INTRODUCTION Brothers and sisters thank for taking the time to read and learn something that is of the utmost importance, before I begin let me introduce myself, in the past few years I have taken a new name. one that reflects a new found understanding of who I am and what I believe in, I now go by the the name Benaiah Ben Israel. I will explain about the name change and its importance later but for now let me continue with the introduction. I am 34 years old and I have been an avid reader of the Bible (Torah) for quite a few years intensely studying all 5 books and praying to God for understanding, and through my extensive research and study of the Bible (Torah) I feel that God has blessed me with a deep understanding and true clarity. I would like to share with you what I have learned, what I have felt, and the importance the Bible (Torah) should have in our everyday lives. Being a black male I like many of you I was ignorant to the truth about the nature of the Bible(Torah), we believed that the Bible(Torah) was something that was created by people that had no real connection to our lives, people who just want to tell us how sinful we were and deny us any pleasures life has to offer. We believed because our grandparents and parents believed, and for good reason, the Bible(Torah) is full of valuable lessons and good works that one should strive to live there life by. So why is it so many black people especially young black people feel this disconnect with the traditional church and the Bible(Torah), so much so that they turn to other faiths that give them a stronger since of belonging. They turn to faiths that don’t have the history of corruption and discrimination like the ones we grew up believing in, some even ask how can black people worship the same way as the people who enslaved, murdered, and humiliated their forefathers, what can the Bible do for us besides remind us that while we were in chains and being tormented, many of the people committing these atrocities against us were so called followers of the Bible. Still others have turned totally away from God and the Bible (Torah) because of the restrictive and oppressive nature of a lot of today’s ministers, they constantly demonize and criticize everything our young people do, they condemn anyone to hell that deviates from the narrow-minded view of their interpretation of the Bible(Torah)all the while forgetting one of the most fundamental lessons of the Bible which is FORGIVENESS, these traditional churches pass judgment on its own people without understanding that if there is a problem with those who are supposed follow the problem usually lies with the ones who are supposed to lead. I've known these things and felt the same way for a large portion of my life, so why should we continue to believe and have faith, all of the reasons that we have not to follow the teachings of the Bible(Torah) are valid and reasonable, anybody with half a mind would harbor some type of resentment to the way we have been taught about the Bible(Torah), but what if I were to tell you that you haven't been given the whole truth, that the people who were suppose to teach you the truth were never taught the truth and that the empty place in our history that gives us a sense of who we are and a sense of pride that we are all missing has been taken from us and forgotten about, and not by of some other group of people, not by the "white man" or a government conspiracy, but we are lost because of our own actions and our refusal to adhere to the laws given to us by Moses. So I ask the current priest and ministers to set aside their egos and realize that their is still a lot to learn, and for too long they have been letting too many of our people lose their way or remain lost. I ask the ones who have lost their way to trust in the Bible and get back on the path to righteousness and to acknowledge their own part in any transgressions that may have occurred in their life and to realize that God blessed you with all the tools to overcome any obstacle that is set before you. I ask those who have lost their faith to open their minds and hearts and allow the word of God to change your life but to also look critically at the ones you choose to follow. Many of us feel lost because we feel no connection to the Bible(Torah), we don’t realize that the Torah is black history, our history does not begin with slavery in America but with the beginning of mankind and this truth has been right in front of us for thousands of years, we are the Hebrews, the same Hebrews of the Bible(Torah), the same ones who God has given a language, land, countless blessings and laws by which to govern ourselves, we are them, but we have to acknowledge who we are and our responsibility to God and the rest of the world. The eventual goals I would like to achieve through the sharing of the knowledge I believe God has blessed me with, is first I would like for all of my people to understand who they are and what is expected of them and to embrace their identity. Second, I would like for all of the Hebrews who know who they are and have knowledge of the Law (the first five books of the Bible) to set aside their differences and unite as one people after all, Israel had twelve tribes, their are so many things we have in common why bicker over the few things we disagree on, think of the good we could do for our people if we unite under one house, but I will say, anyone claiming to be the savior or the second coming will not be tolerated, the nation of Israel will not indulge false prophets, they have no place amongst us. Finally I would like us, the Hebrews, to be an example to the rest of the world by living the way God intended and raising future generations to be a strong Israelite