Showing posts with label Reading #2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading #2. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

Behar - Reading #2

Behar - On the mountain  בְּהַר

Torah Portion: Leviticus 25:1-26:2


Reading #2 -  Leviticus 25:14–18


My Thoughts:


Being fair to each other is really important to Hashem (verse 14). In all of our encounters – financial or any type of help. We are to be honest with all our dealings. Hashem had a special way to figure out all this according to the year of Jubilee.  He asks us to not wrong each other and to not do so because we fear Him. What does that mean? I believe it means that we are to respect and honor Him. After all He is the creator of EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY. It is the second most important commandment to love our neighbor more than ourselves. That includes in all business situations too! If you are not doing this, then change.


Challenge:


Hashem asks us to follow His commands so we can dwell safely (verse 18). Originally set for the people going into Israel. Think about it. They were coming out of slavery and taking over a country with lots of idolatry. They had to learn a way to leave peacefully, with respect for others and for Hashem. The Law is exactly what would show them how to do this. Remember it’s not a burden to follow the Law, it is LIFE. And to follow it gives you peace and joy. Remember this the next time someone challenges you about following Torah. Do your best to follow it. It will keep you safe.


Reading #2 -  Leviticus 25:14–18


Leviticus 25:14 “‘If you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. 15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor. According to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you. 16 According to the length of the years you shall increase its price, and according to the shortness of the years you shall diminish its price; for he is selling the number of the crops to you. 17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your Elohim; for I am Hashem your Elohim.


18 “‘Therefore you shall do My statutes, and keep My ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety.


Monday, May 13, 2024

Emor - Reading #2

Emor Say — אֱמוֹר

Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23


My Thoughts:


Today we read about more priestly rules. Hashem does not want animals with defects to be sacrificed, but interestingly enough He doesn’t want humans with defects either! Even a person with a flat nose (verse 18). Hashem is wanting the best, the purest, even the most physically perfect. I don’t think He does this to hurt anyone’s feelings. I believe He requires it to show that we must be holy and perfect before stepping into service for Him. It is an example. Of course He loves people of all shapes, sizes and unique qualities. It’s just when we go into His presence He asks us to be the best we can be. And that is for today. Only our “defects” are sin and an unrepentant heart. He does not want us to go before Him in prayer or worship with sin in our heart. We must repent and teshuvah - come clean. Then we can enter His presence. This all teaches us what is right and what He needs. Amen.


Challenge:


In verse 9 we see once again the penalty for disobedience – death, “‘They shall therefore follow My commandment, lest they bear sin for it and die in it, if they profane it. I am Hashem who sanctifies them.” We are not to take Hashem’s commandments lightly. They are required and they are life to us. Not to follow them brings death (in many ways). If you believe these commandments were erased in any way, I challenge you to study this. Torah says they are eternal. They always were and they always will be. You can not “subtract or add” to them. Of course, some of them we are unable to follow. If we are not priests, and there is not a Temple, or if we are not in the Land – but here is the heart of Torah. Do what you can and do it the best you can. He asks us this for a reason - because He loves us and wants to be with us. Torah is life. 


Reading #2 - Leviticus 21:16–22:16


Leviticus 21:16 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Say to Aaron, ‘None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect may approach to offer the bread of his Elohim. 18 For whatever man he is that has a defect, he shall not draw near: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity, 19 or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand, 20 or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye, or an itching disease, or scabs, or who has damaged testicles. 21 No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a defect shall come near to offer the offerings of Hashem made by fire. Since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his Elohim. 22 He shall eat the bread of his Elohim, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23 He shall not come near to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a defect; that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am Hashem who sanctifies them.’”


24 So Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel.


22 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, which they make holy to Me, and that they not profane My holy name. I am Hashem.


3 “Tell them, ‘If anyone of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things which the children of Israel make holy to Hashem, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from before me. I am Hashem.


