Bet Yitra (or Beth Yithra) is an as-yet small, and somewhat secretive, materialistic, Jewish movement noted for its extreme Zionist views.  Its hallmarks include belief in the collective Messiahship of the Jewish (or, more properly, Israelite) people, as manifest in the establishment and continuance of the State of Israel; belief that future miracles, including the fulfillment of many ancient prophecies, will be the result of applied technology; tolerance of secularism and secularists; disparagement of some of the practices of “observant” Jews; and controversial views on the future of Islam and Christianity.

It also claims that we are now in a new geological era, the Anthropic, beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, and that this new era also entails a new relationship between God and mankind.

Bet Yitra denies that it is a cult, since considerable freedom of dissent exists within its ranks.  Its beliefs are compatible with most branches of Judaism, except Reconstructionism in that Bet Yitra believes that God can and does intervene in the human affairs, through human agents (e.g. prophets), but in a scientifically-undetectable manner.  Bet Yitra does not have its own synagogues, but rather encourages its followers to pray where they feel most comfortable, or, for those who are not comfortable praying, not to pray at all.  Still, all Israelites are obligated to follow the Will of God, even if that means thinking for oneself.

Bet Yitra is supposed to be for rational people.  Bet Yitra holds that rational people should not waste their time in spirituality and mysticism, but that there are other people for whom these are valid outlets for their religious expression.


Origin of the Name “Bet Yitra”

Bet Yitra pays a lot of attention to names and their meanings.

In the Bible, Yitra or Yithra (also Jether, Ithra, or Jitra) is the consort of King David’s sister Abigail, they being the parents of the noted general Amasa.

In II Sam. 17:25, he is called “Yithra the Israelite” (יִתְרָא הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי).  That does not really make much sense, because almost everybody was an Israelite, and it was noted when somebody wasn’t.  The JPS[1] English translates him as being a “Jesraelite”.  (Note that, for both Yitra and Amasa, the final “a” is an Aramaic aleph, rather than the feminizing hey.)

In I Chron. 2:17 he is “Jether the Ishmaelite” (יֶתֶר הַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִי).  Therefore, Yitra’s nationality is ambiguous.  Is he of the seed of Isaac and Jacob (an Israelite); or of Isaac’s older half-brother, Ishmael, the ancestor of the Arabs, including Muhammad?  Therefore, Yitra symbolically represents the conflicts of the present-day world[2].  (Conventional wisdom is the the books of Chronicles are based on official royal chronicles of the kings of Judah and Israel, while the books of Samuel and Kings are based on folk histories, implying that Chronicles are more accurate.)

The name is Bet Yitra (House of Yitra), not B’nei Yitra (sons of Yitra), as the latter could imply an actual ancestry.

In a sense, the name “Bet Yitra” is a joke, because it refers to a man whose only claims to fame are that he fathered a noted general, and that we are not sure of his nationality.

The Appellations of God

“God” is not God’s name — it is His Job Title.

It is common use the same word for “God” as is used for pagan gods.  In the English language, the big difference is that the “G” is capitalized when referring to God, and is in lower case when referring to Apollo, Thor, Ganesh, or any of the myriads of pagan gods.

Similarly, in Hebrew, the words אֵל (El, singular), or אֱלֹהִים (Elohim, plural) can refer either to the One True Almighty God, or to pagan god(s) (Ex. 18:11) or other “celestial beings” or angels (Psalm 8:6).

Most of the time in the Bible, the nominative plural noun אֱלֹהִים (Elohim) is matched with the singular verb.  Indeed, this is evident in the second and third words of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh.  Bet Yitra explains that the singular verb indicates that God is One.  Assuming that “God” is God’s Job Title, the plural noun indicates that God really has many Jobs, fulfilling the roles of God of War, God of Wisdom, God of Fertility, et alia, whereas a pagan religion would tend to have a separate god for each function.  There are actually a couple other of spots in the Bible where אֱלֹהִים (Elohim) does not mean “God”, but rather refers to a set of human judges (even if most translations still say “God”), e.g.  in Ex. 22:8, “Elohim” is the nominative of a plural verb.

The one remaining troubling case of God being associated with a plurals is in Gen. 1:26, where God says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; .  .  .”.  The traditional explanation is that God was talking about Himself and the angels.

Bet Yitra explains that God was talking about Himself and the animals, so that humans have a dual nature that is the combination of the physical animal and the divine spark.  The very next verse uses the singular-verb form of “God created” three times.  Note that the word “make” (“oseh” in Hebrew) can be used to described the action of God, man, or beast; while the word “create” (“boreh” in Hebrew) is only used in the Bible to describe actions of God.  Therefore, God and the animals together “made” mankind (in that mankind evolved from animals under a Divine Plan driven by chance), while God alone “created” mankind (in that He authored that Divine Plan).

