Showing posts with label Reading #1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading #1. Show all posts

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Metzora - Reading #1

Metzora מְּצֹרָע - Infected One

Leviticus 14:1-15:33


Reading #1 - Leviticus 14:1–12


My Thoughts:


This is the most interesting reading on the cleansing of a leper. After doing some brief studying it seems like you could think about the symbolism this way. When the bird is killed it may represent the “death” that the leprosy could have caused or the death/extinction of the leprosy. When the living bird is dipped into the blood of the dead bird, you could look at that as a “cleansing” from the leprosy. And when the bird is let go to fly away, you could think of that as the healed person now is experiencing freedom and new life! These are some interesting things to think about.


Challenge:


Do you need to be cleansed and set free from something you are enslaved to? You could go to Hashem and ask Him to “wash” or immerse you in forgiveness. And you could pray that He would set you free from the unsettling issue. It is sometimes surprising that when you talk to Hashem, that He will direct your path toward freedom.

Reading #1 - Leviticus 14:1–12


14:1 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying,


2 “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest, 3 and the priest shall go out of the camp. The priest shall examine him. Behold, if the plague of leprosy is healed in the leper, 4 then the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 5 The priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water. 6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood, the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. 7 He shall sprinkle on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird go into the open field.


8 “He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and bathe himself in water; and he shall be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, but shall dwell outside his tent seven days. 9 It shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair. He shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his body in water. Then he shall be clean.


10 “On the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without defect, one ewe lamb a year old without defect, three tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with oil, and one log of oil. 11 The priest who cleanses him shall set the man who is to be cleansed, and those things, before Hashem, at the door of the Tent of Meeting.


12 “The priest shall take one of the male lambs, and offer him for a trespass offering, with the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before Hashem.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Tazria - Reading #1

Tazria - תזריע

Leviticus: Leviticus 12:1 - 13:59


Reading #1 - Leviticus 12:1–13:5


My Thoughts:


I had this thought. In verse 13:1 it says “Hashem spoke to Moses and Aaron...”. And He goes on to talk to them about some specifics with skin diseases. We read this so casually, but think about it. Hashem is somehow talking to Moses and Aaron and giving them instructions. It can’t be casual, it has to be astounding! It is not every day that someone hears the voice of Elohim. Now I can see where they must have been kneeling and frantically listening and writing things down! This was Elohim speaking and you did not want to get any words wrong! Wow is all I can say.


Challenge:


Are you casual about listening to the voice of Hashem? During prayer time, worship or during the day -- do you feel like He might be saying something to you? If so, this is not to be taken lightly, but we should stop in our tracks and reverently listen to what He says. We should take it very seriously and then praise Him for taking time to speak to us. And most importantly, do what you think He is saying to you! If you don’t, you will regret it forever!


Reading #1 - Leviticus 12:1–13:5


12 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her monthly period she shall be unclean. 3 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 She shall continue in the blood of purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any holy thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. 5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her period; and she shall continue in the blood of purification sixty-six days.


6 “‘When the days of her purification are completed for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the Tent of Meeting, a year old lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove, for a sin offering. 7 He shall offer it before Hashem, and make atonement for her; then she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood.


“‘This is the law for her who bears, whether a male or a female. 8 If she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons: the one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.’”


13 Hashem spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 “When a man shall have a swelling in his body’s skin, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it becomes in the skin of his body the plague of leprosy, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons, the priests. 3 The priest shall examine the plague in the skin of the body. If the hair in the plague has turned white, and the appearance of the plague is deeper than the body’s skin, it is the plague of leprosy; so the priest shall examine him and pronounce him unclean. 4 If the bright spot is white in the skin of his body, and its appearance isn’t deeper than the skin, and its hair hasn’t turned white, then the priest shall isolate the infected person for seven days. 5 The priest shall examine him on the seventh day. Behold, if in his eyes the plague is arrested and the plague hasn’t spread in the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more days.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Shemini - Reading #1

Shemini שְּׁמִינִי - Eighth

Leviticus 9:1-11:47


Reading #1 - Leviticus 9:1–16


My Thoughts:


Prepare the offerings for “today Hashem appears to you (verse 4).” How amazing that would be! You are bringing a perfect offering, you are preparing to present it, and you know that soon Hashem will appear in His glory! What excitement and energy that must have brought to the people. And hopefully fear. Fear of the presence of the Holy One! Good fear, fear of Hashem. We should be getting excited too! We should be praying every day for Hashem to come back to the Temple in Jerusalem. We should be praying for the Temple to be built! We should be getting ready for the glory of Hashem to come to Israel, may it be soon. Remember to do this. It may help to bring Him back sooner. Please Hashem.


Challenge:


I challenge you today to make an “offering” to Hashem. It can be prayer, sacrifice, worship, repentance or a good deed (mitzvah). Think about what you can give today and do it. And be excited and anticipatory to give it to Him. Think of all the gifts He gives you every day. Today is the day to give Him one!


Reading #1 - Leviticus 9:1–16


9 On the eighth day, Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; 2 and he said to Aaron, “Take a calf from the herd for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without defect, and offer them before Hashem. 3 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both a year old, without defect, for a burnt offering; 4 and a bull and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before Hashem; and a meal offering mixed with oil: for today Hashem appears to you.’”


5 They brought what Moses commanded before the Tent of Meeting. All the congregation came near and stood before Hashem. 6 Moses said, “This is the thing which Hashem commanded that you should do; and Hashem’s glory shall appear to you.” 7 Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar, and offer your sin offering, and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself, and for the people; and offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as Hashem commanded.”


8 So Aaron came near to the altar, and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9 The sons of Aaron presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it on the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar; 10 but the fat, and the kidneys, and the cover from the liver of the sin offering, he burned upon the altar, as Hashem commanded Moses. 11 The meat and the skin he burned with fire outside the camp. 12 He killed the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons delivered the blood to him, and he sprinkled it around on the altar. 13 They delivered the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head. He burned them upon the altar. 14 He washed the innards and the legs, and burned them on the burnt offering on the altar. 15 He presented the people’s offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and killed it, and offered it for sin, like the first. 16 He presented the burnt offering, and offered it according to the ordinance.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Tzav - Reading #1

Tzav צַו - Command!

Leviticus 6:1-8:36


Reading #1 - Leviticus 6:1–11


My Thoughts:


When we are dishonest with others we are to restore what was taken and add a fifth. It's all about restoration and making things right (verses 4-5). This is what repairs the world we live in -- restoration. Examine your life and see if you owe anyone anything, or if you have “oppressed” anyone. Then take care of it and restore what was taken, plus extra. Imagine if we all did this what a changed world we would live in!


Challenge:


Along with making things right with those you have offended, you are to bring an offering to Hashem. That offering in today’s time could be praise, worship, repentance and a gift to support Israel. Again, take a look at your life and see what Hashem shows you. Take care of it soon, no matter how hard or difficult it may seem. Let’s change the world together. 


Reading #1 - Leviticus 6:1–11


6:1 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “If anyone sins, and commits a trespass against Hashem, and deals falsely with his neighbor in a matter of deposit, or of bargain, or of robbery, or has oppressed his neighbor, 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. 6 He shall bring his trespass offering to Hashem: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your estimation, for a trespass offering, to the priest. 7 The priest shall make atonement for him before Hashem, and he will be forgiven concerning whatever he does to become guilty.”


8 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering: the burnt offering shall be on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning; and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it. 10 The priest shall put on his linen garment, and he shall put on his linen trousers upon his body; and he shall remove the ashes from where the fire has consumed the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. 11 He shall take off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.


Sunday, March 17, 2024

Vayikra - Reading #1

Vayikra  וַיִּקְרָא - And He Called

Leviticus 1:1-5:26

Reading #1 - Leviticus 1:1–13


My Thoughts:


We read in verse 13 that the offerings are a “pleasant aroma” to Hashem. I’ve always kind of wondered about this. If Hashem creates animals, why would their killing and “roasting” be pleasant to Him. But, as I have studied more, I believe what Hashem finds “pleasant” is that His people are being obedient. He does provide for them to eat of the meat afterwards (however, sometimes the entire offering is consumed by fire). Just as a parent is happy when his/her child obeys -- so must be Hashem. That is what is pleasant to Him is our obeying His Commandments. Are we doing that every day?


Challenge:


We read in verse 11 that the offering is prepared “before Hashem”. It’s almost like they do this in front of Him for His approval. That makes total sense. Like a King sitting before His servants witnessing their acts of servitude and obedience. My challenge today is do you go “before” Hashem in prayer and worship? Sometimes we get in the habit of just praying without a lot of thought. We should not take communication with Hashem lightly. Let’s go before Him with reverence and consideration of who He is. Let’s start doing this today!


Reading #1 - Leviticus 1:1–13


Leviticus 1:1 Hashem called to Moses, and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When anyone of you offers an offering to Hashem, you shall offer your offering of the livestock, from the herd and from the flock.


3 “‘If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without defect. He shall offer it at the door of the Tent of Meeting, that he may be accepted before Hashem. 4 He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 He shall kill the bull before Hashem. Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall present the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 6 He shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay wood in order on the fire; 8 and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall lay the pieces, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire which is on the altar; 9 but he shall wash its innards and its legs with water. The priest shall burn all of it on the altar, for a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Hashem.


10 “‘If his offering is from the flock, from the sheep or from the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer a male without defect. 11 He shall kill it on the north side of the altar before Hashem. Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 12 He shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat. The priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is on the altar, 13 but the innards and the legs he shall wash with water. The priest shall offer the whole, and burn it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Hashem.


Sunday, March 10, 2024

Pekudei - Reading #1

Pekudei  פְקוּדֵי - Accounts

Torah Reading: Exodus 38:21-40:38


Reading #1— Exodus 38:21–39:1


My Thoughts:


In today’s Torah Portion we read about how all the materials and money were accounted for. When money was being donated to this purpose, Hashem made sure it was all recorded and exact. Truly, we understand why. It was a lot of money! Because the Tabernacle was such a holy place, a place where Hashem was going to show His glory – everything must be as perfect as possible. Today in our synagogues and churches do we follow the same example? Hopefully, we are using honest accounting with the gifts that people have given. There are some organizations that have gotten in trouble in this area. Check with your place of worship and make sure their accounting system is forthright.


Challenge:


I did a quick research online to see what the cost of the Tabernacle construction would be and one article claimed it would be close to 1.8 million dollars! That is not a surprise. I would have thought with the price of gold today it would be more. But, this shows us how valuable and wonderful of a place this was. It was only the best for Hashem. So, think about this. Are you giving Hashem your best? Are you willing to take your income, gifts and talents and contribute to Him – however He is requiring? I’m talking about your personal life and how you live and give. Do we need to make changes in this area?


Reading #1— Exodus 38:21–39:1


21 These are the amounts of materials used for the tabernacle, even the Tabernacle of the Testimony, as they were counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest. 22 Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that Hahsem commanded Moses. 23 With him was Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a skillful workman, and an embroiderer in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen.


24 All the gold that was used for the work in all the work of the sanctuary, even the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred thirty shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 25 The silver of those who were counted of the congregation was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary: 26 a bek a head, that is, half a shekel, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for everyone who passed over to those who were counted, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty men. 27 The one hundred talents of silver were for casting the sockets of the sanctuary and the sockets of the veil: one hundred sockets for the one hundred talents, one talent per socket. 28 From the one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, overlaid their capitals, and made fillets for them. 29 The bronze of the offering was seventy talents and two thousand four hundred shekels. 30 With this he made the sockets to the door of the Tent of Meeting, the bronze altar, the bronze grating for it, all the vessels of the altar, 31 the sockets around the court, the sockets of the gate of the court, all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins around the court.


39 Of the blue, purple, and scarlet, they made finely worked garments for ministering in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as Hashem commanded Moses.


Sunday, March 3, 2024

Vayakhel - Reading #1

Vayakhel  וַיַּקְהֵל - And He Assembled
Torah Reading: Exodus 35:1-38:20
Reading #1 - Exodus 35:1–20

My Thoughts:


In verse 5 we read, “...however is of a willing heart, let him bring it as Hashem’s offering.” This was not a mandatory offering, it was a “free-will” offering. Hashem only wanted gifts from people who were willing. Had He made it mandatory, the Tabernacle may not have been such a special place. But, it was special. It was divine. And the people knew this. They were excited to give to Hashem. Wouldn’t you have been? As we should be today. However, Hashem leads you to give and where to give. Let’s get excited about it. Instead of thinking about how we “can’t afford” to give – let’s excitedly and willingly give to His work and purposes. It’s a promise you will be blessed immensely. 


Challenge:


In verse 10, Hashem commands the “wise-hearted” men to come and make the items of the Tabernacle. What do you think it means to be “wise-hearted”? I would believe that if we are to be “wise” we would know the heart of Hashem very well. In knowing Him we find wisdom. In His Word we find wisdom. Would you like to become “wise-hearted”? Then you have to soak in the wisdom of Adonai – through prayer, reading of His word and following His commands. Right?


Reading #1 - Exodus 35:1-20


Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said to them, “These are the words which Hashem has commanded, that you should do them. 2 ‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of solemn rest to Hashem: whoever does any work in it shall be put to death. 3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day.’”


4 Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which Hashem commanded, saying, 5 ‘Take from among you an offering to Hashem. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as Hashem’s offering: gold, silver, bronze, 6 blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, 7 rams’ skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood, 8 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense, 9 onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate.


10 “‘Let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that Hashem has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its outer covering, its roof, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; 12 the ark, and its poles, the mercy seat, the veil of the screen; 13 the table with its poles and all its vessels, and the show bread; 14 the lamp stand also for the light, with its vessels, its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its vessels, the basin and its base; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars, their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pins of the tabernacle, the pins of the court, and their cords; 19 the finely worked garments for ministering in the holy place—the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons—to minister in the priest’s office.’”


20 All the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.


Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ki Tisa - Reading #1

Ki Tisa  כִּי תִשָּׂא - When You Elevate

Exodus 30:11-34:35


Reading #1 - Exodus 30:11–31:17


My Thoughts:


Interesting in today’s reading that “atonement for souls” (verse 30:16) is a money offering. We always think of the shedding of blood for making an atonement. But, here we see there is a different type of offering -- half a shekel. Maybe it was important for Hashem to see their commitment because money is such a huge part of our lives. If we have to give away our money, then we are giving something important to us. Money is imperative to living - food, housing, clothing, etc. To give some of it away to Hashem, shows trust and dedication.


In this instance, the whole Tabernacle and priesthood are being established. So, it makes sense that money is needed to sustain the building and materials (although as we read many materials were donated). We also learn that money is used for the redemption of the firstborn. Money is just a part of our lives now as was back then. In Biblical times your livelihood also included livestock and land. Our sacrifice and privilege -- now and then -- is just to give. Just as Hashem directs us.


Challenge:


In verse 31:16 we read that the Shabbat is to be a perpetual covenant. Never to end. It is a sign between Hashem and His people. What about that do we not understand? Why have believers in Hashem chosen to say this is no longer in effect? Who are we or anyone able to change a covenant with Hashem, or change His Law? In fact, we are told in Torah to never add or subtract from the Law. Observing and guarding the Shabbat is a requirement. It is mentioned many, many times. And clearly we see in verse 31:17 that this adherence to the Shabbat Commandment, comes with the gift of refreshment.  Don’t you feel refreshed after spending time with Hashem in prayer and worship?


My challenge today to you is this. Observe and honor the Shabbat starting this week. Take from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday to rest, read Scripture, study Torah, be with family and pray. It will totally refresh you for the week to come.


Reading #1 - Exodus 30:11–31:17


30:11 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the children of Israel, according to those who are counted among them, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to Hashem when you count them, that there be no plague among them when you count them. 13 They shall give this, everyone who passes over to those who are counted, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs); half a shekel for an offering to Hashem. 14 Everyone who passes over to those who are counted, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the offering to Hashem. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of Hashem, to make atonement for your souls. 16 You shall take the atonement money from the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the Tent of Meeting; that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before Hashem, to make atonement for your souls.”


17 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “You shall also make a basin of bronze, and its base of bronze, in which to wash. You shall put it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in it. 20 When they go into the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water, that they not die; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to Hashem. 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they not die. This shall be a statute forever to them, even to him and to his descendants throughout their generations.”


22 Moreover Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty; 24 and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; and a hin of olive oil. 25 You shall make it into a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer: it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 You shall use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the covenant, 27 the table and all its articles, the lamp stand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its base. 29 You shall sanctify them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office. 31 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh, and do not make any like it, according to its composition. It is holy. It shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a stranger, he shall be cut off from his people.’”


34 Hashem said to Moses, “Take to yourself sweet spices, gum resin, onycha, and galbanum: sweet spices with pure frankincense. There shall be an equal weight of each. 35 You shall make incense of it, a perfume after the art of the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 You shall beat some of it very small, and put some of it before the covenant in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be to you most holy. 37 You shall not make this incense, according to its composition, for yourselves: it shall be to you holy for Hashem. 38 Whoever shall make any like that, to smell of it, he shall be cut off from his people.”


31 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Behold, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of Elohim, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship, 4 to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, 5 and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of workmanship. 6 Behold, I myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the heart of all who are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat that is on it, all the furniture of the Tent, 8 the table and its vessels, the pure lamp stand with all its vessels, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the basin and its base, 10 the finely worked garments—the holy garments for Aaron the priest, the garments of his sons to minister in the priest’s office— 11 the anointing oil, and the incense of sweet spices for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded you they shall do.”


12 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Most certainly you shall keep my Sabbaths; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Hashem who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to Hashem. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days Hashem made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.’”

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Terumah - Reading #1

Terumah תְּרוּמָה - Offering

Exodus:25:1-27:19


Reading #1: Exodus 25:1–16


My Thoughts:


Hashem is asking Moses to go to the people and ask for donations to build His holy Tabernacle. And they are to give only if “their heart is willing (verse 2)”. He wants them to build the Tabernacle so that He can “dwell among them (verse 8)”.  How amazing and what an honor that must have been! For the almighty to make a proclamation that He wishes to dwell with them! You would think they would run to give their donations! And remembering they came out of slavery, isn’t it so interesting that the Egyptians just gave them a lot of wonderful valuable articles to take with them? So, Hashem even provided for them to give. 


It is all a true lesson. We are to give to Hashem what we have so that His presence is in our lives. It may be prayer, worship, supporting His ministries -- but, we do it all to enjoy His love. His people were able to enjoy His physical appearance, and were to build him a “home”. It was all so good and beautiful!


Challenge:


Are you running to give donations for Hashem’s dwelling place today? You may think -- “Well nobody is building a Temple today -- it’s impossible!” No it is not. There is a group in Jerusalem called the “Temple Institute”. They have been getting ready for the building of the Temple for years. They need your prayer and financial support. Go to: TEMPLE INSTITUTE JERUSALEM . Read about what they are doing to build the 3rd Temple and the return of the Mashiach! Thank you!


Reading #1: Exodus 25:1–16


25 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for Me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take My offering. 3 This is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, bronze, 4 blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, 5 rams’ skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood, 6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense, 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate. 8 Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it.


10 “They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Its length shall be two and a half cubits, its width a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height. 11 You shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and outside, and you shall make a gold molding around it. 12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four feet. Two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 13 You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark. 15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it. 16 You shall put the covenant which I shall give you into the ark.


Sunday, February 4, 2024

Mishpatim - Reading #1

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18


Reading #1 -  Exodus 21:1–19


My Thoughts:


Israel is becoming a nation. They have escaped slavery and are being led into the Land of milk and honey. There they will have to have a “constitution” -- the Law -- to keep things in order. And now we see how the Ten Commandments will be applied, in more detail. I find it interesting that Hashem would begin with the treatment of slaves and others. But, that makes sense doesn’t it? That Hashem wants to love Him and to love others. So, now we are learning what will happen if we mistreat others. We serve an Elohim of order.


Challenge:


In verse 17 we read that we are not to “curse” our mother and father. This must be a serious curse, because the punishment is death. Could it be that Hashem wants us to treat our parents as we treat Him? He created us and our parents created us. If we are not going to honor our parents, then it is obvious we are not honoring Him. It is a lesson in life. To respect our parents, because they came from the Father. If you are not doing so, in many ways, then start doing so today. It may affect your (spiritual) life.


Reading #1 -  Exodus 21:1–19


21 “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them:


2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free without paying anything. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he is married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant shall plainly say, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go out free;’ 6 then his master shall bring him to Elohim, and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.


7 “If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go out as the male servants do. 8 If she doesn’t please her master, who has married her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. 9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her as a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marital rights. 11 If he doesn’t do these three things for her, she may go free without paying any money.


12 “One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death, 13 but not if it is unintentional, but Elohim allows it to happen; then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee. 14 If a man schemes and comes presumptuously on his neighbor to kill him, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.


15 “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.


16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.


17 “Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.


18 “If men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone, or with his fist, and he doesn’t die, but is confined to bed; 19 if he rises again and walks around with his staff, then he who struck him shall be cleared; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall provide for his healing until he is thoroughly healed.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Yitro - Reading #1

Yitro יִתְרוֹ - Jethro

Exodus: 18:1-20:22


Reading #1 - Exodus 18:1–12


My Thoughts:


Moses honored his father-in-law Jethro. It is really unclear what relationship Moses had to his wife and sons, but Jethro brings them to him. Do they stay? Scripture is not clear. But, what I want to mention is the importance of Moses' relationship to Jethro. He honors him. No matter how he feels about him. There is a commandment for us to honor our parents and I believe that includes in-laws. Be sure you are honoring your in-laws. That includes treating them kindly, helping them with things, and not talking about them behind their backs. Even if they have passed, you are to speak kindly. It’s very important.


Challenge:


Do you have in-laws? What kind of relationship do you have with them? Does your relationship need improvement? If you don’t have in-laws, maybe Hashem has placed some “older” people in your life. Are you respecting them? Helping them? Today is the day to make things right, sometimes we don’t have a tomorrow. Correct any relationship with an older person and make it good. It’s a commandment and with it comes a blessing.


Reading #1 - Exodus 18:1–12


18 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that Elohim had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how Hashem had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, received Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her away, 3 and her two sons. The name of one son was Gershom, for Moses said, “I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land”. 4 The name of the other was Eliezer, for he said, “My father’s G-d was my help and delivered me from Pharaoh’s sword.” 5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with Moses’ sons and his wife to Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped, at the Mountain of Elohim. 6 He said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, have come to you with your wife, and her two sons with her.”


7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and bowed and kissed him. They asked each other of their welfare, and they came into the tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law all that Hashem had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships that had come on them on the way, and how Hashem delivered them. 9 Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which Hashem had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10 Jethro said, “Blessed be Hashem, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that Hashem is greater than all gods because of the way that they treated people arrogantly.” 12 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for Elohim. Aaron came with all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before Elohim.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Beshalach - Reading #1

Beshalach בְּשַׁלַּח - When He Sent Out

Exodus:13:17-17:16


Reading #1 - Exodus 13:17–14:8


My Thoughts:


In verse 14:2 we see a little change in plans. They actually change directions. Some sages say that they went south instead of southeast. Hashem’s goal was to get them safely to the Red Sea where He could perform His most outstanding miracle of it all. It makes me think that sometimes in our lives we see where Hashem is “tweaking” His plans for us. That happened to me last year. Hashem changed my places of work, and when it first happened I didn’t understand. Now that I have been working in my new position I can see exactly what He was doing. It was all meant for good. The important thing is that you are in His will daily. Seek His face, read His word, pray, repent and follow Him. Ultimately, His plans will become yours.


Challenge:


Today I challenge you to be flexible. If things are happening the way you think they should -- give Hashem a chance to show you why. As mentioned before, stay close to Him. Trust that whatever is happening, as long as you are obedient and prayerful, will soon make sense to you. Whatever change you are going through, ask Hashem to turn it all to good! And then praise Him for making it that way.


Reading #1 - Exodus 13:17–14:8


13:17 When Pharaoh had let the people go, Elohim didn’t lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for Elohim said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt”; 18 but Elohim led the people around by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the children of Israel swear, saying, “Elohim will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones away from here with you.” 20 They took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 Elohim went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them on their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, didn’t depart from before the people.


14 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal Zephon. You shall encamp opposite it by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are entangled in the land. The wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will follow after them; and I will get honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies; and the Egyptians shall know that I am Hashem.” They did so.


5 The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6 He prepared his chariot, and took his army with him; 7 and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, with captains over all of them. 8 Hashem hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Bo - Reading #1

Bo, בֹּא - Come!

Exodus:10:1-13:16

Reading #1 — Exodus 10:1–11


My Thoughts:


The plague of locusts. Somehow it reminds me of today, how we allow politics, bad politics -- to swarm our country. Those who are not of Hashem, who do not believe in Him, who take control of our laws, our media, our way of life. They are like a swarm of locusts that “devour” what is good and right that are left in the land. We must pray and be active to overcome evil with good. It starts with you and me. It starts right here at home. Make sure you have peace in your home and you are following Torah. It is your guideline to live in this world. If the locusts take over and devour the world -- they can never take Torah away from our hearts. Make sure the Word is sealed in your heart!


Challenge:


Read today’s news. Ask Hashem to show you who the “locusts” are that are trying to destroy freedoms in our world. Then ask Hashem to show you how you can pray and how you can become involved in fighting for your freedoms. Become proactive. Don’t let the “locusts” devour your land or you!



Reading #1 — Exodus 10:1–11


10 Hashem said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these my signs among them; 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your son’s son, what things I have done to Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am Hashem.”


3 Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and said to him, “This is what Hashem, the Elohim of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. 4 Or else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country, 5 and they shall cover the surface of the earth, so that one won’t be able to see the earth. They shall eat the residue of that which has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field. 6 Your houses shall be filled, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.’” He turned, and went out from Pharaoh.


7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve Hashem, their Elohim. Don’t you yet know that Egypt is destroyed?”


8 Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve Hashem your Elohim; but who are those who will go?”


9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and with our old. We will go with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds; for we must hold a feast to Hashem.”


10 He said to them, “Hashem be with you if I let you go with your little ones! See, evil is clearly before your faces. 11 Not so! Go now you who are men, and serve Hashem; for that is what you desire!” Then they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Va'eira - Reading #1

Va'eira  וָאֵרָא - And I Appeared

Torah Portion: Exodus 6:2-9:35

Reading #1 - Exodus 6:2–13


My Thoughts:


Exodus is about the nation of Israel being birthed. Hashem promises to take His people out of Egypt and bring them into freedom -- into the promised Land. And He will do so with an outstretched arm. I’ve often thought of that description of an “outstretched arm” and I believe it means He is holding out His arms to us. Much like when a grandparent holds out their arms for a little toddler, so that he/she can jump into them. It is such a beautiful picture of His unconditional love for us. And that is exactly what He did when He heard the cries of His people in Egypt. He stretched out His arms and said, “Come and follow Me. I will deliver you.”


Challenge:


Do you stretch your arms out to others? Think about the last time you did so. It’s something we need to do more often with those we love, and even with friends. Showing love, and even unconditional love is what will heal our planet. And not only showing, but saying “I love you”. It melts hearts and restores relationships. Just what Hashem wants.


Reading #1 - Exodus 6:2–13


6:2 Elohim spoke to Moses, and said to him, “I am Hashem. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as Elohim Almighty; but by My name Hashem I was not known to them. 4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their travels, in which they lived as aliens. 5 Moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore tell the children of Israel, ‘I am Hashem, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments. 7 I will take you to Myself for a people. I will be your Elohim, and you shall know that I am Hashem your Elohim, who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it to you for a heritage: I am Hashem.’”


9 Moses spoke so to the children of Israel, but they didn’t listen to Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.


10 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go in, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.”


12 Moses spoke before Hashem, saying, “Behold, the children of Israel haven’t listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, when I have uncircumcised lips?” 13 Hashem spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a command to the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.