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

Monday, December 4, 2023

Vayeshev - Reading #2

Vayeshev וַיֵּשֶׁב - And He Settled

Genesis 37:1 - 40:23

Reading #2 - Genesis 37:12–22

My Thoughts: 

Joseph’s brothers plot to kill him. It appears that the special “privilege” that has been given to Joseph has really upset his brothers, which is a totally normal reaction. But, to be upset and to plan to kill someone are two different reactions. Reuben stands up for Joseph (sort of) and recommends they don’t kill him, just throw him in the pit and someone will discover him. So, he can learn his lesson.

Have you ever wanted to throw someone off a cliff? Maybe not physically, but in your heart you have despised them and hoped they would die? Or maybe even you have said or done hurtful things to this person because of your jealousy of them? I believe this is the “root” of gossip. When we are jealous or offended by someone else, we want to talk about them in a negative way to get back at them. It’s not right, and if you have done or are doing this -- stop. Hashem does not like gossip and considers it a sin. It can keep you from a “right” relationship with Hashem. Amend your ways and seek forgiveness.


I have already given you a challenge in the section above. To stop gossiping. I heard it said once that if you couldn’t say something to someone’s face, then you better not say it at all. If you are talking to someone and they start gossiping, just tell them you would rather not participate in this conversation without the person you are talking about being there. We can learn to stop gossiping and we can gently teach others to do the same.

Reading #2 - Genesis 37:12–22

12 His brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” He said to him, “Here I am.”

14 He said to him, “Go now, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with the flock; and bring me word again.” So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 A certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 He said, “I am looking for my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are feeding the flock.”

17 The man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”

Joseph went after his brothers, and found them in Dothan. 18 They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Behold, this dreamer comes. 20 Come now therefore, and let’s kill him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, ‘An evil animal has devoured him.’ We will see what will become of his dreams.”

21 Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand, and said, “Let’s not take his life.” 22 Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Vayishlach - Reading #2

Vayishlach, וַיִּשְׁל - And He Sent

Genesis 32:4-36:43

Reading #2 - Genesis 32:14–30

My Thoughts: 

A strange story, Jacob wrestling with Hashem. Why did they have that type of meeting? Why not just meet over a nice campfire? Was it that the true “wrestling” was Jacob’s fear of meeting with his brother and whether he should even go meet him? In verse 30 Jacob says,”I have seen Elohim face to face, and my life is preserved.” He is wrestling with the Father of Lights, face to face and his life is spared. And my guess is that the solution is found to Jacob’s fears. He proceeds and meets his brother. Contemplate on why Jacob physically wrestled with G-d. And believe in the outcome.


Are you “wrestling” with a decision right now? Are you unsure what to do? If you are “wrestling” with G-d regarding this issue, it may simply be that you are not really listening to Him. Because if you were doing what He was telling you to do - there would not be a “fight”. You would succumb to His suggestion and you would clearly then see His wonderful plan and results. I challenge you today to “give up the fight” and do what the L-rd is telling you to do! Be blessed.

Reading #2 - Genesis 32:14–30

32:14... two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milk camels and their colts, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. 16 He delivered them into the hands of his servants, every herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put a space between herd and herd.” 17 He commanded the foremost, saying, “When Esau, my brother, meets you, and asks you, saying, ‘Whose are you? Where are you going? Whose are these before you?’ 18 Then you shall say, ‘They are your servant, Jacob’s. It is a present sent to my lord, Esau. Behold, he also is behind us.’” 19 He commanded also the second, and the third, and all that followed the herds, saying, “This is how you shall speak to Esau, when you find him. 20 You shall say, ‘Not only that, but behold, your servant, Jacob, is behind us.’” For, he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”

21 So the present passed over before him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

22 He rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that which he had. 24 Jacob was left alone, and wrestled with a man there until the breaking of the day. 25 When he saw that he didn’t prevail against him, the man touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained as he wrestled. 26 The man said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.”

Jacob said, “I won’t let you go unless you bless me.”

27 He said to him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Jacob”.

28 He said, “Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have fought with Elohim and with men, and have prevailed.”

