Showing posts with label Reading #4. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading #4. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Vayishlach - Reading #4

Vayishlach, וַיִּשְׁל - And He Sent

Genesis 32:4-36:43

Reading #4 - Genesis 33:6–20

My Thoughts: 

I was thinking about journeys today. Jacob parts with his brother (after reconciling) and takes a journey to settle in a new part of the Land. Scripture doesn’t say how he picked out the places he settled, or if Hashem led him there. But, my suspicion is that Hashem directed him to special places to live. And for particular times and seasons. Jacob often shows his “human” side to the reader, but he also shows his very dedicated side of loving and serving G-d. 

All of the “journeys” that we see Biblical characters taking seem to be mostly directed by G-d. Makes me think that if we are planning on making a change, it would be good if we spend some time in prayer seeking Hashem and what He wants. It takes practice to hear His voice, but if you think you do and follow what He says -- you will get to know Him better. And end up in a wonderful place!


Jacob gives some incredible gifts to his brother Esau. He gives animals and other items. But, how does Esau respond? He wants him to take it all back. Have you ever given a gift to someone and they say, “Oh no...YOU should have it!” Moms are good at that. The point is the next time that happens to you, I am going to recommend you accept the gift graciously. It is a blessing to be able to “give”. So, we should allow others to be blessed! And not try to turn their special thoughts away. Learn to receive, as well as learn to be a giver.

Reading #4 - Genesis 33:6–20

6 Then the servants came near with their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves. After them, Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed themselves.

8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”

Jacob said, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.”

9 Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be yours.”

10 Jacob said, “Please, no, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face, as one sees the face of Elohim, and you were pleased with me. 11 Please take the gift that I brought to you, because Elohim has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” He urged him, and he took it.

12 Esau said, “Let’s take our journey, and let’s go, and I will go before you.”

13 Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the livestock that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord to Seir.”

15 Esau said, “Let me now leave with you some of the people who are with me.”

He said, “Why? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”

16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city. 19 He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20 He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #4

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #4 - Genesis 30:14–27

My Thoughts: 

The mandrake is a plant with supposedly fertility power. Did Rachel know this and is this why she demanded that Leah give some to her? Rachel wanted to conceive so badly that she traded the mandrake in place of Leah having sex with Jacob. Kind of ironic don’t you think? Rachel wants to have children so badly, but in the course of this agreement, Leah becomes pregnant. 

Would you trade something of value just to get something you wanted in return? To what extent would you go? Would you give up your child’s college money to buy an expensive sports car? Or has someone done something to hurt you in a trade for something else? Many children are abused so that the mother can be in a relationship. Maybe we need to think about what Rachel did and pray to Hashem that we never make that type of mistake!


My challenge to you today is to think about something you are desiring in life. An object, a person, money or whatever. Would you be willing to trade something of real value to get what you want? Or would you be willing to go to Hashem in prayer and worship and ask Him? Search your heart on this and be honest.

Reading #4 - Genesis 30:14–27

14 Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother, Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 Leah said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes, also?”

Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”

He lay with her that night. 17 Elohim listened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “Elohim has given me my hire, because I gave my servant to my husband.” She named him Issachar. 19 Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 Leah said, “Elohim has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons.” She named him Zebulun. 21 Afterwards, she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.

22 Elohim remembered Rachel, and Elohim listened to her, and opened her womb. 23 She conceived, bore a son, and said, “Elohim has taken away my reproach.” 24 She named him Joseph, saying, “May Hashem add another son to me.”

25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place, and to my country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service with which I have served you.”

27 Laban said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, stay here, for I have divined that Hashem has blessed me for your sake.”

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Toldot - Reading #4

Toldot, תּוֹלְדֹת - Generations

Genesis 25:19-28:9

Reading #4 - Genesis 26:23–29

My Thoughts: 

In verses 28 we see that Abimelech says to Isaac, “We saw plainly that Hashem was with you.” Can you only imagine? Isaac had something about him, the way he looked, walked, spoke -- that made others recognize that Hashem is with him! Did they even know who Isaac’s G-d was? Did they know anything about Him? Yet, somehow, some way, they recognize the one and only Elohim of the universe in Isaac. Don’t you wish that others would see Hashem in your life? What a wonderful witness that would be. And how beautiful a life you would have if it was one that reflected the love and purpose of Hashem!


