Pesach VIII (on Shabbat) / פֶּסַח ח׳
Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17
Haftarah: Isaiah 10:32-12:6
The three wonderful, blessed feasts Hashem commands us to follow are written in this portion. I was thinking that in the world we celebrate holidays and give gifts to our kids and to each other. But, in these feasts Hashem asks us to give gifts to HIM and to the poor. What a difference! At Pesach we are remembering His miracles and redemption. In the Feast of First Fruits and Tabernacles we are thanking Him for the harvests and bringing Him gifts from our abundance. The coolest part is – when you do this – you are blessed by Him! I have been doing some very difficult volunteer work. Sometimes I doubt whether I want to continue, but I feel compelled that it is all from Him to do this work. And every time I volunteer, I see abundant blessings afterwards. I know it is because of my obedience to Him for what He has called me to do. Review your life and what you do. Are you doing what He has called you to do? Are you giving back to Him a part of what He has blessed you with? Review, change and do what is right. Amen.
14:22 You shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes out of the field year by year. 23 You shall eat before Hashem your Adonai, in the place which He chooses to cause His name to dwell, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear Hashem your Adonai always. 24 If the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it because the place which Hashem your Adonai shall choose to set His name there is too far from you, when Hashem your Adonai blesses you, 25 then you shall turn it into money, bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which Hashem your Adonai shall choose. 26 You shall trade the money for whatever your soul desires: for cattle, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you. You shall eat there before Hashem your Adonai, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no portion nor inheritance with you. 28 At the end of every three years you shall bring all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall store it within your gates. 29 The Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, as well as the foreigner living among you, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Hashem your Adonai may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
15 At the end of every seven years, you shall cancel debts. 2 This is the way it shall be done: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not require payment from his neighbor and his brother, because Hashem’s release has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may require it; but whatever of yours is with your brother, your hand shall release. 4 However there will be no poor with you (for Hashem will surely bless you in the land which Hashem your Adonai gives you for an inheritance to possess) 5 if only you diligently listen to Hashem your Adonai’s voice, to observe to do all this commandment which I command you today. 6 For Hashem your Adonai will bless you, as He promised you. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. You will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. 7 If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you within any of your gates in your land which Hashem your Adonai gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, which he lacks. 9 Beware that there not be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,” and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing; and he cry to Yahweh against you, and it be sin to you. 10 You shall surely give, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because it is for this thing Hashem your Adonai will bless you in all your work and in all that you put your hand to. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land. Therefore I command you to surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land. 12 If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 When you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your wine press. As Hashem your Adonai has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Hashem your Adonai redeemed you. Therefore I command you this thing today. 16 It shall be, if he tells you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for he has been double the value of a hired hand as he served you six years. Hashem your Adonai will bless you in all that you do. 19 You shall dedicate all the firstborn males that are born of your herd and of your flock to Hashem your Adonai You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You shall eat it before Hashem your Adonai year by year in the place which Hashem shall choose, you and your household. 21 If it has any defect—is lame or blind, or has any defect whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to Hashem your Adonai 22 You shall eat it within your gates. The unclean and the clean shall eat it alike, as the gazelle and as the deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood. You shall pour it out on the ground like water.
16 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Pesach to Hashem your Adonai; for in the month of Abib Hashem your Adonai brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall sacrifice the Pesach to Hashem your Adonai, of the flock and the herd, in the place which Hashem shall choose to cause His name to dwell there. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. You shall eat unleavened bread with it seven days, even the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste) that you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4 No yeast shall be seen with you in all your borders seven days; neither shall any of the meat, which you sacrifice the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning. 5 You may not sacrifice the Pesach within any of your gates which Hashem your Adonai gives you; 6 but at the place which Hashem your Adonai shall choose to cause His name to dwell in, there you shall sacrifice the Pesach at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall roast and eat it in the place which Hashem your Adonai chooses. In the morning you shall return to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to Hashem your Adonai You shall do no work.
9 You shall count for yourselves seven weeks. From the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain you shall begin to count seven weeks. 10 You shall keep the feast of weeks to Hashem your Adonai with a tribute of a free will offering of your hand, which you shall give according to how Hashem your Adonai blesses you. 11 You shall rejoice before Hashem your Adonai you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, in the place which Hashem your Adonai shall choose to cause His name to dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt. You shall observe and do these statutes.
13 You shall keep the feast of booths seven days, after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and from your wine press. 14 You shall rejoice in your feast, you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates. 15 You shall keep a feast to Hashem your Adonai seven days in the place which Hashem chooses, because Hashem your Adonai will bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful. 16 Three times in a year all of your males shall appear before Hashem your Adonai in the place which He chooses: in the feast of unleavened bread, in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of booths. They shall not appear before Hashem empty. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to Hashem your Adonai blessing which He has given you.
Haftarah: Isaiah 10:32-12:6
10:32 This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his hand at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, Adonai, Hashem of Armies, will lop the boughs with terror. The tall will be cut down, and the lofty will be brought low. 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.
11 A shoot will come out of the stock of Jesse,
and a branch out of his roots will bear fruit.
2 Hashem’s Spirit will rest on Him:
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Hashem.
3 His delight will be in the fear of Hashem.
He will not judge by the sight of His eyes,
neither decide by the hearing of His ears;
4 but He will judge the poor with righteousness,
and decide with equity for the humble of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth;
and with the breath of His lips He will kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be the belt of His waist,
and faithfulness the belt of His waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
the calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow and the bear will graze.
Their young ones will lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child will play near a cobra’s hole,
and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
9 They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Hashem,
as the waters cover the sea.
10 It will happen in that day that the nations will seek the root of Jesse, who stands as a banner of the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.
11 It will happen in that day that Adonai will set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13 The envy also of Ephraim will depart, and those who persecute Judah will be cut off. Ephraim won’t envy Judah, and Judah won’t persecute Ephraim. 14 They will fly down on the shoulders of the Philistines on the west. Together they will plunder the children of the east. They will extend their power over Edom and Moab, and the children of Ammon will obey them. 15 Hashem will utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His scorching wind He will wave His hand over the River, and will split it into seven streams, and cause men to march over in sandals. 16 There will be a highway for the remnant that is left of His people from Assyria, like there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
12 In that day you will say, “I will give thanks to you, Hashem; for though you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you comfort me. 2 Behold, Elohim is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid; for Adonai, Hashem, is my strength and song; and He has become my salvation.” 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4 In that day you will say, “Give thanks to Hashem! Call on His name! Declare His doings among the peoples! Proclaim that His name is exalted! 5 Sing to Hashem, for He has done excellent things! Let this be known in all the earth! 6 Cry aloud and shout, you inhabitant of Zion; for the Holy One of Israel is great among you!”