Preparation for the Promised Land

Parashat Ki Tavo

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, begins with the words, “When you have come to the land HaShem your G-d is giving you…” What follows is an entire parashah emphasizing the observance of the mitzvot.

The question arises as to why G-d would emphasize the observance of the Torah before bringing Israel into to the Promised Land. Would it not make more sense to first bring them into the Land, and then give them the Torah?

We are currently in the Jewish month of Elul – a time of preparation leading up to Rosh HaShanah, and the following High Holidays. The reason we have the month of Elul is because G-d is concerned about order and protocol. The entire Torah is about the proper order and protocol of living out our lives in the presence of HaShem. As such, we cannot just come marching into the High Holidays and expect to just shout out, “Here I am!” We have an opportunity for a mo’ed, a divinely appointed and set-apart time when G-d chooses to meet with us. Such an opportunity requires preparation on our part.

One of the several themes of Rosh HaShanah is the coronation of G-d as King. If we were to be summoned before an earthly king or queen, wouldn’t we want to prepare ourselves and make sure we were at our best? Then how much more so should we be preparing to meet with the King of the Universe! We have been given an opportunity to meet with G-d. The month of Elul is our preparation period to ensure that when we stand before HaShem on Rosh HaShanah, that we are coming at our best, and have prepared ourselves to be in the presence of G-d. We must get ourselves right, so we can stand upright before HaShem.

That is the purpose in Ki Tavo. The Jewish people were given the Torah before coming into the Promised Land because coming into the Land meant coming before G-d. The land of Israel is interconnected with G-d in the deepest way. So coming into the land symbolizes coming into G-d’s presence. In this week’s portion it states:

You are to take the first-fruits of all the crops the ground yields, which you will harvest from your land that HaShem your G-d is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place where HaShem your G-d will choose to have His Name live (Deut. 26:2).

G-d has chosen the land of Israel as the place where G-d’s presence resides on earth. By coming into the Land, Israel is coming into G-d’s presence. Therefore, G-d emphasizes Israel’s preparation and observance of the “How to’s” of being in the manifest presence of HaShem (i.e. the mitzvot). That is also why the section of blessings and curses in the parashah is so severe. Being in the presence of G-d requires greater accountability. As we the Jewish people had to prepare to come into the Promised Land (i.e. G-d’s presence), so should we be in preparation for the coming of Rosh Hashanah, and another opportunity to be in the presence of G-d.

L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu – May you be inscribed for a sweet new year!
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Two New Book Reviews!

Me and my first book

First time seeing my book finally in print.

Two more book reviews on my new book, Jude: On Faith and the Destructive Influence of Heresy.

The book has already received quite a bit of attention and the publisher just informed me that they are about to already do a second printing.

James Pyles (My Morning Meditations)

Fellow-blogger, James Pyles, from the popular Messianic blog, My Morning Meditations, last week posted a really nice review.

James writes:

Although fairly short (just 100 pages, reflecting the brevity of Judah’s letter), this book is packed with very useful interpretations and viewpoints on the imagery employed by the writer and its likely impact on the letter’s Jewish readers (and the objects of his criticism, the false teachers).

He then goes on to state:

… what I took away from this book was the clearing up of a lot of the mysterious and even “mystical” illustrations used by Judah. Once R. Josh pulled back the curtain and let me peek inside, I “got” what the letter writer was attempting to say.

He concludes his review with an endorsement of the book:

I highly recommend Rabbi Josh’s book Jude: Faith and the Destructive Influence of Heresy for anyone who wants a clear understanding of Judah’s (Jude’s) brief but complex epistle, and especially for those who are interested in seeing the Bible through a Messianic Jewish lens. R. Josh’s book is a fine addition to anyone’s library of Biblical commentary.

Thanks, James, for your review!

You can read the full review HERE.

unnamedThe Messianic Times (Book of the Month)

The Messianic Times also wrote a short online review (the full review will be released in the next issue) and even made it their book of the month for August. In their review (based largely on Rabbi Derek Leman’s review) they write:

This short, readable Messianic Jewish commentary by a well-known young Messianic rabbi … could add some energy to any Bible discussion.

You can read their online review in full HERE.

