Showing posts with label Reading #6. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading #6. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2024

Chukat - Reading #6

Chukat חֻקַּת - Law

Numbers 19:1-22:1


Reading #6 - Numbers 21:10–20


My Thoughts:


Now we are singing. The Torah so accurately depicts mankind. One minute we are complaining (and being destroyed for it!) and the next minute we are singing. Think about your life. When all is well don’t you sing and praise Hashem? When things get tough -- do you start to complain? Let’s try to do more singing -- even during the hard times!


Challenge:


In verse 14 we read about the “Book of the Wars of Hashem”. Does a book like this really exist? Apparently yes, it did. But, it is lost. If you do some research on it you will see this book probably not only was a recording of the battles the Israelites endured during the wilderness journey, but also some songs regarding their victories! Here’s my challenge to you today. If you were to write your “book of battles” would you include some songs of victory and winning? Or would it be a list of complaints that you suffered from. Remember, all the glory goes to Hashem. And whether you win or lose -- it is ultimately His battle. Think about the “battles” you have suffered, and look at their outcome. If there was a really sad outcome, look at how maybe other people’s lives were touched through it all. Or how you might have grown through it. Then sing the victory song. Sing that you survived and sing that Hashem never left your side. Amen!


Reading #6 - Numbers 21:10–20


21:10 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in Oboth. 11 They traveled from Oboth, and encamped at Lyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they traveled, and encamped in the valley of Zered. 13 From there they traveled, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites; for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in The Book of the Wars of Hashem, “Vaheb in Suphah, the valleys of the Arnon, 15 the slope of the valleys that incline toward the dwelling of Ar, leans on the border of Moab.”


16 From there they traveled to Beer; that is the well of which Hashem said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”


17 Then Israel sang this song:


“Spring up, well! Sing to it,

18     the well, which the princes dug,

    which the nobles of the people dug,

    with the scepter, and with their poles.”


From the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah; 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks down on the desert.


Friday, July 5, 2024

Korach - Reading #6

Korach קֹרַח - Korach

Numbers 16:1-18:32


Reading #6 - Numbers 17:25–18:20


My Thoughts:


In this reading Hashem is explaining to us the role and some specifics about the priests and those who serve in the Tabernacle. No stranger is to be around them. It could be possible this is for a couple of reasons. First of all, strangers may not have the right “motives” for approaching the priests. There is a “protocol” for strangers and foreigners obeying and following Torah. I believe once they decide to “join” Israel they are no longer considered strangers. Plus, strangers sometimes have a negative and poor influence on people. Hashem must be protecting the cleanliness and holiness of His servants who will be serving Him directly in the Tabernacle.


Challenge:


Today is about “sharing”. All that people bring to Hashem, will be shared with the Priests to consume. Of course, except for the offerings that are totally burnt at the altar. I heard once that Hashem doesn’t “waste” anything. It seems natural that He would not want all these offerings to be wasted or thrown away. I believe this is how things are in our lives today. Hashem does not want us to waste anything. We need to share what we have and recycle things we no longer use. My challenge today for you is to think about what you can begin to share with others, whether they are poor or not. And to be more careful about recycling things you no longer need to protect the earth. Yesterday, my husband and I went through old paints and chemicals in the basement. We have a few boxes to take to “recycling day” next week. There they will properly dispose of them. Instead of us throwing them into a landfill (which I have been guilty of in the past). Let’s protect what Hashem has given us and be respectful.


Reading #6 - Numbers 17:25–18:20


18:1 Hashem said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your fathers’ house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. 2 Bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, near with you, that they may be joined to you, and minister to you; but you and your sons with you shall be before the Tent of the Testimony. 3 They shall keep your commands and the duty of the whole Tent; only they shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary and to the altar, that they not die, neither they nor you. 4 They shall be joined to you and keep the responsibility of the Tent of Meeting, for all the service of the Tent. A stranger shall not come near to you.


5 “You shall perform the duty of the sanctuary and the duty of the altar, that there be no more wrath on the children of Israel. 6 Behold, I myself have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel. They are a gift to you, dedicated to Hashem, to do the service of the Tent of Meeting. 7 You and your sons with you shall keep your priesthood for everything of the altar, and for that within the veil. You shall serve. I give you the service of the priesthood as a gift. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death.”


8 Hashem spoke to Aaron, “Behold, I myself have given you the command of my wave offerings, even all the holy things of the children of Israel. I have given them to you by reason of the anointing, and to your sons, as a portion forever. 9 This shall be yours of the most holy things from the fire: every offering of theirs, even every meal offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render to me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons. 10 You shall eat of it like the most holy things. Every male shall eat of it. It shall be holy to you.


11 “This is yours, too: the wave offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the children of Israel. I have given them to you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, as a portion forever. Everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it.


12 “I have given to you all the best of the oil, all the best of the vintage, and of the grain, the first fruits of them which they give to Hashem. 13 The first-ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to Hashem, shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it.


14 “Everything devoted in Israel shall be yours. 15 Everything that opens the womb, of all flesh which they offer to Hashem, both of man and animal, shall be yours. Nevertheless, you shall surely redeem the firstborn of man, and you shall redeem the firstborn of unclean animals. 16 You shall redeem those who are to be redeemed of them from a month old, according to your estimation, for five shekels of money, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which weighs twenty gerahs.


17 “But you shall not redeem the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat. They are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and shall burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a pleasant aroma to Hashem. 18 Their meat shall be yours, as the wave offering breast and as the right thigh, it shall be yours. 19 All the wave offerings of the holy things which the children of Israel offer to Hashem, I have given you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a portion forever. It is a covenant of salt forever before Hashem to you and to your offspring with you.”


20 Hashem said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.


Friday, June 28, 2024

Shelach - Reading #6

Shelach שְׁלַח-לְךָ - Send For Yourself

Numbers 13:1-15:41


Reading #6 - Numbers 15:17–26


My Thoughts:


Today we read about the “wave offering”. It was done by the priests and it was a special offering made to Hashem. Apparently, the priest would “wave” the offering to and fro, above his head. It was a sign of servitude, commitment and peace. It makes me think about when people win something. They “show it off” by waving it above their heads. It’s like, “See everyone what I got!” So, when the priests were waving their offerings before Hashem, they could have been seeing, “See Hashem this is for You!” A special, set aside offering to show before Hashem. Pretty cool, right?


Challenge:


In verses 23-26 we learn about “mistakes” or errors. Everyone makes mistakes right? Sometimes we do them unintentionally and sometimes we do them willingly. The point here is that Hashem makes a way for forgiveness. Through the priests and the sacrificial system, sins could be forgiven. So, what do we do about forgiveness now? We pray and ask. Psalm 130:3-4, “If You, Hashem, kept a record of sins, Hashem, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You.” We confess and He forgives. Join me in doing this today. “Hashem please forgive me for all I do that is sin. I am so sorry for disobeying and not following You and Your Torah. Help me to be clean, please forgive me. I praise You and love You Hashem. Amen.”


Reading #6 - Numbers 15:17–26


15:17 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land where I bring you, 19 then it shall be that when you eat of the bread of the land, you shall offer up a wave offering to Hashem. 20 Of the first of your dough you shall offer up a cake for a wave offering. As the wave offering of the threshing floor, so you shall heave it. 21 Of the first of your dough, you shall give to Hashem a wave offering throughout your generations.


22 “‘When you err, and don’t observe all these commandments which Hashem has spoken to Moses— 23 even all that Hashem has commanded you by Moses, from the day that Hashem gave commandment and onward throughout your generations— 24 then it shall be, if it was done unwittingly, without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, for a pleasant aroma to Hashem, with its meal offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering. 25 The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and they shall be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire to Hashem, and their sin offering before Hashem, for their error. 26 All the congregation of the children of Israel shall be forgiven, as well as the stranger who lives as a foreigner among them; for with regard to all the people, it was done unwittingly.



Friday, June 21, 2024

Beha'alotcha - Reading #6

Beha’alotcha בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ - In Your Uplifting

Numbers 8:1-12:16


My Thoughts:


Complaining. That’s what the first part of today’s reading is about. The Chosen people, led through the wilderness for a trip to the promised land, start to yearn for MORE. Isn’t that why we complain too? We are in the midst of something -- but we want more. More of people, more of material things, more of Hashem. I have been so convicted lately about complaining. I feel like when I do, it separates me immediately from the Hashem. It’s like grumbling is a huge offense to Him. And no wonder. He has given us so very, very much. And we want more. And if we don’t get it, we complain. Oh, how it must hurt His heart. I’m working on it. When I catch myself doing this, I try to repent immediately. And I try to correct my behavior. Maybe every time we think about complaining we should give PRAISE to Hashem!!! How our lives would change!


Challenge:


There is a great story at the end of this reading. Hashem puts the “spirit” that rests on Moses and gives it to the seventy elders. Then someone notices that there are a few extra people who seem to have the spirit on them, and are prophesying. But, Moses doesn’t see this as a problem, in fact he wishes everyone was moving in the spirit. Now, I am thinking this is the Spirit of Hashem that is resting on people. And I do believe His Spirit can rest on us today, too! And amazingly enough we can have the power to prophesy also! What would we need to do for this gift? It may simply all be in our relationship to Hashem. If we are close to Him, study His Word, obey Torah, repent and give to others - maybe His Spirit will rest on us too! Let’s think and pray about that today. Ask Hashem to “rest” His Spirit on you today. See what that does in your life! 



Reading #6 -  Numbers 10:35–11:29


10:35 When the ark went forward, Moses said, “Rise up, Hashem, and let your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!” 36 When it rested, he said, “Return, Hashem, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel.”


11 The people were complaining in the ears of Hashem. When Hashem heard it, his anger burned; and Hashem’s fire burned among them, and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. 2 The people cried to Moses; and Moses prayed to Hashem, and the fire abated. 3 The name of that place was called Taberah, because Hashem’s fire burned among them.


4 The mixed multitude that was among them lusted exceedingly; and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for nothing; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now we have lost our appetite. There is nothing at all except this manna to look at.” 7 The manna was like coriander seed, and it looked like bdellium. 8 The people went around, gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it. Its taste was like the taste of fresh oil. 9 When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it.


10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, every man at the door of his tent; and Hashem’s anger burned greatly; and Moses was displeased. 11 Moses said to Hashem, “Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why haven’t I found favor in Your sight, that You lay the burden of all this people on me? 12 Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them out, that You should tell me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers?’ 13 Where could I get meat to give all these people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ 14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me this way, please kill me right now, if I have found favor in Your sight; and don’t let me see my wretchedness.”


16 Hashem said to Moses, “Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; and bring them to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit which is on you, and will put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you don’t bear it yourself alone.


18 “Say to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, and you will eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of Hashem, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore Hashem will give you meat, and you will eat. 19 You will not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils, and it is loathsome to you; because you have rejected Hashem who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”’”


21 Moses said, “The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand men on foot; and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month.’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?”


23 Hashem said to Moses, “Has Hashem’s hand grown short? Now you will see whether My word will happen to you or not.”


24 Moses went out, and told the people Hashem’s words; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around the Tent. 25 Hashem came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 26 But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the Spirit rested on them. They were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran, and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”


28 Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered, “My lord Moses, forbid them!”


29 Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all Hashem’s people were prophets, that Hashem would put his Spirit on them!”


Friday, June 14, 2024

Nasso - Reading #6

Nasso נָשֹׂא - Elevate!

Numbers 4:21-7:89


Reading #6 -  Numbers 7:42–71


My Thoughts:


The tribe leaders all gave the same sacrifices to Hashem. Equality in worship of the Father. That’s an interesting concept. But, they didn’t give it all on the same day. They each had their own day. It reminds me of how it is now in a way. We each bring something to Hashem on our own special day. It could be on Shabbat or another day of the week. But, we can still do something or give something on a day set apart. The question is -- what are we giving/doing? Give this some thought and be like the tribe leaders, giving it a beautiful gift(s) to Hashem!


Challenge:


I feel like today’s reading is a lot about equality. No tribe leader was trying to “outdo” the other. They probably saw the first leader give their sacrifice and gifts and they decided it would be good to do the same. Maybe they realize that Hashem sees us all as “equals” -- so why outgive each other? It is a wonderful example of being fair. My challenge to you today is to think about your kids, grandkids, coworkers or friends and do you treat them equally when it comes to gift giving? Or do you have your favorite one that you treat differently? Maybe rethink your giving and try to make things EQUAL. I have a feeling that this is important. Probably, because no one gets hurt this way. Take a look at it and make any necessary changes. Shalom!


Numbers 7:42–71


7:42 On the sixth day, Eliasaph the son of Deuel, prince of the children of Gad, 43 gave his offering:


one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred thirty shekels,


one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a meal offering;


44 one golden ladle of ten shekels, full of incense;


45 one young bull,


one ram,


one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering;


46 one male goat for a sin offering;


47 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two head of cattle, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Eliasaph the son of Deuel.


48 On the seventh day Elishama the son of Ammihud, prince of the children of Ephraim, 49 gave his offering:


one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred thirty shekels,


one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a meal offering;


50 one golden ladle of ten shekels, full of incense;


51 one young bull,


one ram,


one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering;


52 one male goat for a sin offering;


53 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two head of cattle, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Elishama the son of Ammihud.


54 On the eighth day Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur, prince of the children of Manasseh, 55 gave his offering:


one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred thirty shekels,


one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a meal offering;


56 one golden ladle of ten shekels, full of incense;


57 one young bull,


one ram,


one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering;


58 one male goat for a sin offering;


59 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two head of cattle, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.


60 On the ninth day Abidan the son of Gideoni, prince of the children of Benjamin, 61 gave his offering:


one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred thirty shekels,


one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a meal offering;


62 one golden ladle of ten shekels, full of incense;


63 one young bull,


one ram,


one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering;


64 one male goat for a sin offering;


65 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two head of cattle, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Abidan the son of Gideoni.


66 On the tenth day Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, prince of the children of Dan, 67 gave his offering:


one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred thirty shekels,


one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a meal offering;


68 one golden ladle of ten shekels, full of incense;


69 one young bull,


one ram,


one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering;


70 one male goat for a sin offering;


71 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two head of cattle, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.


Friday, June 7, 2024

Bamidbar - Reading #6

Bamidbar בְּמִדְבַּר - In the Wilderness

Numbers 1:1-4:20


Reading #6 - Numbers 3:40–51


My Thoughts:


Hashem is very detail oriented. Today He is commanding a redemption for the firstborn that exceed the number of Levites. Why? I can only imagine because He wants everything to be fair and equal. And He is taking care of the Levites, His very special people. He wants equality down to the littlest detail. It makes me think that He does care about even the small details in our lives too. I just told a friend that I didn’t want to bother Hashem with the small needs of my life and she said she thought that I should ask Him. That He does care, even about the little things. Like a parent wants to please even the small things that their child/ren ask him/her for. That makes sense doesn’t it?


Challenge:


When you are praying today and asking Hashem to do the big things (protect Israel, your family, stop sickness and hunger, etc) take a moment to ask Him for something minor. Do it with praise and of course any repentance you need to make. I think He does care about everything in our lives. He sure did at the time of this reading. After He honors your prayer, be sure to give Him all the praise and honor. I see Hashem in every part of my life and I pray you do too!


Reading #6 - Numbers 3:40–51


3:40 Hashem said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names. 41 You shall take the Levites for me—I am Hashem—instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel.”


42 Moses counted, as Hashem commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel. 43 All the firstborn males according to the number of names from a month old and upward, of those who were counted of them, were twenty-two thousand two hundred seventy-three.


44 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock; and the Levites shall be mine. I am Hashem. 46 For the redemption of the two hundred seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel who exceed the number of the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece for each one; according to the shekel of the sanctuary you shall take them (the shekel is twenty gerahs; 48 and you shall give the money, with which their remainder is redeemed, to Aaron and to his sons.”


49 Moses took the redemption money from those who exceeded the number of those who were redeemed by the Levites; 50 from the firstborn of the children of Israel he took the money, one thousand three hundred sixty-five shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; 51 and Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and to his sons, according to Hashem’s word, as Hashem commanded Moses.


Friday, May 31, 2024

Bechukotai - Reading #6

Bechukotai - In my statutes בְּחֻקֹּתַי

Torah Portion: Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34


Reading #6 - Leviticus 27:22–28


My Thoughts:


How beautiful is verse 28, “Everything that is permanently devoted is most holy to Hashem.” Things we dedicate to Him become holy. Can we even begin to understand that? We live in a world that is so focused on our own needs and wants. Everything is about “me”. Not others. Not Hashem. But, if we were to dedicate anything to Him – it automatically becomes holy. Have you ever heard a teaching on this? I haven’t. It is something to think about, and study more intently. It is an amazing concept. For instance, I dedicate to Hashem my house. It becomes holy to Him! So we better be acting holy in this house and giving Him glory for it! Take some time to think about this concept today!


Challenge:


And in verse 28 there is a stipulation. “Everything that is permanently devoted….”. It must be given to Hashem forever, not given and taken back. I have made promises to Hashem over the years, and then taken them back. Have you done that? If we “give” Hashem a promise, if we say “Hashem this is forever” – then we better mean it. Another example is marriage. We give a vow before Hashem to honor our husband/wife through anything. But if we think it’s not working out, then we take back that vow. We need to be giving to Hashem – permanently. Let’s really focus on this. If your marriage is seeing some hard times, I pray that you will seek Hashem to heal it! Or anything else that you have vowed or given to Him. I pray we all realize our gifts and dedications to Hashem are forever and never to be revoked. Amen.


Reading #6 - Leviticus 27:22–28


27:22 “‘If he dedicates a field to Hashem which he has bought, which is not of the field of his possession, 23 then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation up to the Year of Jubilee; and he shall give your valuation on that day, as a holy thing to Hashem. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land belongs. 25 All your valuations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs to the shekel.


26 “‘However the firstborn among animals, which belongs to Hashem as a firstborn, no man may dedicate, whether an ox or a sheep. It is Hashem’s. 27 If it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back according to your valuation, and shall add to it the fifth part of it; or if it isn’t redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.


28 “‘Notwithstanding, no devoted thing that a man devotes to Hashem of all that he has, whether of man or animal, or of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed. Everything that is permanently devoted is most holy to Hashem.


Friday, May 24, 2024

Behar - Reading #6

Behar - On the mountain  בְּהַר

Torah Portion: Leviticus 25:1-26:2


Reading #6 - Leviticus 25:39–46


My Thoughts:


We are learning today about rules regarding slaves. Interestingly enough, the Israeli slaves were released with their families in the year of Jubilee. But, alien slaves were bought and passed on to the following generations. Why the difference? We don’t live in a time of “formal” slavery so it may be hard for to understand this type of statute. I’m thinking that Hashem is making a very common point and part of His “theme” to take care of your “brothers” or fellow Jews in a special way. Do not neglect them. Other slaves who are not Hebrew do not receive such a special consideration. Hashem is never wrong, even though we may not understand some of His rules. In the Olam Haba, things will be made clear to us!


Challenge:


In verse 43 we read, “You shall not rule over him (fellow Jewish slaves) with harshness, but shall fear your Elohim.” First of all, no abuse or harsh treatment for slaves. Remembering that the Hebrew people were recently in slavery. And secondly, they were to “fear” Hashem. To me that means, “Listen to what I am telling you. I am the Elohim of everything, everywhere.” Nobody is more powerful than Him! We must fear, respect and honor Him and all He tells us to do. Are you doing that today? Do you fear Hashem? When the day comes in the Olam Haba when we are even blessed to catch a glimpse of Hashem – we will then know what “to fear” means. Until then walk in faith that you must follow every commandment to the best of your ability.


Reading #6 - Leviticus 25:39–46


25:39 “‘If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you, you shall not make him to serve as a slave. 40 As a hired servant, and as a temporary resident, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers. 42 For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves. 43 You shall not rule over him with harshness, but shall fear your Elohim.


44 “‘As for your male and your female slaves, whom you may have from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 Moreover, of the children of the aliens who live among you, of them you may buy, and of their families who are with you, which they have conceived in your land; and they will be your property. 46 You may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession. Of them you may take your slaves forever, but over your brothers the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness.


Friday, May 17, 2024

Emor - Reading #6

Emor Say — אֱמוֹר

Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23


Reading #6 -  Leviticus 23:33–44


My Thoughts: 


This is one of my favorite feasts to celebrate. It is such a joyous occasion. You decorate a “booth” -- eat and/or sleep in it for seven days. It is to remind us how the Israelites slept in such a type of temporary dwellings for 40 years. Each year I try to get creative in building a “sukkah”. We have friends over and celebrate. It is a really special time. This year maybe you can contemplate having a special booth to honor this very special time of the year.


Challenge:


We just spent this week learning about all the feasts. The wonderful thing is that they are cyclical. And each year they can be better. If you do not live in a Jewish or Messianic community it can be hard to celebrate these feasts correctly. So, I just do the best I am able. There is a lot of information of course on the internet and you can learn from it. My challenge for you is that if you are not already taking the feasts seriously – to start doing so now. The next feast is the feast of first fruits - Shavuot. Study about it, and figure out a way to remember it. I promise you and your family will be super blessed. The feasts help us to draw closer to Hashem by remembering His miracles and deliverances. Study and learn. Amen.


Leviticus 23:33 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of booths for seven days to Hashem. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work. 36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Hashem. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall offer an offering made by fire to Hashem. It is a solemn assembly; you shall do no regular work.


37 “‘These are the appointed feasts of Hashem which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to Hashem, a burnt offering, a meal offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, each on its own day— 38 in addition to the Sabbaths of Hashem, and in addition to your gifts, and in addition to all your vows, and in addition to all your free will offerings, which you give to Hashem.


39 “‘So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of Hashem seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 You shall take on the first day the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Hashem your Adonai seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to Hashem seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations. You shall keep it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in temporary shelters for seven days. All who are native-born in Israel shall dwell in temporary shelters, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in temporary shelters when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am Hashem your Adonai.’”


44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the appointed feasts of Hashem.


Friday, May 10, 2024

Kedoshim - Reading #6

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #6: Leviticus 20:8–22


My Thoughts:


Once again, Hashem is giving us some commands about avoiding sexual sin and exactly what sexual sin is. Some of the offenses have the death penalty as punishment. I think about how far we have strayed from these commandments. I was talking to a friend who was telling me how she stayed up and watched a movie last night. One that had some pretty brazen sex scenes. I asked her why she didn’t turn it off. And she just replied, “I knew it was wrong, but I tried to overlook the scenes because I wanted to know how it was going to turn out.” I could tell she did not feel very content or good about her decision. This is what all of us do. We “dabble” with sexual sin with movies, books, websites, conversation – and then we give what we think is a great “excuse” for our behavior. Well, according to today’s Torah portion reading, there is no excuse that Hashem tolerates. I would like to believe that repentance and teshuvah plays into all of this. I really hope so. And I hope we learn to obey Hashem and His commandments and take them more seriously. Amen.


