Torah Portion: Vayetze(History) B’resheet/Genesis 28:10-32:3
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-13:5
Today we look at a Torah portion that covers a long span of the life of Jacob. It begins when he is leaving the land of Israel and continues until twenty years later when he is returning home from Haran. He left with only the clothes on his back and returned a wealthy man with many cattle, sheep,11 sons and one daughter. Our Torah portion reveals many details of the 20 years he was in exile. He left Israel after a prophetic dream in which G-d promised to protect him and bring him back home to the land. (Genesis 28:13)
Mattot (Tribes) and Masa’ei (Stages) B’midbar (Numbers) 30:2-36:13 Haftorah Readings: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
Today I would like to cover two topics from our double Torah readings. Both of these topics have bearing on our life today as G-d’s people and the world in which we live. I would like to start with my question of the week. In Numbers 32:1-5 we read the account of the two tribes of Reuben and Gad who came to Moshe and told him they would rather stay on the east bank of the Jordan River rather than enter the Promised Land with the rest of Israel. Later, they were joined in their request by the half tribe of Menashe.
V’zot HaBrachah (And This is the blessing) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 33-34
Haftorah Reading Joshua 1:1-18
Usually this Torah section is read on Simchat HaTorah. This holiday occurs Tuesday evening, October 22nd at the end of Sukkot. However, rather than miss these important final words of Moshe I would like us to take the time to study this passage. In my question of the week I asked you what you saw as the characteristics of a servant of G-d. This question was based on verse 34:5 of Deut. In this verse Moshe was called a servant of the L-rd.
Torah Portion: Balak B’Midbar(Numbers) 22-25
Haftorah Reading: Micah 5:6-6:8
Today we read a Torah Portion that covers a single event in the account leading up to Israel approaching the border of the Land. There are two main characters in this drama. We read of one of the characters, Balak, who was the King of Moab. If you remember, Moab was the son of one of Lot’s daughters. He was born after the two daughters of Lot became pregnant when they slept with their father after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the book of Ruth we also learn that she was a Moabite. So Balak was a distant cousin of the Jewish people who now stood at his borders seeking passage on to the Land. Balak was overcome with fear and sought the help of a well-known seer, Bilaam, to help him repel the Jews by invoking a curse. We can hear the fear in his words in Numbers 22:4,6. He knew his only help lay in the occult.