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Parashah #21 Ki Tissa / When you take

In Teachings, Weekly Torah Portions | on February, 13, 2014 | by

Parashah #21
Ki Tissa  ~  When you take
Torah: Sh’mot / Exodus 30:11~34:35
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef / 1st Kings 18:1-39
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 11:14-20; Acts 7:35-8:1;
1st Corinthians 10:1-13; 2nd Corinthians 3:1-18

This week’s Torah portion (Key Tee-sah) Ki Tissa is PACKED with goodies (!!!) and includes:

• Instructions for taking a census (each person donating a half shekel)
• Instructions to make the Washstand / Laver
• Instructions for the Anointing Oil
• Instructions for the Incense for the (Mish-kahn) Mishkan / Portable Sanctuary
• B’tzal’el & Oholi’av appointed to lead the architects & craftsmen for the Mishkan
• The infamous story of the Golden Calf.
• 13 Attributes of Mercy
• Further instructions concerning Shabbat and other Festivals


The beginning verses (11-16) give the instructions for taking the census, registration and receiving the contribution to Yehovah to make atonement for themselves. What really stands out, to me, in the eyes of The Almighty, there is equality of all mankind (verse 15). There is no preferential treatment for the “do-wells” and there is no lack of kindness for the “ne’er do-wells”. We are all equal in the eyes of the Mighty One of Israel no matter what our station in life. (Kay-fah) Kefa / Peter spoke it well in Acts 10:34 “I now understand that God does not play favorites, . . . whoever fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him no matter what people/tribe he belongs to.”

The ritual of (n’tee-laht yah-dah-yeem) n’tilat-yadayim / ceremonial hand washing ultimately became the standard for each individual (verses 17-21). Two times in as many verses (20-21) the instructions require the hands AND feet to be washed “so they won’t die”. After the Temple was destroyed, tradition teaches each man became the cohen / priest of his own home and performed the ritual of hand washing before each offering (meal). This is still practiced in Torah Pursuant homes today. Actually, for the most part, it is practiced in most (goy-eem) goyim/gentile homes today as well. Do we not wash our hands before we eat? I bet you didn’t know this was derived from the Levitical priesthood, did you? I keep tellin’ ya . . . our lives are affected more by Hebrew tradition than we can begin to imagine!!!

The laver (verse 18), essentially a large water basin, was placed in front of the sanctuary and the priests were required to wash their hands and feet before entering, even though they had just bathed. This reminds me of our relationship with Yeshua. Even though we have been spiritually cleaned by our immersion into Him, we must go to Him continually to wash our souls. He is the source of living water for washing our hands and feet, preferably daily. Tehillim / Psalm 24:3-4 comes to mind: “Who may go up to the mountain of Yehovah? Who can stand in His holy place? Those with clean hands and pure hearts . . .”

Following very specific instructions (verses 22-38), The Holy One told Moshe exactly how to make the Kadosh shemen/holy oil for anointing the priests and the Tabernacle. Actually, it was called the (Sheh-men Ha Mah-shee-ahk) Shemen HaMashiach / oil of the anointing (המשיח שמן). The Almighty is such a detail God. Make no mistake; He leaves nothing to chance. This special mixture was not to be used personally for it was holy and it was to be treated as holy. A strong indictment follows: verse 33 “Whoever makes any like it or uses it on any unauthorized person is to be cut off from his people.” It has not been reproduced using these exact ingredients since. Again, the same detailed instructions for the incense to be placed in front of the testimony in the tent of meeting; and again, the same strong indictment concerning unauthorized use. As I understand it, the incense symbolizes prayer. In Tehillim / Psalm 141:2 the psalmist declares, “May my prayer be counted as incense before You.”

According to the Artscroll Chumash, Stone Edition, the exact translation of all the spices in the verses mentioned above is not definitely known. I’m thinking that’s a good thing! Otherwise, sure as the world, there would be someone trying to duplicate it . . . just to see if they could!

