Torah Portion: Vayera(He Appeared) B’resheet/Genesis18:1-22:24
Haftorah Reading: II Kings 4:1-37
This week we read a very challenging portion, In my question for the week I used the word challenge to frame the meeting between G-d and Avraham. My purpose was to get us all to consider those times when we have an encounter with the Father concerning some issue we may be facing. I got some good responses to my question and appreciate them very much.
Lekh L’Kha (Go to Yourself) B’resheet/Genesis12:1-17:27
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
This week we read a portion that should speak to each of us in our spiritual walk. This portion starts in Genesis 12:1 with the word of G-d coming to Abraham telling him to, “Go to yourself.” Oddly, Avraham had already left his home of origin when his father Terah took his family, including Avraham, Sarah and Lot, from Ur of the Chaldeans and traveled to Haran. It is interesting that scripture points out that Terah was headed for Canaan but stopped in Haran and stayed there until his death. (Genesis 11:31-32) There is no mention of Terah hearing from G-d or that being a factor in his decision to leave Ur.
: Vayera (And He Appeared) B’resheet/Genesis 18:1-22:24
Haftorah Readings: II Kings 4:1-37
This week we read a Torah portion that presents us with many situations that bear looking at in depth. Genesis 22:1-19 tells us about G-d coming to Avraham and telling him to take his only son Isaac and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. Let’s look at this and see what we can learn from it. I must admit these verses have always been difficult for me to grasp. Remember, this was the son of Promise. He was the son of Avraham and Sarah that G-d had promised and was the product of a miracle birth. Avraham was 99 years old and Sarah was long passed child bearing years. Yet G-d intervened and brought this boy into their lives. And now He commanded Avraham to sacrifice him to G-d.
Torah Portion: Balak B’midbar(Numbers) 22:2-25:9
Haftorah Reading Micah 5:6-6:8
Our Torah portion today plays out a great drama of a pagan king, Balak, and his fear of the Israelites as they arrive at the border of his land. He engages the help of a seer by the name of Bilaam to come and curse the Israelites and in order to save his country.
Torah Portion: Vayetzei (He Went Out) Genesis 28:10-32:3
HafTorah: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Tonight I would like to start with a look at Genesis 29:1. In this verse in English it is translated as Jacob “went on his journey.” However the Hebrew is more like “he lifted his feet and went on his way.” Do we really need to know “he lifted his feet?” What is the Torah telling us with these words? Many times we look at our circumstances and resign ourselves to our situation. Jacob was in a pretty bad place. He left his home under a threat from his brother to kill him. Yet what did he do? He took control of his feet and went with purpose. He didn’t sit and think, “Woe is me.” Rather he set his feet to go where G-d was leading him. He rose above his situation and went on his way. He set his feet on the right road – as we must do in the situations we find ourselves in.
Weekly Torah Section: Tzav (Command) Leviticus 6:8-8:36, Haftorah: Malachi 3:1-4:6
I would like to start with the Torah section, Leviticus 6:8-8:36 and then finish with Malachi 3:1-4:6. The first verse of the Torah section begins with the word, Tzav. In English this word means “Command.” What is interesting is that this word is used rather than some other Hebrew word that would mean to tell or to speak. These words are often used when the person wishes to get across a sense of urgency. Command, on the other hand, seems to say do it now and keep on doing it. So, the question arises why did G-d feel He had to use this word here? Would G-d have doubted the commitment of Aaron and his sons? After all, they were at the top of the religious hierarchy. One thought that carries a hint was that maybe G-d wasn’t worried about the immediate future but as time went on would their attentiveness wane. It is one thing to be excited and committed early in our walk with G-d and another to hold on to that zeal as time goes on. So like Aaron and his sons we are challenged to not lose our fire but to stay close to G-d no matter what we experience in life.