29 Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”

He said, “Why is it that you ask what my name is?” So he blessed him there.

30 Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for he said, “I have seen Elohim face to face, and my life is preserved.”

Monday, November 20, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #2

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #2 - Genesis 29:1-17

My Thoughts: 

In verse 11, Jacob “lifted up his voice and wept.” That’s curious. Why did he weep? Could it be that when he met Rachel he knew his prayers for a wife had been answered? Have you ever had a time when Hashem answered  your prayers in such a magnificent and obvious way that it took your breath away and you wept?

I remember years ago when we were looking for a house. It had to be a kind of unique house because we have two adult disabled sons and need a particular type of space. One day I was driving down a street in the town we wanted to live in, and saw a house for sale. The next day we saw it. When we walked in the house, I felt like crying. It was exactly what we were praying and looking for! And another miracle was that the sellers accepted a very “unusual” offer from us! Hashem was truly in the whole thing!


Look all around you during the day to see how Hashem is moving in your life. Look for the “woman that will come to the well”. Seek the unusual and deliberately look to see what He is doing. When you see Him answering your prayer and or doing something distinctly Him -- give Him all the praise and glory!

Reading #2 - Genesis 29:1-17

29 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east. 2 He looked, and saw a well in the field, and saw three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well’s mouth was large. 3 There all the flocks were gathered. They rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone back on the well’s mouth in its place. 4 Jacob said to them, “My relatives, where are you from?”

They said, “We are from Haran.”

5 He said to them, “Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?”

They said, “We know him.”

6 He said to them, “Is it well with him?”

They said, “It is well. See, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep.”

7 He said, “Behold, it is still the middle of the day, not time to gather the livestock together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”

8 They said, “We can’t, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well’s mouth. Then we will water the sheep.”

9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, and that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.

13 When Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things. 14 Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” Jacob stayed with him for a month. 15 Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?”

16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Toldot - Reading #2

Toldot, תּוֹלְדֹת - Generations

Genesis 25:19-28:9

Reading #2 - Genesis 26:6–12

My Thoughts: 

Generational sin. We see Isaac doing the same thing his father Abraham did -- saying his wife is his sister in order to avoid being killed. He lied. But does Hashem count that against him? Interestingly enough, Scripture continues to say that Hashem blessed his crops one hundredfold! This is reported right after we see Isaac lying.

Are there certain times when it is okay to lie? To save your life or save someone else’s life? Maybe he repented to Hashem and He forgave him? Some Scripture is very curious and mysterious. We don’t know the whole entire story of what happened, so we can only speculate. That’s why it is important to always be in the will of Hashem, so that when we do have to “speculate” we can hopefully have His heart on the matter.


Think of a time when you “stretched” the truth. Was it for a really life-saving reason? Or were you just making things “easier”? Lying is a sin. If we lie, we repent and we make restitution. Learning to restore what has been done is better if it can be done tangibly. Think today of how you can do that. Repentance brings life!

Reading #2 - Genesis 26:6–12

26:6 Isaac lived in Gerar. 7 The men of the place asked him about his wife. He said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “My wife”, lest, he thought, “the men of the place might kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to look at.” 8 When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was caressing Rebekah, his wife. 9 Abimelech called Isaac, and said, “Behold, surely she is your wife. Why did you say, ‘She is my sister?’”

Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die because of her.’”

10 Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!”

11 Abimelech commanded all the people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”

12 Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. Hashem blessed him.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Chayei Sarah - Reading #2

Chayei Sarah חַיֵּי שָׂרָה- Life of Sarah 

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #2 - Genesis 23:17–24:9

My Thoughts:

Interesting that in this story Abraham is sending his servant to find a wife for his son where he came from – but he insists that the servant does NOT bring Isaac to that country. Why would he not want his son to go back to the home of his forefathers? My guess is that back home is a history of idolatry. Maybe Abraham’s parents, relatives and friends do NOT follow Hashem, but follow other gods. Out of love for his son, he does not want to expose him to a godless community. He is protecting him. That is a good thing. 

