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

Friday, September 1, 2023

Ki Tavo - Reading #6

Ki Tavo כִּי-תָבוֹא - When You Enter In
Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8

Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 28:7–69


My Thoughts:


Blessings and curses, that is today’s study. Chapter 28 is known for these. And the contingencies of each are clear. If you follow Him and His Commandments -- you are blessed. If you don’t, you are cursed. Look at verse 10. Here is a new promise, “All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by Hashem’s name, and they will be afraid of you.” How will they see you are “called” by “Hashem’s name”? I am thinking that your blessings will be so great and that you will ALL the glory to Hashem, that they will begin to see it is Him who gave it all to you. When they come to know the name of Hashem, then they will know it is He that called you! They will connect all the dots. And it will be obvious. That’s how I want to be and live. That I have followed Hashem with such excellence that His blessings will shine in my life and lead others to His name! Amen!


Challenge:


Verse 46 says that Hashem’s commandments and statutes, “They will be for a sign and for a wonder to you and to your offspring forever.” A sign because these commandments are unique only to Torah. And a wonder because they will be wonderful to follow and the blessings will astonish you. Don’t you want “signs and wonders” in your life? I do! Let’s commit to following Torah to the best we are able, and let’s start doing that today. That is my challenge for you. 


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 28:7–69


28:7 Hashem will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck before you. They will come out against you one way, and will flee before you seven ways. 8 Hashem will command the blessing on you in your barns, and in all that you put your hand to. He will bless you in the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you. 9 Hashem will establish you for a holy people to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of Hashem your Elohim and walk in His ways. 10 All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by Hashem’s name, and they will be afraid of you. 11 Hashem will grant you abundant prosperity in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which Hashem swore to your fathers to give you. 12 Hashem will open to you His good treasure in the sky, to give the rain of your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You will lend to many nations, and you will not borrow. 13 Hashem will make you the head, and not the tail. You will be above only, and you will not be beneath, if you listen to the commandments of Hashem your Elohim which I command you today, to observe and to do, 14 and shall not turn away from any of the words which I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.


15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to Hashem your Elohim’s voice, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come on you and overtake you. 16 You will be cursed in the city, and you will be cursed in the field. 17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. 18 The fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock will be cursed. 19 You will be cursed when you come in, and you will be cursed when you go out. 20 Hashem will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you put your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings, by which you have forsaken me. 21 Hashem will make the pestilence cling to you, until He has consumed you from off the land where you go in to possess it. 22 Hashem will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with fiery heat, with the sword, with blight, and with mildew. They will pursue you until you perish. 23 Your sky that is over your head will be bronze, and the earth that is under you will be iron. 24 Hashem will make the rain of your land powder and dust. It will come down on you from the sky, until you are destroyed. 25 Hashem will cause you to be struck before your enemies. You will go out one way against them, and will flee seven ways before them. You will be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your dead bodies will be food to all birds of the sky, and to the animals of the earth; and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27 Hashem will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with the tumors, with the scurvy, and with the itch, of which you can not be healed. 28 Hashem will strike you with madness, with blindness, and with astonishment of heart. 29 You will grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. You will only be oppressed and robbed always, and there will be no one to save you. 30 You will betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You will build a house, and you won’t dwell in it. You will plant a vineyard, and not use its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slain before your eyes, and you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be violently taken away from before your face, and will not be restored to you. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and you will have no one to save you. 32 Your sons and your daughters will be given to another people. Your eyes will look, and fail with longing for them all day long. There will be no power in your hand. 33 A nation which you don’t know will eat the fruit of your ground and all of your work. You will only be oppressed and crushed always, 34 so that the sights that you see with your eyes will drive you mad. 35 Hashem will strike you in the knees and in the legs with a sore boil, of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36 Hashem will bring you, and your king whom you will set over yourselves, to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers. There you will serve other gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where Hashem will lead you away. 38 You will carry much seed out into the field, and will gather little in, for the locust will consume it. 39 You will plant vineyards and dress them, but you will neither drink of the wine, nor harvest, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout all your borders, but you won’t anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off. 41 You will father sons and daughters, but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity. 42 Locusts will consume all of your trees and the fruit of your ground. 43 The foreigner who is among you will mount up above you higher and higher, and you will come down lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, and you won’t lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.

