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Let’s Not BREAK Deuteronomy 16

[Study adapted from the video “Let’s Not BREAK Deuteronomy 16“, from the series Establishing the Head of the Year].

It is that time of year again! The aviv barley is ready in the land of Israel. Or is it? You have this barley searcher over here saying, “yes the aviv barley is ready” and you have this barley search team over here saying, “no it’s not ready yet”. And they have different definitions of what aviv barley is, and how much you need, and how to recognize barley. You have two other messianic teams with different definitions themselves, but they are siding with the Karaites and not with the messianic sister. How can you know what to do? Well, if you are like a lot of people you look for someone with a good reputation. And you see out there that there is a very well-respected barley search team called Devorah’s Date Tree that bills themselves as the most reliable and respected new moon and aviv barley reports from the land of Israel. And you think, well that sounds good, because after all the majority can’t possibly be wrong, can they? Oh, yes, they can! And in this study, we are going to show you why we will not use Devorah’s Date Tree for the aviv barley, and along the way we are going to talk about why it is so important and how not to break Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9.

I learned about aviv barley back in around 2001-2003 from the Karaites themselves. I have followed it very closely ever since because all the other feasts key off the barley, which sets the initial start date, what is called the head of the year. Today my job is to interview and qualify the witnesses to the aviv barley so that we can know when to start the head of the year, so that all the rest of the feast days fall into place. It is important that you have read our previous study called “Aviv Barley Simplified” to make this chapter easier for you to understand.

I never thought I would have to do this, but in this study we are going to have to talk first about what is copyright and what is fair use. According to Baylor University fair use allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder for purposes such as: criticism, parity which we are going to try to avoid but that’s kind of hard given the subject, news reporting, research and scholarship which is always a focus, and teaching which is the main purpose of our study here.

What you are going to find is that there are some real differences between the two main witnesses to the barley who live in the land of Israel. There are other teams that come in from outside but they both key off these two main witnesses who live in the land of Israel. One of them, you might call her a believer in messiah, her name is Becca Biderman, and the other is a Karaite by the name of Devorah Gordon, she runs a Karaite barley search service called Devorah’s Date Tree. She emphasizes that she is not a representative for the Karaites, and it is allegedly an interfaith group, however they use the Karaite theology and because of this we need to talk about what is called ‘observer bias’.

Observer bias is something that we all have, and it is something that we all would like to believe that we do not have. But if you have ever fallen in love with someone you know that you become kind of blind to their faults and you only tend to see the things that you want to see and you tend not to see the things that you do not want to see, that’s observer bias. Or if you have ever looked for a house or an apartment to rent, you have always looked right past those signs before because there are all kinds of information out there. But now that you are looking for a house, now that you are looking for an apartment you see the signs just about everywhere. That is what observer bias is. Observer bias is defined as when the observer’s beliefs and expectations subconsciously influence their inspection results. That means that when you are looking for something different you are going to find something different, if you are looking for something else you are going to find something else.

I would like to emphasize, we at Nazarene Israel have absolutely no issue whatsoever with Devorah’s Date Tree’s new moon reports, in fact we send them a small amount of money each month to help them with their search. It is not the new moons that are at issue. However, we have some serious issues with their Aviv Barley Reports for reasons we are going to cover in this study. And the primary root of the problem is that, since Devorah Gordon is a Karaite, she follows the Karaite theology which has a completely different definition of what aviv barley is. And there is a real problem with that.

You might think, well the new moon is the new moon, and the barley is the barley so there is no problem there. But when we look at Matthew chapter 16 in verse 6, Yeshua warns us. He says, “take heed and beware of the leaven, (referring to the false doctrine) of the pharisees and the Sadducees”, and that is referring to our orthodox Jewish brethren and our Karaite Jewish brethren.

The reason why is if you have a different doctrine, and you have a different theology you are going to be looking for something else. And because you are looking for something else you are going to find something else. And if you are reporting something like aviv barley and you are looking for something else as aviv barley, you are going to report something else as aviv barley, that is basically the problem that we have here.

