Almost every ideology or opinion has an opposite. There are always at least two identifiable extremes represented in any ideological discussion and usually only two. This article explores the ideology which lies at the opposite end of the spectrum from anti-Semitism. That opposite twin of anti-Semitism is what I call "ultra-Semitism." Common sense dictates that there must be an opposite extreme to anti-Semitism. Ultra-Semitism is simply the opposite of anti-Semitism; therefore, anyone who understands the meaning of anti-Semitism should automatically begin to grasp the basic definition of ultra-Semitism. The mere fact that anti-Semitism exists is all that is actually needed to prove that its opposite, ultra-Semitism, also exists. Anyone who denies this is either untaught, insincere, or has never really thought about it. Unfortunately, many will deny the reality of ultra-Semitism, usually because they are ultra-Semites themselves who refuse to admit their condition.
Ultra-Semitism. Though I have never seen the term used, I doubt I am the first to use it. Ultra-Semitism is just as bad, in ways of its own, as anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is obviously worse; nevertheless, ultra-Semitism can be very damaging, counter-productive, and is the seed (or fruit) of spiritual arrogance. Unfortunately, ultra-Semitism is spreading like a virus within the Messianic world, and as it spreads it carries with it a mindset that DRAMATICALLY reduces the glorious position and accomplishments of Yeshua the Messiah. Indeed, many alleged Messianics today have ceased to be true Messianics as they redefine Yeshua to suit their ultra-Semitic, pseudo-counter missionary ideals.
THE primary revelation I have enjoyed as a result of my recognition of the problem of ultra-Semitism is that I have gained a much deeper understanding of what Shaul (Paul) was battling as he struggled against the ultra-Semites of his day, often referred to as "Judaizers." I am firmly convinced Paul's (as well as Yeshua's) struggle against ultra-Semites was largely due to what I hope to communicate in this article. This is why along with my realization of ultra-Semitism came a new clarity in my understanding of the message Paul intended to convey. This has been a blessing for me because it has finally opened my eyes to the bedrock truths of G-d's Divine Plan that Paul struggled to convey. I am, therefore, fully persuaded that until an individual embraces the reality of ultra-Semitism he or she will never be able to properly interpret Paul's writings. It is no mere coincidence that most ultra-Semitic Messianics partially or totally reject Paul's teachings as well as other New Testament teachings, even some of Yeshua's.
I, just like Paul, worship the ONE and ONLY true God, acknowledge the true HUMAN unique servant of God (Messiah Yeshua), heartily endorse Hebraic truth, defend the Jewish people, support Israel, and do not lessen the relevance of the written Torah. However, just like the ultra-Semites of Paul's day, many ultra-Semites today wish to defend or construct barriers that create unnecessary hardships for others - BOTH JEW AND NON-JEW - who wish to enter into the covenant with HaShem (God) and become part of the "Israel of God." Similarly, today's ultra-Semites, like those of Paul's day, often exhibit elitist attitudes and unscriptural condemnation of "gentiles." It is no wonder then that many of today's ultra-Semites, just like those of Paul's day, reject or misinterpret much that he wrote. Likewise, they will likely reject this article.
We read in the Messianic writings (New Testament) the recorded instance where ultra-Semites approached John the Baptist as he was performing immersions (baptisms) in the Jordan river.
These Pharisee and Sadducee ultra-Semites viewed their position as "children of Abraham" (physical Israel) as placing them in an exalted position before God. Some of them were self-exalting, self-righteous, legalistic, and elitist in their view of other men; however, not all Judaic leaders of that time were of this mind set. The common negative stereotyping practiced in Christianity regarding Pharisees is incorrect. Nevertheless, the ones to whom John was speaking were among the ultra-Semitic of that time. John rebuked them sharply and reminded them that God could raise up children of Abraham from rocks if he chose to. It was a not so subtle reminder that they needed to humble themselves before they could be truly pleasing to God and that being physical Jews was NOT something they should rely upon. This attitude among some Jews of John's time is roughly equivalent, in a physical sense, to the false spiritual teaching within Christianity of "once saved, always saved." There are other passages in the Messianic writings as well as the Tanakh (Older Testament) where ultra-Semitism was rebuked. Sadly, the problem persists today, and my own personal rebuke of it begins with the article you are now reading. In fact, not only does this problem exist today, it is rapidly spreading within the Messianic world, in which "Jewishness" is highly valued.
