You know, there’s certain special interest groups that do what can only be described as “re-inventing”. What it stems from is two things – ignorance, and honest intentions (sometimes).
I say sometimes because there’s groups out there, the Pan-Africa groups who I’ve only dealt with once or twice at the requests of a friend, who are determined to invent something completely from scratch for dishonest reasons (usually the establishing of control, power, and importance).
The first step to re-invent is to redo Hebrew. Forget the fact that people have been speaking Hebrew for over 6,000 years – let’s introduce our own way of speaking it. After all, we’re so much smarter than the people who’ve been speaking it!
Let’s make sure we put a W in Hebrew, because there’s never been one. And we’re SO SURE that the people who’ve been speaking it for thousands of years are wrong. So, W it is. You know, like the well popularized “Tohu Wabohu” Everyone talks about in Genesis. Except there’s no “Wabohu” in Hebrew. It’s V’bohu. Huh.
Let’s make sure we add a TH sound to it too, because Hebrew never had that. But if we don’t write Bereshit as Brayeshith, then people will lose their salvation! Literally, by the time they’re done with it, I (who know a lot of Hebrew) have literally no idea what they’re trying to say. Like “Elder Rawchaa”. WHAT his name means I have no idea, because it’s… not Hebrew. I don’t know what other language it is.
Now, let’s add the Law. But we don’t like the Law, so we’re going to make the law demanding on OTHER BELIEVERS, but not on us. Things that are reserved for the High priest – that’s for us. But not you.
Things that are reserved for Levites – that’s for us, but not you. Except for the restrictions on Levites and the High Priest, like the “can’t own land” prohibition. That’s not for us, nor for you, unless I can talk you into giving me your land.
Now we have to invent our own clothes. Like the guys I saw following me one day who had turbans on, men’s button down shirts, and long skirts.
Along with the sartorial error of black dress socks and sandals. That’s an unforgiveable sin if ever I saw one!
Really should have been wearing a red rubber ball on their noses, too – but then my dread fear of clowns would have kicked in.
So, this is not limited to pan-African groups – it’s prevalent in cults, too. Messianics among the worst offenders. One man in the United States who did more to popularize the Messianic Jewish Movement than anyone else – a former Assembly of God minister – attempted redefining and reinventing almost everything about Judaism – to the point where his followers were putting HIS choice of Mezuza parchments (printed by him) in HIS laminated plastic sleeves and putting them on their doorways, instead of regularly available Mezuzot. But then you see, he wouldn’t have made any money from it.
Or the Tallis katan, worn under the clothes. He decided it was the tsitsis that were the commandment (correct), so he made – and sold – special tsitsit fringe that you just looped around your blue jeans belt loops, instead of a Tallis.
And he made – and sold – his own Tallisim, made by his mother, from cheap fabric and elmers’ glue, and the ladies ones (!) had glitter on them. THey cost $25. or $65 for a full size one. REgularly commercially available ones were discouraged.
This man, before he died, repented of the whole Messianic thing, and actually began to campaign against it. There is a way out of cultdom, and it can happen to anyone.
If you’re caught up in some group where everything is based upon someone’s re-interpretation of the Bible – run.
And you’ll save your souls, and probably a lot of money too.