*Amazon has had a difficult time keeping them in stock, so if it is unavailable you can purchase the book directly through the publisher

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Pieces to a Scattered Puzzle

Parashat Ki Tetze

On the outset, this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze, seems to be just a condensed list of random instructions. It also seems to leave out familiar content found in most of the other portions in the Torah.

Ki Tetze lacks the familiar phrases of G-d instructing Moses to speak to the people of Israel. Additionally, it never even mentions Moses or his brother Aaron. Another peculiarity is that most of the Torah portions contain stories that bring together the different commandments, giving it a sense of continuity. However, Ki Tetze seems to be a spattering of a bunch of different mitzvot, without any kind of intertwined story. There seems to be a complete lack of any apparent order or theme.

To understand the purpose of Ki Tetze, one has to think about it as a puzzle. When one examines the different commandments on a deeper level, the mitzvot begin to exemplify a common thread that intertwines each of the commandments with one another. This common unifying thread isrelationships and forbidden unions. When one understands this theme, the portion begins to take on new meaning. What is the purpose of these seemingly unrelated mitzvot? The purpose is to instruct us in the proper and improper way to conduct ourselves with others.

Ki Tetze begins with mitzvot concerning the relationship of an Israelite man who wishes to marry a captive woman. It goes on to mention the instructions for a wayward son, and the obligation to extend goodness toward a fellow person: “You are not to watch your brother’s ox or sheep straying and behave as if you hadn’t seen it (Deut. 22:1).” Additionally, “If you find something they lost, you must not ignore it (22:3).”

The entire portion discusses rules of unions, and serves as a reminder of the importance of making sure a relationship is not “mixed,” or impure. As such, there are mitzvot that also serve as reminders to avoid impure relationships and unions. These are the laws of shatnetz, the mixing of species and threads (22:6-11), and the wearing of tzitzit (22:12), which serve as a reminder to observe all the mitzvot.

The remainder of the portion continues with instructions regarding relationships, and who can and cannot enter into the assembly of Israel. These commandments are meant to keep the community of Israel’s relationship with HaShem pure. Ki Tetze also deals with the mitzvot concerning those who have violated the instructions regarding relationships (punishments), or to clarify what to do to end a phase of a relationship, as exemplified by the laws concerning the giving of a get, a written document of divorce (24:1-4).

The point of Ki Tetze is relationships, and specifically how to conduct ourselves in relation to one another. This is the essence of holiness. For G-d takes this matter seriously. The Torah repeatedly instructs us on our relationships – both with G-d, and to others.

May we, with G-d’s help, merit that level of unity with each other and with our Creator. “Barcheinu Avinu, kulano k’echad – Bless us, our Father, all of us as one.”

L’Shana Tova Tikateivu – May you be inscribed for a sweet new year!

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Parashat Shoftim, Doubt, and Commissioning Disciples

John 20:19-29

Commission, authority and lack of faith.  These are the three primary themes found in this week’s Besora reading.  The Book of John describes Yeshua’s appearance to his disciples immediately following his death and crucifixion.  Shocked at what they were witnessing, Yeshua showed them the wounds in his hands and his side.  Once they realized it was truly Yeshua and not a vision, they were overjoyed.

Yeshua, almost continuing a form of commissioning found in our Torah portion, Shoftim, commissions his followers to be sent out as emissaries to the world – “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you (John 20:21).” It says that Yeshua then “breathed on them,” they were filled with the Spirit, and given authority in deciding spiritual and halachic matters.

One of the followers, Thomas, doubted what the other disciples described.  Thomas vowed not to believe their story unless he was physically able to touch Yeshua’s wounds.

A week later Yeshua appeared again and specifically approached Thomas.  Allowing him to physically touch and witness the evidence of his crucifixion, Thomas believed that it truly was Yeshua.  Although Yeshua was moved, he declared, “how blessed are those who do not see and yet trust anyway.”

Although we may not be part of the original twelve, we are all followers of our Mashiach.  And we too have been commissioned as shlichim – as emissaries to a world in need of Light.  Reb Nachman of Breslov once taught, “The whole world is a very narrow bridge, but above all, do not fear.”

