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This week's parasha hashavuat is Emor , or 'Speak' in Vayikra, Leviticus 21:1-24. In verse

This week's parasha hashavuat is Emor, or 'Speak' in Vayikra, Leviticus 21:1-24. In verse 1 of chapter 21 we read "And The LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, & say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:" A cursory read of the verse tends to steer people into the pashat meaning, speaking specifically of a person touching an actual dead body, which does ceremonially, ritually cause them to become unclean. What we find however when we look at the word 'dead' as it is used in the verse is the word nephesh, from Strongs# 5315. It does indeed mean dead, but consider the following; it also means

indeed mean dead, but consider the following; it also means appetite , beast , creature, desire

appetite, beast, creature, desire, discontented, ghost, soul, & will. Much is found in this pivotal word, because viewed in context of the verse, we are not speaking solely of touching a dead person. However, when understood in the most concrete sense it puts things into a much more 'grave' perspective, apologies for the pun. Speaking of ghosts, how many of us have found ourselves at different times in our lives dwelling upon regrets and/or people from our past? Like ghosts, we give these impotent apparitions permission to wail & haunt the dendrite forest of our cerebrum. Coursing their habitual circuit through the corridors of our memory, we are the ones who animate both the recent & long since passed on shadows, and often are unwilling to admit that we have given them place and power over our will!

that we have given them place and power over our will ! What we're learning here

What we're learning here has everything to do with our will, and the will as interpreted in Scripture is that mechanism that determines what or who is going to be in control of us. The flesh, or the nephesh speaks of that 'soul-ish', more 'beastly' part of us. It's the part of us that seeks purpose and satisfaction through constantly feeding our more primal, beastly appetites.

So if we observe this word 'nephesh' in the paleo-Hebrew, the fact this is what we learn:

נ The Nun, among other things it also means 'to act'; ש the Shin, meaning to press, to

consume, to eatspecifically the 'feeding of our appetites' ; and פ the Fey, meaning to blow, or to 'scatter to the edges'. When interpreted pictographically we see that to choose, or to follow the will of the nephesh, that beastly side of our existence, is by "Acting or choosing a conduct, or lifestyle based upon our fleshly appetites will result in us being blown or scattered to the edges of the world!" & isn't this exactly what happened to our ancestors when they chose to follow a will governed by the flesh, or a mind dominated by thoughts void of God's truth?

, or a mind dominated by thoughts void of God's truth? 7 We have dealt very

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. 8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: (Neh 1:7-8 KJV) 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (Jer 7:23-24 KJV)

Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition defines 'will'as 1: Desire, wish, as a:disposition, inclination, b: appetite, passion, c: choice, determination. 2 a: something desired esp: a choice or determination of one having authority or power. 4a: mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending.

& so here we have

is of the beastly side of man, and the other is of YHVH. We find in 1 Peter 4:2 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (1Pe 4:1-2 KJV) If we examine the word for 'will' as used in 1 Peter 4:2 it is identified from Strong's number

G2307(θελημα) or 'thelema' or 'thel'-ay-mah'; from the prolonged form of G2309; meaning a determination, a choice or inclination: - desire, pleasure, will. It is the exact same word we find in the following 'Renewed Covenant' Scripture: Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (Heb 10:7 KJV)

is written of me,) to do thy will, O God . (Heb 10:7 KJV) the battle

the

battle of the two wills. One

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (Eph 6:5-

6 KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mat 6:9- 10 KJV) If we trace the Greek in the Septuagint back to the Hebrew, among a number of comparable words, one of particular interest is from Strongs number H8307 תוּרירשׁ sh e yruth, sher-ee-rooth'; from H8324 in the sense of twisted, that is,firm; obstinacy: - imagination, lust. This word maintains a strong connection to the same word we see repeatedly being used for 'will'. An even more peculiar connection is its repeated emphasis upon our imagination. This word is used exactly 10 times in Scripture and every time we see it, we see a direct reference being made to the heart.

