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Parashah #26 Sh’mini / Eighth

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Parashah #26
Sh’mini ~ Eighth
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 9:1 ~ 11:47
Haftarah: Sh’muel Bet / 2nd Samuel 6:1 ~ 7:17
B’rit Hadashah: Mark 7:1 – 23; Acts 5:1 – 11; Acts 10:1 – 35;
2nd Corinthians 6:14 ~ 7:1; Galatians 2:11 – 16; 1 Kefa / 1st Peter 1:14 – 16

Is there never an end to all the avenues we can travel each week? Which fork in the road do we really want to walk? I’m not sure!!!

This week’s portion deals with the actual beginning of the priestly service and the first tragic misuse of the priestly position. Then, there is the portion’s most prominent feature in the laws of kashrut, in chapter eleven. So, here goes . . .



The consecration of the (Meesh – kahn) Mishkan / Tabernacle began on the 23rd of Adar and continued for 7 days. It is the first of Nissan, a new Biblical year. Vayikra / Leviticus 9:1 begins “On the eighth day . . .” Remember, eight signifies “a new beginning” and this was the beginning of the priests serving their courses at the Mishkan / Tabernacle. The priests come out of their seclusion in the Tabernacle on the eighth day. We are told, throughout the ancient Near East, seven was regarded as the number of divinity, the number of the heavens. Hmmm . . . is this where the phrase “7th heaven” comes from? Just wonderin’!

In Torah, the number seven represents the cycle of time . . .

• Seven days in a week
• Seven weeks between (Ha Maht – zote) Ha Matzot / Unleavened Bread and (Shah – voo – oat) Shavuot / Pentecost
• Seven festival Sabbaths
• Seven years in a sabbatical cycle
• Seven sets of years in a (Yoe – vehl) Yovel / Jubilee


It is said, the number eight represents a step outside the cycles of ordinary time and is the number of eternity.


Additionally, the priests made specific (kore – bah – note) korbanot / offerings for themselves at Yehovah’s direction through Moshe. Specifically, Aharon was to use a young bull for his sin offering in order to be forgiven for his role in the sin of the golden calf. Then the (Ahm Yis – rah – el) Am Yisra’el / people of Israel were given additional specific instructions concerning their korbanot / offerings, “because today Yehovah is going to appear to you.”


At this point, (verses15 – 21) I have some questions. Did each family bring . . .

• A male goat for a sin offering
• A calf and a lamb for a burnt offering
• An ox and a ram for peace offerings
• And a grain offering, as well


That would have been a lot of offerings which would have taken considerable time to do. Or, did the 70 Elders represent the nation? Even at that, it would have taken a considerable amount of time. Or (verse 15) was there only one of each offered and, if so, who brought it? If each family brought “all of the above”, was only one used so the remainder was offered by the Kohanim for the daily offerings in the future? I’m not sure and I really couldn’t find anything to substantiate one way or the other. I’m inclined to think the latter is what actually happened.


The (ay – dah) edah / entire assembly comes together at the Tabernacle, obediently present their offerings, and then some interesting things happen.


Aharon / Aaron raised his hands, blessed the people (the Aharonic blessing? I think so!) and came down from presenting the offerings. The Sages say he blessed the people with the priestly benediction, “Yehovah bless you and keep you; Yehovah make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; Yehovah lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” (B’midbar / Numbers 6:24 – 26)


This blessing is known by three different names . . .

• It is called the priestly blessing because the priesthood was commanded to bless Israel with it. Each day, following the daily continual burnt offering, the priests would recite this blessing over those assembled in the Temple.

• It is called (due – kahn – ing) duchaning / going up to the platform, because in Temple times the priests would ascend to a platform (due – kahn) duchan, (דוכן) before blessing the people.

• It is also called the lifting of the hands because in Temple times, the priests would lift their hands and make the sign of the Hebrew letter (sheen) shin, ש with their fingers. The shin is an accepted abbreviation for (Shahd – dye) Shaddai which means all sufficient. This was practiced in Temple times to fulfill the commandment, “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.” (B’midbar / Numbers 6:27)


Verse 23 “Moshe and Aharon entered the tent of meeting, came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of Yehovah appeared to all the people!” Could this be a picture or type of: Yehovah / The loving Father (Moshe), Yeshua HaMashiach / The Son (Aharon) and the Ruach HaKodesh / The Holy Spirit (the glory of Yehovah)? In operation together, would they not be (ay – kahd) Echad / One?