Think about how you could reflect Hashem more in your life. Is there something you need to change -- an attitude, the way you speak, or how you treat others? I challenge you to really take a hard look at yourself and whatever is NOT a reflection of Hashem, you work hard to get rid of it! And you study His Word more so that you know Him better so that you can better represent His love and Way in your life.

Reading #4 - Genesis 26:23–29

26:23 He went up from there to Beersheba. 24 Hashem appeared to him the same night, and said, “I am the Elohim of Abraham your father. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.”

25 He built an altar there, and called on Hashem’s name, and pitched his tent there. There Isaac’s servants dug a well.

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?”

28 They said, “We saw plainly that Hashem was with you. We said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, even between us and you, and let’s make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.’ You are now the blessed of Hashem.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Chayei Sarah - Reading #4

Chayei Sarah חַיֵּי שָׂרָה- Life of Sarah 

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #4 - Genesis 24:27–52

My Thoughts:

Again, as I had said in yesterday’s commentary -- answered prayer! This servant had great faith. He asked specifically for something and almost immediately the prayer was answered. The really great part is that Rebekah seems to be very happy about it all. She recognizes this miracle! And her father acknowledges it is all from Hashem.

How many times do we really see Hashem doing things in our life and then acknowledge them? Or do we just take advantage of wonderful happenings during the day and not give glory and honor to Hashem for them? Something to pause and think about. Every good thing is from Hashem. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights...”


Think of something that happened recently that was really great. Did you give thanksgiving and honor to Hashem for this? If not, do so today!

READING #4 - Genesis 24:27–52

24:27 He said, “Blessed be Hashem, the Elohim of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Hashem has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”

28 The young lady ran, and told her mother’s house about these words. 29 Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. 30 When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 He said, “Come in, you blessed of Hashem. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”

32 The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”

Laban said, “Speak on.”

34 He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 Hashem has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. Hashem has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him. 37 My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ 39 I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ 40 He said to me, ‘Hashem, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father’s house. 41 Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don’t give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.’ 42 I came today to the spring, and said, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go— 43 behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44 then she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,”—let her be the woman whom Hashem has appointed for my master’s son.’ 45 Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46 She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink. 47 I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands. 48 I bowed my head, and worshiped Hashem, and blessed Hashem, the Elohim of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son. 49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The thing proceeds from Hashem. We can’t speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Hashem has spoken.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to Hashem.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #4

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #4 - Genesis 19:21–21:4   

My Thoughts:

I heard recently that Lot’s daughter thought the world had ended. That’s why they slept with their father thinking it was their only chance to be pregnant -- even though their act was deceiving. Both became pregnant and both gave birth to the ancestral fathers of nations that would contend with Israel. That would be the Moabites and Ammonites. Two groups of peoples that turned out to be destructive and deviated from serving the one true Elohim.

If these two daughters waited and trusted in Hashem for their future, how different the future of the world would have been. But in distrust, doubt and fear they took things into their own hands. What a lesson for all of us to learn from. Wait on Him. Trust in Him. Do not make decisions out of fear, impatience and/or doubt. The outcome is guaranteed good if you wait for Hashem. 



Are you facing an important decision in your life? Are you waiting on Hashem to show you what to do or are you taking things in your hands? I encourage you to hit the “pause” button. Don’t go forward in your own flesh. Wait for the Holy One from above to help you and show you what is the right thing to do. It will be so worth it!

Reading #4 - Genesis 19:21–21:4

19:21 He said to him, “Behold, I have granted your request concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there, for I can’t do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then Hashem rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Hashem out of the sky. 25 He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham went up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before Hashem. 28 He looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and saw that the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 When Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, Elohim remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the middle of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

30 Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to live in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in to us in the way of all the earth. 32 Come, let’s make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s family line.” 33 They made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34 It came to pass on the next day, that the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let’s make him drink wine again tonight. You go in, and lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s family line.” 35 They made their father drink wine that night also. The younger went and lay with him. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she got up. 36 Thus both of Lot’s daughters were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and named him Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben Ammi. He is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.

20 Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar. 2 Abraham said about Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3 But Elohim came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man’s wife.”

4 Now Abimelech had not come near her. He said, “Hashem, will you kill even a righteous nation? 5 Didn’t he tell me, ‘She is my sister’? She, even she herself, said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.”

