Adrian’s Midrash (A-Drash)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Vayyikra “He Called”
Leviticus chapter one, verse one, starts off with these words, “Vayyikra el-Mosheh (Moses) vaydaber YHWH ‘elayv me’ohel mo’ed le’mor:” Which many Bibles translate, “The LORD called unto Moses from the tabernacle and said unto him:” Depending on what version you read, you’ll usually see something close to this with some slight variances. However, regardless of what translation you read, the urgency of the very first verse is often missed!
The first verse sets the stage for the remainder of the book; however, in its first reading it’s easily overlooked. The emphasis in the verse should be on Moses being called out; not necessarily God calling out to Moses. Let’s take a quick look at the verse and break it down word-for-word.
Vayyikra (He called, or called out)
el-Mosheh (to Moses)
vaydaber (to depart [from here]) (or this can mean “to speak”)
‘elayv (In direction of or into)
me’ohel (tent, or dwelling)
mo’ed (appointed time)
Now, I know it doesn’t make much sense, but it can be translated as follows: “YHWH called out to Moses and said, “Depart from here, and go into the tent, we have a meeting and I want to speak to you.” Yes, I know it sounds simple, but the emphases on this verse should be on the words, “mo’ed” (appointed time) and “me’ohel” (tent, meeting place). Throughout the Book of Leviticus, we see where the children of Israel are supposed to be different than their neighbors. Specific instructions were given to Moses, and then he was to speak them to the Israelites, and they were to follow particular guidelines to offerings and sacrifices lead by the Levitical Preisthood—Aaron and his sons.
By the time we get to Leviticus 23 we see the connection—frankly, way before chapter 23—but, nevertheless, in chapter 23 we see YHWH calling us out as well. “YHWH said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are YHWH’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly” (Leviticus 23:1-2). He then declares the 7, . . . NAY, . . . 8 Mo’edim (appointed times): Sabbath, Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and then Shavu’ot (Pentecost), which make up the Spring Feasts. And then, without losing a beat, YHWH speaks about the Fall Feasts: Trumpets (Rosh HaShannah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles (Hag HaSukkot). Often, these festivals are known as the “7” Feasts and Festivals of the Lord to the Christian community. However, there are EIGHT! That’s right! Eight. They continually skip the Sabbath. Go figure!
If we are to understand the significance of what YHWH said to Moses, about coming up to the tent because He wanted to have a meeting with him (Lev. 1:1), then we would not ignore the appointed times YHWH wants to have with us (Leviticus 23). These are actual dates, each year, that YHWH says he wants to meet with us. Why is it that many believers in Yeshua—Gentiles and Jews, say that Yeshua came to abolish the Torah, when Yeshua himself observed and taught them? In Matthew 5, He actually says that those who teach these things will be called great into the Kingdom of Elohim.
Therefore, instead of the mo’edim being solely valuable teaching lessons, they should be life-giving appointments. YHWH wants your undivided attention; He wants to meet with you; He wants to celebrate with you, and rejoice over your freedom from bondage. He wants to reveal great and unsearchable things to you that you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3). And, it all starts with an action: to remember the Sabbath and to make it holy. Why? Because He remembers these dates, and when YHWH remembers, it leads him to action! He’s worth every minute. The Spring Feasts have been met in Yeshua, but the last three are yet to come! “Baruch haba baShem Adonai (YHWH).” May the Messiah come soon and Tabernacle among us!
Note: If you’d like to read up on more of what the significance of the feasts mean and how they are fulfilled, then go to http://cid-031d88dcf4e994a7.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/The%20Jewish%20Festivals%20and%20Feasts/Jewish%20Festivals.pdf and then click on the file.