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A Dvar Torah for Bereshit

Our Dvar Torah: You Will Be To Me A Kingdom Of Priests.
A Dvar Torah for Shavuot
By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov © May 25, 2023
HaShem declared at:
Exodus 19:5,6: If you obey Me faithfully and keep My Covenant, you will be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation to Me.' You are to speak these words to the children of Israel."

There is only One God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer of all things (Deuteronomy 32:39).
All human beings are His children (Genesis 1:27).

Proverbs 8:17: All who love Me, I love, And those who seek Me will find Me.

Do we agree so far? This is what Tanach teaches.

HaShem established the Eternal Priesthood because of His Love for all who seek Him. While this seems self-evident to me, many do not agree. But consider:

Isaiah 61:1-6: The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because Adonai has anointed me;
He has sent me as a herald of joy to the humble
To bind up the wounded of heart,
To proclaim release to the captives,
Liberation to the imprisoned;
To proclaim a year of the Adonai's favor
And a day of vindication by our God;
To comfort all who mourn—
To provide for the mourners in Zion—
To give them a turban instead of ashes,
The festive ointment, instead of mourning,
A garment of splendor instead of a drooping spirit.
They will be called terebinths (trees) of victory.
Planted by Adonai for His glory.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
and raise the desolations of old.
They will renew the ruined cities,
the desolations of many ages.
Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks,
Aliens will be your plowmen and vine trimmers.
While you are called "Priests of Adonai,"
and termed "Servants of our God."
You will enjoy the wealth of nations
and revel in their riches.

Since Israel is the Nation or Kingdom of Priests, who is the laity? Consider:

Isaiah 49:6: For God has said:
"It is too little that you should be My servant?
That I raise the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel:
I will also make you a light of nations so that My salvation will reach the ends of the earth."

The Bible is completely clear: Adonai established Israel to serve Him as the Nation of Priests. We are not a "religion"; we are the priesthood of Adonai! On Shavuot, Friday, May 2, 1312, BCE, according to the Chazal, at Har Sinai, Adonai commissioned His eternal Covenant with us for this very purpose. Every Jew accepted this charge with the words: Na'aseh v'Nishma : "We will do, and we will hear/understand." Adonai did not say that some Israelis would be "like" priests; no, He called the entire nation to the priesthood, and we all accepted!

Since all Jews are priests of Adonai, as the Scripture clearly says, then who is the laity? On whose behalf do these priests minister? It can only be the other nations referenced in these verses and others.

We at Beit Emunah do not presume to speak for other Jews. In the name of Judaism, many things are said and done that we neither understand nor support. But as for us, we walk the Way of HaShem according to our abilities. We are far from perfect, but our eyes are open and on HaShem alone. We take HaShem's charge very seriously, and we say now, as we did back then: Na'aseh v'Nishma, and we refuse to let the perfect defeat the good. All who wish to walk the Derech with us are welcome.

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