Hebrew Voices #18 – From Islam to Israel (Rebroadcast)

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, From Islam to Israel, Nehemia Gordon engages with the unique voice of Shamir Barnett—a living example of those who say, “We have heard that God is with you.” Raised Muslim, Barnett first heard the God of Israel speak to her heart as a young child standing in her bedroom doorway. This 7th-grade graduate is now studying for her second Master’s Degree in biblical studies—this time from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. Barnett describes herself as a believer in Yeshua with a Hebrew roots understanding. She explains her disconnect from the culture of Christianity because it does not honor the Sabbath of the feasts of Yehovah.

Barnett and Gordon discuss supersessionism (replacement theology), the institutionalization of the mind (which temporarily halted her education in 7th grade), and the irrevocability of words. Barnett compared the Beatitudes with the Commandments, and expounded on her view that every page of the New Testament is about the Tanakh and that the Torah is the backbone of the Bible.

Barnett’s thesis for her first master’s in biblical studies (from Regent University) was “God doesn’t have two communities.” Barnett explains, “God has one community and it is Israel.  There is no other community. There is no other group. If you follow Yehovah, you come to Israel, you stand at Sinai, and you say, ‘I do.’”

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Hebrew Voices #18 - From Islam to Israel

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Le ma’an Zion lo ekhesheh, u’l’ma’an Yerushalayim lo eshkot. (For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest. Isaiah 62:1)

Nehemia: Shalom, this is Nehemia Gordon with Hebrew Voices. I am here at the most beautiful spot in Jerusalem. It's overlooking the Old City and the new city. It's just a beautiful place, we call it in Hebrew “ha Tayelet,” in English, “the Promenade.” I am here with Shamir, who I don't even know how to describe. You've got such an interesting story. She's half Native American. She's studying for a master's degree at Bar Ilan University in Israel, the second-best university in Israel. The best one is where I went, Hebrew University. I am not biased. Well, maybe a little.

Shamir, you just have an amazing story. You describe yourself as a believer in Yeshua who obeys the Torah. But you're here at Bar Ilan University, which is actually an Orthodox university. That's what got my interest, like, “Wait, this person who believes in Yeshua is studying a Bar Ilan?” And studying Biblical studies, of all things. If you told me you were studying medicine there, I would understand, but... this is an amazing combination here, an amazing story. This is exactly what we want to share on Hebrew Voices, these kinds of stories. Shalom, Shamir.

Shamir: Shalom.

Nehemia: And you are from the US. You told me you're from the Boston area.

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: And you’ve just got an amazing story. Let's just jump right in. Tell us about yourself.

Shamir: Okay. I grew up in the greater Boston area and Cape Cod, also.

Nehemia: Are you a Kennedy? Is that Cape Cod or is that…?

Shamir: Yeah, Hyannis. No, no, Martha's Vineyard, or something like that. I don’t know what to say.

Nehemia: Talk, whatever. I'll ask you some questions.

Shamir: That’ll help.

Nehemia: So, you told me that you grew up Muslim. Tell me about that.

Shamir: Yes, it was horrible. It's kind of like everything you hear about how women are treated.

Nehemia: Wait, did you have the thing where you covered your head and everything?

Shamir: No, no, no, it was just like I was less than everybody else. I had a brother, so he was kind of like the promised son and we were treated very, very differently. He was very favored. It didn't really help him a lot in life, but you know...

Nehemia: I don't know if that's something unique to Islam…

Shamir: …not so nicely.

Nehemia: …because my father used to tell my sisters, you know, “This is Nehemia, the son I always prayed for.” But that was a “him” thing. But okay, you were treated like you feel like less than the males.

Shamir: I definitely was, and I was told that. I was told that.

Nehemia: You were actually told that?

Shamir: Yeah, that I was not good enough and they wished that I had been a boy...

Nehemia: Oh no. And Shamir, I think a lot of Israelis would think, is a Hebrew name.

Shamir: Yeah

Nehemia: It actually is a Hebrew name.

Shamir: Yes, it is.

Nehemia: How did you, growing up as a Muslim, get a Hebrew name?

Shamir: I just think it shows God's sense of humor. It's my given name. It's actually not the name I went by. You know, in the ‘80s you didn't really have to do things officially, so they just changed it.

Nehemia: What name did you use, if you want to share?

Shamir: It was Najala. Ramza was my Muslim name.

Nehemia: Wow. What does Najala mean? Ala is obviously “Allah.”

Shamir: Beautiful eyes.

Nehemia: Oh, but is Najala, is that beautiful of Allah or something? My Arabic is horrendous.

Shamir: I understood it as beautiful eyes, but it never stuck with me.

Nehemia: Shamir means dill, like the spice.

Shamir: Yeah, but it's also in the Tanakh.

Nehemia: Right, and what does it mean in the Tanakh?

Shamir: From what I understand, it's actually a stone, a tool that was used to cut stones for the Tabernacle.

Nehemia: Maybe that's what they taught you at Bar Ilan University. Wait a minute, so Shamir, in the Tanakh there's the phrase “shayit veshamir,” and so, it basically means thorn and thistle. And it's not clear which one’s the thorn and which one is a thistle. And I have a slight lisp for those who don't know. So, thorn and thistle, wow, that's a tough phrase.

But then, in Rabbinical legend, there's the Shamir that we're told that Solomon used to cut the stones, because it says, “No metal was heard.” And that goes back to the commandment of not using a sword or any metal implement upon the altar. And most commentators understand that to mean that yes, the stones were cut, but they were cut out at the quarry outside of the Temple area. But the Rabbis come along and say, “No, it was some type of a worm, perhaps, a mystical magical worm. And Solomon actually learned how to use it from a demon.” Long story, it's in the Prophet Pearls. Go listen to the second series I did with Keith Johnson on the Prophet Pearls. I think that was actually the episode where we decided we weren't going to record with Keith in China anymore, because we got disconnected seven times or something like that. It was horrendous. The editor did an amazing job.

All right, so your name is Shamir, named after the thistle. Are you a thistle of a person, would you say? Or are you more like the spice, the dill?

Shamir: Maybe a little of both.

Nehemia: Okay, and if you could be a flower, which flower... No, this is not that kind of program. All right, so you're growing up Muslim, and as a Muslim you're not actually being taught about Scripture. So, how did you end up as...?

Shamir: No, I didn't know anything. Well, between the ages of five and seven I was just standing in the doorway of my bedroom and I just heard in my heart that there's only one God. And I immediately knew what that meant, and who that was.

Nehemia: What did it mean. Who is it?

Shamir: It's the God of Israel.

Nehemia: Okay, but somebody growing up as a Muslim hearing that could maybe think that that was Allah, right?

