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Parashah #31 Emor / Say ~ Speak

In Weekly Torah Portions | on May, 02, 2014 | by

Parashah #31 ~ Emor ~ Say or Speak
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 21:1 ~ 24:23
Haftarah: Yechezk’el / Ezekiel 44:15 – 31
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu / Matthew 5:38 – 42; Galatians 3:26 – 29


This weeks Parashah, first, gives us a series of regulations concerning the Levitical priests:

• how they are to live
• the kind of women they are to marry
• how they are to stay away from dead things and
• how to consecrate themselves as holy to the Lord.


Then there are also sundry laws for the priests, not all are Levitical, on how they are to conduct their day – to – day affairs, to be set – apart to The Almighty. I was intrigued by verse 5 about the (co – hah – neem) cohanim / priests not making bald spots on their heads, cutting their beards or cutting gashes in their flesh. Some research indicated these were rituals of the priests of the various cults. NO WONDER they weren’t / we aren’t supposed to do those things!!!


Verse 9 “The daughter of a Cohen who profanes herself by prostitution profanes her father; she is to be put to death by fire.” Normally, stoning was the method of death during those days so what’s with this “death by fire”? Could this be prophetic and indicate the final judgment? This seems SO harsh, yet as I thought about it, the following verse came to mind. Luke 12:48 “. . . For unto whom much is given, of him shall be much required”


Then in verses 10 – 12 we learn the cohen / priest is NOT to . . .

• “stop grooming his hair,
• tear his clothes,
• go into where any dead body is or
• make himself unclean, even when his father or mother dies.


He may not leave the sanctuary then or profane the sanctuary of his God . . .” Now we know why Aharon and his sons could not attend to Avihu and Nadav when they were struck dead in the Tabernacle. Another matter, Caiaphas tore his garment when he judged Yeshua. This is confirmation Caiaphas was not qualified as a High Priest. (Mattityahu / Matthew 26:57 – 66)


Another matter, in verses 13 – 15, “he is to marry a virgin”, finally makes sense. If we recall, the priesthood was handed down from generation to generation. By the priest marrying only a virgin, could the bloodline continue without contamination. When verse 14 said he is to “marry a virgin from among his own people” I wondered if she was to be an Israelite or if she was to be from his tribe. When I got over to our Haftarah reading, specifically Yechezk’el / Ezekiel 44:22, I found the answer. Here we learn she is to be an Israelite and furthermore, if she is the widow of a Cohen, he may marry her.


For yet another week, we are admonished to keep the mitzvot “be ye holy for I, Yehovah, your God, am holy”.


This chapter gives us the specifics of animals which are acceptable for sacrifice. Only a physically blameless animal was considered appropriate, which certainly reminds us of our (Meh – she – ahk) Meshiach / Messiah, Yeshua, who was blameless and without blemish.


Additionally, in verses 10 – 16, the people are encouraged to avoid the contamination of their sacrificial meat and terumah (the prescribed portions of crops which are given to the Kohanim). Actually, the “prescribed” portion is approximately one – fiftieth of a crop which is given to the Kohen. It may not be eaten by any (zahr ~ זָר) zar / stranger. However, according to the Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash, in this context, a more accurate translation would be “layman”. The members of a Kohen’s household – including his Israelite wife and gentile slave(s) – are permitted to eat terumah.


According to verse 27, when a bull, sheep or goat is born, it is to stay with its mother for seven days; but from the eighth day on, it may be accepted for an offering. The Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash gave a couple of interesting commentaries on this verse. “Until its eighth day, there is still a possibility the newborn may be premature and unviable (Chizkuni).” and
“Just as a Sabbath must go by before a boy is circumcised, an animal must live through a Sabbath before it can be used for a sacred purpose. Because it bears testimony to The Almighty as the Creator, the Sabbath gives spiritual validity to the entire universe (Tzror HaMor; Zohar)”


“You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel” (verse 32). What does it mean to profane or desecrate The Almighty’s name? How does one sanctify the name of the Holy One of Israel? The concept is one of reputation. It is the idea of our actions and behaviors affecting Abba’s reputation. Our behavior reflects on Him. If we act in a holy manner befitting children of The Almighty, then His name is sanctified. If we act in a godless or wicked manner, His reputation is tainted. Our behavior profanes His reputation.


Many Hebrew ethical standards are formulated around the idea of sanctifying the Name of God / Kiddush HaShem. Every choice we make will in some way or another reflect upon our Heavenly Father. Our every interaction with other human beings will in one way or another say something about the God we serve.


To sanctify God’s Name means to treat His Name with the respect, honor and consecration He deserves. But in a broader sense, it refers to obedience and righteousness or integrity. Torah explains the formula for sanctifying God’s Name is obedience to the commandments. “So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am Yehovah.” (verse 31) The Master concurs: “Let your light shine before men in such a way they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mattityahu / Matthew 5:16) I believe He is saying when we do good works, we bring glory to our Father in Heaven. Glorifying The Almighty requires more than just saying “Glory!” It actually requires us to do good. By the same token, our sins rob God of the glory He is due.


This is part of the meaning of the words the Master taught us to pray “Sanctified (Hallowed) be Your Name, Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, are all parallel statements. When Abba’s will is done on earth, His commandments are being kept. His reign and rule are being exercised on Earth, and His name is then sanctified. When we sin, God’s Name is profaned. His reputation is tarnished because of us. This is a very serious matter which deserves far more attention than we can address here.


Of this entire Weekly Parashah (portion), in my opinion, this is THE most important!!! Also, it is one of my most favorite chapters in the entire Book. This is when The Almighty gave us His (moe – ehd – deem) moedim / appointed times. Some of us have entered into the Hebrew Roots Movement because of the rich significance of these festivals. The appointed times of the Lord are like annual rehearsals for the appointed times of redemption. They are like blueprints for the work of Messiah. The spring festivals of Passover (Pesach), Feast of Unleavened Bread (HaMatzot), Counting the Omer and Pentecost (Shavu’ot) all received a messianic fulfillment in the Master’s first coming. The Fall Festivals of the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and the Eighth Day Assembly (Sh’mini Atzeret) all point toward His second coming. They are a “Shadow of what is to come.” (Colossians 2:17)


These moedim (מעדים) are a cause of contention! Early anti – Semitic church fathers began calling them “the Jewish Feasts”, although scripturally they are called “The Feasts of the Lord”. The vast majority of church – goers today do not honor Yehovah’s holidays and falsely believe they were done away with by Yeshua. These same people often judge Hebrew Roots people for not celebrating the non – Biblical replacement days, lent, easter, advent and christmas. And yet, they are unable to show us any scripture telling us to acknowledge those replacement days.


Ohel Moed is Hebrew for Tabernacle and is the term our English Bibles translate as “Tent of Meeting”. The word moed can refer to an appointed time or place. The Tabernacle was God’s appointed place to meet with man at His appointed times. Vayikra / Leviticus 23 presents a list of The Almighty’s appointed times / moedim (מעדים). They are the holy days which The Almighty appointed to meet with His people.


We can see this in one of Yeshua’s parables. The Master tells the story (Mattityahu / Matthew 22:1 – 14) of a certain king who was giving a wedding feast for his son. He sent out his servants to call those who had been invited. The servants had two critical pieces of information. They were to declare the appointed time and the appointed place of the banquet. As The Almighty summoned His people to appear before Him, He decreed an appointed place and an appointed time. The appointed place was the Tabernacle (and years later, the Temple in Jerusalem). These appointed times are the Biblical Feasts of the Lord. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you, this is not only historic but prophetic as well! If you are not keeping the Feasts of the Father, how will you know when the Son is coming? In 1st Thessalonians 5:1 – 5 Sha’ul / Paul explains this. He says, Yeshua will come as a thief if you are not watching (keeping the “times and seasons”). Remember, Paul wrote this to the “church”!!!


The Biblical calendar is different from the one to which we are accustomed. The Biblical Calendar is lunar. It is based on the phases of the moon. The waxing and waning of the moon determines the day of the Biblical month. The thin sliver of the new moon always appears on the first day of the month, unless, of course, it is cloudy. The full moon indicates the middle of the month and the disappearance of the moon indicates the end of the month.


