: Nitzavim (Standing) D’Varim (Deut.) 29:9-30:20, Vayelekh (He Went) D’Varim (Deut.) 31:1-30
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 61:10-63:9; Hosea 14:1-10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
This week we read a double portion of scripture. Remember, this was Moshe’s last day alive, yet he was still speaking G-d’s word to the people. This will be covered a bit more later. However, it does raise the question, how do we spend our days especially when we are near the end of life? I read a quote this week from a book about Sherlock Holmes. It was, “I draw your attention, Watson, to the curious incident of the dog at night.” “But the dog did nothing at night,” said Watson. “That is the curious incident,” said Holmes. Sometimes to truly understand a book’s point you need to pay attention to not only what it says, but also to what it does not say.
Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Rulings) Sh’mot (Exodus) 21-24
HafTorah: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:225-26
I would like us to look first at Exodus 23:7 today. But before that think about this Torah section. It follows the spiritual high of the revelation at Sinai, the awesomeness of G-d coming before His people. Then here we seem to get mired in details. Mostly between man and his neighbors, things concerning, how to relate to our fellowman. I think G-d here is showing us that He is found in the details. The high points are great but they are fleeting. We live in the world everyday. How do we go about it in a way that glorifies G-d? So, to give us a little help I want us to ponder this verse on falsehood. This is easy right?
Weekly Torah Section: Emore (Say) Leviticus 21:1-24:23, Haftorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31
In both the Torah and Haftorah portions we read about the priests and their duties and qualifications. In the Haftorah, Ezekiel 44:15-31 we read the words of Ezekiel. Who was he? When were these verses written and where was he when he wrote this? Ezekiel was a priest from the temple in Jerusalem so he knew intimately what the priestly duties were. He wrote these verses in Babylon by the river Chebar in 585 BCE.
In Ezekiel 44:15 it says that the sons of Zadok (In Hebrew Zadok means righteous) will stand before the L-rd and offer the offerings while the other priests will do the more menial tasks. Why were they singled out? They were the only priests that kept the commandments concerning the sanctuary and offerings to G-d. Again, they stayed close to G-d and they stayed holy while the rest of Israel had strayed away from G-d. Even the other priests had not remained faithful. This reminds us of the New Testament verses where it says in the last days many of the elect will fall away. If we as the elect know our priestly duties and our role as Christians we will not be deceived in the last days. It also goes back to how important it is to stay clean in the midst of a crooked world. What was the sons of Zadok’s inheritance? In Ezekiel 44:28 it says the L-rd was their inheritance. May this be our inheritance as well.
All these verses in Ezekiel take place in the Messianic age when the Torah will go forth from Jerusalem.