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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.

T’rumah (Contribution) Exodus (Sh’mot) 25:1-27:19

Torah PortionT’rumah (Contribution) Exodus (Sh’mot) 25:1-27:19

Haftorah Reading: I Kings 5:26-6:13

Tonight, we begin a series of four Torah portions that discuss the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle and all of the items included in that construction. When Israel came into the Land their Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh and remained there for 369 years until Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem.

Our portion begins with G-d speaking to Moshe, instructing him to take a contribution from the people to provide all the materials needed in the construction project. Later in Sh’mot/Exodus 35:21-29 we read where both men and women were included in this contribution. This makes the point that this was shared by everyone, all the people of Israel, not just a few. Everyone had a part in the building of the Mishkan.

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Yitro (Jethro) Sh’mot/Exodus 18:1-20:23

Torah PortionYitro (Jethro) Sh’mot/Exodus 18:1-20:23

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6

Tonight, we read a Torah portion that contains some of the most iconic words in scripture, the Ten Commandments. But I would like to begin with my question this week about the Hebrew phrase found in Sh’mot/Exodus 18:10, “Baruch Ha Shem commonly translated as “Bless the L-rd.” What does it really mean to bless the L-rd? Does G-d need our blessing or does it have a deeper meaning that could almost be a statement of faith.

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B’shallach (And It Came to Pass) Exodus (Sh’mot) 13:17-17:16

Torah PortionB’shallach (And It Came to Pass) Exodus (Sh’mot) 13:17-17:16

Haftorah Reading: Judges 4:4-5:31

This Torah portion begins with the actual Exodus from Egypt that will not end until we get through the last book of Torah. It begins with verse 13:17 where we read that G-d took them the long way around rather than the more direct route by way of the Philistines. The question arises why did He choose the long way rather than a direct path? What do you think? Keep in mind also that before this portion ends we read of the people fighting and winning a battle with the Amalekites. So, there must be a deeper reason other than the fear of war.

One reason may be hinted at in the Hebrew word for Egypt. This word is Mitzryim. In Hebrew it means limits or restrictions. Remember these people lived for 400 years in a place that had strict limits on their lives. You can take a slave out of Egypt but it takes time to take slavery out of the slave. I think this time in the wilderness was to give them time to learn new boundaries for their lives, more G-dly boundaries. For the first time they had to make choices on their own and deal with the results of those choices.

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