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Parashah 31 Emor

Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

By Dr. K. Blad ©

Second edition 2013-14

Lucrative copying not permitted.  

Torah Readings:

1.            21:1-15

2.            21:16 – 22:16

3.            22:17-33

4.            23:1-22

5.            23:23-32

6.            23:33-44

7.            24:1-23

8.            Maftir: 24:21-23


Haftarah: Ezekiel 44:15-31


means “speak”


The First Aliyah, 21:1-15

21:1 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the priests, the sons of Aharon, and say to them, ‘A priest shall not defile himself for the dead among his people’”(HNV revised) – After having spoken to all the people, Moshe now received an order to speak to the priests only. As a whole, the people need to live in consecration, but since the priests have the right to come closer to HaShem as they minister in the sanctuary, they must live on a higher level of consecration than the rest of the people. Since it is the commandments that consecrate, the priests have more commandments than the rest of the people. In this passage, HaShem gives instructions to the priests so that they can keep themselves consecrated. A priest may not touch a corpse. The Hebrew word that is translated “dead” is nefesh,[1] which means “soul”. In this case, the Torah calls a corpse a “soul”.

21:2 “except for his nearest relative (his wife), for his mother, for his father, for his son, for his daughter, for his brother”(HNV revised) – A regular priest may only become unclean if one of the following close relatives die: wife, mother, father, brother, unmarried sister, son, or daughter. For these he ought to mourn and he can abstain from temple service during the day of the burial.

This law has an exception called met mitzvah. A met mitzvah is a corpse that has been found in an abandoned place or the corpse of one who did not have any close relatives to take care of the burial. When there is no one else to bury the dead, then a kohen, a priest, ought to do it, even though he becomes unclean through it. He will not lose his priestly ministry on account of this.

With these standards as a background, it is easier to understand the reactions of the priest and the Levite in the parable about the Good Samaritan, see Luke 10:30-35. They might not have known if the wounded man was dead or alive, and if he was dead, according to the Torah they would have to avoid any contact with the corpse in order not to become unclean and so lose their ministry. Since it was not an abandoned road that they were walking, they did not have to bury him according to the law of met mitzvah.

If the man was alive, then they were obligated to help him and to save his life. It seems as though the priest and the Levite were not interested in finding out if the wounded man was dead or alive. In that case, what they did was a serious crime. If they knew that he was alive, they committed a serious sin by not helping him, according to the commandment that we looked at in Leviticus 19:16b,

“neither shall you stand still before the life of your neighbor.”(HNV revised)

21:3 “and for his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband; for her he may defile himself.”(HNV) – If the sister of a priest is married, the priest may not touch her corpse or attend her burial. The commandment to keep away from all corpses is still kept today among Jews who are male descendants of the priests. A male kohen may not touch or be under the same roof as a corpse. This commandment does not apply to the women who are daughters of priests.

One of the disciples of Rabbi Yeshua, Yochanan, was a friend of the High Priest, as it is written in John 18:15,

“Shim`on Kefa followed Yeshua, as did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the High Priest, and entered in with Yeshua into the court of the High Priest”(HNV revised)

It seems as though Yochanan was of priestly descent. In that case, this could have been the reason why he hesitated to enter Yeshua’s grave and thus become unclean, as it is written in John 20:4-5,

“They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first. Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn’t enter in.”(HNV revised)

21:4 “A husband may not become unclean among the people, to profane himself.”(Direct translation from Hebrew) – According to Rashi, it means that a priest may not become unclean through the corpse of his wife who was not suited for him, as long as she was “among her people”, i.e. if she had relatives or friends who could bury her. In that case he would profane his status as priest by burying her. If, on the other hand, she was not “among her people”, she would be considered a met mitzvah, and in that case the priest would not lose his ministry by burying her.

Children who are born into the marriage of a priest and a woman whom he was not allowed to marry, will not have priestly status and can therefore not eat of the consecrated offerings.

21:6  “They shall be consecrated to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the offerings of HaShem made by fire, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be consecrated.”(HNV revised) – God does not need offerings in order to be fed. How can then the offerings be bread to him? They serve to make the relationship between HaShem and his people closer.

21:7  “They shall not marry a woman who is a prostitute, or profane; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband: for he is consecrated to his God.”(HNV revised) – The following women are prohibited to the priests:

  • Zonah – a woman who has had forbidden sexual relations.

  • Chalah – the daughter of a kohen who was born out of a union that was not permitted, for example the marriage between a priest and a zonah or gerushah.

  • Gerushah – a divorced woman.

  • Gioret – a Gentile woman who has converted to Judaism, verse 14.

A Beit Din has the authority to annul the marriage of a kohen and a woman whom he did not have the right to marry.

21:8 “You shall sanctify him therefore; for he offers the bread of your God: he shall be consecrated to you: for I HaShem, who sanctifies you, am consecrated.”(HNV revised) – Here it says that you are to sanctify a kohen. This means that a kohen ought to be honored in the congregations. If anyone is a descendant of Aharon, he ought to be the first to read the Torah in the synagogue. He ought to be the one who reads the blessing over the bread. He ought to be the first one to receive food. He ought to be the one to lead the zimun, the beginning of the birkat ha-mazon, the prayer of thanks for the food, and so on.

21:9 “The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the prostitute, she profanes her father: she shall be burned with fire.”(HNV revised) – If the daughter of a priest has sexual relations that are not permitted, she deserves to be burned with fire. According to Rashi, all rabbis agree that this is not referring to an unmarried daughter, but to one who has at least gone through the first stage of marriage, erusin, by which she is prohibited to all other men. Her adultery ought to be punished with fire. Other Israelites who have committed the same offense should be punished by stoning.

