PARASHAT WAYYIQRA

Parashat ha-Shavua (The Weekly Torah Portion)

PARASHAT WAYYIQRA

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[1] 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!

 

Shabbat Shalom

Sha’ul

[1] 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!

TORAH PARASHAT YITRO 

Shemot (Ex) 18:1-20:23 

The Readings here presented are in the manner of the seven courses of the Torah reading in the Orthodox Synagogue on Shabbat (annual reading cycle), broken down instead to the seven days of the week, with Sunday of course labeled as “First Day” (the Biblical method of labeling days up to the Babylonian captivity when use of pagan names for days and months began). 

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural references are taken from “The Scriptures 2009” 

1. 18:1-12 First Day 

Moshe is reunited with his wife, Tsipporah, and two sons who were delivered to him by his father-in-law, Yitro; who is also known as “the priest of Midyan”. Moshe recounts the events that had taken place from Mitzrayim to their present time and Yitro is filled with praise and rejoicing.  

9 And Yithro rejoiced for all the good which יהוה had done for Yisra’ĕl, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Mitsrites. 10 And Yithro said, “Blessed be יהוה, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Mitsrites and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Mitsrites. 11 “Now I know that יהוה is greater than all the mighty ones, indeed in the matter in which they acted proudly, above them.” 

He then brings “an ascending offering and other slaughterings unto Elohim” then breaks bread with Moshe and the Elders of Yisra’el before HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed Be He)! 

From the short time that Yisra’el had ‘crossed over’. to the time they had arrived at the base of the mountain; news of this miraculous event had traveled to Midyan and Yitro. Word of what had happened at the Yom Suf (Sea of Reeds/Red Sea) had, without radio, TV, or social media; spread like wildfire among the peoples of the then known world.  

Try to imagine if you will; the wonder, excitement, and sheer awe created in remote communities who were hearing about the El of Yisra’el and His awesome power for what might have been the first time! Not accustomed as we are to receiving the latest news about anything, on demand 24/7; the speed at which this news traveled only emphasized its importance and possibly life-altering effect it must have had on those who might have had ‘ears to hear’!   

2. 18:13-23 Second Day 

17 And the father-in-law of Mosheh said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 “Both you and these people with you shall certainly wear yourselves out. For the matter is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it by yourself.   

Upon seeing the daily task of judging over the people as was conducted by Moshe, Yitro is impressed to give Moshe counsel on a better, more efficient way to conduct this responsibility as we see at the end of this days reading: 

21 “But you yourself, seek out from all the people able men, who fear Elohim, men of truth, hating unfair gain. And place these over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 “And they shall rightly rule the people at all times. And it shall be that they bring every great matter to you, but they themselves rightly rule every small matter. So, make it lighter for yourself, for they shall bear with you. 23 “If you do this word, and Elohim shall command you, then you shall be able to stand and all this people also go to their place in peace.” 

Moshe being the man of El that he was, was able to discern the truth of what Yitro was telling him.

3. 18:24-27 THIRD DAY 

24 And Mosheh listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he said. 25 And Mosheh chose able men out of all Yisra’ĕl, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they rightly ruled the people at all times – the hard matters they brought to Mosheh, but they rightly ruled every small matter themselves. 27 And Mosheh sent off his father-in-law, and he went away to his own land.

The text gives rise to several questions for your prayerful study and consideration. Please feel free to discuss and comment on the following:  

Yitro was not an Yisra’elite, why then would Mosheh listen to what he had to say, then act upon his suggestions by doing “…all that he said”? 

Why in such an important matter, that planted the seed for a government over the people; did not Elohim Himself give these instructions to Yisra’el through Mosheh instead of going through a heathen priest? 

How were these men, and Moshe, able to judge for the people without Torah, which was yet to be given?  

4.19:1-6 4th day

1 In the third new moon after the children of Yisra’ĕl had come out of the land of Mitsrayim, on this day they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they set out from Rephiḏim, and had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Yisra’ĕl camped there before the mountain. 3 And Mosheh went up to Elohim, and יהוה called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you are to say to the house of Ya‛aqoḇ, and declare to the children of Yisra’ĕl: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Mitsrites, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 ‘And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.” 

 “In the third new moon…”, of course, is speaking of the third month of the Biblical year after the only month named by Elohim, the month of Abib. You will not find the use of additional names of months until the Hebrews adopt the pagan names of the Nations surrounding them. Notice if you will the circumstances of the repetitive use of groups of three throughout Scripture, just as there are groups of sevens, tens, and multiples of them. Whenever Elohim really wants to get our attention, He’s going to repeat a topic or theme at least twice in order to emphasize its’ importance or to underscore the deep spiritual message wrapped up into His special ‘time capsule’ as it were. What do you think the message of this ‘time capsule’ is?

Yisra’el arrives at the plain that exists before Har Sinai, and establishes camp as Mosheh makes his first trip up into its’ Holy precincts to meet with יהוה (B’H). Here Elohim gives Mosheh a message to deliver, not only to B’ney Yisra’el as they stood before Him at the base of the Mount, but to Kol Yisra’el all the way down through the ages of time to our day and beyond, ‘…if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’  

Can we understand from this, just how ludicrous it is for us to say today that we are no longer required to obey His Torah? Not only are we to ‘…obey…’, but we are to ‘…guard…’ His covenant according to the author of it! It is then and ONLY THEN, that ‘…you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples…and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’! How can we possibly lay claim to this promise without guarded obedience to His covenant? You teachers who claim to speak for Him and yet deny His Torah beware! You are teaching a different Torah and you are not guarding His covenant! So what will you do? Will you continue to read these words and then purposely disregard them and teach something contrary, knowing all the while that His Word which never changes, is like Him; the same yesterday, today, and forever? Or will you in all humility allow the conviction that speaks to your heart even now to cause you to make teshuva, to turn away from your antinomian teaching and return to His Torah? To return to a Father who waits patiently for you, and then with open arms welcomes you home with joy and great celebration?  