Matthew (Matityahu) 16:6
6 Then Yeshua said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”

Just as a quick recap, we cover this fully in the video “Aviv Barley Simplified”.

Nazarene Israel’s doctrine is that we want to bring the very first sheaf of aviv barley. And we define aviv barley as ‘medium dough barley’ and the reason we do that, if you look at the Strong’s definition for the word of aviv it refers to barley that is still ‘tender, green and young’.

Its Strong’s Hebrew Concordance says:

OT:24 ‘abiyb (aw-beeb’); from an unused root (meaning ‘to be tender); green, i.e., a young ear of grain; hence, [ and that’s from where they get] the name of the month Abib or [or the rabbis call it] Nisan:

However, we also know that it must be advanced enough that it is edible according to Leviticus 2:14. We also know that we must be able to grind it into flour so that we can put oil and frankincense on it according to Leviticus 2:15. We also see according to the pattern in John chapter 12:24, it needs to be viable as seed. We cover all this in the video “Aviv Barley Simplified”. And one of the most important things, we know that everything in the Torah is symbolic of Yeshua, and we know that Yeshua was the Wave Sheaf, and he was offered alone ahead of the harvest. First Yeshua was offered and then we see in Revelation that later is when the harvests come. First comes the wave sheaf, then come the main harvests.

Now let us look at the Karaite doctrine, it is very different. The Karaite have a doctrine of waiting until most of the fields are ripe for the harvest. In fact, Devorah Gordon of Devorah’s Date Tree has got a published study she calls “harvestable fields are required by Yom Hanafat Haomer”, meaning you must have harvestable fields by the day of the wave sheaf offering. Meaning, a lot of the harvest must be ready, or you cannot declare the wave sheaf offering.

But notice how different that is. Instead of looking for barley that’s ‘tender, green and young’, they are looking for barley that is harvest ready. And what we are going to see is that the Karaite theology requires regularly violating Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9, as they violated this year (2021). We are going to see that in this study. And if we are willing to look at it, if we have eyes to see, we are going to see this also symbolic of the anti-Messiah because the Karaite doctrine is that first you bring in the harvest, then you bring a sheaf of that harvest as the wave sheaf. That is not what we see in Scripture.

In Scripture we see first Yeshua was offered as the Wave Sheaf then later comes the harvest. The Karaites want something else. They want to see the harvest brought in (perhaps symbolic of how the Jews were brought back to the land in 1948), then they bring forth a wave sheaf, symbolic of their anti-Yeshua Messiah.

In first Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 20 we see that Yeshua is the Wave Sheaf. The apostle Shaul (Paul) tells us:

1 Corinthians 15:20
20 “but now Messiah is risen from the dead and he has become the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

And in verse 23 he says:

1 Corinthians 15:23
23 “but each one in his own order, first Messiah the First Fruits and then afterwards those who are Messiah’s at His coming.

Again, the pattern in Scripture is that first we offer the wave sheaf then comes the harvest, and the Karaites teach something completely opposite. They teach first comes the harvest then you bring the wave sheaf. Let us look now at Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9. This is what Yahweh says, this is the verse that is being broken. In Deuteronomy 16 in verse 9, Yahweh 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 of Shavuot or Pentecost to Yahweh (or Elohim).”

The problem here is this. Yahweh is saying, when you start to cut that very first sheaf, that is when your seven-week count to Pentecost begins. Cut the very first sheaf that is when you start counting your seven weeks. You start counting your seven weeks when you cut that very first sheaf and the Karaites say, ‘no, you do not have to do it that way that’s not how that works’. The Karaites have a different doctrine that we believe violates Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9. We are going to see more evidence of that in this study.

Now I think we are going to start doing a detailed Aviv Barley Report every year as we go along, just because this is such a contentious issue every year. What I want to do is I want to chronicle a little bit of the history that has gone into this this Spring so that people can see how this different Karaite theology impacts the harvesting of the barley, and why we will end up eventually ruining the barley farmers with the earliest ripening crops. We are seeing ample evidence of that this year.

