Parsha Devarim: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22, Isaiah 1:1-27

To our 9:00 am Shabbat Ark of Prayer and the Mishpacha within,

This week’s parsha is Devarim: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22, Isaiah 1:1-27

Unfortunately I seem to be a slow learner and fast forgetter. I purchased a mezuzah when we were in Israel recently and put it up on the door between my garage and my home. I wanted the sight of it to remind me to whom I belong and how I should conduct myself throughout my day. But it seems to have quickly faded into the paint and I don’t always see it every day.

Devarim is Hebrew for “words”. In this parsha Moses reminds Israel where they have been and where they are headed and how this is all to be accomplished. This is not the first time they have been reminded by Moses or G-d. They seem to be slow learners and fast forgetters like me … and I suspect like you.

Deuteronomy is a book of new hope. It’s about making a fresh start as the Israelites rebuilt their lives, communities and, ultimately, their nation. Moses took time, as they were starting off, to remind them about the principles to do this rebuilding.

In every life there are pivotal moments; moments when we choose to let go and move on or to cling tightly, often, to the past. How and when we respond to these moments shapes everything that comes after. You can see the consequences of the choice the Israelites made 40 years prior. My life is certainly full of these key decisions.

“Don’t be afraid”, is the most common command in Scripture. What G-d wanted 40 years prior, and still wanted as the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land, was for them to trust Him for all things. Although never perfect, as I have learned to more completely turn my focus away from my circumstances toward G-d and His power and love, my helplessness and fear evaporate.

G-d did not reject His People when he pushed them back into the wilderness for 40 years. He was guiding them in such a way that they had an opportunity to build trust in Him and develop discipline. When I travel through difficult times, I know He never leaves me and, further, that I can trust that I will emerge from the end a wiser, more capable, G-d honoring man IF I follow His leading and principles.

Timing is often an essential part of G-d’s plan. Sometimes, in order for me to be teachable, I need to hit bottom. It was necessary for the Israelites to experience what seemed to them like total defeat in the wilderness before they could learn to trust G-d’s plan and take action His way.

And we see this difficult and unfortunate truth as well; that, in spite of everything, some people remained unrepentant, unteachable, and unwilling to let go, and died in the wilderness, removed from the community so the community could move forward. Sometimes ending toxic relationships with others is the only solution to a healthy, G-d filled life, but should never be exercised as a first option. G-d is quite long suffering.

As I’ve mentioned in other parsha blogs, I struggle with compulsive eating, a progressive disease that, if ignored, will ultimately kill me, my relationships with others, and with G-d.

I have an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind so principally I have a mental problem. So I must be in fit spiritual condition in order to make progress with my recovery.

To support my ability to stay in a fit spiritual condition, and thus to remain teachable and not forgetful, I use various tools.

Weekly, in addition to studying Scripture and praying for G-d’s guidance and strength, I attend Overeaters Anonymous meetings, provide help to others like me, study recovery literature and try to be G-d honoring through how I deal with my food and the people I touch.

Without these activities, I quickly become forgetful, and unteachable, cutting myself off from G-d and others. Doing these activities helps me remember the risks and rewards if I continue to trust G-d to provide what I need to stay abstinent and engaged with Him and the world.

I believe that G-d created us all to be of service to Him and to each other and we can not do that if we have our focus on other things such as, in my case, food.

I hope any of you that are able, will join the 9:00 am Shabbat Teva Tefillah. We pray for the Temple, for Israel and our government.

Blessings to you and yours.

Your brother in Yeshua in the TEVA TEFILLAH,

Kurt


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