“My child, give your heart to Me, and your eyes will heed My ways.” Proverbs 23:26
Oh my, it seems each week things just get darker and darker. I know that is putting it mildly! In light of this, I asked HaShem if He would have me put together another Op and what that topic would be. He answered my prayer and summed it up in one word ‘Tiqvah’ which is Hebrew for ‘HOPE!’ I hope you will be as astounded as I am when putting this Op together as HaShem reveals a side of Himself I had never really considered and it also further reinforce why we MUST read the Torah portion for each week!
This weeks Torah portion is ‘Yisro’ or ‘Jethro’ in English. It is found in Shemot (Exodus) 18:1-20:23. The Haftarah for this Torah portion is found in Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-7. This is the portion where HaShem, after delivering Israel from Egypt, leads Moshe to the Mountain of HaShem i.e. Mount Sinai and He comes to meet with Moshe and Israel. Further, it is the place where Moshe’s father-in-law, Yisro, meets with him and tells him to set up a court system, something HaShem commands, in order the teach the people how to walk in the commandments of HaShem. It is also the account of HaShem speaking to Israel the terms of the marriage contract in which Israel accepts. To say there is a ton of information in this Torah portion alone is not stating it accurately!
We will be examining this Torah portion in conjunction with the title of this Op and I pray you will see how they go together like a hand in glove! But before we jump into this Op, always remember to the following eternal, unchanging characteristics of 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 the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
- 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 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
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
“I have indeed heard Ephraim (A name which denotes the whole nation of Israel) moaning, ‘You have chastised me and I have become chastened, like an untrained calf; bring me back to You and I shall return, for You are HaShem, my Elohim. For after my returning, I regretted; and after my being made aware of my sinfulness, I slapped my thigh in anguish. I was ashamed and also humiliated, for I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ Is Ephraim My favorite son or a delightful child, that whenever I speak of him I remember him more and more? Therefore, My inner self yearns for him; I will surely take pity on him, the Word of HaShem.” Jeremiah 31:17-19
These verses above from Jeremiah encapsulate the hope we have for the future in HaShem! Yes we have sinned, we have rebelled against Him, but He has called us to return to Him and He has made a way for us to return to Him! We yearn for Him because He first yearned for us!! Baruch HaShem!
You may be asking how the title of this Op fits into this? We will slowly get there I assure you…:) In the meantime, let’s quickly look at the Hebrew word ‘Tiqvah’ i.e. ‘Hope’. It can be found in a Strong’s Concordance #8615 which means “Cord, expectation, ground of hope, things hoped for, outcome.” In the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible it means “Measure, cord, a cord used for measuring a straight line, held back waiting for something, hope.” The Hebrew three letter root of this word is the Strong’s Concordance word #6960 which means “To wait, look for, hope, expect, to wait, eagerly wait for.” The Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew on page 225 says “Gather to act, strive to a particular goal, hoping, yearning, striving.” Keep all this in mind!
It is so vitally important we remember that HaShem is unchanging, His Word is firmly established, He reveals the end from the beginning and He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets, not just for this Op, but in life in general! This is why I rail so hard against Replacement Theology Christendom because its foundation is all about change and everything HaShem gave in the beginning has now been tossed aside and replaced, which is just one giant lie from the adversary! I digress, I don’t need to re-visit what has been discussed many times before.
One important fact which is relevant to this Op is ‘The Law of Agency’, which we have discussed several times before, but just a quick review, the ‘Law of Agency’ from the Jewish Encyclopedia states that a man’s agent is as himself. Point is, in Hebrew, an agent of someone is considered to be the person who sent them. For example, Moshe is an agent of HaShem because HaShem sent Moshe to speak on His behalf to the people. Why is this important? Because it properly explains the role of Yeshua (Not Replacement Theology Jesus), Who is also the Agent of HaShem, Who can only do and speak what HaShem has directed Him to do. This is why Yeshua doesn’t know when the end will come but says only the Father knows. He isn’t HaShem in the flesh, He is the Agent of HaShem, so when He says ‘If you see Me you see the Father…’, it now makes much more sense because again He is the Agent of HaShem. Very important distinction as compared to what Replacement Theology Christendom teaches in that its Jesus is G-d in the flesh, something to remember as we proceed in this Op.
