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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 (Donation) Sh'mot Exodus 25-27

Torah Portion: T’rumah (Donation) Sh’mot Exodus 25-27

HafTorah:  I Kings 5:26-6:13

This week we read the Torah section named T’rumah or donations in English. This portion begins with the instructions for gathering the materials and building the Mishkan/Tabernacle in the wilderness.  An interesting fact, in the book of Sh’mot/Exodus 40 % of the book is talking about this process and the end results. That gives us some idea of the importance of what we read when we study the Mishkan.

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Mishpatim (Judgments) Sh'mot Exodus 21-24

Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Judgments) Sh’mot Exodus 21-24

HafTorah:  Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

Tonight we read the Torah portion Mishpatim or Judgments. This portion follows immediately after the giving of the Ten Commandments in last weeks Torah reading. The Jewish people had been in Egypt for hundreds of years, most of that time serving as slaves to the country of Egypt. They had little or no experience living as a free people, a people that had to deal with how to live as a free society. Here in this portion we read the beginning of G-d’s instructions on how a society should operate.

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Yitro (Jethro) Exodus (Sh'mot) 18-20

Torah Portion: Sh’mot Exodus 18-20 Yitro (Jethro)

HafTorah:  Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6

Tonight we read a Torah portion that is rare in its name. Why? It is named for a non-Jew and it isn’t just any Torah portion, but it is the one containing the Ten Commandments, the Covenant G-d made with Israel. Yet, it is named after a pagan, a priest of false gods. The Ten Commandments were also not given in the Land of Israel but in a non-descript mountain in the middle of nowhere, a place without a name. It would seem Jethro was a pagan who wanted more. He had been touched by what G-d had done with Israel. In the opening verse of our section is where it says, Jethro had heard what G-d had done for Moshe and the people. This had moved him to the point he wanted to be part of it. He recognized that G-d was G-d and everything else paled before that. He was touched and changed by what he knew. Which causes us to think about our own lives. We can go through our lives and not be touched by anything. We can remain unmoved and uninvolved. We can lose ourselves in our own limited existence. Things such as Facebook, TV and other modern technologies can allow us the ability to live a life of solitude. But is that what G-d wants? I heard an interesting parable this week. We can be like a wheel on the chariot of the King but that would require us to go where He goes. Or we can be our own wheel stuck in our own rut.

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