I don’t know who set the November 23 deadline for the congressional super committee to agree on a plan for cutting our national debt by $1.2 trillion, but he or she was an unwitting prophet. November 23 is one day before Thanksgiving, a moment of sanity in the form of family gatherings and feasting before the nation plunges into its annual orgy of consumerism on Black Friday.
I’ve been dwelling on the second line of the Shema these days—“Love Hashem your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”—and also studying Matthew with a few friends, in the new Delitzsch Hebrew-English translation (see http://vineofdavid.org/resources/dhe/). This week we arrived at this:
A man is not able to serve two masters. For he will hate the one and love the other, or he will cling to one and despise the other. You are not able to serve both God and mamon. (Matt. 6:24)
Rabbi Yeshua is giving us an application of what he calls “the great commandment” to love God wholeheartedly. If we’re serious about fulfilling this commandment, we can’t also serve material comfort and increase, personified as the false god mamon. A divided loyalty just doesn’t work with Hashem our God.