What Does Freedom Really Mean? – 5782 Bechukotai Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.


It’s time to explore Torah Portion 33: Bechukotai, aliyah by aliyah.

Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34

Aliyah 1 – Leviticus 26:3-5

Leviticus 26:3-4

If you live by my regulations, observe my mitzvot and obey them; 4 then I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit.

LEV 26:3-4

It is important to note that the rain has to come at the right time to be beneficial to the land and the people. Throughout Leviticus I have emphasized the fact that HaShem specifies how He wants Israel to approach him: time, place and condition are all important factors and they make an offering acceptable or unacceptable. HaShem leads by example and holds to the concept of timing.

Leviticus 26:5 Your threshing time will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvesting will extend until the time for sowing seed. You will eat as much food as you want and live securely in your land.

LEV 26:5

I am unfamiliar with these agricultural terms, but the emphasis and point is that Israel’s obedience will bring them material blessings that will be so abundant that they will have no concerns about food.

Aliyah 2 – Leviticus 26:6-9

Leviticus 26:7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before your sword.

LEV 26:7

Man must be an active partner with HaShem. If an Israelite refused to pursue an enemy or weild a sword against them, how could HaShem work through them to deal with their enemies?

Aliyah 3 – Leviticus 26:10-46

Leviticus 26:13 I am HaShem your G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, so that you can walk upright.

LEV 26:13

Israel wasn’t freed from slavery so that they could stopping doing the slave labor for the Egyptians, they were freed so they could do something for HaShem: walk upright. They are less “free from” and more “free to.”

Aliyah 4 – Leviticus 27:1-15

Leviticus 27:14 When a person consecrates his house to be holy for HaShem, the cohen is to set a value on it in relation to its good and bad points; the value set by the cohen will stand.

LEV 27:14

It seems odd at first that the cohen is setting values on objects and houses when he is this “holy man.” One might wonder what animals, slaves and real estate have to do with holiness or spirituality. I see a hint that all of our lives are to be seen through the lens of HaShem. We should see everything as being from, and for HaShem. It really elevates the rest of Creation to this level of spirit unexpected by average person who is far from HaShem.

Aliyah 5 – Leviticus 27:16-21

Leviticus 27:16 If a person consecrates to HaShem part of a field belonging to his tribe’s possession, you are to value it according to its production, with five bushels of barley being valued at fifty shekels of silver [one-and-a-quarter pounds].

LEV 27:16

I wonder why someone wouldn’t just offer the value of the consecrated item instead of redeeming their property in this “consecration” system.

Aliyah 6 – Leviticus 27:22-28

Leviticus 27:26 However, the firstborn among animals, since it is already born as a firstborn for HaShem, no one can consecrate — neither ox nor sheep — since it belongs to HaShem already.

LEV 27:26

You can’t give what you don’t have. 

Aliyah 7 – Leviticus 27:29-34

Leviticus 27:32 All the tenth from the herd or the flock, whatever passes under the shepherd’s crook, the tenth one will be holy to HaShem.

LEV 27:32

Does this imply that even blemished animals would be acceptable to HaShem under this circumstance?


Closing Questions

Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.

  1. Is the Almighty bound by time?
  2. Can the Almighty be stopped by Man?
  3. What does freedom really mean?

That concludes my journey through Bechukotai for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Go Study Bechukotai 5782

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Your focus determines your reality. Set your mind on building up the Kingdom of Heaven and you will see blessing and goodness everywhere. Meditating on the Word will unlock this Holy Sight.

The tenth portion of the book of Vayikra/Leviticus is Bechukotai, which means “By My Regulations” This is the thirty-third Torah Portion.

Bechukotai (“In My Laws”) is the final Torah portion in the Book of Leviticus. It begins describing blessings that follow obedience to G-d’s laws and curses that come with desecration of them. It ends with laws of vows and consecration of people and property.

In the Haftorah, Jeremiah contrasts those who trust in Man over the LORD and the futility of such a life.

In the Apostolic Writings, Messiah exhorts the Disciples to deny the flesh and live focused on the Kingdom.

TORAH: LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34

HAFTARAH: JEREMIAH 16:19-17:14

GOSPEL: MATTHEW 16:20-28

Now, go study.

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

This live link will show the current Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions through FFOZ’s Torah Portion site.

Why does the Lord Value Sabbath Rest? – 5782 Behar Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

It’s time to explore Torah Portion 32: Behar, aliyah by aliyah.

Behar Leviticus 25:1-26:2

Aliyah 1 – Leviticus 25:1-13

Leviticus 25:1 Adonai spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai; he said

LEV 25:1

Suddenly we’re back on Sinai? This feels like one of the odd chronological markers sprinkled throughout the Torah.

Leviticus 25:2 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘When you enter the land I am giving you, the land itself is to observe a Shabbat rest for Adonai.

LEV 25:2

The Sabbath was originally observed by HaShem. To learn that He desires His special Land to experience a special period of rest like the People of Israel do adds a great weight to the concept of Shabbat. It must be immensely important to HaShem.

Leviticus 25:3 Six years you will sow your field; six years you will prune your grapevines and gather their produce.

LEV 25:3

The six years correspond to the six days of Creation and the six days of the week.

Leviticus 25:4 But in the seventh year is to be a Shabbat of complete rest for the land, a Shabbat for Adonai; you will neither sow your field nor prune your grapevines.

LEV 25:4

Truly His ways are not our ways. This idea might be a solid proof text for the Divine origin of Torah. What madman would cook up this system to swindle a Nation of peasant farmers and why and how would it work?

Leviticus 25:5 You are not to harvest what grows by itself from the seeds left by your previous harvest, and you are not to gather the grapes of your untended vine; it is to be a year of complete rest for the land.

LEV 25:5

Complete rest. Complete surrender. Complete faith. That’s what it would take to commit to this practice.

Leviticus 25:6 But what the land produces during the year of Shabbat will be food for all of you — you, your servant, your maid, your employee, anyone living near you

LEV 25:6

Some things grow back on their own and the people were expected to trust that this would be enough. They were to trust that HaShem would provide for them on His own, without the aid of human hands.

Leviticus 25:7 your livestock and the wild animals on your land; everything the land produces may be used for food.

LEV 25:7

Does this imply that the animals would take care of themselves as well? The wording is less than clear to me.

Leviticus 25:8 “‘You are to count seven Shabbats of years, seven times seven years, that is, forty-nine years.

LEV 25:8

7 sets of 7 to achieve a Sabbath of Sabbath years.

Leviticus 25:9 Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, on Yom-Kippur, you are to sound a blast on the shofar; you are to sound the shofar all through your land

LEV 25:9

Recall that the Creation account says that the world started in Darkness and confusion and HaShem brought Light and order to it. In addition to that all of GEN 1 uses the phrase “there was evening and there was morning,” the such-and-such day. That is unlike the Western perspective. I would think the dawn of light would be the start of the day and that Spring would begin the Year, but that isn’t what the Bible says

Leviticus 25:10 and you are to consecrate the fiftieth year, proclaiming freedom throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It will be a yovel for you; you will return everyone to the land he owns, and everyone is to return to his family.

LEV 25:10

According to this, it seems like the 50th year begins in the 7th month of the 49th year. It seems odd, but it parallels days starting at sundown.

Leviticus 25:11 That fiftieth year will be a yovel for you; in that year you are not to sow, harvest what grows by itself or gather the grapes of untended vines

LEV 25:11

This would mean two sabbatical years in a row!

Leviticus 25:12 because it is a yovel. It will be holy for you; whatever the fields produce will be food for all of you.

LEV 25:12

Same as with the standard Sabbatical year.

Leviticus 25:13 In this year of yovel, every one of you is to return to the land he owns.

LEV 25:13

This is new.

Aliyah 2 – Leviticus 25:14-18

Leviticus 25:16 If the number of years remaining is large, you will raise the price; if few years remain, you will lower it; because what he is really selling you is the number of crops to be produced.

LEV 25:16

I love the logic and fairness of this

Aliyah 3 – Leviticus 25:19-24

Leviticus 25:20 “‘If you ask, “If we aren’t allowed to sow seed or harvest what our land produces, what are we going to eat the seventh year?”

LEV 25:20

This is a reasonable objection and I love that HaShem raises it and answers it.

Aliyah 4 – Leviticus 25:25-28

Leviticus 25:28 If he hasn’t sufficient means to get it back himself, then what he sold will remain in the hands of the buyer until the year of yovel; in the yovel the buyer will vacate it and the seller return to his property.

LEV 25:28

This feels like the point of Yovel. Otherwise why command the Year of Jubilee on top of the shemmitah every 7 years?

Aliyah 5 – Leviticus 25:29-38

Leviticus 25:35 “‘If a member of your people has become poor, so that he can’t support himself among you, you are to assist him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident, so that he can continue living with you.

