"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

Israel, Not the Point But the Instrument…

May 19, 2011

in Christianity:,Judaism:,Noahide - The Ancient Path

For this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that, when they hear all these [Torah] statutes, shall say: Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what great nation is there, that has God so near unto them,* as the Lord HaShem our God is whensoever we call upon Him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this Torah?”Deuteronomy 4:6

The aggrandizement of Israel is not an end in itself: it [is] to demonstrate to the children of men the Divine in Human History.

“[After the Exodus] the sudden rise to power of a horde of slaves, their well-government, prosperity and security, would attract attention. The peoples would ask, What is the secret of Israel’s greatness? And, discovering that it rested upon fidelity to the Will of God, they might be induced to pay allegiance to the God of Israel.” (J.H. Hertz, The Hertz Torah, Deuteronomy 4:6) . . .

* “So near unto them”:  Israel’s religion is unique because of the nearness of man to his Maker that it teaches. It proclaims, No intermediary of any sort is required for the worshipper to approach his God in prayer. ‘The Lord [HaShem] is near unto all who call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.’ (Psalms 145:18. See J.H. Hertz, ibid, Deuteronomy 4:7)

This is the essence of Noahism, the First Covenant, the Seven Universal Laws and the whole Torah. The teaching of it is, perhaps, the primary mission not just of Israel but of all who love and fear the Holy Blessed One, God, HaShem.

“Now therefore, if you [Israel] will hearken unto My voice. . . and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own treasure* from among all peoples. . . and you shall be unto Me and kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6

* “My own treasure.” “A peculiar treasure”. . . “a precious object or treasure that is one’s special possession.”

‘These words, a peculiar treasure, sound more partial than they really are. If I have chosen an instrument for a [particular] purpose, that instrument may be to me a peculiar treasure, but the purpose is greater than the instrument. So with the Jews. They are God’s instrument, and as such a peculiar treasure,; but the work is far greater than the instrument.’ (C.G. Montefiore, “The Synoptic Gospels,” quoted in J.H. Hertz, ibid, Exodus 19:5)

 

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