Below is a response by Rabbi Eli Cohen for which fake “rabbi” Tzahi Shapira is not too happy about. In the picture below is a summary of the state of play.
To disprove a claim takes more time than to make one, so please bear with me.
I have tried to stick to one point so as not to loose the reader.
The author’s first stop (TROTKP p. 12 -14) to support his theory that the Hazir (pig) is a reference to the messiah is Rabbi Yehudah Hayon’s book Otzarot Acharit Hayamim Volume 1 Chapter 12 which can be accessed here http://www.aharit.com/A-12.html This chapter (12) of the books is dedicated to the discussion about the status of the commandments of the Torah in the messianic age.
I have provided here a loose translation of the Hebrew together with a summary of the points made by Rabbi Hayon.
Rabbi Hayon writes “We will reference a number of negative commandments which – according to the teachings of our sages of blessed memory – will be nullified in the future.”
The first commandment Rabbi Hayon lists is the biblical prohibition to consume Hazir (pig). He refers to the biblical prohibition with simple writing the word “Hazir” and then gives us the relevant quote that indicates that in the messianic era this prohibition will no longer be in effect.
Here is the full quote from Rabbi Hayon. “Hazir – “Why is his name called Hazir? Because The Holy One Blessed Be He is going to return him to Israel”.
That’s all Rabbi Hayon writes in the body of the article relating to the Hazir.
In his endnotes to that chapter (endnote 30) Rabbi Hayon briefly references various authors who offer ways of interpreting that Midrash.
The author of TROTKP quotes from Rabbi Hayon’s endnote 30 and provides his understanding of Rabbi Hayon’s words.
Allow me to summarize what Rabbi Hayon writes in his endnote (which you are welcome to study for yourself in the original at the web address I provided above) and then I will highlight the erroneous understanding of the author of TROTKP.
Since the original quote of the Midrash is nowhere to be found in all the Midrashic material available to us today, some rabbinic authorities actually dispute the existence of such a Midrash.
Rabbi Hayon,states that since he personally hasn’t been able to find the original Midrash, he felt the need to reference the works of those venerable Rabbis who quoted this Midrash in their own respective writings.
So, for example Rabbi Hayon quotes The Ritva, who – when quoting the teaching about the name of the Hazir – uses that words “Amru BeHagadah” thereby indicating the midrash as his source. Rabbi Hayon also quotes Rabeinu Bachaya, who – when teaching about the name of the Hazir – uses that words “Yesh Nuschaos B’Midrash Tanchuma” thereby indicating the Midrash Tanchuma as his source. etc. (the list of sources brought by Rabbi Hayon goes on.)
The sources that Rabbi Hayon brings in his endnote offer a variety of possible interpretations of the Midrash in question.
Rabbi Hayon cites these sources in order to offer the reader four ways of reconciling an apparent contradiction between the pig returning to Israel in the messianic age and the principle that the commandments of the Torah are eternal and cannot be changed.
Here are the four ways:
1. The Midrash can be understood in accordance with the opinion that the Mitzvos will become “nullified” after the resurrection of the dead in which case the principle of “Bameisim Chafshi” – “the dead who are free” will apply (which means that those who are resurrected are free from the obligations of the commandments. In other words, the discussion about the pig being permitted is a discussion that pertains to the time of the resurrection of the dead thus not posing a theological challenge.
2. The Midrash can be understood in accordance with the opinion of the Ohr HaChayim that since the circumstances in the messianic era will change (i.e the pig will begin chewing its cud) therefore the prohibition will no longer apply.
The Ohr Hachayim understands the specific usage of words in verse 7 of Leviticus 11 to be alluding to the fact that the prohibition of consuming pig is only due to the fact that it does not chew its cud at this point in time. In the future, however, when the pig will chew its cud it will be permissible for consumption.
Thus, the consumption of pig is (so to speak) an exception to the rule of the non-changing nature of the commandments (although the commandment doesn’t really undergo a change, but rather the circumstances change).
3. The Midrash can tbe understood allegorically in one of the following explanations of the Radvaz. A. Not that pig will literally be permitted, but that there will be such a great abundance of meat consumed in the messianic era that it will be “as if” pig has been permitted. B. The Hazir (pig) is an esoteric reference to an angel named Hazri-e-l who is a prosecutor of Israel and will in the future be transformed (lit. returned) to become their defender.
4. The two versions of the Midrash cited by Rabeinu Bachaya (Pashas Shemini) are entirely different versions to the most common version of the Midrash quoted by the Ritva and Radvaz etc.
These two versions of the Midrash that Rabeinu Bachaya quotes state that the Hazir (pig) is a reference to the kingdom of Edom (Rome) One version cited by Rabeinu Bachya reads “Why is this nation (Rome) compared to a pig? Because in the future G-d will turn upon them the attribute of judgment.”. The second version (cited by Rabeinu Bachaya) reads, “[Why is this nation (Rome) compared to a pig?] Because in the future the crown will be returned to its former glory.”
Rabbi Hayon – expecting the reader of his book to look up there reference in the original for a fuller context and explanation – doesn’t quote the entire Rabeinu Bachaya.
Rabbeinu Bachaya goes on to explain that the second version of the Midrash – “[Why is this nation (Rome) compared to a pig?] Because in the future the crown will be returned to its former glory.” – refers to the forth kingdom (Rome) coming in the future and rebuilding the Third Temple (since they destroyed the second Temple).
It should be noted that Rabbi Hayon doesn’t offer any insights of his own here. He has merely compiled a list of different authors and what they write regarding the Midrash that states – “Why is his name called Hazir etc. “
Now let us turn TROTKP and the authors (mis)understanding of Rabbi Hayon.
Ignoring his terrible attempt at paraphrasing Rabbi Hayon on page 12 (and his incomplete quote in the Hebrew in note 38), the author of TROTKP writes on page 13;
“Rabbi Hayon concludes his discussion about the pig and the real reasoning behind his naming, which is related to his triumphant return: Why is his name called pig? Because in the future he will return (lachzir) in order to return the crown as in days of old. It is important for us to understand that the term used by Rabbi Hayon, a tara leyosh’nah, literally means that the angel will not only return to redeem, protect and defend Israel, as noted above, but he will also return the glory and the splendor that was lost. He will return to his lawful place as king, a place of glory and majesty, as the crown belong to him!”
The author of TROTKP continues:
” What a wonderful commentary by our sages, who clearly explain that the pig is represented by a messenger who will return to Israel to save and to protect, to bring back the crown that was lost.”
In other words, the author of TROTKP is trying to find support from the words of Rabbi Hayon for his thesis that the pig alludes to the messiah and that when the Rabbis speak about the return of the pig it is a euphemism for the messiah.
The problem is that Rabbi Hayon says nothing of the sort!
The author of TROTKP carelessly conflates the interpretations of The Radvaz and Rabeinu Bachaya (see 3 and 4 above) and then jumps to his erroneous conclusion stating ” What a wonderful commentary by our sages, who clearly explain that the pig is represented by a messenger who will return to Israel to save and to protect, to bring back the crown that was lost.”
That’s simply the author’s misunderstanding, misquoting, misinterpreting and misapplying of the source he quotes.
I do not believe that the author of TROTKP maliciously lied, or tried to deceive anyone, however, this example does help to demonstrate how the author’s presentation in his book is based on his erroneous reading of the source he quotes.
We are left with the question how did Christian/ Messianic scholars put their name behind such a book and offer the book and the author the highest praise in terms of “scholarship” and “careful research” ?? Do they not understand the glaring mistakes the author made or do they simply not care?