Parshiot Acharei Mot and Kedoshim (After the death & Holy ones)


By Baruch:

Parshiot Acharei Mot and Kedoshim (After the death & Holy ones)

Leviticus 16:1-18:40 & 19:1-20:27

Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15

There is again this week two Torah readings. We will study from the first, Parashat Acharei Mot. There we find a well-known verse.

You shall keep My laws and My judgments; the man who will do them and he will live in them, I am HaShem.” Leviticus 18:5

The proper understanding of this verse is often debated. Some scholars teach that this verse implies that one finds life, i.e. salvation, by doing the commandments (G-d’s laws and judgments). For example, The Stone Edition of the Hebrew Bible renders the last part of the verse as follows, “…which man shall carry out and by which he shall live….” In the brief commentary of The Stone Edition, one reads,

“The Sages derive from the expression ‘by which he shall live’ that the commandments were given for the sake of life….” See The Stone Edition of the Chumash page 650.

Here again, what does the phrase mean, “for the sake of life?” Paul uses this same verse in the Book of Romans. What is so interesting about his use of this verse is what he writes before it.

For Messiah, the end (goal) of the Law, for righteousness, all who are believing.”

Paul makes it clear that the Law was added for the purpose of bringing one to faith in Messiah. Many want to understand the word τέλος, as the “end” meaning over and done with, rather than the goal (purpose) of the Torah. In the next verse (Romans 10:5), Paul teaches that the proper understanding of the verse from Leviticus 18 is not that the Torah gives or mediates life; rather the Torah outlines a manner for life which manifests a right way of living. The point is simply that the Torah does indeed reveal a righteous way of living. In fact, it is when the unredeemed individual attempts to conduct himself in accordance with the Torah commandments, that he quickly learns of his need for Messiah Yeshua’s grace.

In the Book of Galatians, Paul again makes use of the verse from Leviticus 18,

But the Law is not from faith; but the one who does them, shall live in them.”

Galatians 3:12

In the first part of Paul’s statement, “But the Law is not from faith”, he reveals that the reason that HaShem added the Law was not because of the faithfulness of Israel. On the contrary, it was precisely because of Israel’s lack of faith that the Law was given. In the second part of the verse, Paul writes, “but the one who does them, shall live in them.” Paul’s intent in the Book of Galatians is the same as Moses’ in the Book of Leviticus; namely, it is evident who is truly doing the commandments because the Law will be reflected in his life. This behavior is not the basis for salvation; rather it manifests that fact that one has been saved by faith.

Shabbat Shalom






Share this Post