B’chukkotai(By My Regulations)Vayikra/Leviticus 26:3-27:34
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
Even though we are unable to meet today I want to send you some thoughts on this week’s Torah portion. I would like to concentrate on an extremely important section of this Torah portion. It begins with these words, “If you walk in my statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out” Leviticus 26:3. Isn’t that statement a bit redundant? What is the difference between 1. walking in My statutes and 2. keeping the commandments and 3. carrying them out? I might add this question also applies to Yeshua’s commandments in the Messianic Scriptures.
Vayigash (And He Approached) B’resheet/Genesis 44:18-47:27
I want us to look at two dominate personalities in this Torah portion. I sent you a question earlier concerning these two men and I hope you have had the opportunity to consider my question?
Shelach L’Kha (Send on your behalf) Numbers/B’midbar 13:1-15:41
Haftorah Reading: Joshua 2:1-24
Messianic Scripture Hebrews 3:7-19
Today we look at one of the most difficult passages we will study all year. It is not difficult because of grammar or use of unfamiliar words. Rather it is difficult to understand because we, looking at it in hindsight, wonder how could these ten men, leaders of the tribes, have made such a serious mistake. How could they have erred in their conclusions? Remember, these men had all seen G-d deliver Israel from Egypt. They had seen the army of Egypt drowned in the Sea while they walked through on dry ground. They sung with all Israel the song of triumph when they were delivered in Exodus 15:1-18. They were all present when G-d came down on the mountain and spoke to them and gave them the Torah.
: Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah (Yesh’yahu) 51:12-53:12
This Torah portion is always read on the first Shabbat of the Hebrew month of Elul. This year, this month of Elul began last evening. Today is the first day of a forty day period of repentance and soul searching leading up to Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the High Holy Days. These days of repentance should give all of us the push to look back over our life and deal with those sins that have been forgotten or just swept under the rug. It is a time to be completely honest with ourselves and with G-d. It is a time to set our spiritual house in order. I would urge you to spend time during these days to ask the Heavenly Father to shed His light on anything that needs to be dealt with.
Torah Portion: Pinchas B’midbar (Numbers) 25:10-30:1
Haftorah Readings: I Kings 18:46-19:21
Today we cover the Torah portion Pinchas. This portion is named for the man who stopped the plague that had already killed 24,000 people. The plague was a result of Israel’s sin. However, I want to begin with the story of the five daughters of Zelophehad and their request they brought to Moshe.
I would like us to look first at verse 27:4. This verse reads, “Give us a possession in the midst of the brothers of our father.” Remember, at this time in Israel’s history any inheritance a man left when he died went to his sons. If he had no sons then it went to his closest male relative. In effect, if he had no sons, his inheritance would be lost and any daughters he might have would have no inheritance.
Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived) B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight, we read the last portion of Genesis. This portion covers the end of Jacob’s life as well as that of his son Joseph. It is interesting that the name of this portion is, “And He Lived,” but then goes into great detail of Jacob’s last days. If you remember we saw this same thing in the portion about the death of Sarah. What point do you think is being made here in our portion and also in the one about Sarah? I believe the important point being made is how have we lived our life; how did we spend our days? I pray for each of us this urgency of living over-rides the death that comes to us all.
Torah Portion: Shemini (Eighth) (Leviticus) Vayikra 9-11
Haftorah Reading: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
Tonight we read the Torah portion that is dedicated to the consecration of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. In the last weeks we have read seven Torah portions covering the details of the building and dedicating of the Mishkan and now in this portion we read about the first public use of the “House of G-d.” We read where the fire fell and the people shouted out when the glory of G-d appeared.
Torah Portion: Sh’mot Exodus 10-13 Bo (Come)
HafTorah: Jeremiah 46:13-28
Tonight we read the conclusion of the ten plagues and the institution of Passover, a yearly celebration of freedom from slavery and oppression. We also read of the yearly religious calendar. In this portion we read of the setting of the month of Aviv, now know as Nissan.
Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived) Genesis 47-50
HafTorah: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight we finish the first book of Torah, Genesis. Fitting that it is named, “And He Lived.” As we look forward to next week we read Exodus where we see after hundreds of years of captivity the people of Israel still live.
Before we get to the Torah section for tonight I have a couple of other things to cover. First one is the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet which began last night and ends with the ending of Shabbat tonight. (The only fast that supersedes the Sabbath is Yom Kippur) It is to remember the day when the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem. This would end with much of Jerusalem being carried away into captivity and the destruction of the Temple of Solomon. Most see this siege of Jerusalem as a sign for the Jewish people to repent for having drifted away from G-d. If they had repented G-d might have saved them. But they did not repent therefore they were faced with this siege. I bring this up to remind us that we are under siege every time we go out into the world, a siege that can lull us into becoming complacent and forgetting who and what we are. This brings me to the point. It is our responsibility to teach what we know. We must pass on the truth that G-d has given us to our children, family, and to other people when the opportunity arises. Ignorance leads to wasted lives. It is evident all around us both within the circle of faith and outside. G-d calls on each of us to be diligent in teaching truth that G-d has shown us. The clock is ticking. I pray each of us take every opportunity to pass on what we know and help those who do not know.