6 Elohim said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also withheld you from sinning against me. Therefore I didn’t allow you to touch her. 7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don’t restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours.”

8 Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ear. The men were very scared. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done!” 10 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you have done this thing?”

11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely the fear of Elohim is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife’s sake.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 When Elohim caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is your kindness which you shall show to me. Everywhere that we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 Abimelech took sheep and cattle, male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah, his wife, to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you. Dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold, it is for you a covering of the eyes to all that are with you. In front of all you are vindicated.”

17 Abraham prayed to Elohim. So Elohim healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children. 18 For Hashem had closed up tight all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

21 Hashem visited Sarah as he had said, and Hashem did to Sarah as he had spoken. 2 Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which Elohim had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as Elohim had commanded him.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Lech-Lecha - Reading #4

Lech-Lecha לֶךְ-לְךָ Go Forth Yourself!

Torah Portion Genesis 12:1-17:27

Reading #4 -  Genesis 14:1–20


My Thoughts:

A common question is “who is Melchizedek”? We don’t know much about him. Some think he was a priest and king. And in Judaism some believe he could have been Shem -- the son of Noah. Whoever he was -- he was kind enough to bless Abram and seal a meeting with bread and wine. Some think he gave tithes to Abram and some think Abram gave tithes to Melchizedek. Regardless this is an important meeting/celebration that we do not have a whole lot of details about. 

We do know that there has been a military victory, and Melchizedek gives glory to Hashem. He is the King of Salem, which is believed to be Jerusalem. My thoughts are -- how does he know Elohim? And how important is it that he is a priest, and king of Jerusalem? It’s all mysterious and worth an in depth study if you have time.


A thought is this, how often do we sit down with people we know and celebrate a victory? We throw dinners and banquets, but it may be really important to have a “one on one” recognition with those we honor. Think of someone that you could do this with and then plan and execute your plan to meet with them. We all need encouragement.

Reading #4 -  Genesis 14:1–20

14 In the days of Amraphel, king of Shinar; Arioch, king of Ellasar; Chedorlaomer, king of Elam; and Tidal, king of Goiim, 2 they made war with Bera, king of Sodom; Birsha, king of Gomorrah; Shinab, king of Admah; Shemeber, king of Zeboiim; and the king of Bela (also called Zoar). 3 All these joined together in the valley of Siddim (also called the Salt Sea). 4 They served Chedorlaomer for twelve years, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and struck the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in their Mount Seir, to El Paran, which is by the wilderness. 7 They returned, and came to En Mishpat (also called Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar. 8 The king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar) went out; and they set the battle in array against them in the valley of Siddim 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five. 10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and some fell there. Those who remained fled to the hills. 11 They took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went their way. 12 They took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

13 One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. At that time, he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner. They were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led out his three hundred eighteen trained men, born in his house, and pursued as far as Dan. 15 He divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and struck them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot and his goods, and the women also, and the other people.

17 The king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of Elohim Most High. 19 He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of Elohim Most High, possessor of heaven and earth. 20 Blessed be Elohim Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Abram gave him a tenth of all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Noach - Reading #4

Noach נֹחַ - Rest

Torah Portion Genesis 6:9-11:32

Reading #4 - Genesis 8:15–9:7           

My Thoughts: 

A common thread through the first nine chapters of Genesis is “be fruitful and multiply” (verse 9:1). It is believed by many that this is actually the first commandment that Hashem gives to man. It is considered the “great Mitzvah”. Meaning the greatest commandment of all. And what is really interesting is in the Talmud it is believed that when every soul from heaven is delivered to creation on the earth, then the Mashiach (Messiah) will come! That is truly an interesting thought.

This is an area that each of us really need to give prayerful consideration. Do we allow Hashem to dictate how many children we have or do we do things (birth control, abortion, etc.) that inhibit His plans? Think of the “souls” that Hashem could have placed into His creation that were interrupted by our selfishness and “family planning” ideas. This is something to really take a pause and pray about.


Do some research today on the forms of birth control available. Look at what they actually do. Do they prohibit and destroy a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus? If so, then is birth control actually destroying conception - a created being? You may be surprised by what you discover.

Reading #4 - Genesis 8:15–9:7  

8:15 Elohim spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ship, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh, including birds, livestock, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply on the earth.”

18 Noah went out, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, whatever moves on the earth, after their families, went out of the ship.

20 Noah built an altar to Hashem, and took one of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 Hashem smelled the pleasant aroma. Hashem said in His heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. I will never again strike every living thing, as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”

9 Elohim blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that moves along the ground, and all the fish of the sea, are delivered into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As I gave you the green herb, I have given everything to you. 4 But flesh with its life, that is, its blood, you shall not eat. 5 I will surely require accounting for your life’s blood. At the hand of every animal I will require it. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, I will require the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for Elohim made man in His own image. 7 Be fruitful and multiply. Increase abundantly in the earth, and multiply in it.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Bereshit - Reading #4

Bereshit בְּרֵאשִׁית - In the Beginning

Torah Portion Genesis 1:1-6:8

Reading #4 - Genesis 3:22–4:18                  

My Thoughts: 

What exactly is the “sign” on Cain? I always thought it was some type of mark on his forehead so everyone could see it. But, rabbinical literature has the sign being “a mark of forgiveness”. After Hashem confronted Cain of his evil deed of murdering his brother, Cain remarks ““My punishment is greater than I can bear.” It sounds like he is repenting. And when we repent, Hashem forgives us. 

Maybe this is the first time forgiveness is given in the Bible. After all we are only in chapters 3 and 4. This forgiveness is so huge, that G-d puts a “mark” on Cain so that no one will hurt him. What a powerful sign that must have been! That is G-d’s grace for sure. Forgiveness and protection. It also reminds us that with sin comes consequence. Truly the sadness of this all is that Cain will now be “hidden from Elohim’s face”.


Are you wearing a “sign of forgiveness” on your face? Or is that not possible because there is actually someone in your life you are having a hard time to forgive? I challenge you to take that person that Hashem has just put into your mind, go to them and seek forgiveness - from them. Go ahead, then you will be able to be acceptable for G-d’s forgiveness. And that really needs to happen!

READING #4 - 3:22–4:18

3:22 Hashem Elohim said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever—” 23 Therefore Hashem Elohim sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

4 The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with Hashem’s help.” 2 Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 As time passed, Cain brought an offering to Hashem from the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Hashem respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He didn’t respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell. 6 Hashem said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7 If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.” 8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

9 Hashem said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?”

He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 Hashem said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”

13 Cain said to Hashem “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me out today from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. Whoever finds me will kill me.”

15 Hashem said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Hashem appointed a sign for Cain, so that anyone finding him would not strike him.

16 Cain left Hashem’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Enoch. He built a city, and named the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 Irad was born to Enoch. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Haazinu - Reading #4

Haazinu הַאֲזִינוּ - Listen!

Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52

Reading #4 - Deuteronomy 32:19–28

My Thoughts:

After Moses explains the “trouble” they are going to be getting into when they abandon Hashem, he says in verse 28, ”For they are a nation void of counsel. There is no understanding in them.” He is predicting that they will have a time in the future when they will no longer “consult” with Hashem. They will be “void” of His counsel. Therefore, since they are not in relationship with Hashem there will be “no understanding”. That’s what is happening today. People no longer believe or communicate with the one true Elohim. They are going it alone. And the end result is that they have no understanding in spiritual matters. People have become totally carnal, devoid of the one true spiritual relationship with Hashem. This is sad. You and I can be a part of changing this. We can be “lights” to His truth and existence and bring His real love to others. We can teach people about Him and how to communicate (pray) with Him. If they do this they will gain understanding. 


In verse 20 we read that the result of disobedience amongst His people is that, “I will hide My face from them.”. Having the face of Hashem “hid” from you means He is no longer visible or tangible in your life. It is like when we sin, the “hand” of Hashem is lifted off our lives -- we can only go it alone. Do you want that? I don’t. And I can feel this happening every time I deliberately sin against Him. It’s like He really does “hide His face” from me. It takes true repentance and teshuvah to regain that personal relationship with Him. My challenge today is for you to assess your spiritual life. Do you feel Hashem’s Hand in upon your life, or do you feel He is “hiding His face” from you? If it is the latter, please do something about it. Repent and return to Him. Make restitution for what you have done and pray that He will return to you. Scripture says He will (Malachi 3:7). Don’t be content with a life absent of Hashem, invite Him back into your life. And show Him that you really mean this. Amen?