I have had to learn a hard lesson over the past years, and must constantly re-learn it. Hopefully the lesson will remain with me someday now that I keep it in the forefront of my consciousness. That lesson would be good for those that may feel offended by this article to consider. The lesson is this: Instead of becoming defensive and questioning me for "offending" them, perhaps it would be better if they question themselves for why they feel such offense!
I have already followed the suggestion just mentioned. Myself and others first questioned ourselves as to why we feel offended, pressured, an assault on our faith, and sometimes condemned by ultra-Semites. My initial questioning of "self" is why, though I have felt this way for years, I rarely expressed my thoughts for fear of "offending" others. I realized that I have legitimate and SCRIPTURAL reasons for the offense I feel, which I will begin sharing in this article. I also know that other people - LOTS of others - share my concerns. Some of those others with whom I shared my opinions contributed to this writing through strong endorsement, encouragement, and some editing, since they are also convinced of the seriousness of the problem. They also agree that Messianic and Judaic peer pressure has prevented open discussion of this topic. Now it is time for the ultra-Semites (if their pride allows it) to begin to look into their own hearts.
That is what I pray ultra-Semites will someday begin to do - question, within the framework of the WRITTEN Word, why they feel as they do about "Jewishness" and why they place such an exalted status on - among other things - "fences of Torah" (Rabbinic traditions of men) that have virtually no support whatsoever from Scripture. I pray they will question the reasons for the offense they may feel from this article. As the greatest Rabbi that has ever lived once said, "...first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." (Matt. 7:5). Before judging me for offending them, I pray they judge to see if their ultra-semitic tendencies are clearly supported from the WRITTEN Torah - or even from any place in the entire Scripture. If it is not, I pray they will then humbly question the wisdom of vigorously enforcing (implicitly or explicitly) traditions that are not even Scriptural. I particularly hope those that claim to be Messianic followers of Yeshua seriously consider the seriousness of ultra-Semitism.
Before I begin let me state a disclaimer. Within this article and others that may follow I often appear to refer to "Jewishness" in a negative context. When you encounter such references, remember that it is raised within the limited context of it being used as an implicit (and often explicit) NECESSARY cultural requirement. The negative context is limited to the promotion of forms of "Jewishness" or rabbinical "oral torah" traditions of sages as teachings one MUST follow to be a practitioner of truth or as a characteristic of those that are "closest" to G-d - implying those not following them are "lesser" children of G-d.
I feel Jewishness (the Jewish culture) has many traditions that definitely enhance one's relationship with G-d. I support Jewishness for the Jews or anyone else that chooses to adopt it! In fact, I feel one should adopt much that comprises "Jewishness" if they hope to embrace the Truth for the simple reason that truth includes much that is Judaic, although to be more precise, it includes much that is HEBRAIC. "Hebraic" is NOT necessarily the same thing as "Judaic," despite what ultra-Semites may think. I endorse ANY sincere attempt - Jewish or otherwise - to glorify or draw nearer to The Eternal One.
Many aspects of "Jewishness" (Rabbinic traditions, Hebrew as a necessary language, anything not substantiated within the written Word, etc.) are not necessary characteristics of those that are set-apart in service and worship of YHVH (G-d). I firmly oppose "Jewishness" when it is used as a tool to measure one's devotion to G-d or adherence to truth, or when it is pressed upon others to adopt in order to enjoy full fellowship. I oppose it only when certain forms of Jewishness are implicitly or explicitly promoted as being something one must adopt in order to be counted among G-d's "favorite" children. Such an attitude has become common within "Messianic" groups and, of course, within Judaism. Therefore, when you read the comments I make surrounding the issue of "Jewishness" remember that I am not in opposition to "Jewishness" itself. Instead, I am opposing the notion that one must adopt Jewishness (the Hebrew language, Jewish religious traditions not found in Scripture, Jewish names, etc.) if one wishes to truly know G-d or draw closer to Him.
I most certainly do NOT support the institutionalized anti-Hebraic and often anti-Semitic worship practices that constitute traditional Constantinian Christianity. Usually these anti-Semitic teachings are veiled and concealed within a hypocritical "crocodile tears" notion of a "love for Israel." However, traditional Christianity can NOT deny the clear facts of history, which prove Christianity to be a religion that was (and is) founded upon anti-Semitism - a religion that has never ceased its attempts to erase Hebraic thought from the face of the earth and replace it with Romanized mystery Babylon sun-god theology, despite the fact it claims to worship a Jewish "jesus!"