This gives us a hint as to why Yehudah gave the command to burn Tamar in fire, see Genesis 38:24. She was not unmarried, but was reserved for her brother in law, on account of the law about producing an heir for one’s dead brother, see Genesis 38:8; Deuteronomy 25:5ff. Therefore, as a priest’s daughter who had committed adultery she was condemned to being burned. It is also from this that the conclusion has been drawn that Tamar was the daughter of a priest. The Midrash[2] says that she was the daughter of Shem, who was priest in Shalem and had the title of Malki-Tzedek, see Genesis 14:18.

21:10 “He who is the High Priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor tear his clothes”(HNV revised) – A High Priest may not allow his hair to grow for more than thirty days so that he will not look like one who is in mourning and allowing his hair to grow for that reason.

According to a Midrash,[3] the following five conditions must be met in order for a priest to be able to serve as High Priest. He must have:

  • Wisdom

  • Physical beauty

  • Physical strength

  • Riches

  • Old age

21:11 “neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother”(HNV) – Since the text says that he may not come near, or “go in to” any dead body, this is interpreted to mean that he may not be under the same roof as a corpse.

21:12 “neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – This does not mean that he may never leave the sanctuary, but that he may not leave it to go to the burial of his father or mother. However, a High Priest is obligated to bury a met mitzvah.

This text teaches us that if a regular priest ministers in the sanctuary with sorrow, the sanctuary is profaned, while this is not the case for the High Priest.

21:13 “He shall take a wife in her virginity.”(HNV) – Yeshua HaMashiach is the Kohen HaGadol, High Priest, of heaven. Therefore he cannot take a bride who is not a virgin, as it is written in Revelation 14:1-5,

“I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Tziyon, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps. They sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand, those who had been redeemed out of the earth. These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. In their mouth was found no lie, for they are blameless.”(HNV revised)

21:15 “He shall not profane his seed among his people: for I am HaShem who sanctifies him.”(HNV revised) – A priest fathers a child from an unlawful relationship, then the child is profane in relation to the priesthood.

The Second Aliyah, 21:16 – 22:16

21:17 “Say to Aharon, ‘None of your seed throughout their generations who has a blemish, may approach to offer the bread of his God.’”(HNV revised) – No priest who is physically disfigured may serve in the tabernacle or temple. This does not mean that HaShem is opposed to invalids. We saw earlier that He cares in a special way for the weak and the needy. This, however, is a question of ministry in a sanctuary that is a picture of the heavenly one. That is why it is important that the priests not have any physical imperfections. It has to do with presenting a correct message about the Messiah. The shadow has to line up with the real object, as it is written in 1 Peter 1:19b,

“as of a lamb without spot, the blood of Messiah”(HNV)

In Hebrews 10:14, it is written,

“For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”(HNV)

The Messiah’s sacrifice completes those who will serve in the ministry of Malki-Tzedek so that they do not have any “spot or wrinkle or any such thing”, see Ephesians 5:27.

21:18 “For whatever man he is that has a blemish, he shall not draw near: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity”(HNV) – Rambam[4] mentions 140 different imperfections that make a descendant of Aharon unfit to do his ministry.

21:19 “or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand”(HNV) – If the injury heals, he may return to serve as priest. A priest with an imperfection may not enter the consecrated sanctuary. However, he may help with practical duties in the outer court, such as making sure that the altar is not attacked by worms, among other things.

21:20 “or has long eyebrows, or cataracts, or one who has a defect in his eye, or a dry or runny scab, or who is castrated”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, one who has long eyebrows is one who has hair in his eyebrows that is so long that it hangs down over his eyes.

21:21 “no man of the seed of Aharon the priest, who has a blemish, shall come near to offer the offerings of HaShem made by fire. Since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.”(HNV revised) – This speaks of the Messiah’s perfect sacrifice.

21:22 “He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most consecrated, and of the consecrated.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “bread” is lechem, which means both “bread” and “food” in general. That is why all other kinds of food except wine are included when the blessing is read over the bread before a meal.

22:6 “the person that touches any such shall be unclean until the evening, and shall not eat of the consecrated things, unless he bathe his body in water.”(HNV revised) – This text teaches us that one is not rid of ritual uncleanness at sunset, if one’s body has not first been dipped in a mikveh.

22:7 “When the sun is down, he shall be clean; and afterward he shall eat of the consecrated things, because it is his bread.”(HNV revised) – It is not the water of the mikveh which finally cleanses from ritual uncleanness, but rather it is the time factor, which is marked by the sun. The symbolism of the mikveh is death and resurrection, but even after dipping in a mikveh, one is not clean until the sun has set. This is a reference to the point in time when Yeshua died. That is when HaShem declares the person clean who has gone into the mikveh to be cleansed. The afternoon time is a very important time in HaShem’s plan.

  • In the afternoon, sin entered the world, see Genesis 3:8.

  • In the afternoon, the Pesach lamb it to be slaughtered, see Leviticus 23:5.

  • In the afternoon, the people left Egypt, see Deuteronomy 16:6.

  • In the afternoon, the manna came from heaven and the people experienced that they had left Egypt, see Exodus 16:6

  • In the afternoon, the second daily lamb of the constant offering was offered, see Exodus 29:39-43.

  • In the afternoon, Yeshua gave up his spirit, see Matthew 27:46-50.

  • In the afternoon, the lamps of the menorah were lit in the temple, see Exodus 30:8, 34-36.

  • In the afternoon, fire fell from heaven over Eliyahu’s offering on Carmel, see 1 Kings 18:36.

  • In the afternoon, angelic visitations came, see Daniel 9:21; Acts 10:9.

  • In the afternoon, salvation came to the Samaritans, see John 4:6.

  • In the afternoon, the Messiah Yeshua will come back to the earth, see Zechariah 14:7.

All this points to HaShem’s plan of restoration for the world from the fall that happened in the afternoon. Since sin came into the world in the afternoon, the Messiah had to die in the afternoon. Therefore he must also come back when it is afternoon in the land of Israel. The whole plan of salvation revolves around the hours that stretch from noon to sunset. The reason that one is cleansed at sunset is because at that point one is spiritually connected to the redemption that came through Yeshua the Messiah.

