Voice of the Lord
You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov! (Congratulations!) The young man is greeted with enthusiastic expressions of praise and blessing. He is complimented on how marvelously he chanted from the Torah and sang his Haftarah (portion from the Prophets). His speecha masterpiece of enlightened commentary, midrashic (homiletic) stories and Yiddishkeit (Jewishness)was spiced with humor and wrapped in pronouncements of gratitude toward the rabbi who trained him, and the parents who made it all possible. Today he is a man, able to be counted as part of a minyan (a quorum of ten Jewish men needed for prayer), and fully able to participate as an adult in the religious life of the Jewish community.
The young man is now responsible for keeping all of the commandments of the Torah. Yet he is not called a bar mitzvot (son of the commandments) but a bar mitzvah (son of the commandment). The obvious question is, "Which one commandment would be the most appropriate to illustrate the full range of his new spiritual responsibility?"
The answer, given in the above Scripture passage, was Yeshua's response (Mark 12:29-30) to a similar question. That commandment, along with love for our neighbor, carries the full intent of every requirement of the Torah. If the bar mitzvah boy, as well as the rest of us, will make that first commandment the absolute priority of life, then we will all be children of the commandment and of the one who gave it.
...become a son or daughter of the Commandment by making my relationship with the God of Israel the highest priority of my life.
Saturday, March 8th, 2014
the Last Week after Epiphany
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