Rastafari Talmud

Biblical Reasonings based on The Teaching of Qedamawi Haile Sellassie

Ras Tafari Ethiopian Hebrew Israelite Education Project/Ras Tafari Renaissance Part 1 of A Series

himthrone3His Majesty Qedamawi Haile Sellassie Ethiopian Hebrew King upon the Throne of David.


At this present time, we at Ras Tafari Talmud (according to The Teaching of His Majesty Qedamawi Haile Sellassie), recognize the necessity to recover a vital aspect of our Divine Ethiopian Hebrew Israelite Heritage that has all too often been ignored. Not only is this educational endeavor culturally relevant. It is crucial for properly comprehending the fullness of Biblical prophecy, as well as, the responsibility we carry in the fulfillment thereof.

The task, at hand, cannot be accomplished through one dissemination. Nonetheless, it is our sincere hope that by progressively building upon the foundation of The Ethiopian Hebrew Israelite Education Project many (regardless of “race” or ethnicity) will be inspired to further research the subject matter. It is for the sake of all humanity to receive and preserve this revelation, regarding the Truth of Israel’s posterity. (Isaiah 11:12 And HE shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.)

himflagWebsite for The Crown Council of Ethiopia: http://www.ethiopiancrown.org/

For the first edition printing, we have chosen to honor Rabbi Wentworth A. Matthew, expound upon His Majesty’s visit to Jerusalem and promote the work of our Brethren Lidj Yefdi “Yohannis Welde Emmanuel” at Ras Tafari Renaissance. Also, we would like to show our profound gratitude to Ras Iadonis Tafari at Lion of Judah Society Ministry of His Imperial Majesty, without whose tutelage this project would not be possible. Being that this project has already had a momentous commencement, we pray YHWH be Shem Yeshua that our humble efforts are blessed with a good finish.

commandmentkeepers2Commandment Keepers Congregation of Harlem led by Rabbi Wentworth Arthur Matthew

Ethiopian Hebrew Ras Tafari Patriarchs and Pillars: Rabbi Wentworth Arthur Matthews and The Commandment Keepers Congregation of Harlem.

Rabbi Wentworth A. Matthew (23 June 1892-3 Dec. 1973), of the Commandment Keepers Congregation of Harlem, was among the first proclaimers heralding the Gospel of His Majesty Qedamawi Haile Sellassie. Rabbi Matthew’s father was the son of an Ethiopian Jew (Beta Israel) and a cantor who sang their traditional liturgies near the ancient Ethiopian capital of Gondar. Thus, it would not have been difficult for Rabbi Matthew to recognize that His Majesty, descendant from the line of Solomon and Sheba upon the Throne of David, was indeed the King of Israel (See “Kebra Negast; The Queen of Sheba and Her Only Son Menyelek“, compare with 1 Kings 10:13 [The Key Word being “Bounty” which in Hebrew is Yad (יָד) in this context denoting “phallus”], See also Jeremiah 3:17,33:17/1 Kings 22:19) 


An account confirming Rabbi Matthew’s conviction of Qedamawi Haile Sellassie being The King of Israel may be accessed in Howard Brotz’ book “The Black Jews of Harlem”. The following quote is an excerpt:

“On what basis do the Commandment Keepers conclude that the so-called Negro are really the Hebrews of the Bible? The members of the sect are devoted readers of the Bible and know many long passages of it by heart. What from their own point of view is the scriptural proof of their identity? There are essentially two main points. The first is that Jacob was black because he had a smooth skin “as the black man invariably is,”  and hence the patriarchs were black. Solomon was also black, and Matthew contends that the biblical phrase in The Song of Solomon 1:5, in which Solomon says, “I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem”, should be correctly translated as black and comely. (Indeed, the Hebrew does permit either alternative.) The second point is that they are descendants of the union between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba who founded a line of Ethiopian Hebrew Kings from Menyelek I down to Haile Selassie, the Lion of Judah, who is covertly a Hebrew…..Haile Selassie is the present King of the House of Israel and this is proof that David should never lack a black man to sit upon the Throne of Israel. When Mussolini overran the country, Haile Selassie stopped at Jerusalem to pray in Hebrew before proceeding to the League of Nations. It is from Addis Ababa that I derive my authority as head of the Black Jews in the United States. We are Africans or Ethiopian Hebrews.” (Brotz, Howard. The Black Jews of Harlem: Negro Nationalism and the Dilemmas of Negro Leadership, pg 18-19 [1970].) (See Leviticus 23:12/Amos 9:7)


During the First World War, Matthew was one of many street exhorters who used a ladder for a pulpit and Harlem’s bustling sidewalks as temporary pews for interested pedestrians. By 1919 enough people were drawn to his evolving theology of Judaism and black nationalism that he was able to found “The Commandments Keepers Church of the living God The pillar and ground of the truth And the faith of Jesus Christ.”

The transition from a church-based organization holding Jewish beleifs to a functioning synagogue that embraced most of the tenets of mainstream Orthodox Judaism was accomplished by Matthew’s association with Rabbi ARNOLD FORD. Ford was a luminary in the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a black nationalist organization led by MARCUS GARVEY. Rabbi Ford offered Hebrew lessons and religious instruction to a number of laypeople and clergy in the Harlem area. Ford worked with both Matthew’s Commandments Keepers Congregation and the Moorish Zionist Congregation led by Mordecai Herman in the 1920s before starting his own congregation, Beth B’nai Abraham. In 1931, after Ford emigrated to Ethiopia he sent a letter to Matthew granting him “full authority to represent Us in America” and furnishing him with a Shmecah, a certificate of rabbinic ordination (Ford to Matthew, 5 June 1931:[Ras Tafari Talmud Note: This would be Seven months after the Coronation of the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Qedamawi Haile Sellassie, Elect of GOD, King of Kings of Ethiopia]). Throughout the rest of his career, Matthew would claim that he and his followers were Ethiopian Hebrews, because in their lexicon Ethiopian was preferred over the term Negro, which they abhorred, and because his authority derived from their chief rabbi in Ethiopia.

As an adjunct to his congregation, Matthew created a Masonic lodge called The Royal Order of Aethiopian Hebrews the Sons and Daughters of Culture. He became a U.S. citizen in 1924 and the following year created the Ethiopian Hebrew Rabbinical College for the training of other black rabbis. Women often served as officers and board members of the congregation, though they could not become rabbis. In the lodge there were no gender restrictions and woman took courses and even taught in the school. Religion, history, and cultural anthropology, presented from a particular Afrocentric perspective, were of immense interest to Matthew’s followers and pervaded all of his teaching. The lodge functioned as a secret society where the initiated explored a branch of Jewish mysticism called kabballah, and the school sought to present a systematic understanding of the practice of Judaism to those who initially adopted the religion solely as an ethnic identity. While the black press accepted the validity of the black Jews in their midst, the white Jewish press was divided; some reporters accepted them as odd and considered their soulful expressions exotic, most challenged Matthew’s identification with Judaism, and a few ridiculed “King Solomon’s black children” and mocked Matthew’s efforts to “teach young pickaninnies Hebrew” (Newsweek, 13 Sept. 1934).

Matthew argued that the suffering of black people was in large measure God’s punishment for having violated the commandments. When black people “returned” to Judaism, he believed, their curse would be lifted and the biblical prophecies of redemption would be fulfilled. Having supported the Zionist cause, the congregation celebrated the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, but by the 1950s their dreams of settling in Africa or Israel had been replaced by a more modest vision of establishing a farming collective on Long Island. (Compilation of excerpts from: Biography of Rabbi W.A. Matthew, Rabbi Shlomo Ben Levy, African American National Biography; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008)

Perhaps, Rabbi Matthews and The Commandment Keepers Congregation became distracted with the advent of the pseudo-State of Israel. The pseudo-State of Israel is actually a politically motivated conspiracy concocted by “Jewish Atheist” Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl (a.k.a. Theodore Herzl). The details concerning the orchestration and parties involved in the manifestation of the pseudo-State of Israel is beyond the scope of this dissemination. (See Revelation 2:9) However, suffice it to say that it has been well documented that Herzl’s agenda was to exploit the sufferings of the Ashkenazi Jewish converts (See Genesis 10:3) to create a compelling cause for the establishment of a “Jewish” colony in Palestine.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that, on 29 November 1947, the Royal Ethiopian Government abstained in the vote concerning the modified Partition Plan to recognize Israel as an independent nation. The abstention was carried out by a representative of the Royal Ethiopian Court on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly.

The end of the British Mandate for Palestine was set for midnight on 14 May 1948. That day, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,”. (See Psalm 2:1)

-An interesting mention is that in 1948 there was an celestial occurrence of a “Blood Moon Tetrad”, similar to the one we are currently observing during Passover (2014-2015) and the Feast of Tabernacles(2014-2015). (See Genesis 1:14/Deuteronomy 17:6/Psalm 19:1/2 Corinthians 13:1)


In contrast, it is no mishap that in the same year Qedamawi Haile Selassie donated 500 acres (2.0 km2) of his private land in Shashamane, Ethiopia. This provision was intended for the Diaspora of Ethiopian Hebrews within the Ras Tafari Movement to make Aliyah/”repatriate” to the inheritance given by YHWH through HIS Covenant with Abraham. It must be clarified that the boundaries of the Abrahamic Covenant extend far beyond the pseudo-State of Israel. (See Genesis 13:14-17) The Aliyah/”repatriation would be under the auspices of the EWF, founded in 1937 by the His Majesty’s special emissary to Black America, Melaku E. Bayen. The official letter confirming the “land grant” of 1948 was submitted to the members and executives of the Ethiopian World Federation in 1955. (See Isaiah 43:6)

header_shashamane For More Information Please Visit: http://shashamane.org/

His Majesty’s Visit to Jerusalem

Qedamawi Haile Sellassie’s visit to Jerusalem, in 1936, is an event shrouded in mystery. It is reasonable to suspect that much of that mystery is a result of a deliberate suppression of information by HaMossad leModiʿin uleTafkidim Meyuḥadim (The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations of Jews) and HaKnesset (The National Legislature) of the pseudo-State of Israel. YAH willing, Ras Tafari Talmud will bring forward additional information as we continue to investigate the matter.


