(Pirkei Avot 3 Mishnah 17) “Rabbi Akiva said: Mockery and levity accustom a man to immorality. The transmitted Oral Torah is a protective fence around the Torah; tithes are a protective fence around wealth; vows are a protective fence around abstinence; and a protective fence for wisdom is silence.”
All fences, whether physical or spiritual, all serve a purpose which is to guard and protect something precious contained inside. Fences are built around most homes and businesses to keep out thieves and even wild animals when it gets dark. However, the fences here in this Mishnah serve a much deeper purpose in our lives as believers, to protect us from spiritual darkness and corruption.
The Oral Torah has sustained the Jewish people for thousands of years, directing the path of their lives in regards to how the Torah is lived out, otherwise known as Halacha. Within the Messianic Jewish world, there is much debate in regards to our relationship to the Oral Torah, and in the words of our Holy Rabbi Maran Yeshua, not mine we see a direct endorsement of the Oral Torah and the Halacha of the Rabbis.
(Mattityahu/Matthew 23:1-3) “Then Yeshua addressed the crowds and His talmidim: “The Torah-teachers (Rabbis) and the P’rushim,” He said, “sit on the seat of Moshe. So whatever they tell you, take care to do it. But don’t do what they do, because they talk but do not act!”
The purpose of the Oral Torah is not to tie heavy burdens on our shoulders or add to the Torah, but rather it is a correct way to carry out the Mitzvot or commandments of the Torah based upon the revelation at Sinai to Moshe by HaShem. One factor to remember however is that Maran Yeshua is the highest rabbinical authority in our lives and all Halacha by all the great rabbis of Israel must be in harmony with the Halacha of Maran Yeshua and His appointed talmidim in the Good News of Redemption.
There are countless occasions where people claim to be led by the “spirit” in regards to how the Torah or Bible is to be lived out but is it always the spirit of truth? The Torah can be misused and people can even be repulsed by and turned away from the Torah because of a misuse of the Torah based upon a moment of spiritual suspense or ecstasy. This is why a fence is necessary so that we can always be led by the Ruach HaKodesh, the spirit of truth. This fence is not a burden but a force of divine protection to keep us from deviating to the right or left away from our path of truth into spiritual deception. As for the writings in the Good News of Redemption otherwise known as “the new testament”, there is a necessity also for a fence and standard Halacha so that we as Jewish and non-Jewish believers can all be united in faith, resulting in a hastening of the coming of Mashiach soon in our days. The Messianic movement desperately needs a set standard Halacha and which will serve as a protective divine fence that will protect us from spiritual darkness. A last word regarding Oral Torah; this is not a forceful statement demanding all believers must follow Oral Torah because it is a decision each believer must make with serious contemplation and prayer. The purpose of this study is to open our minds to a deeper understanding of the Holy Scriptures in their original context the way they have been understood for thousands of years, especially during the times of our Rabbi Maran Yeshua.
The thought of tithing as a protective fence for wealth is new to a lot of believers because the Pirkei Avot is not studied at most congregations. However we can see in the Tanach in the book of Malachi a biblical source for this teaching.
(Malachi 3:10) “Bring all the tithes into the storage house, and let it be the sustenance in My Temple. Test me, if you will, with this, says HaShem, Master of Legions, [see] if I do not open up for you the windows of the heavens and pour out upon you blessing without end.”
Not only is the tithe a protective fence for our wealth, but the tithe itself will activate the blessings from heaven which will pour out upon us and overflow, as it is written.
(Psalm/Tehillim 23:5) “My cup overflows”
Traditionally during the Havdallah service after Shabbat, wine is poured into a cup until it overflows, which is symbolic for an upcoming week of overflowing blessings. How much more so should we expect blessings with this test from HaShem, the only test He has given us within the entire Bible, this is a true test of Emuna to which God we serve, God or money.
Millions of people put their trust into mutual funds and investments both high and low risk and the is nothing wrong with it because it is a type of storehouse for grain which was used anciently, but the key thing to remember is the true protector of our investments and savings are not the economy and smart business men, but rather it is HaShem, and the divine fence of protection which He will set around our wealth, which will both protect and abundantly increase it in miraculous ways that will leave others in shock and awe because it will defy all logic taught in our institutions of higher economic education. Set up a divine fence today and tithe put your faith in HaShem and your cup will overflow without end.
A very interesting fact within the Hebrew text in regards to wealth and tithing is that they come from the same root word which is עשר (Osher – Wealth); (Aser – Tithe). To those unfamiliar with Torah Hebrew this is new and important information because it shows the direct link between tithing and wealth and how one, the מעשר (Maaser – tithe of one tenth) is a divine fence for the other, עשר (Osher – Wealth).
Another point to state is that both the tithe in Malachi 3:10 and in the Hebrew text above are Temple related. Today we do not currently have a Holy Temple; however by the will of HaShem we will have a בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּש Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple) tomorrow in Jerusalem. King David in his day did not have a Holy Temple either but he longed for its construction in his days, and his cup still overflowed with blessings, we too must long for the Holy Temple just as King David did as well as the coming of the Mashiach so that along with our tithes into the body of Mashiach (our Messianic congregations) which is also a Temple, we will be abundantly blessed and our cups will over-flow.
These are just a few examples of the divine fences that are there to protect us, and not burden us in our everyday lives. Yeshua himself used and set up divine fences within the writings of the Good News of Redemption, some of which most readers follow strictly without even knowing, this however will be covered in future studies. For now, to those reading who truly believe in HaShem and His Word, set up a divine fence today and tithe so that HaShem will open the windows of Heaven and pour out endless blessings upon your life, with a protective fence around it where thieves cannot steal and rust will not rot it away, both here on earth and in Heaven.
Tags: abstinence, avot, countless occasions, direct endorsement, Halacha, HaShem, immorality, jewish world, levity, mitzvot, mockery, moshe, oral torah, protective fence, rabbi akiva, rabbis, something precious, spiritual darkness, tithes, wild animals
More Related Articles: