Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends! As always, a synopsis of this week's Torah portion (Parashah 21: Ki Tissa [When you take] Exodus 30:11 through 34:35) can be found on our website.
This parashah is a tear jerker, beginning with the first powerful paragraph! As is obvious throughout the Torah, all YHWH ever asked of His People was obedience and, in Exodus 30:11-16, He reiterates the importance of obedience and reminds us that our lives do NOT belong to us but, rather, to Him who made us. Belonging to YHWH means constantly atoning and repenting for our sins. Take a careful look at this entire passage:
Exodus 30: 11 ADONAI said to Moshe, 12 "When you take a census of the people of Isra'el and register them, each, upon registration, is to pay a ransom for his life to ADONAI, to avoid any breakout of plague among them during the time of the census. 13 Everyone subject to the census is to pay as an offering to ADONAI half a shekel [one-fifth of an ounce of silver]- by the standard of the sanctuary shekel (a shekel equals twenty gerahs). 14 Everyone over twenty years of age who is subject to the census is to give this offering to ADONAI - 15 the rich is not to give more or the poor less than the half-shekel when giving ADONAI's offering to atone for your lives. 16 You are to take the atonement money from the people of Isra'el and use it for the service in the tent of meeting, so that it will be a reminder of the people of Isra'el before ADONAI to atone for your lives." (CJB)
Notice in the above that YHWH is very fair; He says we are accountable beginning at 20 years of age, to "pay a ransom" for our lives. In other words, living for Him requires ACTION and OBEDIENCE. He treats us all equally, rich or poor. Back then, everyone was to pay half a shekel. (Yes, today Yeshua has paid our ransom, but that in no way means we are no longer accountable or don't have to act responsibly in the conduct of our lives for YHWH! We are still required to do something for Him: Keep His Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts and whatever else we still can keep of the Torah, His original Divine Instructions for Righteousness.)
For more educational reading about this parashah, please click on the parashah link above. And, for some interesting additional reading, check out this wonderful commentary about this week’s Torah portion by Hannah Nesher.