Book of Simeon

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At the first meeting of the Restored Sanhedrin1, Kohen Gadol2 Simeon ben Abraham began to write events from Blue Star's history.


MOUNTAIN ASCENT

  Sweltering in the heat of the Sun, the rocky landscape obstructing my ascent towards the summit, I traversed upon Mount Sinai's face where tourists, pilgrims, and prophets alike had all traveled before. That mystical vision which had brought me to my knees in fear so convinced my spirit to reach the mountain crown and receive elucidation from the Guardian of Israel. Amidst exhaustion, I stumbled on some jagged rocks which twisted my ankle so that I fell with my back slamming onto the ground; waves of pain raced throughout my body like fire crackling through burning wood. Writhing on the ground, delirium followed swiftly so that my vision was enveloped in darkness.

  From its beginning, Israel was a nation born and forged in the fires of war; kingdoms crumbled before its tribes and armies fell before its Ark3. From the Patriarchs, to the Judges, to the Kings, and the Prophets, Israel had prospered under its covenant with our Lord, Adonai4, and suffered when it was contravened. However, the days of a sovereign kingdom of Israel had long ago ended, and the Jewish people were scattered in the Diaspora5. The re-establishment of an independent Jewish state in Palestine in 1948 plunged this fledgling country into a war with the Arab world surrounding it: Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and soldiers in the Arab Liberation Army and the Army of the Holy War6 all vowed to swiftly end its existence as the Romans did centuries before.

  Despite the odds set against it, Israel prevailed in the end against its adversaries, and so secured the promise of statehood granted to Israel: the one nation against seven. The Nakba7 resulted in hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing from the region, but my father refused to let my sister Rebekah and I be displaced with the rest of our family. Committed to his Baháʼí8 faith, he refused to let us fall into tribalism, anxious we would become torn between ourselves and our two identities; different mothers from the same father. Instead, we became citizens united within this one nation, all underneath that bright blue emblem. As we matured into adults, Rebekah embraced her dual heritage in Judaism while I remained without direction.

   From the lands of our Arab neighbors surrounding us were calls to rectify the injustices perpetuated from the colonization of their territory. Fear began to rise throughout the country of an all-out massacre which influenced us to start supporting our national defense. While Rebekah worked in the Mossad9, I was employed in the Protective Security Department of the Israel Security Agency10. My assigned task was to protect Agriculture Minister Moshe Dayan, who became the new Defense Minister following the rising tensions in the region. We made our acquaintances quickly, and soon I found myself running special tasks for him around Tel Aviv.

  Under his direction, Israeli forces launched a preemptive strike at the Egyptian military, a successful operation that decimated their air defenses. People began to cheer the triumph of our military, myself included, and the nation rallied behind the war effort. Pridefully defending the State, I began requesting travel with the Israel Defense Forces convoys in the hopes that I could test my skills in a combat situation. My request was granted when Minister Dayan drove with an IDF escort to Jerusalem in order to observe the siege on the Eastern part of the city that belonged to Jordan. On our way to the field site, our convoy was attacked by enemy operatives on the side of the road.


BLUE STAR

  The battle likely lasted for mere minutes but in the firefight I felt such a rush of energy unlike any I'd felt before. Waves of red mist scattered across the air dyeing the vehicles and the asphalt red, yet no fear was within me; I was certain that the Lord was on our side, and on my side. When the smoke of war had cleared from the battlefield, Israel won for itself the largest territorial acquisition in all its history: from the Golan Heights in Syria to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The Jewish State was ascendant on the world stage, and like any other, it quickly began to develop its new powers. Security had to be established within these newly acquired borders, especially within those occupied regions of Arab Palestine.

  After the War, Minister Dayan began holding private meetings with former Chief Military Rabbi General Shlomo Goren and former Mossad Chief Director Meir Amit to create a covert task force that could secure Jewish artifacts in the Sinai Peninsula and West Bank regions. Priority was given to finding the mystical Ark of the Covenant, an artifact that had been lost to the Jewish people for centuries. Minister Dayan had suggested that I could advance my career in the armed services and serve the nation of Israel outside of a protective capacity through this covert task force, and I accepted the offer.

