Torah Portion: Re’eh (Behold) Deut. 11:26-16:17
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
John 7:37-52; I John 4:1-6
Tonight I want us to start by looking at the first question I sent out this week. In Deut. 11:29 we read where Moses tells the people, when they enter the land half of the people are to go to Mt. Gerizim and recite the blessings of G-d. The other half would go to Mt. Ebal and recite the curses found in the Torah for obedience to G-d. Later in history Mt. Gerizim was looked at by the Samaritan sect as G-d’s holy mountain and their temple there as the place to worship. In the time of Yeshua their temple was in ruins but sacrifices were still brought there. The Jewish people held them to be heretics and made a point of not having any contact with them. Which brings us to my question. Where do we see this physical setting in the New Testament and whom did Yeshua meet there? Of course we all know her as the Samaritan woman at the well. She, perceiving that Yeshua was a Jewish prophet, presented Him with a question about the main point of conflict between Jews and Samaritans on where they should worship. (John 4:20) In His answer Yeshua firmly comes down on the side of Israel (John 4:22) but goes on to say the time is coming when people will also not be able to pray in Jerusalem. John 4:21 and John 4:23.
Torah Portion: Vayetzei (He Went Out) Genesis 28:10-32:3
HafTorah: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Tonight I would like to start with a look at Genesis 29:1. In this verse in English it is translated as Jacob “went on his journey.” However the Hebrew is more like “he lifted his feet and went on his way.” Do we really need to know “he lifted his feet?” What is the Torah telling us with these words? Many times we look at our circumstances and resign ourselves to our situation. Jacob was in a pretty bad place. He left his home under a threat from his brother to kill him. Yet what did he do? He took control of his feet and went with purpose. He didn’t sit and think, “Woe is me.” Rather he set his feet to go where G-d was leading him. He rose above his situation and went on his way. He set his feet on the right road – as we must do in the situations we find ourselves in.