Some years ago, I wrote an article that was entitled; “What has God done for you today?” The reason for the article was as I talked to people, “Christians” as it were; would say to me, “what has God done for me”, and I would respond; “Well what have you done for God?”
For some reason Christians and of course most non religious or nonbelievers would insist that God doesn’t do anything for anybody. I can only wonder how they come up with that hypothesis. If a person has never read the Bible as it were, then I can see what they may be saying, only because if you have never read the Bible or never heard of it, in this day and time I really suspect that, you wouldn’t have a clue as what Yahweh is or why.
There are probably one million books out there just on this subject in at least seventy languages. Seventy you say? Yes, the Torah tells us that there are seventy nations, but then if you have never read the Torah then you wouldn’t have a clue, right? Oh, I know what you’re saying, “TORAH” that’s only for the Jews, right? Torah the book of the laws and Paul told us that the laws are gone. HUH. Paul who? Oh, yes Paulos the man with the Greek name telling gentiles that they don’t have to follow the laws of the Torah or any of its parts. The Bible now is for Christians and not for the Jews, right?
When YAHWEH had taken the Children of Israel to His Mountain and was about to give them the Torah, the messengers, (angels), didn’t want Yahweh to give the Torah to man, but to them. So, why did Yahwehm give the Torah to man and not to the angels? Yahweh asked these questions to the angels:
1. When a man sins and deserves death, is there death in your camp?
2. Is there sin among you?
3. Is there theft or robbery among you?
4. Are there women among you?
5. Is there falsehood among you?
6. Is there coveting among you?
7. Do you need laws? *****
Now, what is Yahweh’s Word in Hebrew? TORAH. What does TORAH mean? Law? Yes, but it also means right rulings, way of living, teachings, suggestions for life, how to hit the mark, truth, life and death. If Yahweh didn’t want us to know Him, then He would not have given us His Word.
So, I am going to make a statement and that is:
“If you do not have Torah knowledge you cannot acquire the fear of Yahweh, nor can you acquire the fear of sin.”
What’s the big deal you ask? I know a man that tells me he doesn’t believe in a higher being or a Creator or anything more than what you see. He insists that the world just happened, man came from the lower animals and then you are born, you work pay your taxes and then you die, that’s all there is. With that thinking your life means nothing. WOW. This particular person doesn’t fear Yahweh nor believe in Him, so sin doesn’t exist with this person, so why should he fear sin? As he so adamantly put to me, “He ain’t done anything for me so why should I do anything for Him.” So, why should I care?
Well, for us let me put it this way:
The potential for spiritual growth is infinite, we can move from one spiritual plain to another up or down. That is why we were given the will to receive and why we must or at least try to transform or purify our will to receive. That spiritual growth is climbing the ladder.
The climbing the ladder is endless in that when we try to transform our will to receive, that is from the will to receive for ourselves alone, to the will to receive to benefit others and give pleasure to the Creator, as Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag tells us the healing of the will to receive. Receiving that is done with the purpose of giving is considered Pure Giving.
Understand, in everything we do the Creator observes our deeds and remembers them. In that everything we think, say and do has a direct result on the physical and spiritual world that is building up, or tearing down. Ok, now I know what you’re thinking, remembering our deeds? Yes, all of our deeds are recorded in a book. What book, you say? YOU! That’s right you are the book, when at our judgment the Creator tells us of our deeds and we denied it, He just opens us up and goes right to the page it is written on our souls.
So, how do we transform our will to receive? The only plausible way is TORAH. Torah brings about:
Without Torah knowledge we cannot acquire the fear of heaven, or the fear of sin. Sin brings about the separation between Yahweh and us. The study of Torah can be done in many ways, but we must be careful not to study Torah for our own sakes. Again, that is the will to receive for ourselves alone. Torah study is for the sake of Torah and the transforming of our wills to receive will take place. Torah study also gives us:
1. The more Torah, the more life
2. The more study, the more wisdom,
3. The more council, the more understanding
4. The more charity, the more peace (shalom)
By gaining Torah knowledge you gain life in the world to come. Again we can go from one spiritual plain to another with Torah knowledge. Remember the Creator has a watchful eye and an attentive ear.
