Torah Portion: Mattot (Tribes) Masa’ei (Stages) B’midbar(Numbers) 30:2-36:13
Tonight, we finish the book of B’Midbar/Numbers by reading the last two Torah portions, Mattot and Masa’ei. In these sections Moshe covers a variety of topics with the people before they enter the Land without him.
Interestingly, the first subject he talked about was the issue of vows. Our words are important and carry power. In Proverbs 18:21 we read the tongue has the power of life and death. In Matthew 5:33-37 we read the words of Yeshua concerning vows. He said, “Just let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Think a moment on how we see words used in scripture. We can start with Genesis chapter one. G-d created the world by His words. It is through speech that we pray, that we ask for forgiveness for our sins. Words spoken cannot be taken back. All of this should move us to speak only when we have thought through what we are about to say and the effect it will have on the hearer. Too often we let our mouth get in front of our mind. G-d looks at this seriously. So here we see Moshe warning the people about vows. What is a vow? Anytime we begin by saying, “I will never…” or “I will always…”, we are making a vow. My point is that G-d takes this seriously and once the words are out there we are bound by them. Think before you speak, will my words bring life or will they bring death?
Torah Portion: Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus(Sh’mot) 21:1-24:18
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
This is one of those Torah portions that sometimes gets pushed to the back of our minds. These judgments seem to be mostly outside of our more enlightened way of viewing our faith. Do we really need to consider these judgments as having any place in our modern world view?
Torah Portion: Ha’azinu (Hear) D’Varim/Deut. 32
HafTorah: II Samuel 22:1-51
This week as we near the end of our yearly reading cycle we come to this portion. These verses are written in the style of a song or poem. It contains words that in Hebrew make it easy to remember. In fact many school children in Israel memorize this parasha and learn to sing it when they are in primary school.
Torah Portion Mattot (Tribes) Masa’ei (Stages) (B’Midbar) Numbers30:2-36:13
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
This week we finish the book of B’Midbar or Numbers. In these two Torah portions we cover a number of topics. These are topics that speak to us in our life and world today. One of the dominant themes is the subject of words. When we began our journey through the Torah the words spoken by G-d brought the world into being. Through all the books so far we have seen the power of words both for good and for evil. We see this same theme in the Messianic Scriptures in Matthew 5:37 where it says, “But let your yes be yes and your no no. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Torah Portion: D’varim (Deut) 1:1-3:22
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 1:1-27
This week we read the first Torah portion of D’Varim, known in English as Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a Greek word meaning Second Torah. This meaning is misleading since there are many commandments that do not appear here but are found in other books of Torah. The name in Hebrew, however, has a much deeper meaning. In Hebrew the root of the word, d’var, can mean both thing and word. It was by the Word of G-d that all things came into being.
Torah Portion: D’varim(Deut.) 1-3
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 1
Tonight we start the Book of D’Varim or “Words.” This is Moshe’s final address to the people before his exit from the world stage. It was delivered over a 37 day period, just before Israel began the settlement of the Land of Promise. Remember this is the same man who told G-d, back in Exodus 4:10 he was heavy of tongue and needed someone to speak for him. Here we see no need of another person to speak for Him. What brought about this change? It would seem to me, in the beginning, Moshe was not able to trust G-d completely. He saw himself as inadequate. He focused on that instead of what G-d wanted to do through him. At the end of his life he had changed. His focus was on G-d, on taking care of G-d’s chosen and speaking G-d’s truth to them while he still had the time to do it. His main concern was for their future. He did not do this in arrogance but in faith that what G-d was asking was his destiny and until his last day he could accomplish what G-d asked of him. This is an important lesson for all of us. When we know G-d has a walk for us we are to put our feet on the path, even though we may believe we are not capable of accomplishing it in our own strength or talents. Faith calls us to trust Him. In Deut. 2:31 we read where G-d spoke to Moshe about delivering the land of Sihon into the hands of the Israelites. It is interesting that the verse says the people are to begin to possess the land. G-d tells the people to take the first step, to begin the process, to trust Him to follow through. He calls us each day to trust Him. We are to have our faith in Him for the process. We are only to “begin” to possess what He has said. Our walk with G-d is a daily matter of trust for that day, believing and knowing that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. Philippians 1:6. Our life is built on that faith. Even though we do not know what tomorrow will bring our faith is in Him who does know and is always there to guide us and keep us. So, here in this verse we see G-d’s faithfulness to Israel even when they sin and fall. He is always there to pick them up and set them back on the path. He does the same for us. We may take a wrong turn or get off the path but if we come to Him, repent and ask, He is faithful to lead us on. We see this over and over in the life of the nation of Israel in this portion as Moshe goes back over their sins and also their victories. G-d’s love was always constant for His people and is for us.
Torah Portion: B’Midbar (Numbers) 30:2-36:13
HafTorah: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
Tonight we finish the book of B’Midbar or Numbers by reading a double portion of the book. These two sections cover a wide range of topics from the giving of a vow, the division of the Land, the victory over the Midianites where we read of the death of Bi’lam, all the journeys of Israel and the death of Aaron.
Torah Portion: Naso (Count) Numbers 4:21-7:89
HafTorah: Judges 13:2-5
This evening we look at the Torah Portion named Naso or count. In this Torah section we cover many topics but I want us to look closely at two, both of which are in chapter 5 of Numbers.
The first thing I would like us to seek the L-rd on is found in Numbers 5:6-7. It speaks of confession of our sins. In these verses we read that when we sin we are to confess our sins to G-d. In Hebrew this is called “vidui.” The important part is that the confession, according to Judaism and Christianity, is to be verbalized. We speak the words with our mouth to G-d. What’s the point of vocalizing our thoughts of remorse to G-d? The L-rd of the universe knows our every thought and our every feeling like an open book. Why must our confession be verbal?