4 “‘Whoever of the offspring of Aaron is a leper or has a discharge shall not eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean by the dead, or a man who has a seminal emission, 5 or whoever touches any creeping thing whereby he may be made unclean, or a man from whom he may become unclean, whatever uncleanness he has— 6 the person that touches any such shall be unclean until the evening, and shall not eat of the holy things unless he bathes his body in water. 7 When the sun is down, he shall be clean; and afterward he shall eat of the holy things, because it is his bread. 8 He shall not eat that which dies of itself or is torn by animals, defiling himself by it. I am Hashem.


9 “‘They shall therefore follow My commandment, lest they bear sin for it and die in it, if they profane it. I am Hashem who sanctifies them.


10 “‘No stranger shall eat of the holy thing: a foreigner living with the priests, or a hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. 11 But if a priest buys a slave, purchased by his money, he shall eat of it; and those who are born in his house shall eat of his bread. 12 If a priest’s daughter is married to an outsider, she shall not eat of the heave offering of the holy things. 13 But if a priest’s daughter is a widow, or divorced, and has no child, and has returned to her father’s house as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s bread; but no stranger shall eat any of it.


14 “‘If a man eats something holy unwittingly, then he shall add the fifth part of its value to it, and shall give the holy thing to the priest. 15 The priests shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer to Hashem, 16 and so cause them to bear the iniquity that brings guilt when they eat their holy things; for I am Hashem who sanctifies them.’”


Monday, May 6, 2024

Kedoshim - Reading #2

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים
Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #2 — Leviticus 19:15–22


My Thoughts:


Looking at today’s commands, verse 16 stands out to me “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people.” This is speaking about gossip. You may think you do not gossip about people. But, even bringing up someone and what they did can be gossiping. Be very careful about what you say to people about other people. You may think you are just figuring out some problem, if so bring that problem to Hashem. Yes, you should have a prayer partner or spouse that you share things with. But, other than that we must watch what we say to others. It can easily become slander. Right?


Challenge:


Verse 17 and the second most important commandment - “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The first being to love Hashem with all your heart, soul and strength (the Shema). Just think what a changed and wonderful world we would have if everyone followed these two commands! And to love your neighbor means even if they are unpleasant, or have hurt you. Forgive them, pray for them and love them. We are to love our enemies and pray for them. Guaranteed this will make the world such a better place. Start doing this today. Pray and ask Hashem who your neighbor is and how you are to treat them. Do special things. Love them, unconditionally. Amen.


19:15 “‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness.


16 “‘You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people.


“‘You shall not endanger the life of your neighbor. I am Hashem.


17 “‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.


18 “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Hashem.


19 “‘You shall keep my statutes.


“‘You shall not cross-breed different kinds of animals.


“‘You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed;


“‘Don’t wear a garment made of two kinds of material.


20 “‘If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21 He shall bring his trespass offering to Hashem, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Hashem for his sin which he has committed; and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.


Monday, April 15, 2024

Metzora - Reading #2

Metzora מְּצֹרָע - Infected One

Leviticus 14:1-15:33


Reading #2 - Leviticus 14:13–20


My Thoughts:


When the offering is slaughtered and goes on the altar it becomes holy. Up to this point it was not. Think of that. In verse 14:13 it says “It is most holy.” What makes it holy? My thought is that the altar and the priest are in close proximity to the Holy of Holies. Where the ark and the presence of Elohim dwell. Objects have been anointed and the priests themselves have been sanctified. This changes the status of the offering/animal. It goes from being unholy to holy. By being in the presence of Hashem. I believe that this is what He wants for us. He does want us to “be holy as He is holy”. We may attempt to do this by repenting, worshiping, praying and entering the “presence” of Hashem. This is really important to think about.


Challenge:


We studied this before how the right ear, right thumb and right big toe are anointed. They may represent what we choose to hear, what we do in action and where we go. I challenge you today to review these things in your life. Are you listening to music that Hashem would approve of? Do your actions reflect your following the Torah? Do you go places that are appropriate in your walk with Adonai? Do a real check on these things today and make sure you are honoring the most Holy One -- in all areas of your life.

Reading #2 - Leviticus 14:13–20


14:13 He shall kill the male lamb in the place where they kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the place of the sanctuary; for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering. It is most holy. 14 The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 15 The priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand. 16 The priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before Hashem. 17 The priest shall put some of the rest of the oil that is in his hand on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering. 18 The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed, and the priest shall make atonement for him before Hashem.


19 “The priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed because of his uncleanness. Afterward he shall kill the burnt offering; 20 then the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meal offering on the altar. The priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Shemini - Reading #2

Shemini שְּׁמִינִי - Eighth

Leviticus 9:1-11:47


Reading #2 - Leviticus 9:17–23


My Thoughts:


Last verse (23) Moses and Aaron come out of the Tabernacle, they “bless” the people and Hashem’s glory appears to everyone. How amazing that would be. To be there to witness a special “house” for Hashem and then for His glory to appear. Were they blinded? Did they go prostrate before Him? Whatever happened I can only imagine total unexplained peace and joy. You would not have words to speak, only to dwell in the current moment of time. In the presence of His glory. Imagine that.


Challenge:


As we read Moses and Aaron “blessed’ the people. I want you to think today about YOUR blessings. In other words -- how have YOU been blessed? Sometimes we get caught up in problems, troubles or even daily challenges of life. We start complaining or worrying. We totally forget about all Hashem has given us, all that we have. The fact that we can study and learn about Torah. The Torah that gives eternal life. We can read about serving and loving Hashem and others. What a total blessing that is! Today is a good day to start remembering all that you have. Think about all the wonderful people Hashem has put in your life. Then start to praise Him. No matter how tough of a time you are going through -- thank Him for He has done and continues to do. We may not have Moses to bless us, but we have the Spirit of Elohim upon us! And that is a huge blessing! Amen!


Reading #2 - Leviticus 9:17–23


17 He presented the meal offering, and filled his hand from there, and burned it upon the altar, in addition to the burnt offering of the morning. 18 He also killed the bull and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people. Aaron’s sons delivered to him the blood, which he sprinkled around on the altar; 19 and the fat of the bull and of the ram, the fat tail, and that which covers the innards, and the kidneys, and the cover of the liver; 20 and they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burned the fat on the altar. 21 Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh for a wave offering before Hashem, as Moses commanded. 22 Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people, and blessed them; and he came down from offering the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings.


23 Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting, and came out, and blessed the people; and Hashem’s glory appeared to all the people.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Tzav - Reading #2

Tzav צַו - Command!

Leviticus 6:1-8:36


Reading #2 -  Leviticus 6:12–7:10


My Thoughts:


Hashem is laying out His instructions for the different types of offerings. In the website -- “The Jewish Virtual Library”  -- you can read the most amazing article on sacrifices. They are suggesting 3 reasons why people gave offerings. First, because people need to give to Hashem. They are bringing the offering to the one Holy Elohim. Secondly, it is a sacrifice for them to give and a kind of retribution for their sin. Like we have discussed before, when you have to give up something important because you did something wrong, you will learn a great lesson. And lastly, because the offering brings one closer to Hashem. In fact, that is the whole reason for the offering  -- to draw close. To read the entire article go to: Sacrifices and Offerings - Karbanot


Challenge:


“Karbanot” (offering) means to draw near. Today’s challenge is to think about how YOU are drawing near to Hashem. What brings you closer to Him? Is it when you do a “mitzvah” or a good deed? Is it when you worship, pray or talk to Hashem in your special time? For me, I know when I worship or listen to songs that extol Hashem that it seems to move my spirit to be close to Him. Or sometimes when I see an answered prayer or small miracle, it makes me super aware that He is close. The whole point is, find something that draws you closer to Him. When Hashem is involved in our daily lives, we have better lives. We need to be shining “lights” of His love to share with others. We can only do that by “karbanot”.