HEALING OF OUR WILLS TO RECEIVE
According to the great kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Lev Ashlag, The higher levels of spirituality help us to transform or heal our wills to receive for ourselves alone. To be transformed entirely to the will to receive in order to give pleasure to the Creator without including our own self-benefit. This is how we acquire the affinity of form with the Creator. This is by acquiring complete unity with the Creator. This is the purpose of giving to others or Yahweh to have complete unity with Yahweh.
Yohanan chapter seventeen gives us a picture of this:
(7) “Now they have come to know that all You gave to Me, is from You.
(8) “Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have truly known that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
(9) “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
(10) “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been esteemed in them.
(11) “And I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Set-apart Father, guard them in Your Name which You have given Me, so that they might be one, as We are.
(12) “When I was with them in the world, I was guarding them in Your Name which You have given Me, and I watched over them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be filled.
(13) “And now I come to You. And I speak these words in the world, so that they have My joy completed in them.
(14) “I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world.
(15) “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the wicked one.
(16) “They are not of the world, as I am not of the world.
(17) “Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word is truth.1 note: 1See Ps. 119:142, 151.
(18) “As You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world.
(19) “And for them I set Myself apart, so that they too might be set apart in truth.
(20) “And I do not pray for these alone, but also for those believing in Me through their word,
(21) so that they all might be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, so that they too might be one in Us, so that the world might believe that You have sent Me.
(22) “And the esteem which You gave Me I have given them, so that they might be one as We are one, (Complete affinity of form)
(23) “I in them, and You in Me, so that they might be perfected into one, so that the world knows that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
(24) “Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me, might be with Me where I am, so that they see My esteem which You have given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
(25) “O righteous Father, indeed the world did not know You, but I knew You, and these knew that You sent Me.
(26) “And I have made Your Name known to them, and shall make it known,1 so that the love with which You loved Me might be in them, and I in them.” note: Ps. 22:22.
As Yah’shua had transformed His will to receive for himself alone to the will to receive for the benefit of others and to give pleasure to the Creator. As he was praying that the eleven that was left they also would become ONE with the Creator as Yah’shua had done.
So, through the practice of Torah and guarding the commands, the advice of Yahweh, you will eventually transform your will to receive to the will to GIVE. Then you become One with the One, blessed is His name.(yud-hei-vav-hei)
If we remember that the wicked one borrows and does not repay, but the righteous one is gracious and gives. That is the result of the transformation of the will to receive to give to others and bring pleasure to Yahweh.
Torah study gives wisdom: the conscious effort to transform.
Understanding: in that we know how to proceed for the transformation of our will to receive.
Discernment: the ability to know what the Creator is revealing to us in our journey.
We need to get from CHA’SER: IN NEED, to SHALEM: COMPLETE.
One great Rabbi said: “Repent one day before you die.” Now his students inquired of him how we would know the one day before we die to repent, we don’t know the day of when we die! So, he said to them: “then repent each and every day.” By the study of Torah you are doing just that, even though you may say that Torah study is not repenting. If you understand the word, in English it’s repent in Hebrew its SHUV or return. Each and every day should be spent in Torah study, or returning to Yahweh. When people congregate and speak of or study Torah, it is as if they have eaten at Yahweh’s table, or they have returned.
As we continue to study Torah, it becomes working in Torah. Working in Torah is the ability to study and put in to practice Torah and mitzvot or commands in our daily lives. Once we achieve that we will transform our will to receive which will be in us to convert it to the will to give pleasure to Yahweh, not using it for ourselves at all. That is when we may reach Shalem.
The answer to the angel’s inquiry
No, angels do not die
There is no sin in heaven
There is no theft or robbery in heaven
There is no gender in heaven
There is no lie in heaven
There is no coveting in heaven
Because of all this, there is no need for law for the angels
Once we have transformed our will to receive to the will to give to the Creator, or to give satisfaction to Yahweh in complete giving we have now come to complete affinity of form which is oneness with Yahweh. Yohanan (John 10:30, “I and My Father are one.”)
As with the practice of Torah and Mitzvot in our daily lives we then growing with affinity of form then we have a lust so to speak or a large appetite for the spiritual world and then we must have love and fear of Yahweh at the same time. Now I know what you’re saying, having a genuine love for something or someone cancels fear. Look at it this way; if you have a large love or appetite for Yahweh then you will always have the fear of Heaven and not doing what He wants or doing what He says not to.
When we do Torah study for its own sake we merit the Shechinah’s presents. In order to accomplish this we must focus all of our intention to come to the practicing Torah for its own sake.
