Sunday, February 20, 2011
Shaleeakh - Vayak'hel "And Assembled"
To learn to abide in Yeshua, we must learn to also be obedient to the Torah. To follow Yeshua's example we must become the living Torah, similar to the way He was the living Torah. When we become a reflection of the Torah, we display HaShem's will to others. There is a difference between being a living Torah like Yeshua, and being a self-righteous individual. Yeshua stated it this way, Mathew 6:16-18 states "when ye may fast, be ye not as the hypocrites, of sour countenances, for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men fasting; verily I say to you, that they have their reward. 'But thou, fasting, anoint thy head, and wash thy face, that thou mayest not appear to men fasting, but to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father, who is seeing in secret, shall reward thee manifestly." To become the living Torah, our motives must be centered on serving HaShem, not on being noticed by others. The will of HaShem should be the only motivation, we need to live a Torah observant life. When we accomplish this, we please HaShem. As a result, we are rewarded with a crown of righteousness. Rav Shaul even believed that keeping the Torah from a heart felt, desire to do the will of HaShem was greater than the righteousness created by obeying a written document. Romans 2:14 states,"when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:" Rav Shaul also understood that true righteousness emanates from within. However, to stir up the righteousness that emanates from within, we have been given the written Torah as a guideline.
The Torah gives us the advantage of knowing the will of HaShem before, learning to serve Him. For example, until HaShem told Yisrael to have no Gods other than Him, Yisrael did not know that idolatry was wrong. Romans 5:12-14 states "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." Rav Shaul understood even though sin reigned from the time of Adam sin was not imputed the same way that it was after the Torah. The Torah was given to us by HaShem to lead us into righteousness by showing us what was acceptable and what is sinning. Therefore, the Torah's goal is to act as a tutor and teach us to live like Yeshua. InVayak'hel we can see that living a life guided by the Torah requires emulation, benevolence, and wisdom.
The first step in walking a life guided by the Torah is emulation. To become a living example of Yeshua, we must learn to emulate Yeshua. Shemot 35:2-3 says "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day." Resting on the seventh day required Yisrael to remember the creation and enter the rest of HaShem as a living reminder. Restricting the kindling of fire, also reminds us that HaShem ceased from all creative activities on the Shabbat. Shabbat became the day for Yisrael to set apart and follow the example of HaShem. Therefore, by obedience Yisrael could become the holy nation HaShem desired. In other words, HaShem wanted Yisrael to become His obedient people, so that He could perfect righteousness in them.
Yeshua also wants His followers to become righteous through obedience. Mathew 5:48states "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" To become perfect as commanded we must learn to be obedient. Through obedience, we will learn to emulate Yeshua and walk as He walked. In fact, John 14:15 states that if we "love Him we will keep His commands". To become a living example of Yeshua we must emulate His lifestyle by Torah observance. When we emulate Yeshua through the Torah His righteousness can shine through us, thereby perfecting our righteousness.
The next step in living a life guided by the Torah is benevolence. In Vayak'hel, we can see that there are two types of benevolence, which benefit the kingdom of Heaven. The two types of benevolence are financial and personal. Shemot 36:5-6 states "they spoke unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing."The children of Yisrael were so moved that they freely donated, finances to the construction of the tabernacle. Since it came from the heart, the children of Yisrael did not give begrudgingly. In fact, they were so benevolent that the builders received more donations than needed.
The second type of benevolence in Vayak'hel is personal. Personal benevolence is the conviction to offer your services. Shemot 36:2 states "And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:" Bezaleel and the other artisans in Yisrael were stirred in their hearts to build the tabernacle. The crafts person felt the need to take personal action. As a result, they were benevolent with their time and talents. Bezaleel and the others were more concerned with giving their brethren a public worship center than relaxing at home. It is clear in Vayak'hel that benevolence from the heart leads individuals to sacrifice both financially and personally. For us to follow in the footsteps of Yeshua we must also learn to give of our finances and our talents, for the completion of the work of the kingdom of HaShem.
The final step in living a life guided by the Torah is wisdom. Shemot 35:30-33 states,"Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. To devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work."Bezaleel's wisdom of all the crafts allowed him to act as the liaison between the other crafts people and Moshe. Bezaleel's wisdom gave him special insights into the needs of all the crafts. Therefore, Bezaleel was capable of uniting a heavenly vision with the reality of earthly construction. Bezaleel's wisdom combined the holiness of the heavenly tabernacle and the physical limitations of the earth. When we posses the type of Godly wisdom we find in the Torah we can combine the Ruach HaKodesh with the will of HaShem and fulfill HaShem's heavenly desires on earth.
Living a life guided by the Torah requires emulation, benevolence, and wisdom.To walk, as Yeshua walked we must emulate Him. To help our fellow man we must learn to become benevolent. To learn right from wrong we must have wisdom. We cannot strive to walk like Yeshua walked until we learn to live a life guided by the Torah. When we combine the Torah with the Ruach HaKodesh we become a reflection of Yeshua's light to the world. When we obtain this goal, we are rewarded with a transformation from corruptible individuals into righteous and holy vessels.
By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ABOUT-Torah.org© 2010 About Torah