Parashah 26 – Sh’mini (Eighth)

Parashah 26 – Sh’mini (Eighth)

Leviticus 9:1–11:47

9:1 On the eighth day, Moshe called Aharon, his sons and the leaders of Isra’el, and said to Aharon, “Take a male calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before Yehovah. Then tell the people of Isra’el, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering and a calf and a lamb, both a year old and without defect, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before Yehovah; also a grain offering mixed with olive oil — because today Yehovah is going to appear to you.’” They brought what Moshe had ordered before the tent of meeting, and the whole community approached and stood before Yehovah.

Moshe said, “This is what Yehovah has ordered you to do, so that the glory of Yehovah will appear to you.” Moshe told Aharon, “Approach the altar, offer your sin offering and burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and the people. Then present the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as Yehovah ordered.” So Aharon approached the altar and slaughtered the calf of the sin offering which was for himself. The sons of Aharon presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar. 10 But the fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver of the sin offering he made go up in smoke on the altar, as Yehovah had ordered Moshe. 11 The meat and the skin were burned up completely outside the camp.

12 Next he slaughtered the burnt offering; Aharon’s sons brought him the blood, and he splashed it against all sides of the altar. 13 They brought him the burnt offering, piece by piece, and the head; and he made them go up in smoke on the altar. 14 He washed the inner organs and the lower parts of the legs and made them go up in smoke on top of the burnt offering on the altar.

15 Then the people’s offering was presented. He took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, slaughtered it and offered it for sin, like the earlier sin offering. 16 The burnt offering was presented, and he offered it in the prescribed manner. 17 The grain offering was presented; he took a handful of it and made it go up in smoke on the altar, in addition to the morning’s burnt offering. 18 He slaughtered the ox and the ram, the people’s sacrifice as peace offerings; Aharon’s sons brought him the blood, which he splashed against all sides of the altar, 19 and the fat of the ox and of the ram — the fat tail, the fat which covers the inner organs, the kidneys and the covering of the liver. 20 They put the fat on the breasts, and he made the fat go up in smoke on the altar. 21 The breasts and right thigh Aharon waved as a wave offering before Yehovah, as Moshe had ordered.

22 Aharon raised his hands toward the people, blessed them and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 Moshe and Aharon entered the tent of meeting, came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of Yehovah appeared to all the people! 24 Fire came forth from the presence of Yehovah, consuming the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

10:1 But Nadav and Avihu, sons of Aharon, each took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and offered unauthorized fire before Yehovah, something he had not ordered them to do. At this, fire came forth from the presence of Yehovah and consumed them, so that they died in the presence of Yehovah. Moshe said to Aharon, “This is what Yehovah said:

‘Through those who are near me I will be consecrated,
and before all the people I will be glorified.’”

Aharon kept silent.

Moshe called Misha’el and Eltzafan, sons of ‘Uzi’el Aharon’s uncle, and told them, “Come here, and carry your cousins away from in front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” They approached and carried them in their tunics out of the camp, as Moshe had said.

Then Moshe told Aharon and his sons El‘azar and Itamar, “Don’t unbind your hair or tear your clothes in mourning, so that you won’t die and so that Yehovah won’t be angry with the entire community. Rather, let your kinsmen — the whole house of Isra’el — mourn, because of the destruction Yehovah brought about with his fire. Moreover, don’t leave the entrance to the tent of meeting, or you will die, because Yehovah’s anointing oil is on you.”

Yehovah said to Aharon, “Don’t drink any wine or other intoxicating liquor, neither you nor your sons with you, when you enter the tent of meeting, so that you will not die. This is to be a permanent regulation through all your generations, 10 so that you will distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; 11 and so that you will teach the people of Isra’el all the laws Yehovah has told them through Moshe.”

12 Moshe said to Aharon and to El‘azar and Itamar, his remaining sons, “Take the grain offering left from the offerings for Yehovah made by fire, and eat it without leaven next to the altar, because it is especially holy. 13 Eat it in a holy place, because it is your and your sons’ share of the offerings for Yehovah made by fire; for this is what I have been ordered. 14 The breast that was waved and the thigh that was raised you are to eat in a clean place — you, your sons and your daughters with you; for these are given as your and your children’s share of the sacrifices of the peace offerings presented by the people of Isra’el. 15 They are to bring the raised thigh and the waved breast, along with the offerings of fat made by fire, and wave it as a wave offering before Yehovah; then it will belong to you and your descendants with you as your perpetual share, as Yehovah has ordered.”