One of the main lessons I learned in this reading is the importance of spiritual leaders to assume responsibility for their sins and repent BEFORE they minister to and on behalf of others. As a royal priesthood (Kefa Alef / 1 Peter 2:9), it is incumbent upon us to deal with our own relationship with The Almighty before we try to function in ministering to others. An important additional note here would be . . .

• men should minister to men (especially to single men)
• women should minister to women (especially to single women)
• It is appropriate for married couples to minister to other couples as well as single men and single women, as long as both members of the couple are ministering together.


“Fire came forth from the presence of Yehovah, consuming the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces (verse 24).



As we just read above, fire came out from the presence of Yehovah and consumed the sacrifices on the altar. It was an awesome sign (and an awesome sight), I’m sure!!! The people were ecstatic and prostrated themselves before The Holy One. This fire represents Yehovah’s glory. It is the same fire and the same God we will read about below.


Vayikra / Leviticus 10:1 – 2 brings us to (Ah – ha – rone) Aharon’s two sons, (nah – dahv) Nadav / Nadab and (ah – vee – hoo) Avihu / Abihu, offering “strange fire” to the altar of The Holy One. Commentary indicates Nadav and Avihu were caught up and carried away with the excitement of the moment and decided to introduce a little spontaneity into the worship service. Apparently, they offered incense . . .

• At the wrong time
• In the wrong place
• In the wrong manner
• With the wrong fire


Yehovah’s anger blazed against them and a consuming fire actually seared their souls right out of their bodies! Their bodies / corpses dropped dead on the spot! Needless to say, fear came over the people. While there are many ideas as to what the “strange fire” entailed, one consensus maintains Nadav and Avihu offered the regular daily incense upon the (Meez – bay – ahk) Mizbe’ach / Altar without being instructed to do so. Therefore, they acted of their own will rather than in the will of Yehovah. We must learn there is nothing sacred in doing anything which our Abba Father has not set down in the Torah. Any deviation from His procedures, no matter how small it may be, is liable to bring tragedy. In fact, it is considered idolatry to do your own thing. This is the original meaning of idolatry.


Here would be a good place to reiterate . . . we must learn . . . “any deviation from His (Yehovah’s) procedures no matter how small it may be is liable to bring tragedy.”


Only in the King James Version (Acts 12:4) is the word easter mentioned and was a deliberate mistranslation of Passover. I have heard folks say they love to dress up on Easter and go to sunrise services. Where is THAT in scripture? Sounds like a serving of self!!! Torah says we are to observe the YEHOVAH’S Passover, as an everlasting covenant. (Sh’mot / Exodus 12:14) Most of us are familiar with WWJD. So I have to ask . . . “What Would Jesus Do”? I can guarantee you He did NOT celebrate easter! It is a pagan holiday with many very weird pagan practices, including dipping eggs in the blood of sacrificed babies. It’s even named for a pagan fertility goddess. Check it out for yourself at www.wikipedia.com.


Bottom line, I guess it boils down to who is your god? You or Yehovah? Pride or humility?


Okay, let’s get back to Chapter 10. Why did The Almighty put Nadav and Avihu to death? One idea based on verses 8 – 11, admonishes “don’t drink any wine or other intoxicating liquor . . . when you enter the tent of meeting”. Perhaps Nadav and Avihu were intoxicated when they made such an unwise decision to offer unauthorized fire before Yehovah.


Yet another idea is: they brought their own incense into the (Koe – dehsh Koe – deh – sheem) Kodesh Kodeshim / Holy of Holies where the (Koe – hen Gah – dole) Kohen Gadol / High Priest could go only on (Yome Kip – poor) Yom Kippur. Needless to say, these are all speculations.


Rabbi Ya’akov Youlus tells us the lesson we should learn from this story is . . . even when a person wants to serve God and do service in his own spontaneous way and do additional things The Almighty does not command him to do, IT IS SIN. All the previous verses show us each and every action is commanded by Yehovah. This teaches us The Holy One prescribes certain actions for us. When we add to or take away from Yehovah’s commands, we are actually subtracting or distorting God’s ideal will for us. It is important for us to follow Abba’s pattern for life and know any transgression from His will is considered rebellion. This lesson is SO important; it is repeated two more times in Torah . . .

• Vayikra / Leviticus 16:1 and
• B’midbar / Numbers 26:60 – 61.

