HOME          TEMPLE SEDARIM      < PRIOR WEEK       NEXT WEEK >

 

Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 27

Leviticus 4:1-35   -   Ezekiel 18:4-17   -   Psalm 72  -   2 Peter 3:1-18
 

Tishrei 8, 5763 / Sept 14, 2002

Tishrei 5, 5766 / Oct    8, 2005

Tishrei 5, 5769 / Oct    4, 2008

Tishrei 3, 5772 / Oct    1, 2011

Tishrei 3, 5775 / Sept 27, 2014

Tishrei 3, 5778 / Sept 23, 2017

 

Nephesh Ki-techeta Mi-shegagah / When a Soul Sins Unintentionally    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

Commentary:   Grow in grace and knowledge of Yeshua!

 

Children’s Lesson

 

Sin means doing things that are not loving toward God or not loving toward other people. Sin is also failing to do things that we should to show love for God or love toward other people. When we disobey God’s instructions to us, we are not showing love for Him or for other people.

 

When someone else wants us to do something against God’s instructions, we should not do that – doing such things is not really showing love for the other person; rather, it is helping their sin, which will bring God’s judgment upon everyone who takes part in it.

 

Parents and government rulers are given to us by God to teach us God’s rules. We should obey them, unless we know that they are telling us to go against what God tells us to do.

 

Sometimes we do wrong things even though we are trying our best to do what is right. We should try to learn through these mistakes so that we don’t do them again.

 

Sometimes we do wrong things because we are not being as careful as we should. It may be fair for our parents to take away some privilege, to help us remember to be more careful next time. When adults made careless mistakes, God required them to bring an expensive animal to the Temple to help them remember to be more careful.

 

Sometimes we do things intentionally that we know are wrong, just because we feel like it. There is no excuse for this, and we deserve punishment. We should ask forgiveness for doing such things, and make up our minds to change our ways before we get into bigger troubles.

 

According to Ezekiel, a child will not be judged by God for the sins of his parents – only for his own sin. This is not contradictory to the statement, “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7), which refers to generations of children following in the ways of their fathers.

___________________

 

One set of my uncles and aunts just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Their daughter, who is one of my 29 younger cousins, gave this inspiring talk exemplifying how to love your parents.

 

“Hello.  When planning this event, I began to think of the many things parents do for their children.  They provide love, care and support and most of all teach us.   So I want to share with you some things my parents have taught me.

 

Things my father taught me:

 

How to clean a fish

How to catch a football

More importantly, how to unplug and fix a toilet

 

Dad has shared his love of crossword puzzles and word games with me.  You will still find him every morning doing the puzzle in the Vancouver Sun. 

     

Dad always has always had a poem or limerick to quote.  He has been known to lie away at night memorizing poetry; Robert Service, Marriott Edgar’s Albert and the Lion and   some of you here have had the honor of being roasted in one of his original epics.  I carry with me many of his quips and quotes and am passing them on to my kids. 

 

 

But when thinking about what I was to say today, I guess one of the most important things my Father taught me is that life is not stagnant or black and white.  We can always be learning and doing.  I appreciate that he has shown me that as individuals, we never stop growing.      

 

 

Things my mother taught me:

 

How to make a good pot of soup.

How to make a pie (which was a pre-requisite for her before she and dad married)

And the proper method to catch the fish that Dad then taught me to clean

(Did you know that you need to kiss the worm?)

 

As many of you know, my mom loves games of all kinds, but especially card games.

She has been very patient in teaching me the art of Spades, Hearts and Rummy.  We have spent many evenings at home and camping, laughing and sharing a game.

 

Mom has also taught me much about gardening, even though my plants never turn out as big and beautiful as hers.  Nobody grows tomatoes like she does.

 

But Mom has taught me more than anything else to enjoy life and live it to the fullest.  She has always promoted the belief that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.     

 

Together, as a couple, my parents have taught me the value of a Christ centered marriage.

They have modeled what it means to truly love each other and the willingness to put each others needs first.  I count myself extremely blessed to have parents like them and hope that in turn I can model this type of life to my kids. 

 

Dad, Mom, thank you.  You have been and continue to be wonderful teachers and parents.  Congratulations on 50 years and I pray God’s blessings on you for the years to come.”  

 

Leviticus 4

 

Let us consider here three levels of sin: (1) sin committed intentionally, (2) sin committed through carelessness, and (3) sin committed in spite of our efforts to do otherwise. Disobeying traffic laws is often intentional sin, though sometimes done in carelessness – such as when distracted by talking on a cell phone, and sometimes done in spite of our best efforts. If we were to run red lights purposely, we would be in need of repentance – a change of direction in life: causing a collision could subject us to a severe penalty – up to murder. If we were to run red lights through carelessness, we should reconsider our priorities and motivations: causing a collision could subject us to a severe penalty – up to manslaughter. If we were to run a red light to avoid a collision, or because we were pushed from behind, we should not be subject to any penalty.

 

The offerings of this chapter are for breaking negative commandments, such as violating “no servile work on the Sabbath.”

 

These offerings are not for sins that are committed intentionally. For a sin committed willfully, there is no offering: the sinner must repent – have a change in attitude, and ask God’s mercy. For example, a willful violation of Sabbath prohibitions is a capital offense (Exodus 31:14); repentance is required, and only God can grant forgiveness.

 

A trespass committed with full intent, but for a right motive that overrides the commandment, requires neither offering nor forgiveness.

 

These offerings are not for sins committed accidentally while intending otherwise – something done in spite of our best efforts.

 

These offerings are for sins committed in carelessness, where, if the sinners had acted with proper care and respect, they would not have occurred. They are required offerings. An example would be violating God’s Sabbath because one was careless about noting the day of the week or watching time on Friday afternoon. A sin committed in carelessness requires an offering, so that the sinner will be motivated to care about what God says.

 

The soul is in view here, because carelessness involves our motivations – the desires of our soul. The conditions are limited: it must be the performance of an act that violates a negative commandment; it must be a sin for which karet, spiritual excision of the soul (punishment by heaven without warning), would be the penalty if the sin were committed intentionally.

 

Sins for which karet would be the penalty (premature death – halachicly before age 60) include blasphemy against God, idolatry, and necromancy; desecration of the Holy Sabbath, eating leaven on the days of Unleavened Breads, and working on the Day of the Atonements; incest, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality (see Talmud: Kerithot 1:1 for list with Torah references). This heavenly punishment is for a sin where earthly judgment is lacking for want of witnesses. Only when committed inadvertently is there a sin-offering.  Repentance (indicated by the sin-offering) annuls karet, but does not absolve the transgressor from civil claims or other resultant problems in this life.

 

For the anointed (high) priest: the offering is a bull.

For the whole assembly: a bull. Funds for the offering must come from a tax upon all the people.

For both of the above, the bull must be brought to the front of the sanctuary, where all can see.

For a ruler (king): a male goat, symbolic of his position of power.

For a commoner: a female goat or sheep.

 

Note: If the sin is in doubt, then the offering to be brought is the guilt-offering of the next chapter.

 

For the anointed (high) priest: the offering is a bull.

For the whole assembly: a bull. Funds for the offering must come from a tax upon all the people.

For both of the above, the bull must be brought to the front of the sanctuary, where all can see.

For a ruler (king): a male goat, symbolic of his position of power.

For a commoner: a female goat.

 

The haftarah portion, Ezekiel 18:4, says, “The soul that sins will die.” This is called “the law of sin and death” – Romans 8:2. To be freed from this law, our sin must be imputed to Yeshua, and His righteousness to us – as pictured by the atonement offerings above. Note that this reading is for the Sabbath preceding the Day of the Atonements.

 

Psalm 72 says, “Give the king Thy judgments, O God, and Thy righteousness to the king's son.  May he judge Thy people with righteousness.” This relates to the high priest or king, and the offerings required when they cause the people to err.

 

However, the total of this Psalm also clearly prophesies of Yeshua: He is the one who will rule to the ends of the earth, and the one whom all nations shall serve, and whose name shall endure forever (v. 8, 10, & 19).

