Torah Portion: Noah B’resheet/Genesis 6:9-11:32
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:1-55:5
Today we read the second portion from the book of Genesis. In this portion there are many subjects we can cover. I will try to pick two or three for our time together.
To begin, I want to look at Genesis 7:2, 8. In these two verses we see Noah is commanded by G-d to take seven pairs of clean beasts and one pair of unclean beasts. What are we to make of this? Why did G-d specifically tell him to bring seven pairs of clean animals and only one pair of unclean? Remember, this is 400 years before we will see this again appear in Torah in Leviticus chapter 11. In Leviticus the scripture goes into more detail about what animals are clean and which ones are unclean.
Torah Portion Emor (Speak) Leviticus/Vayikra 21:1-24:23
Haftorah Reading Ezekiel 44:15-31
Tonight, we study the Torah portion Emor. This portion covers a listing of all the holidays of the calendar as well as the Sabbath. My question to you this week was about the inclusion of the Sabbath in our reading. However, I want to mainly speak about another issue that is covered in our portion as well. In fact, it is the first main topic that Moshe speaks of in these verses.
Torah Portion Chukat (Ordinances) Numbers (B’Midbar) 19-22
Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33
Today we read a Torah portion about the death of both of Moshe’s siblings, Aaron and Miriam. We also read of the remedy for being ritually unclean. You could become ritually unclean by being with or in the house of someone who had died. The only remedy for this level of uncleanness was to be sprinkled with water that contained the ashes of a red heifer.
Torah Portion: Chukat B’Midbar(Numbers) 19-22
Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33
Tonight we read one of the more difficult Torah portions to understand. It includes the death of Miriam and Aaron. It contains the verses giving Moshe notice that he will not be allowed to enter the Land, his dream and goal for over 40 years of his life. Even the name Chukat, hints at the difficulty in understanding what we are about to read. We will try to bring some clarity to this portion over the next few minutes together.
Torah Portion: Beha’alotcha “Arrange” B’Midbar(Numbers) 8-12
Haftorah Reading: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
This week we read the Torah portion Beha’alotcha and in it we see many topics that can have a profound spiritual impact on our lives, beginning with the instructions of Aaron to kindle the Lamp stand that stood before the Holy of Holies.
Torah Portion: Tazria (Conceived) and Metzora (Leper) (Leviticus) Vayikra 12-15
Haftorah Reading: II Kings 4:42-5:19 and II Kings 7:3-20
Tonight we read two Torah Portions concerning clean and unclean items and people. Remember, this condition of being unclean does not necessarily mean sin has occurred. Usually it is a result of just living in the world or natural bodily functions such as we see here tonight.
However, as with leprosy it can be brought on by the sin of “lashon harah” or an evil tongue. This is related to gossip or talking badly about someone or in some cases about something. The most obvious example is the case of Miriam, the sister of Moshe. We read about this in Numbers/B’Midbar 12:1-10. When we read these verses we read where Aaron and Miriam were talking about Moshe marrying a Cusite woman. G-d judged Miriam by causing her to have leprosy. Scripture says she became white as snow and was restored only when Moshe prayed for her. We also see where this condition was looked on as if she was dead.
Torah Portion: Chukat (Ordinance) B’Midbar 19-22
Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33
Tonight we read a Torah section that includes two passages that are difficult to completely understand. The first is the “Red Heifer.” When we read the verses about the preparation and use of the ashes of the red heifer we see a process that cleanses one person from ritual impurity, because of contact with a dead body, while at the same time causing the priest, who is involved, to become unclean in the process. How can this be? I think we will be able to answer this riddle over the next few minutes.
Torah Portion: Metzora (Leper) (Leviticus) Vayikra 14-15
Haftorah Reading: II Kings 7:3-20
This week our Torah portion continues with the discussion of clean and unclean issues dealing with people. In last weeks section in verses 13:1-4 we read where the word used for man was “adam” rather than the more common word, “ish.” This shows the connection between this disease and the fall of mankind in the garden. Then death, disease and sin entered the world and we still suffer from the effects of the actions of Adam and Eve. Here again we read where one of the effects of the illness of leprosy is rooted in our spiritual nature, in that this disease, as well as other things, can separate us spiritually from G-d. Yeshua and His blood can cleanse us from this separation. However, it is very important for us to do what we can to not come under the influence of the issues we read about this week. Remember, this is at least 3 chapters devoted mainly to one ailment and its effect on our connection with G-d.
Torah Portion: Tazria (She Conceives) (Leviticus) Vayikra 12-13
Haftorah Reading: II Kings 4:42-5:19
Last week we read in Leviticus 10:10 where we are to be able to put a difference between holy and unholy and between clean and unclean. This week we see this idea of clean and unclean carried on from almost the first verse of chapter 12. We see where a woman who gives birth is considered unclean for a period of time. To rectify her state of uncleanness she is to bring a sin offering to the Mishkan. We see this process played out in Luke 2:24 where the mother of Yeshua brought an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem. She brought a sin offering even though there was no evidence of sin mentioned. Naturally the question arises why? I would think it harkens back to the first birth in scripture when Eve, as a result of her sin and Adam’s sin, was told the birth process would be painful and bloody as a reminder of their sin. It also helps us to understand the verse in Psalms 51:5. There David says he was, “brought forth in iniquity and in sin did his mother conceive me.” We all live in a world that is under this same dilemma. As such our lives are lived with this world’s sinfulness around us. Thankfully Yeshua and His blood has given us refuge from the sin of the world but it takes action on our part to accept that gift of redemption and then walk in G-d’s leading in our life. G-d expects us to be part of the fixing of this world as His people. This is a choice we all are faced with, the choice of holy or profane, clean or unclean. Even in our spiritual lives there are times when we as G-d’s people are faced with this choice. We must be able to choose wisely.
Torah Portion: Mikketz (At The End) (B’resheet) Genesis 41-44
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 3:15-4:1
Tonight we read the Torah portion Mikketz and we celebrate the seventh night of Chanukkah. I would like to explore the connection between the two by using a Hebrew word, “bitachon,” which means trust. But first a few words about the holiday. Chanukkah does not appear in the Hebrew scriptures. The events that serve as the foundation of the holiday take place in the 160’s BCE. The Greek king Antiochus ruled over Israel at the time. He suffered defeat in a war against Egypt and as a result dealt severely with Israel on his way back home.