Exploring Baruch(Ch.4-5)

Chapter 4:6-7

Ye were sold to the nations, not for your destruction: but because ye moved God to wrath, ye were delivered unto the enemies. For ye provoked him that made you by sacrificing unto devils, and not to God. 

The word for “Devils” is δαιμονίοις, or in roman letters “daimoníois”.  I can’t help but think that if this book had been translated into Hebrew it would have been replaced with “’eliyl”.  Why do I think that may have been the case?  Because it happened in Psalm 96:5

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

The difference between the two is the difference between “idol” and “demon”.  It’s noteworthy, because Hebrew has a word that could have been put in place of dæmon- you can find it as H7700 (shed) in the Strong’s Concordance.  This word is used all of 2 times, once in Deuteronomy 32:17 and once in Psalm 106:37.  There are other words which may be used to replace a form of “dæmon”, but in context to the sentence “’eliyl” seems the most likely.  At least from a literary prospective.

That may not seem important.  But I find value in the difference because the two words bear very different understandings of who the people were sacrificing too.  If you sacrifice to an “’eliyl” it’s like sacrificing to a dead orange tree.  That tree can’t give you anything now that it’s dead.  But if you sacrifice to a “dæmon” it can give you something, even if minor, in return.  To continue with the live orange tree analogy, the living tree can still act in the capacity of giving you oranges and it can clean the air.  Although limited in scope, when compared to God, it’s still giving you the illusion that it has the power to do something for you.  Which is why the distinction is important.  Because an “’eliyl” centered system isn’t as dangerous as a “dæmon” centered system;  “’eliyl” has no will of it’s own, and cannot influence the thoughts of man- “dæmon” on the other hand, can.

By cutting demonic forces out of the equation, it makes it a great deal easier for Christians to follow something not God under the guise that it is God.  Knowing that influence is real, and not just imagined, brings the spiritual war we face throughout our lives into reality and out of theory.

Chapter 4:36-5:9

O Jerusalem, look about thee toward the east, and behold the joy that cometh unto thee from God.  Lo, thy sons come, whom thou sentest away, they come gathered together from the east to the west by the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the glory of God.

Put off, O Jerusalem, the garment of mourning and affliction, and put on the comeliness of the glory that cometh from God for ever.

Cast about thee a double garment of the righteousness which cometh from God; and set a diadem on thine head of the glory of the Everlasting.  For God will shew thy brightness unto every country under heaven.  For thy name shall be called of God for ever The peace of righteousness, and The glory of God’s worship.

Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high, and look about toward the east, and behold thy children gathered from the west unto the east by the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the remembrance of God.  For they departed from thee on foot, and were led away of their enemies: but God bringeth them unto thee exalted with glory, as children of the kingdom.

For God hath appointed that every high hill, and banks of long continuance, should be cast down, and valleys filled up, to make even the ground, that Israel may go safely in the glory of God,  Moreover even the woods and every sweet smelling tree shall overshadow Israel by the commandment of God.  For God shall lead Israel with joy in the light of his glory with the mercy and righteousness that cometh from him.

Remember in Chapter 3 how I brought up that God told Jeremiah not to pray for Israel?

Jeremiah 14:11-12

Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhh, I am suddenly having flashbacks to that same chapter.  Which continues with-

Jeremiah 14:13-15:1

Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.

If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.

Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!  We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.

Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O Lord our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

I think I understand why the Jewish people rejected this book.  After having read the whole of it, this sounds like the very piece that God was referring to in the Jeremiah passage.  Once we get into Chapter 4 and 5, we start to see how the prayer suddenly turned from one that was “Let thy will be done” centered, to a prayer that pretends to know that God will overturn His what He has willed.  In the end, it’s very human centered, and not centered upon righteousness.

And looking back at prayers I’ve heard from various pastors over the years, I can’t help but see a parallel.  If you do X, God will return X with Y (Y being anything other than forgiveness).  It’s more prevalent amongst Word of Faith ministers, but it’s still there with so many others.

We can’t know the mind of God unless He tells us.  In fact, I’d go as far as to argue that’s the whole point of the Captivity going on for so long.  Even if people lived in righteousness, God didn’t start bringing the Nation of Israel back together until 1948.  And even then, their country is struggling to determine who is and isn’t part of the family.  There is just enough room to argue that God hasn’t completely healed them, and their efforts are their own.  Which, I recognize is no small matter.  

Just in case anyone has the question on their mind: God is the one in control of Israel’s future.  I believe that anti-Semitism has no place in the world, and anyone (especially Christians) who support such feelings towards them does not have a relationship with God at all.  If you identify as an anti-Semitic Christian, you really need to work on your relationship with God.  Truly, if you identify with any form of racism, you should work on your relationship with God.

