Considering the traits outlined by our sages, let’s examine some encounters Rebbe Yeshua and his followers had with various externally “religious people” that could potentially be the erev rav.
In Matthew 23:3-31 there are a number of statements made by Rebbe Yeshua that should stand out to the reader.
“So whatever they tell you, take care to do it. But don’t do what they do, because they talk but don’t act!”
We see that the men being discussed were in a position of authority yet were religiously hypocritical, being externally righteous, but not so on the inside.
“Everything they do is done to be seen by others; for they make their t’fillin broad and their tzitziyot long, they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and they love being greeted deferentially in the marketplaces and being called Rabbi.”
We see that the men being discussed were presenting themselves as tzaddikim for recognition from others and for material gain.
Matt. 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29
“…woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim…”
Again we see that the men being discussed were in a position of authority yet religiously hypocritical.
“Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of rottenness. 28 Likewise, you appear to people from the outside to be good and honest, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and far from Torah.”
Again we see that the men being discussed were presenting themselves as tzaddikim but were actually far from HaShem in their hearts.
“In this you testify against yourselves that you are worthy descendants of those who murdered the prophets.”
We see that the men being discussed were descendents of those who caused great trouble for Israel and her prophets.
Yeshua answered them, “Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites — as it is written, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’
Again we see that the men being discussed were hypocrites, presenting themselves as tzaddikim but were far from HaShem in their hearts.
38 As he taught them, he said, “Watch out for the kind of Torah-teachers who like to walk around in robes and be greeted deferentially in the marketplaces, 39 who like to have the best seats in the synagogues and take the places of honor at banquets, 40 who like to swallow up widows’ houses while making a show of davvening at great length. Their punishment will be all the worse!”
We see that the men being discussed were seeking honor for themselves and were externally frum but internally filled with darkness robbing from fellow Jews.
Yeshua uses chametz (leaven) to describe these men in the following passages.
So when Yeshua said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourselves against the chametz of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim,”
So when Yeshua said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourselves from the chametz of the P’rushim and the chametz of Herod,”
Let’s compare this to what the sages have to say regarding chametz.
“Eisav and Yishmael are entwined in Avraham and Yitzhak, but the `erev rav are entwined in Ya’akov; they are more problematic to Israel and to the shekhina, for they are the leaven in the dough – for all the misers and those who do not support the Torah are from them” – Tikkunei Zohar, p. 35.
“The leaven in the dough” (B’rakhot 17a) is the `erev rav, who are worse than the nations of the world [who kill us], because the `erev rav stop Israel from performing the mitzvot (meaning: he who misleads his friend has done a greater act of evil than he who kills him – B’midbar Rabba 21:5) – Imre No`am, B’rakhot 17a. Ohr Yahel 3/232
In the book of John, chapter 8 verses 33-44, Yeshua has a run in with more of these men. There are a number of clues that should give us a hint at who they might be.
They answered, “We are the seed of Avraham and have never been slaves to anyone; so what do you mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?”
I know you are the seed of Avraham. Yet you are out to kill me, because what I am saying makes no headway in you.
You belong to your father, Satan, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. From the start he was a murderer, and he has never stood by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking in character; because he is a liar – indeed, the inventor of the lie!
Every year we as Jews are to partake of the feast of Pesach. During this holy day we are instructed to treat the date as though HaShem delivered each of us personally from Egypt.
And you shall relate to your son on that day, saying: This is done because of that which G-d did to me when I came out of Egypt (13:8)
In every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he himself came out of Egypt; as it is written: “… This is done because of that which G-d did to me when I came out of Egypt.”
With Pesach and the verses from John in mind, who could it be that Rebbe Yeshua is speaking to? Who are “children of Abraham” yet were “never captive” in Egypt?
one might conclude that these people are none other than the erev rav.
Could it then be that those mentioned in Revelation as “The synagogue of Satan” who “call themselves Jews but aren’t” would fall into the category of the erev rav as well?
I know how you are suffering and how poor you are (though in fact you are rich!), and I know the insults of those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are a synagogue of Satan.
Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of Satan, those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are lying — see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you.
 Talmud, Pesachim 116b
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