One Torah For All

One Torah For All
Understanding Torah Society continuing series
September 4, 2012
In this issue
Understanding Torah Society
Sin in Thought, Word and Deed Every Day?
The Blind Men and the Elephant

Shalom Dear Brothers and Sisters in Mashiach,

Just who is responsible for your life and the decisions you make?  Is it the circumstances you find yourself in?  Or, is it the way your parents raised you?  Surprisingly enough, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the way you was raised, you and you alone are responsible for what you do and say.  We take a close look at one's responsibility in part 11 of our series on Understanding Torah Society.

Many believe that every person has to sin every day of his life.  He must sin in his thinking.  He must sin in what he says.  He must sin in his actions.  He has no choice in it.  But is this what Scripture actually teaches us?  This study takes a closer look at this doctrine.

We look at the parable of the blind men and the elephant to see what we can learn and hopefully live a more pleasing life to YHWH.
Understanding Torah Society - part 11 Personal Responsibility

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:30 

When you are in tribulation, and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you shall return to YHWH your Elohim, and hearken unto His Voice;


The society of Israel is built upon Torah.  Each and every single person has a responsibility to keep and to do His commandments.  Furthermore, each person within Israel is to help his neighbor and his brother to do the same-help him obey the Torah.  This does not mean that one man forces another man to obey His commandments.  It is not even possible to force another person to walk in obedience to the Voice of YHWH.  One should not even attempt such a thing.  It is not pleasing to YHWH our Elohim to attempt to force another to walk in obedience to Him.  When one man forces compliance upon another man, what actually happens is obedience to that man, not to YHWH.  This is idolatry.  This idolatry is not being committed so much by the one being forced, but rather, by the one who is doing the forcing.


Each person's responsibility consists of returning to YHWH through shema.  In the above verse the English word "hearken" comes from the Hebrew word שמע     "shema," which means to hear and obey.  No one can do this for another person.  Each person must do it himself if he desires to return to YHWH.  A person cannot be in a right relationship with YHWH without shema.  It is a person's responsibility to learn to recognize, hear (heed), and obey His Voice.


Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 31:34 

"And they shall no longer teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know YHWH;' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them," says YHWH; "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more."


Within a Torah society, personal responsibility is essential for the society to be healthy.  The aspects of that responsibility are well defined in Torah, including what to do, as well as what not to do regarding one's interactions with neighbors and brothers.  More than anything else, personal responsibility consists of taking charge of one's own actions so that he is hearing and obeying the Voice of YHWH.  Sadly, this is not what typically happens today.


Continue reading here. PDF.
Sin in Thought, Word, and Deed Every Day?

Really? Must I?


Yochanan Aleph (1st John) 3:9  Whosoever is begotten of Elohim does no sin, because his seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of Elohim.


There is a prevalent teaching in our world today which comes to us through Calvinism.  This teaching states that a person must sin in thought, word and deed every day.  This is a false teaching.  This study will examine the Scriptures to show why it is false.  Such an idea will actually lead one into sin.  To teach that one must sin every day is simply an excuse to sin.  This teaching produces bad or evil fruit in a person's life and denies the power of YHWH through His Spirit to help us lead a victorious life in our everyday living.


It is helpful, at least to me, to define at least three words:  sin, transgression and iniquity and perhaps a couple of others along the way.  Many use these three words interchangeably, when Scripture uses them to mean different things.  Let us see what each of these words mean to help us in our walk with Mashiach Yeshua.

The English word "sin" comes from the Hebrew word חטא or חטה- "chata" which means to remove from source of life, thus by extension-sin.  It also means "to miss the mark."  The idea of missing the mark is particularly instructive to us when we understand that the root word of תוֹרָה- "Torah" which is יָרָה- "yarah"  means "to shoot, throw or cast, to hit the mark."  So keeping Torah is hitting the mark and when we miss the mark it is sin.


We can see that these two words are diametrically opposed to each other.  However, they do have one thing in common - the mark.  Sin (חטא- chata) is aiming at the mark and missing it; whereas Torah is the mark, aiming at the mark and hitting the mark.  Torah which literally means "instruction" is instruction on how to hit the mark.


Continue reading here. PDF.

Parable: The Blind Men and the Elephant
Elephant Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today."

They had no idea what an elephant was. They decided, "Even though we will not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." And since all these blind men were seekers of knowledge, they set off to discover what an elephant was. So they set off to where the elephant was. Each one of them touched the elephant.

"Hey, the elephant is like a tree," said the first man who touched his leg.

"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail.

"Oh, no! it is like a snake," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

"It is like a big fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

"It is like a spear," said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and every one of them insisted that he was right and the others were wrong. They were becoming quite agitated towards one another. Then a wise man was passing by and he saw the blind men arguing. He stopped and asked them, "What is the matter?"

They said, "We cannot agree what the elephant is like." Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like as the wise man listened. 

Continue reading here. PDF.
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