Tuesday, July 28, 2020

What decisions are we making today?

Updated: 27 July, 2020
Special Lesson from the Wilderness
 נעשה ונשמה 
Na'aseh v'Nishma
"...We Will Do and We Will Listen..."

(Exo 3:1-10 LBP)
NOW Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the desert and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush was on fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, “Here am I.” And he said, “Do not draw near; take your shoes from off your feet, for the place whereon you are standing is holy ground.” Moreover, he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God. And the LORD said, “ I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come to me; and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”[1] ,[2], [3], [4],

Decisions. Everyday a decision is made by some one that while it is not certain the effect that the choice made will have,  the truth of the matter is there will be a consequence to the decision. Take for instance the modern video game. My sons play them, and some are quite remarkable in the artificial intelligence that is programmed into them.  During the play of the game, the choices they have the characters make can alter the outcome. They understand this going into the game, but I wonder – how many of us are aware that our outcomes are affected much the same way, by simple choices and decisions?  If you truly believed that the choice you make today will affect what happens to you one, five or maybe ten years from now, would you be more careful in whatever decision you make? Consider Moshe, and the decision he made: “…And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned…(Exodus 3:3) If  Moshe had known of the consequences of that act, of the confrontation with Pharaoh in Egypt, of the Plagues, the Exodus, the giving of the Torah, the 40 years wandering in the desert, do you suppose he would have made the decision to see why the bush burned but was not consumed?

We see in the text Elohim’s response to Moshe’s decision: “…when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush… (Exodus 3:4)” What if he had not of turned aside to see? Ever contemplate that? There is an answer to this question; a not so comparable situation that we find it in the Book of Esther…

(Esther 4:7-16)
4:7 Then Mordecai related to him everything that had happened to him, even the specific amount of money that Haman had offered to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews to be destroyed. 4:8 He also gave him a written copy of the law that had been disseminated [10] in Susa for their destruction so that he could show it to Esther and talk to her about it. He also gave instructions that she should go to the king to implore him and petition him on behalf of her people. 4:9 So Hathach returned and related Mordecai’s instructions [11] to Esther.
4:10 Then Esther replied to Hathach with instructions for Mordecai: 4:11 “All the servants of the king and the people of the king’s provinces know that there is only one law applicable [12] to any man or woman who comes uninvited to the king in the inner court – that person will be put to death, unless the king extends to him the gold scepter, permitting him to be spared.[13] Now I have not been invited to come to the king for some thirty days!”
4:12 When Esther’s reply[14] was conveyed to Mordecai, 4:13 he[15] said to take back this answer to Esther: 4:14 “Don’t imagine that because you are part of the king’s household you will be the one Jew [16] who will escape. If you keep quiet at this time, liberation and protection for the Jews will appear [17] from another source [18], while you and your father’s household perish. It may very well be [19] that you have achieved royal status [20] for such a time as this!”
4:15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 4:16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast in my behalf. Don’t eat and don’t drink for three days, night or day. My female attendants and I21 will also fast in the same way. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law.22 If I perish, I perish!”[5]
The Hebrew for “…It may very well be [19] that you have achieved royal status [20] for such a time as this!” is as follows:

ומיH4310 יודעH3045 אם H518 לעתH6256 כזאת3 H206 הגעת H5060 למלכות׃ H4438
ומיH4310 יודעH3045 אםH518 לעתH6256 כזאתH2063 הגעתH5060 למלכות׃H4438
ha’malkūt          higga’t l       ēt’ kazō’t                eem -  le’et             yodeá           oo mîy [6]

“…and who knoweth whether for a time like this thou hast come to the kingdom?” [7]

This was no ordinary epithet or admonishment. This was not done face to face, but through intermediaries; I cannot help but wonder what the tone of those who brought this message to her was. They knew of her answer to the request – an impassioned plea – a frightened plea. Think where we have heard something like this before – in our gospels:

Luke 22:39-42 (ESV)
39 [o] And he came out and went, [p] as was his custom, to [q] the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 [r] And when he came to [s] the place, he said to them, [t] “Pray that you may not [u] enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and [v] knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, [w] “Father, if you are willing, remove [x] this cup from me. [y] Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” [8]

Was Esther’s impassioned plea much different from Yeshua’s?

She pleaded:

4:10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai: 11   "All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who acomes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, [b] he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out [c] to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.”[9]

Yet there was a decision that had to be made. The servants returned with Mordecai’s words… Again, how was it passed on to this frightened young girl? With harshness? With “Oh suck it up Esther! Do what you gotta do!” or, as I suspect, with humility, with sadness, for they knew that her decision quite possibly would be her last. Compassion was on the lips of the one tasked to bring this message. And her response?