In our Torah portion ‘Yisro’ HaShem gives Israel His marriage proposal in Shemot 19:3-6 which says “Moshe ascended to Elohim, and HaShem called to him called to him from the mountain, saying ‘So shall you say to the House of Yaakov and relate to the Children of Israel. You have seen what I did to Egypt, and that I have borne you on the wings of eagles and brought you to Me. And now, if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you hall speak to the Children of Israel.”
Moshe takes the proposal to the people and everyone in unison responds together “Everything that HaShem has spoken we shall do!” Moshe brings the response back to HaShem. Then HaShem commands Moshe to tell the people to sanctify themselves in preparation for the Third Day per Shemot 19:11 which says “Let them be prepared for the third day, for on the third day HaShem shall descend in the sight of the entire people on Mount Sinai.”
Now consider HaShem reveals the end from the beginning so is He telling us when He will show up in the end i.e. the Third Day? Consider the seven day week HaShem set up for humanity to live on the earth and consider He says one day is equal to a thousand years per Psalms 90:4, a total of seven thousand years. When these events occur with the Exodus and Moshe (The Agent of HaShem who led Israel out of bondage and oversaw the initial wedding covenant) it is the Third Day from Creation and now today in 2021, we are just about at the ‘Third Day’ i.e. two thousand years/two days after Yeshua (The Agent of HaShem, Who came in the likeness of Moshe per Devarim 18:15-19, restored the marriage covenant and delivered us from eternal bondage). Remember He reveals the end from the beginning and as such how can this be true if per Replacement Theology Christendom the beginning is now tossed aside and replaced as is commonly taught? Its not possible! I digress.
The Torah IS the marriage contract between HaShem and Israel, it is the Ketubah in Hebrew. In contrast, there is no such entity called ‘The Church’ which has a separate standard to live by such as being free from the Torah, again that is just more Replacement Theology nonsense, there is ONLY Klal Israel, the Congregation of Israel, comprised of everyone who wishes to serve and worship HaShem, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel. The motivation for striving to walk in His Torah is NOT out of some religious rote, but in fact is out of love, devotion and loyalty unto Him, for He is good, He even says so in Shemot 20:6, in that we are to love Him!
Additionally, we know HaShem’s intention is for Israel to be the example to the world and to live out the Torah in order to entice the non-Jewish world to be attracted to HaShem and to come and embrace His Torah, the reason Israel is called ‘The Chosen’. Shabbos 88b from the Talmud Bavli also says this that the Torah is for the people of the earth. HaShem desires none to perish but ALL to come into the covenant!
With all this said, what is the first command HaShem gives during this event? Shemot 20:2-3 says “I am HaShem, your Elohim, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. There shall not be to you the gods of others in My presence.” This is the basis from where we learn idolatry is akin to adultery by HaShem. There is a ton of information to explore in these two verses alone.
Mitzvah #25 from The Book of the Mitzvot discusses this much more in-depth which says “Through the many miracles that He performed at the time of the Exodus, with which He suspended the natural order of the universe at His discretion, HaShem demonstrated that He is the ONE Creator Who continues to control all natural forces. Since the Jews were witnesses to those miracles and, by extension, to His Existence and Omnipotence, HaShem described Himself to them as the One Who had taken them out of Egypt. While this opening verse of the Ten Commandments could be understood as merely identifying the Giver the Torah, the Talmud in Makkos 23b-24a, counts it as a mitzvah to believe in the One Elohim, Who delivered us from bondage in Egypt.” Point is, the basis of any hope is to first believe HaShem exists and is exactly Who He says He is! Without this foundation, hope cannot exist!