LEV 25:35

Torah is full of love and concern for the lowest and most desperate among us. This is not the so-called Wrathful G-d of the Old Testament. There is no such thing.

Aliyah 6 – Leviticus 25:39-46

Leviticus 25:42 For they are my slaves, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; therefore they are not to be sold as slaves.

LEV 25:42

Just as HaShem owns the Land of Israel and the whole Earth and the entire Universe, He stakes claim of Israel and puts demands on them as well as limitations on how they may be treated by others

Aliyah 7 – Leviticus 25:47-26:2

Leviticus 25:47 ‘If a foreigner living with you has grown rich, and a member of your people has become poor and sells himself to this foreigner living with you or to a member of the foreigner’s family

LEV 25:47

It’s amazing that the Torah would permit this extent of equality to a foreigner! I would think that a foreigner would be prohibited from acquiring a Jew as a slave within Israel, similar to how no Jew is to charge interest to his fellow Jew, but allowed to lend for interest to a non-Jew. Some laws don’t go both ways, but this one does. Fascinating.


Closing Questions

Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.

  1. Why Return to Sinai?
  2. Why does the Lord Value Sabbath Rest?
  3. How Hard Would It Be to Keep the Jubilee?

That concludes my journey through Behar for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Go Study Behar 5782

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Your Heavenly Father wants to free you so you can live a life of joy, abundance and harmony. The keys to free you are in Torah.

The ninth portion of the book of Vayikra/Leviticus is Behar, which means “On the Mountain.” This is the thirty-second Torah Portion.

Behar (“On The Mountain”) details the laws of the sabbatical year (Shemita), when working the land is prohibited and debts are forgiven. It also sets out laws of indentured servitude and of the Jubilee year (Yovel), when property reverts to its original ownership.

In the Haftorah, the prophet documents a real estate deal, as a proof of the Almighty’s promise  of deliverance

In the Apostolic Writings, Messiah highlights the promises of Messianic liberation foretold by Isaiah.

TORAH: Leviticus 25:1-26:2

HAFTORAH: Jeremiah 32:6-27

APOSTOLIC: Luke 14:4-22

Now, go study.

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

This live link will show the current Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions through FFOZ’s Torah Portion site.

When is Bread No Longer Bread? – 5782 Emor Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

It’s time to explore Torah Portion 31: Emor, aliyah by aliyah.

Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23

Aliyah 1 – Leviticus 21:1-15

Leviticus 21:1 HaShem said to Moshe, “Speak to the cohanim, the sons of Aharon; tell them: ‘No cohen is to make himself unclean for any of his people who dies

LEV 21:1

While the Cohen is blessed and has advantages that no other Levite or Israelite has, there is a cost to being so close to HaShem.

Leviticus 21:2 except for his close relatives — his mother, father, son, daughter and brother;

LEV 21:2

It wouldn’t be Torah without exceptions! I love the nuance in Torah because it is fun and interesting on a legal or scholarly level, but more so because it shows that HaShem is a real person with nuance and gradations. He is not some stoic, far-off inhuman thing.

Leviticus 21:3 he may also make himself unclean for his virgin sister who has never married and is therefore dependent on him.

LEV 21:3

This is a glimpse into how the family structure would provide for and protect women within Israel. The cohen is supposed to care for the sister who is with him or attached to his household. I would imagine he takes care of her after the death of their father, but it is unclear here when she passes from the care of one to the other.

Leviticus 21:4 He may not make himself unclean, because he is a leader among his people; doing so would profane him.

LEV 21:4

Why is it important that the Cohen not become profane? Is he made profane when he attends to the permissible dead relations? Is he made profane only when he is in contact with one of the dead who is not on the list of exceptions?

Leviticus 21:5 Cohenim are not to make bald spots on their heads, mar the edges of their beards or cut gashes in their flesh.

LEV 21:5 Did Priests of other faiths do thee things?

Leviticus 21:6 Rather, they are to be holy for their G-d and not profane the name of their G-d. For they are the ones who present HaShem with offerings made by fire, the bread of their G-d; therefore they must be holy.

LEV 21:6

Are these above mentioned practices mourning rituals from other peoples? If so, can the Priests do this things when they are not mourning? Does the context matter for this?

Leviticus 21:7 A cohen is not to marry a woman who is a prostitute, who has been profaned or who has been divorced; because he is holy for his G-d.

LEV 21:7

Again, there is a cost to being called out by HaShem to serve his purposes.

Leviticus 21:8 Rather, you are to set him apart as holy, because he offers the bread of your G-d; he is to be holy for you, because I, HaShem, who makes you holy, am holy.

LEV 21:8

This verse uses the term bread here regarding the offerings. Most of the offerings were made of meat. Is this evidence of the use of the term bread as a colloquialism for “food?” I say yes. Comparing translations, many of them say “bread”, while a few, such as the NASB “food” instead of “bread,” while the Hebrew words used is “lechem” Strong’s H3899

Leviticus 21:9 The daughter of a cohen who profanes herself by prostitution profanes her father; she is to be put to death by fire.

LEV 21:9

That is a severe punishment. The father is likely extremely motivated to raise his daughter so she does not become imperiled. As such, the father is likely reminded that his conduct needs to remain pure so that he does not profane HaShem.

Leviticus 21:10 The cohen who is ranked highest among his brothers, the one on whose head the anointing oil is poured and who is consecrated to put on the garments, is not to stop grooming his hair, tear his clothes

LEV 21:10

The High Priest is held to the same standards as the rest of the Priests.

Leviticus 21:11 go in to where any dead body is or make himself unclean, even when his father or mother dies.

LEV 21:11

Actually, he is held to an even higher standard. He may not even attend to his dead parents, while the other cohenim may.

Leviticus 21:12 He may not leave the sanctuary then or profane the sanctuary of his G-d, because the consecration of the anointing oil of his G-d is on him; I am HaShem.

LEV 21:12

Much like Aharon, the subsequent High Priests had to remain in the Tabernacle or Temple to continue their service to HaShem even while they would ordinarily be in a state of mourning.

Leviticus 21:13 He is to marry a virgin

LEV 21:13

Another high standard

Leviticus 21:14 he may not marry a widow, divorcee, profaned woman or prostitute; but he must marry a virgin from among his own people

LEV 21:14

Does “his own people” mean Cohenim, Levites or Israelites?

Leviticus 21:15 and not disqualify his descendants among his people; because I am HaShem, who makes him holy.

LEV 21:15

Depending on how he lives and chooses to marry, a cohen can make his children disqualified from serving HaShem in this most special way. Why would anyone risk cutting off their children from such blessing and honor?

Aliyah 2 – Leviticus 21:16-22:16

Leviticus 21:22 He may eat the bread of his G-d, both the especially holy and the holy

LEV 21:22

It seems only fair, that if HaShem decreed a cohen be born or made unable to serve in his office as cohen, that HaShem would decree that he be taken care of by the rest of the Cohanim who will share with him from what they receive for their service.

Aliyah 3 – Leviticus 22:17-33

Leviticus 22:29 When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to HaShem, you must do it in a way such that you will be accepted.

LEV 22:29

I have heard of apologizing the right way, but I have never heard of thanking the right way. HaShem really is beyond us and we must be careful to pay attention to what He says.

Aliyah 4 – Leviticus 23:1-22

Leviticus 23:2 Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of HaShem which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.

LEV 23:2

The Jewish holidays and feasts, at least the one’s found in the Bible, are HaShem’s. He made them. He likes them. He asked to be served in a special way on them.

Aliyah 5 – Leviticus 23:23-32

Leviticus 23:32 It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.

LEV 23:32

This is another proof that from HaShem’s point of view, the day starts at night. Yom Kippur is specifically defined as lasting from the evening of the ninth and lasting until the next evening.

Aliyah 6 – Leviticus 23:33-44

Leviticus 23:41 You are to observe it as a feast to HaShem seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month.

LEV 23:41

How permanent is permanent? How long does generation after generation last? If HaShem never changes and doesn’t lie, should you be keeping Sukkot?

Aliyah 7 – Leviticus 24:1-23

Leviticus 24:22 You are to apply the same standard of judgment to the foreigner as to the citizen, because I am HaShem your G-d.

LEV 24:22

This cuts both ways. If a stranger harms an Israelite in one of these ways, he will have to answer for it like an Israelite. At the same time, if he is harmed by an Israelite, he will receive the same protection and restitution as the Israelite. That’s justice.


Closing Questions

Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.

  1. Why must there be a cost to Holiness?
  2. Does nuance Humanize the LORD?
  3. When is bread no longer bread?

That concludes my journey through Emor for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Go Study Emor 5782

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The Almighty wants you to walk in holiness that you may be blessed. Delve into the Word daily to find out how he wants you to live a set apart life. Read, speak and live holiness.

The eighth portion of the book of Vayikra/Leviticus is Emor, which means “Speak.” This is the thirty-first Torah Portion.