To reinforce the importance of following The Almighty’s word precisely, read Sh’mot / Exodus 38:21, as well as Chapters 39 and 40. You will find the words “. . . as the Yehovah commanded Moses . . .” or “. . . according to the commandment of Moses . . .” repeated a total of eighteen times. It is interesting to know the letters in the Hebrew alephbet each have a numerical value. The number 18 is equivalent to the sum of the letters (khet) chet [ח] which equals 8 and the letter (yode) yod [י] which equals 10. These two letters spell the Hebrew word (khi) chai meaning life. In the book of (Mish – lay – ee) Mishlei / Proverbs, the Torah is called a tree of life. “She is a tree of life to those who grasp her; and whoever holds fast to her will be made happy” (Mishlei / Proverbs 3:18). Additionally, Mishlei / Proverbs 3:1, “My son, don’t forget my teachings; keep My commands in your heart”. This descript – tion tells us the subject is Torah. As I understand this, the tree of life refers to Torah!


It is absolutely necessary for us to understand the holiness of our Abba Father and the consequences of failing to heed His commands / instructions. BUT, it needs to be made undeniably clear The Almighty is not a “fire – breathing” tyrant, ready to “smoke” the next person who gets on His bad side. Truly, Yehovah is a God of infinite mercy, love and compassion and He desires we experience this side of Him personally.


All of the above shows us, on his first day of service in the priesthood, Aharon lost his two oldest sons in a tragic accident. Nadav and Avihu transgressed Yehovah’s sanctity and died in a supernatural way. Aharon and his sons were not allowed to mourn the deaths of Nadav and Avihu. As priests serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all Israel, they had to set aside their personal feelings for the duration of their shift of duty. Mourning was not allowed in the Tabernacle because the Tabernacle represented Yehovah’s dwelling, where one day He “will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Aharon and his surviving sons had to stifle their personal pain and continue their service.


Another interesting event, although subtle, takes place in verse 4; (Meesh – ah – ehl) Mishael and (Ehl – zah – fahn) Elzaphan, Levites, were appointed to remove the bodies in order not to dampen the celebration. According to Torah, a Kohen Gadol is forbidden to contaminate himself with the body of even a close relative, so Aharon was not eligible. Usually, ordinary Kohanim would be permitted to do so, so Elazar and Ithamar should have been the ones to remove their brothers’ remains. In honor of the inauguration, however, the Torah made an exception.


According to the Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash, “it is noteworthy that the verse identifies Mishael and Elzaphan as Aaron’s cousins. Apparently their relationship was important to their mission. Thus, Torah teaches the primary mitzvah of attending to the dead rests upon the relatives; the closer the relationship, the greater the responsibility. In this case, the closest relatives – Aaron and his surviving sons – were forbidden to contaminate themselves with the dead; therefore, the next nearest kin were selected.”


Vayikra / Leviticus 10:16 Darosh darash: midpoint through Torah

In verse 16 we find the Hebrew words (dah – roesh, dah – rahsh) darosh, darash. Translated here as searched carefully or carefully investigated. We find the word darash (דרש) means to search. The Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash tells us these two Hebrew words, darosh, darash, are the exact halfway mark of all the Hebrew words of the Torah. So if you started in B’resheet / Genesis with the first Hebrew word, marked all of the words forward and someone else began with the last Hebrew word in D’varim / Deuteronomy and marked each Hebrew word going backwards, they would meet at the exact center in Vayikra / Leviticus 10:16 where it says darosh, darash. Here in the very center of Torah are the words search search. It is said these same two words can be understood to mean study, study!


The study of Torah is one of the commandments of Torah. “You shall teach them (the commandments of Torah) diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (D’varim / Deuteronomy 6:7) One must study Torah first in order to teach it. As the preceding verse implies, Torah is supposed to be searched, studied and discussed at home and on the way, evening and morning. Wouldn’t it be “kewl” if during our drive – time to and from work each day there would be a Torah Study coming from our radios?


As mentioned above, darash means to search. But it is also the word used to speak of studying Scripture. For example, a short teaching on Torah is sometimes called a d’rash and traditional interpretation of Torah is called a (mid – rah – sh) midrash (מדרש). Midrash comes from the same word – ‘to search”. Studying Torah requires searching the Scriptures.


