Torah Portion: Shemini (Eighth) Vayikra/Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haftorah Reading: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
Today, we look at the third Torah section of Leviticus or Vayikra. Over the last weeks we have read seven Torah sections about the gathering of supplies, building, and now consecrating the Tabernacle or Mishkan. This section brings us to the inauguration of the Tabernacle as a place where G-d’s Presence would meet the people. The last step in this process was for the priests to set everything in order as far as making sure all the objects and priests taking part in this ceremony would be ritually clean and holy. Nothing that was profane could be in the Presence of G-d Almighty.
Torah Portion: Vayishlach (And He Sent) B’resheet (Genesis) 32-36
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Today we cover one of the pivotal events in the life of Jacob. He is about to meet his estranged twin, Esau, after 20 years apart. I’m sure the words of his brother are still ringing in his ears. We read them in Genesis 27:41. As Jacob got ready to cross the Jabbok, a stream that became part of the Jordan River, he made plans for the coming meeting. He sent messengers ahead to speak to Esau and to, if possible, placate his anger. He divided his band into groups, hoping if one was attacked the other might escape. He sent a vast amount of livestock over as a gift to Esau. Why do you think he did this? Was it to soothe the anger of Esau or was it to sooth his own guilt over the trick he and his mother had used to fool Isaac and steal the blessing from Esau?
Torah Portion: Vayikra (And He Called) (Leviticus) Vayikra 1-5
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
This Torah portion is the first of the third book of the Torah. “Vayikra” translated to English is “And He Called.” This term is usually seen as a term of endearment. This term is frequently followed by a mission or task that only that person can do. Another example in the Prophets is the book of Samuel where the exact same words are used when G-d calls Samuel. (I Samuel 3:8)
Torah Portion: Shemini (Eighth) (Leviticus) Vayikra 9-11
Haftorah Reading: II Sam 6:1-7:17
The name of this Torah portion is Shemini or Eighth. This Torah portion contains many worthy spiritual lessons for us and we will talk about a few of them. However, one fact is not clear from just reading the text. In Lev. 10:16 we read of Moshe, “Moshe searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering and behold it had been burned up.” The interesting fact is the words translated, “searched carefully.” In Hebrew the two Hebrew words are “dorash, darosh” meaning searching he searched. This same Hebrew word is applied to the study of Torah and by extension all of scripture as found in Deut. 6:7, which is part of the Shema where we see that all of us as believers are called to teach G-d’s Word to our sons and daughters every chance we have. We should teach them with purpose. In John 5:39 we read of Yeshua rebuking the teachers of Torah for not, “searching” “dorash” because the scriptures teach about Him. Now the interesting fact is that this word “dorash” is the exact middle word of the Torah, if you are counting the words. Right at the center of the Torah we find the word search or study. Teaching us that we are to always be about the study of G-d’s Word. We must never stop studying and seeking out what we can learn from the Word of G-d.
Torah Portion: Shelach L’Kha (Send on your behalf) B’midbar (Numbers) 13:1-15:41
HafTorah: Joshua 2:1-24
Tonight we look at the Torah portion Shelach or send. We read of the mission of the twelve men chosen to go and report back on their findings. You might notice that at the beginning they are called men not spies. That was a role they took on themselves. They saw their mission in a different light than Moses when he gave them their charge. They got ahead of G-d’s instructions. This is something each of us must guard against. When we run ahead of the Father we may become lost and get caught up in what we think He said rather than what He actually revealed to us. It is interesting that the word eretz (land of Israel) has at its root the Hebrew word Ratz or run. So we are to run after Him but not ahead of Him. Here we see obstacles in the way of the conquest. I would imagine we have all encountered obstacles in our lives when our wills are tested. These experiences give us the opportunity to demonstrate our profound desire to go with the “Lover of our soul.” Our battle is to be able to keep a proper perspective on these challenges, not to lose our way and not to be discouraged.