A view of modern Brussels, taken today.
As you will recall, Baruch and I are in Brussels, where he is teaching a conference tonight and tomorrow. This is a new venue for us, and we are excited to be with them. I will try to get some pictures and share them with you here.
Here is a brief commentary by Baruch on this week’s Torah portion.
Parashat Behaalotcha (When you light…) Numbers 8:1-12:16
In this week’s Torah reading one reads.
“And they journeyed from the Mountain of HaShem, a three day journey, and the Ark of the Covenant of the L-rd journeyed before them, a three day journey, to scout out for them a resting place.” Numbers 10:33
All I hear about today is how stressed everyone feels. Perhaps this “stress” is simply the result of everyone trying to control their lives and achieve their desires; rather than being led by the Ark of the Covenant. Probably the first thing you are thinking is that the Ark is lost, so how can someone follow after it? The Ark of the Covenant represents the word of G-d and His presence. Hence, when one builds his life on Scriptural truth and is led by the Spirit, in order to arrive where HaShem wants him to be, the stress will not be experienced.
Stress is simply the human feeling that results in hindering the Holy Spirit in one’s life. In this passage, the Ark of the Covenant was scouting out for those who would follow the Ark, a place of rest. Rest is the opposite of stress. In this usage, the word “rest” relates to a peace or an inner tranquility that only HaShem can provide. I recently heard a speaker who claimed that stress is at the heart of many health problems and costs billions of dollars each year in the United States. In other words, disobedience to the word of G-d and failing to walk in the Spirit is very expensive.
The point of this brief article is to emphasize that our rebellious spirit is costing us far more that we can imagine. Perhaps you object to my use of the term “rebellious spirit”, but when one pursues his goals apart from the leadership of the Holy Spirit, this one is truly rebelling against HaShem. You may think G-d is silent in your life. I have thought so at times as well, but when I sincerely seek Him and pray to Him that He shows me areas in my life where I am rebelling against His plans for me; well let me say that I hear Him loud and clear.
Stress is not what Yeshua wants you to experience. He wants you to know the peace that passes all understanding and which is not dependent upon any human condition, but upon His presence and leadership in your life. The next time you are experiencing stress, think of it as simply a light coming to reveal that you have departed from Yeshua’s plan for your life and you are leading yourself into the next difficult time in your life. So many times when we are having one of those days, it is not what G-d has planned, it is simply the result of us talking charge of our life and ignoring the Covenant in which we have entered.