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Affirming the Light


Torah Portion: Parashat Tzav ("Command")

Shabbat: April 1, 2023 Nisan 10, 5783

Torah: Lev. 6:8-8:36

Prophets: Malachi 4:-24

New Covenant: Heb. 7:23-8:6 Heb. 9:11-28


The Our Father

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.

Matthew 6:9-14


From our Torah for this week (i.e., Tzav) we read: "The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be extinguished" (Lev. 6:12). The sages say do not read "burning on it" but rather "burning in him" (בּוֹ), referring to the heart of the priest. And where the text says "it (i.e., the fire) shall not be extinguished" (לא תכבה), read instead "extinguish (תִכְבֶּה) the negative (לא)" by trusting in God's promise for our good, despite any temporary setbacks or apparent failures. The Holy Spirit imparts the fire of faith that fills our hearts with hope (רוח נכון), affirming with "tongues of fire" words of life and light that vanquish darkness. As it is written: "Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious, full of compassion, and righteous" (Psalm 112:4).

Spiritually speaking, the first step is to find hope... The Divine Light is seen by means of the eye of faith (עין האמונה), and therefore we find strength by trusting in God's Presence, even though we cannot presently see Him (2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7). "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Know Him in all your ways, and He will straighten your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil" (Prov. 3:5-7). Wait on the LORD and He will strengthen your heart....

We must keep courage, remain steady as we fight the good fight of faith. As it is written, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men attack me to devour my flesh, when my adversaries and enemies attack me, they totter and fall. Even if an army is deployed against me, I do not fear; even if war is rises against me, I remain full of trust" (Psalm 27:1-3).

The Midrash says, "The Holy One Himself, as it were, made light for the upright. Thus it says, "The LORD is my light and my salvation" (Psalm 27:1) and "When I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me" (Micah 7:8). While I sit in darkness in this world, during these latter days before the promised return of Yeshua, when troubles may afflict me and lawlessness may abound – then God's light will shine brighter still, for the LORD is gracious to all who put their hope in Him, and this favor and love will be manifest for me.

Let us affirm our confidence: The darkness of this world forever is swept back before the overmastering radiance and power of Yeshua, the King of Glory, the Root and Descendant of David, and the Bright Morning Star (Rev. 22:16). Those who believe in Him are given the "light of life" that overcomes the darkness of this world (John 8:12).

May God renew a "right spirit" (רוח נכון), ruach nachon, within us (Psalm 51:10). Amen.

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