[Study adapted from the video “Josephus, the Talmud, and the Omer“, from the series Establishing the Head of the Year.]
This study is not “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. Instead, it is “Josephus, the Talmud, and the Omer”. And along the way we are going to talk about the Curious History of the Aviv Barley in 2021 CE.
We could also title this study: Why Do Devorah’s Date Tree and the Equinox Calendar People Not Seem to Care that We Have Broken and Shattered Barley Already on the Ground at Least Two Weeks and Two Days (closer to a month) Prior to their Wave Sheaf Offering on the 4th of April 2021? (Which is two days from now).
Or we could also entitle this study: “If the Karaites Do Not Believe in the Talmud, Why Do the Karaites Secretly Follow the Talmud?”
To give you some background on my history with the aviv barley, I initially trained with the Karaites in 2002-2003 when I was first introduced to the aviv barley calendar. And I have followed the aviv barley closely ever since that point in time. There was a big change in the way that the Karaites reckoned the barley around 2016. They changed the way they reckoned the aviv barley and they did not tell anyone. Well, there was a big ruckus, and it seems like it is a big problem every year. So, I have been praying on this and in 2019 or 2020 (the junction of those two years), Yahweh showed me some new things about how the aviv barley should be reckoned, and apparently, He showed a lot of other people also. Because a lot of people are arriving at this same conclusion.
So, last year we followed sister, Becca Biderman, for our aviv barley reports, because she happened to have reports that agreed with our understanding of the aviv barley. So, then this year, which began in December of 2020, on December 24th, sister Biderman found three sections of advanced barley near where she lives in Poriya Illit in Israel.
In the following image you can see how the barley here is in bloom, you can see little white flecks. Those are barley flowering. So, this generated a lot of discussion. And so, this led to this, that led to that, and we spoke with Becca Biderman and had a lot of discussion. The study called “Aviv Barley Simplified” explains these things. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do so. It explains the whole thing.
Two of the main things that we explain in that video are why the wave sheaf (Omer) is symbolic of Yeshua, and we explain that the Omer (wave sheaf) must be offered before the harvest. That way Yahweh is pleased, and Yahweh then blesses the harvest and sets it apart. The reason why that pleases Yahweh is precisely because the Omer is symbolic of Yeshua. So, this sets the pattern for us. The pattern that we see is that we first bring the Omer, and then we can bring in our harvest. So first the one, then the other.
There are other groups that do not believe that. Other groups believe that you bring in the harvest, and then you bring in an “anti-sheaf” of that barley to the priest. But that does not work. We are going to see a lot of reasons why that does not work.
Because of questions over this, we made a study called “Let us Not Break Deuteronomy 16:9”. And in that study, we explain why it is so very necessary to bring the very first sheaf of aviv, which we define as medium dough barley, as the Omer. So, the barely farmers with the earliest ripening crops will not lose their crops, and this is so important. If you do not understand this point you need to read that study and “Aviv Barley Simplified” until you do get that point. Just for example, there are a lot of people who are in rebellion against this, and I apologize, I do not mean to name names, anybody can make mistakes. But we need to be getting together as a barley community. We need to be moving forward on this issue.
There are a few groups that are in rebellion against this, I would like to point out the very simple fact that we had aviv barley spotted in the land of Israel on the 6th of February 2021. We had a second patch of aviv barley spotted in the land on the 22nd of February. There was a third patch that we will talk about in just a little bit. In any event we had three fields of barley, three witnesses to the aviv barley spotted in the month of February. With those we need to offer a wave sheaf offering on the 28th of February, because the very next opportunity is all the way on the 4th of April (two days from now).
The problem is this. We had this barley that was ready on the 6th of February that would have basically been shattered when the field was bulldozed (which is really too bad). But that would have been shattered and on the ground about a month later. Once you reach the aviv stage you have got two or three weeks to bring in the harvest. By the fourth week you are losing that harvest. The barley is shattering, it is going on the ground.
Then we had the two fields that were found around the 22nd of February. Sister Biderman inspected those on the 19th of March, the day before the equinox, the day before it was officially spring. That barley was already shattered. We will talk a little bit more about this. But amazing, surprisingly, we still have these other groups: Devorah’s Date Tree, Abib of God… we have not even begun to talk about Abib of God. We have had to talk about the other calendars first and we will hopefully get to them soon. They have some very complicated things going on. But also, the equinox people. They are all waiting to do a wave sheaf offering two days from now.
Friends, brothers, we already have the barley shattered on the ground on the 19th of March. If the first field had not been bulldozed, we would have barley shattered on the ground by the 6th of March. Here it is. And they do not want to offer a wave sheaf until a month later? That does not work.
So, we kept going. We made another study called “Where is Spring Commanded?” where we explain that we are not commanded to wait until spring before holding the Passover and the Wave Sheaf. In other words, it does not need to be spring, it does not need to be warm, spring, sunny weather for the barley to be aviv. Barley is a very hardy, robust plant. Barley can come aviv, barley can become ripe, when the weather is still cold. In Yochanan (John) 18:18 it says Kepha (Peter) warmed himself by the fire, because it was cold!
