Parashah Sh’Mini ( On the eighth day ) Leviticus 9:1-11:47

Every time I read this parashah I do not understand the answer Aaron gives to Moses after Nadab and Abihu are destroyed for offering incense that was done in a disrespectful and unauthorized manner. I suppose it has to do with God accepting the sacrifice but since Aaron lost his children, he was not in the proper spirit of thankfulness to eat the sacrifice.

What do you think?

The main section of this parashah is all about one of my favorite pet peeves with Christians, and one of the foundation stones of my ministry- not that everyone has to stay Kosher, but that the Kosher laws are just as valid today, for everyone who worships God, as they were then. Just as valid as not murdering, God is the only God, not to have graven images, and not to commit adultery.

My ministry is all about the fact, yes- the FACT– that God has no religion.

The Kosher laws are about more than clean or unclean, because the word used here is not just clean, as in shiny and white, and nice smelling. It is used one other time in the Bible- it is used to describe the violation of Dinah when she was forcibly raped. God doesn’t see the Kosher laws, as I read what He says, as just about food: to God, that which He says we should not eat is not even to be considered a “food.”

Here is a translation of the last lines of today’s parashah, taken from the JPS version of the Tanakh:

43 You shall not draw abomination upon yourselves through anything that swarms; you shall not make yourselves unclean therewith and thus become unclean. 44 For I the Lord am your God: you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not make yourselves unclean through any swarming thing that moves upon the earth. 45 For I the Lord am He who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God: you shall be holy, for I am holy. 46 These are the instructions concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water, and all creatures that swarm on earth, 47 for distinguishing between the unclean and the clean, between the living things that may be eaten and the living things that may not be eaten.

Notice that God doesn’t say which food is clean and which isn’t. He says “living things”; in other versions I have read He calls them beasts, but not “food.”

To violate the laws of Kashrut (Kosher laws) is more than just eating something you aren’t supposed to eat. It is a violation of all that being separated from the world means, it is a violation of what being holy unto the Lord means. It is a violation of all that God wants us to be, and all that God represents.

Maybe that’s why it comes right after we are told how Aaron has cleansed himself before the Lord. Being clean he was able to present the sacrifice to cleanse the people, which then separated them from the world and, thereby, could bring them in communion with God. That communion with God, that closeness to Him, was evidenced by the fact that once these sacrifices were presented, correctly, the presence of the Lord appeared to all the people.

When we do as God commands, His presence is able to be with us.

Yeshua did away with sin’s bite and the sting of death, but He did NOT do away with any of the commandments of God found in Torah. Just the opposite- He confirmed them all by living them correctly, and teaching others what they really meant. Yeshua (Jesus) is called by Yochanan (John) the Word that became flesh- the Living Torah. If Yeshua is the living Torah, how could He teach anything against Himself?

I have written about this before, so search for “kosher laws”, “mark 7″ or Acts 9” because I am not going into the different misinterpretations of “Kosher” today. I just want to leave today’s message with this simple statement: being separated from the world is the only way we can come closer to God. I mean, it just makes sense, doesn’t it?: God is holy and the world is cursed. Not much in common there.

If you want to be closer to God, you need to get yourself further from the world. True, eating ham will not send you to hell and not eating ham will not get you into heaven. On the other hand, eating ham will separate you more from God and not eating ham will being you closer to God.

It’s your choice- is pleasing your palette more important than pleasing the Lord? Is ham more important to you than Ha Mashiach?

Here’s the real choice: do you want to be closer to God or further away?

Comments welcomed (just be nice)