Although moedim is used on a consistent basis, there is another Biblical Hebrew word for the annual feast days and it is (kha – geem חגם) chagim which is the plural of the singular form (khahg חג) chag / feast day. On occasion, one might hear another say (khahg sah – meh – ahk) Chag Sameach / Happy Holiday! Sometimes this greeting might be followed with the word of the specific holiday, i.e. Chag Sameach Pesach / Happy Passover Holiday!!!!


Vayikra / Leviticus 23 is like The Almighty’s day planner. He has made appointments to meet with His people, be they Hebrew or not. Make no mistake about it, He did not make two sets of appointed times, only one set! The moedim / appointed times are . . .


• the weekly (Shah – baht) Shabbat / Sabbath / Seventh day (v 3);
• the monthly (Roesh Khodesh) Rosh Chodesh / New Moon Festival(B’midbar / Numbers 10:10)


and the annual festivals of . . .


• Passover / (Pay – sahk) Pesach (v 5);
• Unleavened Bread / (Maht – zah) Matzah (verses 6 – 8);
• First Fruits / (Hah – Bik – koo – reem) HaBikkurim (verses 9 – 14);
• Pentecost / The Feast of Weeks / (Shah – voo – oat) Shavu’ot (vs 15 – 22);
• Feast of Trumpets / (Yome Teh – roo – ah) Yom Teruah (vs 23 – 25);
• Day of Atonement / (Yome Kip – poor) Yom Kippur (vs 26 – 32);
• Feast of Tabernacles / (Sue – coat) Sukkot (vs 33 – 43) and the . . .
• Eighth Day Assembly / (Sh’ – meh – nee Aht – zeh – reht) Sh’mini Atzeret (v 36b).

Rav Sha’ul / Rabbi (Apostle) Paul teaches the festivals are like a shadow cast by Messiah.  Colossians 2:16 – 17 tells us, in addition to the ancient meaning for honoring these days, there is yet more fulfillment in Yeshua. For instance, by honoring the weekly Sabbath, we not only have a complete day of physical rest, but we also rest in Messiah by devoting the day to Him and to meditating on His Word. It also represents the coming Sabbath Millennium where Yeshua will reign supreme.


Almost all of the appointed times commemorate some great past act of redemption. For example, the Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorates the exodus from Egypt. But the Biblical festivals can also be understood as a prophetic blueprint. In a sense, they lay out the pattern of redemption because they truly are The Almighty’s appointed times for interacting with man. Each appointed time foreshadows one of the appointed times of God’s plan or redemption. Consequently, they are the appointed times of Messiah. They are the “times (and ) epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.” (Acts 1:7) They represent the appointed time “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Mattityahu / Matthew 24:36) To study the festivals is to study the future. To study the festivals is to study Messiah.


“But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My Sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yehovah who sanctifies you. Therefore you are to observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to Yehovah; whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days Yehovah made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed” (Sh’mot / Exodus 31:13 – 17). Since the above scripture says this applies to “the sons of Israel”, many in “the church” today say it only applies to the Jews. Paul, however, points out believers are grafted into “the commonwealth of Israel”. (Ephesians 2:12) According to Paul, it applies to ALL believers.


For most of those who have become Torah pursuant, we have learned to cease from our labor (our 9 – 5 jobs) on Shabbat (Saturday). For a clearer understanding regarding the English word “work”, I want to share what our friend in Jerusalem, Rabbi Ya’akov Youlus, of blessed memory, had to say. “In Vayikra / Leviticus 23:3, the English word “work” is translated from the Biblical Hebrew word (meh – lah – khah) melacha, which refers to creative work or workmanship. This type of activity is prohibited on the Shabbat. The Sages determined thirty – nine categories of creative work were derived from the process of constructing the Tabernacle in the wilderness. These are the types of work which are prohibited on the Shabbat. In Vayikra / Leviticus 23:7, speaking about the High Sabbaths of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the English words “servile work” are translated from the Biblical Hebrew words (meh – leh – khet ah – vo – dah) melechet avodah, which mean laborious work.” Rabbi goes on to tell us we can deduce from the use of the term melechet avodah / laborious work we are allowed to prepare food on the feast days unlike on the days of the Shabbat. However, it is my understanding the rabbis have instructed, on the feast days, the permission to cook is restricted to preparing only the food to be eaten on the same day.