The Master repeats this commandment to search the Torah when He rebukes the Pharisees in Yochanan / John 5:39 saying “You search the Scriptures because you think in them you have eternal life; it is these which testify about Me.” Most translators agree the same verse could also be read in the imperative sense: “Search the Scriptures diligently. In them you have eternal life because it is these that testify about Me.” Therefore, it is a commandment of Torah and a commandment of the Master to diligently search the Torah. As we do, we encounter Messiah because the Torah testifies of Him.


In Hebrew, the verse repeats the verb darash, to indicate a diligent search. It says, “darosh, darash”, literally, “searching, he searched.”


Vayikra / Leviticus 11, known as the “dietary law” chapter is one of the most interesting guidelines our Father has ever given to us. The part I find most amazing is the fact medical science is now in complete agreement with much of it (whether they acknowledge it or not!).


Before we really get started on Vayikra / Leviticus 11, I just want to say, I wasn’t raised knowing about this part of The Book. Not adhering to these instructions wasn’t a matter of being disobedient, it was a matter of not knowing. About twelve years ago, when I did find out WHAT our Father considers food, I quickly complied. Was it easy? Yes and no! Crisp fried bacon STILL smells good and I’m sure would still taste good but my Father says it isn’t “food” and I shouldn’t eat it!!! However, some of my “Christian” friends didn’t buy this so I learned I needed to be better versed on what both the Torah (Original Covenant) and the B’rit Hadashah (Renewed Covenant) had to say about kosher eating.


If Torah establishes a truth in one passage, then the same truth is recognized as valid in all other passages. One thing is for sure . . . scripture cannot and does not contradict itself.


The word kosher comes from the Hebrew root word (kah – shehr) kasher which means to be straight or right and implies to be acceptable.


The entire chapter of Vayikra / Leviticus 11 explains what types of animals are acceptable for consumption and which ones were unacceptable or forbidden to consume as food. The English language primarily used the words clean and unclean, which doesn’t translate well without compromising the rich meaning of the original Hebrew. For instance, (tah – may) tamei means unclean and (tah – hor) tahor means clean. These two words can range in meaning from ritually to physically to spiritually clean or unclean.


Here’s a little quiz! How much do we know about what is and what isn’t kosher?

Kosher VS Not Kosher

• Bison
• Gazelles
• Giraffes
• Goat
• Red deer
• Grasshoppers
• Locusts

• Pigeon
• Quail
• Dove

(To find the answers . . . keep reading)


In verses 4 – 8 speaking of earth – dwelling animals, we read these words: “But you are not to eat those that only chew the cud or only have a separate hoof. For example, you are not to eat meat from these or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.” And again in verses 46 & 47 we have the law concerning animals, flying creatures, all creatures which move about in the water and all creatures which swarm on the grounds. We learn in no uncertain terms the definition of what is food and what is not food.


Let’s go back and read Vayikra / Leviticus 11:4 – 7. Of the species mentioned here there is one I want to point out; sometimes it parallels our daily lives. Visually, we can tell the camel, the coney (woodchuck) and the hare (rabbit) are unclean because they don’t have a separated hoof. However, the pig does have a separated hoof. In fact, it tends to lie on the ground with its feet stretched forward displaying its cloven hooves. From all outward appearances, it is a kosher animal, but it doesn’t chew its cud. The fact it is an unclean animal is “hidden”; which makes it, in my opinion, all the more abominable. We should be sure we are “kosher” from the inside out! There are many who claim to have a relationship with The Holy One, whether of Hebrew lineage or not, whose outward walk is very kosher but their “hidden sin” (behind closed doors and away from the congregation) is as equally abhorrent to The Almighty as the pig. Being unclean, in any form, separates us from the Holy One, blessed be He.


Before we go any further, let me bring up the matter concerning the separation of meat and milk. This is a very legalistic rabbinical issue and is not what our loving Father has instructed at all. “Do not boil (seethe) a kid goat in its mother’s milk” is mentioned three times in Torah

• Sh’mot / Exodus 23:19
• Sh’mot / Exodus 34:26
• D’varim / Deuteronomy 14:21)

Two times it relates to the celebration of (Shah – voo – oat) Shavuot / Feast of Weeks, a first fruits holiday. This practice was a religious, idolatrous, pagan practice of the Cana’anites, who believed it would increase the fertility of their ground or their body. The Almighty was warning (B’nay Is – rah – ehl) B’nei Isra’el / Children of Israel not to mix pagan practices with the celebration of His High Holy Days. (There it is again!!! Don’t mix the profane with the holy!!!! Don’t “DO” easter when you are supposed to observe Pesach / Passover! Do ya suppose He really means it???)


