D’Varim (Deut.) 1:1-3:22

Torah Portion: D’Varim(Deut.) 1:1-3:22

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 1:1-27

Today we begin the final book of Torah, Deuteronomy. The Hebrew name for this book is D’Varim. D’Varim means words and also things. As we go through this final book keep this double meaning in mind. 

Also tonight as the Shabbat ends the solemn day of Tishah B’av begins.  This day commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple. Both were destroyed on the same day. The first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The Second Temple, the one used by Yeshua and His disciples, was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.

Vayigash (And He Approached) Gen 44-47

Torah Portion: Vayigash (And He Approached)  B’Resheet (Gen.) 44-47

HafTorah:  Ezekiel 37:15-28

This week we read the Torah portion that covers the reunion of Joseph and his brothers and their settling in Egypt. In Genesis 46:1 we read the account of Ya’acov’s vision when G-d called him and Ya’acov used the familiar phrase, “Here am I.”  This is the third time G-d appeared to him. Like the first time, this vision occurred as Ya’acov was about to leave the Land. (chapter 29)  The other vision happened when he returned to the Land in chapter 32 of Genesis. Here in our verses today we see Ya’acov near the end of his days.

Balak Numbers (B’Midbar) 22:2-25:9

Torah Portion: Balak Numbers (B’Midbar) 22:2-25:9

HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

New Testament: II Peter 2:1-22; Jude 11: Rev. 2:14-15

There are several things I want us to spend time on today, most of which have to do with Balaam. Balaam, according to scripture in Numbers 22:5, had a reputation and in fact was a really famous person. Balak even uses words in Numbers 22:6 that are normally reserved for G-d. (Genesis 12:3) However as we read this chapter we see Balaam even stating that he can do only what G-d allows. So, apparently he knew G-d on some level. However he did not know enough. It would seem he may have thought he could manipulate the Father.

Shoftim (Judges) Deut. 16


Torah Portion: Shoftim  (Judges) Deut. 16:18-21:9

HafTorah: Isaiah 51:12-52:12

Tonight I want to look at a couple of things from this week’s Torah portion. These will cover the two questions I sent out this week. I would like us to spend a few minutes looking at Deut. 20:19. In my translation it reads, “for the tree of the field is man’s food.” However in Hebrew it reads, “Man is a tree of the field.” So, what are we to make of this? How are we trees of the field? In Psalms 1:3 David compares a righteous man to a tree with fruit and leaves that don’t wither. Why? Because it is connected to its life source – water. How do we not wither and turn brown? We do it by staying connected to our life source – the living G-d who through Yeshua nourishes us daily. And as this tree bears fruit so must we. (John 15:2,6) This can only happen as we stay connected to our source. In fact the Torah says non- fruit bearing trees are to be cut down and used to lay siege to a city. In these verses of John Yeshua says the same things. So we are to be trees who reproduce good fruit, our leaves are to stay green, and our roots should be strong and deep. All of these hearken back to this verse that we looked at tonight.

Shoftim (Judges) Deut. 16


Torah Portion: Shoftim (Judges) Deut. 16:18-21:9

HafTorah: Isaiah 51:12-52:12

This Torah section occurs in the first Sabbath of the month of Elul each year. What do we know about the month of Elul? It is the month leading up to the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and Succoth. It is devoted to repentance and getting our lives spiritually in order.

Here we read about earthly judges and officers who were to administer justice. They were to administer justice using G-dly principles. Could they be swayed by anything like a person’s position in life, wealth or whom they knew? No, they had to administer Torah with no outside influence.