Published by alethealeland

Author of "A Wicked & Adulterous Generation"

One thought on “Exploring Baruch(Ch.4-5)

  1. The 8th sugia of our Av Mishna בבא קמא learns from the top of .ו to :ו.  The subject of war shares a strong connection with the subject of damages.
    הצד השוה שבהן:  לאתויי מאי?  אמר אביי לאתויי אבנו סכינו ומשאו שהניחן בראש גגו ונפלו ברוח מצויה והזיקו.  ותנן פרק שלישי: נשברה כדו ברה”ר והוחלק אחד במים או שלקה בחרסית חייב.  רבי יהודה אומר, במתכוין חייב, באינו מתכוין פטור.  ותנן פרק חמישי:  הקדר שהכניס קדרותיו לחצר בעל הבית שלא ברשות, ושברה בהמתו של בעל הבית  – פטור.  ואם הוזקה בהן בעל הקדרות – חייב.  ואם הכניס ברשות בעל החצר – חייב וכו’.  פרק שני דתנן: התרנגולים מועדין להלך כדרכן ולשבר.  היה דליל קשור ברגליו, או שהיה מהדס ומשבר את הכלים – משלם חצי נזק.  ותנן פרק עשירי בבא מציעא.  הבית והעלייה של שנים שנפלו, אמר בעל העלייה לבעל הבית לבנות, והוא אינו רוצה לבנות, הרי בעל העלייה בונה את הבית ודר בתוכה עד שיתן לו את יציאותיו.
             What signs does HaShem send unto damaged g’lut Israel?  Observance of halakot, they serve as the Divine signs – comparable to the plagues which befell Par’o by the hand of HaShem through Moshe.  From the times following the Creation, the heart of Man expresses strong inclinations to chisel away at righteous upright behavior; its tuma impatience prefers physical violence over rational diplomacy.  Form which lacks substance, to what does it compare?  Ritualized observance of halakot – divorced from prophetic mussar.  The classic story of Egyptian bondage. Par’o only recognized the plagues and the damages; never once did he take to heart Divine mussar דרך ארץ.  This יסודי distinction defines the k’vanna of the opening working blessings of the Shemone Esri:
    אתה חונן לאדם דעת, ומלמד לאנוש בינה: חננו מאתך דעה בינה והשכל:  ברוך אתה ה’, חונן הדעת.
             Par’o refused to validate within his heart any prophetic mussar; his Yatzir rejected  דרך ארץ as a life walk – also known as t’shuva.  Young king Shlomo directly compares to juvenile king Rehav’am; both rejected the advice given by their fathers’ senior most trusted advisors.  This common denominator, likewise found in Egypt story when the advisors of Par’o informed him that due to the plagues, the country lay in ruins.

             King Shlomo did not consult with Natan the prophet, he simply decided to build both his personal Court of law, together with his pyramid like Temple.  King Shlomo’s court prioritized his personal wisdom, which subordinated unto oblivion the Torah commandment – to established Federal Sanhedrin courts.  The last commandment that Moshe accomplished during his lifetime – he established 3 small Sanhedrin Federal courts within the conquered lands, which enlarged the 1st Republic.

             King Shlomo, by contrast, prioritized grand construction projects – they required both taxation and perhaps coerced labor.  In conjunction, his disgraceful foreign wives, they drained and estranged the good will of the people.  Opposition to the rule of the house of David sprouted into open rebellion during his lifetime.  Rehav’am, son of Shlomo, never governed as king before the ten Tribes rebelled against the new king and his promise to increase the intensity of his fathers’ oppressive rule.  Avoda zara tends to gloat about its grand and glorious splendor, and its great and brilliant wisdom.  The Book of מלכים, its satire mocks the conceit by which avoda zara behavior tends to strut.  Comparable to the pompous goose march-step made by Fascist and Communist soldiers in the 20th Century.

             A specific, but general example which explains avoda zara – Xtianity.   Church advocates, as a general rule, ardently pursue evangelism. The wicked criminal war crimes committed by church priests, ministers and lay personnel throughout history – pushed off with the excuse: “they were not real Xtians”.  Ignorant of brutal war crimes and criminal terrorism, zealant Xtian evangelists resemble – the hardened heart of Par’o.  Monotheists preach that only one God lives.  Yet these pious ‘true faith’preachers, never once consider neither the first nor second commandments revealed at Sinai.  The tuma Yatzir: blind to the obvious, the opening line ofגיטין א:א:לפי שאין בקיאין לשמה teaches a powerful mussar, which alas, Reshonim scholarship failed to grasp.