nation. The Hebrew movement should be one of action, it should be constantly growing ,evolving and getting stronger on a daily basis. So the question now is what next, how am I going to change the world, how am I going to change the hearts and minds of a people that’s been lost for so long. The answer is I'm not, not without the help of God, and not without the help of you my fellow Hebrews. I have broken this lesson into three sections, the section you have been reading I call the "Introduction" in this section I told you a little about myself, what I believe, and a little about the state of the Hebrew people. In the next section which I call "Identity" I would like to explain to you the importance of knowing who you are and why you are Hebrew. Knowing your identity is extremely important because of the covenant our people made with God thousands of years ago. I would also like to present facts to those who are unsure that they are the Israelites, so let's break through that wall of untruths and negativity and explore a new way of thinking. IDENTITY Let me begin by making it clear that by no means did I write this to demonize the white Jewish people or white people in general and I don't wish to make this section about them whatsoever because any transgressions or hardships that have befallen us are of our own doing, it is us who have lost our way, so when I give you the facts about your heritage you will then have the responsibility to educate those around you. Let me also make it clear that the fact that I believe the Hebrews are black does not mean that all races who are not black or Hebrew are evil, for some non blacks especially those in America it may be hard to understand the need for Black Americans to trace his or her roots to ancient times or to make the so called “radical claim” of being Hebrew, but the reality is that slavery robbed us of our identity. There are very few Black Americans that know their true nationality although many of us are extremely proud of being American we also know that we did not originate from here and that leaves us with an empty feeling that’s really hard to explain, for example a White American can be proud of America but he also knows that his family originates from Germany or Italy etc. and this gives him or her a since of identity, traditions, a since of pride, and a place he can truly call home because he knows that his people will always have a part of the world that is theirs and a history of accomplishments no one can deny. Black Americans are taught we are from Africa which I feel is very vague because Africa does not consist of one nationality, one government, one way of life, one set of traditions not even one language it is as diverse as Europe and each country is a nation unto itself so why group all of us into this one confusing category, now there are many Black Americans from different parts of the world, but the ones who I would like to appeal to are the ones with that empty place in their history, because we do have a history that begins well before slavery, a homeland, traditions, and a history of accomplishments also. And I would also like for you to understand that black people have also made their home in lands other than Africa, so to the non blacks who feel it is racist for me to explain the forgotten history of my people and who feel my arguments have no basis despite how compelling, to them I say my main focus now is to educate all of my Hebrew brothers and sisters and that takes precedent over changing the narrow minded view of some who are afraid of the truth. So why is it so important to know the identity of the Hebrews?, The Torah gives us a whole host of reasons, but probably the most important one is that our ancestors made an covenant with God, a sacred promise to always obey God's law and in return he will always be with us. Ours and the rest of the worlds salvation depends on us honoring this promise so if we don't even know that we made the promise how can we honor it. Now when you read the Torah look at it as the history of our people and be proud of the accomplishments of our ancestors and know that through us God has chosen to enlightened the world, even though we have not been living up to expectations there is no reason why we can't aspire to be the people God intended. The state the world is in should only offer further proof to you that the world is absent a true example of people living righteously. Now many of you are probably wondering how do you know the Hebrews in the Torah are the ancestors of today’s Black Americans, Jamaicans, and Black Caribbean’s what gives you the right to claim an identity that Jews have been claiming for hundreds of years, the truth is, their is very little evidence of the races and cultures that lived thousands of years ago most of the evidence found is either damaged or misinterpreted so no one knows the absolute truth, what anthropologist and historians do is they make an educated guess based on years of studying and education they receive working on a particular area of history, and they try to draw the most logical conclusions based on the evidence they come across, that’s similar to what I’m going to do but I will also use facts that can be found in the Torah and basic knowledge of geography. Now all the Blacks in America who know they are descendant from slaves brought to America should consider themselves Hebrew for the simple fact that Hebrews were cursed to be taken from their homeland and enslaved in unknown parts of the world, their homeland being parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East, so Let's start with Northern Africa, for some reason most of the ancient Africans of note are depicted as white, of course I'm talking about the