Shabbat shalom, everyone! A synopsis of this week’s Torah portion can be found on our website. In this week's parashah we will be studying the various offerings Israel was to make for YHWH: Burnt, grain, sin, guilt, consecration and peace (see Leviticus 7:37-38). Try to put yourself in the desert with YHWH's people who were doing their best to obey the commands He was relaying to them through Moshe. What a horrible sight it must have been to see hundreds of innocent animals sacrificed; how awful it must have been to hear their screams; how powerful the overwhelming stench of blood - and being reminded again that we are NOT to eat blood....
Leviticus 7: 26 You are not to eat any kind of blood, whether from birds or animals, in any of your homes. 27 Whoever eats any blood will be cut off from his people.'"
Leviticus 17: 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes the atonement because of the life.
We today, can only surmise why YHWH ordered the killing of these animals, while literally putting Israel through some strange gyrations! The people (and remember, they numbered in the MILLIONS at that point!) were constantly reminded how powerful these sacrifices were, and that they were to be taken VERY seriously. Case in point:
Leviticus 7: 19 Meat which touches something unclean is not to be eaten but burned up completely. As for the meat, everyone who is clean may eat it; 20 but a person in a state of uncleanness who eats any meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings made to ADONAI will be cut off from his people. 21 Anyone who touches something unclean - whether the uncleanness be from a person, from an unclean animal or from some other unclean detestable thing - and then eats the meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings for ADONAI, that person will be cut off from his people.'"
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