In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov.3;6 ב”ה
“Let’s make the next few minutes last forever….”
I Just Want to Hear Hashem 5778
Genuine love is not a feeling.
Genuine love is a responsibility to do what is necessary to prove ones love. – Tim Hegg
“An empty vessel can receive;
a full vessel cannot receive.”
This was the day on which they undertook the most “exhausting journey” of emptying their souls of intellectual vanity and making themselves fit receptacles for the divine truth.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)
Last lesson we looked at some possible reasons behind the splitting of the Sea of Reeds along with the factor of all of Egypt coming after B’ney Yisrael (The Children of Israel). We considered the distinction Hashem was making between his people and the bloodthirsty Egyptian pursuers, we noted the connections between Israel’s enemies then and now and considered that Hashem wanted His people to take one last good look at what they were leaving behind, before they waxed ‘sentimental’ in any way, He wanted them to remember who they were dealing with.
Egypt (found in the singular) with one heart, as one man pursued the newly redeemed Israelite’s with the same goal, unified in one purpose- destruction.
- Sh’mot 14;9 Then the Egyptians (Mitsrayim מִצְרַיִם Egypt )chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. 10 As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians (Mitsrayim מִצְרַיִם Egypt ) were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD.…
- Sh’mot 15; 2 “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him. 3“The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name. 4“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; and the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5“The deeps cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone. 6“Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. 7“And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff. 8“At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, the flowing waters stood up like a heap; the deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 “The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ 10 “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11“Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?
With the recognition that the Children of Israel were being asked by God to simply keep moving forward (not to pray not to consider not to fear not even to fight back…just to keep going) the people were able to internalize that their walk upon the dry seabed was for the Goal of making it to Sinai. Yes, when we have a mission to accomplish; dispatched by Hashem then any impossible obstacle, yes every Sea will split before us and we will reach that destination.
For this Unique Nation the destination was Sinai and the goal was Matan Torah.
As Egypt gathered as one enemy, united with the goal of destruction. The people of Israel camped at the foot of Sinai. The text states that “Israel” in the singular form camped- as one man, with one heart, united which led to revelation.
- Sh’mot 19;1 In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. 3 Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 4‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
At all their other encampments, the verse says וַיַּחֲנוּ vayachanu (“they camped,” in the plural); here it says וַיִּחַן vayichan (“he camped,” in the singular).
For revelation, here they camped as one man, with one heart. If we would like to prepare to recieve from Hashem, what better to do than to connect to the community of which we are a part. Stepping out of our comfort zones to lend an ear, a hand, a heart to a member of the body of Yeshua. Revelation is personal but it is also communal.
B’nei Yisrael leave Mitsrayim (Egypt) on Pesach, they commence counting the days UP until the Shavuot experience (also known as Pentecost) for 7 weeks, 49 days and of the 50th the Torah is gifted to this newborn nation & reborn people. What the Israelites heard at Sinai has become known as the “Ten Commandments” but the Torah calls them aseret hadevarim (Ex. 34:28), and tradition terms them aseret hadibrot, meaning “the ten utterances.” The first verse, “I am the Lord your God…” could be a command (for without establishing we have ‘claimed’ God to be OUR God, nothing else will hold much meaning) or a preface to the commands. It becomes very clear when we study the bible that there are far more than Ten Commandments. The study of Ancient Near Eastern suzerainty treaties, reveals some insight into the structure of this part of the Torah.Most of these treaties begin with a preamble stating who is initiating the covenant. That is why the revelation opened with the words, “I am the Lord your God.” Then comes a historical review stating the background and context of the covenant, in this case, “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the slave-house.” Next come the stipulations, first in general outline, then in specific detail. That is precisely the relationship between the “ten utterances” and the detailed commands set out in later chapters and books of the Torah. The former are the general outline, the latter, the details. So the “ten utterances” are not commandments as such but an articulation of basic principles. What makes them special is that they are simple and easy to memorize. That is because in ‘Hashem’s Congregation’, law is not intended for judges alone. The covenant at Sinai was made by God with an entire people. Hence the need for a brief statement of basic principles that everyone could remember and recite.
# 3384 (v) yarah יָרָה – to lay foundations, to sprinkle water, to cast (especially arrows) as an archer, to send out the hand (show or indicate), to teach, to instruct.
#8451(fem n) torah תּוֹרָה – Instruction, doctrine, law.
- B’reshit 26:5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”
- Sh’mot 12:49 “The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”
- Sh’mot 13:9 “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.
- Sh’mot 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.
- Sh’mot 16:28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?
As we learn these sections of text, let us imagine we are the attendants of a sacred wedding.
The Engagement: Before Hashem took His bride out of Egypt He illuminated some promises. Since the redemption has been accomplished, we are now about to experience the rest of the ‘proposal’.
Sh’mot 6;7 Then I will take לקח you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.’ (Verse 8 seems to be the ‘consummation’ of the marriage, the husband taking his bride into the House he has prepared for them.)