22:8 “That which dies of itself, or is torn by animals, he shall not eat, defiling himself by it. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – One who eats clean animals that have not been slaughtered correctly, becomes tameh, ritually unclean.

22:9 “They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it, and die therein, if they profane it. I am HaShem who sanctifies them.”(HNV revised) – This text is saying that the priest must keep away from everything that could make him tameh so that he can eat of the consecrated things. If a priest eats something that is consecrated while he is unclean, heaven will bring about his death.

The people of Israel are a consecrated people who have been separated from the other nations and appointed to serve HaShem in a special way. The priests within Israel are more consecrated then the people, i.e. they have been more consecrated than the Israelites, and this demands that they must fulfill more commandments in order to live on a higher level of consecration. The High Priest is on a higher level of consecration than the regular priests, and therefore he has been given even stricter rules to keep. It is the commandments which consecrate a person. Sin means breaking the commandments. Those who say that the commandments no longer apply, deny the reality of sin and make the Messiah’s sacrifice of no effect since he died to take away our sins. This means that he died so that we would be able to stop disobeying the commandments. Anyone who teaches that the Messiah Yeshua died in order to nullify the commandments is lying.

In order to be close to HaShem, we must live in consecration. Consecration is the result of obedience to the commandments. This means that the closer we are to HaShem, the more obedience to the commandments is required. There is no consecration without obedience. There is no obedience without discipline. There is therefore no consecration without discipline.

22:15 “          The priests shall not profane the consecrated things of the children of Yisra'el, which they offer to HaShem”(HNV revised) – The consecrated things that this text is talking about are the terumah offerings. It is a part of the agricultural produce that is given to the priest before the tithe is given, see Numbers 18:12. The terumah offering is the theme that is being dealt with in these verses. If a priest gives of the terumah offering to anyone who does not belong to the priest’s family, it is profaned.

The Third Aliyah, 22:17-33

22:18 “Speak to Aharon, and to his sons, and to all the children of Yisra'el, and say to them, ‘Whoever is of the house of Yisra'el, or of the foreigners in Yisra'el, who offers his offering, whether it be any of their vows, or any of their freewill offerings, which they offer to HaShem for a burnt offering”(HNV revised) – If a person binds himself by making a promise to sacrifice, in Hebrew neder, the promise is tied to the person. That means that he has to fulfill his promise to sacrifice. Therefore, if his offering, for any reason, is lost or disqualified, he must replace it with another.

If he promises to give a free will offering, in Hebrew nedavah, then the promise is tied to the object that he has promised to offer. Therefore, if for any reason, that offering is lost or disqualified, he does not have to replace it.

22:20 “But whatever has a blemish, that you shall not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.”(HNV) – HaShem is worthy of the very best. We can see how important HaShem is to us by looking at our offerings. If we give a cheap offering or a second hand offering, we send a message to heaven saying that our heavenly Father is not so important and is not worthy of honor. If we give an expensive offering of the best quality, it shows how much we value HaShem. This is the thought behind the prophet’s rebuke, as it is written in Malachi 1:6-14,

“‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, then where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ Says HaShem of Hosts to you, ‘priests who despise my name. You say, “How have we despised your name?” You offer polluted bread on my altar. You say, “How have we polluted you?” In that you say, “HaShem’s table contemptible.” When you offer the blind for sacrifice, isn’t that evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, isn’t that evil? Present it now to your governor! Will he be pleased with you? Or will he accept your person?’ says HaShem of Hosts. ‘Now, please entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With this, will he accept any of you?’ says HaShem of Hosts. ‘Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain!

I have no pleasure in you,’ says HaShem of Hosts, ‘neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same, my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering: for my name is great among the nations,’ says HaShem of Hosts. ‘But you profane it, in that you say, “HaShem’s table is polluted, and its fruit, even its food, is contemptible.” You say also, “Behold, what a weariness it is!” and you have sniffed at it,’ says HaShem of Hosts; ‘and you have brought that which was taken by violence, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring the offering. Should I accept this at your hand?’ says HaShem. ‘But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the Lord a blemished thing; for I am a great King,’ says HaShem of Hosts, ‘and my name is awesome among the nations.’”

22:21 “Whoever offers a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to HaShem to accomplish a vow, or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.”(HNV revised) – This text teaches us that Messiah ben Yosef, who died as a pleasing sacrifice before HaShem, had to be a man without fault, perfect, without sin, without yetzer ha-rah. If Yeshua had been imperfect or had any faults, he would not have been able to be an offering unto HaShem, see Ephesians 5:2.

22:22 “Blind, injured, maimed, having a wart, festering, or having a running sore, you shall not offer these to HaShem, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to HaShem.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, a maimed animal, in Hebrew charutz, “broken”, is an animal that has a cracked or damaged eyelash or a cracked or damaged lip.

22:31 “Therefore you shall keep my commandments, and do them. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – The first part of the verse is talking about studying the commandments. The second part is about fulfilling them. Studying the Torah is not permitted unless one is prepared to obey it. Neither is it permitted to teach the Torah to one who does not intend to keep it.

22:32 “You shall not profane my consecrated name, but I will be made consecrated among the children of Yisra'el. I am HaShem who sanctifies you”(HNV revised) – Intentionally breaking the commandments is called in Hebrew chilul HaShem, profaning of HaShem, as it is written in Ezekiel 36:20-31,

“When they came to the nations, where they went, they profaned my consecrated name; in that men said of them, These are the people of HaShem, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had regard for my consecrated name, which the house of Yisra'el had profaned among the nations, where they went. Therefore tell the house of Yisra'el, Thus says the Lord HaShem: I don’t do this for your sake, house of Yisra'el, but for my consecrated name, which you have profaned among the nations, where you went. I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am HaShem, says the Lord HaShem, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. Then shall you remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.”(HNV revised)

“I will be made consecrated among the children of Yisra'el” – This commandment about consecrating HaShem, in Hebrew kidush HaShem, means refusing to break a commandment, even under duress, and being willing to give one’s life rather than sinning.

