Parashot: “D’varim” and “Tisha B’Av”
DEUTERONOMY 1:1-3:22………ISAIAH 1:1-27………JOHN 4:1-5:47
We start the final book of the original 5 books of the Torah, in which Moshe wrote down all the statutes, commandments, precepts, details, etc. that Adonai dictated to him to write. We must remember that Am Israel received the first 10 commandments directly from the mouth of Adonai, written down in stone, and given to the people, as a form of “Ketubah” or “marriage contract. Later, Adonai called Moshe back up to the mountain and there, dictated the rest of Torah, the rest of the 603 commandments which he wrote down on the scrolls.
603 were written down by Moshe, yet dictated by Adonai, and 10 dictated and written by YHVH himself. All in all, we must conclude that ALL the TORAH comes from YHVH, whether directly or indirectly written. This book of Deuteronomy is the last. Moshe began writing it, and it was probably finished by Yehoshuah (Joshua) or another leader.
A Hebrew rendition of this book is “Mishna Torah” or “A repetition of the Torah” can one say a “Second Torah?” Well, no, it is the same Torah, but Moshe is repeating it to Am Israel, to remind them. Perhaps like a father will repeat lessons and advice to his son before leaving home. Many of the same commandments are mentioned, but also, some new ones, including the most famous one, the “Shema”
The book relates the travels and experiences that “Am Yisrael” took and went through in 40 years’ time. Moshe retells the experience somewhat as a father would relate to his son. Let’s say that father and son travel across the USA for 6 months, then, perhaps 10 years later, the father would remind the son of their trip by remembering their “experiences” “Remember son, the time when we were traveling through Texas and, well, you insisted in exploring that abandoned house, even when I said it would NOT be a good idea…….”
The father tells both the good experiences and the bad experiences, the times when the son obeyed and the times when the son disobeyed. Moshe is doing the same thing. This is similar to last week’s parashah “Masei” (journeys) in which Moshe relates the journeys of Israel. We must remember that the old generation is now dead and buried, the sons and daughters of that generation are going into the promised land. They need some good advice, and they need to be reminded of past failures, the failures of their fathers and of their own.
An interesting Midrash is the difference and similarity between two words; “D’varim” (words) and “D’vorim”
(bees) One could say that the words that Moshe spoke to the Israelites were like the “stings of bees” and after giving this message, a little later on, Moshe went up Mt. Pisgah a died, just like when a bee stings, it leaves the stinger in the victim and dies.
What can we learn from the beginning of D’varim? Are we mature enough to receive rebuke? From elders? From others who are in authority? When a believer or even a non-believer is rebuked, it is for his or her own good, either to bring that person to the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua or to turn that person from error to walk in harmony with the Torah.
Moshe tells the people the words of Adonai: “You have dwelt long enough in this mountain…turn you and take your journey…. (1:6) they were right at the border of Moab and Canaan; the Jordan River separated the two nations. It was time to leave their “comfort zone” and “cross over” and conquer the pagan peoples, and lay claim to the land! They had fought giants before, you know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, especially if Adonai “falls” them.
Remember that it all starts in Egypt (Mitzraim) the land of “restriction”, Moshe leads them out, symbolizing a sort of Messiah, leading them to Mt Sinai, they receive the Torah, for 40 years they undergo instruction, go through both “good times” and “bad times” sometimes, “very bad times” when YHVH chastised and killed many of them for disobedience and rebellion. Yet now, it is time for the promise to be fulfilled, the “Promised Land”
We go through the same thing in our lives. We start out being liberated from our “Egypt” we are liberated from the “lost world and the ways of the lost” by accepting Yeshua as our Messiah and LORD. We grow in faith, in spiritual maturity, or…perhaps fail in our relationship with YHVH, going through valleys and dark places, yet always emerging into the light of Torah again. Sometimes we get comfortable in one place, or doing one thing, yet, God is saying…” turn now and take your journey” or “continue your journey and continue to grow in faith, expose yourself to different “stuff” “situations” yet always trusting in HaShem
The prophet has a difficult calling, he tells Israel of their unfaithfulness, sinfulness, how they wander away from God, and Adonai has to put up with the sacrifices, celebration of “new Moons” the High Holy Days. Etc. not that there is anything bad in celebrating them, BUT…. when these are done in the “flesh” and not with the heart, and because these are “things that you just have to do” then, God wants NONE OF THESE! Many people that adhere to “religion” go through “rites and traditions” just because they are used to “doing them” this in no way pleases Adonai, HOWEVER…when we do things with a pure heart, and with a spirit of “worship and praise” then…Adonai welcomes it. The LORD says through the prophet;
Come now, let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool… IF…ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” It is all CONDITIONAL!
