Pagan nations were to be eradicated from the Holy Land because they pose a threat to Israelite belief in the One True G-d.
Total separation from the pagan world is mandated.
Ammonites and Moabites never could be welcomed into the nation of Israel.
The land and the people, part of the same covenant, could never be fully separated.
Following repentance and atonement, the land is restored to its rightful heirs, or as Israelites are fond of believing, they have the right to return and claim ownership.
However, the entire world belongs to G-d alone and mankind only inherits anything, anywhere, by virtue of Covenant.
Mindfulness makes dutiful; liberal-willed nobility makes prosperous; whereas, covetousness and doing evil in the sight of the L-RD makes cursed and doubly so those under covenant virtue authority.
Luke 16:15-17 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but G-d knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of G-d. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of G-d is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
In the long run, the above may make pagan nations seem most worthy because of the confusion of misplaced authority without merit, labors effectual but unnecessary, virtues pretended but truly absent of Spiritual efficacy marked liberated ingenuity and honesty.
Sanctity is inherent to the land, and therefore it is demanded of its residents, but simultaneously it is given to the land by the acts of those residents.
Occupation requires obedience to G-d.
The land exhibits living claims of its own against which the Israelites had to measure and understand their presence.
The assigning Owner maintains His property rights. The claim of the people is tenuous indeed.
G-d shows Job that the world is not created to be comprehensible to human beings or to serve them.
The Bible, by and large, does not teach by direction. It teaches by conditioning us to understand the nature of the world and the profound implications of the choices and decisions we make in our lives.
It invites us to learn ethical and spiritual lessons by reflecting on the complex and never unflawed lives of its heroes.
It urges us to search out the values underlying most of its legal admonitions. It entices us to be moved by the imagery of its poetry. The Bible allows us to weave a tapestry, to synthesize a perspective of the natural world which can warn us about the dangers of excess, alert us to our responsibility, condition our thinking and our behavior and sensitize us to the beauty and fragility of the natural environment around us.
The world was not created from our point of view; not everything should be comprehensible to us. Yet, we are given supernatural strength to subdue creation because of Covenant Virtue.
Limitation, obligation to others, and concern for the needs of the poor all express the fundamental value of the sabbatical.
During the seventh year, G-d is reasserting proprietorship, and so human beings do not have access to the field. Human ownership is temporary.
“The land must not be sold beyond reclaim, for the land is mine, you are but strangers resident with me.” Lev. 35:23
The Bible reminds its readers of the limitations and the error of human self-centered perspective.
Gen 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the L-RD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the L-RD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
When humanity so-called promotes her virtues you can be sure she is out for blood.
Surely I am more brutish than any man and have not the understanding of a man.
I neither learned wisdom nor have the knowledge of the holy.
Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
Every word of G-d is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the L-RD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my G-d in vain.
Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
Human ownership of even personal space and property is a grave error, temporary and illusionary; it makes a person insane, and if not corrected in a lifetime, will leave a person in that state for who knows how long? That is when humanity steps in and claims ownership of peoples/citizenry levies the insane and unattainable and expects everyone, no matter what the circumstance or situation to meet challenges and overcome obstacles she has no intention of anyone ever overcoming. To entertain even the thought of participating in any such society is spiritual and physical suicide; you’ll never again have the opportunity and ability G-d grants all creation at one time or another and you’ll never know exaltation, beyond ecstatic delusion and emotional physical burnout that leaves one delusion dependent.
The land belongs to G-d. People are its trustees and not its proprietors. Hence, the land must be redeemed.
Isa 52:3 For thus saith the L-RD, Ye have sold yourselves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
Spiritual education is not a means to attain a predetermined end.
The acquisition of knowledge on its own does not generate the love of G-d or commitment to a life of Torah.
Studying, practicing and celebrating Torah for its own sake is what leads to spiritual renewal; to a strengthened commitment to G-d’s vision of the good life.
Sin, to miss the mark, lose the way, abandon the good life are still possibilities, but because we are free moral agents, we can also learn from our mistakes and return to the right path.
The way of life enjoined by G-d is not for slaves but for a people who are free to serve the L-RD who can choose the path they wish to follow. Freedom is a precondition of education, of initiation of a community committed to the good.
Intelligent action is required. Repetition and explanation lead to more questions which lead in turn to deeper understanding and more meaningful action.
So what’s your occupation and why? Are you a member of humanity’s career criminal, occupational hazards or are you a part of the hired and forced labor league in charge of keeping up her appearances and protecting her secret or not so secret agenda mostly by witnessing by some other will other than the one G-d granted you as a free agent whether to act or to be acted upon for a predestined portion of Torah life kept or glory won?