Shamir: No, it never occurred to me.

Nehemia: So, how did you know it wasn't Allah? Tell us about that, that's really interesting to me.

Shamir: I don't know how I didn't know.

Nehemia: You just knew.

Shamir: It just never occurred to me that they were the same God.

Nehemia: Oh, wow. That's amazing to me. You know, I had kind of experienced it myself, and we're not here to talk about me. But people have come to me and said, “Well, how do you know that your experience meant what you think it meant? Maybe it means what we think it meant.” And I'm like, “Look, I just know, I can't explain it.” It was something I knew in my heart, and my mind, and my soul.

Shamir: Something supernatural, you know?

Nehemia: Absolutely, yeah. So, you're five or seven or something like that, and you have this revelation, basically. Wow. And so, had you read Scripture, like the Tanakh or the New Testament or anything?

Shamir: No, I didn't have a Bible or anything, not until I was 17.

Nehemia: You didn't own a Bible?

Shamir: No. I didn't have anything, just the Lord speaking to my heart, and even after that.

Nehemia: So, how did you know to look at the Bible? Okay, so you knew this had nothing to do with the Quran, would you say that's fair?

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: Okay, you knew it was the God of Scripture.

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: Wow. How did you know, or you just knew?

Shamir: I just knew.

Nehemia: Wow.

Shamir: It's just God revealing it to your heart, you know?

Nehemia: That's amazing.

Shamir: He wants to know us. He wants us to know Him.

Nehemia: So, how did you go from growing up as a Muslim to... You told me like when you were 17, then you got a Bible, so tell us about that.

Shamir: Because I was 17, and the law of Massachusetts is that you can't live by yourself, so I ended up in a foster home.

Nehemia: Oh, no.

Shamir: The foster home was a terrible experience. But I did get a Bible finally, so I started to read that.

Nehemia: So, at 17 it’s the first time you've ever read the Bible?

Shamir: 17 is the first time I've ever read it.

Nehemia: But for something like 10 years, you knew the God of the Bible was the true God?

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: That's an amazing story, all right. And we forgot to mention, so you're studying at Bar Ilan University, and here's what was amazing to me. You actually ran into Keith on the street.

Shamir: Yeah, at the Kotel.

Nehemia: Oh, it was at the Kotel.

Shamir: Yeah.

Nehemia: What's really shocking about this story is that you recognized Keith. Keith is not supposed to be recognized in the street, but he was. You know, he's been on television. He's very famous, and people are recognizing him now. So, you recognized Keith, and then Keith writes to me and says, “There's this woman, Shamir, and she's trying to friend you on Facebook.” And I get like 20 friend requests... Actually, I probably get about 50 a week, and there's only a limited number of people they let you friend. But Keith made the request.

And I was looking at your page, and I'm like, “Wait, she's studying Hebrew at Bar Ilan University?” You're studying Bible, you can't study Bible at Bar Ilan unless you have some really good Hebrew. That's really unusual. How many people at Bar Ilan University in the Bible department, at least at Bar Ilan, that you know are not Jewish?

Shamir: Actually, quite a few.

Nehemia: Really?

Shamir: Actually, half my class is from, like, Asia.

Nehemia: Okay. How many are Americans who aren't Jewish?

Shamir: I think I know about five people.

Nehemia: Oh, wow. All right, so it's not as unique as I thought.

Shamir: No, there are more people.

Nehemia: All right, but it's still a pretty unusual thing. Especially, as I mentioned, Bar Ilan is, I think, one of only two Orthodox Jewish universities in the world, as far as I know. There's Bar Ilan University and there's Yeshiva University. Hebrew University is not Orthodox whatsoever. In fact, Hebrew University is a very secular University. And especially, to learn Bible at an Orthodox university, that's very interesting. So, you're saying a lot are from Asia. Tell us about that, that's interesting. Where in Asia?

Shamir: Some are from Korea, China, and I know one woman is from Taiwan.

Nehemia: Wow, yeah. So, when I studied at Hebrew University, we had a bunch from South Korea. They usually came there and they would be working on their doctorates. I didn't know Bar Ilan was also open to that. That's very interesting. Okay, very cool. So, tell us about, you told me you have a BA in music…

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: …from a place in Florida, and then your master's degree. Your first master's degree you got at Regent University in Virginia in Biblical studies. And I think by the time this is broadcast, because we're prerecording this, you will already have, or you'll be soon having your second master's degree in Biblical studies from Bar Ilan University. Which was a more difficult process, the Bar Ilan University or Regent University?

Shamir: I think they're both equal in their challenges.

Nehemia: Okay, a very diplomatic answer. And then, by the time this is broadcast I think you'll probably already be working on your PhD…

Shamir: Yeah, hopefully.

Nehemia: … in Biblical Studies at Bar Ilan.

Nehemia: Wow, that's amazing. Let me ask you this. So, we were talking and you described yourself as a believer in Yeshua who obeys Torah. How many people of that description, would you say, are studying at Bar Ilan University in any department?

Shamir: I'm the only one there.

Nehemia: So, would you say the Koreans, and the Chinese, and maybe the Taiwanese, they're probably Christians?

Shamir: Yeah, they are.

Nehemia: And you're not comfortable with the description, “Christian.”

Shamir: I don't think it describes me.

Nehemia: We were talking before about your feelings about Christianity, and you made this really radical statement. And look, we have Christians who listen to this broadcast, and I want to encourage them. And obviously, there are Jews listening to this broadcast and saying, “Wait. She believes in Yeshua, she is a Christian. What's the difference?” And, of course, there are people who are in the Hebrew Roots messianic movements, and they'll hear this and say, “No, Christianity has nothing to do with Yeshua.” So, there's people coming from different perspectives.

I want you to explain from your perspective, what it means. And I wrote down some things you said before that I'm going to call you on. You said, “Christianity doesn't connect you to the Bible.” Those were your words.

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: Preach, sister.

Shamir: The reason I said that is because there's nothing...

Nehemia: And you were in the church when you left at 17, right?

Shamir: Yeah.

Nehemia: Okay, and when did you leave the church? How old were you?

Shamir: I didn't really leave. We just kind of all faded out, because we started to move towards the Hebrew roots understanding.

Nehemia: And your step-parents, if we can call them that, sorry, your adoptive parents, they were actually the Pastors of this church. And so, you and your adoptive parents are moving out of the church, at some point, to the Hebrew roots understanding. About how long was that after? So, at 17 you get in. About what age were you when that happened, approximately?

Shamir: When I was really, really there, I was almost 20, because I had moved to a different foster home. It was like an hour away and so I had some balagan there.