Now if you are watching this in future years just think back to when 2021 was, but on February the 6th 2021 our believing sister, messianic sister Becca Biderman, she found aviv (medium dough barley) on the south side of a field in the Galilee region near where she lives in Poriya Ilit. This was 22 days before the Wave Sheaf Offering of February the 28th. That is important because you must have a sheaf of aviv barley to present by the time of the Wave Sheaf Offering. It is right there, it is on her YouTube channel, check about 6 minutes and 34 seconds.

Now there are still three weeks and a day to go from the time this barley is done. This is what you are looking for and we cover this in the other study. This is basically what you are looking for, barley that is still tender, green, and young, but it is starting to turn this golden color. It is just starting to turn, that is when you know it is medium dough. You are not going to inspect it just by looking at it, you are going to inspect it close up, but that is the kind of thing you would suspect. You can see the north side of this field is still green, that is very important. See how the north side is still green? As we start to come closer to the south side you see how the barley starts to be more advanced. We are going to talk a lot more about that as time goes on.

Now, five days later here comes Devorah’s Date Tree, Devorah Gordon of the Karaites, and they inspected the northern quarter of this field. They came in and if you watch their video closely, and if you know what you are looking at, (and a lot of people do not know what they are looking at so that is more difficult), but they came in and inspected the of this field. Never got into the south end here, never got into it. They only inspected the northern part. They inspected the northern quarter, and they could not find the aviv barley in that field. That was very interesting to us because that field is not very big, that field is only about the size of two football fields or perhaps two soccer fields, just not that big. And again, if you know what you are looking at, there was a certain point during the presentation when Devorah Gordon stood there. She found a patch of ripe barley on the northern edge of a fenced area (that was about the size of maybe a triple tennis court) and she could see more similar barley inside the fenced area (about the size of a triple tennis court). And then on the far side she could see even more advanced barley, which again is this barley that we are mentioning right here. You can see, this here is one of the stakes that was later the fence that was put up. This is where the aviv barley was on the south side of that fence. It is just amazing to me, I was flabbergasted. She published her report, she said that there was no aviv barley found, that they did not find aviv barley in that field. Now, what happened?

Sister Becca Biderman contacted me through Facebook messenger or whatever it was, and she was very upset. She felt that there was a purposeful misrepresentation of the condition of the barley in that field. That is a very, very, very serious charge. Of course, my job is to verify the witnesses to the aviv barley so that we know when to start the head of the year. With an accusation like that I had to investigate it. We went over and over and over for witness for many hours, I am not sure exactly how many hours we spent. We spent perhaps four hours that day going through her barley witness. I was convinced, to me I do not see how anyone could go into that field with a desire to find aviv barley and not find it, because the field is only about two football fields in size or two soccer fields in size. It is just not that big, it just really is not. We published a report and we thought to title it “ Was the Karaite Barley Report Impartial?” and we published it on YouTube and Devorah Gordon, of course she complained, and she asked us to take it down. We took it down and we republished on YouTube a different video called “Talking About the Aviv Barley with Sister Becca Biderman” and that video I believe is still up there. We also posted an open letter to Devorah’s Date Tree about her request that we take our earlier video down. If you want to know what really went on during that I would recommend reading that, it is on the Nazarene Israel website.

But I personally do not see how any motivated barley searcher could go into that field and not find the aviv barley. You are standing right there on the northern edge of a triple tennis court. You look through the fence, you can see more barley that is ready, and you look on the far side of that fence and see even more barley that is even more ready, and it would take less than a minute to walk around the triple tennis court. Just could not manage to do it, just could not figure that out. I will let you draw your own conclusions on that, whatever you believe.

But on February the 21st (this is ten days after the Karaites), Becca Biderman went back to that field and she found approximately the entire southeastern third of that field was ready for harvest. Devorah’s Date Tree Barley Inspection Service could not find aviv barley 10 days before, when a third of the field was ready for the harvest 10 days later. Bear in mind there is still seven days to go until the Wave Sheaf Offering.