Knowledge can be a terrible thing, skill likewise a curse as much as either may be a blessing for an adherent.
Kavanah alone makes apparent one’s ignorance or genius and not one’s skill or knowledge. Knowledge is synonymous with evil in most cases and scenarios. A reward does not necessarily equal a due. When we allow ourselves to be taken in humanity’s snare, for whatever reason, we usually find ourselves emptied of spiritual worth and filled with naught but illicit hunger, unreasonable thoughts and ultimate despair which lead us into eternal denial of circumstance.
Indeed, I think it fair to say, that without a schooling of Torah wisdom, no man is fit to be employed and may as well be a rebel, terrorist, and infidel as much as he may fancy himself freeman and liberator/helper/servant/friend to his fellow man, for all the security he may bring to Kingdom citizens any place on earth.
There is so little sense of community, never mind unity in the United State’s present day reality that it is nearly impossible to know thyself never mind be thyself and grow as an heir to any noble purpose or worthwhile reward. Better to be a whore who works only to feed her own belly than for a seductive adulteress named humanity to rob you of your soul’s priceless worth.
“To love your neighbor as yourself you must first love yourself. To be concerned for your neighbor’s salvation while neglecting your own is crass stupidity and sin.” -JC Ryle
To be happy in your labor and satisfied with your reward, assured an eternal portion of Glory unbounded is all a man should ask for or need, yet by seeking to perform any task, acquire any knowledge, hone any skill, build upon any foundation, and “make a living,” as they say, without any assurance of the above duly spelled out in the Law and Constitution of whatever kingdom or free country you may imagine you belong to. Your task, however well done, may be a fool’s errand, and your reward, condemnation, among those who know the price of freedom once liberty has gone south.
This is why there are no paved roads to Zion and you may only get there by saddling your donkey and making your way on foot by heart.
1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the L-RD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the L-RD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Na aseh vinishmar ~ “We will faithfully do.”(Exodus 24:7)
Is often misunderstood as expressing a preference for action over understanding or sometimes as rejecting the importance of understanding altogether (Saul’s sin); better- literal- “We will do and we will hear” (in the sense of comprehending.)
Acting out G-d’s will and understanding it go hand in hand- religious observance leads to an understanding of divine instruction.
“Freedom”- does not refer to the license to follow one’s own most immediate desires because that is a form of enslavement to caprice.
Love of G-d as expressed in the observance of the mitzvoth is evidence that a person has acquired an understanding of their meaning which is the key to genuine freedom.
Psa 119:44-47 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
“At five years one is fit for Scriptures, at ten for Mishnah, at thirteen for mitzvoth, at fifteen for Talmud.” (Avot 5:21)
The Bible views education spiritually as embedded in a vision of the good life committed to a divine moral purpose. It is through this understanding of transcendent purpose that values are transmitted from generation to generation.
Part II – A License to Pirate.
Z’khut avot – Ancestral merit, Z’khut imahot – Hebrew grammar permits us to interpret most text about avot as inclusive of imahot, in that one male among an myriad women will alter the feminine plural to the masculine.
“Ma asei avot siman livanim.”
G-d predicts that the nation will sojourn in a foreign land and emerge with great property.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph all leave home, best a wealthy man, and return with some of his riches.
Procreation from the womb of a “barren” mother represents not just a hope, but a paradigm, for Jerusalem’s rebirth.
Abraham was understood to have observed all the commandments even though the revelation at Sinai would happen centuries later. (BT Yoma 28b)
However, we reemerge and reinterpret G-d and Scripture over time, our relationship to Them and to ourselves is influenced and nurtured by the avot of old. In the words of Isaiah, “Look back to Abraham your father. And to Sarah who brought you forth.” (51:2)
-Matriarch’s character, Patriarch’s mission- Generation’s Dilemma.
Adopting one’s wife as a sister was a known way of elevating her status.
Repetition in Genesis is not an endless loop but an upward spiral.
People choose to repeat history rather than grow in spirit and truth by repetition of meritorious acts and study of divine wisdom.
Saul/Paul’s “Kingdom without end” should never have become a merry-go-round of fool’s but such was preferred to a mudslide for pigs.
At any rate, the L-RD’s Eternal Round, your place in the grand scheme of affairs and dramas may be either burdensome and heavy or light and easy depending on your willingness to draw near unto G-d or remain aloof, unconcerned and worldly trapped; often contemplated as wise, but beyond comedy unto tragedy never lessening or improving but always intensifying, growing worse, rather than healing over time.
