TABLE OF CONTENTS
JUDAISM / JEWISH HISTORY
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN
1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
TO MAKE A TAX EXEMPT DONATION VISIT:
Bonding Earth to Heaven, Time to Eternity
by Eugene Narrett, Ph.D.
Deeds, thoughts and words that demonstrate gratitude, memory, national honor, personal identity, integrity and charity are the essence of a declaration at the core of Judaism. Its qualities explain why the powers of the world want to corrupt, blot out and bury its example especially in Israel the only place it can be complete. The twilight time is a time of lies but this essay focuses not on the false peace and “covenant with death” but on the beauty and example of the declaration itself, its active love and achieved holiness.
The Clinton-Bush administrations have led the nations in asserting that there can be no peace in the Middle East or the world unless Jews are expelled from Judah and Shomron, the Jewish heartland with all of Judaism’s holiest sites and then mutating this precious land into a “Palestinian” state. Truth will be buried by a violent fiction for a non-entity, “a non-people and a vile nation” as Moshe described them with prophetic precision (Deuteronomy 32:21). If this happens, violence will not be the only result: the world’s balance will be wrecked as if hit by a large meteor. Hashem planted the children of Israel in the Land of Israel to practice the Torah there to link heaven to earth, eternity to time and suffuse blessings of love and eternal generative energy throughout the world. The bond of the people, Torah and land of Israel to Hashem is one of complementarity, wholeness, and mutuality; it is not a monoculture or monody or monotone, not a World State but true Unity comprising cooperating parts bound by a covenant of reciprocal obligations and love and upheld by responsible individuals on their family’s inalienable landholding.
See my essay, “Jacob’s Ladder” for depth discussion of this paradigm and its terms. And note: national sovereignty is essential to the deeds and declaration and this is why Israel is the main target and paradigm for the global assault on sovereignty.
This generative mutuality and faith is what a mad world seeks to destroy, to take the heart out of humanity’s body. No surprise; the “New Group of World Servers,” the “hierarchy” of a feudal socialism ruled by “Dragon Kings and Queens” and monitored by sociologists intends to dominate and direct a population of drones to do its will and build its ‘castles.’ Human beings, their souls drugged, distracted, dirtied by foul desires, will be degraded to zombies that stagger and skip to the clanging hypnosis of a world whose heart, whose understanding is broken; that prides itself on heartless arrogance. Exalting goddess worship and rituals of blood the hierarchs derange the female gifts of understanding and fidelity focused on home-making as our broken families and public depravity display.
This nightmare doesn’t have to be; the “satanic” forces that increasingly rule the world are “the work of human hands” and corrupt hearts. People of integrity, simplicity and love, not arrogance and rapture, not enchanted by their own fantasies or desiring to serve a priesthood of cultists and their therapist technicians can find an inspiring alternative to the declaration of national and individual identity, of memory, history, honor, generosity and faith that is the heart of the Jewish confession of thanks when the first fruits are brought from a family’s land to the Temple Mount and Temple in Jerusalem; eternity enters time as Hashem again takes Israel for His own as at Mt. Sinai. The forefathers in whose names and merits the Exodus was initiated are present in heart and mind as the individual head of every family in Israel ties himself and nation to the chashmal and hila of Jacob’s ladder, “the One Who shows you mercy, Hashem” (Isaiah 54:10).
On the day when this commandment again is performed with song and dance, the “great darkness and dense cloud that covers the kingdoms” of earth will be dissipated and they will be able to walk in the shining radiance of an intact Israel (Isaiah 60:1-3).
Thus all of us have every reason to reflect on and embrace the remarkable declaration of integrity required of every Israelite, for in fifteen verses it presents an entire curriculum for joyous life, for national and human salvation. History, husbandry, family, generosity, faith, responsibility, memory, identity, and the sanctification of exchanging gifts between the Creator-and-life-of-all and the individual are comprised in this declaration (Deut 26).
