Torah Portion: Emor(Speak)Vayikra/Leviticus 21:1-24:23
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 44:15-31
Today we read a very important section of Torah. This portion begins in chapter 21 of Leviticus. Here we read verses about the requirements for a priest of G-d as he lives out his life in the service of G-d. We also have a listing of the holidays celebrated by the people dedicated to G-d.
Torah Portion: Naso (Lift) B’midbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89
Haftorah Reading Judges 13:2-25
This Torah portion covers a number of topics that I would like us to look at tonight. To start, let’s take a look at the name of the portion, Naso. This is an interesting word. In Hebrew it means to lift. We see this same word used in Psalms 121:1 where the verse reads, “I will lift up my eyes…” However, here the English translation is usually, take, as in count. If we translate this using the words lift up, it will carry a completely different feeling than to count. When G-d told Moshe to lift the heads of the people what impression does that give you, as opposed to count? To lift up implies each person was important. They were not just a number in a mass of people.
Torah Portion Naso(Lift) Numbers (B’Midbar) 4-7
Torah Portion: B’Midbar(In the Desert) Numbers 1-4
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 1:10-2:20
Tonight we begin the fourth book of the Torah. This book will take us up to the entry into the Land 40 years later. Here in our portion we see G-d getting the people ready to begin their desert journey. Before I get to my question of the week I would like to lay out a few spiritual principles that I think will speak to us.
Torah Portion: Emor(Speak) (Leviticus) Vayikra 21-24
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 44:15-31
Tonight we cover the Torah Portion Emor or Speak. This Torah portion is mainly about the yearly schedule of Mo’adim or festivals. I would like to begin with a discussion of the word Emor. Usually we are cautioned about speaking too much and in general that is a good rule for us to follow. However, sometimes words are called for. A wise person knows the power of speech, how words have the power to hurt and damage people. But speech also can be used to build up. Positive words can encourage and build up a person. This kind of speech is important and when used properly can bring healing and encouragement. In this Torah portion, the word Emor is a command for Moshe to encourage his people. May we all do the same.
Passover Reading: (Leviticus) Vayikra 25:1-16
Counting the Omer
At sundown today the holiday of Pesach ends and we count day eight of the omer. Since there is no Torah portion for this Sabbath we will give our attention to several topics that G-d has brought before me this week including some insight on counting the omer.
Torah Portion: B’midbar (In the desert) Numbers 1-4:20
HafTorah: Hosea 1:10-2:20
This Sabbath we read the first portion of the fourth book of Torah-B’midbar. Also tonight when Sabbath ends the Appointed Time of Shavuot begins. This holiday is the second of three times on G-d’s calendar when Jews were to go to Jerusalem to celebrate one of G-d’s appointed times. In traditional Judaism this holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Therefore we can grasp somewhat what is happening in Acts 2 when the Jews from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem. As the early believers were gathered together and praying a great wind and fire appeared and touched each of them. What should interest us is basically the same scene played out thousands of years earlier at Sinai. There, G-d imparted His word. Here G-d gave His word and everyone understood it. So as we celebrate this holiday of Shavuot we are able to thank the Father for His steadfastness and that He has included us in this, His story of faithfulness.
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Exodus 30-34
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
“When you take the head of the of the sons of Israel.” This is so important here in that it shows the importance of each person. They were to be counted by going to each one and counting them for service to the L-rd. Let us never think that we are unimportant or that G-d only cares for the good ones, or for the important ones. He loves us all equally. He knows each of us. We matter to Him. When you feel G-d does not care remember this verse. Moses was to go to each person, not just give an estimate but to touch each one – to show they mattered and they counted.