Haftorah Reading: I Kings 5:12-6:13
I want us to concentrate our study today on one particular verse. I want us to look at Exodus 25:2. I am sure we have looked at this verse before, however, today I want us to look at it from a viewpoint we may not have considered before.
In this verse we read the offering brought to the L-rd was to come from only those people who were moved to give willingly. It could come from both male and female Israelites. This offering was for the specific purpose of constructing the Mishkan. So this offering was to include all the people not a select few. The purpose of the offering is clearly stated in Exodus 25:8. There we read, “And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell in their midst.” The Mishkan was to be constructed in such a way that it was mobile and could be moved. It would need to be transported wherever the people journeyed. It was used for the duration of the exodus and for many years once the people arrived in the Promised Land. Most importantly the Mishkan was to be a visible, tangible reminder that the L-rd was dwelling among them. The very word for the structure has at its root, neighbor or neighborhood. I would pray each of us can feel that same assurance that G-d is always with us. He abides in our heart.
Torah Portion: B’Shallach (After he had let go) Exodus 13:17-17:16
HafTorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Tonight we read of the exit from Egypt by Israel, crossing of the sea and the beginning of their journey to the Promise Land. I would like us to explore this Torah portion as it might relate to our own spiritual journey. Here in these verses we can see places where Israel grew spiritually and places where they failed – much as we do. In Exodus 3:12 we see the goal of their exit from Egypt. The goal was that they would serve HaShem on the mountain. This journey would be a process. (Exodus 13:17) The people needed time to grow and get Egypt out of them.
Torah Portion: Bo (Come) Exodus 10:1-13:16
HafTorah: Jeremiah 46:13-28
Tonight we read of the last three plagues on Egypt and the beginning of Israel’s freedom. I would like us to talk about at least two of the last three plagues.
I also want to remind us of the purpose of these plagues as stated in scripture. The purpose: “In order that they will know I am G-d.” This purpose applied to both Egypt and Israel. Israel was about to start a whole new relationship with G-d. In some ways this would be a revolution for them, a new vision, a new walk. Revolution is one of those interesting words in English. It can mean to start a whole new life as a people or as a person. It can also mean to go around 360 degrees, which puts us right back where we started. What determines which meaning applies? A 360 degree turn might happen when one is resistant to change. Pharaoh is a good example of that. He was addicted to the status quo, even when it was destructive to both him and his people.
Torah Portion: Sh’mot (Names) Exodus 1:1-6:1
HafTorah: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3, Isaiah 27:6-28:13
This week we read the first Torah section of Sh’mot (Exodus). In this section we read of the birth of Moses, his flight from Egypt and then G-d’s call on him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and return to the Land of Promise.
Torah Portion: Terumah (Offering) Exodus 25-27
HafTorah: I Kings 5:26-6:13
Tonight we look at the Torah section named Terumah. This section gives great detail to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Apparently this detail is extremely important in that it takes up many chapters in Torah while all of creation is wrapped up in Genesis 1-2. I would like to look at the part of this portion that deals with the building of the Mishkan and how it may speak to us spiritually. However, first I want to say a few words about the Exodus’ purpose and how we can draw a spiritual lession for our lives.
Torah Portion: B’Shallach (After he had let go) Exodus 13-17
HafTorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Why does Torah say, “When Pharaoh sent out the people?” Would it not be more accurate to say, “When G-d took Israel out of Egypt?” After all it was not Pharaoh’s idea to send them out. In Exodus 14:8 we see where they went out with an upraised arm. So did they go out as free men or as fleeing slaves? Which is correct? Actually there were two exoduses, a physical one and a spiritual one. And that is what I want us to look at over the next minutes. Physically the people did leave as free men but spiritually it was a different matter. When people have been intertwined for over 400 years much more is involved in separation than just the physical leaving. It is somewhat like the breakup of a marriage. It is complicated and always carries a good bit of internal trauma.
Torah Portion: B’Shallach Sh’mot (Exodus) 13:17-17:16
HafTorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
I want us to look mainly at the Exodus and see what we can learn that might give us insight into our own lives spiritually. I want to start by looking at the last question I sent you this week. In Sh’mot 13:17, in Hebrew, it is written that Pharaoh sent the people out, in Sh’mot 14:5 he is told that the people have fled and finally in Sh’mot 14:8 it says the people went out with an up raised arm. So which is true?