Acharei Mot (After the death)Vayikra/Leviticus 16:1-18:30
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 22:1-19
I want us to talk about a very serious issue that is all around us. Even in our religious institutions we see things condoned that we would have never dreamed of a few years ago. In our Torah portion today we read of a remedy for the sin sweeping our world.
My question this week centered on two verses, one in our reading and one from the Messianic scriptures. Both of these verses lay out a path for G-d’s people to rise above the situations we encounter each day. We see how to resist becoming numb to the sins we encounter.
Vayechi(And He Lived)B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Today I would like us to look at the last Torah portion of Genesis. In this portion we read of the death of both Jacob and Joseph. This portion, like Chayai Sarah in Genesis 23:1, follows an interesting thought. Even though both are called by a name meaning life, they include the death of the main character.
Vayishlach(He Sent) B’resheet/Genesis 32:4-36:43
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Today we study a Torah portion with many twists and turns. We read of Jacob’s return to the land after being gone more than 20 years. We also read of the death of Rachel and her burial. I would first like us to start our discussion talking about Rachel.
Nitzavim(Standing) D’Varim (Deut.) 29:9-30:20
Haftorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
I read a very interesting essay about our Torah portion this week. I would like to share with you some of the thoughts that arose from this reading.
What do you believe is the point of our faith? Is it life on earth or death and being in heaven? There is a famous quote from a book about Sherlock Holmes that might help us find an answer to my question. “I draw your attention”, he said to Dr. Watson, “to the curious incident of the dog at night.” “But the dog did nothing at night,” said Watson. “That,” said Holmes, “is the curious incident.” Sometimes to know what a book is about you need to focus on what it does not say, not just on what it does say.
: Nitzavim (Standing) D’Varim (Deut.) 29:9-30:20, Vayelekh (He Went) D’Varim (Deut.) 31:1-30
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 61:10-63:9; Hosea 14:1-10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
This week we read a double portion of scripture. Remember, this was Moshe’s last day alive, yet he was still speaking G-d’s word to the people. This will be covered a bit more later. However, it does raise the question, how do we spend our days especially when we are near the end of life? I read a quote this week from a book about Sherlock Holmes. It was, “I draw your attention, Watson, to the curious incident of the dog at night.” “But the dog did nothing at night,” said Watson. “That is the curious incident,” said Holmes. Sometimes to truly understand a book’s point you need to pay attention to not only what it says, but also to what it does not say.
Mattot (Tribes) and Masa’ei (Stages) B’midbar (Numbers) 30:2-36:13 Haftorah Readings: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
Today I would like to cover two topics from our double Torah readings. Both of these topics have bearing on our life today as G-d’s people and the world in which we live. I would like to start with my question of the week. In Numbers 32:1-5 we read the account of the two tribes of Reuben and Gad who came to Moshe and told him they would rather stay on the east bank of the Jordan River rather than enter the Promised Land with the rest of Israel. Later, they were joined in their request by the half tribe of Menashe.
Torah Portion Kedoshim (Holy People) Leviticus/Vayikra 19:1-20:27
Haftorah Reading Ezekiel 20:2-20
Tonight, we study, by most accounts, the most important Torah portion. The reason is very simple. Parashat Kedoshim actually tells us in practical terms what it means to be holy.
Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived) B’resheet (Genesis) 47-50
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 2:1-12
Our Torah portion begins with the words “And he lived,” found in B’resheet/Genesis 47:28. However, as we read further, we see in a few verses later that Ya’acov died in this portion. His son, Joseph, died also. What can we make of these first few words, “And he lived?” I think scripture is making a point important to us all. Ya’acov’s body died but he lived on through the lives of his descendants, as do we. This opens up a few issues I want us to give some thought to. How do each of us live on after our physical passing? If we look at verse 48:15 we read what Ya’acov attributed his life to as he faced death. In this verse we read where he made the statement that he and his forefathers spent their life walking with G-d. I believe each of us should look at our life and consider how we have spent our days. In this same verse he went on to say G-d had been his Shepherd for his life.
Torah Portion: B’resheet (In the Beginning) B’resheet/Genesis 1:1-6:8
HafTorah: Isaiah 42:5-43:10
To begin our study tonight I want to mention a few Hebrew words from our reading. The second word in B’resheet/Genesis 1 is “Bara”. This word means to create and is only used when describing what G-d creates. Bara means creating from nothing. Only G-d is able to create from nothing. Man uses things or substance to form or make something new.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’Varim/Deut. 32
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
This week as we near the end of our yearly reading cycle we come to this portion. These verses are written in the style of a song or poem. It contains words that in Hebrew make it easy to remember. In fact many school children in Israel memorize this parasha and learn to sing it when they are in primary school.