A few years ago when I sent out Sabbath greetings concerning this part of our Torah Portion, one of the recipients was Reuven Prager (in Jerusalem). His response was “Actually you smelled the ingredients when I visited you.”

Then I emailed back . . . “Yes, I purchased a little bottle of the Ketoret and I LOVE the fragrance but I didn’t think it was exactly what was made for the Tabernacle/Temple because of the wording in Sh’mot 30:31-38. Please enlighten me . . . I want to LEARN!!!!!

Reuven’s response: “We are prohibited from preparing the Incense in powder form, according to specification, for any use outside the Temple. As an oil it is invalid for use in the Temple, and therefore permissible outside the Temple. I purposely produce it as an oil so there is no way to bring it down to powder, as we’re taught not to be a stumbling block before the blind (the unlearned).” ~ Reuven Prager (If my memory serves me correctly, Reuven’s lineage is from the Levitical priesthood.)


(B’tzahl-el) B’tzal’el, which means in the shadow of God’s protection, was the son of Uri, the son of Hur from the tribe of Y’hudah and his assistant (Oh-holy-ahv) Oholi’av, meaning tent of my father, was the son of Achisamakh, from the tribe of Dan. These men were supernaturally gifted to oversee the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle and its furniture (verses 1-11). The Almighty said, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God – with . . .

(1) wisdom
(2) understanding/insight and
(3) knowledge of every kind of artisanry.”

Rashi says . . .

• “wisdom consists of the knowledge one acquires from others;
• insight is the derivation of new ideas and deductions from one’s wisdom; and
• knowledge [in the context of building the Tabernacle] is Divine inspiration.”

Look at the talents of this man . . .

• Master of design in gold
• Master of design in silver
• Master of design in bronze,
• Cutting precious stones to be set
• Woodcarving
• Every other craft

I told a friend who is also talented in these areas I had a Hebrew name for him, B’tzal’el. He wasn’t too sure he liked it. When I told him it meant “in the shadow of God’s presence”, he seemed to think it might be okay!

Very briefly, I want to touch on the appointment of those in leadership. If someone is occupying an office/position and a supernatural gifting and ability to function correctly is not present, that person might want to “re-check” his/her calling. The lesson in these verses is obvious. When The Almighty sends His people to perform a task, He will equip them with the necessary skills and giftings to accomplish the task for His glory.

Not since Sh’mot / Exodus 20 has there been so much elaboration concerning Shabbat. In fact, did you notice in verses 13 & 14 Yehovah calls them “my sabbaths”? With regard to verses 12-15, the Sages say the main reason it is repeated here has to do with the construction of the Tabernacle. As important as the building of the Tabernacle was, its construction would not override the mitzvot of observing the Sabbath.

Our alliance with Israeli Rabbi Ya’akov Youlus, of blessed memory, has afforded us some wonderful insights regarding Biblical Hebrew. He tells us . . .

“The rabbis observed that the Torah did not use the regular word for “work”,
which is the Biblical Hebrew word “avodah” in any reference associated with
the Shabbat. In every passage about the Shabbat, the Biblical Hebrew word used
for “work” is “melacha” and this caused the rabbis to search for the unique meaning
of the word “melacha”. They observed that the Torah also used the word “melacha”
when it described the building of the Tabernacle and they counted a total of thirty-nine
categories of activities involved in its construction. The rabbinical definition of
“melacha” in reference to the Shabbat is not equivalent to and should not be confused
with physical exertion or toil. As a result of these observations, the rabbis concluded
that the definition of the word “melacha” is any of those thirty-nine activities that were
done in the construction of the Tabernacle.”

Hmmm, I wonder if there is any significance between the above mentioned 39 categories of activities and the 39 books found in the Tanakh? Just wondering . . .

