Pillars of Promise

“It may be that it is hard to sustain one’s faith without enough food to eat. Or it may be that it is hard to nourish one’s faith today on the basis of yesterday’s miracle, Yesterday’s miracle, however spectacular it may have been, grows stale overnight. The miracle does not last; only the daily triumph over adversity endures. Jewish faith is not rooted in miracles; the generation that crossed the sea did not maintain their faith for more than three days after that event. Jewish faith is rooted in the daily experience of G-d’s reality and G-d’s goodness.
‘they could not drink the waters…because they were bitter.’
The purpose of religion is not to explain life’s bitterness but to sweeten it, to make it more palatable.
Just as He cured the waters of Marah, so will He heal the ills of obedient Israelites.
Are wealthy people more likely to follow G-d’s ways out of gratitude? Or are poor people more likely to do so because their awareness of their dependence on G-d is greater?
G-d’s abstention from creativity on the seventh day is the climax of Creation.
It is an integral part of the divinely ordained cosmic order. Its blessed and sacred character is independent of human nature.
…some people insist on taking more than their share. For them, it is not sufficient to have plenty. To feel prosperous, they must have more than their neighbors…ostentatiously gorging themselves while others [go] hungry.
When the Israelites were leaving Egypt in triumph and the future looked glorious, they thought in terms of ‘us,’ all of us together, but when times became hard and their was not enough to eat and drink, they stopped saying ‘us’ and began to speak in terms of ‘me and my children.’
‘The language of the people [at Rephidim] is unrestrained, their mood, explosive. A riot may break out at any moment.
Amalek is the Torah’s symbol of pure malice, attacking without cause.
…sometimes Amalek is like a mad dog attacking without provocation. In those cases, G-d says,’I will deal with him.’
At times, however, Amalek is like a fly, appearing only where dirt and filth are. In those cases, the Torah says, ‘you blot out his memory,’ by cleaning up the corruption that attracts him.
The words translated as ‘Throne of the L-RD’ [kes Yah] is the last words of the parasha,[B’Shallah] are written ‘defective,’ with letters missing, as if to imply that G-d’s sovereignty is incomplete as long as Amalek is at work in this world. [Tahn. Ki Tetzei]
‘the hinge of the Torah.’
‘Had Israel not accepted the Torah, the universe would have ceased to exist.
Not all Gentiles are wicked enemies of Israel.
It is not uncommon in the bible for a non-Israelite to invoke G-d as HaShem when dealing with Israelites.
G-d in the Hebrew Bible is G-d of all people.
These are the two main types of sacrifice offered in ancient Israel. The first; olah, was wholly consumed by fire on the altar as a tribute to G-d; the second, zevah, was partially offered up, and the major portion eaten at a festive meal. Here they are offered to Elohim, the generic name for G-d rather than to HaShem, the specific name of G-d revealed to Israel. This indicates that although Jethro made obeisance to the Deity he did not join with the Israelites in their worship of HaShem.
‘Who is wise? One who learns from all peoples. (M. Avot 4:1).
[Jethro instructs Moses to share the burden of judging Israel by choosing ‘capable men’ to help him; ‘Men of sufficient wealth that they will be immune to bribes or financial consideration (Rashi.)]
…when a Jew accepts the obligations of Torah, it is as if he or she were there that day, standing at Sinai and hearing the voice of G-d.
…should Jacob’s twin brother, Esau, change his wicked ways and come to accept the Torah, he would be welcome. [PdRK].
…acceptance of Torah as an authoritative voice in our lives…can take place at any time. When a person of non-Jewish origin joins the Jewish people and accepts the Torah, it is as if he or she personally had been standing at Sinai.
National sovereignty is indispensable for the proper fulfillment of Israel’s mission. Without it, the nation becomes the passive tool of historical forces beyond its control.
At the same time, the priest’s place and function within society must serve as the ideal model for Israel’s self-understanding of its role among the nations. The priest is set apart by a distinctive way of life consecrated to the service of G-d and dedicated to ministering to the needs of the people. Striving for holiness as a people is to be the hallmark of Israel’s existence.
Might it be that noises of modern life make it hard for us to hear the divine message that G-d is constantly trying to communicate to us?
{it is through Israel that the Bible and the notion of ethical monotheism came into the world}…chosenness….belongs to an entire people, not only to professional clergy or an intellectual elite.
How we treat one another is of concern to G-d.
{‘You shall not’…violate universal principles].
This type of royal formula…unimpeachable sovereign authority…that…demands…they remain eternally valid and unaffected by temporal considerations.
[T]hat G-d communicated the divine will to human beings is a foundation stone of Judaism.
‘G-d is like a mirror, the mirror never changes, but everyone who looks at it sees a different face.’ [PdRK 12]
‘The first mitzvah is that [we] believe in G-d’s existence, that there is a cause and motive force behind all that exists.’ [Seifer Ha-Miztvot 1].
‘a preface to subsequent injunctions, a declaration making known to the Israelites who was addressing them.’
The rabbis of the Talmud see this as a summons to Israel to ‘accept the yoke of G-d’s sovereignty,’ to recognize G-d as the Supreme Authority. Only when they have done that can G-d give them laws and decrees.
‘G-d as first Cause is a G-d reached by intellectual speculation, a G-d of metaphysics. But a G-d who acts in history, a G-d who frees the enslaved, is a G-d for whom the soul yearns.’ ‘Judaism is an elaborate way of relating to G-d as the Source of all existence and the provider of ultimate meaning. Nothing could be more fatuous than the all-too-common notion that observance is possible without faith, Hence the Decalogue begins with an affirmation of G-d’s reality. ‘[Schorsch].
