Korach B’midbar/Numbers 16:1-18:32
Torah Portion: Korach B’midbar/Numbers 16:1-18:32
Haftorah Reading: I Samuel 11:14-12:22
Today we are looking at a very important Torah portion. I realize I say that quite often but in this portion I believe we are looking at verses that speak directly to our times today.
Let me begin by looking at another verse that has Hebrew – English translation issues. In Numbers 16:1 we read in English, “Korah took men.” However in Hebrew the word men does not appear. It reads, “Korach took.” This leaves us with an interesting question, what did Korach take?
Ki Tisa (When you take) Exodus 30-34
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Exodus 30-34
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
Tonight we read about a number of different subjects, from taking a census to the incident with the golden calf. It is on this last topic that I want us to spend our evening looking at and discussing.
Beginning in chapter 32 we can follow the process that results in the terrible sin of the calf. Think about what is going on here like a split screen TV. On one side we see Moshe on the top of the mountain with G-d. Moshe had come into that place where heaven and earth intersected. He was with the Father. Now think about the other half of the screen where we see the children of Israel at the same time. They had grown impatient when Moshe did not return when they were expecting him to. When he didn’t appear they went to Aaron and asked him to make gods for them to lead them because they did not know what had become of Moshe.
Ha’azinu Deut. 32
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu Deut. 32:1-52
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
In Deut. 32:1 Moses uses two different verbs when addressing Heaven and Earth. I want us to start by looking at these verses and what it might mean to us spiritually. First, Ha’azinu means to give ear or listen closely, like when you might share something with a close friend. The other verb is a general term for listen. What can we learn from this? The rabbis say the first word signifies the closeness Moses felt to Heaven. I was thinking about this and about what it means for us. First Judaism sees life both spiritual and physical made up of a dichotomy, light and dark, days of the week, Sabbath, Heaven and earth. Given this, we live somewhat in the tension between these divisions. We, like Moses, should have a close connection to the divine. We should be so close we only have to whisper and the world should not have the power over us that the spiritual has. We should be able to impact the physical world because of our closeness to the spiritual. We need only to whisper and G-d hears us.
Yeshua Is Our Hope – Metzora Leviticus 14
Torah Portion: Metzora Leviticus 14:1-15:33
HafTorah: II Kings 7:3-20
This is the second Torah Portion devoted to leprosy. Four chapters given to a disease and all the details of how to tell if a person has it and if so what to do about it and how to be declared clean. Seems odd doesn’t it – until we look at the New Testament and how leprosy was used as a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven. I sent you some verses that I think give us a good view of this. Luke 17:12-14, Matthew 10:7-8, Matthew 11:4-5 and Matthew 26:6. What can we see from all these? Cleansing of leprosy was seen as a sign that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. But why was this? Think about the disease. What did it do? It spread through the body slowly killing it and also easily spread to others. Sin also is at work in our body to bring death physically and spiritually. Leprosy separated the person from being part of the Temple worship, separated them from family and friends. Anyone who had it had to live outside the camp. Which brings me to Matthew 26:6 about Simon the leper. How can we tell he had been healed and cleansed? He lived in town and people came and went in his house. Maybe he was one who had been healed by Yeshua. Yeshua also raised Lazarus from the dead in this same town, which gives us a further insight into leprosy. It was viewed as a death sentence. The person with it had to tear his clothes, leave his head uncovered and cry, “unclean, unclean.” Sin makes us spiritually unclean and separates us from G-d. To enter into His presence we must be made clean by Messiah.
A Shadow of Heavenly Things – Tetzaveh (You will command) Ex 27
Torah Portion: Tetzaveh (You will command) Exodus 27:20-30:10
HafTorah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
A few thoughts first about this section of Torah; First, it is mainly about the priesthood, the articles of clothing and the setting apart of the priests for their service. However, it begins with the commandment that the people bring pure olive oil to cause the lamp to burn continually before G-d. Why not include these few verses with the prior section which was about those things of the Mishkan? Also, G-d speaking to Moses in Exodus 27:20 “bring to you” not “bring to Me.” Why? We are the ones who need the light of G-d in this world. We pray mainly to remind ourselves of whom we serve. So the light here reminds us that without it we are lost in a world of spiritual darkness. No wonder Yeshua said that He was the light of the world. And as here, we as priests are reminded that we must depend upon the light to find our way as we do G-d’s will and service