Torah Portion: B’midbar (In the Desert) Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftorah Readings: Hosea 1:10-2:20
Tonight, we begin the fourth book of the Torah. This book covers almost the entire time Israel spent in the wilderness. It has the fewest number of commandments of any book up until now. It is mainly a narrative that covers the coming of age of the Children of Israel before they enter the Promised Land.
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Exodus (Sh’mot) 30:11-34:35
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 18:1-39
This week our Torah portion is Ki Tisa meaning, “When you take.” The Hebrew word tisa means to carry a load, or to undertake a necessary burden.
In this portion we read of G-d’s instructions on how the census was to be taken. You may remember in II Samuel 24 and I Chronicles 27 where King David, in his later years, decided to take a census of the people of Israel with disastrous results. Why was it wrong for him to take this census? G-d had not ordered it done. David did this on his own and brought calamity on Israel. Keep this in mind as we go through these scriptures today.
Torah Portion: B’Har (On Mount) B’chukkotai (By My Regulations) Leviticus 25-27
HafTorah: Jeremiah 32:6-27
Tonight we finish Vayikra (Leviticus) by looking at these last two Torah portions. In our first portion we read, “And the L-rd spoke to Moshe on Mt Sinai.” In these few words are conveyed a foundational difference between Hebrew and Greek thought. As Western people we have been shaped by Greek logic and thought. When we look at scripture, especially in the Torah, we often come across the underlying Hebrew logic and thought. How do we see this Hebrew thought process here in these first few words? Chronologically where are we in the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt? The Temple or Mishkan has been constructed, priests have been installed, and time has passed. Yet, here our opening words are B’Har or On Mount Sinai. Moshe was on the mountain back in Sh’mot (Exodus). So why here at the end of this third book of Torah do we read the words B’Har? I think from G-d’s perspective time is not the point. Chronological order is never the issue with G-d. To the Father time or its passage is somewhat irrelevant. What really matters is the point G-d is making. We almost exclusively think of order of time. A+B=C. Yet, to the Hebrew mind maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. What is important is that we grasp the spiritual idea G-d is getting across.