B’midbar(In the Desert)B’midbar/Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 1:10-2:20
Tonight there is so much to talk about. Shavuot begins tonight at sundown. It is one of the three pilgrimage holidays and comes 50 days after Passover. It is followed by Sukkot in the fall.
I would like to begin with a few words about what I consider one of the main lessons wrapped up in our Torah portion this week. How many times have you heard someone say something like, “but this is just how I am.” Maybe you have even said it yourself. There is good news for those of us who think along those lines. That statement is a false statement. We can change.
B’midbar (In the Desert) Numbers/B’midbar 1:1-4:20
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 1:10-2:20
Messianic Scripture Luke 2:1-7, I Cor. 12:12-31
Today we begin the fourth book of the Torah. In English it is named Numbers. This English name has no connection to the Hebrew name of this book, B’midbar, or “In the Desert.” Having said that it is easy to understand the English choice of Numbers. The book begins with G-d speaking to Moshe and telling him to take a census of the people.
Torah Portion: Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5
Tonight, at sundown the Hebrew month of Elul begins. This starts a forty-day period of concentrated introspection and repentance that will end on Yom Kippur. Of course, repentance is something we should be involved in on a daily basis. However, this does remind us of the importance of not allowing unconfessed sins to fade from our minds but instead to deal with them quickly.
Torah Portion: Naso (Lift) B’midbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89
Haftorah Reading Judges 13:2-25
This Torah portion covers a number of topics that I would like us to look at tonight. To start, let’s take a look at the name of the portion, Naso. This is an interesting word. In Hebrew it means to lift. We see this same word used in Psalms 121:1 where the verse reads, “I will lift up my eyes…” However, here the English translation is usually, take, as in count. If we translate this using the words lift up, it will carry a completely different feeling than to count. When G-d told Moshe to lift the heads of the people what impression does that give you, as opposed to count? To lift up implies each person was important. They were not just a number in a mass of people.
Torah Portion Naso(Lift) Numbers (B’Midbar) 4-7
Torah Portion: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 21-25
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10
What would you say would be the theme of this Torah portion? In my opinion it is describing how we are to live our lives each day and how we are to relate to people. How are we to act toward our spouse, our children or others whom we have dealings with during the day? One of the principles our nation operates on is individualism, looking out for our self, no one can tell me what to do or how to live my life. How does this square with both the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures? Not very well. As we read this section of Torah we see over and over that we are part of a community and have responsibility for each other. Our world is to be bigger than just us. So how are we to know what G-d’s Word says? We are to study, really dig it out everyday. By this we know what He says to us about the decisions we make. Even today, and from before the time of Messiah, Jews have been taught how to live by each day reading, memorizing and internalizing G-d’s Word. Music and poetry are two of the most effective ways to get information to remain in our memory. When we are filled with the Word of G-d we are better equipped to meet the world. ( II Timothy 2:15)
Torah Portion: Pinchas B’Midbar (Numbers) 25:10-30:1
HafTorah: I Kings 18:46-19:21
Tonight we read the portion Pinchas, which brings light to the ending of last week’s Torah portion. This section of scripture ranges from the blessing given to Pinchas, to the census of the people, to the request of the daughters who’s father had died with no male heirs, to Moshe praying for the new leader of Israel and ending with the description of the holidays and offerings. Is there anything that ties this all together for us? Maybe it begins and ends with the priesthood and covenant of Shalom given to Pinchas.
Torah Portion: B’midbar (In the desert) Numbers 1-4:20
HafTorah: Hosea 1:10-2:20
This Sabbath we read the first portion of the fourth book of Torah-B’midbar. Also tonight when Sabbath ends the Appointed Time of Shavuot begins. This holiday is the second of three times on G-d’s calendar when Jews were to go to Jerusalem to celebrate one of G-d’s appointed times. In traditional Judaism this holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Therefore we can grasp somewhat what is happening in Acts 2 when the Jews from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem. As the early believers were gathered together and praying a great wind and fire appeared and touched each of them. What should interest us is basically the same scene played out thousands of years earlier at Sinai. There, G-d imparted His word. Here G-d gave His word and everyone understood it. So as we celebrate this holiday of Shavuot we are able to thank the Father for His steadfastness and that He has included us in this, His story of faithfulness.