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Covenant Connection

Volume 2, Issue 3

November 2006.......Kislev 5767

Not Noahides

The Black Hebrews


• Black Hebrews

• Prof. James Tabor

• The Thirteenth Tribe

• Kuzari

• Trilby and Svengali

• New Road for Israel

• Spiritual Israel

• New Noahide Book

• New Carter Book

• Lagos, Nigeria

• First Covenant News

• Doctorates

• America/Israel Lapel Pins


A steamy Sunday in July, in New York City's Harlem.You can see the Apollo Beauty Supply shop, on Lenox Avenue near 125th Street, peeking out from between two trees in the background. In the foreground, a group of bearded dark men in belted robes are holding a demonstration on the sidewalk. The man in front speaks into a microphone. He has an amplifier at his feet. He and the fellow to his right both wear a large Star of David around their middles like a belt-buckle. All the men have on hats or turbans. You can see several Stars of David on necklaces and belts. The two men in front wear the Star on their sleeve cuffs.

These are Black Hebrews. That's what they call themselves. The speaker, in an amplified voice, says that they are the true Israel. So is everyone with brown or black skin who had ancestors who came from sub-Saharan Africa. The people he calls Jews are usurpers of the name of Israel, he says. This man has the silhouette of a lion embroidered in yellow thread on the right front of his robe. That's the Lion of Judah.

You probably can't make out all the detail on the poster to his left, but it's a chart. It explains, with the help of a couple of drawings, what this group is all about.

It's headed "Tribes: Nation of Sinai." In the center, near the top, there's a drawing of a bearded man, black and berobed, wearing a tall hat. He faces front. He's holding what appears to be a sword or sceptre in his left hand and a book or shield or tablet in his right. He may be King David or Moses, or maybe Israel's High Priest. It's definitely a masculine figure.

Near the bottom of the poster, in the center, there's a drawing of a naked young black woman, mostly in silhouette. It's a side-view. She has a hollow space, a womb, in her middle. It's filled with concentric circles.Obviously, this stands for progenerative power. It probably also represents linkages between past and future - between ancestors and their posterity, the living and those yet to be born with the dead.

As for the chart: it identifies the Children of Israel - the Nation of Sinai, as they call it - according to their tribes. It tells you who's who, as they see it. These are the tribes of Israel:

Judah - American Blacks
Benjamin - West Indians
Levi - Haitians
Simon - Dominicans
Zebulon - Panamanians
Ephraim - Puerto Ricans
Manasseh - Cubans
Reuben - [illegible. Perhaps Seminole?] Indians
Gad - North American Indians
Asher - Brazilians
Naphtali - Argentinians
Issacher - Mexicans

There you have it. These folks on the sidewalk claim to be Israel. That proves that they are not Noahides. Or rather, that they are Noahides only in the sense that every human being is a Noahide, a direct descendant of Noah. But they reject the Biblical system. Among their other fatal spiritual mistakes, they deny the legitimacy of the Jewish people.

That's a big mistake. It's bad according to the Torah, the Biblical Tradition. And that makes it bad according to the Noahide Tradition. Which brings up a point that we who write about that the Noahide Law often neglect.

Of all the nations, only the people of Israel kept the Noahide Tradition intact. Each generation guarded it as part of the larger Biblical Tradition. It doesn't matter that the Noahide laws are all logical laws (which means that they are, at least theoretically, discoverable through logic alone). In practice, one must go to Israel, into the Torah, the Biblical Tradition, to learn everything that the Noahide laws have to teach us.

Here's the problem. Once one gets into the Torah, one discovers a whole universe of truth. Just looking at the text of Genesis, a seeker encounters all sorts of facts - historical facts - as well as cosmic principles. These go 'way beyond the bare bones of the Seven Universal Commandments.

Through plain words which have been translated into every living human language, the Torah teaches that every human being reflects the holiness of God. It teaches, for instance, the Oneness of God. It teaches that He loves charity, mercy and justice. That He abominates cruelty. That He detests lewdness. That He appreciates modesty. And it teaches that He blesses those who bless the people of Israel, and He curses those who curse Israel.

