Torah Portion: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’Varim/Deut. 21:10-25:19
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Tonight we study and read a portion made up of over seventy commandments. These commandments cover a variety of subjects but have mainly one theme. What do you think that theme might be? I think this portion’s unifying theme is how should G-d’s people live from day to day? What should be the characteristics of our life?
Torah Portion: Vayigash (And He Came) B’resheet (Genesis) 44-47
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Tonight we read of the reunion of Joseph and his brothers after 22 years. This is also a fulfillment of G-d’s word to Avraham in Genesis 15:13-14 where He tells him that his descendents would be slaves in a strange land but He, G-d, would bring them out with great possessions. So here we see the beginning of that word from the L-rd. This time in Egypt was foretold to the patriarchs and was possibly passed down to Jacob by his father and grandfather. Evidently G-d saw these years of testing as necessary before the Jewish people could become who G-d planned them to be from the beginning.
Torah Portion: Ki Tetze (When You Go Out) D’varim(Deut.) 21-25
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:1-10
Tonight we are at the midpoint of the Hebrew month of Elul. As we have discussed, this month begins the 40 days of self examination and coming before G-d, and if need be, before our fellowman to seek repentance. It is a time to set spiritual goals for the coming year. Of course these are things we should be doing each day, however, this time should focus us like a laser on things that need to be dealt with in our lives.
Torah Portion: Vayechi(He Lived) (B’resheet) Genesis 47-50
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 2:1-12
This is the last Torah portion of the book of B’resheet/Genesis. In it we read of the death of both Jacob and Joseph. Yet, interesting the portion is titled, “And He Lived”. Always in Torah when we come across something like this we can be assured that G-d ‘s making a spiritual point for us.
Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Rulings) Exodus 21-24
HafTorah: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
This week we read a Torah portion that covers the way Israel was to deal with many relationship issues that arose in their daily life. Since some of these no longer concern us we are tempted to skim over them and see them as unrelated to our present life. For this reason I would like us to look at several judgments and see what Torah is saying to us on a deeper spiritual level. What are we to learn from these judgments that will affect how we live our lives as believers?
Torah Portion: Sh’mot (Names) Exodus 1:1-6:1
HafTorah: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3, Isaiah 27:6-28:13
This week we read the first Torah section of Sh’mot (Exodus). In this section we read of the birth of Moses, his flight from Egypt and then G-d’s call on him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and return to the Land of Promise.
Torah Portion: Nitzavin (Standing) & Vayelech Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29-31
HafTorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
Tonight we read a double portion of Torah, Nitzavim – or Stand, and Vayelech or When You Go. These are always read the two weeks before Yom Ha Truah, which in traditional Judaism begins the ten day period of repentance and soul searching leading up to Yom Kippur. It is fitting that they both speak of repentance and our need to allow the light of G-d to be turned on our lives, that we can grasp who we really are before Him as apposed to who we thing we are. I am sure we all can benefit from such a time. We have all experienced the feeling of being alone spiritually, as if G-d has abandoned us.
Torah Portion: Masa’ei (Stages) B’midbar (Numbers) 33:1-36:13
HafTorah: Jeremiah 2:4-28
In this Torah section that finishes the book of B’Midbar or Numbers it begins with a recount of the journeys of Israel from their exit from Egypt until their arrival to the border of their inheritance. It covers the setting up of the cities of refuge and the division of the land.
I want us to cover a few issues in these verses as well as look at the HafTorah in Jeremiah 2:4-28. Although we have spoken of the subject of journey’s before let me take a moment to refresh each of us. Here we see Moses setting out the journeys of Israel as they went out of Egypt. Really the first journey was the only one that went out of Egypt so why does Moses say it this way? Each of us has come out of Egypt but it takes awhile to get Egypt out of us. It also takes a life time for us to reach the spiritual maturity that G-d desires of us. Paul alludes to this in the New Testament in Acts 20:23-24. Our lives are a series of journeys, each has a purpose – to mature us, to bring us closer to our inheritance. I expect each of us are in or will be in such a journey. They are for our good and not our harm. I encourage you. G-d loves you and by allowing challenges into our lives He desires for us to grow in Him.
Torah Portion: P’kudei(Accounts) Exodus 38-40
HafTorah: I Kings 7:40-8:21
I would like to start today by looking at the title of this week’s section, P’kudei. In Hebrew it means, “Accounting”, not the profession but taking stock of what has been entrusted to us. Here Moses is settling accounts on everything the people had contributed during the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. This caused me to think of my own life and also I would hope it would cause you to stop and take an account from time to time of what G-d has given or entrusted to you. Have we, or are we using what He has given to us? Have we been faithful to use the spiritual gifts we have? Are we faithful in fulfilling G-d’s plan for our lives or have we been so caught up in living we have forgotten what or who we are to be living for. It is very easy to lose our way unless we take account from time to time. The path is before us. We are to walk in it, not just from time to time but everyday. He loves us and has a plan for us but we have to be part of fulfilling His will and using His gifts in our lives. It really is a partnership between us and the L-rd.