Parashat Emor–a Personal Message

Parshat Emor—a Personal Message

Emor, a word of the Hebrew tongue
Which denominates an ancient text—
The thirty-first division of Tora’s annual trek.
The word in English would say, “Speak.”

Moshe, Yahweh’s chosen prophet, was told
To speak instructions of conduct to the priests.
Covering life events like marriage, disability and death—
Establishing a demeanor of priestly propriety.

In the 23rd chapter of Leviticus, however, a change—
Yahweh turns again, thru Moshe, to the people.
It’s like another chance for His “chosen” children.
They are not far removed in time from Sinai’s base.

They know how close they came to losing Yahwah’s presence.
He now says to Moshe, “Speak this conduct to the people.”
“You shall keep the Sabbath, you shall keep the feasts!”
In effect, a chance to again take personal responsibility.

Another twist—”you shall call a convocation.” What?
I submit that by time and use the word’s definition is abused.
Did not those words when spoken task the father and the mother?
Does not appointment with Yahweh become a family affair?

It has already been said, “You shall diligently teach your children.”
Perhaps with passing of time and embracing of custom
We are failing Emor’s direction to assume our responsibility.
If so, there may still be a way to go before the Jordan’s shore–repent!

Kennedy Brown
May 18, 2016

The annual exercise (in the best sense of the word) of reading the weekly Torah portions seems to always offer new insight. This year it was the reading of the portion (Parshat) Emor that I noticed the change in Yahweh’s instructions from priests to people. Somehow I had always assumed it was the priests who called and administered the Sabbaths and feasts. What a surprise to see that blessing was reserved to the people. The priests’ role seems to be that of facilitator, as may be required.

Along with the blessing comes the responsibility to be faithful in administering the family’s observance. It has often been observed that in the Christian church today it is the pastor’s responsibility to call the meetings, do the teaching, establish the agendas, teach the children, maintain the facilities and provide a venue for weekly, religious entertainment. Our responsibility is conveniently discharged monetarily by the tithe—further participation optional.

Torah does not give us this pass. Yeshua said not one jot or tittle of Torah would pass away. Yahweh’s words are every bit as much for today as they were 3500 years ago.

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