Now they were a lazy and an idolatrous people; therefore, they were desirous to bring us into bondage, that they might glut themselves with the labor of our hands; yea, that they might feast themselves upon the flocks of our fields.
While idolaters were wasting their lives away, making a mock of religion and the probationary time granted all with their little screw Jesus holidays and building up their society of ‘spirituality’ so-called, HaShem was faithfully preparing and empowering their enemies with the wherewithal to destroy and vomit them out of the land HaShem’s servant won for His Name’s sake; “An act of benevolence that the inhabitants repaid with treachery.”
~Etz Hayim Commentary.
Christians so-called of all sects and walks of life really accomplished some very wicked and abominable schemes, sinning brazenly and unforgivably against the Holy Ghost, the Covenant and HaShem of Hosts and His servants.
But all the while, with every sin of ingratitude, every agreement in rebellion, every step out of the Way in ignorance and folly they took in iniquitous disregard, they were only destroying themselves, their children and their nation.
They went from a merely foolish nation, full of blessings and wonders, envied of all the world to one practicing the worst works of darkness and deeds of iniquity ever perpetrated on earth as it may be in hell, doing all that their father’s may have done in Israel or among the heathen nations to which they were driven and dispersed by HaShem of hosts; practicing such vile unbelief and building up such things and delighting in such as put the sin of the Tower of Babel to everlasting shame, and as a result they cannot stop or regain a lost liberty blessed because of their fight to spread this feigned freedom which is not but a whore’s plague upon the nations that have known her. This is a generation destroyed in the womb, brought forth as an untimely birth and nourished to death in iniquity whose worm cannot die, nor sin be purged; its thirst and hunger are from the bowels of nether world gloom and darkness.
“The midrash portrays a reclining pig, stretching out its hooves and saying ‘Look, I’m cute,’ while concealing the fact that it does not chew the cud, such was the hypocrisy of the Roman (and Gadianton) Empire(s), which posed as being dedicated to law and justice while oppressing the peoples it ruled (Lev. R. 13:5).”
Etz Hayim Commentary.
1 Corinthians 4:6-7
For Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?
Rewind the watch, and reverse the great forsaking through restoration and return.
Do righteous battle with the real enemy of our souls, the yetzer harah – Evil Inc.
“Guilt builds up and leads to punishment, just as merit builds up and leads to reward.”
Deuteronomy 15:7-10; “An obligation to generously support a kinsman who has fallen on hard times without calculating whether the help will be repaid. This is not so much a loan as an investment in a decent, compassionate stable society.
One who ignores the needy is like an idolater [BT Ket. 68a]. Also, it is forbidden to insult the poor or accuse them of being undeserving.
The Midrash imagines G-d saying, ‘You sustain My dependents [the poor, the widow, and the orphan] and I will sustain your dependents.’ [Tanh. 18].
…you must build the solution to poverty into the social structure.”
~Etz Hayim Commentary.
None must covet nor steal; all must agree and ultimately share alike.
If we the people sink to wrangling with Caesar over things that set us against one another, Caesar gains the right to sift as chaff what is driven before the wind; but if we are faithful and sincere, Caesar must recognize G-d and that G-d supplies even he with such things as he may claim his own and be constrained to own the fact that we, G-d’s people deserve what belongs to us.
HaShem is able to give much more and abundantly beyond what we may ask or imagine of ourselves or others, all we needs must do is consider others and ourselves in relation to that promise, and in due time, by and by, receive the Kingdom as a reward for our merits.
“The servant might consider that the security gained through subservience as preferable to the risks of independence. The fact that the law thinks it possible that the servant might love the master and desire servitude implies that the treatment of indentured servants was expected to become benign.”
In Isaiah 54:11-55:5 “Nothing is required of the people. G-d promises a spectacular rebuilding of Zion, a thorough restoration to raise it out of a depressing situation [54:11-12].
“And Zion’s children will be transformed into disciples of the L-RD, who will protect them [vv. 14-17].
“’Hearken and you shall be revived’ [v.3]. Then [We The People] will [once more] lead other nations. Modulation from Israel’s disconsolate condition to one of confidence in G-d’s creative reality…It also highlights the nation’s shift from a lack of life’s essentials to bounty, and from discomfort among other nations to being their commander. [54:14,17; 55:2,5].