So, what this tells us is, it does not have be spring, it does not have to be past the spring equinox. It does not have to be warm to hold the Passover and the Wave Sheaf, that is myth. It does not exist in reality. That is things that people have made up and traditions that have come into being over time, that have no correspondence to Scripture. So, with that in mind, now we want to look at what is happening with the aviv barley harvest this year. And we will see how things get curiouser and curiouser.
So, the barley that sister Biderman found to be in flower on the 24th of December, give it about 6 more weeks and on the 6th of February 2021 Becca Biderman cited at least an Omer of aviv barley near Poriya Illit in Israel. In the following image we can see that this barley here is still green, it is still young, and it is still immature. But it is starting to turn this golden color. That is when you inspect it and that is when you hope to find what we call aviv (or medium dough). You only need a wave sheaf; you do not need a whole field of it because you only need to bring one sheaf.
This contrasts with some of these other groups that are looking for harvestable fields. If you see barley like this on the 6th of February, then you need to declare that 28th of February is the Wave Sheaf date. Because this barley will not make it until April 4th. There is no possible way, it cannot make it. It is just too long for barley to remain in the head.
So now, curiouser and curiouser. Five days later, Devorah’s Date Tree (an interfaith barley and new moon search group by their claim), they have Karaite theology. They are looking for different things. They are looking for a whole field or more. They are looking for harvest fields (plural). They want to see a lot of barley being ripe before they are willing to declare the aviv. So, five days later, just after Becca Biderman has been there, here comes Devorah’s Date Tree. They know exactly how to find the field, they know exactly where to park, they know all kinds of things. But they inspected the exact same field (about the size of 2 full sized football fields) and they claim that they could not find aviv barley.
So, now this was very surprising to us. I was very surprised by this. Becca Biderman contacted me; she was very upset. Her feeling was that unless someone was intentionally closing their eyes to the barley you could not help but find the aviv barley in that field. I am going to leave it there. I do not want to say anything more than that. But we published our report, I did a very extensive interview with sister Biderman. We spent I do not know how many hours.
So, you know, when someone is claiming that another barley observer has made a false witness, that is a very serious charge, and I did not want to take part in a false charge. So, I spent several hours (I do not know, three, four, maybe five hours) speaking with sister Biderman and trying to basically disprove her witness. I was not able to do so. After having reviewed the photo-graphic evidence for four hours maybe five, I was not able to conclude anything other than that somebody did not want to see the aviv barley in that field. Now I do not know that, but it sure seemed difficult to miss from the evidence that I saw.
So, based on that, we then published a report which we called the “Karaite Aviv Barley Report Impartial” and of course, as you might suspect, Devorah’s Date Tree wrote to demand of us that we take the video down. We did but not without protest.
We wrote an open letter to Devorah’s Date Tree regarding her email, video takedown, and talking with her asking her some basic questions. How could you miss the barley in a field that is only the size of two football or two soccer fields? How could anyone miss that barley? You look at the picture here.
So, you know the patch in question, it is about a hundred yards from the base of the hill. Why did you only inspect at the base of the hill? Why did you not come down to where the aviv barley was shown? You can see the whole field from any point in the field. I mean there was a particular point at which she was standing, you could stand at that point and I could look at the video evidence. I could look in the video on my screen thousands of miles away and I could see the aviv barley. Why couldn’t she? She did not answer our questions so that was very interesting to us. So, I encourage you, it is on the Nazarene Israel website, to search for the Open Letter to Devorah’s Date Tree Video Takedown. A very interesting, curiouser and curiouser story.
So, we do not want to accuse anyone falsely. So, we re-recorded the interview with sister Becca Biderman and we published basically the same information with different packaging as: “Becca Biderman’s Barley Field Confirmed.” We have yet to hear back from Devorah’s Date Tree. We also (I should add) asked Devorah’s Date Tree to take down their video which stated that there was no aviv barley in that field or at the very least that they could not find aviv barley in that field. Because we have ample photo and video evidence. How can anyone say there is not? Anyway, let me leave it there. I do not want to say the wrong thing. I do not want to get anyone in trouble. We are just going to leave it there.
So, then, after she had found the aviv on the 6th, about 15 days later, on the 21st of February, sister Becca Biderman and her assistant, Cindy, harvested a bucket of barley out of the Poriya Illit field.
So, from the time the barley was aviv it was another two weeks and a day. Now we have got aviv barley that had turned into harvest ready barley, and they took a bucket out to prove it.
Then the next day on the 22nd they found a second field of aviv barley in Re’im, Israel. And then as it turns out, there was a third field that we found out about later. So, sister Biderman is very busy, she is scouring the land looking for barley. And she found a third field in Migdala which is also near the Sea of Galilee (Kineret). So, we had three witnesses to the aviv barley this year.
Well wonder of wonders, lo and behold, give it a little bit more time and we come from the 21st of February, 22nd of February, to about 10 more days. And Devorah’s Date Tree comes in again, inspects the same field right behind Becca in Re’im, Israel. The exact same field. She knows exactly how to find it, wonders, curious, she does not see the first flush of barley which had been aviv about eight days earlier. Because why? Because it had already fallen over, this is what aviv barley does. This is why Yeshua says that when the crop is ripe immediately the wise farmer puts in the sickle because the harvest has come. Because if you do not put in the sickle right away that barley falls over and it loses its seed. That is the whole point.
