BYNA Newsletter (Jan. 31, 2017)

Shalom and Welcome!

Shalom Brothers and Sisters in Messiah!

Welcome to our BYNA Newsletter! In it you will find articles for enriching your daily walk, practical applications of Torah principles, updates on events, news from Israelites around the world and some fun stuff as well. May it be a blessing to you as you seek to follow our Messiah!

The Council of Elders
The Executive Council
B’ney Yosef North America

PS If this has been a blessing to you, please join Bney Yosef and sign up for the newsletter and if you’d like, make a donation here.


A Prologue by Frank Houtz

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About a decade ago I had the pleasure of meeting Benyamim Tsedaka, the well known Samaritan scholar. He gave a presentation to a Jewish Community gathering explaining his understanding of the Samaritan Pentateuch and even discussing their varied interpretation of the Torah and pronunciation of Hebrew. I enjoyed his talk and afterwards spoke with him at length. He was sincere, confident in his belief and very welcoming. I was even invited to his home in Israel. After that meeting, I began to study the New Testament in a new light. I discovered I had been harboring a Christian bias against Samaritans. No where in the New Testament does it say “good Samaritan.” The “good” part has been placed there by historical Christian explanations, not the Scripture itself. This helped me realize that I was harboring a prejudice believing that Yeshua thought all other Samaritans were “bad Samaritans” and this one guy was good. Instead, there is no contrast to other Samaritans at all in His statement. It just says, “but a certain Samaritan….”

Well known is the long standing distrust that the Jews of that day had against the Samaritan community. Yeshua was addressing this underlying prejudice to convict those individuals of their sin. Instead of us interpreting His words as an attempt to convict specific Jews, we instead participated in the same prejudice by perpetuating the underlying negative connotation. Our Jewish brethren have long overcome the historical prejudice and have great relationships with the Samaritans in the land. They even accept as legitimate a mixed marriage between Samaritans and Orthodox Jews. Benyamim Tsedaka is the benefactor of such a marriage where his wife was originally an orthodox Jew who was allowed to marry into the Samaritan community and was not shunned by her Orthodox family.

Maybe it is time for the community of believers in Yeshua to take the same stance. This is especially appropriate for those who share in a belief of Messiah. The Samaritans in Israel have been able to live among the Palestinians with little conflict. They have Palestinian passports as well as Israeli passports. They have walked a line of peace and are well respected by both sides. These brothers would not embrace our claim to be descendants of the Northern Kingdom, but they certainly do deserve respect for being some of the known descendants from that Kingdom. Below is a plea from a brother Yaqob, who is not only a Samaritan, but a fellow believer in Messiah. The Samaritan church has been around since the early first century and this brother is one of the very few left. He has written an open letter to all Christianity. We share it here for your consideration, knowing that we of all people should respond favorably to his request for acceptance.

Frank Houtz
Elder BYNA


A Plea for Acceptance and Unity

by Yaqob bar-Karoza

Dear Fellow Christians,

We of the Samaritan Church want to begin this letter by expressing our love and appreciation for you all. Beautiful, diverse, creative, and passionate are descriptive of the many Gentile Christian denominations that exist in the modern era. The Spirit of the Lord is clearly active in your work and your devotion to the Almighty. We praise God for that, and the world is a better place because of you.

The Samaritan Christian remnant sends you peace as we enter a new civil year. We, being physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are Hebrews and Israelites like the Jews, who are our close relatives, though we ourselves are not Jewish. Samaritan Christianity, which we consider to be a form of שמריותא Shomrayutha (Samaritanism), is the second oldest branch of the Christian religion (having begun circa AD 25 when Jesus visited Shechem/Sychar), and may be wholly unknown or unfamiliar to you, but I pray this letter reaches you and stirs the spirit within you.

Early Samaritan contributions to the Church include two of the first deacons to serve in Jerusalem, Stephen and his nephew Prochorus; the former became the first Christian martyr and the latter became the personal companion and scribe of John the Apostle. Additionally, parables and stories about our people have become fundamental lessons in Christian education. Despite the fact that we are now so few in number, with only a handful of us remaining, our plight is one that should matter to you, since our forefathers played such an important role in the history of the faith.

At various times during the past two millennia, Samaritan people (the last surviving descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, as well as a number of Samaritan Levites in our company) have endured extreme hardship at the hands of Gentile Christian oppressors. The Roman Church, now a friend to us, once labored relentlessly to stamp out our culture, language, and beliefs. Our ancestral monuments were torn down and our sacred sites in the region known as Palestine were desecrated. Gentile churches and monasteries were unwelcomely erected throughout our lands, and millions of our people were tortured and murdered, at home in Samaria and abroad in diaspora, for refusing to embrace Roman Christian creeds and societal norms. Our precious books and histories were burned, and those of us in major Byzantine cities were forced to assimilate into Roman Christendom. Our people, our narrative, and our way of life were reduced to a mere historical footnote in Gentile Christian documentation, which is why a lot of you may have previously been unaware that actual Samaritans were still around.

