Today is the Biblical holiday of Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year). This holiday begins the weeks of the High Holy Days. In ten days we will observe Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement. Exactly two weeks from today we will celebrate Sukkot or Tabernacles. I pray each of you have the opportunity to participate in at least one of these three appointed times.
Torah Portion: Tzav (Command) Vayikra/Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 7:21-9:24
Today I would like to begin by asking each of you to do something that I believe is very important. Please pray for yourself, your family and people around you. This crisis we are all facing calls out for a spiritual awakening. It calls for G-d’s people to pray and seek the L-rd. Repentance and forgiveness is called for now.
Torah Portion: Vayetze(And He Went) B’resheet/Genesis 28:10-32:3
Haftorah Reading Hosea 11:7-13:5
This Torah portion covers over 20 years of Ya’akov’s life. It starts with his escape from the wrath of his brother Esau and ends with him, along with his family, making the journey back to the Land of Promise. These verses cover many thought provoking points. However, I will concentrate on only two.
Torah Portion: Ekev (Because) D’varim(Deut.) 7-11
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 49:14-51:3
This week we read a Torah portion so full of beautiful verses and spiritual insight it is hard to know where to begin. First, I have a question for you. What can we learn about Israel from this Torah portion? Look at chapter 8:7-9 and chapter 11:9-12. In these verses we see G-d cares for the Land. His eyes are always on it. He waters it with the rain of heaven. It flows with milk and honey and is blessed in every way. It is the inheritance of His people. It is part of the everlasting covenant between the nation of Israel and G-d. They may be scattered because of disobedience but G-d will and is gathering them home. The Haftorah this week, Isaiah 49:14-51:3, talks of this gathering and also our place and part to play in this event. This is one of the founding principles of Road to Zion, to be a part of this process and to help in any way we can.
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: Vayak’hel (And He Assembled) Exodus 35-38
HafTorah: I Kings 7:13-26; 7:40-50
As we near the end of She’mot we read of Moses calling the people together soon after the sin of the golden calf. There are many interesting lessons for us in this Torah section. To begin with the name of this section should speak to us. In Hebrew there are several terms for a group of people. One is Edah – from which comes the noun witness. When this word is used it often refers to people who have witnessed the same thing. They have a common purpose. An Edah can be a gathering for good or bad. For example, when the people hear the report of the spies and lose heart (Numbers (B’Midbar) 14:27) or in Numbers 16:22 in the rebellion against Moses. The word emphasizes strong identity among the members.