Month 6 Day 11 6005-6-7?
Sermon Shabbat August 28, 2004
Rabbi/Brother Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky
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Devarim 21:10-This week’s Torah portion states: "When you go forth
to war against your enemies," teaches that war is an integral part of our
national mission. Seven out of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah deal with war. YHWH
Himself is called "The Master of War." Shemot 15:3
born to labor, not to sit back and wait for a miracle to occur and solve the
problem. Therefore the Torah states that sometimes it is necessary to "wage war
against your enemies" (Deuteronomy 21:10).
Do not, says the Torah, just
sit back and wait for YHWH’s great salvation. Take to the battlefield and fight.
Yet, this is only one side of the coin; there is another side as well:
"And YHWH shall give them into your hands." It
is not the might and strong hand of Yisrael which brings about the victory.
YHWH’s blessing is what ultimately determines the battle's outcome. Complete
human effort on the one hand, and unswerving faith in YHWH on the other as seen
in verse 10.
11-14 is the chuk addressing woman prisoners of war. No doubt, this phenomenon
is very negative from an ethical point of view. Devarim 21:10-13 teaches that
not only are we not to mistreat women prisoners of war, but Yisrael is to give
them comfort, haven and even marry them! And we are not to misuse them, or sell
them as property! How different from the heathen! Also in Devarim 24:5 when
Yisrael is in a war the wife shall have her husband all to herself for 1 year,
and not lend him to the military. Torah
teaching on war is that it must be conducted only in self-defense, and with the
highest standards and respect for human life by both the fighters and towards
That same regard for
human dignity carries over to the death of POWs or prisoners of war or
ordinary sinners as seen in Devarim 21:22-23
Torah chooses to teach us the great value of human dignity at the moment of
man's greatest humiliation. "When a man is legally sentenced to death and
executed, you must then hang him on a gallows" (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). The Torah
is not discussing a righteous person here, but a sinner.
is precisely via this undeserving corpse that the Torah chooses to teach us the
great value of the dignity of man, YHWH's creation. "You may not allow his body
to remain on the gallows overnight… since a person who has been hanged is a
curse to YHWH"
explanations are given for this law in the Talmud. According to the majority of
sages, only one who actually blasphemed YHWH, or performed idol worship is
hanged. These two types of people are "a curse to YHWH."
our Moshiach was accused of these 2 crimes. Matt. 26: -64-66 by mentioning
YHWH’s Name, He was found guilty of blasphemy. The idolatry charge against
Yahshua is found in John 10:31-37. He never claimed to be the Father, but the
Son and the charge was false. As was the charge of blaspheming the Name, because
according to Torah and not the sages, the blaspheming of the Name is the misuse
of it, or the cursing towards it, or with it as seen in Wayiqra 24:11-16. So
based on the misapplication of Jewish law Yahshua was hung. The trial was
allowed himself to be hung as if He had violated these two Torah prohibitions,
but in fact he had not. Moreover, he was hung
by YHWH the Father for totally 2 different reasons. The first is found in 2
Corintyah 5:17-21. First to restore the sinners of the world back to Himself.
And secondly as seen in Galutyah/Galatians 3:13-14 Yahshua was hung that the
promises of Avraham being the chosen spiritual and physical father of all
believers, would come upon Ephraim through the hanging of Yahshua.
an important allegory in the Talmud that goes like this: The hanging of sinner
who commits blasphemy, or is engaged in idolatry is comparable to identical
twins, one of which became an important minister/servant/suffering servant,
while the other was caught as a bandit and hanged. All who saw the bandit said,
'The minister/servant/suffering servant has been hanged! BUT IT WAS REALLY THE
RIGHTEOUSS SERVANT, BUT YISRAEL THOUGHT IT WAS THE BANDIT!
words, man - even when he sins and transgresses to the point where he becomes
deserving of hanging by the courts - was created in YHWH's image. Thus, It is as
if he the bandit is the "identical twin" of YHWH even when the masses mistake
the servant for the bandit! Thus every Yisraelite hung on a tree was seen as the
IDENTICAL TWIN OF YHWH, despite his sin, since all humanity is made or BROUGHT
FORTH in YHWH’s image! So in light of Renewed Covenant revelation, we see
Yahshua being hung as the exact Twin or replica of YHWH. Turn to Ivrim 1:1-3,
even when all Yisrael thought He was a blaspheming idolatrous bandit!
this episode - which teaches us the importance of man's dignity via the dignity
of none other than a sinner - we are made aware of just how important man's
dignity is. If an ordinary individual being given basic dignity had been the
Torah's subject of discussion, how much more Yahuwah’s Son? Yahshua was not a
sinner, but a perceived sinner. What final lesson can Yahshua hanging teach us…?
mankind and man are sinners and Torah breakers; so what dignity does he deserve?
The same dignity of being viewed as YHWH’s twin dying. From this, we learn that
it is not the personal merit of an individual that obligates us to honor him,
but the honor of His Creator. Even in death Yahshua was still teaching Yisrael
the dignity and value of human life, whether saved or unrepentant.
curse of tree hanging was a graceful message sent to those surviving, that even
the person being hanged deserved dignity. More dignity than Yahshua ever
received though he was surely YHWH’s true and eternal twin!
Kepha Alef 2:24.