Today, the entire worldwide Samaritan population stands at fewer than 800 souls, with most of our people concentrated in the Jewish State of Israel. Those of us who accept Jesus as Messiah comprise only about 1% of the Samaritan remnant, and are all currently living in diaspora, in Southeast Asia, North America, and Southern Europe. We have been working for over a decade to restore our lost heritage and rebuild our communities. Obstacles impeding our efforts include general Christian ignorance of our plight, Gentile misappropriation and insensitive misuse of our identity, that is, the wrongful employment of our ethno-religious moniker (Samaritan) for Gentile, non-Samaritan purposes, e.g., the Samaritan’s Purse, Samaritan Ministries International, and the common English metaphor, “a good Samaritan” (none of which have anything to do with true Samaritan people).

Perhaps the greatest struggle we face in working towards a restoration is the opposition and disapproval we experience from Gentile Christians, mainly on account of how different our customs are from your own. Moreover, the old, inaccurate “Cuthite” claim, i.e., the false Jewish argument that Samaritans are not Israelites but Babylonian exiles, has sadly been adopted by Gentile Christians and has been used to illegitimatize us and defame us. (Unbiased Bible scholars, historians, and geneticists have disproved this claim.) From the way we dress, to the things we eat or do not eat, to the manner and timing of our prayers, to our language and our scripture, all things Samaritan are alien to most of you, perhaps even repugnant in the eyes of some due to misinformation and antisemitism.

What we ask of you is no easy thing. We have done our best to write this letter from love, and we pray that it is received in the same. Please, as our brothers and sisters in Christ, allow yourselves to see beyond your own culture, beyond your local churches and denominations, in order to understand the Samaritan perspective. That which unites us all is our common faith, for we believe in the same God and place our hope in the same Savior. However, long-held Gentile Christian traditions and fierce, uncompromising opinions both ostracize and endanger the recovering Samaritan Christian micro-minority. Just as so many of you support our Jewish kindred, we ask that you please also support the Samaritan remnant.

Samaria, our beloved homeland, is presently under the occupation of Jews on one side and of Arabs on the other. Our voice is faint, but it still can be heard if you are willing to listen. We believe wholeheartedly that God will increase our numbers and one day return us to our homeland, to the inheritance allotted to our father Joseph; until that day comes, we sincerely ask you to accept us just as we are, in diaspora, and not look down upon us for our seemingly strange and ancient ways. Before Protestantism, before Orthodoxy and Catholicism, before Constantine and Nicaea, even before Paul and Barnabas, there were the two original Christian assemblies in Judea and in Samaria, founded by none other than the Son of God himself. The Jewish Church has been in a process of restoration for over a century, with great help and support coming from Gentile believers. Now, in the 21st century, our Lord has shown grace, mercy, and favor to the Samaritan Church as well, and is restoring us as He promised.

Please pray for us, encourage us, and make known our plight. Show the same love and support for the Samaritan remnant of Israel that you have shown to the Jewish remnant of Israel. This is our humble plea to you, our spiritual family.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Yaqob bar-Karoza

Ambassador of the World Union of Isaric Samaritans

יעקוב בר־כרוזא

איזגד־חוידא כלעלמיא’ל די שמרי־אורח־אלהא



The Land is good! Indeed, very good!

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Lake Kinneret / the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding hills


Hearing Someone Greater

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Barry Phillips, BYNA Elder

Hearing Someone Greater

by Barry Phillips, BYNA Elder, also at:

A man of great wisdom and intelligence sat down with me recently, listening to me describe my bold plans for a new venture. After working in the music retail business for the last ten years in support of my teaching role at House of David Beit Midrash, I plan to leave the job in order to pursue traveling to teach/speak at congregations, and to build up a web presence to spread the message that I feel I have been given. The man’s eyes first stared intently as I spoke and then widened with approval. He then started to offer his insight so it was my turn to stare intently.

This wise man doesn’t claim to fit in any acceptable religious category, professing belief in the Master Designer and acknowledging that our lives are to have some higher purpose than merely existing until we die. While he wouldn’t fit in most church pews or synagogue seats, I know from our many conversations that when he speaks I need to listen. And I did.

Among the many things of which he spoke I have found one remark to remain in my thinking. “The key for your success is to realize ….



Exodus Road Band – Halleluyah (lyric video)

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Click picture to go to Halleluyah lyric video


Prayer Psalms, Psalm 59

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Prayer Psalms

Prayer Psalms, Psalm 59

by Ephrimona of


Baruch Ata YHVH, Elohey Yisrael, Avi’nu.
(Bless You, YHVH – Elohim of Israel, our Father)

Deliver us, YHVH – Moshi’ey’nu (our Savior/Deliverer), from our enemies. O Eloh’ey’nu (our God), awake to help us; defend us from those who rise up against us. Deliver us from the workers of iniquity, and save us from bloodthirsty men. For behold, they lie in wait for our life; the mighty gather against us, and it is neither because of our transgression, nor for our sin. O YHVH – El Ro’eh (God Who Sees and Provides), for they run and prepare themselves through no fault of ours. At evening they return, they growl like a dog, and go all around the city. Indeed, they belch with their mouth; they wander up and down for food and are not satisfied. Swords are in their lips; for they say, “Who hears?” For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride, especially for the cursing and lying, which they speak. O YHVH – El Ra’chum (Compassionate God), have mercy upon them before they are consumed in Your wrath and cease to be. But let them know that You, Mal’key’nu (our King), rule in Ya’acov to the ends of the earth.

