Re’eh | ראה | “Behold” | “See ” – This Day I Set Before You Blessing and Curse
–“Behold,” referring to the reception of light of Hochma, ( Wisdom), When Mashiach appears – it will be a blessing and salvation for the House of Israel
– If G-d created the Evil Inclination, He also created the Torah as its antidote.
Parshat Reéh begins with a dramatic appeal to Israel to choose to obey the commandments Of the Lord: “See, I set before you Blessing (Beracha) and Curse ( Kelalah) – a blessing if you follow Most High Ways, but a curse if you turn to idolatry and forsake The way of the Lord. A ceremony would later be held between the mountains of Gerizim and Ebal upon entering the promised land, during which the consequences of the blessing and curse would be pronounced. .To understand that, just look at the first word in this week’s Parsha Re’eh,translated above as “behold,” but more literally translated as “See!” “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse;” …-Deuteronomy 11:26
- G-d places both blessing and curse before the Israelites. They are taught that blessing will come through the observance of G-d’s laws. – Deut 11:26–32
- Moses’ third discourse includes laws about worship in a central place (12:1–28); injunctions against idolatry (12:29–13:19) and self-mutilation (14:1–2); dietary rules (14:3–21); and laws about tithes (14:22–25), debt remission (15:1–11), the release and treatment of Hebrew slaves (15:12–18), and firstlings ( 15:19–23).
- Moses reviews the correct sacrifices to be offered during the Pilgrim Festivals-Pesach, Sukkot, and Shavuot. – Deut 16:1-17
Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of HaShem your G-d which I command you today;
The name of this portion is “Re’eh” and it means “To see”. The numerical value is 206 and with the Kolel (adding 1 for the whole) = 207 = Light (אור) = Secret (רז). When we add the letter Yod we have ראיה = seeing and its numerical value is 216. This number represents the 72 names of G-d (216 letters) and the female aspect of the light in Malchut ( Kingdom ).
And He said, “Hear now My words: If your prophet is of יהוה, I make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream. “Not so with My servant Mosheh, he is trustworthy in all My house. “I speak with him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not in riddles. And he sees ‘the form of יהוה……’ (Hebrew תְמֻנַת יְהוָה – The Voice, The Word = Messiah) –Numbers 12:6-8
“See, this day, I set before you a blessing and a curse” (Deuteronomy 11:26). While the next two verses tell us that the blessing and the curse are about whether we follow mitzvot and stay on G-d’s path, the first line is a deep teaching about the nature of choice and life.
Re’eh, see, is in the singular, which, according to the Vilna Gaon, an 18th century master, is so that a person won’t say, “What is the difference if I choose a good path if the majority of the world behaves in an evil way?” “See” is in the singular so we take care of our own selves. It is so easy to look around and point to myriad evils in the world — to the millions of human beings who don’t care about the environment, who are not concerned with the hungry in our midst, who think that peace is impossible — and not do anything in our own life because we think it doesn’t matter. It does matter, and it is the heart of being human: We get to choose how to respond in any given situation, and the Vilna Gaon is reminding us how valuable and truly divine that option is for us.
The Torah speaks only about the inner meaning of all the matters just mentioned. It is written, “Behold,” referring to the reception of light of Hochma, which is seeing. Seeing is the highest of the five senses, and marks the highest level of attainment. When a person truly sees whether what is happening is a blessing or a curse, he is standing right before the entrance to the land of Israel. – Dr. Michael Laitman
The world, from its very inception, was created with choices. Ultimately, these choices are between life and death, but rarely do people see their choices in such terms. The possibility for evil or pain is part of the process of creation, or, perhaps, is a result of creation: And, behold, it was very good … And, behold, it was good[in the Book of Genesis] alludes to the creation of man and the Good Inclination, and “very” alludes to the Evil Inclination. Is, then, the Evil Inclination “very good”? It is, in truth, to teach you that were it not for the Evil Inclination, no one would build a house, marry and beget children. (Kohelet Rabba 3:15)
The possibility of evil is an essential part of the creation. This idea is expressed most clearly in this passage in the Book of Isaiah: I am the Lord, and there is none beside me and the text offers a fascinating insight. Light is formed, while darkness is created; peace is made while evil is created.