Mark Ensign, Torah Teacher at Adot Yehovah in Amarillo, TX has some very good comments. “Clean and unclean animals each have distinctive characteristics. As stated above, clean animals must have a cloven hoof AND chew the cud. The cloven hoofs protect from parasites and disease swarming in the ground. An animal which chews the cud can separate healthy and unhealthy items before it enters the final stages of the digestive system.”


Unclean animals lack these defenses. A tiger does not chew the cud so whatever he eats goes directly into his system. He has no defense against diseases entering his system through his diet. He is what he eats. So whatever or whomever eats him eats all that has entered into his flesh. His paws have no protection against parasites which enter as the animal passes through infested areas. Unclean animals may have one or the other of the protective mechanisms. None will have both. Unclean animals tend to eat dead animals and blood, contrary to The Holy One’s commandment . . . the blood is His. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Vayikra / Leviticus 17:11 Taking what belongs to Yehovah also makes these animals unclean and unholy.”


Before I forget . . . the answers to the quiz above are:

Surprise! They are all kosher! The giraffes and gazelles are kosher because they have cloven hooves and chew their cud. Kosher birds must not be birds of prey or scavengers. Certain species of grasshoppers and locusts are identified as kosher as well. However, I think I’ll leave them off my table!


One final interesting tidbit; clean animals respond to a human leader. Sheep, goats and cattle respond to a human leader. They can be led by a shepherd. Unclean animals do not want to be shepherded. It is interesting to see wild animals in the circus appear to be tame. Sometimes the trainer makes a mistake and the lion eats or mauls him, proving the animal was never tame in the first place. Even domesticated animals like horses and dogs resist peaceful herding. Lacking biological defense mechanisms, eating blood and rejecting a shepherd are common characteristics of an unclean animal.


If you desire to abide by our Father’s instructions concerning clean and unclean foods, this website will be an eye opener for you! http: / / www.theisraelofgodrc.com / CUPL.html


At the beginning of Chapter 11, I pointed out the need to find parallel teaching in the B’rit Hadashah. Although not specifically in our verses, this week, Acts 15:19 – 21 tells gentile converts to begin following the rules of kosher while they learn the rest of Torah.

Sh’mini ~ Eighth
Haftarah: Sh’mu’el Bet / 2nd Samuel 6:1 ~ 7:17

Our Haftarah describes how King David and the people brought the Ark to the Holy City of (Yeh – roo – shah – lah – yeem) Yerushalayim / Jerusalem. Gosh, there is so much meat in this one telling . . . as well as parallels to our Torah portion. I don’t know if we can really cover it all.


In verse 1 we are told David chose 30,000 men of Israel to go with him to bring the Ark up to Jerusalem. First of all, if your translation has “young men” it would be in error. The correct translation has the Hebrew word “chosen”. There is an excellent message here against exclusiveness. In reality, it would only have taken David and four (koe – hah – neem) cohanim / priests to transport the Ark. They and they alone could have and would have enjoyed the excitement of bringing the Ark of The Holy One to its new resting place. However, David, in his wisdom, saw the importance of involving those who had a heart to be involved. This wasn’t to be a one – man show or for a select few. It was to be something which would unite all of Israel. It was wonderful so many different people were involved in such a momentous event!


For approximately twenty years the Ark had been sojourning with the family of (Ah – vin – ah – dahv) Avinadav / Abinadab. So David prepared a tent / tabernacle for it in Jerusalem and with much pomp and circumstance proceeded to have the Ark brought there. However, similar to Nadav and Avihu, in his excitement and jubilation, he made a mistake, along with (Ooz – zah) Uzzah. The mistakes?


According to B’midbar / Numbers 4:15 the task, of carrying the Ark, was given to the cohanim and the correct handling of the Ark was a matter of life or death. Possibly Uzzah wasn’t a priest; he might have been a Levite but even they were not permitted to touch the Ark. Regardless of how sincere Uzzah’s actions may have been, it was against The Holy One’s set order which dictated only the high priest was allowed to touch the Ark. The other mistake had to do with placing the Ark on the wagon. It didn’t belong on the wagon. It was to be on the shoulders of the cohanim!!!


Needless to say, David was shaken by what had happened. So for three months arrangements were made for the Ark to stay with Oved – Edom. The scriptures say he and his entire household were blessed because of the Ark of Yehovah (verses 11 – 12).


