Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

  Shemini (Eighth)
(Sefer Vayikra) Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47


9:6- And Moshe said, This is the thing, which YHVH commanded that ye should do: and the glory of YHVH shall appear unto you.
7- And Moshe said unto Aharon, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as YHVH commanded.
15- And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first.
22- And Aharon lifted up his hand toward the people and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
23- And Moshe and Aharon went into the tabernacle of the congregation and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of YHVH appeared unto all the people.
24- And there came a fire out from before YHVH, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
10:1- And Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aharon, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before YHVH, which he commanded them not.
2- And there went out fire from YHVH, and devoured them, and they died before YHVH.
3- Then Moshe said unto Aharon, This is what YHVH spoke, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aharon held his peace.
4- And Moshe called Mishael and Eltzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.
5- So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp as Moshe had said.
6- And Moshe said unto Aharon, and unto Eliezar and unto Itamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which YHVH has kindled.
7- And ye shall not go out from the door of the tent of meeting congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of YHVH is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moshe.
8- And YHVH spoke unto Aharon, saying,
9- Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tent of meeting, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
10- And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
11- And that ye may teach the children of Yisrael all the statutes, which YHVH has spoken unto them by the hand of Moshe.”


“But if YHVH creates something new, and the earth opens her mouth and swallows them up,
with all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into the pit; then ye shall
understand that these men have provoked YHVH.”
(Numbers 16:30)


“The fear of YHVH is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of YHVH are true, righteous altogether.”
(Psalms 19:9)


“And the anger of YHVH was kindled against Uzzah; and Elohim smote him there for his error,
and there he died by the ark of Elohim.”
(2 Samuel 6:7)


“Yet says the house of YIsrael, The way of YHVH is not equal. O house of YIsrael, are not my ways
equal? are not your ways unequal?”
(Ezekiel 18:29)


“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from
it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHVH your Elohim which I command you.”
(Deuteronomy 4:2)


“And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have
profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am YHVH, says Adonai YHVH,
when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”

(Ezekiel 36:23)

 


Shemini Summary:
1. A Kosher Connection to Sober minded Service:

With any serious endeavor to attain spiritual success and thus please our Creator, we must be a people who will make distinctions between the clean and the unclean. Reminiscent to Eden and the original constitution placed upon the man and woman to preserve His favor in their lives, the same Elohim introduces in parasha Shemini the governing laws over food and drink for His chosen people. Successive to the abrupt judgment which fell upon Nadav and Avihu is first, the admonition to abstain from any degree of alcoholic intoxication when ministering to HaShem, followed by a delineation of dietary demands to His covenant sons and daughters. Prone to encounter variegated practices and behaviors from the other nations, the children of Yisrael were given the imperative to be discriminating along life’s journey and thus serve their Redeemer in an obedient and pleasing manner; anything short of that could be likened to playing with fire, as Jeremiah 11:3 relates:
“…Cursed be the man who obeys not the words of this covenant.”
Beyond the standards set for the whole camp, the mandates placed upon the kohanim as liaisons for Elohim were strict. Ezekiel 44:23 places the onus of showing YHVH holy on the kohanim, namely:
“And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to
discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Again in Malachi 2:7, the responsibility of relaying Elohim’s statutes is the call upon a true kohain:
“For the kohain's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Torah from his mouth: for
he is the messenger of YHVH of hosts.”
Yet, the condition of those who were called to sanctify the name of YHVH had become abominable. Their degradation from His precepts had done disservice to the people, as Ezekiel 22:26 charges:
“Her kohanim have violated My Torah and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no
difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean
and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My shabbats, and I am profaned among them.”
Though many today decry the importance of what we ingest and minimize the resultant impact if found deviating from Elohim’s Holy commands, the saga of Aharon’s smitten sons is a telling sign that with the call to come before the King, He must be feared, and His holy protocols, honored, or else…
 

2. Do you Mind Getting in His Way:
How much attention have we devoted to learning His ways? How mindful are we to verifying the authenticity that what we perform daily is congruent to Elohim’s design for our lives? Understanding our tendencies, YHVH has sent unto (us) all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them.
In a heartfelt appeal as a father would to his son, HaShem’s parental longing is seen in Psalms 81:13:
“Oh that My people had hearkened unto Me, and Yisrael had walked in My ways!”
Rather than attempt to justify our lines of reasoning and make excuses for continued non-compliance, it behooves us to hear and consider the defining words of the Most High found in Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says YHVH. For as
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts
than your thoughts.”
In the midst of so much seemingly autonomous flexibility, we are left with a decision of whose way to choose. Against the temptation to introduce our own way, comes the candid caveat of Proverbs 14:12:
“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
 

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