Torah Portion YITRO – Shemot (Exodus) 18:1-20:23
Remembering and Forgetting
“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.” Malachi 4:4
Shabbat shalom dearly beloved!
Most of this Shabbat letter is about Scriptures that will change your life! The KEY issue that determines our mental health is what we remember and what we forget. The Word has much to say about it!
He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:20
Our wellbeing depends on what we remember and what we forget:
“Do you thus repay YHVH, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your father who bought you? He has made you and established you. Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you. Your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.” Deuteronomy 32:6-8
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a Priest to Me. And since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your children.” Hosea 4:6
“Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of YHVH, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.” Numbers 15:38-40
In psychology, memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Encoding allows information that is from the outside world to reach our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. In this first stage we must change the information so that we may put the memory into the encoding process. Storage is the second memory stage or process. This entails that we maintain information over periods of time. Finally, the third process is the retrieval of information that we have stored. We must locate it and return it to our consciousness. Some retrieval attempts may be effortless due to the type of information.
From an information processing perspective there are three main stages in the formation and retrieval of memory:
Encoding or registration: receiving, processing and combining of received information Storage: creation of a permanent record of the encoded information Retrieval, recall or recognition: calling back the stored information in response to some cue for use in a process or activity.
The loss of memory is described as forgetfulness, or as a medical disorder – amnesia.
Effects of physical exercise on memory
Physical exercise, particularly continuous aerobic exercises such as running, cycling and swimming, has many cognitive benefits and effects on the brain. Influences on the brain include increases in neurotransmitter levels, improved oxygen and nutrient delivery, and increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The effects of exercise on memory have important implications for improving children’s academic performance, maintaining mental abilities in old age, and the prevention and potential cure of neurological diseases.
Long Term Memory
The storage in sensory memory and short-term memory generally have a strictly limited capacity and duration, which means that information is not retained indefinitely. By contrast, long-term memory can store much larger quantities of information for potentially unlimited duration (sometimes a whole life span). Its capacity is immeasurably large. For example, given a random seven-digit number we may remember it for only a few seconds before forgetting, suggesting it was stored in our short-term memory. On the other hand, we can remember telephone numbers for many years through repetition; this information is said to be stored in long-term memory.
Short Term Memory
Short-term memory (or “primary” or “active memory”) is the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time. The duration of short-term memory (when rehearsal or active maintenance is prevented) is believed to be in the order of seconds. A commonly cited capacity is 7 ± 2 elements. In contrast, long-term memory indefinitely stores a seemingly unlimited amount of information.
Emotion and Memory
Emotion can have a powerful impact on memory. Numerous studies have shown that the most vivid autobiographical memories tend to be of emotional events, which are likely to be recalled more often and with more clarity and detail than neutral events.
The part of the brain that is critical in creating the feeling of emotion is the amygdala, which allows for stress hormones to strengthen neuron communication. The chemicals cortisone and adrenaline are released in the brain when the amygdala is activated by positive or negative excitement. The most effective way to activate the amygdala is fear, because fear is an instinctive, protective mechanism which comes on strong making it memorable. Sometimes the feeling can be overwhelming. This is when a memory can be hazy yet vivid, or haunting with perfect clarity. This discovery led to the development of a drug to help treat a disorder called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). When someone is in a heightened emotional state, the events causing it become strong and ground in the memory, sometimes disrupting daily life for years.
YHVH Makes Us Forget Bad Memories of Fear and Shame
Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; and do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.” Isaiah 54:4
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 65:17
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Antidote to Fear and Bad Memories
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for YHVH your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9
We must forget some things if we want to advance — and we must remember some things as well.
My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. Psalm 119:148
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. Psalm 143:5
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5
Remember Yah’s Deeds, Commandments and Name
Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand YHVH brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.” Exodus 13:3
You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and YHVH your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore, YHVH your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:15
“You shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what YHVH your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt:” Deuteronomy 7:18
“You shall remember all the way which YHVH your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:2
“But you shall remember YHVH your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:18
“Remember what YHVH your God did to Miriam on the way as you came out of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 24:9
“Remember the word which Moses the servant of YHVH commanded you, saying, ‘YHVH your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’’ Joshua 1:13
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8
“You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.” Exodus 20:24
Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth…1 Chronicles 16:12
And in that day, you will say, “Give thanks to YHVH, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4
Remember Yah’s Mercy
“It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:14-16
He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever. Luke 1:53-55
Remember YHVH Infuses Us with Courage
When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember YHVH who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14
To be continued next week….
Remember those who have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God. Follow their faith, considering the outcome of their manner of living. Hebrews 13:7
Your Israeli Friends and Mentors,
Archbishop Dominiquae and Rabbi Baruch Bierman
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WATCH Healing and a Holy Lifestyle, Part One
Experience this Awake Finland gathering and learn just how important it is that we live a holy lifestyle, free of unforgiveness, in order to receive healing from Yahveh. Join Rabbi Baruch Bierman as he ministers and see James 5:14 in action, bringing healing to broken hearts and those with trauma. Be assured as you watch that God loves you and always wants to heal you.
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Book of the Week:
From Sickology to a Healthy Logic
This book is the product of 18 years walking through psychiatric hospitals catering to my loved ones. I have seen, prayed and visited with countless mentally sick patients. I have talked with many psychiatrists and psychologists. I have had to fight for the mental wellbeing of my own loved ones, including my mother, my brother, my children and some of my spiritual children and disciples.
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