Vayishlach(He Sent) B’resheet/Genesis 32:4-36:43
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Today we study a Torah portion with many twists and turns. We read of Jacob’s return to the land after being gone more than 20 years. We also read of the death of Rachel and her burial. I would first like us to start our discussion talking about Rachel.
Torah Portion: V’Zot HaBrachah(And This is the Blessing) D’Varim (Deut.) 33-34
Haftorah Reading: Joshua 1:1-9
Today I want us to spend our time together discussing the last two chapters of Deuteronomy. This will be the last Torah portion of the year. This portion is usually read on Simchat Torah, a celebration that is held at the end of Succot. However, we will not be together on that day so rather than miss this reading, I want us to look at it today.
Torah Portion: Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 51:12-53:12
Messianic Scripture Matthew 5:38-42; Acts 3:13-26; I Timothy 5:17-22
Today I want us to look at a couple of scriptures from our Torah portion this week. Much of my material will come from an article I read this week called, “The Mysterious Prophet” from First Fruits of Zion.
In Deut. 18:15 we read, “The L-rd your G-d will raise to you a prophet from your midst, from your brothers, like me, to him shall you listen.” We need to look also at Deut. 34:9-10 where we see the same promise of a prophet to come whom the L-rd knew face to face. So who is this person, this prophet?
Torah Portion: Acharei Mot (After the Death) Lev. 16:1-18:30 Kedoshim (Holy People) Lev.19:1-20:27
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 22:1-19, Ezekiel 20:2-20
Messianic Scripture Galatians 3:10-14, Hebrews 7:23-10:25, Matt. 5;33-37, Romans 13:8-10
This week we again look at two Torah portions. The first portion is called Acharei Mot and deals with a long list of things G-d warns the people not to do when they cross over into the Land. Remember, they came out of Egypt where, for the last four hundred years, they were surrounded by a pagan culture. Now they would be entering the Promised Land and again would be encountering pagan people.
Vayetze(And He Went Out) B’resheet/Genesis 28:10-32:3
Haftorah Readings: Hosea 11:7-13:5
Today we read a Torah portion that covers a wide swath of Jacob’s life. It begins with Jacob leaving the Land and encountering angels going up and down a ladder between heaven and earth. It also ends with another incident of an encounter between angels and Jacob. The intervening years of Jacob’s life, between these two encounters, are filled with ups and downs.
: Hayei Sarah (Sarah’s Life) B’resheet/Genesis 23:1-25:18
Haftorah Readings: I Kings 1:1-31
Tonight we study the Torah portion that covers the death of Sarah and Avraham. However, the opening words give us a clue of the deeper message we will uncover today.
I would like to begin with Genesis 24:1, “Avraham was old, well advanced in years, and G-d had blessed Avraham with everything.” Even the death of Sarah is written in such a way in Hebrew, to make clear that she also had lived a full life dying at the age of 127.
: D’Varim (Words) (Deut.) 1:1-3:22
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 1:1-27
Tonight we begin the final book of Torah. In Hebrew this book is named “D’Varim.” In English this word is “Words.” This word is found in the first verse of the first chapter. Here we read, “These are the words which Moshe spoke to all Israel.” This book consists mainly of a teaching given by Moshe over a month’s time on the East bank of the Jordan River, opposite Jericho. It is also mainly written with Moshe speaking in the first person.
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: Chukat (Statute) B’midbar (Numbers) 19:1-22:1; Balak (Numbers) 22:2-25:9
Haftorah Readings: Judges 11:1-33, Micah 5:6-6:8
Last week we read and studied the Torah portion Korach. Tonight, we look at Chukat and Balak. What is easily overlooked is the time passing between Korach and Chukat. Korach occurred about two years after the crossing of the Reed Sea. Now, here in Chukat, we see the people standing at the doorway to the Promised Land. So our Torah portion takes place 38 years after we last read of the incident of Korach. These people are the children, who are now adults, of the people we last read about. However, as we read this portion we see they had not changed much. Here in our portion we read of the death of Aaron and again of the lack of water. We see a people who rebelled and rose up against Moshe and were punished by the venomous snakes that G-d brought among them. We also see G-d’s provision for them when He instructed Moshe to make a bronze snake. He held the bronze snake up before the people and whomever was bitten could look upon it and be saved. We also see the snake mentioned in John 3:14-15, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up so that whoever believes in Him has eternal life.” Just as the serpent in the desert brought physical salvation from death, whomever looks upon the Messiah and believes in Him receives eternal salvation.