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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach




Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20 from 3 September till 9 September 2023

The text explores the essence of the renewed covenant within the Jewish faith, drawing from passages like Jeremiah 31. It delves into the enduring relationship between God and His people, highlighting the continuity and significance of the covenant throughout Jewish history. Furthermore, it discusses the anticipation within Jewish tradition for the fulfillment of this covenant and its profound impact on the spiritual journey and identity of the Jewish people.

1.The First and Second Covenant

לְעׇבְרְךָ֗ בִּבְרִ֛ית ד’ אֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ וּבְאָלָת֑וֹ אֲשֶׁר֙ ד’ אֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ כֹּרֵ֥ת עִמְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם׃

11 because I have assembled you specifically in order that you may enter into a second covenant with G-d, your G-d—and, in order to make this covenant permanent,[1] totake His oath to uphold it—which G-d, your G-d, is making with you today.[2]

At Mount Sinai, G-d made the first covenant with Israel, and the people – of that generation – became His chosen nation. It was, however, contingent on the continuous fulfillment of all its criteria. The sin of the golden calf violated the covenant.

But G-d’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was not and will never be broken.

I wil remember My covenant with Jacob as well as My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, I will remember the land. (Leviticus 26:42)

And I will establish My covenant between Me and between you and between your seed after you throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant, to be to you for a G-d and to your seed after you. Genesis (17:7)

It’s amazing to think that at the same time the people made a mistake with the golden calf, G-d gave Moses the instruction to observe Shabbat. The timeless symbol of G-d’s love for His people.[3]

The people repented of their sin. Moses ascended Mount Sinai once more and remained there for 40 days. From the 1st of Elul until the 10th of Tishrei (Yom Kippur), he obtained G-d’s complete forgiveness and reconciliation with the people of Israel. Since then, the month of Elul has been designated as the “month of Divine mercy and forgiveness.”

After receiving the second set of tablets, Moses returned to the people. In Deuteronomy, we learn that G-d desires the covenant to be unconditional, not subject to the whims of the people.

As a result, we read in the following verse in Deuteronomy:

וְלֹ֥א אִתְּכֶ֖ם לְבַדְּכֶ֑ם אָנֹכִ֗י כֹּרֵת֙ אֶת־הַבְּרִ֣ית הַזֹּ֔את וְאֶת־הָאָלָ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת׃

כִּי֩ אֶת־אֲשֶׁ֨ר יֶשְׁנ֜וֹ פֹּ֗ה עִמָּ֙נוּ֙ עֹמֵ֣ד הַיּ֔וֹם לִפְנֵ֖י ד’ אֱלֹקֵ֑ינוּ וְאֵ֨ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵינֶ֛נּוּ פֹּ֖ה עִמָּ֥נוּ הַיּֽוֹם׃

13 To that end, I am not making this covenant and administering this oath on G-d’s behalf[4] solely with you and only consequently—by proxy—with future generations; 14 rather, I am making it directly with those standing here with us today before G-d, our G-d, and, at the same time, directly with all future generations of Jews who are not present here with us today.[5]

Even if the people make wrong decisions, G-d’s covenant with them remains forever. G-d returns to His people when they return via Teshuvah. May the month of Elul this year 5783 (2023) be a month of complete Teshuvah and the coming of the Messiah.

2. A New Covenant

Christians will not agree with the assertion that G-d’s covenant is forever. They will, among other things, cite to Jeremiah 3:8, where it is written that G-d divorces His people and will tell you that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 states that the original husband may never remarry his divorced wife.

Because Rebel Israel had committed adultery, I cast her off and handed her a bill of divorce; yet her sister, Faithless Judah, was not afraid—she too went and whored. (Jeremiah 3:8)

2.1. Repentence

Christians conclude from the above that G-d has broken His covenant, and thus G-d creates a new covenant with the church, His new wife. Christians see this confirmed in Hebrews 8:13[6]:

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish.

Here, one commits two errors. The first erroneous belief is that G-d cannot remarry/ forgive His people.

But in contrast to the enraged husband who would never allow his unfaithful wife to return, G-d will embrace His people. What must Israel doe to reconcile with her Maker?

“Just cry out to Me, “My Father, you are the Master of my youth!”” (Jeremiah 3:4)

Yet how can this be? Will G-d’s wrath not be kindled forever against His nation? Jeremiah responds with a rhetorical question.

“Will He remain angry forever? Will He keep it to eternity?” (Jeremiah 3:5)

The Almighty’s answer follows with a comforting oath promising Israel an eternal destiny and permanent union with the Almighty.

