TORAH – A BIRD’S EYE VIEW – Introduction

SERIES – A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE 5 BOOKS OF THE TORAH

More and more people are beginning to understand the value of the regular study of the weekly Torah portion. Many older folk have asked me, “Isn’t it too late for me to begin now?” My response is: “Better late than never!”

That, also, is my response to learning Hebrew and exploring the Hebraic heritage. Why? In each case every effort you invest is rewarded many times over.

In ‘A Bird’s Eye View,’ we examine an overview of each book as a whole, in order to lay a foundation for the study of the weekly portion. We will examine important themes and highlight  topics and aspects to look out for as you go through the book. It helps to see the bigger picture!

My hope, too, is that we approach the study of God’s Word with love, as a form of worship of Him. How we approach the Word causes it to become a Torah of love.
When we read it with an expectancy, with an ear to hear, we begin to identify God’s voice speaking to us as a loving Father who longs to make His love and will known.
In addition, we come to a greater understanding of just how relevant and applicable His Word is in relation to our personal lives and to what is happening in the world in general.

This year, may you invest some of your time in reading and exploring the layers of meaning in every weekly Torah portion. No matter how many annual cycles you accomplish, they only become richer and deeper.

~ Keren Hannah Pryor

GENESIS – A Bird’s Eye View

GENESIS – IN THE BEGINNING 

The Hebrew name of the book  of Genesis is the first word of the Bible – Breisheet, which means:

In the beginning…

The first seven chapters of the book are devoted to God’s creation of the universe. This includes the earth with all its vegetation, fish, birds and animals, which He declared to be good. All this was  crowned with the creation of man and woman in His image, to whom, unlike the animals, He gave the freedom of choice and moral responsibility. We then find the account of their fall from the Garden of Eden, and the first generation. Chapters 8 and 9 describe how God made a covenant with Noah and all mankind; chapters 10 and 11 contain the infamous story of the Tower of Babel and the genealogies of the sons of Noah.

The remainder of the book, from chapter 12, where God calls Abraham, to chapter 50, that tells of  the death of Joseph in Egypt, is the story of a family chosen by God to be His kingdom of priests and holy nation.  They would become the people through whom He would bring about the Redemption of all mankind.

The remaining 4 books of the Torah, from Exodus to Deuteronomy are about the further revelation of God, the proclamation of His Kingdom, and the revelation of His plan for this Redemption of the fallen world. 

THE BIG PICTURE

Looking at the big picture of Genesis, it is clear that the account of the Creation of the natural world is not the main issue. Rather, as we discover with the patriarchs, it is an expansion of the concept of covenant and of sanctified and loving relationships.

We know that God is the God of all mankind, so what is so special about the patriarchs and matriarchs of Israel and their descendants, the twelve tribes of Israel? They did not perform great miracles like Moses; they did not deliver great prophecies like Isaiah, Jeremiah and the other biblical prophets. They did not rule in Israel like David and Solomon. What we can derive from the text is the central reality of the eternal covenants God established with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

  1. They would have many descendants – as numerous as the stars in the heavens and the sand of the earth. (15:5; 17:1-8)
  1. They would inherit the land of Canaan, the land God chose for Himself, to place His Name there, and promised to them as an eternal inheritance. As God promises Jacob, “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”  (35:12)

The vital connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel is set and confirmed three times in this the foundation of His Word.

 FAITH AND LIFE

Is there anything else of importance we can learn from the family of God in Genesis?

Yes! There are significant lessons of faith and life we can learn from the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their families. For example, the great themes of sibling rivalry, of God’s direction and provision, of faith and prayer, of justice and morality.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in his commentary on the parashah, Vayashev, in Covenant & Conversation, 5777, points out that we also discover a continuing theme of the comparison between the people of the Abrahamic covenant and their pagan neighbors. It is not primarily about idolatry, but rather about adultery, promiscuity, rape, and sexually motivated violence. 