Becca, she spoke with the owner of the field and he allowed her to take a whole bucket, that is like a 32-liter bucket or whatever it is, filled with barley that is effectively ready for the harvest. We talk about that more in the in “Aviv Barley Simplified”.

Now the field was later bulldozed to create a tree park for a family, but the point is that there was extensive video documentation of that field. And we have ample reason to believe that Devorah’s Date Tree was aware of Becca Biderman’s extensive documentation because Devorah’s Date Tree knew how to find that field and many other reasons. They also seem to have known how to find the other field that Becca Biderman searched out.

Now one more day after that, on February the 22nd, we have still got six days to go before the Wave Sheaf Offering of February the 28th. Becca Biderman and her partner Cindy went down to the area of Re’im near the Gaza strip, (you can see it there on the map).

They found what would have been an omer’s worth of barley had it been fenced. Meaning, in ancient times, if the animals ended up getting in the field, they would eat the heads off a lot of it and then they also did what is called wallowing, (where they basically turn around in a circle to make a nice soft place to lay down). But you can see here there was a lot of barley that is effectively ripe, it is ready to go basically.

Now we have six days remaining until the Wave Sheaf Offering of February the 28th. We have two fields with aviv barley, and we will see later that, at least as it was understood in the first century, you only need a handful. You need to gather it up and make a sheaf, it is not a huge amount, you just gather what you can take together in your hand and that is a sheaf.

The key thing is this barley will not remain in the stock, it will not last until April the 4th, barley just does not do that. If you are a barley plant your goal is not to get harvested, your goal is to push out babies that are then going to fall to the ground so that they can grow and reproduce. Your goal as a barley plant is not to be harvested, your goal is not to be eaten by animals. You want to drop your seed. This is also why Yeshua tells us in Mark chapter 4 and verse 29, Yeshua says:

Mark (Marcus) 4:29
29 “but when the grain ripens immediately the wise farmer puts in the sickle because the harvest has come.”

Immediately the wise farmer puts in the sickle because the barley is going to drop its grain soon after that, it is not going to hang out for another month, barley just does not do that.

Now check this out, on the 1st and 2nd of March here comes Devorah’s Date Tree again. I hesitate to make comparisons to the Keystone Barley Observers, but they come back to the northern field on the first and second of March. That is eight days after Becca Biderman took a big 32-liter bucket of barley out of there and that is eight days after the southeast third of that field was ready for the harvest in the southeast third section. And Devorah and her team, they reinspected only the northern quarter of that field. Again, we are talking about a barley field that is no bigger than perhaps two soccer or two football fields put together.

Notice what she says, and this is what again I understand. I was introduced to the barley back in 2001 and studied it with Nehemia Gordon of the Karaites through about 2003, and I have followed it closely ever since. I have seen how they change their definitions over time. First, they change their definition of how the new moon is cited, then back in 2016 they changed their definition of how to reckon aviv barley. I have watched all these things occur over time and I have also grown barley several times myself, I am familiar with the process, I know about how long it takes to go from various stage to stage, in this kind of a thing. But this is very interesting, read very carefully what she says here. She is reinspecting only the northern quarter of that field. If you watch her video carefully and you are familiar with that field and you know what she is doing, you can see that she limits herself to the northern quarter of that field. Even though she is well aware of Becca Biderman’s work and she is well aware that the ripe barley is in the southern end of the field. Now she says:

Devorah’s Date Tree:
2nd Barely Inspection 1-2 March 2021
“…we even spotted a ripe patch in that same field in the galilee where we found a ripe patch two weeks ago”. (very good). “But the rest of the field was not nearly as developed,” (speaking of the northern quarter of the field), “and the patch that we found a couple of weeks ago has since shattered and been filled with new stocks which are the same maturity as the rest of the field.”

