Emor (Speak) Leviticus/Vayikra 21:1-24:23

Torah Portion Emor (Speak) Leviticus/Vayikra 21:1-24:23

Haftorah Reading Ezekiel 44:15-31

Tonight, we study the Torah portion Emor. This portion covers a listing of all the holidays of the calendar as well as the Sabbath. My question to you this week was about the inclusion of the Sabbath in our reading. However, I want to mainly  speak about another issue that is covered in our portion as well. In fact, it is the first main topic that Moshe speaks of in these verses.

Tetzaveh (You are to order)Exodus 27-30

Torah Portion:  Tetzaveh (You Are To Order)(Sh’mot) Exodus 27:20-30:10

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27

In this Torah Portion we read about the clothing of the priest and their duties as priest. In fact, one entire chapter is set aside to describe the clothes of the High Priest that he was to wear for honor and glory. However, the portion begins with the last two verses of chapter 27 that speaks of the eternal light that was to burn continually before the veil in the Mishkan. The portion ends with a description of the altar of incense. Why do you think this division was used when the portion last week was devoted to the furnishing of the Mishkan? Why separate these two things out? It could be that scripture is saying here that the priests and their duties were to reflect these two vessels. Light symbolizing wisdom, and the Sprit of G-d and ending with the altar of incense, which might symbolize the priests prayers being lifted to G-d.  This seems like a spiritual message to us as we continue to look at the clothing of the priests and the offerings. It should also speak to us as believers today as we go about each day to always be aware of who we are and what our life is to be.

Nasso (To Take or Do)B’midbar (Num) 4-7

Torah Portion: Nasso (To Take or Do) B’midbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89

HafTorah: Judges 13:2-25

In this Torah section we read much about the duties of different groups of priests in the Mishkan (Tabernacle), then concluding with the entire chapter seven listing the offerings the tribes bring at the dedication of the Mishkan. However, in the middle of our reading we read a number of seemingly disconnected commandments covering a number of subjects including the laws concerning confession of sin, the Nazirite vow and the wayward wife.

Acharei Mot & Kedoshim Lev 16-20

Torah Portion: Acharei Mot, Kedoshim,Vayikra Lev. 16:1-20:27

HafTorah: Ezekiel 22:1-19

Tonight we have read two sections of Torah. The first covers the ceremonial duties of the priests, the Day of Atonement and personal relationships, what is forbidden and what we can and can’t eat.

It leads directly into the second section of Holiness. This is the issue I want us to look at closely tonight. Holy – what makes something holy? It is separated out for service or use in the service to G-d, for example Sabbath. At the end of Sabbath we read a prayer and included in that prayer G-d is referred to as “Ha Mavdil” , “The One who Separates.” G-d separates things or people out for His service. We are separated out by our faith in Messiah. In Lev. 20:7-8 we read, “be holy.” We also read the same words in I Peter 1:13-16. What does it mean to be holy? If G-d has separated us to Himself how are we to be holy? How does how we live affect our holiness or does it? We are separated by our faith in Messiah. That faith has boundaries, things we can do, things we can’t do. When we cross those boundaries, think of a shepherd and his sheep. He builds a pen for them. As long as they stay within the boundaries of the pen they are safe from wolves and attacks but if they get out, cross over the boundaries, they are open to those things that can harm them. The boundaries are those guidelines set out in scripture for us to live our lives by daily. In Lev. Torah portions of today we see many of those boundaries and also in the New Testament we see boundaries set for us.

Vayikra (And He Called) Lev 1-5

Torah Portion: Vayikra (And He Called) Lev. 1-5

HafTorah: Isaiah 43:21-44:23

Tonight we begin the third book of Moses. In English we read Leviticus which is a Greek word meaning relating to the Levites. At the time of Yeshua it would have been called Torath Ha Kohanim. It is basically the laws and rules dealing with sacrifices and the duties of the priests.

Emor (Say) Leviticus 21:1

Weekly Torah Section: Emore (Say) Leviticus 21:1-24:23, Haftorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31

In both the Torah and Haftorah portions we read about the priests and their duties and qualifications. In the Haftorah, Ezekiel 44:15-31 we read the words of Ezekiel. Who was he? When were these verses written and where was he when he wrote this? Ezekiel was a priest from the temple in Jerusalem so he knew intimately what the priestly duties were. He wrote these verses in Babylon by the river Chebar in 585 BCE.

In Ezekiel 44:15 it says that the sons of Zadok (In Hebrew Zadok means righteous) will stand before the L-rd and offer the offerings while the other priests will do the more menial tasks. Why were they singled out? They were the only priests that kept the commandments concerning the sanctuary and offerings to G-d. Again, they stayed close to G-d and they stayed holy while the rest of Israel had strayed away from G-d. Even the other priests had not remained faithful. This reminds us of the New Testament verses where it says in the last days many of the elect will fall away. If we as the elect know our priestly duties and our role as Christians we will not be deceived in the last days.  It also goes back to how important it is to stay clean in the midst of a crooked world. What was the sons of Zadok’s inheritance? In Ezekiel 44:28 it says the L-rd was their inheritance. May this be our inheritance as well.

All these verses in Ezekiel take place in the Messianic age when the Torah will go forth from Jerusalem.