Shabbat Reading

Friday, March 23, 2007 |  by Michael Schneider

VaYikra - And he called: Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26 and Isaiah 43:21-44:23

This week we entered the Hebrew month Nisan which is the first month of the year according to the Bible. This means we had the Biblical New Year this week. This went mostly unnoticed this year unfortunately because Jews today follow rabbinic traditions and celebrate the New Year at 1st Tishrei, Rosh HaShana, which is called the Feast of Trumpets in the Bible.

In the word "Nisan" we find the Hebrew word "Nes" which means "miracle." Indeed, this is a special month in which the greatest of all miracles took place for the Jewish people: the freedom and redemption of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt – that’s why we remember it even more than 3300 years later by celebrating the feast of Passover. May this "Nisan" truly be a month of miracles for everyone in all aspects of life.

Not only did we start a new month and year, but also a new book of the Torah: Leviticus. This is also called the “Torat Cohanim,” the Law of the Priests, because it contains all the strict ordinances of services at the temple, sanctuary (tabernacle) and sacrifices.

Although it is not an easy book to read and may even be called irrelevant because we don’t practice temple and sacrifices rituals anymore, I urge all believers to read it in a spiritual sense. Is our body not His sanctuary and temple? Should it and our life not be a living sacrifice to our Lord?

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