Parsha Shoftim
Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9

A Lamb Without Blemish ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. James W. Belk, may he rest in peace.

In this week's parsha we read, "You shall not slaughter for Hashem, your G-d, an ox or a lamb or kid in which there will be a blemish, any bad thing, because that is an abomination of Hashem, your G-d," (Deuteronomy 17:1).

It is important to offer a little background surrounding the concept, a lamb without blemish. In the Torah certain animals, birds, and fish are set aside as kosher. They are separated from all the animals, birds and fish that G-d created. Every kosher animal, bird and fish was selected by G-d to receive a higher level of holiness than the rest of the created animals, birds and fish.

The mitzvah of kashrus is the process by which kosher animals are elevated to higher levels of holiness. This mitzvah of kashrus is only given to the Jewish people. We are the people that G-d intended to sanctify His name in the acts of kashrus. Even though other nations, peoples and religions may desire to observe acts of kashrus generally they cannot. This is not to imply that non Jews cannot purchase kosher foods, anyone can. However the act of kashrus is much more than just purchasing and consuming kosher foods. Even though one does not understand the workings of kashrus, they can understand kashrus has an intended purpose established by G-d in the Torah.

Kashrus is an entire process of sanctification of G-d's name from beginning to end. This process when properly done also elevates the level of holiness for the animal, bird or fish through the sanctification of G-d's name.

As Jews, it is our responsibility in this world to sanctify G-d's name in kashrus and at the same time raise the level of holiness for certain animals.

Now we move from the basic level of kashrus to a more advanced level. Certain kosher animals and birds and grains were selected by G-d to receive an even higher level of holiness from all of the other kosher animals, etc. Certain of these kosher lambs, kids, calves, sheep, goats, doves, etc. were separated by G-d for offerings / sacrifices in the Holy Temple. These particular animals have the opportunity to be elevated beyond the normal level of a kosher animal if they qualify and are selected to be a sacrifice.

Now to suggest that Jesus is the lamb of G-d that takes away the sin of the world and has done away with the need for offerings and sacrifices is grossly inaccurate. Such claims are only made by people who do not understand the beauty, holiness and intended purpose of sacrifice.

Today, as in the past, Jews experience G-d's forgiveness of our sins WITHOUT animal sacrifice. Bundling sacrifices and sin together is a very big misunderstanding purported by some Christian Messianics. To suggest that the only way our sins can be forgiven is through the blood sacrifice of a human being is clearly in violation of G-d's perfect Word.

There are many purposes for the sacrifices in the future Bais Hamikdash. One of these purposes is discussed briefly in this week's parsha. When G-d gave the land of Israel to B'nai Yisroel He gave every tribe an inheritance except for the tribe of Levi. The Levium and Kohanim were given the sacrifices offered in the Holy Temple by the other tribes as their inheritance. The sacrifices are the substance by which they will survive in the future. There is more to this than just survival. They are the holy people among the holy nation. Their actions in the Holy Temple are designed by G-d to greatly sanctify G-d's name in the universe. The actions of Levium and Kohanim in the future Holy Temple will usher in a level of holiness / purity that allows G-d's presence to again dwell in the Holy Place in the Holy Temple in the Holy City, Yerushaliyim. None of this will happen without sacrifice!

Now to suggest that a comparison exists between Jesus and a sacrificial lamb is a serious misunderstanding of the Bible!

First, G-d does not accept human sacrifice. In fact human sacrifice was one of the very acts that G-d abhors. Human sacrifice was one of the abominations performed by the nations Kal Yisroel drove out of Eretz Canaan, (DEUTERONOMY 18:9-12). HUMAN SACRIFICE OF ANY KIND IS FORBIDDEN BY G-D!

Second, sacrifice is only performed on the Temple ground. Jesus was killed outside the Holy Temple.

Third, one of the purposes of sacrifice is intended to raise the level of holiness of the animal being sacrificed. This only happens when the proper process is followed:

The sacrifice must be a kosher animal.
The sacrifice must be from a specific group of kosher animals.
The sacrifice must be without blemish.
The sacrifice must be done on the Temple grounds generally by the Levium and Kohanim.

Jesus does not qualify under any of these conditions as a sacrifice that removes the sins of the world! In fact Jesus was a convicted man who was sentenced to die at the hands of the Romans in a cursed fashion. None of this matches, elevates or sanctifies the name of G-d! A sacrifice is not beaten, tortured or bleeding as part of the sacrifice process. That defiles G-d's holy name! Jewish sacrifices are treated in the kindest, most decent, most humane way in accordance with the Torah. Much misunderstanding exists surrounding Jesus' death as recorded in the New Testament.

One of the gross misunderstandings in the New Testament is the High Priest's involvement in Jesus' death. Anyone who understands the responsibilities of the Kohen Godal before and during Pesach and the Bais Din (Jewish Court) would realize the utter impossibility of their involvement as described in the New Testament. However that is a discussion for another article.

The New Testament's point is that Jesus' death as a sacrificial lamb does away with the need for Temple sacrifice... that one must believe in Jesus to receive forgiveness of sin.

Christian Messianics believe much of this because they do not understand...they only believe and believe and believe. However, the facts as simply stated in this article show that G-d has a plan to elevate and sanctify His name in the universe through the Jewish people, through kashrus and through sacrifice in the future Holy Temple. According to Ezekiel 44:15 the Kohanim, the Levium, descendants of Zadok will serve in the Third Holy Temple performing in these areas of great and holy responsibilities. Looking forward to that day...

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk


Weekly Studies

JewishPath is a sponsor of B'nai Noach Torah Institute. As a sponsor we are permitted to offer one FREE E-Mail course on a limited basis per individual from BNTI's Introduction Courses. We invite you to visit and choose an E - Mail Intro Course. BNTI offers Intro Courses in Judaism and Spirituality {7 Noaich Laws}. BNTI Responses are NOT AUTO!!

B'nai Noach Torah Institute offers dozens of tuition e - mail courses. Please visit BNTI's Tuition Courses page.
For Jewish Classmates: Gematria, Parsha, Tehillim, Medos, High Holidays and many more...
For Spiritualist Classmates: Bereishis, Torah, Blessings, Intro. Hebrew and many more...

B'nai Noach Torah Institute

Colorado Jewish Community Directory

  Study The Seven Noach Commandments

The Learning Store 
Weekly Parsha 


  High Holy Days

Messianic Refute


 Other Links

 Jewish Links



  Torah Or Bust!

 Membership at J P

  Support J P

 About J P

  E - Mail J P


Search JewishPath

JewishPath Search is for Active JewishPath Membership and Tuition Classmates at BNTI only.