Sh'mini - April 10, 2021

Torah Portion:
Sh’mini - April 10, 2021

Torah: Leviticus 9:1-11:47  
Haftarah: 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17
Portion Summary:
—The offering for the eighth day is commanded.
—Aaron sacrifices for himself and then the people.
—Aaron blesses the people.
—Sons of Aaron offer strange fire and are consumed by fire.
—The laws of eating the meal offering are given.
—Kosher laws are detailed.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
What’s for Dinner?
"ADONAI spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, ‘Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth.’” Leviticus 11:1-2 (TLV)

God put restraints on what the people of Israel could and couldn’t eat. The commandments in this parsha (particularly the ones that revolve around clean and unclean animals) would have had an immediate benefit to the Israelites; eating unclean animals would have exposed them to foodborne parasites that would have made them sick! The name for his kind of statute in Hebrew is a hoq, meaning “something that is to be fulfilled.” Commandments like these are another element of what being set apart from the other peoples of the earth meant to all Israel.

I am a Gentile who has happily been keeping biblically kosher, for over 25 years. This simply means that I restrict my diet to those foods outlined in the Scriptures. I don’t do it because it is good for me, or because of some distorted view that my keeping kosher makes me superior to those who don’t; I do it because I’m following God’s leading!

As a Gentile, you may not be led to do this. Even if you do, it’s important to remember that the two greatest commandments in Scripture don’t revolve around what we eat, but instead focus on how deeply we love God and our neighbors. The rest is between you and Him!

Thank You that we are forgiven for the times we fall short of Your standards. As Your child, I want to follow Your commandments in a way that both glorifies You and brings me into alignment with Your plans for my life. Reveal to me the statutes that You want me to observe as I seek to become a fully devoted follower of Yeshua.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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