Sharing my thoughts on Torah Portion Vayikra, for what they are worth. I learned so much this reading. This is my 5th year reading the Torah Portions each Shabbat and I learn something new each time. I use a different translation each Torah cycle. This cycle I am using Shocken Bible. I have to tell you I DO NOT like the commentary part, but I love the language of the Scriptures. I like having a book to hold, but if you want to read it online, here is a pdf.
So we have finished Exodus and are moving into Leviticus, the third book of Torah. I got a shock right out of the gate this time. It was in the footnotes of the Schoken Bible for Leviticus 1:3.
Leviticus 1:3 If an offering-up is his near-offering, from the herd, (then) male, wholly-sound, let him bring it near, to the entrance of the Tent of Appointment let him bring-it-near, as acceptance for him, before the presence of YHVH.
The footnote for this verse that led me to a revelation that sickened me!
Offering-up: Or “ascent-offering,” Others, “holocaust” to show that this sacrifice is to be wholly consumed by fire.
So the “holocaust”, the name of the slaughter of the Jews is supposed to be, based on the name and its meaning, a wholly burned sacrifice to God? Yet Abba detests the idea of human sacrifice? WHO named this event? I am completely sickened with the AntiSemitism that is so prevalent. I am not in the least antisemetic, I actually identify with them, as being grafted into them… so I can’t be. But I’ve used this word my whole life… and it meant this. Here is the etymology of the word … look it up for yourself. It’s like an onion. The more you peel back the more anti-semitic it is. And they got one last jab in with the naming of it. IT IS SICKENING! I will be using Shoah (The Catastrophe) to reference that event from here on out.
I will get back to the parsha study… I just had to start there and share that. We have to be willing to research any and every thing to understand the meaning. That is a perfect example of a word that we THOUGHT we knew the meaning of, used it regularly… yet I had no idea what it really means.
One thing I take from this parsha is that sin is still sin even if we don’t realize it is sin. My proof texts from this Parsha: Leviticus 4:2, Leviticus 4:13, Leviticus 4:22, Leviticus 5:2-3, Leviticus 5:15-19. Unintentional Sin. I was discussing this parsha with a dear friend and I was talking about the sacrifices and how hard it is to read this section. I can’t imagine being the one that performed the sacrifice, as is evident that was done. It really hit me how much additional guilt I would feel knowing I was sacrificing an innocent for MY sin. Kathy pointed out that Teshuvah is indeed the key. If there is no sincere teshuvah, bringing an offering is worthless. ALL sacrifices were to draw near to Abba. Whatever they were for it was to bring you back to closeness with Abba. I so agree.
There are some verses I want to point out… but read it for yourself and see if you get the same understanding I do. I still have some questions too.
Question 1: Why did they lean their hand on the head of the offering? Most commentaries will say it is part of the “ransom” and substitute for your life. I’m certainly not saying I disagree with that, I just sense there is much more going on.
In Leviticus 1:13, we see that all near-offerings are to be topped with salt. That is a teaching in and of itself. Salt was part of the sealing of covenants in middle eastern ancient contracts. Rico Cortes, of Wisdom in Torah, does a fantastic teaching on the Salt Covenant. Here is Part one and Part two.
In Leviticus 1:14, I see Grits in scripture! LOL! Being a southern girl who loves her grits, I found that hilarious! See why I love to read from different translations? I honestly get so much more out of scripture when I do!! Look up H1643… it is grits 🙂
Leviticus 2:14 Now if you bring-near a grain-gift of firstfruits to YHVH, budding-grain, parched with fire, grits of fresh-grain you are to bring-near as your grain-gift of firstfruits.
I also noticed that frankincense is used on the grain offering. Makes me want to learn more about the essential oils so many folks are using these days.
Question 2: Why were female animals allowed for the shalom offering in Leviticus 3:1 and 3:6?
Something I noticed for the first time: Leviticus 3:16, we see that all the fat is for YHWH. Which leads me to another question…
Question 3: Why? I thought fat was bad for us?
Then I see in verse 17 that all blood and fat we are not to eat. And these all go to YHWH and are part of the sacrifices. Interesting! There is more going on here.. need to spend some time praying about and researching to really understand this one. Just know there is more here.
Finally, if a person robs and is found guilty of this sin… they are to repay what they robbed plus 1/5 (20%)to the person they robbed from PLUS their sin offering.
I absolutely love studying scripture. I am always amazed at how little I know and how much I have to learn. I highly recommend you read it for yourself. Study it. Take the words apart and really figure out the meaning. As a society today we tend to skim and not read, certainly not study. I challenge you to change that in your family. Be Bereans. Study the Word and show your children how to.
Until next time… Shalom, Shalom!