Torah Portion: Vayetze(History) B’resheet/Genesis 28:10-32:3
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-13:5
Today we look at a Torah portion that covers a long span of the life of Jacob. It begins when he is leaving the land of Israel and continues until twenty years later when he is returning home from Haran. He left with only the clothes on his back and returned a wealthy man with many cattle, sheep,11 sons and one daughter. Our Torah portion reveals many details of the 20 years he was in exile. He left Israel after a prophetic dream in which G-d promised to protect him and bring him back home to the land. (Genesis 28:13)
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Sh’mot/Ex. 30:11-34:35
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 18:1-39
This week we read the Torah portion concerning the rules for taking a census. If not followed, as in the time when King David took his own census, it caused disastrous consequences for the people of Israel. The result of King David’s actions 70,000 souls died. (II Samuel 24)
Torah Portion T’rumah (Contribution ) Sh’mot (Exodus) 25-27
Haftorah Reading I Kings 5:26-6:13
This week we read the first Torah section concerning the Mishkan or Tabernacle. Interestingly we read of this process for the next 13 chapters. In comparison, the creation story was covered in one chapter and the story of the actual exodus from Egypt only took up eleven chapters.
Torah Portion: P’kudei (Accounts)(Sh’mot) Exodus 38-40
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 7:40-8:21
Tonight we read the last section of the book of Shemot/Exodus. The book reaches it climax here with the setting up of the Mishkan and the filling of it with the Presence of G-d. We have followed the people from their exit from Egypt and hundreds of years as slaves to Pharaoh to this point where they, having done all that G-d commanded, became in every sense the people of G-d with His presence dwelling in them. We have seen them at their lowest making the golden calf to here where scripture says that they have done everything G-d has commanded. They are G-d’s segula or treasured possession.
Torah Portion: Vayak’hel (He Assembled) P’kudei (Accounts) Exodus 35-40
HafTorah: I Kings 7:13-26; 7:40-8:21
Tonight we read the last two Torah portions of Shemot. They cover the setting up of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the accounting of the materials used in its construction. It is interesting in that just a few chapters back we covered the materials used and the gathering of those items. In our earlier reading the words are, “And you shall make,” was used in each item to become part of the Mishkan, while here in our present Torah portion the wording is changed to, “And he made.” If we take a moment I think by this change we are told of more than just the passage of time, but we are told of completion of a task set out by G-d for His people. We see follow through. I think this is really important for each of us to contemplate. G-d has a task for each of us in this world. What ever that task is, our job or mission is to carry it out to completion. It is easy to become tired or discouraged along the way. That is when we refresh ourselves by going back and recalling the original call of G-d and be encouraged to carry it through. This also applies to a group as well as an individual. Road to Zion has as one of its major tasks the reclamation of our roots to our faith, to get back to what we see as essential in being who we are as a people – grafted into the House of Israel. For 2,000 years we have drifted away. Now it is time to return. So here Torah shows us the beginning and the end of this mission to build the Mishkan. May it be with us in our day.
Torah Portion: Vayikra(He called)
Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:1-5:26
HafTorah: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
New Testament: Romans 8:1-13; Hebrews 10:1-14; 13:10-16
Tonight we begin the third book of the Torah. It is the first book that Jewish children study in religious school. It is basically a call to enter the Presence of G-d, and so it should be. I think it appropriate that we start this study on the first day of Aviv. This month begins the cycle of G-d’s appointed times. Aviv is representative of our own beginning as G-d’s called ones in redemption.