Interestingly, when you look at the Hebrew word for sign, which is (oat) ot and is spelled alef [א], vav [ו], tav [ת], you will see the word itself depicts the beginning and the end of the Hebrew alef – bet, with a vav in between connoting the concept of nailing. Yeshua Himself declares He is the (Ah – lehf and Tahv) Alef and Tav (Alpha and Omega in the Greek) and, of course, His nailing to the tree was, in and of itself, the ultimate sign leading one to redemption.


In the Spring, at (Pay – sock) Pesach / Passover, we not only remember B’nei Isra’el’s / Children of Israel’s redemption and exodus from Egypt but we also remember our redemption and exodus from the bondage of sin into new life in Yeshua. Yeshua is our Passover Lamb and blood covering.


I need to interject a revelation concerning “under the blood” which The Holy One gave me some time ago. The Hebrew letter (khet)) chet (ח) looks like an upside down “U” and is the first letter of the Hebrew word (khi)) chai (חי) meaning life, which has a numerical value of 18. So when the Children of Israel were getting ready to leave Egypt, Yehovah, through Moshe, told them to paint the blood of the Lamb on their doorposts and over the lintel (looks like an upside down “U” to me!) so when The Almighty “passed over”, (B’nay Is – rah – ehl) B’nei Isra’el / Children of Israel were under the blood and had new life! By the way, for those of us who have heard the “death angel” passed over the Children of Israel; it isn’t true! You won’t find it in scripture!! Check out Exodus / Sh’mot 12:22 & 23. There’s more, but this will suffice for now.


Okay, back to our (moe – ehd – deem) moedim. We eat matzah / unleavened bread for seven days during Unleavened Bread, not only to remember how the Israelites had to leave Egypt in haste but also to recognize Yeshua is our Bread of Life, leaven – less or without manmade doctrine. Afterwards, at (Hah Bik – koo – reem) HaBikkurim / First Fruits, we not only commemorate the early harvest but recognize Yeshua as the First Fruit of those to be raised from the dead. An often over-looked festival is the Counting of the Omer (Oh – mehr), which, essentially is the counting of days from First Fruits / Resurrection to (Shah – voo – oat) Shavu’ot / Pentecost. If you recall, after Yeshua ascended, he returned and visited with many for 40 days. Then He instructed his (tahl – me – deem) talmidim / disciples to “tarry in (Yehr – roo – shah – lah – yeem) Yerushalayim / Jerusalem” for another 10 days when they were visited by the (Roo – ahk Hah Koe – desh) Ruach HaKodesh / Holy Spirit.


At Shavu’ot / Pentecost, we are not only reminded of the Torah being given at Mt. Sinai to Moshe and the 3,000 Israelites who were killed for their idolatry but we also remember the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh / Holy Spirit and the 3,000 who were saved in Jerusalem! Additionally, both a mighty rushing wind was heard and tongues of fire were observed at both locations. Three very interesting parallels to say the least!


In the Fall, we celebrate (Yome Teh – roo – ah) Yom Teruah / Feast of Trumpets, which represents the gathering of the Israelites and the future ingathering of the saints. On (Yome Kip – poor) Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement, we fast, for 25 hours and “afflict” ourselves. [For the ladies, I was taught it meant no makeup (yuck!) and lack of jewelry (oh no!). If one is staying home, it’s no problem but if you plan to attend a Yom Kippur service, it’s not a pretty sight!!!] However, I finally received revelation from Yeshua who taught us in Mattityahu / Matthew 6:16 to not make a show of ourselves in our fasting. This makes sense to me. We are to afflict ourselves not others, by our unsightly appearance!!!


Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement was the day the Kohen HaGadol / High Priest would atone for the sin of the nation. There was national mourning and it is representative of the time when Yeshua Ha Mashiach will return to judge the nations at His Second Coming. At (Sue – coat) Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles we remember our ancestors’ journey through the wilderness and The Almighty’s desire to tabernacle or dwell with us. It is also believed to be the probable time The Almighty did come to tabernacle with us in bodily form. The time when Yeshua was born in (Bet Leh – khem) Bet Lechem (Bethlehem) / House of Bread. When you consider this, isn’t it interesting, Yeshua, the “Bread of Life” was born in the “House of Bread”?


