Mystical death-curses, Messiah identification, cryptic mystical notes, and the like. All of which sounds like something from Dan Brown. But unlike a Dan Brown novel, `The Rabbi Who Found Messiah: The Story of Yitzhak Kaduri and His Prophecies of the Endtime’ is erroneously labeled as non-fiction.
While billed as non-fiction, in numerous places author Carl Gallups writes a narrative, and only in the endnote explains that the story was in truth fictional and a product of his imagination. That plus the dependence of Wikipedia as a primary source makes the book much closer to fiction than reality.
The book is based on the assertion that Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri wrote a note to be opened a year after his death which would reveal the name of the Messiah. The existence of the note itself is in dispute, with many of Kaduri’s closest disciples stating it’s an outright forgery. The note was written a few months before he died, and the Rabbi’s son said that his father’s physical state at the time made it impossible for him to have written it.
Even assuming that it’s authentic, the note itself isn’t conclusive. The note does not have the Messiah’s name on its name explicitly; instead, it contains a verse with the acronym for the Hebrew name for Joshua. Rabbi Kaduri died in 2006, and that year, Joshua was the 3rd most popular name for boys; with Jacob and Michael in the first two places. There have been millions of Joshua’s born, so which Joshua is it?
Had Rabbi Kaduri wanted to unequivocally write that Jesus was the Messiah (as is the premise of the book), all he would have needed to do was add 4 Hebrew letters (Hebrew for `of Nazareth’) to declare unambiguously which Joshua he was referring to. But let’s not let logic get in the way of an imaginative tale.
Just as the reference to which Joshua is vague, the book is filled with many other ambiguous references and logical leaps of faith.
The point of this review is not to refute every one of them, instead to alert the reader to their existence. The astute reader will note the author’s frequent use of if, then logic. The problem is that the book is filled with highly tenuous if’s.
Another severe issue in the book is that it uses the term `Kaduri’s prophecies’ in the title and scores of times in the book itself. But neither Kaduri nor any of his followers ever considered himself to be a prophet and he never uttered anything in the name of prophecy. The notion of a Rabbi in modern times uttering a prophecy would be sacrilegious, particularly to someone like Rabbi Kaduri, who was dedicated in totality to traditional Jewish law. These misinterpretations of contemporary Judaism lead the author down a road with mistaken assumptions and incorrect conclusions.
The author doesn’t seem to have a mastery of the Hebrew language, given on pages 64–65, the Hebrew letters are reversed.
While his not understanding Hebrew may be excused, the author’s naiveté towards modern Islam and its relation to Christianity in the book is disconcerting. His frequent use of references from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including using a quote from him to open chapter 15, is also perplexing. It would be hoped one could separate a conjectural quote from reality.
It seems that in an attempt to connect Kaduri’s note to Jesus, that the author has closed his eyes to who Ahmadinejad is, a person who denies the Holocaust and has a goal to annihilate the state of Israel. It should be noted that Ahmadinejad is no friend of Christians or the Christian world. Just last month, Fox News reported that four Iranian Christians were sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion there. A new United Nations report blasted Iran for its systematic persecution of non-Muslims. In Iran, converting from Islam to Christianity can bring the death penalty.
The author may also want to see what is happening to his fellow Christians in Egypt, particularly members of the Coptic church there, who are being killed and having their places of worship burnt down.
Aside from the many errors in the book, the author’s web site states with a hefty dose of hyperbole that the Kaduri’s note shook the religious world to its foundation and is still shaking it. And least for this reader, the only shaking is that of utter disbelief, that anyone could take a book like this seriously.