Egyptians, and other civilizations of whom their is no debate about their race are barely mentioned like Ethiopia, Sudan, the Libyans the Nubians and so on, these are all black nations, and actually ancient artifacts as to the race and accomplishment of all these nations can be found with a little research, there is almost no debate that in Bible times all the nations of northern Africa were black. The controversy comes when people like myself try to prove that some of the middle eastern nations were also black the fact is that many cultures in those times were nomadic peoples, in this region of the world the intermingling and intermarrying of races was very common, ask yourself why do Arabs and Indians skin tone range from extremely dark to extremely white its because they are a product of the races interacting with one another, it is my understanding of the Torah that all three of Noah's sons were black and the nations that descended from them all settled in different parts of Africa and the Middle East, from Turkey to Nepal and as far north as what is today Turkmenistan. There is substantial evidence of a black influence in these regions of the world. It is common knowledge that Black people were the first to settle in Africa, it is also widely accepted that as far back as 60,000 years ago and possibly even earlier blacks migrated into Arabia, and it is logical to conclude that there were already Black people there because its the nature of people to seek out those who look like them. Humans tend to like to be in groups, so is it that much of a leap to conclude that some of the first nations to settle in the middle east were Black just take a look at a map of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe even today the further north you go the lighter the people get the further south you go the darker they get, so why are so many of the people in the Middle East are brown and dark brown skinned its because of the nomadic nature of the blacks in the southern regions and whites in the northern regions, its because of wars, trade and the intermingling of the races. In ancient times it was common practice for a conquering army to kill all the men of an enemy nation and take all the women and children as slaves and that meant an entire generation of mixed raced children in some instances, it was also common practice for stronger nations to conquer weaker nations and sell them into slavery to yet other nations. Now the reason why all of that is relevant is because since it is a fact that the earliest civilizations were black, and most of them were a nomadic people, and there is evidence of heavy movement between Africa and the Arabian nations, and given the vicinity of the birthplace of Abraham in the city of Ur which is in southern Iraq, (a part of the world where darker skinned people lived in ancient times and even today), to Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and the Sudan it is extremely likely that during the time that Abraham was born, the city of Ur was settled by black people that probably looked like the blacks that live in America today. If Ur was located in Bulgaria or Russia what would be the odds of Abraham being black? The conclusions that I draw from my research of the worlds cultures and study of the Torah I feel, are the most logical explanation to the question of identity based on the evidence provided. Sculptures and paintings of ancient blacks are found in temples and cities throughout the Middle East and it is a fact that people only build in places they live for a long period of time or visit frequently, overwhelmingly the evidence points towards the Hebrews being a black race. Still some say, even if the Hebrews were black that doesn't mean that Black Americans are their descendants it is still very unlikely. In response I say it is only unlikely if you refuse to see what God has put right in front of you because there is still more evidence to the proof of our identity. The fact of the matter is, even the way God punishes us is proof of who we are. It is truly remarkable that one of the most convincing forms of evidence as to the identity of the Hebrews are the curses God put on us for our failure to honor our agreement we made with him, and even though we've undergone so much, the evidence of God's love for us is still very much apparent. If you look at the history of the Black American, the resemblance of our history to the curses mentioned in the Torah is amazing. I believe that some of these curses happened in the past, some are happening now, and some will happen in the future. For example some of the past curses are failing crops, starvation, disease, the destruction of Israel, the Hebrews being scattered out of their homeland and chased to other parts of the world, and the violation of our women. Even these curses are not definitive proof of identity but these next curses are directly linked with our history. Our sons and daughters being dragged off to foreign countries as slaves, working hard on farms but only for the benefit of foreigners, our leaders taken captive to a country our ancestors have never heard of, people of other countries cringing at our plight but still mocking us, and being forced to worship idols of wood and stone, i.e. wooden crosses and marble saints. These are just some of the curses that our ancestors suffered in the past and we are still suffering today, and still there are more similarities like foreigners in our communities becoming wealthy and powerful while we become poor and powerless, being in debt to people that hate us, and instead of being leaders we become followers and all other nations looking down on us and our descendants, and as it says in the fifth book of the Torah God will also pull