Since the destruction of the Temple, the appointed place has been removed, but the appointed times continue. The Almighty explains the appointed times are “a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.” (Vayikra / Leviticus 23:14) This means they are never to be cancelled! They are never obsolete or done away with!! They are to be celebrated and observed wherever we live!!! (“So then, anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin.” Ya’akov / James 4:17)


Earlier I mentioned these appointed times are sometimes called the Jewish festivals. It is true The Holy One gave His appointed times to the Israelites but remember . . . they were a mixed multitude. Additionally, The Almighty does not refer to them as Jewish festivals. He refers to them as “my appointed times”. They are Yehovah’s holy days. Rabbi (Shah – ool) Sha’ul / Paul asks, “Is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also.” (Romans 3:29)


Also, stated earlier, the Bible never offered non – Hebrew Christians any alternative festival days. To say believers are not expected to keep God’s appointed times is the same as saying believers are not supposed to have any holy days or days of worship. Neither the Gospels nor the Epistles grant believers their own special festivals.


Since I have been made aware of these feasts and festivals and have come to know they are “appointed times” of my Father when He wants to meet with me, it’s hard for me to understand why others would not want to honor these appointed times established by our Heavenly Father instead of doing their own thing. Let’s see . . . eight holidays plus a weekly day of complete rest and meditation on Him instead of two holidays (christmas and easter) and a short time on Sunday. Seems like a “no brainer”, to me. The Holy One’s holidays are a much better deal!


In the days of the (Tahl – m’deem) Talmidim / Apostles, both Hebrew and non – Hebrew believers observed God’s appointed times together. They met in the synagogues and in the Temple on the Sabbath and festival days to celebrate and observe God’s holy days. When Christianity left the cradle of its Hebrew roots, the Christians began to neglect the appointed times. Sabbath day was replaced with Sunday observance, a day named for the sun god! The timing of (Pay – sock) Pesach / Passover was changed and the other festivals fell into disuse. Is this what our Heavenly Father intended for believers? I think not! These changes are, by definition, idolatry!


It seems to me those who are truly committed believers, who want to devote as much time as possible celebrating what The Holy One has done in their lives, should want to honor His moedim / appointed times. One thing is for sure, The Almighty did not make one set of appointed times for the Hebrews and another set of appointed times for the other believers. The afore – mentioned moedim / appointed times are the only ones The Almighty has set. I cannot stress enough that these are NOT Jewish feasts but are the ordinances of our Holy One for ALL who have a desire to serve and honor Him. While advent, christmas, lent and easter are meaningful celebrations, they are not commanded or set out in the Bible and neither Yeshua nor the first century believers celebrated them. Those are man – made traditions which our Heavenly Father did NOT command. The good thing is, it’s exciting how the Lord is revealing the importance of His holidays to many, in these last days. This may very well be the “Revival” many talk about. After all, you can only “revive” something which has become dormant or has been laid aside. And, knowing Eli’yahu / Elijah will precede Yeshua’s return, what is the Elijah message? The restoration of all things – revival of HIS ways!


Another thought along these lines . . . if someone of notoriety contacted us and said they wanted to meet with us on a certain day at a certain time for a period of time, chances are, we would clear our calendar and make arrangements to meet when they wanted. Why is it then, most people who say they love the Lord, refuse to acknowledge His moedim, His appointed times?
(“So then, anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin.” Ya’akov / James 4:17)


The Almighty has told us when He wants to meet with us. We should not replace what He has decreed with what we want (i.e. our family and / or denominational traditions). If we are to return to Biblical principals in guiding our lives, we must also return to honoring the Father’s Holy days (holidays) and His Sabbath. Biblical appointments are the established times of the Holy One, blessed be He. Let us not be found guilty of proclaiming His appointed times as being done away with.


It is true, the twelve apostles never commanded the early believers to keep the appointed times because they were already doing it and didn’t need to be told. In those days, the idea of not keeping the appointed times simply had not occurred to anyone. They were observant of ALL the Father’s ordinances. As a matter of fact, Sha’ul / Paul even told the believers to ignore criticism for keeping the feasts and all of The Almighty’s other rules (Colossians 2:16).


