The Torah Book of Shemot is famous for Matan Torah, the giving of Torah to Israel al yedey Moshe, by the hands of Moses. As the New Testament teaches: Not those who only listen to Torah will be righteous before Adonai, but those who do Torah (Romans 2:13)The actual giving itself is recorded in the Shemot portion Beshalach (Exodus 20). It has been an incredible honor for Israel to receive this present from heaven. Thanks to the faithful of Israel we still have this precious present which we were able to share to share with the world, to whom it may concern.

Hundreds of years of heavy and killing oppression went by after Ya’akov and Yosef had past away and a new regime has ascended the Egyptian throne. It might have become a factor for Israel to getting ready to receive Torah. Also now it looks like most people have the hardest time to being able to appreciate the heavenly present.

Fifty days after traveling through the desert Israel finds her G-d. The Creator of the universe loves to be met in the desert, another factor for enabling Israel to receive the godly present of Torah. From the moment Israel receives Torah the way back to restoration and reentry of Gan Eden (Paradise) has been found. The indispensable key to Gan Eden is the work of Messiah as promised by our prophets, like Isaiah said Messiah would give himself as sacrifice after which he would rise from the dead, have a long life and see his descendants (chapter 53 verses 1-10). And Torah is the manual of how to behave there.

The situation of the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt and the giving of Torah are fundamental issues in the Jewish religion. That is why Jewish leaders like Shaul (Paul) and Yeshua (Messiah of Israel) have been teaching about these events. The New Testament is filled with puns and hints as well as direct references to the delivery from Egypt (Pesach) and the giving of Torah (Feast of Weeks, called Pentecost by Christians).

As the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil was planted in Gan Eden for educational purposes and not to be touched, the Tree of Life is the heavenly Scroll which only Messiah is worthy to open. Our copies of Torah which we use in our synagogues show us our unworthiness, but they teach us the way to become tzadik, worthy in G-d’s eyes. So let us appreciate the heavenly present by doing and applying it fully. It’s worth it.

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