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Parsha Shemini (שְּׁמִינִי) “Eighth”
Torah portion: Vayikra/Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haphtarah (concluding portion): 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17
Brit Chadasha (New Testament): Hebrews 7:1-19
Did you know: Shemini is the third parsha [portion] of sefer [the book of] Vayikra Leviticus]?
FREE: Take time to download our FREE coloring book “Clean and Unclean” by Jennifer Larson. This cute coloring book outlines the divisions of clean and unclean for children in a fun and meaningful way.
Science: Lots of times folks like to point out to us that the meat [clean] we consume is (in their opinion) no better than the flesh [unclean] they consume. They like to tell us that their “meat” and our meat all start with animals that eat weird things. They might even go so far as to proclaim that if pigs are fed a grass and grain diet, they are better for you than chicken! Chickens can eat disgusting things. We have chickens here as well as dogs. We live on a farm and are surrounded by farm land. There aren’t any neighbors in sight. Many hunters utilize the land surrounding ours for hunting deer and other animals in season. They usually “gut” the game and leave the entrails somewhere within the boundaries of the land that our dogs seem to enjoy hanging out. The dogs then bring the entrails into our yard and if we don’t remove them quickly, the chickens will eat the nasty stinky parts along with the dogs. We’ve seen our chickens eat each other’s eggs, peck each other’s eyes, pick through animal dung for bugs… all nasty stuff. The difference is, however, not in what they consume but how YHVH made their inner parts. For science this week we will watch a video about the The Science of Eating Kosher.
Tradition Study: There is a belief among some followers of the Torah that mixing meat and dairy is not allowed in the Torah. This means no cheeseburgers, no beef stroganoff, and no frosted mini-wheats (the kind made with beef gelatin). Where does this come from? Well, we read in the Torah not to “boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” For the sake of trying to make sure that you are never boiling a kid in its mother’s milk, they refrain from ever mixing meat and dairy. Our family does not follow this. We believe that the boiling of the kid in its mother’s milk is specific to just that.
Bible: Did you know that the word “kosher” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible in any language? The word for “clean” is not “kosher” but is tahowr. You can read more about “kosher” by reading our web-teaching. Another interesting fact is that the laws for determining if an animal is clean or unclean doesn’t appear first in this week’s parsha. We see it over and over again in the Torah prior to this week’s reading. For example, Adam and Chavvah’s [Eve’s] sons Cain and Able brought a sacrifice to YHVH. How did they even know to offer sacrifices? Able brought a ‘kosher’ animal as his sacrifice. Still not convinced? How did Noah know which animals were clean and which were not? There were two of every unclean and seven (or seven pairs depending on your interpretation of the text) of every clean animal on the ark. The distinction was made long before Levitius 11. So why reiterate it all of a sudden to the masses? The Torah tells us that Israelites left Egypt. But did you know that it also says that other nations left Egypt with Israel? There was a mixed multitude before the mountain. In order for everyone to know that there was only one law for the natural born Israelite and those who are adjoined to them (grafted in, adopted, sojourners, companions), YHVH in His mercy and wisdom spoke the Torah from Mount Sinai in every tongue so that everyone present could hear His instructions. This was the same Torah he discussed with Adam in the garden in their daily talks. This was the same Torah that Noah learned and lived out, and the same Torah he showed Abraham in the stories of the constellations that led Abraham to know of YHVH’s plan to redeem His people with a sacrifice of a miraculously conceived son. So, what does Kosher really mean to us today? We are instructed to keep the laws of clean and unclean not just in our diets but in our relationships, our dealings with those around us, and in the way we resent our bodies to YHVH in worship. YHVH tells us to “be holy as I am holy.” So, when you choose not to eat pepperoni pizza or wash your hands after using the bathroom, you are working toward being holy as YHVH is holy.
Restoring the Way Materials:
MessiShul Parsha Lapbook Curriculum: Vayikra
Preschool Adventure Series homeschool curriculum
Messianic Weekly (Kids) Volume 1: Vayikra
Messianic Weekly (Kids) Volume 2 [subscription $1.99/wk] Messianic Weekly (Teens) Volume 1: Vayikra
Messianic Weekly (Teens) Volume 2 [subscription $1.99/wk] Parsha for Preschool Volume 1
Parsha for Preschool Volume 2 [subscription $1.99/wk] Hebrew Handwriting Primer
Hebrew Handwriting With the Parsha Names
Noah’s Noodles Parsha Cookbook for Kids