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In this week’s Torah Portion, Moshe states, כח הַנִּסְתָּרֹת לַיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ עַד-עוֹלָם לַעֲשֹוֹת אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת: 29:29 ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law (הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת). (NASB) Notice how Moshe says the secret things belong to the Lord, and those of us who obey God’s word, they are revealed. This is the way Moshe describes the wisdom that is taught to God’s people in applying God’s Word to our lives. Rashi states, “but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children that we may put away the evil from our midst; and if we do not execute judgment upon them, the whole community will be punished.” The concept here is taking responsibility for what is going on in our community, rather than operating as individuals, or islands who are unaware and uncaring of others, we are to get involved in our brothers life, and warn him if he goes astray. If what is being done in the open, we as a community must obey God’s Word. To ignore what is going on in the life of our brothers brings guilt upon our souls. This is why Paul wrote about casting out the unrepentant sinner from the congregation. (1 Corinthians 5:13) According to verse 29:20 the Lord God singles out individuals due to their sins, and in verse 29:21 it sounds as if the sins of a single individual could cause the Lord to react against the whole people, or at least against a whole family all on account of the single individual rebellion. This suggests we have a responsibility towards others. Moshe makes it clear that the Lord God is omniscient and knows what goes on in the hearts of each one of us. He will deal with the individual who is guilty and not engage in punishing the innocent as “collateral damage.” However, sins committed openly, and ignored by the community will bring guilt upon the community. This is the meaning of our bodies being the Temple of the Lord, and the significance of standing before the Lord our God, because He dwells in our midst. How do these things relate to Teshuvah? We are to live daily repentant lives and to turn from unfaithfulness…

 

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