Modern Judaism has put music to verses 16 and 17 (v’shamroo), which is chanted every Sabbath in synagogues all over the world. This includes Messianic Jewish synagogues. When Shabbat is first mentioned in the Decalogue / Ten Words, it is for the sake of remembering The Creator’s creative work. But, in this passage, we find The Holy One wants Am Yisrael / People of Israel to recognize the Sabbath is a sign (in Hebrew, ot ~ sounds like oat) for them. Only He could set it apart as holy (B’resheet / Genesis 2:1-3). Only He could sanctify a day as an eternal memorial of His uniqueness. No created being has this authority. This includes man and his religious institutions!! In attempting to override this authority, the character, identification and nature of our Almighty God is undermined. We have NOT been given the authority to change God’s seventh day Sabbath.

Many Christians assume the B’rit Hadashah / Renewed Covenant does not require God’s people to observe Shabbat and follow the Catholic claim of Sunday replacing Saturday as the Church’s day of worship (1st Corinthians 16:2). But this passage and in particular verse 9, shows Shabbat observance is expected of ALL believers. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us Shabbat is a shadow of things to come. From Yeshua / Jesus, we learn Shabbat-observance is not following the detailed rules which the Rabbis set forth concerning what may and may not be done on the seventh day of the week. As verse 10 explains, Shabbat-keeping consists of resting from one’s own works as God did from His. It consists in trusting and being faithful to God. The Torah makes it clear, when the Messiah returns to set up his Millennial Kingdom from Yerushalayim / Jerusalem here on earth, ALL will be expected to observe the seventh-day Shabbat, as taught in his Torah (Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 66:22-24).

While we are on the subject of Shabbat, do you know why we usually light two candles in honor of Shabbat? The Hebrew tradition of lighting two candles brings to memory the two Torah expressions concerning Shabbat; (Zah-kore) Zachor / remember and (Shah-more) Shamor / observe. Some women light a candle for each family member and girls before marriage traditionally light only one candle. I like to think of the two candles as representing both the Original Covenant and the Renewed Covenant.


Verses 1-10 begin the “golden calf saga”. The natives (Am Israel / People of Israel) get restless because they feel their time schedule is being drawn out way too long, so they rebel against The Almighty and His chosen leader. They go to Aharon / Aaron, the future (koe-hen gah-dole) cohen gadol / high priest!! and convince him to build a false god. When questioned by Moshe/Moses about this incident, I’m intrigued with Aharon / Aaron’s response in the Complete Jewish Bible. Verse 24 “I answered them, ‘Anyone with gold, strip it off!’ So they gave it to me. I threw it in the fire, and out came this calf!” All I can tell you is . . . it’s a good thing I’m not God and I wasn’t Moshe/Moses!!!

According to Rabbi Ya’akov, the Biblical Hebrew seems to describe the condition of an uncontrolled mob and as he says, “we know that a mob acts in a stronger way than merely a few individuals gathered together”. Also, the Biblical Hebrew indicates that the people were forcefully commanding Aharon to do something in Moshe’s absence. Apparently, these people considered Moshe to be their leader instead of The Almighty. It seems they forgot The Holy One was in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire as it says in Sh’mot / Exodus 13:21. Now we have a better understanding of Aharon’s strange behavior in making the golden calf. Commentaries say he hoped, by making the calf, the Children of Israel would be reminded of the idols in Egypt and would reject it. Aharon was sorely disappointed when he discovered the people had not yet fully detached themselves from the tangible idols of Egypt.

Again, according to Rabbi Ya’akov, in Sh’mot / Exodus 32:5, there are three wordings which need explanation.

• First, “. . . when Aharon saw . . .” does not mean he saw something physical but instead he understood the people were insistent about making tangible gods they could see.

• Secondly, the wording “he built an altar before it” is a mistranslation because Aharon built the altar in front of himself, not in front of the golden calf. This is based on the third wording . . .

• Aharon said “Tomorrow is a feast unto the Lord emphasizing “unto the Lord” and not to the golden calf. He used the word “tomorrow” hoping to gain time, hoping Moshe would appear soon and there would be a celebration to The Almighty. By building the altar for The Holy One which clearly nobody told him to do, he was trying to remove the people’s attention from the golden calf and put the attention back towards the Lord.

Given the above explanation, I stand corrected on my initial response to Aharon and the golden calf ordeal.

