It is interesting to notice how the Lord prepares us for the portion which we are about to read. There have been countless times I have been face to face with a situation or in a conversation that got the wheels moving and next thing I know it happens to be the very subject discussed in the parsha.
Last Shabbat, the rabbi of our synagogue made his rounds to saying hello before starting the service. We were the last ones he talked with before the music started. We talked about the current week's parsha, and I was discussing with him what I wrote last week in a blog about the fire sacrifices and the word ishah (female of ish, wife) being used, to then give Paul what he was talking about when he said the bride is to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Elohim as our reasonable service. It was right in the parsha. This got him to explain to us how we are fire and YHWH is an all-consuming fire. We are made to be little ambassadors, little fires, of our Creator. He went further in what happens when male and female, ish and ishah don't control their fires and they consume each other and the result is divorce with the only ashes left over. We connected the dots in conversation with him about YHWH, the all-consuming fire, being in the burning bush but not consuming it. It the example of the frail body of the human and the fire of YHWH within him. The containment is to God's glory. Of this was then brought up the subject of spontaneous combustion, which he mentioned was simply someone breaking out of their flesh. Then right as the music started, as he walked away, he mentioned, "You know Adam was able to transfigure in the garden...." No I didnt, but the conversation would have to continue to another time.
Or I should say the conversation prepared me for this week's Torah parsha, which we just began the day after. The conversation was about the skin and the flesh, man and his wife, and here we are reading about disease of the skin and flesh. How does this relate to a man and wife? So glad you asked!
Those specific man and wife, male and female, wheels got turning with a phone call from my imprisoned brother earlier this week. He asked, "Why does chapter 13 go back and forth with he and she?" Huh? I didn't know what he was talking about. He told me the pronouns are not consistent in the chapter. One second it using a pronoun that means he and the next it is using she. I had to read this for myself.
I was tickled to see that he was correct. He is referring to the Hebrew #1931, the male of which is הוּא, and the female version being הִיא. The male is written with a vav and the female with a yod. I do understand that in the Torah the male version is often not gender-specific, and the version with the yod makes more distinction of female outside of the Torah. However, the Torah is using this change within the text and I, just like my brohter, have to wonder.
Considering that leprosy is a matter for the priest to determine, and that sacrifices were done after cleansing, then we know that leprosy was a matter of sin. It was the breaking out of sin in one's flesh. With my mind on the conversation of last Shabbat, like combustion is the breaking out of the fire in one's flesh, so leprosy was the breaking out of sin in one's flesh.
O that conversation of last week, ish and ishah...perhaps my mind would not have gone back in to Genesis when reading this week's portion if we hadn't so freshly discussed ish and ishah with the rabbi. I went back to when sin first entered in and was clearly seen on flesh, as Adam and Eve knew they were naked. They saw their sin in their flesh. Talk about connection. I went to the consequences of it and what the Creator said about it. It is interesting to note that when talking to Eve in that passage, He called her "ishah" (Genesis 3:16), wherein He says that ishah will desire her ish (He uses ish here and not Adam) and her ish will rule over her. Mind you, before we go claiming this is the will of God, we need to remember these words are the curse of sin.
This language is also repeated very soon afterward in their offspring. It is to Cain in Genesis 4:7 that YHWH says to Cain that sin's desire is to him but he should rule over it. Same language, just remove "ish" and "ishah" and put in "sin" and "Cain". What in the world is He saying? He is saying that sin is a man's wife, or this man (Cain's) wife. Truly, it is as Paul tries to explain to us in Romans 6 that a man has 2 masters to choose from, sin or God. He will either marry sin or he will marry God. The man of the flesh will marry sin and the spiritual man will marry God. So when we fast forward to Leviticus 13 and we see the language of "he" and "she" as it pertains to a man whose sin has made its way forth into his flesh, we see a picture here of male and female, and therefore a conclusion that the leprous man is one who is not actively in marital relations with God, but rather married to sin.
As was said earlier, it is believed that their skin wasn't originally so. Of course it wasn't because clearly we can see that their skin (ayin, resh, mem) was a result of being the likeness of the serpent. So what was it before? We can only really speculate, by connecting dots with the rest of the Scriptures. However, it is said the midrash that their skin was originally "or"...yet, a different or and not like the or used to describe the garments of flesh YHWH used to clothe them after sin. This "or" is not ayin, vav, resh, but rather aleph, vav, resh -- aleph representing the Father, of whose likeness they were originally created. To add to this, this sort of "or" (aleph, vav, resh) means light. So their skin was light. Hence, they were able to transfigure. I guess this is why Moses' skin was shining brightly after being in the presence of YHWH and why he was present during the transfiguration of Yeshua.
Have you ever studied so much and saw so much revealed in the Scriptures that you almost had to ask God to back off a bit? Like you would explode if you received any more insight. It is said that on that glorious day when we will see Him face to face we will have had new bodies. This old one would combust. This flesh could not contain the fire within it, once this fire is joined to its originator. I get it. Or at least I'm starting to.
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