Torah Portion: Behar (On the Mountain) Leviticus/Vayikra 25:1-26:2 Haftorah Reading Jeremiah 32:6-27 Tonight, we read a Torah portion almost completely about the Sh’mitah, or 7th year and the Yovel, that occurred every 50 years, or after the 7th Sh’mitah celebration. Before we go any further let’s look at this Torah portion in light of my question I sent […]
Torah Portion: Emor (Speak) (Leviticus) Vayikra 21-24
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 44:15-31
The week’s Torah portion covers several topics such as the commandments, a priest’s contact with a dead person. It also covers whom a priest can marry and what would disqualify a priest from coming into G-d’s presence to offer an offering. We read of many commandments covering the animals that could be offered. The animal could have no blemish. It had to be physically perfect.
Torah Portion: Vayishlach (And He sent) Genesis 32:4-36:43
HafTorah: Obadiah 1:1-21
This week we read of Jacob’s return from a 20+ year exile living with his uncle Laban. While there, G-d blessed him with family,(four wives and 12 children) and material wealth. In Genesis 32:9-12 we read Jacob’s prayer as he approaches his reunion with his brother Esau. Look especially at verse 10. In this verse we read, “I am not worthy” of all you have done for me. Interesting word used in Hebrew for, “I am not worthy.” In Hebrew it is the word “Kantoni” which means, “I am small.” It actually appears in verse 11 in the Hebrew text. This gives us a window into where Jacob is spiritually during this prayer. It could have been that looking at all he had he might have felt proud of what he had accomplished. However, this word gives us the impression that he had full awareness of who was responsible for his flocks, wives and children. It seems Jacob is saying, “I have decreased as You have increased in my life. As I have been embraced by Your love it has brought me closer to You and as You have become closer to me I have gotten smaller. I know you are the One, not me.” He had grown more humble.
Torah Portion: Behar (On the Mountain) Leviticus 25:1-26:2
HafTorah: Jeremiah 32:6-27
Let us start with a question. What do the concepts of Shabbat, Shmitah and Jubilee have in common? What do they teach us spiritually? Two of the three have the same root in Hebrew. Shabbat and Sabbatical or Shmitah come from the word to rest. The Shabbat comes once each week and the other once every seventh year. Even Jubilee teaches us the same principle. G-d is our provider. All things belong to Him. He expects us to live in a way that reflects Him in society. We tend to compartmentalize life and in doing that relegate G-d to certain places and time. We may only relate to Him in this meeting or one like it. Some of us may allow Him into our personal lives. We don’t hurt people, we try to live upright lives but fewer are those who let Him into our business or pocketbooks. We may say, “I’ll pray, I’ll study scripture but really business is business. I can’t take off a day or a week much less a year. I can’t tithe. That’s a lot of money. What would I do without it? Everybody cheats a little especially with Uncle Sam. I need it more than they do.”