Fulfilling Zechariah 8:23 With Torah Books for Non-Jews

June 4, 2018

5 min read

“There is currently a surge in the publication of books that convey Torah teachings to the non-Jewish world, and such literature is being published at an ever-increasing rate, for one good reason.

“There is clearly a massive appetite and yearning among the Nations to understand what the Jews are really about, and to hear from them and understand what the Torah has to say about God’s unfolding plan for the geula – the imminent redemption of the entire world.

“This remarkable phenomenon of the awakening of so many holy souls among the Nations to get closer to God and discover His Torah, is both mysterious and wonderful, and strongly suggests that these stirrings are directed from above and are signs of the arrival of the geula.” So says Nachum Shaw of Promised Land Publishers.

Shaw spoke to Breaking Israel News about his unique publishing house. “To help reveal and spread the wisdom of the Torah and its uplifting and enlightening message to the widest possible readership, both Jewish and non-Jewish, I formed a new publishing house called Promised Land. Promised Land just published five books by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, the world-renowned author of over 25 books on Jewish spiritual teachings.”

Shaw told Breaking Israel News that one of Rabbi Greenbaum’s new books, The House on the Mountain, contains, “Jewish spiritual teachings that are destined to be taught to all the inhabitants of the world. It explains all aspects of Judaism and the central role that the soon to be built Third Temple will have in bringing balance back to nature and our environment, and peace, happiness, spiritual fulfilment and goodness to the whole world, with the coming of Moshiach (Messiah).”

There’s also a fulfillment of a prophecy directed to the Jewish people in this trend of publishing Torah books expressly for non-Jewish readers. “If we look at Exodus 19:6, we are told that the Children of Israel will be to God, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Yisrael.” Exodus 19:6

“As the Jews’ role is to be priests to the Nations, it follows that spreading Torah literature to the Nations greatly helps the Jewish people to accomplish this role,” Shaw argued.

Connecting these two ideas – the publication of books containing Torah concepts intended for people from the Nations and Redemption – is echoed in the comments of Rabbi Lazer Brody. Rabbi Brody translated The Universal Garden of Emuna, written by Rabbi Shalom Arush. Emuna is the spiritual principle of unshakeable belief that God runs the world. The Universal Garden of Emuna was adapted from a similar book originally written for a Jewish audience.

Speaking to Breaking Israel News, Rabbi Brody invoked a prophetic sentence from the Jewish prayer Aleinu. “We say thrice daily in Aleinu, ‘And all of living flesh shall call Your Name.’ The closer we get to Moshiach, the more humanity will realize that emuna is the only path to peace and happiness. That’s what the world is hungry for.” The Universal Garden of Emuna was written to bring this redemptive message to non-Jews.

Yisrael Rosenberg, author of a forthcoming commentary on the Book of Isaiah which he wrote for Christian readers, meets many Christians who are interested in books like his. Rosenberg told Breaking Israel News, “My personal experience is that many Christians are hungry for knowledge about the Jewish roots of their faith. I wrote my upcoming book, ISAIAH: End Times and Messiah in Judaism ​in response to the interest that many Christians, both clergy and laypeople, have shown for these issues. On one level, I seek to meet the growing demand for the Jewish ‘take’ on faith-related topics.”

Rosenberg echoed Rabbi Brody’s emphasis on emuna when he continued, “On a deeper level, I am convinced that the simple, practical approach to emuna (faith in God) as presented by the 19th-century Hasidic teacher Rabbi Nachman of Breslov could serve as a source of universal teachings that might help non-Jews grow closer to Hashem (God).”

Both Rosenberg and Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365 and the publisher of The Israel Bible and Breaking Israel News addressed themselves to what’s behind this trend.

Rosenberg credits the Internet with changing the relationship between Christians and traditional Torah teaching. “One of the key drivers is the Internet, which allows curious people to dig in and find basic information about Judaism, in a way that has never been available before.​ All of humanity is becoming more and more connected with every passing day,” he said.

Rabbi Weisz shared a longer historical perspective. “The big picture goes back 500 years to the Protestant Reformation and even a little bit before, to the invention of the printing press. That was a major transition, where all of a sudden, Christians started reading the Bible. Everyone had a Bible in their home.

“Christians are realizing that the Bible is a work that’s all about the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and it’s taken a long time for this all to crystalize. It’s clarifying and crystalizing in a significant way that there’s a plan for the Jewish people that’s spelled out in the Bible.

“The Bible describes the history of Israel in the past and the present-day situation of the Jewish people in the exile, as well as the future promise of the restoration and the ingathering of the exiles. It was always some kind of mythical, mystical idea that is obviously coming to fruition in front of our eyes, in front of their eyes.

“These are the big factors leading to this growing interest in the Jewish perspective, in the Hebrew Roots of Christianity and in the Torah,” he argued.

Rabbi Weisz continued, “To me what’s so exciting is the passage in Isaiah 2.

And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Isaiah 2:3

“That’s like our foundational scripture for Yeshiva for the Nations and The Israel Bible – this idea that in the end of days, the non-Jews are going to say, ‘Teach us the Torah, for from Zion shall come forth the Torah.’

“It’s so exciting to be a part of that. It’s so exciting to see that actually happen. The ingathering of the exiles we’ve seen. The rebirth of the Land we’ve seen. The last promise is this idea that the non-Jews are going to say, “Teach us the Torah.” And that’s particularly what drives me, what drives Yeshiva for the Nations and what drives The Israel Bible.”

Shaw ties it all together. “If we look at Isaiah, we see the prophet talking about the (future) Temple in Jerusalem.

I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices Shall be welcome on My mizbayach; For My House shall be called A house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7

How will this be possible unless the Nations are first introduced to and know what is in God’s Torah?  The wide distribution of Torah literature can help to facilitate this knowledge,” he clarified.


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