16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast in my behalf. Don’t eat and don’t drink for three days, night or day. My female attendants and I [21] will also fast in the same way. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law. [22] If I perish, I perish!”[10]

And what of Yeshua’s cry?
“…Father if you are willing, take this cup from me…”

If you cannot hear the anguish, the sadness in the voice of Yeshua, I pity you, for just typing these lines brings tears to my eyes. This was not asked matter-of-factly; no, this was breathed out softly, through clenched lips and painful breathes. I could not have said this in one sentence, for it would have taken everything I have to ask for the pardon Yeshua asked for. I can almost hear the deep sigh as he waited for a response. How much time passed before He bowed His sweat drenched head, the blood sweat running down His face [11], stained red in the moon light, one can only conjecture. Whether it was minutes or seconds, the decision was made:

“…not my will, but Yours be done…”

The only difference between Yeshua’s poignant response and Esther’s was He knew His fate. He would perish. In some ways, Esther’s response took just as great courage as did Yeshua’s: “…If I perish (the unknown); I perish ( the acceptance)…”

There was courage also that day at Mt. Sinai when the people all said:

Exodus 24:7 (NASB95)
7 Then he took [a] the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “[b] All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”[12]

נעשה ונשמה 
“…We will do, and we will be obedient…”

The people swore this agan and again. See Exodus 19:8; 24:3; Numbers 32:31; Joshua 1:16; Judges 11:10; 2 Kings 10:5; Nehemiah 5:12; Jeremiah 42:5 and probably others – these verses were taken from the Hebraic Roots Bible. [13]

I say there was courage here – but much less conviction. “We will do”; “we will say”; “we will listen”; and “we will obey”. Oh, how they promised with their lips – but where was their hearts?

Yahvey Elohim told Moshe in the wilderness that He had heard the cry of His people, but once freed from the bondage of Mizraim [14] what was there cry?

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"
(Exo 15:24 LBP: Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Texts: The Peshitta by George M. Lamsa)

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness;
(Exo 16:2 LBP)

And Moses said, When the LORD shall give you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, then the LORD has heard your murmuring [15] which you murmured [16]against him; "But as for us, what are we? Your murmurings [17] are not against us but against the LORD."
(Exo 16:8 LBP)

And the people thirsted there for water; and they murmured [18] against Moses, and said to him, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?"
(Exo 17:3 LBP)

And all the children of Israel murmured [19] against Moses and against Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "Would God we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God that we had died in this wilderness!"
(Num 14:2 LBP)

Num 14:27 How long shall this wicked congregation murmur [20] in my presence? I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel which they murmur in my presence.
(Num 14:29 LBP)

Your corpses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, because you have murmured against me.
(Num 14:29 LBP)

According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, a year for each day, shall you suffer for your iniquities, forty years; then you shall know that it is
because you have murmured before me.
(Num 14:34 LBP)

But on the morrow, all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You have killed the people of the LORD."
(Num 16:41 LBP)

And the people murmured against God and against Moses, saying, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For neither is there bread, nor water; and our soul is wearied with this inferior bread (manna)."
(Num 21:5 LBP)

Therefore, the people came to Moses and said to him,
"We have sinned, for we have murmured [21] against the LORD and against you;
pray before the LORD, that he take the serpents away from us." And Moses prayed for the people.
(Num 21:7 LBP)

And you murmured in your tents and said, "It is because the LORD hated us that he has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us."
(Deu 1:27 LBP)

And the children of Israel did not kill them, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And the whole congregation murmured and were in an uproar against the princes.
(Jos 9:18 LBP)

But murmured [22] in their tents and hearkened not to the voice of the LORD.
(Psa 106:25 LBP)

Because they murmured [23] against the words of God, and scorned the counsel of the most High;
(Psa 107:11, LBP)

Now what does all of this have to do with decisions we make today? Well you can say, “I’m not murmuring, gossiping, whining, kvetching…” or any other verb you’d like to use in today’s vernacular. Oh no, we aren’t complaining about G-d for heaven’s sake – or are we? Remember what I said at the beginning? Moshe said they were not murmuring against him, but against G-d; this is as true today as in times past.

“…If you truly believed that the choice you make today will affect what happens to you one, five or maybe ten years from now, would you be more careful in whatever decision you make?”

Did the children of Israel regret their whining and complaining about the promised land, oh, some ten years, twenty years, thirty years down the road? As they marched around and around in the wilderness, seeing all that stood against G-d that day dropping to the wayside – knowing that for sure “they would perish”?

What decisions have you made today against those appointed by G-d? The men and women in high places? For good or evil, they are their because G-d is sending us a message. Get involved, make wise decisions about your leaders, or suffer or prosper at their hands -it is your decision. Are they robbing your country blind? Your decision… Are you voting for those who celebrate the killing of unborn children? How do you think your decision sets with G-d?