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.-Isaiah 45:6-7
The Zohar supports this idea: About the holy sephirot (also called “crowns”) and an unholy sephirot (created by G-d), also made up of ten “crowns.” The latter is known as Sitra Ahra, “the other side.”:
Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3 Page 41b – R. Simeon said: ‘As there are ten Crowns of Faith above, so there are ten crowns of unclean sorcery below. All things on earth are attached either to one side or to the other.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 95a – The reason is, as we have learnt, that G-d has made lower crowns which are not holy, and which, in fact, pollute, and with these are marked all who are not circumcised.
This may seem odd to include the angels who are in opposition to G-d (demons) within the Tree of Life, however, they are created spiritual beings and are in fact serving the will of G-d.
When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, G-d sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech. -Judges 9:22-23
For G-d hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of G-d shall be fulfilled. -Revelation 17:17
What is the difference between “formation” versus “creation”? Formation indicates an appearance of “something from something,” while creation indicates “something from nothing.” Despite the fact that evil was created by G-d, it does not emanate from G-d. We may learn from careful examination of Isaiah’s words that light, or good, is derived formed from a primordial source – from G-d, while evil is created. Despite the fact that evil was created by G-d, it does not emanate from G-d. Light is refracted from the supernal good, while the result of a separate act of creation results in the appearance of something new, not part of G-d, called evil.
This process of creation allows the appearance of something other than G-d, which needed to be created because it did not exist in G-d’s sphere. This concept is encapsulated in a one-line phrase in the Midrash: No evil descends from heaven. -(Yalkut Shimoni Va’era 186)
The Midrash is clearly aware of the verse in Isaiah cited above, but simply assumes, as we do, that creation differs from formation; therefore, evil does not emanate from heaven, rather it is a by-product of creation.
one else, there is no G-d beside me; I girded you, though you have not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is no one else. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things. -Isaiah 45:5-7
Rabbi Chaim of Allepo (a student of Rabbi Chaim Vital) noted: See! I give you today (literally, ‘I place before you’) a blessing and a curse. ‘Before you’ and not ‘on you,’ for no evil descends from heaven, rather it is placed before you. The choice is yours. (Torat Haham 419:3)
But what is the evil inclination? The Talmud identifies it with other known adversaries: Resh Lakish said: “Satan, the Evil Inclination, and the Angel of Death are all one.” (Baba Bathra 16a)
These three forces are instilled in the world as part of a cosmic balancing act, in order to give man free choice. The verse which we began with “See! I give you today a blessing and a curse” is only relevant if man has free choice.
The Talmud adds that this is the desire of the Satan: Rabbi Levi said: “Both Satan and Peninah had a pious purpose [in acting as adversaries]. Satan, when he saw God inclined to favor Job said, ‘Far be it that God should forget the love of Abraham.’ Of Peninah it is written, ‘And her rival provoked her sore for to make her fret.’” When Rabbi Aha ben Jacob gave this exposition in Papunia, Satan came and kissed his feet. (Baba Bathra 16a)
If G-d created the Evil Inclination, He also created the Torah as its antidote. (Baba Bathra 16a)
G-d then emanated a “finite” part of “Himself” into this realm, which was the Torah, also called the “word” or the “Light.” As soon as the aspect of “Light” entered the universe, there also entered “darkness,” as you cannot have something defined as “Light,” without its inverse. That which was not the Light (within the universe G-d created) took on the existence of darkness. Thus, whatever G-d (Eyn Sof) commanded was Torah/Light, and what he did not command (darkness/evil) was also created by implication.
The embodiment of these opposites (light and darkness) is found in Messiah and haSatan.
Messiah is light (John 1:9; 9:5), haSatan is darkness (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 16:10).
Messiah is the word (John 1:1), haSatan opposes the word and says to man, “did G-d really say …” (Genesis 3:1).
Messiah is the truth (John 14:6), haSatan is the father of all lies (John 8:44).
