Torah Portion: Acharei Mot (After the death) Leviticus 16:1-18:30 Kedoshim (Holy People) Leviticus 19:1-20:27
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 22:1-19
This week we again read two portions of Torah. The first, coming after the death of Aaron’s two sons, and the next addressed to the holy ones, which at the time, was the Jewish people who had just come out of Egypt. Both of these sections are filled with many commandments of how G-d’s people are to live their daily life after being taken out of slavery and beginning their journey to the Promised Land.
Torah Portion: Shemini (Eighth) Vayikra/Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haftorah Reading: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
Today, we look at the third Torah section of Leviticus or Vayikra. Over the last weeks we have read seven Torah sections about the gathering of supplies, building, and now consecrating the Tabernacle or Mishkan. This section brings us to the inauguration of the Tabernacle as a place where G-d’s Presence would meet the people. The last step in this process was for the priests to set everything in order as far as making sure all the objects and priests taking part in this ceremony would be ritually clean and holy. Nothing that was profane could be in the Presence of G-d Almighty.
Torah Portion Acharei Mot(After the death) and Kedoshim( Holy People) Leviticus (Vayikra) 16-20
Haftorah Reading Ezekiel 22:1-19 and Ezekiel 20:2-20
Tonight we again read two Torah portions. However for our study I would like to mainly look at the second of the two, Kedoshim or Holy People. The word for what is translated as holy is in the plural form, signifying that it applies to us all and that it is to distinguish G-d’s people from the world. Another meaning, or really the primary meaning of the word is to separate out. So when G-d says He is holy what can we understand from that? He is unlike any other so called god. He stands alone. He is recognizable by His characteristics.
Torah Portion: Re’eh (See) D’varim (Deut) 11-16
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
This week our Torah portion is Re’eh or See. If you remember last week we read Ekev which contained part of the Shema or “Hear.” Today I want us to look at these two words and discern what G-d is saying to us through them.
However, first there are some other points I would like us to explore as well. I would like to start with the introduction of a specific place of worship that G-d would choose once the people crossed over the Jordan River. We see this thought spoken about in Deut. 12:5. As we know from our readings of the Ten Commandments all forms of idol worship were looked at as a grave sin. This choice of a central place of worship was to help the people guard against idol worship. Only service of the one true G-d would be permitted. In Re’eh we also read where three holidays are talked about in chapter 16. Why did Moshe pick out only these three, Pesach, Shavuot and Succot? I think again to stress the centrality of Jerusalem to the people. These three holidays are the three that involved an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Torah Portion: Kedoshim (Holy People) (Leviticus) Vayikra 19-20
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 20:2-20
Today I want us to talk for a bit about holiness. Here in our opening verse the Father says to Moshe call all of Israel together and share with them these words of how they should live and conduct their lives to be holy, for I am holy. Right away this verse puts the question to us, “What is holy, what does it mean and how does it impact our lives as people of G-d.”
Torah Portion: B’Shallach (After he had let go) Exodus 13-17
HafTorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Why does Torah say, “When Pharaoh sent out the people?” Would it not be more accurate to say, “When G-d took Israel out of Egypt?” After all it was not Pharaoh’s idea to send them out. In Exodus 14:8 we see where they went out with an upraised arm. So did they go out as free men or as fleeing slaves? Which is correct? Actually there were two exoduses, a physical one and a spiritual one. And that is what I want us to look at over the next minutes. Physically the people did leave as free men but spiritually it was a different matter. When people have been intertwined for over 400 years much more is involved in separation than just the physical leaving. It is somewhat like the breakup of a marriage. It is complicated and always carries a good bit of internal trauma.
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.