Torah Portion: Beha’alotcha(When You Set Up)B’midbar/Numbers 8:1-12:16
Haftorah Reading: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
Today we are studying a portion of scripture that has so much to say to us in our daily walk with the Father. I have several topics to cover, all of which I believe will speak to us. The first has to do with Moses. In this portion we read of the people’s complaints of having only manna to eat. They reminisced about the variety of food they had in Egypt. G-d told Moses He would supply the Israelites with enough meat for a month. In Numbers 11:22 Moshe shared with G-d his doubts that that was possible. G-d’s responded to Moses by asking if the L-rd’s power was limited? In Hebrew, Numbers 11:23 is expressed well, “Has the hand of the L-rd become shortened?” In effect He is reminding Moses how He delivered the people from Egypt, split the sea for them to cross on to dry land, brought them water from a rock and brought mana down each day.
Torah Portion: B’midbar (In the desert) Numbers 1-4:20
HafTorah: Hosea 1:10-2:20
This Sabbath we read the first portion of the fourth book of Torah-B’midbar. Also tonight when Sabbath ends the Appointed Time of Shavuot begins. This holiday is the second of three times on G-d’s calendar when Jews were to go to Jerusalem to celebrate one of G-d’s appointed times. In traditional Judaism this holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Therefore we can grasp somewhat what is happening in Acts 2 when the Jews from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem. As the early believers were gathered together and praying a great wind and fire appeared and touched each of them. What should interest us is basically the same scene played out thousands of years earlier at Sinai. There, G-d imparted His word. Here G-d gave His word and everyone understood it. So as we celebrate this holiday of Shavuot we are able to thank the Father for His steadfastness and that He has included us in this, His story of faithfulness.
Torah Portion: B’Har (On Mount) B’chukkotai (By My Regulations) Leviticus 25-27
HafTorah: Jeremiah 32:6-27
Tonight we finish Vayikra (Leviticus) by looking at these last two Torah portions. In our first portion we read, “And the L-rd spoke to Moshe on Mt Sinai.” In these few words are conveyed a foundational difference between Hebrew and Greek thought. As Western people we have been shaped by Greek logic and thought. When we look at scripture, especially in the Torah, we often come across the underlying Hebrew logic and thought. How do we see this Hebrew thought process here in these first few words? Chronologically where are we in the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt? The Temple or Mishkan has been constructed, priests have been installed, and time has passed. Yet, here our opening words are B’Har or On Mount Sinai. Moshe was on the mountain back in Sh’mot (Exodus). So why here at the end of this third book of Torah do we read the words B’Har? I think from G-d’s perspective time is not the point. Chronological order is never the issue with G-d. To the Father time or its passage is somewhat irrelevant. What really matters is the point G-d is making. We almost exclusively think of order of time. A+B=C. Yet, to the Hebrew mind maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. What is important is that we grasp the spiritual idea G-d is getting across.
Torah Portion: P’kudei(Accounts) Exodus 38-40
HafTorah: I Kings 7:40-8:21
I would like to start today by looking at the title of this week’s section, P’kudei. In Hebrew it means, “Accounting”, not the profession but taking stock of what has been entrusted to us. Here Moses is settling accounts on everything the people had contributed during the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. This caused me to think of my own life and also I would hope it would cause you to stop and take an account from time to time of what G-d has given or entrusted to you. Have we, or are we using what He has given to us? Have we been faithful to use the spiritual gifts we have? Are we faithful in fulfilling G-d’s plan for our lives or have we been so caught up in living we have forgotten what or who we are to be living for. It is very easy to lose our way unless we take account from time to time. The path is before us. We are to walk in it, not just from time to time but everyday. He loves us and has a plan for us but we have to be part of fulfilling His will and using His gifts in our lives. It really is a partnership between us and the L-rd.
Torah Portion: Nitzavim (Standing) (Deut.) 29:9-30:20
HafTorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
NT Romans 9:30-10:13; Hebrews 12:14-15
Before we really get into our study, I want to share something with you that I read this week. Israel became a state in May 1948. The Hebrew year when this occurred was 5708. Now to the interesting part: This week we read in Deut. 30:3, “The L-rd our G-d will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He has scattered you.” The article I read said this is the 5708th verse in Torah. If this is correct, and I didn’t count to see, what an orderly G-d we serve. Thousands of years ago G-d led Moses to speak this verse that would corresponds exactly to when the State of Israel would be formed. He is faithful, He is always faithful to Israel and to us. He is worthy of our trust, our love and faith in Him.
Torah Portion: Vayechi Genesis 47:28-50:26
HafTorah: I Kings 2:1-12
I Peter 1:1-19
Tonight we read the Torah section entitled Vayechi or “And he lived.” The Torah goes on to tell us that Jacob lived 147 years. The remainder of this section basically covers his death.
In my questions for the week I asked you to look back at Genesis 47:7-11 where Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was. In Hebrew it comes out more, “Wow, how old are you!” Jacob answers that he is 130 years old and his days have been few and evil. He had not lived as long as his father, Isaac or grandfather, Abraham. He died 33 years younger than Isaac and 28 years younger than Abraham. When you look at his life would you summarize his days as few and evil? G-d watched over him all the time he was with Laban. He left Israel with nothing but the clothes on his back and the staff in his hand. G-d promised to be with him and bring him back which he did. He brought him back with riches and a family. He prospered in Israel. G-d provided for him in Egypt. Again, it might be how you look at things. Rabbis see this as one of Jacob’s problems to the point his life possibly ended prematurely.