As in all phases of life, there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. The Holy One’s anger blazes against His people and, at this point, He’s going to wipe them off the face of the earth. Moshe begins to intercede on behalf of his brother and the people. On an interesting note, Moshe causes The Master to “remember” the promise He made to their forefathers, Avraham / Abraham, Yitz’chak / Isaac and Israel (Ya’akov / Jacob). Moshe has come to trust in the spoken Word of The Almighty (remember, there was no formal written Word at this point), and it was this Word, this promise, which acted as a guarantor of The Almighty’s character. Yehovah “repents” of the terrible judgment He had planned for His rebellious children (verses 11-14). To me, this would indicate our Abba Father does listen to our prayers and does change His mind. The words ringing in my ears at this moment are “the prayers of a righteous man availeth much”. In the Complete Jewish Bible, Ya’akov / James 5:16b states: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Definitely proven to be so in this case!

A few years ago, I was impressed by verse 15, which says the Tablets were inscribed on both sides. (They didn’t show that in the movie!!!) It’s almost like The Almighty knew people would try to change what He had written so he wrote on both sides of each Tablet to make it indelible, so to speak! As I was studying these verses this time, I felt Abba saying, “It doesn’t make any difference whether you look at the Tablets from the front (Torah/Original Covenant) or from the back (B’rit Hadashah / Renewed Covenant), it reads the same. Nothing can be, has been, nor ever will be changed!!! I am the same yesterday, today and forever!!!”

Moshe started down the mountain and when he reached the point where Y’hoshua was waiting, Y’hoshua began following right behind him. There was a loud noise coming from below. Y’hoshua thought the noise was of war. However, Moshe heard people rejoicing and was distressed. (verses 17-18)

Moshe became SO angry (verses 19-24) he threw the Tablets down. Then he took the golden calf, melted it down and ground it to powder. Putting it in water, he made the people drink it. This reminds me of the bitter water a husband made his wife drink if he suspected her of adultery. (B’midbar / Numbers 5:16-28) In essence, The Holy One’s bride (Israel) had committed adultery by insisting Aharon/Aaron build a “god to go before us” (verse 1).

We are told the creation of the Golden Calf was instigated by a group described by the Sages as an (ay-roov rahv) eiruv rav / great mixture of peoples. This group was comprised of people from many nations who escaped their bondage by attaching themselves to the Hebrews at the moment of the Exodus from Egypt. They became “fair-weather” Hebrews. During the decades of B’nei Israel/Children of Israel wandering in the desert of Sinai, the eiruv rav constantly agitated against Moshe. At every opportunity whenever problems and discomfort arose on the road to Eretz Israel / Land of Israel, they repeatedly raised the option of returning to Egypt, of becoming pagans once more, of discarding the great dream for cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. (B’midbar / Numbers 11:5)

Unfortunately, whether out of malice or ignorance, the eiruv rav is still present among us today. In our contemporary society’s permissive atmosphere which allows anyone to construct the rules of one’s own religion according to one’s own understanding, the eiruv rav agitates for the destruction of tradition and the elimination of explicitly stated Torah values and behavior. To this day, there are still many people dancing around the Golden Calf (i.e. catholic holidays of christmas and easter). No compromise with the Golden Calf was allowed by Moshe because it would only lead the people down a slippery slope of spiritual and physical annihilation. As I understand Torah, Yeshua will allow no compromises in the Millennium Kingdom either.

According to verses 26-29, Moshe summoned those who were “for Yehovah, join me!” and all the Levites gathered around Moshe. They were instructed to kill any kin, friend or neighbor who participated in the debacle. So, how would they know or be able to tell who participated? Could it have been the distended bellies from drinking the water with the gold in it? The Word says 3,000 fell that day. The Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash indicates this act of courage and loyalty earned the Levites the right to replace the firstborn and be designated as The Holy One’s chosen tribe to serve Him in the Temple.

