There is a bit of confusion on whether the Torah this week is the end of Pesach or S’himini. Since we always aim to please you will find a commentary on both listed below.
Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47
2 Samuel 6:1-19
The Eighth Day
With every passing day it seems I yearn more for a realm known as the eighth day. I see not only the wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, but I observe and experience for myself just how painful life can be on this side of the restoration of all things.
Recently I stood on the Temple Mount and saw Arab children playing soccer on the holiest site on earth. I did not feel animosity toward them, but rather to the one who is behind the demonic religion they are being taught to serve. On another day I looked out the bus window and saw the memorial to a Jew killed in Ariel just a few weeks ago. What was his crime? Being a Jew and breathing the air of Israel. I talked with friends in Israel who struggle with life and death on a daily basis. The yearning for His Eighth Day increased.
In recent days I have wept with my wife over the loss of our pet and wept for a daughter in law who lost her beloved senior dog just days later. I yearn for the Eighth Day.
This week’s Torah portion is titled Sh’mini or Eighth. It is speaking to us of a realm beyond our own. It is one which will only be revealed after the tribulation and a thousand year reign in which the written Torah will go forth from Jerusalem by none other than the Living Torah seated upon a throne. It is a time which none of us can really comprehend. Men such as Ezekiel, John and Rav Saul were given glimpses into this time. What did they think when the veil to the Eternal Kingdom was pulled back for them? Saul described the experience best in 1 Corinthians 2 when he said the eye has not seen, nor ear heard the things we have in store for us.
What do the shadows in this Torah portion teach us about that day? In Leviticus 9:4 we read HaShem will appear to us. I believe in that day it will not be the partial or veiled appearing such as Moshe saw, but we will see His fullness. What will be our response on that day? Look at Leviticus 9:24. The Hebrews shouted in amazement and fell on their faces. Will we do the same, but multiplied many times over? So much for the thought of casually walking up to “The Man Upstairs” to ask Him a few unanswered questions!
This Torah portion also contains two unique properties. In Leviticus 10:16 we find the middle of Torah and in 11:42 the center letter of Torah. What does this teach us about the Eighth Day?
In 11:42 the center letter is a vav. The vav connects all things to all things as we see in the Tabernacle. The vav connected all items to make the Tabernacle echad, (one.) The vav is in the midst of the verse speaking of the detestable thing which crawls on the ground. Sounds like a serpent in a garden. Reminds me of the word spoken that he will be destroyed and all will be redeemed. Can we, draw from this the “Heart of Torah,” which is the heart of Yah, is about redemption?
The other verse, I mentioned, which is known as the middle of Torah is Leviticus 10:16. The words to the left and right in the Complete Jewish Bible are that Moshe “carefully investigated.” Hebrew would better translate that Moshe “searchingly searched.” With either translation the message becomes clear that those who searchingly search to carefully investigate will find the heart of redemption which is the Eighth Day, the day of the restoration of all things.
Allow me to sum this up as follows. There is an Eighth Day coming. There will be no one who simply stumbles into that realm. It is a time reserved for those who searchingly search for His heart, the heart of redemption. For now though it is only a realm which we can imagine, or can we really? It will be a moment in which even the breath in our bodies will explode with a shout. When we see the love, compassion, patience, grace and mercy in His eyes, we will fall on our faces as He is revealed to us in full. It will be in this moment that the trials, tribulations, tears and pain of this life will melt from our beings. All will be restored and we will again walk with Him in the cool of a garden evening breeze. I cannot even figure out what that means, but I know with every fiber of my being, I yearn for the day to come.
Deuteronomy 14:22 – 16:17
Numbers 28:19 – 25
Opportunities to …
I sat down at my computer yesterday and wrote a commentary for this week. After finishing I found that the readings I was using were not for this week, but rather for next week. At least this is what some schedules based on a few calendars have listed. I emailed a list of readings for the counting of the omer. Before I hit the send key I thought about how my readings and counting might not line up with some others who were following a different calendar. I added a note to the email requesting others to walk in respect of others who see things differently.
Even my own walk has been one of changes in understanding. I have set my dates by the Hillel calendar and by the sighting of the moon. I have looked at, prayed about and studied the reasoning of both as well as the ripened barley in Israel. Today, I have decided to use the Hillel calendar knowing full well that there are people who have unsubscribed from my newsletter because of my decision. Truth is that no matter which way I go I would have some who would unsubscribe. In the end I have to do what I feel is right for me and my family.
What do I do with those who disagree? Exactly what I said earlier, respect. It is as simple as this, I show respect. What is respect though? For many people respect is a temporary pause in the discussion so the person can have a bit more time to find that magical Scripture which is going to prove the other person wrong. Once found, the person attacks the other with both barrels blazing. If you do not agree with their viewpoint, the respect comes to a halt and separation begins. This is not the respect I am talking about. Respect to me is being able to discuss without the need to “win.” To agree to disagree.
This brings up a question. Why did HaShem allow these possibilities for different interpretation? Did He not know they were in His Word? Could He have made it so clear there would be no discussion? Maybe that word, discussion, is the clue. He not only allowed room for interpretation and discussion, He planned it. Why? To present us opportunities to either love each other through our differences or divide because of them. Which one have we as a whole been known for? I don’t need to provide the answer, do I?
We can boil it all down to a very basic thought. Differences in interpretation are designed into Scripture to give an opportunity to respect and love or divide and hate. There is, however, a complication to the equation. I only have control over one of the parties, me. I can show love and respect all I want, but if it is not given back we are not going anywhere. What do we do when love and respect is a one way street? Keep walking and find others who have the same motives as you and pray for those who are left behind in their “I am right” attitudes.
In John 13:35, Yeshua does not say people will know we are His by our pure doctrines, but rather by the love we show toward each other. What does it mean to walk in love toward each other? A friend of mine in Israel put it as best as I have ever heard. He said, “Love is not staring into each other’s eyes, but rather walking toward a common destination.” This says it all to me.
Whether you and I agree on every Scripture, doctrine, calendar or way of life, (I doubt that will happen) the questions is, “what is our common destination”? Is it His Kingdom being established soon and in our day? If that is the case, I can walk with you, if you can walk with me. When we get to the destination, to quote a pastor and teacher from years ago, J. Vernon McGee, “He will straighten you out…right after He straightens me out.”
Make a decision before you take another step, a decision to simply not take the bait of division. You stand your ground and know “In Whom you have believed.” Keep walking as if you do not have time for meaningless and futile arguments. Don’t allow yourself to be lead off the road by things which may in the end not matter. Show love and respect. You never know, maybe others are just waiting to see someone who will take the lead. In the end, you may take a moment, turn around and see a few people following. (Click to Source)
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