Torah Portion: Ki Tavo(When you come) D’Varim (Deut.) 26:1-29:8
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 60:1-22
Messianic Scripture Matthew 13:1-23; Luke 21:1-4; Acts 28:17-31
Today we read a Torah portion that takes place on the east bank of the Jordan river. It contains some of Moshe’s remark’s to the people that are meant to sustain them after they cross over the Jordan. I believe all of us can take comfort in these words as we walk through our days.
I would like to begin with the words of Deut. 26:5-8, 5 “And you shall declare before the L-rd your G-d, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the L-rd, the G-d of our fathers, and the L-rd heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the L-rd brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders.”
Torah portion: Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1
Haftorah Reading I Kings 18:46-19:21
In this Torah portion we read the conclusion of the activities of the Israelites following their interaction with the Midianite women. In Numbers 25: 16-18 we read an interesting explanation of how G-d looked at the sins of immorality and idol worship. In these verses we read that these sins were viewed by G-d as being equally responsible for the plague G-d sent on the Israelites that took the lives of 24,000 people. As we have studied the Torah we have seen on many occasions that idol worship was the father of all sins. Nothing was looked at as being on the level of idol worship. I would like to share an explanation with you that might give us some answers to how here immorality and idol worship were looked at as being both responsible for Israel’s punishment. To do this I will draw from an article that I read this week by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin who serves as the chief Rabbi of the town of Efrat in Israel. In our society today we hear over and over that as long as we do not harm another person pretty much anything we do in okay if it brings us pleasure. The verses above give us an important insight that refutes that idea.
Torah Portion: Vayikra (And He Called) (Leviticus) Vayikra 1-5
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
This Torah portion is the first of the third book of the Torah. “Vayikra” translated to English is “And He Called.” This term is usually seen as a term of endearment. This term is frequently followed by a mission or task that only that person can do. Another example in the Prophets is the book of Samuel where the exact same words are used when G-d calls Samuel. (I Samuel 3:8)