The Good News of the salvation of Israel and of mankind in general is to be found in the Torah. If you want you could say: in the Gospel of Moshe. He wrote the Torah. He wrote about the Spirit of Messiah hovering over the flood on which Darkness had attached itself (Genesis 1:2). Moshe wrote about Messiah who would come and crush the head, the Chief Executive Officer, of the evil serpent who is an agent of Darkness (id. 3:15).

That great Good News deserves attention. The New Testament builds on this Good News like our Prophets of blessed memory have built on it. The essence of this Good News is: humankind, being in a fallen state about which nobody can do anything, will be visisted by the Messiah who will redeem those who will acknowledge him as well as their fallen state of being.

And what is required of these people who make this conscious choice? To live according to the high standard of living we ourselves rejected when living in Gan Eden (Paradise). This high standard of living is described in Torah. The New Testament describes these two pillars of our faith, trust in Messiah and observing Torah exactly: By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of the Lord, not because of works, unless anybody would boast. We are His workmanship, created with Messiah Yeshua to do good works (Torah), which the Lord prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Efesians 2:8-10).

Parashat Mishpatim deals with the ordinances a redeemed believer in the Lord, the G-d of Israel, will have to want to observe; for his/her own good and to show to the Lord that he or she means what he or she says he or she believes. Torah will have to be observed in spiritual life as well as in society. Talmud teaches that someone’s spiritual life should not differ from his daily life. The Temple is in the courtroom and in the synagogue.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehilla of Beth Yeshua,
Amsterdam, Holland