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May 11, 2024: Parashah Torah Portion Kedoshim

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Kedoshim is taken from Leviticus 19:1-20:27 . Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he clarifies the fact that our sanctification is not by virtue of our own heroic achievement, rather we have been set apart by MESSIAH YESHUA! However, sanctity is also a cooperative process that requires us to do our part as well!

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:

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Kedoshim is taken from Leviticus 19:1-20:27

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Kedoshim - Leviticus 19:1-20:27:


To be holy is a commandment as we read in Lev. 19:1-2 and I Peter 1:15-16.  We are to be set aside people and if it requires being different then your neighbor…then so be it!  To be made holy it must be separated from its context, clearly defined by Elohim.  He is the Sanctifier!  However, somehow, we are to contribute to that holiness.

 

The answer lies in the repeated formula of our blessing – “who has sanctified us with His commandments.”  Within every blessing; tzitzit, tefillin, etc.…we have that formula!  We might object and say I am sanctified by Messiah’s blood; by faith in Messiah; by the blood of Messiah; by His Ruach HaKodesh…and all this is true!

 

Our separation is not by virtue of our own heroic achievement, rather we have been set apart by Messiah.  He is the One who sanctifies and sets apart and makes holy.  However, Sanctity is a cooperative process!  Elohim sanctified the Sabbath and yet He tells us to keep it holy.  Sanctity is definition, it is borders, it is limits and we have a role to play in maintaining sanctity!  For example, the sanctity of Sabbath is not dependent upon us at all. If we profaned her for 24 hours, her actual sacred status is not at all diminished.  She (Sabbath) has been declared sacred by Elohim, and there is nothing we can do to disrupt that sanctity!

 

We can profane her in regard to our own participation.  By profaning the Sabbath, we rob only ourselves of experiencing her sanctity!  So too with our sanctity…we are declared holy and separate on basis of our redemption in Messiah…it arises from Messiah’s righteousness, His sacrifice and His blood.  Yet we rob ourselves of experiencing that sanctity by stepping outside of its bounds.

If we cross the boundaries and demarcations of our own holiness, we rob ourselves of the sanctity with which Messiah has invested us.  The boundaries of sanctity are none other than the commandments of Elohim.  To cross them is to step outside of sanctity.  To keep them is to remain within sanctity!

 

In Leviticus 19:1, this section was proclaimed when the people were assembled so the principle of holiness concerns all parts of the community and each person is called upon to work towards this ideal to the best of his/her means and abilities.  The presence of the entire assembly moreover signifies that the ultimate goal of holiness can be achieved only through the collective efforts of the whole nation.

 

Each individual of course, can reach a degree of holiness but that personal effort will remain of only relative importance since the majority of the basic laws of Torah depend on the participation of the community!  Examples are congregational sacrificial offerings, gatherings on festivals, duties of social welfare, mitzvos of shemmittah and yovel.  The highest perfection cannot be achieved in isolation or in solitude; it requires communion with others.

 

The Glory of Elohim can be revealed only in the Presence of a multitude (Num. 10:33-36).  We see a profound lesson here in Numbers 10.  Whenever the Ark was moved…Moshe prayed for Elohim’s Presence at the head of His people to ensure that their enemies would be driven away.  When the Ark halted, Moshe prayed for Elohim to preside over the daily life of His people.

 

  Moshe knew that in its journeyings over the world, the Ark, symbolizing Torah, would encounter countless enemies.  He knew only Elohim’s constant help would keep the Torah and its upholders from succumbing to their attacks.  As long as Torah is borne on the shoulders of the people…it will endure!

The entire history of Israel which is intimately connected with the destiny of the Torah is symbolically placed before us.  Numbers 10:35-36 highlights that making Elohim’s will our will in every detail is the ultimate goal!  Therefore, these two verses offer a true guide for the nation and us, not only in the desert but for all time!

 

So, in this great “holiness code” light is shed on the nature of followship! It can be seen in two different ways of understanding. First:  Read the command in terms of interpersonal relations. Secondly: See the command in an impersonal term.  This second interpretation is only possible because of a fundamental belief in Judaism…” All Jews are responsible for one another.”  There is a fundamental principle called “critical followship”.  It is an active questioning and argument for the sake of heaven.

 

The way we learn is conceived as an active debate.  Even a teacher and disciple, even a father and son, when they set to study Torah together become enemies to one another.  But they do not move from there until they have become beloved to one another.  Part of our halacha is our walking in holiness.  It is in that walking together, studying together, arguing together, loving together where we learn how to be like Yeshua. 

 

We need people who challenge the conventional wisdom, resist the fashionable consensus, and who disturb the intellectual peace!  To follow the person in front of you is as dangerous to humans as it is to ants.  To stand apart and be willing to question is the task of a critical follower!  We must not be afraid to challenge each other!

 

We are responsible to each other…this holiness can only become a reality within a community who takes it seriously!

 

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

612 North Main St

Blackstone, VA.


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Today is the day to come and gather as His holy people to His holy space on His holy day.  Come and worship Him in spirit and in truth.  Surrender yourself to the Messiah and give Him all that is due Him!  See you at the altar!

 

Shalom Aleichem

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