~Etz Hayim Commentary.
Even those in favor of an Empire State would avoid the inevitable hypocrisy of oppression through fraud and deception if the people united as one under G-d of their own enlightened will, sought out wisdom dedicated to law and justice personal, communal and global.
It’s an “if then” world after all…
We the people must constrain the creature, defy the destroyer, rebuke the avenger and devourer by coming to its aide with our own resolution and solution to whatever problems as would otherwise grow so out of control that destruction would be the only solution.
Oui, oui, we must be We…
We need not strive for holiness (although that would certainly benefit all) so much as to be equal in all things.
“As children of G-d, each of us has infinite value. G-d is found in relationships and one cannot be a fully realized human being alone. Nonetheless, we diminish the worth of the individual, bearer of the image of a single G-d when we become so attached to someone else that we would harm or destroy ourselves when that person is taken from us.
As for Us, a son is given not taken…
3 Nephi 21:10 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him; for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
Remission of Debt – Deuteronomy 15:1-6
“The Torah here is concerned with the type of debt incurred by the poor and insolvent; a farmer in dire need of funds because of crop failure and a city dweller destitute as a result of unemployment. Loans to such individuals were regarded as acts of philanthropy, rather than commercial ventures; and forgiving of such loans was an extension of the generosity. The remission of debts and other provisions for the relief of debtors are part of the Torah’s program for preserving a balanced distribution of resources across society [see Exod. 22:24-26; Lev. 25:36-37; Deut. 23:20-21; 24:6-10-13,17].
“If [We the People] will obey G-d’s laws, not only will they have no poor who need loans but they will; be so prosperous that other nations will turn to them for loans.”
Deut 33:17b ‘he shall push the peoples together to the ends of the earth…’
Destroy selfishness and egocentricity. Employ charity all encompassing until we may reach a fair balance and compete in earnest, with ability and skill that will count as merit and not as corruption and cunning which pervert trade and business and is loss and theft, which tear down and does not build up, excuses but does not forgive or edify.
Cancel out guilt before it may lead to punishment, convert to merit through opportunity United under G-d, gain rewards that build up, edify and encourage rather than the opposite and its relentless anxiety and confusion of face. Though we do our best to keep up appearances, the inner man is cheated and belittled and diminished through falsehood inescapable. Free the ‘slaves’ and the ‘masters’ will prosper all the more through the good will that relieves all of the burden of economic injustice. No need to destroy Government or Healthcare, just make everything work out through righteous intent and equitable judgment, which is not but following though and keeping vows sacred, by destroying oaths taken in secret and iniquity. Less is still more but change is due and ought to keep fresh all things. Business must be fostered in a way that will make it thrive rather than anticipate failure, make success inevitable by following through in wisdom.
“Among the population [working stiffs], unproductive members of society easily come to be neglected and resented. The people might fail to recognize the vital role of the [righteous unemployed] in their spiritual and moral welfare” [Hirsch[.
For example my opening remarks in this entry are meant to be disparaging but not negative. There is a vital difference between rebuke and insult. The first may save the latter condemn. Either may be true, but the one is out of concern while the other may rise from anger or resentment. It’s not what people want to hear that counts, but what they need to hear that merits their being addressed at all.
“…the entire [people] is guilty…the [people may have] to be conquered militarily…G-d’s anger at the [people’s] apostasy is such that His favor toward all of the [people] is suspended until every trace of the offenders is removed.
“…in the absence of a supportive community loyal to G-d, the lonely faithful individual [Jonah} would either leave or remain and become corrupted.”
~Etz Hayim Commentary on Deut. 13:16-18.
“The well being of society depends neither of the ruler nor on the ascendance of the most capable in a competitive environment but on the certainty that the law will treat all alike and will protect the most vulnerable from the most powerful.
“Mishpat tzedak –due justice- is justice as a cosmic principle that maintains harmony in the world and makes possible the world’s continued existence…just goals can never be achieved by unjust means…nature may be beautiful but it is not moral, etc.
“Jewish traditions demand that we advocate and practice both formal and distributive justice in our interpersonal relations and in society at large. That is, we must judge people using fair procedures, (formal justice), and we must ensure that everyone gets at least the minimum of what is necessary to live (distributive justice).
