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Trust In The Arm?

This is week’s Torah Portion, which is the Last Torah Portion(Vezot Haberakhah: Deuteronomy 33,1-34,12) and then The First Portion(Bereishit: Genesis 1,1-6,8) both are included in Simchat Torah(Restarting the Torah Reading Cycle done on the 8th day of Sukkot). The verse below is that blessing of Moses(Deuteronomy 33) prior to his last trip up the mountain to die.

Deuteronomy 33:7 And this for Judah, and he said: Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him in unto his people; his hands shall contend for him, and Thou shalt be a help against his adversaries.(this seems to mean that Judah’s work is for himself only)

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

This last text was a prophetic statement from Jeremiah, aimed at Judah. Are these two verses speaking of the same things? I believe the answer is: YES!

This past weekend has been a little upsetting, because I have come to realize that Rabbinic Judaism is still alive and well in Jerusalem.(Rabbinic Judaism – is putting Oral Tradition, and Other writings a head of the Written Torah and then claiming that the Word Of GOD is in their hands.) Even in the Conservative Shul I attended on Erev Shabbat. The Rabbi explained to the attendees (unbidden) that rabbis get to determine who is a Jew and what they can do, what rights they have. . . . I did not say anything, being a Jew by Choice, and not accepting of the Rabbinic Rules which override the Written Law of Moses.

Only later on Simchat Torah did I make the observation about Deuteronomy 33:7 and then Jeremiah 17:5 connected on later in the day of Simchat Torah. To me it seems that Moses was warning Judah about its actions, and Jeremiah is declaring GOD’S Position regarding what Judah has become after hundreds of years.

Later my mind attached all of this to Ezekiel 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver My sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them. (Is that last done by children leaving Judaism after Bar or Bat Miztvah so that the number of practicing Jews declines year by year? This might be another good write up.)

The Tanakh is full of GOD’S complaints regarding our turning away from HIM and HIS LAWS. Of leaders that look to their own welfare and not unto the ones that trust them to lead (Shepherds). If in doubt read Ezekiel 34, Jeremiah 23, please read the whole chapter and more if you like.

This position becomes enhanced if you consider that the Rabbis are still placing themselves over the Written Word of GOD, by the Hand of Moses.

These quoted items are a great example of how they view themselves.

{ “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

This statement was made by Hillel the Elder (in Pirkei Avot Chapter 1:14), the leader of the Jewish Supreme Court in the Land of Israel in the early part of the 1st Century CE.}

The Oven of Akhnai; based on (Leviticus) 11:33, on the rules of tumah with respect to earthenware vessels.

[Again, please read the whole chapter of Leviticus 11, to understand context of the laws. The issue is not the law, but the following statement concerning the Rabbis. This is a Rabbinic Teaching in the Talmud, I did not make this up, and it is not the only story like this in the Rabbinic writings.]

“God smiled and said: ‘My sons have defeated Me, My sons have defeated Me!’ God’s sons ‘defeated him’ with their arguments. Rabbi Yehoshua was correct in his contention that a view confirmed by majority vote must be accepted, even where God Himself holds the opposite view.” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Bava Metzia 59b, Steinsaltz Edition [NY: Random House 1990], Vol. III p.237)

Those who use a few words from a verse, in order to change the meaning to what ever they desire, and the continual declarations that: Not only are the rabbis better than Moses, they also belittle THE ALMIGHTY as in “God smiled and said: ‘My sons have defeated. . . . “ hence they declare they are smarter than GOD! –This makes me ANGRY, I can only get a hint of what HE (The LIVING GOD Of ISHRAEL) THINKS of it.

These text are tied together, in that Judah works for himself and trusts his own ability above all. This seems to have been the LORD’S observation since the beginning of the relationship, but HE already knew that they were going to demonstrate these bad behaviors and be punished, but a remnant would always be saved.

This reminds me of another question: How big is a remnant?

Merriam-Webster Online
Full Definition of REMNANT
a :  a usually small part, member, or trace remaining
b :  a small surviving group —often used in plural
:  an unsold or unused end of piece goods
So a remnant could also equal just ONE, ref: Exodus 32: 10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation.’ (golden calf story)

And on the witness of two or more:
Numbers 14:12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and destroy them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.’ (Refusing to go into the Promised Land.)

The reason for defining a REMNANT concerns How many are needed to keep the promise?

Isaiah 10:16 Therefore will the Lord, the LORD of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory there shall be kindled a burning like the burning of fire.
17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.
18 And the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, he will consume both soul and body; and it shall be as when a sick man wasteth away.
19 And the remnant of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them down.
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and they that are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto God the Mighty.
22 For though thy people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them shall return; an extermination is determined, overflowing with righteousness.
23 For an extermination wholly determined shall the Lord, the GOD of hosts, make in the midst of all the earth.

This remnant is a big thing in the prophecies. Another Big Idea is HIS inheritance or HIS portion, but those are in a different writing.


May the LORD grant you eyes that see, hears that hear and an understanding heart.


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Trust In The Arm?

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