Living with Intention in 5775: Week 4

Yesterday, at Shabbat service, the congregational leader was talking about “doing well”.
The verse he gave was from Genesis 4:7,

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.

The problem with the translation of this verse, is that it doesn’t quite convey what is truly being said. A better translation would be,

If you do well, [the result is] elevation. And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.

Does this remind you of Week one when we talked about bringing up the level in our homes?

To get a better idea of what this week’s challenge is, read what this orthodox rabbi has to say about fulfilling the commandments of God.

Matthew 5:17: “Think not that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill them.”

Christian theology generally interprets this as meaning that, “he fulfilled the Law, therefore the Law has been done away with.” This conclusion is formed despite the fact that a double statement of non-abolishment of the Law precedes the statement of “fulfillment”.

In Hebrew, the word “fulfill” (Greek: perosai, as used in the Gospels) does not mean: “…now that you’ve complied with the Law, you don’t have to do it any further.” It means that you complied with and satisfied the legal requirements of Torah for that specific requirement, at that specific time, in that specific circumstance and that you are entitled to the eternal reward associated with that Commandment. That means you bring down G-dly light into this lower world, thereby elevating it to a higher plane. It means you did an act or had a thought that allows you to participate with the covenantal faith community’s destiny. ~R’ A. Feld

I see more and more everyday, that this life is not about me, my life is just a part of something bigger than myself. I am a part of a covenental faith community, and it is up to me to elevate my soul and the world through fulfilling the commandments of God, just as Yeshua did. When we are truly abiding in Him, then we will want to emulate Him and walk as He walked.

So this week, our goal is to focus on walking in God’s commandments with the intent to elevate our souls and the world around us. In the most practical of ways, this would be best exhibited in loving and serving others.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-40)

Yeshua gave His life, His all–He did well, in order to show us that we, too, can do well.

Have this in your mind, which was also in Messiah Yeshua, who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. (Phil. 2:5-8)

God bless you all, and have a good week!