What she is really saying here is that the barley has lost its first flush. This particular year, in 2021, has been an extreme weather year. There was a long section of about six weeks where you had a lot of sunshine and some of the barley progressed to the stage that it was going to mature, and barley can reach what you might call a point of no return. It reaches a certain stage when it is going to drive forward to fruiting no matter what you do. But then they hit a cold stretch and the rest of the barley pulled back during that cold stretch. Now you have what might be called the first flush of barley and then wait, and after, you are now going to end up with a second flush of barley. That is what we are seeing, two flushes of barley in this particular year. This is what Miss Gordon is describing, she sees that the first patch of barley (that she found on the northern edge of the fence) had since shattered, meaning it had already fallen to the ground. Now that is the northern tip of the third of the field that was ripe by that point in time, she said that that barley “had already shattered”, (does not matter to her). It says, “and has been filled in with new stocks”, we are talking about the second flush which are the same maturity as the rest of the field.

If you understand what she is saying here, and if you understand the context in which we are saying it, that is extremely significant. Because just close your eyes and imagine for a second that you are the barley farmer that owns this field. What we are talking about is you are going to have to give up the first flush, which in your particular case was a third of that field. If you think about it, that one third plus if it refills in and now you have got three-thirds, you have got four thirds. You are going to lose the first flush, you are going to lose fully one-quarter of your barley harvest, because you are waiting for the whole field to be harvestable before you are willing to declare the Aviv. Now, if you can think about how that would feel to you as an ancient Israelite to believe that you must give up one quarter of your harvest, one quarter of your income. I think many of us today if we were told that we had to give up a quarter of our income, that would be a difficult thing for very many people.

Now let us continue. That was the northern field, (again they only searched the northern edge of that field), and somehow for some reason that no one can seem to understand they just could not manage to find the barley that was on the southern edge of the triple tennis court area. Just could not seem to do it. We are going to leave it there.

Now Devorah’s Date Tree comes south to Re’im, happens to be the same place where Becca Biderman also searched. Devorah’s Date Tree seems to know how to find the fields that Becca Biderman is searching. She comes there on March 1st and 2nd. Even though we have got fair use of copyright, if anyone would like to watch Devorah Gordon’s video, right around the 58-minute mark (particularly 58:30), notice that she is not seeing the condition of the first flush.

What happens with barley is, the barley grows up and at first it stands tall and then it develops seed in the head. As the head gets heavier basically the barley plant starts to fall over. If you do not harvest it in its time (as Yeshua says to immediately put in the sickle), if you do not do that the barley plant will start to fall over. The head gets heavy, so it falls over. This is exactly what happened in that field with this barley, if you do not harvest it at the right time it starts to fall over and then the other green growth (second flush) starts to grow up through it.

It is amazing when you watch what is going on in the video and you can see the first flush has all fallen and it is lying flat, and the green flush is growing up through it. When Miss Gordon comes through and she is testing the barley she does not see this first flush. Maybe, possibly, perhaps, could that be because of observer bias? Perhaps, is she looking for a completely harvestable field? and because the field is not completely harvestable, she is not seeing the condition of the first flush, she is only noticing the condition of the second flush that is still green and immature. I invite you to check her video out like that.

We will just leave it there; we will leave that there with the talk about observer bias because she is looking for harvestable fields to be required by Yom Hanafat Haomer. Again, she is coming the day or two after the Wave Sheaf Offering on February the 28th.

Devorah’s Date Tree answers certain questions, and it is very interesting because we have written to them several times, very big difference to me. In the priesthood my job is to qualify the witnesses to the aviv barley so that we can know when to start the head of the year, because all the rest of the feasts are going to key off that. Sister Biderman been extremely helpful, she has shared photos and videos, and she has talked with us, we have met for hours, she even helped us to refine our definition of aviv barley. We were thinking it was soft dough, but now we understand that it must be medium dough, for reasons we mentioned in “Aviv Barley Simplified“. We get no response from Devorah’s Date Tree. We can write to them and they will not respond to us directly, but sometimes they will say things in their posts that seem to have something to do with the emails that we write to them. It is very interesting how that happens.