16 Then Moshe carefully investigated what had happened to the goat of the sin offering and discovered that it had been burned up. He became angry with El‘azar and Itamar, the remaining sons of Aharon, and asked, 17 “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the area of the sanctuary, since it is especially holy? He gave it to you to take away the guilt of the community, to make atonement for them before Yehovah. 18 Look! Its blood wasn’t brought into the sanctuary! You should have eaten it there in the sanctuary, as I ordered.” 19 Aharon answered Moshe, “Even though they offered their sin offering and burnt offering today, things like these have happened to me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have pleased Yehovah?” 20 On hearing this reply, Moshe was satisfied.

11:1 Yehovah said to Moshe and Aharon, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘These are the living creatures which you may eat among all the land animals: any that has a separate hoof which is completely divided and chews the cud — these animals you may eat. 4-6 But you are not to eat those that only chew the cud or only have a separate hoof. For example, the camel, the coney and the hare are unclean for you, because they chew the cud but don’t have a separate hoof; while the pig is unclean for you, because, although it has a separate and completely divided hoof, it doesn’t chew the cud. You are not to eat meat from these or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

“‘Of all the things that live in the water, you may eat these: anything in the water that has fins and scales, whether in seas or in rivers — these you may eat. 10 But everything in the seas and rivers without both fins and scales, of all the small water-creatures and of all the living creatures in the water, is a detestable thing for you. 11 Yes, these will be detestable for you — you are not to eat their meat, and you are to detest their carcasses. 12 Whatever lacks fins and scales in the water is a detestable thing for you.

13 “‘The following creatures of the air are to be detestable for you — they are not to be eaten, they are a detestable thing: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 14 the kite, the various kinds of buzzards, 15 the various kinds of ravens, 16 the ostrich, the screech-owl, the seagull, the various kinds of hawks, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the horned owl, the pelican, the barn owl, 19 the stork, the various kinds of herons, the hoopoe and the bat.

20 “‘All winged swarming creatures that go on all fours are a detestable thing for you; 21 except that of all winged swarming creatures that go on all fours, you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, enabling them to jump off the ground. 22 Specifically, of these you may eat the various kinds of locusts, grasshoppers, katydids and crickets. 23 But other than that, all winged swarming creatures having four feet are a detestable thing for you.

24 “‘The following will make you unclean; whoever touches the carcass of them will be unclean until evening, 25 and whoever picks up any part of their carcass is to wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: 26 every animal that has a separate but incompletely divided hoof or that doesn’t chew the cud is unclean for you; anyone who touches them will become unclean. 27 Whatever goes on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, is unclean for you; whoever touches its carcass will be unclean until evening; 28 and whoever picks up its carcass is to wash his clothes and be unclean until evening — these are unclean for you.

29 “‘The following are unclean for you among the small creatures that swarm on the ground: the weasel, the mouse, the various kinds of lizards, 30 the gecko, the land crocodile, the skink, the sand-lizard and the chameleon. 31 They are unclean crawling creatures; whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean until evening. 32 Anything on which one of them falls when dead will become unclean — wooden utensil, article of clothing, leather, sacking — any utensil used for work; it must be put in water, and it will be unclean until evening; then it will be clean. 33 If one of them falls into a clay pot, whatever is in it will become unclean, and you are to break the pot. 34 Any food permitted to be eaten that water from such a vessel gets on will become unclean, and any permitted liquid in such a vessel will become unclean. 35 Everything on which any carcass-part of theirs falls will become unclean, whether oven or stove; it is to be broken in pieces — they are unclean and will be unclean for you; 36 although a spring or cistern for collecting water remains clean. But anyone who touches one of their carcasses will become unclean. 37 If any carcass-part of theirs falls on any kind of seed to be sown, it is clean; 38 but if water is put on the seed and a carcass-part of theirs falls on it, it is unclean for you.

39 “‘If an animal of a kind that you are permitted to eat dies, whoever touches its carcass will be unclean until evening. 40 A person who eats meat from its carcass or carries its carcass is to wash his clothes; he will be unclean until evening.

