“Thus said the lord of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold—they will take hold of every Yehudi by a corner of his cloak and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that Hashem is with you.”” Zechariah 8:23 (The Israel Bible™)
For the first time in 2000 years, non-Jews around the world are expressing a desire to connect with Torah, the Land of Israel, the God of Israel and the Jewish people. Author Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler in her book Ten From The Nations: Torah Awakening Among Non-Jews pioneers a look inside this phenomenon of a Torah awakening among current and former Christians.
Adler, New York native and immigrant to Israel, began writing for Breaking Israel News (BIN) in 2014 when she started noticing a trend of non-Jewish ‘Torah awakening’ in 2015. “Once I started writing articles, some of the readers contacted me, wanting to meet me in Israel. They would tell me how they became connected to Israel, how they learn Hebrew, observe Shabbat on the same day as the Jewish people, keep the Biblical festivals and even study the parsha (Torah portion of the week) – I was shocked they even knew that word,” Adler exclaimed. “I had never met non-Jews familiar with these concepts – I thought they were Jewish things,” she told Breaking Israel News. “We are in a unique part of history in which, for the first time, Christians have great interest in what the Jewish people have to say.”
Interested in exploring the topic further and sharing her findings with others, in April 2017, Adler began compiling and writing the book and by October, the book was finished, a speed at which Adler calls “a testament to the great number of Christians and Jews of all kinds who were willing to share their stories about this phenomenon.”
This phenomenon, Adler found, is not only fascinating but also prophetic. Zechariah prophesies about the Geula (Redemption), when many nations will look to the people of Israel to learn more about the God of Israel. “That’s what we are seeing right now,” said Adler.
But non-Jews are not the only ones learning because of the stories told in the book. Explained Adler, “I used to think that the Torah was the exclusive property of the Jewish people, that to be a ‘light unto the nations’ is for Jews come to Israel, create a perfect society based on Torah principles and the nations would admire it from afar and mirror.”
However, through the process of meeting non-Jews, Adler found that being a light unto the nations not only means receiving, keeping and developing God’s instructions but also teaching the universal messages of the Torah – its light – to the world. Adler maintains that she is not alone in misunderstanding what it means to be a light unto the nations, making Adler’s book a perspective-changing must-read.
The reaction of Christians, said Adler, has been overwhelmingly positive – and this shows in the 4.8/5 stars ranking the book has on Amazon, with reviews coming from people who had previously thought they were all alone in their interest in the Hebrew Bible as the roots of their own faith, only to learn that they are actually part of a worldwide movement.
“Some have been ostracized, made to leave their original congregation of worship or even break ties with friends and family because of what they believed to be true,” related Adler. “Even if they are still a minority among Christians (Adler estimates that they represent about 22 million people), knowing that there is a Jewish person willing to talk with them, answer their questions, engage with them and meet them in Israel has given them comfort.”
“From a Christian perspective the number learning Torah is a small minority, but from a Jewish perspective of building bridges and welcoming and teaching the nations who are interested in being taught by Jews, it’s a huge number of people to work with and I hope that Christians will see this growing number of Jews who are willing to receive and teach them and encourage them when they are spiritually lonely.”
Pastor Pete Rambo, who refers to himself as a part of B’nei Efraim (children of Efraim, or Efraimites), called the book “paradigm rattling” and encouraged reading and wrestling with the contents of the book. He applauded Adler for “courageously daring to become the lightning rod around which an amazing conversation is taking place.” Rambo’s story appears on pages 192-197 of the book, where he shares his journey to clean eating, keeping the Sabbath and the Biblical feasts.
He says of the book, “Over the last 30 to 40 years a quiet revolution has begun within both Christendom and Judaism that is beginning to be felt very publicly and Adler’s important work, Ten From the Nations, begins to chart the breadth, width and depth of this revolution. Like an iceberg, with 90 percent of its mass hidden under the waters, a Torah Awakening has been happening across the globe. Christians are quietly waking, as if from deep slumber, to the continued relevance of the Torah, the five books of Moses and the contained Instructions in Righteousness.”
He continues, “Both Jews and Christians are seeing this growing, even accelerating, shift and grappling with its significance. Interestingly, most Christians are unaware that this is a direct fulfillment of multiple prophecies. Dr. Adler, wisely, does not try to steer or comment on what is happening so much as collect stories to explore and reveal the width and breadth of this prophetic shift.”
Nevertheless, some Christians have had a negative reaction, believing that Adler is attempting to convert them to Judaism. Adler is clear and adamant that she is not interested in doing so in the slightest. She begins the book with a disclaimer: “The contributors to this book represent a wide range of theological positions. As a result, there are chapters in this volume that have the potential to make some Jews and some people from the Nations uncomfortable. If you’re willing to read about the spiritual stories of people with whom you don’t agree theologically, you’ll find that this book is groundbreaking.”
The majority of Jews who read the book are intrigued by the concept, although some maintain that breaking the historic boundaries between the Jewish and Christian people is dangerous. “Those people are a minority but are very vocal and active on social media,” Adler explains, noting that the Jewish people historically (and for good reason) have a generally defensive attitude about Christians in particular.
“I wanted to show them that not all Christians can be painted with the same brush – there are nuances among the nations and not all Christians have an agenda to convert us or are anti-Semitic. There are genuine lovers of the Jewish people and Torah and they are simply trying their best to follow God’s word as best they can, even at great personal costs.”
In addition, by showing that Biblical prophecy is alive today, Adler hopes that “more Jews will represent and share Torah with those coming with open hearts to hear about it from the Jewish people.” She continued, “This is God bringing the whole world in alignment with his Torah and we are only seeing the beginning stages of it.”