Parsha “Shmini” teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Parsha “Shmini” (Leviticus chapters 9 through 11) appears to be an unusual combination. It begins on the ‘eighth day,’ with the climax of the consecration of the priests, Aaron and his sons, and only appears to end when “there came forth fire from before YHVH.”

Those same words frame the tragedy of the death of his sons Nadab and Abihu when they offer “strange fire,” which – clearly most importantly – He did NOT command.

Why, then, does He talk about food next?

The Erev Shabbat reading sets the stage:

And the confluence of those events set up the questions. What does ‘strange fire’ even mean? And why did it merit sudden death?

Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship suggests that the story of Ezekiel chapters 8 and 9 offers some insight: What was it they “knew, or SHOULD have known?”

It is true that, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” And in Ezekiel 9:6, YHVH does tell the destroying angel to “begin at My sanctuary.”

But, wait – we don’t have a temple, or even a mishkan, any more. No priests, either, to hold to a higher standard. And any issues about “ritual purity” and food don’t fit any more, either.

Maybe that’s another indicator. Especially now.

With the ‘next bioweapon release’ seemingly at-hand, not to mention the biggest economic meltdown in history, and an attempted nuclear escalation of mention WW 3, doesn’t it seem far less insane to trust YHVH rather leaders who have demonstrated a desire to serve Death?

And since there are things on the horizon that we cannot control, doesn’t it make sense to obey Him as best we can in the things we can?

Shmini: Knew, or Should Have Known”

The combined two-part teaching is here:

About mark

Semi-retired electronic engineer, turned author and lecturer; occasional radio talk show host, and motivated Torah/Bible teacher. Also an avid private pilot (Private, ASEL, Inst), radio amateur, scuba diver, and aspiring sailor.
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