But. here is something else to think about -- why would he want his son to be married to someone from his relatives (who may be godless)? Maybe there was a better “choice” there for a possible Godly woman then where he was. Plus, Abraham knew that Hashem would be involved in this choice. Also, he obviously did not want Isaac “settling” there, which if he would have gone that might have happened. The whole decision is curious for sure.


Is there a “land” that you should not return to? A “place” of godlessness -- addictions, ungodly friends and/or temptation? If you have had the recent thought of “returning” to some habit or thing that was not positive in your past, here is a reminder and caution NOT to do so! Rethink and pray about your decision and path you are about to take.

READING #2 - Genesis 23:17–24:9

23:17 So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all of its borders, were deeded 18 to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan. 20 The field, and the cave that is in it, were deeded to Abraham by the children of Heth as a possession for a burial place.

24 Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. Hashem had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. 3 I will make you swear by Hashem, the Elohim of heaven and the Elohim of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live. 4 But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

5 The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”

6 Abraham said to him, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again. 7 Hashem, the Elohim of heaven—who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your offspring—He will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”

9 The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #2

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #2 - Genesis 18:15–33       

My Thoughts:

Abraham has an interesting conversation with Hashem. It’s almost like he doesn’t know the character of Hashem so challenges Him. Hashem has told him that the city of Sodom and its inhabitants are going to be destroyed. Abraham immediately asks that if fifty righteous were found would He spare the city? Hashem agrees. They discuss some more numbers and Hashem goes down to TEN RIGHTEOUS. In other words if ten righteous people are found, He will spare the city. The character of Hashem is exposed to Abraham in full - He is faithful, fair and full of grace. Then Abraham walks away.

Can you imagine? Our glorious Elohim agrees to spare an entire city of evil people if only ten good people are found. We find out later that ten were not found and the city is burned down. Makes me think of our world today. How many righteous can we find in our decadent, unfaithful cities? In the summer of 2020, in the United States --the people rioted. Hashem didn’t have to burn down the cities -- the people did! How ironic. Can people get so bad that they destroy themselves? Something to think about.


I challenge you today to think about your own family in comparison to this story. How many “righteous” people are in your family? How many follow Hashem? Now, look at your extended family. How many believers are there? Of course, we can never really know what a person believes, but you can look at their “fruit”. If your numbers are low, I suggest you do something about it. Pray harder for them, be kinder to them, be a stronger light for Hashem to them. Let’s start with our families and do something. Our cities are made up of families. It’s a good place to start. 

READING #2 - Genesis 18:15-33

18:15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid.

He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 Hashem said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Hashem, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Hashem may bring on Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” 20 Hashem said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, 21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”

22 The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Hashem. 23 Abraham came near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 May it be far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 Hashem said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to Hashem, although I am dust and ashes. 28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?”

He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

29 He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.”

30 He said, “Oh don’t let Hashem be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to Hashem. What if there are twenty found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.”

32 He said, “Oh don’t let Hashem be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”

33 Hashem went His way as soon as He had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Lech-Lecha - Reading #2

Lech-Lecha לֶךְ-לְךָ Go Forth Yourself!

Torah Portion Genesis 12:1-17:27

Reading #2 -  Genesis 12:14–13:4        

My Thoughts:

I always thought Abram was lying about Sarai being his sister. But really in a way it is true. Some think she is his half-sister, and that they have the same father -- Terah. Others think that she could have been Abram’s niece. So, was Abram (Abraham) lying? And he does this again further on in Scripture.

We will never know the absolute truth about all this but just think -- if your life and your beloved wife’s life was in jeopardy would you lie? Or would you agree to speaking a “half-truth”? I think about how people hid Jews in their homes during the Holocaust. If a Nazi official came to their home they would lie to save the Jews they were hiding. Is that okay? Of course! I had a great uncle who hid out a family of Jews in his home (or as the story goes), and I had other relatives in Europe that gave their lives to the underground in Poland. 

I guess sometimes if a life is involved, you must go before Hashem and seek Him on what to do. 


