Why were the tombs whitewashed? Was it to make them prettier? Nope. Unlike last week's episode, this one was a lot of fun for me because I just love teaching about anything Temple related. Ritual purity, and especially heading into the Passover, was incredibly important and biblically mandated. We're going to delve into the subjects of corpse impurity from Numbers 19, and the whitewashing of the tombs from Shekelim 1.1 in the Mishnah. Perhaps most importantly for today, we are going to investigate our own level of ritual impurity in order to put other forms into perspective--especially the misplaced focus on menstrual impurity in congregations, oftentimes due to a lack of understanding of the Biblical text.
Full disclosure. I hated teaching a lot of this. This information is maddening and confusing and nitpicky, but it represents a real debate and struggle in the first century and even to modern times--the idea that human hands were automatically so unclean that they would make food and drink defiled if not ritually washed. It isn't Biblical and Yeshua firmly stands against it in a number of passages. But what should the Pharisees and their scribes be focusing on instead? Their hearts! Yeshua felt as though it needed to be addressed and so we're going to talk about it, the debate over the insides and outsides and handles of "utensils" covered in Mishnah tractates Kelim and Berakhot between Hillel and Shammai as well as begin to cover the top of ritual purity, which we will discuss in greater detail in the next teaching.
A kid-friendly version of this teaching is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlYq6ONWeD8&t=3s
This week Yeshua/Jesus gives the Pharisees and Scribes credit where credit is due--they are amazing tithers. But He also rebukes them for missing the bigger picture--just what were the weightier matters of Torah? What did "justice and righteousness" mean in the ancient world?
A child-level video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_hyuSi-TKs