#16. Write a Scroll of Torah for Yourself.
First, why does that matter? If you believe in God, the difficulty in obeying God is merely a test of your resolve, just as it is a test of your resolve to deal with all manner of difficult situations where it concerns friends and family. Do you abandon your wife, husband, children, parents, or close friends if they are difficult or ask you to go through trials with them? If so, you are not loyal and cannot be trusted. It’s no different with God.
“But God is infinite and omnipotent. He doesn’t need my help.” Oh, but He does. God cannot come down and live your life for you. He cannot make your Free Will feel any differently. He cannot force you to love anything, including Him. In fact, the Free Will with which you’re blessed can only cause you to rebel against, resent, and hate every rule, law, and construct which binds you. You must make your own choices, respect those choices, and deal with the consequences, good or bad. Only then will you love God when you are blessed, and learn to love God even when you are not blessed (or cursed).
Second, most Torah is not that difficult to implement. Believing in God is a snap, as most atheists will tell you. In fact, they believe it is the more difficult thing to live without a belief in God, especially when everyone else seems to believe (and this therefore makes the atheist feel superior). In times of weakness, the atheist finds his self-respect, pride, and solace in having rejected the “crutch” of God for the inner strength of himself. Of course, the power to make that choice is from God Himself. Only man, among all the creatures, is known to make a god or know God. And only man, among all creatures, rejects God. All other creatures merely live. We are blessed by nature (or even evolution, if you like) with a higher thought process, which includes God. The knowledge of God is actually the more evolved and powerful thought, while the rejection of God is the rejection of human evolution. It is no small coincidence that most people who live on Earth, probably 85 to 95% of the world’s population, believe in God, gods, a god, or a higher intelligent power. So the atheist is not evolved, just in the minority.
Believing in God, however, does not automatically imbue results. Most believers don’t apply their daily power to obedience in or serving God. They spend their time fighting demons, clawing for wealth and power, and seeking pleasures while avoiding pain. Does this prove it is difficult to implement the Law of God? Only so far as it is difficult to get to the serving and obedience. There is no lack of energy in man, only a lack of willingness to apply oneself to something other than the self. This, of course, is the commonality of us all, that we are self-motivated by self-interest. The communist can never alter that. Neither can the altruist. Neither can God.
Thus, we are left to our own devices.
There are, of course no assurances of the future, for we know many good die young or broke, and many evil live well and at the expense of the good. We cannot expect God to cleanse the world of evil before we believe. To do so would rid the world of Free Will, and therefore your belief (or non-belief) with it. We cannot expect God to rid the world of accidents and tragedies before we believe. To do so would negate your ability to know the limits of your faith. I know that sounds like a cop-out but in actuality it is just reality. Therefore, whether you believe in God or not, or follow His Law or not, both evil and tragedy shall continue. This does not judge God, and He is not guilty, for we believe He is good and created all for a final good purpose, even if we don't know all the answers.
We furthermore cannot truly say if the successful trade their humanity, or even soul (figuratively or literally), for that success. Sometimes it appears that the immoral hold sway over the rest of humanity, or that the undeserving escape tragedy. It's up to you to decide, even in the face of hatred, confusion, and deep sadness, whether or not you will believe in and obey God. It is up to you to make a Free Will choice to serve the higher power, who knows every atom in the universe and every emotion you feel. It is up to you to decide whether or not God knows what’s best for you.
There are limited outcomes. If we obey and succeed, we chalk that up to our piety. If we obey and fail, we blame the rules for holding us back. If we disobey and succeed, we congratulate ourselves for being free-thinkers. If we disobey and fail, we miserably crawl back to someone we hope will love us no matter what. Where it concerns Torah, that someone is God.
However, God desires us, crawling or otherwise, to meet Him with a sense of respect (even if not self-respect). We cannot simply wait to fail before we seek God. Neither should we fail to seek Him while we are happy. We should obey Him to the best of our abilities (with all of our heart, soul, and might) at every turn and time. If one day over another you are more obedient, or enthusiastic about obedience, that is your personal construction. Where you succeed in your obedience, be satisfied. Where your fail in your disobedience, repent. For God and His Law have promised His mercy and forgiveness where possible (for some things are not).
Today’s commandment, for those willing, is to write a scroll of Torah for yourself. Or is it? The Sages tell us the meaning is to write at least one letter of Torah. Others say we can purchase the scroll. Deuteronomy 31:19 actually tells Moses to create a poem or song about God and Torah, and to teach this to the children of Israel, to (figuratively, I believe) stick this song or poem in their mouths. This imagery is repeated with John in Revelation 10:9.
Who’s right? Is it difficult to accomplish? Why does God require or desire this? Listen to today’s program and discover!
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