The Torah portion that will be read on this coming Sabbath, 2 of July, consists of Numbers 13:1 – 15:41. This portion of the Torah is referred to as Sh’lach…
and the haftarah is from Joshua 2:1 – 24.
What I would like to focus on this morning, even if only a very brief manner, are verses 22 through 26 of the 15th chapter in the book of Numbers.
Beginning with 15:22 it says, “When you shall err, and not observe all these commandments, which Mar-Yah has spoken to Mosha, even all that Mar-Yah has commanded you by Mosha, from the day that Mar-Yah gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations; then it shall be, if it be done unwittingly, without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, for a pleasant aroma to Mar-Yah, with the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering.
The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the B’nai Yisra’el, and they shall be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire to Mar-Yah, and their sin offering before Mar-Yah, for their error: and all the congregation of the B’nai Yisrael shall be forgiven, and the stranger who lives as a foreigner among them; for in respect of all the people it was done unwittingly.”
This section of passages in our Torah reading is dealing with the sin of idolatry and uncleanness of the community. Because one person transgressed the Holy Torah, it made the entire congregation or community, unclean. When idolatry is practised, whether this is through the creation of an idol by one’s hands or through one’s own mind, it is equated to sinning against the entire Torah – one therefore becomes guilty of transgressing all of the Mitzvot of YHWH Eloheinu.
In turn, the entire congregation has become unclean. We also equate apostasy with idolatry. If one walks away from the pure worship of El Shaddai, they have chosen to worship something else, even if they do not outright state that they are worshipping another deity.
When apostasy and division occurs within the congregation of Elohim, it causes an unclean spirit to develop and to reside within the congregation and upon the people. Reparation must take place in its various forms, but especially by offering prayer and making repentance.
This is where the grace of the offering of Yeshua ha’Mashiach comes in. Without it… today, humanity would be lost to the darkness and enveloped by sin that each individual commits.
Because humans are not perfect, they must have a sin offering, and thanks be to Abba d’Rabbuta – the Father of Greatness, we have that sin offering in Maran Yeshua. It cleanses the individual and makes it possible to draw closer to YHWH and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Amein.