However, one is permitted to break almost all of the commandments in order to save a human life, including one’s own life. According to Talmud[5] there are three sins that one ought rather to choose death than to commit: idolatry, forbidden sexual relations (for example incest or adultery), and murder.

According to our Rabbi Yeshua HaMashiach, there is also another thing that is forbidden, even if one had to give one’s life for it: to deny that He is the Messiah, as it is written in Matthew 10:32-33, 39,

“Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven… He who finds his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”(HNV)

In Acts 3:23, it is written,

“It will be, that every soul that will not listen to that prophet will be utterly destroyed from among the people.”(HNV)

It is better to die than to deny Yeshua!

The Fourth Aliyah, 23:1-22

23:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and tell them, ‘The set feasts of HaShem, which you shall proclaim to be sanctified convocations, even these are my set feasts.’”(HNV revised) – This chapter contains a summary of the annual feasts that HaShem has established for his people. The Torah says that these are HaShem’s appointed feasts. This teaches us that these feasts do not originate with the people of Israel, but with HaShem. The people of Israel have not come up with these feasts. They were revealed by heaven. These are HaShem’s feasts and his people have been able to take part in these occasions that are important to Him. In this program of feasts, He has revealed the whole plan for the redemption of the world.

The Hebrew word that is translated as “feasts” is moadim, the plural of moed,[6] which means “an appointed time and place”, “a meeting”. HaShem has established these meetings in the annual lunar cycle. On these appointed feasts, HaShem calls his people together in order to have a special meeting with them. Through these appointed feasts, He has decided to reveal his entire Messianic, prophetic program for the redemption of man and creation. During these appointed feasts, HaShem has intervened in history, and he will continue to intervene until his entire plan is fulfilled. HaShem does nothing without revealing his secret plan to his consecrated prophets, as it is written in Amos 3:7,

“Surely the Lord HaShem will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.”(HNV revised)

Since Moshe was the greatest prophet he received the revelation of the whole salvation counsel of HaShem. This counsel is summarized in the heavenly meetings found in this chapter. HaShem’s plan of salvation revolves around the Messiah. That is why all these feasts are Messianic in their essence. HaShem’s main purpose for these meetings is to reveal the Messiah Yeshua’s work of salvation to the people of Israel from beginning to end.

In Psalm 104:19, it is written,

“He appointed the moon for seasons. The sun knows when to set.”(HNV)

The Hebrew word that is translated as “times” is moadim, the same word that is found in Leviticus 23. This text teaches us that the moon was made on account of the heavenly meetings that HaShem has established from eternity in his plan of salvation through the Messiah. The moon was created to mark out when the times of these heavenly visitations among the people were to be held. This is one of the most important reasons for the moon’s existence, as it is written in Genesis 1:14-18,

“God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons (moadim), and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth,’ and it was so. God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth”(HNV revised)

One of the reasons that the sun, the moon, and the stars were created was in order to mark moadim, days, and years. These three heavenly bodies are needed to mark moadim, but the roll of the moon has preference over the sun and the stars because it also marks the beginning of each month. The sun marks the end and beginning of each new day. The cycle of a new day begins at sunset, as it is written in Genesis 1:5b,

“There was evening and there was morning, one day.”(HNV)

The sunset does not mark the exact point in time for the beginning of a new day. Only when the stars are visible, just after the sunset, does the new day begin. When there are two or three witnesses who can see stars with the naked eye, then the next day has begun. Thus there is a cooperation between the sun, the moon, and the stars to establish and stake out the times marked by HaShem.

The new moon marks the beginning of each month. Once the first day of each month has been established, then we know when the annual feasts, which are in the first and seventh month, are to be celebrated. These two months contain Pesach and Sukkot. Shavuot, which is celebrated during the third month, does not depend on the Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, but on the counting of the omer. Therefore there are only two new moons that are essential for the annual feasts, the new moon of the first month and the new moon of the seventh month.

“which you shall proclaim” – The authorities in Israel have the right to proclaim the exact point in time when these appointed feasts are to be celebrated. The points of reference that they have to go by are the signs in the heavens and the Torah. In order to determine the timing of these feasts there must be, therefore, cooperation between the signs in the heavens, the Torah, and the authorities of the people of Israel.

“sanctified convocations” – These meetings must be proclaimed as consecrated gatherings, in Hebrew mikraei kodesh. The root of the word mikra[7] is karah,[8] which means “call”. A mikra, therefore, is a calling together, an assembly, a gathering, a public meeting. This teaches us that it is important to gather, as a congregation, during all these meeting times that HaShem has appointed. Those who do not gather during these days, do not fulfill the commandment to have a mikra kodesh, a consecrated gathering. The word mikra also means “rehearsal”. These feasts, therefore, are rehearsals for something greater that is to come, as it is written in Luke 22:15-16,

“He said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Pesach with you before I suffer, for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.’”(HNV revised)

This teaches us that the Pesach offering is still waiting for its final fulfillment in the coming Kingdom.

In Colossians 2:17a, it is written,

“which are a shadow of the things to come”(HNV)

All these feasts that HaShem has established are prophetic pictures of what is going to happen in the future. Now, if these feasts are rehearsals for something greater that will be in the coming age, what will happen to those who did not want to take part in the rehearsals?

The word kodesh[9] means “consecration”, “sanctity”, “holiness”. This teaches us that these feasts do not open the door for sin and perversity, or give room for the yetzer ha-rah. However, they do open the door for us to live a life of consecration and dedication to the ministry of HaShem. These feasts are not dedicated to the idols of the heathen nations, but they are only for meeting with Israel’s God. Since these meetings are characterized by consecration, it is very important that we do not to combine them with traditions and rituals from pagan religions. We cannot profane them with foreign elements.

