Torah Portion: Mishpatim(Rulings)Ex./Sh’mot 21:1-24:18 Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22 In our time together tonight we will be looking at the Torah portion that follows Yitro. In Yitro we read the 10 Words or Commandments. This week’s portion is often looked at as rather anti-climactic after the fire and smoke coming down on Mt. Sinai in last week’s portion. […]
Eighth Day of Passover
Counting the Omer Leviticus 23:1-16
Today we will take a closer look at the period we are now in in G-d’s calendar. We will look at what the counting of the Omer can teach us about our spiritual life.
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.
Nitzavim(Standing) D’Varim (Deut.) 29:9-30:20
Haftorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
I read a very interesting essay about our Torah portion this week. I would like to share with you some of the thoughts that arose from this reading.
What do you believe is the point of our faith? Is it life on earth or death and being in heaven? There is a famous quote from a book about Sherlock Holmes that might help us find an answer to my question. “I draw your attention”, he said to Dr. Watson, “to the curious incident of the dog at night.” “But the dog did nothing at night,” said Watson. “That,” said Holmes, “is the curious incident.” Sometimes to know what a book is about you need to focus on what it does not say, not just on what it does say.
D’Varim (Deut.) 1:1-3:22
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 1:1-27
Messianic Scripture Hebrews 3:7-4:11
Today I would like to mention a few things concerning the Fast day of Tisha B’Av that begins this evening as Shabbat ends. In English this is the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. This is one of the most solemn days of the year. What gives it this name? On this day over 2,500 years ago the Babylonians destroyed the first temple in Jerusalem. Exactly five hundred years later the Romans destroyed the second temple. On that same day, in 1492 Queen Isabella decreed that all Jews in Spain must convert to Christianity or be expelled from Spain. During Tisha B’Av we are encouraged to read the book of Lamentations. This book lays out a very vivid picture of the lamenting and mourning that took place over the destruction of the city of G-d.
Beha’alotcha (When you set up) Numbers/B’midbar 8:1-12:16
Haftorah Reading: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
Messianic Scripture John 19:31-37, Hebrews 3:1-6
Our reading today contains many themes from the highs of the Menorah to the lows of the verses about Miriam and Aaron complaining and gossiping about Moshe. Today I want us to spend our time mainly on two of these themes. The first is found in Numbers 11:4-5. Here we read of the people complaining about only having manna to eat. They go on and on with their list of just how good they had it in Egypt. They seem to have completely forgotten the part about being slaves there. Then in verses 11:14-15 we see Moshe come to the end of his patience and said to G-d, in verse 15, “And if you deal thus with me, kill me, I pray you.” Moshe had reached the end and cried out to G-d.
Torah Portion: Tetzaveh (You shall command) Sh’mot/Ex. 27:20-30:10
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27
Much of this Torah portion is concerned with the installation and anointing of Aaron as high priest and his children as priests. Their purpose being to serve G-d and the people in the Mishkan or Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. They served the people as their go between with G-d. The office of high priest was passed down through Aaron’s family and descendants over the years. Here in our portion, great care and attention to details were given to everything the priest wore and how Aaron and his sons served the people of Israel.
: Vayechi (And He Lived) B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Haftorah Readings: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight we finish the first book of Torah with a portion about the last days of the life of Jacob. As I pointed out in my questions this week there is one other portion that begins with basically the same words. In Genesis 23:1 we read a portion beginning with this verse, when translated to English reads, ”The life of Sarah.” What is scripture telling us in these two portions?
It seems to me scripture is telling us that death is not the end. It is telling us that our lives are measured by what we leave behind, our legacy of children or others that were influenced by us. These are the things that count. These are of lasting value. Death is but a transition between this world and the next. Here in our reading this week we see Jacob coming to the end of his life here on earth. From here the story carries on with his children and their children and the founding of the twelve tribes of Israel. As history unfolds we see Jacob’s life even intersecting our lives, through his lineage, Yeshua the Messiah.