  On June 11, 1967, a twelve-man special operations team was assembled from soldiers in the special reconnaissance division of the Israeli Defense Force, as well as a handful of embedded Mossad agents in Arab nations, designated Task Force Unit-36 ("Blue Star"). Control of Task Force Unit-36 was assigned to General Goren in order to avoid involving Israel's secular government in state-sponsored Jewish religious activities, as was specified under the 'Teshuva'11 Charter which detailed our internal structure and core objectives. We soon began to find and document strange phenomena across the Middle East, both things that seemed Judaic in nature and other anomalies that were more malevolent and mysterious.

  It became apparent that Unit-36 was also far from the only group of its kind in this region; other people, perhaps other nations were engaging in similar activities. One of our earlier missions had been the take-over of an abandoned facility built discovered beneath the Mazada Fortress constructed by an unknown organization called Monarch Security. Inside we found dangerous anomalies that had been left behind: a painting that turned a soldier into a block of salt; the mummified body of a human with strange images tattooed on its skin that emitted gamma radiation; and glass habitats filled with snakes that had bronze-plated skin. The veil of the unknown was lifted from all of our eyes, causing great fear and apprehension to take hold among us.

  Even I became overwhelmed by these discoveries, yet nothing would compare to the power sealed within that Tanakh12 scroll which was found stored within the facility. Placing it upon a podium, I unsealed the parchment and began to look through it, at first finding nothing unusual about it, except for the presence of burn marks on its edges. Suddenly, a bright light poured forth from the words of the text, flooding the room with its radiance and blinding me. What I saw next filled me with such fear that I lost all feeling in myself, and I collapsed to my knees, transfixed on that warning the Lord chose to deliver to the people of Israel.


ISAIAH'S VISION

  Before me was the interior of what appeared to be the Jerusalem Temple as it was during the reign of King Herod. Inside I saw the charred bodies and bones of people piled near the sacrificial altars, which were broken apart so that one could see that they were hollow. Debris from various statues was scattered around the floor next to the pedestals which had supported them. The damage rendered me unable to recognize any of the figures, though they all appeared to be non-human. Continuing onward, the cracked murals on the temple walls depicted monstrous beasts and creatures language alone cannot describe.

  At the entrance to the Holy of Holies, I found a towering statue in the shape of a man wearing a suit that was divided into four sections; a golden head, a silver torso, a bronze abdomen, two legs and a foot of iron, and the other foot of gray clay. Across each section I saw words flow across the surface, like sunlight behind a windowpane. On the forehead bear the name, 'Judah'; on the chest 'Samaria'; on the abdomen 'Palæstina'; on one leg 'Jund Filastin', while on the other 'Kingdom of Jerusalem'. Upon the one foot I saw 'Mandate of Palestine' and on the clay foot I saw 'State of Israel'. From behind this idol, a powerful breeze flew out from the curtain dividing the room, pushing the statue forward on its clay foot that began to crumble away until the state toppled onto the floor.

  Walking outside, I saw in the sky four giant wheels of fire that had beryl flames, with one wheel circling within the other, all covered in eyes running down the surface. On top of these wheels was a golden chariot guarded by four cherubim13 which had the face of a lion, an eagle, a bull, and a man for each direction of the Earth; every one having four faces and four wings apiece. Above the cherubim was a translucent sphere with sparkling diamonds embedded within it, and on its crown was a sapphire throne covered in blue flames. Sitting upon the throne, I saw the figure of a man whose robes were the purest shade of white yet whose features were too obscured by light for me to see.

  This figure spoke to me: "Simeon, I am the Elohim14 of your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Behold the iniquity of Zion15 transgressing the covenant: worshiping the idol of the state above me while waging war and separating peoples against my commandments. They do not know me anymore, and I no longer know them, therefore an end is now come. It is for their sins that I mean to punish them; they may multiply their prayers but I shall not listen; there shall be no peace unto the wicked. As I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so will I do unto Jerusalem and her idols. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things."