Messiah came as the Torah in the flesh (John 1:14), haSatan will come as a man opposed to Torah (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Deuteronomy 27: 12
2 Thessalonians 2:3
This week’s Torah portion is Re’eh and this is a continuation of Moses’ speech to the people before ascending Mt. Nebo to die. In this portion he warns the people that they face the choice between a life of blessings and a life of curses. He also urges them to follow G-d’s commandments once they settle in the land.
One of the most fascinating passages of the parashah/portion is when Moses describes the ritual that the people are to enact upon entering the Promised Land. The people are to stand between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, both of which are on the “other side” of the Jordan. A series of curses are then to be pronounced from MountEbal and a series of blessings from Mount Gerizim. The blessings represent what will happen if they follow G-d’s (mitzvot ) commandments and the curses will follow if they turn away from “the path that I enjoin upon you and follow other gods.”
“See, I place before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing is if you listen to the commandments of Hashem your G-d, which I command you today. And the curse is if you do not listen to the commandments of Hashem your G-d, and you stray from the path which I command you today, to go after other gods that you have never known.” -Deuteronomy 11:26-28
The Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh comments on the word “today”, which is repeated so many times in these verses. He explains that it refers back to the promise spoken by Moshe at the end of last week’s parsha, that “any place on which the sole of your foot will tread will be yours”. This promise occurs here for the first time in the Torah. Thus Moshe tells the Jews, “This promise I have given you just today can be a blessing or a curse. If you keep the commandments, it is a blessing, but if not, your ownership of the land will be a curse to you, for the nations’ jealousy will be aroused and they will destroy you from the land with fierce vengeance. And whatever benefit you get from it will come back to haunt you in the World to Come, as the Torah says at the end of Vaeschanan: that Hashem pays sinners up for their few good deeds in this world so that they have nothing left in the World to Come.
Accordingly, the Midrash is saying: “See the Anochi of the Ten Commandments and understand that the conquest of Eretz Yisroel can only take place when Hashem commands it and brings it about. Only then will it be a blessing for us.”
This means that if we keep the commandments, and conquer the land in the right circumstances – when Hashem commands us to do so, such as in the time of Moshe and Yehoshua, or in the future when moshiach comes – it will be a blessing. But if we conquer it in the wrong circumstances, it will be a terrible curse for us, and the nations’ jealousy will be aroused against us.
The Midrash comments, “See I – see the word Anochi (“I”) with which the Ten Commandments begin.” What does this mean?
Now, the Gemara (Shabbos 31a) says that one of the questions a person will be asked after his life is, “Did you hope for the redemption?” Rashi comments, “To the words of the prophets.” In other words, a person will be asked whether he hoped for the redemption to come in the way it was foretold by the prophets, or perhaps he hoped for a different kind of redemption. The source for this concept – that one must believe that Hashem and no one else will bring the redemption – is from the First Commandment, “I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt.” When Hashem spoke these words, He promised that just as He Himself took us out of Egypt, He Himself will take us out of exile.
The Smak also connects the question about hoping for the redemption to the first commandment. He defines the mitzvah of “Anochi” as follows: to believe that the Creator of heaven and earth is alone the ruler of the universe, and everything happens through His will, not through automatic processes such as mazalos. Hashem is the One Who brought us out of Egypt and performed all the wonders, the plagues and the splitting of the sea. No one knocks his finger unless it is ordained from Above. “The steps of a man are prepared by Hashem.” (Tehillim 37:23) And this is the meaning of Chazal’s statement (Shabbos 31a) that when a person dies and comes before the Heavenly Court, he is asked, “Did you hope for the redemption?” Where is this mitzvah written, that a person should be held responsible for it? The answer is that this is all part of the mitzvah “I am Hashem,” for just as we must believe that He took us out of Egypt, we must believe that He will bring the final redemption. If this is to be counted as one of the Ten Commandments, [it must have a practical meaning], and so it must be saying, “Just as I want you to believe in Me, that I took you out of Egypt, so I want you to believe that I am Hashem your G-d and I will eventually gather you in and save you. And so the Torah promises (Devarim 30:3), “And He will return and gather you in from all the nations.” (Sefer Mitzvos Katan, Mitzvah 1)
…..Stand up and lift up your heads, because your Redemption is drawing near – Luke 21 : 28
However, if we examine ourselves, it seems as if we are very far from having faith in the future redemption. Occasionally we speak about G-d having made Heaven and Earth, and that He directs creation. However, when it comes to the arrival of Moshiach and the resurrection of the dead, we are quiet, as if we are embarrassed to speak about them, as if we have given up [on such realities] altogether. However, the words of the Sefer Mitzvos Katan should arouse trembling in our hearts since they are part of the mitzvah of “I am G-d, your G-d.” And, anyone who is not involved with these matters is far from having any true faith . . . In truth, most of the Shemonah Esrei deals with the future redemption . . . And, just as we are lacking faith in this matter, we are also distant from the essence of prayer. We lack connection to [the blessings regarding redemption], and all of our prayers are only lip service! (Ohr Yechezkel, Emunas HaGeulah, 1960; p. 287)
However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:7-8).
Midrash Rabbah, Exodus III:4 – What is the meaning of G-d’s statement, THAT I (ANOKI) HAVE SENT THEE? Our Sages said it is symbolic of the first deliverance, for with an anoki Israel came into Egypt, as it is said: ‘ I (anoki) will go down with thee into Egypt’ (Genesis 46:4), and with an anoki will I take you out. It is also symbolic of the latter redemption, for with an anoki will they be healed and redeemed, as it is said: Behold, I (anoki) will send you Elijah the prophet.
As explained by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh: Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar (who passed away in 5503), author of the commentary Or HaChaim, explains our verse as referring in its entirety to the Mashiach. He explains that the Mashiach’s coming will be hastened, if the Jewish People merit it, and if not, then he will come “in its appointed time.” This is the meaning of the quote “in its appointed time, I will hasten it” (Isaiah 60:22), as interpreted by our sages. In accordance with this understanding, the quote “I behold it, but not now” (not immediately now, but very soon) refers to a state in which the Jewish People are worthy, whereas “I behold it, but not in the near future” refers to a state in which they are not. So too, if the Jewish People are worthy, then the Mashiach will come in a manner from above to below as pictured in the phrase, “a star will go forth from Jacob” and as it is said “he will come via the clouds of the heavens”–in the merit of the service of the majority of the souls of Israel, the average ones amongst the Jewish People, the rank and file–who may be labeled “Jacobs.” Whereas, if they are not worthy, then the Mashiach will come in a manner from below to above, “and a staff shall arise in Israel” and as “a poor man, riding on a donkey”–in the merit of the service of the minority of the souls of Israel, the Tzadikim of the generation, who are labeled “Israel.”
Chosen Holy Place:
Yerushalayim is called “The place that Hashem will choose” (Deut. 26:2, 18:6, 16:6, 14:24, 25, 12:5, 11, 21, 26). In parshas Vayera, the first half of the name Yerushalayim is alluded to: “And Avraham called the name of the place Hashem Yireh” (Genesis 22:14). In parshas Lech Lecha, the second half of the name is alluded to: “And Malki Tzedek the king of Shalem etc.” (Genesis 14:18).
Yireh Hashem and Shalem both refer to Yerushalayim.
To the place which Hashem your G-d will choose to make His name rest there, there you will bring all that I command you. (Deut 12:11)
The Torah never mentions Jerusalem by name; it only refers to “the place Hashem your G-d will choose.” Rabbi Chaim ben Betzalel, brother of the Maharal, explains that this is to teach us that all places in the world are suitable for the service of Hashem, and can be called “the place Hashem will choose.” The Gemora says (Kesubos 110b) that anyone who lives outside Eretz Yisroel is as if he has no G-d. This means, writes Rabbi Chaim, only if he makes his permanent dwelling there and has no hope of returning to the Holy Land. Such a person mingles and assimilates with the gentiles, since he plans to live with them permanently. But a Jew who is constantly waiting for the redemption, whose eyes and heart are always on Eretz Yisroel, is definitely not considered like an idol worshipper. And on the contrary, he is considered as if he were standing in the midst of Eretz Yisroel. This is our intent when we face Eretz Yisroel during prayer – that it should be considered as if we were standing there. Any place where such service of Hashem takes place, no matter in what part of the world, is called “the place Hashem will choose.”
