Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived) B’resheet (Genesis) 47-50
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 2:1-12
Our Torah portion begins with the words “And he lived,” found in B’resheet/Genesis 47:28. However, as we read further, we see in a few verses later that Ya’acov died in this portion. His son, Joseph, died also. What can we make of these first few words, “And he lived?” I think scripture is making a point important to us all. Ya’acov’s body died but he lived on through the lives of his descendants, as do we. This opens up a few issues I want us to give some thought to. How do each of us live on after our physical passing? If we look at verse 48:15 we read what Ya’acov attributed his life to as he faced death. In this verse we read where he made the statement that he and his forefathers spent their life walking with G-d. I believe each of us should look at our life and consider how we have spent our days. In this same verse he went on to say G-d had been his Shepherd for his life.
Torah Portion: Tol’dot (History) B’Resheet (Gen.) 25:19-28:9
HafTorah: Malachi 1:1-2:7
Today as Israel stands on the brink of a ground war in Gaza, the head Rabbi blessed the troops with part of this verse Zech 12:10, “I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication…”. We surely pray with him for G-d’s grace and supplications for each one of Israel’s soldiers as well as each citizen. I would like us to read the entire verse and pray the last half of the verse also. I would pray that they will look on the One they have rejected and will mourn for Him as one mourns for His only son. We must stand in the gap now for G-d’s people and pray for an opening of their eyes that their hearts would melt and this will draw them to G-d through Yeshua. Please intercede everyday for them that during this war G-d will be merciful toward them and bring them to Him.
Torah Portion: Hayei Sarah (Sarah’s life) B’Resheet (Gen.) 23:1-25:18
HafTorah: I Kings 1:1-31
Today, in this Torah section we read of the death of both Avraham and Sarah. Yet the name of the portion is, “Life of Sarah.” What do we learn from this? Death comes to us all but it is only a door to the world to come. What is really of importance is how we live – what defines our lives? How are our days spent? In this section of Torah we get a hint of how both of these people lived. Of Sarah we read these were the years of Sarah’s life in verse one. Back in Genesis 18:11 we read of both Sarah and Avraham, “entered their days.” This phrase is translated in English as advanced in years. Think of it as entering your home. A better translation would be, they connected with each moment and held it close. As we would ay today they were totally “there.” Wherever and with whom ever, they were in the moment. They had many hardships in their life but they, in the midst of it all held on to G-d and His promises. They were not “under the circumstances,” but were able to rise above everything life brought to them. They fully entered each day.
Torah Portion: Devarim (words) Devarim (Deut.) 1:1-3:22
HafTorah: Isaiah 1:1-27
NT John 15:1-11; Hebrews 3:7-4:11
Tonight we read the first Torah portion of the book of Devarim (Deut.). This entire book is somewhat a sermon from Moses to the people. In it we see him sharing and retelling the history of the last 40 years as well as a recounting of the Law from which we get the Greek word that became the common name for the book. We might wonder, why did he spend all this time going back over the Law. Rashi, a great Jewish writer and teacher says, “They (the words of Torah) should be new in your eyes everyday. So we go over the Torah each year and each year find things that speak to us that we never saw before.