Do you sit and watch the godless movies and shows on the television? Could you make a better decision for your time? (And yes, I hold myself accountable also – I’m not just throwing rocks… Glass house and all that…) Does the tv and smart phones raise your children because you have decided it is “easier” that way? Do you regret that they are withdrawn, isolated as they get older, that they cannot hold an intelligent conversation that doesn’t sound like the crap they feed their minds on every day? Your decision…

Does your spouse indulge in pornography? Drugs? Adultery? How many “ eeys” can you think of? How much of the distractions and philandering is caused by your decision or indecision? I can go on and on, but do I need to?

Decisions have consequences, good and bad. Indecisions have consequences also – it just takes longer to recognize them, and they are rarely good.  Our grumbling, our murmuring isn’t directed toward a person or thing. I know you like to think so, but who is that person? What is that thing? Are not they or the situation put into your life by G-d? They are there to see how you can handle a decision – one that we all must make every second of every day – do we trust the life G-d has given us? I’m not saying a bad mate, one that hurts you or abuses another in any fashion should be tolerated. Make a decision, get out – trust G-d to lead you in the right direction, but the truth is, one usually dismisses the warnings G-d gives us early on, and that leads us to make bad decisions.

My son, (or daughter- my edit) do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So, you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
(Pro 3:1-8 ESV)

Psa 115:11 
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.

Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.
(Isa 26:2-8 ESV)

Our paths are ordered but once in life – we either trust and follow Him or we do not. Your decision. Again I ask you, if you knew that the decisions you make in this life have consequences, consequences that are far reaching and have the possibility of shaping your path for good or evil – would you pause before you make one? Would you weigh it out so that at least you are not making that decision on a whim, but keeping in mind just a couple of simple questions: Lord, is this what you would have me do? Is this the way You want me to go?

Those two questions can shape the future, can shape a nation, can heal a land. They can save a marriage, save a child, save a city. They can roll back the night, and bring on the day, where the light of Yeshua and His Heavenly Father can lift up out of the mire all who flounder, all who are sick, all who are tired and weary. Rest is possible; you just must make the right decision. Ask the questions – then listen for the answer and:

“Na'aseh v'Nishma”
 Do listen and obey.

In this time of Covid-19, decisions must be made at all levels of society.
May we all ask of the L-rd, is this the right path, is this what You want for us?
Do pray though for your families, your neighbors, your city, and your country.

Remember what His word says:

...if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes shall be open, and My ears shall be open to the prayer of this place. For now, I have chosen and sanctified this house, so that My name may be there forever. And My eyes and My heart shall be there forever. And you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and shall observe My statutes and My judgments, then I will make the throne of your kingdom sure, as I have covenanted with David your father, saying, There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel. But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and if you shall go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them. And this house which I have sanctified for My name, I will cast out of My sight, and I will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be a wonder to everyone who passes by it, so that they shall shudder and say, "Why has Jehovah done this to this land and to this house?" And it shall be answered, "Because they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them.
Therefore He has brought all this evil on them."
(2Ch 7:14-22 MKJV)

There is always a decision to be made. Choose wisely my beloved.