Similarly, writes Rabbi Chaim, when Chazal say (Kesubos 111a) that one buried outside Eretz Yisroel will arise at the Revival of the Dead painfully, by rolling through underground tunnels to Eretz Yisroel, they are only speaking about someone who did not love the Holy Land. But those who loved the Land during their lives and waited for the redemption, even in death do not depart from that holiness that was inscribed on the tablet of their hearts. Hashem left us as an insurance Moshe Rabbeinu, the master of prophets, who is buried outside the Land, but loved the Land very much. He Who brings up his bones will bring up as well the bones of all those who hoped to Him and waited for His redemption. (Sefer Hachaim, Section 5, Chapter 1)
But you shall seek the Place where HaShem your G-d chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His Name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. And there you shall eat before HaShem your G-d, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which HaShem your G-d has blessed you. You shall not at all do as we are doing here today – every man doing whatever is right in his own eye – for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which HaShem your G-d is giving you. But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which HaShem your G-d is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, then there will be the Place where HaShem your G-d chooses to makeHis Name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to HaShem. And you shall rejoice before HaShem your G-d, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you. Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; but in the Place which HaShem chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. -Deuteronomy 12:5-14
Beloved Ones, Ezekiel and Zechariah teach us that the Holy Temple of HaShem will one day be built again. It will be built in the physical city of Jerusalem, on the physical Har HaBayit, on Mount Moriyah. Although the Children of Israel, when they heard Moses speak these words on the Plains of Moab, did not know where the Place was – G-d did make it clear later. He made it His permanent Place when He told Solomon:
Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this Place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My Name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. -II Chronicles 7:15-16
Not only will the Holy Temple be built again – it will ultimately be where Messiah Himself is. He will physically (really) reign from the physical (real) city of Jerusalem. His throne will be real. His Torah will be real. His Presence will be real. We will see Him there in that Place.
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of HaShem, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Tzions hall go forth the Torah, and the word of HaShem from Jerusalem. -Isaiah 2:3
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face…. -1 Corinthians 13:12
HaShem Tzuri v’Goali, oseh shalom bim’romav
HaShem, My Rock and My Redeemer, He Who makes peace in His Heights
Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kal Yisrael.
May He make peace upon us and all Israel.
Y’hi ratzon m’l’fanecha HaShem Ekoheinu v’Ekohei avoteinu
May it be Your will, our G-d, and G-d of our forefathers
Sheiyibaneh Beit Hamik’dash bim’harah v’yomeinu
That the Holy Temple be rebuilt, speedily in our days
V’ten chel’keinu b’toratecha
And grant us our portion in Your Torah
v’sham na’avad’cha b’yirah
And we will serve You with reverence
Kimei olam uch’shanim kad’moniot
As in days of old and in former years
Shalom Aleichem b’shem Yahushua Mashiach!
UNIVERSAL TORAH: RE’EH -By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
AND YOU SHALL CHOOSE LIFE
“See: I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse.” (Deut. 11:26). Moses asks us to see and understand the most important fact about our existential condition: that we are free. Each of us is placed within a unique matrix of circumstances that set the overall parameters of our lives. Yet within those parameters, we are constantly faced with options and divergent pathways, and our task is to choose between them. Our freedom is a trial because while we may see (or imagine we see) where we want a given pathway to take us in the short-term, as time-bound humans we can never know the long-term consequences of our choices at the moment we actually make those choices.
Only G-d has perfect knowledge of all the short- and long-term consequences of the options that face us. While He gives us the freedom to make our own choices, He offers us guidance based upon His knowledge. Thus the Zohar calls the commandments of the Torah “advice”. Each commandment is advice about which turn to take at each juncture in the road of life. Nothing compels us to follow the commandments: if there were any compulsion, we would not be free. G-d wants us to have the merit of choosing our destiny for ourselves — He wants us to see and understand for ourselves, and to make wise choices. “SEE: I am setting before you a blessing and a curse” . “And you shall choose LIFE”. (Deut. 30:19).
