“Elohim is for us refuge and strength, a very accessible help in distress, so we shall not be afraid at earth’s transformation, and at mountains collapse in the heart of the sea.” Psalms 46:1-3
In the midst of a world which has gone utterly mad and has embraced every form of rebellion and wickedness imaginable, Baruch HaShem! He has made a way for us to make teshuvah (Repentance) and to return to Him! The Hebrew word ‘Teshuvah’ means just that…to return to HaShem and His Torah i.e. the biblical definition of repentance.
One of the functions of the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem other than to facilitate approaching and drawing near to HaShem, is to teach us very important lessons and concepts with which we are to apply to our every day lives as it pertains to kedusha (Holiness). HaShem commissioned the Kohanim (Priests) who officiated the daily Temple Services to teach Israel (HaShem’s people comprised of everyone who has chosen to follow Him) the difference between the kadosh (Holy) and the profane! Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:8-11 says “HaShem spoke to Aaron saying: ‘Do not drink intoxicating wine, you and your sons with you, when you come to the Tent of Meeting, that you not die, this is an eternal decree for your generations. In order to distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the contaminated and the pure, and to teach the Children of Israel all the decrees that HaShem had spoken to them through Moshe.'”
Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 44:23 says “They (Kohanim/Priests) are to instruct My people concerning the differences between holy and profane and ordinary. Let them inform them of the difference between contaminated and clean.” The best definition of what kedusha is, is encapsulated in the following statement from my teacher Joseph Good who explained it by the following: “The time, space and objects that are limited to us through the agency of kedusha (Holiness) are signs that as HaShem’s covenantal partners, we must relinquish some control in every sphere of our existence and reserve those elements for His service!”
This means that yes we are to know what He considers to be kadosh (Holy) and what will contaminate us both physically and ritually and yes this includes knowing what foods are clean and what are not. We have to remember that when approaching HaShem the closer one draws to Him, the higher the level of kedusha is required!
Tractate Keilim from the Mishnah explains this very well when it says in 1:6 “There are TEN levels of holiness: #10 – Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) is holier than all other lands. And what constitutes its holiness? That we bring from it the omer (Grain from the new crop may not be eaten until the omer has been brought to the Altar in the Temple on the second day of Pesach per Lev 2:14-16), bikkurim (Offering of the first new fruits to ripen as the Torah commands the first ripe produce of the seven species for which Eretz Yisrael is famed must be brought to the Temple and given to the Kohanim per Deut 26:1-15), and the two loaves (On Shavuot a special offering was brought in the Temple. These were made of flour from the year’s new crop of wheat per Lev 23:16-17).”
“#9 – Walled cities are holier than Eretz Yisrael, in that metzoraim (One who has contracted leprosy) are sent out of them, and a corpse may be carried about within these cities until they desire, but once it is taken out, it may not be brought back.”
“#8 – Within the walls is holier than walled cities in that we may eat kodashim kalim (Offerings of lesser holiness) and maaser sheni (Second tithes per Deut 12:6) there.”
“#7 – The Temple Mount is holier than within walled cities in that zavim, zavos, niddos and women who have given birth (These are all issues concerning the shedding of blood) are not permitted to enter there.” They are forbidden from entering the Temple Mount again because of the level of kedusha required, however, they can enter after they have completed the purification process HaShem states in His Torah to include bringing the appropriate animal and grain offerings, immersing in a mikveh, etc.
“#6 – The Cheil (An area directly adjacent to the Temple and its courtyards. It extended outward ten amos from the Temple walls and was surrounded by the Soreg i.e. a wooden latticework fence ten handbreadths high), in that non-Jews and people contaminated with corpse impurity are not permitted to enter there.”
“#5 – The Women’s Courtyard is holier than the Cheil in that a tevul yom (Someone who has gone through the purification process required by HaShem but must wait until sundown for it to be complete) is not permitted to enter there, but they are not obligated to bring a chatat (Sin) offering for entering it.”
“#4 – The Israelite’s Courtyard is holier than the Women’s Courtyard in that a mechussar kippurim (Someone who has undergone the purification process but has yet to bring the required animal korbonot), is not permitted to enter there, and they are obligated to bring a chatat (Sin) offering for entering it.”
“#3 – The Kohanim’s Courtyard is holier than the Israelite’s Courtyard in that Israelites are not permitted to enter there except when they are needed, for leaning, for slaughtering and for waving.”
“#2 – Between the Ulam and the Altar is holier than the Kohanim’s Courtyard in that Kohanim with blemishes or untrimmed hair may not enter there.”
“#1 – The Heichal (Holy Place where the Showbread sits and the Golden Altar of Incense sits before the Perochat i.e. one of the four veils) is holier than between the Ulam and the Altar in that one whose hands and feet are unwashed may not enter there. Those with blemishes or whose who have drunk wine or with unwashed hands and feet may not enter.”
