My story not the whole but … a brief introduction!
I am a Noahide man of 47, a Ben Noah, and my Hebrew name has always been, Ephraim. I live in the north of the country with much more pleasure than I had envisioned, and do not want to leave. I did, however, begin the way of Abraham to devote my whole life to the teaching and instructions given several thousand years ago at Mount Sinai. I am married to Miriam and with her I share the rest of my life, also serving Gd, she is a Noahide woman. Noahide? Yes, that comes from a the Hebrew, Bat Noah.
“”In the mouths of the faithful the Divine is praised…” [Shochein ad, שׁוכֵן עַד]
For several years I have been active in the Noahide movement, and also looking for the key to where the secrets were not quite properly revealed. Every day now I read a bit from prayers from over 3,000 years ago and meditate on them. Recently, I also often sing these in the source language, Hebrew.
“Hear Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem is One! (Deuteronomy 6:4)
When one realizes that creation is viewed with joy, miraculous events happen. So too is it with the intention to abide by the “yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven” these are the 7 Noahide commandments. It is a lot of work to do this, I’ll take an example familiar to Noachites; one wants to praise the Gd, but the one has a swimming costume on, is naked or smeared and refrains from doing so, because doesn’t want to appear like that before the King of the World, Blessed is He. One has thereby fulfilled a Noahide Commandment namely: don’t curse me, and don’t swear! (Birkat HaShem). It is hard work and adjusting to the holy is often a ‘yoke’, just know that Gd knows you too and gives you all the time.
“Now Hannah prayed in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice could not be heard. Therefore Eli thought she was inebriated.” (I Samuel 1:13, שמואל א א׳)
However, it is now time to talk more about this person: Ephraim. My name is Hebrew and in daily life my name is: Egbert, nevertheless, I talk about the year 1994 when I chose to fulfil his Torah portion to reality: Lech Lecha. Torah portion I am not Jewish right? Yes, indeed but came to the decision back then to become ‘self-made’ then. I worked hard on the farm and earned money, with that money I ended up in Israel, over there it was a very uncertain time, not what we are familiar with now. Hamas, which is a ruthless terror group which also in that time sent people to buses to blow themselves up for nothing, as well as peace with Jordan. That time had a very hopeful but oh-so-dangerous mood in the country that I came to love and, more importantly, appreciate a lot.
By this time, I had reached the age of 18 and was introduced to the Noahide Commandments in the Kibbutz, explained as it should be. I never asked the Rabbis in Jerusalem to be Jewish, but I was driven and decisive. I departed six months after landing in the Land of Israel with the bare minimum of money and necessities. Seen the Temple Wall, although walking on the complex was too mighty, and spiritually you must leave something to be desired.
I now turn to the year 2016, the year of my circumcision of the heart, among other things. I read about the Rabbis saying that there was now an opportunity to teach non-Jews the instructions Gd has given to the whole world. I understand now that this was the Noahide Code or Divine Code, a book full of fences and instructions, which I greatly appreciate to this day. Indeed, there are the signs that the Messianic era has broken out due to the internet and many people’s interests in these very instructions, also called Torah. Good news, in other words. But what is my past and what brings me to G-d?
My father has always been ambivalent in his faith, yet I recently found out that he also intends to adopt Noahism, precisely because of his background and people he hung out with a lot, though life was not easy for him. I have no contact with him but hope this has now improved considerably. My mother, with whom I have good contact, has a Noahide prayer book and reads from it regularly. From both I have learned a lot; “life is not a rose garden, nor was it promised.”
“Once again one can only have the intention to do what Gd asks of us, the form has never been important, remember that …” [Efraim van der Vennen, 20’23]
Well, so there I sit learning a lot with the intention of doing it all better than yesterday. This gives a person a lot of satisfaction. Much education I have taken from a website called Noahidemy, and the books I have yet to read include The Torah of Music, this relates to a music course to sing, or leinen, the entire text of the Bible in the original. A long project that’s for sure! I live mostly with the 7 commandments as a guide and have the intention that on the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, to repeat the 7 commandments accompanied by Miriam, whom I am incredibly both proud of and love.
And so, we drift into the messianic age where the Messiach descendant of David HaMelech may reveal himself soon in our time, as promised to the prophets and sages in the thousands of years before us.
Shalom and good luck in living according to the Noahide Code, the path to the hidden treasures!
By Efraïm van der Vennen