Moses was addressing the Children of Israel in the plains of Moab, where they were poised to enter the Promised Land under Joshua. Moses instructed them to perform a powerfully striking ceremony on entry into the Land. This was designed to imprint deeply in the consciousness of the nation the terms on which they would possess the Land. Six of the twelve tribes were to stand on Mount Gerizim and six on Mount Eival, while the Priests and Levites were to stand in the valley between them chanting a list of fundamental Torah prohibitions, blessing those who observe them and cursing those who violate them. (The actual performance of the ceremony is described in Joshua chapter 8.)
Our parshah of RE’EH opens with the beginning of Moses’ instructions about this ceremony (Deut. 11:26-32). Further instructions and the text of the chant are given four parshas later in KI TAVO (Deut. 27:11-26. Thus we find that the main body of the book of Deuteronomy is “sandwiched” between the beginning of Moses’ instructions for the ceremony of blessings and curses at the start of RE’EH and his further instructions for the ceremony given in the middle of KI TAVO. The main body of Deuteronomy is made up of the detailed commandments in many different areas of life contained in the parshiyos we read on this Shabbat and for the next three weeks.
The remainder of parshas RE’EH, the whole of parshas SHOFTIM and KI TETZE and the first part of KI TAVO thus constitute the “repetition of the law” that gives the book of Deuteronomy its name. In Torah literature, this book is called MISHNEH TORAH, “the repetition of the law”, while the Greek words that make up the name Deuteronomy mean exactly the same — the repetition of, or second law. It is not that this law is any different from the code of Exodus (as set forth in parshas MISHPATIM) or that of Leviticus (set forth in parshas KEDOSHIM). Rabbinic exegesis of Torah law in the Midrash and Talmud shows that all the different passages supplement one another and constitute a single, unified code. The law is “repeated” because it is only through MISHNEH — constant repetition and review — that we bring the Torah deep into our hearts and make it rule our lives.
The sandwiching of the code of Deuteronomy, the MISHNEH TORAH, between the beginning and end of the instructions for the ceremony of blessings and curses on entry into the Land comes to emphasize that keeping the Torah is the essential condition for Israel’s possession of the Land. The opening parshahs of Deuteronomy set forth the fundamentals of faith and trust in G-d, love and awe and the other basic traits we are asked to cultivate. Now we come to the detailed laws of the Torah, as set forth in this and the ensuing parshahs. It was over this complete code, with its foundations and all its details, that Moses struck a Covenant with Israel in the plains of Moab, as recounted in KI TAVO, which we will read shortly before the New Year and Days of Awe.
The most striking feature of the Code as set forth in Deuteronomy compared to the laws in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers is the constant return to the centrality of Jerusalem and the Temple in the life of the nation. “To the place that Hashem your G-d will choose from all your tribes to place His name there to dwell — search it out and come there!” (Deut. 12:5). On conquest of the land, the Israelites were charged with totally uprooting and destroying all vestiges of Canaanite and any other kind of idolatry in order to ensure the success of the pure monotheistic order they were to establish in their place. The unity of G-d could not be revealed through the multiple shrines of the heathens “on the high mountains and on the hills and under every leafy tree”. G-d’s unity is revealed only when the consciousness of all Israel and of the entire world is focussed on the House of HaShem on Mount Moriah, the “Mountain of Teaching”. For “the Torah will go forth from Zion and the word of HaShem from Yerushalayim”.
Later in the Code of Deuteronomy (SHOFTIM, Deut. 17:8ff, etc.) we will encounter Mount Moriah as the seat of the sages and elders of the Sanhedrin, Israel’s true Supreme Court, whose proper place is in the Hewn Chamber on the Temple Mount. However, in our present parshah of RE’EH, the focus is on Jerusalem and the Temple as the center of the nation’s religious life, which itself is inextricably bound up with agriculture and the economy. Blessing reigns in Israel when the first-born animals and animal tithes are offered on the Temple Altar; when meat is consumed not purely out of lust, but in order to partake of peace and thanksgiving offerings; when the first-fruits are presented in the Temple; when Terumah is given to the priests and the tithe to the Levites, while the Israelites take up their second tithe to eat in holiness and purity within the boundaries of Jerusalem. “Three times in the year, all your males shall appear before the Lord your G-d.” (Deut. 16:16).
