Torah Portion: Mattot (Tribes) Masa’ei (Stages) (Numbers) B’Midbar 30-36
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
Tonight we finish the fourth book of the Torah B’Midbar or Numbers. This book finishes with the people standing on the threshold of entering the Land after forty years. They left Egypt as a band of slaves and here we see them about to enter the Promise of G-d as His nation, His people. There are many points we could cover tonight, however, I want us to look at two ideas that I feel are especially important for us to consider.
Torah Portion: Shelach L’Kha (Send on your behalf) B’midbar (Numbers) 13:1-15:41
HafTorah: Joshua 2:1-24
Tonight we look at the Torah portion Shelach or send. We read of the mission of the twelve men chosen to go and report back on their findings. You might notice that at the beginning they are called men not spies. That was a role they took on themselves. They saw their mission in a different light than Moses when he gave them their charge. They got ahead of G-d’s instructions. This is something each of us must guard against. When we run ahead of the Father we may become lost and get caught up in what we think He said rather than what He actually revealed to us. It is interesting that the word eretz (land of Israel) has at its root the Hebrew word Ratz or run. So we are to run after Him but not ahead of Him. Here we see obstacles in the way of the conquest. I would imagine we have all encountered obstacles in our lives when our wills are tested. These experiences give us the opportunity to demonstrate our profound desire to go with the “Lover of our soul.” Our battle is to be able to keep a proper perspective on these challenges, not to lose our way and not to be discouraged.
Torah Portion: Naso(Take) Numbers (B’Midbar) 4:21-7:89
HafTorah: Judges 13:2-25
New Testament: John 7:53-8:11; Acts 21:17-32
Tonight we read the Parasha Naso. This Torah section is always read either on the Sabbath before or immediately following Shavuot. As we have mentioned before, Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah. In the New Testament we read where Yeshua was and is the embodiment of Torah. In fact in John I He is called the Word.
Torah Portion: Shelach Lekha Numbers 13:1-15:41
HafTorah: Joshua 2:1-24
I would like us to focus mainly on the story of the spies and see what we can learn from it. First let us see if we can clear up what seems to be a contradiction. In Numbers 13:1-2 we read in English that G-d spoke to Moses and told him to send the spies. In Deut. 1:22 we read Moses recounting this event by saying the people came to him and asked to send spies. So which is true? Here the Hebrew language helps a little. In Numbers 13:2 G-d’s word to Moses translated as “send men” should be translated as. “send for yourself” or you do what you think is right. Given this, then there is harmony between the two. G-d allowed this. He allows us the freedom of choice even when that choice is incorrect.