God’s True Personal Name

God’s True Personal Name is the Tetragrammaton.  It is generally rendered, in Hebrew, as יְהוָה, and is usually read, in Hebrew, as “Adonai”, which literally means “my Lord”, but carries the implication that this Lord actually owns the speaker of the Word.  (The Hebrew word “adoni” means “my lord” or “my sir” in a more ordinary sense.)  In the same vein, it is usually translated into English as “Lord”, usually with the last three letters in small capitals.

According to Bet Yitra, the Tetragrammaton means “He Who Causes Existence”, which has profound metaphysical implications.  Also, this is the only Name of God that requires restricted use according to the Commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

The etymology of the Tetragrammaton is similar to that of the name “Eve” (חַוָּה), which means “she who causes life”.  Notice that there are two words in the Hebrew language where the plural form has an additional letter “hey” between the word root and the plural suffix.  These are אֱלֹהִים (Elohim) and אמהות (imahot; “mothers”), the first corresponding to God, and the second corresponding to Eve.

The Tetragrammaton first appears in the Bible in Gen. 2:4; but, apparently, is first revealed to an Israelite (Moses) in Ex. 6:29.  In the very next chapter Ex. 7:1, the Lord sets up Moses to be god (elohim) to Pharaoh, with Aaron as Moses' prophet (spokesman).  This is yet another indication that “god” is a job title, not the personal name of any deity.

God’s other Appellations

There are many other words used to describe God, such as “Almighty”, “the Eternal”, etc.  These are useful to people.  But, none of these names, titles, and other appellations is sacred — only the Tetragrammaton is.

Many Jews also use substitutes for any “name” of God, such as “Elokim” in Hebrew, or “haShem” (the Name), or will substitute a dash for the vowel “o” in “God” or “Lord”, yielding G–d and L–rd.  Bet Yitra regards these practices as silly.  “Lord” is already a substitute for the Tetragrammaton, and “God” is not God’s Name, but rather His Job Title, so there is no need to further modify them.

Also, an unfortunate side-effect of using the dash instead of the “o” is that many computer editors, browsers, and other programs may do a line-break at the site of the hyphen, therefore splitting a Divine Appellation between two lines.  Bet Yitra’s doctrines include a fierce monotheism (see below), and unnecessarily splitting a word referring to God is an anathema.  Instead of an ordinary dash or hyphen, a non-breaking dash (code & #8209; in HTML), or an n-dash (code & ndash; in HTML) must be used to avoid this.

One member of Bet Yitra, a computer programmer, proposed using “4GT” as an abbreviation for the Tetragrammaton.  Using the “indirect” unary operator “*” from the C Programming language, “*4GT” means “what is referred to by the Tetragrammaton”, i.e., the One True God.

God’s Number and Gender

Bet Yitra subscribes unconditionally to several of Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles (alt.  ref.), especially the second and third:

2. .  .  .  The Creator .  .  .  is One, and that there is no unity in any manner like His, and that He alone is our God, who was, and is, and will be.

3. .  .  .  The Creator .  .  .  has no body, and that He is free from all the properties of matter, and that there can be no (physical) comparison to Him whatsoever.

The adherents of Bet Yitra seek to continually affirm God’s Unity.  Therefore, when praying, they use singular pronouns when referring to God, even when it is customary in a language to use plural second-person pronouns when referring to singular persons.  In English, this means using Thou, Thee, Thy, and Thine instead of You, Your, and Yours, even when that sounds archaic.  The purpose is not to sound old-fashioned, but rather to affirm the Unity of God.  When referring to man, the normal “plural” forms are used.

“Sex” is a biological or physical condition — e.g.  “male” and “female”.  “Gender” is a linguistic term that has been adapted for similar uses in the social sciences.  Many languages, such as Hebrew and French, have only masculine and feminine genders, and other languages, such as English, also have a neuter gender, usually for inanimate objects.

God has no physical form, and so is sexless.  However, there are several cultural reasons, many of them out-of-date, for referring to God in the masculine gender.  These include:

1) It is customary to do so;

2) In most languages, the masculine is used as the epicene, that is, when the actual gender of the referent of a pronoun is not known in advance, the masculine is generally used;

3) In ancient times, many cults that worshiped goddesses where characterized by the kind of sexual licentiousness that the Israelites disapproved of; and

4) We regard ourselves as God’s Children.  Mothers bear their children, fathers do not.  In that sense, God is more similar to a man than to a woman.