Israel up by its roots and toss them into a foreign country where they will face hardship and despair and will remain to this day. These are not my words, what I am telling you can be found in the Torah, now I ask you whose history does this sound like. And if we continue to disobey there is more to come such as disease, more slavery, worst poverty, and our eventual total annihilation, now I know this sounds horrible and you are probably asking yourself how can we overcome such overwhelming odds, and if we are the Hebrews then we are truly doomed, but that is not the case. If you read the Torah you will know that God will never totally turn away from us and that his capacity for forgiveness is limitless. Even in the midst of all these curses God has allowed some of our brothers and sisters to prosper allowing us not to lose all hope and to let us know that he is still with us, but in his infinite wisdom he still leaves the curses in place so that we will know there is much work to do. Just think about it, after generations of not following God's law to receive his forgiveness one must only sincerely ask for it and worship God with all of his or her heart. So now I've told you about some of the curses for disobedience let me tell you about some of the blessings for obedience because God is not just one of punishment and destruction he is also one of limitless love and forgiveness and a God who bestows countless blessings on his followers for honoring their covenant. For adhering to the laws God gave to us through Moses, Israel will become the most prosperous and important nation in the world, we will succeed in all we do, our children will never go hungry, we will be the leaders of the world, we will be an example of righteous living, God will make us and our children successful in our daily lives, so just as God is keeping his promise as Israel continues to disobey, God will also keep his promise when Israel does what is right. If you believe as I do that we are the Hebrews who are suffering from the curses found in the Torah then you must also believe that we also have a chance at redemption and in turn we will receive the blessings we were promised. We must stop depending on others to save us, and make education the highest priority for all of our communities, education from our schools and education of the Torah, we must acquire marketable skills and get job training, no longer can our adults work low paying jobs we must do whatever it takes to join job training programs or take a courses at a local college or vocational school to increase our earning potential and become better providers for our families, and to do this we must sacrifice our time, money and some things we may feel we can't live without, this is going to call for a complete change in the way some of us lead our lives, in addition we must put an end to our materialistic nature, we must save our money, buy property and secure our children’s future, stop letting rappers and entertainers educate our children giving them a backward view of what’s important, they should value things like loyalty, respect, honesty, kindness, intelligence, hard work, and education, not arrogance, new cars, and jewelry. I would like to also stress that the mixed up values of some of our young people is not from their own actions, but the failure of the ones that are in charge of raising them. This is not to say that you are lazy unfit parents, but as I stated earlier we as a nation have failed God, and therefore until we adhere to Gods Law most of us will fail at most of what we attempt and that includes raising our children. We as a nation must educate ourselves of the values taught to us in the Torah and until we do this our young people will follow the wrong path, most of our communities will be hindered with poverty, the education our children receive will not be up to the standards with the rest of the world and all of the businesses owned in our neighborhoods will be owned by foreigners, again this goes back to identity. None of this can be remedied until we acknowledge who we are and began to honor the covenant, lets give our children a since of pride, a since of belonging, history of their ancestors, knowledge of who they really are, and a since of duty. Let's challenge ourselves to walk that path that God has laid out in front of us, for too long we haven't been, and look at the state of our people, now to be fair their are many examples of Black Americans doing very well, but as a people and as a nation we are far behind, we've been in America since the beginning so why does it seem like the Asians, the Jews, and just about every other nationality has been able to thrive and prosper in America except us, why do other nationalities who face some of the same prejudices we do continue to advance, and why is it that even though a Black American holds the highest office in the land that nothing has really changed. I am truly proud that a Black man has become President but by no means is it a sign that we as a nation have achieved the ultimate goal of returning to a place of honor in the eyes of God, poverty still runs ramped in our neighborhoods along with violence and poor education and it seems until now no one has had any answers, but now I am asking everyone who reads the Torah, and who reads this, and who believes that our only salvation is through God, I'm asking you to educate yourself on the proper ways of worship, on the duties of the Israelites and on all the laws that Moses received from God, to teach others, and to constantly strengthen your own relationship with God because the blessings we are promised are only denied to us, because of us. UNITY The subject of unity is one that is close to my heart and it saddens me