B’chukkotai(By My Regulations)Vayikra/Leviticus 26:3-27:34
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
Even though we are unable to meet today I want to send you some thoughts on this week’s Torah portion. I would like to concentrate on an extremely important section of this Torah portion. It begins with these words, “If you walk in my statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out” Leviticus 26:3. Isn’t that statement a bit redundant? What is the difference between 1. walking in My statutes and 2. keeping the commandments and 3. carrying them out? I might add this question also applies to Yeshua’s commandments in the Messianic Scriptures.
Today I want us to look at several topics in this Torah portion with the last one being connected to my question this week. I also want to thank everyone for your responses to my question. There were some really good answers.
Before we get to my question I want to mention the visit of Moshe’s father-in-law Jethro. In our verses today we read where Jethro came to visit Moshe. He also brought Moshe’s wife, Zipporah and his two children with him to reunite the family. While he was there he observed Moshe as he met with people who were seeking his wisdom and advice on many different issues.
Torah Portion: Vayikra (And He Called) Vayikra/Leviticus 1:1-5:26
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
Today we begin the third book of the Torah. It is sometimes called, “The Torah of the priests,” due to its many commandments concerning the duties of the priests in their service in the Mishkan or Tabernacle. Here we read much about the sacrifices brought to the Mishkan by the people of Israel. Interestingly when we think of this we often associate the bringing of sacrifices with some sin the person has committed. However, actually of the sacrifices brought, only one or two had to do with sins.
Torah Portion: Vayigash (And He Approached) B’resheet (Genesis) 44-47
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Our Torah portion today covers one of the most touching scenes in Torah, the reunion of Yoseph/Joseph and his brothers after being separated for 22 years. Tonight I want us to look at two of the main characters of this drama and see what we might learn from them that could impact our lives.
Torah Portion: Va’etchanan (And I Pleaded) D’varim (Deut) 3:23-7:11
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 40:1-26
This week we read one of the most heart wrenching segments of scripture in the Torah. This portion begins with the words of Moshe, “And I pleaded.” We know the story, Moshe stood on the brink of his life’s dream. He stood on the bank of the Jordan as he prepared the people to cross over into the Promised Land. Something he has prepared for for over 40 years. Yet, as he pleads to cross over G-d answers him that he will not go over but will soon die. Not only that but he must prepare and encourage another for the job of taking over his role and lead the people. What was Moshe’s response after hearing these words? Did he argue with G-d? Did he sulk, get angry, stop speaking to G-d? In his response I think we can learn much that will help us in our own life.
Torah Portion: Tetzaveh (You Are To Order)(Sh’mot) Exodus 27:20-30:10
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27
In this Torah Portion we read about the clothing of the priest and their duties as priest. In fact, one entire chapter is set aside to describe the clothes of the High Priest that he was to wear for honor and glory. However, the portion begins with the last two verses of chapter 27 that speaks of the eternal light that was to burn continually before the veil in the Mishkan. The portion ends with a description of the altar of incense. Why do you think this division was used when the portion last week was devoted to the furnishing of the Mishkan? Why separate these two things out? It could be that scripture is saying here that the priests and their duties were to reflect these two vessels. Light symbolizing wisdom, and the Sprit of G-d and ending with the altar of incense, which might symbolize the priests prayers being lifted to G-d. This seems like a spiritual message to us as we continue to look at the clothing of the priests and the offerings. It should also speak to us as believers today as we go about each day to always be aware of who we are and what our life is to be.