Devarim / Deut. 3:23 – 7:11

Haftarah: Yeshayahu / Is. 40:1-26

Brit Hadashah: Lucas / Luke 3:2-15

VaEtkhanán it means “and I begged.”

Thus begins our parashat: Devarim / Deut. 3:23

וָאֶתְחַנַּן אֶל־יְהוָה בָּעֵת הַהִוא לֵאמֹֽר׃

Va’etjanan el-Adonay ba’et hahi lemor.

“I also pleaded with HaShem at that time, saying”

The word va-etkhanán, “I begged” has the numerical value of 515 and from there the Midrash deduces that Moses begged HaShem 515 times to let him enter the Earth.

His prayer was not answered before his death.

However, when Yeshua the Messiah came, it is said that Moses was with him in one of the mountains of Israel, (possibly Tavor), along with Eliyahu, cf. Matthew 17, but it was not a physical experience, since Moses’ body had not yet risen, but an appearance of his spirit in a heavenly dimension.

He who keeps the commandments of Adonai, given by Moses, will have a long life, as written in Devarim/Deut. 4:40; 5:33 and 6:2:

4:40 Therefore, you shall keep his statutes and his commandments which I command you today, that it may be well for you and your children after you, and that you may prolong your days on the earth which HaShem your Elohim gives you forever…”

5:33 “Walk in all the way that HaShem your Elohim has commanded you, that you may live and do well, and prolong your days in the land which you are to possess…”

6:2 “that you may fear HaShem your Elohim, keeping all his statutes and his commandments which, I command you, you and your children and your grandchildren, all the days of your life, that your days may be prolonged.”

In Devarim / Deut. 32:46-47 it is written:

“Fix in your hearts all the words with which I bear witness today, which you will command your children to keep and fulfill, all the words of this Torah. Because it is not something useless for you; it is certainly your life. By this word you will prolong your days on the earth where you go, crossing the Yard to possess it.”

The commandments were not given to limit man, but to prolong his life and give him benefits both in this world and in the world to come.

The man who wants to be freed from the Torah dies, as it is written in Romans 8:6-7, 13:

“For the mindset in the flesh is death, but the mindset in the Ruach / Spirit is life and peace; for the mindset in the flesh is the enemy of Adonai, for it does not submit to the Torah of HaShem, for it cannot even do so… for if you live according to the flesh, ye shall die; but if by the Ruach / Spirit you cause the works of the flesh to die, you shall live.”

When a branch is in the tree it is free.

If it is cut, it dies.

Freedom is not found outside of obedience, but in connection with the One who gives life and in subjection to the rules that regulate life, as written in John 8:34-36:

“Yeshua answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say unto you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin; and the slave does not remain in the house forever; the child does remain forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be truly free.”

In Devarim / Deut. 5:29 it is written:

“Who would give that they should have such a heart that they would fear Me, and always keep all my commandments, that it might be good for them and their children forever!”

In Devarim/Deut. 6:3 it is written:

“Listen, then, O Israel, and take care to do so, that you may do well and multiply greatly, in a land that flows milk and honey, just as HaShem, the Elohim of your fathers, has promised you.”

These texts teach us that obedience to the commandments produces prosperity for both you and your children.

Do you want to be prosperous in life? Keep the commandments that apply to you!

In Devarim/Deut. 4:4 it is written:

“But you who have caught them to HaShem your Elohím, you are all alive today.”

So far, we have seen that the fulfillment of the commandments brings life and prosperity in this world and in the world to come.

This verse teaches us another aspect of the same thing.

Devarim / Deut. 4:4

וְאַתֶּם הַדְּבֵקִים בַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם חַיִּים כֻּלְּכֶם הַיֹּֽום׃

Ve’atem hadevekim b’Adonay Eloheyjem jayim kuljem hayom.

“And you who clung to the Eternal, your God, are all alive today.”

The word translated by RV60 as “you followed” and in LBLA as “remained faithful” comes from the Hebrew word “davek” which means: “to stick“, “to associate“, “to adhere“.

So, adhering to HaShem is the same as being faithful to him and not joining with other gods and their customs.

This union with HaShem is what gives life.

All who had adhered to HaShem were preserved alive until the day called “hayom“,today“, which, on the “drash” level, can be understood as the eternal present, and the final day.

He who attaches himself to HaShem will always have a “today,” an existence in the present.

He who departs from it will one day lose the right to experience the day that will then be called “today.”

The Hebrew word “hayom” (literally “the day“), translated “today,” appears 75 times in the book of Devarim, more than twice per chapter.

This teaches us not to leave the fulfillment of the commandments for tomorrow.

Today is the day to fulfill them.

You cannot keep the commandments yesterday or tomorrow, only today.

So, if HaShem speaks to you today, don’t leave it for another day, as it is written in Tehillim / Psalm 95:7b-11:

(G#21) “If you hear his voice today, do not harden your heart as in Merivah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your parents tempted me, tested me, even though they had seen my work. For forty years I was disgusted by that generation, and I said: It is a people that deviates in its heart and does not know my ways. Therefore, I swore in my wrath: They will certainly not enter into my rest.”

Today is the day for you.

Today is the time to adhere to HaShem and fulfill his commandments.

Today is the day to be faithful to him.

The one who is today will also be when tomorrow it is said “today“.

In Hebrews 3:12-13 it is written:

“Behold, brethren, that there may be in none of you an evil heart of unbelief to depart from the living Elohim; before exhort one another every day, while it is said: Today; that none of you may be hardened by the deception of sin.”

What is the message for us today?

If HaShem still hasn’t answered your request, keep crying out to him.

He who keeps the commandments of Adonai, given by Moshe, will have a long life.

Freedom is not found outside of obedience, but in connection with the One who gives life and in subjection to the rules that regulate life.

He who attaches himself to HaShem will always have a “today,” an existence in the present.

Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah!

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