Haftorah Reading: Judges 13:2-25
This afternoon we study a very important Torah portion. At first glance Naso seems to be a portion of disconnected subjects. We read the account of the Levitical families of Gershon and Merari and their tasks to carry part of the Mishkan when the Israelites journeyed from place to place. We read of the sota or the wife whose husband became jealous and accused her of being unfaithful. We also read of the laws of the Nazarite. Next is the priestly blessing. This prayer has been used by faiths other than Judaism. It is the oldest prayer in the world still being used today. This prayer is followed by a listing of the gifts brought by the princes of each tribe at the dedication of the Mishkan.
Vayikra(And He called)Vayikra/Leviticus 1:1-5:26
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
Today we will talk about a Torah portion that on its face seems to have little to say to us in our modern world, but that is not correct. It begins with the duties of the priests in the offering of animal sacrifices for a variety of issues. In Leviticus 2:13 we read, “and all your offerings you shall offer salt.” Why did G-d make this stipulation? The Torah went so far as to require this rule concerning every offering. Salt and sometimes the absence of leaven were used to avoid corruption and to keep the holy things in an imperishable state. We could say these two requirements represented a never ending covenant relationship.
Torah Portion: Tazria(She Conceives) Lev. 12:1-13:59 Metzora (Leper) Lev.14:1-15:33
Haftorah Reading: II Kings 4:42-5:19, II Kings 7:3-20
Messianic Scripture Matthew 8:1-4, 11:2-6, Mark 1:40-45, Matt. 9:20-26, Hebrews 13:4
Today we read and study two Torah portions. Both are also represented in the Messianic Scriptures. The subject of both is bodily discharges that cause uncleanness to the person or object involved. The name of the first Torah portion is Tazria. What is interesting to us is that both Tazria and Metzora are mentioned in different places in the Messianic Scriptures.
Passover Shabbat 2021
II Samuel 22:1-51 and Exodus 13:17-15:26
Since today we are still in the holiday of Pesach there is no regular Torah portion. Instead, we have several readings from the prophets and the book of Exodus. I would like to begin with two verses from II Samuel. In chapter 22:2-3 we read the words of King David, “The L-rd is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. G-d my rock whom I trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my high place, and my refuge, the One who saves me. You save me from violence.” In Psalm 18 we see these words almost completely duplicated.
Torah Portion: T’rumah (Donations) Sh’mot/Ex. 25:1-27:19
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 5:26-6:23
Our Torah portion this week gives us a detailed list of the donations the people of Israel brought to be used in the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. It also tells us, in Exodus 36:5, that Moshe had to eventually tell the people to stop donating. They had given more than was needed.
: Noah B’resheet/Genesis 6:9-11:32
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah 54:1-55:5
Today we look at the Parasha Noah. Each year when we come to this portion I must admit, for me it is not an easy passage of scripture to understand on several levels. There are many places where I am at a loss to explain exactly what is happening. Perhaps one of the more difficult sentences in scripture to grasp is B’resheet/Genesis 6:1, just a few verses before our portion begins. In this verse we read, “And the L-rd repented that He…had made man on the earth and it grieved Him at His heart.” This verse begs the question, why did G-d say He repented for the act of creating man to begin with?
Torah Portion Acharei Mot (After the Death) Leviticus/Vayikra 16:1-18:30
Haftorah Reading Ezekiel 22:1-19
Tonight, our Torah portion covers basically two subjects. One is Yom Kippur and the other is sexual relationship that are forbidden for G-d’s people. I want to cover both of these topics tonight.
To begin, I want us to look at Yom Kippur and see what G-d is saying to us in Leviticus/Vayikra 16. I asked you this week to come up with your own definition of the word atonement. In English, this word atonement, comes from the Hebrew word Kippur. This week I read an article that helped me understand this on a deeper level. If we take this word in English and break it apart you will get “at onement.” Looking at this might help us in our quest for a definition. Atonement puts us at “onement” with G-d. It clears the slate between us and the Father. It allows us to come close to Him by having our sins taken away. Does this remind you of any scripture? John 1:29 says, “Behold the lamb of G-d who takes away the sins of the world.” So, it should help us understand more fully what Yeshua has done and is doing for us.
Torah Portion: Vayishlach (And He Sent) B’resheet (Genesis) 32-36
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Today we cover one of the pivotal events in the life of Jacob. He is about to meet his estranged twin, Esau, after 20 years apart. I’m sure the words of his brother are still ringing in his ears. We read them in Genesis 27:41. As Jacob got ready to cross the Jabbok, a stream that became part of the Jordan River, he made plans for the coming meeting. He sent messengers ahead to speak to Esau and to, if possible, placate his anger. He divided his band into groups, hoping if one was attacked the other might escape. He sent a vast amount of livestock over as a gift to Esau. Why do you think he did this? Was it to soothe the anger of Esau or was it to sooth his own guilt over the trick he and his mother had used to fool Isaac and steal the blessing from Esau?
Chol Hamoed Intermediate Days of Passover
Tonight there is no Torah portion read. We are in the Chol HaMoed days of Passover, which means the intermediate days. Two biblical holidays have intermediate days. Passover is one. What is the other? The answer is Sukkot. Both of these holidays extend for a full week. So tonight we are in the Shabbath of the intermediate days of Passover.
Torah Portion: Sh’mot Exodus 18-20 Yitro (Jethro)
HafTorah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Tonight we read a Torah portion that is rare in its name. Why? It is named for a non-Jew and it isn’t just any Torah portion, but it is the one containing the Ten Commandments, the Covenant G-d made with Israel. Yet, it is named after a pagan, a priest of false gods. The Ten Commandments were also not given in the Land of Israel but in a non-descript mountain in the middle of nowhere, a place without a name. It would seem Jethro was a pagan who wanted more. He had been touched by what G-d had done with Israel. In the opening verse of our section is where it says, Jethro had heard what G-d had done for Moshe and the people. This had moved him to the point he wanted to be part of it. He recognized that G-d was G-d and everything else paled before that. He was touched and changed by what he knew. Which causes us to think about our own lives. We can go through our lives and not be touched by anything. We can remain unmoved and uninvolved. We can lose ourselves in our own limited existence. Things such as Facebook, TV and other modern technologies can allow us the ability to live a life of solitude. But is that what G-d wants? I heard an interesting parable this week. We can be like a wheel on the chariot of the King but that would require us to go where He goes. Or we can be our own wheel stuck in our own rut.