My comments should not to be taken as anti-Zionist. I am an outspoken and unapologetic Zionist! I VERY strongly endorse the right of the Jewish people (and the other 10 tribes most Jews and ultra-Semites seem to forget about) to live in Israel. The message I sometimes scroll across the primary image on my homepage clearly reveals my view regarding Zionism (the ultimate return and ownership of the land of Israel by the children of Israel)"YHVH, the one and ONLY G-d - the Master and Creator of all - the G-d of ALL the earth - THE G-D OF ISRAEL - is a Zionist; therefore, SO AM I! The Zionism that the world and Satan's emissaries condemn is what YHVH calls His irrevocable promise!"So, anyone who judges my views as being opposed to the promises of G-d regarding the Israelites is VERY mistaken and proven to be bearing false witness against me. Now on to the discussion.
Over the years as my experiences within the "Messianic" movement grew I found myself often interfacing with ultra-Semites - some of them extremely ultra-Semitic. I also found myself being implicitly and often explicitly offended solely because I am not of Jewish descent and/or do not embrace Scripturally unsubstantiated Jewish traditions, despite the fact I am one of the most energetic promoters of Hebraic thought (not to be confused with "Jewishness") that one can find. I was even denied admission to a "Jewish" seminar in which Judaic issues were discussed simply because I am a "gentile." Finally, after finding that ultra-Semites reside - in varying numbers - in most Messianic groups, I decided it was time to speak out against ultra-Semitism.
Of course, as suggested a bit earlier, ultra-Semitism is traditionally the rule within Judaic circles; however, given the extreme persecution Jews have suffered at the hands of Christians and others, one can understand their defensive, inwardly focused attitude. They have received little help from anyone outside the Judaic community throughout their history of unparalleled persecution and have legitimate reasons to view non-Jews - ESPECIALLY CHRISTIANS - with suspicion.
I realize not all Messianics are ultra-Semites, however, some are, and to an extent they constitute varying percentages of all Messianic groups. Their influence within Messianic organizations sometimes exceeds their percentage of physical representation since they are usually more active in pressing their opinions than are those that feel it is not necessary to adopt Jewish cultural traditions or that do not support the barrier erected by vigorous Hebrew language promoters who imply one MUST learn Hebrew in order to be fully accepted or respected within the group. There is sometimes subtle - sometimes not subtle - pressure within the Messianic faith for members to adopt ultra-Semitic ideals or practices. I have personally been a victim of such pressure. In fact, I have experienced it in every Messianic group with which I have ever interfaced. Ultra-Semites seem unfeeling for others that find the depth of "Jewishness" common within Messianic circles to be a barrier or that feel they are being pressured to "adapt" to what cannot be substantiated from the written Word and forced to fundamentally become "Jews."
I, like many others, endured the ultra-Semitic mind set until it reached a point where I felt it was time to speak out. The "last straw" was reached when I interfaced with a particularly offensive ultra-Semite. His character traits and actions typify the problem I am addressing in this article. This experience with a truly ultra ultra-Semite finally freed me from procrastination and motivated me to express why I am opposed to ultra-Semitism, which I had intended to do for years. Perhaps it was G-d's intent to bring he and I together in order to motivate me to finally publish the comments shared below. No doubt, there are few more ultra-Semitic than he; therefore, I feel HaShem used our brief fellowship to show me the magnitude of the problem in grim detail.
Sadly, the "last straw" just mentioned is a perfect example of how ultra-Semites can actually be harmful to Jews since they provide legitimate fuel to anti-Semites that are constantly searching for anything they can find to fuel their despicable, demonic agenda. He presented exactly the offensive, self-serving, arrogant, and elitist character traits anti-Semites wish to portray all Jews as having. Of course, such is NOT the case with the vast majority of Jews, since they exhibit no more negative characteristics than other ethnic group even though they have been - and are - persecuted FAR more than any other. Instead, this "last straw" is a perfect "poster child" for anti-Semites and, ironically, also for ultra-Semites. Worst of all, instead of searching his heart for flaws he actually glorified his offensiveness, calling it the "Jewish" way. In short, hard line ultra-Semites often knowingly present themselves in an arrogant, elitist fashion and feel no need to change! They feel everyone else should adapt to the "Jewishness" they feel is required of all true children of God. This willful failure to scrutinize themselves for flaws while projecting rude elitism is, perhaps, the most shocking aspect of their defective faith.
As a side note: Within the Jewish religious community there exists a truly admirable form of spirited debate that to those unfamiliar with the passions of the Judaic faith may be mistaken for argumentativeness and rudeness. In truth, those participating in this form of communication do so in an environment of mutual love and respect for one's opinion. The "spirited" nature of such discussion is simply evidence of the deep convictions and love of truth held by those taking part. Christians would do well to develop the same level of conviction and desire for truth! It is a "hot" version of faith versus the "luke warm" nature of most Christians (Rev. 3:15,16). However, many ultra-Semites carry the admiration of such forms of debate WAY too far.