45 All these curses will come on you, and will pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you didn’t listen to Hashem your Elohim’s voice, to keep his commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 They will be for a sign and for a wonder to you and to your offspring forever. 47 Because you didn’t serve Hashem your Elohim with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you will serve your enemies whom Hashem sends against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in lack of all things. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49 Hashem will bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies: a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce facial expressions, that doesn’t respect the elderly, nor show favor to the young. 51 They will eat the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed. They also won’t leave you grain, new wine, oil, the increase of your livestock, or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish. 52 They will besiege you in all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout all your land. They will besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land which Hashem your Elohim has given you. 53 You will eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom Hashem your Elohim has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies will distress you. 54 The man who is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye will be evil toward his brother, toward the wife whom he loves, and toward the remnant of his children whom he has remaining, 55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left to him, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy will distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye will be evil toward the husband that she loves, toward her son, toward her daughter, 57 toward her young one who comes out from between her feet, and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of all things in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy will distress you in your gates. 58 If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, Hashem your Elohim 59 then Hashem will make your plagues and the plagues of your offspring fearful, even great plagues, and of long duration, and severe sicknesses, and of long duration. 60 He will bring on you again all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they will cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, Hashem will bring them on you until you are destroyed. 62 You will be left few in number, even though you were as the stars of the sky for multitude, because you didn’t listen to Hashem your Elohim voice. 63 It will happen that as Hashem rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Hashem will rejoice over you to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be plucked from the land that you are going in to possess. 64 Hashem will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. There you will serve other gods which you have not known, you nor your fathers, even wood and stone. 65 Among these nations you will find no ease, and there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; but Hashem will give you there a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and pining of soul. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be afraid night and day, and will have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “I wish it were evening!” and at evening you will say, “I wish it were morning!” for the fear of your heart which you will fear, and for the sights which your eyes will see. 68 Hashem will bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way of which I told to you that you would never see it again. There you will offer yourselves to your enemies for male and female slaves, and nobody will buy you.


Friday, August 25, 2023

Ki Teitzei - Reading #6

Ki Teitzei כִּי-תֵצֵא - When You Go Out

Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 24:5–13


My Thoughts: 


Verse 6 is a curious commandment,  “No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone as a pledge, for he takes a life in pledge.” After doing some research it seems like what Hashem is saying is don’t take the “livelihood” of another as a pledge (to pay for a debt, etc). To do so, would take his ability to take care of himself and family -- away. And leave him with nothing to sustain his family. Hashem doesn’t want us to do this. That’s how much He loves each of us. It is a protection that someone would not lose everything and become destitute. Again one more example of how Hashem protects the poor. And how we are to be involved with that process.


Challenge:


We learn today another lesson of protecting husband and wife, and their relationship, by Hashem. If you are newly married you are not required to serve in the army for at least a year. This is so beautiful. Think of how important that first year is in a marriage. How hard it would be to be apart from your new spouse, right after you got married. This is a clear indicator of how Hashem wants marriages to be good and solid. Your challenge today is to look at your own marriage, or the marriage of a friend or family person. Have they had time together to solidify their marriage (or have you)? Have they (you) had a special time of at least one year to “ground” their marriage? If not, take the time to do so now. Or help the couple that has not had that special time, to do the same. Support marriages in your family and amongst your community of friends. 


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 24:5–13


24:5 When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, neither shall he be assigned any business. He shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken.


6 No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone as a pledge, for he takes a life in pledge.


7 If a man is found stealing any of his brothers of the children of Israel, and he deals with him as a slave, or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall remove the evil from among you.


8 Be careful in the plague of leprosy, that you observe diligently and do according to all that the Levitical priests teach you. As I commanded them, so you shall observe to do. 9 Remember what Hashem your Elohim did to Miriam, by the way as you came out of Egypt.


10 When you lend your neighbor any kind of loan, you shall not go into his house to get his pledge. 11 You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you lend shall bring the pledge outside to you. 12 If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge. 13 You shall surely restore to him the pledge when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his garment and bless you. It shall be righteousness to you before Hashem your Elohim.