So, people can make up hypothetical theories about how the barley does not lose its seed. It does lose its seed, do not let anyone tell you different. That is one of the characteristics of barley, it loses its seed. So basically, if you watch those videos from that point in time, you can see the first flush. The early aviv barley had already fallen over and already had lost its seed and she walks right past it and she is focusing on the second flush of barley which of course was still green. So why is this happening? I do not know. The best thing I can think of is she is looking for something else as a Karaite, she is looking for what they call harvestable fields. They are not looking to bring the first sheaf symbolic of Yeshua. They are looking to bring whole harvestable fields and then they are going to bring an anti-sheaf of that harvest. It is a very different doctrine. That is why Yeshua says to beware of the leaven [meaning the doctrine] of the Scribes and the Pharisees, is because you are expecting something different, so it leads to a different result.
Okay so, moving on. Well, along with her video report, Devorah Gordon also published the following. Now this is where it starts to get very interesting. We are asking ourselves why is all this happening? What is going on? Why, you know, we are writing to them, we are asking them questions, we are not getting answers. What is going on, what is happening? For a sample of what she says, the following is an image of Devorah’s Date Tree: March 1-2nd inspection report:
Okay, so I did not understand that because to me, as I look at things, Deuteronomy 16: 9 has a very big prohibition against harvesting early. So Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16 starting in verse 9 says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:9-10
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.
10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot or Pentecost] to Yahweh your Elohim…”
Now to us it is very simple. What He is saying is when you begin the count, that is when you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain, or if you prefer, when you begin cutting, you begin counting. Or when you begin counting that is when you can begin cutting, and then seven weeks later that is your Feast. It is a very simple equation, but Devorah’s Date Tree insists that no you can start cutting without beginning the count and then it has always been done that way. So why is she saying that? So, the mystery is getting thicker.
Well so we made another video called Shattered Barley in Migdala. On the 19th of March Becca Biderman found lots of broken and shattered barley in Migdala Israel, this was the day before the spring equinox of the 20th of March. So, 19th of March, 20th of March. Here is a picture of the shattered barley, this is exactly what you do not want. This is exactly what you are trying to avoid is barley being on the ground. So, I mean, that is the whole point of a wave sheaf offering, it is to clear the way for the harvest so that this kind of thing does not happen. Here we have we have broken and shattered barley on the ground at least two weeks and two days before the Karaite Wave Sheaf Offering on the 4th of April 2021.
Now take a moment to conceptualize this, this is what we are talking about right here. Here we have got aviv barley, we saw that the picture was cited on the 6th of February. And then we had another field in Re’im that was cited to be aviv on the 22nd of February. There was another field in Migdala which was also cited about the same time, Becca said it was about two weeks behind the first field. Add two weeks (14 days), it would be about 20 days, it is about the same time. So, we had effectively three witnesses to the aviv barley, all these three witnesses call for a wave sheaf offering here on the 28th of February. Why? Because they will not manage to stay in the head until the fourth of April, it cannot happen. You have the aviv barley in Migdala that should have been aviv about the 20th of February, here it is shattered a month later.
What we are saying is you have about two or three weeks to harvest your barley once it becomes aviv. If you do not harvest your barley once it becomes aviv you are going to lose it because it becomes shattered.
Here (Aviv 6) is the barley on Poriya Illit, it would have been shattered about a month later (the 6th of March). Here (Aviv 22) was the field that was about two weeks behind it in Migdala and it was shattered just less than a month later.
This is all before your spring equinox. Here we have all these equinox people saying oh, no you must wait for the equinox you have to wait for the expert HELLO! Knock, Knock! Is anyone home?! I mean, this is what we are trying to AVOID!! you have got SHATTERED BARLEY ON THE GROUND!! You need to avoid that! Why is this such a problem? Why can people not understand? you need to avoid having shattered barley on the ground.
So, we would have had shattered barley here (yellow line; March 6th), we have had two more fields of shattered barley here (red lines; March 19th and 20th), and yet Devorah’s Date Tree and the equinox people are all calling for a wave sheaf on the 4th of April. Unbelievable. (And we have not even talked about Abib of God yet).
We published another study, called “Where is the Equinox Commanded in Scripture?”. We explained that the equinox does not exist in Scripture. The word does not exist in Scripture. Therefore, the equinox cannot be the determining factor. You have got the barley shattering and on the ground before the equinox, the equinox cannot be the determining factor. Hello! Hello! Earth to Equinox People! The equinox cannot be the determining factor.
Okay I do not know how much clearer we can make it. I am sure we are still going to get hate mail because the equinox basically is a demon. You can show them all the evidence you want, and you are going to get complaints, protests, angry emails, nasty grans, whatever you want to call them. You can show them you have got barley on the ground; they do not care: ‘You have to wait until after the equinox because’…. fill in the blank.
Well, whatever. I mean pray, pray with us for them. Because this is a demon that they have. And if you want more information about that I can encourage you to read Nazarene Scripture Studies Volume Two: “The Equinox Error” study. There is also another study in there called “The Lunar Sabbath Error”, I recommend both of those studies to people who are focused on the equinox or the lunar sabbath. These studies show the reasons why they cannot work.
