The God of Israel, through Moses and the Prophets, commands and expects the exiled of His people to return to Him and His Way at the end of  age. That "Way" specifically forbids the imitation of the spiritual practices of the nations around them, like the mindless recitation of prayers.
Rather, He expects His people to return to Him with contrition and humble hearts as they confess their sins that caused their spiritual death in exile.

This cannot be done in groups, in rote, recitation manner, but in individual intimate communication with the Creator.

How to Pray the Confession Prayer


At this time there are as many paths of return for Ephraim as there are individuals.  In our myriads of unique and diverse ways we all have come this far toward the Torah to find associations forming to link ourselves together.  We have all struggled on our own journeys through many diverse passages to try to come into compliance with the Covenant that we have cast away2700 years ago.  While we are all growing into more and more understanding of observance of the Torah's commandments for Israel, we remain at different stations and levels of understanding of where we need to be.  There are no luminaries who are leading this “return to G-d” movement among the Ten Tribes.  No one can lay claim to having started this trek out of idolatry and the prison houses of confusing theologies and grievous errors. It is evident that the movement is lead by G-d.  It is the Keeper and Guardian of Israel who simultaneously in diverse places has started “the resurrection” of His people from spiritual death.  For this reason, Shaar-Israel does not promulgate a vast number of doctrines or principles of faith as a requirement for membership in its Union of Gathering Ephraim.  We also do not want to replicate the often acrimonious relationship and sectarian warfare that have characterized the churches from which we have been called out by our gracious G-d.  We are all in a state of flux on our return journeys to the fold of Israel.   However, we believe that there have to be some basic foundational set of beliefs that we need to stand on in order to establish a beach head on the world scene as well as a working quorum / minyan.  We believe that this is necessary in order to obey the command of our father Jacob who told his sons to “gather yourselves together”  “in the last days,  at the end of the age, (Gen. 49:2).


To promote cohesion among our members with variant experiences, we do promote the basic three articles of faith, in order to begin to do justice to the Divine injunction for Israel, to not mix Torah teachings with the doctrines and teachings of the belief systems of the world, (Ex. 23:32, Deut. 12:30-31).  To further this decontamination, we advocate absolute reliance on Divine Guidance for all individuals and groups on their particular paths of return to the Covenant and the Torah of the G-d of Israel.

It is hoped and expected by Shaar-Israel, that such reliance will be answered by the Shepherd of Israel in many and diverse places and the sharing of such revelations among returnees will form the set of proven directives as to what we all need to  be doing.


We also strongly advocate the most important requirement for returnees to do which are expressly spelled out in the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings.   It is the confession of our individual and corporate sins.  These sins of faithlessness and disregard of G-d's covenant with us have brought on us the curses spelled out in Deut. 28-29, and  have caused the Ten Tribes to be cut off from the heritage of Jacob, the Land, the Torah and a close relationship with the Creator.  Without this essential and prerequisite requirement of confessing these sins, no repentance can even begin.  One must know what is one "to turn from."


Upon awakening from our sleep of death in the Valley of Dry Bones, we are expressly told in the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings that we are to “confess our iniquity and the iniquities of our fathers." (Lev. 26:40, Jer. 14:20, Hos. 5:15, Lam. 5:7). Further, we are to do this in a most humble way.  This humble manner is not only necessary for all returnees, but especially is so for those of the Ten Tribes.  Ephraim is noted  for their inordinate pride that is expressed in religious dogma:

Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are smitten down with wine!... the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot”    — Isa. 28:1,3.  

It is CATEGORICALLY NECESSARY for all returnees to do this for the stated purposes in the prayer.   It is also an absolute requirement to do so by those who come through Shaar-Israel to become a bona-fide participating member in the projects of the Union of Gathering Israel organization.  We maintain that to return to our identities as members of the Ten Tribes, we need to confess our sins and the sins of our fathers in the exile.  This is necessary to realize our decent from Abraham Isaac and Jacob, and that we have left their legacy, the Torah and its Covenant.