Think about a time where you may have said a “white lie” to protect yourself or someone else. Was it truly necessary? Would you do it again? What did you learn from that situation?

Reading #2 -  Genesis 12:14–13:4   

12:14 When Abram had come into Egypt, Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 He dealt well with Abram for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 Hashem afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this that you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now therefore, see your wife, take her, and go your way.”

20 Pharaoh commanded men concerning him, and they escorted him away with his wife and all that he had.

13 Abram went up out of Egypt—he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him—into the South. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 He went on his journeys from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on Hashem’s name.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Noach - Reading #2

Noach נֹחַ - Rest

Torah Portion Genesis 6:9-11:32

Reading #2 -  Genesis 7:1–16               

My Thoughts: 

“Entered into the ship”.  I have always thought of Noah and his family just walking up the plank behind the animals, silent and willing. But today I had another thought. What if Noah said “It’s time to get in the boat!” and some of his sons started to wail, “No, I don’t want to! This is crazy!”. And what if they resisted? Would then Noah try to calm them down and remind them of Hashem’s promises to save them? “But what about all our friends? What will they think?” Would the peer pressure be really great on the sons and daughters? What would ultimately bring them into the boat? Would Noah be yelling at them? Ordering them to enter?

I think what brought them into the boat was OBEDIENCE. Their father did this extravagant thing. He got instructions from Hashem how to build a boat, and with the help of his sons and daughters - they built it! It must have been truly witnessing a miracle. When they saw the completed boat and the animals from all over the world entering it - they must have been overwhelmed! The next step was only to OBEY their father and get on the ship! Would you have done that? Would you have left everything behind?


Think today about what you would be willing to give up to “get on the ship” with Hashem? Would you give up everything? You may think you have already done that when you decided to join His Covenant and follow His Commandments. But, really have you?

Reading #2 -  Genesis 7:1–16   

7 Hashem said to Noah, “Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before Me in this generation. 2 You shall take seven pairs of every clean animal with you, the male and his female. Of the animals that are not clean, take two, the male and his female. 3 Also of the birds of the sky, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive on the surface of all the earth. 4 In seven days, I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. I will destroy every living thing that I have made from the surface of the ground.”

5 Noah did everything that Hashem commanded him.

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth. 7 Noah went into the ship with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, because of the floodwaters. 8 Clean animals, unclean animals, birds, and everything that creeps on the ground 9 went by pairs to Noah into the ship, male and female, as Elohim commanded Noah. 10 After the seven days, the floodwaters came on the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the sky’s windows opened. 12 It rained on the earth forty days and forty nights.

13 In the same day Noah, and Shem, Ham, and Japheth—the sons of Noah—and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ship— 14 they, and every animal after its kind, all the livestock after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 Pairs from all flesh with the breath of life in them went into the ship to Noah. 16 Those who went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as Elohim commanded him; then Hashem shut him in.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Bereshit - Reading #2

Bereshit בְּרֵאשִׁית - In the Beginning

Torah Portion Genesis 1:1-6:8

Reading #2 - Genesis 2:4–19

My Thoughts: 

When Hashem created Adam He breathed into him the breath of life. When you think of this it is pretty powerful. Adam was not born or carried by his mother. He did not have a mother. He was created directly by Hashem. And after he was created, Hashem breathed His life into his nostrils.This is how Hashem’s special people were created, this is what sets them apart. They began with His breath of life, His oxygen!

This is just a thought but what if in Chapter One of Genesis a different species of men were created. And they failed. This could have been for several centuries. Then in Chapter Two you have Hashem’s “set apart” people created. A special place was created to “house” His new people. And Hashem would be there with them. Maybe He created His chosen people to be a light to others.  Was that His original plan? Just a thought.

The “order” of creation is different in Chapter 2. I believe it’s because it is a very special place. A place where Hashem would reside with His set apart people. Maybe to help guide the rest of mankind to His truth. Only Adam and Eve chose a different life. And then Hashem removed them from His presence. 

And we have been trying to return to the “garden” ever since. What do you think?