Emor (“Say”) opens with laws regulating priestly behavior, working in the Mishkan (Tabernacle), and consuming sacrifices and priestly food. It describes the biblical holidays of Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, and ends with a story about a blasphemer and his punishment.

In the Haftorah, the prophet restates the laws for the Priests singling out the family of Tzadok who did not stray from serving the LORD.

In the Apostolic Writings, Messiah is accused of blasphemy by the corrupt High Priest.

TORAH: Leviticus 21:1-24:23

HAFTORAH: Ezekiel 44:15-31

APOSTOLIC: Matthew 26:59-66

Now, go study.

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

This live link will show the current Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions through FFOZ’s Torah Portion site.

Why Should People be Holy? – 5782 Kedoshim Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

Additionally, the Ashkenazic and Sephardic, that is Eastern European and Spanish or Iberian Peninsula communities sometime differ on how they divide the Torah Portions.

It’s time to explore Torah Portion Kedoshim, aliyah by aliyah.

Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27

Aliyah 1 – Leviticus 19:1-14

Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to the entire community of Isra’el; tell them, ‘You people are to be holy because I, HaShem your G-d, am holy.

LEV 19:2

It has been said that everything HaShem asks of Israel, he does as well. That concept is wild, but I buy it. If He is true and just and righteous and the Torah is a reflection of His heart and soul, then everything bound up in it would be something he is willing to do and would be what he would do. In the person of Yeshua the Messiah, part of the definition is that he has to live out Torah perfectly or else he can not be Messiah. As disciples of Messiah, we are to follow and imitate him. HaShem models leadership by example and demands that his children, his people do as he says because he does as he says.

Leviticus 19:3 Every one of you is to revere his father and mother, and you are to keep my Shabbats; I am HaShem your G-d.

LEV 19:3

Again, this leading is baked into the Torah. HaShem instructs children to honor their parents. He honors parents by elevating them to a position of headship over their children. They are to instruct their children to honor HaShem, in part through honoring shabbat. Shabbat removes the worldy concerns from a family, allowing them to focus more on HaShem. All these factors work in concert to form a virtuous cycle that builds honor, respect and reciprocity into the life of the believing family. The family perpetuates the species so that finite Man can keep in relationship with the infinite and eternal Divinity.

Leviticus 19:4 Do not turn to idols, and do not cast metal gods for yourselves; I am HaShem your G-d.

LEV 19:4

There is only One True King and he demands loyalty

Leviticus 19:5 When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to HaShem, offer it in a way that will make you accepted.

LEV 19:5

There is a clear path of how to love and honor HaShem and we must follow it.

Leviticus 19:6 It is to be eaten the same day you offer it and the following day; but if any of it remains until the third day, it is to be burned up completely.

LEV 19:6

Everything has its time and place and the boundaries are what define each element and makes it meaningful

Leviticus 19:7 If any of it is eaten on the third day, it will have become a disgusting thing and will not be accepted;

LEV 19:7

Again, the limitations on offerings make them special.

Leviticus 19:8 moreover, everyone who eats it will bear the consequences of profaning something holy meant for HaShem — that person will be cut off from his people.

LEV 19:8

Trying to cheat HaShem or do things by half-terms will bring cursing, not blessing

Leviticus 19:9 When you harvest the ripe crops produced in your land, don’t harvest all the way to corners of your field, and don’t gather the ears of grain left by the harvesters.

LEV 19:9

Chazal points out that the size of the corners of the field are never determined. The LORD loves a cheerful giver and the individual is called to give what they can joyfully.

Leviticus 19:10 Likewise, don’t gather the grapes left on the vine or fallen on the ground after harvest; leave them for the poor and the foreigner; I am HaShem your G-d.

LEV 19:10

What a beautiful, loving set of Laws from a compassionate and loving King. The dignity of the poor is maintained because they can work to gain from these sources of plenty. The blessing comes from HaShem, but they must work to bring it into their own hands. Man doesn’t just need sustenance to live, we need purpose and duty. HaShem preserves that while humbling the landed farmer who must acknowledge that he only has what he has thanks to the Most High and that he should never forget that if things were different, he could be working for gleanings too, instead of having his lot to work.

Leviticus 19:11 Do not steal from, defraud or lie to each other.

LEV 19:11

There is a greater power beyond us and we are at His mercy. If we have needs, we should beseech Him.

Leviticus 19:12 Do not swear by my name falsely, which would be profaning the name of your G-d; I am HaShem.

LEV 19:12

We must be careful to honor HaShem in our speech as well as our actions.

Leviticus 19:13 Do not oppress or rob your neighbor; specifically, you are not to keep back the wages of a hired worker all night until morning.

LEV 19:13

HaShem gives us all what we deserve for our work and has placed employers in a position over employees where they are responsible to give them their due, as they recieve it from Above.

Leviticus 19:14 Do not speak a curse against a deaf person or place an obstacle in the way of a blind person; rather, fear your G-d; I am HaShem.

LEV 19:14

Even when you can get away with disrespecting your brother or sister, our Heavenly Father will see it. Remember, there is an eye that sees and an ear that hears all you do.

Aliyah 2 – Leviticus 19:15-22

Leviticus 19:18 Don’t take vengeance on or bear a grudge against any of your people; rather, love your neighbor as yourself; I am HaShem.

LEV 19:18

Love your neighbor as yourself is not a new commandment. It is Torah. Take not that the Torah itself defines a neighbor as “any of your people” and so the idea that Messiah was bringing something new to the people of his day, does not hold up. He spoke only the words of the Father and exhorted the sinful among Israel to turn back to Torah.

Aliyah 3 – Leviticus 19:23-32

Leviticus 19:25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, so that it will produce even more for you; I am HaShem your G-d.

LEV 19:25

Why did HaShem command Israel to wait so long before enjoying the fruit of the trees? Notice that the more short term crops, such as vegetables are not given the same prohibition as these fruit trees. Does this have to do with Eden? Is it to make for better trees? Is there a deeper lesson here about self-restraint?

Aliyah 4 – Leviticus 19:33-37

Leviticus 19:34 Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you — you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am HaShem your G-d.

LEV 19:34

Even the foreigner is to be treated with kindness and respect. That is not how it was in Sodom. The Sodomites even criticized Lot on account of him being a foreigner.

Aliyah 5 – Leviticus 20:1-7

Leviticus 20:4-5 If the people of the land look the other way when that man sacrifices his child to Molekh and fail to put him to death, 5 then I will set myself against him, his family and everyone who follows him to go fornicating after Molekh, and cut them off from their people.

LEV 20:4-5

It isn’t enough to be against Idolatry, there must be a measure of accountability between citizens and neighbors. If you think about it like a toxin or sickness, the rationale for friends holding each other accountable to keep their society from eroding is clear.

Aliyah 6 – Leviticus 20:8-22

Leviticus 20:8 Observe my regulations, and obey them; I am HaShem, who sets you apart to be holy.

LEV 20:8

While “holiness” may be a state of being in some respects it is a status that can be accessed and maintained, like being in the ocean or being in good with your bills or your position in your community. These things don’t just happen, you have to actively engage to keep yourself balanced. Holiness is an active status we must work to keep going.

Aliyah 7 – Leviticus 20:23-27

Leviticus 20:23 Do not live by the regulations of the nation which I am expelling ahead of you; because they did all these things, which is why I detested them.

LEV 20:23

The sinful ways of the Canaanite Nations are called their  “regulations.” It seems that culture, law, customs and practices are all muddled together in Heaven’s view. What people do in all aspects of their lives is an affirmation and declaration of their beliefs. He is bringing in Israel to the Land to cleanse it and fill it with people who have godly, good “regulations” as opposed to the wickedness of the Canaanites.


Closing Questions

Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.

  1. If the Almighty is Bound by His Word, Shouldn’t You be?
  2. Was Man Meant to Live Forever?
  3. Does the Bible Promote Spying on Neighbors?

That concludes my journey through Kedoshim for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Go Study Kedoshim 5782

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You are to be holy because the LORD is holy. To be holy, you have to know what holiness is. Walk in the footsteps of Messiah, fill yourself with the Word daily so you can be truly holy. 

The seventh portion of the book of Vayikra/Leviticus is Kedoshim, which means “Holy Ones.” This is the thirtieth Torah Portion.

Kedoshim (“Holy”) opens by instructing the Israelites to be holy. It details dozens of laws regulating all aspects of life, including observing Shabbat, loving one’s neighbor, and leaving portions of a field for the poor. It ends by detailing punishments for certain types of idolatry and sexual misconduct.

In the Haftorah, the prophet declares that the wicked in Israel will surely die, but the righteous remnant will be re-established in Israel, never to be uprooted again.

In the Apostolic Writings, Messiah quotes LEV 9:18 affirming that Loving your neighbor is the second greatest commandment.

TORAH: Leviticus 19:1-20:27

HAFTORAH: Amos 9:7-15

APOSTOLIC: Mark 12:28-34

Now, go study.

