Haftorah Reading: Malachi 1:1-2:7
This week we study a Torah portion that is filled with intrigue and suspense. It also raises spiritual issues that are very important to each of us. Perhaps it would be best to start with the most difficult first. Who do you sympathize with when you read this portion? Who do you see as the person most at fault when you read these verses?
: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’Varim (Deut.) 21:10-25:19
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 54:1-10
Our Torah portion this week contains more commandments than other portions. It seems like Moshe, knowing his time was limited, was trying to do all he could to prepare these people before they crossed over the Jordan and entered their inheritance. These commandments cover a wide range of subjects starting with how to deal with a captive woman and how to handle a rebellious son.
Torah Portion: Kedoshim Leviticus 19-20:27
HafTorah: Amos 9:7-15; Ezekiel 20:2-20
This week we read the Torah portion Kedoshim or Holy. In Lev. 19:2 we read where G-d is speaking to Moses telling him to relate to the people of Israel these words, “you shall be holy for I the L-rd your G-d am holy.” In I Peter 1:15-16 we read almost the exact same words written to the First Century believers. No doubt the author of I Peter had in mind these words from Leviticus that we are reading tonight. So then how would the people of Peter’s day put these words into action? I would think they would again look to Leviticus, in this Torah section, as a guide. When we read these verses a common thread holds them together. That thread for the most part has to do with how we relate to other people as we navigate the days of our lives. These verses speak to us about how to live each day as a holy person, a person who does not withdraw from the world but one who infuses each day with the holiness of G-d. They show us how to be set apart but not withdrawn from the world. When we deal with people we are to be honest, compassionate and loving, not react as others might but bring holiness into every part of our lives.
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When You Come) (Deut.) 26:1-29:8
HafTorah: Isaiah 60:1-22
NT Matt. 13:1-23; Luke 21:1-4; Acts 28:17-31; Romans 11:1-15
Today before we go on to Ki Tavo I would like to go back to last week’s Torah section to cover something I overlooked. In D’Varim (Deut.) 23 we read you should not abhor or hate an Edomite. You should not abhor an Egyptian. Now think for a minute about this verse. What had the Egyptians done to Israel? Read Shemot (Exodus) 1:22. Yet here we see Moses speaking as if this had never happened, almost saying Israel owed them a debt of gratitude. On the other hand they were to recite the story of Exodus each year commemorated with bitter herbs and unleavened bread so their children would never forget. What is Moses talking about here? To be free you have to let go of hate. If not, Moses might take them out of Egypt but would not be able to take Egypt out of them. Mentally and emotionally they would still be slaves, still in chains – chains of their mind and emotions. We must live with the past but not in the past. If we let our past define who we are we are not truly free of it. Moses tells the people over and over to remember the past not for revenge but so that they would remember to not treat others the way they were treated. They should give to the poor, leave some of their crops in the field to share with others and share their lives with others. Our memory of the past is not to preserve hate but to conquer it and to recall how it felt to be a victim. Remember: not to live in the past but to prevent a repetition of it.