Mishpatim(Rulings)Ex./Sh’mot 21:1-24:18

Torah Portion: Mishpatim(Rulings)Ex./Sh’mot 21:1-24:18 Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22 In our time together tonight we will be looking at the Torah portion that follows Yitro. In Yitro we read the 10 Words or Commandments. This week’s portion is often looked at as rather anti-climactic after the fire and smoke coming down on Mt. Sinai in last week’s portion. […]

Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Torah PortionShoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 51:12-53:12

This Torah portion, like most, contains a multitude of subjects that can occupy us for hours but we will limit ourselves to a few that I think will challenge us spiritually. To do this I want to begin with my three questions I sent you this week.

Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut) 16-21

Torah Portion:  Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 16-21

HafTorah: Isaiah 51:12-53:12

This week we read the Torah portion Shoftim. This portion continues Moshe’s instructions to the people about how they were to live and carry on their lives in the Land of Promise. We will look at several scriptures that will give us insight into our own lives and how we are to live and relate to our world today. I think we will see a common thread worked through these verses. We will see that we have a responsibility as believers in this world to ourselves and to those around us to live our lives with the will and word of G-d always on our lips and in our hearts.

Shoftim (Judges) Deut. 16


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

HafTorah: Isaiah 51:12-52:12

Tonight I want to look at a couple of things from this week’s Torah portion. These will cover the two questions I sent out this week. I would like us to spend a few minutes looking at Deut. 20:19. In my translation it reads, “for the tree of the field is man’s food.” However in Hebrew it reads, “Man is a tree of the field.” So, what are we to make of this? How are we trees of the field? In Psalms 1:3 David compares a righteous man to a tree with fruit and leaves that don’t wither. Why? Because it is connected to its life source – water. How do we not wither and turn brown? We do it by staying connected to our life source – the living G-d who through Yeshua nourishes us daily. And as this tree bears fruit so must we. (John 15:2,6) This can only happen as we stay connected to our source. In fact the Torah says non- fruit bearing trees are to be cut down and used to lay siege to a city. In these verses of John Yeshua says the same things. So we are to be trees who reproduce good fruit, our leaves are to stay green, and our roots should be strong and deep. All of these hearken back to this verse that we looked at tonight.

Korach Numbers 16:1

Weekly Torah Section: Korach Numbers 16:1-18:32, HafTorah: I Samuel 11:14-12:22

Tonight I want us to mainly look at the Torah portion, but I do have a few things to say about the Haftorah. In I Samuel we see the greatest of Israel’s judges turning over the nation to their first king – King Saul. What connection do you see between Samuel and the Torah section in Numbers. There are at least two things. Both contain a miraculous sign. In Numbers the earth opens and swallows up 250 people. In Samuel a fierce thunderstorm occurs. Why is the thunderstorm a miraculous sign? When does this thunderstorm occur – during the wheat harvest. So what time of year was that? Near the holiday of Shavuot, which means it was the time of year when rain does not fall in Israel. The other connection was both Moses and Samuel said they had taken nothing from the people. (Numbers 16:15 and I Samuel 12:3)

Tetzaveh (You Shall Command) Purim

Weekly Torah Section: Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20-30:10, Haftorah: Ezekiel 43:10-27

The story of Purim is told through the scroll of Esther.  First, as most of you know, there was much discussion when the cannon was being formed as to whether to include the book of Esther or not. Do you know why? The name of G-d is never mentioned in the book. It is implied but not specifically mentioned.

What I want to talk about concerning the book of Esther is connected with our present world and how good and evil are perceived.  We live in a world that okays the killing of the unborn, suicide bombers are looked at and praised as heroes and martyrs.  Israel’s fence is condemned but the one built on our border with Mexico is a good idea. Situational ethics holds sway in our world. The line between good and evil has become blurred or erased all together. I think the story of Purim has something to teach us on this.