to witness the constant bickering between fellow Hebrews, like I stated earlier Israel was comprised of twelve tribes. why do you think that was? It was because they saw the differences in each other and accepted them, it was because Israel wanted each brothers name to live on and each tribe to have its own place in history, and it was because although they were all Hebrews, they knew it was o.k. to be an individual as long as you followed Gods law. Just look at the blessings Israel bestowed upon each one of his sons, he didn't just give out the same blessing to all of them but he catered each one to his sons specific need. That is how we should look at the rest of the world and especially other Hebrews who do not recognize who they are, just think about it, the way I try to reach out and explain the Torah may not appeal to some people, but the way other Hebrews from a different sects or tribe reach out may be more appealing to that same person. In the end the most important thing is that the Hebrew that was once lost has been brought back into the fold. Now by no means am I saying anybody claiming to be Hebrew is Hebrew what I'm saying is let's broaden our umbrella to include all that fit the criteria of being Hebrew To feel welcome. There are certain things that all Hebrews have in common or must have in common to be a part of the nation, now the criteria that I mention are by no means in any particular order but as in all things there must be a standard we must adhere to. The first criteria I would like to mention is the acceptance of the Torah as the direct word of God and the official Law by which we are to govern ourselves, now some Hebrews may say what about the new testament if I believe in the new testament am I not apart of Israel to this I say its O.K. if you chose to believe in the new testament just as long as you don't pray to Jesus or worship him as God. I feel it is fine to acknowledge his accomplishments, during his time when Hebrews were being killed and our homeland was destroyed it was extremely hard to worship in the way God intended because of prejudice and fear. Jesus came along during a time of crisis and kept some our traditions alive, so even though I choose to hold The Law in higher regard I understand the reasoning behind the belief in Jesus and the New Testament. What about the Black Jews they worship the same way as White Jews the only difference is they believe they are the chosen people instead of their white counterparts they also believe in the Talmud. I feel it is their right, just as long as they hold the Torah in higher regard and base there worship on the Torah and see the Torah as the only undisputed truth. And lastly what about Hebrews who only believe in the Law some call “Law Keepers” of course this is acceptable but some of the “Law Keepers” are the main ones preaching the message of exclusion some of them are so focused on the strict interpretation of the Torah that they tend to cast out anyone who deviates from the path, I am also guilty of this and it does nothing but weaken our movement. The second criteria I would like to mention is that any Black person who is descendant from slaves brought to America, Jamaica, the West Indies and the rest of the Caribbean should be considered as having Hebrews blood, the curses mentioned in the Torah closely resemble the history of these people more than any other, so this means that not all Black people are Hebrews as I stated earlier I believe that all of Noah's sons were black and the ones who descended from the line of Shem taken from their homeland and sold into slavery in America, Jamaica and the West Indies are the Hebrews the Torah speaks of. The third criteria I would like to mention is the circumcision of all Hebrew males, before, this would not have been a problem but nowadays it is getting more and more common for some hospitals not to offer the procedure. Any pregnant female Israelite please find out if the hospital you are having your baby in does circumcision, God made this point very clear you cannot be a part Israel if you are not circumcised there are no exceptions. The fourth criteria I would like to mention is to keep the Shabbat(Saturday) holy which means it is a day of rest and worship. I know many of us have jobs that may require us to work Saturdays and if you are one of those people of course God will forgive you I suggest making a monetary sacrifice and praying to God for forgiveness. You will find that if you inquire, most jobs are surprisingly accommodating when you need a certain day off because of your religious views, this is very important and you should do whatever you can to observe the Shabbat. And lastly we must celebrate Passover it is the first holiday that God wanted us to celebrate as a nation after we left Egypt, it is supposed to be a reminder to us and the rest of the world of Gods love for his people and of his power to those who disobey him. We must never forget the miracles he preformed especially when he sparred all of our first born sons from the final curse he placed on Egypt allowing death to Passover all Hebrew homes. Now to reiterate I feel their are five criteria that we all as Hebrews have in common and the interaction we have between each other should focus on these things rather than those things that keep us weak and divided. Number one accepting the Torah as the direct word of God and living your life according to The Law, number two being a descendant of the slaves brought to America, Jamaica, the West Indies and the rest of the Caribbean, number three all Hebrew males must be circumcised it is repeatedly mentioned in the Torah how important this is, number four we must keep the Shabbat(Saturday) holy this day is for rest and worship