Having learned his lesson, David again made arrangements to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. This time the matter was handled with due diligence to obeying Torah. The sons of the Levites carried the Ark of Yehovah on their shoulders, with the poles as Moshe had commanded according to the word of Yehovah. (1 Chronicles 15:15)


As you can see, the story of the misadventure of Nadav and Avihu, Aharon’s two sons who brought a strange fire to HaShem in the Mishkan parallels this account concerning King David, Uzzah, and the Ark. Nadav, Avihu and Uzzah’s presumptuousness cost them their lives. The point being, Yehovah cannot be worshipped in just any manner.

• He has a set order which must be followed.
• He has established ways in which He is to be approached.
• When we do not follow HIS pattern, we are liable to His judgment.

His instructions do NOT carry an expiration date! The instructions are eternal!!!!


Sh’mini ~ Eighth
B’rit Hadashah: Mark 7:1 – 23; Acts 5:1 – 11; Acts 10:1 – 35;
2nd Corinthians 6:14 ~ 7:1; Galatians 2:11 – 16; 1 Kefa / 1st Peter 1:14 – 16

Is “Kosher” In The B’rit Hadashah?

Mark 7:1 – 23 In these verses, Yeshua is engaged in a confrontation with religious leaders. This particular group of Pharisees observed a tradition passed down from the elders called (n’tee – laht yah – dah – yeem) n’tilat – yadayim / ceremonial hand washing which is not found in the Torah itself. These particular Pharisees didn’t have a problem with WHAT Yeshua’s disciples were eating; instead, they were having a problem with HOW they were eating. Yeshua’s response was ( Yeh – shah – yah – hoo) “Yesha’yahu / Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites – as it is written, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man – made rules as if they were doctrines.’” (Mark 7:6 – 7) Yeshua recognized the difference between Torah observance (keeping kosher) and man – made tradition (ritual hand washing). He also chastised them for actually replacing the clear instructions of Torah with their own Oral Traditions. (Remember, the New Testament / Renewed Covenant did not exist at this time.)


Here is one of the BIGGIES!!! Mark 7:18 – 19 “don’t you see that nothing going into a person from the outside can make him unclean? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach and it passes out into the latrine. (Depending on the translation . . . Thus he declared all foods ritually clean.)” WHAT?!?!?!? Wait a minute!!! Is Yeshua saying ALL food is clean? Yep! That’s exactly what he is saying! Actually, it was already established in Torah. The Holy One tells us what IS food and what is NOT food!!! Where the mistake has been made, with regard to this passage, is we assume just because “all is clean” that “all is also food”. This is not true! This would be in direct violation of Yehovah’s words in Vayikra / Leviticus. Yeshua was not discrediting or changing Torah. On the contrary, in His own words in Mattityahu / Matthew 5:17 – 20, He did not come to abolish the Torah but to fulfill it. By the way, “fulfill” does NOT mean “to do away with”. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “FULFILL” has the following meanings:

1. to carry out (something promised, desired, expected, predicted, etc.); cause to be or happen
2. to do (something required); obey
3. to fill the requirements of; satisfy (a condition) or answer (a purpose)


Yeshua, of all people, was Torah Observant without fault!!! He knew unclean animals were not considered food. Since our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, those same animals are NOT food today!!! To understand scripture, it is important to understand BIBLICAL definitions.


Acts 5:1 – 11 Verses 1 and 2 are directly related to our Torah portion with regard to “unholy fire” being brought before Yehovah. In this instance, (Khah – nahn – yah) Chananyah / Ananias & (Shah – pee – rah) Shappirah / Sapphira both lied regarding the offering they brought to The Holy One. Our Abba Father cannot tolerate sin. Fraud is sin and it is punished. Sometimes punishment for sin is delayed. With both instances, in Torah and in the B’rit Hadashah, Yehovah is shown to be real and He means business. An underscoring scripture would be Yochanan Alef / 1st John 3:18 “Children, let us not love with words and talk, but with actions and in reality.”


Acts 10:1 – 35 This is one of my favorite passages. In verse 2, we learn a lot about Cornelius. He’s called a God – Fearer. This was a term given to non – Hebrew believers who were attending synagogue and learning Judaism but were not full converts to Judaism. In Nehemiah 7:2, God – Fearer is used in reference to Jewish leaders. The fact Cornelius gave to the Jewish poor placed him in a position to receive blessings from The Almighty. Apparently he was familiar with “I will bless those who bless Israel . . . .” And he prayed regularly to God. Like Ruth in the Tanakh (Rut / Ruth 1:16), this Gentile had accepted the two essentials of true worship.