That is the same message of our Rebbe and Mashiach!  As we carry out this assignment in preparing the world for the coming of Messiah we will face trials and hardships.  But above all, we must not fear or doubt.  Rather we must walk in the Spirit and authority given to us as followers of our risen Messiah, and carry out the task assigned to us.

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Elul: A Month of Love and Preparation

Today begins the Hebrew month of Elul. Elul is a very special month because it is the month preceding Tishrei – the month the High Holidays fall in. Traditionally it is known as a month of preparation. This preparation, called Cheshbon HaNefesh, is a time we begin to take an accounting of our soul. We recall our thoughts and actions over the past year and begin to seek t’shuvah (repentance) for those things and with those we may have wronged.

In recognition of this special month, and in anticipation for the upcoming High Holidays, a few additions are added to our daily prayers. One of the most noticeable is the sounding of the Shofar every morning. Traditionally, we Jews only blow the Shofar once a year – every morning of the month of Elul leading up to, and on, Rosh HaShanah and Neilah (the concluding service) of Yom Kippur. The reason is because of the specialness of the blowing of the Shofar. Jewish tradition teaches that there is something spiritual and mystical about the blowing of the Shofar. According to the Talmud (b. Rosh Hashana 16b):

Rabbi Abahu asks, “Why do we sound the horn of a ram [on Rosh HaShanah]? Because the Holy One, Blessed be He, said, ‘Blow Me a ram’s horn that I may remember unto you the binding of Isaac the son of Abraham, and I shall account it unto you for a binding of yourselves before me.’”

For us Jews, the sounding of the shofar is not meant to be a quaint traditional practice, but a spiritual wake-up call! As the Rambam points out, it is meant to “Rouse the slumbers’ from their sleep!”

Another familiar addition is Psalm 27 – the Psalm associated with the High Holidays. Psalm 27 is added to all of the services beginning with the first day of Elul and continuing through Hoshanah Rabbah at the end of Sukkot (in some congregations, only through Yom Kippur).

How are we to understand this preparation period of Elul?

The rabbis teach us that Elul is actually an acronym. Each of the Hebrew letters - אלול - alef, lamed, vav, lamed – stand for the beginning letter of each word in the phrase “אני לדודי ודודי לי – ani l’dodi v’dodi li – I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” A familiar phrase taken from Song of Songs 6:3.

The illustration of Elul in Jewish thought is the preparation before a wedding. The holidays in Hebrew are called mo’edim, set appointed times when God chooses to meet with us. The High Holidays are the pinnacle of these appointed times. HaShem desires that we should be caught up in a love affair with Him. As Abraham Joshua Heschel points out, God is in pursuit of a relationship with us. God desires communion with creation and the High Holidays are set times which God “clears away His calendar” so to speak, and chooses to spend an even greater amount of time with us. Although we can meet with God anytime, the mo’edim are specific and special times.

The High Holidays are also when many believe the Mashiach will return – at the final blast of the Shofar. As such, the High Holidays will inaugurate the final consummation at the end of the age when the Groom returns for His Bride, and ushers in the Messianic Age.

That love of HaShem for us, and us for HaShem is the picture of Elul. It is preparation not just for “some holiday.” It is our preparation time to meet with God. Elul is also our preparation for the coming of Mashiach, and preparation for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (see Rev. 19). I hope we’re ready for the month of Elul and all that it brings.

L’Shana tova tikateivu – May you be inscribed for a sweet New Year!

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Prophetic Vision and the Essence of HaShem

Parashat Re’eh

The opening line of this week’s Torah portion reads, “See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse (11:26).” The first word of the parasha, re’eh, is conjugated in an imperative form. Meaning that it is a command to do, to pay attention to, and “to see to” all the instructions G-d is setting forth.

Moshe does not just present Israel with a choice between blessings and curses. Moshe actually opens with a prophetic blessing to the Jewish people. The blessing is the hope that Israel would be able to re’eh – “see” beyond the blessings and curses. It is the prayer of Moshe that the Jewish people would not only observe the mitzvot of HaShem, but would be able to prophetically “see” G-d’s ultimate purposes.

