Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Exodus 30-34
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
Tonight we read about a number of different subjects, from taking a census to the incident with the golden calf. It is on this last topic that I want us to spend our evening looking at and discussing.
Beginning in chapter 32 we can follow the process that results in the terrible sin of the calf. Think about what is going on here like a split screen TV. On one side we see Moshe on the top of the mountain with G-d. Moshe had come into that place where heaven and earth intersected. He was with the Father. Now think about the other half of the screen where we see the children of Israel at the same time. They had grown impatient when Moshe did not return when they were expecting him to. When he didn’t appear they went to Aaron and asked him to make gods for them to lead them because they did not know what had become of Moshe.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Exodus 18-23
HafTorah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Let us look at Parasha Yitro, so named after the father-in-law of Moses. We read of their reunion after some time apart. We read of Jethro’s advice to Moses to split up the work load between himself and others. Further on we read of G-d speaking to the people telling them that they all are to be a nation of priests. (Shemot 19:6). In I Peter 2:9 we read the phrase again. What is the meaning in each case? I Peter gives us our answer that we, they, “can show others the goodness of G-d.” We can and should be able to share the goodness of G-d based on what He has done for us. The Israelites here were to be able to also share with the world what G-d had done for them. They, and we, should live our lives each day governed by His word and compassion. Israel lived in a tough neighborhood but they were called to be different, to live each day each moment as G-d’s people, G-d’s people who behaved differently, lived by G-d’s direction and not their own. This was a task that could sometimes be difficult. Sometimes they and we fail but our failure should not be allowed to defeat us. We learn from it. We repent and go on stronger than before.
Torah Portion: Ki tetze (When You Go Out) Devarim Deut. 21:10-25:19
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10
This week we look at “Ki Tetze or in English, when you go out. As you read this Torah section you will notice many commandments covering all areas of life. Some seem to have little or no relevance to our life today. However I would like us to look at several to see what we might be able to glean from them spiritually.