 

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” This is written to believers (see 1 Peter 1:1), saying that God is patiently waiting for us to come to repentance.

 

We are nearing the end of forty days (including the ten Days of Awe) that are specifically for repentance. We are approaching Yom haKippurim, a day for us to formally consider all of the ways we need to repent, in order to be pure for the coming of the Bridegroom – Yeshua.

 

(V.17-18) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

 

Readings:

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘When a soul sins unintentionally in any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them, 3 if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer to Yahweh a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. 4 He shall bring the bull to the doorway of the tent of meeting before Yahweh, and he shall lay his hand on the head of the bull and slay the bull before Yahweh. 5 Then the anointed priest is to take some of the blood of the bull and bring it to the tent of meeting, 6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before Yahweh, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 7 The priest shall also put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense which is before Yahweh in the tent of meeting; and all the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering which is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.

Reader 2Amen. 8 'He shall remove from it all the fat of the bull of the sin offering: the fat that covers the entrails, and all the fat which is on the entrails, 9 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys 10 (just as it is removed from the ox of the sacrifice of peace offerings), and the priest is to offer them up in smoke on the altar of burnt offering. 11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh with its head and its legs and its entrails and its refuse, 12 that is, all the rest of the bull, he is to bring out to a clean place outside the camp where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.

Reader 3*  Amen. 13 'Now if the whole congregation of Israel commits error and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly, and they commit any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and they become guilty; 14 when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a bull of the herd for a sin offering and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 Then the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before Yahweh, and the bull shall be slain before Yahweh. 16 Then the anointed priest is to bring some of the blood of the bull to the tent of meeting; 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before Yahweh, in front of the veil.

Reader 4Amen. 18 'He shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before Yahweh in the tent of meeting; and all the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering which is at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 19 He shall remove all its fat from it and offer it up in smoke on the altar. 20 He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of the sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. 21 Then he is to bring out the bull to a place outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull; it is the sin offering for the assembly.

Reader 5Amen. 22 'When a leader sins and unintentionally does any one of all the things which Yahweh his God has commanded not to be done, and he becomes guilty, 23 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a male without defect. 24 He shall lay his hand on the head of the male goat and slay it in the place where they slay the burnt offering before Yahweh; it is a sin offering. 25 Then the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering. 26 All its fat he shall offer up in smoke on the altar as in the case of the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he will be forgiven.

Reader 6Amen. 27 'Now if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and becomes guilty, 28 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has committed. 29 He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. 30 The priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. 31 Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to Yahweh. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

Reader 7Amen. 32 'But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect. 33 He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they slay the burnt offering. 34 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. 35 Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to Yahweh. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven.’ ”

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."

 

Ezekiel 18:4-17

Reader 8Amen. 4 "Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. 5 "But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, 6 and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period-- 7 if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, 8 if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity and executes true justice between man and man, 9 if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully-- he is righteous and will surely live," declares Lord Yahweh.

Reader 9Amen. 10 "Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these things to a brother 11 (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination, 13 he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.

Reader 10Amen. 14 "Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father's sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise. 15 "He does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor's wife, 16 or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, 17 he keeps his hand from the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father's iniquity, he will surely live.

 

Psalm 72    (To be sung.)    A Psalm for Solomon.

1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king's son. 2 May he judge Your people with righteousness and Your afflicted with justice. 3 Let the mountains bring peace to the people, and the hills, in righteousness. 4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy and crush the oppressor. 5 Let them fear You while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. 7 In his days may the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace till the moon is no more. 8 May he also rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, and his enemies lick the dust. 10 Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11 And let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. 13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save. 14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, and their blood will be precious in his sight; 15 So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; and let them pray for him continually; let them bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains; its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon; and may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth. 17 May his name endure forever; may his name increase as long as the sun shines; and let men bless themselves by him; let all nations call him blessed. 18 Blessed be Yahweh God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. 19 And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. 20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

 

This is the end of the Second Book of Psalms.
 

2 Peter 3

Reader 11Amen. 1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Reader 12Amen. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

Reader 13Amen. 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)