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You Shall be Made Whole


Torah Portion: Parashat Shoftim

Shabbat: August 19, 2023 | Elul 2, 5783


The Shema

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”.


You Shall be Made Whole | Further Thoughts on Parashat Shoftim

Parashat Shoftim is always read at the start of the Season of Teshuvah. It's my hope that this article will encourage you to "return to the LORD and listen to His Voice" (Deut. 30:2).

How long will you go "limping" between two different opinions? What is more important to you than your relationship with the LORD God of Israel? Our Torah this week reminds us to make up our minds and return to the LORD: "You must be whole (תָּמִים) with the LORD your God" (Deut. 18:13). We are made "whole" or "perfect" (i.e., complete) when we resolutely turn to God for healing of our inner dividedness, as it says: "The Torah of the LORD is perfect (תָּמִים), returning the soul" (Psalm 19:8). And where it is written, "Let us hear end of the matter: Fear God and love his commandments, the text adds: ki zeh kol-ha'adam (כִּי־זֶה כָּל־הָאָדָם), "for this is the whole man," suggesting that those who return will be healed of their double-mindedness (Eccl. 12:13). Ultimately we are made whole when we are united to God in Messiah, for then we are "with the LORD our God" and the Holy Spirit writes Torah within the inward heart of faith (Jer. 31:33).

סוֹף דָּבָר הַכּל נִשְׁמָע אֶת־הָאֱלהִים יְרָא

וְאֶת־מִצְוֹתָיו שְׁמוֹר כִּי־זֶה כָּל־הָאָדָם

sof · da·var · ha·kol · neesh·ma et ha·e·lo·heem · yeerah

ve·et meetz·vo·tav · she·mor · kee zeh · kol ha·a·dam

"Let us hear the end of the matter: Fear God

and keep his commandments: for this is the whole man."

Note that the verse from our Torah portion may also be read as a prophecy: "You shall be made whole with the LORD your God" (Deut. 18:13). God's love heals the inner brokenness of our hearts. When we accept this, we discover that surrendering to God's will truly makes us "whole." "As many as I love, I reprove and correct: be zealous therefore, and turn. Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his heart and share a meal with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:19-20). These are words of our Lord Yeshua, who speaks these words to those who "hear his voice." Open the door of your heart! Return to Him now!

John J. Parsons

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