Also, use of the masculine or feminine genders carries the implication that the referent is a living, thinking being, while use of the neuter gender implies that the referent is not.  God is assumed to be a living, thinking being (albeit non-physical).  Therefore, it would create conceptual problems in the minds of people to refer to God in the neuter gender.  Therefore, one of the two “sexual” genders should be used.

In Hebrew, the Tetragrammaton ends in the silent letter “hey”, as does the name of Eve.  “Hey” is often considered a feminizing suffix.  However, the Tetragrammaton was likely originally pronounced ending with the “eh” vowel, while feminine nouns end in the “aw” (modern “ah”) sound.  Ancient Hebrew texts consisted almost exclusively of consonants only, with a few consonants doubling as semivowels, so we cannot be totally sure of which vowels were used in ancient times.  Therefore, the Tetragrammaton can be considered to be possibly gender-indeterminate.

Metaphors for God

There have been many metaphors for God.  In ancient times, pagans erected idols, and assumed that the gods inhabited their respective idols.  For the Israelites, the handiest metaphor was that of a pagan god, except the Israelites’ God had a physical presence, the Shekhinah, but no physical form.  Therefore, Israelite worship was directed towards the “Mercy Seat” where the Shekhinah dwelt, which was atop the Ark of the Convenant.  The ancient Israelites did not really have a concept of “God is Everywhere.”

Later on, God is commonly depicted as a craftsman, often a Watchsmith.  Thus, the clockwork universe depicted by Newtonian mechanics led many to picture God as such, so that the existence of the “watch” implies the existence of the “Watchsmith”.  We now know that the universe is not a clockwork, and that random processes are important, as shown in Quantum Mechanics.  Indeed, it would be hard to justify Free Will in a classical clockwork universe.

A better and more modern metaphor for God would be that of a computer programmer writing a random-simulation program, or better yet, a computer game.  However, remember that this is only a metaphor, and people should not read too much into it.  This metaphor would allow for a multiplicity of programmers and gamers, while monotheistic religions hold to the existence of only One God.

God and Science

Bet Yitra holds that it is a great testimony to God’s Infinite Wisdom and Intelligence that He could ordain the universe in such a way that, once initiated, the universe can, through random processes, come up with intelligent life, i.e. mankind, with any further Divine Intervention.  Thus, we cannot ascertain God’s Existence, or even “God’s Hand”, in the functioning of the universe through scientific methods, as God has totally “hidden His tracks” from our minds, which, noble as they are, are infinitely inferior to His.  Therefore, there is no conflict between God’s creation of the physical universe and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, or any other scientific theory.

Bet Yitra also holds that God can and does intervene in human affairs, but in such a way that no scientific instrument or experiment can detect such intervention.  Often, this intervention is through inspired people who act as God’s spokespersons.  How can science now probe a prophet’s mind?


Bet Yitra considers the Jews to be the predominant and most visible fraction of the Israelite people.  Besides the Jews, “Israelites” include the many other scattered remnants of the descendants of the sons of Jacob (Israel).  Some of these other Israelites have variant practices from mainstream Judaism, and Bet Yitra advocates tolerance of these, as long as they are strictly monotheistic, and their religious practices do not flagrantly contradict those of Judaism.  Therefore, any “Judaeo-Christians” who believe in the divinity of Jesus are rejected from being Israelites.  Imagine how much easier it would have been if the Israeli Law of Return specified “Israelite” instead of “Jew”.

Evolution of the Israelite Religion

It is likely that the ancient Israelites were not true monotheists, but rather believed in monolotry or some other form of henotheism, in that they did not reject the existence of other gods, but were rather forbidden to worship them.  They also praised God by sacrificing animals and other agricultural products.  Judaism is far different today, but has not forgotten the Jews’ ancestors of long ago.

In ancient times, the religion of he Israelites underwent drastic changes every 500 years or so.  In a superficial sense, the Judaism of today is a far different religion than what Abraham practiced.  But, at all times, the new supplemented (and never displaced) the old, and the succession was that of a more-evolved and more-complete form of the same religion over the more-primitive and less-complete form.  In those rare cases where there was a substantive change, such as the evolution from supposed henotheism to monotheism, the “old” practices and beliefs would be a weakness of mortal men, in that they misunderstood God; while the “new” ones would be more in line with what God intended.  Sometimes, the old practices had to be put in abeyance, but with the promise they would never be forgotten, and would be revived when the time came.  God’s covenants with the Israelites are immutable.

Here are the milestones at approximately 500 years’ intervals: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived about 4000 years ago.  Moses received the Torah about 3500 years ago.  About 3000 years ago, the Israelite monarchy was unified under David, and Solomon’s Temple was built.  The return from the Babylonian Exile was about 2500 years ago.  About 2000 years ago, the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, and Christianity arose, while Rabbinic Judaism was in its embryonic stages, to reach full bloom about 1500 years ago with the completion of the Talmud.  (Islam also arose almost 1500 years ago.)