D. Thomas Lancaster, in his book Restoration, Returning The Torah of God To The Disciples of Jesus, wrote: “When we try to change the Torah or do away with a commandment, it is actually God we are trying to change or do away with.”


I am reminded of the fad, when everyone, and I mean everyone, wore bracelets and necklaces and had key chains with WWJD on them. What Would Jesus (Yeshua) Do? Scripture is VERY clear about what He would do. He kept the feasts and the festivals and He kept the Shabbat which we can read about in the following verses:

                       • Matthew 5:17 He studied Torah, the laws, the instructions.                         (There was no New Testament then!)
• Mark 4:15 He observed Passover not easter.
• Luke 4:16 He observed Shabbat not sunday.
• John 10:22 He observed Hanukkah not christmas.

So we should strive to be more like Him, observing the traditions as instructed by our Heavenly Father, not the traditions of man. We are told in Vayikra / Leviticus 20:7 & 8 “Therefore, consecrate yourselves – you people must be holy, because I am Yehovah, your God. Observe my regulations and obey them; I am Yehovah, who set you apart to be holy.” And again in 1st Kefa / Peter 1:15 – 16 “. . . following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; since the Tanakh says “You are to be holy because I am holy”.”


Before we leave the subject of the feasts and festivals, based on a couple of conversations I had and an email which I received, I believe I’m supposed to share how the birth of a child parallels the feasts. Thanks to Zola Levitt, may his name be remembered forever, for researching the majority of this information, along with his friend, obstetrician, Dr. Margaret Matheson.


• Pesach / Passover occurs on the 14th day of the first (Biblical) month (New Life)  o On the 14th day of the first month, the egg appears (ovulation)


• Feast of Unleavened Bread / Matzah occurs the next day (The Seed ~ Burial of our Lord)  o Egg must be fertilized within 24 hours (fertilization)


• HaBikkurim / First Fruits, occurs after sundown of the weekly Shabbat during the week of Unleavened Bread. It could occur the day after or almost a week later (resurrection)  o The fertilized egg travels, at its own speed, down the tube anywhere from 2 – 6 days before it implants in the uterus (implantation)


(Remember earlier when I was talking about the Hebrew word for Life being Chai? Do you remember the numerical value of the word? This is interesting!!! Vayikra / Leviticus 17:14 tells us “for the life of every creature – its blood is its life.” The numerical value of Chai is 18. On the 18th day of the baby’s life in the womb, its own blood is developed.)


• Shavu’ot / Pentecost, 50 days after First Fruits, is the late Spring Harvest (harvest)  o Fifty days after fertilization the embryo actually becomes a human being (new creature)


No major events during pregnancy take place between the Spring festivals and the Fall festivals other than the child is growing in size and strength.


• Yom Teruah / Feast of Trumpets occurs on the first day of the seventh month.  o Hearing has fully developed in the baby by the first day of the seventh month


• Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement was the day of blood sacrifice, the 10th day of the 7th month.  o Mature blood is developed by the 10th day of the 7th month preparing the baby to have its own self – respirating and circulating blood system, no longer dependent upon its mothers blood supply.


• Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles which falls on the 15th day of the 7th month. The Tabernacle is the house of the spirit of The Almighty. Ruach / Spirit in the Bible is represented by air! Remember the mighty rushing wind, the air, of the Ruach HaKodesh / Holy Spirit in the book of Acts?  o Lungs are developed by the 15th day of the 7th month and a normal baby with two healthy lungs, if born at this point, can take in its own air and live.


• Hanukkah / Feast of Dedication which celebrates the giving of the miracle light completes a 280 day cycle. Looking at a Hebrew calendar this would be equivalent to ten of those 28 day cycles of the moon. This seems to be more in keeping with The Holy One’s way of planning than our Westernized nine month estimate.  o Life is given a full 280 days from conception to birth, the same 280 day cycle from Pesach to Hanukkah, an interesting parallel to the Feasts of the Lord.