Reading the above, I am reminded of the same time of year, several hundred years later, when 3,000 were added to the followers of The Almighty. (Acts 2:41)

Moshe scolds the people for their terrible sin, and in verse 30, we see another parallel to Yeshua when Moshe says “perhaps I will be able to atone for your sin”. I want to interject, right here, Yeshua arose, then descended, arose again and we are expecting Him to descend again. Moshe, too ascended to receive the Decalogue, descended, ascended again for the second set of Tablets and descended again. (The second set of tablets had the SAME covenant words on it. It was a new set of tablets BUT actually it was re-newed.) Don’t try to tell me you can’t find signs of Yeshua in the Original Covenant!!!

Anyway, it appears Moshe confronts The Almighty, so to speak, with “if You forgive Israel fine and good! But if You don’t, then wipe my name from Your Book because I don’t want to be a leader who is unable to gain mercy for his people.” (verse 32)


The Holy One says “I will send an angel ahead of you.” The Hebrew word for angel is (mah-lahk) malach, which literally means messenger of the (meh-lehk) melech / king. Then he continues, “. . . but I myself will not go with you.” I believe The Holy One definitely moved His (sheh-key-nah) Sh’kinah (NOT sh’k-eye-nah ~ there is no such word!), His manifested Glory, from the midst of the camp to the outer borders away from the people (verses 1-7).

In these same verses The Almighty says HE will drive out the six “ites”.

• Kena’ani / Canaanites
• Emori / Amorites
• Hitti / Hittites
• P’rizi / Perizzites
• Hivi / Hivites
• Y’vusi / Jebusites

And you will go to a land “flowing with milk and honey”. We’ve all heard this phrase SO many times and I really like what my friend, Jerry Jane, shared some time ago. There is so much more to it than “milk and honey”. In order to have milk, one must have cattle, which requires land with grass, grain and water. In order to have honey, one must have blossoming flowers and trees for the bees to generate their honey. There’s probably more . . . I just don’t remember!!!

Verse 11 says “Yehovah would speak to Moshe (pah-neem l’pah-neem) panim l’panim / face to face as a man speaks to his friend.” “Face to face” is a well known Hebrew idiom. It conveys the sense of acceptance on the part of a holy, unapproachable God, in spite of our sinful nature. This is interesting given the turn of events involving the horrendous “golden calf” incident. There we saw Moshe attempting to make “atonement” for the wicked, stiffnecked people. (32:30-32). Another place in Torah where the idiom “face to face” is indicated is during Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement where the Cohen HaGadol / The High Priest went into the (Koe-desh Koe-deh-sheem) Kodesh Kodeshim / Holy of Holies / Most Holy Place and came “face to face”, so to speak, with the unapproachable God of the Universe. With this in mind, let’s read 1st Corinthians 13:12a, “For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face.” This noble statement about the relationship between Moshe and The Almighty, later, would be remembered at his death as well. “Since that time there has not arisen in Isra’el a prophet like Moshe, whom Yehovah knew face to face.” (D’varim / Deuteronomy 34:10).

The latter part of verse 11 says “the young man (lad) who was his assistant, Y’hoshua, the son of Nun, never left the inside of the tent.” According to the Chumash, Y’hoshua was somewhere between 42 to 56 years old, at this time. He was referred to in this manner, because it is common in Hebrew for the master to be called a man and his subordinate to be called a lad, whatever his age.

What set Y’hoshua apart from all the rest of the people? He wasn’t family, he wasn’t royalty and he wasn’t aristocracy. What set him apart was, he never left Moshe’s tent. What sets a lad apart from a man has to do with a teachable spirit. A lad may trip but he jumps up and tries again. He’s open to new ideas and is willing to consider almost anything not contrary to Torah. When childhood is over, we feel completed and perhaps accomplished after what we consider our last shot at fulfilling our dreams. Afterwards, we are what we are. In some instances, we become stuck. If one is stuck, one cannot be a leader; one cannot be a Prophet or a Torah scholar. When a person stops growing the main purpose of life has ended. Y’hoshua may have been an adult chronologically and physically but he was open to new ideas and his mind was fresh. He had the benefit of years but was not weighted down by them. He wasn’t stuck! He wasn’t set in his ways to such an extent he qualified to be the great successor to (Moe-shay Rah-bay-noo) Moshe Rabeinu / Moses our teacher.