Further, the commentary says “I am HaShem conveys that there is One Elohim Who brought everything into existence: The Name ‘Yod – Hey – Vav – Hey’ i.e. the ineffable Name of HaShem represents that He exists eternally and that He brought everything into existence.” Now this is something I implore you remember as we proceed in this because it will blow your mind when we get to that point, hang on!
The commentary from the Milstein Chumash on page 220 referencing Shabbas 105a from the Talmud Bavli says “The first word of the Ten Commandments is ‘Anokhi’ which means ‘I am HaShem’ which He could have used the standard ‘Ani’ which means ‘I am’. HaShem said the word ‘I am HaShem’ so that it could be better understood (In Hebrew) as an acronym in several ways:
- ‘I Myself wrote the Torah‘
- ‘A saying that is pleasant was written and given‘
The Hebrew letters can be reversed for another meaning:
- ‘It was given in writing, reliable are its statements‘
With all this said now let’s get into the heart of this Op. I will be referencing the Exodus commentary from Rabbi David Fohrman discussing this weeks Torah portion ‘Yisro’.
Rabbi Fohrman is explaining the importance and significance of why HaShem made the statements He did when He first met Moshe at the burning bush:
- I have seen the suffering My people in Egypt
- I have heard their cries
- I know their suffering
- Now, they cry of the Israelites has reached Me
- I have seen how the Egyptians oppress them
Rabbi Fohrman says “We have a word for this in English, and it is ‘EMPATHY’. To experience what someone else is experiencing as deeply as possible, even if that experience is uncomfortable or painful, is the soul of empathy. And empathy has consequences. It naturally spurs the one who experiences it to reach out and help the victim. Which, in fact, is the very next point HaShem makes in introducing Himself at the burning bush. In short HaShem ‘FEELS’ what the people feel, and THEN ACTS TO SAVE THEM.” Since He reveals the end from the beginning and is unchanging, can we derive hope from this for us today?
Rabbi Fohrman goes on and says “I am Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey, your Elohim, Who took you out of Egypt. That special, mysterious Name of HaShem, Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey. What, if anything, does it even mean? I want to suggest a theory to you. That single word, that Name by which HaShem introduces Himself in the Ten Commandments, is shorthand for everything that was in the middle of the burning bush introduction. It is shorthand for ‘The Elohim of empathy and therefore the Elohim of action.’ For as we shall see later, the name Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey is associated with states of being, being in the past, being in the present, and being in the future. It is as if HaShem, with that Name, denotes Himself as the Elohim of Being; the Elohim Who is radically present with you, SO MUCH SO HE CANNOT HELP TO ACT!“
“Recall what Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey signifies: ‘The Elohim of radical empathy, the Elohim Who is there with us, potently, in our life, always, even in times of our greatest sorrow. The people had experienced unimaginable horrors in Egypt for many long years. They would not easily believe that Elohim was who Moshe said He was i.e. a Compassionate divine force, full of love, who is there with us, now and always. It is hard for those experiencing immense suffering to believe that the Elohim who had been silent all this time is present with them in their sorrows.”
Why does HaShem tell Moshe at the burning bush He will perform three signs to prove to Israel He is Who He says He is i.e. the water turned to blood, white hand and a staff that turns to a snake?
“HaShem tells Moshe to take some water from the Nile, spill it on the ground and as if by magic, it will turn to blood. Ponder that for a moment. Does it remind you of any phenomenon that takes place later on in the Exodus saga? Water turning into blood, perchance? Of course, it is the first plague, the moment when the entire Nile River turns, harrowingly, into blood. Why do you think, of all things, HaShem would choose to begin His cascade of ten plagues with a river turning into blood? It is because He wanted to show that He understood the truth about what happened to the people, the darkest, most terrible truth.”