  I stood there astonished before the figure, realizing that this was the Shekinah16, the glory of the Lord. The throne then ascended away from Jerusalem and I heard a loud siren blaring throughout all Israel. Running down Mount Moriah, I saw the city of Jerusalem greater in size than it is today, sprawling across the desert with skyscrapers encompassing the center of the city, yet every building was in ruins. All the people I saw appeared malnourished and diseased, as if the city had been struck by the dual evils of famine and pestilence. Wild animals roamed through the streets, trampling over crowds of people or preying on them.

   True terror came over me when I heard the roars of horrific demons within the Earth, the center of the city, and above me in the sky. An earthquake shook the mountains, and I saw emerging from the hills worms and centipedes of gigantic size boring towards the city. Soon the wild animals began to flee in terror as I saw behemoths charge from the darkened city center towards them. In the sky, I heard again another deep roar and saw a dragon descend from the clouds breathing fire downwards. On the horizon, I saw a skeleton army charging toward the metropolis, blowing the horns of the damned as they raced towards people on their horses carrying a scythe to slay them. From a distance came what I perceived was a large missile being chased by smaller ones, but none were fast enough to destroy it.

   As it hit the city, I saw an explosion of immense magnitude shake the terrain of the Earth; its shock wave racing across the desert, obliterating those buildings, people, and monsters standing in its way. The falling sun became black as coal; the translucent moon became scarlet; all while the mushroom cloud blocked the light of the rising stars, replacing it with the light from its own thunderstorms. I began to sink into the sand beneath my feet, unable to move or break free, until I became covered in the rocks. I woke from this vision with tears streaming my down my face and burn marks on my hand where I had been holding the scroll to the podium.


THE KABBALISTS

  Bandaging my burns, I then placed the scroll back in storage, noticing that more of the parchment had burned away since I discovered it. I quickly wrote down my vision and documented the anomaly within our information database. Despite my initial attempts to suppress the event, the vision had changed my worldview fundamentally. No longer were those orators in the synagogues able to convince me of their reassurances derived from the Talmud17 which I had long ago doubted the authority of. Those in the Knesset18 were equally willing to proclaim the Promised Land had arrived with the war's victory, despite the warnings of my vision that all our military successes were a great mirage.

  One day, I had entered a synagogue associated with Karaite Judaism19 as part of our efforts to recruit from the Israeli populace. During their assembly, I was swayed by the sermon being delivered: "So long as the sons of Abraham fail to follow the covenant with Adonai, they will face the consequences for their sinfulness. The Word of Adonai are the words of authority, and by which all others are measured against." Speaking with the synagogue leaders, I expressed my interest in their denomination, and over twelve weeks became a new member of this faith. Validating my lineage, I took the new name 'ben Abraham' for I had always been a son of Abraham.

  Unit-36 operations began to expand extensively in the Sinai Peninsula, where we established a regional base at Mount Sinai in order to field longer expedition trips to religious sites across this region of desert. St. Catherine's Monastery served as the facade for our underground facility where we stored various anomalous artifacts. General Goren decided to retire from the Israeli Defense Forces in 1973 in order to run for Chief Rabbinate of Israel. This now meant that he would step down as Commander of Unit-36, so discussions were held to determine who the new leader would be.

  My conversion to Karaite Judaism was not well received by the other members; they valued the Mishnah20 and Gemarra21 more than the written words of the Torah. More concerning was a growing faction of Kabbalah22 practitioners who revered the Zohar23 more than the authoritative works of our faith. They saw our mission to return Jewish artifacts back under Israeli control through their idolatrous perspective of restoring the Supreme Crown to the Lord, making Him physically manifest on the plane of creation as he appeared in the Garden of Eden.

  I called out their sinful practices, "It is written, 'Go not aside unto necromancers, neither seek after wizards, for they defile you.' We would be wise to heed the commandments of Adonai." In response, they criticized my Arab descent, using it to question my loyalty to Israel and Judaism. General Goren was opposed to the Kabbalists, but he feared by angering them it would splinter our order beyond repair. A compromise candidate was struck between the Reform faction led by me, and the Conservative factions led by the Kabbalists, by choosing Meir Kahane as our leader.

  Meir was a new member recruited from the United States by General Goren, and he had a prior history of establishing Jewish defense groups in America. His zealotry and dedication to the Jewish people would be helpful in recruiting more members to the order, and his views were influential among the membership. Meir and I had personally spoken a couple of times, and while we both shared a similar belief in the importance of protecting Judaism, and not necessarily loyalty to the Israeli government, his views on non-Jewish people troubled me, as was his indifference to the Kabbalah issue.


INTERNAL FACTIONS

  In his inauguration party, Meir Kahane declared to us, "The Lord has chosen me, and has chosen us, to facilitate his mission of protecting and preserving the Jewish state. Our religion proclaims we are to establish and preserve our Promised Land at all costs. However, this government has so refused for too long to fulfill that commandment, just as our ancestors refused to destroy the Canaanites24! Unlike them, we know that the chosen people and the chosen nation are both the same anomaly, and the only one that matters." I feared Unit-36 was devolving into a nationalist paramilitary instead of a religious order and soon my fears became manifest.

  The surprise invasion by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan into Israeli territory on Yom Kippur25 resulted in significant amounts of reserve troops being deployed to active combat duty, including those Israeli military operatives who were a core part of our order. Commander Kahane took this opportunity to recruit more heavily within the Israeli defense community, and soon our unit began operating more like an active task force than a covert one. After Commander Kahane ordered anomalous weapons to be used to support the Israeli Navy, the Reform faction in protest demanded he step down if he chose to follow through with his directive.

  Commander Kahane, with the Kabbalists supporting him, responded by stripping our faction of membership. Forbidden from returning to any facilities operated by our order, making everything we had strived for seemed lost. I returned to meditate upon that vision I had at the start of my time in Unit-36 when I opened that scroll and saw that vision of desolation. Despite the fear I felt whenever I remembered it, I couldn't help but feel a sense of divine promise hidden within the devastation. At the synagogue, as I was studying the Scriptures, I felt the urge to turn to the Shemot26, where Moses Rabbenu ascended upon Mount Sinai. Perhaps if I followed in his footsteps with the scroll, I could receive divine guidance.

  While Unit-36 had conducted several excavations around Mount Sinai, only a handful had been at the mountain's peak, and never had anyone traveled alone and unarmed like our patriarch. Gathering the exiled members of Unit-36, we made the decision to storm the base near Mount Sinai at night under the cover of darkness. Because the larger war was stalemating, Commander Kahane's ability to secure all nine facilities our order had constructed was strained beyond capacity. We quickly overran the token defense, in part due to the fact we were the ones who helped develop and test their security protocols before.

  Establishing a perimeter near the base, I entered the facility and retrieved the Tanakh scroll that had been moved there. Afterwards, I began my ascent up the mount according to the way that had been done before in the Torah; the light of dawn creeping slowly up the horizon and tinting the landscape a red-orange hue. The terrain was not easy to climb during the day, much less at dawn, yet in this time of crisis, I knew not what else to do; our insurgency would die beneath Mount Sinai, or we would succeed in our mission — there were no other outcomes.


EZEKIEL'S VISION

  My vision returned to me slowly as I became conscious again. I had injured my back and leg, but I was still determined to accomplish the mission so I limped up the mountain. Finally reaching the summit, I lay before me the scroll but to my surprise nothing happened, even as seconds turned to minutes turned to hours. A sensation of desolation came over me; that initial vision I had may have been just that: the anomalous effects of the scroll upon my imagination. In desperation I began to pray, reciting the Shema27 out loud to the rising sun: "Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One. Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever."

  In that moment, the words of the scroll lit up again, shooting light upward into the sky, and from the Heavens, a vortex of fire descended around me. Awestruck, I saw above me the Lord's Chariot, with its wheels of beryl-tinted fire from my first vision. A cherubim protecting the throne descended toward me, holding in its hand a vessel of liquid flame burning bright red and orange. I heard the word 'Receive', and my face tilted upwards as if my spirit took control over my physical body. Emptying the vessel above me, the cherubim anointed my face with light and I felt the most intense sensation of agony and ecstasy vibrate throughout my entire sense of self.

  "Now you may speak with El Shaddai28," the cherubim declared, in what sounded more like the harmony of a song than the voice of a human. "Here I am, Lord. What you ask of me?" The Lord replied, "Simeon, son of Abraham, I have chosen you to show visions of things to come so that in those final days you will prophesy against Jerusalem's abominations by building my Third Temple and restoring the terms of the covenant. Once my tabernacle is returned to the temple, I will renew my spirit back upon Israel. The iniquities of Zion shall be redeemed in that day of judgment, and all the tribes of Israel under the Son of God will once again know that I am their Lord and they are my people."