These are days of incredible restoration of (Eh-meht) Emet / Truth to the people of The Holy One. Only those who are willing, like Y’hoshua, who remain teachable and open to His truths will grow and learn. Others, however, will continue to cling to familiar doctrines and ideas of man, refusing to be challenged by The Truth and “make the scriptures of no effect” (Mark 7:13).

A wise man once said, “When one stops studying, they begin backsliding.”

In verse 16, Moshe speaks to The Heavenly Father saying, “. . . how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight . . .” I want to draw attention to this because so many Bible readers believe “grace” is only found in the B’rit Hadashah / Renewed Covenant. Grace did not begin with Yeshua! Grace began in the Torah!!! The Hebrew word for grace is (khen) chen or (khes-sehd) chessed and is usually translated in English as favor. So each time we read the word “favor” in the Original Covenant, we should remember, in Hebrew, it is rendered as “grace”. Why do you suppose the translators chose to ignore most of the mentions of “grace” in the Original Testament?


This time (verse 1) The Holy One tells Moshe to “carve for yourself two stones”. The first time (24:12) Abba cut the Tablets and wrote on them with HIS finger (32:16). This time, Moshe has to do it.

Verses 5-7 contain the famous Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. These verses have found their way into the Siddur / Jewish Prayer Book and are recited on fast days, Yom Kippur, and times of threatening calamity. They are repeated as well in Tehillim/Psalms 103:3-12.

The following information I received from Messianic Torah Teacher, Mark Ensign of Adot Yehovah Fellowship, Amarillo, TX. His teachings are quite thorough and very informative.

1. Yehovah – Yehovah. [יהוה] This Name which denotes mercy appears twice because it refers to two different kinds of mercy. The first is, Yehovah is merciful before a person sins, even though He knows future evil lies dormant in the person.

2. Yehovah – Yehovah. [יהוה] The second mention of this Name denotes even after someone has sinned, Yehovah mercifully accepts his repentance. Without Divine mercy, a sin could not simply disappear from the scales of justice merely because the sinner has repented. Just as an assailant cannot free himself from paying for damages merely because he regrets what he did.

3. God. [Elohim (El-oh-heem) אלהים] This Name denotes power, in the context of the Attributes; it implies a degree of mercy which surpasses even what is indicated by the Name Yehovah.

4. Compassionate. [rachum (rah-khoom) רחום] Yehovah eases the punishment of the guilty and does not put people into extreme temptation. He is compassionate because He helps people avoid distress.

5. And Gracious. [chanum (khah-noom) חנון] He is gracious even to the undeserving. He saves people from distress once it has over taken them.

6. Slow to Anger. [erek apayim (eh-rehk ah-pah-yeem) ארך אפים] With both the righteous and the wicked Yehovah is patient. Instead of punishing sinners immediately, He gives them time to reflect, improve and repent.

7. And Abundant in Kindness. [chessed (khes-sehd) חשד)] He is kind even to those who lack personal merits. Also, if one’s personal behavior is evenly balanced between virtue and sin, Yehovah tips the scales of judgment toward the good.

8. And Truth. [emunah (eh-moo-nah) אמונה] Yehovah never reneges on His word to reward those who serve Him.

9. Preserver of Kindness for thousands of generations. The Sages teach the kindness in this context refers to the good deeds of people which Yehovah regards as if they had done Him kindnesses, even though the Torah requires them to perform such deeds. He preserves those deeds for the benefit of their offspring, so that newer, less virtuous generations can be rewarded for the good deeds of their forebears, just as we constantly invoke the merit of the Patriarchs.