With the rise of Rabbinic Judaism, there was enough flexibility in the religion so that these 500-year revolutions were no longer needed.  Important things still have happened every 500 years.  The crusades, and the anti-Semitism associated with them, were almost 1000 years ago; the expulsion from Iberia and the discovery of America about 500 years ago; and the Holocaust and the rise of the State of Israel within living memory.

Man is Imperfect

Bet Yitra maintains that there is no such thing as a perfect person, even though many religions try to depict certain individuals as perfect.  Islam has its “four perfect women”[3][9].  Some rabbis have claimed that the patriarch Isaac was the perfect man.  Jesus, being part of the Triune Godhead, is thereby a perfect man, according to Christianity.

Furthermore, Bet Yitra holds that to regard a person as being perfect is to elevate him or her to a position that should only be occupied by the One True God, and is therefore a form of idolatry.  Lately, many so-called “Muslims” have gotten upset that others are “blaspheming” their prophet, Muhammed.  They even want to have an international law against it, in contadiction of deep-held American (and Western) reverence for Freedom of Speech.  Bet-Yitra thinks that this actually deifying Muhammed, something that is totally against the principles of Islam.

On the other hand, Judaism’s supreme prophet was a short-tempered stutterer named Moses, who was far from perfect.  He was punished by God, for an act involving his temper, by not being permitted to enter the Promised Land (Numb. 20:11-12).  And how do we know all this?  It is written in the Bible.  And who wrote that part of the Bible?  According to tradition, it was the short-tempered stutterer himself that wrote this down.

Women and Human Fertility

The first command given to mankind in the Bible is “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth .  .  .” (Gen. 1:28).  Mankind has now pretty-near filled the earth.  Overpopulation can be a serious problem.

Now that mankind had fulfilled the first commandment given to it, things can be different.

In the past, women were subjugated to men so that they could better fulfill the need to propagate the species.  Now that the earth is, for practical purposes, filled, there is no longer any reason to deny to women equality with men.  However, we of this age should not disparage our ancestors for their treatment of women.  We can, however, criticize contemporary societies, including our own, when they suppress women.

Traditionally, a requirement for the Messiah is male-line descent from King David.  If we treat women as equals of men, and also consider female-line and mixed-line descent, then, by now, after three thousand years, most all Jews are descended in some way from King David.  That is why we can have a Collective Messiahship of the Israelites, both males and females.

Female Christian Clergy

Through the centuries, Christianity has had female clergy (i.e. nuns), and has afforded women the opportunity to exercise leadership, at the cost of fertility.  Judaism has instituted female clergy only recently, and Islam not at all.

It would be possible for the Roman Catholic and other more traditional churches to foster a female ministry by allowing women to become deaconesses.  Perhaps this can begin by allowing the wives of male deacons to minister to the laity, provided they have the requisite education, and later on to actually ordain deaconesses.

The Anthropic Era

The current problems of global warming and overpopulation can be traced to technological advancements that started in the nineteenth century.  Bet Yitra selects approximately the middle of that century, when modern technology started to become a factor in everyday life, as the turning point.  As an example, scientists compare the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and other signs of global warming, to the levels that prevailed in 1850.

Since then, mankind has been an overdominant force in nature.  Therefore, that is about the time that the Cenozoic Era ended, and the Anthropic Era began.

Bet Yitra agrees with Bahá’í that mankind is steadily progressing.  Bahá’í posits that this is done through the efforts of prophets, but Bet Yitra’s view is that mankind is naturally maturing, and God provides prophets (and now, also, scientists) to help mankind deal with each new level of maturity.

Mankind is now in a stage of equivalent to that of a young adult, so that we are (or should be) God’s grown children.  Our wisdom is greater than it was in the past, but it will never approach God’s Infinite Wisdom.

Notice that two great events occured in the middle of the nineteenth century — the rise of Bahá’í, and Darwin’s theory of Evolution.

The Collective Messiahship of the Israelite People

This is the most important doctrine of Bet Yitra.

Originally, the Messiah was supposed to be a man of the male-line lineage of King David, who would overthrow the powers-that-be (the Romans in Jesus’ time) and reestablish Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel, the Jews’ God-given homeland.  Later embellishments were added, including resurrection of the dead and establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth.

Jews had been waiting nearly two millennia for God to provide a Messiah.  Finally, in the late nineteenth century, the Jews took it upon themselves to fulfill their most important part of the Messianic hope — restoration of Jewish sovereignty.  And they succeeded.

The Holocaust and the Birth of the State of Israel

Note that, in Jesus’ time, the messianic Jews of that era opposed the Roman Imperium.  In the twentieth century, the Zionists cooperated (more or less) with the Romans’ successor of that age, the British Empire.

