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This weeks Torah portion states the following, א אֵלֶּה הַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּן לַעֲשֹוֹת בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֶיךָ לְךָ לְרִשְׁתָּהּ כָּל-הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר-אַתֶּם חַיִּים עַל-הָאֲדָמָה: ב אַבֵּד תְּאַבְּדוּן אֶת-כָּל-הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָבְדוּ-שָׁם הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹרְשִׁים אֹתָם אֶת-אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל-הֶהָרִים הָרָמִים וְעַל-הַגְּבָעוֹת וְתַחַת כָּל-עֵץ רַעֲנָן: ג וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת-מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת-מַצֵּבֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְֹרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ וּפְסִילֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֶת-שְׁמָם מִן-הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא: ד לֹא-תַעֲשֹוּן כֵּן לַיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: ה כִּי אִם-אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-יִבְחַר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם מִכָּל-שִׁבְטֵיכֶם לָשֹוּם אֶת-שְׁמוֹ שָׁם לְשִׁכְנוֹ תִדְרְשׁוּ וּבָאתָ שָּׁמָּה: 12:1 ‘These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. 12:2 ‘You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 12:3 ‘You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. 12:4 ‘You shall not act like this toward the Lord your God. 12:5 ‘But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. (NASB) Notice how the Chukim (הַחֻקִּים) and Mishpatim (וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים) are connected to both Haaretz (אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּן לַעֲשֹוֹת בָּאָרֶץ) and Haadamah (כָּל-הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר-אַתֶּם חַיִּים עַל-הָאֲדָמָה). The parallel of obedience to the Land of Israel and the word is very significant because these Scriptures are saying that obeying Torah will cause life to go well with us, not just in Eretz Yisrael, but also in all the World! Notice how this is the interpretation according to the prophet Ezekiel 36:27 ‘I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 36:28 ‘You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. (NASB) This point cannot be stressed enough, the Torah is designed to point or direct our lives toward the goal of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is a Hebraic way of saying sin is to miss the mark. So when we are not following the Torah, we are not aiming toward the goal of the high calling we have been given, we are missing the mark. As a result, we understand and accept the Torah as the Father’s loving instructions and directions to be followed motivated by our love and respect for the God of Israel…

 

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