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I am committed to a life provoking the invasion of The Coming Kingdom through: human service, ecstatic prayer, halakhic observation, community building, nurturing hope, and drawing down abiding faith...

Monday, August 16, 2010

T'Shuvah for the Jewish people Part 1

(Note for Ruachites: The continuing posts for this month will draw from, and expound on, themes from the shiur I gave on the month of Elul, and all of my posts up until now on t'shuvah, "What is t'shuvah," "T'Shuvah Culture," and "No Excuses," were also a part of that shiur)

Let's look a little more deeply into what t'shuvah means for Israel specifically. So far we've looked at what it means as followers of Yeshua, but there is a unique role and purpose for those of us "of the circumcision."

"Let him not hesitate to link himself with the soul of the people as whole, despite the fact that...there are also wicked and course people. This does not diminish in any way the divine light of the good in the people as a whole, and and a spark of the divine soul is radiant even in the most fallen individuals.." -Rav Kook, translated from Orot HaT'Shuvah

Rav Kook teaches a fundamental principle on t'shuvah that we need to love and attach ourselves to every single Jew, period. No "if's, and's, or but's"! He didn't make it up. Other have said it, and it's in the Torah. He was, however, uniquely known for this. Rav Kook was a great supporter of the secular Jews settling the land, and had an affinity for the free-spiritedness of all those who felt stifled by the Torah observant community. Rav Kook's observance was one that enabled him to stay firm in his own observance, encourage Torah learning, and also deeply love all Jews and appreciate the holiness in their chutzpah. Yeshua was even more so. He brought healing into the life of every single individual Jew who came to him for healing. His heart yearned for the complete redemption of his people.

It is crucial that a starting point for the uniquely Jewish componant of t'shuvah be passionate love for our people. If we are, in fact, being conformed into Yeshua's image to ever increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) and we know Yeshua's heart for his/our people then this is key to the whole endeavor. Rav Shaul suggests that he would give up his own share in Olam Haba for his people to come into Mashiach. Ahavat Yisrael in its purest form will not stifle our love for all people, it can only enhance it. This love can only have a domino effect on all the people we encounter!

It is this love that holds all other mitzvot within it, and is the mirror mitzvah to love of God. Without this uncoditional love we will be less able to properly keep the mitzvot dependant on it, and we will be much less a reflection of Mashiach. So, before we get on out high horses, let's not bad-mouth the Jews who are "more observant" than us, "less observant than us," members of [insert acronym for organization you think is destroying Judaism], etc.

May we all love our people with: hospitality, prayer, lending a hand, making some time, giving a gift, and warm affection.

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