I have grown increasingly dismayed at how often I hear others excuse the hard-hearted arrogance displayed by some ultra-Semites as "being Jewish". Such equivalence to "being Jewish" is slander of the true Godly Jew. It is even a topic of humor to many that seem to look upon rudeness, arrogance, and elitism as a good thing - as a novel and delightful characteristic of "Jewishness"! Delightful?? Would someone please explain to me how a God that wishes us to be humble and loving can possibly be pleased with arrogance and self-exaltedness? What is most disturbing to me is that as HaShem (God) continues His chastisement of Israel (indeed all of mankind) in order to bring them to a point of humility, many fight AGAINST His efforts by exalting the very LACK of humility for which He continues to discipline "Israel!" It is shocking how much of a double-standard many have regarding this issue as they excuse ultra-Semites for the very traits they may condemn others for possessing! The very attitude within Israel that Messiah Yeshua and others in the Bible often criticized and rebuked is what ultra-Semites today exalt as "Jewishness!" My friend, what is wrong with this picture? I cannot count the times I have witnessed this. It is a very common view most Messianics hold of "Jewishness".
As I said in my introductory comments, ultra-Semitism is simply the opposite of anti-Semitism; therefore, anyone who understands the meaning of anti-Semitism should automatically begin to grasp the basic definition of ultra-Semitism. The mere fact that anti-Semitism exists is all that is actually needed to prove that its opposite, ultra-Semitism, also exists. It is simply the opposite extreme of a particular ideological spectrum - a common sense fact that cannot be reasonably denied. If you find yourself confused by this article remember that all I am attempting to expose is the opposite twin of anti-Semitism. It is as simple as that.
I am intimately aware of how "ultra" sensitive many are to the topic of ultra-Semitism, particularly in Messianic, Netzarim, and Judaic circles. I am certain many who fall into the category I call "ultra-Semites" will feel offended and/or react with rage at what I will present. Actually, their passionate and emotionally charged reaction is yet further evidence of the problem; thus, by reacting with such hostility, many prove themselves to be ultra-Semitic. I will try to utilize terminology that will lessen any offense that is felt; however, as with all my personal convictions, I do not consider it true service to YHVH or my fellow man if I compromise the message because of the personal reaction some may have to it.
The following issues apply to the subject of ultra-Semitism. Though I touch upon each of them here, the extensive nature of this topic prevents a detailed discussion of every issue; however, I may do so in future articles.
Let me again state that these are my own personal definitions and opinions. I am not following or appropriating for myself anyone else's thoughts. I am not even aware of any other articles on this issue since most either choose to steer clear of such a topic, present an ultra-Semitic viewpoint, or use ultra-Semitism as fuel for an anti-Semitic agenda.
Ultra-Semitism is the unscriptural exalting of the "Jew", "Jewishness", and/or rabbinical traditions to positions of cult-like adoration. The key to differentiating between ultra-Semitism and the legitimate promotion of Hebraic thought is this:
Among the characteristics of ultra-Semitism is the belief that a "Jew", simply by virtue of his/her ethnic origin, is superior to all other humans, especially spiritually. Ultra-Semites lump all non-Jews or those that choose to not adopt Jewishness into the group known as "gentiles," or "goyim." Of course, the term "gentile" is used in a derogatory fashion by ultra-Semites despite the fact Scripture does NOT always present "gentile" in a negative sense. In Scripture it is often simply a term to physically distinguish the descendants of Jacob (renamed Israel) from other races and is not to be blindly applied in a negative sense as is always done by ultra-Semites. It is also a term that is used for those that are not of the "Israel of God," within which are non-Jews; however, ultra-Semites often reject this last point. Gentile is a term that often simply means "nations." In fact, generally the correct understanding of the term "gentiles" is probably best grasped if the alternate rendering of "nations" is adopted. Scripture actually does NOT always intend the term to be used as it is today by ultra-Semites, which is as a condemning and intentionally derogatory slur. Ultra-Semites show little love, or even outright disdain, towards "gentiles" if those gentiles do not embrace their understanding of "Israel."
