Debarim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – Debarim (Deuteronomy) 11:26
The title of this Torah Parsha is ראה Re’eh. ראה Re’eh is a tense of the verb ra’ah, which means to see, perceive or have vision. Mosheh (Mushah) essentially is opening the eyes of Yisrael (Yashar’al) commanding that they see, perceive and have vision to the reality of the Covenant. Normally when addressing more than one person this word would have to be in the plural form according to Hebrew (Ivrit/Abyrt) grammar. However in this case the word is singular to let us know that it is each individuals personal responsibility to see and choose. The reality Mosheh (Mushah) is bringing into focus has many elaborate parts but can essentially be divided into the concepts of “blessing” (berakah) and a “curse” (kelalah).
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 11:27 the blessing, when you obey the commands of YaHuWaH your Elohim which I command you today;28and the curse, if you do not obey the commands of YaHuWaH your Elohim, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other mighty ones which you have not known.
Therefore each individual has a choice to make though YaHuWaH knows the decisions we shall make. The gifts promised in the Torah are conditional based upon our personal obedience. To disobey the covenant is equal to the curse. Therefore when one refers to the curse of the Torah, they must understand that the Torah itself is a berikah (“blessing”) and disobedience will give you all the punishments listed within the Torah.
Mosheh (Mushah) further instructed that at the time of entry into the Promised Land, the people of Yisrael (Yashar’al) were to proclaim the berikah (blessing) upon Mount Gerizim and the kelalah (curse) on Mount Ebal. This pair of mountains is on the other side of the Yarden (Jordan river) in the land of the Kena’anites. These instructions are given in more detail later in Debarim (Deuteronomy) 27:12-28:68 and is actually carried out in the book of Yahuwshuwa (Joshua) 8:30-35.
After the oath that is made in agreement to the covenant at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal the children of Yisrael (Yashar’al) are commanded to utterly destroy all places in the Promised Land where the nations worshipped their “elohim” which the Torah tells us in other places are demons (shadim).
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 12:3 “And you shall break down their altars, and smash their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire. And you shall cut down the carved images of their mighty ones and shall destroy their name out of that place.
The pillars being referenced are obelisks such as are common in Egypt (Mitsrayim) but can also be found in other countries for example in America, the George Washington Monument found in Washington DC, is an obelisk. You will also find these on graves and churches today though they are often called “steeples”. The Asherim are usually translated “groves” in the King James Version but the literal definition is a sacred tree. The sacred tree or Asherah is universal amongst all pagan religions; examples are the Babylonian tree of life, the Persian Yalda Tree that paved the way for today’s Christmas Tree. All of these are Asherim and are forbidden by YaHuWaH under any and all circumstances.
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 12:4 “Do not do so to YaHuWaH your Elohim,5 but seek the place which YaHuWaH your Elohim chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His Name there, for His Dwelling Place, and there you shall enter. 6“And there you shall take your burnt offerings, and your offerings, and your tithes, and the contributions of your hand, and your vowed offerings, and your voluntary offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock.7“And there you shall eat before YaHuWaH your Elohim, and shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your house- holds, in which YaHuWaH your Elohim has blessed you.
Due to avodah zarah or idolatrous services involving various rights of yidoni known as witchcraft that were heavily practiced in the land of Kena’an (Canaan) at the time, YaHuWaH declares all zebach (sacrifice) and other such contributions outlined in one place. This place would be the same place Malki Tsedek ruled over, for he ruled over the ancient twin cities known as Yaru and Salem which became one city known as Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). YaHuWaH is one and so he chooses one city, and one House.
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 12:13“Guard yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see,14 except in the place which YaHuWaH chooses, in one of your tribes, there you are to offer your burnt offerings, and there you are to do all that I command you.
All tithes and offering must be giving and consumed only in the place that YaHuWaH designates. YaHuWaH further stresses the importance that all blood, except for blood used for the altar of course, must be drained upon the earth and that humans cannot consume it or they will be cut off from among their people.
Throughout the long forty year journey through the wilderness the children of Yisrael (Yashar’al) learned many laws (Torot, literally instructions) that could only be practiced in the Promised Land. One such instruction revolved around the “meat of desire”
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 12:20 “When YaHuWaH your Elohim enlarges your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘Let me eat meat,’ because you long to eat meat, you eat as much meat as your being desires.
If a person lives too far from the city which YaHuWaH will make his Name and House dwell, then he does not have to wait for a Kohen (priest) to sacrifice for him his daily food. All sacrifices must be brought at their appointed time to the appointed place but for the daily food outside of those meals he can slaughter his own meat. This meat must be Tahor which is called clean, of course, but the clean and the unclean Yisraelite can eat of it unlike the Festival meals of YaHuWaH which can only be consumed if you are in a state of tahor meaning pure and clean. Even if a person slaughters one of the specific types of animals YaHuWaH requires as sacrifice which are sheep, goats, cows, pigeons and doves; it is considered like one has consumed the deer or gazelle which are clean but never offered in sacrifice to YaHuWaH.
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 12:23 “Only, be firm not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, do not eat the life with the meat.24 “Do not eat it, you pour it on the earth like water.25 “Do not eat it, that it might be well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the eyes of YaHuWaH..