These are fundamental cosmic principles. With the Bible, God put us all on notice - he alerted all humanity to them. Once the Bible spread around the world, they became part of the Noahide system. Truth is truth, of course, but with the Bible, the world received word of these truths - and responsibility for acting accordingly. B'nai Noah can't claim to have never heard of them; with the Bible, b'nai Noah have indeed heard of them. These principles became, with the basic Seven Laws, part of the larger Noahide system. Blessing Israel in order to receive God's blessing, for instance, and not cursing Israel in order to avoid being cursed by God, make up part of God's system.

Call it Providence or call it history, but that's how Providence and history have left things. People need to meet with Israel if they desire God's blessing. One either accepts or rejects this aspect of God's Way. If one rejects it, as these Black Hebrews do. . . well, good luck.



Congratulations to our friend, James D. Tabor

A recent front page article in the New York Times' Science Times features a new discovery by our friend James. A distinguished archaeologist, author (his most recent book is The Jesus Dynasty), and professor of religious studies, he has been investigating the area around Qumran in Israel. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found here. Now, James loves the Hebrew Bible. He regards the Scrolls as being very different from the Bible. But he wants to learn all he can of how the Scrolls came to be. Curious about the ancient Jewish sect known as the Essenes, who allegedly wrote the Scrolls, he seems to have discovered their latrine. This may sound funny, the discovery of an ancient toilet, but it will probably significantly advance our understanding of both the people and the era.




The Thirteenth Tribe

Many Arab nationalists these days, like the Black Hebrews, speak disparagingly of the Jewish people and State of Israel. They refer to both of them as "so-called Israel." The folks named Cohen, Friedman, Lieberman and Katz are all pretenders, they think: some Jews might be good at their jobs, as economists, mathematicians, comedians, or what have you, but that doesn't count. They don't have the right blood, supposedly.

Arab intellectuals will point you to a book, The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler, to make this point. In it, Koestler - a non-observant Jewish refugee from Hungary, the author of one of the 20th century's most important novels, Darkness at Noon - explores the history of the ancient Kingdom of Khazaria. (This was also the subject of Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi's ancient Kuzari, one of the best explanations or "apologies" of Judaism ever written.

5 Kuzari: an Argument for the Faith of Israel
Jehuda Halevi

Koestler based his work on the nearly thousand-year old rabbinic classic. (We can't say enough good about Kuzari. As many a rabbi has called it, it's "holy of holies." Read about it in Rainbow Covenant, p. 334.)




The Khazars were a Turkic people with many Viking ancestors. They lived in the vicinity of the Black Sea and the Caspian. (See the map below.) Their royal court was pagan but literate. Their kings were very curious about the world. After much study, they, along with many of their people, took up the entire Torah. Khazaria became a center of Jewish culture. For centuries, into the 13th Century, it was a place of refuge for Jews from around the world. 8

7 With Genghis Khan and the Golden Horde came conquering, Khazaria disappeared. The people who survived the Mongols probably headed West. According to Koestler, they made up the root of Ashkenazic, or northern European, Jewry. That's the point that excites Koestler's Arab fans. (A paranthetical note: Koestler probably wouldn't think much of those fans. They wouldn't have held him in much esteem either, as a Jew and as someone who rejected all religion. Koestler had a hard life. He finally took his own life.)

Certain facts don't seem to bother these Thirteenth Tribe enthusiasts. In this and other things they resemble the Black Hebrews. Most Israelis definitely aren't Khazars, for instance. Most Israelis are descended from Jews who lived in the Persian Empire or in what became Arabia, long before the Khazars, or even the coming of Islam. But the Arabs who promote Koestler's book still insist that Israel's Jews aren't really pure Jews, that their blood is mixed. This, they insist, weakens the Jews' claims to the Land of Israel.




Trilby and Svengali

Someone who thinks like this, or like the Black Hebrews, flunks God's test. Israel represents the whole of humanity. She - let's call Israel she, since she is feminine in relation to God - includes the whole of humanity. Her blood is the blood of every nation.

