Acharei Mot (After the Death) Leviticus/Vayikra 16:1-18:30

Torah Portion Acharei Mot (After the Death) Leviticus/Vayikra 16:1-18:30

Haftorah Reading Ezekiel 22:1-19

Tonight, our Torah portion covers basically two subjects. One is Yom Kippur and the other is sexual relationship that are forbidden for G-d’s people. I want to cover both of these topics tonight.

To begin, I want us to look at Yom Kippur and see what G-d is saying to us in Leviticus/Vayikra 16. I asked you this week to come up with your own definition of the word atonement. In English, this word atonement, comes from the Hebrew word Kippur. This week I read an article that helped me understand this on a deeper level. If we take this word in English and break it apart you will get “at onement.”  Looking at this might help us in our quest for a definition. Atonement puts us at “onement” with G-d. It clears the slate between us and the Father. It allows us to come close to Him by having our sins taken away. Does this remind you of any scripture? John 1:29 says, “Behold the lamb of G-d who takes away the sins of the world.” So, it should help us understand more fully what Yeshua has done and is doing for us.

Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9

Torah Portion Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9

Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 51:12-53:12

Today is the first Shabbat of the Hebrew month Elul. This is a period of introspection, self examination and repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. This period has much to teach us. With this in mind, it seems appropriate that we study this portion about the process of setting up judges, courts and even the appointment of kings.

Vayelech (He Went) D’varim(Deut.) 31

Torah Portion:  Vayelech (He Went) D’varim(Deut.) 31

Haftorah Reading: Hosea 14:1-10; Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27

The Torah portion we are studying tonight is always the portion read right before Yom Kippur. I want us to spend some time talking about Yom Kippur and how this appointed time might speak to us spiritually in our own lives.

This Shabbat is known as “Shabbat Shuvah.” This means the Sabbath of Repentance. The reason for this is found in the verses from Isaiah 55:6-56:8, especially the verses 55:6-7, “Seek the L-rd while He may be found.” This brings up an interesting question. Is there ever a time when He cannot be found? In Jeremiah 7:16 we read, “Therefore do not pray for this, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you.” This same idea appears three more times in Jeremiah 11:14, 14:11, and 15:1. The last being the strongest, “Even if Moshe and Samuel stood before Me.” From these we can see there are times when G-d will not hear.

Acharei Mot (After the Death) Lev 16-18

Torah Portion:  Acharei Mot (After the Death) (Leviticus) Vayikra 16-18

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 22:1-19

Tonight we look at a Torah portion that covers two main connected points, morality and forgiveness. I want us to look at both of these in some depth. Let’s begin with forgiveness. A large part of this Torah portion has to do with the details of and preparation for the day of Yom Kippur. First, what do the words Yom Kippur mean? Yom is the Hebrew word for day and Kippur is the Hebrew word for covering. This was/is the time to come together as a people and confess their sins and ask G-d to forgive them. This process covered everyone from the greatest to the least. Everyone sought forgiveness on this day. It is mentioned in the New Testament in Acts 27:9 where we see Paul, on his way to Rome, mentioning The Fast which would have been Yom Kippur. So it would seem that the early Jewish believers continued to observe this and the other Biblical holy days.

Nitzavim & Vayelech Deut 29-31

Torah Portion: Nitzavin (Standing) & Vayelech Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29-31

HafTorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9

Tonight we read a double portion of Torah, Nitzavim – or Stand, and Vayelech or When You Go. These are always read the two weeks before Yom Ha Truah, which in traditional Judaism begins the ten day period of repentance and soul searching leading up to Yom Kippur. It is fitting that they both speak of repentance and our need to allow the light of G-d to be turned on our lives, that we can grasp who we really are before Him as apposed to who we thing we are. I am sure we all can benefit from such a time. We have all experienced the feeling of being alone spiritually, as if G-d has abandoned us.

Acharei Mot Lev. 16-18

Torah Portion: Acharei Mot Leviticus 16-18:30

HafTorah: Ezekiel 22:1-19

Tonight in this Torah section I want us to look at a couple of spiritual points that I think G-d has for us to consider. First, I would like us to look at the Yom Kippur service as set out here in our opening chapter. As part of that service two goats were brought before the High Priest, one for a sacrifice and one to be sent away to “Azazel.” Just a word about Azazel. This is the only place in scripture where this word is used. There is much discussion as to the meaning of Azazel. Maybe the best explanation is found in the word itself. It is made up of two Hebrew words. One word is Az or goat. The other word, azal means that which was sent away.