The Hebrew word, moed, which is found in the English word “meeting”, has to do with a time and a place. Therefore it is important to gather at the appointed time and in the appointed place. If two people make an appointment to meet at a certain time in a certain place, the anticipated meeting will only happen if both of them come to the right place at the time they had decided upon. If one of them thinks that it is not so important what day the meeting takes place, and comes a day later, then he will not have a meeting. Neither will he find the other person if he goes to the wrong place, even though he comes on the right day and at the right time.

HaShem made an appointment with his people at the tent of meeting, in Hebrew ohel moed, which is also translated as “the tabernacle”. This is the most important meeting place. The tabernacle was later replaced by the temple in Jerusalem. The temple in Jerusalem, is therefore, the place where one ought to meet on the days that HaShem has established on the Hebrew calendar.

23:3 “Six days shall work be done: but on the seventh day is a Shabbat of solemn rest (Shabbat shabbaton), a consecrated convocation; you shall do no manner of work. It is a Shabbat to HaShem in all your dwellings.”(HNV revised) – Israel’s God has made an appointment to meet with his people every weekly Shabbat in whatever place they dwell. If someone decides to have a consecrated gathering a day later, he will not have the same meeting with the God of Israel, since the appointment was made to be on the Shabbat and He is not going to change his Torah until heaven and earth pass away.

This text says that the Shabbat is the last day of the week. The first day of the week, which is called Sunday, is not part of the weekend, but it is the beginning of the following week. According to HaShem, the week ends with the Shabbat. During six days, man is allowed to intrude on creation, in Hebrew melachah, but the seventh day is called Shabbat shabbaton. There is only one more day of the year that has this name and it is Yom Kippur. This teaches us that the weekly Shabbat and the Day of Atonement are on the same level of consecration. Both are called Shabbat shabbaton, a Shabbat with total inactivity, see Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Leviticus 16:31; 23:3, 32.

Throughout the course of the annual feasts, there are seven additional Shabbats beyond the weekly Shabbats. One of these is Yom Ha-Kippurim. On that day, eating is not allowed. On the other festival Shabbats, lighting a fire in order to prepare food for that day is permitted, see Exodus 12:16. According to the remez level, the allegorical level of interpretation, we can then say that during the seven annual Shabbats of the feasts, a certain type of work is permitted during six of them, but on one of them one must abstain from work completely. The six annual festival Shabbats during which cooking is permitted are the first and seventh day of Chag Ha-Matzot, the day of Shavuot, Yom Teruah, and the first and eighth day of Sukkot. Thus, Yom Kippur becomes the Shabbat of the annual Shabbats when one may not do any type of work, melachah, not even preparing food. In its relationship to the other annual feasts, Yom Kippur corresponds with the weekly Shabbat and its relationship to the other days of the week.

23:4 “These are the set feasts of HaShem, even consecrated convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed season.”(HNV revised) – The children of Israel have been given the responsibility of proclaiming these annual feasts on their respective days. The responsibility was placed on the Sanhedrin, which was the highest judicial authority.

Then all the children of Israel could celebrate the Feasts at the same time. Today, however, just about all Jews follow the calendar that was established by Hillel II, year 358.

The Festivals of Israel

The major feasts are those that were established by the Torah and are included in Leviticus 23. The minor feasts are those that have been added as results of important historic events for the Jewish people. Altogether there are eighth annual major feasts that are divided into two groups of four:

  1. Pesach, Passover – 14th of Nissan.

  2. Chag HaMatzot, the Feast of the Unleavened Bread – 15th-21st of Nissan.

  3. Omer Reshit, the first omer – the day after the Shabbat during Chag HaMatzot.

  4. Shavuot, Pentecost – fifty days after the first omer.

  5. Yom Teruah, the day of the shout, the day of the trumpet blast – 1st of Tishri.

  6. Yom HaKippurim, the Day of Atonement – 10th of Tishri.

  7. Chag HaSukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles – 15th-21st of Tishri.

  8. Shemini Atzeret, the festival convocation, confinement or summary of the eighth day – 22nd of Tishri.

23:10 “Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and tell them, ‘When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring the omer of the first fruits (reshit) of your harvest to the priest’”(HNV revised) – An omer is a unit that measures volume and it is approximately 2.5 liters. Here the Torah is calling the offering of the barley flour omer as well, the same as the unit of measurement. This omer is called the first, reshit, which is a reference to the Messiah Yeshua’s resurrection, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:20,

But now the Messiah has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruit of those who slept.” (MKJV revised)

23:11 “and he shall wave the omer before HaShem, to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Shabbat the priest shall wave it.”(HNV revised) – Talmud[10] teaches that this is talking about the Shabbat of the feast, in other words, the fifteenth of Nissan. The Sadducees taught that this was a talking about the first weekly Shabbat after the Pesach offering.

23:12 “On the day when you wave the omer, you shall offer a male lamb without blemish a year old for an ascension offering to HaShem.”(HNV revised) – This is a reference to the resurrection and exaltation of Yeshua.

23:14 “You shall eat neither bread, nor roasted grain, nor fresh grain, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God. This is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”(HNV revised) – This teaches us that Yeshua’s resurrection is the basis upon which others are able to partake of resurrection power, which is symbolized by the grain that comes up out of the earth, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:35-44,

“But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised?’ and, ‘With what kind of body do they come?’ You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies. That which you sow, you don’t sow the body that will be, but a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind. But God gives it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body.”(HNV)

23:15-16 “Seven Shabbatot shall be completed: You shall count from the next day after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering; even to the next day after the seventh Shabbat you shall number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to HaShem.”(HNV revised) – During the second temple period, there were two differing opinions about how the omer, the fifty days until Shavuot, was to be counted. The Pharisees had one opinion and the Sadducees another. The Pharisees interpreted the first word Shabbatot as “weeks”. The second word “Shabbat” was interpreted as a reference to the first additional Shabbat of the feast of unleavened bread, Chag HaMatzot, which falls on the fifteenth of Nissan every year, see Leviticus 23:6-7. The third “Shabbat” of this text was once again interpreted as “week”. Thus the pharisaical understanding of the text becomes:

“Seven weeks shall be completed: You shall count from the next day after the Shabbat (of the feast), from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering; even to the next day after the seventh week you shall number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to HaShem.”

So according to the Pharisaical tradition, the omer is counted from the sixteenth of Nissan every year. That means that Shavuot, Pentecost, falls on the sixth of Sivan every year. This interpretation is what governs traditional Judaism of today, which is a branch of pharisaical Judaism.

The Sadducees interpreted the text to mean that the first word, Shabbat, is referring to weekly Shabbat. The following Shabbat is also interpreted to mean weekly Shabbat, and then they claim that it is a reference to the first weekly Shabbat after the Pesach offering. This means that the first omer of barley flour would always be offered on the first day of a new week. The third word, Shabbat, is also translated to mean weekly Shabbat. That way Shavuot, Pentecost, always falls on the first day of the week. Both groups have strong arguments to speak for their opinions.

The Fifth Aliyah, 23:23-32

23:27 “However on the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippur: it shall be a consecrated convocation to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to HaShem.”(HNV revised) – This verse begins with the word “but” (or “however”), in Hebrew ach. Rashi says that it is to mark the difference between those who repent and those who don’t.

 It can also be interpreted as a contrast between Yom Kippur and the other feasts. None of the other feasts are for the purpose of atonement, which is what Yom Kippur is. There is joy during all the other feasts, but not on Yom Kippur. During all the other feasts, we eat, but not on Yom Kippur, and so on. Yom Kippur is a feast in its own class. That is why the expression “ach”, “but”, is used when this feasts is presented.

The Sixth Aliyah, 23:33-44

23:39 “So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of HaShem seven days: on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.”(HNV revised) – This verse also begins with an “ach”. Rashi says that this is because the extra offering, musaf, that was offered during the feast, was offered even if the feast fell on a Shabbat.

Another explanation could be that since verse 39 is in contrast with verses 37 and 38, which speak about the extra offerings that were presented during all the feasts, we can understand it to mean that Sukkot is something beyond the norm in relation to the other feasts. Verse 40 speaks about taking the arba minim, the four different types of plants, and rejoicing greatly before HaShem. Thus Sukkot becomes different and that is why the word “but” is in verse 39.

23:40 “You shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before HaShem your God seven days.”(HNV revised) – During Sukkot, there is a commandment to take four different kinds of plants and to rejoice before HaShem. The Torah does not identify these four. Therefore, tradition helps us to identify them. They are:

  • Etrog – a type of citron, a citrus fruit that looks like a large lemon.

  • Lulav – date palm.

  • Hadassah – myrtle.

  • Aravot – willow.

Now we will give a short summary of these eight feasts and look at them from five different angles.

  1. Historic

  2. Agricultural

  3. Social

  4. Prophetic, Messianic

  5. Personal

Pesach – the 14th day of the first month

  1. Historic – The firstborn’s salvation from death.

  2. Agricultural – Spring.

  3. Social – Everyone in Israel must partake of a lamb.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – The Messiah’s death.

  5. Personal – Forgiveness of sins and redemption from the second death.

Chag HaMatzot – the 15th-21st of the first month

  1. Historic – The Exodus out of Egypt, see Deuteronomy 16:3.

  2. Agricultural – None.

  3. Social – Everyone eats the same thing.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – Yeshua died without any sins of his own and was buried.

  5. Personal – Separation from sin.

Omer Reshit – the day after the Shabbat during Chag HaMatzot

  1. Historic – The entrance into the land, see Leviticus 23:10.

  2. Agricultural – The barley harvest.

  3. Social – Everyone counts the days to Shavout.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – The Messiah’s resurrection.

  5. Personal – New birth.

Shavuot – fifty days after the Omer Reshit

  1. Historic – The Torah was given on Sinai.

  2. Agricultural – The wheat harvest.

  3. Social – The people became one and received the Torah.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – The ministry of Malki-Tzedek is confirmed in heaven through the new outpouring of the Spirit.

  5. Personal – The infilling of and baptism in the Spirit of Sanctity. The Torah in the heart. Ability to serve in the ministry of Malki-Tzedek.

Yom Teruah – the first day of the seventh month

  1. Historic – The creation of Adam. (?)

  2. Agricultural – None.

  3. Social – Everyone must hear the shofar blasts.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – The Messiah returns in the air.

  5. Personal – The resurrection and transformation of the faithful. The catching up in the air. Judgment in the Messiah’s court.

Yom Kippur – the 10th day of the seventh month

  1. Historic – Moshe received forgiveness for the sin with the golden calf.

  2. Agricultural – None.

  3. Social – Everyone must fast.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – The Messiah puts his feet on the Mount of Olives. Evil is removed from the land. The Davidic thousand year reign begins.

  5. Personal – All of Israel will return to the land of Israel.

Sukkot – the 15th-21st of the seventh month

  1. Historic – The desert wanderings.

  2. Agricultural – The grain harvests of the summer and the fruit harvest has ended.

  3. Social – All must be glad and dwell in a sukkah.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – The wedding of the Lamb will be celebrated for a thousand years on the earth.

  5. Personal – Joy together with the Messiah and the inheritance in the Kingdom.

Shemini Atzeret – the 22nd day of the seventh month

  1. Historic – None.

  2. Agricultural – None.

  3. Social – None.

  4. Prophetic, Messianic – New heavens and a new earth during the eighth millennium. The new Jerusalem becomes the permanent dwelling place of the bride. The Torah is changed. Eternal righteousness is established.