Nehemia: That means a big mess in Hebrew. See, she's speaking Hebrew to us.

Shamir: But after I moved back... So, it was probably like seven years, or six years or something. And I do say my parents were great, and they were Bible-based. But it's just kind of the structure of Christianity that's the problem.

Nehemia: So, you're six or seven years in the church...

And by the way, the sounds of the birds that you're hearing, I'm assuming we can't edit those out, and we probably shouldn't. So, we're out here at the Tayelet, it's just such a beautiful place. I'm just awestruck. Every time I look out here on the horizon.

Shamir: It really is gorgeous.

Nehemia: If you ever come to Jerusalem, insist to your tour guide or whoever, that you need to get to the Tayelet, the Promenade, a beautiful place.

All right, so you're six or seven years in the church, but then you make this radical statement, “Christianity doesn't connect you to the Bible.” What...?

Shamir: Because I felt disconnected. And I told you that I asked a friend one time if she ever felt disconnected, like, this disconnect. You know, here's this world, but I have no way to really relate to it.

Nehemia: The world of the Bible, you mean?

Shamir: Yeah.

Nehemia: Okay.

Shamir: Because Christianity has its own calendar. It has its own thing, and then it incorporates the Bible, but then you're not really... mean, some things you are doing, like praying or reading, but the whole culture, you know, we're not honoring the Sabbath, we're not honoring the feasts of Yehovah, you know?

Nehemia: Okay.

Shamir: So, that does bring a disconnect. Christmas and Easter doesn't bring you closer to God, it's just a foreign holiday.

Nehemia: Yeah, and you didn't grow up with celebrating Christmas or Easter, right?

Shamir: No, so I didn't know anything about the holidays.

Nehemia: Okay, so you're coming to it in the Church when you're around the age of 20 or something, maybe 17, and you're encountering these. And what's your response?

Shamir: Well, with Christmas, you know, people told me it was the birth of the Messiah. And then they told me, “Well, it wasn't really his birth,” and it was just kind of like, “Well, which one is it? Is it not…” And the world celebrates it and says one thing, it's for Santa, and then Christians celebrate it and say it's another, but it's nowhere in the Bible. It’s not in the Bible. Nobody was putting up a Christmas tree, you know?

Nehemia: Well, there's a movie that came out this past year, and I haven't seen it yet, I'll be honest, with Kirk Cameron. And I saw one of the excerpts where he talks about apparently, how the Christmas tree is made of wood, and therefore it reminds him of the cross. Does that mean anything to you? I don't know. Kirk Cameron, whatever.

Shamir: No, it means nothing to me.

Nehemia: I think even Christians were like, “What are you talking about, Kirk? Like, we enjoy celebrating this, but let's not just say stupid stuff.” I think that was a response from even a lot of Christians.

Shamir: Two of the things that bug me is like when people pull out the Christmas story, during Christmas time, I’m like, “It's not the Christmas story. Yeshua was born in the fall.” And even if you don't want to agree with that, we can at least agree that if Yehovah sends the Messiah, it's gonna be His calendar. He's not gonna do it on the Christian calendar. He's not gonna go running to the Christian side and say, “Okay, let me arrange everything so that it fits,” you know?

Nehemia: He's not gonna do it on the Roman calendar, who were the persecutors of Yeshua's people?

Shamir: Of everybody...

Nehemia: Okay, all right. And you made this other statement. I’m quoting, you said, “You have to obey His commandments,” and then you said, I love this statement, I'm gonna steal this. You said, “Torah is the backbone of the Bible.” And then you said, “Every page of the New Testament is about the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament.” Talk about that.

Shamir: Yeah, because I mean, if you really understand the Tanakh... And we say "Paul,” but it's really Rabbi Shaul, he was a Rabbi, he wasn't a Roman Catholic Priest, do you know what I mean?

Nehemia: Wait a minute, wasn't Paul the second Pope? Wait, correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't that what Catholics say? That Peter was the first Pope and Paul was the second? Is that not true?

Shamir: They've forgotten to read their Bible, I guess.

Nehemia: All right.

Shamir: Yeah, but I mean, if you don't understand the Old Testament, you're not gonna understand the New Testament. And a lot of the Scriptures and references that they make are from the Old Testament.

Nehemia: I gotta stop you here. We're sitting here at this place, the Tayelet, and we're recording this, and people are going by in these... I don't know, what are these called, these things?

Shamir: I forgot.

Nehemia: It's this thing where you stand up and it moves. A Segway, it even says it.

Shamir: A Segway.

Nehemia: We've got a whole troupe of Segway people. Only in Israel does this happen. Wow, there's like a whole procession. I think this might be the liberation of Jerusalem by the Segway patrol. We're actually sitting in front of the UN headquarters, and the Segway patrol has come to drive the UN off of this mountain and restore it for the people of Israel.

Shamir: You guys are having all the fun.

Nehemia: Yeah, I don’t think that’s what… I think these are just tourists. I'm gonna pause this. Okay, and I think that's a really interesting statement you make about the Torah being the backbone of Scripture. And, of course, you know, I'm a Karaite Jew, I'm not Messianic, and not Christian. When I say “Scripture” I mean the Tanakh. When you say “Scripture” you mean the Old and New Testament, right?

Shamir: That’s what they meant in the New Testament, when they referred to the Scriptures, that's what they were referring to.

Nehemia: Yeah, they meant the Tanakh. But I think it's really interesting, because I think a lot of Christians... Maybe not all, but a lot of Christians, they’ll describe the Tanakh, or the Torah, as if it's the foundation of their Scripture. But then it's kind of one of those, you know, Biblical foundations that's buried under the ground and you never get to see it. And no, that's not a swipe at Keith's Biblical Foundation Academy. Maybe a little bit.

No, but what I love about Keith is, he came up with that when I took him down to see the Western Wall tunnels, and you see the foundations of the Temple. And now they're buried, but originally those foundations weren't buried. Some of them were, but the part where we were at, with a giant stone, which is something like 570 metric tons, they call it the very big stone. Archaeologists call it that. So, at the time it wasn't buried, and now it's been buried over the generations, and the point is to expose it. But I think a lot of them have this attitude like, “Yeah, the Old Testament. That's the foundation of our belief.”

But it's one of those buried foundations, and the backbone goes up the whole height of a person almost, and you can't ignore it.

Shamir: It’s a lifeline, really.