Friday, August 18, 2023

Shoftim - Reading #6

Shoftim שֹׁפְטִים - Judges

Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 19:14–20:9


My Thoughts:


Hashem created a fair and just judicial system and commandments. His people how to utilize this. In verse 20 we read why Hashem is very strict about disobedience to His laws, “Those who remain shall hear, and fear, and will never again commit any such evil among you.” He is setting an example for others. It’s one thing to tell a child the consequences of disobedience but when the punishment is enacted it is clear to the child and his/her siblings the severity of disobeying. It shows everyone what will happen if we do not follow Hashem’s instructions. We know for sure that Hashem loves all of His creation, but it is also clear that He wants the people who follow Him to be dedicated and loyal servants. He is explaining the way to accomplish this. It may seem “harsh” but sometimes harshness is the only way people will listen. Right?


Challenge: 


What a wonderful testimony and promise in verse 20:1, “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, chariots, and a people more numerous than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for Hashem your Elohim is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” Hashem’s people were about ready to enter the Land of Israel. A place that they had never been before. A land filled with people who followed false gods. As He is laying out the plan to inhabit this land, He makes a promise about being with them every step of the way. Of course, when Hashem calls us to new places and new plans it can be very scary. But, here is a strong promise that when we see problems that feel really big and impossible, that we need to seek His face and ask Him for guidance and protection. If you are facing a “giant” today, ponder on this particular verse. Try and believe that Hashem will be with you through it all. Have faith that Hashem “has your back”! 


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 19:14–20:9


19:14 You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which they of old time have set, in your inheritance which you shall inherit, in the land that Hashem your Elohim gives you to possess.


15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin that he sins. At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established. 16 If an unrighteous witness rises up against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17 then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before Hashem, before the priests and the judges who shall be in those days; 18 and the judges shall make diligent inquisition; and behold, if the witness is a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother, 19 then you shall do to him as he had thought to do to his brother. So you shall remove the evil from among you. 20 Those who remain shall hear, and fear, and will never again commit any such evil among you. 21 Your eyes shall not pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.


20 When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, chariots, and a people more numerous than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for Hashem your Elohim iis with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 2 It shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people, 3 and shall tell them, “Hear, Israel, you draw near today to battle against your enemies. Don’t let your heart faint! Don’t be afraid, nor tremble, neither be scared of them; 4 for Hashem your Elohim is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”


5 The officers shall speak to the people, saying, “What man is there who has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. 6 What man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not used its fruit? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use its fruit. 7 What man is there who has pledged to be married to a wife, and has not taken her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.” 8 The officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, “What man is there who is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest his brother’s heart melt as his heart.” 9 It shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall appoint captains of armies at the head of the people.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Re'eh - Reading #6

Re'eh רְאֵה - See!
Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 15:1–18


My Thoughts:

 

Fairness in slavery? That seems odd to us today. Slavery the way Hashem describes it - is far from what has happened in Europe and America and the atrocities they inflicted upon others. What Hashem is saying is that at the end of seven years a slave has a choice to stay or leave. What we need to think about is that the slave was probably bought because he/she was in poverty. It was like securing a live-in job. I’m sure there were difficult and harsh task masters, but that is where Hashem is telling His people to treat people fairly. And give the slaves an opportunity to go free after seven years. I wonder how many slaves were treated so fairly that they decided to stay on permanently. When we are following Hashem’s commands to love Him and to love others, the world literally changes.


Challenge:


In verse 4 Hashem is telling us that if we follow Him in all ways, He will bless the land so much that there will be no poor in it. That people will take care of people. Unfortunately that is not true today. We have poor and starving people across our world. But the Torah has the remedy and it is outlined in today’s portion. It’s about taking care of each other - feeding, hiring for help, sharing and loving. Sure there must have been people who took advantage of this situation, from both sides. But Hashem does have the perfect plan for a “whole” and “healthy” world. Today’s challenge is to see how you can help the poor in your community. And how you can make the world a better place -- by following Torah’s directions. Amen.


