Torah Portion: Shmini (Eight) Leviticus 9:1-11:47
HafTorah: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
Tonight I would like to continue building the spiritual picture we have been working on the last few weeks, that of the physical tabernacle and the priests being a shadow of heavenly spiritual truths. This week we see Aaron and his sons assuming their role as earthly priests and how that gives us insight into Yeshua. Remember on the mountain G-d showed Moses the heavenly tabernacle and told him to build an earthly model of what he had seen in heaven. This is mentioned in Hebrews 11:8. This same idea is expressed in many rabbinic writings. In Christian thought this shadow and copy language has been seen to diminish the earthly structure. While in Hebrew it is simply a way of comparing and contrasting the two. Each was G-d ordained and each had its unique purpose.
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (To Take) Exodus 30:11-34:35
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
Tonight I want to start right off with the question I sent out to you. Moses takes a census of the people and as a result of this census every person age 20 and older had to pay ½ shekel for an atonement for their soul. (Exodus 30:12) How can money count as an atonement. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that only the shedding of innocent blood of an animal can atonement come. So how do we reconcile this? Another meaning for the word atonement is ransom. And if we use that word it gives us a clearer understanding of what Moses is saying here. In battle they would be shedding blood and in the Torah when you shed blood a ransom must be paid for the taking of a life.
Torah Portion: בוא Bo Exodus 10:1-13:16
HafTorah: Jeremiah 46:13-28
This Torah portion is called “Bo” in Hebrew or “Come” in English. What does the name of a Torah portion usually tell us? It is usually the main thought or idea or maybe the name of one of the main characters. So here, in one of the most important portions in the Torah, the name is “come” rather than freedom, or Exodus, which would seem more fitting. Why? I would like to take a few minutes before we get to the Passover implementation to answer the question of why. Last year I think we touched on this to some degree so some of you may remember that discussion. Why did G-d use the word “come?” Moses had met with Pharaoh a few times already. But in each of those cases G-d says “Go to Pharaoh” but here He says “Come to Pharaoh.” I think we see Moses about to enter into Pharaoh’s inner sanctum rather than meeting him in a somewhat neutral place such as by the river. Here Moses is coming into the “belly of the beast” so to speak and G-d is saying, “Come with Me to Pharaoh.” Remember in Ezekiel 29:3 how Pharaoh is described as a great serpent who crouches in the river and says, “My river is my own, I have made it or ‘made myself.’” What was Pharaoh’s biggest sin? Was it the enslavement of the Jewish people or killing of infants? No, everything he did sprung from his unbridled ego. He lived his life saying, “I am god. What is good is what helps me. What is bad hinders me.” So Moses was about to come face to face with the heart of evil. G-d assures him He will be with him. Is our ego bad? It is only bad when it is separated from G-d. Our ego should be a reflection of G-d and as such should lead us to do those things which brings glory and honor to G-d, not to ourselves. If not, then we become god in or own eyes and the world revolves around us. Right and wrong becomes perverted.