The “life is in the blood” is not fully the best translation due to the fact that the word for life is Chay or Chayah. Here the word is nephesh, which is usually translated being, or “soul.” When YaHuWaH breathed into Adam’s nostril the “breath of life” or neshemat chayyim then Adam became a “living soul” or nephesh chayah. We know today because of the advances made in science that truly the being is in the blood. This refers to the DNA, which is the written code within our blood that tells us what we will ultimately be. The DNA of a human is 90% similar to pigs, monkeys and even fish but yet a human does not beget a fish or a pig at birth because of the wonders of this code. This is not to insinuate that our “soul” is literally in our blood but that our being is. The part that seperates man from animal is not the nephesh, humans and animals alike have this, but what separates us is the neshema or the breath of YaHuWaH. The next step to neshema, is called the Ruwach, which means wind and breath. Though all mankind has neshema not all have the Ruwach.
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 12:29 “When YaHuWaH your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land,30guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’
YaHuWaH does not want to be worshipped the way heathens worship their mighty ones. He warns do not do what they do and do so to me. Modern Christianity claims it has the right to Christianize or “Christen” any pagan holiday and do it unto YaHuWaH. This is not a right that anyone has, we cannot celebrate holidays and rights done to devils such as Easter, Christmas and the like and say we attribute this to the Mighty One of Abraham, Yitshaq and Yaacob who is YaHuWaH.
YaHuWaH warns us against false prophets (navim shekerim) and anyone who is a dreamer of dreams (choleim cholam). We are commanded to beware of anyone who asks us to go after other so called “elohim.” If a prophet comes in ANY other name he is considered to be a false prophet. Even if the prophet performs signs, wonders or predicts the future and it comes to pass, we are to know that YaHuWaH is proving us whether we truly love him. We are to cleave to YaHuWaH with all that we are. Any false prophet, promoting the worship of such deities as baal, gahd, molech or the like must be stoned to death. If anyone entices you to worship other mighty ones besides YaHuWaH, he is to be killed, the one whom he entices is the first to strike him. If an entire city falls into idol worship it must be utterly destroyed by the edge of the sword and all it’s idols destroyed and all the material from them never to be used again.
Mosheh (Mushah) then declares that all of Yisrael (Yashar’al) are the children of YaHuWaH and therefore they are not to cut themselves or shave their heads for the dead. They are a treasured possession above all the people on the earth. For this reason they also must not eat whatever is toe’ebah or abominable.
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 14:4“These are the living creatures which you do eat: ox, sheep, and goat,5 deer, and gazelle, and roebuck, and wild goat, and mountain goat, and ante- lope, and mountain sheep.6“And every beast that has a split hoof divided in two, chewing the cud, among the beasts, you do eat.7 “But of those chewing the cud or those having a split hoof completely divided, you do not eat, such as these: the camel, and the hare, and the rabbit, for they chew the cud but do not have a split hoof, they are unclean for you.8“And the pig is unclean for you, because it has a split hoof, but does not chew the cud. You do not eat their flesh or touch their dead carcasses.
For animals in the water they must have both fins and scales. One without the other renders them toe’ebah (abomination). For the birds of the air, there are no signs to look for but rather 21 species of birds are listed to be toe’ebah (abomination). All insects are unclean except for the Locust that bends the knees to hop on the earth. You shall not eat a carcass that has not be sacrificed according to the procedures taught by Mosheh (Mushah). You may give a carcass for the stranger or foreigner to eat. YaHuWaH says they must eat this way to be Qodesh (set apart) translated “holy.” We are also forbidden from eating a kid (baby goat) in it’s mother’s milk which is an ancient fertility right for pagan deities.
A tenth part of all crops should be taken to the Qodesh city Yerushalayim and eaten “before YaHuWaH your Elohim.” If the distance is so far that you are unable to bring the entire tenth to the place chosen by YaHuWaH to establish his Name, then and only then can you turn it into gold or silver. Then you are to take the gold or silver and shall travel to the chosen city, there the funds are to be used to by whatever your being desires in the way of cattle, sheep, wine, and strong drink. There you shall eat before YaHuWaH with the widow, the orphan and the Lewite and rejoice before YaHuWaH who provides your substance. The tithe was used to feed the Lewites and Teachers of Torah and even the one bringing the offering. This concept is radically different than that painted by modern Christianity which promotes the idea of tithing 10% of your income to it’s institution.
Every seventh year, debts were to be erased and indentured servants set free. This would ensure the survival of Yisrael’s economic system. Though on the surface it appears to be the destruction of their economic system in reality we today know that economy can be measured on seven year scales. YaHuWaH in his infinite wisdom already knew this and taught it to his children as the Shabbath year.
Further in this portion we are taught to do charity or tsadekah which literally translates “righteousness.” If we see our brother is poor we are commanded to open our hand to him and lend him according to his needs without exacting interest upon him. We are to give and not let our heart be grieved when we give so that YaHuWaH will barak our endeavors.
This Portion of Torah ends with laws of offering of the firstborn, and the Pilgrimage feasts. We must remember to choose life and the only way to choose life and the berikah (Blessing) is to be obedient to the righteousness of our Creator YaHuWaH. The Torah was lived perfectly through Messiah Yahuwshuwa and he took upon him our disobedience so that we may return to the covenant.