If this should describe you in any way, I pray that you will not put off the call of His Ruach any longer, as He calls each of us today to repent, and return!  

 

 

SHABBAT AFTERNOON FIRESIDE DRASH Chayei Sarah

Torah Parashat Chayei Sarah

חַי שָׂרָה

 

Torah: Bereshis 23:1-25:18

Haftarah: Melakim Aleph (1Kings) 1:1-1:31

Ketuvim Netzarim: 2 Cor. 4:17-5:2; Heb. 11:11-13

 

 

THOUGHT QUESTIONS:

Q: How is our relationship to this world described within our Torah portion?

A: We are strangers & sojourners Ber. 23:4; 1st Ch. 29:15; Heb. 11:13

So often I’ve caught myself concerning over purchase of houses and lands, when I realize my thinking is based on looking down, and not ‘up’ where it should be. You see, our father Abraham understood this very well. As he explained to the sons of Heth, “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you…” Ber. 23:4 His only interest in purchasing land, was to provide a burial place for “…his dead…”, so that they could be buried “…out of my sight.”  True, Abraham as were all the Patriarchs, were nomads. One might argue that Y’shua (having not a pillow on which to lay his head), was the greatest nomad of all time! What is it about our society today that causes us to look down upon that particular lifestyle as being one of the ‘shiftless’, one who may be ‘socially unacceptable’, or possibly ‘derelict’ in some way and not to be trusted?

“For we are sojourners and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without permanence. 1st Chronicles 29:15

In belief all these died, not having received the promises, but seeing them from a distance, welcomed and embraced them, and confessed that they were aliens and strangers on the earth.” Heb. 11:13

Q: How does living by ’emunah’, faith; relate to worldly cultures and values.

A: It doesn’t. Living by emunah is always at odds with worldly cultures and values.

Q: What was the blessing received through the emunah of Sarah?

A:  Because by belief (faith/emunah) “…Sarah herself was enabled to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the normal age, because she deemed Him trustworthy who had promised.Heb. 11:11

Because of this trusting emunah, the book of Hebrews goes on to explain to us in 11:12

And so from one, and him as good as dead, were born as numerous as the stars of the heaven, as countless as the sand which is by the seashore.

Here again, we see the covenant promise of the multiplicity of the seed of Abraham that will go out into all the world, “count them if you can” Abraham! Bereshis 15:5.

Q. Comment on 2 Cor. 4: 17-5:2

A. This is our hope! If we could but grasp this concept of “not looking at the things which are seen because they are temporal” but rather the “things which are not seen, which are eternal.” our journey would be so much easier, with the goal always in view.

Q. How does Torah regard aging?           

A. Torah regards aging as a process of construction, of building up toward the goal of perfection – not decay. Of course, this is just the opposite of secular teaching.

I pray that you will have been blessed by your Torah study this week. Join us next week for ‘Tol’dot’ – Generations as found in Bereshis (Gen.) 25:19-28:9, as we walk up to Y’rushalyim, up to the house of YHVH Elohenu! Baruch HaShem YHVH Y’shuati!

 

Parashah Ki Tavo – when you enter in

Torah: Deu 26:1-29:9[8]

Haftarah: Is 60:1-60:22

Dt.26: 16 “Today יהוה your Elohim is commanding you to do these laws and right-rulings. And you shall guard and do them with all your heart and with all your being. 17 “You have today caused יהוה to proclaim to be your Elohim, and to walk in His ways and guard His laws, and His commands, and His right-rulings, and to obey His voice. (Gen. 17:7) 18 “And יהוה  has caused you to proclaim today to be His people, a treasured possession, as He has spoken to you, and to guard all His commands, (Exod 19:5; Deut 7:6; Deut 14:2; [Eph 1:14]; [1Pet 2:9]; 19 so as to set you high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem, and for you to be a set-apart people to יהוה  your Elohim, as He has spoken.” (Deut 4:7) TS 2009

Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah

This evening, while welcoming the Spirit of the Shabbat into our home; with uplifted arm and outstretched hand we sang the Shema; (the words of Dt. 6:4) “…Shema Yisra’el…”, “…hear oh Yisra’el…”, my thoughts were again directed toward one of the greatest misunderstood messages of the entire Bible, and how it is connected so deeply to the Torah Parashah for this Shabbat.

Here in Dt. 26:16, we see how dear Yisra’el is to Our Creator. As they stand before Him, All of Yisra’el covenants to be obedient with all of their heart and with all of their being, causing YHVH to proclaim to their Elohim by walking in His ways and guarding His laws, and commands, and right-rulings, while obeying His voice.

How awesome is our Creator! To love Yisra’el so that He would cause them to proclaim to “…be His people, a treasured possession…” so He could set them “…high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem…to be a set-apart (holy) people to Him”! The grandeur of what has and is transpiring here goes so far above and beyond my wildest imagining that I shutter to realize just how great and terrible He is, and how difficult it is to comprehend His unmerited chesed (mercy) and ahavah (love) for us! How awesome is Elohenu!

