Whereas most English text translate the title of this parasha: 'When you enter...', the literal Hebrew says: 'When you come...'. It may not make much difference as far as the general sense except for this:
- In a previous parasha called 'Bo', HaShem tells Moses to "come" to Egypt.
- The word "Bo," meaning "Come" (Ex 10:1) also translates as "Go."
- The difference is about geography. When we tell someone, "go," they go away from us as we are staying put. But when we tell someone to "come," we are telling them to come to us to the place where we are already waiting for them.
The parasha this week tells us that:
יקימך יהוה לו לעם קדושׁ כאשׁר נשׁבע־לך כי תשׁמר את־מצות יהוה אלהיך והלכת בדרכיו׃
Adonai will establish you as a people separated for himself, as he has sworn to you, "if you will observe the mitzvot of Adonai your God and follow his ways," Deut 28:9
When He commands, "Bo..." (Ex 10:1), HaShem gives an order. He says, "Follow Me!" or "Walk in my Ways!"
We are to follow Him. In Ex 10:1 HaShem tells Moshe, "Come to Egypt" because He is already there (Ex 3:8). In the same manner, in Deuteronomy 26:1, He says, 'When you come to the Land...", because He is already there waiting for them. This wording in Deuteronomy 26:1 projects the idea that the Children of the Children of Israel can take HaShem's promises all the way "to the bank" or to the Promised Land. They can enter in; He is already there eagerly waiting for them.
Even so today, the fulfillment of the messianic promises is coming to a close. As we approach the great second Exodus, the Voice of Messiah is heard from the Land echoing Deuteronomy 26:1, "When you come to the Land ..." to His people in Diaspora. The "Voice" pleads for His people in Diaspora to look towards the land for their future and that of their children. This :Voice" also reminds His people in the land to look towards Him in the Torah.
As Jews, we are commanded to come in the Land, but this command lies under the same conditions as that given to the Children of Israel who came from the desert. It is disobedience to the Torah that evicted the Children of Israel from the land 2,000 years ago. Part of Yeshua's messianic role was to be the last prophet before the Great Roman Exile, exile which could have been averted had they listened to His message. As Yeshua came to Jerusalem for this fateful last Passover,
He wept over it, saying, "If you only knew today what is needed for shalom! But for now it is hidden from your sight. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will set up a barricade around you, encircle you, hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within your walls, leaving not one stone standing on another -- and all because you did not recognize your opportunity when God offered it!" (Luk 19:41-44 CJB)
In his teaching to the Galatians, Paul speaks of 'The curse of the Torah'. Christian interpretation has understood this as the Torah being cursed but how could that be when,
The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the inner person. The instruction of Adonai is sure, making wise the thoughtless. The precepts of Adonai are right, rejoicing the heart. The mitzvah of Adonai is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb. Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them there is great reward. (Psa 19:7-11 CJB)
What Paul refers to in Gal 3:10, 13, is not to the details of Torah commandments themselves, but to the terms of the curse pronounced upon anyone that disobeys the commandment. It is like a father saying, "If you do such and such, you'll be grounded" It is the same with civic laws. If we do such and such, we go to jail. It is not the rule that is the "curse". The rule itself is for our benefit. The curse Paul refers to in Galatians 3:10,13 is the punishment for disobedience to the rule. ,
Very often, disobedience carries its own self-evident curse. "If you eat too much candy, you will have cavities." The Torah teaches us to be kind, loving, forgiving, and to treat others as we would be treated. Disobedience to that carries its own self-fulfilling punishment.
Sadly, some seem to teach a religion void of retribution for sin. We can see where that leads! (Ecc 8:11) If sin is not punished, HaShem is not just, but we know that He is just, so there must be retribution for sin. Our reconciliation with HaShem did not come for free by Him "deleting" our iniquities. Somebody did come up and paid our "debt" to HaShem. Anyone who proclaims that redemption is free, should ask Yeshua about it!
Now, Deuteronomy 27 gives us a list of disobediences which incur a "curse". I comment in between them. Let's go though some of them together. My comments are in capital letters.