Reading #2 -  Leviticus 6:12–7:10


2 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, it shall not go out; and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning. He shall lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. 13 Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.


14 “‘This is the law of the meal offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before Hashem, before the altar. 15 He shall take from there his handful of the fine flour of the meal offering, and of its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the meal offering, and shall burn it on the altar for a pleasant aroma, as its memorial portion, to Hashem. 16 That which is left of it Aaron and his sons shall eat. It shall be eaten without yeast in a holy place. They shall eat it in the court of the Tent of Meeting. 17 It shall not be baked with yeast. I have given it as their portion of my offerings made by fire. It is most holy, as are the sin offering and the trespass offering. 18 Every male among the children of Aaron shall eat of it, as their portion forever throughout your generations, from the offerings of Hashem made by fire. Whoever touches them shall be holy.’”


19 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 20 “This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer to Hashem in the day when he is anointed: one tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering perpetually, half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening. 21 It shall be made with oil in a griddle. When it is soaked, you shall bring it in. You shall offer the meal offering in baked pieces for a pleasant aroma to Hashem. 22 The anointed priest that will be in his place from among his sons shall offer it. By a statute forever, it shall be wholly burned to Hashem. 23 Every meal offering of a priest shall be wholly burned. It shall not be eaten.”


24 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 25 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before Hashem. It is most holy. 26 The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. It shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the Tent of Meeting. 27 Whatever shall touch its flesh shall be holy. When there is any of its blood sprinkled on a garment, you shall wash that on which it was sprinkled in a holy place. 28 But the earthen vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken; and if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, it shall be scoured, and rinsed in water. 29 Every male among the priests shall eat of it. It is most holy. 30 No sin offering, of which any of the blood is brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be eaten. It shall be burned with fire.


7 “‘This is the law of the trespass offering: It is most holy. 2 In the place where they kill the burnt offering, he shall kill the trespass offering; and its blood he shall sprinkle around on the altar. 3 He shall offer all of its fat: the fat tail, and the fat that covers the innards, 4 and he shall take away the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys; 5 and the priest shall burn them on the altar for an offering made by fire to Hashem: it is a trespass offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy.


7 “‘As is the sin offering, so is the trespass offering; there is one law for them. The priest who makes atonement with them shall have it. 8 The priest who offers any man’s burnt offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered. 9 Every meal offering that is baked in the oven, and all that is prepared in the pan and on the griddle, shall be the priest’s who offers it. 10 Every meal offering, mixed with oil or dry, belongs to all the sons of Aaron, one as well as another.


Monday, March 18, 2024

Vayikra - Reading #2

Vayikra  וַיִּקְרָא - And He Called

Leviticus 1:1-5:26


Reading #2 - Leviticus 1:14–2:6


My Thoughts:


In verse 3 we read that whatever is left over from the offering can be eaten by Aaron. When I was in Israel the first time, we went on a little tour in Cana. A man dressed up as a shepherd took us on a walk. The one thing I remember that he said was “G-d doesn’t waste anything”. I don’t remember what context he said this in – maybe he was talking about plants on the path. The point was that Hashem uses everything and doesn’t waste. So it is with the offerings. Either they are consumed by fire, or they are offered to the priests for food. And maybe later as greater offerings were given, back to the people for food? I really don’t imagine any was thrown out or wasted. This is an important message in our lives -- not to waste food. Let’s be more careful.


Challenge:


I read today how the grain offering was given as a sign of worship and appreciation for Hashem’s provision. It was given after an animal sacrifice and was voluntary. Our worship of Hashem should be like this. It should be voluntary and for appreciation of His provision. If Hashem has blessed you recently (really He blesses every day, sometimes several times!), then consider giving Him an offering of worship. This can be by song, reciting a prayer or words of thanksgiving. Amen.


See Psalm 145. What a wonderful Scripture to praise Him with.


