: Sh’mot (Names) Exodus/Sh’mot 1:1-6:1
Haftorah Readings: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3
Today we begin a new book of Torah, Exodus or Sh’mot. We will read the names of the people who came to Egypt from Israel. They came with no idea of what would transpire over the coming years. However, as we will see G-d was there and had a plan.
: Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’Varim (Deut.) 26:1-29:8
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 60:1-22
This Shabbat marks exactly one week until Rosh Hashana, which begins next Friday evening at sundown. Our portion today begins with Moshe instructing the people concerning the bringing of first fruits to the temple in Jerusalem. As you may remember, G-d’s calendar begins with Passover, next comes First Fruits, followed by Rosh Hashana next week, then Yom Kippur and ending with Sukkot. I pray all of you take the time to study these coming holidays and see how they apply to your daily life and how they give an order to the year every year. Take the time to listen to what the Father is saying to each of you concerning these holidays.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Sh’mot/Exodus 18:1-20:23
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Tonight, we read a Torah portion that contains some of the most iconic words in scripture, the Ten Commandments. But I would like to begin with my question this week about the Hebrew phrase found in Sh’mot/Exodus 18:10, “Baruch Ha Shem commonly translated as “Bless the L-rd.” What does it really mean to bless the L-rd? Does G-d need our blessing or does it have a deeper meaning that could almost be a statement of faith.
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.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’varim (Deut) 32
Tonight we read the Torah portion known as Ha’azinu, translated as “Give ear.” This portion is almost entirely composed of the “Song of Moshe.” In this song Moshe speaks of Israel’s falling away from G-d in the years following his death. He called all of Israel together to hear his words. He also commanded them to teach the words to their children and pass this song down through the generations to come. This song is given as witness to the falling away of G-d’s people and the suffering they would undergo because of their wanderings. However, it ends on a note of hope as the Father reminds Israel of who He is and who they are. They are His people and He would provide atonement for them. Deut. 32:43.
Torah Portion: Vayera (He Appeared) B’Resheet (Gen.) 18;1-22:22
HafTorah: II Kings 4:1-37
Tonight we read a Torah portion filled with much to say to us about our life of faith. We read in these chapters a great swath of Avraham’s life, the promise of a child, bargaining with G-d over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, the time with Avimelech where the king took Sarah after Avraham told him she was his sister. We also read of the banishing of Hagar and her son and ending with what is known in Hebrew as the “Akedah” or Binding. It is here that I want to spend most of our time this evening. Here we see G-d test Avraham and the result of that test. As we talk about this I ask that each of us put ourselves in his place and consider how we would have replied to this test. In fact, I would say all of us have or will have our faith tested in our walk with G-d through life. It probably will not be as dramatic as Avraham’s test but when it comes it will require us to plum the depth of our faith.
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’varim(Deut.) 26-29
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 60:1-22
Tonight we read the Torah portion that contains some perplexing and difficult verses that talks about the curses that will befall the Jewish people in the future. I want us to speak of these later. It also talks of the “Bikurim Blessings,” which in English is the first fruit offering. I want to start with this subject and then end with a discussion of the curses listed in our portion.
Torah Portion: B’Shallach (After he had let go) Exodus 13:17-17:16
HafTorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Tonight we read of the exit from Egypt by Israel, crossing of the sea and the beginning of their journey to the Promise Land. I would like us to explore this Torah portion as it might relate to our own spiritual journey. Here in these verses we can see places where Israel grew spiritually and places where they failed – much as we do. In Exodus 3:12 we see the goal of their exit from Egypt. The goal was that they would serve HaShem on the mountain. This journey would be a process. (Exodus 13:17) The people needed time to grow and get Egypt out of them.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Give Ear) D’Varim, Deut. 32:1-52
HafTorah: II Sam. 22:1-51
Tonight we look at “Song of Moses.” This is the next to last address he makes to the children of Israel before his ascent to Mount Nebo to die. He ends this song by reminding the people that these words, the Torah, is their life and it is to be taught to their children continually in the future.