This week’s parasha is:
R’eih- פרשת ראה – “Behold”
Torah reading: D’varym (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17
Haftarah reading: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5
Ketuvym Hatalmidym reading: 7:1-29
Shalom aleykhem, achym, b’shem Yehoshua Hamashiach, Moshienu ~ Peace to you, my brothers, in the name of Yehoshua the Messiah, our Savior.
V’hayah, y’viyaka YHWH Eloheyka el ha’aretz asher atah ba shamah l’rishtah v’nathatah, et hab’raka al Har Gerizym, v’et haq’lalah al Har Eyval ~ “ And it shall be, when YHWH Eloheyka shall bring thee unto the land wither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt give the blessing from upon Mount Gerizym, and the curse from upon Mount Eyval.”
Between Mount Gerizym and Mount Eyval is a small valley. The valley is about three miles long, but so narrow that it is said a man’s voice can be heard across it. Through this narrow strait, following Yehoshua ben Nun, all of the nation of Yisrael had to pass, if they wished to enter the Land of Promise. As they did, they all paused to hear the blessings and the curses they would now be subject to as YHWH’s chosen people, according to the Torah. The conditions under which they would receive either the blessing or the curse were very clearly stated: “For ye are to cross over the Yarden to go into possess the land which YHWH Eloheykem giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein. And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I give to you this day.” It was through this narrow passageway that the people of Yisrael crossed over from the wilderness into a new life with YHWH—and it was the only way.
About 1,400 years later, another Yehoshua—our blessed Messiah—came out of his own time of trial in the wilderness and sat upon a mountain not far from Gerizym and Eyval. He also taught the people following Him about the blessings and curses for doing excellent deeds or evil ones, according to the Torah—and then He did a new thing: He elevated the standard of righteousness for His followers to a level that the curses could no longer even reach. In effect, He commanded them to walk in such a state of perfection, grace and love, that they would be above the simple commands of Torah, and thereby no longer subject to its penalties. He did not do away with the Torah in order to achieve this state of grace and perfection, but rather He brought it into its fullness—to completion. He said to them: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to complete.” Yehoshua then compared The Way into the kingdom of YHWH to a narrow passage, a way similar to the one between Mount Gerizym and Mount Eyval which led into the Land of Promise. He said, “Enter in through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in through it. But the gate is narrow and The Way that leads to life is difficult, and there are few who find it.” Finally, He stated the condition under which His followers would enter into the kingdom of YHWH and all of its blessings. He said, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the kingdom of YHWH, but he who is doing the desire of my Father in the heavens.
The Father has already clearly stated His desire time and again throughout the pages of scripture, that His people should follow The Way that He has prescribed for them. It is by this narrow Way that the followers of Messiah must pass, keeping the commands of YHWH in their fullness and having the testimony of Yehoshua, in order to crossover from death and curses to everlasting life and blessings with them—and it is still the only way.
B’Shalom, Ovadyah Ben Yisrael
Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3