Saturday, January 6, 2024

Shemot - Reading #7

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Haftarah: Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

Apostolic Scriptures: Matthew 2:1-12

Reading #7 - Exodus 5:1–6:1

My Thoughts:

Trouble and storm before deliverance. That is what I am thinking today. Things got way worse for the Hebrews before Hashem led them out to freedom. Why? Is it a matter of faith, of testing? At the time of this writing our country (the USA) is probably going through one of its most difficult times in its history. To look at what is happening makes you feel like you are in an “alternate” universe! Yet many, many strong believers know that Hashem is going to deliver us out of this trouble. Sometimes He waits until the very last moment. And that’s when many believers fall away. I must admit this is a very strong test of faith for myself. I am trying hard to keep my eyes on Hashem, the author and finisher of my faith. To not look to the right or to the left, but only to Him. And to keep praying that His Truth will reign!


If you are going through what seems like an impossible time right now, or you know of someone who is -- I encourage you to look to Hashem. I remember when one of my daughters was young and had a very serious medical problem. We were waiting to get test results and a diagnosis. I was a mess, but my husband remained steady in his faith. I remember him out in the hospital hallway praising Hashem for everything. I sat numbly next to him and tried to do the same. It was hard. The next day we found out her tests were negative and she did not have cancer. Then it was easy to praise Him. But, during the deepest part of the situation it was very, very difficult. 

So, if you are someone you know is going through a difficult time, start praising Hashem. Think of all the wonderful things He has done for you and give him praise and thanks. No matter how hard it is, thank Him for what He is doing even in your difficult situation. 

“Holy Elohim of the universe, we praise Your Name and thank you for all you are doing that we do not see with our eyes. We thank you for all the beautiful things you have done in our lives and the things that are about to come. You are gracious and kind. You are the Almighty. Amen.”

Reading #7 - Exodus 5:1–6:1

5 Afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said to Pharaoh, “This is what Hashem, the Elohim of Israel, says, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”

2 Pharaoh said, “Who is Hashem, that I should listen to His voice to let Israel go? I don’t know Hashem, and moreover I will not let Israel go.”

3 They said, “The Elohim of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Hashem, our Elohim, lest He fall on us with pestilence, or with the sword.”

4 The king of Egypt said to them, “Why do you, Moses and Aaron, take the people from their work? Get back to your burdens!” 5 Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens.” 6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 You shall require from them the number of the bricks which they made before. You shall not diminish anything of it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, saying, ‘Let’s go and sacrifice to our G-d.’ 9 Let heavier work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it. Don’t let them pay any attention to lying words.”

10 The taskmasters of the people went out with their officers, and they spoke to the people, saying, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go yourselves, get straw where you can find it, for nothing of your work shall be diminished.’” 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters were urgent saying, “Fulfill your work quota daily, as when there was straw!” 14 The officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why haven’t you fulfilled your quota both yesterday and today, in making brick as before?”

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, “Why do you deal this way with your servants? 16 No straw is given to your servants, and they tell us, ‘Make brick!’ and behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.”

17 But Pharaoh said, “You are idle! You are idle! Therefore you say, ‘Let’s go and sacrifice to Hashem.’ 18 Go therefore now, and work; for no straw shall be given to you; yet you shall deliver the same number of bricks!”

19 The officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in trouble when it was said, “You shall not diminish anything from your daily quota of bricks!”

20 They met Moses and Aaron, who stood along the way, as they came out from Pharaoh. 21 They said to them, “May Hashem look at you and judge, because you have made us a stench to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us!”

22 Moses returned to Hashem, and said, “Hashem, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it that you have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble on this people. You have not rescued Your people at all!”

6 Hashem said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh, for by a strong hand he shall let them go, and by a strong hand he shall drive them out of his land.”

Haftarah Reading

My Thoughts:

What an encouraging reminder in verse 13. On that day we will be gathered and returned to Jerusalem to worship on His holy mountain. There He will be, His glory emanating from the Holy Temple. Shouldn’t we be getting ready for that day? Shouldn’t our hearts be prepared? Repent, give restitution, pray and ask Hashem to come back. Ask Him to come back to the new Temple prepared for His glory in Jerusalem. The Temple that either we or He prepares for His residence. This is real. Study about Hashem’s returning glory. You will be blessed.


Most every day I challenge you to examine yourselves for sin and an unrepentant heart. Today I will do the same. Take a moment of silence and go before Hashem. Ask Him for forgiveness for what you have done and strength to correct it. Ask Him for a way to make restitution. And then carry out what He tells you. Do not delay. He may come back at any time. You must be ready. I must be ready.

