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18 FEB 2012
Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25-26
The children of Israel receive a series of laws concerning social justice. Topics include: proper treatment of servants; a husband’s obligations to his wife; penalties for hitting people and for cursing parents, judges and leaders; financial responsibilities for damaging people or their property, either by oneself or by one’s animate or inanimate property, or by pitfalls that one created; payments for theft; not returning an object that one accepted responsibility to guard; the right to self-defense of a person being robbed.
Other topics include: prohibitions against seduction; witchcraft, bestiality and sacrifices to idols. The Torah warns us to treat the convert, widow and orphan with dignity, and to avoid lying. Usury is forbidden and the rights over collateral are limited. Payment of obligations to the Temple should not be delayed, and the people must be holy, even concerning food. The Torah teaches the proper conduct for judges in court proceedings. The commandments of Shabbat and the Sabbatical year are outlined. Three times a year-Pesach, Shavuot, and Succoth-we are to come to the Temple. The Torah concluded this listing of laws with a law of kashrus.
HaShem promises that He will lead His people to the Land of Israel, helping them to rid its inhabitants of their abominations and idol worship. GOD is telling the people of Israel that by fulfilling His commandments they will bring blessings to their nation. The people promise to do and listen to everything that HaShem says. Moshe writes the Book of the Covenant, and reads it to the people.
In the Torah we read and find where one’s every thought and action can be suffused with holiness. Nothing in this world is devoid of the opportunity to be used to elevate ourselves and mankind. No activity is
beyond the potential for holiness. This is what the world mistakes for “ritualism” and “legalism.” There is no such thing as a secular world versus a religious world. In the Torah there is no such thing as “church versus state.” For there is nowhere in this world that is devoid of GOD. Every single thing in this world has the potential to be used, or refrained from, in the ascent of man to his Creator.
If something literally had “no use” it would also have no ability to exist. For that which is truly useless has no merit to be, and, by definition could not exist.
These readings represent the spiritual cleansing that must take place in the heart of every person to become worthy of the Exodus from Egypt. We have to rid ourselves of jealousy, lust and pride before we can become worthy of the title “Am Ha Kodesh,” Godly, holy nation.
We need a “circumcised heart.” Deut 30:6
Jer. 31:31-33-having the Torah written on our hearts “new covenant.” We need to become holy and a separate people. HaShem commands us to be an Am Ha Kodesh.
Ex 22:29-3, Lev.11:44-You shall be holy people to me (1Peter 1:16), thus GOD blesses us. Ex 20:6; “showing kindness to the thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
Our Messiah himself stated:
John 14:15; “If you love Me you will keep My commandments”
John 15:10; “If you keep My commandments you shall abide in My love”.
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