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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

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!

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 eat—specifically 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?

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.
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)
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.
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...the battle of the two wills. One
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;
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)

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 תורירש
rıyruth, 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 natar naw-tar';
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)

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...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...because it was in his heart. ‘Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful
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.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou
opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I come:
in the volume of the book it is written of me,
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;
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...His Ruach, The very Spirit of
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...

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 curses—another
spoke restoration, and returned the first to right standing. Once again The Master issues
the clarion call He had issued just prior to His arrest—FOLLOW 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 ways—our 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.