Let him who is convinced that his views are true and right express them . . . at every opportunity . . . without considering how much support or how much opposition he will encounter. Only falsehood is in need of many supporters in order to win the day; falsehood must have the authority of numbers to make up for what it lacks in justification. Truth, by contrast, will always prevail, even if it takes time. Noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the fiery zeal and conviction and with all clarity of sure awareness, stated again and again at every opportunity, truth will ultimately gain respect and admiration even of those who do not accept it. The only truth that can be lost beyond recall is that truth whose adherents no longer have the courage to speak up candidly on its behalf. Truth has never gone down in defeat as the result of opposition, it has done so only when its friends are too weak to defend it. - R' S.R. Hirsch

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

If You Will not Hearken - Stage 1

2 Thessalonians 2:9-10  

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of the Adversary, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 

Apostasy always begins with neglecting the study of G-d's Word.  The seed which will eventually blossom into apostasy is sown in theory, not in practice.  This seed of corruption is sown when a man fails to nourish his soul and forgets that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of G-d.  It is foolish to imagine that one can merely practice the Divine Word and dispense with the study of it.  To do so is like tending the vine while neglecting the root, whereby we run the danger of losing the vine along with the root.

When we fall into the habit of failing to study, we will inevitably grow indifferent to the Word.  As we grow indifferent, we will consider it unnecessary to renew our awareness of all that is contained in His Word.  When we cease studying, we have broken with His Word and we slowly become unfamiliar with His will for our lives and we begin to open our hearts and our minds to fraudulent teachings, stupidity masquerading as wisdom, thoughtlessness under the guise of sincerity, and lies dressed up in the parlance of Truth.  Where our minds and hearts have now become vacant and void of His Word, these other principles take up residence and occupy the space where the Word once richly dwelt.

Give us this day our daily bread.  It is only a daily association with His Divine Word and Teachings which will serve to protect us from associating with falsehood and that which will corrupt and eventually destroy our souls.  I don't believe we set out consciously to live contrary to G-dly principles, but once we take even the slightest step on to the erring path, we are wont to travel there more regularly.  Therefore, it is critical to daily strengthen ourselves in the fountain of the Divine Word and root ourselves in its teachings.  If we begin by neglecting our study of the Divine Word, it won't be long before we are no longer interested in fulfilling it.

Psalm 119:9-11  

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.  With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!

We must take every precaution in these most treacherous of times to guard our paths in accordance with the Word of G-d.  Only by way of diligent study of the Divine Word will we acquire the understanding and the life required to conscientiously fulfill all that we have learned.

1 John 2:3-5  

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of G-d is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 

(To be continued . . .)

1 comment:

  1. Both of these posts are good. Torah study is expanding my understanding of scripture in general as well as other topics. Thanks