Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16-21

Torah Portion: Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 51:12-53:12

Messianic Scripture  Matthew 5:38-42; Acts 3:13-26; I Timothy 5:17-22

Today I want us to look at a couple of scriptures from our Torah portion this week. Much of my material will come from an article I read this week called, “The Mysterious Prophet” from First Fruits of Zion.

In Deut. 18:15 we read, “The L-rd your G-d will raise to you a prophet from your midst, from your brothers, like me, to him shall you listen.” We need to look also at Deut. 34:9-10 where we see the same promise of a prophet to come whom the L-rd knew face to face. So who is this person, this prophet?

Vayishlach (And He Sent) B’resheet/Gen. 32:4-36:43

: Vayishlach(And He Sent) B’resheet/Genesis 32:4-36:43

Haftorah Readings: Hosea 11:7-12:12

This week we read of Jacob’s return to Israel and his struggle with an angel (G-d). After this struggle we read where G-d changed his name and gave him a limp that he had for the rest of his life. I want to take a few moments and look at this encounter. What differences do we see in Jacob’s life after this encounter? I want to thank you for your thoughts on my questions each week. It helps me and encourages me as I write and send you teaching each week.

Beha’alotcha (When You Lift Up) B’midbar(Numbers) 8:1-12:16

Torah Portion: Beha’alotcha (When You Lift Up) B’midbar(Numbers) 8:1-12:16  Haftorah Reading Zechariah 2:14-4:7

Tonight, our reading covers a wide range of subjects. We begin with the instructions for lighting the golden menorah in the Mishkan or Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. We also read of the men who came to Moshe and pleaded for a chance to keep Passover since they were unclean from being in contact with a dead body during the holiday. This portion also covers the order the tribes were to be in when it came time, at G-d’s direction, for them to move.

Balak B’midbar (Numbers) 22-25

Torah Portion: Balak B’midbar (Numbers) 22:2-25:9

HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

Tonight we read the Torah portion Balak, which covers mainly the effort of Balak, King of Moab, to enlist the help of a gentile seer named Balaam to curse Israel. Balak fears Israel and wants to use this man, who has a reputation of some spiritual power, to curse G-d’s people. As we read this portion we see a man who is known throughout the region as one who can connect with the spiritual world to bring a curse or blessing upon a person or kingdom. Balaam had the appearance of a spiritual person. This caused me to consider how do we judge spiritualness in a person? Is it by appearance and reputation? Or is it by their actions, how they live from day to day. The Haftorah this week gives us a good guideline for living spiritually. In Micah 6:8 we read, “This is what the L-rd requires of you: to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with G-d. G-d hates hypocrisy, a person who pretends to be one thing but inside is an empty shell. Balaam fits this description. He portrays himself as a spiritual giant but G-d shows him that even his donkey has more insight than he does.