The path was not smooth.  Mistakes were made.  The British Mandate authorities restricted Jewish immigration while allowing an overland influx of Arabs — resulting in problems that persist to this day.  Apparently, the British adopted this policy under pressure from the Arabs.  The British desparately needed Arab oil in order to fight and defeat the Nazis, so, to curry favor with the Arabs, they restricted Jewish immigration, which, ironically, meant that even more Jews died in the Holocaust than would have otherwise.  In this way, the Arabs are indirectly complicit in the Holocaust.

Also, the use of modern farm equipment by the Halutzim (Jewish pioneers in Palestine) led them to settle predominantly in lowland areas, leaving the hill country, where their ancient ancestors lived, to the Arabs.

Many people seek answers as to where was God during the Holocaust.  There are many explanations, to which Bet Yitra adds: The Holocaust was one of the activities involving mass killings of people in WWII.  Strategic bombing was another.  Once the Germans used it, the Allies copied it, culminating in the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  These occurred after the Western Enlightenment, when one would expect nations to have more regard for human rights.  These activities serve as a warning to humanity to prevent such tragedies in the future.  It is unfortunate that European Jewry suffered disproportionately in this lesson.  Those who don’t fully understand God’s purpose would say that this is not what Israelites should be “chosen” for.  If God used his own Chosen People to teach Mankind such a lesson, then it must be an important lesson.

At the time of WWII, the United States was a very racist nation.  The massive effort to defeat racism (Nazism) made Americans aware of their own shortcomings.  The American Civil-Rights movements had fought racism from the first stirrings of Abolitionism until the Great Depression, with some successes, and some setbacks.  Finally, after Americans had fought racism head-to-head, did they finally begin to repent their racist sins and to accept racial equality as the norm.  This is also somewhat true of Europe,  This was accomplished at the cost of Jewish blood.

In this sense, the Jews who suffered and died in the Holocaust constitute the “Suffering Messiah”, a concept that is important in Judaism and very important in Christianity[4][5].  In an important way, the history of the Jews, in the middle of the twentieth century, parallels that of Jesus of Nazareth at the end of his earthly life.  The Holocaust corresponds to the Crucifixion of Jesus, and the birth of the State of Israel to the Resurrection.

Nature of the Collective Messiahship

According to Bet Yitra, the Messiahship is a collective function of the Jews and other Israelites, as embodied in the State of Israel.  The establishment and continued existence of the State of Israel is the Manifest Will of God, and anyone who denies this is not a true follower of God.  Those Israelites who actually live in the Land of Israel are in a superior position to those Israelites who live in the Diaspora.

Bet Yitra maintains that the participation in the collective Messiahship is not contingent upon being an “observant” Jew, and Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and secular Jews are equally and essentially a part of it.  Also, the Collective Messiahship does not imply that each and every Jew is a Messiah, only that the Israelites collectively are the Messiah.

Usually, the sovereignty of a monarch is the property of the monarch, and this holds true for the Jewish Messiah.  The sovereignty of a republic is the collective property of the citizens of the republic, and the State of Israel is a republic.  By this analogy, the sovereignty of the Messiahship is collective property of the Israelites as a whole.

Jewish tradition holds that certain open questions must await the coming of the Messiah.  Bet Yitra holds that the Israelites who live in the Land of Israel, through their democratic institutions, can answer these questions, but they should wait until their Messiahship is generally recognized.  A minority within Bet Yitra cringes at the idea that such important questions can be subject to political wrangling, and hopes that a better mechanism can be devised.

Relation to Current Events

Bet Yitra envisions several stages to the Messianic function, each corresponding to an ancient chapter in the history of the Israelites.  These are:

Preparatory: the works of Theodore Herzl and the early Zionists, corresponding to the period of the Judges;

Militaristic: when self-protection is paramount, corresponding to the reigns of Saul (pre-Independence) and David (post-1948);

Peace-making: when it is the duty of the Israelis to teach peace to their hostile neighbors, corresponding to the reign of Solomon; and finally

Global Salvation: when Israel helps people of all nations reach their God-given destinies.  The equivalent of this last stage never happened in Bible times because of the division of the Israelites between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.  (See also[6].)

Bet Yitra notes that “Salvation” originally referred to material salvation, and took on further metaphysical meanings (which Bet Yitra rejects) only after the Babylonian exile.  The Collective Messiahship, up to now, has been about the Israelites providing material salvation to themselves (Preparatory and Militaristic stages).  From now into the future, however, Israelites will be taking a broader role.  Israel is to teach peace to mankind, starting with her own Arab neighbors, and then help bring peace to all mankind (last two stages).

