Many disciples of Yeshua have the mindset expressed by statements like these: “Leviticus is irrelevant to us as followers of Jesus.” “The commandments in the Torah are not for today.” “Leviticus is boring.”
Sadly, most Bible teaching reinforces the idea that the Torah, and especially the book of Leviticus, does not offer help in how we should live our lives today. Torah Club confronts this way of thinking head-on. There is much in the Torah that guides us in how to live holy lives today. This was demonstrated recently by one of our Torah Clubs in California.
In the Portion Connections video for Parashat Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, Boaz Michael issued a challenge to our Torah Clubs not merely to be hearers of this section of Leviticus, but doers (James 1:22). In his teaching, Boaz explained the meaning of the commandment to “love your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:18) and how that connects to the commandment to not gather the corners of the field in one’s harvest, to care for the poor and needy.
After offering commentary on these texts, Boaz encouraged the Torah Club family to “put the mitzvot into action” by looking for ways to bless those around us who are in need because of COVID-19. Many are without work and struggling to survive financially. In addition to looking for ways to support local businesses, Boaz emphasized that there are individual needs all around us and that we should look for ways to lend a hand. Boaz’s words did not fall on deaf ears.
A Torah Club in California responded to Boaz’s challenge by gathering $1,100 to help an unemployed single mother and her 10-year old son who were living in a garage. This mother is facing major difficulties and may be moving to a new state as well. The gift provided by this local Torah Club was given personally by the leader and will serve as a great blessing and help to this struggling family.
Those who study Torah in-depth can see that the Torah is far from outdated. The Torah still serves as God’s standard of holiness and righteousness today. This is why Paul taught Torah to his disciples and emphasized that it is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:15). Torah Club is where disciples continue to learn Torah today—and do it!