Parashat V’zot Hab’rachah: The God of the Upright Ones.


In this week’s reading, the last reading for the Jewish Year we find an interesting phrase “the God of Jeshurun”
in Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:26 ‘There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through
the skies in His majesty. (NASB)
  Yeshurun (Jeshurun) is the English transliteration for the Hebrew word that occurs four
times in the Hebrew Bible, found in sefer Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:26.  The word Jeshurun means “
straight” or “upright one.”  In the scriptures, Jeshurun is used as a symbolic (poetic) name for the people of Yisrael
(Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:15, 33:26), for the Land of Israel (Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:5),
and for the Patriarch Jacob (who was renamed Yisrael in Bereshit / Genesis 32:29) (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 44:2
).  The use of the phrase “the God of Jeshurun” at the end of the Torah I believe has two very
significant implications.  Firstly, this phrase expresses the importance of understanding the faithfulness of God to His people.
God has chosen to dwell among His people and God declares that she (Yisrael) is “His portion” and the “allotment
of His inheritance”
in Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:9.  Regardless of the people of Yisrael’s
disobedience, God established His glory upon the earth by preserving Yisrael.  The scriptures say she became “fat”
and “selfish,” the phrase “Jeshurun kicked” means Yisrael rebelled, yet God remained faithful.
The faithfulness of God to Yisrael has as its primary purpose the revelation of God’s greatness and not Yisrael’s importance.
Secondly, the meaning of the word “Jeshurun” emphasizes the faithfulness of Yisrael to God.  “The God of Jeshurun,
meaning “the God of the upright ones” directs our attention to the people of faith.  The “upright
one” is one that has faith and lives a life of faithfulness. As we are about to enter into a new year of Study the Torah, have you
considered whether your life is one that may be characterized as an “upright one?”  The Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim (Tanach, OT) and the
Ketuvei Shelachim (Apostolic Writings, NT) present three concepts, (i) to believe, (ii) to have faith, and (iii) to be faithful.  These
three concepts are all expressed by the same word groups (i.e. emunah = faith) that reveal the interconnectedness of faith and faithfulness
for a believers life.  The consistent message is that a genuine faith always results in faithfulness, and that faithfulness is the fruit
of genuine faith. Is that how your live your life?  Read More