Passover Shabbat 2021
II Samuel 22:1-51 and Exodus 13:17-15:26
Since today we are still in the holiday of Pesach there is no regular Torah portion. Instead, we have several readings from the prophets and the book of Exodus. I would like to begin with two verses from II Samuel. In chapter 22:2-3 we read the words of King David, “The L-rd is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. G-d my rock whom I trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my high place, and my refuge, the One who saves me. You save me from violence.” In Psalm 18 we see these words almost completely duplicated.
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (To Take) Exodus 30:11-34:35
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
Tonight I want to start right off with the question I sent out to you. Moses takes a census of the people and as a result of this census every person age 20 and older had to pay ½ shekel for an atonement for their soul. (Exodus 30:12) How can money count as an atonement. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that only the shedding of innocent blood of an animal can atonement come. So how do we reconcile this? Another meaning for the word atonement is ransom. And if we use that word it gives us a clearer understanding of what Moses is saying here. In battle they would be shedding blood and in the Torah when you shed blood a ransom must be paid for the taking of a life.
Torah Portion: Meketz (At the end) Genesis 41:1-44:17
HafTorah: I Kings 3:15 – 4:1
The number seven plays a big part in Biblical reckoning of days and years. Seven days in a week, the Sabbath falls on the seventh day and each seventh year is a sabbatical. In Daniel chapter 9 years are numbered in sets of seven. In Genesis 41 Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream as referring to seven-year periods. Both in Judaism and in Christianity the number seven is important to the years before Messiah’s coming. In both it is seen as a time of famine, plagues and disasters. Revelation 12: 6-14 refers to this seven-year period.