“The Lesson of the Torah of Light”
KI’TETZE (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) Week 49
When you go out to war against your enemies… If a man has two wives… If a man has a stubborn, rebellious son… If someone has committed a capital crime and is put to death…You are not to watch your brother’s ox or sheep straying…If you see your brother’s donkey or ox collapsed in the road…A woman is not to wear men’s clothing and a man is not to put on women’s clothing….If, as you are walking along, you happen to see a bird’s nest in a tree or on the ground with chicks…When you build a new house, you must build a low wall…You are not to sow two kinds of seed between your rows of vines…You are not to wear clothing woven with two kinds of thread…You are to make for yourself twisted cords on the four corners of the garment…
The commands listed above from the verses in Parashah Ki’ Tetze tell us many stories. The when, the if, the do’s and the dont’s of a myriad of ways our lives intertwine with one another in community are expounded upon in this Parashah. As I read these verses, I was convinced of the indescribable attention to the details of our lives here on earth, by the Creator. God, Most High, is concerned for us in the most intimate aspects of our life, such as marriage, children, and our relationships as a family. Yahweh cares about us when we enter into enemy territory. Adonai tracks the hatching of chicks in their nest as the mother bird flies here and there gathering food for her nestlings. Elohim sees our intentions and our attention to the details of our own lives. The Holy One of Israel watches us to see if we will go the extra mile, as described in Parashah Ki’ Tetze, in obedience to His instructions, to live a life set apart from the profane or the common. Will we live an intentional life; as an outpouring of God’s love over us?
If a man is found sleeping with a woman who has a husband…If a girl who is a virgin is engaged to a man…But if the man comes upon the engaged girl out in the countryside, and the man grabs her…A man is not to take his father’s wife…A son of a forbidden marriage is not to enter the assembly of Adonai…No woman of Isra’el is to engage in prostitution…And no man of Isra’el is to engage in ritual homosexual prostitution.
We see with crystal clear vision the admonitions of the Lord Most High (El Elyon) against sexual sin and the perversion of the marriage bed. Our Creator cares deeply about our coming in and going out, in the journey of our lives. Adonai has a Purpose, a Plan, and a Prescription for His People which leads to Life!
Moses expounded to the Nation of Israel the diverse and detailed life lessons which Adonai commanded Moses to teach the generation about to enter into the Promised Land. At the time of their entry into Canaan, the new Nation would enter enemy territory. They would encounter seven different Nations of barbaric social structures, which were profane societies boiling in idol worship, barbarism, and sexual perversion.
Envision Yahweh, with His right hand of righteousness pulling back the bow over His shoulder, and the Nation of Israel, His arrow, now released into the dark abyss of enemy territory on a mission from heaven. By releasing the new Nation like an arrow into the enemy territory of Canaan, the set apart path of God’s chosen Nation would be like a laser beam intersecting the culture of the day, in a land supernaturally carved out like the Garden of Eden, for Holiness.
This is the Lesson of the Torah of Light. Torah means the way to go. Before the foundation of the world, the God of Creation designed His blueprint for the path to life. The Torah, His guide to light, life, and unity with Him, leads us on this path. The cornerstone of Torah is the love of the Father in heaven. It was His love that breathed out, “Let there be light!” (Yehi ‘Or) It was His love which planted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Delight. It was His love which sought a perfect man, Noah, to save the remnant of his family and redeem creation. It was His love which took notice of Abraham, counting his faith as righteousness even before the law was given, to lead us into His light. It was His love which commanded Moses to be not only the deliverer of Israel, but a Scribe for the Lord and His law.
This is the Lesson of the Torah of Light. Because of the love of the Father for His creation, rivers of mercy and grace run freely into our lives from His word. It is by getting to know His character, in our immersion into Torah, that we fall deeply in love with Adonai. He invites us to get to know Him more, every morning as we awaken to each new day.
He loved us first! He reached down to touch us, for we could not reach up, all the way to His throne! His ways illuminate His love for each and every life. All created life makes eternal ripples upon the rivers that flow from His heavenly throne. Dear seeker, we become the waves of His love, while here on His beautiful blue planet, earth.
This is the Lesson of the Torah of Light. The admonishment against idol worship extends from the outward expression of our lives to the innermost, secret places in our hearts. We are not to make idols of God’s laws, but to see the deep love of the Father which motivated Him to create a way by which we might draw near. It was because He loved us first, that His mighty right hand reached down to touch our lives in the etchings of the commandments upon two sapphire tablets.
On this Shabbat evening, in the glow of His love, may we see with the eyes of our hearts, into the beating heart of TORAH!
TORAH! The very heart of the Father, shines on us!
Rest in His Peace, His Shalom, which is a gift to you, from the Father of Lights!