Summary Lesson 11: “The Field Is White Already To Harvest”
- KEEP IT IN MIND: Jews have traditional symbols which “keep God’s word in front of them” at all times by binding leather phylacteries (Tfillin) on the arm and forehead as well as a Mezuzah on all Jewish doorposts. The words in the ‘Mezuzah’ and in the ‘Tfillin’ are summarized in Deuteronomy 6:4-17.
- RETURNING AND PROSELYTIZING: Returning to the Land of Israel is like returning to the Lord. Those are as great a motivating factor in Jewish life, as proselytizing is for Christians. Special “Yeshiva” institutes have been established to help those who have “gone astray.” “Yeshiva” and the word “teshuvah” (return/repent) have a common root.
- ALWAYS FAMILY: The connection to “family” is unending, even if one “goes astray.” “. . . being born of a Jewish mother, [a person] never [loses] his Jewish status . . . Indeed, as the Talmud teaches: ‘A Jew, even if he has sinned, remains a Jew’.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) For Latter-day Saints, returning to God’s family is a powerful motivator, stretching family research worldwide.
- THE MEANING OF WHITE: The expression “white and ready to harvest” gives an image of goodness and readiness to accept the Lord’s plan. In Judaism, wearing white clothing, specifically the Talith (prayer garment), denotes the desire to be pure and spotless from the sins of generations around them.
- RELIGIOUS CLOTHING AS A REMINDER: “The tallit is usually white and made either of wool, cotton, or silk . . . The ordinary tallit is worn mostly in the synagogue, observant Jews wear the tallit katan (small tallit) usually under their clothing the entire day. A special white garment, the Kitel, is also worn in many Jewish weddings and Yom Kippur.
- BRIDAL CLOTHING: “In Ashkenazi tradition it is not just the bride who wears white on her wedding day. The groom, too, stands under the canopy wearing his white kitel, or robe, over his wedding finery. The day of their marriage is a solemn one for the bride and groom. They pray that their past sins will be forgiven and they can start their life together afresh. The white of their clothing symbolizes the purity and the forgiveness of sin . . . for this reason a similar garment is used to clothe the dead for burial.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- WHITE CLOTH FOR SABBATH: A white cloth for the Sabbath table and over the wine and bread preceding the Sabbath meal are indicative of the goodness of the meal. It invokes a memory of temple sacrifices in ancient days.