teaching
trips-button2
blog-button2
donate-button2

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.

Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’varim (Deut) 21-25

Torah Portion:  Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’varim (Deut) 21-25

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:1-10

This week we read a Torah portion packed with commandments. As you read through this portion you will find most of the commandments have to do with how we treat people as well as how we relate to G-d.  To begin, let’s look at the first verse of our reading, Deut. 21:10. “When you go out to war.” How can this apply to us? Look at the first word, “when.” The verse says when we go out to war, not if we go out to war. We go out to war everyday of our lives. Our war is the battle between flesh and spirit, our will verses the will of the Father.  So think for a moment. How many battles did you fight just today? Maybe you fought the battle of whether to come here to study G-d’s word or not. We fight battles of fatigue, the daily rush of life, the demands made on us each day by work, family, friends and sometimes even laziness. We face battles each day. The question is how do we deal with those wars? Do we live our days relying on our own will and flesh or do we take our thoughts and flesh captive? II Corinthians 10:5.

Read more:

Shoftim (Judges) D’varim (Deut) 16-21

Torah Portion:  Shoftim (Judges) D’varim (Deut) 16-21

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 51:12-53:12

This Torah portion holds a special place in my memory. I know I have told you before but bear with me while I share with you what causes me to remember this portion each year.

In September 1996, during the week leading up to this Torah portion, I was sitting at my desk in a school where I worked in downtown Jerusalem. The school occupied the second and third floor of a building. A little past noon I was on my way down the stairs to go to the dorm to check on some needed repairs when the secretary called me back upstairs to answer a phone call. Just as I sat down to take the call there was an enormous explosion that shook the building, blowing out windows. I sat stunned for a second. Then realizing what had occurred I ran down the stairs to a scene from a horror movie. Three terrorists had blown themselves up. I believe 10 people died in the explosion, mainly children who had come downtown to buy school supplies.  Each year as I read this portion about the man found dead in the field I remember that day.

Read more:

Re'eh (See) D'Varim (Deut) 11-15

Torah Portion:  Re’eh (See) D’varim (Deut) 11-16

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:11-55:5

This week our Torah portion is Re’eh or See. If you remember last week we read Ekev which contained part of the Shema or “Hear.” Today I want us to look at these two words and discern what G-d is saying to us through them.

However, first there are some other points I would like us to explore as well.  I would like to start with the introduction of a specific place of worship that G-d would choose once the people crossed over the Jordan River. We see this thought spoken about in Deut. 12:5. As we know from our readings of the Ten Commandments all forms of idol worship were looked at as a grave sin.  This choice of a central place of worship was to help the people guard against idol worship. Only service of the one true G-d would be permitted.  In Re’eh we also read where three holidays are talked about in chapter 16. Why did Moshe pick out only these three, Pesach, Shavuot and Succot? I think again to stress the centrality of Jerusalem to the people. These three holidays are the three that involved an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Read more: