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The Weekly eDrash

Gain new understanding from the ancient writings! Learn messianic insight from the Torah every week through the Weekly eDrash.

Extended details on this Torah Portion: Ki Tavo »

Imitating God

Thought for the Week:

Just as the Holy One, blessed be He, is called Merciful, so should you be merciful, just as He is called Gracious, so should you be gracious, just as He is called Righteous, so should you be righteous; just as He is called devout, so should you be a devout one. (Sifre on Deuteronomy 10:12).


That you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. (Deuteronomy 26:17)

What does it mean to walk in God's ways? It means that we are to imitate the ways of God, in as much as we are able. The commandment to imitate God is one of the most fundamental principles of the life of faith. A classic passage of the Talmud (b.Sotah 14a) explains:

Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written [in Genesis 3:21], "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them," so too should you also clothe the naked. The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick, as it is written [in Genesis 18:1], 'Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre,' [while he was still recovering from circumcision,] so too should you also visit the sick. The Holy One, blessed be He, comforted mourners, as it is written [in Genesis 25:11], "After the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac," so too should you also comfort mourners. The Holy one, blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written [in Deuteronomy 34:6], "And He buried [Moses] in the valley in the land of Moab," so too should you also bury the dead. (b.Sotah 14a)

He is also the God who feeds the hungry, assists the poor, has mercy on the sinful, rescues the perishing, heals the broken-hearted, restores homes and families, and does good to all. He is the God of absolute integrity, truth, holiness and justice. He is righteous in His every decision.

The Master lived this principal out perfectly in every situation. He walked in the ways of God, making the Father's will His will in every decision. He said, "I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." (John 8:28-29)

As such, His very life glorified God in that it accurately represented God. Thus He spoke in truth when He said to His disciple Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)

Having such an example before us, we are better able to discern the ways of God. As we imitate the ways of Yeshua, we learn the ways of God and keep the commandment to imitate God. That is the very essence of discipleship and unity with God.



Torah Portions from previous weeks

Parasha: Ki Tetze

The Least of the Commandments

Tags: commandments, compassion, emotional pain, empathy, kindness, mercy, neighbor

You shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7) "Don't make mountains out of molehills" means don't turn a trivial matter into a large concern. Yeshua seems to espouse a similar sentiment when He chastises the religious for scrupulously observing the small details of God's Law...
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Parasha: Shoftim

King of the Jews

Tags: king, king of Israel, rule of law, word made flesh

You shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. (Deuteronomy 17:15) The title Messiah (Christ) is an ancient Hebrew title for the King of Israel. The Torah commands Israel to set a king over them from among their countrymen--in other...
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Parasha: Re'eh

Invitation to God’s House

Tags: gifts, holy house, house of God, invitation, Jerusalem, Messiah, Presence, presence of God, Temple, temple

In Deuteronomy 12, Jerusalem is described as “the place which the LORD your God will choose.” It is the place of God’s Name. Deuteronomy 12 is an invitation to God’s house in Jerusalem. God invites His people to come to Jerusalem to seek Him there. Anyone seeking God in prayer or desiring to draw near to His presence was invited to His house in the holy city. “My house will...
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Parasha: Ekev

Forty Years of Preparation

Tags: daily bread, hardships, kingdom of God, Promised Land, provision, sustenance, trials, wilderness

Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. (Deuteronomy 8:5) Before God can entrust us with great things, we must prove faithful with the little things. Yeshua says, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also...
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Parasha: Va'etchanan

He Who Seeks Finds

Tags: encouragement, Land of Israel, repentance, search, seek, spiritual hunger, spiritual thirst, yearning

But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Moses warned the children of Israel that if they strayed from the Torah and worshipped idols, God would exile them from the land of Israel and scatter them among the nations. Nevertheless, He would not abandon them. Moses says that...
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Parasha: Devarim

These are the Words

The book of Deuteronomy begins saying, "These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel..." (Deuteronomy 1:1) The Hebrew for "words" is devarim (דברים), hence the traditional Hebrew name of the book. The words of Deuteronomy are, in many ways, simply Moses' recapitulation of the Torah, hence the common name Deuteronomy, which derives from the Greek words for repetition of the law. A famous rebbe once stated that the...
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