As the burdens of those under the yoke of slavery were made light by the L-RD, so may your gifts and talents be made heavy and burdensome if not spent or invested in wisely?
The entire Torah ends on the cusp of completion. The text invites the reader to continue and fulfill the story. – Glory.
*Championing the proper son for inheritance.*
The miraculous birth of a son confers upon the child – not his mother- the status of a divinely chosen leader.
Nevertheless, the lives of both the matriarchs and the patriarchs become a paradigm of being and becoming; of how to and how not to. (BT Shab 10b)
As heirs to the Covenant and as heirs to Western culture.we owe a debt to these Genesis narratives for the very notion of spiritual maturity has something to do with repeated exposures to a challenge and more to do with the noticing and transcending the patterns they deal with resolving or escaping the situations.
Part III – Conflate
A new name indicates and important spiritual evolution.
The composite patriarch will play favorites among his children, settle disputes with neighbors, build an altar, leave (or have his sons leave) the immediate area in times of famine.
Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the L-RD, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the L-RD from Jerusalem.
Going forth from one’s roots and habits is a necessary step on the road to spiritual growth and independence. According to the Hasidic commentary, it enables the patriarch to go to himself. Matriarchs and patriarchs must continually struggle with where they are.
Mutual care is the divine plan and ultimate human purpose. We are still making our peace with Ishmael and his descendants.
The matriarchs and patriarchs favored in-marriage, promoted connection to the Promised Land and feared the lure of foreign temptations.
Reclaiming and relating to our male ancestors neither requires nor condones patriarchy.
Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah and Rachel. These exemplars are valued above all others and are considered the purest representations of meritorious ancestry – The Covenant is truly established, G-d does not change. Rebekah behaved more like a Patriarch than did her passive husband, Isaac, securing the blessing for the favored son Jacob to whom G-d wanted it to go and thwarting Isaac’s plan to favor Esau.
G-d’s Covenant binds women the same as men, they are to pursue justice and champion the cause of the underdog, to observe Shabbat, the holidays and the dietary laws just like men.
Remarkably, the biblical elements in the Jewish family prevailed throughout the ages, crystallizing into law in rabbinic times, shaping the nature of Christian and Muslim families as well.
It is noteworthy that Adam and Eve’s fratricidal son, Cain begets a polygamous tradition through his son Lamech, whereas a virtuous son, Seth, is the antecedent of a monogamous line. Similarly, the outstanding judges were monogamous and the dissolute ones were not.
(When) Judean society failed it was indefensible because of its injustice and lack of compassion. It could choose to suffer submission or fight and lose everything.
When the Temple was destroyed, G-d’s word became the source for Salvation. The Exile and return forced a rereading of the ancient stories.
Finally, a way of restoring and renewing the American Dream is to fulfill Plato’s Perfect Republic, which for ages of Christianity had no way of even surfacing to suggest itself as a real solution or even idea. But I believe, seen and vehicled by Judaism practiced and performed on a wide scale basis with Zero pride, may restore faith in leadership and a continuation of the American experiment in self-government with more obligations and less delusional freedom.
Emphasize individual responsibility and participation in G-d’s Covenant with Israel for ALL. Social legislation found in the Torah obligating people to support the poor dealt with providing food, correcting economic and social dislocation through sabbatical and jubilee laws of indentured servitude.
(The) growing distance between wealthy and the impoverished, a direct result of moral failure on the part of leadership in Egypt; Jeremiah realized, was using Judah to soften the blow of the Babylonian invasion against it.
“He who trains his son in good deeds from childhood on trains him to be a good captain, who knows how to steer his ship to a port.” (Sefer Chasidim #12)
More to come…Thanks for reading. Shabbat shalom.
*** Most of this entry is copied straight out of Etz Hayim Commentary, I am in a hospital and do not have my Torah with me so worked from notes and can’t recall where to use quotations.
***Updated and re-edited 8/9/2016 ~ 5 Av 5776 (with new pictures, etc.) Permanently lost my Etz Hayim Chumash in Brooklyn, NY. The Hebrew term Chumash (also Ḥumash; Hebrew: חומש, pronounced [χuˈmaʃ] or pronounced [ħuˈmaʃ] or Yiddish: pronounced [ˈχʊməʃ]) is a Torah in printed form (i.e. codex) as opposed to a Torah scroll. The word comes from the Hebrew word for five, ḥamesh (חמש). Anyone with information concerning its whereabouts, please contact me!