[1] Lamsa, G. Mamishisho. Holy Bible From The Ancient Eastern Texts: Aramaic Of The Peshitta Vol: Electronic Edition, e-Sword, Version 12.1.0, © Copyright Rick Meyers, All rights reserved Worldwide. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985-1957, n.d.
[2] Authors note: Use of information from Jewish-themed websites should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed. The inverse is also true – by using these sites in no way confirms or denies that this author holds to all things found on these sites – but brethren, we all can learn from one another, Jew and Gentile; may it be so in shalom and love and respect.
[3] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I’ll be using the Net® Bible and the Net® Notes: within the notes you’ll see symbols like this: ( א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NetBible© for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NetBible©) used in translating the New Testament. Please go to and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.
[4] Author’s Note: In these studies, I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of G-d. I give you the notes as the authors of the material write them: I cite from them, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested, but for the sake of brevity (as if any of these posts of mine are brief I) insert them and let them stand as they are. If I don’t agree with them, why do I include them you might ask? I don’t believe in censuring anyone’s opinions or scholarship; as I would not want mine censured, so I will not do to that to another. As Rabbi Hillel once stated, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. Go and learn it.” Torah leads me to respect others, even if I disagree; it leads me to present both sides of the coin, even if it could mean I’d lose part of the argument. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe contradicts the truth of G-d’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles; that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from the NET® Bible (but not exclusively); it has a decidedly Western/Greek mindset to it, but as a wise man once said “How do you eat chicken? Swallow the meat and spit out the bones…” I do though want to present the NET® notes because there is a wealth of information and research contained within them that I hope you find helpful.
[10] tn Heb “given” (so KJV); NASB, NRSV, TEV, NLT “issued”; NIV “published”; NAB “promulgated.”
[11] tn Heb “the words of Mordecai” (so KJV); NIV, NRSV, CEV “what Mordecai had said”; NLT “with Mordecai’s message.”
[12] tn Heb “one is his law”; NASB “he (the king NIV) has but one law”
[13] tn Heb “and he will live”; KJV, ASV “that he may live”; NIV “and spare his life.”
[14] tn Heb “the words of Esther”; TEV, NLT “Esther’s message.”
[15] tn Heb “Mordecai.” The pronoun (“he”) was used in the translation for stylistic reasons. A repetition of the proper name here is redundant in terms of contemporary English style.
[16] tn Heb “from all the Jews”; KJV “more than all the Jews”; NIV “you alone of all the Jews.”
[17] tn Heb “stand”; KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT “arise.”
[18] tn Heb “place” (so KJV, NIV, NLT); NRSV “from another quarter.” This is probably an oblique reference to help coming from God. D. J. A. Clines disagrees; in his view a contrast between deliverance by Esther and deliverance by God is inappropriate (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther [NCBC], 302). But Clines’ suggestion that perhaps the reference is to deliverance by Jewish officials or by armed Jewish revolt is less attractive than seeing this veiled reference as part of the literary strategy of the book, which deliberately keeps God’s providential dealings entirely in the background.
[19] tn Heb “And who knows whether” (so NASB). The question is one of hope, but free of presumption. Cf. Jonah 3:9.
[20] tn Heb “have come to the kingdom”; NRSV “to royal dignity”; NIV “to royal position”; NLT “have been elevated to the palace.”
[21] tn Heb “I and my female attendants.” The translation reverses the order for stylistic reasons.
[22] tn Heb “which is not according to the law” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “contrary to the law.”
[5]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[19] tn Heb “And who knows whether” (so NASB). The question is one of hope, but free of presumption. Cf. Jonah 3:9.
[20] tn Heb “have come to the kingdom”; NRSV “to royal dignity”; NIV “to royal position”; NLT “have been elevated to the palace.”
[6] Richter, W., Riepl, C., & Rechenmacher, J. P. (2016). Biblia Hebraica transcripta (Es 4:14). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[7] Young, J. N., Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, (1862,1898) Author of the Young’s Analytical Concordance, electronic edition, e-Sword®, Version 12.1.0, © Copyright Rick Meyers, all rights reserved Worldwide. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985-1957, n.d.
[o[ Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26; [John 18:1]
[p] ch. 21:37; John 18:2
[q] See Matt. 21:1
[r] For ver. 40-46, see Matt. 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42
[s] John 18:2
[t] 1 Pet. 4:7
[u] Matt. 6:13
[v] See Acts 7:60
[w] Heb. 5:7
[x] See Matt. 20:22
[y] See Matt. 6:10
[8] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
[a] Esth 5:1; 6:4
[b] Dan 2:9
[c] Esth 5:2; 8:4
[9] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Es 4:10–11). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[21] tn Heb “I and my female attendants.” The translation reverses the order for stylistic reasons.
[22] tn Heb “which is not according to the law” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “contrary to the law.”
[10]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[11] If any dis-believe this is possible, hear these words: “…Although this medical condition is relatively rare, according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe (Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York) it is well-known, and there have been many cases of it. The clinical term is “hematohidrosis.” “Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form.” Under the pressure of great stress, the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes “the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands.” As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface - coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat…” For the full article, please check it out at:
[a] Ex 24:4; Heb 9:19
[b] Ex 24:3
[12] New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[13] Hebraic Roots Bible; ©Copyright Word of Truth Publications, 2009 by the Congregation of YHWH, Jerusalem, Carteret NJ
[14] Egypt
[15] telûnâh  telûnnâh tel-oo-naw', tel-oon-naw' From H3885 in the sense of obstinacy; a grumbling: - murmuring.
[16] לוּן lûn verb (to murmur, to grumble, to howl)[16]
[17] תְּלֻנָה telunāh fem. Noun (grumbling; murmuring)[17]
[18] לוּן lûn yālēn verb (to murmur, to grumble, to howl)[18]
[19] לוּן lyil-lō-nū verb to murmur, to grumble, to howl
[20] מַלִּינִ֖ים măl-lînîm’
[21]  - Original: תּלנּה תּלוּנה - Transliteration: T'luwnah - Phonetic: tel-oo-naw' From H3885 in the sense of obstinacy; a grumbling: - murmuring.
[22] רָגַן rāgan verb (to gossip, to complain)[22]
[23] מָרָה mārāh verb
(to rebel, to be disobedient)[23]

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