Reading #2 - Leviticus 1:14–2:6


1:14 “‘If his offering to Hashem is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall offer his offering from turtledoves or of young pigeons. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar; 16 and he shall take away its crop and its feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, in the place of the ashes. 17 He shall tear it by its wings, but shall not divide it apart. The priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Hashem..


2 “‘When anyone offers an offering of a meal offering to Hashem, his offering shall be of fine flour. He shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. 2 He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. He shall take his handful of its fine flour, and of its oil, with all its frankincense, and the priest shall burn its memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Hashem. 3 That which is left of the meal offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is a most holy part of the offerings of Hashem made by fire.


4 “‘When you offer an offering of a meal offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. 5 If your offering is a meal offering made on a griddle, it shall be of unleavened fine flour, mixed with oil. 6 You shall cut it in pieces, and pour oil on it. It is a meal offering.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Pekudei - Reading #2

Pekudei  פְקוּדֵי - Accounts
Torah Reading: Exodus 38:21-40:38
Reading #2 - Exodus 39:2–21

My Thoughts:

Forming a picture of what the Tabernacle and priestly garments would look like is often difficult. Many people have done research on this and I came upon a really great video today. Check it out: Priestly Garments. The most interesting item in the garment selection is the ephod. A sort of breast plate worn over the high priest's chest -- with the names of the twelve tribes engraved each on a special stone. And in addition a stone on each shoulder with the names of the tribes. Why was this important? The obvious answer is that Hashem carries us all on His shoulders and places our names over His heart. Just as the priests would carry the tribes, I believe so does Hashem. Think about it today. It is a wonderful feeling to know you are cared about so much by the Holy One of Israel!

Challenge:

Once again, every detail is given to the priests and the Tabernacle. Our Elohim is perfect and cares about everything -- even the smallest things. If He is so detailed about creating things -- so shouldn't we be? Sometimes I get in a hurry and overlook the small details of a project. But, after reading today's portion it makes me think we should be more careful. Maybe you are working on something today. Slow down and take time to carefully consider the smallest tasks. Whether you are creating or performing -- pay attention to it all. Make all you do as perfect as possible. Give it your best. Amen.

Reading #2 - Exodus 39:2-21

2 He made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. 3 They beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in with the blue, the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen, the work of the skillful workman. 4 They made shoulder straps for it, joined together. It was joined together at the two ends. 5 The skillfully woven band that was on it, with which to fasten it on, was of the same piece, like its work: of gold, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, as Hashem commanded Moses. 6 They worked the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold, engraved with the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the children of Israel. 7 He put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel, as Hashem commanded Moses. 8 He made the breastplate, the work of a skillful workman, like the work of the ephod: of gold, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. 9 It was square. They made the breastplate double. Its length was a span, and its width a span, being double. 10 They set in it four rows of stones. A row of ruby, topaz, and beryl was the first row; 11 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; 12 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 13 and the fourth row, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in gold settings. 14 The stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, for the twelve tribes. 15 They made on the breastplate chains like cords, of braided work of pure gold. 16 They made two settings of gold, and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 17 They put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings at the ends of the breastplate. 18 The other two ends of the two braided chains they put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod, in its front. 19 They made two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its edge, which was toward the side of the ephod inward. 20 They made two more rings of gold, and put them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod underneath, in its front, close by its coupling, above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. 21 They bound the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it might be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate might not come loose from the ephod, as Hashem commanded Moses.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Vayakhel - Reading #2

Vayakhel  וַיַּקְהֵל - And He Assembled

Torah Reading: Exodus 35:1-38:20


Reading #2 - Exodus 35:21–29


My Thoughts:


This particular Torah reading is full of unity and community. In verse 21 we read, “...everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing…”. Those people who really cared, who were really “stirred” by Hashem to give and to work – came forward. There wasn’t any discussion about whether it was right to give what you had, it was just done. People came forward joyfully and worked and gave together for a purpose. You can imagine what that would look like today? If there was a special project and people came together joyfully and with the right heart to work? There are projects that do this. Look at Habitat for Humanity where people get together and build and restore homes for the disadvantaged. Look at food banks, libraries, clothing banks – there are lots of projects to get involved in. Pray about it and choose one. Be like the people in today’s reading – be willing!