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

This live link will show the current Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions through FFOZ’s Torah Portion site.

Why Do People Call the LORD’s Law of Blessing a CURSE? – 5782 Acharei Mot Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

Additionally, the Ashkenazic and Sephardic, that is Eastern European and Spanish or Iberian Peninsula communities sometime differ on how they divide the Torah Portions.

It’s time to explore Torah Portion Acharei Mot, aliyah by aliyah.

Acharei Mot Leviticus 16:1-18:30

Aliyah 1 – Leviticus 16:1-17

Leviticus 16:1 HaShem spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before HaShem and died;

LEV 16:1

Why are Nadav and Avihu not named here?

Leviticus 16:2 HaShem said to Moshe, “Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover.

LEV 16:2

Clearly there was something wrong in how Nadav and Avihu approached HaShem and he wants to ensure that Aharon doesn’t make the same type of mistake.

Leviticus 16:3 “Here is how Aharon is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering.

LEV 16:3

He needs to bring a sin offering and a burnt offering. Nadav and Avihu brought incense when they died.

Leviticus 16:4 He is to put on the holy linen tunic, have the linen shorts next to his bare flesh, have the linen sash wrapped around him, and be wearing the linen turban — they are the holy garments. He is to bathe his body in water and put them on.

LEV 16:4

Aharon is to dress the same as the other Levites and Cohenim, he is not to wear his special Cohen Gadol garments.

Leviticus 16 :5 “He is to take from the community of the people of Isra’el two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering.

LEV 16:5

Aharon is to take a second set of animals, totaling 5 so far as part of this process.

Leviticus 16:6 Aharon is to present the bull for the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and his household.

LEV 16:6

What constitutes a household? Does this cover Aharon and his wife only? Is it minor children as well? What is the age the one becomes a major as opposed to a minor? Does marriage factor in? If Eliezar and Itamar have children at this time, which I beleive they do, are they heads of their own households? I suppose whatever the details, the covering is for the High Priest or Cohen HaGadol and his household, whatever that means to HaShem.

Leviticus 16:7 He is to take the two goats and place them before HaShem at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

LEV 16:7

These would be the sin offering goats from the second set of animals

Leviticus 16:8 Then Aharon is to cast lots for the two goats, one lot for HaShem and the other for ‘Az’azel.

LEV 16:8

Who or what is Az’azel? What does that name or word mean?

Leviticus 16:9 Aharon is to present the goat whose lot fell to HaShem and offer it as a sin offering.

LEV 16:9

That seems logical, both goats were for sin-offerings.

Leviticus 16:10 But the goat whose lot fell to ‘Az’azel is to be presented alive to HaShem to be used for making atonement over it by sending it away into the desert for ‘Az’azel.

LEV 16:10

So, does each goat take away or cover up sin? The goat “for HaShem” is a sin offering and this goat “for Az’azel” is a living sin-offering. They are both sin offerings? What does that mean?

Leviticus 16:11 “Aharon is to present the bull of the sin offering for himself; he will make atonement for himself and his household; he is to slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself.

LEV 16:11

Is this a second bull? No it is the same bull. Is this the timeline for the offerings? Did verses 3-10 present the broad strokes and now the order is being explained and set? That’s what it seems like to me.

Leviticus 16:12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before HaShem and, with his hands full of ground, fragrant incense, bring it inside the curtain.

LEV 16:12

This is the first time incense is mentioned in conjunction with these other offerings, though LEV 16:2 does mention a cloud hovering over the mercy seat. IS the cloud from HaShem or from this offering brought by Man?

Leviticus 16:13 He is to put the incense on the fire before HaShem, so that the cloud from the incense will cover the ark-cover which is over the testimony, in order that he not die.

LEV 16:13

So the cloud over the mercy-seat is from the incense HaShem ordered Aharon to burn.

Leviticus 16:14 He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the ark-cover toward the east; and in front of the ark-cover he is to sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

LEV 16:14

This blood is from the bull of Aharon’s sin offering. He sprinkles its blood on the mercy seat. Does he get to touch the mercy seat? When it says to sprinkle in front of the ark-cover or mercy seat, where does the seven-fold sprinkling go, on the ground?

Leviticus 16:15 “Next, he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the ark-cover and in front of the ark-cover.

LEV 16:15

So the blood of the bull was for Aharon and his household and now this blood of the goat is being brought for the entire people in the same place, in the same way as the bull’s blood.

Leviticus 16:16 He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el and because of their transgressions — all their sins; and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them right in the middle of their uncleannesses.