The current Mid-East crises reflect this transition.  In the past, Israel had to be super-strong to preserve herself.  In the future, Israel will have to teach her Arab neighbors the benefits of peace.  Currently, the Government of Israel is choosing the latter course, releasing terrorists in exchange for captured soldiers, or at least the mortal remains of such.  The Israelis hope that this will show the Arabs that peace is possible, and beneficial.  However, in exchange, the Arabs have been laughing at Israel for being weak.

Egypt and Jordan have already made peace with Israel, and are reaping the benefits.  We should hope that the Egyptians continue to maintain this peace.

Most of Bet Yitra reject the idea that it is now time for the Peace-making Solomonic period.  They feel that the strongest possible action is needed now to induce a kind of Islamic Reformation which would result in recognition of Israel for what she is.  This is especially important since the “9/11” terror attacks.  See View on Islam below.

And what would happen if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gets his wish and the State of Israel disappears?  The course of human history will be set back another 2000 years, as we plunge into another dark age.  Therefore, Bet Yitra is warning the whole world that, if Israel falls, so will Western Civilization.

Lastly, the final stage, Global Salvation, will involve developing a technology to resurrect the dead, whether physically, or in cyberspace.  Therefore, this resurrection, like most (but not all) miracles in the Bible, will be a cooperative venture by God and Man.  This is many hundreds of years off.  It is noted that, according to the Jewish Calender, the seventh millennium starts in the autumn of the year 2240 CE.  Among those to be resurrected will be Jesus of Nazareth.

View on Christianity

In the past, God has sent many prophets to the Israelites, and also some prophets to the rest of mankind.  One of the latter was Balaam, but he sold out for money, and was later killed.  Jesus of Nazareth was another such prophet who stuck to his basic principles, but was killed anyway.

Christianity started out as a Jewish sect, but rapidly took on pagan aspects, including the concept of the god who dies and is resurrected, the mother of god, the multiplicity of the godhead (Trinitarianism), and the use of images in worship.

The Protestant Reformation represented a partial re-Judaification of Christianity, but that was hampered by the anti-semitism of Martin Luther and others.  Still, the Reformation put many Christians back in touch with the Jewish roots of their religion, and the “rediscovery” of the “Old Testament”.  (Bet Yitra prefers the term “Original Testament”.)

While established by God to be a religion for the Gentiles (a Noahide religion), Christianity soon strayed to being a blend of Jewish roots with a pagan overlay.  It claims to follow the Bible, but then makes exceptions and sometimes changes the meaning of words.  The Ten Commandments forbid worship of any entity except for the One True God Whose Name is the Tetragrammaton, yet most all Christians worship Jesus, and many worship saints.  Then again, the Ten Commandments were meant for the Jews alone.  God broadcast them to all mankind in seventy languages to show them the special gift He was giving to the Israelites, and not to command all mankind to follow the Ten Commandments.  All mankind is obligated to follow the Seven Laws of Noah.

In Bet Yitra’s view, in the future, it will be Israeli scientists who will perfect the technology for resurrection of the dead.  When Jesus of Nazareth is resurrected, he will lead the Christians back to true monotheism.  For this reason, Bet Yitra fully accepts Christianity as a Noahide religion.  In this sense, “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).

It is easier for people to be religious and follow good behavior if there is a god they can visualize, which is certainly true of Christianity.  One may to consider Jesus is as a “Mirror of the Father”, a tangible manifestation of an inherently intangible God.  Jesus thereby can show the way to establish the “Kingdom of God” on earth.  Bet Yitra would say that Jesus only seems to be God because he is reflecting God like a mirror.

Displacement, Succession, and Redisplacement

It used to be Christian doctrine that Christianity was a successor to Judaism, and had displaced Judaism[7].  This meant the abrogation of God’s covenants with the Israelites.

Christians term the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) as the “Old Testament”, really meaning “Old Covenant”, while they call their additions to the Bible the “New Testament”, implying that the “New” displaces the “Old”.  Bet Yitra prefers that the Jewish Bible be called “Tanakh”, and that the books of the Tanakh as they are incorporated into the Christian Bible be termed the “Original Testament”.  This title implies that the “Original Testament” is still valid (for the Israelites), and is not displaced.

As discussed above Evolution of the Israelite Religion, “Judaism” had undergone drastic changes every 500 years or so in ancient times, but the new forms never “displaced” the old.

The immutability of God’s covenants with the Israelites does not mean that God could not make other covenants with other peoples to form other religions, and all these covenants are valid for the people who are bound to them.