“ Return, O backsliding children,” says the L-rd,  “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:14)[7]

As soon as people repent and return to G-d, they are forgiven.

Psalm 32:5

חַטָּאתִ֨י אוֹדִ֪יעֲךָ֡ וַעֲ֘וֺנִ֤י לֹֽא־כִסִּ֗יתִי אָמַ֗רְתִּי אוֹדֶ֤ה עֲלֵ֣י פְ֭שָׁעַי לַד’ וְאַתָּ֨ה נָ֘שָׂ֤אתָ עֲוֺ֖ן חַטָּאתִ֣י סֶֽלָה׃

Then I acknowledged my sin to You;
I did not cover up my guilt;
I resolved, “I will confess my transgressions to the L-rd,”
and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.

Psalm 103:10-14

לֹ֣א כַ֭חֲטָאֵינוּ עָ֣שָׂה לָ֑נוּ וְלֹ֥א כַ֝עֲוֺנֹתֵ֗ינוּ גָּמַ֥ל עָלֵֽינוּ׃

כִּ֤י כִגְבֹ֣הַּ שָׁ֭מַיִם עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ גָּבַ֥ר חַ֝סְדּ֗וֹ עַל־יְרֵאָֽיו׃

כִּרְחֹ֣ק מִ֭זְרָח מִֽמַּעֲרָ֑ב הִֽרְחִ֥יק מִ֝מֶּ֗נּוּ אֶת־פְּשָׁעֵֽינוּ׃

כְּרַחֵ֣ם אָ֭ב עַל־בָּנִ֑ים רִחַ֥ם ד’ עַל־יְרֵאָֽיו׃

כִּי־ה֭וּא יָדַ֣ע יִצְרֵ֑נוּ זָ֝כ֗וּר כִּי־עָפָ֥ר אֲנָֽחְנוּ׃

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor has He requited us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.

As east is far from west,
so far has He removed our sins from us.

As a father has compassion for his children,
so the L-rd has compassion for those who fear Him.

For He knows how we are formed;
He is mindful that we are dust.

Isaiah 55:7

יַעֲזֹ֤ב רָשָׁע֙ דַּרְכּ֔וֹ וְאִ֥ישׁ אָ֖וֶן מַחְשְׁבֹתָ֑יו וְיָשֹׁ֤ב אֶל־ ד’ וִֽירַחֲמֵ֔הוּ וְאֶל־אֱלֹקינוּ כִּֽי־יַרְבֶּ֥ה לִסְלֽוֹחַ׃

Let the wicked give up their ways,
The sinful, their plans;
Let each one turn back to G-d
So as to be pardoned;
To our G-d,
Who freely forgives.

G-d will never forsake His people as it is written in Psalms 94:14

כִּ֤י ׀ לֹא־יִטֹּ֣שׁ ד’ עַמּ֑וֹ וְ֝נַחֲלָת֗וֹ לֹ֣א יַעֲזֹֽב׃

For the L-rd will not forsake His people;
He will not abandon His very own.

2.2 New is not entirely different

The second mistaken belief is that the new covenant is totally different from the covenant G-d made with His people.

In Jeremiah we can read the following about this:

הִנֵּ֛ה יָמִ֥ים בָּאִ֖ים נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֑ה וְכָרַתִּ֗י אֶת־בֵּ֧ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאֶת־בֵּ֥ית יְהוּדָ֖ה בְּרִ֥ית חֲדָשָֽׁה׃

See, a time is coming—declares G-d —when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.

כִּ֣י זֹ֣את הַבְּרִ֡ית אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶכְרֹת֩ אֶת־בֵּ֨ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אַחֲרֵ֨י הַיָּמִ֤ים הָהֵם֙ נְאֻם־ד’ נָתַ֤תִּי אֶת־תּֽוֹרָתִי֙ בְּקִרְבָּ֔ם וְעַל־לִבָּ֖ם אֶכְתְּבֶ֑נָּה וְהָיִ֤יתִי לָהֶם֙ לֵֽאלֹהקים וְהֵ֖מָּה יִֽהְיוּ־לִ֥י לְעָֽם׃

But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares G-d: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their G-d, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31: 31,33)

Christians believe that Jeremiah fulfilled this prophecy over 2,000 years ago. The timing of this prophecy can be found in Jeremiah 23:7-8.

Christians believe that Jeremiah fulfilled this prophecy over 2,000 years ago. However, the period of this prophesy can be found in this verse. It will be when the house of Judah and Israel become one again and return to there land. That time has not yet arrived, but it will in the near future.

This new covenant – or, maybe more accurately, a renewed covenant – differs from the earlier covenant in two significant ways.

