Weekly Torah Studies
The Shema (Hebrew for “hear, understand,” and “obey”) is the heart of the Torah, which our Saviour called “the First and Greatest Commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). It is the epicenter from which radiates all the Light and loveliness of every other Torah Truth. The Shema, in Hebrew, is written (right to left) as follows:
The full Shema is Deuteronomy 6:4-9, shown in bold in the verses below:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: YAHWEH our God is one YAH. And thou shalt love YAHWEH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
The Torah doesn’t stop with just presenting the Shema Message. It continues, showing Yahweh’s people how often the Shema should be in their thoughts and how central the Shema should be in the true Christian home.
The Shema is the very heart and soul of the Torah itself. When we fully love Yahweh, placing our love for Him as centrally in our thoughts and homes as these verses instruct, will be keeping the entire rest of the Torah. True love is the fulfilling of the Law (see John 14:23 and Romans 13:10).
How often are we to recite the Shema? How frequently and on what occasions are we instructed to think of it? And how central should it be in our thoughts? To answer these questions, let us list the specific instructions from Deuteronomy Chapter Six:
1) Parents are to diligently teach their children to memorize the Shema and understand its Message.
2) When families are resting in their homes, either in the “down-time” of the evening or in the morning family worship gathering, the Shema is to be the theme of conversation.
3) During the quiet moments afforded in travel time, the Shema is again to be our focus.
4) Every morning when we first wake up, we are to recite and meditate upon the Shema.
5) Every evening when we lay down and prepare to fall asleep, we are first to recite and think on the Shema.
6) To keep the Shema as a focal point throughout the other hours of the day, we are to inscribe it in our homes and carry it and/or post it.
This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 1-20)
The Torah studies are provided in two formats for your convenience. The first option (below) is the blank worksheets for this week, which will allow you to print out the worksheets and hand-write the studies yourself. If you have less time, you may wish to read/print my completed Statute studies. The completed worksheets are in Microsoft Word format and are the second option (below):
While we will be reading through the Torah in order (see this week's Torah Reading), we will not be studying the Commandments and Statutes in order. Since the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is the heart of the Torah, it is appropriate to start with it. The Shema is the Torah portion which is written in the Mezzuzah and put upon the doorposts of the house. So, our Torah studies will be following another order. Also, in order to study all Ten Commandments and all 613 Statutes in a year, it is necessary to complete several studies each day, as shown below. Happy studying!
Statute 1 Summary:
(1) Submit to Yahweh as the One and only God in the Universe. Make Him First in your life, thinking and heart.
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one YAH.”
Statute 2 Summary:
(2) Love Yahweh with every fiber of your being.
Deuteronomy 6:5 “And thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Statute 3 Summary:
(3) In Keeping His Commands, we Worship and reverence Yahweh, as our Heavenly Father.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2,13, 25 “Now these are the Commandments, the Statutes, and the Judgments, which Yahweh your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear Yahweh thy God, to keep all His Statutes and His Commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged… Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name… And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Yahweh our God, as He hath commanded us.”
Statute 4 Summary:
(4) Serve Yahweh as Your Heavenly Father.
Exodus 23:25 “And ye shall serve Yahweh your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”
Statute 5 Summary:
(5) Hold fast to Yahweh and take all your vows and oaths in His Name.
Deuteronomy 10:20 “Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His Name.”
Statute 6 Summary:
(6) Only take oaths in Yahweh’s Name, when you reverence Him as your Father.
Deuteronomy 6:13 “Thou shalt fear Yahweh
thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name.”
Statute 7 Summary:
(7) Keep Yahweh’s Law and walk in all His Ways. When we do Yahweh swears to make us holy.
Deuteronomy 28:9 “Yahweh shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the Commandments of Yahweh thy God, and walk in His ways.”
Statute 8 Summary:
(8) Hallow Yahweh and do not profane His Holy Name.
Leviticus 22:32 “Neither shall ye profane My Holy Name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I Am the LORD which hallow you.”
Statutes 9-10 Summary:
(9) Meditate on Yahweh’s Law, (10) teaching it to your household, in your “down time,” when you travel, before bed at night and first thing in the morning.
Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (And Deut 6:7)
Statute 11 Summary:
(11) Do not trust in any power but Yahweh.. Worship Him alone.
Leviticus 19:4 “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I Am Yahweh your God.”
Statute 12 Summary:
(12) Do not make gods out of anything.
Exodus 20:23 “Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.”
Statutes 13-16 Summary:
(13) Do not worship representations of God, for He has not shown us His form. (14) Do not make, (15) bow down to, (16) nor worship images of any created thing.
Deuteronomy 4:15-19 “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that Yahweh spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which Yahweh thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”
Statutes 17-18 Summary:
(17) Do not give your children to any false god, nor offer them as sacrifices to them. (18) Do not profane Yahweh’s Name.
Leviticus 18:21 “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God: I Am Yahweh.”
Statutes 19-20 Summary:
(19) Do not turn to mediums or familiar spirits. (20) Do not seek after them.
Leviticus 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I Am Yahweh your God.”