Challenge:


In verse 25 we read about the women, “All the women who were wise-hearted spun with their hands, and brought that which they had spun”. Not just any woman helped out, only those who were “wise-hearted”. We talked about this yesterday – what it means to be “wise-hearted”. But, let’s take it a step further. When Hashem asks us to give or make something for someone, be sure to complete the task. BRING IT to a person/group. Do not procrastinate. Oftentimes we will get excited about a project, but if it takes longer than expected we give up. Be like the women in today’s portion - finish it and bring it forward. Don’t delay, it’s too important!


Reading #2 - Exodus 35:21–29


21 They came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing, and brought Hashem’s offering for the work of the Tent of Meeting, and for all of its service, and for the holy garments. 22 They came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought brooches, earrings, signet rings, and armlets, all jewels of gold; even every man who offered an offering of gold to Hashem. 23 Everyone with whom was found blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, and sea cow hides, brought them. 24 Everyone who offered an offering of silver and bronze brought Hashem’s offering; and everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. 25 All the women who were wise-hearted spun with their hands, and brought that which they had spun: the blue, the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen. 26 All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought the onyx stones and the stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate; 28 with the spice and the oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a free will offering to Hashem; every man and woman whose heart made them willing to bring for all the work, which Hashem had commanded to be made by Moses.


Monday, February 26, 2024

Ki Tisa - Reading #2

Ki Tisa  כִּי תִשָּׂא - When You Elevate
Exodus 30:11-34:35

Reading #2 - Exodus 31:18–33:11


My Thoughts:


We read about the “Tent of Meeting” today in Exodus 33. What an incredible place that would have been. The people would watch Moses go into the Tent and then the Pillar of the Cloud descend. This is where Moses would actually meet with Hashem! We don’t exactly know the details of this, but we do know He received instructions from Hashem here. And that Joshua, the faithful servant, did not want to leave the door. 


The Tent of Meeting was there before the Tabernacle was built. It was Hashem’s meeting place with Moses. Do you have a special place where you meet with Hashem? I have a living room, with a piano and some pictures of the future Temple and Jerusalem. Every day I meet with Hashem there and ask Him three things. I ask Him to return the Land to His people; to return His people’s (and those all over the world) hearts to Him; and lastly I ask Him to help us build the Temple so He can return to it and rule and reign forever. My “Meeting Place” with Hashem is simple. But, it feels like He is always there. Our special place. Find yours with Him!


Challenge:


In Chapter 32 we read about the famous “golden calf” story. I always seem to feel like the Israelites were just impatient fools. They couldn’t wait for Moses to come down from the hill. Even after all the miracles they had just witnessed their faith was wavering. But, today I see how wrong I am. The Israelites were not only on a journey to the promised Land, but they were also on a huge SPIRITUAL journey. They had just come out of paganism and slavery. They were just beginning to know Hashem. They got scared and got confused. There is no excuse for building a golden calf and partying around it like it was a “god” -- but it does help to understand why it may have happened.


After all, don’t we build “golden calves” in our lives? Don’t we get impatient for Hashem to answer a prayer and instead figure our own way to make it happen? Don’t we substitute something else for Hashem’s power and presence? I do it a lot, and I am humbly sorry that I do. I want to serve the only one true G-d -- Hashem. I don’t want to substitute anything else for Him. And I pray He helps me to not do so. I pray the same for those of you who are impatient about waiting on Elohim. I pray you have courage and strength to wait on Him, and not make any “human” decisions. Wait for the best! I am trying to do the same. Amen!


Reading #2 - Exodus 31:18–33:11


31:18 When he finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, he gave Moses the two tablets of the covenant, stone tablets, written with Elohim’s finger.


32 When the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.”


2 Aaron said to them, “Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.”


3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 He received what they handed him, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molded calf. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”


5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to Hashem.”


6 They rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.


7 Hashem spoke to Moses, “Go, get down; for your people, who you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves! 8 They have turned away quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’”


9 Hashem said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation.”


11 Moses begged Hashem his Elohim, and said, “Hashem, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians talk, saying, ‘He brought them out for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?’ Turn from your fierce wrath, and turn away from this evil against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring[a] as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’”


14 So Hashem turned away from the evil which He said He would do to His people.


15 Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand; tablets that were written on both their sides. They were written on one side and on the other. 16 The tablets were the work of Elohim, and the writing was the writing of Elohim, engraved on the tablets.


17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is the noise of war in the camp.”


18 He said, “It isn’t the voice of those who shout for victory. It is not the voice of those who cry for being overcome; but the noise of those who sing that I hear.” 19 As soon as he came near to the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. Then Moses’ anger grew hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain. 20 He took the calf which they had made, and burned it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink it.


21 Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you have brought a great sin on them?”


22 Aaron said, “Don’t let the anger of my lord grow hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods, which shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’ 24 I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them take it off.’ So they gave it to me; and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”


25 When Moses saw that the people were out of control, (for Aaron had let them lose control, causing derision among their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on Hashem's side, come to me!”


All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 He said to them, “Hashem, the Elohim of Israel, says, ‘Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. About three thousand men fell of the people that day. 29 Moses said, “Consecrate yourselves today to Hashem, for every man was against his son and against his brother, that He may give you a blessing today.”


30 On the next day, Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. Now I will go up to Hashem. Perhaps I shall make atonement for your sin.”


31 Moses returned to Hashem, and said, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if you will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out of your book which you have written.”


33 Hashem said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot him out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.” 35 Hashem struck the people, because of what they did with the calf, which Aaron made.


33 Hashem spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people that you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ 2 I will send an angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 3 Go to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you on the way.”


4 When the people heard this evil news, they mourned; and no one put on his jewelry.


5 Hashem had said to Moses, “Tell the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go up among you for one moment, I would consume you. Therefore now take off your jewelry from you, that I may know what to do to you.’”


6 The children of Israel stripped themselves of their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.


7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it “The Tent of Meeting.” Everyone who sought Hashem went out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp. 8 When Moses went out to the Tent, all the people rose up, and stood, everyone at their tent door, and watched Moses, until he had gone into the Tent. 9 When Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door of the Tent, and Hashem spoke with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, and all the people rose up and worshiped, everyone at their tent door. 11 Hashem spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, didn’t depart from the Tent.


Monday, February 19, 2024

Tetzaveh - Reading #2

Tetzaveh תְּצַוֶּה - You Shall Command

Exodus:27:20-30:10


Reading #2 - Exodus 28:13–30


My Thoughts:


This is so wonderful in verses 29-30 that Aaron is “covering” his heart with the names of the twelve tribes on his breastplate, so that their “judgment” is in front of Hashem continually! Hashem makes a way for His people to be there with Him, even though not in person. It always is about Hashem’s love for His people. And that is you and me too! May we never doubt His love and protection. Things may get rough sometimes in this world, but our names are forever “in front” of Him. Good times and bad. And some day we will have the privilege of serving and loving Him forever. We don’t know what that looks like, but we do know it will be good.


Challenge:


Do you carry the names of the people who you love “over your heart”? By that I simply mean, do you care enough of those around you to pray for them every day? It is the best way to start the day, along with your cup of coffee, to appeal to Hashem for those you love -- to be safe and full of joy. But, most importantly, they will know Hashem and love and serve Him. This should be your daily prayer, before you start your day. Prayer does make a difference. Just like Aaron physically carrying the names of His people over his heart, be sure you are carrying those who you love over yours. It will make a difference in this world, for sure.


