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September 22, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Ha'azinu

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Ha'azinu is taken from Leviticus 16:1-34. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he points out the fact that all of ELOHIM’S appointed times are holy (set-apart) to ADONAI, but Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the holiest of all! All other Sabbaths and holy days are times of feasting and celebration, however on Yom Kippur we are commanded to afflict ourselves. Find out why!


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 Ha'azinu - Leviticus 16:1-34


Yom Kippur has arrived! So, this portion I will speak on the very powerful appointed day of Adonai. Yom Kippur is a day of selflessness when we approach the King of Kings. It is a time we set aside our own desires in favor of His. A day of thanksgiving for the atonement He has given through Messiah Yeshua. It is a day we pray for strength for the upcoming year that we might be conformed to Him. All of Elohim’s appointed times are holy (set-apart) to Adonai, but the Day of Atonement is the holiest of all. It is set apart even from the other holy days. All other Sabbaths and holidays are times of feasting and celebration, however on Yom Kippur we are commanded to afflict ourselves (Lev. 23:29).


On the Day of Atonement Aaron alone was to enter the holy place and the altar in order to make atonement for Israel. He was to enter only with blood and under the cloud of incense. Lev. 16 describes the Tabernacle/Temple ceremony of the Day of Atonement; two goats, sin offering, scape goat, incense, sprinkling with blood, High Priest’s entrance into the Holy of Holies. We see the intersection of 3 spheres of holiness: On the holiest day, the holiest man, enters the holiest place. If there was no atonement then they could not remain in the Presence of Elohim!


According to the writer of the Book of Hebrews, the Messiah became our High Priest as He entered into the Holy of Holies in Heaven…the actual Throne Room of Elohim and applied the blood for atonement for all of us. He entered into the Presence of Elohim for us so that He might usher us in as well. Hebrews 9:11-12 says, “But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), He entered the Holiest Place once and for all. He entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of His own blood, thus setting people free forever.” Messiah is a High Priest, “a minister in the Sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which Adonai pitched, not man” (Heb. 8:2).


The ceremony of the Day of Atonement uniquely patterns the work of the Messiah; His death, His sacrifice, and the Atonement of His blood. We boldly enter the Presence of Elohim because the blood of Messiah Yeshua covers us. Today He stands interceding on our behalf before the Throne of Elohim just like a High Priest.


None of us are so holy and righteous that we don’t need to repent (Shuva). Neither is any person so lowly and sinful that he cannot repent. In fact, in Deut 30:2, Moses told the children of Israel that when they returned to Elohim, He would return to them. It was a call to repentance, which means “Teshuvah.” This is the most important message of the WORD! It is the central thrust of Yeshua’s teaching for in Matt 4:17 He said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”


The word “repent” means to turn around, turn back and going the other direction, quit sinning, turn around and start doing good. It is more than a change of mind; teshuva demands a change of behavior! It is about starting fresh and trying to do better. When does repentance happen? When we realize we have sinned and that sin is offensive to Elohim! When that happens, we regret it, we confess it, we renounce it, we endeavor to change that behavior. Repentance can only occur when we are honest with ourselves about our faults, shortcomings, and character flaws and weaknesses.


Elohim receives sincere repentance. He does not turn away from a person who asks for forgiveness and endeavors to change. Elohim receives the petition, grants the gift of forgiveness, removes the person’s sin, erases the record of guilt, and freely accepts the person back into His love. It is at this moment we are reconnected to Elohim! Like a light switch, the room that was dark instantly blazes with light. A moment before you stood with your sin separating you from Elohim and now instantly you stand in His Presence.


The enemy tells us that Elohim will not forgive us again. He taunts us by telling us, how dare you ask Him? He could never forgive a person like you after what you have done. But Elohim’s love is greater than any sin man can do! If Elohim did not spare His own Son for you but was willing that He should be sacrificed for you, His love for you is certainly greater than your sin—no matter how often you ask for forgiveness!


There is one more step I need to talk about in understanding Yom Kippur. Even after atonement and cleansing the negative root which caused us to sin could still lie dormant inside. Failure to destroy this root puts us at risk of repeating transgressions, as the root cause of our inappropriate thought, speech or behavior still exists. Holding on to the negative roots is as severe an offense as clinging to the transgression itself because it is the root which ultimately propels us to repeat the sin.


The service of Yom Kippur brings us to a level which enables us, after being excused of our sins and being cleansed, to work on delving into the inner cause, the root of our negative behavior and eliminating it completely! Halleluyah a time is coming that choosing the correct path, that is the will of Elohim, will become a natural and automatic instinct. We need to cultivate a nature within ourselves where the desire to act inappropriately does not exist in the first place!


There is an intense Divine Light revealed at Yom Kippur! A person once asked a Rabbi, “Where is Elohim?”, the Rabbi replies, “Wherever you let Him in.” The task of Yom Kippur is to bring us to the place where we let go of ourselves, our inner spiritual barrenness and let Elohim in! Once we open ourselves fully to receiving the light of Elohim and commit totally to a life where everything we do, from waking, eating, sleeping and walking is connected to Elohim in our mind, heart and soul…we have achieved the ultimate goal. We need to be a witness of His Kingdom, mirroring the Messianic era, returning to the level of Adam and Chava before the sin, and desiring to fulfill Elohim’s will totally with all of our mind, heart and soul!


Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

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May this Yom Kippur be one where we become transformed by the Light of Elohim. May we walk in His paths and prepare ourselves as His bride for the coming bridegroom! The time is now…repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Let us go into this new season cleansed and ready to remove every evil root that tries to stop us. He is good! See you at the altar!


Shalom Aleichem



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