Hear this, Israel!
You have forsaken the Lord, your God, and have ignored the admonitions of My servant, Moses. You have sinned against Me. Even the most “religious” and “God fearing” among you!
You have interpreted My words in any way you desired. Some you interpreted literally, some you interpreted figuratively, some you interpreted prophetically, some you interpreted mystically, and others you interpreted spiritually. Few did you interpret intelligently. Have you not misconstrued the consistency of My message? Everything in the Torah should be interpreted the same way. To do otherwise is to surrender to your own whims.
Mind you, I’m not saying that there are no mystical, spiritual, prophetic, or figurative meanings in My words. I am saying that you may interpret them in any way you desire. Just don’t make your musings commandments or requirements that every Jew must learn and observe.
Moses told you the Torah is simple, not complicated. It is not too hard for you, nor too far away. It is in your mouth and in your heart (Deu. 30:14). Why have you ignored his words?
I placed a choice before you -- life and good or death and evil (Deu. 30:15). You fooled yourselves into believing you chose good. But you chose instead what is evil. You chose to follow your straying heart -- despite My warnings. You insisted that the oral law was handed down with the Torah. You were wrong. You wanted instead to follow your own desires -- to abide with the familiar -- tradition. You feared Me and surrendered to that fear. You kept adding to My words in the Torah until Judaism was nothing like it was in the Torah.
Because of your fear you made the law more and more difficult. Why? Because you thought your hardships were punishments, so you had to try more diligently or had to do more to show your “obedience.” You feared Me instead of revering Me. You didn’t understand My attributes. You forgot My lovingkindness, My infinite patience, My understanding, My love for you. You -- My chosen people, My beloved first born, Israel -- forgot and ignored My unconditional love for you.
Return to Me! Reread My Torah as the story of My love, not of laws. Simplify, simplify! The laws are not to make life more difficult for you, but to reveal to you what I desire of My loving servants. Where you assume something is omitted that you think should be there, resist the temptation to enlarge upon and explain it. It will work without explanation. Or it would have been explained. Have faith in Me, not in yourselves.
Stop making things up. Live according to My Torah, not according to the tradition you have enshrined. Don’t panic that Judaism will be destroyed by a lack of details or nonuniform observance. The heart of Judaism will remain intact. Its blood will pump and nourish forever. The different “rituals” that Jews will practice will not destroy the heart, unless they become an end in themselves. That is what you have to guard against, nothing else. Fear only yourselves!
There is no inconsistency, no contradiction. If you imagine you’ve found one, think, see, understand, don’t give in to the temptation of ignoring My words or becoming inconsistent yourselves. Don’t explain. Don’t make anything more complicated. If I haven’t specified a given process or provided detailed instructions or an explanation, any way you choose to fulfill My words will be appropriate. There is no one way or right way. Ritual is fine as long as it commemorates an event, but ritual for its own sake is a false god. As is tradition! Tradition -- familiarity! --is a comfortable trap. Don’t surrender to it.
I have told you that life is a test. Why do you resist believing Me? Life tests your will, your courage, your ego, your imagination, and your intelligence. Life’s reason is to teach you what I desire you to learn. The Torah should be your model. Every word in it should be remembered. Nothing should be ignored.
Remember! If you can’t simplify, trust Me, not yourselves. Trust in Deut. 4:2 and 13:1. They should be your guideposts. They mean that you should make no changes to the statements in the Torah.
They mean that when I say seven days, I mean seven days. Why do you ignore the spiritual significance of “seven” and change it to eight? Passover is a seven-day holiday, not eight, for a reason that you should have recognized. Rosh Chodesh Hashvii (what you have named Rosh Hashana) is one day, not two. Why do you ignore the spiritual significance of “one?” What may be worse is your obvious inconsistency in this matter. When you made the first day of the seventh month two days, what excuse did you make for leaving the tenth day, the day of atonement, one day? To be consistent, that should have been made two days as well. But you said to yourselves “Who can afflict the soul for two days?” So transparent! That’s when your love affair with tradition (Babylonian tradition, at that!) failed you.
That leads to one last matter: The New Year. I told you the year began with the month in which Passover falls. Where did you get your nerve? It took Babylonian influence to inspire your alteration. After four generations in exile adopting Babylonian traditions, you decided you could then change My Torah.
Jews! I tell you, above all, you need to be faithful. You need to be consistent and intelligent too. And you must not fear Me.
Faithful, consistent, intelligent, revering! You don’t need to be told what these traits mean or how to adopt them.
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