Reading #2 - Exodus 28:13–30


28:13 You shall make settings of gold, 14 and two chains of pure gold; you shall make them like cords of braided work. You shall put the braided chains on the settings.


15 “You shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, you shall make it. 16 It shall be square and folded double; a span shall be its length, and a span its width. 17 You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl shall be the first row; 18 and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; 19 and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be enclosed in gold in their settings. 21 The stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes. 22 You shall make on the breastplate chains like cords, of braided work of pure gold. 23 You shall make on the breastplate two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 24 You shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings at the ends of the breastplate. 25 The other two ends of the two braided chains you shall put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in its forepart. 26 You shall make two rings of gold, and you shall put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its edge, which is toward the side of the ephod inward. 27 You shall make two rings of gold, and shall put them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod underneath, in its forepart, close by its coupling, above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. 28 They shall bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate may not swing out from the ephod. 29 Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart, when he goes in to the holy place, for a memorial before Hashem continually. 30 You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before Hashem. Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before Hashem continually.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Mishpatim - Reading #2

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18


Reading #2 - Exodus 21:20–22:3


My Thoughts:


Today’s reading we learn about justice. If someone does some ill will to you, then there must be compensation. The punishment should match the crime. And apparently if you can’t find a way to initiate equal justice then here is your remedy. A life for a life. In our time, it’s called capital punishment. And we live under the law in our land. But, if we were to be a new nation like the Israelites, then here are your instructions -- and here is your Law. For every crime there is a punishment, like it or not. It is clearly spelled out.


Challenge:


How do you feel about equal justice? Do you think everyone who does something intentionally wrong should be punished? Is it a fault among our family and friends that we are not punished for wrongdoings? For instance, if your young child hits you, do you say, “Oh, don’t hit daddy. That’s not nice.” Or do you spank him for hitting you? This section of Scripture really makes you think about equity in punishment. It is obvious the end goal is to learn to be a better person. To learn how to treat others. Make changes where necessary, but do it with equity.


Reading #2 - Exodus 21:20–22:3


21:20 “If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod, and he dies under his hand, the man shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if his servant gets up after a day or two, he shall not be punished, for the servant is his property.


22 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If the thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him. 3 If the sun has risen on him, he is guilty of bloodshed. He shall make restitution. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft

Monday, January 29, 2024

Yitro - Reading #2

Yitro יִתְרוֹ - Jethro

Exodus: 18:1-20:22


Reading #2 - Exodus 18:13–23


My Thoughts:


Moses receives wise advice from his father-in-law. We call it “delegation”. However, this is a difficult concept for many of us. Why have someone else do something when we can do it better? Plus if we do it, we have control over it.  I learned about delegation when I was the Executive Director of a non-profit for many years. I was getting really burned out doing everything myself and finally I resolved that it would be better to delegate some responsibilities to others, even if they made mistakes, then to take it all on myself. And it worked. Yes, people made mistakes, but guess what? They also made wonderful suggestions and improvements that I would never have seen if I hadn't asked them for help. Delegation works.


Challenge:


Are you bearing too much responsibility on your shoulders? If you are home or work and need help, I encourage you today to ask for it! Be brave that things will certainly not be done the same way you do them, but they will get done! And I promise there will even be some improvements. Take a chance and delegate. You will be so glad you did!


Reading #2 - Exodus 18:13–23


18:13 On the next day, Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from the morning to the evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, “What is this thing that you do for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning to evening?”


15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of Elohim. 16 When they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of Elohim, and his laws.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you; for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to perform it yourself alone. 19 Listen now to my voice. I will give you counsel, and Elohim be with you. You represent the people before Elohim, and bring the causes to Elohim. 20 You shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and shall show them the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men which fear Elohim: men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 Let them judge the people at all times. It shall be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge themselves. So shall it be easier for you, and they shall share the load with you. 23 If you will do this thing, and Elohim commands you so, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”