(13) He who despises the Word is destroyed, But he who fears the command1 is rewarded. Note: 1“Word” and “command” are used as synonyms.
(14) The Torah of the wise is the tree of life, Turning one away from the snares of death.
We must practice Torah for its own sake in order to give pleasure to Yahweh and not for the sake reward. That is to serve the Master not for the sake of reward, but to serve Yahweh for the sake of Yahweh.
I guess I should say to you that once we begin to heal or transform our will to receive by the study of Torah for its own sake we begin to cleave to the Creator and that’s what our objective should be. To love and fear Yahweh at the same time to insure that we cleave to Him, to not let go, to want to be at one with the ONE. That was the reason for CREATION in that Yahweh wanted to give pleasure to the created by our receiving to give pleasure to the Creator. The only way we can do that is to transform our will to receive to benefit others to give pleasure to the Creator, by Torah study not for sake of reward, but for the sake of Torah.
Now, I said above that the more Torah the more life. Let us look at that for a bit. What was before Torah? Death and evil, or as the Scriptures put it in Deuteronomy chapter thirty verse nineteen: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore you shall choose life.” If you don’t choose life then you choose death. As Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag says in his book, “In the Shadow of the Ladder”, “The Sages said the wicked people within their lifetimes are called dead.” Why is this you ask? Without Torah such a life is more difficult than death. Torah not only gives life but it also gives pleasure. Before Torah, life was unpleasant and DEAD.
One thing that has been happening in America is the Divine One blessed is He, has been forgotten, been taken out of the government has been taken from the schools. We have gone as far as to separate everything from God so to speak. It first started in 1963 when the supreme court ruled that prayer is no longer available in public schools, then in 1964 the Scriptures was formally taken from the public school libraries. In recent times the Ten Commandments has been ruled illegal in the court rooms and many government buildings.
So, what does this mean to me you ask? Where the Creator isn’t wanted He will leave. Where He is not, there is death and evil, or death and curses. The full Scripture of Deuteronomy 19 is: “I have called the heavens and the earth as witnesses today against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore you shall choose life, so that you live, both you and your seed.” If we are commanded to choose life then we are commanded to take and study Torah, for His word “TORAH” is life. There for the more Torah the more life.
So, where do we go from here? Let us look at what RamBam has to tell us:
You must strive to comprehend the Creator as much as you can.
You must strive for what is edifying and if it is gratifying, then so be it.
Studying non-Torah subjects is fine as long as it brings you closer to THE GOAL.
Use all your capacities towards understanding Yahweh.
You must place a single goal before your eyes, which is to comprehend The Creator. How you go about that goal is of course up to the individual, but you must keep things in prospective. That is to study all the material available to you that you can understand, beginning with the Torah. Not just the first five books but the entire Hebrew writings, including the Talmud, Mishnah, all of the Oral Traditions as was included in the Talmud.
Many of the Sages expressed their intellect in the Kabalistic works that expound on the Written as well as the Oral Torah.
You are to direct your actions toward the goal and not to deviate from that path. Now, we all have our flaws, but according to the great philosopher Aristotle: “It would be hard and hardly likely to find anyone with all the virtuous intellectual and character traits,” but understand, it is not impossible! So, you have no excuse for at least trying to strive to comprehend Yahweh. By doing this the emotional and physical wellbeing can and will be achieved.
RamBam tells us that studying Torah serves two purposes; that of bettering and enhancing the body and bettering and enhancing the spirit. You cannot enhance the spirit without first enhancing the body, that is to take care of the body, or society and then enhancing the spirit by Torah study. In the Hebrew language the word for both is TIKKUN.
There are worldly rewards to those who observe the Torah including presence of mind, soul satisfaction and well being. This is only promised to those who observe the Torah in the proper spirit and devotion. However, we should not observe Torah with that end in mind. Again, observe or study Torah for its, the Torah’s, sake not our own. Serve the Master for the sake of serving the Master not for serving the Master for a reward.
Ok, now we are getting to the point of the first question that was asked in the very beginning of this article. “What has God done for me?” If you study Torah for the Torah’s sake and you serve the Master not for sake of reward and you set a goal to comprehend the Creator and to edify yourself by edifying the Creator you will understand that HE, Yahweh, created everything good. His will to us is only for good and His will is only good. Do we have wills? Of course we do, however, His will according to the RamChal; no other will exist except through Him, Yahweh. All other wills exist only in accordance with HIS WILL. (138 Openings of Wisdom, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto). He created us for good, what does that mean to me you ask? What about the evil folks in this world? One question was asked to me in that, why does God give good things to bad people? Because His Will is good and he wants only to give us pleasure and good things.
