Torah Portion: B’resheet (In the Beginning) B’resheet/Genesis 1:1-6:8
HafTorah: Isaiah 42:5-43:10
To begin our study tonight I want to mention a few Hebrew words from our reading. The second word in B’resheet/Genesis 1 is “Bara”. This word means to create and is only used when describing what G-d creates. Bara means creating from nothing. Only G-d is able to create from nothing. Man uses things or substance to form or make something new.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’Varim/Deut. 32
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
This week as we near the end of our yearly reading cycle we come to this portion. These verses are written in the style of a song or poem. It contains words that in Hebrew make it easy to remember. In fact many school children in Israel memorize this parasha and learn to sing it when they are in primary school.
Torah Portion Ekev (Following) D’Varim (Deut.) 7:12-11:25
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3
Tonight I want us to look at a couple of places in this Torah portion to find what we can hear that will help us in our daily walk with the Father. First, I want to draw your attention to my second question of the week. What is the prominent verb we read over and over in the Book of Devarim/Deut.? In verse 9:1 we hear the Shema in Hebrew. I believe we have talked of this word before but I want us to go over it in some depth today. This word appears over 90 times in this book of the Bible. It can be seen as the key to understanding what Moshe is communicating to the people in his last speech before his death. First, I want us to have a clear understanding of the word Shema. In Hebrew it is used to mean “to hear, to listen, to pay attention, to understand to internalize or to respond.” It is the closest word in biblical Hebrew to express the term, “to obey.” Sometimes for us, as part of the western culture, hearing is not something that we do naturally on a deep level. The sense we us most often is seeing. This is a hold over from the Greek influence in our lives. We see this in our language, I see, foresight, hindsight, insight, vision and phrases such as “it appears.” These are only a few of the ways sight dominates our thoughts and language. By contrast Hebrew the world of Moshe and Yeshua was immersed in hearing, really hearing. It was a culture of the ear more than the eye. We read this word “Shema” or one of its derivatives used to express proof of a certain point like, come and hear, hear from this, he could not hear it.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’varim (Deut) 32
Tonight we read the Torah portion known as Ha’azinu, translated as “Give ear.” This portion is almost entirely composed of the “Song of Moshe.” In this song Moshe speaks of Israel’s falling away from G-d in the years following his death. He called all of Israel together to hear his words. He also commanded them to teach the words to their children and pass this song down through the generations to come. This song is given as witness to the falling away of G-d’s people and the suffering they would undergo because of their wanderings. However, it ends on a note of hope as the Father reminds Israel of who He is and who they are. They are His people and He would provide atonement for them. Deut. 32:43.
Torah Portion: B’Har(On Mount) B’chukkotai (By My Regulations) (Lev.) Vayikra 25-27
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 32:6-27 and Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
This week we finish the book of Vayikra or Leviticus. The last two portions of this book contain many commandments that have in some ways a common thread. Beginning with the Shemita/Sabbatical year and continuing through the blessings and curses we see the issue of faith being at the forefront. Whether it is not planting crops for the year of Shemita or holding on during the horrible happening of the curses, one thing is evident, faith is what will get us through, not dogma, not institutions or any other thing but faith in the Father. That is our only hope. My question this week had to do with our definition of faith. I got some good answers to which I would like to add my own thoughts.