself is not a miracle in any true sense of the word. However, when you put all of the "coincidences" together, you can see HaShem working behind the scenes, using "natural" circumstances to accomplish His purposes, in what each appears to be a “lucky coincidence.”


Esther was masked...

King Ahasuerus ("Achashverosh" in the Hebrew Bible) put on a marvelous feast which all the citizens of Shushan (Susa) celebrated for many days, in the third year of his reign.[1] The royal wine was plentiful, according to the king's bounty. However, his Queen Vashti refused to display her beauty in front of this bunch of possibly drunken men. For this "indiscretion," King Achashverosh divorced her. Four years later, in the seventh year of his reign,[2] Achashverosh was lonely and sought a new bride by means of a beauty contest. The winner happened to be the beautiful, but highly assimilated Jewish maiden named Esther. Esther was an orphan, raised by her older cousin, Mordechai. He instructed Esther to keep her Hebrew name - Hadassah - a secret, and also not to reveal her Jewish ancestry. Esther was therefore also wearing a "mask," pretending to be a shikseh.[3] And we still wear masks today when we celebrate Purim!


Esther serves as queen for five years,[4] when she is confronted with the possibility of all her people - the Jews - being annihilated by the wicked Haman (May his name be blotted out). Haman was descended from the Amalekites, Israel's enemies from ancient times. The Amalekites attacked the Israelites after they came out of Egypt, by attacking those who were faint and weary in the rear.[5] Therefore, the Israelites were commanded to "blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." Haman was an Agagite, a descendant of Agag,[6] king of the Amalekites. As such, he had no love for the Jews.


All of the king's servants would bow to Haman, who served as the prime minister of the Persian Empire, which covered a huge area, all the way from India to Ethiopia. However, Mordechai refused to bow to an Amalekite, and as a special revenge against Mordechai, Haman determined to kill all of the Jews, who centuries earlier had killed most of the Amalekites.


Haman masked his true intent...

Haman went to the king, saying, "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of the kingdom, and their laws are diverse from all people. Therefore, it is not in the king's interest to let them remain.” [7] Haman did not tell the king that these people were Jews. However, the king gave Haman the authority to destroy this people for their supposed evil.


Try to imagine all of these events, simply "happening" by chance:

  • King Achashverosh gets angry at his wife, sends her away, and later selects Esther (who just "happens" to be Jewish) as his new wife.
  • Morechai just "happens" to hear of a plot to kill King Achashverosh, which saves the king's life.
  • Years later, when the king can't sleep, he asks his scribe to read to him from the chronicles of the king.
  • The scribe just "happens" to open to the section chronicling the good deed of Mordechai, who had saved the king's life, but finds that Mordechai had not been rewarded.
  • Haman "happens" to enter the room at the very time the king is seeking a way to reward Mordechai.
  • Haman, thinking that the king wants to reward himself, ends up honoring Mordechai.
  • Esther uses her position to turn the tables on Haman, etc., etc.

All of the circumstances seem completely natural, but the odds of all of them together happening by happenstance mitigate against it. We see God working behind the scenes as the divine playwright. The Divine Hand is moving the people like chess pieces or puppets, being moved about and manipulated for a successful conclusion to what looks like a horrible and foreboding situation.

In the Passover story, divine salvation came from above, whereas in the Purim story, salvation comes from below, disguised as a series of ordinary events. The events in both the Passover and Purim stories ended up saving and preserving the Jewish people.


HaSatan hides behind a mask...(but we know his schemes)


HaSatan - the Adversary - has been seeking to destroy the Jewish people for thousands of years. Satan knows the Scriptures. He knew that the Messiah would come from the Jews. And he knows that Yeshua will return when the Jews return to their homeland. He tried to destroy the Jewish people in Egypt, and sought to kill Yeshua when He was a baby.[8] Through various pogroms[9] and through the Holocaust, Satan hoped to destroy the Jewish people, and to prevent their return to Israel.

He continues to work through anti-Semites today. If Satan had been successful, he would have proven God to be untrustworthy, and he would have ruined God's plans for the ultimate redemption of mankind, which also includes the future Messianic Kingdom in which King Messiah Yeshua will come back to reign and rule from Jerusalem!


But No Matter What Happens: God Saves His People Israel!


What is especially incredible is that HaShem even uses human weaknesses, such as the desire "to be like everyone else," to bring about a happy ending. Today, as in ancient Persia, Jews are seeking to assimilate into the cultures in which they reside. Even in Israel, we see Jews trying to emulate American culture.

However, Israel has a higher calling. Messiah is returning to set up His Messianic Kingdom, and it will come to pass, as Micah wrote:


"In the last days, it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of YHWH shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH,

and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways,

and we will walk in His paths.'

