Ekev (Because) D’Varim (Deut.) 7:12-11:25

Torah Portion: Ekev (Because) D’Varim (Deut.) 7:12-11:25

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 49:14-51:3

Messianic Scripture  Matt. 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13, James 5:7-11

In our portion today we see Moshe begin to prepare the people of Israel for their new experience of entering the land of Israel, their land of promise. Everything they see and experience will be new for them. There will be battles to be fought and victories to be celebrated. No longer will they be wandering in the desert but now they will be free people in their own land.

Shoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Torah PortionShoftim (Judges) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 51:12-53:12

This Torah portion, like most, contains a multitude of subjects that can occupy us for hours but we will limit ourselves to a few that I think will challenge us spiritually. To do this I want to begin with my three questions I sent you this week.

Jethro(Yitro) Exodus(Sh’mot) 18:1-20:23

Torah Portion:  Jethro(Yitro) Exodus(Sh’mot) 18:1-20:23

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6

This week we have studied a Torah portion named for the father-in-law of Moshe. Jethro heard of all the great things G-d had done for Israel and came to visit Moshe to see for himself. He also brought along Moshe’s wife and two sons.

Balak (B’Midbar) Num. 22-25

Torah Portion Balak (B’Midbar) Numbers 22-25

Haftorah Reading: Micah 5:6-6:8

Tonight’s Torah portion is somewhat unusual in that it deals mainly with an idol-worshipping magician, Bilaam, ad his failed attempts to curse the Jewish people.  First, to put things into a geographical perspective, Moav, where these verses take place, was on the southwestern side of the Promised Land. The people of Moav were the descendants of Lot. Because of this we read in Deuteronomy (D’Varim) 2:9 where G-d told the people, through Moses, to not distress the people of Moav or provoke them to war because their land was not part of the Promise Land. However, from Balak’s reaction we can assume he was unaware of this and feared the coming Israelites. He thought he needed more help than an army so he turned to Bilaam, apparently a famous person in the ancient world, known for his ability to bring curses down on people and nations. Something to keep in mind, Bilaam lived in what is now Iraq which was a long journey for the messengers of Balak to travel. This distance also speaks of his fame and gives us some idea of how much time it took to bring Bilaam to Moav.

Vayeishev (And He Settled) B’Resheet (Gen) 37-40

Torah Portion: Vayeishev (And He Settled)  B’Resheet (Gen.) 37-40

HafTorah:  Amos 2:6-3:8

This Torah portion is taken almost completely with the life of Joseph and his struggles until he become the second in power in the land of Egypt. There are several points that can be made from these verses about how Joseph dealt with his misfortunes. One amazing observation is how he was able to hold onto G-d’s purpose in his life, to not give up, or become discouraged. This trait speaks to me and I hope to each of you.