This factor, he says, gives us an entirely new way of thinking about the Abrahamic faith. Emunah, the Hebrew word generally translated as faith, does not have the same meaning as the English word faith. ‘Faith’ usually carries the meanings of belief, a set of principles, or a body of dogma. Rather, as illustrated in the lives of the patriarchs in Genesis, the Hebrew word emunah is mainly associated with faithfulness and relationship. It includes loyalty, commitment, trust, and acting with integrity. 

The central element highlighted in Genesis is marriage, and the holiness of sex in the context of marriage. Rabbi Sacks explains how it is marriage that:

 …comes closest to the deep resonances of the biblical idea of covenant. A covenant is a mutual act of commitment in which two persons, honoring their differences, each respecting the dignity of the other, come together in a bond of love to join their destinies and chart a future together. When the prophets want to speak of a covenantal relationship between God and His people, they constantly use the metaphor of marriage.

As I see it, the major difference between the God of Abraham and other worldly gods – whether they be the Greek gods, Allah, the pantheon of Hindu gods, or the secular god of Self, is that He is a God of truth, love and faithfulness. He does not impose His will upon us by force or violence, but gently pursues us and draws us to Himself. He woos us by His Spirit of holiness. Why? because His heart desires a relationship of love and trust; not one of fear, domination, and subservience. 

For those in relationship with the God of Israel, our Father in Heaven, idolatry – the “putting first” or worship of anything other than God Himself – is a form of adultery, a breaking of the covenant of love and commitment. When the foundational truths of the Covenant revealed in His Word are disregarded, so is moral self restraint. Man’s physical and intellectual strength and power are worshipped instead, which always results in excesses, violence and abuse. This can apply in the context of a family or community, or on a wider national and international scale.

Genesis reminds us that faithfulness to God, and faithfulness to one another, means love, loyalty, and commitment to His revelation and vision as presented to us in His Word and demonstrated to us by Messiah Yeshua. This faithfulness then results, as we see in the lives of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in our participation with God in His unfolding plan of Redemption for all mankind. 

~ Keren Hannah Pryor

EXODUS / SHEMOT  – A Bird’s Eye View

Let us take a quick look back – the book of GENESIS described the beginning of Creation, the account of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden and the Presence of God. The biblical narrative then followed the generations, through until Noah. Then, from Abraham and Sarah, the stories of the patriarchs and matriarchs were predominant. Genesis records God’s dealings with individuals and a family. Now, in EXODUS, a larger shift takes place and we read about God’s dealings  with a people; a nation. 

The book begins with the description of the slavery of the people of Israel.  The family of Jacob has multiplied exceedingly during their exile in Egypt and have grown to be a people. We realize that this, in fact,  is the reason they were enslaved. A new Pharaoh, who had not known Joseph and Jacob, pronounced, “Behold, the people of Israel are too numerous and strong for us!” (1:9)  He feared their growth and strength and the oppression and subjugation began. 

The account then proceeds with God’s intervention in effecting their salvation from the bitter bondage through His mighty outstretched arm and great miracles.

The one who now steps into the spotlight of this great biblical narrative is Moses; whom God calls to lead His people out of Egypt. 

What is the ultimate purpose of the Exodus? Is it simply to set the slaves free to go their own way and do as they please? No, we are told in chapter 4, verse 22:

Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.”

And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped. (4: 31)

“I WILL”

In chapter 6, verses 6-8, we find seven “I wills”  promised by God. The number seven in Scripture always carries the meaning of completion and perfection. God says:

 I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, 

and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 

I will take you to be My people, 

and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 

I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 

I will give it to you for a possession. 

I am the Lord.’”

 

WHY THE DELIVERANCE?

What is the reason we may deduce for the deliverance of HIs people?

The purpose is Relationship on two levels. One between a King-Redeemer and His people and the other between a Loving Father and His children.

The slaves, who only knew a Ruler as a cruel tyrant, now needed to learn the reality of God as a just, faithful King. Even further, to know Him as a Father and come to understand and to experience His  love. In this spacious and generous love they would come to find peace, healing, and rest; and, in addition, the truth that His children do not need to struggle to earn His love, nor fear to lose it, for nothing can separate us from His love. 

Our hearts were created for love, to receive it and to give it; to respond to His abundant and unconditional love with hearts filled with love, and worship. Worship is simply loving Him back – as totally and completely as we can! It’s from hearts of gratitude and love for Him that all true acts of goodness flow. 

Verse 3, in chapter 19, tells us: “I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”

God doesn’t only set us free from whatever bondage we were in, He wants us to soar like eagles – to reach spiritual heights far above the level of the world and not to stay waddling around on the ground like turkeys! That’s one of the reasons that He tells us, in effect, 

“Always remember Yetziat Mitzraim – the Exodus from Egypt, that once you were slaves and weighed down in bondage but now you are set free to soar like an eagle!”

THE WILDERNESS AND MORE MIRACLES

 With God’s great miracles, the Israelites are redeemed and the long journey through the wilderness begins. In a deeper spiritual sense, it is a search for Truth and the way back from the universal exile to the Garden and God’s Presence. It is a return to the place of intimate relationship where one can walk and talk with Him again – and also to learn and grow into the fulness of who He created each one to be.

The physical contrast between the wilderness and the Garden of Eden is stark.

The Garden of Eden was a beautiful setting for [man] this beloved creation of God. It was a place traversed by flowing, sparkling waters and filled with lush foliage and flora of dazzling color – pleasing to all the senses. …Man and beast lived in tranquil unity and the Spirit of God permeated the entire expanse. It was ideal. It was paradise.

The desert wilderness…appears as the very antithesis of the Garden of Eden. All its elements seem in opposition to man.It is desolate, seemingly empty and barren of life.  The desert in which the Israelites find themselves is described as , “a great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where there was no water. (Deuteronomy 8:15)

~ A Taste of Torah, Keren Hannah Pryor, 165

And yet, the wilderness is the place of Revelation where God chooses to give the revelation of Himself and His Kingdom; and there, too, He presents His gift to them of His Word – His Torah, or the teachings of how to live in His Kingdom.

We saw in Genesis how God met with Adam and Eve – a couple, two individuals, in the Garden; then how He met and spoke with individuals, for example: Cain, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Rebecca, Jacob. Now, for the first time, He is coming down to meet with a whole people – the people He has chosen to be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  It is another new beginning; stemming from the lowest place a person can sink – a slave with no recognized personal identity and no right to speak and act for oneself. The precious gift of “free will,” specifically given by God to human beings, had been removed by man. 

Now, the Israelites have been set free but we learn that the transition and transformation from an oppressed and enslaved people to a holy, kingdom of priests serving a loving God is not instantaneous, nor is it smooth – there is a lot of murmuring and complaining! However, with God’s help, it is sure and progressive, which is a great encouragement to each of us on our own spiritual journey.

The two major themes found in Exodus:  REDEMPTION and REVELATION.

REDEMPTION

By His great salvation and redemption of the Israelites out of Egypt, God proved He was the Master of the world and could accomplish anything, even outside HIs own established, natural order. The people of Israel were too weak and helpless to stand up and fight for themselves. Pharaoh, in similar manner to the great Caesars and dictatorial rulers throughout history, exalted himself as a god. To stand against the pride and arrogance of Pharaoh, God chose Moses, who is described as “…the most humble man who ever lived.”

It was a battle of wills between Pharaoh and God, and God demonstrated His power to effect salvation through the supernatural miracles of the plagues and the parting of the Reed Sea. However, in the continuing story of the Exodus, God wanted to convey to His people that true Redemption is not about what He can do. Miracles don’t last! For example, consider the manna in the wilderness. This was an amazing miracle – bread falling from the sky to feed you every day. As time went on, however, it was taken for granted and some people even complained that it was boring! 

God offers Salvation as a free and miraculous gift but, as the Israelites needed to learn, full Redemption is not passive. It requires our participation and effort – our working with God in the context of a personal and intimate relationship with Him. And, even if the situation is not resolved immediately, you know you are progressing towards it and, with His help, you can persevere and keep going. We can apply this concept on a personal level, and even on a national level, but God’s Full and Final Redemption will happen on a universal level. The overarching idea to grasp and understand is that our loving relationship with Him, and our partnering with God in the work He is doing, are both needed for the unfolding of His plan of Redemption.