1. “Your people shall be my people.” Although he didn’t convert to Judaism, he cared for them as his own.
2. “And your God shall be my God.” He prayed to the God of Israel.

Nonetheless, Cornelius was a Gentile and for all intents and purposes (Kay – fah) Kefa / Peter would not normally associate with him. In verse 28 Kefa states, “You are well aware that for a man who is a Jew to have close association with someone who belongs to another people, or to come and visit him, is something that just isn’t done.”


Today some Israelis still follow the tradition of separation but things are changing. Some of us have been blessed by three Orthodox gentlemen who have been kind enough to befriend us and allow us to study with them and learn from them.

• Rabbi Yehuda Glick, former General Director of The Temple Institute in Jerusalem and the Founder of The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation
• Rabbi Ya’akov Youlus, of blessed memory, with CFI, also in Jerusalem
• Reb Sh’lomo Estrin, Niagara Falls, NY.


Okay, back to verses 12 – 14, and Kefa’s vision where “all kinds” of creatures appeared. Some are non – kosher and (trayf), treif, which means torn referring to animals killed by predators. In verses 17 – 19 Kefa puzzles over the meaning of the vision. Many sermons from Christian pulpits conclude The Almighty made unclean animals kosher. How could this be? “God is not a man that he should lie” (B’midbar / Numbers 23:19). For surely, He is unchangeable (Malachi 3:6). The latter part of verse 28 holds the answer. “But God has shown me not to call ANY PERSON common or unclean.” So Kefa’s vision was about people and not about food!!! As a wise teacher said, “Any text out of context becomes a pretext.”



2nd Corinthians 6:14 ~ 7:1 2nd Corinthians 6:16 states “. . . we are the temple of the living God.” The same God who placed boundaries concerning the Tabernacle / Temple worship is the same God who has placed boundaries around our behavior in every other area of our life including our diets. If we acknowledge He has the authority to regulate our sexual inclinations and appetites, we must also recognize He has the authority to regulate our stomachs. After all, if we truly love Him and are His servants (bondservants) we recognize He has only the best in mind for us and wants us to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS! (All of them!!!!)


1st Corinthians 6:13 states “food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet, the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord is for the body.”


I can’t help but think, if Nadav and Avihu suffered the consequences they suffered for offering “strange fire” in the Tabernacle, how do we think we should fare when we offer “strange fire” or forbidden things in this “temple” of ours? There is no doubt, in my mind, the reason some of our bodies wear out before their time is because of the “strange fire” we put upon its altar. There are consequences for disobedience!!!


Galatians 2:11 – 16 These few verses alone could take up our entire allotted time. Rabbi Sha’ul / Paul and Kefa / Peter, both followers of Yeshua have their disagreements concerning what the Gentiles should and shouldn’t be required to do in order to be followers of Yeshua. In David Stern’s Commentary, no less than 13 pages are dedicated to these six verses.


Kefa Alef / 1st Peter 1:14 – 16 The Word doesn’t get much clearer than this. We can have a clear hope for our future reward by refusing to be shaped by the evil desires we used to have when we were still ignorant of Yeshua. Kefa / Peter even refers us back to the words of The Almighty in verses 44 and 45 of Vayikra / Leviticus 11. “You are to be holy because I am holy.”


In closing, Abba, Father, we pray You, Holy One, will help us be Torah Pursuant (obedient) to Your Word. Help us to follow your guidelines, not only for kosher eating but for kosher living as well. In the name above all names, we pray, aumein, aumein, aumein.


The corresponding Psalm for this week’s Torah portion is: Psalm 128


Next Week’s Torah Portion:  Parashah #27
Tazria ~ עירזת ~ She Conceives
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 12:1 ~ 13:59
Haftarah: M’lakhim Bet / 2nd Kings 4:42 ~ 5:19
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu / Matthew 8:1 – 4; 11:2 – 6;
Mark 1:40 – 45; Luke 2:22 – 24; Luke 5:12 – 16; Luke 7:18 – 23

Who fills his mind with Torah clears it of fear and folly.
Rabbi Chanina Sgan HaKohanim

Organize yourselves into classes for the study of Torah,
since it can best be acquired in association with others.
Talmud: Berkot 63b

Shavuah tov (have a good week)!!!

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