Torah Portion: B’chukkotai (By My Statutes) Leviticus/Vayikra 26:3-27:34
Haftorah Reading Jeremiah 16:19-34
Tonigh,t we will finish the book of Vayikra or Leviticus by looking at chapters 26 and 27. Chapter 26 covers G-d’s blessings and curses that will come upon Israel for either their faithfulness or their disobedience. I would ask you to look at these chapters in light of Romans 11:11-27. In Romans we see Shaul speaking to the believers in Rome, many of which were not Jewish. Shaul apparently was battling an idea that is still popular today, replacement theology.
Torah Portion: Ki Tavo (When You Come) Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26-29
HafTorah: Isaiah 60:1-22
Tonight we study the Torah section Ki Tavo or, “when you come in.” In this section we read the blessings and curses that Moses lays out before the people before their entry into the Land. The blessings, if they follow the ways of G-d, curses if they do not. We also read of the Appointed Time of First Fruits known as what? It is called Shavuot or Pentecost and is the festival following Passover. Each farmer was called to bring the first fruits of his crop to the Temple in Jerusalem and present them as a tithe to the L-rd, to thank Him for settling them in the Land and fulfilling the promise to their ancestors. In the New Testament we see this time mentioned specifically in Acts 2, where we can see the people that came to the L-rd as the first fruits of the Messiah.
Torah Portion: T’rumah (Contribution) Sh’mot (Exodus) 25-27
HafTorah: I Kings 5:26-6:13
New Testament: Hebrews 8:1-6
This week we read of the details of the Miskan (tabernacle). The materials are donated from the people as a free will offering. The offering had to be given with a willing heart. It was not a tithe but an offering. Why did G-d command the building of a Mishkan? In Exodus 25:8 we read so that He could dwell in them. In I Cor. 3:16 we read where we are the Temple of G-d, the Temple being patterned after the Miskan.
Torah Portion: Behar (On the Mountain) Leviticus 25:1-26:2
HafTorah: Jeremiah 32:6-27
Let us start with a question. What do the concepts of Shabbat, Shmitah and Jubilee have in common? What do they teach us spiritually? Two of the three have the same root in Hebrew. Shabbat and Sabbatical or Shmitah come from the word to rest. The Shabbat comes once each week and the other once every seventh year. Even Jubilee teaches us the same principle. G-d is our provider. All things belong to Him. He expects us to live in a way that reflects Him in society. We tend to compartmentalize life and in doing that relegate G-d to certain places and time. We may only relate to Him in this meeting or one like it. Some of us may allow Him into our personal lives. We don’t hurt people, we try to live upright lives but fewer are those who let Him into our business or pocketbooks. We may say, “I’ll pray, I’ll study scripture but really business is business. I can’t take off a day or a week much less a year. I can’t tithe. That’s a lot of money. What would I do without it? Everybody cheats a little especially with Uncle Sam. I need it more than they do.”
Torah Portion: Re’eh (Behold, See) Deut. 11:26-16:17
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
I would like to start by looking at the Torah section first. I would like to look at it in what it says about worship. In Hebrew the word for worship and work has the same root. What could they have in common? Worship is not something that we sit back and let someone do for us. We must be active participants. It requires effort from us and it must be acceptable.