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March 30, 2024: Parashah Torah Portion Tzav

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Tzav is taken from Leviticus 6:1-8:36. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he deals with four fascinating accounts in this portion where a very rare note, known as a “shalshelet” (chain), appears; A sign of a crisis where a person questions the very foundations of their life!


Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Torah Portion:

Parashah Torah Portion Tzav - Leviticus 6:1-8:36

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Tzav - Leviticus 6:1-8:36:


There are so many times in our lives where we try to be what we are not.  We all know our own limits.  We can’t do everything by ourselves.  We need people in our lives who are strong where we are weak.  We need someone so our lives have checks and balances.  We are all different so we need to surround ourselves with people who are different from us.  We need to know our own skills and learn our limits.  Knowing there are things we cannot do and things we cannot be.  Sometimes it’s hard to admit and process, and it can be quite a painful experience.

 

As we look at this Torah portion, we see four fascinating accounts when these moments come about and affect people.  What links them is not words but music…from early on in Jewish history the Torah was sung not just read!  In Deut. 31:19 at the end of his life Moshe calls it a song.  These musical notations become a systematic chant known as taamel ha-mikra.  One very rare note, known as a “shalshelet” (chain), appears in the Torah only 4 times.  Each time it appears it is a sign of a crisis where the individual questions the very foundations of their life:  whether or not their life has any meaning, purpose, or value.  A deep, obsessive concern with unanswered questions about the meaning of life and existence, resulting in the disruption of one’s daily life.

 

Three of these instances are found in B’resheet and the fourth one is found in this week’s Torah portion.  In a broad sense they all deal with leadership even though the fourth is more evident.

 

The first instance is in the story of Lot.  Lot had separated from his Uncle Abraham and settled in Sodom.  In Sodom he had assimilated into the local culture and his daughters married local men.  He sat at the city gate… a sign he was a judge.  Two visitors came and told him to leave because Elohim was about to destroy the city and yet he hesitates and above the word used for hesitates (vayitmahmah) is a “shalshelet.”  In Gen. 19:16 we see that he is torn and conflicted.  He senses the visitors are correct and the city is going to be destroyed BUT he has invested his whole future in the new identity he has been carving out for himself and his daughters.  If the angels had not seized him and taken him to safety he would have delayed until it was too late.  It is the same for us in these end times…we are in the world but not of the world yet we know Yeshua is coming but we can’t seem to break away from these cultures hold.  We have carved out a life for us!

 

The second instance is Abraham asking his servant Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac his son.  There is a suggestion that Eliezer has some mixed feelings because if Isaac didn’t marry then the estate would go to Eliezer.  Abraham already spoke this before Isaac was born in Gen. 15:2. Two instincts warred within him; loyalty to Abraham and his own personal ambition!  Loyalty won but not without deep struggle because in Gen. 24:12 we see a “shalshelet.”

 

The third instance brings us to Egypt and the life of Yoseph.  He is sold by his brothers as a slave and is now working in the house of a Egyptian.  He is left alone in the house with the master’s wife, and he finds himself as the object of her affection.  He is handsome, and she wants to sleep with him, and he refuses.  Gen. 39:6-8 we find above the Hebrew word for refused a “shalshelet.”  Yoseph’s refusal took considerable effort, and he nearly succumbed.  This was more than the usual conflict between sin and temptation…it was a conflict of identity!  Yoseph is living in a strange land and his brothers rejected him and made it very clear they didn’t want him to be a part of their family so why not…while in Egypt, do as the Egyptians do?  Why not yield to the master’s wife if that is what she wants?  The question for Yoseph was not just, “Is it right” but also, “Am I an Egyptian or a Hebrew”?

 

We can ask the same question in our moments of testing…am I a believer or an unbeliever?  We are not of this world or a part of its value system or societal belief…REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!

 

These three episodes are about inner conflict and identity.  There are times when each of us has to decide, not just: What shall I do?” but “What kind of person shall I be?”  Who or what are we allowing to define us?  What kind of person do you want to be?

 

The fourth instance is when Moshe instructed the congregation by Elohim to build a home for YHVH.  It is complete and all that is left is to induct his brother Aaron and his sons into the office of priest.  Lev. 8:23 says “And he slaughters” (vayishchat) and right there is a “shalshelet.”  There is an internal struggle within Moshe.  What is it…within the text there is no sign of underlying struggle or that he was undergoing a crisis.  Sometimes our outward action doesn’t reveal our inward feelings…. TRUE?  However, it is clear that until now he had led the Hebrew people and Aaron his brother had assisted him, acting as a spokesman and being 2nd in command.

 

Aaron was coming into his own.  He had a new leadership role in his own right and was no longer under the shadow of Moshe.  He would do what Moshe himself could not.  Aaron was about to become the one kind of leader Moshe was not destined to be…A HIGH PRIEST!

 

In Lev. 8:23 Moshe, though unseen, is having an inner struggle, conveyed by the “shalshelet.”  He is inducting his brother into an office he himself will never hold. He has joy for his brother.  There is no bitterness, but he has a sense of loss.  Yes, he was the prophet and liberator but Aaron has a privilege Moshe will be denied, namely, seeing his children and their descendants inherit his role.  The son of priest is a priest.  The son of a prophet is rarely a prophet.

 

So, what do these four stories tell us? There comes a time for each of us when we must make an ultimate decision as to who we are. It is a moment of life-changing truth! Lot is a Hebrew not a citizen of Sodom! Eliezer is Abraham’s servant, not his heir! Yoseph is Ya’akov’s son, not an Egyptian of easy-going morals.  Moshe is a prophet, not a priest.  To say yes to who we are we have to have courage to say no to who we are not!

 

There is pain and conflict involved with each “shalshelet.” However, we emerge less conflicted than we were before.  To be a great leader we must realize who we are and what we are to do!  There were things Moshe was not destined to do. He would not become a priest.  That task fell to Aaron. Moshe would not lead the people across the Jordan, that task was Joshua’s role.  Moshe had to accept both facts with good grace if he was to be honest with himself.

 

As leaders we must be honest with ourselves if we are going to be honest with those we lead.  We can’t be all things to all men!  Be content to be what you are!  We must have the strength to know what we cannot be if we are to have the courage to be ourselves!

 

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

 

Join us every Wednesday at 7 pm for Bible study and every Saturday at 11 am for Sabbath service at:

 

Lion of Judah Ministries

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Blackstone, VA. 23824.      


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Walk in the destiny that Elohim has called you to walk.  Find your purpose and begin the journey to fulfill it!  There is something special that Yeshua has for you to do for His Kingdom.  Seek it and you will find it!  It is already in you!  Have a blessed and anointed Sabbath.  See you at the altar!

 

Shalom Aleichem

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I am so happy that I am unik.Nobody can replace me.Elohim created me perfect and I feed in where he wants me,I don't need to compare or competition.Hallelujah!!

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