Torah Portion: B’Shallach (After He Had Let Go) Sh’mot/Exodus 13:17-17:16
Haftorah Reading: Judges 4:4-5:31
Today we read of the people of Israel being freed from Egypt and slavery after living four hundred years as slaves to Pharaoh. If I had to put a title to this section it might be, “Change and Transformation.” I want us, as we study today, to look at our own life in light of what we talk about.
In our opening verse Exodus 13:17 we read, “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that G-d led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for G-d said, ‘Lest perhaps the people repent when they see war and they return to Egypt.”
: Lekh L’kha (Get Yourself Out) B’resheet/Genesis 12:1-17:27
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
In this Torah portion we are introduced to Avram. As many as 4.1 billion people of different faiths count him as one of their founders. I want us to look at his life in this portion today and try to understand what drove him in his walk with G-d.
Torah Portion: T’rumah (Contribution) Exodus (Sh’mot) 25:1-27:19
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 5:26-6:13
Tonight, we begin a series of four Torah portions that discuss the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle and all of the items included in that construction. When Israel came into the Land their Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh and remained there for 369 years until Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem.
Our portion begins with G-d speaking to Moshe, instructing him to take a contribution from the people to provide all the materials needed in the construction project. Later in Sh’mot/Exodus 35:21-29 we read where both men and women were included in this contribution. This makes the point that this was shared by everyone, all the people of Israel, not just a few. Everyone had a part in the building of the Mishkan.
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32
HafTorah: II Sam. 22:1-51
Tonight we read what is generally called, “The Song of Moses,” which G-d gave him for the people. Remember he delivers this his almost final words to these people whom he has led for forty years through the wilderness. He, according to verse 32:48, gives this song to Israel on the very same day that he dies. He is not to enter the Land. That dream which has been his goal for all these years, G-d said would not happen. Do we hear any anger or harsh words towards G-d who told him he can’t cross over the Jordan? No, instead look at verses 3 and 4 of chapter 32. He calls G-d just, righteous, great and a G-d of truth in which is no injustice. What can we learn from his words? There are times in our lives when we feel G-d has left us or has been unjust in His dealings with us. How can we be able to see G-d as Moses saw Him? Moses had reached a place where he could see that G-d only had his best in mind. The challenges and trials of life that G-d had allowed, Moses understood were to mature him in his faith. They were for good. This is the place that must be our goal. Only by passing through troubled waters can we grow. G-d does not hate us. He has not forsaken us. In our lives His desire is for us to grow, no longer only able to drink milk but to eat meat at His table. This takes effort on our part. It takes perseverance to come to this place where Moses stood.