Complete blessing can dwell only when the law is scrupulously observed. “ALL the word that I am commanding you, you shall guard to do: YOU MUST NOT ADD TO IT AND NOT SUBSTRACT FROM IT” (Duet. 13:1). Some of the severest sanctions in the Torah are reserved for those who encourage others to deviate from the law, such as the false prophet, those who lead whole towns astray, and notably the MEISIS (“inciter to idolatry” — Deut. 13:2-19). The Torah insists that sanctions may be imposed only through due legal procedure — “And you shall search out and investigate and question thoroughly” (Deut. 13:16). Nothing could be further from the Torah law on the eradication of idolatry than the practice of those who “burn their sons and daughters in fire to their gods” — those who send young male and female suicide-terrorists to indiscriminately kill innocent men, women and children and babes in arms in the name of religion. The severity of the law of the Torah is directed not at innocents but at smooth-tongued, malicious, evil and dangerous inciters who whip up entire nations to madness.
But “You are children to HaShem your G-d”: our best protection against the smooth-tongued incitement to stray from the Torah to which we are exposed every day is our own personal holiness and sanctity. Thus the laws in our parshah against incitement are followed immediately by the laws of holiness and abstention from the consumption of forbidden species of animals, which causes spiritual degradation. We are to regulate our physical appetites. We are to tithe our crops, and instead of simply eating the fruits immediately at home in order satisfy our bodily needs, we are to take a tithe (Maaser Sheni) to eat in Jerusalem “in order that you will learn to revere HaShem your G-d all the days”. Self-restraint applies not only to farmers but to those involved in the money economy as well. Thus our parshah contains the laws of restraining our appetite for wealth through giving charity and loans to the needy, and remitting debts in the Sabbatical year. Again and again we are charged to remember the poor and needy, the Levite, the widow and the orphan.
Through our compassion, we will arouse the compassion of the Almighty as we prepare to enter the month of ELUL, the time of Teshuvah. love and compassion. The letters of the name of Elul are the initial letters of ANI LEDODI VEDODI LI: “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”.
Shabbat Shalom!!! Chodesh Tov Umevorach!!! – Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Haftarat Re’eh – ‘Behold’ (Isaiah 54:11-55:5)
This week’s haftarah is the third in the series of seven haftarot of consolation that are read between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashana. The focus of this week’s reading from the Prophets is consolation for Jerusalem and the Messianic promise.
Our portion begins in verse 11:
O you afflicted one [Jerusalem], tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones. -Isaiah 54:11-12
About Jerusalem as it is described in Revelation:
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from G-d, having the glory of G-d. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel… The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. -Revelation 21:10-11; 18
Contrast the present city of Jerusalem with what follows in Isaiah 54:
All your children shall be taught by HaShem, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake. -Isaiah 54:13-15
but rest assured these promises are for Jerusalem.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of HaShem, and their righteousness is from Me,” Says HaShem. -Isaiah 54:17
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
On the last day, that great day of the feast [the Feast of Sukkot], Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink…”
Our portion ends with a Messianic prophecy and it’s is the Promise of Messiah Son of David…
Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given Him as a witness to the people, a Leader and Commander for the people. –-Isaiah 55:3-4
Incline your ears and come to Me (to hear My words)! Listen, and you will (merit to) live (again, with the revival of the dead)! I will make and eternal covenant with you, as enduring as (My) loyalty to David. Indeed, I have made his (enduring dynasty) as a proof to the nations (that My word always endures, and Mashiach [Messiah], his Descendant, will be) a Ruler and a Leader of the nations.
-Isaiah 55:3-4 ( Gutnick Edition Chumash )
May it be soon, and in our days. Even so, come quickly L-rd Yeshua, Our Salvation!
Blessed art Thou, HaShem, Who brings forth the Manifestation of Salvation. ( Baruch Atah HaShem, matzmiach keren Yeshuah )
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BeitYisrael International.
Gaddi – President
A Servant of Most Ancient Holy one of Israel and Disciple of Yeshua HaMashiach