 It shall be when you enter the Land that Hashem your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it,  that you shall take of the first of every fruit of the ground that you bring in from your land that Hashem your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that Hashem your God will choose, to make His Name rest there.
The first verse comprehends the partners to this arrangement, this ordering of wisdom by understanding: Hashem, Israelite and the land that he makes flourish per Torah. The first fruits refer to the first of each of the seven kinds for which the Land is distinguished: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Tradition still holds that a farmer tie a red thread around the first sheaf of wheat, stalk of barley, budding vine, etc, to denote those he is to gather and bring in a basket to the Kohen by the altar in the Temple courtyard as indicated below. Possessing, dwelling and making the land bloom, “as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride” are essential to the commandments that gather all the individuals of the nation in Jerusalem for the pilgrim feasts the first being Pesach.
 You shall come to whomever shall be the Kohen [High Priest] in those days, and you shall say to him, ‘I declare today to Hashem, your God that I have come to the Land that Hashem swore to our forefathers to give us.’  The Kohen shall take the basket from your and lay it before the altar of Hashem, your God.
 Then you shall call out and say before Hashem your God, ‘My ancestor [Jacob] was a homeless Aramaean [see Genesis 28 – 32 for Jacob’s mistreatment by his uncle, Laban]. He descended to Egypt [Genesis 46] and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, -- great, strong and numerous.  The Egyptians mistreated us and afflicted us, and placed hard work upon us.  Then we cried out to Hashem, the God of our forefathers, and Hashem heard our voice and saw our affliction, our travail, and our oppression.  Hashem took us out of Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awesomeness, and with signs and wonders.  He brought us to this place, and He gave us this Land, a Land flowing with milk and honey.  And now, behold! I have brought the first fruit of the ground that You have given me, O Hashem!’ And you shall lay it before Hashem, your God, and you shall prostrate yourself before Hashem, your God.
The declaration emphasizes the personal nature of the relationship between each Israelite and Hashem. It centers on nurturing, mindfully marking out, bringing and giving; the Kohen is distinguished for his role in focusing the process by which daily work, care and attention are sanctified. These first fruits are not the entire tithe but the firstling (as Israel collectively is called “My firstborn son,” Exodus 4:22); additionally, every third year before the year’s first pilgrim festival, the holy week anniversary of being freed for the land and Torah, a family must gather up any produce that may have been left over from the tithes of the preceding years of the Sabbatical cycle and bring them as gifts to the Levites (who have no land of their own but dwell in the Levitical cities throughout the Land, four in each tribal territory, a model for decentralized education and governance) and to the poor. The poor also have the gleanings every year; land is not to be vacuumed with every last ounce or fruit extracted from it as if it was a machine. People are not to live that way; cannot live humanely that way as modern extractive consciousness shows.
In verses five through nine each individual of Israel recounts the history that “brought us to this place”: the suffering, patience and skills of Jacob leading to the family from which a great nation grew under the affliction of slavery in Egypt. The primacy of justice, memory, personal tie to the Creator (“we cried out to Hashem”) established by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (“the God of our forefathers”) on whose behalf and to fulfill His promise “He took us out of Egypt with awesomeness, signs and wonders” are stressed as is the gift of “this Land flowing with milk and honey.” This remembrance and invocation of national history which forms the individual’s identity is recognized as a process of testing and refinement leading to gratitude and return of gifts, the choicest as the Eternal One chose Israel to serve as His am segula, “treasured nation.”
This integration of disciplines, faculties, understanding and feeling is to establish joy, shared joy:
 You shall rejoice with all the goodness that Hashem your God has given you and your household, -- you and the Levite and the proselyte who is in your midst.
 When you have finished tithing every tithe of your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give to the Levite, to the proselyte, to the orphan, and to the widow and they shall eat in your cities and be satisfied.
As noted above, in the third year of the Sabbatical cycle, at Pesach any produce overlooked in the first two years is gathered and added to the ma’aser sheni, the second tithe for the Levites and the poor, proselyte, orphan and widow. The Levites give a tenth of their tenth. All are included, bonding to earn the blessing on the people and the land.