How to ensure this?
Deut. 17:11 You shall act in accordance with the instructions given you and the ruling handed down to you; you must not deviate from the verdict that they announce to you either to the right or the left.
“According to the Talmud, this verse not only refers to judicial verdicts but also serves as the warrant for the legislative authority of the Sanhedrin and its successors, the Sages. It empowered them to issue whatever laws and decrees they deemed necessary to uphold the Torah [which is read and taught by a mara d’atra (teacher of the place)].
“The king/ruler is nothing, and the monarchy unnecessary and unworthy. Nevertheless, it is likely that a foreigner would be objectionable because he would not be loyal to the monotheistic worshiper of the L-RD and might lead the people into apostasy.
“Deut. 17:20 fellows. Literally ‘brothers.’ This underscores the essential equality of the king and the other citizens. He is not their master.”
Prophet is greater than king.
“Deuteronomy strengthens the authority of the prophet by affirming that he is the successor of Moses and the only legitimate channel of communication with G-d….in contrast to the king whose power it limits…
“Duet. 19:19 …establishes the prophet as the highest authority in the land, higher even than the king about whose orders no similar declaration is made.
“…astrology is prohibited…[I thought this worth mentioning.]
“The prophet does not tell us what we want to know but rather what G-d wants us to know, reminding us of our covenantal obligations. The prophet is a person who sees the world with the eyes of G-d, who holds G-d and man in one thought at one time, at all times [Heschel].
“If the message is painful for the prophet to utter and painful for the people to hear, it is likely authentically from G-d [Jer. 28:8-9].
“By the time of the Talmud, the lust for vengeance had been reduced, and the cities of refuge came to represent not protection but the punishment of exile (perhaps modeled after Cain, the first manslayer, who was punished with exile).
“The shedding of innocent blood brings a palpable, virtually physical stain of guilt on the entire community. If it is not eradicated, the welfare of the community is threatened.
“Intentional murderers…felons and debtors enjoyed the sanctuary of temples in Greek cities
“The shedding of innocent blood initiates guilt that befouls the entire community; it can be cleansed only by executing the murderer(s).
“Blood guilt pollutes the land as well as the people.
The Anti Robin Hood,‘Jimmy the Greek’ takes $ from the poor and needy, calls them debtors and plays the money on horses/sports instead of reinvesting it in the community and welfare of the people, making them more despondent and miserable as a result and they give up? [Just a thought…]
“The creditor’s right to repayment is subordinated to the survival and dignity of the debtor.” Deut. 23:6
Let the punishment fit the crime…Only when we the people practice justice at home will we be victorious in any battle that may matter in the long run, which brings us back to the permanent enemy, the impulse within everyone to throw off the constraints of decency and give into selfishness, lust and rage.
New events, even when painful should stir up remembrances of past glories and make us strive all the more to overcome and restore one another and not make game of one another and despoil the nation we confess to love and cherish.
Wayward sons and daughters may not even be charged with guilt if their parent’s behavior hasn’t been exemplary.
Mother of all rewards –
“Sovereign decrees of G-d, for which no reason need be given (Rashi); at times we are bidden to obey G-d without understanding the purpose of what we do.”
~Etz Hayim Commentary
The Solution is found in the Kol Nidre:
“In ancient times, as in our day vows to the L-rd were often rashly made. In the precarious times in which our forefathers lived, circumstances beyond their control frequently denied them the opportunity of fulfilling their vows. Because of the unusual stress, oppression and persecution surrounding their lives, these vows at times simply could not in good conscience be fulfilled and thus were violated. Recognizing that promises had serious implications, they desired to have such vows nullified on the Day of Atonement, when the people longed to be at peace with G-d and others…In those lands where Jews, under persecution and torture, made vows to forsake their faith or accept another, the recital of the Kol Nidre often brought relief to their tormented consciences.
“The underlying motives of the Kol Nidre prayer, the sincere longing for a clear conscience, the relief from feelings of guilt, the recognition of the sacredness of the pledged word, and the desire to be absolved from vows which rightly could not be carried out, or which would make for estrangement and rancor, still have significance today. [perhaps more than at any time in the history of the world] This was also done for the sake of the families left behind by those who were martyred.”
~Dr. John Fischer
See you all on Yom Kippur!