Torah Portion: Balak B’midbar/Numbers 22:2-25:9
Today we study one of the most important Torah portions of the year. I am sure we are all familiar with this story from years past. I want us to take a fresh look at it from a perspective that is somewhat different. I pray I can adequately get my point across in this study.
The verses I would like to begin with are found in Numbers 23:8-9. I would like us to look at verse nine especially, “As I see them from the mountain tops, gaze upon them from the heights, Behold it is a people that dwells alone, not numbered among the nations.” I would like us to look at what this phrase meant when it was spoken and also what it means to us today.
Today we study what may be the most important Torah portion of the year. In the very first verse we read where G-d told Moshe to, “Come” to Pharaoh. Here Moshe was to relate to Pharaoh G-d’s final three plagues, locust, darkness and death of the first born. Sh’mot 10:1 reads, “And the L-rd said to Moshe, Come to Pharaoh.” In all other times G-d told Moshe to go to Pharaoh. Why was the word “come” used here? I believe this gives all of us an important clues to the character of the Father. G-d was telling Moshe that no matter what we face G-d will be with us. He will already be there before us. Our faith should be strengthened by the use of this small word in this verse.
Torah Portion: Nitzavim (Standing) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-30:20
Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10-63:9
Before we get to the Torah section I would like to say a word about tomorrow. As you know, tomorrow at sundown the biblical holiday, or in Hebrew, Mo’ed, of Yom Teruah begins. The literal translation of Yom Teruah is “the blowing,” meaning the blowing of the shofar. You can read about this holiday in Leviticus 23:24-25. When we look at the times in scripture where the sound of the shofar is mentioned we see several interesting facts. It was used to announce the crowning of G-d as King at Mt. Sinai. It was also used in battle such as when the walls of Jericho fell. It also will announce the coming of Messiah. Revelation 20:4-6.
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.
Torah Portion: Nitzavin (Standing) & Vayelech Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29-31
HafTorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
Tonight we read a double portion of Torah, Nitzavim – or Stand, and Vayelech or When You Go. These are always read the two weeks before Yom Ha Truah, which in traditional Judaism begins the ten day period of repentance and soul searching leading up to Yom Kippur. It is fitting that they both speak of repentance and our need to allow the light of G-d to be turned on our lives, that we can grasp who we really are before Him as apposed to who we thing we are. I am sure we all can benefit from such a time. We have all experienced the feeling of being alone spiritually, as if G-d has abandoned us.