Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 7:21-9:24
Today we will look at the Torah portion Tzav or Command. I would like us to pay special attention to Leviticus 8:19 where it speaks of the setting apart of Aaron and his sons. Aaron was High Priest and his sons were priests to the L-rd. They were to serve as the priests in the Tabernacle and later their descendants as priests in the temple in Jerusalem.
Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived) Genesis 47:28-50:26
HafTorah: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight we look at the remaining verses of Genesis. The Torah reading is titled, “And He lived.” However the Parasha covers mainly the preparation for death of both Joseph and Jacob. We see both men give instructions about what to do with their bodies when they die. Jacob (Yaakov) uses an interesting phrase here in Genesis 49:33, where the Torah reads, “he gathered up his feet and was gathered to his people.” I think the intention here is to show that even when Yaakov is no longer physically alive and he has passed over to be with his ancestors, his influence lives on. He never lost faith in the promises of G-d. In Hebrews 11 we see him mentioned in the blessing of his sons and in not ceasing to exist, but rather moving on to the promise of G-d.
Torah Portion: Vayera (He Appeared) B’resheet Genesis 18:1-22:24
HafTorah: II Kings 4:1-37
Tonight we look at a large part of the life of Avraham and Sarah. Last week we read about Sarah telling Avraham to take her maid servant and have a child by her since she was getting old and did not have a child. Then this week we read of the men (angels) coming to visit Avraham and Sarah and announcing that in a year she would conceive and bear a child. In chapter 21:9-11 we read of Sarah telling Avraham to send Hagar and her child away. He does not want to do this. So I want us to take a bit of time and look at this and see what we can learn about this woman.
Torah Portion: Vayechi Genesis 47:28-50:26
HafTorah: I Kings 2:1-12
I Peter 1:1-19
Tonight we read the Torah section entitled Vayechi or “And he lived.” The Torah goes on to tell us that Jacob lived 147 years. The remainder of this section basically covers his death.
In my questions for the week I asked you to look back at Genesis 47:7-11 where Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was. In Hebrew it comes out more, “Wow, how old are you!” Jacob answers that he is 130 years old and his days have been few and evil. He had not lived as long as his father, Isaac or grandfather, Abraham. He died 33 years younger than Isaac and 28 years younger than Abraham. When you look at his life would you summarize his days as few and evil? G-d watched over him all the time he was with Laban. He left Israel with nothing but the clothes on his back and the staff in his hand. G-d promised to be with him and bring him back which he did. He brought him back with riches and a family. He prospered in Israel. G-d provided for him in Egypt. Again, it might be how you look at things. Rabbis see this as one of Jacob’s problems to the point his life possibly ended prematurely.