Cultural and scientific accomplishments cannot make up for a nation’s treating some of its people as less than human. ‘If freedom and culture cannot coexist, we should bid farewell to culture for the sake of freedom. [B. Jacob]
It is forbidden to worship idols along with G-d.
‘As long as you have Me, you will not need any others.’[Arama]
‘You shall not make yourself into an idol, and come to believe that you are G-d.’
Children are shaped by the habits learned in their families of origin as to how they handle stress, quarrels, eating and drinking.
Children who know that their parents are doing wrong but nonetheless choose to follow their example are held responsible for that choice. [BT Ber. 7a]
[G-d’s] reaction to [Israel’s] infidelity is expressed in terms of human jealousy.
G-d’s anger or wrath is directed toward those who flout His will…blazes forth against those who infringe on His holy domain,,,to punish those who violate the moral world order or their covenantal responsibilities.
Society is collectively responsible for its actions and the individual is accountable for behavior that affects the life of the community.
Vicarious punishment is outlawed explicitly in Deuteronomy 24:16.
G-d will not allow [a] deed to go unpunished even though it may go undetected or not be actionable in a human court of law.
G-d is entirely outside of and sovereign over nature.
…only free people can choose to stop laboring…
Work, however, often leads to economic competitiveness in which we see other people as rivals, obstacles to our success.
…by ordering that nature be kept inviolate one day a week, the Torah places a limit on human autonomy and restores nature to its original state of pure freedom. Human liberty is immeasurably enhanced, human equality is strengthened, and the cause of social justice is promoted by legislating the inalienable right of every human being, irrespective of social class.
…to reject one’s parents is to reject all of one’s ancestors and pretend that one has no past. It verges on rejecting the ultimate parent, G-d, from whom all life flows.
We are obliged to support our parents and to avoid shaming them.
‘Now that I have commanded you to acknowledge that I am the Creator of all, and to honor your parents because they have joined Me in an act of creating life, guard against destroying the work of My hands in acts of murder. [Maimonides]
‘One may murder with the hand or with the tongue, by talebearing or by character assassination. One may murder also by carelessness, by indifference, by the failure to save human life when it is in your power to do so.’ [Ibn Ezra]
‘The guilt of murder is infinite because the murdered life is invaluable.’
‘There was never any rabbi, from the time of Moses…who ruled, based on “an eye for eye,” that he who blinds another should himself be blinded…In all likelihood, “an eye for an eye” is a graphic way of expressing the abstract idea that the punishment should not be too lenient [“a scolding for an eye”] or too harsh [“a life for an eye”] but should fit the crime and the circumstances.
‘G-d is found in relationships.’ [Buber]
G-d’s presence is diminished by infidelity.
G-d’s relationship to the people Israel [is described] in terms of a marriage bond, comparing G-d’s pain over Israel’s chasing after false gods to the sense of betrayal felt by a human being confronting
the infidelity of his or her partner.
One Hasidic preacher takes [the last] commandment not as a prohibition but as a promise and reward: if you live by the first 9 commandments, you will have no reason to covet what anyone else possesses.
With the exception of rare individuals, human beings cannot endure direct contact with G-d. Thus every religion strives to mediate G-d’s Presence. Through ritual, through study, through the performance of mitzvoth, and through our encounters with people who embody what G-d stands for, we are able to ‘meet’ G-d.
Knowledge of the law is to be the privilege and obligation of the entire people, not the prerogative of specialists or of an elite class.
‘In time to come, when there will no longer be an altar, building a just society will be the equivalent of bringing sacrifices.’ [Yalkut Sh. 1:27I]
[the laws of Torah] are religious and moral instructions given by G-d. Obeying the laws creates not only a harmonious society but a just and holy one. Violations are seen as offenses against G-d, not just against the violated person.
Thus the dignity of a human being is as much a permanent part of G-d’s creation as the law of gravity.
The labor of a debtor or thief could serve to repay a debt or compensate for stolen property.
…the Egyptian model for slavery; a condition of cruel, permanent bondage…
Deuteronomy considers slaves as virtually members of the master’s family, to be included in festival celebrations and sent off with gifts at the end of their period of service.
To avoid any possibility of abuse by a master and to safeguard the rights of the slave, the change from temporary to permanent slavery must be carried out according to the procedure fixed by law.
Those who decided to stay are branded in the ear, because it was the ear that heard G-d declare at Sinai, ‘I have brought you out of the house of bondage’ [Rashi]. Why a doorpost? ‘Because a door was opened for him and he refused to go.’ [K’li Yakar].
If a person eats to cure his hunger do we say that he has abandoned his trust in G-d? Just as I thank G-d for providing me with food to sustain life, I thank G-d for providing me with that which heals my sickness,’ [Maimonides]
“remove sickness from your midst..”
The “sickness” of dissatisfaction. By following G-d’s ways we are cured of the “disease” of envying others…
Torah promises health and prosperity as a reward for living an observant life.
…social evil is thus a crime against humanity and G-d.
“You shall not tolerate a sorceress.” [suffer a witch to live}
‘…you shall not provide a witch with a livelihood,’ i.e., we are to drive her out of the practice of witchcraft without taking her life.’