On a personal note, consider this . . . Yeshua (“The Light of the World”) was conceived at Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Light(s) and was born at Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles when He came to “tabernacle” with us in bodily form. On the eighth day after Yeshua’s birth he was taken to the Temple for his circumcision. The eighth day from the beginning of Feast of Tabernacles is called Sh’mini Atzeret / Eighth day Assembly. Then one more day called Simchat Torah / Joy of Torah is celebrated which I believe coincides with all the family and friends rejoicing with Miryam & Yosef over the birth of their first child! Another 280 day cycle from conception to birth.


All of the chapters in the Sefer Vayikra / Book of Leviticus through Vayikra / Leviticus 24:9 speak about holiness in one aspect or another. However, beginning in Vayikra / Leviticus 24:10 a few other topics are addressed which are in contrast to the subject of holiness. There are four primary directives in this chapter which cover . . .

• the Menorah,    • the Show Bread,    • blasphemy of the Holy Name and
• punishments for causing death / injury.


As studied previously, the Menorah was to burn continually. Yet, we also learned the Kohen / Priest was to trim the wicks and replenish the oil which would have been challenging, to say the least, with them burning. The Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash has some interesting commentary concerning verses 3 & 4. According to Rashi the western most lamp of the Menorah constituted a testimony. The Almighty’s Presence rested among Israel, because it was the first to be lit every evening and the last to go out the next day, even though all the lamps had the same amount of oil. Additionally, if any of the flames were still burning in the morning, the Kohen would extinguish them in order to clean the lamps but he would allow the western one to continue burning. We are told during times when the Hebrews were worthy, a miracle happened and the western lamp never went out. In the evening, when it was time to kindle the flames again, the Kohen would remove the still – burning wick and oil from the western lamp, clean and prepare its receptacle for the new kindling and then replace the still burning wick. Then he would kindle all the others with the western lamp. The eternally burning western lamp was proof of The Almighty’s presence in the Temple. After the time of (Sh’moan) Shimon / Simeon (Hah – Zahd – deek) Ha Tzaddik / The Righteous, who was Kohen Gadol / High Priest during the early years of the Second Temple, the people were no longer worthy of such a miracle, and the western lamp would go out like all the others.


Although verse 3 mentions Aharon / Aaron, any Kohen / Priest was permitted to kindle the Menorah, except on Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement, when it could only be done by the Kohen Gadol / High Priest.


With regard to the blasphemer in verse 11, the commentary states the sinner’s innocent mother and tribe are mentioned to teach a sinner brings shame not only upon himself, but upon his parents and tribe. On the other hand, the righteous bring credit upon all who are associated with them, according to Rashi.


Verses 17 – 22 teach us about the punishments for causing death or injury. Because some of us have received teaching from churches who have not investigated the Hebrew culture and tradition, we haven’t been taught the true meaning of these punishments.


“An eye for any eye” is perhaps the most misunderstood phrase in the Torah. The unlearned maintain it was originally meant literally, and it was reinterpreted later to mean monetary compensation. This is wrong! Wrong!! WRONG!!! The Torah NEVER required anything other than monetary compensation. Verse 18 says “a life for a life” which means the one who killed an animal must pay its market value. And finally, the commentary on verse 20 really puts it all into proper perspective. The Sages indicate these penalties are to be understood as monetary payment for the damages. For example, a singer with a mangled finger would lose little of his value. However, a pianist would lose a considerable part of his value if he lost the use of his hand. It helps to know and understand the original Hebrew as well as the traditions of our Hebraic roots when studying Torah.

Emor ~ Say or Speak
Haftarah: Yechezk’el / Ezekiel 44:15 – 31

According to the Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash, these verses in Yechezk’el / Ezekiel give the laws which will apply to the Kohanim in Messianic times at the Third Temple. As we read in our Parashah, Moshe gave instructions about some of the details of the priests’ personal life. Those instructions provide the basis for a similar teaching which Ezekiel is giving us in our Haftarah. (NOTE: For those brethren not familiar with the terms “Messianic times” and “Third Temple”, these refer to the time when Yeshua has returned to rule and reign.)


As we read these verses carefully we find a list of responsibilities both professional and personal. With regard to Professional Responsibilities we find . . .


