Vayak’hel (And He Assembled) Exodus (Sh’mot) 35:1-38:20 and P’Kudei (Accounts) Exodus (Sh’mot) 38:21-40:38

Torah PortionVayak’hel (And He Assembled) Exodus (Sh’mot) 35:1-38:20 and P’Kudei (Accounts) Exodus (Sh’mot) 38:21-40:38

Haftorah Reading: I Kings 7:13-26, 7:40-8:21

Today we finish the book of Exodus by reading the last two portions of the book. Both of these books have a great deal to say to us in our life today as G-d’s people. These Torah portions are especially important to us in light of the world events that either has or will affect us all in one way or the other.

I would like to start with my thoughts on the first section of Vayak’hel. This word, Vayak’hel, can mean either “gather” or “assemble.” Interestingly we also saw this same word in our section last week. In Exodus/Sh’mot 32:1 we read where the people assembled around Aaron and demanded he make them gods to go before them since Moshe was absent. Today, in our opening verse of Vayak’hel, we read this word. Here we read where Moshe assembled the people to contribute to and take part in the construction of the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle.

Beha’alotcha (When You Lift Up) B’midbar(Numbers) 8:1-12:16

Torah Portion: Beha’alotcha (When You Lift Up) B’midbar(Numbers) 8:1-12:16  Haftorah Reading Zechariah 2:14-4:7

Tonight, our reading covers a wide range of subjects. We begin with the instructions for lighting the golden menorah in the Mishkan or Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. We also read of the men who came to Moshe and pleaded for a chance to keep Passover since they were unclean from being in contact with a dead body during the holiday. This portion also covers the order the tribes were to be in when it came time, at G-d’s direction, for them to move.

Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’varim (Deut.) 21-25

Torah Portion:  Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 21-25

HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10

What would you say would be the theme of this Torah portion? In my opinion it is describing how we are to live our lives each day and how we are to relate to people.  How are we to act toward our spouse, our children or others whom we have dealings with during the day? One of the principles our nation operates on is individualism, looking out for our self, no one can tell me what to do or how to live my life. How does this square with both the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures? Not very well. As we read this section of Torah we see over and over that we are part of a community and have responsibility for each other.  Our world is to be bigger than just us. So how are we to know what G-d’s Word says? We are to study, really dig it out everyday. By this we know what He says to us about the decisions we make. Even today, and from before the time of Messiah, Jews have been taught how to live by each day reading, memorizing and internalizing G-d’s Word. Music and poetry are two of the most effective ways to get information to remain in our memory. When we are filled with the Word of G-d we are better equipped to meet the world. ( II Timothy 2:15)