You will typically see ultra-Semites bristle with anger at the idea that gentiles, or goyim, could possibly have anything spiritually useful to teach a Jew - ANY Jew. Such a mind set CLEARLY illustrates their belief that a "Jew" is spiritually elevated over a "gentile" or "goy." This particular characteristic is very widespread and ranks as one of the most obnoxious and elitist mind sets in all of religion. Those with this mind set seem fixated on the idea that ONLY a Jew can properly understand Hebraic truth, despite the fact the very same study aids they use to learn truth are also available to non-Jews. This attitude is one reason many ultra-Semitic non-Jews change their names to be more Jewish. Such Jew-wannabees do all manner of things as they try to LITERALLY become a "Jew" by adopting as much "Jewishness" as they possibly can. In the minds of such ultra-Semites, unless they are "Jewish" they cannot properly understand truth and are not "qualified" to teach truth.
Ultra-Semites believe "Israel" (Note: as THEY define "Israel") is superior in ways not present in Scripture, and they almost always interpret in a purely physical manner the term "Israel" and the Scriptural implication of the "chosen" status of Israel. They grossly misunderstand who was actually "chosen" and what he and his offspring (spiritual and physical) were "chosen" for. The "special" status of Israel applies more to the MISSION of those chosen than it does to the PEOPLE that were chosen. This mission most certainly does make "Israel" a special and precious people before HaShem (G-d); however, one must not allow prideful arrogance to distort the "specialness" of being given the awesome responsibility of advancing His Kingdom. "Israel" should be the world's example of humility and God's representatives, NOT an example of pride. Prideful elitism has no place in the humble and meek servant ("Israel") to whom it is G-d's pleasure to grant inheritance of the earth.
Ultra-Semites often appropriate for themselves or Jews the glory due G-d. They practice "reverse-humility" (self-exaltedness), as I call it, instead of true humility. An example of this is Torah. Ultra-Semites often over-extend the mission of Israel (again, as THEY define "Israel") from being a corporate emissary of G-d to carry His message (Torah) - into being the originator of that message (Torah). It is common for ultra-Semites to advance the pompous and erroneous notion that the Jews gave the Torah (God's instructions) to mankind and seem to forget that it is YHVH's (G-d's) instructions, not the Jews' instructions, which HE gave to mankind THROUGH Israel. The Hebrew people were the emissaries of God used by Him to advance His Kingdom on earth, a task history proves them to be woefully poor at accomplishing. We are all emissaries of G-d with the mission of carrying His message and advancing His Kingdom, but we are NOT the originator of that message nor the King from whom the message comes. The exact same situation applies to the Jewish people; however, ultra-Semites imply - or directly state - differently.
Ultra-Semites see "replacement theology" and "anti-Semitism" everywhere - behind every tree, under every rock, and in every negative comment no matter how factual the comment may be. It is exactly the same over-sensitivity many have towards "racism". In both cases ANY negative comment is immediately judged as "anti-Semitic" or "racist" regardless of whether or not it is true. Ultra-Semites, (like those overly sensitive to racism) do not wish to be bothered with facts if those facts prove negative towards Jews or Jewish traditions or if they dare suggest "gentiles" are equal as humans in the eyes of G-d. They are often so overly-sensitive that they will condemn as anti-Semitic those that are staunch defenders of Jews and Israel. For instance, I have been judged as anti-Semitic by ultra-Semites even though anyone that can read will easily see on this web site that I am clearly a defender of Israel, Jews, and Judaic/Hebraic thought. Yet, despite my unambiguous support of Israel, ultra-Semites will insist I am anti-Semitic or promoting replacement theology! Stranger still, those that accuse me of such are often, themselves, promoting a rehashed version of replacement theology - a subject I address in a separate article on this web site which discusses Two House Theology. Ultra-Semites do not realize that one can be very pro-Israel while still opposing ultra-Semitism.
I'll give you one quick example. I once managed a site ring called "SHeMA."
SHeMA was an affiliation of sites that were united in their firm conviction that Messiah is not G-d and that the relevance of Torah (Divine Law) has not been reduced since the coming of Messiah Yeshua. A primary mission of SHeMA was the promotion of the true HUMAN Messiah Yeshua, versus the mystery Babylon man-God of Constantinian Christianity and counterfeit Messianism.