So while you are letting that ‘soak-in’, consider this. Yisra’el, the twelve tribes who entered into this covenant exist today and are under the same Covenant made with HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Blessed Be He) now as then! Nothing has changed. Man has tried over and over again to change this relationship between Elohim and His People, but really, can man dictate to Him who is omnipotent, who is his Creator? How ridicules to even think for one moment that man-made traditions and laws can countermand what we have just read in D’varim (Dt.) 26.

Yisra’el is Yisra’el. It is not the Church, nor is it the Jewish State of today. Yisra’el are those Jews of The House of Yehudah, and the gentiles of The House of Yisra’el that have had their blinders removed, who have seen and responded to the call to return to Torah and recognition of The Lessor YHVH (Y’shua) of the Targums who is called Emanu’El (El who is with us). It is this House of Yisra’el that Y’shua came to redeem (Mattityahu 15:24) since it is they who have been lost following pagan teachings and ways while disobeying His Eternal Torah!

If you are a Christian, I pray that you would listen to the voice of HaRuach, The Spirit, who is calling to the drop of Yisra’elite blood that courses through your veins. You know who you are. You are the one who has questions that seem to have no answers. You see the confusion in the message you hear from your leaders that contradict what you read in the precious Word of Our Master. Why is that? You feel a special closeness to things that are Hebraic in nature, or desire to learn more of the Hebrew faith of the original followers of our Jewish Messiah. You are so precious in His eyes and heart as He calls to you to come back, come home, return to Him through obedience out of love for His unspeakable gift; remembering that we are to be as ‘one’ (Gal. 3:28-29). And this: you are not called to convert Jews to Christianity!

If you are Jewish, may you be blessed in your observance of the Holy Torah, guarding and preserving it through fire, war, and such terrible persecution. You who have been looking for the lost of The House of Yisra’el, the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom who once belonged to the ‘Fallen Tabernacle of David’; they are here, and they are returning! Ezekiel 37 is being fulfilled in front of our eyes as you read these words. Be excited for them! Welcome them home with open arms! Teach them the Lashon Kadosh, the Holy Tongue and the precious words of Torah that you have shed your blood for all these many centuries of time. Do not fear them for you and they will be reunited into one body again, as it once was under our mighty Melech D’avid! Hoshana! And this, Goy are not called to Judaism, they are called to return to the Torah that the House of Yisra’el left so long ago!

So as we enter into the set-apart, holy hours of HaShabbat, be at peace and listen with your heart to what the Ruach has to say to you concerning this.

Let us renew our Covenant with Elohim, and welcome each other as ‘echad’, one with each other, even as he is echad. Come to peace with Torah and the fact that you are all called to be a special people, to be echad with Him in the Yisra’el of YHVH.

Be blessed this Shabbat as we walk together up the path to Y’rushalyim, up to the House of YHVH Elohenu, Melech Malchei HaMlachim!

Sha’ul

THIS WEEK IN TORAH

An E-Drash from the perspective of the ancient Jewish sect called, “HaNetzarim” (Acts 24:5)

TORAH: Wa’etḥannan – “And I sought favour”  Deḇarim (Deu) 3:23-Deu 7:11

HAFTARAH: Yeshayahu (Isa) 40:1-26

KETUVIM NETZARIM: Kepha Aleph (1 Pt) 2:9


“For you are a set-apart people to YHVH your Elohim. YHVH your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”

 

Please join me this week as I rededicate myself to this high calling of YHVH, HaKadosh Baruch Hu. Remembering His unequaled and unparalleled love for us as demonstrated through the provision of His Son, whose life was lived out as a flesh and blood man in perfect obedience to Torah; then suffering a cruel and painful death on the execution stake for me, and each of you. How could we possibly reject His call to be “set-apart”, to be Holy? Is it such a difficult thing for us? Does this question call for us to become defensive concerning our faith and/or obedience to Him? If it does, I think we must ask ourselves why, and what would the solution for that be?

Please join me this week as we study ‘Wa’etḥannan’, and listen to what His Spirit speaks to your heart!

Shalom Aleichem!Sha’ul

Sha’ul

WEEKLY TORAH PARASHAH FROM THE ANCIENT JEWISH SECT KNOWN AS “HaNETZARIM”

Parashat:                       Statutes Ḥuqqat – Bamidbar (Nu.) 19:1-22:1 

                                            

Haftarot:                        Shophetim (Jdg) 11:1-33 

 

Ketuvim Netzarim:      Yochanan (Jn.) 3:21

 

TORAH

THE PARAH ADUMAH[1]

ALIYOT[2]                                         

1st              Rishon

Numbers 19:1 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon, saying, 2 “This is a law of the Torah which יהוה has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, that they bring you a red heifer, a perfect one, in which there is no blemish and on which a yoke has never come.

Of the 613 Mitzvah of HaTorah, those pertaining specifically to the Parah Adumah (The Red Heffer) are #574; To carry out the ordinance of the Red Heifer so that its ashes will always be available (Num. 19:9) (affirmative). And #576 That the waters of separation defile one who is clean, and cleanse the unclean from pollution by a dead body (Num. 19:19-22) (affirmative).[3]

This Aliyot of our Torah Parashah is called a ‘Ḥuqqat’or ‘Chukkim’, and it refers to the type of Statut this Mitzva is.

Generally speaking, the 613 mitzvot are divided into three categories: logical Mishpatim (‘laws’ or ‘judgments’) supra-rational Huqqat, or chukkim (decrees), and Eidot (Testimonials).

Mishpatim (Laws or Judgments) are mitzvot such as the commandment to give charity or the prohibitions against theft and murder, whose reasons are pretty much obvious.

Huqqat/Chukkim (Decrees) are statutes given without a reason, such as The Parah Adumah, described in our Aliyot for this Parashah. “The Talmud states that of all the mitzvot of Torah, this is the only one that King Solomon could not fathom since this sacrifice is the most paradoxical of all the sacrifices listed there[4].”

Eidot, or (Testimonials), occupy the middle ground between Mishpatim (Laws/Judgements) and the Huqqat/Chukkim (Decrees). An Eidot (Testimonial) is a mitzvah which commemorates or represents something, e.g., the Mitzvot to observe the Feasts or Mo’edim of YHVH, rest on Shabbat, or eat unleavened bread (Matza) on Pesach. These are not laws that we would have devised on our own; they are deliberate, rational acts.

Now, going back to the Parah Adumah. The laws concerning the selection of the red heifer are very specific, and demand a close examination of the animal to determine its’ suitability. The ashes of the animal will be used to purify those contaminated by contact with death.There must not be spot, nor blemish, there can be no more than one white or black hair on the animal, it could never have been used for secular purposes, and it must have been born in Eretz Yisra’el.

The animal had to be taken out of the Camp of Yisra’el, where, under the supervision of the Kohen, it was killed. Some of its’ blood was taken before the Mishkan and sprinkled seven times; then the dead animal would be completely burned. The ashes would then be gathered and mixed with water to create what was called “The Water of Separation.”

Through a specific seven-day ceremony, anyone who had been contaminated by coming into contact with a corpse (making them ceremonially unclean), could be considered ‘clean’ again after being sprinkled with the ‘Water of Separation’ applied by a stalk of hyssop on the third and seventh days. The last day would also include an immersion in a mikveh[5]. The individual would be considered unclean until the following evening when they would be allowed to return to the Camp and resume their prescribed duties.

We as Netzarim Yahudim, recognize Y’shua as the “Water of Separation,” that cleanses us from all sin making us clean again. We don’t have to wait for a perfect sacrifice; we don’t need any special ceremony. His righteous blood is available to us 24:7! Let us then go up to Y’rushalyim, and up to the House of YHVH Elohenu, who is our Mayim Chayim, our Living Water who cleanses us from all sin!

Shabbat Shalom U’vrachot (Peace and Blessings to You)

Sha’ul

[1] Parah Adumah: The Red Heffer required for purification from contact with the dead.

[2] Aliyot refer to smaller sections of the weekly Parashah that are assigned to members of the congregation (who make aliyah by going UP to read), for the Torah Reading part of the service. For Shabbat services, there are 7 aliyot. The Maftir is the concluding aliyah and usually includes the reading of the Haftarot portion as well. In second temple times, the 7th aliyot was the Haftarot portion with no Maftir in the reading.

[3] http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm © Copyright 5757-5771 (1996-2011), Tracey R Rich

[4] http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Shabbat/Special/Parah/parah.html

[5] Mikveh: A gathering of ‘mayim chyim’ (living water) in which one would immerse for one of several different reasons, and in a specific way.

Weekly Torah Parashat

Parashat:                       Qora – Bamidbar (Nu.) 16:1 – 18:32

Haftarot:                         Shemu’ĕl Aleph (1 Sam) 11:14-12:22

Ketuvim Netzarim:   Ma’asei (Acts) 5:11

                                                                             TORAH

ALIYOT[1]  

1ST RISHON      

The Rebellion of Qora: Bamidbar 16:1-2

 And, Qora son of Yitshar, son of Qehath, son of Lĕwi, took both Dathan and Airam the sons of Eliya, and On, son of Peleth, sons of Re’uḇĕn, and they rose up before Mosheh with some of the children of Yisra’ĕl, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, called ones of the meeting, men of name. (Num 16:1,2 [TS2009])

 There are several points to be made in this Aliyot, but two of them immediately stand out from the others.

The first is that Torah is our teacher, and this lesson is no different than many others in which YHVH presents us with a concept and then expects us to react in a certain way, so that we may reap the harvest or benefit/blessing of that concept. In other words, the promise is made, but it requires that we must take some action for that promise to be realized. B’ney Yisra’el were given the promise that YHVH would be with them as they entered the Promised Land of Kannan, but of course, they did not follow through; and by not following through, they lost the blessing.

The second would be that we should never expect the majority to be correct! We are each held accountable for the decisions that we make, regardless of how many there are around us making the same decision. The death of Qoraḥ and those who joined his confederacy was tragic and easily could have been avoided.

Factions and discontent, Jealousy and envy, prove to be the seeds that land on fertile ground within the family of Korach and a rebellion fomented. As these seeds take root, they grow ideas such as, “if I were in charge things would be done differently,” or, “If I were in charge of things, I would give the people what they want, and they would have more respect for me”. But there is someone in charge, and that someone is Moshe, followed by his brother Aaron, both appointed by YHVH Elohenu HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

Our last Parashah described the mission given to the 12 spies, or ‘scouts’ as I would prefer to call them, and the reports they brought back with them. Ten of them brought back a report that again fanned the flames of doubt within the Camp, While two of those reports offered encouragement of reliance upon the El of Yisra’el to deliver Kanaan to them if they but go forward in the belief that His promises are true.