Some people enter Israel through conversion. But the nations of the world mostly join Israel through non-Jewish fathers. For instance, we appreciate several good family men in our own family, cousins by marriage - Noahides, named Wilbur, Hoomin, and Lance - who kindly contributed their descendants and their genes to Israel. Their children aren't Orthodox but they are indisputably Jewish. Their mothers, our cousins, made sure of that.

It's mom, not the father, who determines whether the child in her care belongs to Israel. As a rule, the neshamah, the higher soul of every human being, depends more on the neshamah of the woman who raises the child than on the father, the Torah teaches. If the mother is Jewish, either by birth or by conversion, her child will be Jewish. If the mother is not Jewish, neither will her child be Jewish. (Unless the child later converts - that is, goes beyond being a Noahide monotheist who blesses Israel to formally become a full-fledged member of Israel.)

This is something that "lost tribers," people who claim to belong to one of the lost tribes of Israel, don't care to accept.

Several generations ago, an English writer, George du Maurier, wrote a very popular anti-Semitic novel called Trilby. Trilby introduces the famous character of Svengali - an evil Jewish genius who exploits the innocent Irish girl named Trilby. Svengali has great gifts - even "genius," according to his inventor - but lacks "character." He's cleverer, more sensitive and more artistic than others, but, as du Maurier describes him, he can only aspire to serve as the brains of more impressive people who have more character.

Like the lost tribers and the Black Hebrews, du Maurier, too, thinks a lot of Jewish blood. (It's best, he thinks, when one doesn't have too much of it.) "Fortunately," he writes, "most of us have in our veins at least a minimum of that precious fluid."

This may be true. The Jewish people have been around from the beginning. Men don't do well without women and lots of Jewish men traveled very widely. The question is, how much does this matter to the integrity of Israel?

Besides the Black Hebrews, all sorts of "British Israelites," Irish people, Afghans, American Indians, Kurds, and countless others claim to be one or the other of the tribes of Israel. As for having Jewish ancestors in one's lineage, everyone ultimately is related to everyone else. There are certainly many times more people who have some Jewish ancestry than there are living Jews today. That's the way it is with Israel. She gives, and receives. People die, people marry outside their own people (regardless of the Torah that tells them not to), women sometimes deliberately raise their children as non-Jews, getting them baptized  or naming them Christopher ("Christ bearer") or Muhammed. . . In the meantime, converts and gentile fathers make their contributions to Israel. . . It's always a changing line-up. Israel belongs to the whole world.

Anyway, for those who think or wonder whether they have Hebrew ancestry, the Torah suggests this test: are you a kind person? Have your ancestors instructed their descendants as Abraham instructed his? Did they successfully transmit to you his legacy of loving justice, kindness and mercy?





A Flicker of Sanity    

American Elections Wrap-up

America's recent elections show that American democracy still works, more or less. But we still fear terror attacks, including suicidal nuclear attacks, by Islamic extremists. Whatever happens in Iraq or Afghanistan, the threat from these homicidal Muslims remains. Hundreds of millions of our fellow human beings, mostly Muslims, hope to see us destroyed. And we - America, Israel, and civilization generally, or at least our leaders - still wonder how we can appease them. But these violently angry people resemble the Nazis in this as in other respects: every attempt to appease them just makes them meaner.






New Road for Israel    

Jerusalem, October 30, 2006. Finally, a flicker of sanity. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's newly appointed "minister of strategic affairs" (a new cabinet position, invented just for him), declares:

"The Middle East peace process has failed miserably. . . Israel needs a new direction. . . The declared missions of Hamas and Hezbollah are not to expel Israel from Lebanon and Gaza but to eradicate all Jews from Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. . . Israel is where the war on terror started. Sadly, we have had to stand alone for many decades in face of unrelenting attacks on our Western ideas and values of freedom and democracy. . . After the terror attacks of 9/11, Madrid in 2004, London in 2005 (and the list goes on), the world knows better. That's why old thinking, regardless of how well intentioned, simply won't work. Thirteen years is long enough to determine that the peace process [sic] has failed. It is time to go back to the drawing board, re-evaluate the goals of the peace process and start anew."