God did not miraculously clear the promised land of the enemies and then supernaturally transport the people of Israel from Egypt to the Land and plant them there. No! They had to learn of Him, grow in His ways, outgrow their slave mentality and, in faith and faithfulness, press on towards the goal themselves. That’s how full Redemption comes. We do our part with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and then God does His part. Even in Egypt, the Israelites needed to act in obedience to God’s instructions through Moses. They had to choose a lamb, slaughter it, and dab its blood on their doorposts. Then, on a specific night, they had to cook and eat it and be prepared to travel. They didn’t understand why, or know how God was going to do it, but they acted and then, in accord, He acted.

The world is in chaos right now. People are being enslaved by hatred and terrorism. And also by worldly excess on one hand, and extreme poverty on the other. God’s people should be crying and interceding – crying out in prayer to God for Israel and for His purposes and plan of Redemption to go forward. There can be no order and balance and true harmony without God’s peace and Presence. Baruch HaShem – Bless His Name, we still see evidence of it where Truth and Love are in operation. We can rejoice in knowing that He loves us and strengthens us to keep caring and growing and building and allowing the light of His Truth – of His Word and Mashiach, Messiah, to shine and break through where there is darkness in the world.

REVELATION

The important element God was providing HIs people with at Sinai was VISION.

A vision of Himself – not as a hard, unforgiving judge but as a faithful, loving Father.

A vision for themselves – not as slaves, bound, helpless, worthless, but as beloved children, holy partners with God in His Kingdom.

A vision of the Land He promised – that, although now distant and difficult to inhabit, would one day become again the Garden of Eden.

When we receive and understand this vision from God as two-fold – initially for our personal lives and also as a vision for His wider Kingdom and universal purposes – then this vision becomes our spirit’s home and we can grow in every way, spiritually and physically, in peace and joy.

 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps God’s law,
happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)

Without the greater vision of God our spiritual “homes” can become limiting prisons of negative thoughts and frustrated emotions. We end up, as the Israelites often did – losing faith, not trusting God with gratitude, but simply murmuring and complaining.

When faced with the inevitable challenges and disappointments of life, we can ask ourselves the tough questions, for example “Why is it so hard?” “Why am I not there yet?” “Why don’t I understand God’s ways?” We can find an answer at Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush! 

God says to him: “FIRST remove your sandals (na’alaim in Hebrew) from your feet (reglaiim).”
The Hebrew words can also be read: First remove the na’alim (locks) from your regalim (habits).

Unlock yourself from the negative habits that chain you down and limit you. Then you can walk in My ways and worship me more fully.

Our Abba Father tells us: “You were created to be beautiful, in a beautiful setting, enjoying great beauty!” But, because this is a broken world that needs tikkun – repair, we are not seeing the fullness of that yet. Thankfully, by His grace, we do get tastes and glimpses of that beauty; however, we need to keep the central vision alive in our souls and know that the full and final Redemption will come to pass at its appointed time. Messiah will return to Jerusalem as Mashiach ben David to establish and rule as King over His Father’s Kingdom.

We need to keep the eternal perspective, the bird’s eye view, of Redemption and hold onto the vision of the World to Come – Olam HaBa. At the same time, however, to quote Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest:

“We look for visions and …the thunder of God’s power, and all the time He is in the commonplace things and people around us!” 

It is our “hands on” task on this earth, to participate in tikkun olam – the healing of the world, in every little thing that our Father gives into our hands to do. The whole world is in exile from the Garden of God and our constant aim and effort must be working with Him towards the full and final Redemption. The way to do that is always in the everyday little things done in love for His glory.

~ Keren Hannah

Artwork: Yoram Raanan, Israel

DEUTERONOMY – A Bird’s Eye View

 

Enjoy an overview of the amazing final book of the Torah – Deuteronomy / Devarim – Words.

DEUTERONOMY – A BIRD’S EYE VIEW

Deuteronomy is the fifth and final book of the Torah. It is a compilation of the last discourses given by Moses to the nation of Israel before his death, when they had reached the border of the Land of Israel.  The original Hebrew name of the book was Mishnei Torah, or Repetition of the Torah. Greek speaking Jews, in the Septuagint, translated it as Deuteronomian (literally meaning The Second Law), which then was adopted in Latin as Deuteronomium and into English as Deuteronomy. 

