Saturday, February 21, 2009

Besorah; A Torah of Friendship

The sages tell us that before the Torah was revealed at Mt. Sinai the world was sustained by a “Hidden Torah.” Unlike the Torah of reward and punishment, this Torah exists on an even higher level that consists not of deeds and consequences, but grace and mercy. In reality this hidden Torah is not completely distinct from the revealed Torah, but was nevertheless stored up and concealed in a heavenly storehouse from ancient times.

We learn in a Midrash that Moshe was once shown the heavenly storehouses. Some contained rewards for those who kept certain mitzvot, or performed certain good deeds, but the most grand and beautiful of them all remained a mystery. When Moshe inquired into its content Hashem responded that this was the Storehouse of Grace, and from it He could take and give to whomever He pleased. In Torah we read that when Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem to show him His ways He responded, “V’Chanoti et asher achon”; I will grace whomever I choose [And you won’t understand it!].

Our Chasidic masters wrestled with the above midrash. “Who was the grand and beautiful storehouse for,” they wondered. If they answered that the Storehouse of Grace had been kept for those who needed it…sinners and those who were far from Torah…then the greatest gift Heaven had to offer was going to be gifted to sinners and those who had not labored for righteousness. Shouldn’t the greatest reward be given to the greatest Tzaddik, the righteous One? Shouldn’t this most beautiful store house be kept for Mashiach whose very life and soul is bound up in Torah? “But how would that make sense?” they asked. What need does the perfect Tzaddik have with grace? After all…He’s faultless…He’s the Mashiach.

The answer our Rebbeim have put forward is fascinating. The Storehouse of Grace does belong to Mashiach. Of course, He doesn’t need to benefit from the grace contained therein but rather, through His work…His Torah…He has earned this great reward and now gives it freely to His friends, people with flaws and faults—people like us.

The laws were given through Moshe, but chein v’emet (grace and truth) came by the hand of King-Mashiach Yeshua. (Yo. 1:17)

9 comments:

Mitko said...

Wonderful said ! It's so encouraging to read these words. I'm always saying to my friends: The Bible in its wholeness is the wonderful plan of God.

Tim Layne said...

Thanks bro. :)

Pastor Steven said...

What a blessing to be counted among the friends of Yeshua. This post reminds be of the words of Yeshua in in John 15:9-17. Good post Tim.

Peace,

Steven

Rob P said...

Great stuff!

Tim Layne said...

After reading this short post I would like my friends who keep up with this blog to consider some reflections on this idea of a storehouse of grace...

The Storehouses of Yosef: By guiding Yosef into Egypt HaShem provided a "great salvation" to the surrounding peoples. The sustenance he provided came from grain which had been stored up by the Tzaddik. This is an allusion to the storehouse of grace belonging to Mashiach.

Avraham's Tent: Our tradition informs that the tent Avraham, our father, had four doors. His tent was the intersection of the world, as people passed through he would provide them with a meal. Filled with good food, the guests would bless Avraham's G-d. This initial act of blessing was often the beginning of a continued relationship between these travelers and the one true G-d. There is a story like this in Torah, On Passover Avraham ran to meet the three "men" under the tree. The Torah says that he washed their feet and provided a meal. Many generations later Mashiach revealed himself as a true son of Avraham when he "rose from the meal" and washed his student's feet. That night he gave them bread to eat...he provided sustenance for them from his storehouse.

Mitko said...

Reminded me of my teacher in University prof. Almalech who often says: "You never know who are the visitors in your house:) Maybe angels:)".

Tim Layne said...

I like that...that's nice.

Talmid Of Yeshua said...

Love it man, good work! Feels good to be reminded of grace.

Rabbi Joshua said...

Great post! Keep up the good work.