Torah Portion: Vayigash (And He Approached) B’resheet (Genesis) 44-47
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Our Torah portion today covers one of the most touching scenes in Torah, the reunion of Yoseph/Joseph and his brothers after being separated for 22 years. Tonight I want us to look at two of the main characters of this drama and see what we might learn from them that could impact our lives.
Torah Portion: Mikketz(At the End) B’resheet (Genesis) 41-44
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 3:15-4:1
In this Torah portion we read of Joseph’s release from prison, his rise to power in Egypt and the reunion between him and his brothers. I would like to begin with my question this week that covered the reunion of Joseph and his brothers.
Torah Portion Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deut.) 16:18-21:9
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 51:12-53:12
Today is the first Shabbat of the Hebrew month Elul. This is a period of introspection, self examination and repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. This period has much to teach us. With this in mind, it seems appropriate that we study this portion about the process of setting up judges, courts and even the appointment of kings.
Torah Portion Re’eh (See) D’Varim (Deut.) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Reading: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:11-55:5
Tonight we read the Torah portion Re’eh or “See.” The verse, D’Varim/Deut. 11:26, calls us to pay attention because what follows is very important. Based on our discussion last week on the verb Shema or hear, we can understand this verse in the same way. The verse is calling our attention to what follows, to truly comprehend the meaning of these words.
Torah Portion: Vayelech (He Went) D’varim(Deut.) 31
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 14:1-10; Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
The Torah portion we are studying tonight is always the portion read right before Yom Kippur. I want us to spend some time talking about Yom Kippur and how this appointed time might speak to us spiritually in our own lives.
This Shabbat is known as “Shabbat Shuvah.” This means the Sabbath of Repentance. The reason for this is found in the verses from Isaiah 55:6-56:8, especially the verses 55:6-7, “Seek the L-rd while He may be found.” This brings up an interesting question. Is there ever a time when He cannot be found? In Jeremiah 7:16 we read, “Therefore do not pray for this, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you.” This same idea appears three more times in Jeremiah 11:14, 14:11, and 15:1. The last being the strongest, “Even if Moshe and Samuel stood before Me.” From these we can see there are times when G-d will not hear.
Torah Portion: Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:1-5:26
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
Tonight we begin the third book of the Torah. Interestingly this is the first thing religious children study beginning around three years old. Why do you think they begin here instead of Genesis? It is said that this book teaches them and us two things, how much G-d loves us and our lives matter and have meaning.
Torah Portion: Vayelech (And He Went) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 31
HafTorah: Hosea 14:1-10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
Today I want us to look at this chapter and see what it teaches us about “doing.” This Sabbath is called, “Shabbat Shura.” Shuvah is the word for repentance. Moshe speaks here on the last day of his life to a people he has led for the last 40 years. These are his parting words. We have seen him over the course of this last book of Torah recount the forty years of wandering. Here he is telling the people to come together every seven years and hear the story again.
Torah Portion: Nitzavin (Standing) & Vayelech Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29-31
HafTorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
Tonight we read a double portion of Torah, Nitzavim – or Stand, and Vayelech or When You Go. These are always read the two weeks before Yom Ha Truah, which in traditional Judaism begins the ten day period of repentance and soul searching leading up to Yom Kippur. It is fitting that they both speak of repentance and our need to allow the light of G-d to be turned on our lives, that we can grasp who we really are before Him as apposed to who we thing we are. I am sure we all can benefit from such a time. We have all experienced the feeling of being alone spiritually, as if G-d has abandoned us.
Torah Portion: Vayigash (He Approached) Genesis 44-47
HafTorah: Ezekiel 37:15-28
This week we read of a meeting between Joseph and his brothers as they were reunited. This was a meeting that had great spiritual implications for Israel and for us as well. In it we have for the first time in scripture true repentance. How are we to judge true repentance? We have all heard of others repenting or maybe even been in the place of repenting for our sins. How are we to tell if the penitent is sincere?
Torah Portion: Vayigash Genesis 44:18-47:27
HafTorah: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Tonight I want us to look at ways Joseph teaches us of the Messiah, those events in his life that find parallels in Messiah.