Later, the Hebrew name of a book, or Torah portion, was taken from words in the opening sentence of the book or parashah. In this case, the book begins, “Eleh ha’devarim”… These are the words.”

Moses’ first discourse summarizes the history of the nation during their 40 year journey through the wilderness on the way from Egypt to the Land G-d had promised their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the following two discourses, Moses predominantly presents the Israelites with guidance and instructions on how to live as the people of G-d after they were settled in the Land. Moshe knew, both rationally and through his wisdom and experience,  the many physical, cultural, and spiritual challenges the Israelites would be faced with while dwelling among the surrounding pagan nations. He also knew, prophetically, that they would be drawn into idolatry and fall away from God and His ways.

We can appreciate Moshe’s wisdom as a teacher. Repetition and revision are important tools in helping us to retain what we have learned. He also emphasizes the fact that the great, multi-dimensional truths of G-d’s Word constantly need to be learned anew, and that they always would yield deeper and richer insights. On closer inspection, while it is very practical and instructional for the daily life of the nation, we find that Devarim is the most prophetic of the 5 books of Torah. Much of Moses’ discourse is a distillation and a review of the previous teachings but 70% is new, because it applies to their future in the Land and highlights the bond between the people and the Land.  Interestingly, Devarim is the book most quoted by Yeshua.

JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS

“First mention” is an important element in exegesis of the biblical text. The first subject Moses reviews is the appointment of judges. He explains the importance of instituting a legal system and the role of judges. He tells them, “And I commanded your judges at that time saying, ‘Hear disputes between your brothers and judge justly between a man and his brother…’ (1:16). The literal meaning of the word ‘justly’ is to make sure that the judgment is fair and honest.

In an article in the Jerusalem Post, entitled Compassion and Justice, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites in Jerusalem, points out an added interpretation of the word is “by compromise.” This added nuance is significant. It reveals that the judges should not base their decisions on absolute strict justice – the letter of the law set in stone, as it were. They should temper the argument, the case being presented, with rachamim – mercy, and attempt to encourage the litigants on both sides to give in a little – to soften their hearts and to compromise their demands.

Interestingly, particularly in the light of Tisha B’Av (9th Av), which is the fast day marking the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem, the Sages in the Talmud say that: “Jerusalem was destroyed because people there insisted on their rights based on the full letter of the law, and were not willing to be lenient.” (Tractate Baba Metzria, daf 30). Rabbi Rabinowitz highlights the fact that a person should rise above the natural position of demanding what he thinks he deserves. One’s attitude should be softer, more inclusive and compassionate. This trait of mercy is woven through the Word of G-d, because this is the correct way to live – the way that reflects our Father’s character and heart.  Justice is balanced with mercy. Thus we find the great themes of Devarim, just as through the whole Word of G-d, are justice, righteousness, and mercy. This is highlighted in the first haftarah (prophetic portion ) of Devarim. Isaiah 1:27, “Zion shall be redeemed through justice and her penitent through righteousness.”

FINAL DAYS

Moses, at the time of  this delivery of his final series of teachings, was 120 years old. It took 36 days (from 1 Shevat to 6 Adar, the day of his death). The teachings and iteration of the Covenants G-d had made with His people fill the bulk of the book – chapters 1 – 30. The remainder of the book, chapters 31 -33, describe the last days of Moses, and his farewell address to the children of Israel. We are told that Moses’ “eyes were not dim” and his natural natural strength was unabated., but he says, “I am no longer able to go out and to come in” ( 31:32). He could no longer accompany them on their journey and enter the Land of Promise with them; but he encourages them and says; “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear nor be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your G-d who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you!” (31:6).

We hear a beautiful echo of this in the gospel of John (14:7) when Yeshua was addressing his disciples before going to his death, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. … Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” He was preparing them to go out into the gentile, pagan world to share his message of the Kingdom of G-d and the way of repentance and into relationship with the Father of all. He also adds, “I will never leave you nor forsake you but will be with you until the end of the age!” 

