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Arizona, United States
I'm a work-at-home mom who enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in the high desert.

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For the free patterns for these afghan squares I designed for My Reading Afghan, click here.

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Ravelry CAL Afghan 1 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 1

Ravelry CAL Afghan 2 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 2

Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 3

Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 4

Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 5

Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 6

Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7ARavelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7B
Ravelry CAL Afghan 7

Ravelry CAL Afghan 8 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 8

Ravelry CAL Afghan Blocks:
Dream Catcher
Cross My Heart
Cygnus
Chocolate Delight
Flower Burst

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Emor (Say!)

(Today's Torah portion is Emor. I wrote and posted this to my previous blog on 05/06/2007.)

TORAH: Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:1-24:23
HAFTARAH: Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 44:15-31
KETUVIM NETZARIM: Luke 14:12-24; Kefa Alef (1 Peter) 2:4-10

Lev 21:1 And יהוה said to Mosheh, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: 'No one is to be defiled for the dead among his people,
Lev 21:2 except for his relatives who are nearest to him: for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother;
Lev 21:3 and for his maiden sister who is near to him, who has had no husband – for her he is defiled.

The priests are to be set apart from the people in certain ways because they are responsible for the temple service and need to be ritually pure to perform their duties. Because touching the dead made one ritually unclean--

Num 19:11 'He who touches the dead of any human being is unclean for seven days.

--a priest could not take that time away from his valuable service except for the death of a close blood relative--a parent, sibling or child.

A priest was to keep himself pure, and YHWH gives other specific instructions about this, such as not shaving the hair of his head or beard and not cutting his flesh. He also could only marry a virgin or the widow of a priest.

Even the daughter of a priest had to set herself apart:

Lev 21:9 'And when the daughter of any priest profanes herself by whoring, she profanes her father. She is burned with fire.

The high priest was to be even more set apart than the rest of the priesthood and could not even grieve for his loved ones who may die during his time of service, much less become unclean by preparing them for burial:

Lev 21:10 'And the high priest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is ordained to wear the garments, does not unbind his head nor tear his garments,
Lev 21:11 nor come near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother,
Lev 21:12 nor go out of the set-apart place, nor profane the set-apart place of his Elohim, for the sign of dedication of the anointing oil of his Elohim is upon him. I am יהוה.

He was also set apart from the rest of the priesthood in that he could only marry a virgin.
Those of the sons of Aharon who had defects were limited in their service and could not approach the altar or serve in the holy place.

Lev 21:21 'No man among the offspring of Aharon the priest, who has a defect, is to come near to bring the offerings made by fire to יהוה – he has a defect, he does not come near to bring the bread of his Elohim.
Lev 21:22 'He does eat the bread of his Elohim, both the most set-apart and the set-apart,
Lev 21:23 only, he does not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profanes My set-apart places. For I am יהוה, who sets them apart.' "

This is not any kind of judgment on those with defects. It is merely a representation in the visible physical world of what YHWH wants us to learn about purity in the spiritual realm--like the priests and the sacrificial animals, we are to be without spot or blemish, without defect, so that we can draw near to our Elohim. We are to follow in the footsteps of Yeshua Messiah who was faultless and pure.

Chapter 22 of Vayikra speaks of how the priests are to remain ritually clean during their service of bringing the offerings before YHWH, who in the households of the priests may eat the set-apart offerings and how the animals brought for offering are to be free of defect.

In chapter 23, YHWH instructs us about His appointed times:

  • The weekly 7th-day Sabbath--A day of rest. No work on this day. A time for a set-apart gathering.
  • Passover, 14th day of the first month.
  • Unleavened Bread, 15th day to 21st day of the first month--Eat unleavened bread each of these 7 days (eat nothing with leaven in it). The first and seventh days of the feast are rest days in which no work is done and there are set-apart gatherings.
  • Day of Firstfruits, the day after the weekly 7th-day Sabbath that occurs during the 7 days of Unleavened Bread--The first sheaf of grain (barley) harvested is offered on this day, and no grain can be eaten and nothing more can be harvested until after this is done.
  • Shavuot (Weeks), 50th day after the weekly 7th-day Sabbath during the 7 days of Unleavened Bread--This is also a time for a grain offering of firstfruits, this time of the wheat harvest. No work on this day. A time for a set-apart gathering.
  • Day of Trumpets, 1st day of the seventh month--A day of rest; no work. Remembrance of blowing of trumpets. A time for a set-apart gathering.
  • Day of Atonement, 10th day of the seventh month--A day of rest; no work on this day. It is a time for fasting from food and drink (afflicting our beings). It is a time for a set-apart gathering.
  • Tabernacles, or Booths, 15th to 21st day of the seventh month--The first day of this appointed time is a day of rest, a time for a set-apart gathering, and no work is done on this day. These seven days are set apart for living in booths (temporary residences) as a remembrance of the time when the Israelites lived in booths in the wilderness after being brought out of slavery in Egypt.
  • Eighth Day Assembly, 22nd day of the seventh month--This is a closing day for the festival, a day of rest, a time for a set-apart gathering, and no work is done on this day.

More than once, YHWH says "a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings".

Also significant is that He states that these are His appointed times:

Lev 23:2 "Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and say to them, 'The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these

These are the times He has established for meeting with His people, "forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings". Why would we ever want to miss these appointments?

Chapter 24 of Vayikra gives instructions for the maintenance of the golden lampstand (menorah) in the temple and the 12 loaves of bread to be placed on the table in the holy place every Sabbath.

We are also told about a man who blasphemed the name of YHWH and was put to death for it:

Lev 24:16 'And he who blasphemes the Name of יהוה shall certainly be put to death, and all the congregation certainly stone him, the stranger as well as the native. When he blasphemes the Name, he is put to death.

Today, people routinely use the Names and titles of YHWH and Yeshua Messiah as curse words. It is rare to see a movie or television show without this type of blasphemy. We should be vigilant to guard our tongues and not be indifferent to such a serious violation committed against YHWH Elohim.

In the Haftarah portion, the instructions for how the priests are to be set apart are given again for the sons of Tsadoq, who are to serve in the future temple, and the reason for these requirements for priests is given:

Eze 44:23 "And they are to teach My people the difference between the set-apart and the profane, and make them know what is unclean and clean.

The priests are a visible reminder to us to differentiate between set-apart and profane, clean and unclean.

The reading in Luke is the parable about a great feast, where those invited gave excuse after excuse for not coming, so that the master sent his servant out into the city to bring in those in the streets, but there was still room, so he sent him outside of the city to bring in more until his house was filled. Once it was filled, there was no longer any room for those who refused the initial invitation:

Luk 14:24 'For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.' "

The passage in Kefa Alef (1 Peter) shows how we are to be set apart so that our spiritual offerings will be acceptable:

1Pe 2:4 Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious –
1Pe 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through Yeshua Messiah.

Are we the ones who decide what is acceptable to Elohim? Or is He?

1Pe 2:7 This preciousness, then, is for you who believe; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone,"
1Pe 2:8 and "A stone of stumbling and a rock that makes for falling," who stumble because they are disobedient to the Word, to which they also were appointed.

By this it is apparent that what sets apart those who believe is their obedience. To the obedient believers, Yeshua Messiah is the chief corner-stone and precious, but to the disobedient He is a stone that causes them to stumble and fall because they are not walking as He walked--in His Torah:

1Jo 2:6 The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.

If we let YHWH order our steps, we will not fall.

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