Nehemia: Right, and you can’t ignore it. Like you look at a person and their backbone is holding them up. They're there, they turn around, you see their backbone and, you know... So, I love that analogy, that you used, the backbone. So, you said three things. I was trying to pin you down. I was trying to put you in a box, and you weren't cooperating. I said, “Shamir, what box can I put you in? Are you the Christian box, the Messianic box, the Hebrew roots box?” And you're defying being put in any box, and I appreciate that. I've got my nice little Karaite box, but then I'm a post-denominational Karaite, and people are like, “What?” That's a different discussion.

So, you said there were three things that for you defined, or differentiated, I guess, your approach versus Christianity. You said, “God's calendar versus Church's time, Christmas and Easter versus the Biblical holidays.” You said, “The Torah and the commandments which have been...” So, talk about that, the second one, the Torah and the commandments. How do you differ from the Christian position on that?

Shamir: Well, mainstream Christianity predominantly rejects the Torah. They say, “It's done away with,” whatever that means. I mean, I don't think you can just use that tiny little phrase to describe... You know, because if you say that it's over, then you're kind of eliminating an entire history. And from what I said, it's 80 percent of our Bible, you know?

Nehemia: Well, they say, “The history’s there. We just don't live in history, we live now in the new…” correct me if I'm wrong, “the new dispensation.” I learned that word from Keith.

Shamir: I don't know what that means, the new dispensation.

Nehemia: Well, “We're in a new chapter. That was the old system, now we've got a new system.” Isn't that what Christianity teaches?

Shamir: Yeah, but, I mean, first you have to understand the priesthood, from our perspective, okay? So, Yeshua is taking that place, but the priesthood isn't gone. It's just, now it's in its rightful place. Yeshua is the high priest, rather than the earthly shadow, if that makes sense.

Nehemia: Well, I understand what it means, it doesn't make sense, though. But go on, it’s fine. It doesn't have to make sense to me, that's fine.

Shamir: That's how I feel, anyway.

Nehemia: No, I think a lot of people understand what you mean.

Shamir: And receiving atonement and things like that.

Nehemia: Okay, so then why keep Shabbat? Isn't Shabbat just a shadow of what was really to be, which was Yeshua, according to your understanding?

Shamir: Yeah, but the commandments are forever.

Nehemia: So, the commandments are still binding, even though they may represent something spiritual, is what you're saying?

Shamir: No, they are what they are. Like I know Christians spiritualize it. I don't even know how to say it, but the commandments are the commandments. Yeshua taught them. His disciples encouraged us to do them. And one thing that's also misunderstood is what they say, like, talk about new converts in the New Testament, and they're like, “Oh okay. Well, they're just told to do these minimal things and that's all you have to do.” But that's what they had to do to even get into the Temple to learn Moshe.

Nehemia: Okay, and you're talking about Acts 15. That's homework, go read Acts 15.

Shamir: They had to abstain from things to be able to enter the Temple to learn. But that wasn't the end...

Nehemia: That was the minimal buy-in.

Shamir: Yeah, that was the minimal buy-in.

Nehemia: Okay, and from there in, then you have to...

Shamir: Then you learn the commandments, you learn what God said.

Nehemia: …hear what's preached every week about Moses, is what you're saying.

Shamir: Exactly.

Nehemia: All right. And then, the third thing you said, “You had the calendar, you had the Torah,” and the third one was really interesting. You threw out this big word and I said, “We're gonna have to explain what that is.” What was the word you threw out?

Shamir: Was it supersessionism?

Nehemia: Supersessionism. See, this is someone who's doing a master’s at Bar Ilan University. We're very impressed with Bar Ilan University. But what does that mean in plain English, for the listeners?

Shamir: It's just the Church saying that it has taken Israel's place. And there's kind of a lot of ideology, like the Christians are gonna get raptured out, and the Jews are gonna stay in Israel and burn until they repent kind of idea. And it's just not so.

Nehemia: So, that's what I think is called in common parlance, "Replacement theology.”

Shamir: Yeah, replacement theology.

Nehemia: Supersessionism. Go Google that. All right, so you don't agree with supersessionism?

Shamir: No, it's ridiculous and it's not Biblical, either.

Nehemia: Okay, so what is the role of the Jewish people today, as you see it? Because you're not Jewish, right?

Shamir: Not that I know of. Well, to come and to return to the land. That's the call. I mean, even Yeshua said that he only came for the lost sheep of Israel and for Israel, to reunite her. So, that's the purpose.

Nehemia: Explain that statement, reunite Israel. What do you mean by that? Because that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Shamir: Well, I mean bringing back Judah, the Jews. And then, also I know there are other tribes. I mean, I don't know how God will work all that together.

Nehemia: Okay. So, do you feel like you coming to the Torah is part of the ingathering of the tribes, is that how you look at it?

Shamir: Yeah, that's how I look at believers returning, yeah. My other issue with the Church is because I see like two separate communities, both claiming the same things. But yet, the Bible is really only talking about one community, and that's Israel. So, something has to change, you know what I mean?

Nehemia: Yeah.

Shamir: Because if you say that Yehovah is your God, then you're gonna follow the commandments, and then you're gonna come unto Israel. You're not gonna run to a separate community. God doesn't have two communities, He doesn't have two people groups, He only has one. Because if you look at Sinai and the Exodus, not everybody was Hebrew. But everybody that came in under the covenant became Israel. They didn't bring their doctrines and their God. You know, they all gathered at Sinai, they came into this covenant, and they said, “I do.”

Nehemia: Wow, I love that. I get two images for this, or two different contexts. One is Isaiah 56, where he talks about “gathering Israel, and gathering others unto those He has gathered.” And, of course, in the New Testament you've got the idea of the one new man. What you don't really have is...

Shamir: Well, the New Testament isn't... I don't agree with that, that that's one new man, because Yeshua said that he came for the lost sheep of Israel. To my understanding, it's the scattered tribes, and so on and so forth, and those who come under. But it's Israel, the community is Israel.

Nehemia: There’s more Segway people. Okay, but my understanding, maybe it's in its historical context, that discussion about the one new man was, you know, don't break off into different groups, because that's not the vision of Isaiah, and that's not the vision of the Prophets of the Old Testament, of the Tanakh, that you're not going to be two different things.

Shamir: Yeah, you're gonna be one...

Nehemia: You're gonna be united.

Shamir: Yeah, united. I mean, there are 38,000 denominations of churches.

Nehemia: Is that what they're up to, 38,000?

Shamir: And the whole idea of like, the churches are gonna unite...But if you think about it, there are different denominations, because they split because they disagreed. Like the Protestants split from the Catholics, and then the Calvinists split from the Protestants, and then the Methodists split. You know, everybody split.

Nehemia: The Methodist is the true church. Keith told me… No.

Shamir: But they all split, because they didn't agree. You know, God doesn't have all these communities. He only has one and that is Israel, whether you like it or not. Too bad if you don't, but this is it.

