Torah Portions: Vayak’hel (He Assembled) Sh’mot/Ex. 35:1-38:20
P’Kudei (Accounts) Sh’mot/Ex 38:21-40:38
Haftorah Readings: I Kings 7:13-26; 7:40-8:21
Our teaching today covers the last two Torah portions of Exodus. The name of the first portion is Vayak’hel which means, gathering of people of like mind. It is the modern word, Kehila or congregation. It is the word we use for Road to Zion.
The second portion is Pekudei and means something like giving an account or counting. Today it is the source of the modern Hebrew word pakeed or clerk. You can add these words to your Hebrew vocabulary.
Mattot (Tribes) and Masa’ei (Stages) B’midbar (Numbers) 30:2-36:13 Haftorah Readings: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
Today I would like to cover two topics from our double Torah readings. Both of these topics have bearing on our life today as G-d’s people and the world in which we live. I would like to start with my question of the week. In Numbers 32:1-5 we read the account of the two tribes of Reuben and Gad who came to Moshe and told him they would rather stay on the east bank of the Jordan River rather than enter the Promised Land with the rest of Israel. Later, they were joined in their request by the half tribe of Menashe.
Torah Portion: Mattot (Tribes) Masa’ei (Stages) B’midbar(Numbers) 30:2-36:13
Tonight, we finish the book of B’Midbar/Numbers by reading the last two Torah portions, Mattot and Masa’ei. In these sections Moshe covers a variety of topics with the people before they enter the Land without him.
Interestingly, the first subject he talked about was the issue of vows. Our words are important and carry power. In Proverbs 18:21 we read the tongue has the power of life and death. In Matthew 5:33-37 we read the words of Yeshua concerning vows. He said, “Just let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Think a moment on how we see words used in scripture. We can start with Genesis chapter one. G-d created the world by His words. It is through speech that we pray, that we ask for forgiveness for our sins. Words spoken cannot be taken back. All of this should move us to speak only when we have thought through what we are about to say and the effect it will have on the hearer. Too often we let our mouth get in front of our mind. G-d looks at this seriously. So here we see Moshe warning the people about vows. What is a vow? Anytime we begin by saying, “I will never…” or “I will always…”, we are making a vow. My point is that G-d takes this seriously and once the words are out there we are bound by them. Think before you speak, will my words bring life or will they bring death?