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Faith and Works: Jewish-style

This is a great video of how this man shows his deep love for God and His Word.

He shows great reverence and intimacy for God’s Word as he reproduces it in writing.  It reminds me of how Catholics respond to the Word Made Flesh in the Eucharist: we stand, bow, genuflect.  And the Rabbi’s explanation at 11:45 of how Jews stand up on the entrance of the Torah and kiss it reminds me how we stand in Mass when the Priest processes the Word in and when the Gospel is read; and how the Priest kisses the Word after reading the Gospel. (Here is a wonderful article about the significance of the kiss at Mass).

Dr. Epstein also gives a great example of how to begin every task.  Listen to the video beginning at 5:24, where he explains how every time he begins anew his colossal effort, he starts with prayer and alms-giving.

He also gives a living testimony of the interrelationship of faith and works.  One quote in the video (at 5:37)  caught my ear:  “Every act of Torah should be linked to another Mitzvah.”

Torah:  the five books of Moses.  The seed from which sprouted Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

Mitzvah:  literally, commandment.  But in this context, Dr. Epstein seems to be referring more to a mitzveh, or a good deed.

So, in saying that “every act of Torah should be linked to another Mitzvah”, Dr. Epstein echoes the familiar refrain of faith and works.  And his work echoes this refrain as well.

God is good!


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