             The Shoah and the Armenian Genocide: both, examples of “Genocide-in whole”.  The Young Turks and Nazi Party, their leaders made unilateral decisions that committed their nation to perpetrate racial genocide.  Civil Wars throughout history have witnessed a disproportionate proportion of domestic, racial ethnic genocides.  But revolutionary politics does not in and of itself produce racial wars.  Attila the Hun: 372-454, the Crusades:1095-1270, Genghis Khan & the Mongol invasions:1220-1650, atrocities in the Congo 1885 – 1908, the Namaqua genocide 1904 – 1908, the Amer-Indians of North America: 1565-1924 — these mass slaughters of human life did not necessarily occur due to political revolutions or Civil Wars.           The criminal element in all cases of racial war, viewed from the specific lenses of church guilt, these violent lunatics universally assume that their target victims exist as inferior sub-humans.  Something on par and similar to the command of General Sheridan which permitted poachers to illegally invade Indian territories, to exterminate the Indians buffalo food source.  Comanche Chief Tosawi reputedly told Sheridan in 1869, “Tosawi, good Indian,” to which Sheridan reportedly replied, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” This crude and barbaric response succinctly sums up the motivations of extreme racial prejudice; the basis for the Catholic prayer about the perfidious Jew.

             Had a dream that interpreted the k’vanna of the niggun of Hava Nagila.  A powerful mussar walks a narrow line, it does not bounce from subject to subject, rather it clings to a simple idea that arouses the אומץ לב of joy within our hearts, the Will to possess the land.  1948, the declaration of National Independence, Yidden danced the Hava Nagila niggun of the Sadigura Hasidic dynasty that made aliya to Israel on the eve of WW2.  Written either by Avraham Zevi Idelsohn or Moshe Nathanson, the former made its first recording in 1922.  It’s a simple niggun: ‘Come let us be glad, and rejoice.  Arise brethren with a joyful heart’.  Traditionally sung together with blowing the shofar.  This niggun goes together with Shalom aliechem which Yidden traditionally sing to invite the sanctity of shabbot; prior to the evening first meal, which begins with a blessing pronounced over wine and bread.  The blowing of the shofar together with this niggun – so inspires the heart.  The k’vanna of Hava Nagila – to enliven the heart; to rise up against the Yatzir Ha’Ra and steel our Will, for the coming hard fight, to possess and conquer the land.
             Wheels within Wheels, the spirit of HaShem contained within the wheels.  The vision of the Divine Chariot, from which rabbi Akiva derived his פרדס kabbala sh’itta of Talmudic scholarship.  The circular dance of joy, expressed on Chag Sukkot, focuses upon the liberation from g’lut, rather than the bitter cold night of g’lut.  It recalls the opening war to capture the walled city of Jericho, the opening battle to conquer the land – the reason HaShem brought Israel out of Egyptian slavery compares to the joy expressed during Chag Sukkot for rainfall in its due season.
             Yidden recall through Hava Nagila the courage of king Hezekia, when he stood toe to toe with Sennacherib, the Assyrian king.  Torah victory in war requires HaShem to first judge the Gods whom the Goyim worship.  Tehillem teaches: trust not in the power of the horse.  Israel conquers and takes possession of the land, not through tuma wisdom and military prowess.  Slaves thumbed our noses at Par’o following the P’sach night, when the head and hands of the fallen Egyptian Gods lay shattered upon church and mosque floors.

             Yidden dance forming a circle to arouse the Divine Spirits within us to overcome our dread and fear of giants in the faith of עמנו אל – first HaShem wars against the Gods whom the Goyim worship, only thereafter does Israel rejoice victorious over our enemies – the latter, utterly and totally destroyed.  Another memory dance, Yidden – speaking for myself – share the exhilaration when our Siddur regales the vision of destroyed chariots; the obliteration of the army of Par’o, corpses cast upon the shores of the Sea of Suf.  Traditionally Yidden stand in shul when the פסוקי דזמר “blessing” comes to
    אז ישיר משה ובני ישראל את השירה הזאת

             Viewed under these contexts inflicting damages upon the enemy gives pleasure which the generations can relive again and again.  Justice has two diametrically opposed perspectives.  Damages inflicted upon our bnai brit allies hopefully arouses within us the opposite feelings than that wherein we rejoice at the destruction of our hated enemies.  When the leaders of a people – of any civilization – rejoice at the destruction of their own people, regardless of any excuse, due to errors made by specific individuals within society, the social fabric of society lays in shreds.  The leaders who approve the destruction of the social fabric of their own society, behave like criminal sociopaths.  The first obligation and duty of any government – to prevent violent social anarchy, the preamble to Civil War.  Riots within a society merit the primary leadership of government to prove that the head of State, that he’s on the side of the People.  Good leadership treats riots comparable to Covid 19 – to prevent its spread across the nation.  Poor leadership argues that local governments should contain “local” riots.  Violent riots within a City compare to a terrible natural disaster, the leader of the Central Government should immediately get personally involved.  The people of that City require assurance that the Head of State, that he too shares their grief and anguish.  Should a protest against the Head of State happen, never must that leader hide behind the clubs and water canons of police brutality.  Such a crisis proves the mettle of the Head of State in the eyes of the People.  Government leadership stands upon the יסוד of עמנו אל.

    Herein concludes the learning of this the 8th sugia of our Av Mishna בבא קמא.

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