To be able to see is to have vision. Proverbs 29:18 states:

Without a prophetic vision, the people throw off all restraint; but he who keeps Torah is happy.

Moshe is directly connecting observance of Torah with spiritual discernment and prophetic (spiritual) giftings. Walking in the ways of HaShem is the path of spiritual maturity. All of Deuteronomy is a repetition of the Torah, and this week’s portion is an even further condensed repetition. As such, the opening verse of the portion speaks of the importance of re’eh, “seeing” to all that G-d requires of us.

Observance of the mitzvot is an exercise in spiritual discipline. In doing the things G-d instructs us, we become more sensitive to the lifestyle of the Spirit. As such, it is the blessing of Moshe that by choosing to follow G-d’s instructions we will re’eh – “see” into the mysteries of HaShem. That is why the Torah concludes with the commandments concerning the shalosh regalim, the three pilgrimage festivals, when we are to appear before G-d – Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot. These festivals are known as mo’edim.The word mo’ed is a divine appointment. These are times when G-d chooses to meet with us. Times set aside for G-d to impart something within us. These are opportunities for relationship.

G-d’s ultimate purpose for us is relationship. According to the great Jewish philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel, since creation, G-d has been in pursuit of that relationship with us. When we invest in our relationship with HaShem, and draw closer to Him by observing what the Torah instructs, we are choosing “to see” spiritually. Parashat Re’eh gives us the keys to establishing the very presence of G-d in our midst. This week’s portion guides us through the observance of kashrut, the dietary laws, the rules for offering gifts (tithes, offerings, and sacrifices), and for the mo’edim, as prophetic opportunities to understand the essence of HaShem.

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Food of Complacency

Parashat Eikev

Food: Something many of us enjoy … and maybe often a little too much. Reading through our Torah portion, Eikev, I thought about the great holiday dinners of Pesach, Rosh HaShanah, Thanksgiving and others. There is nothing like that satiated feeling after an excellent meal, where you feel like curling up on the floor and drifting off into a “food coma.”

When we are without food, we cry out to God like our ancestors did in the wilderness, wondering why God has abandoned us. We kvetch and complain without faith in God’s provision. And yet, when God does bring nourishment into our lives, whether physically or spiritually, we often momentarily thank HaShem before wolfing down our food, and again fall quickly back into complacency.

Judaism teaches that in all things we must bless HaShem. And how much more so in those difficult times, like when we are happy, full, and content after a wonderful meal? Torah teaches us that although we are commanded to enjoy the finer things in life, we should remember there are finer spiritual delicacies as well:

A person does not live by bread alone but on everything that comes from the mouth of HaShem. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Many faith traditions have a custom to bless God before we eat. We do this in Judaism as well. However, the Torah emphasizes that our greatest blessing should come AFTER we eat:

You will eat and be satisfied, and you will bless HaShem your God for the good land He has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:10)

Hence, the mitzvah for Birkat HaMazon. When our natural tendency is to slip into a food coma, Torah instructs us to acknowledge God after we have eaten so that even in our satisfaction, we give thanks to our Provider. This reminds us that our true life source is not physical food alone, but HaShem, the Creator of all things.

Moshe links the command to bless God after we have eaten to God’s provision of manna from heaven. The manna was a spiritual sustenance that the rabbis recognized nourished the soul as well as the body. According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

In truth however, Moshe’s words are applicable now as well, because it is not the physical efforts of working the land alone that causes the land to yield produce. Rather, man’s efforts merely create a ‘vehicle’ into which God places His blessings, and it is the Divine blessing which provides us with sustenance. Therefore, even the food which grows from the ground is in fact ‘food from heaven.’ (Likutei Sichos 16)

As we daily eat and are satisfied, let us not forget that it is not by bread alone that we live. When those times in our lives arise when it is easier to just slip into a food coma, let us overcome those moments and use them as a vehicle for blessing God. This was the lesson of our Mashiach when he too encountered temptation in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-4). Instead of giving-in to simple satisfaction, he countered the Adversary with the exact words from our Torah portion.

May we also remember that we do not live by bread alone. As followers of our Mashiach, we are continually nourished spiritually as well. As we eat, let us give thanks to our Creator and for His daily provision in our lives.