In what ways are you trying to get back to the “Garden” or the presence of Hashem? Do you think there will be a time where His covenant followers will return to the Garden?

Reading #2 - Genesis 2:4–19

2:4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Hashem Elohim made the earth and the heavens. 5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Hashem Elohim had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground, 6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Hashem Elohim formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 Hashem Elohim planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground Hashem Elohim made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became the source of four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: it flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and onyx stone are also there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon. It is the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel. This is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Hashem Elohim took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. 16 Hashem Elohim commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”

18 Hashem Elohim said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to[c] him.” 19 Out of the ground Hashem Elohim formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature became its name.

Monday, October 2, 2023

V'Zot HaBerachah - Reading #2

V'Zot HaBerachah וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה - And this is the blessing

Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 33:8–12

My Thoughts:

For the blessing of Levi Moses comments that they have “observed” and kept the Law and they have taught it to their children. This is really what it is all about -- isn’t it? After we have studied the Torah every day for one year we find this central message and blessing given to the tribe of Levi. If these things are done, then life is full and easier. There will be peace and the presence of Elohim. There will not be strife or division. We would be wise to pay attention to these powerful words. Don’t you agree?


I love the blessing of Benjamin, verse 12, “The beloved of Hashem will dwell in safety by Him. He covers him all day long. He dwells between his shoulders.” I want to dwell next to Hashem, be covered by Him and have Him between my shoulders. What a magnificent picture of someone who loves you. My challenge to you today is to take some time to think about what this means. To make sure you are living your life in fullness and truth, and in obedience, so that you will be so near to Hashem. It truly is a picture of shalom peace, and that is only obtainable through Hashem. Amen.

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 33:8–12

8 About Levi he said,

“Your Thummim and your Urim are with your godly one,

    whom you proved at Massah,

    with whom you contended at the waters of Meribah.

9 He said of his father, and of his mother, ‘I have not seen him.’

    He didn’t acknowledge his brothers,

    nor did he know his own children;

for they have observed Your word,

    and keep Your covenant.

10 They shall teach Jacob your ordinances,

    and Israel your law.

They shall put incense before You,

    and whole burnt offering on Your altar.

11 Hashem, bless his skills.

    Accept the work of his hands.

Strike through the hips of those who rise up against him,

    of those who hate him, that they not rise again.”

12 About Benjamin he said,

“The beloved of Hashem will dwell in safety by him.

    He covers him all day long.

    He dwells between his shoulders.”

Monday, September 18, 2023

Ha'azinu - Reading #2

Ha'azinu הַאֲזִינוּ - Listen!

Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 32:7–12

My Thoughts:

At the beginning of today’s reading we see how Hashem has set apart His chosen people. Verse 8 we read,  “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.” Hashem chose a people, from the seed of Abraham to represent Him and be a light to the world. With doing this He also gave them a land to live in and laws to live by. There is a specific reason for this. Because the rest of the world needs to know Hashem! Picture a successful business where they want people to buy their product. They market their product. I believe that Hashem was “marketing” Himself and His love for mankind, by picking a group of people who would represent Him and all He does. He chose the Israelites, the Hebrews to literally be His “light” to the nations. All for the purpose that people all over the world (His creation) would be drawn to Him! I want to “join” His people and His land, just like Ruth did. I pray this prayer, “Israel -- wherever you go, I will go. Your people are my people. And your Elohim is my Elohim.” Amen! 


Verse 10 says Hashem “...kept them as an apple of His eye”. We know that this phrase “apple of his eye” means you are very important and special to that person. And that is exactly what this song is saying. The Israelites, the Hebrew people are very special to Hashem. My challenge to you today is to think about who is the “apple of your eye”? Who is special to you (besides Hashem). Are you kind and generous to them? Do you have more than one “apple” relationship? If you don’t have an “apple” pray and ask Hashem to give you one. Or maybe you do have one and don’t realize it -- like your parents, a niece or nephew, neighbor? Find your “apple” today and praise Hashem for him/her. Amen!

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 32:7–12

32:7 Remember the days of old.