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 15:1–18


15:1 At the end of every seven years, you shall cancel debts. 2 This is the way it shall be done: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not require payment from his neighbor and his brother, because Hashem’s release has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may require it; but whatever of yours is with your brother, your hand shall release. 4 However there will be no poor with you (for Hashem will surely bless you in the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you for an inheritance to possess) 5 if only you diligently listen to Hashem your Elohim’s voice, to observe to do all this commandment which I command you today. 6 For Hashem your Elohim will bless you, as He promised you. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. You will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. 7 If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you within any of your gates in your land which Hashem your Elohim gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, which he lacks. 9 Beware that there not be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,” and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing; and he cry to Hashem against you, and it be sin to you. 10 You shall surely give, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because it is for this thing Hashem your Elohim will bless you in all your work and in all that you put your hand to. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land. Therefore I command you to surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land. 12 If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 When you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your wine press. As Hashem your Elohim has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Hashem your Elohim redeemed you. Therefore I command you this thing today. 16 It shall be, if he tells you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for he has been double the value of a hired hand as he served you six years. Hashem your Elohim will bless you in all that you do.


Friday, August 4, 2023

Ekev - Reading #6

Ekev עֵקֶב - As a Result

Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 11:10–21


My Thoughts:


Do you want to take care of your own property (land) or would you prefer Hashem to care for it. Because today in verses 11 and 12 we learn that the Israelites are not going to have to tend the Land of Israel, but Hashem, Himself will bring rain from the sky and take care of it. But, there is always a contingency. And that is obedience to His Commandments. We read about this in verses 13 and 14, “It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you today, to love Hashem your Elohim, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,  that I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.” It is always His agreement with us to obey and be blessed, or disobey and not be blessed. When Adam and Eve did not follow Hashem’s commands in the garden, they were not blessed and had to leave the presence of Elohim. I don’t think we really realize that when we sin there is a consequence. Yes we repent and make things right, but there will still be a form of “punishment” or withdrawal of blessing that will occur. If you are reading this then you already have experienced it. Is that right?


Challenge:


The challenge today is to examine your life. Clean up your “garden” and ask Hashem to tend to it now. You could pray something like this, “Hashem I love you so much. I am very sorry for disobeying your commandment of ___________. Please forgive me. I will try to make things right, but I need your help. Will you please assist me in living the pure and holy life? Will you please teach me your ways? Will you please put mentors and G-dly people in my life to associate with? Thank you Hashem. Amen.” Do this today. You want His rain in your garden, not water from the well that man dug.


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 11:10–21


11:10 For the land, where you go in to possess isn’t like the land of Egypt that you came out of, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot, as a garden of herbs; 11 but the land that you go over to possess is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water from the rain of the sky, 12 a land which Hashem your Elohiim cares for. Hashem your Elohiim’s eyes are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year. 13 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you today, to love Hashem your Elohim, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 that I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15 I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. 16 Be careful, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn away to serve other gods and worship them; 17 and Hashem’s anger be kindled against you, and He shut up the sky so that there is no rain, and the land doesn’t yield its fruit; and you perish quickly from off the good land which Hashem gives you. 18 Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates; 21 that your days and your children’s days may be multiplied in the land which Hashem swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth.


Friday, July 28, 2023

Va'etchanan - Reading #6

Va'etchanan וָאֶתְחַנַּן - Pleaded

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 6:4–25


My Thoughts:


Today we read the “Shema” (hear). A prayer that is recited several times a day in Judaism and those of us who have attached to Israel. It is said that Jewish people would want this particular prayer on their lips when they die. It is the heart of Torah. We are to love and obey Hashem with everything we have and place His Torah on our heart. We are to teach it to our children so it continues on through the generations. We are to know that He is One, that there are no other gods. If we believe this, we will have life for eternity. If you haven’t already memorized this prayer both in English and Hebrew then I encourage you to do so today. Put it on a notecard by your bed and on your refrigerator and go over it repeatedly until you have it memorized. Continue to pray it daily. It will remind you who Hashem is and why you serve Him. Amen.


Challenge:


Are you looking for how to be holy and righteous before Hashem? We have the answer in verse 25, “It shall be righteousness to us, if we observe to do all these commandments before Hashem your Elohim, as He has commanded us.” Holiness is obeying His Commandments. To not do so is sin and unholiness. How can you say you are not sinning, unless you know what sin is? That is why we must “learn” and study Torah. Yes, many of the Commandments do not apply today because we do not have a Temple and we are not priests. But, many of them do apply and direct our lives. That is why we go through the portions every day. To learn what is sin and what is not sin. Your challenge today is to read and study the Torah portions every day. Learn Torah and do it -- so that you may have life!


