Full Video Transcript:
“My name is Simcha Pearlmutter and as you can probably see by looking at me, I am an Orthodox Jew. I live in Israel and I have lived in Israel, in the middle of the desert in Israel, for nearly thirty years. For a rabbi, an Orthodox rabbi, to live in the middle of Israel, in the middle of the desert of Israel for thirty years, one must be either a little bit crazy or having been perhaps called by G-d. Now, I don’t know, I may be in urgent need of a psychiatrist or it may be that I’m called by HaShem, by G-d, maybe even with both. In any case, a question arises and I suppose you’re entitled to an answer: ‘what are you doing here?’ That question, of course, has come to me before it came to you; ‘what am I doing here?’ Sometimes I even look in the mirror after 30 years, I wake up in the morning and I say, ‘what am I doing here?’ I’ve spent the best part of my days here, I came as a young man and I probably will be going out as an old man here in the desert.
What have I accomplished? What have I done? What I have intended to do? It’s just a useless life, a recluse life, the life of a hermit, alone in the desert, or it is something that I’ve been called upon by G-d to do, and now another question, even before that: ‘Who is this mad rabbi in the middle of the desert of Israel? ‘Who is this rabbi who is speaking to us now?’ Well, I’ll try to give you some answers to those questions. The answers are a lot, I can’t give you 30 years in just a few minutes, but I can tell you if I have to sum up my life that’s a difficult thing for me to do.
If I have to sum up my life, I can do it by telling you that there must be, there must be prophetically… it’s written there must be a voice which cries in the wilderness. In Hebrew, we call that, ‘kol sheKore bamidbar’ (‘A voice which cries out in the wilderness’). What’s the voice saying? Why is the voice there? The voice is to say, ‘nachamu nachamu, ami’ (‘comfort yourself, comfort yourself, my people’) How? Comfort ourselves with what? You see, I represent a people as every Jew does. But uniquely here in the Land of Israel and uniquely here in the desert of the Land of Israel and uniquely being an orthodox Jew, and a rabbi here, that voice, which cried out in the desert, ‘comfort you, my people’, must be a voice that can comfort 2,000 years of wandering and persecution and death and destruction and principally that’s come about in what we know, in what we call in Jewish terminology, the ‘Roman exile,’ the exile of the kingdom of Rome.
In Jewish history we are aware of three exiles, the first one being the Exile to Egypt from which we were taken out by G-d in the great Exodus and brought into our Land. We were slaves and from slaves we became free men, and from free men we became princes; ‘Sons of the Living God,’ as he says in Shmot (Exodus) as is it said in Exodus, chapter 4:22; “Bni bechori Israel” (“My son, my first born are you Oh Israel”). Imagine that! Here we are people that came from slavery, to free men, and from free men to sons of the Living God, [inaudible] and here we are, here we are Jewish people who are a minority of minorities, the smallest of all people, almost the smallest of all people. We are truly a minority of minorities, probably a good figure on that, a good percentage is that of every 1,000 people, 2 of them are Jews, for every 1,000 people, two of them are Jews. And yet, the world is divided and we have the chutzpah but to divide that world into two people; Jews and Gentiles, Jews and non-jews and you know what makes it even funnier is that gentiles accept it, they realize that there are two creatures, creations in the world, two creatures in the world; Jews and those who are not Jews, every time a non Jew, a gentile, introduces himself to me, he says, ‘I’m a Gentile.’ We say, look at what he is doing, he’s actually saying, ‘I’m not one of your minority.’ Nobody apologizes for not being Chinese, for not being Japanese, for not being Hungarian, but everyone seems to apologize for not being Jewish.
The answer is that the Gentiles know, the non-Jewish people know, that in fact, and they believe it, that in fact G-d did take us out of Egypt, G-d did make us a unique people, unique to Him, peculiar to Him, loved by Him, protected by Him, and certainly in that love and in that protection we have known probably the worst torment of any people on the face on this earth. For what reason? And for what reason that G-d proclaimed that He would return us, bring us back to our Land. And for what reason did He say, “ashuv vehashubtim,” (“I will return with your return”). ‘When I bring you back, I will return. As I’m in the Exile with you, I will return with you.’
While I said the first exile was Egypt, the second exile was Babylon, for which we actually never fully returned. And the third exile is the exile of Rome, the longest and by far the most terrible of all, because the persecutions that we have known over the face of the globe in the last 2,000 years have been beyond description, and therefore, over the last 30 years for this mad rabbi to be here in Israel, in the middle of the the desert, having returned from the exile, the Roman Exile, as a living Jew and being able to speak and to say “comfort yourself, comfort yourself my people,” here in the desert for the last thirty years, and still surviving to be able to tell the story. Something’s happening, something is happening. Let me tell you what that something is.
You see, we Jews are funny people, even when we know the truth, even when we know the truth about certain things, don’t always tell it and the answer to the question, ‘why don’t you tell it,’ is simple. Sometimes it would be very painful and very hurtful to us to tell. We’ve tried very often, we’ve tried to tell the truth about many things.
“… You see, we Jews are funny people, even when we know the truth, even when we know the truth about certain things, don’t always tell it and the answer to the question, ‘why don’t you tell it,’ is simple. Sometimes it would be very painful and very hurtful to us to tell. We’ve tried very often, we’ve tried to tell the truth about many things…”
We tell the truth that HaShem, G-d appeared to us at Mount Sinai, and he gave us a law, the Torah. And we were so zealous over how to keep that law or how to keep the specific points in that Torah, of that law, that we came to G-d at different times and we said to Him, ‘tell me how can we specifically and correctly keep, let’s say, the law of Shabbat,’ and G-d (answered) us through Moses (Moshe) Rabbeinu (our Teacher), and he would say: ‘Tell the people of Israel, this is the way they should observe the Shabbat so that they will not be guilty of desecrating my day, so that they will be able to observe it as I want them to observe,’ and we listened carefully because, you know, the punishment for non-observance or desecration, malicious desecration of the Shabbat, that is desecration after one has been told not to, and after one has been told how to do something and how not to do something, and then to purposely do the other way, that’s called, malicious desecration, and for that the penalty is death.
You know in many scenarios, even a murderer, someone who commits, let’s say, first-degree manslaughter, what we would call a negligent homicide, a person uses something he knows is dangerous, an instrument he knows is dangerous and as a result of using it (for example, a hammer which has the loose head from a handle) it flies off and it strikes a fellow worker (immediately killing him). Even a worker, even a man like that, who is guilty of negligent homicide, can still flee to a city of refuge and find refuge from the hand of the avenger. Yet one who breaks the Shabbat is condemned to die, so zealous were Israel, all of us wanting to know how to obey these laws that the moment that we had something that said ‘you shall not strike a fire’, you shall not light, kindle flame in your habitations in your dwelling places on Shabbat, we wanted to know what constitutes that, what should we do, what should we not do. ‘Don’t work on Shabbat,’ [but] what constitutes work? ‘Don’t plow on Shabbat.’ What constitutes plowing? Running my fingers in the soil? And many, many more laws…
When we came back to Moshe, there we said, ‘please, ask HaShem, ask to Him, how could we obey it? How should we obey the commandment, the mitzvah of the Torah.’ Moshe did go back to G-d and G-d gave us a secondary Torah, the Torah called, ‘the Torah Mishneh.’ Some call it the ‘Mishna Torah,’ in which we received the Oral instruction and handed it down from generation to generation on how to implement the Torah there. For the Jewish people not only received the Torah, but we received also a second instruction book alongside of it which was not really a book, but it was mouth to ear, that said, ‘this is how you are to observe these laws’ and it went to Moshe, to Yehoshua and from Yehoshua it went to the 70 elders, so forth and so on, until it finally came to Yehuda HaNasi, who finally had and put it into a codified written form.
I won’t go into the whole history of Judaism, but understand, that the Jews are ready to tell the world that we received at Mount Sinai, from G-d’s own appearance, from His mouth, the Holy Torah. And we received additional instruction teaching us how to observe it. And the rabbis today, Orthodox rabbis today, are the carriers of that authority, to teach us the tradition, handed down by G-d to Moses and so forth in an unbroken chain until today. Well, amongst this unbroken chain, links of the unbroken chain, is a link called, the Moschiach (the Messiah). And I am a rabbi who has been known, and rightly so, to call the name of Yeshua (Yud-Shin-Vav-Ayin in Hebrew), as Mashiach (Messiah). ‘Aha!’ Somebody may say, ‘Then you must have been influenced by the Christians, huh?’ No, not at all. I never knew Christians when I grew up. I may have known Christian boys or girls, but I didn’t know them as Christians, I knew them as boys and girls, who maybe were in the neighborhood. Whatever, I knew them as non-Jews, but not in a religious sense as Christians. They knew me in a very religious sense as a Jew.
“… we received at Mount Sinai, from G-d’s own appearance, from His mouth, the Holy Torah. And we received additional instruction teaching us how to observe it. And the rabbis today, Orthodox rabbis today, are the carriers of that authority, to teach us the tradition, handed down by G-d to Moses and so forth in an unbroken chain until today…”
However, where did I learn that this one called Yeshua is Mashiach? Where did I learn that he has a place in Israel that is higher and above all prophets, all kings, and all Kohanim (Priests)? And I give you the answer, pashut (simple). I learned it from my rabbis, the rabbis who taught me. ‘Wait a minute, how is it that you learned something like that from your rabbis?’ Simply, because they taught it to me. Well now you can ask me the question and I hear it coming from the airwaves: ‘If you truly believe in this one, Yeshua, isn’t he the same one that we Christians call, ‘Jesus,’ and shouldn’t you then be a Christian?’ It’s a good question, and I have for you a straightforward answer. You may not like it, but I have an answer. We Jews are never short of answers. I can tell you the truth though, we usually have more questions than answers. The balance sheet is a little tilted in favor of questions over answers, and I’ll probably leave you with more questions than answers, but let’s go into the answer column. Yes, I learned from my rabbis and no, I’m not a Christian, and why? Because the personality of the one that the Christians call, ‘Jesus,’ is really not the same personality as the one the rabbis teach to their own students, the one who is called, ‘Yeshua…’
“… where did I learn that this one called Yeshua is Mashiach? Where did I learn that he has a place in Israel that is higher and above all prophets, all kings, and all Kohanim (Priests)? And I give you the answer, pashut (simple). I learned it from my rabbis, the rabbis who taught me… Yes, I learned from my rabbis and no, I’m not a Christian, and why? Because the personality of the one that the Christians call, ‘Jesus,’ is really not the same personality as the one the rabbis teach to their own students, the one who is called, ‘Yeshua…’