The previous one was associated with the memories of leaving Egypt; this one will be associated with Jewish people leaving the nations.

בְּיָמָיו֙ תִּוָּשַׁ֣ע יְהוּדָ֔ה וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יִשְׁכֹּ֣ן לָבֶ֑טַח וְזֶה־שְּׁמ֥וֹ אֲֽשֶׁר־יִקְרְא֖וֹ ד’ ׀ צִדְקֵֽנוּ׃

לָכֵ֛ן הִנֵּה־יָמִ֥ים בָּאִ֖ים נְאֻם־ ד’ וְלֹא־יֹ֤אמְרוּ עוֹד֙ חַי־ ד’ אֲשֶׁ֧ר הֶעֱלָ֛ה אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

In his days Judah shall be delivered and Israel shall dwell secure. And this is the name by which he shall be called: “G-d is our Vindicator.”

Assuredly, a time is coming—declares G-d —when it shall no more be said, “As G-d lives, who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt,”

People could make mistakes with the previous one, like with the golden calf, but that will no longer be possible with this one. As stated in Jeremiah 31:33:

כִּ֣י זֹ֣את הַבְּרִ֡ית אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶכְרֹת֩ אֶת־בֵּ֨ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אַחֲרֵ֨י הַיָּמִ֤ים הָהֵם֙ נְאֻם־ד’ נָתַ֤תִּי אֶת־תּֽוֹרָתִי֙ בְּקִרְבָּ֔ם וְעַל־לִבָּ֖ם אֶכְתְּבֶ֑נָּה וְהָיִ֤יתִי לָהֶם֙ לֵֽאלֹקים וְהֵ֖מָּה יִֽהְיוּ־לִ֥י לְעָֽם׃

But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares G-d: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their G-d, and they shall be My people.

No one will educate another about G-d, His Will, and His Torah since it will be common knowledge in everyone’s heart. As we may see in the following verse Jeremiah 31:34:

וְלֹ֧א יְלַמְּד֣וּ ע֗וֹד אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵ֜הוּ וְאִ֤ישׁ אֶת־אָחִיו֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר דְּע֖וּ אֶת־ד’ כִּֽי־כוּלָּם֩ יֵדְע֨וּ אוֹתִ֜י לְמִקְּטַנָּ֤ם וְעַד־גְּדוֹלָם֙ נְאֻם־ד’ כִּ֤י אֶסְלַח֙ לַֽעֲוֺנָ֔ם וּלְחַטָּאתָ֖ם לֹ֥א אֶזְכָּר־עֽוֹד׃ 

No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed G-d ”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me—declares G-d.
For I will forgive their iniquities,
And remember their sins no more.

This new covenant, however, is identical to the covenant of Moses in that the Torah that Moses received from G-d is unchangeable[8]. This is what we find in Malachi, quoting Radak:

I will put my Tora in their hearts, “and on their hearts I will write it” (Yirmiyahu 31:33), so that they will never forget it. And the whole matter is as explained when it goes on, that it won’t be a newness of the covenant but rather its fulfilment/keeping (קיומה). And behold it says, Malachi sealed the prophets with the seal of his words: “Remember the Tora of Moshe my servant, which I commanded him in Ḥorev for all Yisrael, both statutes and judgments.” (Malachi 3:22) – that whole section will be in the future, just like it seals “Behold, I will send you Eliyya, the prophet” (Malachi 3:23) – behold, you see tha there will never be a new Torah, but for the one which was given at Mount Sinai, like it says “which I commanded him in Ḥorev” (Malachi 3:22)

 3 Summary

  1. G-d forgives when there is genuine repentance.
  2. G-d is always faithful to His people.
  3. The new covenant is not substantively different; only the terms have changed.
  4. In Hebrews, the church mistranslated Jeremiah.

By Angelique Sijbolts


[1] Likutei Sichot, vol. 24, p. 190.
[2] Kehot Chumash
[3] Aish Article: The Dangling Conversation
[4] Likutei Sichot, vol. 19, p. 269
[5] Likutei Sichot, vol. 19, pp. 266-272, vol. 24, pp. 188-191
[6] Note that Hebrews’ authors of the New Testament crudely tampered with the Jewish Scriptures, they advertised that they possessed little integrity.

Hebrew 8:9: … because they did not continue in My Covenant, and I disreagerded them, says the L-rd.
Jeremiah 31:31 (32): … My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them.

Lets’ Get Biblical by Rabbi Tovia Singer, Volume II p.169
[7] Lets Get Biblical Volume II by Rabbi Tovia Singer p. 159-161[8]

See also the shiur: The 13 Principles of Faith #9 : The Torah is the Immutable Word of G-d

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