Vayikra 21:1 – 24:23

Va’yomer YHWH el-Mosheh emor el-ha kohanim bnei Aharon ve’amarta alehem le’nefesh lo-yitama be’amav[1]

YHWH said to Moshe, Speak to the Kohanim the sons of Aaron and say to them, There shall none of you defile himself by mourning for the dead among his people.

The Hebrew word Torah has a very specific meaning and understanding. Torah means teaching or instruction, and consists of the first five sefer (scrolls/books) of what is now known as the Bible, it does not translate to the Greek or English word meaning, ‘Law.’ However; Torah does contain some 613 laws for governing the children of Elohim. Every time we see the English word ‘Law,’ as used in our translations of today; we need to peel back the layers of time, mistranslation, and anti-Semitism. Search for truth as if it were gold, and restore the description given by Elohim “TORAH”.

(Continued from the previous commentary, Kedoshim)

We have been studying about clean and unclean, and the fact that Elohim expects Yisra’el to be holy, even as He is holy. Because of His holiness, and the danger to anyone who might accidentally enter his presence, the camp of Yisra’el was laid out in rings surrounding the Mishkan (Tabernacle). , with the tribes of Yisra’el laid out around the outer ring, the Levites in the center ring, then the Kohanim (priests) on the inner ring. Three layers of protection from the unclean to protect B’ney Yisra’el from the consuming presence of HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the Holy One Blessed be He)!

As we move in toward the Mishkan (the Tabernacle), we see the requirement for ever increasing standards of holiness. The Levites were called to higher standards of purity than the rest of Yisra’El; the Kohanim (Aaronic Levitical Priests), were called to higher standards than the Levites, with the Kohen Gadol, called to the highest. Even then, only he could go into the Holy of Holies once a year after he made personal special preparations, with the help of the Kohanim.

These rigorous preparations of the Kohen Gadol were to make him externally clean and presentable in appearance. However, even of more importance was his spiritual preparation, for he had also to be of clear thought and clean heart, having confessed all of his personal sins. All of this was for his service before the Mercy Seat on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). These preparations made it possible for the Kohen Gadol to ‘enter in’ on behalf of himself and the camp to offer the sin offering. This offering, if accepted, would remove all the sins of Yisra’el, including those of the Kohen.

One wrong move, one misstep, one impure thought, and the Kohen was history. He would be incinerated on the spot, and possibly all Yisra’el with Him. So the entire camp would wait with baited breath for his return, meaning their past sins had been forgiven.

Is the possibility of instant death for not following His instructions, because Elohim is cruel or vicious? No, of course not! It is because sin cannot exist in the presence of a Holy Creator. This is why all of the sacrifices of the produce, flocks, and herds of Yisra’el were so specific and so exacting. Just as it was for the Kohen to prepare for his meeting, so it was for all the children of Yisra’el. For three days and three nights, they made preparation. Abstaining from marital relations, bathing and washing clothes, cleaning the camp. Making all ready to receive The All Eternal One, the Creator of man and earth, the King of Kings.

Please remember that YHVH could not, and would not come down to dwell with his children until; they verified the covenant between them by preparing as specified, then agreeing to be obedient to it.

This is what it takes to come into the presence of YHVH Tzva’ot (YHVH of Hosts) and not be consumed by His Presence! This is the level of protection He places around Him so that He may dwell among us, and us with Him.

Drawing nearer to Elohim requires higher levels of perfection, but striving for perfection in holiness is much different for us than striving for perfection in the secular realm. Instead of worldly power, adulation, greatness, and wealth; our strive for perfection requires a conscious effort for humility and thankfulness in all we do. Seek to accomplish whatever task given to you, as it were the most important thing you’ve ever been tasked to do. Look at your work, as if you were working for YHVH; which in effect, you are. A worker at the local landfill, to the COO of a multi-level international organization; a Private, to the Commander in Chief, makes no difference. Visualize the King of Kings, washing the feet of his talmidim (students/disciples) demonstrating the level of service He expects of us.

A desire to search for YHWH, and find Him out through the study of His age old Sacred Word; and a determined effort to separate ourselves from worldliness and the acquisition of material things are required. Seeking Him in all that we do, with a willingness to serve our fellow man as we serve the El of our salvation no matter the size or type of task given, but especially in those tasks that may seem menial to us, our reward will be great; moreover, it will be everlasting!

As we progress in our effort toward holiness, as we approach the Holy of Holies, we will be drawn closer to Elohim and will be given a heart of ahavah (love) and a spirit of selfless humility, to serve our fellow man rather than ourselves, if; and only if, we are willing. This and only this is our reason for being. Not personal recognition, not for earthly reward, financial improvement, or power over others. These earthly things will be bestowed upon those who live to serve the Greatest Servent of All, as needed and in His time.

The closer we come to spiritual perfection, to holiness, the more aware we will become of our pitiful condition, causing us to rely even more on our Creator in all things. The product is an individual that will walk in observance of Torah, just as HaMashiyach Y’shua does; looking only to YHVH Y’shuati for “well done thou good and faithful servant”. Worldly success and acknowledgment will come in His way, at His time. Seeking Him and His Kingdom is the labor of ahavah that all believers are called to.

Remember that these things, the Mishkan, the order of worship, the three lawyers of protection from the outer camp to the Levites; from the Levites to the Kohen were all created in the image of the Heavenly. The three levels are still there, the camp of Yisra’El, (Us); the Kohen (our religious leaders), and our Great High Priest, Y’shua HaMmashiach; who ministers before the Shekinah of Elohim on our behalf, both day; and night. It is through Y’shua that we are able to see Elohim, and He, us!


[1] Sefer Torah Vol. 1 Emet Edition Clayton Howard Rickert ©2001-2002 Emetscroll Publications Brisbane, Queensland Australia 4005