and we must do what ever it takes to honor it, and number five celebrate Passover, the first holiday God wanted us to celebrate as a nation and a reminder to us of his love and power. The criteria that I chose to unify us as one nation is not something that I thought of lightly but they are criteria that I feel all Black Hebrews have in common or what all Black Hebrews should have in common. No matter what temple or congregation you belong to you most likely have these five criteria in common, this is not to say that anyone that shares these things in common is a practicing Hebrew believe me its something you constantly strive for but amongst us Hebrews this is something that can unify us so that we can achieve so much more. Its time to be honest with ourselves, for generations our people have not been living according to The Law, and the movement will not happen over night but working together with a unifying message our potential is limitless. Some may say why come together why unite, and the reason is simple, THE NEXT GENERATION!, think about it, if we pool our resources could we open schools that challenge our young people, teach Hebrew and has a top notch academic curriculum, could we start programs to enrich our communities, could we give young Hebrews scholarships for college, could we help the poor and feed the hungry. I’m not asking you to tear down your Temples or places of worship, I’m just asking the leaders of your temples to share in discussions with other Hebrew leaders so we can organize a plan of action to grow and evolve our movement. Now there are some Hebrews who preach a message of hate against other races and blame them for our plight and that’s not a message I feel should define our movement remember it was our ancestors who decided to break the covenant so it is us who brought the punishment down on ourselves. And there are other Hebrews who believe the leader of their church or temple is the messiah or Gods prophet to this I would like to say the Torah gives us an example of what a prophet of God is capable of. You must do more than say that you are a prophet but God gives his true prophet the ability to perform miracles just look at Moses can any of you claim to have the power he displayed in Egypt, even though I would like to see all of us united there are some things we cannot tolerate like someone who poisons our message with hate and false prophets, I’m not saying these brothers and sisters can never be a part of a unified Hebrew nation but their message must change. We Hebrews must act with a since of urgency, now is the time to act. We must work towards being the people God intended, how many more generations are we going to let slip through the cracks, how long are we going to deny ourselves the blessings God promised, how long are we going to wait for someone to save us. We were given everything we need to be prosperous and successful we just refuse to acknowledge the most important part about who we truly are and the responsibility we have to our families and to the rest of the world and without that our true potential will never be reached. The fact that I am writing this and you are reading this proves that we are not all lost, but the time for reading and agreeing with one another is over, now is the time for action and sacrifice. I ask for you to sacrifice some of your time and money to the places you chose worship to strengthen the movement, we have a long road to go to get back into God’s favor but it’s a road we must travel together if we are to be successful. CLOSING I hope that all who took the time to read this feel like they learned something I also hope that no one feels this was a message of exclusion but this particular message was catered to the Hebrew people. Even though I feel that all nationalities are welcome to worship with us and share in Gods love because the Law is universal, I also feel that my people more than any other need a wake up call there is a lot of work to do and before we can be of service, give advice or aid others we must get our own house in order. My message is not one of superiority but one of service not one of exclusion but one of inclusion it is the duty of the strong to aid the weak, some may say in their time of weakness where was there help. To them I say that is exactly what we must teach, forget about the times when you were down and out and no one came to your aid because the reality is God had already given you everything you needed to pull yourself up, do what is necessary to make yourself strong so that you can help others not just physically but spiritually and mentally also. Hebrews do not have a monopoly on good deeds we must not prevent other nationalities from offering sacrifices and worshipping with us, but what we must do is honor the covenant and worship in the proper manner. There is no reason for us to feel anger towards any other race now is the time to uplift and if you read the Torah you will know that it wasn’t only Hebrews God liberated from Egypt but many other nationalities as well, and they also participated in Passover. My goal is for Hebrews to have a better understanding of themselves and a better understanding of there place in the world and I feel we can achieve this through education and understanding of the Torah, the essays I wrote are not meant to be a total explanation of the Torah but a brief synopsis to inspire other Hebrews to study the Torah for themselves. I understand that those who read this will have plenty of questions and would like more in depth explanations to many of my theories and I am more than happy to accept questions that challenge me and possibly open me up to a new way of thinking also, but my main goal in writing this is to inspire and educate.