Filed under: PARSHA REAH | Tags: Ayn-sof, CAVANOT, commandments, Mashiach, parsha, Re'eh, REAH
UPDATED AUGUST 25th, 2015
Here we are told of a blessing in fulfilling God’s commandments “ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse” (Deuteronomy 11:26). So it is every day in fulfilling the commandments.This promise can be a blessing or a curse. If we keep the commandments, it is a blessing, but if not, ownership of the land will be a curse to us, for the nations’ jealousy will be aroused in anger against those who dwell in the land. As the the right to dwell in the land is conditional upon doing what God wants, and not transgressing God’s laws.
The reward is the Holy one’s blessing, Blessed is His Name. Heaven forbid in not fulfilling the commandments we are asking for the curse. Not fulfilling the commandments we are told is as worshiping other God’s as its written ”if you will not obey the commandments of yhv”h Elohache”m, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you do not know (Deuteronomy 11:28) . This is similar as written in the psalms “They do not know, nor will they understand; they walk in darkness”(Psalms 82:5). We have been given the way of life by God in his commandments, this is our way, the way of out forefathers, peace unto them. To act in any other way would be to act irrationally, by the wind of folly. Its truly a way we “do not know”, because if one knew where that path leads they would certainly stay clear of it.
GOD commands in our parsha us not to “add to or subtract from the Torah”. Torah is perfect. If we change the Torah what we have left will no longer be Judaism. Rather some religion of our own making which is as the spiritual cesspool of a false prophet. Which undermines the very foundations of the Torah its moral and spiritual nature.
The Torah given at Sinai was given in the utmost clarity about GOD as the Source of it’s revelation and content. Even a prophet can never add of subtract anything from the Torah. A prophet can only temporarily suspend the laws of the Torah, as Eliyahu did on Mt. Carmel. The Torah will never change, challenging this principle challenges the very foundation on which the Torah is based. The Divine nature of the Torah. This was done in Germany with the creation of Reform and conservative Judaism before the holocaust and all know what happened there.
At the Sinai experience the entire nation reached the highest levels of prophecy. This provided us with the base to our belief in GOD and His Torah.
All the principles we need to apply to any new situation are already contained within the Torah, there cannot be any new situation can’t be understood by these principles.
Someone who causes others to sin is worse than someone who physically murders, for a murderer only kills a body in this world, one who causes others to sin is depriving, murdering the person from their portion in the World to Come. Just as there is a Torah obligation to save a person’s physical life, there is a similar obligation to save his life spiritually.
It is a positive command to listen the Sages’ explanation of the Torah, as the verse states “according to that which they will teach you, you should do.” There is also a command not to dispute the Sages’ rulings, as the verse states “do not go away from that which they will tell you left or right.”
The Torah was given in such a way that it requires the Sages to explain its laws.
The Sanhedrin during the 2nd Temple period and before prepared the Torah laws for codification. The Sages of each generation are not as great as a previous generation. So their ruling have binding authority on subsequent generations. A Sage who refuses to accept the final decision of the Sages and continues to tell people the law according to his own opinion which opposes the rulings accepted by the sages undermines the whole chain of continuity and viability of the Torah on earth and threatens GOD’s entire plan for the world. Such a person gets the death penalty (even now in some way from Heaven). As he is as a false prophet and murderer taking away one’s portion in the world to come. As these false “Rabbis” with their own opinions are denying the wisdom of the sages of Yisrael who’s intellects were operating at a level called רוח הקדש (The Holy Spirit), a phenomenally high spiritual level, which allows access to a much higher plane of understanding than normal intellect.
The early sages of the Sanhedrin who gave us the foundation of the codification of Torah law had to speak a majority of the languages of the world, understand science, medicine, astrology, astonomy and be familiar idolatrous practices of the time in order to decide their status.
Members of the Sanhedrin had to be lovers of people, well liked and in good standing in the community. They had to be outraged by oppression and all manner of untruth and moral perversion, feel themselves accountable to GOD rather than man. They had to be physically attractive, trustworthy, and wealthy yet not materialistic.
3 times in the parsha it is said to rejoice. “shall rejoice before Yhv”h “(12:12) and “you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, because Yhv’h Elohache”m has blessed you. (12:7) . As our Father Avraham did we should rejoice in our portion which is our blessing. Serve God in Joy. Not just doing the mitzvot, but doing them Joyfully, as a true expression of love. We should put great thought into our mitzvot so to beautify them. Concerning this we are instructed that Nothing illuminates the eyes of a man as secrets of the Torah. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochi said secrets are the “light”. If one learns correctly they will pray correctly, do mitzvot correctly all in simcha in good spirit. If one prays and knows “cavanot”(spiritual intention) of Teffila there is no greater joy in the world than this.1 Whoever can perform the “mitzvot” as is proper, and his words are correct arrouses God. But “sadeekem” who have knowledge concerning the essence of the meaning of the physical requirements of the Mitzvot and their words, and know how to have “cavana” (proper intent) in their hearts and are arroused in the “mitzvot”. They get blessings from the place of thought, and God is close to them. When they call to God he is ready and there for them. They interact with Divine providence.2 Rejoice doing the mitzvot to the best of your ability. This will result in the blessing mentioned in the first verse of parsha.
What exactly is this blessing ? In the Parsha the very famous verse
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” This chosen nature given to Yisrael by God in this verse does not say Yisrael will be exceptionally safe or exceptionally forgiven for their sins. The exceptional nature of Israel is that the eye of God is always upon them so to corrected them for their transgression so to raise them continually to a higher level of existence spiritually so that they may fulfill their purpose in the world. Concerning this Rabbi Yuhuda ha Nassi says : ” Consider 3 things and you will not be ruled by sin. There is a seeing eye above, a hearing ear and all your deeds are written in a book”. Even with this oversight-judgement of Israel their history is “exceptional” in the historical context of the nations. There are no more Amorites, the Roman empire is long gone, Sparta is fallen, Bavel is no more but Yisrael and the Hebrews are still a very powerful force in the world. The nation of Israel is exceptionally blessed !
The result of the blessing for one thing is we will be Holy people as it is written “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own treasure among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.(Exudus 19:5-6) To reach this blessing the path is spelled out in the laws of the Torah. Together these laws make the path that is “ right in the eyes of Yhv”h Elohech”a “(13:19). Know, There are those who serve God as slaves, they do not cleave in the Ayn-sof , except by histashalut (gradual unfolding). While those who serve God out of love cleave in God with out any “meshach” (screen-filter) separating.3 In the parsha we are told a way to help us fulfill the way of the Torah as its written “And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Yhv”h Elohech”a redeemed you ” (15:15). By remembering we were slaves, we can appreciate our freedom and rejoice in the way of the Torah. And by remembering the strong arm by which God redeemed us from Egypt with miracles while plaguing the Egyptians, and finally drowning them in the sea. We can realize the greatness of God and the love he has for us and thus we can Love God as is proper, and be in awe of him. Then we will be sure to see our righteous Mashiach quickly in our days.