Then you shall say before Hashem your God, ‘I have removed the holy things from the house, and I have also given it to the Levite, to the proselyte and to the orphan and to the widow according to whatever commandment You commanded me. I have not transgressed any of Your commandments and I have not forgotten… Gaze down from Your holy abode, from the heavens, and bless Your people, Israel, and the ground that You gave us, as You swore to our forefathers, a Land flowing with milk and honey” [26:13 - 15]. It is present: eternity and time, heaven and earth; the entire nation in all its history with the individual who speaks and performs his mitzvah all intersect.
These deeds, these acts of memory, identity, faith, and generosity are to be performed wholeheartedly (“this day Hashem your God, commands you to perform these decrees and the statutes and you shall observe and perform them with all your heart and with all your soul”; cf. 30:2, 10). Those who claim that Judaism is ‘cold’ or ‘mechanical’ have polemical intent; they do not read the text which stresses that the commandments be observed with heart and soul. Indeed, Judaism’s essential prayer, Shema Yisrael, (“hear O Israel”) emphasizes in its opening verses that the bond to the Creator and His teaching is love, heart and soul: “You shall love Hashem your God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your means…” The Hassidic emphasis on kevanah (“intention”) and joy in the commandments is not peripheral but essential and central to Judaism and its example for the world.
This too is a quality and state of being that the powers preempt, corrupt, and destroy. The hierarchs intend to define joy as something increasingly esoteric and immaterial, virtual and at the same time degraded to a pagan sensuality (the worship and drinking of the menses of “grail maiden queens…an incarnation, no, she was the goddess herself”)*; small wonder that Anglo-American policies lead the charge against restoration of true Judaism, Judaism in its land. The Dragon Kings and Queens mean to replace Israel.
Israel’s declaration of faith, gratitude, charity and national purpose brings the past vividly into the present; eternity intersects time, earth and heaven meet and nation and individual, native born and convert are part of a Unity when this commandment is performed and attested: “this nation with My Torah in its mouth…” “Kindness and truth have met; righteousness and peace have kissed; truth shall sprout from the earth and righteousness peer from heaven. Hashem too will provide what is good and our land shall yield its produce” (psalm 85: 11-13). It is a reciprocal generative process like a marriage bond:
 You have distinguished Hashem today to be a God for you and to walk in His ways and to observe His decrees, His commandments, and His statutes, and to hearken to His voice.  And Hashem has distinguished you today [by Israel’s performance of Torah and statement of identity] to be for Him a treasured people as He spoke to you [cf. Exodus 19:3-6, etc] and to observe all His commandments, and to make you supreme over all that nations that He made for praise, for renown, and for splendor, and so that you will be a holy people to Hashem your God, as He spoke.” The promise fulfilled from earth and from above and beyond the heavens.
Thus holiness arises by human care and deeds within a coherent period of time, the Sabbatical cycle that itself commemorates the creation of all there is and the Creator whose chashmal sustains it from beneath and kindles it above. It all happens on myriad plots of land and households, in wheat and barley fields, vineyards, and groves of olives, figs, dates and pomegranates reminding each Jew and everyone of the seven shepherds of Israel, the seventh of whom planned the Temple where this annual festival and re-consecration occurs.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob-Israel, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David, -- it is their legacy and example that the powers of the world want to banish and dividing up the land and scattering the people that marry the Creator’s holy energies to earth in righteousness, charity and peace, in remembrance not forgetting. This is the whole hearted love and holiness the powers wish to bury. These are the choices: choose life, decency, sanity and joy (Deuteronomy 30:1-20) while the new age is “consumed by bewildering terrors.”
*Alice Bailey, Externalization of the Hierarchy (Lucis, 1957; 2001), 3-27 passim
Nicholas de Vere, The Dragon Legacy (2004), 236-7, 266-9, inter alia