Coming from a member of the government of Israel, this is really something. It issued in response to an American editorial denouncing him and his appointment to the prime minister's cabinet. On the same day that The New Times printed these remarks, as a letter, it featured an editorial by Ahmed Yousef, "a senior adviser to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya." Yousef and Haniya represent the organization called Hamas.

This word, Hamas, is pronounced chamas, with a guttural beginning, in Hebrew and Arabic. In both Hebrew and Arabic, it means, according to the dictionary, "to do violence, injustice, plunder, to do evil."

You have to ask, what kind of people would choose to call themselves that?

"Pause for Peace," the Times headed the Yousef piece, below a drawing of two men tugging on opposite ends of a long olive branch. The writer calls for a 10-year "hudna" or truce between "the Israeli and Palestinian peoples." This offer is "no ruse to strengthen our military machine, to buy time to organize better," or anything like that,Yousef says, "When Hamas gives its word to an international agreement," he writes, "it does so in the name of God and will therefore keep its word."

That's a good one. Of course, the Koran itself teaches that Muslims are duty-bound to violate any treaty if that will help advance Islam (Koran, 2:225). But let's leave Hamas's incredibly empty promise aside to focus on another incredible phenomenon, right before our eyes. It's in the news every day, and even in these communications from the Israeli writer and the Arab: it's the Muslims, not the Jews, in this case, who regard the Land of Israel as holy.

How did this happen? The Land of Israel never belonged to the Arabs. They used to speak of Israel - or call it by its old name, Cana'an - as a land of ghosts, a cursed land. Heart of the Arab world? Damascus, Cairo, Baghdad - those are Arab heartland cities, not Jerusalem. Even the Koran says the land belongs to the people of Israel. It's just that, as they considered the people of Israel to be cursed, so did they regard the land. Only recently did they take up Zionism - love for Mt. Zion. Now, the land isn't just worth diamonds to them, it's worth more than diamonds. Nothing less than every speck of the Land of Israel will satisfy them, they say.

In truth, every speck of the Land of Israel wouldn't actually satisfy them. They would be happy to see the Jews crushed but this is a land that will never yield its riches to people like them. [See the brief story below.]

As for the Israelis, they are tired of war. At least, this is what Israel's political leaders and elite commentators keep telling everybody. By now, most Israeli voters just want to be "normal" people living in a "normal country." Even though that's something that's never going to happen. The Land of Israel isn't common real estate. Israel isn't just another nation in the world.

People who mean well but don't take the Bible seriously have been trying to appease the Arabs for more than 90 years - since before there even was a state called Israel. All that did was inflame the other side. Today, practically the whole Arab world and, by now, most of the larger Muslim world too, believe that the Jewish people are evil. The "Arab Nation" hates Jews just as fiercely as Germany ever did. The spirit of Amalek, the Bible's anti-Israel, the Esau to Jacob, has burrowed into them. Like Hitler's Germans, they speak of the People of Israel as "an infection," as something horrid and powerful, in the world. They want to exterminate the evil. And, while they're at it (in this, too, they resemble the Nazis) they wouldn't mind exterminating Americans, Western Europeans, and a great many other people as well.





Spiritual Israel

If you go to our blog you will see some terrific writing. The comments below come from our correspondent Robert. He is, in his own words, a Generation X-er and a former Methodist. He's read Rainbow Covenant and has added tremendously to the blog. He was responding to a claim that the First Covenant Foundation "is the only group around that respects Noahides as self-respecting human beings who simply believe in God - in the God of Abraham and Israel." He asks:

Is this the physical Israel, composed of the Jewish people, or, as I like to think of it, the spiritual Israel, composed of the righteous and Godfearing people of all nations?

[One] can see very clearly the universal implications of Israelite monotheism in the Bible. The particulars of Israel as a physical people, the lineal descendants of Abraham, really shouldn't concern Gentile monotheists. As I see it, G'd is willing to extend His grace to us and adopt us into Abraham's family so that we, too, can call Him our Father. In this light, the Jewish people become our brothers and sisters. G'd had a particular blessing for Isaac and Jacob, but G'dfearers have their own blessings as well. We shouldn't begrudge the Jewish people for their blessings any more than they should begrudge us ours. G'd has set aside an inheritance for individuals, nations and the human race as a whole. Coveting another's inheritance is ungraciousness to G'd of the worst sort.

