Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ki Tisa

Ex 30:11 - 34:35

This weeks Parasha is titled Ki Tisa and it means “When you take”. The Parasha begins with instructions on taking a census. The census is to have the direction of making a ransom for the men 20 years and older by collecting a half shekel for each as atonement for their lives. This money is to be used for the service of the Tent of Meetings. The next instruction is for the bronze basin and it’s use. It is to be used by the Priests to wash when they enter the Tent of Meeting and before presenting an offering made to HaShem by fire.

HaShem then gives detailed instructions on preparing the Anointing Oil and Incense. These items are to be exclusively used for the operation of the Tabernacle by their precise ingredients. Any other use of these exact items result in the penalty of being cut off from their people. A midrash says that the bottle of Anointing Oil that Moses made miraculously lasted 750 years, and that just before the destruction of the Temple, King Josiah hid the bottle. One day the Messiah will restore the hidden bottle back to the children of Israel.

Bezalel and Oholiab are then put in charge in constructing the Tabernacle and its articles. HaShem as given these men along with all kinds of craftsmen the skill needed to construct all of these items as has been shown to Moses.

We then find more detailed instructions for the Sabbath in Ex 31:12, 12Then the Lord said to Moses, “say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you Holy.’ Not just the seventh day Sabbath, but Sabbaths in plural, meaning HaShem’s Moadim, for the purpose of “knowing Him.” Ex 31:14, 14‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. Very interesting in this verse are two very different kinds of Sabbath transgressions mentioned along with two very different atonement’s for those transgression’s. First mentioned is “desecrates”. In the Hebrew this word is “halal” and means to; profane, defile, pollute, to prostitute, to make common. By all indications of the definition of the word “halal” leads to the image of, or a form of, pagan worship or any worship contrary to that given and approved by HaShem. The most prominent image that comes to my mind are the Christian holidays christmas and easter. Both having the background of being rooted and mixed with pagan holidays. Now these holiday’s may seem harmless to most, but when mixed with the Sabbath, makes the Sabbath common. Further in this verse we see the term “any work.” Concerning work on the Sabbath’s we see two forms of work mentioned in Scripture. In this context of the seventh day Sabbath we see “any work”. And in connection with Pesach, as stated in Ex 12:16, “Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat - that is all you may do”. This is also the same instruction for Rosh Kodesh. This type of work is translated as “servile” work which is permissable but not on the Sabbath or Yom Kippur. For the transgression of “halal” or “descrating the Sabbath”, leads to death where “to do any work” leads to being cut off from the people, being outside the camp of HaShem. We can clearly see that both transgressions are dangerous but halal in itself can with one action violate the first four commandments given by HaShem. To have the penalty of death put upon you gives a person very little time to make teshuva, but to be cut off from your people or put outside the camp still affords an individual time to turn from their ways. Fortunately now, Yeshua gives us that time to whole heartedly turn from our ways, to teshuva. Yeshua has given us the example, in the Gospels, of what Sabbath living is all about. He healed, taught and did good works on the Sabbath. He also gave us the example of halal on the Sabbath, those things He never did. Further in the Sabbath instructions we see in V 17 that “it will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever,” meaning “never to end.” This is supported by Yeshua not only concerning the Sabbath but the entire Torah of HaShem in Matt 5:17-18, 17"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

The parasha moves on to the golden calf incident. This truly is a clear representation of what Moses was dealing with for forty years in the wilderness. No more than forty days had all the children of Israel heard the voice of HaShem speak to them from the clouds, smoke and fire, they had the desire for an idol. A representation to them of what freed them from their bondage in Egypt, a false god. They lead Aaron into sin by convincing him to make the golden calf. HaShem saw the evil that the people were doing and sent Moses back to camp to deal with them. Although HaShem’s anger burned toward them and He wanted to destroy them, Moses pleads for their lives and reminds HaShem of the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Israel. It’s somewhat interesting to why Jacob’s name was not used but the name Israel. As Moses saw what the people were doing and in his anger, Scripture says that, 19he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20And he took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it. This action is very similar to what is commanded in the event of the suspicion of an “unfaithful wife” found in Num 5:19-31. Israel was to be a wife to HaShem and HaShem a husband to the nation. Although HaShem knew who’s heart had been lead astray to this idol worship, I believe it is important to consider the results of the test of the “unfaithful wife” We see further in our parasha that Moses asks that “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And the Levites accepted that call. They are commanded to strap on a sword and go throughout the camp killing those involved. I have wondered how these men would know who to kill, it seems very possible that the answer lies in the results of the “unfaithful wife” test, the “swelling of the abdomen and the wasting of the thigh”, maybe that’s how the were able to identify who they were to kill. The result ended with about 3000 thousand men put to death along with a plague from HaShem.

Moses is then instructed to carve out new tablets, unlike the tablets given by HaShem, and to bring them up the mountain to receive what could be considered a “Renewed Covenant” with the children of Israel, as Israel had already been unfaithful to their husband. Moses asks to see HaShems glory and HaShem allows this to happen, but only His back, so Moses would not die. Other instructions are given to Moses to give to Israel, how to behave when they meet the people who live in the land, idol worship, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, redeeming the first born, the Feast of Weeks and offerings. The parasha ends with the telling of Moses’s radiant face.

Many great things can be gleaned from this weeks parasha. The telling of the golden calf exemplifies, unfortunately, human character. How quick we forget and how often we need reminders to remember. This is the purpose of the Torah. It is a constant reminder of our deliverance from the bondage of sin and our daily relationship to HaSehm. Deu 6:7 says, 7"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. We have been given the lesson of Holy living in the Torah, but we must also have them on our minds always as Deu 6:7 says, to avoid building our own golden calf and giving credit to those things that can’t do a thing. Baruch HaShem!

No comments:

Post a Comment