Well, if He only wants good and if good couldn’t come down to us then that wouldn’t be good. If you say that such is the nature of goodness to benefit the righteous and punish the wicked while showing compassion for the wicked is cruel: The Torah says the opposite; Exodus 33:19, “He replied, "I will cause all my goodness to pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce the name of Yahweh. Moreover, I show favor to whomever I will, and I display mercy to whomever I will.” Even though we may not be worthy, it’s His Will.
Jeremiah 50:20, “In those days, at that time," says Yahweh, "Isra'el's guilt will be sought, but there will be none, and Y'hudah's sins, but they won't be found; for I will pardon the remnant I leave.”
From this we see that His Will is to benefit even the wicked.
So He not only gives good to those who study or observe the Torah, but He also gives good to those that don’t observe the Torah. He wants to give good to all His creatures, but some don’t even understand or care if He does. Those are the ones who don’t observe or study Torah. Make no mistake, those who don’t will pay a heavy price not only during their existence in life in this world, but also in the world to come. Many will say, why I should observe Torah, or they will say, but Torah is no longer needed or as some historians have said OBSOLETE. Luke 16:17, “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void.” The Torah will never become obsolete nor will His Word or His Will pass away.
Let’s look at just one section of the Torah, that is relevant to all peoples:
(2) א "I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.
(3) ב "You are to have no other gods before me.
(You have no other mighty ones, no other Elohim but HIM)
(4) You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.
(That encompasses everything)
(5) You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Yahweh your Elohim, am a jealous EL’, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
(Those who do not observe Torah)
(6) but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.
(Those who do observe Torah)
(7) ג "You are not to use lightly the name of Yahweh your Elohim, because Yahweh will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.
(Not to take His Name for naught, to mean nothing, to desecrate His Name, yes He does have a name, blessed is His Name)
(8) ד "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for El.
(9) You have six days to labor and do all your work,
(10) but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Yahweh your Elohim. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.
(11) For in six days, Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Yahweh blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.
(At the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai they had the same seven days as we have today. That is day 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 and they worked the same six days and kept the seventh day set-apart or as is said HOLY)(From Friday sundown to Saturday sundown)
(12) ה "Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you.
(13) ו "Do not murder.
(14) ז "Do not commit adultery.
(15) ח "Do not steal.
(16) ט "Do not give false evidence against your neighbor. (Or anybody)
(17) י "Do not covet your neighbor's house; do not covet your neighbor's wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
(Don’t covet anything that is not yours)
All of these are straight forward, how can anyone mistake these commands. Many will say that they observe the commands, but do not observe Shabbat, they observe the first day of the week sort of. In number one Yahweh says that you will have no other “gods” as its written in English, but in Hebrew is uses "alef Lemed Hei Yud Mem", that translates to Elohim; Master, Judge, Ruler. He means no other in Deuteronomy Chapter six: Deuteronomy 6:4-9, "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! Yahweh Eloheinu, Yahweh echad [Hear, Isra'el! Yahweh our God (Elohim), Yahweh is One]; (This is why we call Him the ONE, because He is ONE, not two or three)
(5) and you are to love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.
(6) These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart;
(7) and you are to teach them carefully (diligently) to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (All the time)
(8) Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, (tefillim)
(9) and write them on the door-posts of your house and on your gates. (mazuzot)
These are suggestions for the way to live or more correct to hit the mark.
So, if you can’t decide what God has done for you today, one word EVERYTHING, the question is, what will you do for HIM?!!!
It is not my intention in this article to change your beliefs on whatever your religion or non-religion is, but it is my intention to get you to change your reading habits. To get you to look and search for what I have written and make your own educated determination. The Creator is there and here, but you have to open your eyes to see that He is here. Search and you will find if you search diligently.
Baruch ata Yahweh Eloheinu Melek ha’olam
Blessed are you Yahweh our Elohim King of the World
©Beyth Lechem 2010
Pirkei Avos, Maharal of Prague, by Rabbi Tuvia Basser
138 Openings of Wisdom, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto
8 Chapters of the RAMBAM, translation by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Complete Jewish Bible, Translation by David Stern
TANACH - Stone Edition - Artscroll