Nehemia: Amen. I love hearing the different perspectives, and that's what this program is about, Hebrew Voices. People have been listening to me for years, and I really do want them to hear different perspectives. I mean, this is amazing. You're in the land of the Prophets, studying in the Hebrew language at this Orthodox Jewish university, studying the Bible.

Shamir: It is funny.

Nehemia: That in itself is amazing. That's just amazing to me. Now, you mentioned to me, you had this great phrase when we were talking before the program, “the institutionalization of the mind.” You were talking about how you didn't really fit into the framework of…

Shamir: Any institution.

Nehemia: …institutionalization of the mind. Oh, and in the church, you said that as well, that was the context, that you felt like there was this institutionalization of the mind in the church. And I could tell you from my experience in the Synagogue – and here I'll include the Karaite synagogue - is really no different. And I love that, the phrase, “institutionalization of the mind,” when I hear that I think about my favorite movie of all time, “The Shawshank Redemption,” where you've got the librarian. And he finally, after living almost an entire lifetime in prison, he gets out and he can't handle it, because he's institutionalized. Can I even say that word? He's institutionalized, or whatever that word is, and he wants to be back in prison, because he's afraid of freedom.

And I think that's profound, that we have this institutionalization of the mind of people, really, not just in Churches…

Shamir: From the cradle to the grave.

Nehemia: …in Synagogues, but we're talking even like in the secular world. You know, you were talking about evolution. Can you talk about that for a minute?

Shamir: Yeah, I was just saying how even in school it was difficult for me, because I like to think. And one day, I was sitting in class with some kids. This is in seventh grade. It was my last grade I ever completed.

Nehemia: Wait, wait, wait. You've got a master's degree in… Not undergraduate, I don't even know what they call that. You only finished seventh grade?

Shamir: Yeah.

Nehemia: And then I assume you got a GED?

Shamir: Yeah, I got that.

Nehemia: And then from there you were able to go into college. And now, you're working on a doctorate. This is amazing. All right, it just keeps getting more amazing. Go on.

Shamir: I just said to the boy sitting next to me, I said, “This is so ridiculous. I can't believe they're trying to make us think this one way.”

Nehemia: Talking about evolution.

Shamir: Yeah, about the egg and a frog, and I got no response. And I just couldn't understand the kids. They just didn't seem interested in my rantings, or anything.

Nehemia: And you see that as you were employing critical thinking…

Shamir: Yeah.

Nehemia: …whereas in seventh grade, you're just supposed to kind of spit back what the teacher says. The truth is, that’s even in most universities. I think that's true in the undergraduate level, as well.

Shamir: Yeah, it is.

Nehemia: When you get to the graduate level, it's different. Then they want you to disagree with the professor. But I know in my undergraduate, I tried to disagree with some of the professors, especially the so-called “higher criticism of the Torah” kind of thing, that the Torah wasn't really written by Moses, and I would express my difference of opinion.

And basically, I was told at some point, “Look, just learn the stuff and write it on the test. And then afterwards, think whatever you want to think. The purpose here is to show you learned our theories, not to express your theory.” And the master's level, it’s a little different. It's very different.

So, I asked you for your favorite verse in the Tanakh and you said, “It's all so good.” But you had a favorite verse in the New Testament, what's that?

Shamir: “I can do all things through Yeshua, who gives me strength.”

Nehemia: Okay, where's that verse?

Shamir: But I'm not sure if it's from the Old Testament or not. I have to look it up.

Nehemia: Okay. Where's that in the New Testament, remind us?

Shamir: Philippians 4.

Nehemia: Somewhere in one of those Epistles, Google it.

Shamir: Google will never fail you.

Nehemia: Until you're in China, and then Google doesn't exist. All right, by the time this is broadcast, you'll have two MA degrees from two different universities.

Shamir: Yeah, hopefully.

Nehemia: You have one already from Regent University in Virginia. What was your thesis on?

Shamir: On this topic, basically. I wrote about just how God doesn't have two communities. And I actually didn't think that the professor would even accept it, but he did.

Nehemia: Is that a Christian university, Regents?

Shamir: Yeah, that's why I wasn't sure.

Nehemia: Oh, wow. So, you were writing at a Christian university, that there shouldn't be such a thing as Christianity, there should just be one community of God's people. Wow.

Shamir: Yeah, one community, Israel. That’s all there is. If you read the entire Bible, even the New Testament, that's the community. That's it.

Nehemia: And I think some Christians would agree with that. They'd just say the Church is the community, and the Jews are the synagogue of Satan. Isn't that what some Christians would say?

Shamir: Yeah, and I really don't appreciate the Christian view of Jewish believers. Because, you know, maybe they don't believe everything that we do. But I've met some godly people that love Yehovah, and I would never dare say to them that they're less than I am.

Nehemia: You know, it's amazing. If you would say to an Israeli, “Are you a believer?” I think maybe 90 percent of Israelis would say, “Yes.” And then if you say, “Oh, so you believe in Jesus, or you believe in Yeshua?” And they'd say, “What are you talking about? No, I'm a believer, I believe in God.” And then some would add, “Yeah, I believe in the Tanakh.” That's what "believer" means in the Jewish world.

Shamir: The reason I didn't say "religious Jews" is because it holds like a negative connotation.

Nehemia: I mean all Jews. I don't mean religious Jews. I'm talking about the secular Jew who is eating on Yom Kippur. Really, if you ask him, “Are you a believer?” I would say 90 percent would say, “Yes.” And then, out of the 90 percent, maybe 70 percent would say they believe in the Tanakh or the Torah, on some level or in some way.

Shamir: They'll have their little book of Tehillim under their pillow.

Nehemia: The Psalms, right.

Shamir: It's like a good luck charm, sometimes.

Nehemia: Yeah, and they’ve got the mezuzah which is good luck charm. But the point is, they do believe.

Shamir: The hand (hamsa).

Nehemia: That’s just superstition. But for most Jews, "believer" just means “we believe in God, and we believe in some way in Scripture.” Maybe they don't believe it's infallible, but they definitely believe Scripture is, you know, the word of God in some way. It's interesting, so we've got a different set of terminology.

Anyway, you did your MA at Regent, and you mentioned something about how you compared the Beatitudes, which is the first 12 verses of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, with the commandments. Tell us about that. That's a fascinating topic. We could do an entire program just on that, and we probably will. But for now, just give us the short version.

Shamir: I just basically said that He was actually talking about the commandments in those Beatitudes and outlining them. He was also coming against the religious leaders...

Nehemia: I heard somebody wrote a book about that, “The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus.”