Well, here we are, here is the commandment from Yahweh. What are we going to do? So, He says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16: 9
9 Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.
Begin the count when you begin to cut. You can begin to cut when you begin counting. First you bring the Wave Sheaf, then you may harvest your crops. It is very simple.
Well, there was another ancient Israelite who agreed and said the same thing. Now it is a very interesting man. Flavius Josephus, he was born Yosef ben Mattityahu. He was the son of a priest and of a noble woman. She was from the royal line of kings. He was educated, he was multilingual, he was a war general, he was a historian. Some people love him, some people hate him. But he wrote a lot of historical works that have a lot of very good value to them.
He lived approximately from 37 to about 100 CE. That is during the second temple era (the second temple was destroyed in the year 70). So, he knew what happened in the first century in the second temple era. He was born around 37 CE around seven years after Yeshua’s sacrifice. He was an eyewitness to how things were done in that time.
Now if we are here, we might as well mention, there is a thing called the Testimonium Flavianum. Again, a lot of people are for it, a lot of people are against it. The orthodox obviously do not like it. It is found in Josephus Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3:3. So, if this passage is to be believed (and many people believe it is to be believed, other people are completely against it), it is as follows:
Also, in Antiquities of the Jews Book 3 Chapter 10:5 Josephus talks about the Wave Sheaf Offering:
“And they offer the first-fruits of their barley, and that in the following manner: they take a handful of the ears [meaning you do not need that many that is why you do not need harvestable fields, you just take a handful of the ears], and dry them [meaning it has to be immature barley, this is an issue because both the Abib of God Calendar and the Karaite Calendar are looking for barley that is basically already hard and dry (it does not need to be dried). But this barley needs to be dried because it needs to be green in keeping with Strong’s Old Testament 24: the barley needs to be tender young and green, so they dry the barley], then they beat them small, and purge the barley from the bran; then they bring one tenth deal to the altar to Elohim; and, casting a handful of upon the fire, they leave the rest for the use of the priest. And after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest.”
[Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, Chapter 10:5]
Once again, he says after you bring the wave sheaf offering, that is when you may publicly or privately bring the harvest. It follows the same pattern. First you bring the wave sheaf, then you can bring in the harvest. First Yeshua is presented, then comes the harvest of the other believers. It follows the same pattern.
But the Pharisees and the Sadducees, (the rabbis, the orthodox and the Karaites), they do not like that pattern because it symbolizes Yeshua. It witnesses to Yeshua, So, they have a built-in reason not to want to honor that pattern. That is why Yeshua says “take heed and beware of the leaven [meaning the doctrine] of the scribes (Sadducees) and Pharisees.” Because if you are looking for something else you are going to find something else. It is a very important principle. People need to understand it. So, Josephus says after you bring the Omer (after you bring the wave sheaf) that is when the people may publicly or privately reap their harvest.
With that understanding now let us look at the Talmud. Now I do not read the Talmud for fun, I never pick up the Talmud and read it for giggles and laughs. It is just something I look at, to us it is not an inspired book, but it is an important historical reference. It is not an infallible historical reference, there are a lot of problems with the Talmud. So, very briefly we are going to talk about the Talmud.
The Talmud is basically a book about rabbinic commentary. Now it has got two main parts of the document. The core document is called the Mishnah and then there is the Gemara which is commentary on the Mishnah. The rabbis allege that the Mishnah was given by Elohim, they believe it was dictated by Yahweh to Moshe at the same time the Torah was handed down in the wilderness of Egypt. The problem is there is just no possible way. Because it dates to around 515 BCE which is effectively when Judah came back from Babylon, there is a reason it is called the Babylonian Talmud. It contradicts Scripture in all sorts of ways in all sorts of places. It does not read like Scripture, it does not have the same spirit of Scripture, but it is an interesting historical reference. We also must remember that it was redacted, meaning it was heavily edited (was censored) around the year 220 CE.
The following is from Wikipedia:
“According to Rabbinic Judaism, the oral Torah [Talmud or Torah she-be-‘al peh] was given to Moshe with the Torah [that is not true] at Mount Sinai [Mount Horeb] as an exposition to the latter. [Meaning it explains, that is part of the rabbinical deals, the rabbis will say you cannot understand the Torah without the Talmud. That is kind of like the Catholics saying you cannot understand Scripture without understanding the papal commentaries to Scripture. It is the same kind of a thing]. The accumulated traditions of the oral law, expounded by scholars in each generation from Moses onward, is considered the necessary basis for the interpretation, and often for the reading of the Written Law.”
Let us decipher that what they are really saying here is they are saying ‘do not you dare read Scripture’ and I have heard Jews say this. They say we are taught ‘do not read the Tanakh, do not read the Old Testament, without then turning and reading the Talmud to tell you how to interpret it’. It is the exact same thing as the Catholics, you are sort of discouraged from reading Scripture. You can read Scripture that is okay, just make sure it does not conflict with what the pope says. You need to consult the Catholic Church so you can understand Scripture, you can understand how to interpret it, you can understand how to understand it. That is the same thing as what they are saying here.
