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Israel is poised to cross The Jordan—Yeshua Himself was baptized over a thousand years later in this Jordan River, symbolizing what He was about to do in His flesh and what He’d already done thousands of years prior in The Spirit. Baptism is a figure of spiritual identification with Yeshua’s death and resurrection. So, what we see in the crossing over the Jordan is Israel’s confirmation of His covenant, their identification with YHVH’s character, and a putting away those childish worldly ways of bickering and strife that kept them from entering in the fullness of YHVH’s promises, and embracing the new life given by The Father. The name of this week’s parasha is Re’eh, or raw-aw' from Strongs #7200 meaning See, also to advise self, to appear, approve, behold, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed etc. Since YHVH made creation He has created His handiwork with the opportunity to take heed, understand and enjoy Him. We however tend to become distracted by seeds of doubt, defilement and despair strewn across our path and it can come at us in many forms, but if you are obedient to His Torah, then you will have the ability to discern those things that touch us as opportunities to shine brighter for and to draw nearer to Him, Ahmein?


Last week we took a look at the word Shema, and in light of that parsha we saw that a direct result of giving heed to, doing, and keeping YHVH’s Mishpatim, or judgments that He would ‘bless the ‘fruit’ of our womb, our ground, our grain, new wine and oil, while increasing our herd’1. The word literally means to ‘hear & obey’. It’s special in that it is two-fold; first you listen, but because of what you’ve heard—you make the choice to obey based off of what you have heard. In the there remains an even more primal meaning as well though—it’s rooted in a name. The 2-letter root ‘Shin-Mem’, or ‘Shem’ means name, but it also means ‘Breath’. “The breath of a man is his character, what makes one what he is. The name of an individual is more than an identifier but descriptive of his character or breath; Aroma: A sweet aroma that is carried on the wind or breath2” If it’s foul, maybe it’s time for a spiritual gut-check. Ask yourself, what am I feeding on? What am I ‘Giving Heed to, Gazing Upon, or Considering’ [Seeing]?

1 2

Deut.7:13 Ancient Hebrew Lexicon, Jeff A. Benner, A.H.L. #1473, p.278


It comes down to choices right? See, very early on YHVH has been blowing His Holy ‘breath’ over us3 so that we would equate reverence with that familiar, righteous and holy aroma; to put it in the heart of our camp, our tents, to recognize it as that beautiful aroma hearkening our mind to a place of protection, of trust, refuge, and of Holiness. When we speak or exhale breath, we consider the incense burned twice a day upon the golden altar in the Holy place. ‘R. Hirsch comments that the incense symbolized Israel’s duty to make all its actions pleasing to God4’. Concerning the continual Elevation-offering burned upon the Bronze Altar God ‘does not benefit from the aroma of burning flesh. Rather, the aroma of the burning offering is pleasing to God because it represents the culmination of our performance of His will. In the words of the Sages, God is pleased, for I have spoken, and My will has been done5’. Remember, the incense offering is symbolic of the prayers of the saints6. It was also what Aaron, the first High priest, held up between the dead and the living to stay the plague that had broken out because the breath of the entire camp had turned to foul (Shem) murmuring in defense of Korach, who was the foulest of them all7! We should realize our prayers not only symbolize the offerings upon the altar, but they should direct our heart and mind to the eternal Passover Lamb who offered His life once for and for all!

“For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God8?”

3 4

And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Col 1:17 NAS) The Complete ArtScroll Siddur by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, footnote, ISBN# 10:0-89906-658-5, p.36 5 The Complete ArtScroll Siddur by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, footnote, ISBN# 10:0-89906-658-5, p.37 6 Rev.5:8 7 Num.16:46-50 8 Heb 9:13-14 NAS; Read verses 11 through 26.


See—when our character is bent—our ability to discern becomes compromised. We think we’re right, but we don’t really know. We become quick to explain based on loose assumptions, but is that the character of our Eternal Father? In 1 John chapter 4 we read,
‘You, children, are from God and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God doesn’t’ listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of error9.’

So, YHVH sets before us a blessing and a curse. We already have a firm grasp on what a blessing is because he describes so many of them to us as a direct result of obedience to His Torah. But the curse—the curse, as I believe it will for you too, gave me renewed perspective. First, why would our Abba add to our punishment? Not only opening to find an empty hand, but we find something in there that could hurt us? I submit to you the real question is not ‘Why would YHVH?’, rather—‘Why would we?’ The bottom line equates to the motivation behind everything we do. Shema, closely—our breath we inhale and exhale gives us life. Wasn’t it Rav Shaul who submitted that “for in Him we live and move and exist.' Indeed, as some of the poets among you have said, 'We are actually his children10.” Now, YHVH has given us breath, designed to fill our lungs with oxygen to be used to power our bodies to glorify Him and His


