Tetzaveh(You are to command)Exodus/Sh’mot 27:20-30:10
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27
This Sabbath I have a few points I want to cover with you. I believe each of these points are spiritually relevant to our lives today. They should speak to each of us in our personal walk.
To begin, I want to share an example I read this week from a good friend who lives in Jerusalem. It concerned him buying olive oil for lighting his menorah on the Shabbat. According to scripture, pure pressed olive oil was used to light the candles in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. This friend lights his Shabbat candles each Friday at sundown to welcome the Sabbath. As he was shopping for oil he found it would be much cheaper to buy sunflower oil or other substitutes for his menorah than pure pressed olive oil. Olive oil was double the price of sunflower oil. After thinking about it he decided to follow scripture and use what was prescribed there and not use a substitute.
Torah Portion: Noah B’resheet/Genesis 6:9-11:32
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:1-55:5
Today we read the second portion from the book of Genesis. In this portion there are many subjects we can cover. I will try to pick two or three for our time together.
To begin, I want to look at Genesis 7:2, 8. In these two verses we see Noah is commanded by G-d to take seven pairs of clean beasts and one pair of unclean beasts. What are we to make of this? Why did G-d specifically tell him to bring seven pairs of clean animals and only one pair of unclean? Remember, this is 400 years before we will see this again appear in Torah in Leviticus chapter 11. In Leviticus the scripture goes into more detail about what animals are clean and which ones are unclean.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Sh’mot/Exodus 18:1-20:23
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Today we look at the Torah portion of Yitro/Jethro. This portion was named after the father in law of Moshe. It contains many things that could occupy pages of discussion. However, I will only deal with a few of them today.
I want to begin with my question about Shavuot or the holiday of weeks. This holiday happens on the fiftieth day counting from the first day of Passover. I know we have covered this more than once but I believe it is worthwhile to go over it again, lest we forget from where our faith came.
Torah Portion: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21-25
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10
What would you say the over-riding theme of this Torah portion is? It is our responsibility to reach outside ourselves. Do we see this carried on in the New Testament? Look at Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. In both segments of the Bible we see this over arching theme of helping others and doing the right thing for our fellowman. In this Torah portion we see this worked out in each chapter, whether it is in the respect of women, helping out when a man’s donkey has fallen, respect for a mother bird on a nest, interest not charged, or leaving food in your field for the poor. Over and over again we see G-d’s call for us to be involved with people. In the New Testament Matthew 5:42 talks about lending or giving to people in need and of course Matthew 25:35-40 speaks of how we are specifically called to minister to the Jewish people. Luke 3:10-11 talks about sharing with the poor. James 2:14-17 and James 1:17 says it is the very definition of religion.
Torah Portion: Hukath (Regulation) Numbers (B’Midbar) 19:1-22:1
HafTorah: Judges 11:1-33
New Testament: John 3:9-21; 4:3-30; 12:27-50
Tonight we look at one of the harder things in Torah to understand. The Red Heifer here in the opening verse we read hukath Torah – The decree of the Torah. It is as if the Torah is saying “This is the point of the whole Torah.” A verse in the New Testament, Mark 12:30-31, reflects the same kind of idea. Here Yeshua gives an answer to a question that was meant to trip Him up. Love G-d and love your neighbor. What do the two have to do with each other?