In a sense, Jews have always been (for the past two millennia), “Christ’s People”, because Jesus of Nazareth was one of them, not that they believed in Jesus of Nazareth.  Note that “Christ” is simply from the Greek for “Messiah” — “Anointed One”.  Therefore, Bet Yitra’s doctrine of Collective Messiahship means that the Israelites are not only “Christ’s People”, but also “the Christ People”.  This can be considered a form of redisplacement.

View on Islam

After the establishment of Christianity, God (according to Bet Yitra) ordained Islam to be a primary Noahide religion.  At first, Islam was supposed to be one of many religions that worship the One True God.  It was supposed to be a special Revelation by Muhammad to the Arabs, to coexist with previous Revelations made to Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus, et alia[8].

Both Christianity and Islam have been a “mixed bag” with respect to their treatment of the Jews, sometimes persecuting them, and sometimes sheltering them.  When Moses Maimonides faced Islamic persecution in Spain after a regime chnage, he no choice but to flee.  But, he did have a choice as to where to go.  Legend has it that he got “job offers” from two main rivals in the Crusader wars, Saladin, the Islamic ruler of Egypt, and King Richard the Lionheart, Christian ruler of England.  He chose to continue to live among Muslims.  Until recently, Islam has been an ally of the Jews much more often than an enemy.  The current enmity between the two is the result partly of the influence of European anti-Semitism, and partly from the inappropriate reaction to the establishment of the State of Israel.

Remarkably to us, the 15-16th century Jewish philosopher Don Isaac Abravanel viewed a near future (to him) when Islam would conquer Christianity.  He felt this way because of the shoddy treatment he received from his erstwhile friend, King Ferdinand of Spain, who in 1492 expelled him with all the other Jews.

Since that time, Christianity has undergone a Reformation and an Enlightenment, while those who call themselves Muslims have, in general, become more isolationist, crude, and inhumane.  An example is the abhorrent treatment of women in many traditional societies, which does not reflect the exalted position of Khadijah, Muhammad’s first wife, who actually proposed to him.  If she was such a liberated woman in her day, then why are so many of her daughters are suppressed in our day?[9]

Islamic scripture and prayer often uses the word “Bismallah”, meaning “In the Name of God”.  Yet “Allah”, meaning “the God”, is not really God’s name, but His Job Title.  They seem to have forgotten God’s name, while Christians and Jews have remembered it, after a fashion.

Islam has the concept of the “Rasul” (plural, “Rusul”), or super prophet, of whom there have been five — Ishmael, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad.  Some in Bet Yitra want to co-opt the term to mean those prophets who are for the Gentiles, the non-Israelites.  These would include Balaam, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh.  This is a combination of Jewish Traditions with beliefs of the Bahá’í Faith.

Islam and Israel

Bet Yitra holds that the establishment and continued existence of the State of Israel is the Manifest Will of God, and anyone who denies this is not a true follower of God.  Since the term “Muslim” means “he who submits” (presumedly to the Will of God), any of the followers of Muhammad who do not accept Israel as the Manifest Will of God cannot be a True Muslim.  Indeed, Jewish Sovereignty of Jersusalem is supported by the Holy Qur‘an[10], and, likewise, that of the entire Land of Israel is also supported by later Islamic writings[11].

Bet Yitra prefers the variant old term “Muhammadan”, but this discussion will use the more neutral “follower of Muhammad”.  These “not-True-Muslims” would include the vast majority the current the Followers of Muhammad, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the followers of Osama bin Laden.  In fact, calling such people “Muslims”, implying that they are carrying out the Will of God, is tantamount to blasphemy, according to some of the more extreme views in Bet Yitra.  Perhaps calling any extreme “Muslim” an “Islamist” is also tantamount to blasphemy.  Bet Yitra thanks God for those few True Muslims who accept Israel[12].

The followers of Osama bin Laden and other such terrorists, who are willing to die themselves along with their victims, are truly thanatolotors, worshippers of death, not of God.

Ahmadinejad regards the Jews as being a European people who are colonizing Islamic land, and were permitted to do so because of the Holocaust.  On the contrary, the Israelites are a west-Asiatic people that has returned to its homeland, and should be welcomed.  (For more comments about Ahmadinejad, see View on Bahá’í, below.)  Also, a large percentage is Israelis are either descended from Jews who lived in the Land of Israel all along, or of Jews who left Arab countries in the latter half of the twentieth century.

What is needed is an “Islamic Reformation”[13] that will correct the many injustices advocated by reactionary “Islamists”, as well as acceptance of Israel’s chosenness, and her possession of the Land of Israel.

According to Bet Yitra, the “Palestinian Arabs” are largely descended from an influx of Arabs into Palestine in the twentieth century.  Most did not live in the Land in the nineteenth century, whereas it is well documented that Israelites lived in the Land well prior to the nineteenth century.  These Arabs have largely answered, with terrorism, Israel’s efforts to teach them peace.  If they continue with this, then most all of them should be expelled, leaving only those who have truly learned Peace.  They should be expelled, not because we hate them, but because they hate us!

