Saturday, June 1, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #7

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14

Apostolic Writings: Matthew 16:20-28

Reading #7 - Leviticus 27:29–34

My Thoughts:

Today we are learning about the “tithe of the land” verse 30. He is instructed that when they get into Israel and they begin to farm – plant and reap – that a tithe of all that – is Hashems. That equals 10%. And even if you trade it out, then what you trade for is still His. This is something that is not an option. In our modern day churches and synagogues we are getting teaching on “tithes”. Religious institutions have to have a way to financially exist. This we know. But, whether it is a tithe is debatable. I believe we should be giving back to Hashem a tenth (at the very least) of what we have. Think about doing that. Find a charitable organization that is in line with Torah and what Hashem instructs in helping others and/or the poor. Give to them today!


We are finishing up Leviticus today. Hashem has given some new commandments and reviewed some already given. In verse 34 we read, “These are the commandments which Hashem commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai”. Notice He does not say the commandments which Hashem “suggested” or “recommended” – He says COMMANDED. Again, as I have said many times, what about following the Torah do we not understand? It’s not hard to follow. We do our best for commandments that are possible – to obey them today. Remember – we are commanded to follow them. It is not an option. And really the Torah gives us life! The commandments ARE life to us! We should be so happy and willing to do all that we can to obey them! Today is a good day to start doing this. Make a promise to yourself that you will start reading Torah portions every day. That you will think about them and how they apply to your life. Obey Hashem. Through this you will find the most loving and kind relationship with Him! Amen.

Reading #7 - Leviticus 27:29-34

27:29 “‘No one devoted to destruction, who shall be devoted from among men, shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death.

30 “‘All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is Hashem’s. It is holy to Hashem. 31 If a man redeems anything of his tithe, he shall add a fifth part to it. 32 All the tithe of the herds or the flocks, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to Hashem. 33 He shall not examine whether it is good or bad, neither shall he exchange it. If he exchanges it at all, then both it and that for which it is exchanged shall be holy. It shall not be redeemed.’”

34 These are the commandments which Hashem commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.


My Thoughts:

In verse 17:7 we read, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem, and whose confidence is in Hashem.” Then it goes on to say you won’t worry when there is heat or drought. Yesterday I was listening to the news and they were saying we are on a brink of a food shortage - world food shortage. That can bring panic to your soul, unless you put your trust in Hashem. Yes of course, we are to be wise and store up some food for emergencies. But, in the end, our trust and confidence have to be in the Father. He is the provider and the sustainer. Think about how we read in Torah that He provided manna throughout the time in the desert. And when they got thirsty, water flowed from rocks. It takes great faith and patience to get through hard times. This passage confirms you will be taken care of.


In verse 17:10 we read, “I, Hashem, search the mind. I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Wow this can be frightening – right? Hashem knows our thoughts and our hearts, and everything we do. We can’t hide things from Him, like we hide things from people. If you think you are getting away with some sort of sin right now, well, you aren’t. Hashem knows all about it. So, it’s time to confess and repent. Make things right. Especially if your sin is affecting other people. Although it is so hard to tell people when we have done something wrong – Hashem demands this. By doing so we will make our minds better and cleaner. So, fix what you have to fix – today! And so will I!

Haftarah;  Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14

Hashem, my strength, and my stronghold,

    and my refuge in the day of affliction,

the nations will come to you from the ends of the earth,

    and will say,

“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,

    vanity and things in which there is no profit.

20 Should a man make to himself gods

    which yet are no gods?”

21 “Therefore behold, I will cause them to know,

    this once I will cause them to know My hand and My might.

    Then they will know that My name is Hashem.”

17 “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron,

    and with the point of a diamond.

It is engraved on the tablet of their heart,

    and on the horns of your altars.

2 Even their children remember their altars

    and their Asherah poles by the green trees on the high hills.

3 My mountain in the field,

    I will give your substance and all your treasures for a plunder,

    and your high places, because of sin, throughout all your borders.

4 You, even of yourself, will discontinue from your heritage that I gave you.

    I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you don’t know,

    for you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn forever.”

5 Hashem says:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man,

    relies on strength of flesh,

    and whose heart departs from Hashem

6 For he will be like a bush in the desert,

    and will not see when good comes,

but will inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,

    an uninhabited salt land.

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem,

    and whose confidence is in Hashem.

8 For he will be as a tree planted by the waters,

    who spreads out its roots by the river,

and will not fear when heat comes,

    but its leaf will be green,

and will not be concerned in the year of drought.

    It won’t cease from yielding fruit.

9 The heart is deceitful above all things

    and it is exceedingly corrupt.

    Who can know it?

10 “I, Hashem, search the mind.

    I try the heart,

even to give every man according to his ways,

    according to the fruit of his doings.”

11 As the partridge that sits on eggs which she has not laid,

    so is he who gets riches, and not by right.

