PJTN Shavuot Message
May 25, 2012
Dear Friends of PJTN:
This coming Saturday night and Sunday, our Jewish brethren are celebrating the Festival of Shavuot. This Festival is one of the three annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem in the Bible where G-d requires all the males of His people to show up and not to come to Him empty handed (Deuteronomy16:16-17; 2 Chronicles 8:13).
This Festival is celebrated as the giving of the Torah, starting with Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.
As we recount the story of the Exodus from Egypt, we are reminded that all the Twelve Tribes of Israel, including Egyptians who chose to sojourn with them, stood at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. In Exodus, they accepted the Ten Commandments and agreed in unison, “All the words that the L-RD has spoken, we will do.” Exodus 24:3
During this festival, in Synagogues around the globe, the Ten Commandments will be read as well as the Book of Ruth. I encourage our Christian brethren to re-read the book this weekend too. We are reminded in this beautiful story of Ruth’s commitment and dedication to honor and serve her mother-in-law, Naomi:
“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you, to turn back from following you. For where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people, and your G-d is my G-d; where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the L-RD do to me, and so may He do more, if anything but death separates me from you.'” Ruth 1:16-17
In the story, we see the responses from Naomi’s daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, and their very different commitments to their mother-in-law. These two women are representative of how Christians are divided today with regards to support of our Jewish brethren and Israel. Ruth chose not to leave, infact, her commitment to her mother-in-law was unto death. Where Orpah chose to return to her family and her gods, not feeling the same commitment to honor and serve Naomi.
With the continued threats Israel faces in this generation, I want to thank our Christian supportersfor their dedication and commitment to stand with our Jewish brethren and Israel at this crucial time in history. Like Ruth, the Moabitess, I pray you too will recommit yourself to this Biblical support.
To our Jewish brethren, may you be comforted knowing that as you stand in the Synagogues and recite the Ten Commandments and read the Book of Ruth this weekend, The Almighty has raised up millions of “Ruth’s” around the world to stand with you. Even though there is much turmoil and hate in the Middle East, you do not stand alone. Like Ruth, we, at PJTN, reaffirm our commitment to you to “let nothing but death separate you and all of us.”
With much love,