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Teachings

Below are the teachings from our weekly Torah Studies.  If you would like to join us, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can let you know where and when we meet.

Vayechi(And He Lived)B’resheet(Gen.) 47:28-50:26

Torah Portion: Vayechi(And He Lived)B’resheet(Genesis) 47:28-50:26

Haftorah Reading: I Kings 2:1-12

“Some cynics say religion is a crutch for people who fear death. That may be true sometimes but it does not apply to those who study Torah. Torah does not say much about life after death. It is really not a book on how to get to heaven or what happens after we die. The Torah is concerned with how we live our life today and every day.” First Fruits of Zion

Read more:

Vayigash(He Approached)B’resheet(Gen.)44:18-47:27

Torah Portion: Vayigash(He Approached)B’resheet(Genesis) 44:18-47:27

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 37:15-28

 

Today we are studying a very important Torah portion. As we look at this portion I want us to think of the lessons we find here for our spiritual life as well as hope for us as people who might be carrying hurts or anger for years.  There is a way, an example, both here and in the Messianic Scripture that offers us a path through some of the dark places most of us have  experienced. My prayer for all of us is that as we study this portion our Heavenly Father will shed light on any area that needs His healing.

Read more:

Mikketz(At the End)B’resheet(Genesis) 41:1-44:17

Torah Portion: Mikketz(At the End)B’resheet(Genesis) 41:1-44:17

Haftorah Reading: I Kings 3:15-4:1

Happy Hanukkah to you all! Tonight we light the seventh candle. I pray this holiday has been a blessing to you this year.  

Today I want us to look at our Torah portion from several viewpoints as well as checking out where in the Messianic scriptures this holiday is specifically mentioned.

This week we read of the release of Joseph from prison, his meeting with Pharaoh and eventually the reunion with his brothers after years of being apart. Look back in scripture to Genesis 3:9. This was the first meeting of G-d with Adam after Adam’s sin. What is interesting in this verse is the Hebrew used by G-d. When they met G-d asked, “Ayekah?” This is usually translated as, where are you. G-d surely knew where Adam was. G-d was asking Adam who are you?

We all live in a world where it is easy to lose sight of our true role as one of G-d’s children. G-d was asking Adam and us are we truly who He planned for us to be? Have we become lost  in the culture of the day? We may have lost sight of who we are supposed to be in G-d’s plan. Our faith in G-d must be the driving force in our life, in our work, in our actions. Nothing else can supersede that calling.

As we look at Joseph this week I believe we will see a man who rose to the height of Egyptian society but who never lost sight of who he was. Throughout this portion and really throughout the biblical record, Joseph never lost sight of G-d and G-d’s hand on his life. G-d was always there. Even through his prison experience and later his rise to power in Egypt G-d was ordering his life. Had he not been in the right place at the right time he would not have been able to eventually save his family.  Remember, G-d will never forget you. He has a plan for your life, a plan you can hold on to.

Now, back to Joseph’s life. At the end of last week’s Torah portion Joseph had asked his fellow prisoner to remember him when he was released from prison. The portion ends with the words in Genesis 40:23, “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” So how much time passed between these words in Genesis 40:23 and the opening verse of this week’s portion, Genesis 41:1? Two full years went by. These two years must have seemed like a life time to Joseph. I mention this to remind us that our faith must not be shaken by the passage of time when we are waiting for G-d to answer. Joseph is an example for us. When G-d speaks to us about His plan for us we must hold on to that and work toward that purpose in our life. Joseph did not give up but continued to trust G-d to bring him from where he was to the place of being who and what G-d had planned for him. What for us was just turning the page between Torah portions was two years of waiting for Joseph. He held on. So must we. His role in G-d’s plan came to be but not in the way he could have planned when he was sharing his dreams with his brother and father years before. His role through the journey of G-d’s plan for him was to be faithful, keep G-d’s promises before him and do his part in that plan.

When G-d speaks to you about His will for your life you are not to just sit back and wait for it to be fulfilled. G-d expects us to participate, to do our part in being at the right place at the right time like Joseph. We are called to believe. We are called to do what we can to be sure we have the tools and the faith to be ready to be used by the Father in whatever way He chooses.

For Joseph it was a journey from the spoiled teenager at home, to being a slave, to being a prisoner and finally in a place of power to help his family. Even in each of those stops along the way Joseph had a calling on his life and he never gave up.

When we read these two portions we see Joseph mention G-d over and over giving G-d the glory for things he was able to do such as interpreting dreams.  In our portion this week we see him, after two years, able to step into G-d’s plan and carry out his calling to rescue his family from starvation. When G-d called Avraham what part did he play in possessing the promised land? He bought a burial plot for his family.  He did not possess the entire land but he did something.  G-d saved Noah and his family from the flood but Noah had to build the ark. G-d promised Israel the Land but the children of Israel had to fight battles to get it. Sometimes we too have to fight battles to get where G-d wants us to be.

G-d desires us to participate, to do our part. When we read these portions all we have to do is turn the page. Joseph did not know the end of the story as he waited two years to be remembered.

Lastly, where do we read about Hanukkah in the Messianic Scriptures?  One passage is found in John 10:22. In Hebrew this passage calls it the Feast of Dedication. In Hebrew it is called Hanukkah.

Bless each of you this week as we all enjoy the last two nights of Hanukkah.