Shamir: Some of the religious leaders during his time, they knew like the teachings of the Talmud and everything. But then, he would say something from the Tanakh and they'd be like, “What do you mean?” And He's like, “You must go and learn again, because you've missed it,” you know?

Nehemia: And that reminds me to mention that you are this American who has moved to Israel, and you're studying at Bar Ilan University in Hebrew. And you mentioned to me how actually over this past summer, you were teaching Hebrew to Keith.

Shamir: Yes, over the summer. He was a challenging student who liked to talk.

Nehemia: Oh, ain't that the truth. But you may actually be available for people to teach them Hebrew?

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: And I think that's really important. I think that's really a great opportunity for some people, if you're available, and people can find you on Facebook.

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: Shamir…

Shamir: Barnett.

Nehemia: How do you spell your last name? It's like Massachusetts, there's a whole bunch of Ts in there and things like that.

Shamir: B-A-R-N-E-T-T.

Nehemia: Okay, Shamir Barnett on Facebook. This is a great opportunity, I think, for people to learn Hebrew from someone who went through the same process they did. You know, people ask me all the time, “Nehemia, what's the best way for me to learn Hebrew?” And my response is, “Well, you could do it the way I did it. You can be raised Jewish and go to kindergarten. And then in first grade you'll start reading the Torah.” And look, that's how I learned it. And I think you told me you didn't start learning Hebrew until you were 27?

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: You didn't even know a single letter of Hebrew until you were 27, and now you're studying at Bar Ilan University. That's amazing.

Shamir: If I can do it, you guys can do it, too.

Nehemia: Wow. All right, and I think that's important, to learn Hebrew from someone who's learning it the way you did. And there's also value in learning Hebrew from a native speaker, don't get me wrong, but I think there are different approaches and they both have value.

Shamir: And I understand the struggle sometimes, you know, because Hebrew is not familiar.

Nehemia: And I just don't. I'm like, “It's so easy. There are seven conjugations and three letter roots and 22 letters and about 8 or 9 vowels depending how you count them. What's the problem?” All right, so your MA thesis at Bar Ilan University, you told me, is about the irrevocability of word…

Shamir: Irrevocability of words…

Nehemia: I can’t speak English.

Shamir: …in a curse. And it's about Jeremiah 36. So, tell us about that.

Shamir: It's just based on... Jeremiah dictated this letter to Baruch, and he went and read it several times. And so, those words were already spoken out. And then the King receives a letter and he's like, “Ah,” and he burns it. But it doesn’t neutralize the curse.

Nehemia: And it's a great description there, how they would read a few columns. And then he would take a razor and cut from the scroll and throw that piece of the scroll into the fire.

Shamir: “I don’t want this.”

Nehemia: So, your thesis, or your understanding, is that the purpose of burning it was that, you know, here Jeremiah is saying, “Repent or you're going to be punished,” which is a curse. And he thought maybe he could neutralize the curse by burning the words.

Shamir: Yes.

Nehemia: Wow. And God's word can't be neutralized through fire. It can't be neutralized through water. It can only be neutralized through... not neutralized, you can respond to it through repentance, and that's what actually Jeremiah says there. He says, “Read it to them. Maybe they will hear it and they will repent.” Wow, that sounds like a great topic. And hopefully by the time that this comes out, that will already be submitted.

Shamir: I think it will be done by then, yes.

Nehemia: May it be. Okay, excellent. Is there anything else you want to share with people?

Shamir: No, I'm just happy to have done the interview and to have been asked to do it, and to see this beautiful view out here. I've never been up to this area.

Nehemia: Wow, and that's because you live near Bar Ilan University, not in the beautiful city of Jerusalem.

Shamir: Yeah, I live in Rishon Le Tziyon.

Nehemia: The First of Zion, that means.

Shamir: Yes, the first to Zion, that's me, yeah.

Nehemia: But that's part of the greater Tel Aviv area. And Tel Aviv is just different than Jerusalem. And they each have maybe their strengths and weaknesses, but Jerusalem’s better. And I'm not biased when I say that.

Shamir: I prefer Jerusalem.

Nehemia: I love this city.

Shamir: If only the ocean was here.

Nehemia: Yeah, there's no beach in Jerusalem. Although I've actually seen aerial photos. If you can get up in a helicopter or an airplane you could see the Dead Sea. And there are spots not far from here where there's a dip in the mountains and you can see a little piece of the Dead Sea.

Shamir: Really? Cool.

Nehemia: Yeah, about five minutes from here, if it's a clear day, not like today. This has been an amazing conversation with Shamir Barnett, a woman who is studying at the Bar Ilan University, studying Biblical Studies. This is inspiring to me, that people are coming from around the world. The nations are coming back to Israel, just like was prophesied in Isaiah 2.

Shamir: Amen.

Nehemia: And they are saying, “We've heard God is with you,” and they're studying the word of God. And it’s just so beautiful, this is amazing.

Shamir: Amen.

Nehemia: It's just been such an honor for me to talk to you. And maybe if we have time at some point in the future, we'll do an entire session just on this topic of the Beatitudes and the commandments.

Shamir: Yes, I will bring my thesis.

Nehemia: All right. I'm looking forward to that discussion. Thank you, Shamir.

Shamir: Thank you.

Nehemia: Shalom.

Shamir: Shalom.

Nehemia: This week's episode of Hebrew Voices was sponsored by Janet in California. Todah, thank you.

You have been listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

We hope the above transcript has proven to be a helpful resource in your study. While much effort has been taken to provide you with this transcript, it should be noted that the text has not been reviewed by the speakers and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to support our efforts to transcribe the teachings on NehemiasWall.com, please visit our support page. All donations are tax-deductible (501c3) and help us empower people around the world with the Hebrew sources of their faith!

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Show Notes:

Shamir Barnett is an American believer in Yeshua who obeys the Torah and is studying Bible at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.  She was born into a Muslim family in Massachusetts, and realized early on that the only true God was the God of Israel.  She currently resides in Rishon LeZion, Israel.

Verses Mentioned:

  • Terry Tanner says:

    I am studying Hebrew with Shamir and am blessed takeing the class. Toda Nehemiah

  • Ramon says:

    Love it

  • Mrs. Sarah Painter says:

    I forgot: both my husband and I are also Karaites, adhering to the Hebrew Scriptures, not what the rabbis say. Christians need to understand that they are the wild olive branch grafted into the Vine; they have not nor ever will replace Isra’el and that God has His eternal Covenant with us–His Jewish people.

    The New Covenant is not new, it’s renewed (read Jer. 31:31-34). When Yeshua returns, He said that “Jew and Goyim (gentile) will be one stick in His Hand, i.e. One New Man. Thank you, Nehemiah for a great broadcast. A Jewish follower who has a clue about the Jewish roots of her faith.