Reading #4 - Deuteronomy 32:19–28

19 Hashem saw and abhorred,

    because of the provocation of His sons and his daughters.

20 He said, “I will hide My face from them.

    I will see what their end will be;

for they are a very perverse generation,

    children in whom is no faithfulness.

21 They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not Elohim.

    They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities.

I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people.

    I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

22 For a fire is kindled in my anger,

    that burns to the lowest Sheol,

    devours the earth with its increase,

    and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire.

23 “I will heap evils on them.

    I will spend my arrows on them.

24 They shall be wasted with hunger,

    and devoured with burning heat

    and bitter destruction.

I will send the teeth of animals on them,

    with the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.

25 Outside the sword will bereave,

    and in the rooms,

    terror on both young man and virgin,

    the nursing infant with the gray-haired man.

26 I said that I would scatter them afar.

    I would make their memory to cease from among men;

27 were it not that I feared the provocation of the enemy,

    lest their adversaries should judge wrongly,

    lest they should say, ‘Our hand is exalted,

    Hashem has not done all this.’”

28 For they are a nation void of counsel.

    There is no understanding in them.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Nitzavim-Vayelech - Reading #4


Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30

Reading #4: Deuteronomy 30:15-31:6

My Thoughts:

If your heart turns away, you will perish (verses 16-17). This is a concurrent theme throughout Scripture. We must not turn to other gods (money, relationships, sin). Our life depends on it. We must only follow Hashem and His Torah. This requires us to “guard” our hearts. And how does that work? That means we stay saturated in His Word. That means we don’t go places or hang out with people that give us temptation to sin. Instead we surround ourselves with people who love Hashem with all their hearts. It also means we pray and worship Him consistently. Remember, Torah is life. To not follow Hashem and His Torah is death. I choose life.


When you choose life it is required (according to today’s reading) that you; love Hashem, obey His voice, and cling to Him. We know how to hear His voice (I hope). We know how to obey Him. But, how do we cling to Him? Ruth “clung” to her mother-in-law Naomi. She told her she would love her, follow her and her G-d, her country - everything. That is what “clinging” is. You hold close. It’s not letting go when you hug someone. I challenge you today to not let go of Hashem. To cling to Him. Give Him everything you have. Do everything for Him and for others. He is your life. Don’t let go.

Reading #4: Deuteronomy 30:15-31:6

5 Behold, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and evil. 16 For I command you today to love Hashem your Elohim, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, that you may live and multiply, and that Hashem your Elohim may bless you in the land where you go in to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away and worship other gods, and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you will surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you pass over the Jordan to go in to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life, that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 to love Hashem your Elohim, to obey His voice, and to cling to Him; for he is your life, and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which Hashem swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

31 Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 He said to them, “I am one hundred twenty years old today. I can no more go out and come in. Hashem has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ 3 Hashem your Elohim Himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua will go over before you, as Hashem has spoken. 4 Hashem will do to them as He did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5 Hshem will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandment which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or scared of them; for Hashem your Elohim himself is who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Ki Tavo - Reading #4

Ki Tavo כִּי-תָבוֹא - When You Enter In

Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8

Reading #4 - Deuteronomy 27:1–10

My Thoughts:

In verse 7 we read again that after your sacrifice to Hashem your Elohim, you are to rejoice! Sometimes when I read about sacrifices it seems like they are somewhat challenging. Bringing in a spotless offering to the Tabernacle/Temple to the priest, having him slaughter it, then cooking and eating it (the ones that you are permitted to eat). But, we don’t realize that this is all done for Hashem! The creator of the universes! It’s not just some “chore”, it is a total privilege and blessing! So, that’s when we rejoice. When we realize it is Hashem, the L-rd of L-rds, the Elohim of all -- that is who we are giving to. And what an honor that it is. All so much worth giving Him glory and praise! We don’t have the type of offering today, but we can do other “offerings”. And when we do, be sure to rejoice before Him! Giving and then rejoicing, something we are not used to?


In verse 9 Moses tells the people to be quiet and listen. That they have become the people of Hashem, so obey His Commandments. I believe these words are “alive” today. We are to be listening to the voice of Hashem -- but we need to get quiet to do so! We can’t hear His voice when we are leading busy and LOUD lives! Going places, doing things...talking and texting. We need to find a place to get quiet so we can hear His voice. Picture a house full of kids playing, shrieking with laughter and running around. But, one of the kids is trying to talk to you. You can’t hear him/her because of all the noise! Same with Hashem. If we have so much going on around us we won’t be able to hear Him speak. So that’s the challenge today. Get somewhere quiet and peaceful. Spend some time praising Hashem. Then listen to what He wants to tell you. It will change your life for sure.