So, Jews orthodox sometimes refer to this as the Masorah, the word Masorah meaning traditions. And if we have time hopefully, we will talk about the Masoretic Hebrew text, meaning the traditional Hebrew text. It has been edited (or redacted you might say), but it has been edited. For the most part it is reliable, we can generally read it and we can understand (with the few issues and errors there are) what is going on with it. We will talk about that in another place. It is not a cause for panic or alarm, but it is something to be aware of for sure. Here is the big problem Yahweh says not to do that. So, In Deuteronomy chapter 4:2 for example, Yahweh says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:2
2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim which I command you.”
Meaning if you change my word, if you add things to my word or take things away from my word, it is no longer my word. Now it is your word. It is no longer my Torah; it is your Torah. Do not do that. That is exactly what the Talmud is. So, He says the same thing in Deuteronomy 12:32.
And once again that is exactly what the Talmud does. So, we know that there was no oral Torah for several reasons. In Exodus 24:4 it says that “Moshe wrote down all the words of Yahweh”.
Okay, so, where is an oral tradition in that? We cannot find one. Deuteronomy 5:22 likewise says:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:22
22 “These words Yahweh spoke to all your assembly in the mountain from the midst of fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.”
Where is an oral tradition in that? It does not exist. If you are orthodox Jewish pay attention to this.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:9
9 “So, Moshe wrote this Torah and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and to all the elders of Israel.”
Where is an oral tradition in that? Does not exist.
Okay, so moving on. The Talmud again has the core document called the Mishnah and the Gemara is commentary on the Mishnah. You can always tell the Mishnah because in certain versions they usually put it either in bold or in all caps, we will see a lot of all caps.
Well, there is a very complex and complicated history to the Talmud, and we do not want to go through the whole thing because it is just too much. But these are some notes that were passed to me by a brother Johanan Maerschalck.
But as I understand it and from what I have read on the internet also, there were the Tannaim who were the “Reciters of Tradition”. Depending upon the source and some overlap in the dates you have various levels and generations upon generations upon generations of commentary. But the era of the Tannaim lasted from perhaps about 10 CE to about 220 CE. These are the so-called sages of the Mishnah. If you ever hear people quoting the sages that is what they are talking about. And these are the first generation Tannaim and this includes rabbi Shammai, rabbi Hillel, rabbi Gamliel (or Gamaliel) we read about in the RenewedCovenant, there is also Rav. Yohanan ben Zakkai. These are what you might call your heavy hitters of heresy. So Yeshua lived in this era and when we see Yeshua rebuking “Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” these are the people he is talking about- the first generation of the Tannaim.
Okay so, the first generation of the Tannaim lasted from about 10 CE until about 220 CE. That is when Rabbi Judah HaNasi (Judah the prince) died, he lived from approximately 135 to approximately 220 CE (depending upon the source). Then they considered that the Talmud had been redacted around 220 CE, when they say redacted, they mean heavily edited (or censored)
So, when you read the Talmud (we are going to read a little bit of it), it is this rabbi said this… and that rabbi said that… but no this rabbi disagreed. And that rabbi said it is over here… and somebody says oh no that causes a problem… he says no it does not cause a problem. So, if have you ever seen our orthodox Jewish brothers argue, this is the kind of thing; they go back and forth… and back and forth… and back and forth… and back and forth. And if you watch, they can start out talking about Scripture and then they end up concluding that is completely something else. And you are just like what has happened… once again, this is why they call it the Babylonian Talmud. The word Babylon means confusion.
So, okay. So, the Talmud was redacted, censored, edited by Rabbi Judah HaNasi until the year around 220. And he probably removed all the favorable references to Yeshua and the apostles. They are probably you know… as Scripture says, “these things were not done in a corner”. So of course, they were recorded but then of course they had to be edited out. That is how that goes.
So, there are many contradictions, the Talmud contradicts Scripture a lot. One of the things is that the pharisees (our orthodox brethren) they change the date of the Wave Sheaf offering from the first day of the week following the Passover to the 16th of that month, which they call Nissan. They also slam the Karaites whom they call the Boethusians for disagreeing with them. (We will see that in just a little bit).
One of the things is that the Wave Sheaf represents Yeshua. So, why do the Pharisees have a different doctrine? Because they do not want the Wave Sheaf to represent Yeshua. Because in Mattityahu (Matthew) 12:40 Yeshua says:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 12:40
40 “For as Yonah (Jonah) was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
We know that Yeshua was cut off in the middle of the week as Daniel says. And then He was raised three days later, whether it was at the end of Sabbath or at the start of the first day of the week, He was raised three days and three nights later. He then fulfilled the symbolic meaning of the Wave Sheaf which was always offered on the first day. But if you as a Pharisee or as an orthodox Jewish brother change your doctrine to where now the Wave Sheaf is offered the day after the Passover, well then it is only a one-day delay. How does that tie in with Yeshua being raised three days and three nights later? It does not tie in anymore. But that is why they like to change their doctrine. That is also why the Karaites like to change their doctrine to bring in what they call harvestable fields. Because it undercuts Yeshua’s role as the Wave Sheaf.
