B’midbar(In the Desert)B’midbar/Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 1:10-2:20
Tonight there is so much to talk about. Shavuot begins tonight at sundown. It is one of the three pilgrimage holidays and comes 50 days after Passover. It is followed by Sukkot in the fall.
I would like to begin with a few words about what I consider one of the main lessons wrapped up in our Torah portion this week. How many times have you heard someone say something like, “but this is just how I am.” Maybe you have even said it yourself. There is good news for those of us who think along those lines. That statement is a false statement. We can change.
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo(When you come) D’Varim (Deut.) 26:1-29:8
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 60:1-22
Messianic Scripture Matthew 13:1-23; Luke 21:1-4; Acts 28:17-31
Today we read a Torah portion that takes place on the east bank of the Jordan river. It contains some of Moshe’s remark’s to the people that are meant to sustain them after they cross over the Jordan. I believe all of us can take comfort in these words as we walk through our days.
I would like to begin with the words of Deut. 26:5-8, 5 “And you shall declare before the L-rd your G-d, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the L-rd, the G-d of our fathers, and the L-rd heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the L-rd brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders.”
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.
: Lekh L’kha (Get Yourself Out) B’resheet/Genesis 12:1-17:27
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
In this Torah portion we are introduced to Avram. As many as 4.1 billion people of different faiths count him as one of their founders. I want us to look at his life in this portion today and try to understand what drove him in his walk with G-d.
Torah Portion: Vayikra (He Called) Leviticus/Vayikra 1:1-5:26
Haftorah Reading Isaiah 43:21-44:23
This week we begin a new book of the Torah by studying the first portion of Vayikra. In the English Bible we know it by its Greek name of Leviticus, meaning the work of the priests. I want us to look at the opening word of our section and see what we can learn from the way G-d spoke to Moshe.
Torah Portion: Va’era(And I Appeared) Exodus(Sh’mot) 6-9
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
Tonight, we cover Moshe’s initial meeting with Pharaoh and seven out of ten of the plagues. I would like us to cover some spiritual truths that could be important to us. Let’s begin by talking about the names of G-d that we find in our Torah reading and the relevance of the Sacred Name of G-d expressed in Exodus/Sh’mot 7:5.
Torah Portion: Bo (Come) Exodus 10:1-13:16
HafTorah: Jeremiah 46:13-28
Tonight we read of the last three plagues on Egypt and the beginning of Israel’s freedom. I would like us to talk about at least two of the last three plagues.
I also want to remind us of the purpose of these plagues as stated in scripture. The purpose: “In order that they will know I am G-d.” This purpose applied to both Egypt and Israel. Israel was about to start a whole new relationship with G-d. In some ways this would be a revolution for them, a new vision, a new walk. Revolution is one of those interesting words in English. It can mean to start a whole new life as a people or as a person. It can also mean to go around 360 degrees, which puts us right back where we started. What determines which meaning applies? A 360 degree turn might happen when one is resistant to change. Pharaoh is a good example of that. He was addicted to the status quo, even when it was destructive to both him and his people.