When the State of Israel was first formed, many Arab countries responded by expelling most of their Jews, many of whom settled in Israel.  The land these Jews vacated is, in toto, much larger in area than the Land of Israel.  Bet Yitra believes that these countries should accept the “Palestinian” Arabs, in a belated exchange for the Jews that they expelled sixty-five years ago.

Israel accepted all Jewish refugees with open arms.  In contrast, the “Palestinian” Arabs were forced into a status of being permanent refugees, bankrolled (unfortunately) by the United States (via the UN), rather than being accepted by their oil-rich Arab brethren.  It is time to right that wrong.

There is a lot of talk about returning to “pre-1967” (or “pre-1949” or “pre-1948”) boundaries for Israel.  Why stop there?  Let’s go back to pre-3000-BCE boundaries, when Israel ruled from the “brook of Egypt” (modern Wadi El-Arish) to the Euphrates.

It is interesting to note that the Jews were expelled from their Land by the Romans nearly two millennia ago because some of them engaged in terrorism.  Bet Yitra asks if it appropriate for the Jews now to act like the Romans did then, or are the Jews so much a superior people that they shouldn’t.  Remember that Judaism preaches equality of Jews with others (Ex. 12:49, Lev. 19:34, Lev. 24:22).  What if the survival of the Jews is at stake — does that change it?  Should Jews stop acting like Jews so that they can survive and then act like Jews in the future?

Essentially, the “Palestinian” Arabs are largely holders in due course of land that is not really theirs, but was given to the Israelites by God.

Bet Yitra argues that such an expulsion is more humane than continuing the present conflict.  The Arabs affected will be compensated handsomely, by those who will now have to spend less on armaments and defense.  Bet Yitra regards an expulsion as being both a practical solution, and the Will of God.

View on Bahá’í

In the middle of the nineteenth century, God ordained yet another Noahide religion, Bábism, which evolved into the Bahá’í Faith.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that he is awaiting for the arrival of the Mahdi.  Bet Yitra accepts the Báb (Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad) as being the Mahdi.  He was executed by the Persian (Iranian) government after a religious trial.  His successor, Bahá’u’lláh, founded the Bahá’í Faith.  Both are buried in Israel, and the Bahá’í Faith is headquartered in Haifa, adjacent to the tomb of the Báb.

Note that the Bábist calender starts in the year 1844, close to the middle of the nineteenth century, the dawn of the Anthropic Era.

Bet Yitra regards the Bahá’í Faith as being the premier Noahide religion.  Their only deficiency is not recognizing the Tetragrammaton as the Unique Name of the Unique God.


Bet Yitra attempts to synthesize the most ancient of revelations with the latest scientific understanding of the universe; and also place the current-day Jews and other Israelites, and the State of Israel, in the context of current events and the world’s “future history”.  Bet Yitra argues that it is now “a time for war”, and not yet “a time for peace” Eccl. 3:8, although the “time for peace” will come, if today’s Israelites and their allies are strong and not afraid to conquer their true enemies, and teach them peace, as God intends them to do.

Notes and Citations

  1. ^ The links to biblical quotations refer to the Mechon Mamre website’s pages of biblical text in parallel Hebrew and English.  The Hebrew is the traditional Masoretic Text, while the English is from the 1917 translation by the Jewish Publication Society.
  2. ^ Khalil, Prof. Dr. Ibrahim In the Bible But not in the Quran (64): Was He an Israelite or an Ishmaelite?
  3. ^ Khadija, the Perfect Woman
  4. ^ Humpal, David The Suffering Messiah, A Study of Isaiah 53:1-12
  5. ^ Frydland, Rachmiel The Suffering Messiah Ben Yoseph (Joseph) .  WARNING! this is a Christian view masquerading as being Jewish.
  6. ^ Farah, Joseph An unnoticed prophecy about dividing of Israel
  7. ^ Robinson, B.A. “DABRU EMET:” A Jewish Statement about Christianity
  8. ^ Armstrong, Karen “Islam’s Stake: Why Jerusalem Was Central To Muhammad” Time Magazine 2001 April 16
  9. ^ ^ The Status of Women in Islam
  10. ^ Palazzi, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi What the Qur‘an Really Says
  11. ^ Palazzi, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Allah Is a Zionist
  12. ^ Palazzi, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi My Prayer for the Jewish People — As a Zionist Muslim clergyman I can’t keep silent.
  13. ^ Rushdie, Salman Muslims unite! A new Reformation will bring your faith into the modern era

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