Torah Portion: Vayetze(History) B’resheet/Genesis 28:10-32:3
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-13:5
Today we look at a Torah portion that covers a long span of the life of Jacob. It begins when he is leaving the land of Israel and continues until twenty years later when he is returning home from Haran. He left with only the clothes on his back and returned a wealthy man with many cattle, sheep,11 sons and one daughter. Our Torah portion reveals many details of the 20 years he was in exile. He left Israel after a prophetic dream in which G-d promised to protect him and bring him back home to the land. (Genesis 28:13)
: Vayishlach(And He Sent) B’resheet/Genesis 32:4-36:43
Haftorah Readings: Hosea 11:7-12:12
This week we read of Jacob’s return to Israel and his struggle with an angel (G-d). After this struggle we read where G-d changed his name and gave him a limp that he had for the rest of his life. I want to take a few moments and look at this encounter. What differences do we see in Jacob’s life after this encounter? I want to thank you for your thoughts on my questions each week. It helps me and encourages me as I write and send you teaching each week.
Torah Portion: Tol’dot (Generations) B’resheet/Genesis 25:19-28:9
Haftorah Reading Malachi 1:1-27
Today we read a Torah portion that covers much of the live of Isaac, the son of Avraham. Again, there are many spiritual lessons for us in this portion. However, I want us to concentrate on one interesting point.
I would like us to look at verses found in Genesis/B’resheet 26:15-22. In these verses we read of Isaac digging and reopening the wells his father Avraham dug years before in the land of the Philistines. Immediately questions arise of why would the Philistines fill in the wells dug by Avraham in the first place? In verse 15 we read where they stopped them up and filled them with earth. Israel is an arid land, not given to many sources of fresh water. This is especially true for the area where Isaac was living. So, what was the point of closing off a source of fresh water?
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.