Shmini - Eighth
Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:1 - 11:47
Mark R. Ensign, Adot Adonai, Amarillo, Texas
Introductory questions -- Brief answers, not for extended discussion:
1. At what point in history does this parsha unfold?
2. Where does this parsha take place geographically? What are the setting and environment?
3. Who are the primary actors in the parsha and what role or roles does each play? What is the significance of each role? Who are the secondary actors and what roles do they play? What is the significance of their roles?
4. What is the overall theme of this parsha? What are the subdivisions, if any?
Parsha Specific Questions -- for extended discussion:
What was the eighth day that begins this parsha? Who were summoned by Moshe and for what purpose? List the animals that were to be sacrificed in their order and the purpose of each. What did Moshe say would be the result if those involved were obedient to these instructions? Who did Moshe specify to perform these offerings? On whose behalf were the first two offerings offered? What important principle was taught by this requirement? Into what portions was the chatat bull offering divided and how was it distributed and disposed of? Into what portions was the olah ram offering divided and how was it distributed and disposed of?
On whose behalf were the remaining offerings offered? In addition to the chatat and the olah offerings, what three sacrifices were offered on behalf of the people? Following the offerings of the sacrifices, what did Aharon do? Where did he and Moshe go and what did they do following that? Then what happened? How did YHVH demonstrate his presence and what was the reaction of the people?
Who were the two sons of Aharon who acted inappropriately and what did they do? What did YHVH do? What did Moshe say to Aharon and what was his response? Who did Moshe summon to dispose of the bodies and where were they taken? What counsel did Moshe give to Aharon and his sons regarding their grief? What instruction did YHVH give to Aharon and for what purposes?
What great lesson is taught by these events? What is the standard of truth against which all our actions are to be tested? What three types of fire were present that day? Where does the judgment of YHVH begin and why?
What did Moshe tell Aharon and his remaining sons to do with the portions of the offerings that were designated for them? What portions are listed here as belonging to the kohanim? What did the two remaining sons of Aharon do that calls to Moshe to be upset? What did he say to them? How did Aharon come to their defense and what was Moshe's response?
What are the requirements of YHVH that animals must meet before they can be considered kosher and eaten? What examples are given of animals that do not meet these requirements and why do they fail?
What are the requirements of YHVH that the creatures of the sea must meet before they can be considered kosher and eaten? What term is used for those that do not meet these requirements? What does this tell you about YHVH's intention regarding these instructions?
What common characteristic do the birds that are forbidden to be eaten share? So what characteristic do kosher birds have in common? What is the general rule regarding insects being kosher or not? What are the requirements of YHVH that the insects must meet before they can be considered kosher and eaten?
What large animals caused one who touched the carcass or carried it to be unclean? For how long would one be unclean? What distinction was made between one who merely touched the carcass and one who carried it and what difference was there in the process of removing such contamination? What small teeming animals caused contamination by contact with their carcass? What physical objects also would become contaminated and require cleansing by contact with the carcass.
In what three ways could a kosher animal cause contamination? For how long would the person be contaminated and how would they be cleansed?
Could contact with an insect or its carcass cause contamination? What contact with an insect would be considered an abomination to YHVH?
Why did YHVH give instructions regarding the things that are kosher and the abominable and the contamination? What standard of holiness did he set as an example?
How can Torah observant believers understand the statements of Y'shua in Mark 7? Did he do away with the Kashrut (kosher) instructions? How can Torah observant believers understand the story of Kefa (Peter) and the vision of the unclean animals in Acts 10? Did it do away with the Kashrut instructions? What was the real message of this incident? What understanding do you have from the Galatians 2 passage regarding Kashrut? What is the bottom line in the Brit Chadashah regarding Kashrut observance and what choices are offered?
Closing Questions: For Personal Introspection
Why do you believe our loving Father provided us with this particular portion of his words? What was his purpose and objective in preserving this portion of the Scriptures to this day? What benefit do they have for Torah observant believers today?
What other insights has the Ruach HaKodesh given you in your study of this portion that you would like to share with the group?
What questions from this portion have you had that have not been answered by the study?
What impact do you think the study of the words from your Father in this portion will have on your life? How do you plan to implement his instructions in this parsha in your life?
Silently pray for the Ruach HaKodesh to implant his words like seeds, to nurture their growth in your heart, and to enable you to respond fully as they do.