Brit Hadasha Tazria & Metzora

After this week’s teaching in the Torah & Haftarah Portion’s we jump right into the Tazria  portion found  New Testatment Luke 7:18-35 where Yeshua ִis found healing people of all manner of diseases such as Tzaraas (aka leprosy).

Yeshua is so profound that the disciples asked Yeshua per John the Baptist’s request, if He was the promised one or should the look for another. In that every hour that they asked Him if he was the promised one, many miracles such as the cleansing of Tzaraas was fulfilled.

He responded with, “Go your way, and tell John what thins ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached, and blessed is he, whoesoever shall not be offended in me.” Luke 7:22-23

Now, one of the most profound ideas related to the Temple is found in the Metzora portion of the Brit Hadasha in Matt. 23:16-24:2 and 30-31.

It was related to the bloodshed in the days of Zacharias. During the strong rebuke, Yeshua confirms that the prophet was slain between the temple and the altar in Matt 23:35. Basically Yeshua is saying the temple now has been defiled, and now must be destroyed.

Now, because we never leave of a portion in negativity. We must remember that what happens in Matt 24:30-31 is that the son of Man will come in the clouds of glory. At the sound of the trumpet He (Yeshua) shall send his angels to gather the elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other!

Baruch Hashem (Bless The Name)! What a great and glorious promise, that although there are those that have failed and the we have not seen the full truth of G-d’s words we still have an opportunity to yield ourselves to Yeshua and be called his elect.

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Haftarah Tazria & Metzora

Shalom סלמ! Welcome to The Haftarah portion Tazria תזריא and Metzora מזורא. This week due to the triennial calendar we use for Parasha we will be combining these two different portions into one. I will do my best to consoilidate them in a quick easy to read format.

This week’s haftarah Tazria תזריא portion can be found in 2 Kings 4:42-5:19 and it directly relates to the torah portions when a person has a disease in the skin.

Just so happen that a mighty man Naaman נאאמאנ had secured a servant through war that was a Jewess girl. She proclaimed to her master’s wife that prayers should go up to the prophet for Naaman’s healing.

So, when Naaman received word of this possibility he straightway began the process of getting to the then King Jehoram יֶהָרַמ. Naaman went to his master and it was arranged that he should go to the king bearing gifts.

Now, Jehoram when he heard the request of Naaman to be healed he ripped his clothes because he knew that there was no possibility he could perform the requested task. It wasn’t long when Elisha had hear that the king had ripped his clothes when Elisha was ready to show the mighty handiwork of Hashem to Naaman נאאמאנ.

Immediately Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha. So, Elisha made the declaration of Hashem to Naaman to go and dip 7 times in the river Jordan. However, Naaman was under the impression that the prophet would look toward heaven and pray in the name of Hashem and he would be healed. Straightway Naaman left and did not do as the prophet said. Yet, Naaman’s servants went to him and convinced him to do the easy task of bathing 7 times. When he did he was HEALED! Naaman that day knew there was a G-d in Israel.

A very unique thing happens just at the end of this portion text. Naaman recognizes that the master that he serves, because he serves a false idol, that when he prostrates himself before his false god, that he too is found bowing and he asked the prophet for forgiveness for this going forward because he knew there was no G-d beside Yehovah יהוהּּּ

Another kind of story that involved infected ones Metzorim is found the portion Metzora.

Four infected ones like Naaman, were depressed. They came up with a plan and figured they would put the Aremean’s to test. Without hope they decided they would go to the enemies camp and would leave it up to the Aremeans to see if they were killed.

Now Hashem (the Lord) had made the sound of chariots and war come upopn the Aremeans the night before, so they abandoned their camp in haste. The metzorim decided to take the spoil from one or two tents and then decided to go and tell the King that this had all happened. So the king sent men to investigate thinking it was a trap.

It was not a trap!

Shalom!

Parashot Tazria and Metzora

This week’s Torah portion is a double hitter based on the triennial year cycle in which we combine these two portions. This week we will be exploring a lengthy two sections of the Parashot this week found in Tazria תזריע: Leviticus 12-13, and in Metzora  מזרע : Leviticus 14-15.

ִn the first parasha we explore in sequence is Tazria. The word Tazria  תזריע means “She bears seed”. “The creation of a new human being is one of the most sublime phenomenon in the universe. ” (Chumash Stone edition). Because of that, when a woman gives birth she is giving of herself to the universe.

With that phenomena comes a great deal of proper management of life and impurities surrounding new life. In Tazria we learn that we must contain impurities.

With that being said G-d mandates a certain purification and restoration of the child bearer. For the male child, there shall be seven days of  contamination.  For the female child there shall be two weeks. Some rabbinic resources claim there is not difference in the child’s gender with regard to human equality, however that the superior spiritual being the female child requires more purification time. The focus for that ruling is based on the life giving qualities of the woman. Likewise the mother/child bearer doubles the amount of time spent in the purification process 33 days vs 66. It is said that purification process makes her whole again.

Now in verse 12:6 we learn that there is not a distinction between genders of the child when it comes to the offering to Kohen כוהענ (Priest). However the significance of the offering is that the time of her purification has ended. God has restored her back to fullness in the flesh.

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Now looking into chapter 13 we see a prescription to Moshe & Aharon by G-d that identifies how to address a disease in the skin commonly identified as Leprosy called in the Hebrew Tzaraas תזאראס. There are varying debates regarding t he name, most rabbinis resources do not call it leprosy because there is not equivalent word association to the original Hebrew.

As you read the text in chapter 13 you will notice that there are varying stages of skin disorders. It was commanded that the priest determine the diagnoses of the person’s condition. Then you will also find that the disease if in fact it is a disease (aka Leprosy.  can also be resident in the walls, linens, and clothing of the carrier. The different types of garments or materials that could be contaminated are: wool or linen garments, warp and woof, leather, and anything fashion with leather.

When a priest declared the skin disorder a disease the person was also declared contaminated. That meant that he/she was to dress up in full clothing up to the lips and when in public or around others he would have to declare himself contaminated by speaking the words precisely in the Torah ” CONTAMINATED, CONTAMINATED!”.

Moving on to the portion of Metzora מזרע which means “infected one”. It is found in Leviticus 14, the day of the infected one’s cleansing ceremony. Giving a detailed account of what they and the priest inspecting them will do have to do before being ceremonial clean. One thing that stands out to do is to be outside of the camp. Afterall, to protect the temple from disease or infection is as sacred as the human body itself.

Rites of purification, cleansing the poor,  and cleansing houses are all among t he prescribed instructions/Torah as well as how to deal with both male and female unusual fluid discharge from the body.

All these purification methods are prescribed for the purpose of allowing the infected one to re-enter into the praise and worship of the assembly.

 

Brit Hadasha Shemini

First, I do want to introduce to you the fact that when it comes to the Brit Hadasha (New Testament) there is not an eternal (permanent) chosen section of text that is universal to all messianic synagogues like the Torah, and Haftarah portions.

So you can be familiar with where I am getting my portion from, it is from a devotional series called the “walk series” authored by Dr. Jeffrey Enoch Feinberg.

Now, in this week’s Brit Hadasha portion found in Hebrews chapter 7 primarily vs 18:19 we learn that just like David succeeded Saul in the throne Yeshua (Jesus) succeeds Mechizedek in his reign.

17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)”

What exactly is the reign of Melchizedek and how does Yeshua fulfill the role of King/Priest after the order of this man?

A few things stand out in the comparison between the reigns of priests of Aaron and Melchizedek. First, we know that in the order of Aaron, it was required to bring tithes and offering to the tabernacle (temple in later times). In contrast, with Melchizedek it was voluntary and Abraham still did so according to what Hashem (the Lord) had blessed him with. Second we also see that because there is not a genealogy found in the text of the Torah related to where/who Melchizedek was such as homeland, mother nor father, death or birth record we see that Yeshua is the same in that He is the King Eternal robed in the body of a man that has resurrected and nobody can tell when he began His existence.

We do know that in the Brit Hadasha He is the Aleph and and Tav, basically the beginning and the end the first and the last

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Rev 22:13-14

Just by reading the verse above we learn that those who do His commandments people are blessed that they may have right to the tree of life. I have said it over and over, that we should want to be like Abraham and give to Hashem with a cheerful heart, likewise we should want to follow the commands of Hashem (the Lord). This sums up the whole order of Yeshua and Melchizedek. That there would be a better hope in fulfilling His commands.

When we choose to follow Messiah Yeshua, we are to follow His commands willingly. With all strongholds and chains of indoctrination/ rabbinic-isms aside, we can live victoriously in the Word of Hashem and in doing so we shall have the right to the tree of life.

Haftaras Shemini

In this week’s Haftaras Shemini II Samuel 6:1-7:17 (the prophet portion) we learn of King David’s attempt and success of transporting the Ark of God from Gibeah to Jerusalem.