In the middle of his days, they will leave him.

    At his end, he will be a fool.

12 A glorious throne, set on high from the beginning,

    is the place of our sanctuary.

13 Hashem, the hope of Israel,

    all who forsake you will be disappointed.

Those who depart from me will be written in the earth,

    because they have forsaken Hashem,

    the spring of living waters.

14 Heal me, O Hashem, and I will be healed.

    Save me, and I will be saved;

    for you are my praise.

Apostolic Writings

My Thoughts:

Yeshua teaches in verse 24, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Yeshua always taught that the “cost” of being obedient and following Him and Torah was big. It was a time where there was great persecution (and after Yeshua left) for Jews. He says it is more important to follow Hashem than to follow man. Don’t you agree? Yes, but how often do we seek to please others even with the cost of sinning? We must stay in Hashem’s Word, pray, obey Torah, love Him and follow Him. We must “take up our cross” daily. And stand strong.


In verse 26 we read, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?” What a profound teaching! We can go after the world, make money and follow other gods, or we can choose Hashem. If we are in the world we forfeit our life. If we are in Hashem we gain eternal life. Which do you choose? Make your decision today and stand by it!

Apostolic Writings: Matthew 16:20-28

16:20 Then He commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Yeshua the Mashiach..

21 From that time, Yeshua began to show His talmidim that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, L-rd! This will never be done to You.”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of Adonai, but on the things of men.”

24 Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with His angels, and then He will render to everyone according to his deeds. 28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.”

Friday, May 31, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #6

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Reading #6 - Leviticus 27:22–28

My Thoughts:

How beautiful is verse 28, “Everything that is permanently devoted is most holy to Hashem.” Things we dedicate to Him become holy. Can we even begin to understand that? We live in a world that is so focused on our own needs and wants. Everything is about “me”. Not others. Not Hashem. But, if we were to dedicate anything to Him – it automatically becomes holy. Have you ever heard a teaching on this? I haven’t. It is something to think about, and study more intently. It is an amazing concept. For instance, I dedicate to Hashem my house. It becomes holy to Him! So we better be acting holy in this house and giving Him glory for it! Take some time to think about this concept today!


And in verse 28 there is a stipulation. “Everything that is permanently devoted….”. It must be given to Hashem forever, not given and taken back. I have made promises to Hashem over the years, and then taken them back. Have you done that? If we “give” Hashem a promise, if we say “Hashem this is forever” – then we better mean it. Another example is marriage. We give a vow before Hashem to honor our husband/wife through anything. But if we think it’s not working out, then we take back that vow. We need to be giving to Hashem – permanently. Let’s really focus on this. If your marriage is seeing some hard times, I pray that you will seek Hashem to heal it! Or anything else that you have vowed or given to Him. I pray we all realize our gifts and dedications to Hashem are forever and never to be revoked. Amen.

Reading #6 - Leviticus 27:22–28

27:22 “‘If he dedicates a field to Hashem which he has bought, which is not of the field of his possession, 23 then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation up to the Year of Jubilee; and he shall give your valuation on that day, as a holy thing to Hashem. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land belongs. 25 All your valuations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs to the shekel.

26 “‘However the firstborn among animals, which belongs to Hashem as a firstborn, no man may dedicate, whether an ox or a sheep. It is Hashem’s. 27 If it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back according to your valuation, and shall add to it the fifth part of it; or if it isn’t redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.

28 “‘Notwithstanding, no devoted thing that a man devotes to Hashem of all that he has, whether of man or animal, or of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed. Everything that is permanently devoted is most holy to Hashem.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #5

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי
Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Reading #5 - Leviticus 27:16-21

My Thoughts:

More on dedicating land to Hashem and its value. Currently, we don’t have the Year of Jubilee, nor do we have a priesthood. I believe the important concept here is dedicating something to Hashem. When our grandchildren were born we “spiritually” dedicated them to Hashem. We asked if Hashem would please watch over and guide them all the days of their lives. It was important to us. You may think about “dedicating” your children and/or grandchildren to Hashem if you haven’t already done so. After all, He created them and gave them on “loan” to us.


What do you dedicate to Hashem? Have you given Him your marriage? Your children/grandchildren? Your house and all you own? Your life? Just because we don’t live in Temple times (yet) it doesn’t seem like we should not do the things the best way we are able. This is with all the commandments. Dedication, Sabbaths, dietary laws, helping neighbors and the poor, etc. We are to give back to Hashem all that we can and we are to do all we can do follow His instructions. My challenge to you today is that you review your life in relation to Torah and repair what needs to be fixed. Do more. Love more. Amen.

