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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


Yitro 17-5

Yitro

Exodus 19:7-19

Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, 'Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

Ex. 19:12 NIV

What are limits for?

The people of Israel were taken out of Egypt and they had to go through a long change of mental process to become a free people. When the Eternal delivered them from bondage He didn't leave them in the air, with no rules. True freedom has to do with fixed rules and specific limits. Now it was time for the people to learn this lesson.

Many people think that freedom implies doing whatever they please. But true freedom is to find and remain within the limits that the Eternal has set for each one of us. Strict limits and rules are not hindrances to develop freedom. On the contrary, the true freedom that a man can experience is when he becomes aware of the limits in which he can move around without being punished or harmed.

In this passage, the Eternal taught the people that there are important limits. When crossing the boundaries, one is in risk of being hurt, even die as in this case.       

In the middle of a road, there is a line that divides both lanes. When crossing the line one is much more at risk of having an accident. Divisions are there to protect and to grant freedom. By knowing that there is no danger within the established limits, one feels safe and is able to move freely within that area.

Taking away limits does not create freedom, but confusion and danger of death. Remaining within the limits creates freedom and safety.

May the Eternal help us understand what are the limits and to stay within them, for our own freedom and safety.

Shalom uvrachah peace and blessing,

 Ketriel


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