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.
Torah Portion: Nitzavim (Standing) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-30:20
Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10-63:9
Before we get to the Torah section I would like to say a word about tomorrow. As you know, tomorrow at sundown the biblical holiday, or in Hebrew, Mo’ed, of Yom Teruah begins. The literal translation of Yom Teruah is “the blowing,” meaning the blowing of the shofar. You can read about this holiday in Leviticus 23:24-25. When we look at the times in scripture where the sound of the shofar is mentioned we see several interesting facts. It was used to announce the crowning of G-d as King at Mt. Sinai. It was also used in battle such as when the walls of Jericho fell. It also will announce the coming of Messiah. Revelation 20:4-6.
Torah Portion Mattot (Tribes) Masa’ei (Stages) (B’Midbar) Numbers30:2-36:13
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
This week we finish the book of B’Midbar or Numbers. In these two Torah portions we cover a number of topics. These are topics that speak to us in our life and world today. One of the dominant themes is the subject of words. When we began our journey through the Torah the words spoken by G-d brought the world into being. Through all the books so far we have seen the power of words both for good and for evil. We see this same theme in the Messianic Scriptures in Matthew 5:37 where it says, “But let your yes be yes and your no no. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Weekly Torah Section: Ekev (Because, As a result of) Deut. 7:12-11:25
HafTorah Isaiah 49:14-51:3
Tonight the Torah section is called “Ekev” which means, because, as a result of or following. What is the connection with Jacob’s name? He was born grasping his brother’s foot.
I want to look first at Isaiah and then get to the question that I sent to you. Let’s look at Isaiah 49:13 first. Here G-d proclaims that He has comforted His people and will have mercy on His afflicted. However, in the next verse we see Zion’s response. She was still feeling rejected and forgotten. Her people remain scattered across the world. Jerusalem lies in ruins and the presence of G-d has been withdrawn. She responds like an abandoned wife. I guess as I read this this week I thought of my own life and how many times I felt alone and left by G-d. But in the midst of it all G-d reassured me and here He reassures Zion that she is not forgotten. Can a mother forget her child? (verse 15) Maybe this is possible but I will never forget you. What a wonderful promise. G-d does not abandon us but He will always be with us.