Notice, she says this several times in several different publications. Notice she says:

Devorah’s Date Tree: 2nd Barley Inspection
1-2 March 2021
“…it has always been understood that there was no prohibition against the farmers harvesting when needed, they only needed to wait until Yom Hanafat Haomer (the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering) before eating of the produce.”

What she really means to say is that they can break Deuteronomy 16 and verse 9. No problem. What she is really saying here is, no, you do not have to start the omer count when you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain, that is not important. You can go ahead if you have some barley that comes ripe early, you just go ahead and harvest that barley and put it off to one side. She says that in one of her publications and the omer count does not begin. Whatever you need to do. You go ahead and harvest your barley and just do not eat of it until the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering and it has always been that way she says. Here she says, “it’s always been understood that there was no prohibition against the farmers harvesting their barley when needed.”

My question to Miss Gordon is, if she will respond in a civil manner, what then does Yahweh our Elohim mean, what does our king mean, when 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”?

If that is not a prohibition against harvesting your barley ahead of the start of the count, I do not know what is. Some people might say, well you just simply have a difference of interpretation, how to interpret Deuteronomy 16 and verse nine. But maybe she is right, maybe there has never been any prohibition. Let us check the historic literature.

If we come to Flavius Josephus, he was a high priest in the first century. If anybody would know how things were done in the first century it would be him. In his book, “Antiquities of the Jews”, Book 3, Chapter 10, and verse 5, he is talking about the wave sheaf offering. He says:

“…they offer the first-fruits of their barley, and that in the following manner: They take a handful of the ears” (so not a huge amount) “and dry them,” (which means it must be green to start with, because it must be dried it says), “then beat them small, and purge the barley from the bran”. (That right there tells us that it is not ripe barley because with ripe barley it is easy to separate the barley from the bran). “They then bring one tenth deal to the altar, to Elohim;” (You bring a tenth of it to Elohim); “and, casting one handful 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, verse 5.]

‘After’ the Wave Sheaf Offering has been brought they may publicly or privately reap their harvest, that is how things were done in the first century in Josephus’s day. Now let us look, there are other witnesses here.

Let us come here to Rashi. Now Rashi is one of the foremost Jewish commentators ever and here is his commentary on Leviticus chapter 23 and verse 10. He says:

This means that it shall be the first thing to be harvested.”
[Rashi commentary on Leviticus 23:10]

He is quoting the Scripture, then he says this means that it (referring to the Wave Sheaf for the Omer) shall be the first thing to be harvested. Let us compare that with Gordon’s words. If you want more witnesses let us come here to Maimonides (Rambam), again another one of the foremost commentaries in all of Judaism commentators in all Judaism. In his work, a major work, “Mishneh Torah” in “Daily Offerings and Additional Offerings”, chapter 7 and verse 13, he says:

“It is forbidden to reap any one of the five kinds of grain in the land of Israel ‘before’ the reaping of the omer” (the sheaf of the wave offering), “as it is written: “the first of your harvest”.”
[Maimonides (Rambam) Mishneh Torah, Daily Offerings and Additional Offerings 7:13]

Again, referring to Leviticus 23 and verse 10, meaning that the Wave Sheaf should be the first that is harvested. Are you getting this? We want more witnesses. Let us come here to rabbi Hiyyah in his work Sifra, Emor, section 10 verse 3 also dealing with Leviticus 23 and verse 10. He quotes Scripture and he says:

“and you shall reap its harvest… the first of your harvest”.
[Hiyyah, Sifra, Emor, Section 10, Verse 3, dealing with Leviticus 23:10]

Again meaning, the wave sheaf must be the first of all that is harvested. More witnesses. Let us come to Siftei commentary also on Leviticus 23 and verse 10 referring to the first of the harvest. He says:

“Jews may not reap their fields until the omer is reaped first” (before) “all of everything else that is being reaped.”
[Siftei Chakhamim, commentary on Leviticus 23:10]

Now let us look at Miss Gordon’s words again. She says:

