Acharei Mot (After the death)Vayikra/Leviticus 16:1-18:30
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 22:1-19
I want us to talk about a very serious issue that is all around us. Even in our religious institutions we see things condoned that we would have never dreamed of a few years ago. In our Torah portion today we read of a remedy for the sin sweeping our world.
My question this week centered on two verses, one in our reading and one from the Messianic scriptures. Both of these verses lay out a path for G-d’s people to rise above the situations we encounter each day. We see how to resist becoming numb to the sins we encounter.
Lekh L’Kha (Go to Yourself) B’resheet/Genesis12:1-17:27
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
This week we read a portion that should speak to each of us in our spiritual walk. This portion starts in Genesis 12:1 with the word of G-d coming to Abraham telling him to, “Go to yourself.” Oddly, Avraham had already left his home of origin when his father Terah took his family, including Avraham, Sarah and Lot, from Ur of the Chaldeans and traveled to Haran. It is interesting that scripture points out that Terah was headed for Canaan but stopped in Haran and stayed there until his death. (Genesis 11:31-32) There is no mention of Terah hearing from G-d or that being a factor in his decision to leave Ur.
Torah Portion: Shemini (Eighth) Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haftorah Reading: II Sam 6:1-7:17
Messianic Scripture II Cor. 6:14-7:1, Galatians 2:11-16
In our portion this week we see the name given to this section of Leviticus, “Shemini.” It is translated as the eighth day. This was the day when the Tabernacle was to be commissioned as G-d’s house among the people. In chapter 8:35 we read where Aaron and his sons had been preparing for this event for the previous seven days. In Lev. 8:36 we read, “Aaron and his sons did all things which the L-rd had commanded by the hand of Moshe.”
: B’resheet (In the Beginning) Genesis 1:1-6:8
Haftorah Readings: Isaiah 42:5-43:10
Today we begin the yearly Torah cycle anew with our first reading in Genesis. Our reading begins with two Hebrew words usually translated as “In the beginning.” However, a more accurate translation would be “In beginning.” The literal translation more accurately expresses the true meaning of the opening words. In the beginning gives the idea that there was already a beginning. However, the Hebrew wording, “In beginning” more clearly states that everything began with G-d. G-d steps in and starts the entire process. He spoke and things appeared from just His word. A small but very important distinction.
Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus(Sh’mot) 21:1-24:18
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
This is one of those Torah portions that sometimes gets pushed to the back of our minds. These judgments seem to be mostly outside of our more enlightened way of viewing our faith. Do we really need to consider these judgments as having any place in our modern world view?
Torah Portion: Vayeishev (And He Settled) B’resheet (Genesis) 37:1-40:23
Haftorah Reading: Amos 2:6-3:8
Tonight we read one of the most important Torah portions of the year. There are many points to ponder. Let’s begin with what was the basis for my question this week. This involved Reuben and his attempt to save his brother Joseph from the hands of his other brothers.
Torah Portion: Shoftim (Judges) D’varim (Deut) 16-21
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 51:12-53:12
This Torah portion holds a special place in my memory. I know I have told you before but bear with me while I share with you what causes me to remember this portion each year.
In September 1996, during the week leading up to this Torah portion, I was sitting at my desk in a school where I worked in downtown Jerusalem. The school occupied the second and third floor of a building. A little past noon I was on my way down the stairs to go to the dorm to check on some needed repairs when the secretary called me back upstairs to answer a phone call. Just as I sat down to take the call there was an enormous explosion that shook the building, blowing out windows. I sat stunned for a second. Then realizing what had occurred I ran down the stairs to a scene from a horror movie. Three terrorists had blown themselves up. I believe 10 people died in the explosion, mainly children who had come downtown to buy school supplies. Each year as I read this portion about the man found dead in the field I remember that day.
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When You Come) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 26-29
HafTorah: Isaiah 60:1-22
Today we read the Torah portion, “When You Come.” It begins with Moshe speaking of when they come into the Land of Promise, their inheritance. I would like us to begin by looking at this first verse for a moment and see if it might apply to us. I want to look especially at the verbs following inheritance, possess it and live in it.
Torah Portion: Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 16-21
HafTorah: Isaiah 51:12-53:12
This week we read the Torah portion Shoftim. This portion continues Moshe’s instructions to the people about how they were to live and carry on their lives in the Land of Promise. We will look at several scriptures that will give us insight into our own lives and how we are to live and relate to our world today. I think we will see a common thread worked through these verses. We will see that we have a responsibility as believers in this world to ourselves and to those around us to live our lives with the will and word of G-d always on our lips and in our hearts.