It’s difficult to comprehend that of all the tribes, this sin fomented in the mind of Qoraḥ of the Tribe of Levi and spread to anyone who would listen. It’s even more difficult to make an attempt at rationalizing this rebellion in that Yisra’el had just been delivered from the hand of oppression in Mitzrayim; from Paro and his army through the walls of water parted for them by Elohim. They had seen His mighty power again at Raphidim as water gushed from the desert rock, they had seen the top of Har Sini on fire, the dark clouds lit with flashes of lightning, and in fear, they tried to hide as they heard His voice speak to them. And now, as they were about to enter into the promised land, they were torn apart again by the same symptoms of doubt, and lack of faith. The same old cry of “We should never have left Mitsrayim” rang out throughout the Camp of Yisra’el.

A few of the tools satan used as a wedge to divide and conquer in this Parashah were; speaking Lashon Harah (the evil tongue), self-pride, division, confusion, disloyalty to the common cause and those appointed over them.  But we see the same thing happening today. The need exists for us to stay focused on YHVH Y’shuati and His Torah at all times. Never follow another human without question! We are all mortal beings, subject to error and the wrath of His Righteous Judgement.

YHVH Himself has appointed the leaders who are over us, and our duty to them has been outlined within His Word, HaD’var YHVH. Our allegiance in all cases is always first and foremost to YHVH and His Mitzvot.

Shalom U’vrachot (Peace and Blessings to You)

Sha’ul

[1] Aliyot refer to smaller sections of the weekly Parashah that are assigned to members of the congregation (who make aliyah by going UP to read), for the Torah Reading part of the service. For Shabbat services, there are 7 aliyot. The Maftir is the concluding aliyah and usually includes the reading of the Haftarot portion as well. In second Temple times, the 7th aliyot was the Haftarot portion with no Maftir in the reading.

A TORAH COMMENTARY FROM THE ANCIENT JEWISH SECT of HaNATSARIM

Torah:                          b’Har (on the Mountain)

                                             Va’Yikra (Lev.) 25:1 – 26:2

Haftarah:                           Yirmeyahu (Jer.) 32:6 – 27

Ketuvim Natsarim:         Romans 6:22


 

Vayikra 25:1-2

1  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינַי לֵאמֹֽר׃

2 דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָֽה׃

25:1) va’yedaber YHWH el-Mosheh be’han Sinai lemor (2) daber el-benei Yisra’el ve’amarta alehem Ki tavo’u el-ha’arets asher ani noten lachem ve’shavetah ha’arets Shabbat la’YHWH         

25:1) And YHWH spoke to Mosheh on Mount Sinai, saying, (2) Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall observe a Sabbath to YHWH


 

A SHABBAT REST FOR THE LAND

The Shemittah Year (year of release or sabbatical year):

Traveling our path in Torah thus far we have seen the holiness and sanctity of the seventh day Shabbat, the High Holy Days of the seventh month; and now we will look at the laws of the seventh year, the ‘Shemittah,’ the year of release. Shemittah celebrates Elohim’s ownership of the land, which belongs to Him alone (25:3). The land is not to be worked during the Shemittah but allowed to go fallow. Orchards and vineyards were left un-harvested, un-pruned, and un-worked, but the produce that came forth on its own was available to any and all, stranger or native born, man and beast alike. Crops of the six year produced a triple harvest (25:21), and a guarantee of safety, as part of YHVHs’ blessing upon those observing this Chukim. “Such a guarantee flies in the face of human logic! For this reason, Torah classifies agricultural requirements as Chukim (Statutes), not as Mitzvot (commands) or Mishpatim (ordinances) which are based on rationality or logic. Clearly, dwelling securely in the Land demands radical faith![1]

Debtors went free in the Shemittah. All loans were forgiven, and no money lender could demand repayment from a debtor (Dt. 15:1-4). Torah requires next of kin buy back (redeem) property once belonging to an impoverished relative (Lv. 25:25). If a kinsman redeemer did not come forward, the property would revert to its original clan on the Yovel (see below).

Remembering the guarantee of safety that accompanied observance of the laws of Shemittah? It was the lack of obedience to them, that lead to the 70-year captivity in Babylon, one year of for every 7th year that B’ney Yisra’el neglected the Shemittah, or, for the 490 years prior (2 Ch. 36:20-21).

How to determine the Shemittah year:

To determine the Shemittah year, divide the current Jewish year by seven. If there is no remainder, it is a year of Shemittah. If there is a remainder, it will tell you how long since the last Shemittah. For example, this year on the Rabbinical calendar is 5777, divided by seven = 825.3, not a Shemittah year since there is a remainder in our calculation. However, the amount left tells us that the last Shemittah occurred in 5774, three years ago this last Abib. And of course, Abib is determined by the conjunction of the ripened (abib) ear of barley in the land, and the first sighting of a new moon; which was as observed before the Babylonian captivity and prior to the Rabbinical Calendar. Praise be to YHVH that today we see a return to His astronomical and agriculturally corrected Biblical Calendar while departing from names of days and months brought out of pagan Babylon.