Because this is the prophet portion, it behooves me to look deep into the Remez level (underlying meaning) of the text. So, in doing that I have to wonder and ask questions about the situation David was faced with.

What was David trying to have carried to Jerusalem?

It was the very Ark of G-d.

“So what were the contents of the Ark of the Covenant according to the Bible? This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. ” http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/contents-of-the-ark-of-the-covenant-faq.htm

Let’s focus on the Stone tablets. The very Word of G-d given to Moshe (Moses). A word so powerful that it was the only thing left inside the ark (later) when Solomon brought it to the Temple that was built for Hashem.

Why did Uzziah die?

At the surface (Peshat level), Uzziah did not obey G-d and he touched the ark to keep it from falling, and that David did not properly transport it. It was supposed to be placed on the shoulders of men (not a wagon).

It is here where the Remez level pops it’s head out to see a deep understanding. Hashem has given us all (whoever wills) the Holy Spirit (stone tablets written on our hearts) to carry when we worship and live a life of prayer.

Proverbs 7:3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

However, it is of utmost importance to transport the Commandments of Hashem with utmost respect and due diligence to ensure that casualties do not arise.

What Casualties?

The easiest term I could use for describing a casualty would be a “back slidden” soul, city, nation etc. When we transport the Holy Word of Hashem we must allow the Holy Spirit transcribe it on our hearts. Many problems arise today when souls allow a false preacher or teacher (crooked broken up old wagon) deliver the Word to us.

The good news is that David (after being afraid to transport it that day Uzziah died) went back to the house he left the Ark, and slowly but surely delivered it to Jerusalem. He did it correctly and no casualties were encountered. He did suffer some persecution from his wife Michal, but in the end she went without child until the end of her life.

 

Parasha Shemini

On the heels of one (if not the greatest) of G-d’s appointed times of the bible Pesach (Passover) we find ourselves reading the Parasha regarding Kashrut (Kosher). Basically how we should live (regarding eating) after our deliverance. Pesach is a time that every messianic believer can relate to coming to know that their messiah has redeemed them. So also we should continue to seek out what he has redeemed us from.

After the huge Exodus from a pagan land Egypt and in Vayikra (Leviticus) chapter 11 we begin reading the instructions for G-d’s people that is hotly debated among Christian, Messianic Jewish, and Jewish (Any) believers.

Before we jump into the Kashrut section of the Parasha let us first remember the two examples of sacrifice we see in Chapters 9 & 10 of Vayikra. The 1st of two offerings that we see are Aaron’s offering that was accepted (9:22-24). It is important to note that the offering was fulfilled and the ceremony was followed according to G-d’s request through Moses.

Then we see an offering of incense made with strange fire. The severity of G-d was on exhibit when HaShem (the Lord) consumed both Nadab and Abihu. That being said we need to remember there are correct ways of Hashem to follow and incorrect ways, in which consequences occur.

With that context, let us move on to chapter 11 of Vayikra (Leviticus) and the instructions of Kashrut. Starting off with a positive approach to the instructions of Kasrut is always good. So, take a moment and read the end verses of chapter 11:44-45. You will find that when we uphold the commandments of Kashrut we are promised a blessing. What more of a reason could we keep Kashrut?

“You shall sanctify yourselves and you will be holy, for I am holy;”(vs 11:44a) “for I am Hashem Who elevates you from the land of Egypt to be a G-d unto you; you shall be holy for I am holy.” (vs11:45)

Right away when reading this, we can see that G-d is trying to elevate our standing in the earth and a holy people. Above all kingdoms, especially that of the animal kingdom. Yes we have the capability to hunt unclean animals, and eat them. However, by not doing so it sets us apart.

Now to discuss parts of Kashrut. The reason I am not going to discuss parts of Kashrut is because if I overlook, or somehow do not meet everyone’s standard of Kashrut (there are countless versions from Hasidic, Orthodoxy, Ultra orthodoxy, etc..) I do not wish to state this blogpost is an absolute guide to it. I suggest consulting with your local Rabbi for guidance. This is a simple overview of the parasha and a trailer (so to speak) of what needs to be done.

Back to the beginning of the creatures you may eat:

Chapter 11:2-3 everything that has split hooves and brings up it’s cud.

Chapter 11:9 everything that has fins and scales (not one or the other) from the water

Chapter 11:21 Flying teeming creatures that walk on four legs

a. One that has jumping legs above it’s legs

1. The Locust  2. The Bald Locust 3. The Beetle 4. The grasshopper

Within this blogpost, I am just simply pointing out the kashrut/dietary laws related to Vayikra 11 Shemini.