“We… even spotted a ripe patch in that same field in the Galilee where we found a ripe patch two weeks ago, but the rest of the field was not nearly as developed, and that patch we found a couple of weeks ago has since shattered and has been filled in with new stocks which are the same maturity as the rest of the field.”
[Devorah’s Date Tree: 2nd Barely Inspection 1-2 March 2021]

She is apparently completely unconcerned by this because she is waiting for the whole field to become ripe so she can harvest the whole field first and then bring a sheaf of that harvest to the priest. According to her doctrine harvestable fields are required by Yom Hanafat Haomer. This is why Yeshua tells us “take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees”, (of the orthodox rabbis and the Karaites) because they are going to lead you to do something other than what Yeshua says to do, they are going to lead you to do something other than what the Torah says to do.

Now if you have lost about a third of the field that was harvestable before the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering, and Devorah’s Date Tree was unable to find it, if you can just sort of close your eyes and imagine your name is Yossi Cohen. He happens to be the head of the Mossad, we found that out later, but just imagine that you are a barley farmer in ancient Israel, and you happen to live in one of the areas where the barley ripens first. You decide you want to grow the barley so that you can donate the wave sheaf to Yahweh. What do you do if your barley is one of the first fields to ripen? What do you do if that is your field? You are faced with a choice, either you can effectively lose 25 percent of your crop, you can lose that first flush of barley that comes ready. Now you are down to 75 percent of the income you could have or if it is a famine year and you are down to 75 percent of the barley that you can feed your family with. Or you can violate Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9 which tells us not to start cutting until the Omer  That is effectively the choices that you have. What do you do? Do you harvest before the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering and break the Torah at Deuteronomy 16 verse 9? Or do you lose 25 percent of your crop this particular year?

I believe that Devorah’s Date Tree needs to spend some serious time thinking about that. How would she feel if it were her field? Well, she has already told us, she would simply cut that barley and put it aside and say, well the omer count does not begin yet, because she does not want it to begin yet. That is why we do not use Devorah’s Date Tree for the barley service.

Devorah’s Date Tree speaks to this in one of their Frequently Asked Questions section. The Frequently Asked Question asks:

Frequently Asked Questions:
“Wouldn’t the heads break if they got that dry?” and she responds: “and as for the heads which might break because they became too dry, keep in mind that the ancient Israelites would have presumably cultivated the seeds and planted the stronger ones each year so the heads would have been much sturdier than those that we are looking at.”
[Devorah’s Date Tree 2nd Barley Inspection 1-2 March 2021]

I do not understand that I do not get that at all. Explain to me something. In the first place you are supposed to offer the best of your barley and all the rest of your crops to the priesthood, and in the second place you want barley that separates easily from the head because you are going to need that during threshing. Why would you select for barley that is going to stay in the head longer? You would not want that; you just want a system by which you can immediately put in the sickle and harvest the barley as it becomes ripe like Yeshua says. That is what you want. If the ancient Israelites had hypothetically bred their barley to stay in the head longer and that was the barley that was selected for and cultivated, then why don’t we have that barley today? If that is how they cultivated the barley back in the first century then would not that still be the barley that we have today?

I do not understand their response. In any event, to me we are clearly not supposed to think of reasons why we should be able to break Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9.

Now, I was voted “most scientific” in my high school graduating class. The way I understand science is first you posit your theory, then you check your theory against the available evidence, and if the available evidence lines up with your theory then it could be a valid theory. But if the available evidence refutes your theory then you need to get another theory. What we see is, why can we not take Deuteronomy 16 and verse 9 at face value? Why can we not take Yahweh’s words for what it says? That is what we do not understand in Nazarene Israel. That is why we are using sister Becca Biderman as a witness, because we do not want to break Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 9. We also encourage you not to do so. If you are a believer and you are following the Karaite Calendar as opposed to the Aviv Barley Calendar, we would encourage you to seriously rethink your theology and we encourage you also to read “Aviv Barley Simplified”.

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