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 6:4–25


6:4 Hear, Israel: Hashem is our Elohim. Hashem is one. 5 You shall love Hashem your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 These words, which I command you today, shall be on your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates.


10 It shall be, when Hashem your Elohim brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, great and goodly cities which you didn’t build, 11 and houses full of all good things which you didn’t fill, and cisterns dug out which you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive trees which you didn’t plant, and you shall eat and be full; 12 then beware lest you forget Hashem, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 13 You shall fear Hashem your Elohim; and you shall serve Him, and shall swear by His name. 14 You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are around you, 15 for Hashem your Elohim among you is a jealous Elohim, lest the anger of Hashem your Elohim be kindled against you, and He destroy you from off the face of the earth. 16 You shall not tempt Hashem your Elohim, as you tempted Him in Massah. 17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of Hashem your Elohim, and His testimonies, and His statutes, which He has commanded you. 18 You shall do that which is right and good in Hashem’s sight, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which Hashem swore to your fathers, 19 to thrust out all your enemies from before you, as Hashem has spoken.


20 When your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What do the testimonies, the statutes, and the ordinances, which Hashem your Elohim has commanded you mean?” 21 then you shall tell your son, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. Hashem brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; 22 and Hashem showed great and awesome signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his house, before our eyes; 23 and He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land which he swore to our fathers. 24 Hashem commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Hashem your Elohim, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as we are today. 25 It shall be righteousness to us, if we observe to do all these commandments before Hashem your Elohim, as He has commanded us.”


Friday, July 21, 2023

Devarim - Reading #6

Devarim דְּבָרִים - Words
Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22

Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 2:31–3:14


My Thoughts:


Here is where people have struggles with Torah history. Why the battles? Why the killing of children and women? The only answer is this. Hashem told them to do so. There are things we can not understand in our earthly minds. And that is when we have to trust Hashem. We know that the people that were conquered were most likely approached first with some “bargaining” points. They most likely offered to travel through peacefully and pay for water and food. If they refused, then Hashem delivered them into the Israelites hands. War is hard to understand and makes us very sad. That is why we must strive toward unity with our enemies. We must treat others better than ourselves. We must be kind and generous. And we must be forgiving. This will all be groundwork for peace.


Challenge:


In verse 36 we read, “Hashem our Elohim delivered up all before us.” He went ahead of the Israelites and prepared the way. Even if we do not understand all of this -- there is one central truth here. That if He asks you to do something, He will prepare the way for you to go. Here’s my challenge today. If you feel that Hashem is taking in you in a specific direction but you are hesitant, don’t be. Believe in your heart He will not only direct your path, but will prepare the way ahead of time. He will then walk with you through it. Someone once told me this -- “He doesn’t call you unless He equips you”. I believe it, don’t you?


Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 2:31–3:14


2:31 Hashem said to me, “Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before you. Begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.” 32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33 Hashem our Elohim delivered him up before us; and we struck him, his sons, and all his people. 34 We took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. We left no one remaining. 35 Only the livestock we took for plunder for ourselves, with the plunder of the cities which we had taken. 36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. Hashem our Elohim delivered up all before us. 37 Only to the land of the children of Ammon you didn’t come near: all the banks of the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever Hashem our Elohim forbade us.


3:1 Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan. Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 2 Hashem said to me, “Don’t fear him; for I have delivered him, with all his people and his land, into your hand. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.”


3 So Hashem our Elohim also delivered into our hand Og, the king of Bashan, and all his people. We struck him until no one was left to him remaining. 4 We took all his cities at that time. There was not a city which we didn’t take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, in addition to a great many villages without walls. 6 We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. 7 But all the livestock, and the plunder of the cities, we took for plunder for ourselves. 8 We took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon. 9 (The Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir.) 10 We took all the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, to Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 (For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron. Isn’t it in Rabbah of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its width, after the cubit of a man.) 12 This land we took in possession at that time: from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead with its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites; 13 and the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh—all the region of Argob, even all Bashan. (The same is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob, to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called them, even Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth Jair, to this day.)


