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.