    • Gavriel Yochanan says:

      Very true, and Scriptural. What amazes me is even though the two sticks becoming one is clearly in Scripture, there are many who do not believe it. I could broaden this analogy but there is no point, its speaks for itself. Toda

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I am a biracial Sephardic Jewish woman, happily married to a Separdic Jewish man. My dad (deceased) was a 33rd degree mason, my mom an agnostic/atheist. I dreaded going to church as a very young child (age 5); root canal would have been better! At age 17, no one could tell me whether God was real or not. Having seen the evil side of the spirit realm, I surmised that MUST GOD MUST EXIST as well. My goal was to find out if this “jesus” person was real or not FOR MYSELF.

    At my parents’ house one Shabbat morning, I heard a man’s voice ask me, “Do you want to end up like your father?” I thought, “Who said that?” and answered, “No, no, sir, I don’t want to wind up like him (he was a chain smoker, I smoked at age 18).” Fast forward 10 years later in Spring 1982, I repented of my sins, accepted Yeshua HaMashiach as my personal Lord & Savior, and delivered from a cigarette addiction. My mikvah was 19 March 1983. Since then, I ditched church. Christianity is anti-Semitic/not wanting to follow their Jewish Messiah; Messianic Jewish congregations are no better) and each Shabbat, shut myself in my private prayer closet with Him.

    Lastly, my discovery uncovered this: There is One LORD (Yeshua), One Faith (Biblical Messianic Judaism) and One Mikvah for all (Eph. 4:5). Not 3,000 different Christian denominations all disagreeing with each other. Not Judaism, not Islam, not 3,000 different English translations of the Hebrew Bible. Did not Yeshua tell His disciples to “go therefore into all the inhabited world and PREACH the JEWIS GOSPEL MESSAGE to every person…and mikvah them in the Name of the Father (YHVH), the Son (Yeshua HaMashiach) and the Ruach HaKodesh (Matt. 28:19)? We have done our own thing, not what He said.

    • Gavriel Yochanan says:

      So true in many respects, but, Yeshua is not LORD, Yehovah is. Yeshua has never represented Himself as LORD in Scripture, He says to pray to the Father, His Father using His name. He is similar to Moshe who was our intermediary whom stood before Yehovah and went to bat for use, while the evil one was / is trying to convict us. Yeshua is the same but with two big differences. He is the one Yehovah sent, like Moseh, and from our brethren, who we need to listen to, most do not, and He died for our sin of breaking the Sinai covent, a death sentence due, and was taken away by Yeshua, allowing us to Teshuvah, so the marriage between Yehovah and His bride could be completed. Those with plenty of oil in their lamps, Torah, will enter into the wedding feast.
      Aveenu Shebashamayim toda ameka Yisrael, Yerushalayim ereka, rachem. b’shem Yeshua HaMashiach amayn.

  • Roman calendar? What? You mean a solar calendar? Did a Roman decide how long it takes the earth to make a full circumference around the sun? Did a Roman put either in place or determine their path or decide their activity? Does a lunar calendar make a correction back to a solar (real) way of calculating time or vice versa?

    …come on people…..THINK! No Roman put a solar calendar in place and decided it took 365.25 days to make one full circumference. It’s absurd!

  • Just as Mordechai decided to celebrate a particular event that made an impact on him and just as Maccabee also decided to celebrate a particular event that made an impact on him, what is the difference when someone else decides to celebrate an event that makes an impact on them? Why do other people get so bent out of joint when they have no problem with Mordechai or Maccabee? Hypocrisy is alive and well.

  • Elisa Martin says:

    I am a gentile, And a Christian that wants to understan the roots from the Torah. I always wondered why God told Moses that His name was “I AM” but it is “Yehovah”. I have a love for the Jewish people. I’m very sorry for what has been done in the past to the Jewish people. Especially Martin Luther. Most Christians don’t know.

  • Phil says:

    Very sharp chick! Great interview. Really impressed. Having left xianity thirty years ago “Yeshua” followers leave me flat but she is something else. Starting the TNK on page one, there is no need for any other “savior” . Yah identifies himself repeatedly as the only savior. Thus the “trinity” was invented to keep the “j-man” from being completely superfluous. Does he say anything that isn’t already in the TNK?

    • Phil says:

      That would be twenty, not thirty years ago. My mistake.

    • Lucy says:

      The only comment i will make in response is, joining an orthodox group will do nothing to promote obedience to Yehovah, as they, Orthodox Judaism teach obedience to them.
      So no thanks. According to His Word, He did send someone like Moses, His name was Yeshua whom taught the Torah of Moses, and taught Teshuvah to the lost tribes of the Beit Yisrael, whom also was beaten and marked for Our transgression, what transgression, the breaking of the marriage covenant of HaSinai, which could only be restored by death to humanity, He took that death sentence for us.. Yeshua does not replace Aveenu Malkaynu, He is His Word made flesh, He was and is an obedient servant whom came to do the will of Him whom sent Him, and did not take the Torah away, not One Jot or Tittle.
      It is Yah that has started the restoration of Beit Yisrael, not men, and most definitely not the Orthodox Jews.
      toda, b’shem Yeshua HaMashiach, amein.

    • Gavriel Yochanan says:

      Yehovah is our only Salvation, it is clear in the Torah and as clearly written in Yo’el2 and Acts2, His name is the only name to call upon for Salvation. Yeshua is our intermediary whom took the death sentence that was imposed for breaking the marriage covenant at HaSinai, for whoring after other gods. Moshe on His death bed stated to b’nai Israel, that they would go astray and be kicked out of the land. The death sentence on all could only be rescinded by a death, and hence He sent His only begotten son whom took that death sentence. Yeshua stood up for us and still does today, while haSatan stands there trying to convict us in front of Our Father. If it wasn’t for Yeshua the death sentence would stand, and the marriage between the Bride and Groom would never be complete. His Blood was given for all of us.

  • Phil says:

    Naturally it is the fact that jc is the “focus of worship” that makes TNK people uncomfortable. It is all about jc. Jc this and jc that. In the churches he is openly proclaimed to be the primary focus. This clearly violates the very first commandment which is why it is no surprise this man from Galilee is oddly preceded in history by numerous similar crucified saviors. “Yeshua” fans expectantly are enraged by this but they would be because no one wants to leave their god.

