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May 25, 2024: Parashah Torah Portion Behar

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Behar is taken from Leviticus 25:1-26:2. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he encourages us to not only read the Torah, but to walk in obedience to the Torah, every day of our lives! Torah is actually a description of the righteousness of ELOHIM and what it looks like on the earth.  We have been made a new creature, therefore the Torah is a mirror in which we can see what the “new me” looks like NOW!

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 Behar is taken from Leviticus 25:1-26:2

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Behar - Leviticus 25:1-26:2:

In Leviticus 26:3 it says, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out…” This verse is the beginning of next week’s Torah portion.  However, let us go backwards a little!  What is the difference between walking in the statutes, keeping the commandments, and carrying them out?  Rashi suggests that “walking on the statutes” refers to intensive study of the Torah; “keeping the commandments” refers to learning how the commandments of Torah are properly kept; “carrying out” refers to actually doing what the commandments say to do.  In other words, we should study the Torah for the purpose of learning it and we should learn it for the purpose of doing it!


This seems obvious but it isn’t!   Sometimes we study the Bible simply for the sake of studying or learning the Scriptures but we never get around to doing what the Bible tells us to do.  We hear it and learn its message but fail to put it into practice.  This is especially true in regard to the laws of Torah.  “Christian school of thought” is that the laws of Torah are believed to have spiritual meanings instead of literal meanings.  This suggest that the laws of Torah were never meant to be kept and were only to be understood as spiritual lessons. 


Early church fathers (not Apostles) spoke about the spiritual meaning while discouraging people from actually practicing the Torah which brought about the importance of knowledge only.


In “Hebraic thought” study is more than just for knowledge but actually knowledge and learning are regarded only as a means for better serving Elohim.  Therefore, we study to learn and we learn to do!


In Leviticus 25:9-10 we read about Jubilee.  Jubilee trumpet (shofar) is an eternal call to freedom and an enduring hope for the future.  This Jubilee year calls us back to our roots of freedom…to worship Him.  In Jubilee slaves were freed (released).  The slave is free to be who he really is…a man who serves only His Yah!


This is what Ya’akov is saying in Ya’akov 1:22-25.  He encourages us to remember to follow the Torah.  He compares Torah to a mirror. We read Torah but we don’t do it, like a man who looks in the mirror and walks away forgetting what he looks like.  Torah is actually a description of the righteousness of Elohim and what it looks like on the earth.  We have been made a new creature so therefore the Torah is a mirror in which we can see what the “new me” looks like.


I need to know what I look like in order to know how to behave in order to be consistent with who I am now!  Ya’akov calls the Torah perfect…that gives freedom, freedom to be who we are now!  Torah doesn’t bring you into bondage but if followed with proper motives and in the power of the Ruach HaKodesh it enables us to walk a walk of freedom (Gal. 2:20; II Cor. 5:17).  One step further in Ya’akov 2:12 he exhorts us to follow the Torah as he and his followers all did.


He tells us the Torah may function like a judge for us, it will ask us, “Did you believe the Good News of the Living Torah, Yeshua the Messiah, and therefore LIVE IT OUT?”  “Did you believe the mirror?”  Did you remember what you looked like in the mirror or forget and live like something other than what you really are – a new creation child of Elohim?”


Leviticus 25:8-10 reveals the counting of the years to the Jubilee.  Pesach to Shavuot has the counting of the Omer (49 days between the two).  So, we have two acts of counting with one significant difference which tends to be missed in translation.  Counting the Omer is plural and Counting of the years is singular.  Tradition interprets this as the Omer is the duty of the individual and Jubilee is the responsibility of the Hebrew people as a whole, performed centrally on their behalf by the court.


Implied here is an important principle of leadership:  As individuals we count the days, but as leaders we count the years.  As private people we can think about tomorrow, but in our role as leaders we must think long-term.  We must focus our eyes on the horizon!


The question was asked, “Who is wise?”  The answer was the “one who foresees the consequences!”  As leaders we must think about the impact of our decisions many years from now.  Moshe on the eve of the exodus focused the attention of the Israelites on how they would tell the story to their children in the years to come.  He was taking the first step to making Biblical Judaism a religion built on education, study, and the life of the mind, one of its most profound and empowering insights.


Throughout the Book of Deuteronomy,  we see Moshe exhibit stunning insight when he says that the Israelites will find their real challenge not in slavery but in freedom; not in poverty but in abundance; not in homelessness but in having a home.  To prevent decay of life – life must be built on covenant; collective responsibility; justice; welfare; social inclusion.


Jeremiah expressed that even in exile the people could maintain their identity.  During Hannukah the Maccabees won a military struggle but the real war was cultural rather than military!   The same is true for today as we watch the anti-messiah protest.


As leaders and parents, we must listen…think long-term and build for the future!  In today’s society this is very rare!  In this contemporary secular culture, we focus on the moment; we have short attention spans; fleeting fashions; flash mobs; texts; tweets; 15 minutes of fame; fixation on today’s headlines; the power of “now.”  There is nothing mysterious about being able to foresee the consequences of choosing this way rather than that.  To understand the future is based on a deep study of the past!  We need to begin to “count” not only the Omer but the years!  We need to ask ourselves: “How will this affect the community, this house, my house, my child 25 years from now?”


Our task was to build not for us but for our children and grandchildren so that they may be fruitful and multiply!  We must be focused not only on the present but also the future!  This is why the Hebrew people chose to express their mission in the form of a question; the same question we should ask if we believe in Yeshua Messiah and His Word:  Will we have Biblical (Torah) Hebraic grandchildren?  It is time you ask yourself this question!


Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,


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The challenge of this Torah portion, “Behar” is that we need to count the years not just the days and we need to keep faith with the past but our eyes firmly fixed on the future!  Have a great Sabbath and keep your focus on where your help comes from…Amen!  Come and worship the King of Kings and surrender your life to Him!  See you at the altar!


Shalom Aleichem





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