Torah Portion: Va’etchanan (And I Pleaded) D’Varim (Deut.) 3:23-7:11
Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26
This Torah portion covers a myriad of subjects and we could talk for hours about each one but I would like us to spend our time talking about two topics. However, as we begin I would like us to talk about our reading from Isaiah 40:1-26 that accompanies this Torah portion. If you are not familiar with this passage I would encourage you to take the time to read it. The beginning verse says, “Nahamu” which means comfort. This reading always follows the destruction of both temples on Tisha B’Av. This day of mourning was last Shabbat. These verses reminds us of our duty to comfort the people of G-d, the Jewish people. In Matthew 25:35-40 we read the words of Yeshua where He said the same thing. So, let us not take lightly our responsibility to Yeshua’s brothers and sisters, the Jewish people and by extension, all people.
Torah Portion: Va’era (I Appeared) Exodus 6:2-9:35
HafTorah: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
Tonight we read about the beginning of the process of Pharaoh coming to the decision of letting G-d’s people go. We read of seven of the 10 plagues and maybe most importantly, about the revelation of G-d’s Holy Name.
Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Rulings) Sh’mot (Exodus) 21-24
HafTorah: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:225-26
I would like us to look first at Exodus 23:7 today. But before that think about this Torah section. It follows the spiritual high of the revelation at Sinai, the awesomeness of G-d coming before His people. Then here we seem to get mired in details. Mostly between man and his neighbors, things concerning, how to relate to our fellowman. I think G-d here is showing us that He is found in the details. The high points are great but they are fleeting. We live in the world everyday. How do we go about it in a way that glorifies G-d? So, to give us a little help I want us to ponder this verse on falsehood. This is easy right?
Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Rulings) Shemot (Exodus) 21:1-24:18
HafTorah: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
New Testament: Matt. 5:38-42, 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-23; Acts 23:1-11; Hebrews 9:15-22; 10:28-29
This week we look at the continuation of G-d law. This Torah section begins with two Hebrew words, “ve’elli” which means in English, “and these” indicating that the words following are to be seen as part of the revelation from Sinai. The first verses up until Shemot 21:27 mainly deals with slavery and how to treat slaves. This seems difficult to us today. Why didn’t G-d just say do not have slaves? That would have been it and then go on.
Torah Portion: Ve’era Exodus 6:2-9:35
HafTorah: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
I want us to begin by looking at the idea of Pharaoh’s free will or lack of, and the impact it had on his life. I also want us to look at Moses and how he dealt differently than Pharaoh with this introduction to Adonai.
Let us start with clarifying the purpose of the plagues. What was the purpose? Look at Exodus 7:2-5. The purpose was to introduce G-d to Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. Then in Exodus 9:14-16 another purpose was to introduce G-d to the entire world.