Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:3

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:3
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Beware of rulers, for they befriend someone only for their own benefit; they act friendly when it benefits them, but they do not stand by someone in need.”

FEMA, Social Services, Welfare, Medicare, Insurance companies, Petroleum and Pharmaceutical industries, former Communism, the former Nazi regime, Radical Islamic governments …. Need I say more to back up the truth of this verse? Another verse that goes well with this text is one we covered in chapter one.

1:10 “…avoid intimacy with the government.”

Now maybe one reason it says:

“…and avoid intimacy with the government.”

Because the Sadducees did and it corrupted the Priesthood and Temple Mount.

“…and avoid intimacy with the government.”

Lest you learn their ways and you become corrupt like them, or they learn your ways and find ways to trap and control you.

“…and avoid intimacy with the government.”

Lest they regulate your faith and church and eventually tell you what to teach or else.

Maybe this is why Yeshua said:

Mat. 22:21 “…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.”

Mark 12:17 adds, “And they marveled at him.”

So when in Diaspora, I am for separation of Church and State!

Only in Israel, when Messiah comes will “Church and State” be properly merged.

 “Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi Judah HaNassi would say: Beautiful is the study of Torah with the way of the world, for the toil of them both causes sin to be forgotten. Ultimately, all Torah study that is not accompanied with work is destined to cease and to cause sin.”

Ah, the words of Rav Sha’ul’s teacher. Let’s see if Rav Sha’ul took his Mentors advice.

ACTS 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Like a good and faithful student it seems so, a wise man. Not only was Rav Sha’ul a Rabbi, but he made tents on the side to supplement his income. This is thought by some to mean he didn’t make tents to live in, but “tents” to pray in. A tent is a Hebraic slang term for a Tallit, a Prayer Shawl. So some say he made prayer shawls and being a well trained, educated Rabbi, he would know all the halacha (rules) that goes into making a Tallit. He didn’t expect to live off the people, nor did he expect to make a living on being a Tallit maker alone.

It is rare that a Rabbi is a full time Rabbi, in that that’s all he does. If so, he is fortunate but in danger unless he has a tight and full schedule with plenty of accountability so he has no time or room or privacy enough to fall.

Case in point: How many Fulltime Christian Preachers have we seen fall in some sexual scandal?  Don’t know about you but I’ve lost count. We’ve heard that idle hands are the devils workshop, and though it doesn’t come from canonical Scripture, it is an all but true.

The message is clear, be so busy with worthwhile things, balanced between secular and sacred activities so you won’t have time to sin.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr