Quote of the Day: Tapping into Our Own Wisdom

 

Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.
— Moses, Deut. 30, 11-14

When I first read this Bible portion, I was deeply moved and encouraged. Even a novice like me, who was still getting her feet wet in the Jewish tradition, could count on exploring and understanding the Bible. A book that had always seemed unapproachable and difficult to parse was intended to be accessible! I didn’t have to be an observant Jew (although what I do observe helps me), a Hebrew or Biblical scholar. I simply had to be willing to dive deep with my Torah study friends to see what G-d wanted to teach me and desired for me to know. Grasping that truth has been very gratifying.

But in addition to realizing how I could pursue understanding the Torah, I realized that, in truth, it was a guideline for living my life, not just in a general sense, but in every moment of my life. And I don’t mean just applying the laws of Torah to my concerns and decisions, but to believe that life, in the best sense of the word, offers me the opportunity to learn and grow in so many ways.

Life has so much to teach me. Every day I learn more about myself and my relationships with others. I learn how to express myself in writing more clearly and sincerely. I have gained confidence in my ability to make good choices, to make an impact on others, and to face difficulties. The answers I seek are always available to me, if I have the persistence and desire to seek them out. As well as the patience to deal with the timing of those answers, and accepting of the answers I don’t really want to face.

If I am only willing.

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  1. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    That passage reminds me of Psalm 139, which was beautifully put into a song … ‘Yahweh, I Know You Are Near’

     

     

    The ‘thing’ that is always near and is very close to you is the Holy Spirit of G-d.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Columbo (View Comment):

    That passage reminds me of Psalm 139, which was beautifully put into a song … ‘Yahweh, I Know You Are Near’

     

     

    The ‘thing’ that is always near and is very close to you is the Holy Spirit of G-d.

    That’s a lovely musical rendition, Columbo. Thank you.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    For those who may not know, the Michelangelo sculpture of Moses shows him with two horns, due to a mistranslation of the Latin. Moses is described as coming down Sinai for the second time with a kind of aura radiating from his face–not horns from his head.

    One other thing. I so appreciate that Moses made this statement. It reflects his own maturity, from his encounter with Hashem at the burning bush, where he was so reluctant to serve, to the conclusion of his leading the Jewish people to the promised land. May we all know that kind of maturity in our own lives!

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  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan, what do you think of the next six verses, Deut. 30:15-20?  In the ESV translation:

    15“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

    Does this affect your interpretation of verses 11-14?

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  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, what do you think of the next six verses, Deut. 30:15-20? In the ESV translation:

    15“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

    Does this affect your interpretation of verses 11-14?

    Not at all. We have a covenant with G-d that we agreed to; it is accessible and clear. He has already told us there would be consequences if we didn’t follow his rules. And he encourages to follow his rules, reminding us to choose life. I’m for consequences in all areas of life. I am well aware that as an individual I do not follow all the rules and laws; maybe I’ve just been fortunate.

    • #5
  6. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I suggest the bible in a year from Fr Michael Schmidt podcast

    I am going through it for the 2nd time – pick up something new each time

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    I suggest the bible in a year from Fr Michael Schmidt podcast

    I am going through it for the 2nd time – pick up something new each time

    It’s wonderful when a tried and true source continues to yield new teachings. I’m glad you have one that you enjoy and appreciate, Glenn.

    • #7
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