It is said Yehovah forgives three categories of sin, so each forgiveness is reckoned as a separate Attribute as follows:

10. Forgiver of Iniquity. i.e., an intentional sin, which Yehovah forgives if the sinner repents.

11. Forgiver of Willful Sin, i.e., a sin which is committed with the willful intention of angering Yehovah. Even so serious a transgression will be forgiven with repentance.

12. And Forgiver of Error, i.e., a sin committed out of apathy or carelessness. This, too, is a sin, because it would not have been done if the perpetrator had truly felt the gravity of defying Yehovah’s will. For example, one may carelessly discard a match in his driveway, but he would never throw it into his child’s crib, even if he thought the chances were very slight that it could start a fire, because he is aware of the grave consequences if the fire did start.

13. And Who Cleanses. When someone repents, Yehovah cleanses his sin, so the effect of the sin vanishes. However, if one does not repent, Yehovah does not cleanse. According to Sforno, Yehovah cleanses fully those who repent out of love. Those who repent only out of fear of retribution receive only partial cleansing.

As Sforno mentions above, those who repent out of LOVE are fully cleansed. A week or two ago, we talked about the “Bond Servants” and how, out of LOVE they chose to stay with the master. At that point, as long as the Bond Servant obeyed the rules of The Master’s house, The Master met all of the Bond Servant’s needs!

What does God’s forgiveness and compassion look like in flesh and blood? The answer, of course, is Yeshua Ha Mashiach / Jesus the Messiah, for “in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form” according to Colossians 2:9.

Verses 10-15 are so strong and are as relevant today as they were back then. Let’s read . . . The Almighty reminds them . . .

• He is going to do awesome things through them
• He will drive out the “ites” (all six of them)
• Don’t make a covenant with any of them (verses 12 AND 15 – He must have meant it!)

Do not cast metal gods for yourselves (verse 17). Obviously this was applicable to the immediate situation.

According to verse 19, “Everything that is first from the womb is mine” which was also previously stated in Sh’mot / Exodus 13:2, 12, and 15. According to Luke 2:22-24, Yeshua’s parents were obedient to this mitzvah/commandment/instruction as well. “. . . and no one is to appear before me empty-handed.” (verse 20)

In verses 21-26, once again, we are instructed to . . .

• Keep the Shabbat
• Observe the Festival of (Shah-voo-oat) Shavu’ot / Feast of Weeks
• The festival of ingathering, (Sue-coat) Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles
• Appear before Yehovah three times a year (The above two plus Pesach / Passover)

Then, we have the “big” controversy over “You are not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk”, which means nothing more and nothing less than exactly what it says. It is mentioned, as well, in Sh’mot / Exodus 23:19 and D’varim / Deuteronomy 14:21. It has nothing to do with dietary laws but everything to do with the idolatrous practices of the Canaanites. In fact, one Rabbi stated, “As a rabbi I want to emphatically state that it is not forbidden to eat milk and meat products together. In fact, to prove my point, I site the passage found in a previous portion B’resheet / Genesis 18:1-8.” Based on this scripture, I personally think Avram fed his guests Ivrit / Hebrew cheeseburgers!!!!


The Holy One: And remember Moshe, in keeping Kosher, never cook a calf in its
mother’s milk. It is cruel.

Moshe: Ohhhhh! So you are saying we should never eat milk and meat together.

The Holy One: No, what I’m saying is, never cook a calf in its mother’s milk.

Moshe: Oh, Lord forgive my ignorance! What you are really saying is we
should wait six hours after eating meat to eat milk so the two are not
in our stomachs.

The Holy One: No, Moshe, what I’m saying is, don’t cook a calf in its mother’s milk!!!

Moshe: Oh, Lord! Please don’t strike me down for my stupidity! What you
mean is we should have a separate set of dishes for milk and a separate
set for meat and if we make a mistake we have to bury that dish outside . . .

The Holy One: Oy vey, do what ever you want . . .
[This selection of Jewish humor was contributed by Brian E. Bunn, Indiana University]

Verse 29 tells of Moshe descending Mount Sinai with the two tablets. According to tradition, that day was the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur.

