A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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The commandment to imitate God is the fundamental principle of godliness. The Master expresses the idea, encouraging us to imitate God, “That you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:45). A classic passage of the Talmud explains the mitzvah of walking in His ways.
When God prospers us, we are to show our gratitude by returning a portion to Him in the form of charitable gifts. In the days of the Temple, the farmers in Israel were obligated to give an annual tithe to Levites, then take a second tithe for festival expenses and to share with the poor.
Moses lamented that even though the nation of Israel had experienced God’s great salvation and seen His miracles and wondrous provision in the wilderness, they still did not have “a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.”
But one who looks intently at the perfect Torah, the Torah of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:25)
All through the book of Deuteronomy, Moses drives home the message: "Keep God's Torah." When Israel failed to keep the Torah, God sent prophets warning them to repent and turn back to Torah. When they repented, they were rewarded and blessed. When they did not, they suffered.
Christians should beware the tendency to cite Deuteronomy 28 as evidence for the everlasting cursedness of the Jewish people. Christian interpretation has historically regarded the Torah’s curses as proof that God has rejected His people. The opposite is true.