Torah Portion: Re’eh (See)D’Varim(Deut.) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
Today we will look at several crucial topics. These topics should speak to all of us. I would like to start with the first verse of our Torah portion. Deut. 11:26 reads, “Behold (see) I set before you today a blessing and a curse.” Our portion then goes on to tell us the conditions for receiving the blessings and by contrast what the curses will be for not following G-d’s commandments.
Vayechi(And He Lived)B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Today I would like us to look at the last Torah portion of Genesis. In this portion we read of the death of both Jacob and Joseph. This portion, like Chayai Sarah in Genesis 23:1, follows an interesting thought. Even though both are called by a name meaning life, they include the death of the main character.
Haftorah Reading: Malachi 1:1-2:7
This week we study a Torah portion that is filled with intrigue and suspense. It also raises spiritual issues that are very important to each of us. Perhaps it would be best to start with the most difficult first. Who do you sympathize with when you read this portion? Who do you see as the person most at fault when you read these verses?
Torah Portion: V’Zot HaBrachah(And This is the Blessing) D’Varim (Deut.) 33-34
Haftorah Reading: Joshua 1:1-9
Today I want us to spend our time together discussing the last two chapters of Deuteronomy. This will be the last Torah portion of the year. This portion is usually read on Simchat Torah, a celebration that is held at the end of Succot. However, we will not be together on that day so rather than miss this reading, I want us to look at it today.
Naso (Take) Numbers/B’midbar 4:21-7:89
Haftorah Reading: Judges 13:2-25
Messianic Scripture John 7:53-8:11, Acts 21:17-32
This week we read the portion named Naso. When you read this portion you will find it filled with details of the gifts brought by each family head. However, buried in these details we read the verses laying out a prayer. This prayer was given by G-d to Moshe to be used by the priests to speak over the people. This is what I want us to spend our time on today. The verses are found in Numbers 6:22-27.
Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 54:11-55:5
Today we read the Torah portion Re’eh. In the opening few verses, D’Varim/Deut. 11:26-28 we read these words, “Behold I set before you this day, a blessing and a curse. A blessing if you obey the commandments of the L-rd your G-d, which I command you this day. And a curse if you will not obey the commandments of the L-rd your G-d, but turn aside from the way I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.”
Torah Portion: Naso (Take) B’midbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89
Haftorah Readings: Judges 13:2-25
Tonight we read and study the longest Torah portion of the year. It contains many subjects we could spend hours studying. However, tonight we will only look at two or three topics that I think will give all of us a deeper insight into spiritual principles that can help us in our life.
First, I want to start with Numbers 5:6-7. In these verses we read the process to be taken when we have sinned. In verse 7 we read, “Then they shall confess their sin which they have done.” Let’s talk about this for a moment. We are to speak out loud our confession to G-d. Why do we have to verbalize our words of remorse and confession of guilt before G-d? He knows our every thought and action. So why are we to speak it out loud? Maybe the point of speaking our confession out loud is for our own benefit. When we speak the words out loud they become more real to us, more intense. The sin is no long just in our memory but the words have been spoken. I believe when we speak the words out it cannot be easily swept under the rug. We can’t pretend it didn’t happen. The sin becomes more real to us. It causes us to consider just how we could have done such a thing. Our actions are out in the light. We can look at our actions more clearly.
Torah Portion: B’Har (On Mount) Leviticus 25:1-26:2, B’chukkotai (By My Commandments) Leviticus 26:3-27:34
Haftorah Readings: Jeremiah 32:6-27, Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
Tonight, we finish the book of Leviticus by studying the final two portions. We begin by looking at the Shmita year found in Leviticus 25:1-7. This commandment says that the Land of Israel is to lie fallow on the seventh year. It is not to be worked and what grows on its own is to be left for whomever needs food. It is as if every seventh year the owner of the land relinquishes his ownership and the rights to the food that grows there on its own. He, as well as anyone else, can take of what grows for their immediate needs. What is the reason for G-d giving such a commandment? Also, we read where in the year before the Shmita, the Land will produce double for the owner.
Torah Portion: Yitro (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.