The decency of society is measured by how it treats its least powerful members.
Social injustice leads to social disaster.
A judge should have nothing to do with a claim he knows to be fraudulent.
[In many cases] perversion of justice result[s] from familiarity between litigant and judge.
We must not reproach another with our own faults [Mekh].
Later in Israelite and Jewish history, the people will gain much from the nations in whose midst they live-and will teach them much as well.
[Though the ideal boundaries were set forth] at no time in Israelite history, even at the height of the Davidic-Solomonic empire, were these boundaries a reality. They are believed to have their origin in the pre-Israelite Egyptian province of Canaan which included Palestine and Syria as a single political and geographic entity.
Only all Jews together can do G-d’s will completely [Vilna Gaon].”
~Etz Hayim Commentary

D&C 1:1-38
Hearken, O ye people of my Temple, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
For verily the voice of the L-rd is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.
And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.
And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.
And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the L-rd have commanded them.
Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.
Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the L-rd have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.
And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;
Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of G-d shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure—
Unto the day when the L-rd shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.
Wherefore the voice of the L-rd is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:
Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the L-rd is nigh;
And the anger of the L-rd is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
And the arm of the L-rd shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the L-rd, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;
They seek not the L-rd to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
Wherefore, I the L-rd, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servants and spake unto them from heaven, and gave them commandments;
And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—
The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—
But that every man might speak in the name of G-d the L-rd, even the Savior of the world;
That faith also might increase in the earth;
That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
Behold, I am G-d and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.
And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;
And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;
And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;
And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.
And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this Temple, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living Temple upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the L-rd, am well pleased, speaking unto the Temple collectively and not individually—
For I the L-rd cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;
Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the L-rd shall be forgiven;
And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the L-rd of Hosts.
And again, verily I say unto you, O inhabitants of the earth: I the L-rd am willing to make these things known unto all flesh;
For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.
And also the L-rd shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world.
Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
What I the L-rd have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled.
For behold, and lo, the L-rd is G-d, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.

“I am sending an angel before you…” That is, know that your journey is divinely guided. That knowledge will enable you to overcome the hardships of the journey, knowing that you are following a divine purpose in your wanderings. According to one interpretation, the angel [mal.akh] will not be a supernatural creature but a human prophet to guide Israel on its path and keep the people from straying [Mekh. of bar Yohai].
“My Name is in him.” The divine will and power manifests itself through this Heaven sent messenger.
In Genesis 31:45-54 an upright pillar served as a silent witness to a treaty between Jacob and Laban.”
~Etz Hayim Commentary

About barzdovg666

I'm a revelationist/prophestylist, and lover and servant of HaShem of Hosts.
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One Response to Pillars of Promise

  1. Seth says:

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