    • Lucy says:

      I think you’re a little confused. No where in Scripture promoted as the replacement for His Father or as a deity in His own right.
      In fact Yeshua states quite the opposite, so you misunderstanding of who and what Yeshua represents is your issue, not Scriptures, and is also a problem for those the present Yeshua as their god, He is not, and clearly He is out the one whom goes to bat for us to His Father in opposition to the haSatan whom clearly is trying to convict us for being unfaithful to Aveenu Malkaynu.
      You can believe anything you like, but your statements are Not Scriptural. Yehovah is Echad and His son sits at His right hand side, the living breathing Word / Torah.

  • Koreen Williamson says:

    Great interview! Did you ever do the 2nd session with her on the beatitudes?

  • tim verbrugghe says:

    can we read your master thesis enywhere about god’s 1 people

  • Marlene Churchill says:

    I was so thrilled to read this and all the wonderful comments. It is true in these last days that He’s calling the gentiles back home to their Hebrew Roots, Galatians.3 & 4 where Sha’al (Paul) says clearly that if you are a believer in Yeshua (Jesus) then we are of the seed of Abraham, (NOT the church fathers!) I say with others that we in the church have been blinded to our Hebrew Roots (Rom. 11)as the Jewish people have been blinded to their Messiah, who was and is Jewish. Now we are “both” coming home! So much to be said here. I was a Pastor’s wife for 35 years, after my husbands death got into a ladies Bible Study where the Shabbath (Sat. ) was taught,and the Festivals (Lev. 23). I then went to Israel and began to do a indepth study. Long story short , could not find anyplace where what we have been doing was even Scriptural, or had been changed. I had experienced at 16 years of age, (brought up in a nominal church), then Born Again of the Spirit, my life changed, now finding my Hebrew Roots, feel I’ve been Born Again, Born Again, but I wondered and asked HIM one days “Why were you there if all we were doing was wrong as far as Sabbath, the pagan holidays, etc.” He answered me: ” I may not bless the day, nor the events but I bless my Word, back there you did not know, you walked in the Light that you did have, now you have more light and you are responsible to walk in the light that you now have.” And Marvin Wilson said in his book “Our Father Abraham” if we can’t substantiate the Apostolic Writings with the Tanach, then the Apostolic writings are illegitimate.”

  • RitaH says:

    Amazing. I live 67´N in Norway and just got here googling “End of Days”.

    I deeply believe in Yeshua as the Messiah but have never really made things work in conventional churches. Even though I´m not involved in any HebrewRootMovement, I bought the Tanach a couple years ago and it is so precious! It is – as Shamir declares- the backbone, (Sadly most Christians read that part translated to different languages by non-Jews.)

    At the same time as this was recorded, I was sitting here in yet another snowstorm and marking the following verse, John 10:16 where Yeshua says to His Jewish diciples:
    “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd”

    It´s pretty clear to me that it was never His intention to replace the Jewish core.

  • Reyes Nava says:

    Shamir is correct about the one community how those who join themselves to YHVH cannot bring there own doctrine into the mix. The ingathering does not include spiritual mixing of seed.

    Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God”

    Ruth did not say “and my High Priest will take the place of your High Priest and my path of atonement will replace yours.” That is the irrevocable truth.

  • Reyes Nava says:

    “When Israel saw the great power which YHVH had used against the Egyptians, the people feared YHVH, and they believed in YHVH and in His servant Moses.”

    Exodus 14:31 is a good example of where Israel placed its faith after being delivered from bondage. But we never here the people say “I can do all things through Moses who strengthens me.”

  • Laurie Jo says:

    I haven’t listened yet, but I have to comment on her words as written above. I say AMEN to that. I left so called Christianity, more like insanity to follow the Jewish Messiah, to guard the feasts, the Sabbaths, and commandments. I said, “I do!” Now I am. Shalom to a beautiful sister in Yahushua, and so happy to meet you.

  • Janice says:

    Wow Fantiastic – and I agree with her. Am Yisroel Chai

  • Lea Sylvester says:

    Awesome interview! Very encouraging to hear her story. You are doing an excellent job, Nehemiah. Also, it was a tremendous blessing to have you visit with us at The Olive Branch. Come back soon. Oh, Roll Tide!

  • Renee Evans-Hicks says:

    Oops! I’m sorry I misspelled Shamir’s name as sh i mir. Sorry dear.

  • Renee Evans-Hicks says:

    WOWWWW!!!! You could’ve continued with this interview til you both fell out from exhaustion (us too!). Shimir hit a home-run and knocked it out of the park in her true and simple definition and description of who Yisrael is! This is so clearly shown to us from Genesis to the last page in Revelation! It’s indisputable. Yet, “many christians” adamantly refuse to give up their “replacement theology”. My light on those who adhere to this wicked ideal is: “If you believe (God) YHVH has replaced Yisrael, then go see what (Jesus)Yeshua defined as Yisrael, then look where you stand in Light of His definition.” Interpretation: We had better be repenting of such a wicked notion as replacement, and hope for the name of Yisrael upon us, that our Messiah will recognize us when He returns. Thanks Nehemia for this interview; it was awesome! And though you look for Messiah to come, rather than to return, still, you give more honor and respect to Yeshua than anyone I personally know. I thank you for this, and I pray for you. I don’t pray for conversion, I simply give thanks for you and ask our Father’s will and blessing on you. He has you where He wants you to be- ministering to the house of Yisrael and the foreigner who comes to love, honor and obey YHVH, the El of Yisrael. Love, Peace, and blessings of YHVH, our Father upon you, my blessed brother.

  • Thank you for this interview. Most Christians miss out on so much. To truly understand and know the Creator’s intense devotion requires knowledge of the Torah and Tanakh. And there are no Christian rites or rituals as beautiful as the seven feasts. <3

  • Joy Lyle says:

    Wonderful! I feel like I am on the same page with her! I’d like to know how, as a Torah Observant Believer in Yeshua, we can come to live in the land of Israel. I agree with Nehemiah that Isaiah 56:6-8, allows that strangers, even with no connection to Judah or the other tribes, should be able to do that if we observe Shabbat and take hold of His Covenant – which I have ( and obviously Shamir has.) I am thinking, though, that she is only able to live there because she is going to University. Is that true? What about the rest of us? I am taking an online Hebrew Course with E-teacher and trying to get prepared…

  • Dori says:

    Great interview. I can’t wait, More plz!

  • Janet says:

    Really good interview. I loved it.

  • Cyndie Simmons says:

    Great interview with Shamir! Keep these coming and feel free to make them a bit longer 😉

  • Miri~ says:

    Great interview, so inspirational. I went directly to facebook-
    http://www.facebook.com/ShamirBarnett …”not available”.

    • Matt Christian says:

      Her FB page is up, I just had to log-in to view. Great cover photo on her site! Thanks for the idea.