The mind as we know is the seat of our emotions, and our emotions when left to rule can sabotage our life by making choices outside the will of God. Remember the prime

example I provided in last week's message of Kedoshim? H5201 רטנ

Nun: Seed, fish, continue, heir, life, son,action; Tet: basket, snake, surround, clay, contain, mud, twist;Resh: man's head, first, beginning, person, sum, top, think. When viewed in light of the graphic meanings we see that when we bear a grudge against our neighbor "Our actions become twisted by our thoughts". This is exactly why King Solomon emphatically said to Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Pro 3:5-6 NLT)

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naw-tar';

So much of our day depends upon our walking according to wisdom. Is it wise to be lead by a man, or God? My son, forget not my law (Torah); but let thine heart keep my commandments:For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

(Pro 3:1-2 KJV) And yet, God has given us the choice to choose

3:1-2 KJV) And yet, God has given us the choice to choose we call this- For

we call this-

For eternity YHVH has been saying

Obey,

I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD,

which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live. (Jer 38:20 KJV) So we ask of God, what is Your will? Yeshua prayed for it to be done on

earth as it is in heaven. Paul said it had to be done from the heart. King David said it was

his delight

works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. 6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come:

in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psa 40:5-8 KJV) But what is His Will? Yeshua prayed that God's Will be that His Kingdom would come down to earth and that it would be as it is in heaven. So what then is the kingdom of YHVH? The LORD told us (Exo 19:6) This continues to be echoed over and over (Rom.14:17;

because

it was in his heart. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful

to be echoed over and over (Rom.14:17; because it was in his heart . ‘ Many,

1Peter2:9;Rev.1:6; 5:10) Our True High Priest-Yeshua HaMoshiach is He who demonstrated what it looks like to walk in obedience to the High calling YHVH has called His people to-to live set apart for Him & to speak His truth in love, putting others first, serving even our enemies-as we understand many who would appear at first to be against us, cursing our names even, much like that of a brash and impulsive greenhorn, who swore his undying allegiance, but when put to the test cursed and even denied his beloved Shepherd to save himself. As fickle a character as he was, Kefa was offered the opportunity to mature into the mighty and Holy vessel he was always called to become-during a defining moment, shared between him and his Risen Savior. The Risen Shepherd calls His flighty band of mighty men to break the fast with some of their fresh-caught bounty. The fish upon the fire triggers a memory of opportunity lost, but a future yet unwritten, much like a patient loving hand, opened & graciously extending its invitation, since the foundation of time itself. For this kind of power could only come from The Father's scarred right hand of grace and forgiveness, gently speaking carefully chosen words, able to destroy the shackles of condemnation. I would imagine there was perhaps some figure of conversation over the sharing of fish and broken bread, a familiar symbol recalling in the minds of the disciples those times

of miracle multiplication and a surreal evening spent on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. Afterwards, when their bellies were full, and their hearts were yet astonished at this third visitation of their Savior, another seminal moment was created for the redemption of a brash but now broken greenhorn. In marked, subdued tones-muffled under the tidal gush

of saltwater and sea foam, He spoke that breath of Life

Resurrection, to a broken down, convicted, and defeated heart-which until now had been resigned to a dismal existence plagued by regret and despair. Over the crackling fire, fish and bread crumbs He said

His

Ruach, The very Spirit of

fish and bread crumbs He said His Ruach, The very Spirit of Not only that, but

Not only that, but He had addressed him all three times as 'Son of Jonas-or Jonah'. Jonah in Hebrew means peace. It also bespeaks of another Jonah-another disciple who attempted to avert the call of God upon his life, only to be swallowed by a very large fish. Can you begin to picture the powerful treaty laid upon his bankrupt heart, driving Peter toward his only hope? It is the simplest charge-but the most difficult. In order to find life, we have to lay it down. Peter has been charged with the highest calling-to be a priest for YHVH; to feed and shepherd His people. One had spoken denial and cursesanother spoke restoration, and returned the first to right standing. Once again The Master issues the clarion call He had issued just prior to His arrestFOLLOW ME. Beloved, let us keep this in mind as we seek to walk in truth, as a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation (Exo.19:6). Yeshua, The Living Torah, said 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (Joh 13:34-35 NAS) We were not created to make a name for ourselves, but to lift one another up, speaking truth, leaving room for repentance, that we can have the opportunity to love and serve YHVH in the most powerful of waysour words. So what

are we speaking? Are they words in line with the will of the nephesh, by the beastly appetites that would seek to sabotage a heart designed to be filled with the Love of YHVH? Or are we speaking the will of YHVH? Words that protect, bless, correct, encourage and seek a life of holiness? Dear mishpocha, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. (Gal 6:1-2 NLT) Beloved, let us humble ourselves-love our neighbor as ourself, & YHVH will lift you up.