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Parsha Shoftim

I have been discussing with some friends of mine as Yeshua has come up, as to whether following Moshicach and holding him to be Moshiach and keeping everything he says, and clinging to him, doing what he teaches and whether disobeying any of these teachings of Mosiach renders one liable for Kares (being cut off) . I find some very interesting points about this brought up in this week’s Parsha, as well as the Tractate Keresios which we are currently studying. Rashi states “and so that he will not turn away from the commandment: Not even from a minor commandment of a prophet.”

In order that he may prolong [his] days [in his kingdom]: From this positive statement, one may understand the negative inference [i.e., if he does not fulfill the commandments, his kingdom will not endure]. And so we find in the case of Saul, that Samuel said to him, “Seven days shall you wait until I come to you to offer up burnt--offerings” (I Sam. 10:8), and it is stated, “And he waited seven days” (I Sam. 13:8), but Saul did not keep his promise and neglected to wait the entire [last] day. He had not quite finished sacrificing the burnt--offering, when Samuel arrived and said to him (I Sam 13:13--14),“You have acted foolishly; you have not kept [the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you…] so now your kingdom will not continue” (I Sam 13:13--14). Thus we learn, that for [transgressing] a minor commandment of a prophet, he was punished.

He and his sons: [This] tells [us] that if his son is worthy of becoming king, he is given preference over any [other] person. — [Hor. 11b]—” If we hold that Moshiach is to be a Navi then we must hold by a kol v’chomer that the directives of a Moshiach, even the smallest of his directives hold even more weight than a Navi. I sat in a Shiur where we learned that Moshaich is to bring Shelimus HaTorah, because he comes from such a high level. Rambam brings this in Hilchos Melachim, as well as the Epsitle to Yemen. He also holds that the time of Moshiach will be no different than our current age except for the place that Israel holds in the world. This got me to thinking about Kares, and whether or not this punishment for disobeying the directives or the enlightening of Torah by Moshiach and any Navi that we follow. So let’s continue with the P’shat of Rashi “which I did not command him to speak: But which I commanded his fellow prophet [to speak]. Or who speaks in the name of other gods: Even though his words coincide with the halachah [Jewish law], forbidding what is forbidden or permitting what is permissible. — [San. 89a]

“[That prophet] shall die: By strangulation. Three [sinful prophets] are executed by man [i.e., by the court]: One who prophesies what was not told to him but was told to his fellow [prophet], and one who prophesies in the name of a pagan deity. However, one who suppresses his prophecy [i.e., does not announce it], or one who transgresses the words of a prophet, or a prophet who transgresses his own words [of prophecy]--their death is by the hands of Heaven, for it is said (verse 19), “ I shall exact [it] from him.” -- [San. 89a]”

Here is some of the text of the Gemara:

“גמ׳ תנו רבנן שלשה מיתתן בידי אדם ושלשה מיתתן בידי שמים המתנבא מה שלא שמע ומה שלא נאמר לו והמתנבא בשם עבודת כוכבים מיתתן בידי אדם הכובש את נבואתו והמוותר על דברי נביא ונביא שעבר על דברי עצמו מיתתן בידי שמים

GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita about the punishment of those who sin concerning prophecy: With regard to three of them, their execution is at the hand of man, and with regard to three of them, their execution is at the hand of Heaven. In the case of one who prophesies that which he did not hear from God, and one who prophesies that which was not stated to him, and one who prophesies in the name of idol worship, their execution is at the hand of man. In the case of one who suppresses his prophecy, and one who contemptuously forgoes the statement of a prophet, and a prophet who violated his own statement, their execution is at the hand of Heaven.”

Now my question is whether this is Kares as it is at the hand of Heaven? As we should follow this and not violate his own statements. So this appears to be a positive commandment that lends itself to Kares, that being of following a prophet of whom Moshiach is said to be one. Here we find an interesting discussion of the power of a Navi in Midrash Rabbah 22:9-

“אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא אֵין הַבָּמָה מֻתֶּרֶת אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי נָבִיא, מַאי טַעְמָא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב, יג): הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תַּעֲלֶה עֹלֹתֶיךָ, וְאֵלִיָּהוּ מַקְרִיב בִּשְׁעַת אִסּוּר הַבָּמוֹת, אָמַר רַבִּי שִׂמְלָאי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אָמַר לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א יח, לו): וּבִדְבָרְךָ עָשִׂיתִי, בְּדִבּוּרְךָ עָשִׂיתִי. רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בַּר מָרֵי מַיְיתֵי לֵיהּ מִן הֲדָא (יהושע ח, ל): אָז יִבְנֶה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, אֵין לִי אֶלָא בַּגִּלְגָּל בְּגִבְעוֹן מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שופטים ו, כה): וַיְהִי בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ ה' קַח אֶת פַּר הַשּׁוֹר. אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא שִׁבְעָה עֲבֵרוֹת נַעֲשׂוּ בְּפָרוֹ שֶׁל גִּדְעוֹן, עֲצֵי אֲשֵׁרָה, וַאֲבָנִים פְּסוּלוֹת, וּמֻקְצֶה, וּפַר הַנֶּעֱבָד, וְזָר, וְלַיְלָה וּמְחֻסַּר זְמַן. וְאֵין לִי אֶלָּא גִּבְעוֹן בְּשִׁלֹה מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ז, ט): וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל טְלֵה חָלָב אֶחָד, אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא שָׁלשׁ עֲבֵרוֹת נַעֲשׂוּ בָּעוֹלָה שֶׁל שְׁמוּאֵל, הִיא וְעוֹרָהּ וּמְחֻסַּר זְמַן וְלֵוִי הָיָה, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אִין מִן הֲדָא קְרָיָא לֵית אַתְּ שָׁמַע כְּלוּם, וְאַתְיָא הֲדָא דְרַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי (שמואל א ז, יז): וּתְשֻׁבָתוֹ הָרָמָתָה כִּי שָׁם בֵּיתוֹ.

This does not mean that a Navi can say that Torah is no longer valid as our Rebbe affirms all of Torah both Oral and written as our Rebbe King Moshaich Yeshua ben Yosef stated

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!”

And yet to show the Rachmonis of Hashem had moments where he seemingly like the Naviim above in Midrash Rabbah 22:10 bent the laws of Torah. Knowing he was a completely righteous Tzaddik as is stated by a leader of the Sanhedrin during his time “we know you are a prophet of G-d for no one could do the things you do unless G-d was with him”

It appears of course that with all this being said to disobey one instruction or to not recognize him as a prophet, and as a teacher leads to Kares. This is important as Rashi states later about the prophets “A prophet] from among you, from your brothers, like me: This means: Just as I am among you, from your brothers, so will He set up for you [another prophet] in my stead, and so on, from prophet to prophet.—”

So we see that he deepens Torah, teaches Torah both the Oral and Written, and encourages us to elevate our levels of observing, as it is important to pursue Torah on a very high level. As followers of our Rebbe we should keep Torah to honor G-d and to reverse the idea that Moshiach teaches against Torah, we should model him and his teachings. We should do this out of a sense of love. It also is seen from the P’shat that not holding to Moshiach a Navi is liable to Kares, and thus why we have this site up and running to make known that Yeshua ben Yosef the stone the builders rejected is known as Moshiach and give us the opportunity for Teshuvah, and that all of the Jewish nation might not suffer the din of Kares for not keeping all that Moshiach taught.

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