  Suddenly, the Lord then put forth another vision before me: the Jerusalem Temple appearing more immaculate than any building I had ever seen. From the temple, a river of life was flowing outward from the Holy of Holies down the slope of Mount Moriah into a city of unimaginable beauty. Outside the temple were palm trees with cherubim separating each tree, all with only the faces of a man and a lion. The Lord continued, "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. You are to lead Blue Star under my guidance as the Restored Sanhedrin, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting peace. This is my covenant to you if you obey my law and only my laws."

  I asked the Lord, "I am not the Commander of Blue Star. How can I lead what I do not control?" The Lord replied, "My spirit will be with you; I will make thy face strong against their faces. However, I send this last warning to you: not even Blue Star will escape the fate that befalls all other societies should they fail to adhere to me. All of your leaders must repent, rise up, and judge themselves as I have judged Israel. Rest assured, I have not abandoned my people, I am waiting for the day they return to me." The Lord then threw down from his chariot towards the Earth a wooden staff beside me. A flash of light blinded my eyes as the Chariot raced away, and the fires died down to nothing.


DIVINITY UNVEILED

  Securing the frail scroll to my side, I removed the staff from the Earth and noticed it was formed from two separate rods, on the handle was the name 'Judah' and on the base was the name 'Joseph'. I staggered down the mountain with as much haste I could muster towards the base, just as the morning sun lifted itself into the sky. The staff began to mend my injuries and renew my spirit in full. At the bottom, my men were waiting, standing guard in case of a retaliatory attack, but as I made my way closer to them, their faces became afraid of mine. I commanded them to radio Commander Kahane to this location, and as expected, Commander Kahane's convoy pulled up hours later with his armed Kabbalists mercenaries to subdue us. However, once those mystic soldiers saw me, all of them then fell to their knees in awe: "Where his face is, there is only light of the Kether Elyon29!"

  Commander Kahane approached closer, confused and shaken at my appearance. I turned to face him directly so that I could issue my commandment: "I have seen the face of the Lord and he is filled with righteous indignation. It is written, 'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin30.' The idolatry of the Jewish state will fall, and soon comes Adonai's holy judgement. If the people of Israel are to be saved from that day of darkness, then from this moment on, Blue Star shall be under my control now." Commander Kahane nodded his head, and threw down his weapon before me, stating "I know better than the Pharaoh to test the will of God, Simeon." Commander Kahane then departed with a few soldiers while the rest stayed with me. As he left, the spirit of righteousness departed from me, and my appearance was made normal.

  The subsequent weeks of the war ended with another Israeli victory, but Minister Dayan lost his job in the political fallout from the conflict, as did my sister Rebekah. I arranged for her to join Blue Star in order to help us preserve communications with our undercover members in the rest of the Middle East. A week after we resecured our bases, I received a message from former-Minister Dayan over an encrypted telegram: "This isn't the news I wanted to give you, Commander Simeon, but the war was jeopardized this government in ways unforeseen when I had put together this task force. Given the circumstances we find ourselves in, I am issuing a directive to abandon and dissolve the organization. I hope you understand, and perhaps when things calm down, Unit-36 can be brought back in a new form."

  I deliberated with Rebekah before sending my response: "Thank you for the message, Minister Dayan, but there will be no abolishment of Blue Star. Not now and not ever, not until that day comes when the Third Temple is restored and we return our Ark to its rightful place inside it. I am prepared to make our group fully independent of government support. Our authority is no longer to this government alone, Minister Dayan, a Higher Authority now summons us for a new mission." Hours later, I received a final reply, "Unit-36 has been disbanded from our records. Do not reply to this message." Finally free from government oversight, we amended the Teshuva Charter to create a leadership council for our order, and all old and new members became unified again under our sole name 'Blue Star'. Amen.


Simeon ben Abraham finished writing the document, entitled "Chronicles of Unit-36", as a remembrance to their covenant with the Lord.

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