41 “‘Any creature that swarms on the ground is a detestable thing; it is not to be eaten — 42 whatever moves on its stomach, goes on all fours, or has many legs — all creatures that swarm on the ground; you are not to eat them, because they are a detestable thing. 43 You are not to make yourselves detestable with any of these swarming, crawling creatures; do not make yourselves unclean with them, do not defile yourselves with them. 44 For I am Yehovah your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; and do not defile yourselves with any kind of swarming creature that moves along the ground. 45 For I am Yehovah, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy.

46 “‘Such, then, is the law concerning animals, flying creatures, all living creatures that move about in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground. 47 Its purpose is to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”

2 Samuel 6-7:17

6:1 Again David summoned all the picked troops of Isra’el, 30,000 men. Then David, taking along the entire force he had with him then, set out for Ba‘alei-Y’hudah to bring up from there the ark of God, which bears the Name, the name of YehovahTzva’ot enthroned above the k’ruvim. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Avinadav on the hill, with ‘Uzah and Achyo, the sons of Avinadav, driving the new cart. They led it from the house of Avinadav on the hill, with the ark of God; Achyo walked in front of the ark. David and the whole house of Isra’el celebrated in the presence of Yehovah with all kinds of musical instruments made of cypress-wood, including lyres, lutes, tambourines, rattles and cymbals.

When they arrived at Nakhon’s threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled; and ‘Uzah put out his hand to steady the ark of God. But Yehovah’s anger blazed up against ‘Uzah, and God struck him down on the spot for his offense, so that he died there by the ark of God. It upset David that Yehovah had broken out against ‘Uzah; that place has been called Peretz-‘Uzah [breaking-out of ‘Uzah] ever since. David was frightened of Yehovah that day; he asked, “How can the ark of Yehovah come to me?” 10 So David would not bring the ark of Yehovah into the City of David; rather, David took it over to the house of ‘Oved-Edom the Gitti. 11 The ark of Yehovah stayed in the house of ‘Oved-Edom the Gitti for three months; and Yehovah blessed ‘Oved-Edom and all his household.

12 King David was told, “Yehovah has blessed the house of ‘Oved-Edom and everyone who belongs to him, thanks to the ark of God.” So David went and joyously brought the ark of God up from the house of ‘Oved-Edom into the City of David. 13 When those bearing the ark of Yehovah had gone only six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened sheep. 14 Then David danced and spun around with abandon before Yehovah, wearing a linen ritual vest. 15 So David and all the house of Isra’el brought up the ark of Yehovah with shouting and the sound of the shofar. 16 As the ark of Yehovah entered the City of David, Mikhal the daughter of Sha’ul, watching from the window, saw King David leaping and spinning before Yehovah; and she was filled with contempt for him.

17 They brought the ark of Yehovah in and put it in its place inside the tent that David had set up for it. David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yehovah. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offering and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of YehovahTzva’ot. 19 Then he distributed to all the people of Isra’el, to everyone there, both men and women, a loaf of bread, a portion of meat and a raisin cake, after which the people all left for their homes.

20 When David returned to bless his household, Mikhal the daughter of Sha’ul came out to meet him and said, “Such honor the king of Isra’el earned for himself today — exposing himself before his servants’ slave-girls like some vulgar exhibitionist!” 21 David answered Mikhal, “In the presence of Yehovah — who chose me over your father and over everyone in his family to make me chief over Yehovah’s people, over Isra’el — I will celebrate in the presence of Yehovah! 22 I will make myself still more contemptible than that, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes, but those slave-girls you mentioned will honor me!” 23 Mikhal the daughter of Sha’ul remained childless until the day she died.

7 After the king had been living in his palace awhile and Yehovah had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Natan the prophet, “Here, I’m living in a cedar-wood palace; but the ark of God is kept in a tent!” Natan said to the king, “Go, do everything that is in your heart, for Yehovah is with you.”

But that same night the word of Yehovah came to Natan: “Go and tell my servant David that this is what Yehovah says: ‘You are going to build me a house to live in? Since the day I brought the people of Isra’el out of Egypt until today, I never lived in a house; rather, I traveled in a tent and a tabernacle. Everywhere I traveled with all the people of Isra’el, did I ever speak a word to any of the tribes of Isra’el, whom I ordered to shepherd my people Isra’el, asking, “Why haven’t you built me a cedar-wood house?”’