  5. Personal – Enjoying oneself, either as bride, friend of the bride, or citizen of the kingdom in the new restored creation.

As we said earlier, these feasts reveal HaShem’s plan of redemption for the world through the Messiah Yeshua. The first four feasts are connected to the Messiah’s first coming, his saving death and resurrection, his exaltation and the outpouring of the Spirit. The last four feasts are connected to the Messiah’s second coming, his return to judge and cleanse his people and the earth from all sin, his thousand year reign, and then the eighth millennium with new heavens and a new earth.

In Colossians 2:16-17, it is written,

“Let no man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or Shabbat, which are a shadow of the things to come; (no one) but the body of the Messiah.”(HNV revised)

These verses do not say that we should not celebrate these things, but rather the opposite. They say that we should not allow anyone to judge us in the way that we keep them.

A shadow ought not to be rejected. The shadow is the education that is given from heaven in order to teach us to understand heavenly things. Without shadows a picture becomes flat. Shadows give depth to the picture. These shadows help us to have a deeper understanding of the true picture that is the redemptive work of the Messiah. Even though the true object might be with us, we still cannot remove the shadow. The only way to remove a shadow is to remove the object that projects the shadow. If we remove the shadows of what is to come, we run the risk of not reaching that which the shadows tell us about. The text says that these things are “a shadow of the things to come”. The Greek text does not say “things that were to come”. (Sadly some translations have translated this incorrectly.) These shadows are still pointing to something that is to come in the future. So, when we celebrate these feasts, we rehearse and prepare for what is coming.

Here are three possible interpretations of this text:

  • “Let no man therefore judge you” – with the meaning of accusing you for keeping and celebrating these things. So, as you keep these feasts, don’t let anyone accuse you for it.

  • Let no man therefore judge you” – with the meaning of making halachah, establishing how one ought to celebrate these feasts. If you, the righteous among the nations, are already keeping a certain tradition or certain ceremonies, don’t let others come and bring in different customs than the ones you are already keeping.

  • The Greek text has a grammatical connection between the first words of verse 16 and the last words of verse 17, so that it takes on this meaning, “Don’t let anyone judge you… except the body of the Messiah.” The text must then be understood this way, “let no stranger, who does not belong to the body of the Messiah, impute on you his halachah or minhag (tradition, custom) concerning kashrut, moadim, Rosh Chodesh, or Shabbat. All these things are shadows of that which is to come in the future when the Messiah comes back. Therefore only those who believe in the Messiah have the proper ability to discern how these things ought to be observed by the righteous among the nations.” Only leaders within the body of the Messiah have the authority to judge and establish rules for how the chosen among the nations ought to observe these things. So, Jewish halachah or tradition are no more than references to them, and they do not settle how they ought to live their lifestyle in the Torah and in the Messiah.

Let us celebrate these feasts, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 5:8,

“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the matzah of sincerity and truth.”(HNV)

The Seventh Aliyah, 24:1-23

24:22 “You shall have one kind of law, for the foreigner as well as the native-born: for I am HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – Not all the commandments in the Torah are for all the children of Israel and proselytes, but the same Torah applies to both groups. There is not one Torah for the native born Israelite and another for the convert.

Those who do not belong to Israel, the children of Noach, do not need to fulfill the Torah in the same way as an Israelite does, but only a number of the commandments in the Torah.

Those who have converted through the Mashiach, have received the status of being God’s children, the same status as a Jew who has been spiritually born again through the Mashiach Yeshua. In spite of this, there are commandments that apply to the native born Jew that do not apply to those who have converted through the Messiah. There is a lot of teaching about this in the letters that the Shaliach Paul wrote to the former Gentiles who had converted to the God of Israel through Yeshua HaMashiach.

24:23 “Moshe spoke to the children of Yisra'el; and they brought forth him who had cursed out of the camp, and stoned him with stones. The children of Yisra'el did as HaShem commanded Moshe.”(HNV revised) – Any execution by stoning was to be carried out in the following way: first the one condemned to death was thrown over the edge of a cliff so that he became unconscious and would not have to suffer. After that, stones were thrown on him. Then his body was hung up and before sunset it was taken down and buried.

This Parashah contains commandments number 263 – 325 of the 613 commandments.

  1. The prohibition for a regular kohen to become unclean through the dead, except through the members of his family as specified by the Torah, Leviticus 21:1.

  2. The command for a regular kohen to become unclean through the members of his family specified by the Torah, and for an Israelite to mourn for a close relative, Leviticus 21:3.

  3. The prohibition for a kohen who is unclean for a day to minister in the sanctuary until sunset, Leviticus 21:6.

  4. The prohibition for a kohen to marry a prohibited woman, Leviticus 21:7.

  5. The prohibition for a kohen to marry a disgraced woman, Leviticus 21:7.

  6. The prohibition for a kohen to marry a divorced woman, Leviticus 21:7.

  7. The command to set apart the descendants of Aharon, Leviticus 21:8.

  8. The prohibition for the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) to enter under the same roof as a dead person, Leviticus 21:11.

  9. The prohibition for the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) to become unclean for any dead person at all, Leviticus 21:11.

  10. The command for a Kohen Gadol (High Priest) to only take a virgin as a wife, Leviticus 21:13.

  11. The prohibition for a Kohen Gadol (High Priest) to marry a widow, Leviticus 21:14.

  12. The prohibition for a Kohen Gadol (High Priest) to have sexual relations with a widow, Leviticus 21:15.

  13. The prohibition for a kohen who has a physical imperfection to minister in the sanctuary, Leviticus 21:17.

  14. The prohibition for a kohen who has a temporary physical imperfection to minister in the sanctuary, Leviticus 21:21.

  15.  The prohibition for a kohen who has a physical imperfection to enter the temple, Leviticus 21:23.

  16. The prohibition for a kohen who is unclean to minister in the temple, Leviticus 22:2.

  17. The prohibition for a kohen who is unclean to eat of the consecrated food (terumah), Leviticus 22:4.

  18. The prohibition for anyone who is not a kohen to eat of the consecrated food (terumah), Leviticus 22:10.

  19.  The prohibition for a temporary or permanent slave of a kohen to eat of the consecrated food (terumah), Leviticus 22:10.