So, now the plot thickens. Let us come back to what Miss Gordon said after her second barley field inspection on the 1st and 2nd of March. Again, it is as follows:
What she is saying is that you can harvest your barley whenever you like, it is not a big deal, there has never been any prohibition against that historically. You just cannot eat of it until the Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering. I just could not understand, what is she talking about? So, I figure well you know, she is coming from the Jewish side of the house, so let us look in the Talmud and let us see if we can find something that will speak to her. Some historical reference, something that can help her understand and interpret Scripture. Because that is what they say, you cannot understand and interpret the Scriptures without the use of the Talmud. So, let us look in the Talmud and see what we can find.
Okay, so that is what we did, and I came across something that I at first misunderstood what it was. I came to Sefaria.org and they have all sorts of books and all kinds of reference materials from the Jewish side of the House. Now we came to Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 11b: 6, this is the Davidson edition, this is not the Soncino. And one of the things is that the Davidson edition is kind of like what you might call the Amplified. If you read the Amplified Bible you will have your Bible verse here, and then they will have parentheses and they will add some things to try to give more emphasis and help you understand what the general thrust (or the gist) of the message is.
So, they add things to the text, and this is kind of what the Davidson edition does. I did not know that, but anyway, I am reading here in the Talmud in Sanhedrin 11b:6 in Sefaria Davidson edition. It says:
“The new crop may be harvested and eaten only after the sacrifice of the wave sheaf”.
I thought there it is, we will just send it to Devorah’s Date Tree. We will help her understand, this is great. So, I copied it down, I sent her an email along with a lot of other things, not understanding this was commentary. I sent her a nice long letter; we will have it posted on the open letter page. She writes back only this; this is the sum total of her of a response. She says: ‘You wrote Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 11b: the new crop may be harvested and eaten only after the sacrifice of the omer, it does not say that in the text. Devorah.’
What a nice friendly letter. What a very helpful, what a wonderful piece of communication from another wonderful member of the barley community who only wants to see the truth established so that everyone can understand what the Torah actually says with regards to the aviv barley and the aviv barley calendar. What a wonderful uplifting message that was, or we wish it were.
You know, my whole thing is there are a lot of people out there. I hope I will say this the right way. I would like to ask for prayer for all these groups, I would like to ask for prayer that there can be unity among the barley community, and I think the only way that that is going to happen is that people need to give up their dogmas. They need to give up their doctrines and we need to talk about what does Scripture say. We can talk about the Talmud, we can talk about historic references, these kinds of things. I found the reference to Josephus very interesting. I sent it to Devorah, she did not want to respond. Okay, so maybe she does not like Josephus for whatever reason. He confesses Yeshua, he also actually defected to the Romans. So, I can understand that. Maybe she does not even want to mention him or the rest of my letter or my many other letters. But you know, maybe we can talk about whether we can get together for the barley searches so we can cut out the confusion. We can help people out, this kind of a thing.
So, I thought well, you know, we are going to have to do some research. Here we go, I am doing some research, I am going to Sefaria.org. I come to Sanhedrin 11b: 6 (here it is in the Hebrew) and note that when they have got it in bold that means that is actually what the Hebrew says, and then the rest of it is added text or supplied text. Like you see a little bit of supplied text in the King James version. They will add a word or three but here whoever this rabbi is who is doing this, he is adding sentences to clarify the thing. And I personally agree completely with what he said. So, he says:
“The Baraita continues: And when the ripening of the grain is one of the concerns, everyone is happy. [That is in the Hebrew. But then he adds]: Since the grain is not yet ripe the people do not mind waiting an extra month for Nissan (or aviv). If the grain is already ripe however, the extra month would simply prolong the period during which the grain may not be eaten due to the prohibition of the new crop, as the new crop may be harvested and eaten only after the sacrifice of the omer offering on the 16th.”
[Rabbinic Commentary; Sefaria.org; Sanhedrin 11b:]
It is the wrong day, but I thought wow, there it is. There is our historic reference in the Talmud that you are not allowed to harvest your crops until after the Omer has been offered. Great, perfect, that is what Scripture says. So, I sent that to Devorah. She did not like it. Well, we need to do more research. Okay, so we are not sure about Sefaria, so I fall back onto the trusty Soncino edition. The problem with the Soncino is that my version is built for Windows 95 or something. I have had it a long time, it crashes when I try to run on Windows 10, this kind of a thing. But you know, it still works. So, I figured, well, there are questions about Davidson, so we will look it up in Soncino. Because Soncino was the more orthodox of the versions or what have you. We are not trying to be right; we are trying to find out what is right. It is not that we have an agenda. It is that we want to do what Yahweh says, we want to do what Scripture says. And if you will talk with us, if you will help us understand, if you will communicate with us, then maybe we can achieve some kind of unity. If that is actually your goal also.
So, as for the Babylonian Talmud Menachot 65a Soncino edition, this is the Mishnah and again it is all caps because this is considered the words of Elohim. Now help me out here, somebody who understands the Mishnah better than I do, please send me an email, and help me understand, because I have a hard time understanding these as being the words of Elohim. It says:
“WHAT WAS THE PROCEDURE? [Now I do not know why Yahweh is going to ask this question, it does not sound like Yahweh to me].