There is a web site, which I will not reveal for fear of appearing slanderous, that was once affiliated with SHeMA. The site to which I refer does indeed perform a great service with its support of Israel, the Hebraic way, and the Jewish people. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case, the justifiable and correct love for Israel evolved into ultra-Semitism. When the individual responsible for the unnamed site viewed the Two House Theology article, she became furious and immediately terminated all association with SHeMA and me personally. This was done despite the fact almost all the other sites she links to from her site promote the specific form of repackaged replacement theology my "Two House Theology" article addresses! So, she actually supports replacement theology through her support of other groups that promote Two House Theology ("replacement theology with a twist"); yet condemns me as being the one promoting replacement theology! ?? The more ultra-Semitic leanings of the sites she supports, however, make them more acceptable to her. The reason she wrongly accused me of promoting replacement theology is that within my Two House Theology article I briefly present the irrefutable scholarship proving the "lost" 10 tribes of Israel are still physically present, therefore proving there are others that are just as much literal Israelites as any "Jew" alive today. This was a serious affront to her ultra-Semitic view of "Israel." Even though this individual stated agreement with the SHeMA site ring's promotion of the truth that Messiah is not G-d, she chose to severe all communication with SHeMA and still maintains links to those various other sites that brazenly promote a false G-d and replacement Messiah (antichrist). In fact, membership to the "Messianic 100" sites, of which she is a member, requires the belief that Messiah is God, as does membership to other site rings with which she is affiliated. Worse still, she refused to even discuss the matter of which I was accused, which is typical of those that have weak Scriptural support. The termination of our fellowship was immediate, forceful, and completely unexpected. I was stunned by the severity of her reaction!
Her actions proved to me what I and others had already suspected, which is that she is a classic example of an ultra-Semite and considers "Jewishness" to be more crucial than promotion of the One TRUE G-d and His TRUE Messiah! Therefore, any suggestion from me, even unintentional, that her understanding of "Israel" may be unscriptural was considered by her to be blasphemy! The site to which I refer is even considered extreme by Jewish friends of mine. Her love for Jewishness had become a form of idolatry - a "god" that she had unknowingly elevated above the True G-d. Note the implicit admission of this in the last communication received from the site's manager, part of which is shown below. Also note the accusation that I am promoting replacement theology, despite the fact her web site endorses other sites that clearly DO promote the flavor of replacement theology my Two House article exposes. She considered me a "brother" only so long as she felt I embraced the same idol her site promoted.
"... I cannot be a part of "Replacement Theology" in any form, Bruce. My calling is foremost to Israel and her People, the Jewish People. ... My mind cannot be changed concerning this issue. Other issues, perhaps, but not this one! ..."
The elevation of "Jewishness" to the TOP of the priority list is a typical characteristic of ultra-Semites and was clearly revealed in the ultra-sensitivity the individual of that site showed regarding a number of issues as well as her apparent lack of concern regarding the promotion of the true G-d and true Messiah. A choice had been made, and that choice was that advancing "Israel" was more important than advancing the One and Only G-d of Israel. For ultra-Semites, "Israel" and "Judaism" - not the G-d of Israel and Judaism - becomes their god. It becomes their "foremost" calling.
Closely resembling the last couple of characteristics is the hypocritical double-standard practiced by ultra-Semites. They are perfectly willing to often speak evil of "gentiles" (non-Jews) but consider it blasphemy for anyone to dare bring up a negative point regarding their attraction to Jewish "traditions of men", their specific definition of "Israel", or - as I mention later - their Hebrew language worship. The double standard and selective love practiced by ultra-Semites are among the more glaring ingredients of their mind set.
Ultra-Semite's adoration of extreme forms of "Jewishness" often extends to changing their names to be more "Jewish". If someone wishes to be called by another name, fine, but IF they imply their newly adopted Jewish name places them in a more exalted spiritual condition before G-d, not fine! It is not uncommon for ultra-Semites to change their names or to prefer an alias that is Jewish! Often Messianic leaders adopt Jewish names as part of their effort to appeal to those embracing "Jewishness." You might be surprised if you knew the true names of certain exalted leaders of counterfeit Messianic Judaism, some of which are authors of popular books. Though I am tempted, I will refrain from providing a list of these deceivers.
There is obviously nothing at all wrong with someone wishing to be called by another name; however, it is my observation that those that adopt this change often possess other ultra-Semitic characteristics.
Ultra-Semites seem to feel everyone must first become a Jew before they can become part of "Israel", despite the fact this exact issue was put to rest in the first century. Well, apparently it wasn't put to rest for ultra-Semites.
In the first century the question was "Can a gentile be 'saved' without becoming a Jew?" It was answered YES! Then Christianity, because of its wholesale abandonment of Hebraic truth and adoption of mystery Babylon paganism, changed the question to "Can a Jew be 'saved' without abandoning their Jewishness?" Of course, the answer to that is also YES, though Constantinian Christianity historically and brutally answers No! Well, now ultra-Semites are once again returning to the original issue and do not appear to have learned from what is recorded in the apostolic writings (New Testament).
