Bring God with You
Yael Eckstein | August 24, 2020
When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives… — Deuteronomy 21:10
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ki Teitzei, which means “when you go out,” from Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19.
A few months ago, my sister visited Israel and had the opportunity to join me in greeting a plane full of new olim, immigrants, who were brought to Israel on one of The Fellowship’s Freedom Flights. The arrival of Jews who have finally come home to Israel is always a very emotional and inspirational experience. After witnessing the event for herself, my sister remarked that my job made her job in finance seem meaningless and insignificant. But I responded that I hardly agreed with her.
I know that I am blessed that my work is intrinsically meaningful and connected to God. However, as I told my sister, every job can be just as meaningful, if not more so, depending on how we look at it. A person can work in finance with the intention to tithe their earnings in order to help feed the hungry or shelter the homeless. A person can work as a street cleaner with the intention of making the world a more beautiful place so that people will love the earth and enjoy it. Anything we do in life can be significant and spiritual — if we create an intention to do so.
The name of this week’s Torah portion is Ki Teitzei, which means “when you go out.” The first verse addresses laws regarding wartime, “When you go out to war against your enemy…” However, in a broader sense, we can understand that all the laws mentioned in this portion, and all the biblical commandments in general, refer to “when we go out…” — meaning anywhere and everywhere in our lives.
When we go out into the world, we take God with us. Our obedience doesn’t stay at home. Our allegiance to God follows us to the workplace, to the gym, and to the grocery store, and demands that we treat others how we would like to be treated. Our partnership with God accompanies us everywhere we go and in everything we do. In every situation, we can share His light and bring glory to His kingdom.
How might you reframe “when you go out” today as a way of serving God and contributing to His purposes?