Friday, July 14, 2023

Matot-Massei - Reading #6

Matot-Massei

Torah Reading: Numbers 30:2-36:13


Reading #6 - Numbers 34:16-35:8


My Thoughts:


Today we read about how Hashem organized dividing the Land for the Israelites. This is all in preparation for when they get there and acquire the Land. He chooses princes out of every tribe and Joshua and Eleazar. They are all qualified leaders whom He must trust. The lesson to learn here is first of all that Hashem makes plans, prepares and executes the plans. That is a model for us. There is Scripture that without plans or vision people fail (Proverbs 29:18). Follow Hashem’s practice of planning. It will improve your life greatly.


Challenge:


Today I challenge you to go to Hashem and ask Him for His vision/plan for your life. Are you right where He wants you? Or has He been “nudging” you to do something else. Pray and ask Him. He will answer. Just put your spiritual “antennas” up and listen. See what comes into your life, or what people are saying to you. Look for what makes your heart “jump” and what gives you peace. Do a little soul searching and see if you are in the place He wants you and serving His purpose. Amen.


Reading #6 - Numbers 34:16-35:8


16 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 You shall take one prince of every tribe, to divide the land for inheritance. 19 These are the names of the men: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 20 Of the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. 21 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon. 22 Of the tribe of the children of Dan a prince, Bukki the son of Jogli. 23 Of the children of Joseph: of the tribe of the children of Manasseh a prince, Hanniel the son of Ephod. 24 Of the tribe of the children of Ephraim a prince, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. 25 Of the tribe of the children of Zebulun a prince, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. 26 Of the tribe of the children of Issachar a prince, Paltiel the son of Azzan. 27 Of the tribe of the children of Asher a prince, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. 28 Of the tribe of the children of Naphtali a prince, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.” 29 These are they whom Hashem commanded to divide the inheritance to the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.


35 Hashem spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel to give to the Levites cities to dwell in out of their inheritance. You shall give pasture lands for the cities around them to the Levites. 3 They shall have the cities to dwell in. Their pasture lands shall be for their livestock, and for their possessions, and for all their animals.


4 “The pasture lands of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall be from the wall of the city and outward one thousand cubits around it. 5 You shall measure outside of the city for the east side two thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle. This shall be the pasture lands of their cities.


6 “The cities which you shall give to the Levites, they shall be the six cities of refuge, which you shall give for the man slayer to flee to. Besides them you shall give forty-two cities. 7 All the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty-eight cities together with their pasture lands. 8 Concerning the cities which you shall give of the possession of the children of Israel, from the many you shall take many, and from the few you shall take few. Everyone according to his inheritance which he inherits shall give some of his cities to the Levites.”


Friday, July 7, 2023

Pinchas - Reading #6

Pinchas פִּינְחָס - Phinehas

Numbers 25:10-30:1


Reading #6 - Numbers 28:16–29:11


My Thoughts:


Today we read a review about the Feasts. In each one you are to have a “holy convocation”. A special gathering of Hashem’s people. At this gathering there are sacrifices made and a remembrance of why Hashem picked this particular Feast at this particular time. In Pesach (Passover) we remember the miracle of the splitting of the Sea. In Unleavened Bread we remember how the Israelites did not have time to bake bread, but were on the run. In First Fruits we remember all we have is from Hashem. On the Day of Trumpets we are reminded of our sins, do ten days of repentance and pray for the return of the Mashiach. On Yom Kippur we are given a second chance -- our sins are forgiven -- nationally and personally. These Feasts help us to remember Hashem’s deliverance and redemption. So that we may never forget!


Challenge:


My challenge for you today is to mark your calendar for the rest of the year for the Feast Days. This is so we can take the days off from work and plan the convocations. I have learned so much from friends when studying on the Feast Days. And it helps so much to have community when remembering the goodness and faithfulness of Hashem. Plan ahead this year. Get prepared. And honor Adonai. Amen.


Reading #6 - Numbers 28:16–29:11


28:16 “‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, is Hashem’s Passover. 17 On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast. Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days. 18 In the first day shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work, 19 but you shall offer an offering made by fire, a burnt offering to Hashem: two young bulls, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old. They shall be without defect, 20 with their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil. You shall offer three tenths for a bull, and two tenths for the ram. 21 You shall offer one tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs; 22 and one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you. 23 You shall offer these in addition to the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering. 24 In this way you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of the offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Hashem. It shall be offered in addition to the continual burnt offering and its drink offering. 25 On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.