1Jn.4:4-6 Act 17:28 CJB


character, but then for us to go and waste it on something frivolous—could that, possibly, be—a curse? Curse, as used in Devarim chapter eleven is taken from the root word kaw-lal' Strongs #7043; A Kuf, a Lamed, & a Lamed. By definition it means to be (causatively make) light, literally (swift, small, sharp, etc.) or figuratively (easy, trifling, vile, etc.): - abate [lessen], make bright, bring into contempt. If we consult Webster’s dictionary and look up the word ‘trifling’, it means acting or talking with levity, or without seriousness or being in earnest. 1. a. Being of all value or importance; trivial; as a trifling debt; a trifling affair. TRI'FLING, n. Employment about things of no importance. A curse then, in large part—is making something trifling, or trivial. Let’s continue. If examined in the we witness the 3-letter root word kaw-lal'. The 2-letter ‘Kuf-Lamed’ root means ‘Gather to the staff’ and it also means ‘Voice’. Lamed by itself carries with it several meanings including to lead, teach, yoke, control, & tongue—interesting that both tongue, and control are part of the make-up of the word in Hebrew for a curse. But whose voice are we specifically referring to here? The Shepherd; Strung together pictographically it can then be translated to mean ‘to gather under the authority of The Shepherd’s Voice’! My question then becomes, what then is being lessened or made light of? The Shepherd’s Voice and Authority! YHVH is not saying so much that He is going to place a curse on you for your disobedience, but YOU place a curse on yourself when you choose to lessen His character by making light of the set-apart breath He has put in you! Because He has created you to operate at your full potential only when you 6

are fully submitted to Him, walking in His Torah is how you can truly be of service to Him. Can YHVH use clumsy cracked vessels? Every single day, of which I am one! But—what He can’t use is someone who has forgotten that Holy fear is truly the beginning of Wisdom. When we have that holy aroma, YHVH’s Ruach, or breath can empower us! Didn’t He tell us ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit [Breath],' says the LORD of hosts11’. If we are ever going to conquer the enemies from without and within, we have to make up our mind to follow His Torah—period.

Mount Evil
"And it shall come about, when the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal12.” So HaShem instructs our ancestors after they cross over the Jordan to conduct a ceremony to solidify their obedience to His Torah by using two mountains, Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. It so happens that this valley, created by these two mountains, is a well known path to Israel; and herein lays a town called Shechem. From previous studies we’ve learned that Shechem means shoulders. We find a vague reference to Shechem’s location in Joel where we read ‘ Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision13.” Our shoulders are what we often times especially in the case of physical labor use to carry burdens. But we decide what we yoke ourselves to, whether it is to a cell phone contract or a commitment to seek YHVH by reading a chapter a night in Scripture, we choose. Located
11 12

Zec 4:6 NAS Deu 11:29 NAS 13 Joe 3:14 NAS


between our shoulders though is the mechanism that decides—our head. We use our mind to discern and to decide what direction and what burden we will carry—hence ‘The Valley of Decision’. Abba lays it out there for us. I just love how YHVH uses the natural to drive home the spiritual, and He has no problem repeating it in many different ways. For instance, this week—as we prepare for Shoftim, next week’s parasha, your homework after you’ve read the portion is to read chapter 34 of Beresheit. There you will read a story about a daughter of Jacob named Justice who was defiled in the Valley of Decision—at Shechem. These portions are very connected, and we will pursue this in detail next week, but take the time to read it and I promise it will add immensely to your understanding. Here we are entering into Canaan, and to convey the point by have a blessing/curse ceremony on these two mountains. Are you familiar with the word ‘mountain’ in Hebrew? It’s ‘Har’. I’m not talking about what you rake back when you’re getting ready for work in the morning, but in Hebrew a mountain is called Har; Comprised of a Heh and a Resh. Heh means to behold, to look, to reveal, and to show. Resh means head, and first. So often, and this I believe could be the case here also, teaches us that a mountain can often refer to what we put first in our lives by choice, or what consumes our attention14. HehResh—‘to behold, first’. Gerizim, as studied out means ‘cut up’. In the singular it comes from Strongs #1629 or gaw-raz', and means to store, to hide, a holding, to gather, a treasury15. YHVH is revealing that the blessing, as represented by Mount Gerizim reflects the result of our obedience brings a storehouse and
14 15

Mt.17:20 Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew Based on the Commentaries of Samuel Raphael Hirsch, p.41


