SHABBAT AFTERNOON FIRESIDE DRASH

Palm fronds for Sukkot

Shabbat, October 19, 2019

Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah! Today, October 19, 2019, as you know is day 6 of Chag HaSukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and our Torah reading is taken from Shemoth (Ex) 33:12-34:26; as well as Num. 29:26-31. Our reference for this Midrash is taken from Shemoth 34:1, as it is here we are given another brief insight into the character, and nature of HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Blessed be He), as relates to Moshe, and to us as ‘B’ney Yisra’el’ (The Children of Yisra’el).

 

And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I shall write on these tablets the Words that were on the first tablets which you broke.

 

Remembering the reason the first set of tablets were destroyed (the incident of the golden calf), and the implications to us of the ‘broken Covenant’; we see Moshe pleading with Elohim on behalf of Kol Yisra’el as a type of our ‘Kohen Gadol’ (High Priest) Y’shua, who ministers untiringly before YHWH Tsva’ot 24/7 on the behalf of those who ‘love Him and keep His Commandments’ (Jn. 14:15).

The product of this intercessory action, was and is to allow Elohim to view His Chosen People through the purity of Him who stands for us by offering His perfect נֶפֶש ‘nephesh’ (life/soul, as found in His blood), for the imperfection of all those who choose daily to walk in His path of self-sacrificial obedience. However, we must remember that this walk of obedience must be as a product of our love for Him and His ‘unspeakable gift’. Anything less will be viewed as an unacceptable sacrifice that voids our part of His Covenant with us (thus making the entire Covenant void)! By offering ourselves to Him as the acceptable ‘daily sacrifice’, we reaffirm our part of the second set of Mitzvot (Commandments) of the Covenant. 

With all of this in mind, we read in our text that יהוה (B’H) commanded Moshe to cut “…two tablets of stone like the first ones” so that He could then “…write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets WHICH YOU BROKE.” (my emphasis). Notice the chastisement of Moshe, hence Kol Yisra’el, that it was they, and not He, that caused the first set to be broken.

But why did יהוה (B’H) command him (Moshe) to cut two tablets out of stone like the first ones, when it would have been much easier for Elohim to both cut them out and write on them, all at once; or just to have spoken them into existence? Surely He did not require the effort of man to produce the two tablets of stone! Something else was going on here, something that speaks volumes as it teaches of His character and nature as relates to man.

The lesson for us here today, this Shabbat and 6th day of Chag HaSukkot through our reading of this text, is not only that יהוה (B’H) is patient and longsuffering with His chosen people, but that He requires our active participation in His Covenant of chesed (unmerited favor/mercy) and yeshua (salvation) for it to work to His honor and glory. He wants and expects our willing love for Him (He has given us the right and ability to chose who we will follow) to produce an active, Torah observant life that will testify of that love, justice, and mercy to all through the product (fruit) of our lives here on this earth.

May you be blessed in your Shabbat rest within the walls of your Sukkah today, as you provide the tablets of your heart for the writing of His Covenant.

Sukkot at The Wall