This Sabbath’s video Torah study at 4pm Central Time with the staff and friends of Sabbath Keepers Fellowship.
Here is the Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/4731209848
This week’s parasha is:
Ky Theitzei- פרשת כי תצא – “When you go”
Torah reading: D’varym (Deuteronomy) 21:10-25:9
Haftarah reading: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 54:1-10
Ketuvym Hatalmidym reading: Marqus (Mark) 10:2-12
Shalom aleykhem, achym, b’shem YHWH Adon Haselicoth ~ Peace to you, my brothers, in the name of YHWH, Master of forgiveness.
V’achar kein tavo eileyha uv’al’tah, vahaytha l’ka l’ishah ~ “And after that thou mayest go unto her and be her husband, and she shall be to thee for a wife.”
When the people of Yisrael entered the land of Kana’an to possess it, all of its inhabitants were to be put “under the ban” and killed–men, women, and children—to cleanse the land of its horrible abominations. However, when Yisrael went to war and conquered a people outside the borders of Kana’an, the young women and property of those conquered were allowed to be taken as a spoil of war. A man in possession of a captive woman, a virgin whom he found desirable, was allowed to take her for a wife. She was given a month to mourn her losses, and then her new husband could go into her.
By today’s standards, this would be a horrible abrogation of the young woman’s human rights. But, in ancient times, it was the best possible life she could hope for. Was it then forced marriage? Yes, but she did have other choices available to her: She could choose death, slavery, or she could try to run away—which would probably result in either death or slavery at someone else’s hands. And anyway, it was likely her entire family had been killed in battle and she would have nowhere left to run to.
This was also the situation the people of Yisrael found themselves in after the exodus from Mitzrayim. YHWH had done battle with Pharaoh’s army and prevailed, then led the people of Yisrael into the wilderness where He made a proposal to them. Their choices were essentially the same: “Marriage” to YHWH, death, a return to slavery in Mitzrayim, or they could try to run away—with nowhere left to run to. Life with YHWH, under His immense blessings and protections and promises, was the best possible life Yisrael could hope for.
And now, this same situation belongs to us. YHWH has come into each of our lives and fought for us, conquering our adversaries: sin and death. We have followed Him into the wilderness, a place removed from the world we knew, but not yet quite familiar to us as our home, where we listened to His proposal. We have accepted and became betrothed as His future bride, saying with the rest of Yisrael, “All that YHWH has spoken, we will do.” However, He did not force this marriage upon us. We did not have to accept His proposal and make that vow, but, of our own free will, we did. Having done so, we are now committed forever and no longer have the option of turning back to slavery or quitting in death. And we cannot run away from Him, for we have left ourselves nowhere else to go.
Yet, in truth, we have indeed tried to run away, haven’t we? We all have turned away in sin repeatedly and betrayed YHWH. He knows this. All of it. And still He says, “’For YHWH hath called thee as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit; and a wife of youth, can she be rejected? For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great compassion will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; But with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on thee,’ saith YHWH thy Redeemer.”
Listen, brethren: “Thy Maker is thy Husband, YHWH Tzava’oth is His name.” Return to Him and He will return to you. With your Husband is where you belong, and it really is the best possible life you can hope for. In truth, there is nowhere else left for you to go.
B’Shalom, Ovadyah Ben Yisrael