We have the same choice. IF we choose to love and follow the LORD, by accepting HIM as LORD and Savior, then follow and do his commandments, following in his footsteps, THEN… we will reap the rewards, first is eternal life in Heaven, second will be spiritual blessings and perhaps even physical blessings while we are on earth, and even more, in Heaven.
Again, the choice is ours to take.
This tells the story of the woman of Samaria, who comes to the well to draw water, and she receives even a better blessing. She gets her water and even more, the “Living Water” She meets her “Messiah”. It is very interesting that she is the first person who Yeshua reveals himself as Messiah to, without riddles, just in plain words;
The woman said; “I know that the Messiah is coming, and when he comes, he will teach us all things” (John 4:25. Yeshua responds saying; “I AM the one who speaks to you” in Aramaic it’s “Enah-na damalel na amehee” as this was the common language of the street then. Or one could rephrase and say, “It is I, (the Messiah) who speaks to you”
No doubt she had a life-changing experience, she went to tell the others about Yeshua. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Receive Yeshua as LORD and Savior, then, go tell the world, go and teach others to respond to the calling of Adonai in their lives. Is HE part of YOUR LIFE?
TISHA ‘ B’AV, WHY? HOW?
…Tisha ’B’Av, or the “9th of Av” this year, falls on August 10th, and since it falls on a sabbath, it is called “Shabbat Chazon” or a “Sabbath of vision and revelation”. It is a time of sadness, sorrow, and remembrance. The question begins with “Eiha? (how) and “Lamah” (why?). The book of Lamentations begins with “Eiha” (how) “How alone she sits, the city (Jerusalem) once great with people….”
…..The voice of Yirimyahu (Jeremiah) after the destruction of the 1st Beit HaMikdash (Temple) and the city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E the destruction culminated on the 9th of Av, (Tish’B” Av) This date marks the tragedies of many destructions in the history of Am Israel. Here’s a list, the destruction of the 1st temple is the first.
…..70 A.D. the Roman emperor Titus, destroys the second temple and murders millions of Israel’s inhabitants and 100,000 taken captive to Rome, those taken captive to Rome are used as sport in the arena, and others served as slaves. Many others from Jerusalem fled the country, going to Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world.
…..132 A.D. Bar Kochba revolt against Rome. The Jews lost and may Jewish lives were lost to the Eagle of Rome.
…..1095 A.D. Crusades, started by the church in Europe, the main goal to kick the moors out of Jerusalem, any crusaders were anti-Semitic, during this time, 40% of Europe’s Jew’s were destroyed, one important event happened in Mainz, Germany. There were 700 Jews living in that city at that time. They sought refuge in a large church to be protected from the crusading murderers. The Bishop at that time was kind and accepted to hide the Jews in the church. The Jews had given the Bishop all their valuables in exchange. To no avail. The crusaders entered Mainz, discovered their hiding place, murdered all of them including the Bishop. Some say that the Jews there committed suicide rather than falling into the hands of the crusaders.
…..1290 A.D. Expulsion of the Jews from England. Confiscation of property.
…..1478 The start of the Spanish inquisition by Pope Nicolas, many Jews had to renounce their faith and accept Christianity, if not, they would be tortured and killed. This, of course, is not “real Christianity” rather “Pseudo or false Christianity. Those who were genuine/real believers and followers of Jesus would never do such atrocities against God’s anointed people.