• The priests are to minister to The Almighty. Verse 15 records The Almighty consistently using the first person pronoun “Me”. For instance . . .

o Come near to Me
o Minister to Me
o Stand before Me
o Offer to Me


• Then in verse 23 we are told they are to be Torah Teachers. “. . . they shall teach My people” which is a repetition of what Moshe teaches about holiness in Vayikra / Leviticus 10:11 and D’varim / Deuteronomy 24:8 and 33:10.


As I understand this, the time frame in these verses is the Millennial Kingdom. Apparently there will be many things to learn about The Almighty and His Word even during the Millennial reign. We will also be learning about what is both holy and profane during that time.


• The third responsibility of the Kohanim will be to act as judges as well as priests. Particularly, this is with regard to settling disputes among the people (verse 24). This is not a new responsibility according to D’varim / Deuteronomy 17:9. It appears life in the Millennium will be far different than what many of us have been taught.


Consequently, we can see from this Haftarah the Millennial Priests will . . .

• Offer sacrifices    • Instruct the people    • Serve as judges as the needs arise

Given these responsibilities, what kind of lives will these priests have to live? What can these verses reveal to us about their Personal Responsibilities?


• Clothing is addressed in verse 17. They are to wear only linen garments when they enter the inner court. Verse 18 gives us the reason . . . wool would make them sweat, which in turn produces uncleanness. Conversely, they are not to wear their priestly garments when they are not ministering before The Almighty.


• Grooming is the second area of personal responsibility, which is found in verse 20. They are not to shave their heads or allow their hair to grow excessively long but are to keep their hair carefully trimmed. Shaving one’s head apparently was a practice of heathen cult worship. Perhaps this future prohibition will apply to this practice as well.


• Diet enters into the personal responsibilities of the Kohanim as well. Verse 21 tells us they will not be able to drink wine when they come into the court, which reiterates Vayikra / Leviticus 10:9. Additionally, they will be required to follow the dietary teachings of Vayikra / Leviticus 11. Verse 29 also says their food source will be from the food which is brought by the worshippers as sacrifices and offerings, when they are serving The Almighty at the Temple.


• Companionship, i.e. marriage is addressed in verse 22. The priests may marry and the regulations for this are the same as those for their ancient forefathers. There doesn’t seem to be a distinction between the high priest and the other priests. Perhaps this is because the Mashiach Himself, Yeshua, will be serving as the High Priest!


• Mourning practices: Apparently people will die in the Millennium based on verse 25 which gives the details what the future priest must do when death occurs in his house. Unlike the regulations for companionship, the regulations for the priests and the High Priest will be different in the millennium. At that time, the Kohanim will be allowed to enter the gravesite of a family member unlike their forefathers.

Emor ~ Say or Speak
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu / Matthew 5:38 – 42; Galatians 3:26 – 29


Mattityahu / Matthew 5:38 – 42 “Eye for eye and tooth for tooth” is taken straight out of our Torah portion (Vayikra / Leviticus 24:20). However, it did not literally mean one was supposed to retaliate in such a way. Rather, this was The Almighty’s way of controlling and limiting the retribution and punishment.


These verses also contain “If someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too!” This is actually not to be taken literally either. These words are a Hebrew idiom which means “if someone insults you, let him insult you and don’t retaliate”.


With regard to a soldier forcing one to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two, is the encouragement from Yeshua. The context is the Roman conquest; soldiers could make the subjects do their work for them. A Roman mile was considered to be 1,000 paces.


Again, D. Thomas Lancaster’s, Restoration, Returning The Torah Of God To The Disciples Of Jesus, makes a very good point. “The New Testament, like any piece of literature, is context – dependent. When we read it outside of its context, it is impossible to accurately interpret its original meaning.”


Galatians 3:26 – 29 As I understand these verses we are all children of The Almighty, both the Hebrews and the Gentiles through our union with the Messiah, who is already the Son of The Almighty. Sha’ul / Paul is insistent, since we belong to the Messiah, we are the seed of Avraham and heirs according to the promise, both the Hebrew and the Gentile believers.

The corresponding Psalm for this Torah portion is:

Psalm 42

Next week’s lesson: Parashah #32 ~ B’har ~ On the Mount
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 25:1 ~ 26:2
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu / Jeremiah 32:6 – 27
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 4:16 – 21;
1st Corinthians 7:21 – 24; Galatians 6:7 – 10

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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