Awake, O Elohey Tzva’ot (God of the Armies), Elohey Yisrael (God of Israel), to punish all the nations, and do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors. You, Elohey Yisrael, Elohey Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’acov shall laugh at them. You shall have all the nations in derision. But as for us, we will wait for You, Ma’oz’ey’nu (our Strength) and Mis’ga’bey’nu (our Stronghold), for You are Elohey Chesed (God of Mercy), and shall come to meet us. You, Shofet Tzedek (Judge of Righteousness) shall let us look upon our enemies. However, do not slay them, lest we, Your people, forget; but scatter them by Your power and bring them down, O Adoni M’gee’ney’nu (our Protector/Shield).

Therefore, we will sing of Your power; yes, we will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning, for You have been and will be, Mis ga’bey’nu (our Stronghold), and Miphla’tey’nu (our Refuge) in the day of our trouble.
Yes, to You, Oo’zey’nu (our Might) we will sing praises; for You are Elohim Misga’bey’nu (our Stronghold), and Elohey Chas’key’nu (God of our Mercy).

Hallelu-Yah!!! For You YHVH are Elohim. You are Elohey Yisrael, Elohey Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’acov. Avi’nu the Almighty reigns!

link to the latest of Ephrimona’s Prayer Psalms


Torah Portions and Teachers

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Torah Reading, photo courtesy of Yocheved Bloomfield

Torah Portions

28 Jan 17, Va’era, Exodus 6:2 – 9:35
04 Feb 17, Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16
11 Feb 17, B’shallach, Exodus 13:17-17:16
18 Feb 17, Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23
25 Feb 17, Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18
04 Mar 17, Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19
11 Mar 17, Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10
18 Mar 17, Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35
25 Mar 17, Vayakhel/Pekudei, Exodus 35:1-40:38

Where to Find Torah

From Barry Phillips, Remnant of Yisrael
Foundations for Life
and Torah Teacher’s Round Table

From David Jones, Ruach Ministries
Tasty Torah

From Mike Clayton, Joined to HaShem
Living Torah and Joined to HaShem videos

From Yocheved and Pinchas, Kol HaMashiach Messianic Congregation
Weekly Torah Portions on Video

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National Shabbat at Kol haMashiach Congregation, photo courtesy Yocheved

Upcoming National Shabbat Venues

Growing the Nation through Shabbat

For locations and further details check out National Shabbat here


What’s for Dinner? – Biblically Kosher Meals

black bean burger

Black Bean Burgers with Veggie Pulp

by Yocheved

The upside of juicing is that you get maximum nutrition with minimum food prep. The downside is that you have all this pulp that is too good to just throw away. What’s a Mom to do?? Black Bean Burgers to the rescue, ta da!


1⁄2 cup oatmeal, quick cooking (or bread crumbs)
2 cups black beans, drained
1 small onion, minced (or 1 tsp onion powder)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 cloves minced)
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (my current favorite, use what you have)
1 cup pulp from juicing such as carrot, celery, beet, spinach, cucumber, etc
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, for frying


Place oatmeal in bowl; add black beans. Using a potato masher, mash the two together. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the last 2 T of coconut oil. (You’ll need them for frying.) Mix well to combine.
Form into patties (4 dinner size, 6 lunch or snack size).
Fry in a griddle until the center is hot (about 4 minutes each side) Load them up in a sandwich with your favorite fixings. Bon appetit!

About 4 to 6 servings.


Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Pray for peace Jslm Jaffa Gate Fountain

Prayer for the State of Israel

From Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, the Shabbat and Festival siddur of the Reconstructionist Movement

Rock and champion of Israel, please bless the state of Israel, first fruit of the flourishing of the fruit of our redemption. Guard it in the abundance of your love. Spread over it the shelter of your peace. Send forth your light and truth to those who lead and judge it, and to those who hold elective office. Establish in them, through your presence, wise counsel, that they might walk in the way of justice, freedom and integrity. Strengthen the hands of those who guard our holy land.

Let them inherit salvation and life. And give peace to the land, and perpetual joy to its inhabitants. Appoint for a blessing all our kindred of the house of Israel in all the lands of their dispersion. Plant in their hearts a love of Zion. And for all our people everywhere, may God be with them, and may they have the opportunity to go up to the land. Cause your spirit’s influence to emanate upon all dwellers of our holy land. Remove from their midst hatred and enmity, jealousy and wickedness.

Plant in their hearts love and kinship, peace and friendship. And soon fulfill the vision of your prophet Nathan: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Let them no longer learn ways of war … [b’shem Y’shua …]

And let us say: Amen.


molecular-cloud w blessing

digital art by Yocheved