Torah Portion: Re’eh (See)D’Varim(Deut.) 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
Today we will look at several crucial topics. These topics should speak to all of us. I would like to start with the first verse of our Torah portion. Deut. 11:26 reads, “Behold (see) I set before you today a blessing and a curse.” Our portion then goes on to tell us the conditions for receiving the blessings and by contrast what the curses will be for not following G-d’s commandments.
Torah Portion: Tetzaveh (You Shall Command) Sh’mot Exodus 27-30
HafTorah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
This week our Torah portion is Tetzaveh and it covers the clothing worn by the priests as they carried out their duties before the L-rd in the Mishkan and ends with the Incense Altar, its construction, and how to do the burning of incense on the altar.
Torah Portion: Vayera (He Appeared) B’Resheet (Gen.) 18;1-22:22
HafTorah: II Kings 4:1-37
Tonight we read a Torah portion filled with much to say to us about our life of faith. We read in these chapters a great swath of Avraham’s life, the promise of a child, bargaining with G-d over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, the time with Avimelech where the king took Sarah after Avraham told him she was his sister. We also read of the banishing of Hagar and her son and ending with what is known in Hebrew as the “Akedah” or Binding. It is here that I want to spend most of our time this evening. Here we see G-d test Avraham and the result of that test. As we talk about this I ask that each of us put ourselves in his place and consider how we would have replied to this test. In fact, I would say all of us have or will have our faith tested in our walk with G-d through life. It probably will not be as dramatic as Avraham’s test but when it comes it will require us to plum the depth of our faith.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Sh’mot (Exodus) 18-20
HafTorah: Isaiah 6:1-13
Tonight we look at the Torah portion Jethro, who was the father-in-law of Moses. This portion contains the 10 commandments and G-d meeting the people at the mountain of G-d. Here we see for the first time G-d speaks to a nation. Up until now G-d had communicated with a person but here to a people. This changed everything. No longer did Israel have to depend on the stories they had heard from their ancestors. Here they saw and heard G-d for themselves from the smallest to the greatest. They all saw the words of G-d and heard the shofar. Then we come to verse 20:19 of Exodus. They ask Moses to hear G-d for them and relate the message to them. Jewish scholars look at this as a lost opportunity. In fact Moses exhorts them to not be afraid but to press on.
Torah Portion: B’Shallach Sh’mot (Exodus) 13:17-17:16
HafTorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
I want us to look mainly at the Exodus and see what we can learn that might give us insight into our own lives spiritually. I want to start by looking at the last question I sent you this week. In Sh’mot 13:17, in Hebrew, it is written that Pharaoh sent the people out, in Sh’mot 14:5 he is told that the people have fled and finally in Sh’mot 14:8 it says the people went out with an up raised arm. So which is true?
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.