So, ultra-Semites confuse being "grafted into Israel" with being "grafted into Jews," which to them means one must become "Jewish." Often this is done with no wrong intent; however, ultra-Semites make such statements meaning precisely what they state, that one must adopt "Jewishness." This is in part due to their incorrect definition of what "Israel" actually is. They miss the point that it is not just "Jews" that are considered "Israel" by G-D, who happens to be the One whose opinion counts!
"Jewishness" is often a perversion of - or at the very least a heaping of unscriptural "tradition" upon - the actual Hebraic truth found in Scripture. "Jewishness" is an ETHNIC or CULTURAL term; however, ultra-Semites take the CULTURE of Jewishness and fashion it into their own personal idol!
Ultra-Semites are also legalistic in their demand that others follow the "Jewish" customs set forth by the sages of Rabbinic Judaism. An excellent example of this is the customs related to Sabbath observance. They often pressure others to adopt Talmudic opinions (oral Torah) and other purely manmade traditions despite the fact such traditions are totally absent from the written Torah or from all pages of the Tanakh (Older Testament). They ARE, most assuredly, modern day "judaizers" of which the Apostolic writings (New Testament) - particularly the teachings of Yeshua and Paul - teach against.
I hasten to clarify that study of Hebraic truth using Judaic writings is extremely useful, and I very much encourage the study of Hebraic thought. However, some of the Rabbinic teachings are, frankly, outrageous. Additionally, they almost always exalt the "Jew." I do not reject all Rabbinic traditions. Even among Jews there is debate regarding to what extent the opinions of the "sages" are to be followed. I question the truth of Rabbinic traditions that have no support from the written word, that present ridiculous scenarios and opinions that are almost laughable, or that go to extremes to exalt the ethnic "Jew," but I still value them as enlightening. I have a large Judaic library in which I place enormous value. In fact, I have more Judaic literature than anything else, including 4 separate Torah commentaries, the Zohar (Kabbalah foundations), Midrash Rabbah, Talmud, and many other Judaic literary works. Therefore, those that think I reject ALL Judaic traditions are wrong. Ultra-Semites, however, basically worship Judaic traditions and are incapable of discerning "Rabbinic" from "Scriptural."
It is common that because of their strict embrace of Rabbinic opinion many ultra-Semites bitterly reject Paul's writings and selectively choose what to accept regarding Yeshua, or - as is often the case - outright reject Yeshua as Messiah. In fact, common among counter-missionaries (those promoting Yeshua is not Messiah) is the implicit or explicit belief that anything that goes against Jewish tradition is false; therefore, since Paul and Yeshua conflicted at times with rabbinic traditions, counter-missionaries reject them. The counter-missionary movement is heavily influenced by ultra-Semites. Sadly, because of their exalted embrace of Jewishness, even ultra-Semities who acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah often dramatically reduce the importance of Yeshua, or totally renounce their belief in Yeshua as Messiah and convert to Judaism.
Ultra-Semites present G-d as being partial to the ethnic or cultural Jew; thus, they promote that G-d is NOT impartial even though the apostolic writings unambiguously state G-d is clearly impartial to one's ethnic origins. Even the Tanakh clearly shows that G-d looks at one's heart, not their pedigree! God is impartial to an individual's ethnic heritage since His focus is on the inner man; however, ultra-Semites directly or indirectly reject this as they promote a racist, elitist mind set! Ultra-Semites judge by sight, which is NOT how G-d judges.
Some ultra-Semites promote a physical equivalent of the demonic teaching of "once saved always saved", which promotes the concept that there is NOTHING - I mean NO THING - a person can do to loose their salvation. Tragically, once saved, always saved is widely believed within Christianity and will no doubt result in eternal death for untold millions that continue to live in sin while thinking they are "eternally secure." To the ultra-Semites that believe the ethnic version, ALL Jews are "saved" solely because they are Jewish. I am talking about A-L-L Jews - past, present, and future! Friend, the belief that ALL Jews will inherit eternal life, despite the level of sin and rebellion in their lives, is about as elitist and "double-standard" as it gets! Even those ultra-Semites that do not explicitly promote this still implicitly define a different set of "salvation" criteria for Jews versus non-Jews.
Ultra-Semites openly promote the concept that one should read the Hebrew versions of Scripture in order to know the truth. They view ALL translations from the Hebrew as almost worthless and usually promote them as being too corrupt for one to use in order to gain knowledge of Truth. They cling to this elitist belief despite the fact there are volumes of study aids that remove the necessity of being fluent in Hebrew!
Let's discuss this "Hebrew" issue for a moment ...
