“You, HaShem, withhold not Your mercy from me; may Your kindness and Your truth always protect me.” Psalms 40:12
The Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem: What a magnificent structure and an amazing teaching tool HaShem has given to us to learn about Who He is! In addition to His Temple being His literal Throne on earth, it is also the embodiment of His Torah in action and the definition of kedusha (Holiness) on display in which each of us is to strive to liken ourselves after!
What I find very interesting is the more I study and learn about the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem, the more aware of His kedusha (Holiness) along with understanding what it takes to draw closer to Him and the higher the level of kedusha is required the closer one draws to Him! By default it also makes me more aware of the sin I struggle with in my life and strive to do better each day! Further, it enhances what Messiah Yeshua did on our behalf! Baruch HaShem!!
Tehillim (Psalms) 40:13 says it best “For evils without number encircled me, my sins have overtaken me, and I could not see; they were more than the hairs on my head and my heart failed me.” Tractate Sukkah 51a from the Talmud Bavli says concerning this verse “The righteous refrain from sin because they realize the gravity of transgression. To them the evil inclination which attempts to persuade them to transgress appears to be a great mountain i.e. a formidable force to be reckoned with. The wicked, however, take sin lightly and consider it to be a minor, trivial matter. They visualize the evil inclination as a flimsy hair with which they need not bother to contend. Therefore, the Psalmist who laments his many sins attributes them to his failure to treat the specter of sin with due seriousness. Now these individual sins which he once considered to be worthy of note than the hairs of my head, have become too numerous to count.”
What is being said here in? Sin is a VERY serious problem we ALL contend with. None of us are immune and all of us have and will fail and succumb to this evil inclination. Only upon our death and resurrection in Messiah Yeshua will that inclination finally be excised out of our nature once and for all….Baruch HaShem! Point is, we all, myself included, must be constantly on guard against the evil inclination that seeks to devour each of us and how do we guard ourselves? There is only ONE way to do so and that is what we will be discussing in this Op as we prepare ourselves for Messiah…May it be so VERY, VERY soon in our days!
But, first as I always state, never forget the following attributes about HaShem:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
While the world spins into chaos and rips itself apart, one thing is absolutely certain, we all, myself included, MUST strive to endeavor to draw closer to HaShem and take hold of His Torah, as this is the ONLY way we are going to get through these very tough times we find ourselves living in.
With this said, how many would be surprised to find out there is a specific commandment given by HaShem for each of us to study the Torah?
There is a book series I have from Artscroll which is entitled ‘The Book of the Mitzvot’ and this series has a section discussing every one of the 613 Torah commandments in detail! It is a great and very useful resource tool I would encourage people to acquire if possible! This said, I will be referencing this resource in this Op.
Mitzvah #419 – ‘The Obligation to Study Torah’. This commandment is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:7 which says “You shall teach them diligently to your sons, and you shall speak of them while you sit in your home, while you walk on the way, when you retire and when you arise.”
HaShem is absolutely serious here in this command! This word ‘Diligently’ in Hebrew is ‘Shanan’ which means “To sharpen, focus, teaching repeatedly, precise instructional tool, directed speech.” His command to teach is not just a cursory form of teaching where you present it to someone once and then call it a day, no, He is saying to teach repeatedly, focus on each commandment and truly learn and apply it.
The Book of the Mitzvah commentary on this says “It is a mitvah obligation to study the wisdom of the Torah and to teach it to others! That is to say, that we must study and teach others HOW to perform the mitzvos and how to avoid that which the Almighty prohibited us from doing, and we MUST also attain an accurate knowledge of all the Torah’s laws. With regard to all this, it is stated in Devarim 6:7 ‘You shall teach them i.e. the words of Torah diligently to your sons’. And although the verse seems to require only that one teach to his sons, the Sages, of blessed memory, stated that your ‘sons’ refers also to one’s disciples.”
It further says “The word ‘Son’ shares letters (Hebrew letters) with the word ‘Building’. A teacher of Torah ‘builds’ his disciple, just as a father ‘builds’ his son.” What I find very interesting about this, is that when we read in the Apostolic Writings how Yeshua was a carpenter like Yosef was a carpenter, this word ‘Carpenter’ in Hebrew has the connotation of not necessarily being a woodworker, but being a Torah scholar! There is a Jewish concept in the Jewish writings discussing how just before the First Temple was destroyed and Israel was taken into Babylonian captivity, that HaShem sent ‘Carpenters’ and ‘Locksmiths’ to Israel which is an allegory for ‘Torah Scholars’ to teach Torah to Israel and prepare them. Point is, it then is VERY likely Yosef was NOT a woodworker, but in fact was a Torah Scholar who taught Yeshua Torah as a child, in full compliance with Devarim 6:7!! I digress.
Let’s continue…“Similarly, you find elsewhere that disciples are referred to as ‘Sons’, as it is stated in II Kings 2:3 ‘The disciples (literally sons) of the prophets went out.’ This verse also teaches that one is obligated to study and acquire a THOROUGH knowledge of Torah FOR HIMSELF, for there, it is stated further that the term ‘Veshinantam’ teaches that the laws of the Torah should be orderly in your mouth, so that when a person asks you something related to a Torah subject you should not stammer while responding to him, but rather you should be able to answer him directly.”
“The term ‘Veshinantam’ is related to the term ‘Shanan’ which connotes ‘Sharpness’. The Sages explain that the Torah uses this term in order to teach that a person must acquire a sharp knowledge of the Torah; that is, a knowledge that is clear, concise, and can readily be explained to others.”
This command of HaShem’s is reiterated in many other places in the Tanakh; “It is stated, you shall learn, and you shall perform, which teaches that one must study Torah in order to properly observe the Mitzvot. Likewise, regarding the mitzvah of Hakkeil it is stated in Devarim 31:12 ‘Gather together the people so that they shall learn and be careful to perform all the words of this Torah.’ Regarding the obligation to teach the laws of the Torah to others, and specifically to one’s sons, it states elsewhere, ‘You shall teach them to your sons per Devarim 11:19′”
So you may be asking, ‘What is the purpose of learning Torah?’ Well, this book answers that question: “The underlying purpose of this mitzvah is obvious, for through the study of Torah, a person can attain knowledge of the ways of HaShem, blessed be He. By contrast, without Torah knowledge, one will neither know nor understand HaShem’s ways, and, as such, he will be likened to an animal (Pursues physical pleasures and has no desire or concept for the spiritual matters of HaShem).”
Can you see how serious the studying, learning and then teaching Torah to others is to HaShem? In teaching Torah to others, we actually benefit from doing so, because it reinforces what He is teaching us, at least that has been my experience…in teaching others, I actually learn more and perhaps that is the reason why HaShem commands us to do so!
Now, I know those in Replacement Theology would argue that the one they acknowledge to be Messiah has ‘fulfilled’ and replaced the Torah and certainly has done away with the need for the Torah, based upon a very badly interpreted understanding of Jeremiah 31 and the Renewed Covenant and I will explain.
HaShem says in Jeremiah 31:30-33 “Behold, days are coming (An idiom to mean the Messianic Era which has NOT arrived yet), the Word of HaShem, when I will seal a new (Renewed) covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah (Refer to the previous Op discussing the importance of understanding the differences between these two – https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2020/06/22/why-is-madness-consuming-the-world-today-are-we-close-to-the-end/) not like the covenant that I sealed with their forefathers on the day that I took hold of their hand to take them out of the land of Egypt, for they abrogated My covenant, although I became their Master, the Word of HaShem. For this is the covenant that I shall seal with the House of Israel AFTER THOSE DAYS (The Messianic Era which again has NOT arrived yet), I will place My Torah within them and I will write it onto their heart; I will be a Elohim for them and they will be a people for Me. They will NO LONGER TEACH each man his fellow, each man his brother saying, ‘Know HaShem!’ For ALL of them will know Me, from their smallest to their greatest, the Word of HaShem, when I will forgive their iniquity and will no longer recall their sin.”
So, He promises a renewed covenant will come in which we all will walk perfectly in His Torah and no one will have to teach anyone, for everyone will know HaShem! Has this happened yet? Just look at the state of the world around us today and you will clearly see, no this has not yet happened yet! May it be so VERY, VERY soon in our days!!! Therefore, what does this mean? It means, we all MUST study, learn and teach His Torah to others as He commands because nothing has been replaced, tossed aside or abrogated!
Yeshua Himself taught this very command and reiterated the need to study, learn and teach His Torah to others! Matthew 22:36-40 says “Rabbi, which is the great command in the Torah? And Yeshua said to him, ‘You shall love HaShem your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the FIRST and GREAT COMMAND.’ And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Quoting Vayikra i.e. Leviticus 19:18)'” How do we know Yeshua is teaching us the command to study, learn and teach Torah? Because when He says “You shall love HaShem your Elohim…….” He is quoting what we know as the ‘Shema’ prayer which is found in Devarim 6:5-9 and in the Shema contains HaShem’s command to study, learn and teach His Torah i.e. Devarim 6:7!! Again, that flushing sound is Replacement Theology garbage doctrine being flushed down into trash pile! Baruch HaShem!
So, how do we prepare for the arrival of Messiah? We study, learn and teach His Torah to others! In doing so, we will not fall to the deception of the Impostor i.e. the False Messiah of Replacement Theology and recognize the lies. Further, we will separate ourselves out to HaShem as His one and only people Whom He calls ‘Israel!’ But most importantly, we will develop a truly personal relationship with HaShem our Great King, something that is so very important in these very troubling days we are currently living and will be facing.
I would encourage you to read all of Tehillim (Psalms) 119, the longest chapter in the entire Tanakh as it is David talking about the wonders of HaShem and His Torah! He says in verse 77 “May Your mercies come upon me so that I may live, for Your Torah is my preoccupation!” I won’t lie, there is tremendous opposition from the adversary and from people in general who neither desire HaShem or outright hate Him and His Torah, which is why David made this statement in verse 77 because the tole on his physical body was enormous, but the rewards for drawing closer to HaShem is immeasurable!
Now, remember I am not in any way suggesting redemption/salvation is obtained or maintained through the Torah! I am saying, when a person truly gives their life over to HaShem in Messiah Yeshua, Torah is the fruit of that decision, meaning, first comes redemption THEN a person begins the journey of learning the Torah and living it out, not perfectly, but out of love, devotion and loyalty to HaShem! In doing so we are preparing ourselves for the arrival of Messiah!! May it be so very soon in our days!
We will explore other specific commandments in future Op’s as HaShem directs.
Everyone stay safe and draw near to our Great King in these very dangerous days we live in!
- The Scriptures
- The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- Tehillim by Artscroll
- The Milstein Edition of the Prophets by Artscroll
- The Schottenstein Edition Tractate Sukkah Talmud Bavli by Artscroll