Haftarah: Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

27:6 In days to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will blossom and bud. They will fill the surface of the world with fruit. 7 Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them? Or are they killed like those who killed them were killed? 8 In measure, when you send them away, you contend with them. He has removed them with his rough blast in the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be forgiven, and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: that he makes all the stones of the altar as chalk stones that are beaten in pieces, so that the Asherah poles and the incense altars shall rise no more. 10 For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness. The calf will feed there, and there he will lie down, and consume its branches. 11 When its boughs are withered, they will be broken off. The women will come and set them on fire, for they are a people of no understanding. Therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them, and he who formed them will show them no favor.

12 It will happen in that day that Hashem will thresh from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, children of Israel.

13 It will happen in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and those who were outcasts in the land of Egypt, shall come; and they will worship Hashem in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

28 Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley of those who are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, Hashem has a mighty and strong one. Like a storm of hail, a destroying storm, and like a storm of mighty waters overflowing, He will cast them down to the earth with His hand. 3 The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden under foot. 4 The fading flower of His glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley, shall be like the first-ripe fig before the summer; which someone picks and eats as soon as he sees it. 5 In that day, Hashem of Armies will become a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the residue of His people, 6 and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

7 They also reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink. The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink. They are swallowed up by wine. They stagger with strong drink. They err in vision. They stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are completely full of filthy vomit and filthiness.

9 Whom will He teach knowledge? To whom will He explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? 10 For it is precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little.

11 But He will speak to this nation with stammering lips and in another language, 12 to whom He said, “This is the resting place. Give rest to the weary,” and “This is the refreshing;” yet they would not hear. 13 Therefore Hashem’s word will be to them precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, fall backward, be broken, be snared, and be taken.

Isaiah 29:22-23

29:22 Therefore Hashem, who redeemed Abraham, says concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall no longer be ashamed, neither shall his face grow pale. 23 But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in the middle of him, they will sanctify My name. Yes, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the Elohim of Israel.

Apostolic Scriptures

My Thoughts:

This reading certainly ties in with waiting for Hashem for deliverance. His people had been given a promise of a Mashiach and they had waited for a long time. When He came there was great joy among those who believed. And wonderful miraculous signs were given. As we wait for the Mashiach to return, as the King and Deliverer, we must be sure we have studied and know how to recognize Him. It is imperative to know Hashem’s Word and His promises. Ask Him today for revelation of this.


Take a moment to pray and ask Hashem to give you a special picture of the Mashiach coming and leading from His Temple in Jerusalem. Picture Him seated on the throne as we read in Ezekiel. Study the prophets to know in your heart what to expect. Prepare and be ready. Let us not be deceived as to how this will happen and what it will all entail. We must become just as sure of His return and we are of His first coming. 

Apostolic Scriptures: Matthew 2:1-12

2 Now when Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who is born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” 3 When King Herod heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Mashiach would be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is written through the prophet,

6 ‘You Bethlehem, land of Judah,

    are in no way least among the princes of Judah;

for out of you shall come a governor

    who shall shepherd My people, Israel.’” Micah 5:2

7 Then Herod secretly called the wise men, and learned from them exactly what time the star appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and search diligently for the young child. When you have found him, bring me word, so that I also may come and worship him.”

9 They, having heard the king, went their way; and behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them until it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Opening their treasures, they offered to Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country another way.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Shemot - Reading #6

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #6 - Exodus 4:18–31

My Thoughts:

The most interesting part of this reading is when in verse 24, it is written Hashem wants to kill Moses. This is hard to understand when in the verse above Hashem is saying He instructs Moses about the Pharaoh and the killing of his firstborn. Some of the sages teach -- what Hashem is really saying in verse 24 -- is that He is going to kill Moses' firstborn son! They speculate that it is because Moses had delayed circumcising his son. This actually makes a lot of sense. First Hashem is talking about destroying the Pharaoh's son and then Moses's son. Is He showing the importance of obedience in both situations? Most certainly He is. It seems to be all about following and obeying the one true Elohim. As soon as his wife circumcises his child, he becomes safe again. This is truly an interesting story about obedience and loyalty.


Do you have a situation about disobedience to Hashem in your life? If you are thinking about something right away, chances are you are being convicted. Take care of your sin today. Make it right and make restitution. Before you have to suffer consequences.

Reading #6 - Exodus 4:18–31

4:18 Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.”

Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

19 Hashem said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return into Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.”

20 Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took Elohim’s rod in his hand. 21 Hashem said to Moses, “When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and he will not let the people go. 22 You shall tell Pharaoh, ‘Hashem says, Israel is my son, my firstborn, 23 and I have said to you, “Let my son go, that he may serve me;” and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”

24 On the way at a lodging place, Hashem met Moses and wanted to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me.”