a treasury of blessing, and is a safe place to gather for refuge. In the sense of being cut up it speaks of the covenant. What do we call the covenant in Hebrew? A brit—like the circumcision performed on a newborn baby boy on the eighth day as an outward sign of The Covenant as it was first appointed unto Abraham. Upon mount Ebal we learn, which means bare or bald, grew little to no vegetation, another outward symbol of the result of a life lived under a curse. The result of living under a curse, if we examine Rabbi Hirsch’s explanation and commentary, reveals Ebal to mean ‘lacking wholeness, mourning, grieving, destroying, or opposing a previous supposition. [It also possesses] a derivative variant [meaning] to decay, or a lump, [and several cognate meanings of] to restrain, to darken, vacillate, lack value, restrain movement, bind, and misuse power16’. When we rebel against God’s Word we vacillate—‘being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways17’. Have you ever met an individual—in the body of Messiah that darkened truth by breathing out things that made light or lessened the Word of God? I don’t have to look far, a mirror will do fine. We all have fallen short, and there are times even with the best of intentions we utter some of the most destructive things to our brothers and sisters and family that cause untold hurt. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians to ‘Remove the wicked man from among yourselves18.’ Now we can parse this all day long, and I don’t want to create a list because if we want to make our character like that sweet aroma, pleasing unto YHVH—then we need to extend the same grace that Yeshua extended to us when prayed for us to His Father on the cross, praying ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do19. Yes, if we have a person so brazen to live an immoral life within the body of Messiah they should be escorted to the door if they refuse a heart of repentance. But in my personal opinion, I think the weightier matter here is the harshness should strike a chord in our own heart—stirring within us a desire to SEE & GIVE HEED TO God’s COMMANDMENTS.
16 17

Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew Based on the Commentaries of Samson Raphael Hirsch, p.1 Jam 1:8 NAS 18 1Co 5:13 NAS 19 Lk.23:34


His Dwelling Place
In Deuteronomy 12 verse 11 we read that YHVH will choose the place where His Name will dwell, and where we are to bring our sacrifices and offerings. The crux of this is to understand that Adonai designates much like certain utensils as holy and some common—certain spaces and places are more holy. Like Gerizim, this mountain was a figurative representation of the principle of God causing His Name to dwell on a specific location and that we will share in those blessings as we are willing to move towards those places. The entire 40 year journey was about moving Israel from a common place, a place of bondage, to a place of reverence, of holiness—but before that could happen Israel had to become transformed from a heart and mind of bondage—the profane, to one of freedom—of holiness, reverence and unity. We read in Exodus ‘Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established 20.’

The word sanctuary in Hebrew is the ‘mik-dawsh' and it means a holy place. The root of that word comes from sanctuary is the word ‘kaw-dash' and it means to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify. YHVH says “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy21’ because ‘19 Or don't you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God22.’

20 21

Exo 15:17 KJV 1Pe 1:15-16 KJV 22 1Co 6:19-20 CJB


"You are to keep the festival of Sukkot for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing-floor and winepress. 14 Rejoice at your festival- you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, the L'vi'im, and the foreigners, orphans and widows living among you. 15 Seven days you are to keep the festival for ADONAI your God in the place ADONAI your God will choose, because ADONAI your God will bless you in all your crops and in all your work, so you are to be full of joy! 16 "Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of ADONAI your God in the place which he will choose- at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavu'ot and at the festival of Sukkot. They are not to show up before ADONAI empty-handed, 17 but every man is to give what he can, in accordance with the blessing ADONAI your God has given you. (Deu 16:13-17 CJB)

Them That Need A Covering
This is the closing to our parasha. Interestingly we opened with ‘See’ and we close with ‘See’. All throughout this parasha our focus has been upon how to offer our offerings and sacrifices, where to offer them, and when to how to offer them. He says we are to rejoice, but He tells us to See something else. Two things as we draw to a close today: The children, the servants, the stranger, the Levite, the orphan, and the widow. Children depend upon parents, just like the orphan who has none. The widow has given her life to serving her husband who has now passed on from this life, she is alone, and without the care of children who have gone on to pursue lives absent of her. The stranger is the guest, who once had a home, but lost their way and needs someone to point them back to Yeshua, the Living Torah. Those enslaved need help. They have done wickedly or foolishly and now regret what they have done and seek redemption behind walls meant for them who choose to embrace a life of rebellion, but they would choose different given the opportunity. You SEE— we have all experienced these on some level; Loneliness, abandonment, disrespect, regret and inability to change our past, despair and confusion, hopelessness. But YHVH says ‘[you] shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. (Deu 16:16 NAS) How do we accomplish this? The word for ‘empty-handed’ in Hebrew comes from Strongs #7387 and is the word ray-kawm'. It means emptily; figuratively (objectively) ineffectually, (subjectively) undeservedly: - without cause, empty, in vain, void. Here we are again, reiterating it seems the concept of making light, 11

trifling, making less than something was meant to be. What is it? Beloved, what is the greatest gift ever? "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends23.” God doesn’t need your money, He doesn’t need your pantry, He doesn’t need your boat, your plane, or your possessions—He needs You—to Give Yourself—To Him—by Giving Yourself—to those who are in need. WHO QUALIFIES? The children, the servant (enslaved, in bondage), the stranger (the guest), the Levite(descendant of Levi), the orphan(bereaved, lonely), the widow(alone in a desolate place—an empty house). There are people who literally fit these categories, but all of us can find a place in one of these. Especially one: “And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm;24” So how do we celebrate the feasts of YHVH without being empty-handed? Bring these folks into your gates, and show them the love of The Father. Yeshua said, ‘'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in,
23 24

Joh 15:13 NAS Deu 5:15 NAS


or naked, and clothe You? 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' (Mat 25:35-40 NAS).


, beloved, this is how we enter in to YHVH’s promises. Blessings.