Friday, December 1, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out
Reading #6 - Genesis 31:17–42
There are different thoughts as to why Rachel would “steal” some of her father’s gods (statues). I’ve heard it said that she wanted to take some of her “inheritance” or that she was still worshiping the gods, and all sorts of things. Whatever reason -- she steals them, hides them and later I believe they are destroyed. We all do wrongful actions and regret them later. But, the wisdom here is that we must turn them all over to Hashem.
Laban chases Jacob and his family down. He confronts Jacob and they search for the “gods” but they are not found. Jacob repairs his relationship with his father-in-law and creates a covenant. All is well. If you are “running” from a problem and it catches up with you (like Laban caught up with Jacob) it would be good to make reconciliation at that point. We serve an Elohim of mercy and grace and it is obvious that He loves restoration of relationships.
Take a few minutes to think about the “foreign gods” in your life. Your immediate reaction may be -- “I don’t have any!” But what about TV and the internet? How many minutes a day do you watch TV or are you on the internet? Some homes have three to four TVs and have them turned on all day. When I walk my dog at night you see the pictures on TVs lighting up everyone’s homes. It is dominant in our daily life. We sit in front of it, we eat in front of it, we block out relationships while we watch it and we serve it. Isn’t that the same as a foreign god? Just something to think about. (And I admit I am the same and have a lot to think and pray about regarding TV and internet systems).
Reading #6 - Genesis 31:17–42
31:17-42 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, 18 and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. 19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep; and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.
20 Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. 21 So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23 He took his relatives with him, and pursued him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24 Elohim came to Laban the Syrian in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.”
25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead. 26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn’t tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp; 28 and didn’t allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly. 29 It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the Elohim of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.’ 30 Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?”
31 Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.’ 32 Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it.” For Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen them.
33 Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn’t find them. He went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt around all the tent, but didn’t find them. 35 She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I can’t rise up before you; for I’m having my period.” He searched, but didn’t find the teraphim.
36 Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.
38 “These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 Unless the Elohim of my father, the Elohim of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. Elohim has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
Friday, November 17, 2023
Toldot, תּוֹלְדֹת - Generations
Reading #6 - Genesis 27:28–28:4
Trickery and deceit. Esau is so disappointed that his brother tricked him and got the blessing. And can you blame him? But in his anger, he says he will kill him. Jacob runs away. This kind of reminds me of what happens when we sin and how sin can “snowball” into more serious results. However, when Jacob flees to Laban, he does meet Rachel, the love of his life. The point is that Jacob deceives his father and then has to run away for fear of his life. Has that ever happened to you? You played a trick or lied to someone and the whole thing got worse? If that has happened try and rectify it all quickly.
Did you ever want something so bad that you were willing to lie to get it? We are supposed to be “lights” to the rest of the world. This story is a reminder to be righteous and to depend on Hashem for the outcome of a need. Present your request before Him and wait. What if Jacob had not tricked his father? How would this story have ended? Would he still somehow have received the blessing? Things to ponder about. The challenge today is to think about how you can be a “light” to your friends and family. And then do it.
Reading #6 - Genesis 27:28–28:4
27:28 Elohim give you of the dew of the sky,
of the fatness of the earth,
and plenty of grain and new wine.
29 Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers.
Let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you.
Blessed be everyone who blesses you.”
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also made savory food, and brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that your soul may bless me.”
32 Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?”
He said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”
33 Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed.”
34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, my father.”
35 He said, “Your brother came with deceit, and has taken away your blessing.”
36 He said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing.” He said, “Haven’t you reserved a blessing for me?”
37 Isaac answered Esau, “Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants. I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then will I do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have just one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father.” Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
39 Isaac his father answered him,
“Behold, your dwelling will be of the fatness of the earth,
and of the dew of the sky from above.
40 You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother.
It will happen, when you will break loose,
that you will shake his yoke from off your neck.”
41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him. Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 The words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebekah. She sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban, my brother, in Haran. 44 Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away— 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”
46 Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good will my life do me?”
28 Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, “You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2 Arise, go to Paddan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father. Take a wife from there from the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May Elohim Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a company of peoples, 4 and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you, that you may inherit the land where you travel, which Hashem gave to Abraham.”
Friday, November 10, 2023
Chayei Sarah חַיֵּי שָׂרָה- Life of Sarah
Reading #6 - Genesis 25:1–11
In verse 5 we read that “Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.” Some of us may look at that as unfair, because he had other children too. Scripture continues to say that he gave “gifts” to his other kids -- which could have been huge. He could have been giving land, animals, etc. But as we look at Abraham the father of Isaac giving him all that he had, maybe it was more than physical gifts. He passed on the “blessing” that Hashem gave him, that was the true “everything”. And later we see Hashem confirming that blessing. Maybe the greatest blessing Abraham gave his son was teaching him how to love and serve Hashem. And that is exactly how we can give our children and grandchildren “everything we have”.
My challenge to you today is to start giving your children or those close to you “everything you have”. Maybe not the physical, but passing on to them what you know about your love for Hashem and how you worship him. I think about how my sons are in Special Olympics and every year during summer games they have a big ceremony of “passing the torch”. They take a lit torch and pass it from one person to another until the last one receives it and then they run with it! Let us have that challenge today to pass the “torch of Hashem’s truth and love” to those whom we love. Start passing the light today.
READING #6 - Genesis 25:1–11
25 Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5 Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, 6 but Abraham gave gifts to the sons of Abraham’s concubines. While he still lived, he sent them away from Isaac his son, eastward, to the east country. 7 These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred seventy-five years. 8 Abraham gave up his spirit, and died at a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people. 9 Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is near Mamre, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the children of Heth. Abraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife. 11 After the death of Abraham, Elohim blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi.
Friday, November 3, 2023
Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared
READING #6 - Genesis 21:22–34
Interesting that Abraham lived as a “foreigner” in the land of the Philistines (v.34) -- for many days. That land is actually the land that Hashem gave him and his future generations forever. But, the land had not been “claimed” yet. Abraham’s promise of the land was in “progress”. I wonder how that felt to him. The fact that he makes a covenant with Abimelech shows that he is doing things in a Godly way. And that He is taking one day at a time. I can think of times where I felt like a “foreigner” in a situation. Like I didn’t belong or was a part of the group/community. I usually hang back, assess the situation and wait for Hashem to show me what to do. It always works because I am putting Hashem in charge, instead of myself. It’s not fun to feel like an outsider, but if you wait and see what Hashem has for you -- you will become comfortable -- eventually.
The next time you are in a group or with people and you notice someone is new and looks to be uncomfortable I challenge you to help them. Go up to them, introduce yourself, ask them some questions about their lives -- do whatever you can to make them feel safe and included. If you do this for someone else, it is guaranteed that someone will do it for you, when it is your turn to be new.
Reading #6 - Genesis 21:22–34
22 At that time, Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, “Elohim is with you in all that you do. 23 Now, therefore, swear to me here by Elohim that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner.”
24 Abraham said, “I will swear.” 25 Abraham complained to Abimelech because of a water well, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26 Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this thing. You didn’t tell me, and I didn’t hear of it until today.”
27 Abraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech. Those two made a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs, which you have set by themselves, mean?”
30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore an oath there. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of Hashem, the Everlasting Elohim. 34 Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.
Friday, October 27, 2023
Lech-Lecha לֶךְ-לְךָ Go Forth Yourself!
Torah Portion Genesis 12:1-17:27
Reading #6 - Genesis 15:7–17:6
A lot is happening in this reading, but what is probably the most important is the covenant Hashem makes with Abram. A covenant that has withstood (and not withstood) the centuries -- the giving of the Land -- Israel to the Hebrews. This is a blood covenant and an unconditional covenant. Between Hashem and Abram. Interesting that it is at this time that Hashem changes Abram’s name to Abraham.
Some see significance that the name change also is at a time where the inheritance changes. That the great nations of the Hebrews will come through the line of Isaac, not Ishmael. Apparently G-d wants the ancestry and the promise of the land to flow through Sarah and Abraham, not Abram and Hagar (Genesis 17:21). We once again learn about waiting on the promises of Hashem. Not to jump ahead at our own solutions (like getting Hagar pregnant to have children) -- but be patient so that Hashem can fulfill His promises (pregnancy through Sarah).
Is there something you are asking Hashem for in your life right now? Are you growing impatient for His answer? I challenge you to pray and wait. Through my experience being patient always pays off. My ways are not His ways. It always seems like when I try to manipulate something in my life, it doesn’t fare well. But, when I wait on Him -- there is usually a huge blessing of answer to prayer!
Reading #6 - Genesis 15:7–17:6
15:7 He said to Abram, “I am Hashem who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”
8 He said, “Hashem Elohim, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn’t divide the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him. 13 He said to Abram, “Know for sure that your offspring will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years. 14 I will also judge that nation, whom they will serve. Afterward they will come out with great wealth; 15 but you will go to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.” 17 It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 In that day Hashem made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I have given this land to your offspring, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “See now, Hashem has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my servant. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5 Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my servant into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, she despised me. May Hashem judge between me and you.”
6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.
7 Hashem’s angel found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where did you come from? Where are you going?”
She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.”
9 Hashem’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.” 10 Hashem’s angel said to her, “I will greatly multiply your offspring, that they will not be counted for multitude.” 11 Hashem’s angel said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Hashem has heard your affliction. 12 He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposed to all of his brothers.”
13 She called the name of Hashem who spoke to her, “You are a Elohim who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Hashem appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Elohim Almighty. Walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
3 Abram fell on his face. Elohim talked with him, saying, 4 “As for me, behold, my covenant is with you. You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 Your name will no more be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you.
Friday, October 20, 2023
Torah Portion Genesis 6:9-11:32
Reading #6 - Genesis 9:18–10:32
The start of a new world. Hashem literally erases the face of the earth except for this small family. Eight adults survive a catastrophic event. And eight are left to repopulate the world. Because Noah was righteous, one would assume his sons were also. And maybe they were. But, what about their three wives?
I had this thought that maybe the wives were NOT descendants of Adam, but were descendants of the “sons of man” or the generations of peoples first created in Genesis Chapter 1. I realize that there isn’t a lot of support that this could be true -- that a generation of people before Adam and Eve were created. But to me it makes sense that Hashem could have created man and woman, but they were disobedient. So, He created special people -- Adam and Eve and the Garden.
Whatever happened, could it be that the wives of the sons of Noah were not righteous? If they were not, that might explain how the earth became corrupt again so quickly. Maybe Hashem thought they would change in the presence and teaching of Noah. It is just so sad that we are given a new start and we fail. Once again. Praise Hashem He is forgiving and full of grace.
Has Hashem ever given you a new start in life? Maybe a new job, or a new city to start over in? Only when you get the “new start” you find yourself just falling into your old self, your old not so good habits? I challenge you to think that every day can be a “new start”. When you wake up in the morning, greet Hashem. Tell Him you are thankful for today, that you love Him and that you will try your best today to FOLLOW HIM. Soon you can make this a habit!
Reading #6 - Genesis 9:18–10:32
9:18 The sons of Noah who went out from the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 Noah began to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and got drunk. He was uncovered within his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn’t see their father’s nakedness. 24 Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 He said,
“Canaan is cursed. He will be a servant of servants to his brothers.”
26 He said, “Blessed be Hashem, the Elohim of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant. 27 May Elohim enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.”
28 Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood. 29 All the days of Noah were nine hundred fifty years, and then he died.
10 Now this is the history of the generations of the sons of Noah and of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth were: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 Of these were the islands of the nations divided in their lands, everyone after his language, after their families, in their nations.
6 The sons of Ham were: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush were: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were: Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush became the father of Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before Hashem. Therefore it is said, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Hashem”. 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and the great city Calah. 13 Mizraim became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (which the Philistines descended from), and Caphtorim.
15 Canaan became the father of Sidon (his firstborn), Heth, 16 the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were spread abroad. 19 The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon—as you go toward Gerar—to Gaza—as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim—to Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.
21 Children were also born to Shem (the elder brother of Japheth), the father of all the children of Eber. 22 The sons of Shem were: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram were: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah. Shelah became the father of Eber. 25 To Eber were born two sons. The name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided. His brother’s name was Joktan. 26 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. 30 Their dwelling extended from Mesha, as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, by their families, according to their languages, lands, and nations.
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, by their generations, according to their nations. The nations divided from these in the earth after the flood.
Friday, October 13, 2023
Bereshit בְּרֵאשִׁית - In the Beginning
Torah Portion Genesis 1:1-6:8
Reading #6 - Genesis 4:23–5:24
If you study the phrase “Men began to call on G-d’s name” (verse 4:26) you will be surprised to actually find two possible meanings. The first being that men began to give the name of Hashem to other physical forms including themselves. In other words they began to initiate false deity. I guess if sin has now entered the world, it will manifest itself in many ways, including false worship.
The second meaning we would probably agree on. That man began to call upon, pray and/or worship Hashem. Now having a sense of “good and evil” they most likely found that worshiping Hashem and seeking Him brought peace and joy into their lives. It would become obvious that man was beginning to distinguish between “light” and “dark” - and just like us - desired to be in the light!
Today I challenge you to “call upon Hashem’s Name”. See if you can closely walk with Him today in very special ways. Look for what He is doing and try to join Him.
READING #6 - Genesis 4:23–5:24
4:23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice. You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech, for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me. 24 If Cain will be avenged seven times, truly Lamech seventy-seven times.”
25 Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, saying, “for Elohim has given me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 A son was also born to Seth, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on Hashem’s name.
5 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that Elohim created man, He made him in Elohim’s likeness. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them. On the day they were created, He named them Adam. 3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after His image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of other sons and daughters. 5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
6 Seth lived one hundred five years, then became the father of Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of other sons and daughters. 8 All of the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.
9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of other sons and daughters. 11 All of the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.
12 Kenan lived seventy years, then became the father of Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred forty years, and became the father of other sons and daughters 14 and all of the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.
15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, then became the father of Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of other sons and daughters. 17 All of the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.
18 Jared lived one hundred sixty-two years, then became the father of Enoch. 19 Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of other sons and daughters. 20 All of the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.
21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, then became the father of Methuselah. 22 After Methuselah’s birth, Enoch walked with Elohim for three hundred years, and became the father of more sons and daughters. 23 All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with Elohim, and he was not found, for Elohim took him.
Friday, October 6, 2023
V'Zot HaBerachah וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה - And this is the blessing
Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 33:27–29
Here are Moses' closing remarks. What a wonderful and challenging journey he has undertaken. Now he stands with His people ready to enter the Land, only he will not be able to cross over. He knows he is about to die. But, Moses is clear on one thing -- Elohim is his dwelling place. There is nowhere else he will be when he enters the “Olam Haba” life in the world to come. He will be in paradise, a level of heaven I believe, until the final resurrection of life into the new world on earth. This will be where the Mashiach rules from the Temple in Jerusalem and the glory of Hashem fills the earth! It is all a beautiful life in His “everlasting arms”. Moses is about ready to say good-bye, but in all reality he is saying “hello” to eternal life. Amen!
Verse 29 says it all, You are happy, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by Hashem, the shield of your help, the sword of your excellency? Your enemies will submit themselves to you. You will tread on their high places.” There will be great happiness in the near future of Israel. They will be saved, protected by His “shield” and “sword” and the enemies will bow down to them. However, as we know from Torah writings, this will not last too long. Israel and its people will succumb to the influences of temptation. They will be exiled and defeated. There will be “mountaintops” and there will be “valleys”. Just like in our lives. And that is my “final” challenge to you in our daily readings this year. Be very self aware of who Hashem is in your life. Incorporate Him into every moment that you breathe. Stand with Him and for Him in all situations. Avoid temptations of sin, and repent immediately if you fall. Stay in daily readings as the new Torah cycle begins. Be immersed in Torah. Look for signs of Hashem during your day. See what He is doing all around you and JOIN HIM. Be blessed! I have enjoyed journeying with you all this year! Amen!
Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 33:27–29
33:27 The eternal Elohim is your dwelling place.
Underneath are the everlasting arms.
He thrust out the enemy from before you,
and said, ‘Destroy!’
28 Israel dwells in safety,
the fountain of Jacob alone,
In a land of grain and new wine.
Yes, His heavens drop down dew.
29 You are happy, Israel!
Who is like you, a people saved by Hashem,
the shield of your help,
the sword of your excellency?
Your enemies will submit themselves to you.
You will tread on their high places.”
Friday, September 22, 2023
Haazinu הַאֲזִינוּ - Listen!
Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 32:40–43
Even though the people of Israel will fall after they arrive into the Land, Hashem is always faithful to bring them back. His love is so strong for His people that He will protect them through it all. We see this in verse 43, “He avenges the blood of His children and takes vengeance on His adversaries. He repays those who hate Him and cleanses His people's land…”. Even if people stray from Hashem, they still will have enemies or people after them. Hashem says He will take vengeance on these enemies and will “cleanse” the land. Somehow He will get rid of those who tempt and torment His people. That is unconditional love. Imagine if you “turned” on your best friend. But, then he/she saw that you were in trouble with another person. I’m sure he/she would defend you, even if you had hurt them. That is true friendship/love. To help someone when they have turned their back on you. Think about it. Amen.
Torah is clear that we are to “rejoice” with Hashem in all we do. The beginning of verse 43 says, “Rejoice with Him, O heavens; bow down to Him, all gods…”. Not only are we to bow to the King of the Universe, but He wants us to rejoice with Him! What does that look like? It could simply be giving praise and honor throughout your day. Every time you see His Hand and work, or feel His presence, or witness a miracle -- you thank Him with all your heart. That is my challenge to you today. Look for Hashem and praise Him when you find Him. If you can’t seem to find Him, praise Him anyways. He is always there, that is His promise. Amen.
Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 32:40–43
32:40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43 “Rejoice with Him, O heavens;
bow down to Him, all gods,
for He avenges the blood of His children
and takes vengeance on His adversaries.
He repays those who hate Him
and cleanses His people's land.”
Friday, September 8, 2023
Reading #6: Deuteronomy 31:14-19
Verse 17 carries strong discipline, “Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them…”. Hashem is prophesying that after the people begin to live in the Land they will turn from Him and follow other gods. They will be influenced by the people and tempted to live a life outside of Hashem. How does Hashem react to this? He simply leaves them. He forsakes them and hides His face. Kind of like now. When we sin, we are “separated” from Hashem. He is no longer with us. Not until we “teshuvah”. We turn completely from our sin, we repent, and we make restitution. After sinning and repentance we must fully return to Hashem. Not just a part of us but all of us. He is serious when He tells us to love Him with “all your heart, soul and strength”. Remember all this the next time you consider sinning. Remember the cost. And stop in your tracks. Pray each day for Hashem to give you strength to withstand temptation. Amen.
Joshua and Moses “met” Hashem in the Tent of the Meeting (the Tabernacle). Hashem appears in a pillar of cloud. I believe this is because the cloud in a special way, hid His presence from them so that they wouldn’t die. No one can see Elohim. In fact in the Apostolic Scriptures, Yeshua says He is the only one that has ever seen Elohim in heaven. That makes sense. But, here is my challenge for you today. For you and for me. Let’s search for the “cloud” that Hashem can present Himself to us. This “cloud” could be through worship, through prayer and through service. It may not look like a “cloud” but He does present Himself in many ways to us. I see Him work miracles in my life every day. Some small, some large. Just take the time to “look” for Him. You will be surprised how He “shows up” so many times during your day. Really it’s true.
Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 31:14–19
31:14 Hashem said to Moses, “Behold, your days approach that you must die. Call Joshua, and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, that I may commission him.” Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting.
15 Hashem appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the Tent’s door. 16 Hashem said to Moses, “Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers. This people will rise up and play the prostitute after the strange gods of the land where they go to be among them, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come on them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Haven’t these evils come on us because our Elohim is not among us?’ 18 I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.
19 “Now therefore write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.