by Ephraim and Rimona Frank
Shalom Fellow Israelite,
We want to thank Bney Yosef North America (BYNA) for the continual efforts they have been making over the past 7 years to propagate the message brought forth in the three congresses held in Ariel, Israel.
The main theme and objective of those congresses was the reconstitution of our national identity as the “stick of Joseph in the hand of Ephraim” (Ezekiel 37:16). It is clear in verse 22 (of the same chapter) that the prophet sees the two sticks/trees as two nations (goyim) that are destined to become one nation again. The first stick that is mentioned is the stick of Judah. For over one hundred years after the creation of the Zionist Movement (in the early 19th century), a remnant of Jews scattered in the nations worked to get their brothers to wake up to their roots and national identity. As we know from history, this culminated in the birth of their nation/stick in 1948. Once this took place (and not over yet), we read, this time in the words of the prophet Zacharia, that when Judah becomes “a mighty warhorse” Joseph will be saved, will receive mercy, and eventually will also return to the land (ref. Zechariah 10:8-10). Joseph/the second stick/tree is still not easily seen or recognized, as its branches have been completely cut off from any identity other than the one connected to the nations where he has been transplanted. These ones truly represent the “dry bones” which need the breath of Elohim to be resuscitated, let alone be restored to their Israelite identity.
True to the promises to their forefathers, YHVH sent a Savior and Deliverer – a Messiah who is raising the tribes and is putting new life into them. This recovery actually started two thousand years ago in the form of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, over the centuries very few have known that this process was taking place. Only after the House of Judah became a nation in the land of Israel, did Ephraim begin to wake up to his true identity. Even though Rimona and I have had this understanding (since 1980) of the history of the Word of Elohim along with the mystery of the blindness of Israel, we too only began to write and talk about it more openly in 1996.
Around 2000, the idea of Ephraim’s national identity started to formulate in our hearts. By 2015, we felt the Spirit’s prompting to step out, like our Jewish brethren in Basel Switzerland, and organize a National Congress for the purpose of reconstituting our national identity as B’ney Yoseph. After about six months of talking to others, deliberating, and discussing the when, where, how, and why, we took some of the impetus from the previous year’s “United to Restore” Succot March (2014) and went forward, launching into the waters. The plan was set for Shavuot 2015. We had no idea what was going to happen, as we had no prior experience doing anything remotely like this. However, we can in no way take credit for what the Spirit of the Elohim of Israel did and is continuing to do in regards to fulfilling His prophetic words to restore our Israelite identity. National identity, by definition, is connected to land with borders (which in this case were already determined by YHVH), the usage of the same language, a national government, national institutes, culture, and more. Although these points were not established or founded in our national congresses, still a foundation for what is yet to come has hopefully been laid in the hearts. I believe most who came to one or more of these gatherings experienced a very special Presence of the Spirit of YHVH. It was as though Abba was giving His approval of these events.
In all three congresses, we desired first and foremost to worship together, honor our King, connect to each other, build relationships, receive inspiration by interacting with each other, discuss practical issues, and allow every single participant to express themselves if they so choose. We believe that by the grace of Elohim, to a certain degree, all of these objectives were met.
We remain extremely thankful to our Redeemer King for leading us along His restoration pathway and we hope to see in the future more evidence of His Spirit bringing about the reconstitution of B’ney Yoseph’s national identity until He brings all of us back to our territory.