'A curse on anyone who makes a carved or metal image, something Adonai detests, the handiwork of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret!'
--- IDOLATRY: GIVING THE WORKS OF OUR OWN HANDS A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN OUR DUTY TO HASHEM.
--- 'IN SECRET': WHILE HYPOCRITICALLY MAKING EXCUSES AND PRETENDING TO LOVE HASHEM FIRST.
'A curse on anyone who dishonors his father or mother.'
--- EXAMPLE: SPEAKING NEGATIVELY OF OUR PARENTS OR IN-LAWS, ESPECIALLY IN FRONT OF OTHERS, SUCH AS BEFORE OUR CHILDREN.
'A curse on anyone who moves his neighbor's boundary marker.'
--- APPROPRIATING GROUND THAT IS NOT OURS;
---ALTERING THE ESTABLISHED DIVINE LAW
--- EXPECTING PEOPLE TO DO ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT THEY ARE ABLE TO.
'A curse on anyone who causes a blind person to lose his way on the road.'
--- BEING IRRESPONSIBLE IN TEACHING TORAH, THUS LEADING PEOPLE ASTRAY.
--- TEACHING THE TRUTH OF TORAH IN A WRONG SPIRIT SUCH AS IN PRIDE, ARROGANCE, CONDESCENDANCE, SARCASM, THUS TEARING DOWN OTHERS INSTEAD OF BUILDING THEM UUP.
'A curse on anyone who interferes with justice for the foreigner, orphan or widow.'
--- HAVING THE SAME AVAILABILITY OF TRUE EQUANIMITY IN JUSTICE FOR THE RICH, THE POOR, AND THE FOREIGNER WHO TAKES REFUGE IN THE LAND.
'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights.'
'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with any kind of animal.'
'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his sister, no matter whether she is the daughter of his father or of his mother.'
'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his mother-in-law.'NO COMMENT/OBVIOUS
'A curse on anyone who secretly attacks a fellow member of the community.'
--- WE ARE NOT TO SPEAK EVIL OF PEOPLE. NOT THROUGH CASUAL (so-called) GOSSIP, SOCIAL MEDIA NOR BEHIND THEIR BACK.
'A curse on anyone who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.'
--- RECEIVING A BRIBE/PAYMENT/BENEFIT TO PHYSICALLY KILL OR DO IT BY PROXY LIKE KING DAVID WITH URIAH THE HITTITE.
--- RECEIVING SOME SORT OF BENEFITS FOR ALLOWING THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF SOMEONE. (Character assassination is very prevalent in both the political and religious world!)
'A curse on anyone who does not confirm the words of this Torah by putting them into practice.'
--- HERE IS THE CURSE OF GALATIANS 3. What the curse entails is: Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
One day at school I was trying to challenge my school Bible students. I told them,
"I have the solution for all the worlds social and economic problems. It is simple, it doesn't cost any money, and anybody can do it!"
"All you have to do is live by the 10 commandments. Can you imagine a world where no-one lies, cheat, steals, covets your stuff? A world where everyone obeys their parents and love God? It would be Heaven right?
SO WHY DON'T WE DO IT? WHY DON'T WE DO IT NOW INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR THE WORLD TO COME? IT IS IN OUR POWER TO DO IT NOW, BUT WE DON'T!"
Our Master Yeshua said that the Kingdom is within us. Why are we therefore waiting for the Kingdom of Heaven to be geographically and politically established on earth in order to follow its social, interpersonal, and spiritual lifestyle? Remember, He waits for us there; He says, "כי תבא When you come ...'
Let us try to answer this question as we introspect in preparation for the Fall Festivals.
As we prepare for the Fall Festivals, it is good to search our hearts, to do what is called in Judaism חשבון נפש the auditing of the soul.
One of the most heart-searching prayer in the Siddur is the Al-Chet.
As an aid to the auditing of the soul, along with the above midrash, Aish,com provides a very good exploration of the Al Chet prayer that we use as group in our little fellowship in Oregon.
Apply it to your own situation.
You can find it at: