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A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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In Jewish terminology, charity and righteousness are almost synonymous. The Hebrew word tzedakah (צדקה) literally means “righteousness,” but people use it idiomatically as a synonym for charity and alms. Yeshua tells us that when we give, we are not to announce it with trumpets, which is to say, we are not to make a show out of it. He says our giving should be in secret.
The rabbis taught, "The poor man does more for the giver than the giver does for the poor man." Why? Because, as Deuteronomy 15:10 says, if you give generously to the poor, "the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings" (Deuteronomy 15:10).
How long does it take to repent? According to the sages, it takes only the twinkling of an eye, the same amount of time it took for Israel to leave Egypt. Just as Israel went from bondage to freedom in the blink of an eye, repentance transfers us into the kingdom of light instantaneously.
Why do people face towards Jerusalem while praying? When King Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem, he petitioned God that He might place His Name upon the Temple. He asked that God would hear from heaven and answer anyone who prayed toward that place.
The Torah itself clearly states in many places that its laws are eternal, never to be abolished. And even the Christians acknowledge that the Jewish Bible is the word of God. If the Torah is eternal and Jesus himself claims to have no intention of abolishing or changing it, why do the Christians [disregard the commandments] ...which are clearly spelled out in the Torah? (Pinchas Stolper, The Real Messiah).
God has not left humanity adrift like a ship at sea without a rudder. He has spoken from heaven through His servant Moses, through His holy prophets and through His Son, Yeshua. Those words are recorded in the Bible. The Bible is more than just an ancient piece of literature; it is a living force, charged with the Spirit of God. The Bible is a compass for finding one's way through life. It is a road map for the soul.
Churches sometimes misappropriate the commandment of the tithe by suggesting to their congregants that the Bible requires them to give ten percent of their income to the church. The Bible's commandments about tithing do not apply to churches or people outside the land of Israel. They applied only to farmers in the land of Israel during the days of the Temple. Nevertheless, the principle of giving ten percent is an important baseline for charitable giving. Although they did not levy a tithe, the early believers outside the land of Israel contributed a portion of their possessions and income to the poor as well as to the teachers and prophets in their communities.