Parashat Nitzavim, The Word of the Lord will go before us!

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This week’s reading is from Parashat Nitzavim (Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20) Moshe writes that when the people come to their senses, after having been scattered to the nations in rebellion, and remember the Lord their God, that He will restore them from captivity and have compassion (mercy, וְרִחֲמֶךָ) and gather the people from all the nations. (30:1-3) In this repentant-remembrance of the Lord God, He will וּמָל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת-לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ 30:6 ‘Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. (NASB) The scriptures use the term “uncircumcised heart” as a reference to those whose stubbornness and pride make it impossible to obey God’s Mitzvot (Commandments). The uncircumcised heart does not submit to God’s will and it is the person’s uncircumcised heart, his or her flesh, which guides and directs the will. This promise of God to circumcise the heart of His people results in an inward change that facilitates the removal of the flesh from one’s will allowing the Spirit of God to direct us. In Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:16 God commands us to circumcise our own hearts (וּמַלְתֶּם אֵת עָרְלַת לְבַבְכֶם) but here (30:6) God says that He will circumcise our hearts (וּמָל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת-לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ). Similarly, in this week’s Parshah, God says that He will cross over into the Promised land ahead of you (יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא | עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ הוּא-יַשְׁמִיד אֶת-הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ) and Salvation (Yehoshua, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ , Joshua) will cross over ahead of you as the Lord as spoken (וִירִשְׁתָּם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הוּא עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָֹה) indicating the people’s role in taking the land. If we step out to make the initial effort in faith towards repentance, no matter how feeble, God receives the effort with joy and in His power He works a miracle of salvation! Read more here.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!