The first artifact, we’ve been able to access, indicates that His Majesty’s visit was certainly a revelation to many. In the article above, the caption reads “Haile Selassie’s visit to Jerusalem startled the natives there. They said he looked like Jesus. The photo shows the resemblance in many paintings of the Nazarene.” Moreover, the first paragraph testifies to His Majesty being “Very Christ-like in his demeanor…” The remainder of the article is difficult to decipher. Nonetheless, the evidence is sufficient to discern His Majesty Qedamawi Haile Sellassie as the advent of Mashiach Ben David and Yeshua HaMashiach/”Jesus Christ” as the advent of Mashiach Ben Joseph/Ben Ephraim. It is ironic that, during the first visitation of Israel’s Messiah, the Judeans were expecting His appearance to be in the person of “the Conquering King” while during His Majesty’s earthly visitation most of the world were expecting The Messiah to again be in the person of “the Suffering Servant”. (See Leviticus 26:12/Psalm 110:1/[Matthew 22:42-46 compare with Psalm 2 understanding that Zion is “The City of David/Davidic Monarchy” and that “City”/’iyr (עִיר) from the root uwr (עוּר) in the Hebrew interpretation implies a realization])


The second exhibit, (Sanctuary for the Lion of Judah, Morton, H.V. 9 May 1936), reveals the affinity of His Majesty with the Ethiopian Deir el-Sultan Monastery, in Jerusalem. The article attests to the authenticity of Ethiopia’s Divine Judeo-Christian Heritage and it’s Hebrew roots. Although, the author’s perspective is from a Anglo-Gentile perspective he admits “The defeated Emperor of Abyssinia is seeking a temporary refuge among the Abyssinian Community in Jerusalem.                                                                                                       This term conveys the wrong impression to the average person. A community in a foreign city generally means a commercial community, with it’s own club, it’s own social life and it’s own culture. Abyssinia’s community in Jerusalem is not a commercial one; it is purely religious. It numbers about 300 Black monks.                                                                                                                                                             When I was in Jerusalem recently, gathering material for my book on the Holy Land, I was fascinated by these gentle, docile, poverty stricken folks. Their simplicity and their humility appealed to me almost as much as their ignorance astonished me. But it is not the dreadful ignorance of people who should know better. It was the ignorance of a little child, the ignorance of a people in a state of arrested mental development.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I felt, when I got to know them, that good qualities far outweighed the bad. I also felt that if the founder of Christianity returned to Jerusalem, He would find more to admire in the gentleness and poverty of the Black monks of Abyssinia than in the pharisaical bickering and the greedy jealousy of more enlightened Christians.”

Surprisingly, the “enlightened Christian author” proceeds to make a few ignorant assumptions. The most obvious being his ascription of Ethiopia’s (wrongly termed “Abyssinia” which is an Arabic term of foreign and latter derivation) Tewahedo Christianity to the time of Frementius of Tyre, circa 316 A.D. Any biblical scholar should recognize that Ethiopia was one of the first Judeo-Christian Kingdoms. This is evident by merely studying and researching Acts Chapter 8:26-39. In addition, from this passage, it should be evident that the Ethiopian “Eunuch” (more properly eunouchos/εὐνοῦχος: “Chamberlain”) was an Ethiopian Hebrew returning from one of the Shalowsh Regalim observances (שלוש רגלים: Feasts of Passover, Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles).

The second oversight, on behalf of the Mr. Morton, is a bit more subtle. It pertains to his sentiments regarding the return of Christ. (Above in Bold Type) Perhaps, at the time, he was not aware of the preceding article mentioning His Majesty’s resemblance to Yeshua HaMashiach, The Nazarene. Affording Mr. Morton the benefit of the doubt, if he had come across the article, he may have recalled John 14:7 which reads “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know HIM, and have seen HIM.”

In conclusion, Ras Tafari Talmud would like to thank all who have been able to receive further insight into Our Divine Ethiopian Hebrew Heritage from this initial dissemination. Again, we give honor to all the Ras Tafari Ethiopian Hebrew Patriarchs and Matriarchs who have paved the way for us and for the generations to come! Baruch ata YHWH be SHEM Yeshua HaMashiach!  (Blessed BE His Majesty in the Name of “Jesus Christ”) -Lidj Iyason


One comment on “Ras Tafari Ethiopian Hebrew Israelite Education Project/Ras Tafari Renaissance Part 1 of A Series

  1. chris
    May 19, 2015

    Rabbi Matthew was my great great grandfather

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