Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17

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.

Vayishlach (He Sent) B’resheet/Genesis 32:4-36:43

Vayishlach(He Sent) B’resheet/Genesis 32:4-36:43

Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-12:12

Today we study a Torah portion with many twists and turns. We read of Jacob’s return to the land after being gone more than 20 years. We also read of the death of Rachel and her burial. I would first like us to start our discussion talking about Rachel.

Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17

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.”

B’Har (On Mount) Leviticus 25:1-26:2, B’chukkotai (By My Commandments) Leviticus 26:3-27:34

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.

Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17

Torah Portion: Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17

Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5

Tonight, at sundown the Hebrew month of Elul begins. This starts a forty-day period of concentrated introspection and repentance that will end on Yom Kippur. Of course, repentance is something we should be involved in on a daily basis. However, this does remind us of the importance of not allowing unconfessed sins to fade from our minds but instead to deal with them quickly.

Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17

Torah Portion Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17

Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5

Tonight we read the Torah portion Re’eh or “See.” The verse, D’Varim/Deut. 11:26, calls us to pay attention because what follows is very important. Based on our discussion last week on the verb Shema or hear, we can understand this verse in the same way. The verse is calling our attention to what follows, to truly comprehend the meaning of these words.

Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’varim (Deut) 26-29

Torah Portion:  Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’varim (Deut) 26-29

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 60:1-22

 “When You Come In” is our Torah portion this week. It speaks of when Israel came into their inheritance and how they were to live their lives. It also covers the blessings and curses that would come as a result of how they lived each day. I would like to look at this Torah section in how it relates to us as G-d’s children who have come into our inheritance and what impact that should have on our lives daily.

Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9

Torah Portion:  Balak (Numbers) 22:2-25:9

HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

Tonight we study one of the most perplexing scriptures of the year. We read of a man Bilam, a seer who is hired to curse Israel. In the verses we read where he asks G-d about this job that has been offered to him, whether he is free to do this or not. In the course of a few verses we read where first G-d says don’t go, later He says go. Then when he does go G-d is very angry with him. What are we to make of this?

Balak (Bamidbar) Numbers 22-25

Torah Portion: Balak (Bamidbar) Numbers 22-25

HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

NT II Peter 2:1-22, Jude 11, Rev. 2:14-15

This week we look at a very interesting story. It concerns Balak, King of Moab and a Gentile prophet named Balaam. We read of the fear of Balak when he becomes aware of the approaching Israelites. Should he have been afraid? No. Why? The Moabites were descendants of Lot. In D’Varim (Deut) 2:9 G-d tells Israel they are not to disturb Moab because they are cousins and G-d has given them their own land. So actually Balak had nothing to fear. He just didn’t know it. How often we fear what has no real threat because we do not know who we are as G-d’s children. Balak’s response to Israel, in Numbers 22:3, is much like Pharaoh’s reaction in Exodus 1:9. Another parallel we see here is when Balak calls to Balaam in Numbers 22:6 he echoes G-d’s word to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. What is odd is that with Abraham, it is G-d who blessed. Here Balak thought this power rested with Balaam. In fact Balak seals his own fate by trying to curse Israel.

Ki Tetze (When You Go Out)


Torah Portion: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) Deut. 21:10-25:19

HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10


Tonight we begin first looking at the Torah section of Ki Tetze – in English this is “When You Go Out.” I asked you to think about some principles that run through this section of scripture and I want to get to that in a minute. First, I would like to look at Deut. 23:3-5. Here we see that the Torah cautions us against letting an Amonite or a Moabite come into the assembly of the L-rd. The phrase “come into the assembly of the L-rd” could mean conversion. They were inhospitable to you and they hired Ba’alm to curse you. This is a strange pairing of reasons. What connection could there have possibly been. One is not being hospitable while the other is attempted genocide. So what do you think the connection is here?