Yovel (Jubilee, home bringing):

After the Shemittah of the forty-ninth year, the Yovel was declared on Yom Kippur of the fiftieth year by the blast of the shofar, a ram’s horn (called a ‘Yovel’ in Hebrew) from one of the Biblically Clean animals of Vayikra 11. Liberty for all inhabitants was proclaimed (Lev. 25:10), and all Hebrew slaves were set free; clans received back their original territories. Property that had been sold during the Shemittah year, if not bought back by a kinsman, would be returned to its original owners or their clan.

Shemittah and Torah: a product of divine inspiration or man’s invention?

In light of continuing attacks on the Divine authorship of Scripture, I offer the following short article from Rabbi Boruch Leff of ‘Aish.com’ for your consideration and use:

The Sabbatical year and the Divine authorship of the Torah.

(Changes made to the Sacred Name and titles of Elohim are made by me.)

“The laws of Shemitta seem to be irrational and are indicative of their Divine origin. Would any human being write laws that seem impossible to accept and observe? The laws of Shemitta command the Jewish people to desist from all agricultural work every seventh year (see Va’Yikra 25: 1-24) every 50th year, there is an additional year called Yovel, Jubilee, in which they cannot engage in working the land either. This means that both the 49th and 50th years are off limits to any and all farming.”

“Why would a human being write such a ridiculous law? It is akin to commanding the people to starve to death every 7th year.”

“Yet, the author of the Torah goes further. The people will be bothered and worried when they hear of these laws. They will ask, ‘How will we survive in the 7th year?’ (See 25:20). The author, consequently, makes a guarantee. He promises that every 6th year they will receive a special blessing of a double crop (25:21) which would suffice for both the 6th and 7th years”

“Could a human being guarantee such an occurrence? The very first time the 6th year comes without yielding a double crop, the people will see that it was a lie! They will see that El could not have written the Torah and it was made up by a human being. If a human being did invent the Torah, why would he devise a law that risks destroying his concocted religion? Is there a law such as this in any other religion that exposes itself to falsehood and absurdity? Only El could have authored the laws of Shemitta.”

Rabbi Leff goes on to write about the three pilgrimage festivals as additional evidence of divine inspiration behind the writing of the Torah, citing the fact that all males in Yisra’el were required to come up to Y’rushalyim three times a year for the commanded feasts. With the Ammonites, Philistines, and Amalekites looking for their chance to invade, this would have been a perfect time. However, the author of the Torah tells the people not to worry, while they are in Y’rushalyim, nothing will happen to their homes, their crops, their animals and all their possessions (Shemot 34:24), and as long as this mitzvah (commandment) was observed, they were kept safe.

How can we apply the laws of Shemittah today?

Ask any farmer, or gardener if there is life in the soil, and they will all tell you that if there isn’t, you’re not going to grow anything. For those of us who live in a desert environment, we know this all too well.

To support life the soil must be alive, having a certain chemical and organic balance that will allow a seed to germinate and grow. If the soil is required to produce the same crop continuously year after year, or even different crops in rotation, it must eventually be rested and fed to renew this organic chemical balance.

Once the natural order of Sabbatical rest has been interrupted, the land must receive some type of artificial stimulation so that it will continue to produce. We (man), have taken this to the extreme where agri-business must generate the highest volume possible per acre, at the lowest cost, for the highest possible profit. This demand upon the land has spun-off into the agricultural chemical industry, and an absolute necessity to meet the requirements of today’s market.

Many believers having enough suitable ground to produce a sustainable food source for their families have done so while including a return to Elohim’s plan for rest and rejuvenation of the land every Shemittah. If you live in the city, a small garden may be possible. No matter how small it may be, follow the law of the Shemittah, letting your garden plot rest every seventh year of observance, and YHWH’s blessing will be yours.

In the Shemittah there is a Shabbat rest for the earth, from which comes all life. In observance of Shemittah Yisra’el was blessed with an overabundance of produce and livestock, and on the Yovel, freedom was proclaimed to all. Even though the accuracy of the Rabbinical calendar remains in question, (possibly by at least 100 but no more than 200 years), we now have reestablished the corrected astronomical and agriculturally based Biblical Calendar. With this knowledge, coupled with a prophetic understanding of the Feasts of YHWH and the picture they paint for us concerning the times and seasons, we could be expecting the sounding of the ram’s horn of the last Yovel on the 10th day of the 7th biblical month very soon! The exact year of the Anointed Time is and will be unknown to us until …it shall be said in that day, “See, this is our Elohim. We have waited for Him, and He saves us. This is YHVH, we have waited for Him, let us be glad and rejoice in His deliverance.” HalleluYAH! Amen and Amen!

Sha’ul

+++

HAFTAROT

Yirmeyahu 32:6-27

THE KINSMAN REDEEMER

Our portion from the Prophets unfolds before us in the tumult and destruction of Y’rushalyim by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, where we find assurance and a promise of a kinsman redeemer to come.

Yirmeyahu, who lies imprisoned during the conquest of the capital, receives a message from El that instructs him to redeem the property of his next of kinsman, Chanam’el (Favor of El).  What’s left of Yisra’el (The House of Yahuda) is about to go into captivity for seventy years (Jer. 29:10; 2 Chr. 36:21) for failure to obey YHWH concerning the Shemittah. To most, it would seem strange to be conducting such a business transaction in light of current and future events.