“Most Holy Place is holier than all of them in that NO one may enter there except the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) on Yom Kippur at the time of the service.”
With these ten areas describing the concept of kedusha as in being set apart for use and service unto HaShem, grows ever greater the closer one approaches the Most Holy Place! How many times do we read where Yeshua barged into the Most Holy Place in the Temple? Not one time!! How many times do we see where Yeshua went into areas of the Temple He was not allowed too? Not one time! Point is even He knew He had zero authority to do so and respected what HaShem had established!
With this said, let me reiterate Moshe = Torah is the means with which to serve HaShem and the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem is the fullest display of His Torah in action! Drawing near to HaShem i.e. bringing korbonot (Offerings) is the means to make restitution to HaShem when failing Him as well as to thank Him for His abundant mercy, compassion, grace and forgiveness when it is so completely undeserved!
Keep this all mind as we proceed but first always remember the following:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is eternal per Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
The concept of making oneself ready is an interesting study in itself, but we see this concept on display in the Temple of HaShem and I will explain.
From Tractate Tamid in the Mishnah it says in 1.3 “Whoever wanted to pick up from the altar got up early and immersed himself BEFORE the official arrived. And at what time did the official come? Not all occasions were the same; sometimes he came at cock’s crow, or thereabouts, earlier or later. The official came and knocked for them, and they opened for him. He said to them: ‘Whoever has immersed himself should come and draw lots.’ They drew lots; whoever won, won.”
What does this all mean? One of the most sought after duties the Kohanim wanted each day in the Temple was the picking up of the ashes from the previous days offerings from the Altar for they represented the forgiven sins and mercies of HaShem! So each day, the Kohanim who wanted to potential be selected by HaShem to perform those duties would get up extra early and prepare themselves by going to the mikveh for the ritual immersion and to put on their garments to make themselves ready because they did not know when the official would arrive…hint…hint…hint.
What is the reference to the Cock’s Crow above because Yeshua also refers to the Cock’s Crow when addressing Kepha (Peter) when denying Yeshua three times? Despite what Christendom has taught with regards to a literal chicken crowing, the ‘Cock’s Crow’ was an idiom to mean the ‘Gevini’ or ‘The man/announcer who called out just before dawn ‘Rise up Kohanim for the avodah (Service)!'” This person would stand at the highest point in the Temple and cry out!
Tractate Shekalim 5:1 describes the Gevini further “Givini was responsible for announcing each morning: ‘Kohanim arise to your service and levi’im to your stands and Israel to your place!’ and on hearing his voice they would arise and come, each to his own task.”
So again, these Kohanim sleeping at night in Beit HaMoked, if they wanted to make themselves ready, had to get up early, immerse in the mikveh, put on their garments and then eagerly await the arrival of the official who would open the door. Sometimes the official showed up before the Givini cried out and other times the official would come after, the Kohanim just didn’t know and had to be ready nonetheless. Can you see the concept I believe HaShem is trying to drive home for each of us?
Each of us has to decide to make ourselves ready or not and that will require each of us to study, learn, apply what we are learning to our lives and then actually do what He is teaching us and in doing so we will learn the differences between the holy and the profane and learn to separate ourselves from the things that contaminate us in this life. How much more important is this concept today in the current world we live in with all the utter depravity that is consuming our society? If we are going to survive what’s coming, this is the only way we will be able to do so.
Now, let me clarify…am I saying we need to literally get up, go immerse and await the Givini to cry out? No, as that is not possible as there is no Temple in Jerusalem today…I am simply applying the concepts and seeing what HaShem is trying to teach us from them.
One final thought – There is a very interesting prophecy HaShem gives in Zechariah 8:23 in which He says “Thus said HaShem, Master of Legions: In those days (The very end of days) it will happen that ten men of all the different languages of the nations (Non-Jews) will take hold, they will take hold of the corner of the garments (Tallit) of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that HaShem is with you!'” How many times is this happening today? How many people has HaShem called who are leaving the systems of religion and running to Jewish rabbis and saying “Teach us, for now we know HaShem is with you and He was not in the systems of religion we came from!” It is happening more and more each and every day! It is literal prophecy coming to pass right before our very eyes! Baruch HaShem!
Much to consider in these troubled and very dark times we live in, but Yeshua did tell us that when we BEGIN to see these things come to pass, then to look up, lift up our heads and rejoice, for our redemption is at hand! May it be so VERY, VERY soon in our days!
- Tractate Yoma Kehati Mishnah
- Tractate Keilim Artscroll Mishnah
- Tractate Shekalim Kehati Mishnah
- The Stone Chumash by Artscroll
- The Twelve Prophets Vol II by Artscroll