“Therefore say this to my servant David that this is what YehovahTzva’ot says: ‘I took you from the sheep-yards, from following the sheep, to make you chief over my people, over Isra’el. I have been with you wherever you went; I have destroyed all your enemies ahead of you; and I am making your reputation great, like the reputations of the greatest people on earth. 10 I will assign a place to my people Isra’el; I will plant them there, so that they can live in their own place without being disturbed any more. The wicked will no longer oppress them, as they did at the beginning, 11 and as they did from the time I ordered judges to be over my people Isra’el; instead, I will give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘Moreover, Yehovah tells you that Yehovah will make you a house. 12 When your days come to an end and you sleep with your ancestors, I will establish one of your descendants to succeed you, one of your own flesh and blood; and I will set up his rulership. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father for him, and he will be a son for me. If he does something wrong, I will punish him with a rod and blows, just as everyone gets punished; 15 nevertheless, my grace will not leave him, as I took it away from Sha’ul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Thus your house and your kingdom will be made secure forever before you; your throne will be set up forever.’” 17 Natan told David all of these words and described this entire vision.

Acts 10:9-22

The next day about noon, while they were still on their way and approaching the city, Kefa went up onto the roof of the house to pray. 10 He began to feel hungry and wanted something to eat; but while they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance 11 in which he saw heaven opened, and something that looked like a large sheet being lowered to the ground by its four corners. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, crawling creatures and wild birds. 13 Then a voice came to him, “Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Kefa said, “No, sir! Absolutely not! I have never eaten food that was unclean or treif.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time: “Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and then the sheet was immediately taken back up into heaven.

17 Kefa was still puzzling over the meaning of the vision he had seen, when the men Cornelius had sent, having inquired for Shim‘on’s house, stood at the gate 18 and called out to ask if the Shim‘on known as Kefa was staying there. 19 While Kefa’s mind was still on the vision, the Spirit said, “Three men are looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs, and have no misgivings about going with them, because I myself have sent them.”

21 So Kefa went down and said to the men, “You were looking for me? Here I am. What brings you here?” 22 They answered, “Cornelius. He’s a Roman army officer, an upright man and a God-fearer, a man highly regarded by the whole Jewish nation; and he was told by a holy angel to have you come to his house and listen to what you have to say.”

Acts 10:34-35

34 Then Kefa addressed them: “I now understand that God does not play favorites, 35 but that whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what people he belongs to.

Hebrews 7:1-19

7:1 This Malki-Tzedek, king of Shalem, a cohen of God Ha‘Elyon, met Avraham on his way back from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; also Avraham gave him a tenth of everything.

Now first of all, by translation of his name, he is “king of righteousness”; and then he is also king of Shalem, which means “king of peace.”

There is no record of his father, mother, ancestry, birth or death; rather, like the Son of God, he continues as a cohen for all time.

Just think how great he was! Even the Patriarch Avraham gave him a tenth of the choicest spoils. Now the descendants of Levi who became cohanim have a commandment in the Torah to take a tenth of the income of the people, that is, from their own brothers, despite the fact that they too are descended from Avraham. But Malki-Tzedek, even though he was not descended from Levi, took a tenth from Avraham.

Also, he blessed Avraham, the man who received God’s promises; and it is beyond all dispute that the one who blesses has higher status than the one who receives the blessing.

Moreover, in the case of the cohanim, the tenth is received by men who die; while in the case of Malki-Tzedek, it is received by someone who is testified to be still alive.

One might go even further and say that Levi, who himself receives tenths, paid a tenth through Avraham; 10 inasmuch as he was still in his ancestor Avraham’s body when Malki-Tzedek met him.

11 Therefore, if it had been possible to reach the goal through the system of cohanim derived from Levi (since in connection with it, the people were given the Torah), what need would there have been for another, different kind of cohen, the one spoken of as to be compared with Malki-Tzedek and not to be compared with Aharon? 12 For if the system of cohanim is transformed, there must of necessity occur a transformation of Torah. 13 The one about whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar; 14 for everyone knows that our Lord arose out of Y’hudah, and that Moshe said nothing about this tribe when he spoke about cohanim.

15 It becomes even clearer if a “different kind of cohen,” one like Malki-Tzedek, arises, 16 one who became a cohen not by virtue of a rule in the Torah concerning physical descent, but by virtue of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is stated,

“You are a cohen FOREVER,
to be compared with Malki-Tzedek.”

18 Thus, on the one hand, the earlier rule is set aside because of its weakness and inefficacy 19 (for the Torah did not bring anything to the goal); and, on the other hand, a hope of something better is introduced, through which we are drawing near to God.

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