But there is a hidden promise in this seemingly fruitless purchase, and it lies in the understanding of the Shemittah/Yovel and the kinsman redeemer. The promise has already been made in 29:10 that the captivity would be for seventy years and that “I will deliver you and perform my good word toward you in bringing you back to this country.” The promise made through Yirmeyahu’s transaction with Chanam’el, is that the sons of Yisra’el will be redeemed to return, to resume their lives in the land, at the completion of ten Shemittot in Yirmeyahu’s time.  But as we read on through to vs. 14, we see the hidden promise partially revealed in a prophecy of redemption and restoration from the Diaspora in our time. When the House of Yahudah is gathered from all the lands where they had been scattered “…and I will bring you back to the place from which I have caused you to be carried away from.”

We as believers in Y’shua Mashiyach can look forward to the time when this promise is fully revealed, come the tenth day of the seventh month of a Yovel when the shofar will sound, and freedom is proclaimed to the captives! Baruch HaShem!

As a side note, if we were to calculate the number of Shemittot to reach the 7th millennium, the result would be 1,000. The number of Yovelim required to arrive at the 7th Millennium would be 140, a multiple of 7, 10, and 70. Interesting how these figures play out, each one being very significant in Hebraic thought and understanding. Is there a hidden message for us laying behind these numbers?

Sha’ul

+++

KETUVIM NETSARIM (K.N./Writings of the Netsarim)

Romans 6 (TS2009)

16) Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17) But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18) And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.

Would you think of yourself as a servant? Certainly not some would say, but I have a few on my staff! Chaverim, there are servants, and then there are Servants! El declares out of our Torah Portion that “For they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Mitsrayim; they shall not be sold as bondmen” (Lev. 25:42).

Servants of Elohim were not to be held as bondsmen in perpetuity but were to be released from bondage on the year of the Yovel so that they could return to the life of freedom intended for them. That freedom was to be a servant to the El of our salvation. It was El who ransomed them and as their Kinsman Redeemer brought them out of bondage in Mitzrayim into His marvelous light, where they could serve Him as a nation of Kings and Priests.

He has done this for us again, through His manifestation as Y’shua Ben Yoseph. Y’shua, as our Kinsman Redeemer, has brought us out of our personal Egypt (sin); and through the precious Blood of The Lamb, He has paid the ransom price so that we may be Free! While we are learning how to serve Him through the Teachings of HaTorah, our price has been paid and the Covenant renewed. The Kingdom of YHVH begins with the acceptance of His Free Gift. That Gift covers us as we learn obedience to Him, as we walk up to Y’rushalyim, up to the House of YHVH!

 Rabbi Shaul rejoices with us in the freedom we have gained as “servants of righteousness” after our “emancipation from sin.”[2] It is now, in the year of our release, in the “Yovel” that our Kinsman Redeemer has paid our ransom. We read in Luke Ch. 4 (TS2009):

(16) And he came to Natsareth where He had been brought up. And according to His practice, He went into the congregation on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17) And the scroll of the prophet Yeshayahu was handed to Him. And having unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written: 18) ”The Spirit of YHVH is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed one with a release, 19) to proclaim the acceptable year of YHVH.”

Praise Him for His unending love and faithfulness! Rejoice in your emancipation for “This Scripture in your ears is fulfilled today”!

Shaul


[1] “Walk Leviticus!” Jeffrey Enoch Feinberg, Ph.D. Messianic Jewish Publishers ISBN 1-880226-92-8

[2] Notice that the emancipation is from sin, not the Torah (law). It is HaTorah that identifies sin, as the transgression of it!

TORAH PARASHA ‘EMOR’

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

TORAH PARASHAT TERUMAH

2/28/2017

A COMMENTARY ON THE WEEKLY PARASHAH FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF

NETZARIM YISRA’EL

“My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments in your heart, and incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding, Yea, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice to understanding, if you seek it as silver, and search for it as for hidden treasure; Then you will understand how to worship YHVH and find the knowledge of Elohim. For it is YHVH who gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”           Mishle (Proverbs) 2:1-6

Scriptural References (unless noted otherwise) are taken from the following:

From the Ketuvim Netzarim (K.N. / Writings of the Nazarenes): “Aramaic English New Testament” (AENT) (1)

From the Tanakh: ‘Holy Bible, from the Ancient Eastern Text,’ George M Lamsa, A. J. Holman Co. ISBN 0-06-064923-

From the Tanakh and the K.N. The Holy Bible” King James Version

The Sacred Names and Hebraic/Aramaic Titles of The Father and The Son are Restored Where Necessary

Torah Parashat: Terumah/Offering

Torah:             Shemot 25:1-27:19

Haftarah:       Melachim Aleph 5:26-32; 6:1-13

Torah:

“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”[1]

 Our study this week concerns the instruction from Elohim to Moshe, on how to build that Mishkan, the materials required for its construction, its layout; the concept of YHVH dwelling ‘in’ His people; and the Hebraic method of Torah study know by the acronym, ‘PARDES.’

THE MATERIALS of CONSTRUCTION:

The men of Yisra’el are called upon to present the following items as an offering, by giving it “…willingly with his heart…”[2]:

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Brass
  4. Blue, purple, and red dyed wool
  5. Flax
  6. Goat hair
  7. Animal skins
  8. Wood
  9. Olive oil
  10. Spices
  11. Gems

While In His Presence, on Holy Ground:

In the Sanctuary’s inner chamber, behind an artistically woven curtain, was the ark containing the tablets of testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; on the ark’s cover stood two winged cherubim hammered out of pure gold. In the outer chamber stood the seven-branched menorah, and the table upon which the showbread was arranged.