לקח- Lakach– to take, can mean taking any thing but in Tanakh does refer to the “taking” of a bride.
If this promise of Hashem pictures a proposal of the Groom it is fascinating to note that from the point of the engagement the couple would be considered “married” yet they would not live together until a year later.
The period between the start of the plagues and the Exodus was about 1 year.
The Separation of the Bride: from this point the engaged bride, Israel, is not permitted to pursue other grooms. To begin this separation process God makes her ‘unreachable’ to other pursuers and removed temptations by taking her into the wilderness, away from everything else in order to serve only God. “ Let my people go that they may serve Me.” This period is so that Hashem can sanctify His bride, the tender words with with He speaks to her: if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own סגלה treasure among all the peoples…
[סגלה Segulah, translated as beloved treasure, unique possession… Ugaritic (Canaanite) literature describes what a King would think regarding possessions he would have gained while conquering another people, with many valuable objects only a few would be classified as the choice segulot. These would be most prized, which he would treat with special protection and care. Koheles 2;8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure וּסְגֻלַּת of kings and provinces…. The King of Kings possesses all the earth (Shem. 19;5 …for all the earth is Mine’ ) but Israel is considered special, valued, loved, and His Segualah. Not only does Israel enjoy this unique status of Segulah but they also enjoy the privilege and responsibility to share with the nations Who God Is. They are about to personally witness and experience the revelation of Himself through the 10 devarim and then continued in the whole Torah. A nation among nations, a perpetual witness (as the Torah itself has become). “ Imagine what it would be like if on the night of your wedding engagement, your potential spouse told you lovingly in endearing terms exactly what God’s plans for your marriage would be- glorious, meaningful and praiseworthy plans! This is exactly what the Lord is telling Israel.”- FFOZ ]
The Wedding Itself: The Mikveh– this is a ‘ritual’ immersion, the very thing Hashem requires of His bride at Sinai- The LORD also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; & let them be ready for the 3rd day, for on the 3rd day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Sh’mot 19; 10-12
“In many ways the mikveh represents the womb. When a person immerses, it is as if he has momentarily returned to the womb. When he emerges, it is as if he were reborn. He is a completely new person.” When Hashem instructs the bride to immerse, it was as if the bride has to end the period of separation before being intimate with the Lord.
Under the חפה Chuppah- The Bridal canopy under which a wedding takes place…’is a symbolic house. It is a single domain into which the groom welcomes the bride.’ On Sinai: “There was thunder and lightning and a heavy cloud on the mountain.”
The כתבה Ketubah- Traditional in Jewish weddings this is the marriage contract/covenant. It is a legally binding agreement between the bride and groom which governs their marriage. It is always a written agreement (“God wrote on the tablets of stone with His finger”) The Ketubah is read and signed during the wedding ceremony. The Ketubah between God and all those who come into covenant with Him as His bride is the Torah.
The Ring: What is a wedding without a ring? A wedding ring is the outward symbol of the marriage. It is given as a token or pledge that the person who made the promises will in fact keep the promises. It is also an outward sign to others that the other man or woman is married. God gave His bride this token soon after they left Egypt (Shem.16)
Sh’mot 31;13 You shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and You throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord Who sanctifies you.”
In a marriage, if the ring were removed, people would have sufficient reason to question if the marriage was still intact. It is the same for Shabbat. Since is is a sign that the God of Israel is the One Lord, removal of Shabbat from the midst of Israel would be like saying that this marriage is over…over and over again in scripture the Sabbath and New Moons, the appointed Feasts of the Lord are of relevance (especially in the Messianic era).
Over and again Hashem declares His condition-less love and appointment of Israel (and all those who are grafted into Her) as His bride:
Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares the LORD, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Yirmeyahu 31; 35-36
Moshe and Zipporah part ways before he descends to Egypt as God’s messenger to Phara’oh. This was the last account we have of Zipporah before she reappears with Yitro in our parasha.
- Sh’mot 4; 24 Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. 25Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood”—because of the circumcision.
- Sh’mot 18; 2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, 3 and her two sons…
Here we find Yitro, bringing the bride back to her husband. They are all together for the giving of the Torah. Yitro (who is known by many names in the Torah) is introduced as: “Yitro (Jethro), father in law of Moshe, Priest of Midian…” We have already met Yitro in the Torah, when Moshe had first fled from Mitsrayim. Why now do these additional reintroductions and descriptions have significance? The Torah tells us “ [Yitro] heard וַיִּשְׁמַע of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt.”
# 8085 (v) shama שָׁמַע – to hear, to attend, to listen, to obey, give heed, to announce, to tell.
This all important word in the Hebrew is hearing with the intention of doing something about what has been heard, not just responding to a sense of sound…but listening with the heart to understand. The word has already spread to the outlying areas what Hashem had been doing in Egypt and within His people. Never before had anything like this been realized in the world.
Sh’mot 18; 7 Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how the LORD had delivered them. 9 Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 So Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.” 12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
Before receiving The Words of Hashem a person must go beyond the Self.
Go beyond yourself.
It is taught that Yitro was the worst of Idolaters. He is the person who has “tried” everything and yet when he hears the Promise Keeping God Who got involved with an oppressed and enslaved people, he went beyond his pagan everything…to come to the truth. When a person is seeking to follow the truth, there is nothing that will stop him. Shema Yitro, Yitro hears…Yitro comes and then Moshe tells him an incredible story.
Yitro is the the first person in
the bible to pronounce,
“Baruch Hashem בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה!”
(Praise The Name!)
- Sh’mot 18; 13 It came about on the next day that Moses sat down to judge the people, and the people stood before Moses from the morning until the evening. 14 When Moses’ father in law saw what he was doing to the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening?” 15 Moses said to his father in law, “For the people come to me to seek God. 16 If any of them has a case, he comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make known the statutes of God and His תּוֹרֹתָיו teachings.” 17 Moses’ father in law said to him, “The thing you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out both you and these people who are with you for the matter is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to me. I will advise you, and may the Lord be with you. [You] represent the people before God, and you shall bring the matters to God. 20 And you shall admonish them concerning the statutes and the הַתּוֹרֹת teachings, and you shall make known to them the way they shall go and the deed[s] they shall do.
Moshe, is highly esteemed. He is honored in the sight of Egypt, he and his people are feared by the surrounding nations and he is in the role of “king” of this special, sanctified nation. Though high, Moshe humbled himself to see a better way and take advice…
Moshe too goes beyond himself.
- Devarim 4;9 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. 10 “Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ 11“You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom. 12“Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. 13 “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14“The LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.
Hashem came to speak (and you heard) in order to TEACH you. Hashem gave you the Torah to give to the whole world. I will teach (them- all) through you…the Torah comes to the whole world. This is one reason Matan Torah takes place in the Parasha with the name of a former pagan idolater from the nations. God offers Torah to all, often the response is: This conflicts with my lifestyle. Unlike other doctrines and ideologies true obedience to the mutual responsibility from the heart of love (the marriage bond) a partnership requires…takes effort to act. To hear and to do.
Each believer must go the distance to receive the Teaching of Hashem,
This involves more than a level of commitment, it involves a willingness to change.
High- there is higher than the low of the world or high…like the eagle.
The eagle fly’s higher than any bird… he can see with vast perspective.
When we see someone “high” it is not, “I want to be like them…” but I want to be connected to their Source, like that!
Hebraic thought is not, “Reach your potential.” For what accomplishment is that?
I have, potentially accomplished not having any bad thoughts today.
We don’t want to reach…we want to soar above- having only wonderful thoughts today!
Hashem took us out of Egypt so that we could soar!
Revelation 12; 13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle to fly from the presence of the serpent to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth to swallow up the river that had poured from the dragon’s mouth. 17And the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua.
Yeshuayahu 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. 30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Sh’mot 19; 3 Moses ascended to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “So shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel, 4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings, and I brought you to Me. 5 And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth. 6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel.
It is taught that at Sinai everyone was healed. Not momentarily, not partially but a complete healing (refuah shelemah) of all their discomforts, disabilities
If we are hungry, many of us will be listening to (or reading material from)
many different teachers.
Today, this time, for revelation…
I just want to hear Hashem.
If we are really connected to the INNER chambers of the heart every relationship, every situation, every circumstance, every interaction is a TEST.
If we are truly reaching inward….we just cannot ignore things anymore.
The outer chamber of the heart= Hashem is in charge of everything.
The inner chamber of the heart= Hashem is in charge of everything AND I have something to do with it! My mission, my walk, my involvement with shamar (guarding) the commandments (teachings) of Hashem matters! This makes EVERYTHING more “difficult” and more of a “challenge”.
IF something hurts… try not to think, “How can You be doing this to someone who’s seeking truth Hashem?” Say instead, “Thank You. Thank You for reminding me I am alive. Thank You for reminding me that I matter and am important to You.”
May you be blessed and strengthened this weekend and at all times; intentionally preparing every day…just to Hear Hashem. He speaks to us through the circumstances around us, through the happenings in the world, He speaks to us through other people, He speaks to us through the Spirit and inner thoughts, He overtly speaks to us through His word. When there is a chance presented to us to yield, to make a change and to convert our thinking in positive and humbling ways…may we be like Moshe and like Yitro who were able and willing to see Hashem’s hand in it.
When we are given occasion to stand strong against the tides of delusion, where we find ourselves doubting- am I even on the right path at all!
Let us Hear Him pointing us toward the direction, toward the goal- bringing light into this world by our love for Him and through the beauty of our union.
May you be granted the motivation and inspiration to soar beyond your potential this week, at the very least resting upon His mighty wings and seeing your life from the heights of His perspective for you!
Sources: See the Homepage of this blog and My Resources entry for a complete list.
As always this entry and our phyiscal learning is in memory of Mirjam. Every day you are with me. And for the COMPLETE healing of Lilly, may it be soon that she may be restored to us!