Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Tzaddik, A Conduit of Blessing

What role does The Tzaddik play in the acquisition of Torah blessing as understood through our Pauline tradition?

The Torah emphasizes its blessings as conditional upon the fulfillment of mitzvot and warns of a potential curse promised to Israel if the nation would turn aside from Jewish law.
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God…Deuteronomy 11:26-28; NASB
Inasmuch as this principal extends not only to the nation but to individuals as well, Paul criticizes those who would attempt to rely on their religious observance as an evidence of personal righteousness. He writes;
Certainly all who depend on the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “A curse on everyone who does not obey everything that is written in the book of the law.” –Galatians 3:10; ISV
Since all have sinned and continue to fall short of God's glory—Romans 3:23; ISV
Paul stresses that while the nation has fallen short our King-Mashiach remains a complete Tzaddik, a wholly righteous individual who has become a conduit of divine blessing for his people Israel and all those who would attach themselves to Him. On a personal level, the process of attachment to The Tzaddik involves a self nullification which is understood as a true kind of death. This self nullification becomes a participation in the martyrdom of the Tzaddik, and by extension, his resurrection as well. It is in this way Paul writes:
I no longer live, but the Mashiach lives in me…—Galatians 2:20; ISV
Paul teaches that Chasidei Yeshua (followers of Messiah) are like the dead who can neither transgress nor perform mitzvot (Rom. 7:1). In this way we relinquish any merit derived from the performance of the commandments and recognize our righteousness and deeds of Torah as truly not our own but belonging to and an expression of our resurrected Mashiach in us. We find our blessing in and through Him who redeemed us from the Torah’s curse (Gal. 3:13). Every mitzvah has become an opportunity to express and magnify Yeshua’s life and holiness in this world. It is in our unification with the Tzaddik who lives through us that we now encounter the Torah’s promise and blessing.

1 comment:

korin said...

Ami, Thanks for the spoon feed. It was brilliant as always, Dez