Adding one’s own words is necessary to make this prayer personal and to prevent the mindless recitation that often characterizes  the use of printed prayers.  ShaarIsrael strongly recommends that ALL returnees pray along these lines and personalize this prayer by adding their own words to the basic outline as needed, as their soul dictates.  We strongly recommend that ALL returnees come before the G-d of Israel in a serious and formal way and use these lines of words to confess these grievous sins that are written on our bones.   This confession can serve as an earnest  beginning of one's return to the Torah and Covenant.   It is recommended that one make a note of the date and place of this supplication before the Sovereign of the Universe.  It is to serve as a (re)-turning point on one's journey homeward.  Reading about a previous confession where “the people wept very sorely” can prime one with an example of what must be done,  Ezra 9-10.

If you have a congregation or havurah (small group fellowship), please give copies to them of these preparatory instructions to use in their own private study of the references.  Please bind it on their hearts that the prayer is not to be used in mindless repetitions and perfunctory recitations under ANY and ALL  circumstances.  It is NOT TO BE RECITED AT ALL, but “prayed,” i.e. “talked” in a private, solemn, and utterly sincere manner, as when one “talks” with another in a conversation.  One cannot possibly be humbling one’s self if one is rattling through a printed prayer. Being very serious is the most important accompaniment to this prayer, since we are confessing our sins, the sins of Israel before the Sovereign of  the Universe after 2700 years of exile and spiritual death.  One does not recite a speech when one talks to a human sovereign.  Likewise we should not recite these most important utterances of our hearts when we come before the Sovereign  of the Universe.  One can and should  add one's own words and feelings from one's own heart without which these concepts are just empty words.  This cannot be done if we “recite this prayer over and over again in groups as an institutionalized prayer. If it is used in a congregation, it is to be used only at special, dedicated teaching and preaching events to begin to prepare those who have not individually done so already.  Since this is a Divine command, it is not to be used frivolously, or mindlessly as the religions of the world “recite” their prayers, as if superstitiously spinning prayer wheels. This is a somber, grave, most heartfelt and tearful confession of heinous sins with which God charged Israel for centuries.  Obviously it is to be prayed ONCE, and not repeated and recited over and over.  It is to be most humbly “prayed” and voiced as a returning Israelite's confession of having departed from “the way of life” into the ways of death.  It is to be nothing less than a set of tremulously uttered words when one is resurrected from the dead.  It is a way of trying to acknowledge the Divine judgment upon the Ten Tribes, and of trying to do justice of what the Creator expects of the prodigal son upon his return to his Father's house:

“O Israel, return unto the L-RD thy G-d, for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.  Take with you words, and turn to the L-RD, say unto Him, “Take away all iniquity and receive us graciously, so we will render the calves of our lips.”  — Hos. 14:1-2

We who have been condemned to death are take the words” of this prayer and  with them implore and beseech the Creator of Life for reinstatement among the living.   It is to be a plea by those who  became unworthy of the name “Israel,” (one who prevails with G-d)  before the Supreme Judge of the World for reacceptance into His fold.   It is to be a  pleading by those who merited to be cut off from the Source of Eternal Life and earned to be cast out from before His face, (Ez. 37:11).  The “recitation” of this prayer without the proper supplicating reverent attitude / kavanah is tantamount  to nothing less than odious effrontery, if not blatant blasphemy.

The prayer is written  to be voiced in the first person plural, i.e. ”we,” for we are speaking for all Israel.  Toward the end of the prayer, a verse is written in the first person singular, i.e “I, Ephraim.”  The reason for this is paradoxical, for though we are using the pronoun “I,” we speak with one voice, as the collective Ephraim.  Also, we "stand in" for those who are not with us yet.

The footnotes of Biblical references are not exhaustive, but are fairly comprehensive and provide for a highly recommended contemplative study IN ADVANCE of going before the Creator with one's fervent entreaty.  Studying the references will help to prepare one to be properly primed with the emotions arising from one's heart which are absolutely necessary to carry one's words and thoughts before the throne of Grace.

Should anyone visit Jerusalem, it is recommended that this prayer be used at the Kotel (the Western Wall), and all other places of significance to returnees from the exiled Ten Tribes.

The author notes that this prayer is not offered as “the one and only” prayer that all those joining the Union of Gathering Ephraim must pray in order to fulfill the commandment and expectation of the G-d of Israel.  Surely, there can be as many prayers of such a nature as there are individuals.  The prayer is intended as a persuasive model to pattern and prime the returning hearts of Ephraimites to begin their repentance.  At least it is hoped that when the references are actually studied, it will serve as such.

“For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”  Isa. 57:15


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