    Consider the years of many generations.

Ask your father, and he will show you;

    your elders, and they will tell you.

8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,

    when He separated the children of men,

He set the bounds of the peoples

    according to the number of the children of Israel.

9 For Hashem’s portion is His people.

    Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

10 He found him in a desert land,

    in the waste howling wilderness.

He surrounded him.

    He cared for him.

    He kept him as the apple of His eye.

11 As an eagle that stirs up her nest,

    that flutters over her young,

He spread abroad His wings,

    He took them,

    He bore them on his feathers.

12 Hashem alone led him.

    There was no foreign god with him.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Nitzavim-Vayelech - Reading #2


Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30

Reading #2: Deuteronomy 30:1-6

My Thoughts:

The idea here today is that if Hashem’s people are dispersed among the nations (as they have been) then they must “return” to Hashem with their whole heart and soul. When they do that, He will gather them from the nations (verses 2-3). In the 1940’s after World War 2 that is exactly what happened. People prayed, people returned to Hashem, the Holocaust was over and He brought them back to Israel. And now Hashem is restoring the country. However, there is a cost -- that is the people must serve only Him and not false gods. It is mandatory from Him, or else we will lose everything. We must pray every day that the chosen people will return their hearts to Hashem, as will the rest of the world.


In verse 5 we read “He will do you good”. What does that look like? Will He give you things, bless you with good health, give you good relationships -- a new car, house, job? I’m thinking it means just what it says, that He will be good to you. Maybe He will meet you in worship in a special way. Maybe He will speak to you in a small, still voice. Or maybe you will just feel content in knowing that He loves you. It doesn’t have to be material things, it can be beautiful spiritual things. That’s the kind of “good” I am looking and waiting for. My challenge to you is that you take a minute today and look at the “good” Hashem has given you. Then praise Him for it all. I see Him do “good” in my life, several times a day. Thank you Hashem!

Reading #2: Deuteronomy 30:1-6

30 It shall happen, when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations where Hashem your Elohim has driven you, 2 and return to Hashem your Elohim and obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that then Hashem your Elohim will release you from captivity, have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples where Hashem your Elohim has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there Hashem your Elohim will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5 Hashem your Elohim will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you will possess it. He will do you good, and increase your numbers more than your fathers. 6 Hashem your Elohim will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your offspring, to love Hashem your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Ki Tavo - Reading #2

Ki Tavo כִּי-תָבוֹא - When You Enter In

Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 26:12–15

My Thoughts:

Today is about giving to the Levite, the fatherless and the widow. This is so important to Hashem. Yes, we do not have a Temple so can not bring our tithe to support this. But, we can still support others. Look around you today and see who Hashem has put in your life that needs support. Is it your pastor or rabbi? Is it someone in your family who has not been able to make ends meet? Is it someone at the grocery store? I love it when people “pay it forward”. That has happened to me at McDonalds. I was in the drive through and the car ahead paid for my meal. I couldn’t thank them in person (they had already driven away), but I can tell you this -- it totally blessed my day! Take careful notice of what is going on around you. Then take action when needed. This blesses Hashem, and will ultimately bless you!


Verse 15 says, “Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel..”. I was thinking today that Hashem does have a “Holy habitation in heaven”. Many Bible verses describe the true Holy Temple being in heaven. It seems this would be the place where His emanation would go forth to the universes and eternity. Can you even imagine what this looks like? I challenge you today to pray and study about the Holy Temple in heaven. Some believe this Temple will descend to the earth in the Olam Haba and this is where His glory will shine for all to see. I believe this Temple and His Holy Presence will be presented to everyone who believes in Him -- for eternity. And what a glorious time that will be! Amen?

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 26:12–15

26:12 When you have finished tithing all the tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your gates and be filled. 13 You shall say before Hashem your Elohim, “I have put away the holy things out of my house, and also have given them to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all your commandment which you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, neither have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of it in my mourning, neither have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor given of it for the dead. I have listened to Hashem my Elohim’s voice. I have done according to all that you have commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel, and the ground which you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.”