For the Torah (Law or Teaching) shall go forth from Zion, and the word

of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people,

and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords

into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not

lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore." 

 (Micah 4:2-4)


May it be soon, even in our lifetime!

[1] Esther 1:3.

[2] Esther 2:16.

[3] A young Gentile woman.

[4] Esther 3:7.

[5] D'varim (Deut.) 25:17-19.

[6] 1 Samuel 15:3,9.

[7] Curiously, similar charges against the Jewish people have been used ever since then!

[8] Matthew 2:8-18.

[9] Orchestrated violent riots against the Jews.

Remembering a Modern Day Esther

Purim 5776/2016

Lunch at a Chicago Bistro

By R’Yosef Koelner

Several weeks ago, my wife and I were visiting her mother who lives in a warm and wonderful re-tirement community west of Chicago, Illinois. One day at lunchtime, one of the residents named Anna sat down to chat with me. Knowing that I am Jewish prompted her to do so. We spoke about many things, especially her childhood. Here are a few snippets from our conversation about her life as a young girl.

Anna and her Mother under German Occupation

Anna was born just prior to the 1939 German invasion of Poland in the city of Plock which was a city with a substantial German population.

In 1939, Plock had a Jewish population of 9,000, an estimated 26% of the city's total. It had one of the highest proportional Jewish populations in Poland. After Nazi persecution began, about 2,000 Jews fled the city, with half going to Soviet-controlled territory. They were assigned to locations far from the front.

In 1940, the Nazis established a ghetto in Plock. They started taking actions against the Jews, killing those in an old people's home and sick children, and transporting others to be killed at Brwilski Forest. Ultimately, they transported the Jews to 20 camps and sites in the Radom district, where most died.

During German Occupation, Nazi’s seized control of the education system, revamping the curriculum which included cleverly planting the seeds of Antisemitism in the minds and hearts of vulnerable children.

Anna told me that she and all the other children were required to wear a brown school uniform with a handsome handkerchief tied around their necks. Just before school began, the children would line up in pairs "with typical German efficiency” (Anna’s words) and sing:

“Wir sind die braune kucken von der herr uns liebbt der Fuhrer sehr!” (Anna’s spelling) “We are the little brown Chicks [of the German people] and our Fuhrer [Hitler] loves us very much!”

Anna said that singing such a song was exciting and stirred her heart. She often thought, “Imagine, the great Fuhrer even loves me!” The purpose of these songs was to transfer the love of unsuspecting children from their parents and God to Hitler.

However, though Anna’s mother’s family had its roots in Germany, Anna’s mother was a friend and supporter of the Jewish people. Her mother taught Anna and her siblings that no true Bible believing Christian could hate and persecute God’s “Chosen People.”

Consequently, Anna was not swayed by the song that she sang each morning.

Anna’s mother showed her disdain for Hitler in the following way: She would never leave her home without a baby in her arms. By doing so, she was not obligated to salute when people said “Heil Hitler” to her.

The Germans took control of the family farm so Anna’s mother was assigned the task of feeding the Gestapo their daily meals. Her mother would eavesdrop on the Gestapo’s conversations subsequently passing on vital information to the “underground” by placing notes in flowerpots, which were then delivered by her children to the resistance as well as to her Jewish friends. The Nazis never suspected what she was doing!

One night, a German truck was parked under the balcony of Anna’s home. The truck was filled with Jewish prisoners waiting to be transported to the Nazi death camps. Anna’s mother took her children out onto the balcony where they began to toss provision filled pillowcases to the prisoners below. Among the provisions was the scarce commodity of “writing materials.”

With a sigh Anna said sadly, “We hoped that they would write to us but they never did.” As the Truck rumbled off into the distance, Anna’s mother said, “The Nazis are doomed to failure and will never win the war because it is written in the Bible."

“For Adonai-Tzva’ot has sent me on a glorious mission to the nations that plundered you, and this is what he says: ‘Anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye.’” Zechariah 2:8 CJB

From Generation to Generation

By speaking with Anna, it is clear that her mother’s love for Bnai Yisrael (the children of Israel) was passed down “L’Dor V’Dor,” or from generation to generation, from her children to her great grandchildren.

Once again, antisemitism is raising its ugly head on a global level resulting in the nations of this world seeking to injure the “apple of God’s eye.” As Anna’s mother said, “They are doomed to failure!”

A Modern Day Esther

Speaking to Anna reaffirmed to me that as a Jewish person I can be confident that HaShem will never forsake His People. Like Esther, God raised up Anna’s mother to protect and defend the Jewish people of her community. Esther 4:9-16

Perhaps one day like Esther and Anna, God will ask you to protect and defend His “chosen people.” When He does, I pray you will say,

“I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”

Esther 3:16 CJB

Yeshivat Rabban Gamaliel is

Starting Classes!