Reading #5 - Leviticus 27:16–21

16 “‘If a man dedicates to Hashem part of the field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it. The sowing of a homer of barley shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field from the Year of Jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand. 18 But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall reckon to him the money according to the years that remain to the Year of Jubilee; and an abatement shall be made from your valuation. 19 If he who dedicated the field will indeed redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall remain his. 20 If he will not redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more; 21 but the field, when it goes out in the Jubilee, shall be holy to Hashem, as a devoted field. It shall be owned by the priests.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #4

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Reading #4 - Leviticus 27:1–15

My Thoughts:

Verse 14 is about dedicating your home to Hashem. “‘When a man dedicates his house to be holy to Hashem, then the priest shall evaluate it, whether it is good or bad.” The point is the person wants his home - all of it - to be holy. Do we want our homes to be holy? Do we dedicate our homes to Hashem? It might be something to think about. Wouldn’t you just love it if your home was so holy that when people entered they immediately felt the presence of Hashem and His peace. That people could be healed and set free. Maybe take your spouse or friend and make a plan to have a special time to pray and devote your house to Hashem. It’s really His anyway.


We learn today when we bring any animals, houses and even people before Hashem – we go to the priest. The priest has the authority (in Temple times) to accept or reject the gifts/offerings. The priests were selected by Hashem and in an orderly way. People must have had a huge trust in the authority of the priests. It makes me wonder what we have that is comparable today? We have rabbis and pastors but do we really respect their authority? Should we? I think if we are certain the rabbi/pastor is authentically spiritual and that they are trying their best to serve Hashem (and have proven through experience their understanding of Scripture) – we would respect and honor their decisions and influence. Pray today about your pastor or rabbi. Ask Hashem to show what level of respect and honor you should give them. Listen and obey. 

Reading #4 - Leviticus 27:1–15

27:1 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘When a man consecrates a person to Hashem in a vow, according to your valuation, 3 your valuation of a male from twenty years old to sixty years old shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 4 If she is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels. 5 If the person is from five years old to twenty years old, then your valuation shall be for a male twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels. 6 If the person is from a month old to five years old, then your valuation shall be for a male five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver. 7 If the person is from sixty years old and upward; if he is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels. 8 But if he is poorer than your valuation, then he shall be set before the priest, and the priest shall assign a value to him. The priest shall assign a value according to his ability to pay.

9 “‘If it is an animal of which men offer an offering to Hashem, all that any man gives of such to Hashem becomes holy. 10 He shall not alter it, nor exchange it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good. If he shall at all exchange animal for animal, then both it and that for which it is exchanged shall be holy. 11 If it is any unclean animal, of which they do not offer as an offering to Hashem, then he shall set the animal before the priest; 12 and the priest shall evaluate it, whether it is good or bad. As the priest evaluates it, so it shall be. 13 But if he will indeed redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of it to its valuation.

14 “‘When a man dedicates his house to be holy to Hashem, then the priest shall evaluate it, whether it is good or bad. As the priest evaluates it, so it shall stand. 15 If he who dedicates it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall be his.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #3

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Reading #3 - Leviticus 26:10–46

My Thoughts:

In today’s reading we learn about the wrath of Elohim. If His people are not obedient His punishment is severe. Remember the Israelites have not yet entered the Land. He is preparing them to think about all the consequences there will be if they are not obedient in the new Land and follow the sin of the natives! And yet this is also prophetic, because this is exactly what does happen in the Land and the people are disbursed and taken out of the nation. But, in His love and mercy He wants to warn them. This is what can happen – so don’t let it! And it applies for today. Simply said, if we obey we are blessed. If we disobey, the blessings are taken away. What life do you want?


Verses 40 to 45 bring hope. Hashem says if we repent and turn our hearts back to Him, then He won’t break His covenant with us. He may allow us to suffer a while, but in the end He will hold up His promises. That is a very faithful Elohim. Let us remember that. Let us remember that there are consequences for what we do that is not of G-d. But, in the end He will remember us. Ask Hashem for forgiveness today, turn away from your sin and follow Him. Accept your consequences, yet know He will never leave or forsake you. Amen!

Reading #2 - Leviticus 26:10-46

26:10 You shall eat old supplies long kept, and you shall move out the old because of the new. 11 I will set My tent among you, and My soul won’t abhor you. 12 I will walk among you, and will be your Adonai, and you will be My people. 13 I am Hashem your Adonai, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you walk upright.

14 “‘But if you will not listen to Me, and will not do all these commandments, 15 and if you shall reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances, so that you will not do all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall consume the eyes, and make the soul to pine away. You will sow your seed in vain, for your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you, and you will be struck before your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you; and you will flee when no one pursues you.

18 “‘If you in spite of these things will not listen to Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins. 19 I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your sky like iron, and your soil like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain; for your land won’t yield its increase, neither will the trees of the land yield their fruit.

21 “‘If you walk contrary to Me, and won’t listen to Me, then I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. 22 I will send the wild animals among you, which will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number. Your roads will become desolate.