Ki Tissa / When you take
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef / 1st Kings 18:1-39

Idolatry seems to be the connecting theme between this week’s Torah portion and the Haftarah. In Sh’mot / Exodus, the Children of Israel worshipped the golden calf and here, 450-600 years later, the Northern Kingdom/House of Israel, descendants of Ya’akov / Jacob are still at it, worshipping idols.

Consider these interesting parallels . . .

• Both Moshe / Moses & Eliyahu / Elijah were important prophets of The Almighty who had to flee for their lives from rulers who wanted to kill them.
o Moshe / Moses fled from Pharaoh
o Eliyahu / Elijah fled from Ach’av / Ahab and Izevel / Jezebel.

• Both prophets had to confront Israel about their idolatry.
o Moshe / Moses had to, concerning the golden calf situation
o Eliyahu / Elijah had to, often during his career.

• Each prophet experienced a special relationship with The Holy One.
o Moshe / Moses spoke with Him face-to-face
o Eliyahu / Elijah’s relationship with The Almighty was so special, he didn’t even experience death.

• Maybe, because of these parallels, and perhaps others, both Moshe and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Yeshua (Matthew 17)

Ki Tissa / When you take
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 11:14-20; Acts 7:35-8:1;
1st Corinthians 10:1-13; 2nd Corinthians 3:1-18

Luke 11:14-20        In verse 20 “. . . the finger of God.” is a direct parallel to the “finger of God” in Sh’mot / Exodus 31:18. Another parallel I hadn’t thought about, until a friend and I were talking, is found in verses 17 & 18; and tells how a kingdom will fall if it is divided against itself. Since B’nei Isra’el / Children of Israel are getting ready to build the Tabernacle, it will require their unity in order to achieve what The Holy One has shown Moshe.

Acts 7:35-8:1        Oh my! We could probably take up our entire allotted time discussing all the parallels in these verses to our Torah portion. Specifically, verse 40 reiterates what we read in Sh’mot / Exodus 32:1 & 23 with regard to making a “god” because Moshe had been gone so long. Before, we get onto B’nei Isra’el too hard, let’s stop and think about this situation from their standpoint. Moshe left 40 days ago; nobody saw him take any provisions with him and he’s up on the mountain alone. There is NO WAY anyone could survive that long without food or drink. Can we really blame them for thinking he is dead? They really haven’t been without someone telling them where to go and what to do for 300-400 years and now they are free and they are scared.

1st Corinthians 10:1-13        Rav Sha’ul / Rabbi Saul/Paul is encouraging the believers in Corinth concerning the history of their forefathers. Sha’ul is also elaborating on what he means by being “grafted in” or “adoption”. In Romans 9:4, he identifies believers as Israelites. (Sha’ul also says this in Ephesians 2:11 & 12.) Here in verse 1 he says believers are descended from those gathered at Sinai. This confirms Sh’mot / Exodus 12:48-19. Therefore, Sha’ul tells believers they are included in Israel / Jacob instead of being excluded from Israel as some in the church teach. Verse 11 tells us Torah is prophetic of and for the End Times. If we pay attention to history, we don’t have to make the same mistakes our forefathers made. Specifically, in verse 7 Sha’ul quotes verse 6 from Sh’mot / Exodus 32 concerning the idolatry and then the revelry which took place at Mount Sinai.

2nd Corinthians 3:1-18        Verse 16 says “But, says the Torah, whenever someone turns to Yehovah, the veil is taken away.” This is a direct reference to Sh’mot / Exodus 34:34 which says “But when he went in before Yehovah for him to speak, he would take the veil off until he came out . . .”

The corresponding Psalm for this week’s Torah portion is: Psalm 75

Next week’s Torah Portion: Parashah #22

Vayak’hel ~ He assembled
Torah: Sh’mot/Exodus 35:1 ~ 38:20
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef/1st Kings 7:13-50
B’rit Hadashah: 2nd Corinthians 9:1-15; Ivrit/Hebrews 9:1-14; Revelation 11:1-13

Shavuah tov ~ have a good week!!!!

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

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