26 “‘Also in the day of the first fruits, when you offer a new meal offering to Hashem in your feast of weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work; 27 but you shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant aroma to Hashem: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; 28 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for each bull, two tenths for the one ram, 29 one tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs; 30 and one male goat, to make atonement for you. 31 Besides the continual burnt offering and its meal offering, you shall offer them and their drink offerings. See that they are without defect.


29 “‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no regular work. It is a day of blowing of trumpets to you. 2 You shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant aroma to Hashem: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without defect; 3 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three tenths for the bull, two tenths for the ram, 4 and one tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs; 5 and one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you; 6 in addition to the burnt offering of the new moon with its meal offering, and the continual burnt offering with its meal offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Hashem.


7 “‘On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls. You shall do no kind of work; 8 but you shall offer a burnt offering to Hashem for a pleasant aroma: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old, all without defect; 9 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three tenths for the bull, two tenths for the one ram, 10 one tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs; 11 one male goat for a sin offering, in addition to the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and its meal offering, and their drink offerings.


Friday, June 30, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #6

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק
Torah: Numbers 19:1 - 25:9

Reading #6 - Numbers 22:39-23:26

My Thoughts:

This is quite the story and somewhat hard to understand. Except it seems like Balaam does really want to follow Hashem, and not curse the Israelites. It is curious in verse 4 that “Balaam met Elohim”. It almost sounds casual. Like anyone at that time, could “meet with” Hashem. And then Hashem speaks to Balaam. And says He will put “His words” in his mouth. Maybe in a time of less distraction it was easier to “meet” with Hashem. Maybe our world is so busy, so full of other things that if we just got in a peaceful, quiet place -- we too, could “meet” with Hashem. And hear what He has to say. Let’s try it.

Challenge:


Let’s talk briefly about blessing people. In this reading Balaam is blessing people through words. But, there are obvious other ways to bless people. That is my challenge to you today. Think about and pray about, how Hashem wants you to bless others. It could be through listening to someone and their concerns. Or maybe someone needs some authentic financial help. Maybe someone needs prayer and/or an encouraging word. Look around you and see how you can bless someone today. Let’s help make the world a better place today.


Reading #6 - Numbers 22:39-23:26


39 Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. 41 In the morning, Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there part of the people.


23 Balaam said to Balak, “Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me.”


2 Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. 3 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps Hashem will come to meet me. Whatever He shows me I will tell you.”


He went to a bare height. 4 Elohim met Balaam, and he said to Him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.”


5 Hashem put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”


6 He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab. 7 He took up his parable, and said,


“From Aram has Balak brought me,

    the king of Moab from the mountains of the East.

Come, curse Jacob for me.

    Come, defy Israel.

8 How shall I curse whom Elohim has not cursed?

    How shall I defy whom Hashem has not defied?

9 For from the top of the rocks I see him.

    From the hills I see him.

Behold, it is a people that dwells alone,

    and shall not be listed among the nations.

10 Who can count the dust of Jacob,

    or count the fourth part of Israel?

Let me die the death of the righteous!

    Let my last end be like his!”


11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether.”


12 He answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak that which Hashem puts in my mouth?”


13 Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, where you may see them. You shall see just part of them, and shall not see them all. Curse them from there for me.”


14 He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. 15 He said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet Hashem over there.”


16 Hashem met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and say this.”


17 He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, “What has Hashem spoken?”


18 He took up his parable, and said,


“Rise up, Balak, and hear!

    Listen to me, you son of Zippor.

19 Elohim is not a man, that He should lie,

    nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and He won’t do it?

    Or has He spoken, and He won’t make it good?

20 Behold, I have received a command to bless.

    He has blessed, and I can’t reverse it.

21 He has not seen iniquity in Jacob.

    Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel.

Hashem his Elohim is with him.

    The shout of a king is among them.

22 Elohim brings them out of Egypt.

    He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.

23 Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob;

    Neither is there any divination with Israel.

Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,

    ‘What has Elohim done!’

24 Behold, a people rises up as a lioness.

    As a lion he lifts himself up.

He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey,

    and drinks the blood of the slain.”


25 Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.”


26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘All that Hashem speaks, that I must do?’”


Friday, June 23, 2023

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.