Judaism: Being "Wholehearted" An Elul Message
Moshe KempinskiMoshe Kempinski, author of "The Teacher and the Preacher", is the editor of the Jerusalem Insights weekly email journal and co-owner of Shorashim, a Biblical shop and learning center in the Old City of Jerusalem.
After we are told the following;
"There shall not be found among you... a soothsayer, a diviner of times, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or a charmer..."(Deuteronomy 18:12), we are told; “Be wholehearted (Tamim) with your G-d"(ibid :13)
What then does it mean to be "Be 'wholehearted"?
Furthermore the interesting verbiage ;"Be wholehearted (Tamim) with( Eem) your G-d" does not usually appear with other commandments. It does appear in the prophecy of Micah "It hath been told to you, O man, what is good, and what does Hashem require of you: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with (Eem) yourGod. (Micah 6:8). In the book of Genesis we read ".... Noah was in his generations a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with God. "(Genesis6:9)
It seems then that being 'wholehearted' and humble are the keys to walking with G-d.
Rashi explains that the word Tamim (wholehearted) means " Walk with Him simple-heartedly (b’Temimut) and look forward to what He has in store. Do not probe the future, but rather accept whatever happens to you simple-heartedly. Then, you will be with Him and His inheritance. “
As a result we can understand that trying to divine the future or using magic is a statement of fear and trepidation. It is a statement that comes out of one’s need to control one's future and is therefore the opposite of walking 'wholeheartedly', unquestioningly and with integrity.
Our lives in this reality are fraught with surprising detours, personal setbacks and unexplainable spiritual dangers. We try to whittle down our complex reality into simple black and white explanations. In the process we do great damage to our own growth or end up condemning others on hearsay and public hype. False leaders are raised up because of their glib and politically correct power of the tongue, while more deserving leadership gets mired in accusations and half-truths.
It takes great courage to navigate through the circuitous path of our existence with faith and determination. Yet that is the purpose of our existence. That is the way our souls will be fired and formed. We need to learn to walk forward into the unknown with faith. This is the mission given over to Abraham, the physical forefather of this people and the spiritual forefather of so many others:“ And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him: 'I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted.”(Genesis 17:1).The question remains as to why would that be?
Our purpose in this existence is to be the language of G-d. Hashem chose to express Himself in human history through His creations. In order for that to happen, His creations need to make room so that Hashem’s will would be clearly expressed.
That necessitates mankind to walk in humility and Temimut (whole heartedness).
That is the essence of a loving relationship. It is a lesson that we need to remember in this month of Elul