Here's sort of a diagram:

Gd---Abraham---Isaac---Jacob---Jewish people--->
                     Gdfearers (old and new)----->

So, really, Jewish monotheists and Gentile monotheists are parallel branches on the same tree of faith.

-Robert Lido




New Nohahide Book

Frances Marakova in Melbourne, Australia writes. Here's Frances:

Alan W. Cecil has written a new book, The Noahide Code - A Guide to the Perplexed Christian. He quotes Rainbow Covenant in his references. I think you will like Alan's book.

He is a long-time Noahide. Here is a link to his website where you can see the cover of his book, which is available on-line: http://www.academyofshem.com. It is in paperback format and well-referenced. Alan's book is aimed at those who are serious bible students. It challenges the false teachings of the Christian bibles and exposes how the deception has been perpetrated. The book discusses the many textual alterations in the New Testament, who made them and when, and the changes to the Christian versions of 'Old Testament'.

Alan is selling the book from his site.

- Frances

We look forward to reading it!




New Carter Book

Former president Jimmy Carter, the Democratic Party's greatest gift to the Republican Party, has written a new book. Most Democrats will find it embarrassing - on the level of Michael Richard's (Seinfeld's Cramer) racist flipped-out rant. Carter's opus is called Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (Simon & Schuster).

It just came out last week. A clever but dishonest little book, Mr. Carter has written it, apparently, to convince American Christians that Israel is evil and the Arabs deserve more Christian love.

Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist who regularly teaches Sunday school, has made a choice. He doesn't just subscribe to the myths of Palestinianism, he sells them. He regards Zionism - only Jewish Zionism, not Arab Zionism - as imperialism.

Try telling Carter that history's biggest refugee problem is the Jewish refugee problem. That  he should want to see the people of Israel develop the Land of Israel. That making a haven for the world's most persecuted nation has merit. He'd think that you were crazy, that you were denying the legitimacy of Arab suffering. And not just that, but the greater truth, as he sees it: that Christianity has made the Jews obsolete.

Jimmy Carter rejects the Biblical system. He believes that he belongs to the true Israel. The Jews, he thinks, have missed the boat.

Not surprisingly (because that's how the system works), one of the most important men in Carter's own life was Admiral Hyman Rickover. Rickover had encountered terrible anti-Semitism in the U.S. Navy. He rose despite it. He gained reknown as the "father of the Nuclear Navy." He personally inspired Carter, Carter says. Jimmy Carter simply doesn't think much of Rickover's people, nor of Rickover's religion.




Lagos, Nigeria

Last week's New Yorker magazine explores the ghastly "megacity" of Lagos, Nigeria - one of the world's fastest growing urban calamities. Some 600,000 people flock to it every year, from villages where life is even less promising. If rising sea-levels don't wash it away first, it will soon have 23 million people.

Lagos presents us with a good example of what happens when people don't practice the basic Noahide virtues.

Sewage clogs the streets and alleys. Few people have access to a working toilet. The colonial era buildings and even the more recently erected buildings are crumbling. Most of the skyscrapers downtown are half-abandoned. Even so, traffic jams make the highways and bridges horrible.

Almost every adult owes loyalty and cash, this article says, "to the person above him - known as an oga, or master - who in turn provides protection. . . The teen-ager hawking sunglasses in traffic receives the merchandise from a wholesaler, to whom he turns over ninety percent of his earnings. . . Wealth accrues not to the most imaginative or industrious but to those who rise up through the chain of patronage. It amounts to a predatory system of obligation." The con-games for which Nigeria is famous "represent the perversion of talent and initiative in a society where normal paths of opportunity are closed to all but the well connected. . . Corruption is intrinsic to getting anything done in Lagos."

Islam is there. Much of Nigeria's tremendous oil wealth goes to powerful bosses in the military in the Muslim north. But the main religion seems to derive from a sort of Christian Pentacostalism. It's called "the gospel of prosperity." People believe fervently in God, but not in the God of Israel. On Sundays, they flock to abandoned factories and warehouses that gave been converted into huge churches. Big signs in front of them say, "The Lord Shall Add." Inside, the article says, "they pray to be rich."

After church, they go back to the principal industries of Lagos - selling trivial items, minor services, or food or drink to each other, and picking through mountains of garbage.

A Different Model

If you want to see the reverse of what's happening in Lagos, come to Israel. Israel is living proof that people can make the planet better instead of worse.

Israel's successes didn't happen easily. They took work - a lot of hard, hard work. Not just through brilliant research but through grinding trial and error, workers discovered what trees to plant where, how to irrigate, how to conserve soil, how to graze animals so as not to degrade the land, and a thousand other things - including such esoteric things as how to cultivate algae. They invented the technology of drip irrigation and applied it throughout the country. Despite the warnings of experts, who said that it couldn't be done, they planted thriving forests on dry and salty wastelands.

Today, the desert that used to make up the larger part of Israel has retreated. And now the Muslim world claims it at its heartland. The Arabs - the same nation whose heedless overgrazing and deforestation did so much to turn North Africa's lush forests into the Sahara Desert - claim it for themselves. They don't care or understand that only Jewish pluck and luck and devotion make the land valuable.

In a generation, God forbid, the Arab nation's trifling, fatalistic shiftlessness - very different from the German nation's approach to the world, in Nazi times, but still a part of Amalekite culture - would reverse the miracle and turn the forests back into desert.




First Covenant News

Certain members have committed to giving a certain amount every month to the First Covenant Foundation for God, in order to advance God's cause in the world as no one else in the world is doing. These are great people. May you who read this follow their good example.

As we say on the website, your contribution helps open people's eyes to a world of information which few have ever seen before. You help put the prophets' vision into action.





Incidentally, if you go to About Us on the website, you will see more frequent use of titles: Dr. Michael Dallen and Rev. Jack Saunders, along with Rabbi Michael Katz. These are all earned titles. Jack Saunders studied the Hebrew Scriptures in both Hebrew and English, and then the Christian Scriptures in both Latin and Greek, before he received ordination as a reverend. Michael Dallen has a juris doctor, a doctor of laws degree. (This is a handy thing to have for exploring Noahide Law.)

We had problems with the website, these last two months. The causes are hard to identify but we are probably getting hacked from somewhere. Sometimes mail doesn't go through. For a while, people couldn't access certain pages, membership applications weren't going anywhere, and the contact links weren't working. People using AOL couldn't get the site to load.

If you've had any such problem before, please come back: we hope you'll be pleasantly surprised. If you've had problems joining the Covenant Community, especially, please try again. If you have any trouble contacting us (if you don't get a reasonably prompt response to your communication), please contact me, Michael Dallen, directly at my gmail address: md1stcovenant@gmail.com. Or call the business phone number posted on the website.

We have many new articles and features on the website. These include some radio interviews, as well as many new links. We also have a new little trinket for you, if you like, a free gift: two crossed flags, Israel's and America's together, in enamel and metal, to wear as a lapel pin. Click here to see.

So long as they last, we will gladly send you one - or, if you want and need them, more - just for the cost of shipping. Why? We hope to send a certain message, not just to enemies but to friends who might harbor doubts.

America and Israel are unique in the world in the way that they both belong to the world. They both consist of people from every nation. They both need to recognize that they need each other. Israel needs to bless America, not because of what America may or may not do for Israel, but because of what America is - because of the holiness that America represents. America needs to bless Israel, for the same reason - because of the holiness that Israel represents. Regardless of their current leadership, regardless of their current problems, America and Israel both stand for the same all-important principle: liberty and justice under God.

Come visit the Foundation website. We are constantly changing, and improving, we hope. We expect to do a lot more radio and video, and we have some really excellent new articles to offer you. Check out our Articles page.



We call on God for help. As the prayer that Israel says every morning just before reciting the Hebrew statement of faith known as the shema asks (please understand that this is much richer in Hebrew than in English): Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy on us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform and fulfill all the words of Your Torah's teachings with love. Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, attach our hearts to Your commandments, and unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name. Amen

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