LEV 16:16

These offerings are being made to deal with the uncleanness of Israel’s sin which contaminates the tent of meeting or tabernacle by virtue of it being surrounded by Israel. It is HaShem’s dwelling place and he wants it to be cleansed, so he can continue being amongst them.

Leviticus 16:17 No one is to be present in the tent of meeting from the time he enters the Holy Place to make atonement until the time he comes out, having made atonement for himself, for his household and for the entire community of Isra’el.

LEV 16:17

The Yom Kippur or “Day of Atonement” experience is a unique, intimate and beautiful gift from HaShem to Israel so they could remain in his presence.

Aliyah 2 – Leviticus 16:18-24

Leviticus 16:19 He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, thus purifying it and setting it apart from the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el.

LEV 16:19

The courtyard altar is to receive the same blood from the Cohen Gadol’s bull blood and the people of Israel’s goat as did the mercy seat. The blood cleanses the mishkan from inside out.

Aliyah 3 – Leviticus 16:25-34

Leviticus 16:27 “The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, is to be carried outside the camp; there they are to burn up completely their hides, meat and dung.

LEV 16:27

Why are these sin offering animals taken outside the camp to be burned entirely as if they are olah or elevation or whole burn offerings? According to LEV 4, they should have certain fats burned on the altar, as well as having the rest of their blood poured out at the base of the altar. Those details are not mentioned here. Are these special instruction for the Yom Kippur personal (Cohen Gadol) and National sin offerings? It seems like they are distinct from the standard sin offerings.

Aliyah 4 – Leviticus 17:1-7

Leviticus 17:7 No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves! This is a permanent regulation for them through all their generations.’

LEV 17:7

It seems clear that Israel was sacrificing to “goat-demons” and at least one function of the Levitical system established by the Almighty was to properly channel and direct Israel’s desire to make offerings to a power beyond themselves. He restricts where offerings can be made, when, how, by who and what can be offered. It truly is a show of sovereignty and might.

Aliyah 5 – Leviticus 17:8-18:5

Leviticus 18:5 You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am HaShem.

LEV 18:5

If we believe that HaShem is honest, true and just, then it is clear that he gave Torah to Israel so that they could have a blessed, abundant life. Torah is a gift and a blessing, not a burden and a curse.

Aliyah 6 – Leviticus 18:6-21

Leviticus 18:21 “‘You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your G-d; I am HaShem.

LEV 18: 21

Were people sacrificing other people’s children to Molekh? The somewhat passive voice of this verse implies it is something that can “happen” to your child and implies that you must defend against it happening. I recall that Torah warns against you offering your own child to Molekh. Is this a warning of some sort of slippery slope that can lead one to letting their child be offered to Molekh through neglect or apathy? Perhaps. The sexual prohibitions with family that come before this warning follow an admonition to be unlike the Egyptians and the Cannanites both because they practice a culture detestable to HaShem.

Aliyah 7 – Leviticus 18:22-30

Leviticus 18:28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you.

LEV 18:28Just as Adam and Chavah were cast out of Eden for their sins, the Land will cast out Israel for its sins. HaShem gave Adam and Chavah a chance to repent, as he gave Israel a chance to repent, but he will always keep a way for them to return so that he can be their G-d and they can be his people.

Closing Questions

Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.

  1. Can the uncleanness of sin truly repel the Almighty?
  2. Is the Azazel goat a living sacrifice? What if it comes back?
  3. Why do people call the LORD’s Law of blessing a CURSE?

That concludes my journey through Acharei Mot for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Go Study Acharei Mot 5782

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If What comes out of your heart makes you unclean, how can you protect yourself from having an evil heart? Fill it with the pure, righteous, holy Living Word.

The sixth portion of the book of Vayikra/Leviticus is Acahrei Mot, which means “After the Death.” This is the twenty-ninth Torah Portion.

Achrei Mot (“After The Death”) opens by describing the ritual service of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It then details the prohibitions of offering sacrifices outside of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and of eating animal blood, and ends with a list of forbidden sexual relations.

In the Haftorah, the prophet indites Israel for committing many of the sexual sins found in this Torah portion.

In the Apostolic Writings, Messiah stresses the importance of your heart and loving both the Father and your fellow Man.

TORAH: Leviticus 16:1-18:30

HAFTORAH: Ezekiel 22:1-19

APOSTOLIC: Matthew 15:10-20; Mark 12:28-34

Now, go study.

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

This live link will show the current Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions through FFOZ’s Torah Portion site.