Reading #4 - Deuteronomy 27:1–10

7 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, “Keep all the commandments which I command you today. 2 It shall be on the day when you shall pass over the Jordan to the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you, that you shall set yourself up great stones, and coat them with plaster. 3 You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have passed over, that you may go into the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as Hashem, the Elohim of your fathers, has promised you. 4 It shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall coat them with plaster. 5 There you shall build an altar to Hashem your Elohim, an altar of stones. You shall not use any iron tool on them. 6 You shall build Hashem your Elohim’s altar of uncut stones. You shall offer burnt offerings on it to Hashem your Elohim 7 You shall sacrifice peace offerings, and shall eat there. You shall rejoice before Hashem your Elohim 8 You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.”

9 Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying, “Be silent and listen, Israel! Today you have become the people of Hashem your Elohim 10 You shall therefore obey Hashem your Elohim’s voice, and do His commandments and His statutes, which I command you today.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Ki Teitzei - Reading #4

Ki Teitzei כִּי-תֵצֵא - When You Go Out
Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19

Reading #4 - Deuteronomy 23:8–24

My Thoughts:

Keeping the camp clean is very important. It is important for people to be righteous, and for the camp to be physically clean (especially without modern plumbing)! Why?  Verse 14 tells us, “...for Hashem your Elohim walks in the middle of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore your camp shall be holy, that he may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.” He “walks” in the middle of the camp. What does that look like? We can’t see Him in physical form, but I am assuming His Spirit walks through our lives, through our dwelling places. Now, that is something to think about. If He “walks” in the middle of our lives, shouldn’t we be very, very concerned about being “clean” before Him also? Review your life. Make sure you are repenting, turning away from sin, and washing yourselves clean so that He can walk among us!


Are you a man/woman of your word? In verse 23 we read, “You shall observe and do that which has gone out of your lips.” Hashem is teaching us that when we say we are going to do something, we are obligated to do it! This reminds me when I meet someone and we are talking. Then I say to them “I will pray for you”. Well, I better be sure that I will pray for them, or I better not say it. It is better to either pray for them on the spot, or tell them you will try and remember to pray for them and be honest. The challenge today is for you to think about who you have told you would do something for recently. Have you fulfilled your word? Did you do what you said you would? If not, make it right today. Make your “yes be yes, and your no be no”. Be a person of integrity.

Reading #4 - Deuteronomy 23:8–24

8 The children of the third generation who are born to them may enter into Hashem’s assembly.

9 When you go out and camp against your enemies, then you shall keep yourselves from every evil thing. 10 If there is among you any man who is not clean by reason of that which happens to him by night, then shall he go outside of the camp. He shall not come within the camp; 11 but it shall be, when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water. When the sun is down, he shall come within the camp. 12 You shall have a place also outside of the camp where you go relieve yourself. 13 You shall have a trowel among your weapons. It shall be, when you relieve yourself, you shall dig with it, and shall turn back and cover your excrement; 14 for Hashem your Elohim walks in the middle of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.

15 You shall not deliver to his master a servant who has escaped from his master to you. 16 He shall dwell with you, among you, in the place which he shall choose within one of your gates, where it pleases him best. You shall not oppress him.

17 There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute, or the wages of a male prostitute, into the house of Hashem your Elohim for any vow; for both of these are an abomination to Hashem your Elohim

19 You shall not lend on interest to your brother: interest of money, interest of food, interest of anything that is lent on interest. 20 You may charge a foreigner interest; but you shall not charge your brother interest, that Hashem your Elohim may bless you in all that you put your hand to, in the land where you go in to possess it.

21 When you vow a vow to Hashem your Elohim you shall not be slack to pay it, for Hashem your Elohim will surely require it of you; and it would be sin in you. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, it shall be no sin in you. 23 You shall observe and do that which has gone out of your lips. Whatever you have vowed to Hashem your Elohim as a free will offering, which you have promised with your mouth, you must do. 24 When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, then you may eat your fill of grapes at your own pleasure; but you shall not put any in your container.