Parashat ha-Shavua (The Weekly Torah Portion)
AND HE CALLED
TORAH: WAYYIQRA (LEV.) 1:1-6:7
HAFTARAH: YESHAYAH (ISA.) 43:21-44:23
THE CALL TO SACRIFICE
Moshe enters the Ohel Mo’ed (tent of meeting) to receive instruction from YHWH Y’shuati on the ways in which the people can approach Him, and exist in His Perfect Presence. Remembering that He is ‘clean’ (in the sense that no sin is to be found in Him), and that we are ‘unclean’ (in the sense that we are born into sin); a provision of some kind must be made for us to cross this great divide that makes Him immortal, and us, but mere mortals.
A plan, which has existed prior to creation, was put into place in the event we should fall, providing a means to make us clean so that He could meet with us, and us with Him. Even though we might be the lowest of the low, a sinner of sinners, that even though our sins would be of scarlet, they could be made as white as snow (Yeshayah 1:18).
So one of those ways provided for each and every Yisra’elite to meet with his creator, to ascend to His presence, is to offer the Olah (ascent offering). This offering must be presented at the door of the Tent (His House) and assigned as a sacred offering by the ‘laying on of hands’ (s’michah), slaughtered, and finally the flames and smoke of the Olah allowed to ‘ascend’ heavenward to Elohim.
Do we who live today, think it a light thing to come into His presence? Can we stop between customers or tasks we perform on a daily basis and ‘send-up a quick prayer’ to satisfy this means of connection as offered to us through the Olah? No, I think not. We can send up a quick prayer or stay in prayer throughout our day, but the ‘Olah’, ‘Ascent Offering’ requires us to bring it to the door of His ‘Tent’, to present it as worthy by the laying on of hands, so even our daily routine, however high and exalted we may think it to be, must be made secondary now in our answer to His call to ‘ascend’.
This requirement causes us to seek humility in Him as we come closer to His Presence. As we come, we may ask, where is my offering? I have no goat, no sheep, not even a bird to offer my King. Then His Ruach, through the Spirit Wind that carries Him over the face of the earth, enters through our mind and heart while causing us to realize within a split second that we are the offering He seeks. Nothing holding us back, we come to His Holy Altar and offer ourselves to Him as the Olah, the daily ‘Ascent’ offering so that we may meet with Him outside of our sinful nature.
Friend, this is meant to be a ‘deep calling to deep experience’. It should never be done in a rushed, hurried manner. Do you have an altar in your home, your dwelling place, or your place of business? Wherever or whatever that is doesn’t matter. It can be in the smallest space available, or to include your entire home! It can be in your closet or your kitchen, but it needs to be a place that you can ‘set-apart’ just for the purpose of meeting with Avinu, a place where you meet with Him on a regular basis. You can have nothing except you and His Ruach there, or you may have the most elaborate of spaces with a menorah, candles, Torah, etc. for family worship. Whatever it is, it is a space in your home, which will become a space similar to your heart within you. It will be there for special times of worship and prayer, to include times such as when you come before the Adon (Master) of this world, offering yourself to Him daily in the experience of the Olah, the ascent offering.
Is this necessary you ask? You see in most cases today we just want the ‘drive-up’ window because we don’t have time for anything else. Ask yourself please, just how important is your faith to you? Is it the reason for you to live and breath, or is it just a category of thought that you have managed to ‘eek out’ a small plot for whenever you have the time? This is serious business folks that requires much more than that of us. We must take Him, His Torah and all that means into us so that it is above everything in our lives; above our family, our jobs, our social commitments, and yes; even our own selfish ‘needs’.
He wants each of us to be echad ‘one’ with Him in all things, just as The Greater and Lessor are echad with each other, so we need to become that ‘ascent offering’ the Olah as He calls to us ‘Come Near’, ascend unto me!
Elohim, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, The Mighty One, the Holy One, Blessed Be He. Consider and accept my humble offering to you I pray and do with it what you wish. I surrender myself to you Melech HaMalechim. As an ‘ascent offering,’ I humble myself, bringing myself low so as to rise and meet you; heart to heart, face to face on your altar as your servant. Lay Heavenly hands on me Father as I rededicate myself to meet with you in this manner, as the entirety of myself, dedicated to your service on this your set-apart alter. Amen!
 YHWH Our Salvation. Referred to in the Ancient Aramaic Targum Johnathan as “YHWH the Lessor”. It was through Him that all things were created, and in the end it will be through Him that all who ‘take hold’, and follow Him who walked with us as a Torah observant Jewish man, who was called Yehoshua, or Y’shua; will be saved from eternal death into the glorious truth, and light, of His eternal Kingdom, forever! Baruch HaShem of Him who gave us His Torah of Freedom and Redemption!