The parashot readings for the festival of Passover are designated one per day for the 7 days (8 days for those in the Diaspora), each day having a specific portion of the Torah relating to the Passover.
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Today’s reading covers when the second Passover in the desert was being celebrated, and there were some who had become unclean due to their having been in contact with a dead body. As such, they were banned from the ceremony; Moses asked Adonai what to do, and Adonai said that anyone who was either unclean or out of town on the Passover could celebrate it, just as it is supposed to be celebrated, but on the 14th day of the following month, which would be Iyar.
For the record, and I don’t think even most Jews know this, Passover is not 7 days long. The Passover is just that- the time when the angel of death passed over, and it is defined in the Torah as from twilight until midnight. Beginning on the 15th day (which would be after sunset on the 14th day, after the lamb was slain) begins the 7 days of Hag HaMatzot, the Festival of Unleavened Bread. So Passover and Hag HaMatzot begin at the same time, but Passover is only for that evening.
Recently in a discussion group on Facebook, someone asked if an uncircumcised person could share in the Seder now that there is no Temple service. The rules for the Seder are very clear in Exodus 12:48, in that no one who is uncircumcised may eat the Passover meal. Now, that is somewhat disquieting for me; you see, Donna and I have shared the Seder with many Gentile friends over the years, saved or not, in order to show them the relationship between Yeshua and the Passover. Yet, we never required (or for that matter, asked) any of the men if they were circumcised.
So what is the answer? Well, the point of the question was that because there is no temple in Jerusalem, there can be no sacrifice. In fact, this is why Jews do NOT eat lamb at Passover. So, if there is no sacrificial lamb being shared, does that mean the Seder, itself, is not “officially” a Seder?
Is the Seder a reflection or proxy of the real thing, which we can’t have until the Third Temple is built and the sacrificial system is reinstated?
I don’t know, but it is an interesting point.
Let’s try something…let’s try to combine the reading for today with this issue of “If no temple, then no sacrifice; ergo, Seder rules are suspended”.
God allowed for the continuance of the Pesach rules for those who were ineligible for the Seder on the commanded date. They were still required to celebrate it but at the same time the following month. To me, this means that God is open to allowing some form of dispensation to those whose hearts want to obey, but who are physically unable to do so.
If this is true, then because the Seder is not in complete compliance, in that we are not eating a sacrificed lamb, then maybe, just maybe, God is willing to allow dispensation to those who are not circumcised physically, but who’s hearts are willing to obey, to partake in these “pseudo” Seders?
I can’t say for sure, and if anyone wanted to really say one or the other, I would have to say go with what God said, exactly. You cannot go wrong if you do just as God says to do.
God has stated he wants circumcised hearts, as early as in Deuteronomy 10:16, and Shaul repeats this with regard to grace through Yeshua in Romans 2:25 and Colossians 2:10. In Acts 15, the letter from the Elders in Jerusalem that gave only four immediate requirements for the new Gentile Believers, who were for all intents and purposes converting from paganism to Judaism, did not specify circumcision.
In Galatians, Shaul verbally castrates the “Judaizers” (who were Jewish Believers in Messiah) when they insisted that new Gentile Believers make an immediate and total conversion to Judaism, and get circumcised right away, otherwise they can not be saved.
So it seems that those who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah and were not circumcised physically but are circumcised spiritually may be accepted as an Israelite.
Now let’s see how today’s reading ties in with what we just went over:
- God allowed those who were physically ineligible to celebrate when they were once more physically eligible;
- Under the Grace we receive through Messiah Yeshua, those who are not physically circumcised have been spiritually circumcised;
- The Seder we celebrate is not eligible to be the Seder commanded by God because there is no sacrificed lamb to eat;
- Therefore, the Seder we celebrate as a physical meal is really a spiritual celebration.
So if the Seder we celebrate is essentially a spiritual event, then doesn’t it make sense that those who are spiritually circumcised would be eligible?
I hope so.
I pray that when Donna and I share our Seder with anyone who may be uncircumcised that God grants dispensation to us if we are doing wrong if, for no other reason, because our heart’s desire is to share his Grace and the truth about his Messiah with everyone.
As for you, if you also like to share your Seder with others, it is up to you to decide if you will require all the men to “drop trow” in order to see if they qualify.
That’s not going to be something I do because I believe, since the meal we eat on Passover is a spiritual Seder, that physical circumcision is not required.
Thank you for being here and please subscribe both here and on my YouTube channel, as well; share these messages with everyone you know (circumcision not required), and remember that I always welcome your comments.
That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!