Letters to Ya'acov

Letter 20: From Mike

9th March 1989

Dear Ya’acov,

You plead that you "try to keep those [laws] which are humanly possible". It is important to remember that the issue at stake here is not whether we try to keep God’s law, but whether we actually succeed in keeping his commandments. On the great day of judgement God will "render to each one according to his deeds" (Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12 cf. Romans 2:6). The basis of God’s judgement will not be what we tried to do but what we did. God says in Deuteronomy 27:26: Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law [by doing them]". This leaves us with an enormous problem, because it is written in Psalm 14:1-3 and in Psalm 53:1-3, "There is none righteous, no, not one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable; there is no one who does good, no, not one." (Quoted in Romans 3:10-12).

Here is a terrifying dilemma. We are told to keep all the commandments or be cursed by God, and yet no one does. What is the solution? Can you show me an answer to this problem in the Tanakh itself?

I look forward to your reply.

With best wishes,


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