Interview With A Dead Rabbi
by Christine Egbert
I have titled this article, “Interview With A Dead Rabbi” because its content has been gleaned from an interview the late Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter gave back in the early 1990s. You can listen to this rabbi’s amazing testimony by going to: http://jerusalemcouncil.org/simcha/historyI.mp3
How It All Started
Orthodox Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter spent three years of his life in Miami, FL, trying to defeat the name of Yeshua. But in the end, that name defeated him. “But I shouldn’t use the word defeat,” Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter said, in an interview he gave back in the early 1990s, “because it was really a victory. But the victory I set out to achieve turns out to not be the victory I won. In the end, after studying all the prophecies fulfilled in Yeshua, I discovered that the orthodox Jewish world, especially the ultra orthodox Jewish world, the rabbinical world, knows the secret of Yeshua. They know Him! They know His Name. They know He is the Messiah. They know He is the only bridge between the Jewish nation and God, and that since the temple no longer stands and the presence of God no longer inhabits that holy house, and because that holy house–the 3rd house–is not yet standing, every Jew who keeps the commandments knows we must look to the Messiah.”
According to Rabbi Pearlmutter, by 70 CE there were already between 75,000 and 125,000 Jewish believers in Jerusalem alone. These figures, he says, have been verified by the first century historian Flavius Josephus, as well as the modern day historian at Hebrew University, Professor David Flusser, (who was born in 1917, and passed away in 2,000).
First century Rabbis, according to Rabbi Pearlmutter, wrote the name of Yeshua, his atoning acts, and acts of healing, into both the Orthodox Jewish Daily Prayer Book and the Prayer Book for Rosh Hashanah.
“We find these prayers,” he says, “between the first set of shofar sounds and the second set of sounds.” The English translation of the Hebrew prayer reads, according to Rabbi Pearlmutter, “May it be the desire before You that the blowing of the toshvat that we are sounding will be interwoven into the fabric of heaven by the hand of the monitor Takiel (one of the angelic hosts) as the name which you received by the hand of Elijah of blessed memory and Yeshua (spelled Yod, Shin, Vav, Eyn), Sar ha Panim, the Prince of the Face of the Lord God. Blessed are you, the possessor of the mercies.”
“The next prayer,” the rabbi said, “after blowing the third set of shofar sounds, tells us what Yeshua’s function is. It tells us that the name Yeshua, which we just recited, should ascend before Your throne of glory, and that this Name should recommend good on our behalf, and atone for all our sins. In other words,” Rabbi Pearlmutter explained, “the name of Yeshua is invoked at the time of the blowing of the shofars in order to atone for all our sins.”
Rabbi Pearlmutter then goes on to assure his interviewer that while he has given her only this one prayer, dozens like it have been included in the orthodox Jewish prayer book, put there not by gentile Christians but by orthodox rabbis some two thousand years ago. “And they remain in our prayerbooks,” he insisted, “for our benefit, so that we can invoke the name of Yeshua.”
It was this prayer that brought Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter to Yeshua. “When I was finally by myself,” he said, “in my office in Miami, I cried out to Yeshua, ‘Lord, I can’t fight you anymore. Either I must throw out the entire orthodox Jewish faith that I was born into, or I must accept You as given to me by our ancient rabbis, and as confirmed by our Holy Scriptures.”
Rabbi Pearlmutter went on to say that once he cried out to God, and he realized there was no other atoner for his sins except the Messiah Yeshua, a tremendously important thing happened. No Christians had talked to him about this. He said, “I had never opened even one page of the Brit Hadasha (the New Testament). I had only spoken to orthodox rabbis. And I had only been gently guided by them to these passages, which made it so clear to me, and they told me very clearly, ‘Yes, we all see and know the name of the Messiah. The question is this: Is this the right time to bring out His Name?’ Their answer was no, and they were right,” Rabbi Pearlmutter went on to explain. “We can only know it’s the right time to bring out His name when the prophecies about His return begin happening. If they are not yet happening, we run the risk of a great danger, because that name could be grabbed up by the gentile world and used against us, to kill us, as the name Jesus was used against us for 2,000 years.”
Then Rabbi Pearlman went on to explain what he saw as God’s mandate for Jewish believers in Yeshua at this present time. “Now,” Pearlmutter said, “is the day for our return to the land. When God filled me with His joy, I began spontaneously praising him as I never had before. “‘How can I thank you enough?’”I asked Him. “How can I do something for You?” And I heard Him answer: “I have made you clean before My Father in heaven. Now please make Me clean before My people. Cleanse My name before My people.”
“I will,” he replied, “but I need Your help to be able to take You out from this prison You are bound in, and from the pagan-ness that holds You back. I will bring You out of the diaspora, into the synagogue, and into Your Land.”
Rabbi Simcha Perlmutter then went on to explain that it was in 1962 that he made this life-changing commitment to God. So in 1966, he and his family left the U.S. and moved to Israel. They remained in Jerusalem for one year. Then in 1967, the Rabbi heard the Lord tell him to go into the desert. From there, the desert in Israel, Pearlmutter was to call out, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” So the Pearlmutters packed up all their belonging and left Jerusalem. In later years the scripture which says, “The voice of one who cries in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord” became very personal to Rabbi Pearlmutter.
When they arrived in 1967, there was only one road into the dessert, the Arivah, which is the Hebrew word for dessert. After the Six-Day-War, which Perlmutter and his family lived through there in the dessert, the Arivah was finally completed. Today it’s the main highway that runs from northern Israel to the southernmost point in Alot, from Egypt all the way to Syria. But at that time, in the desert there was no traffic, no electricity, no running water. No sounds of civilization or even nature could be heard, not even of birds.
In 1967, when the two trucks the rabbi had hired to move them suddenly stopped, Rabbi Pearlmutter began what he calls “his 25 year odyssey in the desert.” One of the drivers declared that the rabbi was crazy and that they would not drive one inch further. Then they tossed out all the Pearlmutters’ belonging and left. So the rabbi and his family pitched their tents, right where they stood, then went to look for a water supply. And the Lord led them to a crack in a rock, from which water, sweet water they could drink, flowed contentiously. It brought to mind one of the prophecies about Messianic times, a time when water would burst forth from the ground. Another Messianic prophecy was about uncovering ancient cities which would happen before the Messiah returned. At the time of Rabbi Perlmutter’s interview, in the early 1990s, he declared that he had already lived long enough to see both of these prophecies come to pass.
ODDESY YEARS IN THE DESERT
For many, many years everyone thought Rabbi Pearlmutter was insane. They called him the crazy Rabbi in the Arivah. “But today,” Rabbi Pearlmutter said in this incredible interview, “orthodox rabbis are coming down by multiplied numbers on a regular basis, in order to be reconciled to Yeshua. In the dessert, they speak about Yeshua openly. They come here to learn about Yeshua. Many of those orthodox rabbis have begged, ‘Simcha take me to the waters that have broken lose and let me go into those waters that I may be healed. Bless me in the name of Yeshua.’”
Rabbi Pearlmutter went on to say something that my pastor, Matthew Miller of the Vineyard, frequently points out. “Unless you act at the time the Lord tells you to act, you will miss the opportunity.” Had Pearlmutter not moved to Israel and into the dessert, when he did, had he waited a few more years, all the land in the desert that he acquired through his obedience to God’s timing—a 35,000 acre land lease—would never have been made available to him.
When the rabbi and his family arrived in the dessert, it was a no-man’s-land. And the very day after he and his people were literally dumped there, an Israeli military helicopter landed near by. General Shayke Gavish, who was in charge of the Southern Command, and General Ezra Weizmann, who was in charge of the Air Force, along with a host of army officers approached him. They asked Pearlmutter, “What are you doing here with this group of people?”
The rabbi answered, “We’ve come home. We’ve come from the diaspora. We are Jews who believe in Yeshua Ha Machiach. We believe in the Holy Torah of the Lord God, and we have come here to settle this land and never more to be plucked out of it.”
At this reply, Rabbi Perlmutter recalls General Shayke Gavish scratching his head. But at the end of an hour and a half of listening to the rabbi speak, they realized that Rabbi Perlmutter was serious. “Well, you know this is a military zone that you are camping in,” General Shayke Gavish told him, “I control this area. Do you know that?”
“Well, I do now, General,” the rabbi replied.
“Then let me tell you this. If you’re crazy enough, and your belief in Yeshua Ha Machiah is strong enough to make you come to this godforsaken dessert, this long Jordanian border, the longest in Israel, and very hostile, to be eyes and ears for me on this border, then I’m going to be just as crazy as you. I’ll support you. I’ll back you. And even though I don’t believe as you do, in Yeshua, I will honer your belief in Him by supporting your right to settle here as good Jews.”
Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter was amazed that the General said he would protect their right to be there under the military, rights which were later formalized through the Israeli government. It was interesting because, General Ezra Weizmann, who was with him at that time, said, “You know Shayke is very generous, but I am not. But in 10 years, if you are still here, and not just some fly-by-night, I will help you. But remember, ten years must pass.”
“Well this was very interesting,” the rabbi went on to say, “because in this country, when you make a statement, you vow before God, wether you want to or not, you vow before God. And Ezra Weizmann made a vow before God that day. That was in 1967, and exactly ten years later, the Labor Party left power and the Likud Party took over with Menachum Begin. At that time, Ezra Weizmann was connected with Menachem Begin, and became a minister in his new government. And the very day after the election, in May of 1977, 10 years after our discussion, Ezra Weizmann sent a car, a big black Limousine, down into the dessert.
“Where is Simca Perlmutter?” the driver asked.
“Here I am,” the Rabbi answered.
“Do you remember Ezra Weizmann?”
“Yes sir! I do.”
“Well, he has not forgotten you either,” the driver said, “nor has he forgotten the promise he made to you. If you will go to see him tomorrow, he will arrange for a full recognition from the new government for your settlement here.”
Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter went to see Weizmann the next day. Weizmann passed him on to General Ariel Sharon, who at the time headed up the Inter Ministerial Settlement Committee, and Sharon told him, “Yes! You will have the settlement as your own. It’s official.”
“So you see,” Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter concluded, “Sharon officially pronounced it, and now we have the settlement. Why? Because when you walk in faith (and obedience) even heads of governments will come to you.”
Orthodox Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter came to know and love Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, through prayers in his Jewish prayer book, prayers that were composed some two thousand years ago by Jewish sages. Pearlmutter passed away in 1999, but death holds no sting for this remarkable believer. When the last shofar sounds and Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, returns, Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter will be among those who Scripture tells us will rise first in their glorified bodies, and he will enter the Kingdom.