The Sanctuary’s three walls were fitted together from 48 upright wooden boards, each of which was overlaid with gold and held up by a pair of silver foundation sockets. The roof included three layers of coverings: (a) tapestries of multicolored wool and linen; (b) a covering made of goat hair; (c) a covering of ram and tachash skins (Strong’s H8477). Across the front of the Sanctuary was an embroidered screen held up by five posts. Surrounding the Sanctuary and the copper-plated altar which fronted it was an enclosure of white linen hangings, supported by 60 wooden posts with silver hooks and trimmings, and reinforced by brass stakes.

At least one Biblical commentator that I’m aware of had speculated that when Moshe or Aaron, or any of his sons entered the sanctuary to serve before YHVH, that they would have been immediately struck by the colors aglow as of the aura of a rainbow! Imagine if you will, the brightness of His presence upon the gold of the mercy seat, the cherubim and the ark; the light of the 7 branched golden Menorah reflecting off of the gold plating on the wall panels; the Table of Showbread covered in pure gold; with the sparkle of silver, and brass; all being reflected through the multicolored tapestries of blue, purple, and scarlet, with the ceiling of rams skins which were dyed red! This overwhelming beauty was framed with the aroma of burning incense and wrapped in the sanctity of the moment. All this while in His Presence, on Holy Ground!

PARDES, THE FOUR LEVELS OF HEBRAIC BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION[3]

The four levels of Hebraic Biblical interpretation that are known by the acronym ‘PARDES.’ Pardes is also a Hebrew word meaning “garden” or “orchard” The four levels are:

Peshat or P’shat “plain,” “straight”; the direct, literal meaning of Scripture.

Remez “hint”; the deeper or symbolic meaning, that is, beyond the literal sense.

Derash or D’rash “to inquire” or “to seek”; the comparative meaning: a deeper meaning obtained from a passage by comparing its words and content to similar passages.

Sod “secret” “mystery”; The deeper meaning, revealed only through inspiration or revelation.

THE APPLICATION OF D’RASH

Most all of us are familiar with the concept of YHVH Y’shuati desiring to dwell in the heart of our body temples, as found in the K.N. (Ketuvim Netzarim/Writings of the Nazarenes – New Testament); but can we equate this to anything found in HaTanakh?

As Netzarim, it is very important for us to ground any teaching or spiritual concept we find in the K.N., in the words of the Tanakh. So let’s take a look at our introductory text for this Parashah while applying the third level of PARDES, D’rash:

“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell AMONG them”  Sh’mot 25:8

תָּוֶךְ Tawvek or Tavek (Strong’s H8432) translated into the English of the KJV as AMONG,’ which is but one of the several definitions given for the Hebrew root ‘Tawvek.’ Another available definition that would seem to be a better fit is the English ‘in.’ Now D’rash requires us to compare its words and content to similar passages to obtain the deeper meaning and for confirmation that we’re not going off of the deep end. So let’s do that. Let’s compare the following texts, utilizing the word ‘In’ to replace the word ‘among’ and see if we can come up with the deeper meaning and confirmation of it.

“They shall know that I am YHVH Elohika who brought them out of Mitsrayim, that I might dwell IN’ them; I am YHVH Elohika.                                                     Sh’mot 29:46

“And I will dwell IN b’nay Yisra’el, and will not forsake my people Yisra’el.” Melachim Alef (1stKg) 6:13

“Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell IN them forever”  Yetzekiel (Eze.) 43:9

Do you see a pattern here? And from the K.N. we can see the following:

 

“…for He dwelleth with you, and in you…and I in you.

Jn. 14:17, 20

“And what agreement hath the temple of El with idols? For ye are the temple of the Living El; as El hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their El, and they shall be my people.”

2 Cor. 6:16

“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of El through the Spirit.

Eph. 2:22

Now that indeed is ‘harmony’ of the Dbar HaYHVH! To arrive at this point, we have employed the use of a Hebraic method of Scriptural interpretation called PARDES, and in particular, the third level of PARDES called D’rash which is “a deeper meaning obtained from a passage by comparing its words and content to similar passages.”

We have just gleaned the deeper meaning we were looking for, from our comparison of verses. This comparison has demonstrated the continuity of His desire to abide ‘IN,’ and not just ‘among’ us, throughout His D’bar.

So in this Parashah, we have seen the materials required for the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), a description of its layout, and a new method for most, of Hebraic Biblical exegesis.

Sha’ul ben haNetzarim

Bibliography

  1. Roth, Andrew Gabriel. Aramaic English New Testament. 2nd Edition. s.l. : Netzari Press, 2009. p. 1069. Compiled, Edited & Translated with consultation to both Ancient and Modern Authorities including: The Khaboouris Codex and the 1905 Critical Edition of the Syriac New Testament by the British and Foreign Bible Society.. ISBN 978-1-934916-26-1 (1-934916-26-9).

[1] Shemot 25:8

[2] Shemot 25:2

[3] Much credit here goes first to Avi ben Mordechai who introduced me to this special understanding of PARDES many years ago, and Julia Blum of  readjuliablum.com who’s’ book “Abraham had two sons” (2nd Ed.) has rekindled a desire to seek the ‘Sod’ of Scripture.