THE MESSENGERS OF THE BEIT DIN USED TO GO OUT ON THE DAY BEFORE THE FESTIVAL [feast] AND TIE THE UNREAPED CORN IN BUNCHES TO MAKE IT THE EASIER TO REAP. [Now I have a hard time understanding Yahweh saying this in the wilderness of Sinai, that does not make any sense to me but never mind we will just move on].
AND ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWNS NEWAR BY ASSEMBLED THERE, SO THAT IT MIGHT BE REAPED WITH MUCH DISPLAY.”
[Babylonian Talmud: Menachot 65a Soncino edition]
And maybe I misunderstand what the Mishnah is and hopefully we will publish what the Mishnah really says or why it is written this way, I have no idea. But I found this passage interesting because this passage says the Omer must be the first thing that is cut That is what I am getting out of this. You do not bring in the harvest and then bring a sheaf to the priest. It is very clear the Omer must be the first thing that is cut that is why they tie it ahead of the cutting. okay so it continues on in the Mishnah, they talk about a procedure for the cutting, and it says:
AND WHY WAS ALL THIS? [or why are we doing it this way?] BECAUSE OF THE BOETHUSIANS [which was a sect of the Sadducees, just like the Karaites] WHO MAINTAINED THAT THE REAPING OF THE OMER WAS NOT TO TAKE AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE [FIRST DAY OF THE] FESTIVAL.
So, once again, this is the Pharisee (the Rabbinical) doctrine. Whatever day is the Passover that is when the wave sheaf is offered the next day on the First Day of Unleavened Bread. That is how they do it and there is never a difference. That is not how it is done. We talk about that in “Aviv Barley Simplified” and in other places.
So now it gets confusing, it gets difficult. The Karaites correctly believe that the Wave Sheaf Offering (just like we do) takes place on the first day of the week after the Passover week, rather than on the 16th. Whatever day of the week the Passover falls, then you wait until the following first day of the week. That is your Wave Sheaf Offering. That is how the Karaites understand it, that is how we understand it. That is not how the Pharisees, or the rabbis understand it.
Now we come here Menachot 67b, and if your head starts to hurt after a while just remember it is the “Babylonian” Talmud. It is the “Confusion” Talmud, and the Mishnah says:
“AFTER THE OMER WAS OFFERED THEY [PRIESTS] USED TO GO OUT AND FIND THE MARKET OF JERUSALEM ALREADY FULL OF MEAL AND PARCHED CORN [OF THE NEW PRODUCE]; THIS, HOWEVER, DID NOT MEET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SAGES. SO R.MEIR. R. JUDAH SAYS, THEY DID SO WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SAGES.”[Babylonian Talmud: Menachot 67B Soncino]
Again, I have a hard time with this being the words of Yahweh being delivered in the wilderness of Sinai. I do not understand how Yahweh is talking about the market of Jerusalem being already full of meal when they have not even made it to the land of Israel yet. Maybe that is just me, again if you are an expert in the Talmud help me out, send me an email and we will get some clarification on that. But this says that they offer the Omer and then they walk out, and the markets are already full. And it says this however did not meet with the approval of the sages. Why? It is obvious why. Because if you are going to have already parched barley what that means is, they are actually cutting the barley at the same time as the Wave Sheaf is being offered. They are bringing in the harvest before the completion of the Omer offering.
This is the Talmud for you, it says this however did not meet with the approval of the sages. And Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Judah says they did so with the approval of the sages. Again, here is the Talmud, this rabbi says this, and that rabbi says that. This rabbi disagrees and that rabbi says oh there is a contradiction, somebody else says there is no contradiction. It just goes back and forth and that is the Talmud for you.
Now we come to Menachot 71a Soncino Talmud and the Mishnah (the document that is allegedly dictated by Elohim so we can understand how to interpret the Torah, allegedly). It says:
“ONE MAY REAP [BEFORE THE OMER, THE CORN] IN IRRIGATED FIELDS. IN THE PLAIN, BUT ONE MAY NOT STACK IT.”
[Menachot 71a Soncino MISHNAH]
“But one may not stack it”. Okay, so what they are saying is if it is an irrigated field you can reap it, but do not stack it. You just reap it and then leave it to rot “says Yahweh”. You know, like they say, truth has got to be stranger than fiction, because fiction has got to make sense. Okay, I do not know, somebody is making this stuff up, it is not me. So, the Mishnah (allegedly Elohim) says “one may reap before the Omer of offering in irrigated fields in the plain [I believe the plain of Jericho probably] but one may not stack it.” Then it says:
“THE MEN OF JERICHO USED TO REAP [BEFORE THE OMER] WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SAGES, AND USED TO STACK IT WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE SAGES, BUT THEY DID NOT FORBID THEM.”
[Menahot 71a Soncino MISHNAH]
I am having a hard time with this passage here, because notice the inherent hypocrisy in what they are saying. What they are saying is: Yahweh says this, the sages agree with Yahweh, the people do the wrong thing, the sages do not reprimand them. The sages sort of turn a blind eye to the sins of the people and this is spoken by Yahweh in the wilderness of Sinai or something like that? I do not know. I am not responsible. This is not me; this is not my book; this is not my favorite book. But I am looking for something to help Devorah understand or else to help myself understand what is going on. So that we can come to some kind of an understanding within the barley community.