“What was the greatest crime the Egyptians perpetrated upon the Israelite population, in all those hundreds of years of slavery, beyond all the brickmaking, beyond all the excruciating labor? Beyond all that, there was one horrific act that was paramount. It was an act so terrible it could hardly even be held in memory without driving the bearer of the memory mad with pain. It was the casting of the little baby boys into the Nile, the drowning of generations of helpless children.” Consider the heinous abortions in America today and now per Pres Biden we are funding abortions worldwide to include using aborted babies for medical and food production! America is nothing but the culture of death now! I digress.
“So HaShem validated what was done to the people. Indeed, the first step in redeeming a traumatized people isn’t really taking them out of Egypt. Before that, there’s work to do, in effect, you have to say ‘I know what was done to you; I get it.’ And so the first plague, foreshadowed in this sign at the burning bush, has one clear message, the Nile will turn to blood. It will do that, not because of magic. It will do that because, that’s the reality! The aggressor will be forced to confront his crime. Egyptians will have to stare with horror and shame at the blood. And the victims will begin to find a measure of solace, ‘We weren’t the crazy ones.’ Everyone and everything around us lied. BUT HASHEM KNOWS THE TRUTH. ‘Yes, this is what happened to you.'”
“HaShem’s first act of care, even before taking us out of Egypt, is that He stood up and told the truth about us. He did so without saying a word. He did it with actions; first, a symbolic act, the sign at the burning bush; then, a real world act that brings the sign to fruition, the first plague, which turned the Nile into blood. At the burning bush, through that sign, Elohim was saying to Israel, ‘I know the truth about what happened to you. I understand the horror.’ HaShem really was Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey, the Elohim of Being There With You, after all!”
What can we derive from this understanding of HaShem and His empathy for us? Remember, He acts to save Israel BEFORE He presents them with the Torah i.e. the Marriage Contract!! He acts for His Own sake and for the promises He made to our forefathers! We can derive that we, as His people, when we have accepted His Torah i.e. the Marriage Contract, out of love, devotion and loyalty to Him, can fully hope in Him that He WILL act on our behalf at the appointed time because His empathy for us compels Him to act!
Does this enhance your appreciation for Who HaShem is in these incredibly dark, wicked, evil, corrupt, very difficult days we are living in today? HaShem has so much compassion and empathy for each of us individually and collectively as His ONE people, Israel! And when we as a people failed Him, broke the covenant i.e. the Marriage Contract, committed adultery i.e. idolatry, He had to act not only to punish, but also to redeem, restore and renew which is where Yeshua (Not Replacement Theology Jesus) comes onto the scene. The Agent of HaShem, Who bore our penalty for our sins and in doing so restored the Marriage Contract and redeemed Israel which is scattered into the entire world and has in many cases lost its identity. Therefore HaShem saves the whole world to bring all of Israel back, Jew and Non-Jew fully equal in the eyes of HaShem, serving Him out of love, devotion and loyalty according to the Torah!
Is it a coincidence at the end of the seven year Birth Pains that Yeshua returns to Mount Sinai on that Rosh HaShannah and rescues Israel which is fleeing into the Wilderness from the False Messiah and then marches along the same route Moshe led the people, up to Jerusalem, where He enters the city, confronts and defeats the False Messiah and his forces on that Yom Kippur. Then He leads a giant celebration on the Feast of Sukkot and rededicates the Temple to HaShem on that Hanukah? Nothing is a coincidence and nothing is changed…He is the same, unchanging and reveals the end out of the beginning. Baruch HaShem!
I hope and pray I have captured what HaShem was showing me well enough. There is much hope in Him and knowing His empathy for each of us, is astounding and may His great Name be honored and esteemed! May it be so very, very, very soon in our days!
- Know Torah = Know Yeshua
- No Torah = No Yeshua
- The Milstein Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- The Milstein Edition Jeremiah by Artscroll
- Tractate Sanhedrin of the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
- Tractate Shabbos of the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
- Tractate Makkos of the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
- Exodus by Rabbi David Fohrman by Maggid publishers