…..1492 The expulsion of the Jews from Spain on the 9th of Av. Many went to England and to other countries in Europe, later on, many came to the Americas and settled in Mexico, Central, and South America. By that time, many families had lost their Jewish identity, but now, many are finding it again.
…..1635 “Pogroms” or persecutions against the Jewish people starts in Poland.
…..1914. WW1 began and some 120,000 Jews lost their lives in the armed forces.
…..1939 The “holocaust” or “Shoah” begins in Nazi Germany. Result? We all know, 6,000,000 Jewish people were killed by forced labor, starvation, and just “shot or gassed” in the concentration camps, just for being Jews.
…..1942. Deportation from Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka Concentration/death camp.
…..1978 11 Palestinians land in a small Kibbutz in Israel by sea. They hijacked a bus, killed the driver and drove towards Tel Aviv. On the way to Tel Aviv, they used weapons fire and threw hand grenades out the windows at people on the street, and the result was 38 Israelis killed.
…..1994. Bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina resulting in 86 persons killed and 300 wounded.
…..2012 A rabbi in Rutherford, N.J. was at home during the night with his wife and 5 children. An Arab boy outside threw a Molotov bomb through the living room window to kill the family and burn down the synagogue that was part of the house. (Molotov bomb: a glass bottle filled with gasoline and a rag, the rag is lighted and the bottle is thrown). There are probably many more events that occurred during the time of Tisha”b”Av, these are just some of them. During the time of Tisha B’Av many will sing this sad song;
“Look from the heavens and see, we have become an object of scorn and contempt among the nations. We are regarded as sheep to the slaughter, to be killed, beaten and destroyed. But despite this, we have not forgotten your name, we beg you not to forget us!”
…..We regard this time as a time of sadness and grief, but we must also remember this time as a time of survival, and a time to get out of “spiritual exile” It is a time to “return home to Abba” a time of “Teshuvah”. Our ancestors in ancient Israel committed spiritual adultery, going after pagan gods, went away from the ways of Torah, despite of the warnings of God, God looked down and warned our people, finally, the punishment ensued yet Elohim has not and will NEVER reject his people, the remnant that survived is now in the millions, in every nation of the world. It is time to return, return to G-d, return to the ways of his Torah, return to the “Living Torah”
Many Jewish people celebrate Tisha B’Av during the evening, sitting on the floor of their homes and under candlelight, read the book of Lamentations, many also fast although the only Biblically mandated fast day is during Yom Kippur. A fast during Tisha B’Av is more tradition than a commandment.
Another question is how is the book of Deuteronomy and Tish’B’Av related? Is there are a relationship between the two? Well, we can look at it this way. Before giving up the ghost, Moshe announces from Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim both blessings and curses to Israel. In a few words, blessings if they obey G-d and follow His Torah, and curses if they disobey G-d and disregard His Torah.
Of course, all of Israel say “Amen” and wish to receive blessings, yet once dead, a few generations afterward, they departed from the ways of Adonai and from the Torah. They went after false gods and corrupted themselves, bringing upon Israel the curse. The tragedies of Tisha’B’Av were part of the curse. There are some that say that because the “Jews nailed the Messiah to the cross” that these tragedies came forth, but this is far from the truth. Adonai had Calvary planned since the beginning of time. It would be the payment for sin for ALL of us.
But for departing from the Truth, from the way of the Torah, for rejecting Messiah (not for crucifying Him) came all these events ( and probably more events not listed). Our Heavenly Father loves Israel, always has and always will. Yet there are blessings and curses for all decisions made, and Israel is not exempt from them. Pray that more of “Am Israel” will come to Messiah Yeshua and will follow the Way the Truth and the Life, receiving “Yeshuah” by faith.
Shabbat Chazon Shalom…Rabbi Ben Avraham
For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.
1 post • Page 1 of 1