Now we come to Menachot 68 a Soncino Talmud. Once again, I am trying to stick to the MISHNAH because I want to stick close to the source. This is considered divine; this is considered inspired by the rabbis. It says:
“AFTER THE OMER WAS OFFERED THE NEW CORN WAS PERMITTTED FORTHWITH; [as soon as you offer the Omer you can have the new stuff. Okay, we agree with that part]. BUT FOR THOSE THAT LIVED FAR OFF IT WAS PERMITTED ONLY AFTER MIDDAY. [In other words, if you lived far away from the temple then you just sort of watched your sundial back in those ancient times, the ancient Timex. And then after midday you can reap your crop]. AFTER THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED R. YOHANAN B. ZAKKAI [remember he is one of our major heavy hitters of heresy, he is on the same level as Hillel, Shammai, Gamliel; these first generation guys] ORDAINED THAT IT SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN THROUGHOUT THE DAY OF THE WAVING.”
[Babylonian Talmud: Menachot 68a Soncino]
Okay so, good idea. Now why is he suggesting this? It is because they have the wrong interpretation, but this is how the rabbi’s work. They have the wrong interpretation. What they are saying is that they are coming out from offering the Omer, the marketplace is already full of all this stuff that is been harvested before the Omer was offered, or during the time the Omer was being offered, something like that. So Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai first generation Tannaim, he is forbidding this for whatever reasons. The Talmud explains those reasons it gets complicated, but you get the idea.
Now we are going to come to Sefaria and the Davidson Talmud. I looked for it in Soncino, I could not find it. So, we come to the Babylonian Talmud (Sefaria, Davidson edition), Rosh HaShanah 30a:23, it says:
If people eat the new grain at midday, they will have retroactively transgressed a prohibition. [What does this mean? It means that they would be transgressing because the barley that was eaten at midday had to be harvested before midday before the Omer was properly offered] Therefore, Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai instituted that the new grain should be prohibited for the entire day of the sixteenth.
Good idea, right? But notice again what they are doing. They are changing things so they can add things and subtract things and they have all kinds of discussion. I mean it just goes on and on and on… about this rabbi said this… about what rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai said… and that rabbi said that… about rabbi… it is like four or five pages of this stuff. It is just like why do they not just follow Deuteronomy 16:9? That way we do not have this problem. Oy vavoy!
So, here are MY QUESTIONS in regard to all this.
1. Why did Josephus (who lived in the first century) say he was a witness? Why did this first century witness say that the Omer had to be offered first?
2. Why does the Talmud (which was redacted, edited, or heavily censored until the year 220 CE, over 100 years later, almost 200 years later) say that you can harvest early?
3. When Judah HaNasi censored out all the references to Yeshua and the apostles, is it possible that he censored any opinions that might say that the Omer had to be brought first? Such as was said by witnesses like Josephus?
4. The Karaites allegedly reject the Talmud. But if the Karaites reject the Talmud then why are they secretly referencing the Talmud? Why are they secretly following the Talmudic traditions contained in the Talmud? In other words, if the Karaites are truly obeying Scripture and not the Talmud then why are the Karaites saying it is okay to break Deuteronomy 16:9 to start the cutting before you start the counting just so long as you do not eat of the crop? Because the Talmud says it is okay? Because this is what Devorah is referring to. She is saying it has always been understood that there was never a prohibition against harvesting the crop early. Only a prohibition against eating of that crop. Why is she doing this? Because the Talmud says so? I do not know, it is a question, I am asking.
5. Why do Devorah’s Date Tree and the equinox people (we will talk about Abib of God hopefully next week, that is a whole separate kettle) not seem to care that we already have broken and shattered barley on the ground at least 16 days (nearer a month) prior to their Wave Sheaf Offering of April 4th? Does this mean nothing to them? This is what I asked in the letter. Does it mean nothing to you that you have broken and shattered barley on the ground? It is not your field, what do you care. Why is that? I do not know; it is a good question, I think.
6. And as a final question, even if the rabbis condoned breaking Deuteronomy 16:9 in the past, and this hypocrisy. This Torah breaking, this is sin, this flagrant disobedience to the words of Elohim just happens to be recorded in the Talmud. Does that mean we should do the same thing just because they sinned back in the Talmud times? Does that mean that we get to sin also? And in particular, if we can show in “Aviv Barley Simplified” and in these other studies that there is a better way to do this that does not require breaking Deuteronomy 16:9, then why not do it that way? Especially when it gives a witness to Yeshua’s role as the Omer. Or perhaps is that why they are specifically not doing it? Is it because it gives a witness to Yeshua’s role as the Omer? There is a question I am asking.
Why do not we do things Yahweh’s way as He says in Deuteronomy 16:9?
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:9-10
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the [standing] grain.
10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Yahweh your Elohim…
So, begin to count when you begin to cut or begin to cut when you begin to count. What is wrong with doing it the way that Yahweh says?
To sum it up, if the Karaites do not believe in the Talmud then why are the Karaites secretly following the traditions recorded in the Talmud? Is there perhaps some special link between the Pharisees and the Sadducees that maybe we do not know about today? It is a question, I am asking.