Journey Unto Shiloh: Part 4
It was 26 years after I first heard the summons to "Rise Kahana" in 1972. The year was now 1998 and I knew by then that the summons was far more than just a request for me to follow a surreal manifestation of dream like quality into a buried chamber. Having experienced the ‘epiphany’ that I described concerning 1986, I thought there was little else that could surprise me since I now understood that my experience with that ethereal voice was more than just telling me who I was, but also who I must be. I also knew from that moment onwards, that the Kahana bore a secret, even though I still wasn’t fully certain of what that secret might be. It took my experiences of 1998 to finally resolve that question. And if I thought things could not get any stranger than my experience in 1986, well, I quickly found out how wrong I could be.
It so happened that prior to 1998, while I was reading through a few of Flavius Josephus's anecdotes about the temple, that in his book written way back in 92 ACE, he mentioned a particular stone that was located behind the brazen altar in the Court of Priests. This stone concealed the entrance into the caves below the mount. He went on to say that the stone had a ring embedded into it. This was exactly what I had seen, or should I say experienced, in my vision of 1972 as described in one of my earlier articles. I had received information from this ancient historian confirming not only that the stone existed but that the revelations I had that night was also very real and accurate in its detail. I had seen that stone, I had lifted it, I know its weight, and I know what lies underneath.
Once 1998 rolled around, 12 years since the last time that I received the calling; the one that left me with a bruised shoulder and a still unresolved phrase in a mysterious language. I was beginning to feel that somehow, it had all been an error, a case of mistaken identity, and now that it was all straightened out, I wouldn’t be bothered again. All I can say is, “Boy, was I wrong about that as well!” We may be prone to call the wrong number or accidentally email the wrong person, those are human failings,but the Almighty certainly isn’t prone to that kind of error.
I Am But A Pebble
I am well aware that some of you having read the previous Journey unto Shiloh articles are probably still asking yourselves the question, "Why him?", assuming that I have convinced you that these episodes are indeed very real occurrences. I know that I certainly was asking myself that very same question numerous times. After all, what attributes do I possess that renders me suitable to such a task? I, more than anyone, am aware of my inadequacies. Yes, I am born from the line of high priests, but so are many others. I am religious, but not as religious as those whom people point towards as modern day examples of piety. My slate is neither clean, nor am I guiltless of sinning; I freely admit it. I have tried to live a good life, but there are those that have lived much better lives. For that reason, I asked the Lord this very simple question, "Why me?" Perhaps it was the self-doubt that began this new episode but the months that followed left me with little doubt that my 12 year period of quiescence was officially over.
The answer that was delivered to me was quite simple, yet in some ways extremely elaborate. The response that filled my head said, "If I was to cast a huge boulder against the door and knock it in, then they would say, 'Who has thrown this massive rock and broken in our door? Perhaps it has rolled down a hill and on its own and smashed through our door.' But if I was to cast a pebble against their door and knock it in, then they would all say, 'Surely this must be the hand of God for how else could a pebble break in our door!'
I think you all can appreciate and understand this parable without any further explanation. It had me convinced.
The Righteous Lion
An unusual response, especially since my personal qualities and strengths were being compared to those of a mere pebble, but one that certainly answered my question. I am to say to all that should ask the question in the future thusly, "Because of my insignificance and relative obscurity. Then they shall know who has sent me." At the same time there were so many things falling into place that I had never appreciated before. Prior to 1998, I had come to know a distant relative, Rabbi Joseph Goldenthal from Israel. Rabbi Goldenthal is quite prominent amongst the Ashkenazi rabbinate, ranking at number two I believe in their pecking order. Yes, there are still Goldenthals actively involved as Rabbanites. Although I will add that Rabbi Joseph is not a true descendant of the Goldenthals, as his grandfather, a Halperin went AWOL from the Tzar’s army a hundred or so years ago, concealed himself in Romania, and subsequently married a Goldenthal daughter, at which point he assumed her surname as his family name. The Goldenthal name being quite prominent at the time also meant it was a shrewd political move on his part too.
In one conversation, I asked Rabbi Joseph if he could explain my Hebrew name, since it had been used only 4 times spanning the family history. While researching the family tree, I had come across many Aryeh-Liebs (lion hearted) but only a few Aryeh-Zuks. He explained that the use of Aryeh-Lieb was an ages old family tradition amongst the Kahana/Goldenthals, which he even preserved with one of his own sons. But Aryeh-Zuk was special. As the Lion of Righteousness, it proclaimed that that person would be one chosen to perform on behalf of the people. Furthermore, he said Zuk was rarely used. Tsadok was more common. Zuk meant more; expect more! It was Righteous as in justice, far stronger than simple righteousness. A spark to ignite the world in justice he commented, then telling me that I should be quite honoured to bear a name used so rarely. "You are named Aryeh-zuk, whereas you could have been named Zukaryeh." This would have been the Hebrew for Zechariah and far more common. I had not even thought of it in the past. The play on the two names had not even been a consideration but now that the ‘revelations’ had been triggered once again in 1998, the saying that played over and over in my head that which is first shall come last was being made in reference to what Rabbi Joseph had said. And precisely at the moment that I recognized this coincidence, so to speak, I heard that voice in my head command, “Now read the book!"
Having received that instruction or should I rephrase, ‘command’, I began reading chapters nine to fourteen first, followed by one to eight. When read in that order, the book of Zechariah takes on an entirely new meaning. No longer was it a historical update of the then current high priest Jeshua, followed by a few chapters of what appear to be unassociated apocalyptic events. Now, it was entirely about the coming apocalypse, followed immediately by the rebuilding of the new order and covenant. No longer did the book appear disjointed, but had now become one seamless, homogeneous story about the time to come. The meaning and significance of the twin crown, unsightly priest, and poor lambs, became crystal clear to me. But once I understood, I became afraid once again,that if I was to be the Aaronic half of this equation, then I couldn't live up to the expectations.
Fear is a paralyzing emotion that aids little when dealing with what powers that are beyond your control or comprehension. They say you have two choices, fight or flee, but neither of those will do you any good when you’re dealing with the Almighty. To reinforce how little those two options can serve you will become evident when I tell you how He took me to the bridge! Literally, that is exactly what He did, and jumping off was not the third option as you will read in my next article.
Until then, continue with me on this Journey Unto Shiloh. We still have a long way to travel but the next article will take you to the bridge along with me.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana