Parashat Va’etchanan (and he beseeched) Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11


Parashat Va’etchanan (and he beseeched) Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26

I remember learning how to swim when I was five years old. The instructor began by saying in order to learn how to swim there were two things one would have to be able to do. The first was to put one’s head under the water and the second was open one’s eyes under the water. I remember that I did not need to be told to keep my eyes open, because I wanted to know where the surface of the water was at all times. Even as a five year old, I knew of my dependence upon oxygen. In this week’s Torah portion one learns about a person’s absolute dependence upon HaShem. I suppose that most people would verbally agree that yes, everyone needs G-d; but when one examines a person’s actions it becomes clear whether or not he really believes this.

Moses made it very clear in the parashah that to cling to G-d is the basis of life. For Moses said,

And the ones who cling to the L-rd your G-d, you are all alive today.” Deuteronomy 4:4

The word translated “cling” is very interesting. In Modern Hebrew the same root is used for the word “glue”. As I began to research the word I found that there was something very unique. The same word appears in Genesis 2:24,

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh.”

From this verse one learns that it is not a physical strength that causes one to cling or hold onto HaShem.  Rather, it is clear from the Genesis passage that something unique takes place. I mentioned glue earlier, and I found it quite surprising that there are many different theories on how glue works. In theory, the best glue actually does not just hold two different things together, but brings about a change that causes the two to become one at the point of connection. It is similar to bringing about a new creation. If one uses the marital relationship as a basis for understanding this issue, he would need to add to the equation two factors. The first is that marriage is a covenant and the second is that this covenant is established by redemption. With this in mind, if one truly wants “life” then he must cling to G-d and to do this he must enter into a covenant relationship with G-d by means of redemption.

This brings us to Messiah. It is clear that the primary work of Messiah is to bring about redemption. It is not a mere coincidence that Yeshua laid down His life on the 14th day of Nissan, i.e. Passover (the festival of Redemption) and that the night prior to His sacrificial death, He taught about His blood being the basis for a New Covenant. Hence, it is impossible to cling to HaShem without receiving Messiah Yeshua as your Redeemer and entering into the New Covenant of Grace by means of Faith.

Shabbat Shalom

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