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Love, Hate and the Greatest Commandment

Parashat Va’etchanan

Why do we read this parasha every year after Tisha B’Av? Thought we were finished with all of the pleading already? This week, we spent a hungry evening on the floor reading Lamentations, remembering the horrific tragedies that have beset our people on Tisha B’Av: the destruction of the First & Second Temples, our expulsion from England and Spain, the beginning of World War I, the Chelmniecki pogrom in Ukraine, the beginning of deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto, a terrorist bombing at a JCC in Argentina … Indeed, I thought we were finished with all of the pleading. No, the time has come again to read Moses’ famous last words, beginning with “and I pleaded.” In this portion, Moses warns of the consequences of failing to hold up our end of the bargain – observing God’s commandments. If we fail to hear and to obey, we will be driven out from the Land of Israel and become scattered among the nations. Why did our sages choose the Shabbat following Tisha B’Av for the reading of this portion?

According to tradition, it was the corruption of our people that led to the destruction of the Second Temple (see b. Yoma 9b). “Baseless hatred” is the buzzword that’s meant to describe our undoing, and seemingly characterized Jewish national life during the Second Temple period. But what is baseless hatred?

It seems awfully vague and wholly unrelated to the minutiae of Jewish life – laws regulating our food, clothing, work, study, marriage, child rearing (even bathing habits!). What does baseless hatred have to do with God’s commandments?

The greatest commandment, according to Yeshua, is the love of God and the love of others (cf. Leviticus 19:6). Hillel offered a similar assessment. When asked to summarize the whole of Torah while standing on one foot, he said, “what is hateful to you do not do to another. All the rest is commentary.” The commentary of Yeshua and Hillel seem to draw a correlation between one’s love for God and one’s ability to love others. If love of God and love of others are intrinsically linked to each other, then “baseless hatred” of other people would imply a failure to love God, as well.

Indeed, the phrase “baseless hatred,” or sinat chinam, is literally “the hate of their chen.” A person’s chen is the quality that makes her unique. The part of her that is betselem Elohim, in the image of God. To commit sinat chinam is to deny a person’s right to exist and to believe that person has nothing valuable to contribute to the world. Sinat chinam, then, is the condition and the action of ultimate arrogance.

If I assume that you have nothing of value to contribute to this world, then my thoughts and deeds make the statement that God doesn’t know what he is doing in creating and sustaining you. When I perceive a person made in God’s image as worthless and treat her accordingly, I violate the greatest commandment to love God. In violating this commandment, I may as well have nullified the whole of Torah.

Perhaps it is fitting that, only days after fasting in memory of the destruction of the Temple, we are reminded of Moses’ words warning us about the very behaviors that bring about these sorrows. We violate the whole of Torah if we do not love each other and act accordingly. And if we violate the whole of Torah, we lose our entitlement to life in the Land. The challenge of Jewish life is to find the chen within each person, no matter how distasteful they seem. In acknowledging the dignity of people who seem to have no valuable purpose in this life, we honor the ultimate wisdom of God and God’s confounding yet generous act of creation. To love others is to love God. This is the whole of Torah.

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Tisha B’Av: A Reenactment of Tragedy, a Glimpse of Hope

Tisha B’Av

Tonight begins Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av).

The day itself can be summed up in one word: Tragedy. On this day we remember many of the most tragic events in the history of the Jewish people which all took place on Tisha B’Av (or within just a few days of it).

Judaism is a religion of sacred drama. We don’t just remember, we relive, re-experience, and reenact events of the past. This is also true of Tisha B’Av. In going through the four associated fast days, and their accompanying customs, we relive the stages of destruction of the First and Second Temples and the loss of Jewish sovereignty.

The primary focus of Tisha B’Av is mourning. As such, the Halachah of the day draws heavily on the imagery of the death of a family member, walking through the stages of grief and sorrow.

Some events associated with Tisha B’Av include:

  • The 10 Spies return with a bad report after spying out the land.
  • Destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. About 100,000 Jews were killed during the invasion of Jerusalem, culminating in the Babylonian exile sending many from the remaining tribes in the southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
  • Destruction of Second Temple by Romans the Roman in 70 CE, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews were killed as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews were exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews were sold as slaves by the Romans, and Jews were killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.
  • In 132 CE the Second Jewish Revolt of Bar Kochba was crushed, and over 100,000 Jews were killed.
  • In 133 CE, Turnus Rufus ploughs the site of the Temple mount and builds the pagan city ofAelia Capitolina.
  • In 1095, the First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II. In the first month alone, over 10,000 Jews were killed. The Crusades brought death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterating many communities in the Rhineland and France.
  • In 1290, Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
  • As a result of the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal, in 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issue an edict expelling all Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many died by drowning, and there was a massive loss of property. What was once a major hub of Jewish civilization was decimated and scattered throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.
  • In 1914, Britain and Russia declared war on Germany, beginning the First World War. Issues left unresolved eventually lead to the Second World War and the Holocaust. 75% of all Jews were in war zones. Jews served in armies on all sides – 120,000 Jewish casualties. Over 400 pogroms immediately followed the war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
  • In 1942, the first of the Deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.
  • In 1994, the deadly bombing of the AMIA, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires,Argentina, which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.

On Tisha B’Av it is traditional to fast, observe the customs of mourning, and hear the book of Lamentations and other mournful passages read in synagogue. The service is also accompanied by special liturgical readings known as Kinnot.

Although in our day, Tisha B’Av is associated with mourning and tragedy, according to the rabbis, when Mashiach comes the day will become of day of rejoicing. As followers of Mashiach, it seems appropriate that Yeshua applies the imagery of the Temple to himself:

“Yeshua answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” -John 2:19

Tisha B’Av carries that hint of redemption. For out of the ashes of tragedy our redemption will sprout forth, and we will see the return of our Messiah.

May that day come speedily and soon! Until then … we wait, mourn, yearn, and prepare for that day to finally arrive.

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Words to a New Generation

Parashat Devarim

Deuteronomy is unique. Firstly, the book is a retelling of the entire Torah.

Second, as the Vilna Gaon notes, the first four books of the Torah were heard directly from the mouth of HaShem. Whereas Deuteronomy is Moshe’s recounting of the events at a later date. In the first four books of the Torah, HaShem is the primary speaker. In Deuteronomy, Moshe is the primary speaker.

Lastly, the book involves a different generation than the rest of the Torah. Meaning, the whole reason Moshe is pleading with the people at the beginning of this parasha is because it is a new generation about to go into the Promised Land. This is not the generation who wandered in the dessert for forty years. This is not the generation that left Egypt and was involved in the sin of the golden calf. Many of these people were not even born when the Torah was originally given, and if they were, they may not have been old enough to fully comprehend the impact of the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. This was a new generation.

Many of us represent this new generation. There is a new land we are about to enter. As many voices in the Jewish world are declaring the demise of Judaism in America, we stand at the threshold of opportunity. We can either listen to the calls of those who only see the end of the Jewish community as we know it, or we can take hold of the vision cast by HaShem.

Deuteronomy is a voice to a new generation. It is a voice to us. You and I may not have physically stood at Mt. Sinai, but we did receive the Torah (Dt. 5:3). It is time to take hold of the Torah once again and step forward into a new land.

The generation of our Torah portion experienced the dying out of the pervious generation. We also do not have to look far to see Judaism diminishing among our parents’ generation. But it does not have to end here. If we are willing to look closely, there is a Promised Land ahead.

The great Jewish believer, Paul Phillip Levertoff once wrote:

It is the business of the Chasid to live now for the realization of this Messianic Age.

It is our destiny, as devoted Chasidim of our Messiah, to prepare the world for the coming of Mashiach.

We need to create communities that are focused on relationships, where people are valued for being created b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of G-d. We need communities where people are empowered to lead and to follow, and where leaders serve as guides, rather than as lone-rangers. We need to embody a vision of Jewish life that is infused with the power of Yeshua, and filled with the Spirit. We need to reclaim our identities as Israel declaring a corporate witness to the world of G-d’s continued unfolding plan for the Jewish people and the Nations.

There is yet a Promised Land ahead. Are you able to see it? And if you’re able to catch a glimpse of it, are you ready to help build it?

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