We are finalizing curriculum for the opening semester of the first UMJA Yeshiva, Rabban Gamaliel! 

Many courses are free to UMJA members with no enrollment fee. 

We're aiming for a spring kick-off with over a dozen courses, and the Jewish Objections course is available now. 

Course details and an enrollment form are available on our Resource and Education page on our website.

Prayers are appreciated and love offerings are welcome through our donation page. 

For further questions, email Rav Yosef Koelner, our Rosh Yeshiva (director) at [email protected].

UMJA Annual Membership dues increasing on March 1st!

Please check out the Members page on our website and update your contact info.

Also, please be reminded of the March 1 deadline for membership dues for 2023 at the old rate.

Annual dues have been set at $75 for over ten years, but after March 1 there will be a rate increase to $100, so if you hurry you can get in at the lower rate. 

Also, any individuals who wish to join as Associates of the UMJA can do so for $25 per year and qualify for free courses at our Yeshiva and other resources.

Thank you to all our members, as we labor together and prepare for Messiah's return!




Date: July 21-23

Location: Columbus, GA

You can check under the Programs and Events tab on the website, as more details are forthcoming.

Click here to visit our website

For the Women!

This could be a wonderful Purim gift for all the mothers, wives, daughters and sisters out there who love Torah! Every issue is 50 colorful pages of helpful and inspiring articles, festival celebrations, features for families, children, home-schooling, recipes, and more.

Torah Sisters is a bi-monthly magazine published in email format as well as hard copy. Click here to subscribe and to learn more.

Also: there's a Torah Sisters Retreat, May 15-17 in Michigan.


  • Let's pray for continued REVIVAL In Asbury, Lee, Baylor and Nashville, reports are flooding in with the great news that lives are being touched by the Spirit of G-d! And this weekend, the movie that could help people understand it, Jesus Revival, just so happens to be opening in US theaters! Pray for a divine outpouring across our hurting nation in America and around the world. For the bride cries out, Bo Yeshua bo! Rev 22:20

  • Pray for the kick off of the UMJA YESHIVA, now beginning! The Rabban Gamaliel Yeshiva is opening with more than a dozen courses. (See our website for more details.) Pray the LORD goes before us in every detail, for the teaching staff, and for our future students to be greatly blessed.

  • Pray for the growth of our outreach and impact around the world as we labor to make Him known in all our regions through all our studying, writing and teaching. Pray for material production of the textbook, “Writings of the Messiah,” as well as the Lamed Vav House, and other projects in the works.

  • Please pray for Rabbi Gary, member of our Beit Din, recently hospitalized and recovering from Covid. Pray his lungs and breathing return to normal and he is fully restored. From our lips to G'd's ears, hear us from heaven Father! We also continue to lift up Dr. Max's wife Angie, in Scotland.

  • Pray for the upcoming UMJA conference in July! Pray for all the details to come together for the facility, and for the preparation of heart as we come together for refreshing as a community.

  • Let's continue praying for the Father's blessing in the year 2023 according to the prayer of Moses in Tehillim 90 (see below). We are gathering momentum in the UMJA! May it all be for His great glory!

Email prayer requests and praises to the editor: prayer requests.

James 5:17-18

1 "Adonai, you have been our dwelling place in every generation. 

Before the mountains were born, before you had formed the earth and the world, from eternity past to eternity future you are God… 

16 Show your deeds to your servants and your glory to their children. 17 May the favor of Adonai our God be on us, prosper for us all the work that we do — yes, prosper the work that we do." 

Tehillim 90 (Psalm 90) of Moshe, CJB

A Note from the Editor

This letter is intended for all believers

interested in studying and learning more

about Torah. The goal is to build connections

and edify one another as we prepare

for Messiah’s return! 

Please share this letter and invite friends,

family and congregants to

subscribe on our website

under the newsletter tab.


  • Has Hashem been moving in your life or in your part of the world? We need to learn from one another.  
  • Are you new to our UMJA family? We want to support one another.
  • Do you have a story or testimony to share? We aim to encourage one another.  

Please send to the editor for a future issue.


Adar 3: Second Temple completed - Ezra 6:15

Adar 5: Moses leads Israel for the last day - Trad: Deut 34

Adar 6: Moses completes writing Torah, trad.

Adar 7: Birth and Death of Moses, trad.

Adar 12: Haman's 10 sons killed - Esther 9:1-14

Adar 13: Ta'anit Esther, Fast of Esther, Erev Purim

Adar 14: Purim, rejoice for victory

Adar 15: Shushan Purim, Purim celebrated in Jerusalem

Adar 23: Tabernacle assembled, ordination of Levitical priests begins

Adar 29: Israel receives Torah commandment - Ex. 12:1-2

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