26 So He let him alone. Then she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.

27 Hashem said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.”

He went, and met him on Elohim’s mountain, and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron all Hashem’s words with which He had sent him, and all the signs with which He had instructed him. 29 Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke all the words which Hashem had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 The people believed, and when they heard that Hashem had visited the children of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Shemot - Reading #5

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #5 - Exodus 3:16–4:17

My Thoughts:

Hashem is determined to use Moses. Even though he is scared and objects. What is so interesting is that Hashem works through his doubts with him. He promises that He will do miracles, signs and wonders. That He will make Moses rod do special things to convince people. And Hashem promises to put words into his mouth to speak. Moses is still afraid. Hashem gets a little upset with him, but then agrees to using his brother Aaron as a mouthpiece. It’s like Hashem is telling Moses, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.” 

Isn’t that what Hashem does with us? He tells us to do something, we give a thousand excuses, and He stays with us through it all. That is the coolest thing. So, don’t be afraid to carry out Hashem’s task. He is there and He will help you!


I have a brave challenge for you today. Look around you and see if Hashem is showing you something that someone needs. Take that need, pray about it and ask Hashem to do a miracle. Don’t do anything (unless Hashem tells you to) -- just pray about it. And see what He does. Be sure to pray HIS WILL in the situation. You may be super surprised at His answer to your prayer! I just thought of someone and prayed a special prayer for Hashem to help this person (actually a couple). I will wait, continue praying and see what happens.

Reading #5 - Exodus 3:16–4:17

16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt. 17 I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 They will listen to your voice. You shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Hashem, our Elohim.’ 19 I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20 I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go. 21 I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing. You shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”

4 Moses answered, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say, ‘Hashem has not appeared to you.’”

2 Hashem said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

He said, “A rod.”

3 He said, “Throw it on the ground.”

He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses ran away from it.

4 Hashem said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail.”

He stretched out his hand, and took hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand.

5 “This is so that they may believe that Hashem, the Elohiim of their fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has appeared to you.” 6 Hashem said furthermore to him, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.”

He put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.

7 He said, “Put your hand inside your cloak again.”

He put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, behold, it had turned again as his other flesh.

8 “It will happen, if they will not believe you or listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 It will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the dry land.”

10 Moses said to Hashem, “O Hashem, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

11 Hashem said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes one mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Isn’t it I, Hashem? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak.”

13 Moses said, “Oh, Lord, please send someone else.”

14 Hashem’s anger burned against Moses, and he said, “What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Also, behold, he is coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. 16 He will be your spokesman to the people. It will happen that he will be to you a mouth, and you will be to him as God. 17 You shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Shemot - Reading #4

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #4 - Exodus 3:1–15

My Thoughts:

How amazing Hashem speaks to Moses and gives him a direct order. He basically orders him to go back to Egypt and lead His people out to the promised Land. Hashem has heard the cries of His people and now is ready to do something. Moses just must be jarred. He is comfortably living in the mountains with his new family and now he has been called to this huge task. After he is called, he asks Hashem two things. Who is he to be called and what is the name of G-d that is calling him. Hashem tells him His eternal Name - “I AM”,  Hashem assures Him that the reason Moses can carry out this great task is because HE WILL BE WITH HIM. And another promise that he will be able to worship Hashem on this very same mountain. 


Has Hashem asked you to do something that you didn’t think you’d be able to do? He would not call you to do something big, unless He was going to be with you. Think about what He asked you to do in the past few days or weeks. Did you do it? Did you carry out the task? Did you believe He was with you and helped you? If you are hesitant or afraid to move forward, remember this story of how Hashem called Moses and His promises. Do what He says, and you will be amazed at the outcome.

Reading #4 - Exodus 3:1–15

1:3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to Elohim’s mountain, to Horeb. 2 Hashem’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 Moses said, “I will go now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

4 When Hashem saw that he came over to see, Elohim called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”

He said, “Here I am.”

5 He said, “Don’t come close. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the Elohim of your father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob.”

Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at Elohim.

7 Hashem said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 Moses said to Elohim, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve Elohim on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to Elohim, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?”

14 Elohim said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and He said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Elohim said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Shemot - Reading #3

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #3 - Exodus 2:11–25

My Thoughts:

Hashem hears our cries. This Scripture today proves it. In verse 24 it says, “Elohim heard their groaning, and Elohim remembered His covenant…”. Sometimes I know we feel like giving up because we don’t think Hashem is going to help us when we are in trouble or fighting a battle. But He does! It is just all in His timing not ours. We must remember this powerful story of His people. They were oppressed and were down trodden, they cried out to Hashem and He heard them. And most importantly, He did something about it! He raised up a deliverer in Moses -- and took them out of their hardship to the Land of milk and honey. Of course, that is another story...


Are you or someone you know going through a really tough time? Cry out to Hashem (pray and seek His face) and ask Him to help you/them. Write your prayer down on paper, and then when He answers you in His very special way -- write down how He blessed you! Maybe keep a prayer journal with other requests and answers. It will become a lifelong blessing and testimony of Elohim and His love for you!

Reading #3 - Exodus 2:11–25

2:11 In those days, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his brothers and saw their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. 12 He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no one, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

13 He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow?”

14 He said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?”

Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely this thing is known.” 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and lived in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 When they came to Reuel, their father, he said, “How is it that you have returned so early today?”

19 They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock.”

20 He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”

21 Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 In the course of those many days, the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to Elohim because of the bondage. 24 Elohim heard their groaning, and Elohim remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 Elohim saw the children of Israel, and Elohim was concerned about them.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Shemot - Reading #2

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names
Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #2 - Exodus 1:18–2:10

My Thoughts:

The plans of Hashem always carry through. In today’s reading we see two miracles. First of all that the midwives are rescuing babies from murder, and secondly that the Pharaoh's daughter finds Moses in the river and rescues him! And actually a third miracle -- baby Moses is given back to his birth mother to be nursed and cared for! Hashem had a wonderful plan to raise up a deliverer for His people and the enemy obviously was not liking this. However, Hashem’s plan prevailed. Moses is saved and placed back into the loving arms of his mother. There is nothing that can stop the plans of Hashem! Amen!


If you saw something that was going on that was wrong, would you intervene to stop it? Would you lie to save a life? Would you be daring to carry out a dangerous plan (like placing baby Moses into the river)? Would you trust in Hashem that if you did any of this that He would bless and protect you? My challenge to you today is to be on the lookout for what Hashem is challenging you to do. It is going to take you out of your “comfort zone” but you must pray that He will give strength to you. Be brave and bold. Hashem will go with you wherever you go!

Reading #2 - Exodus 1:18–2:10

1:18 The king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, “Why have you done this thing and saved the boys alive?”

19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women aren’t like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

20 Elohim dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very mighty. 21 Because the midwives feared Elohim, He gave them families. 22 Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”

2 A man of the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi as his wife. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. 3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. 4 His sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him. 5 Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her servant to get it. 6 She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”

8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.”

The young woman went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.”

The woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Shemot - Reading #1

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #1 - Exodus 1:1–17

My Thoughts:

The story of the midwives is one of my favorite stories in the Bible! They decide to “not tell the truth” and save babies from being murdered -- it is a beautiful story of dedication. In verse 17 we read, “But the midwives feared Elohim, and didn’t do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.” They feared and respected Hashem so much that they didn’t do what the King asked of them! This is the most pro-life story in all of Scripture. Maybe there are times in our lives when it is wiser to fear Hashem, and do what we have to do even if it is disobeying someone in authority. As we will read tomorrow their households were blessed for actually being disobedient to the King’s orders. We can assume from this teaching that Hashem would do the same for us in a similar situation.


Think of a situation in your life where you righteously defended someone and so you could not tell the truth or had to disobey your authority. Or maybe you have a situation right now in your life where Hashem is calling you to do something brave. Pray and ask Him for strength to defend what is right. Unfortunately, there may be a time where you do not dispel the truth or you disobey some authority and it might land you in jail or you may lose a job, or get fined. This is where you must be sure you have heard from G-d how to handle a difficult situation. Be in prayer and use a listening ear. You may have a “cost” for defending what is right, but in the end you will have done what is good and you will be blessed for doing so.

Reading #1 -  Exodus 1:1–17

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob): 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 All the souls who came out of Jacob’s body were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who didn’t know Joseph. 9 He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. 10 Come, let’s deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies and fight against us, and escape out of the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. They started to dread the children of Israel. 13 The Egyptians ruthlessly made the children of Israel serve, 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and in brick, and in all kinds of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.

15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah, 16 and he said, “When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared Elohim, and didn’t do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.

Shemot - Week #1

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names


Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

Matthew 2:1-12

1.1 First reading — Exodus 1:1–17

1.2 Second reading — Exodus 1:18–2:10

1.3 Third reading — Exodus 2:11–25

1.4 Fourth reading — Exodus 3:1–15

1.5 Fifth reading — Exodus 3:16–4:17

1.6 Sixth reading — Exodus 4:18–31

1.7 Seventh reading — Exodus 5:1–6:1