Challenge:


I find verse 27 to be quite curious, “‘You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My ordinances, and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.” What does Hashem mean that the land will vomit out the sinner? Some commentators believe that the land will actually (and has) rebel against a nation who sins. This may happen through natural catastrophe and/or lack of productivity in the land. And if you think about it this makes sense. If you are abusing Hashem’s laws, and not following Him - then we are likely not to be taking very good care of others things in our life – including the land. If we don’t respect Hashem our creator, then maybe we are not respecting His creation either. I look at the side of the road sometimes and all the trash and wonder why people are so careless. My challenge to you today is to think about taking better care of our land. Whatever community you live in. Pick up garbage when you walk by it and tend to your personal gardens or community gardens with care. And most importantly – follow Hashem and His commands more diligently. Maybe the result of this would be a more prosperous land and community! Instead of being “vomited” from not taking care of it!


Reading #6 - Leviticus 20:8–22


Leviticus 8 You shall keep My statutes, and do them. I am Hashem who sanctifies you.


9 “‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon himself.


10 “‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.


11 “‘The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness. Both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon themselves.


12 “‘If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed a perversion. Their blood shall be upon themselves.


13 “‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon themselves.


14 “‘If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.


15 “‘If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal.


16 “‘If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.


17 “‘If a man takes his sister—his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter—and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a shameful thing. They shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his iniquity.


18 “‘If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness, he has made her fountain naked, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people.


19 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, nor of your father’s sister, for he has made his close relative naked. They shall bear their iniquity. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness. They shall bear their sin. They shall die childless.


21 “‘If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.


22 “‘You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My ordinances, and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.



Friday, May 3, 2024

Acharei Mot - Reading #6

Acharei Mot - After the death אַחֲרֵי מוֹת 


Torah Portion: Leviticus 16:1-18:30

Reading #6 - Leviticus 18:6–21


My Thoughts:


“Uncovering their nakedness” in the Bible usually refers to some sort of sexual sin. Hashem is not very specific what this would be, except anything that is outside acceptance of sexual activity in the marriage relationship. Remember they were coming in to a land where there were pagans – people not following Hashem. And many of the pagans sexual activities were not approved by Hashem. In fact, He wants you to strongly avoid them. In our world today that would include things like sex outside of marriage, sexual molestation of others, pornography and even watching a movie with sexual sin. Remember Hashem is trying to protect us and show us the better way. He wants us holy as He is holy. Make sure you are obeying Him in this area today.


Challenge:


In verse 18:21 Hashem commands His people not to sacrifice their children to other gods, “‘You shall not give any of your children as a sacrifice to Molech.” If you study this practice in those times (and other times) it was especially horrific. When I visited Israel, our tour guide took us to some of the “high places” where babies were put in the burning hot metal arms of a statue and tortured to death. All as a “gift” to some god. This may seem appalling to us today, but look at what we do with abortion. A very popular abortion procedure is called “dilatation and curettage” where a suction tube is inserted into the woman and the developing baby inside of her is ripped to pieces – and then suctioned out. I have posted some abortion procedure videos online. My prayer is that women and men will look at these procedures and decide to allow their babies to live. Take a look and see what you can do to stop this atrocity. Go to: Abortion Video. This is our modern day sacrifice to false gods. Hashem please forgive us. (If you have had an abortion or particpated in someone getting one, you can go to Hashem and ask forgiveness. Praise Him that forgives us for all we do.)


Reading #6 - Leviticus 18:6-21


6 “‘None of you shall approach any close relatives, to uncover their nakedness: I am Hashem.


7 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, nor the nakedness of your mother: she is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness.


8 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife. It is your father’s nakedness.


9 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or born abroad.


10 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter, or of your daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness; for theirs is your own nakedness.


11 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, conceived by your father, since she is your sister.


12 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister. She is your father’s near kinswoman.


13 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s near kinswoman.


14 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife. She is your aunt.


15 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife. You shall not uncover her nakedness.


16 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife. It is your brother’s nakedness.


17 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter. You shall not take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near kinswomen. It is wickedness.


18 “‘You shall not take a wife in addition to her sister, to be a rival, to uncover her nakedness, while her sister is still alive.


19 “‘You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is impure by her uncleanness.


20 “‘You shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, and defile yourself with her.


21 “‘You shall not give any of your children as a sacrifice to Molech. You shall not profane the name of your Elohim. I am Hashem.