Torah Portion: Va’Zot Habracha (And This is the Blessing) D’Varim/Deut. 33-34
HafTorah: Joshua 1:1-9
Tonight we finish the Torah reading cycle for this year. Next week we will be going back to Genesis/B’resheet to begin again. I pray each year as we come to this time you will experience new insights into G-d’s word for it truly is new every morning. It waits for us to go deeper than before. However, tonight we will concentrate on our portion that ends with the death of Moshe up on the mountain.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’Varim/Deut. 32
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
This week as we near the end of our yearly reading cycle we come to this portion. These verses are written in the style of a song or poem. It contains words that in Hebrew make it easy to remember. In fact many school children in Israel memorize this parasha and learn to sing it when they are in primary school.
Torah Portion: Vayelekh(He Went) D’Varim/Deut. 31
HafTorah: Hosea 14:1-10; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27
Tonight we read the Torah section that always comes between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This Sabbath has a special name. It is called Shabbat Shuvah. Shuvah is a Hebrew word meaning to return or to repent. We find this word used in the reading of the prophets that goes with this Torah Portion. In Hosea 14:1-10 we read in the first verse, “O Israel return to the L-rd, your G-d for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.” So here the prophet is calling the people to repent. Remember that to repent means to turn around, to stop sinning and start doing good. These days call to us to take this step. We are called to change how we live. This is really the central idea found in the Messianic scriptures. We see it in the writing such as Matt. 3:2, Luke 13:3, Acts 5:31, Acts 17:30. These are only a small part of the verses that talk to us about repentance, stop, turn around and change how we live.
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo(When You Come) D’Varim/Deut. 26:1-29:8
HafTorah: Isaiah 60:1-22
Today we read the Torah section Ki Tavo. This portion has much to say about the blessings and curses that follow obedience or disobedience to the Word of G-d.
Torah Portion: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’Varim/Deut. 21:10-25:19
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Tonight we study and read a portion made up of over seventy commandments. These commandments cover a variety of subjects but have mainly one theme. What do you think that theme might be? I think this portion’s unifying theme is how should G-d’s people live from day to day? What should be the characteristics of our life?
Torah Portion Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 51:12-53:12
Today is the first Shabbat of the Hebrew month Elul. This is a period of introspection, self examination and repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. This period has much to teach us. With this in mind, it seems appropriate that we study this portion about the process of setting up judges, courts and even the appointment of kings.
Torah Portion Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5
Tonight we read the Torah portion Re’eh or “See.” The verse, D’Varim/Deut. 11:26, calls us to pay attention because what follows is very important. Based on our discussion last week on the verb Shema or hear, we can understand this verse in the same way. The verse is calling our attention to what follows, to truly comprehend the meaning of these words.
Torah Portion Ekev (Following) D’Varim (Deut.) 7:12-11:25
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3
Tonight I want us to look at a couple of places in this Torah portion to find what we can hear that will help us in our daily walk with the Father. First, I want to draw your attention to my second question of the week. What is the prominent verb we read over and over in the Book of Devarim/Deut.? In verse 9:1 we hear the Shema in Hebrew. I believe we have talked of this word before but I want us to go over it in some depth today. This word appears over 90 times in this book of the Bible. It can be seen as the key to understanding what Moshe is communicating to the people in his last speech before his death. First, I want us to have a clear understanding of the word Shema. In Hebrew it is used to mean “to hear, to listen, to pay attention, to understand to internalize or to respond.” It is the closest word in biblical Hebrew to express the term, “to obey.” Sometimes for us, as part of the western culture, hearing is not something that we do naturally on a deep level. The sense we us most often is seeing. This is a hold over from the Greek influence in our lives. We see this in our language, I see, foresight, hindsight, insight, vision and phrases such as “it appears.” These are only a few of the ways sight dominates our thoughts and language. By contrast Hebrew the world of Moshe and Yeshua was immersed in hearing, really hearing. It was a culture of the ear more than the eye. We read this word “Shema” or one of its derivatives used to express proof of a certain point like, come and hear, hear from this, he could not hear it.
Torah Portion Va’etchanan (I Pleaded) D’Varim (Deut.) 3:23-7:11
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26
Tonight in our Torah reading we cover two major statements that should speak to us. In the first one we read of Moshe going over the Ten Commandments again. I think he did this, at least partially, for the people who had not been there when G-d first spoke these words back in the book of Shemot/Exodus. He also delivered the Shema in D’Varim/Deut. 6:4-9. These verses teach us that G-d should be present in our conversations, thoughts and actions thru out the day, while we are home with our families and when we are out in the work world.
Torah Portion D’Varim (Deut.) 1:1-3:22
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 1:1-27
Today we study the first portion of the last book of the Torah. This book is mainly made up of the last words of Moshe to his people before he ascends the mountain and dies there. Also, tonight, at 7:30, the day of Tisha B’Av begins. On this day Jewish people remember the destruction of both the First and the Second Temple. It also harkens back to the day of the bad report of the spies and the people refusing to enter the Land. It is note worthy to know that many other tragedies occurred on this day. The Spanish Inquisition and the Night of Broken Glass, which signaled the beginning of the Holocaust, are two such events. On this day the book of Lamentations is read to remember the penalty of not taking action in going up to settle the Land.