23 “‘If by these things you won’t be turned back to Me, but will walk contrary to Me, 24 then I will also walk contrary to you; and I will strike you, even I, seven times for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword upon you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be gathered together within your cities, and I will send the pestilence among you. You will be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver your bread again by weight. You shall eat, and not be satisfied.

27 “‘If you in spite of this won’t listen to Me, but walk contrary to Me, 28 then I will walk contrary to you in wrath. I will also chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons, and you will eat the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and My soul will abhor you. 31 I will lay your cities waste, and will bring your sanctuaries to desolation. I will not take delight in the sweet fragrance of your offerings. 32 I will bring the land into desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it will be astonished at it. 33 I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you. Your land will be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. 34 Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land. Even then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, even the rest which it didn’t have in your Sabbaths when you lived on it.

36 “‘As for those of you who are left, I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf will put them to flight; and they shall flee, as one flees from the sword. They will fall when no one pursues. 37 They will stumble over one another, as it were before the sword, when no one pursues. You will have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations. The land of your enemies will eat you up. 39 Those of you who are left will pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers they shall pine away with them.

40 “‘If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against Me; and also that because they walked contrary to Me, 41 I also walked contrary to them, and brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity, 42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land. 43 The land also will be left by them, and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; and they will accept the punishment of their iniquity because they rejected My ordinances, and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly and to break My covenant with them; for I am Hashem their Adonai. 45 But I will for their sake remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their Elohim. I am Hashem.’”

46 These are the statutes, ordinances, and laws, which Hashem made between Him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai by Moses.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #2

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Reading #2 - Leviticus 26:6–9

My Thoughts:

This is an incredible portion. Hashem is promising extreme protection for His people in the land. He will go before them and take care of wild animals and destructive people. He will give them a special power to defeat the enemy. It’s like He is making them super heroes. Taking out evil in the land. And He is the leader! The “Hashem of armies”! How blessed they were and how blessed we are to serve such a caring and protective Elohim!


In verse 9 we read that Hashem will have “respect” for His people and make them fruitful. I believe He does this in bad times and in good times. When we are obedient and disobedient. Yes, there are consequences for when we disobey Torah and sin. But, He gives us good instructions on how to repair this. Repent, teshuvah and make reparations. He is full of mercy and grace. Maybe the “respect” comes when we try with all our heart to follow, worship and obey Him. Maybe He understands our “shortcomings” and we know He is an Elohim of second chances. Get your second chance today. Repent and beg for forgiveness from Hashem and from those you have hurt. Start over today. You can do it!

Reading #2 - Leviticus 26:6–9

26:6 “‘I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one will make you afraid. I will remove evil animals out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

9 “‘I will have respect for you, make you fruitful, multiply you, and will establish My covenant with you.”

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #1

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Reading #1 - Leviticus 26:3–5

My Thoughts:

I have a friend who does metal detecting. Her and her husband go everywhere. They have found some very valuable jewelry, like wedding/engagement rings. The thing is they don’t attempt to find the owners, they keep what they find. Finders keepers, right? I was really interested in doing this, but then I read Torah and felt guilty about keeping anything that I found. In all reality, if you found a ring on the beach it would be impossible to find the owner. But, maybe not. Maybe you could report it to the park and maybe the people who lost it had filed a notice with the park. My point is – maybe we need to be careful about what we find and what we keep. Let’s try to find the owners first!


Specifically today Hashem is talking about things lost and then the person who found it lies. He teaches about restoration and reparation. We aren’t really taught about these things in our society. But, if we were taught, imagine how different society would be. Maybe people would not be quick to lie or steal. Maybe even the crime rate would go down if there was personal restitution required. You and I know how hard it is to make something right when we have wronged someone. It can be painful. That is my challenge to you today. If you have done something wrong like this – even if you feel innocent – go to the person and make it right. It will help to repair relationships and the world.

Reading #1 - Leviticus 6:3-5

6:3 "...or has found that which was lost, and lied about it, and swearing to a lie—in any of these things that a man sins in his actions— 4 then it shall be, if he has sinned, and is guilty, he shall restore that which he took by robbery, or the thing which he has gotten by oppression, or the deposit which was committed to him, or the lost thing which he found, 5 or any thing about which he has sworn falsely: he shall restore it in full, and shall add a fifth part more to it. He shall return it to him to whom it belongs in the day of his being found guilty.

Bechukotai - Week #15

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14

Apostolic Writings: Matthew 16:20-28

1.1 First reading — Leviticus 26:3–5

1.2 Second reading — Leviticus 26:6–9

1.3 Third reading — Leviticus 26:10–46

1.4 Fourth reading — Leviticus 27:1–15

1.5 Fifth reading — Leviticus 27:16–21

1.6 Sixth reading — Leviticus 27:22–28

1.7 Seventh reading — Leviticus 27:29–34