Posted by: Heather | March 22, 2012

Vayikra – The Call

The angels call one to another “Holy, holy, holy!” with the same kind of call [vayikra] that God calls to Moses at the beginning of Leviticus.

According to some rabbis’ (yes, I mean more than one) teachings, the angels don’t call to one another to get each other’s attention. Rather, they call to one another so that they can be in one accord, in unity, lifting up the Lord together in fellowship and harmony with one another.

By extension then, some say that when God calls Moses at the beginning of Leviticus, he is calling him to unity, calling him into affectionate fellowship.

Upon reflection, I have to say I like that. It fits with my experience. God first loves us, calls us into a relationship with him. Only after that does he speak with us. It begins with his love. We close the loop by listening and responding with obedience born out of our love for him. From love to love.

Once upon a time, I said I hoped Leviticus would be my favorite book one day. This year, I have been looking forward to it in the Torah reading cycle, and I find it hard to contain my joy at finally being back in it. I can’t say it is my favorite yet, but each year it gets sweeter and more exciting.  

If God is love and Leviticus is the heart of the Torah, then Leviticus must be about love. I am convinced that the more I understand about Leviticus, the more I will understand about everything else. So to begin another journey through Leviticus, the only suitable companion verses that come to mind are these from Song of Solomon:

A garden locked is my sister, my bride,a spring locked, a fountain sealed. Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all choice spices—a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.

Happy reading through this secret garden of delight! May you find many treasures.  

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Responses

  1. I’ve always found Leviticus to be dry but that started to change last year. Rico Cortes sparked my interest in the temple service and for the first time, I was actually enjoying reading it! I don’t know if you know about this but you might enjoy this book online called The Temple by Alfred Edersheim. http://philologos.org/__eb-ttms/
    It’s free.

    I haven’t read all of it yet but there’s some very interesting stuff in it. Pay attention to the women’s court and the trumpets- very good.

  2. OOh, forgot to mention. Some things in Revelation cannot be understood unless we understand the temple service. I won’t give it away but look out for the 24 elders and the 144,000. (it’s in the book link above)

  3. Thank you for the link, Carol! I haven’t heard of the Eldersheim book, but I’m definitely interested in learning more about the temple. I look forward to checking it out!


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