This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Emor is taken from Leviticus 21:1-24:23. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he clears things up about the journey we are all on with ELOHIM, as we walk out our destinies in our lives. In this current period we are in, of Counting the Omer (we are on the 30th day), how are we honoring or dishonoring ELOHIM by the choices we make, with the time we have been given?
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 Parashah Torah Portion:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Emor - Leviticus 21:1-24:23
We are all on a journey with Elohim as we walk out our destinies in our lives. Our journeys are full of purpose and design perfectly orchestrated by the Master Himself. We make constant choices to move ahead or stand still to drift or fall backwards. These choices are ours and ours alone. We have just left the Feast of Pesach and are headed to the Feast of Shavuot. We are to count 49 days leading up to Shavuot from Pesach. This gives us 49 days to grow and mature until the harvest of Shavuot. This is our opportunity to consider our path and make goals about our destinations. Where are we going? What do we want? What cost are we willing to pay? Where does our relationship with Elohim stand?
There is a parable about a king who had two sons: A wise son and a wicked son. When the people encountered the wicked son, he would abuse them and carry on in a manner unbefitting the prince. People would remark, “Is this how the king raises a son? Is this the kind of man the king is?” Yet when people encountered the wise son, he would treat them courteously and provide them all manner of service as befits a prince among his people. Then they would say, “What a fine king we have over us who has raised such a fine son. Truly he is worthy of his throne.”
What we have embedded in this parashah are two of the most fundamental commands of Torah and these commands touch on the very nature of our Hebraic identity. Leviticus 22:29-33 says, “When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Adonai, you must do it in a way such that you will be accepted. It must be eaten on the same day it is offered; leave none of it till morning; I am Adonai. You are to keep My mitzvot and obey them; I am Adonai. You are not to profane My holy name; on the contrary, I am to be regarded as holy among the people of Israel; I am Adonai, who makes you holy, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your Yah; I am Adonai.” Pay attention to verse 32…it is the prohibition against desecrating Elohim’s name and then a positive principle of sanctifying His name. What are these commands and what do they mean?
First, we have to understand the concept of “name” as it applies to Elohim. A name is how we are known to others. Elohim’s name is therefore “His standing in the world.” Do people acknowledge Him? Do people respect Him? Do people honor Him? We have an awesome and fearful responsibility to represent Elohim in our conduct and fate as His people. This is what Isaiah meant when he said in Isaiah 43:10, “You are My witnesses”, says Adonai, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you can know and trust Me and understand that I am He- no god was produced before Me, nor will any be after Me.”
Elohim of Israel is the Elohim of all humanity. He created the universe and life itself. He made all of us in His image. He cares for all of us no matter where we are or what we are going through. Elohim of Israel is radically unlike other gods. He is not identical with nature…He created nature! He is not identical with the physical universe…He transcends the universe! He is not capable of being mapped by science, observed, measured or even quantified…He is not that kind of a thing! So, how is He known? He is known through Hebraic history, families, narratives, events, commandments, and how we live.
Moses said at the end of his life in Deut. 4:32-35, “Indeed, inquire about the past, before you were born; since the day Elohim created human beings on earth, from one end of heaven to the other, has there ever been anything as wonderful as this? Has anyone heard anything like it? Did any other people ever hear the voice of Elohim speaking out of fire, as you have heard, and stay alive? Or has Elohim ever tried to go and take for Himself a nation from the very bowels of another nation, by means of ordeals, signs, wonders, war, a mighty hand, an outstretched arm and great terrors—like all that Adonai your Yah did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? This was shown to you, so that you would know that Adonai is Yah, and there is no other beside Him.”
We are unique. There is no other nation that has survived such trials. The revelation of Elohim to Israel was unique. No other religion is built on a direct revelation of Elohim to our entire people as happened on Mount Sinai. Therefore, Elohim, the Elohim of revelation and redemption is known to the world through Israel. In ourselves we are testimony to something beyond ourselves. We are Elohim’s ambassadors to the world. So, because of that we behave in such a way to evoke admiration for Elohim as a faith and a way of life… a sanctification of Elohim’s name! If we do the opposite, we betray that faith and way of life, causing people to have contempt for the Elohim of Israel, that is a desecration for Elohim’s name.
Amos 2:7 says, “grinding the heads of the poor in the dust and pushing the lowly out of the way; father and son sleep with the same girl. Profaning My holy name.” When we behave badly, unethically, unjustly we create a desecration of His name. If our lives bring us into exile and we are defeated, it is not only a tragedy for us, it is a tragedy for Elohim. When we are faithful to our mission and when we live, and lead and inspire as Elohim’s chosen, then Elohim’s name is exalted! This is what Isaiah meant in Isaiah 49:3, “He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, through whom I will show My glory.”
In a way, the fate of Elohim’s name in the world is dependent on us and how we behave. No nation or people has ever been given a greater or more fateful responsibility. We each share in this task! We must be careful what we do, what we say, how we act, and what our attitudes display because all of it reflects on all of us…good and bad! We are all, like it or not, ambassadors of the chosen people…How we live, behave and treat others reflects not only on us as individuals but on all of the community as a whole. Therefore, it reflects on His Word and on Elohim Himself.
We must not be afraid of greatness! Elohim trusted us enough to make us His ambassadors to an often faithless, brutal world. The choice is ours! Will our lives bring honor or dishonor to Elohim? To have done something, even one act in a lifetime, to make someone grateful that there is a Yah in heaven who inspires people to do good on the earth, is perhaps the greatest achievement to which anyone can aspire. Be not afraid of greatness…Be His witnesses!
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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Walk in obedience to His Torah. You are His witnesses! Allow your life to be a sweet-smelling aroma to Adonai. Be the example to this world of a loving and powerful Yah. Gather together this Sabbath and give Him your all! Honor His name through your life. See you at the altar!