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 Thavo- פרשת כי תבוא – “When you come”
Torah reading: D’varym (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:8
Haftarah reading: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 60:1-22
Ketuvym Hatalmidym reading: Alef Qorintyim (1 Corinthians) 9:19-27
Shalom aleykhem, achym, b’shem YHWH Malkeynu ~ Peace to you, my brothers, in the name of YHWH, our King.
‘YHWH he’emir’ka hayom lihyoth lo l’am c’gulah ka’asher diber lak v’lishmor kal mitzvotav; ul’thit’ka elyon al kal hagoyim asher asah, lithilah, ul’shem, ultiph’areth; v’lih’yoth’ka am qadesh l’YHWH Eloheyka ka’asher dibeir ~ “And YHWH hath declared thee today to be for Him a treasured people, as He promised thee; and that thou shouldst observe all of His commandments; and that He will give thee as the most high above all the nations that He made—in praise and in name and in beauty; and to be a set-apart people for YHWH Eloheyka, as He has spoken.”
Commandments, commandments, commandments- it seems sometimes they are all the Torah ever talks about, right? But what about rejoicing in YHWH, loving YHWH and our neighbors, and performing acts of charity? Aren’t these more important? In fact, these are commandments themselves. They are the greatest of many wonderful commandments. And if commandments are what YHWH’s Torah talks most about, they must be awfully important to Him. Yehoshua Hamashiach himself said quite bluntly, “If you love Me, keep My commands.” They are important to Him, too.
Rejoicing in YHWH is a form of praise and gratefulness directed toward YHWH, according to Torah. It says the name of YHWH is the one by which His people are to be called. YHWH Himself is love, according to Yochanan. Performing acts of charity is the most beautiful of all the commandments, according to many ancient sages. Yehoshua said, “These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone.” They are all part of the same Torah. He also said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of YHWH.” Every word. We are not free to pick and choose which ones we like best, or those we personally don’t want to observe.
Some say that we are not able to keep all of the commandments. This is true. Individually, we are not able. Some commands are for men, some for women, some for kings or priests, and others for farmers or lepers. But we are able to keep those commands that do apply to us. YHWH has said so, and He has given us of His Spirit—the Ruach Haqadosh—in order to empower us to do so. If He says we can keep them, then we can.
Some say that the Torah is too much, that we can never learn it all or perform it all to perfection. A wise man once said, “It is not thy duty to complete the work, but neither art thou free to desist from it. If thou hast studied much Torah, much reward will be given thee, for faithful is thy Employer to pay thee the reward of thy labor.” Paul said, “Do you not know that those who run in a race indeed all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to obtain it.” Which is to say, just do your best, even if you never manage to finish or do it perfectly.
When you become weary, brethren, think on these things. When you doubt yourself able to learn enough, or to finish the race, remember: YHWH only expects you to try your best and to continue to run. If you wonder sometimes “why all of these commandments?” recall that YHWH has given them to you as tools for righteousness, and to show you where you need to improve, in order that you become a set-apart people in the eyes of the world, and in His own eyes as a Treasured People.
B’Shalom, Ovadyah Ben Yisrael