Tetzaveh (You are to command) Exodus/Sh’mot 27:20-30:10

Tetzaveh(You are to command)Exodus/Sh’mot 27:20-30:10

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27

This Sabbath I have a few points I want to cover with you. I believe each of these points are spiritually relevant to our lives today. They should speak to each of us in our personal walk.

To begin, I want to share an example I read this week from a good friend who lives in Jerusalem. It concerned him buying olive oil for lighting his menorah on the Shabbat. According to scripture, pure pressed olive oil was used to light the candles in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. This friend lights his Shabbat candles each Friday at sundown to welcome the Sabbath. As he was shopping for oil he found it would be much cheaper to buy sunflower oil or other substitutes for his menorah than pure pressed olive oil. Olive oil was double the price of sunflower oil. After thinking about it he decided to follow scripture and use what was prescribed there and not use a substitute. 

Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus(Sh’mot) 21:1-24:18

Torah Portion:  Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus(Sh’mot) 21:1-24:18

Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

This is one of those Torah portions that sometimes gets pushed to the back of our minds. These judgments seem to be mostly outside of our more enlightened way of viewing our faith. Do we really need to consider these judgments as having any place in our modern world view?

Balak (B’Midbar) Num. 22-25

Torah Portion Balak (B’Midbar) Numbers 22-25

Haftorah Reading: Micah 5:6-6:8

Tonight’s Torah portion is somewhat unusual in that it deals mainly with an idol-worshipping magician, Bilaam, ad his failed attempts to curse the Jewish people.  First, to put things into a geographical perspective, Moav, where these verses take place, was on the southwestern side of the Promised Land. The people of Moav were the descendants of Lot. Because of this we read in Deuteronomy (D’Varim) 2:9 where G-d told the people, through Moses, to not distress the people of Moav or provoke them to war because their land was not part of the Promise Land. However, from Balak’s reaction we can assume he was unaware of this and feared the coming Israelites. He thought he needed more help than an army so he turned to Bilaam, apparently a famous person in the ancient world, known for his ability to bring curses down on people and nations. Something to keep in mind, Bilaam lived in what is now Iraq which was a long journey for the messengers of Balak to travel. This distance also speaks of his fame and gives us some idea of how much time it took to bring Bilaam to Moav.

Re’eh (See) Deut 11-16

Torah Portion: Re’eh (See) Devarim Deut. 11:26-16:17

HafTorah: Isaiah 54:11-55:5

Tonight we read a section of Torah that speaks to many areas of our spiritual life. I pray you see it in that light. It is a guidebook on how to live each day of our walk both practically and spiritually. So let’s look at some things from these verses and see what they say to us.