  20. The prohibition for an uncircumcised person to eat of the consecrated food (terumah), (this lacks a specific source; it is understood through kal vachomer).

  21. The prohibition for a disgraced woman to eat of the consecrated food, Leviticus 22:12.

  22. The prohibition of eating food before the consecrated part has been set aside (terumah) as well as the tithe (ma’aser), Leviticus 22:15.

  23. The prohibition to consecrate animals with a flaw to be sacrificed, Leviticus 22:20.

  24. The command for a sacrificial animal to be physically intact, Leviticus 22:21.

  25. The prohibition of hurting a consecrated animal, Leviticus 22:21.

  26. The prohibition of sprinkling blood on the altar from an animal that has a flaw, Leviticus 22:22.

  27. The prohibition of slaughtering for sacrifice an animal with a flaw, Leviticus 22:22.

  28. The prohibition of burning the emurim (the dedicated parts) of an animal that has a flaw, on the altar, Leviticus 22:22.

  29. The prohibition of castrating a living being, Leviticus 22:24.

  30. The prohibition of offering an injured animal that has been given by a Gentile, Leviticus 22:25.

  31. The command for an animal that is to be offered to be at least eight days old, Leviticus 22:27.

  32. The prohibition of slaughtering an animal and its young on the same day, Leviticus 22:28.

  33. The prohibition of profaning the Name, Leviticus 22:32.

  34. The command to consecrate the Name, Leviticus 22:32.

  35. The command to rest on the first day of the feast of Pesach, Leviticus 23:7.

  36. The prohibition of carrying out work during the first day of the feast of Pesach, Leviticus 23:7.

  37. The command to present an offering during the seven days of the feast of Pesach, Leviticus 23:8.

  38. The command to rest on the seventh day of the feast of Pesach, Leviticus 23:8.

  39. The prohibition of carrying out work on the seventh day of the feast of Pesach, Leviticus 23:8.

  40. The command to present an omer offering on the second day of the feast of Pesach, Leviticus 23:10-11.

  41. The prohibition of eating bread from the new harvest before the sixteenth of Nissan, Leviticus 23:14.

  42. The prohibition of eating roasted ears of grain (kali) from the new harvest before the sixteenth of Nissan, Leviticus 23:14.

  43. The prohibition of eating large ears of grain (carmel) before the sixteenth of Nissan is over, Leviticus 23:14.

  44. The command to count the omer, Leviticus 23:15.

  45. The command to present an offering of the new wheat on Shavuot, Leviticus 23:16.

  46. The command to rest on Shavuot, Leviticus 23:21.

  47. The prohibition of carrying out work on Shavuot, Leviticus 23:15-16.

  48. The command to rest on Yom Teruah, Leviticus 23:24.

  49. The prohibition of carrying out work on Yom Teruah, Leviticus 23:24-25.

  50. The command to present the Musaf offering on Yom Teruah, Leviticus 23:24-25.

  51. The command to fast on the tenth of Tishri, Leviticus 23:27.

  52. The command to present the Musaf offering on the tenth of Tishri, Leviticus 23:27.

  53. The prohibition of carrying out work on the tenth of Tishri, Leviticus 23:27.

  54. The prohibition of eating and drinking on the tenth of Tishri, Leviticus 23:29.

  55. The command to rest on the tenth of Tishri, Leviticus 23:32.

  56. The command to rest on the first day of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:35.

  57. The prohibition of carrying out work on the first day of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:34-35.

  58. The command to present the Musaf offering every day of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:36.

  59. The command to rest on the eighth day of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:36.

  60. The command to present the Musaf offering on the eighth day of Sukkot (Shemini Atzeret), Leviticus 23:36.

  61. The prohibition of carrying out any work on the eighth day of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:36.

  62. The command to take a lulav (a branch from a date palm) the first day of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:40.

  63. The command to live in a sukkah (hut) during the seven days of Sukkot, Leviticus 23:42.

[1]     Strong H5315 nephesh, neh'-fesh, From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental): - any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead (-ly), desire, X [dis-] contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortality, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.

[2]     Bereshit Rabbah 85:10; Targum Yonatán Bereshit 38:10; Sefer HaYashar.

[3]     Vayikrá Rabbah 26:8.

[4]     Biur HaMikdash 8:17.

[5]     Sanhedrin 74b.

[6]     Strong H4150 mô‛êd mô‛êd mô‛âdâh, mo-ade', mo-ade', mo-aw-daw', From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): - appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).

Strong H3259 yâ‛ad, yaw-ad', A primitive root; to fix upon (by agreement or appointment); by implication to meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage): - agree, (make an) appoint (-ment, a time), assemble (selves), betroth, gather (selves, together), meet (together), set (a time).

[7]     Strong H4744 miqra, mik-raw', From H7121; something called out, that is, a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the palce); also a rehearsal: - assembly, calling, convocation, reading.

[8]     Strong H7121 qârâ', kaw-raw', A primitive root (rather identical with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met); to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications): - bewray [self], that are bidden, call (for, forth, self, upon), cry (unto), (be) famous, guest, invite, mention, (give) name, preach, (make) proclaim (-ation), pronounce, publish, read, renowned, say.

[9]     Strong H6944 qôdesh, ko'-desh, From H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: - consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.

[10]    Menachot 66a.

[11]    Menachot 65.