Produced by Joshua A. Kaplan
“What is the purpose of the covenant? Many fragmentary answers have been given in the tri-millennial & variegated history of Judaism, and perhaps only this much of a generalization is possible – that, located between Creation & Redemption, a Jew testifies to the reality of the first and the hope for the second. This testimony has a positive and a negative aspect. The positive is the possibility, unheard of prior to the advent of Judaism, of a mutual relation between G-d beyond the heaven of heavens and man on earth. The negative is against all the false gods – against idolatry.”
-Emil Fackenheim (1916- ), [What is Judaism? New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1987]
Most have forgotten that the Torah is a Walk with HaShem and not a religion. We have forgotten that the Torah requires us to walk and behave within and according to His commandments, statutes, decrees, and ordinances at all times. It tells us that these are eternally binding even to a thousand generations, and to discuss them with our children – when we walk on the way, when we sit down, when we retire and when we arise, and to live it out at the market and at the workplace. The Torah tells us, “And you shall love your brother as yourself.” (Lev. 18:19), it screams to us, “You shall surely pursue righteousness!” (Deut. 16:20) – yet we hate our brothers and pursue honor and filthy, unrighteous lucre. Thus, the hand of faith has been weakened. Most of the Nation has left the camp of the believers, for not many remain faithful; there are virtually no men of truth. Very little light that illuminates in this world of dark corruption.
Even so, that is exactly what the Torah is. It is a light to a dark world, as are those whom bear it’s truth. It’s purpose is to free mankind, and lead all toward total spiritual/physical perfection. Furthermore, it is HaShem’s covenant, made for all of humanity, which even rules and regulates the natural laws of the infinite and boundless Universe. Which means that the Torah is infinite, transparent to our soul [neshama], and is transcendently beyond the finite grasp of man. A very discerning & insightful man (Rabbi Marc Howard Wilson) once shared with me, these words of wisdom:
The finite may try to grasp the Infinite, though it is like taking a sip from a “Raging-Firehose”
Therefore, only the ALL-Transcendent One can give it’s true interpretation. Moreover, one must also keep in mind; as the covenant is eternal so is knowledge, wisdom, understanding, revelation, truth, and onward. These gifts [obtainable by man, only from G-d], as others like them, go on and on ad infinitum.
All are progressive. No one is absolute or exclusive.
Rather, all are one and all emanate from our One and Only who is magnanimous in all His deeds, and gives freely to all who would humbly beseech Him with a sincere heart. He is His Knowledge, He is His Wisdom, He is His Understanding, and He is His Truth [He is His “Light”]!!! Nevertheless, the questions remain. How does one successfully walk with The Most High? By what means can one who is finite receive true interpretation from The Infinite?
Is it merely enough to involve ourselves in study and absorption in prayer? How will we know and recognize when He has answered our cry, our petition, or request?