FAREWELL SONG OF PRAISE

Finally, in Devarim , the Lord exhorts Moses to write his farewell song and to teach it to the children of Israel. The song would be a testimony to the everlasting Presence and goodness of G-d and, when they went astray, it would remind them of His merciful gift of teshuvah – repentance, . They would always have the opportunity to repent of their ways and to return to their Father,  the G-d of Israel. In the penultimate parashah, Ha’azinu – Give Ear, (Ch. 32), Moses delivers his song to the Israelites on the last day of his life. It is an inspired poem of stirring beauty. His prophetic words describe the future destiny of G-d’s people. We realize that all history is the revelation and expression of our Father G-d’s love and care. The song opens with the appointment of heaven and earth as witnesses and guarantees of G-d’s everlasting covenant with Israel. “Give ear –ha’azinu, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear – tish’mah the word of my mouth.”

Next comes a glorious outburst of praise, describing the true character of G-d and His justice, faithfulness and pure righteousness.

“Ascribe greatness to our G-d the Rock; His work is perfect for all His ways are just. A   G-d of faithfulness, without iniquity; righteous and upright is He.” (32:3-4).

Sadly, the song also proclaims that the people would grow “fat and prosperous” and forsake and even scoff at G-d. They would become spiritually bent and corrupt and forsake the righteous ways of His Word. G-d, however, would remain faithful and the unchanging Rock of their Salvation. If they will return to Him in true repentance, He will always be there to lift them up and to straighten their crooked ways.  This truth of G-d’s unfailing love for His people is echoed by the prophet Hosea (14:1-2): “Return, O Israel, unto the Lord your G-d, for you have been stubborn because of your iniquity. Take with you WORDS (DEVARIM) and return to the Lord.”

Hosea points out that G-d does not want animal sacrifices, but longs to hear words of confession and repentance offered from sincere hearts. The prophet emphasizes the unbreakable 3-cord strand, the indelible connection, between the G-d of Israel and His Word, the children of Israel, and the land of Israel. Hosea confirms that when they turn from the idolatry of the work of their hands, the Lord promises to heal and restore the children of Israel. Then they will flourish in His love, and their Land will be healed. Once again it will produce grain and “blossom as the vine”. And Israel will become convinced that : “The ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them.” (14:9)

MOSES’ BLESSING

After the song, the Torah concludes in Ch. 33 with Moses’ blessing – in the final parashah Ve’zot Ha’bracha, which begins, “And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of  G-d, blessed the people of Israel before his death.” Moses is about to set out on his final ascent. He goes alone to meet with his G-d, just as he did on Mount Sinai. He passes through the camp as a father taking leave of his children, and he blesses the various tribes. Finally, he raise his hands over the whole multitude for his last general blessing, one of great beauty, encouragement, and comfort. 

“There is none like G-d, O Israel, Who reads through the heavens to your help. The eternal G-d is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

As we conclude the Torah Cycle with the Festival of Simchat Torah, “The Joy of Torah,” we can celebrate Messiah Yeshua’s life as the Torah made flesh. The one who fulfilled all the just requirements of the Torah and was obedient to the Father’s will even unto the cursed death on a tree, so that all peoples of all the nations, through his, could have access to eternal and abundant life as children of the Father in the Kingdom of G-d. In his letter to believers in Rome, the apostle Paul highlights the mission of Yeshua to the world. In Romans 15:8-10, he describes how, Yeshua came as a suffering servant to Israel, those already in the covenant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “To show G-d’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, AND in order that the gentiles might glorify G-d for His mercy.

As it is written: ‘Therefore I will praise You among the gentiles, and sing to Your Name.’ And again as it is said, ‘Rejoice, O gentiles, together with His people!” Amen! 

At the close of every book of Torah we proclaim: 

Chazak, Chazak, veNitchazek!

Be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen one another!   

If you would like to  explore more in-depth commentary of Deuteronomy/Devarim,  you can order a copy of  A TASTE OF TORAH   at http://www.ffoz.org