Jewish, Jewish, Everywhere, & not a drop to drink
Friday, May 23, 2003
WORDS OF REBUKE AND PROMISE:
THEN AND NOW.
In this week's, May 24 th , weekly Torah portion, one is struck by the absolutely amazing words of the Torah as being as relevant to Jews today, especially those dwelling in Israel, as it was over 3,300 years ago when Moshe wrote it down for the first time:
Rewards for Obedience:
"If you follow My laws and are careful to keep My commandments, I will provide you with rain at the right time, so that the land will bear its crops...I will grant peace in the land so that you will sleep without fear...You will chase away your enemies, and they will fall before your sword...I will turn to you, making you fertile and numerous, thus keeping My covenant with you." (Leviticus, Ch.26. vs. 3-13.)
Punishments for Disobedience:
"And if you do not listen to Me, and do not keep all these commandments.If you denigrate My decrees, and grow tired of My laws, then you will not keep all My commandments, and you will have broken my covenant. I will then do the same to you. I will bring upon you feelings of anxiety...and making life hopeless...you will be defeated by your foes, and your enemies will dominate you.You will flee even if no-one is chasing you...I will bring a vengeful sword against you to avenge My covenant...and give you over to your enemies...you will eat but you will not be satisfied." (Leviticus, Ch.26. vs. 14-26.)
Destruction and Repentance:
...I will scatter you among the nations, and keep the sword drawn against you...You will thus be destroyed among the nations...But when the time finally comes that their stubborn spirit is humbled, I will forgive their sin. I will remember My covenant...I will remember the land...I will therefore remember the covenant with the original ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations, so as to be a God to them. I am God. These are the decrees, laws, and codes that God set between Himself and the Israelites at Mount Sinai through the hand of Moses." (Leviticus, Ch.26. vs. 27-46.)
Any religious Jew sees and understands the blatantly obvious words of the Torah as a clear and present warning about how dangers come to upon us.Why are we plagued by suicide bombers? Why are we being picked on by the nations of the world? Why is anti-Semitism still alive and well? Why must the Land of Israel be given away to its enemies? When will Arafat and his evil cohorts "go away" forever? When will real and true peace finally arrive? Can it arrive? When can Jews, especially in Israel, expect to have normal lives again?
For the religious Jew, it is not necessary to look further than the opening words of this week's Torah portion.
It's up to us, the ENTIRE Jewish People, Am Yisrael,including the secularist Shinui in Israel and those who are self-proclaimed Jewish atheists in America, to "shape up" and become "ship shape" in adherence to, and practice of, the Torah, the Jewish Bible, and its commandments. They can "turn their ship around",or else face the fate of constantly being "shipped out" or worse "being thrown overboard" in different ways that G-d may choose.
Ultimately the Torah assures the Bnai Yisrael, that they will return safely to "home port" having survived the "tidal waves and storms", and then be reunited with their long lost beloved who was waiting for them all the time, G-d Himself.
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