I’m sharing my thoughts and ponderings on Torah Portion Kedoshim (holy ones), for what they are worth. 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. This time I also pulled out my Onkelos translation. I love Onkelos, because if this translation changes the words of scripture, it tells you and why they changed them. I don’t like that they were changed at all, but I can assure you Every translation changes the words … just Onkelos tells you that he has.
In Leviticus 19:2 we immediately see who is being spoken to… all the congregation. In my translation, it reads the entire community, but either way, it is all those that came out of Egypt, the mixed multitude, the children of Israel, all of them. And then… the words that should scare us all! Words that tell us how we should live…
Lev 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Yisra’?l, and say to them, ‘Be set-apart, for I ???? your Elohim am set-apart. The Scriptures 1998
Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them: Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. JPS (Jewish Publication Society Bible)
Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
And again in Leviticus 20:7:
Lev 20:7 Sanctify yourselves, therefore, and be holy; for I am the LORD your God. Lev 20:8 and you shall guard My laws and do them. I am ????, who sets you apart. The Scriptures 1998
Lev 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am the LORD your God. Lev 20:8 And keep ye My statutes, and do them: I am the LORD who sanctify you. JPS (Jewish Publication Society Bible)
Lev 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. Lev 20:8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.
The all say essentially the same thing… we should be set-apart, visibly, distinctly, vastly set-apart and walking a Holy lifestyle. How can we think that Yeshua born to be our Savior changes this in any way? That He came to set us free from living a Holy lifestyle? Really? That is not logical nor is it scriptural… not in the least.
As we read through Chapters 19 and 20 that make up this portion, it reminds me of Yeshua restating how we are to live in Matthew 5 and 19. He didn’t release us from these laws… he explained them. The beginning of Leviticus 19:17 is almost exactly what Yeshua said…
Lev 19:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart…
Mat 5:22 But I say to you, that whoever becomes angry with his brother for no reason, is guilty before the court: and whoever should say to his brother, Raca (which means, I spit on you) is guilty before the congregation; and whoever says to his brother, you are a nurse maid, is condemned to hell fire.
Lev 19:11 You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; neither shall you lie to one another.
Lev 19:12 You shall not swear by my name falsely and so profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.
Mat 5:33 Again you have heard it was said to them who were before you, that you shall not lie in your oaths, but entrust your oaths to the Lord.
Mat 5:34 But I say to you, never swear; neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne;
Mat 5:35 Nor by the earth, for it is a stool under his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of a great king.
Mat 5:36 Neither shall you swear by your own head, because you cannot create in it a single black or white hair.
Mat 5:37 But let your words be yes, yes, and no, no; for anything which adds to these is a deception.
Mat 19:18 He said to him, Which ones? And Jesus said to him, You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness;
And yet again:
Lev 19:3 You must revere every man his father and his mother, and keep my commandments; for I am the LORD your God.
Lev 19:18 You shall not bear any enmity against the children of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
Mat 19:19 Honor your father and your mother; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.
If you believe that Yeshua did away with the laws and ordinances of the “Old Testament” (Tanakh), I recommend you really pray about this and study the Word of God. Yeshua did not speak too many words for us to understand them. If you are confused by what APPEARS to be inconsistencies in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament), then I recommend you just read Yeshua’s words first. Understand them before you attempt to understand the disciples’ words. Because we know that the disciples could NOT speak against anything Yeshua said. So if you understand what Yeshua said and it appears another chapter and verse go against it…. you have to assume that your understanding of the later is wrong. Yeshua’s words were really easy to understand… there is no ambiguity in them. Period. Pray about it and really seek wisdom (Scripture) for this answer.
When reading the commentary in Onkelos, I loved what Sforno said about this Torah portion… He essentially said this teaching embodied the concept that God created man “in His image and after His likeness” (Genesis 1:26)… that this Torah portion perfectly displays the requirement to emulate the ways of God. Can I get an AMEN? That is it… and exactly what I felt as I was reading this. Set-apart. Are we a set-apart people, walking out His Words and emulating our Messiah, Yeshua? If not, we need to examine our theology and our walk!
There is so much more to study in this little portion, but this is where I’ll stop. I pray this is a blessing to you!
Until next time….