When one learns Hebrew what do they study? Well, first they may learn how to speak and read Hebrew, which I did. Then they must develop fluency in the language. So, the next step is what?.......It is using Hebrew Lexicons to grasp the meaning of words. So, one's Hebrew knowledge is ultimately based upon the information learned from the lexicons and other informative sources.
Well, what does this suggests? It suggests that if one uses Hebrew Lexicons during their study in combination with other available study aids they will be able to grasp the meaning of words almost as well as a "scholar" of Hebrew, since that scholar's knowledge of Hebrew is initially based upon the very same sources used by someone that doesn't actually read/write Hebrew.
My point is that the LANGUAGE itself is NOT the issue. The issue is the CONCEPTS of the Hebrew Scriptures. Those concepts can be grasped REGARDLESS of one's ability to read or write Hebrew fluently. I will attempt to elaborate more in a future discussion.
I would agree that all Bible versions are corrupt to some extent - some VERY corrupt. One could argue that even the Hebrew versions have some corruption. However, the access we now have to enormous amounts of study aids allows one to identify the tiny - almost negligible - percentage of corruption found in today's literal translations (KJV, NKJV, NASB, etc.) These aids, along with the many excellent Judaic publications (JPS Tanakh, Stone Edition Tanakh, the many translated Torah commentaries, volumes of Judaic literature, etc.) allow one to understand virtually any Hebrew terminology they may encounter without having to be fluent in Hebrew. The ultra-Hebrew mentality is a common mind set even among those that may not exhibit ultra-Semitism. The Hebrew language has actually become an idol to ALL ultra-Semites and many others.
So, ultra-Semites are Hebrew worshippers. Note I did not say worshippers of the G-d of the Hebrews. The Hebrew LANGUAGE is an object of idolatry to ultra-Semites, and they often erect a confusing, intimidating, and cultic language barrier during their worship services! I will present detailed arguments as to why this is also a very destructive teaching that has severely damaged the faith of many by destroying the peace they are to have as children of G-d. This happens as a result of the unnecessary and painful anxiety they feel with having to rely upon Scripture that is not written in Hebrew. This is a far more serious issue than most realize - an issue with which I find myself constantly dealing with as I respond to distraught believers that email me regarding their doubts and anxiety. This is so tragic - so very tragic - and is being fueled by ultra-Semites. I feel it may be a situation some Messianic leaders prefer, since it makes others more dependant upon their alleged skills at interpreting the Hebrew language. It is a mechanism through which they can enjoy the exalted status they desire. The ultra-Semite I mentioned as the "last straw" that motivated me to "get off my buttocks" (or on it, since I'm sitting in front of a computer) and compose this article is a fitting example of this. He clearly appears to believe that only an individual (preferably a Jew) that is fluent in Hebrew is worthy of advancing truth and that those not fluent in Hebrew are spiritually crippled. I UTTERLY REJECT THAT IDEA AND CONSIDER IT TO BE AMONG THE MOST EXTREME, ELITIST, AND HARMFUL MIND SETS IMAGINABLE! It also represents one of the clearest examples of "barrier building" that one can find! Of course, he and other ultra-Semites would snidely reply that I say that because I am among the "crippled". I discuss the issue of Hebrew language-enforcement in a separate article.
A final characteristic that is often present in ultra-Semites is a deep resentment of countries that dare to ever oppose Israel, as though this opposition is the reason for Israel's problems. It doesn't matter if that country often happens to support Israel. Living in the United States has, of course, caused me to most often have to deal with ultra-Semites that are VERY anti-US (though they often enjoy benefits of or from the US) and that blame many of Israel's problems on our (US) government's lackluster support of Israel. Though this may at first seem to be a legitimate view that I once shared, the truth is that always placing the blame on other nations for Israel's problems is VERY unscriptural and is actually a sign that those having this attitude have entirely missed a primary ingredient necessary for Israel's ultimate redemption. Frankly, those that imply Israel requires the support of other nations are committing precisely one of the same errors that the prophets warned ancient Israel to avoid.
All of these characteristics of ultra-Semitism with the possible exception of the last can best be summed up in one word - ELITISM. Ultra-Semitism is a belief that advances the thought that Jews, "Israel", and usually even Judaic traditions, are spiritually elite, or "special" in ways NOT presented in Scripture. Ultra-Semites distort the Scriptural meanings of "chosen" and "Israel" and angrily oppose as being "replacement theology" or "anti-Semitic" any attack on their cherished cultural idolatry. Yes, ultra-Semitism is the worship of a culture. IT IS CULTURAL IDOLATRY!