Torah Portion: Sh’mot(Names) Exodus 1-6
HafTorah: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3
Tonight we read the beginning of the redemption of the people from slavery. We read of the birth of Moshe and the first years of his life. This portion is filled with many spiritual lessons for us and I would like to cover a few of them. I believe these will speak to us about who we are and how we are to live as G-d’s people in today’s world.
Torah Portion: Korach Numbers 16:1-18:32
HafTorah: I Sam 11:14 – 12:22
Let me start with a couple of verses from Genesis 1:6-13. In these verses we read about the second and third day of creation. What is missing in day two? G-d does not say it is good. Why? One reason might be that there was a division on the second day. However on day three what do we read? He said, “It was good” twice. Here the earth and water reconciled the division by bringing forth life. I think we can see this in Korach and even in the New Testament. When was Yeshua resurrected? It happened on the third day and that resurrection brought forth spiritual life that we are still experiencing and will continue to experience.
Weekly Torah Section: Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20-30:10, Haftorah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
The story of Purim is told through the scroll of Esther. First, as most of you know, there was much discussion when the cannon was being formed as to whether to include the book of Esther or not. Do you know why? The name of G-d is never mentioned in the book. It is implied but not specifically mentioned.
What I want to talk about concerning the book of Esther is connected with our present world and how good and evil are perceived. We live in a world that okays the killing of the unborn, suicide bombers are looked at and praised as heroes and martyrs. Israel’s fence is condemned but the one built on our border with Mexico is a good idea. Situational ethics holds sway in our world. The line between good and evil has become blurred or erased all together. I think the story of Purim has something to teach us on this.