Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’Varim (Deut.) 32:1-52
Haftorah Readings: II Samuel 22:1-51
Before we get to the Torah section I would like to remind us all that Yom Kippur begins at sundown tomorrow and ends on Monday evening. As you know, this is the most holy day of G-d’s calendar. I would ask you all to pay attention to this day. It is a day to rededicate your lives to the Father, to clear out any sins that have not been confessed over the years. It is also a time to reflect on all G-d has done for us.
Torah Portion: Nitzavim (Standing) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-30:20
Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10-63:9
Before we get to the Torah section I would like to say a word about tomorrow. As you know, tomorrow at sundown the biblical holiday, or in Hebrew, Mo’ed, of Yom Teruah begins. The literal translation of Yom Teruah is “the blowing,” meaning the blowing of the shofar. You can read about this holiday in Leviticus 23:24-25. When we look at the times in scripture where the sound of the shofar is mentioned we see several interesting facts. It was used to announce the crowning of G-d as King at Mt. Sinai. It was also used in battle such as when the walls of Jericho fell. It also will announce the coming of Messiah. Revelation 20:4-6.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Sh’mot (Exodus) 18-20
HafTorah: Isaiah 6:1-13
Tonight we look at the Torah portion Jethro, who was the father-in-law of Moses. This portion contains the 10 commandments and G-d meeting the people at the mountain of G-d. Here we see for the first time G-d speaks to a nation. Up until now G-d had communicated with a person but here to a people. This changed everything. No longer did Israel have to depend on the stories they had heard from their ancestors. Here they saw and heard G-d for themselves from the smallest to the greatest. They all saw the words of G-d and heard the shofar. Then we come to verse 20:19 of Exodus. They ask Moses to hear G-d for them and relate the message to them. Jewish scholars look at this as a lost opportunity. In fact Moses exhorts them to not be afraid but to press on.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Shemot (Exodus) 18:1-20:26
HafTorah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6:7
New Testament: Matt. 5:21-30, 15:1-11; 19:16-30; Mark 7:5-15; Mark 10: 17-31; Luke 18:18-30; Acts 6:1-7; Romans 2:17-29; 7:7-12; 13:8-10; Eph. 6:1-3; 1Timothy 3:1-14; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 12:18-29; James 2:8-13; I Peter 2:9-10
Tonight we look at, I think, the only Torah portion named for a non-Jew. Why do you think Jethro was given this honor? Torah tells us that he heard of all that G-d had done for Israel. It seems he wanted to know more. So, the sages say he was honored for his search for the truth. I pray that this can also be said for each of us when we come together each week – that we are seeking the truth. In chapter 19, verse one of Shemot we read where the people came to the mountain in the third month after they had come out of Egypt. As we read on in chapter 19 we see G-d instructing Moses on what to tell the people. He was to tell them how He cared for them, bore them up on eagle’s wings and brought them to Himself at Sinai, and there He proposed to them as a groom does to his bride.