Saturday, November 25, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #7

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Haftarah: Hosea 12:13-14:10

Apostolic Scripture: John 1:41-51

SHABBAT READING #7 - Genesis 31:43–32:3

My Thoughts: 

In Chapter 32 verses 1 and 2 we read, “Jacob went on his way, and the angels of Elohim met him. When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is Elohim’s army.” How amazing is this? Angels from the throne room of Elohim come to the earth to present themselves to Jacob. They are Hashem’s army! You hear stories from various wars in Israel, past and present, where angels presented themselves and protected Hashem’s people. 

Have you ever seen an angel? I believe I have seen a few, but can’t verify it. We seemed to have met an angel when we were picking up my sons at the airport in Chicago (they were flying in from South Korea to be adopted by our family). We had gotten lost in the airport and a woman came up to us and helped us find our way. When we got in the right direction we turned around and she had disappeared. I could name a few other times too! Have you ever seen or felt like you had seen an angel?


Do you have a “Laban” relative in your life? One that kind of stressed you out? Do you respect him/her or do you disrespect them? Do you take time to listen and be patient with this relative or are you impatient and contentious with them? Take time to think how you can be like Jacob and work through your issue. Be determined to have peace in your relationship and not turmoil. Remember to respect your elders whether you think they are right or wrong. It is a commandment to love one another. Obey it. 

Reading #7 - Genesis 31:43–32:3

31:43 Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine! What can I do today to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? 44 Now come, let’s make a covenant, you and I. Let it be for a witness between me and you.”

45 Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” They took stones, and made a heap. They ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, “This heap is witness between me and you today.” Therefore it was named Galeed 49 and Mizpah, for he said, “Hashem watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another. 50 If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives in addition to my daughters, no man is with us; behold, Elohim is witness between me and you.” 51 Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap, and see the pillar, which I have set between me and you. 52 May this heap be a witness, and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 The Elohim of Abraham, and the Elohim of Nahor, the Elohim of their father, judge between us.” Then Jacob swore by the fear of his father, Isaac. 54 Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his relatives to eat bread. They ate bread, and stayed all night in the mountain. 55 Early in the morning, Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Laban departed and returned to his place.

32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of Elohim met him. 2 When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is Elohim’s army.” He called the name of that place Mahanaim.

3 Jacob sent messengers in front of him to Esau, his brother, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom.


Hosea 12:13-14:9

My Thoughts: 

We read in verse 14:1 “Israel, return to Hashem your Elohim; for you have fallen because of your sin.” This message is a common thread throughout Scripture. Many times we read that Hashem is asking us to return to Him. So why don’t we? We try sometimes. But, if He is asking us to love Him with our whole heart, soul and strength - we must devote our entire selves to Him. We are in a time where there is no room for being “lukewarm”. He wants ALL of us. Return today, to Him. And never go back.


Continuing in verse 14:2 we read, “Take words with you, and return to Hashem. Tell him, “Forgive all our sins, and accept that which is good, so we offer our lips like bulls.” In order to return to Hashem, we must repent of our sins. That means we say we are sorry with all that we have and offer up the sacrifice of prayer and praise. I challenge you to do this today. Take a moment to get quiet, repent and return. Then praise Him. It will change your life - forever.

Hosea 12:13-14:9

13 By a prophet Hashem brought Israel up out of Egypt,

    and by a prophet he was preserved.

14 Ephraim has bitterly provoked anger.

    Therefore his blood will be left on him,

    and his Lord will repay his contempt.

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling.

He exalted himself in Israel,

    but when he became guilty in Baal, he died.

2 Now they sin more and more,

    and have made themselves molten images of their silver,

    even idols according to their own understanding,

    all of them the work of the craftsmen.

    They say of them, ‘They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calves.’

3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist,

    and like the dew that passes away early,

    like the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing floor,

    and like the smoke out of the chimney.

4 “Yet I am Hashem your Elohim from the land of Egypt;

    and you shall acknowledge no god but Me,

    and besides Me there is no savior.

5 I knew you in the wilderness,

    in the land of great drought.

6 According to their pasture, so were they filled;

    they were filled, and their heart was exalted.

    Therefore they have forgotten Me.

7 Therefore I am like a lion to them.

    Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path.

8 I will meet them like a bear that is bereaved of her cubs,

    and will tear the covering of their heart.

    There I will devour them like a lioness.

    The wild animal will tear them.

9 You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against Me,

    against your help.

10 Where is your king now, that he may save you in all your cities?

    And your judges, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’?

11 I have given you a king in my anger,

    and have taken him away in my wrath.

12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up.

    His sin is stored up.

13 The sorrows of a travailing woman will come on him.

    He is an unwise son;

    for when it is time, he doesn’t come to the opening of the womb.

14 I will ransom them from the power of Sheol.

    I will redeem them from death!

    Death, where are your plagues?

    Sheol, where is your destruction?

“Compassion will be hidden from my eyes.

15     Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind will come,

    the breath of Hashem coming up from the wilderness;

    and his spring will become dry,

    and his fountain will be dried up.

    He will plunder the storehouse of treasure.

16 Samaria will bear her guilt;

    for she has rebelled against her Elohim.

    They will fall by the sword.

    Their infants will be dashed in pieces,

    and their pregnant women will be ripped open.”

14 Israel, return to Hashem your Elohim;

    for you have fallen because of your sin.

2 Take words with you, and return to Hashem.

    Tell him, “Forgive all our sins,

    and accept that which is good:

    so we offer our lips like bulls.

3 Assyria can’t save us.

    We won’t ride on horses;

    neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, ‘Our gods!’

    for in you the fatherless finds mercy.”

4 “I will heal their waywardness.

    I will love them freely;

    for my anger is turned away from him.

5 I will be like the dew to Israel.

    He will blossom like the lily,

    and send down his roots like Lebanon.

6 His branches will spread,

    and his beauty will be like the olive tree,

    and his fragrance like Lebanon.

7 Men will dwell in his shade.

    They will revive like the grain,

    and blossom like the vine.

    Their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.

8 Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols?

    I answer, and will take care of him.

    I am like a green cypress tree;

    from me your fruit is found.”

9 Who is wise, that he may understand these things?

    Who is prudent, that he may know them?

    For the ways of Hashem are right,

    and the righteous walk in them;

    But the rebellious stumble in them.


John 1:41-51

My Thoughts:

Yeshua said to Nathanael “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” How powerful is this? Yeshua “saw” him. And He sees us too! Sometimes we feel like we are invisible to Hashem, but I believe we are not. We serve an infinite, omnipresent Elohim - He can be anywhere at any time. So - He does see us! Now this should be pretty amazing. It means we are never alone and we can depend on Him. Even if we are in a bad or distressing situation - Hashem is working on it for us. He can turn the worst thing into the best. Only if we let Him.


How can there be no “deceit” in Yeshua? Maybe because He is the exact representation of Hashem. He is perfect. I am convinced that Hashem sent His emanation Yeshua, so that we could better understand Hashem! If Yeshua totally represents Hashem - then it helps us to become more familiar and acquainted with the Holy One. Maybe now we have a better understanding of how Hashem loves and cares for us? Think about this today. Yeshua always points to Hashem. He wants us to know our Elohim better. So, let’s try to do that.

John 1:41-51

1:41 He first found his own brother, Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is, being interpreted, Christ). 42 He brought him to Yeshua. Yeshua looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is by interpretation, Peter). 43 On the next day, he was determined to go out into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Yeshua of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

47 Yeshua saw Nathanael coming to him, and said about him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”

Yeshua answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of Elohim! You are King of Israel!”

50.  Yeshua answered him, “Because I told you, ‘I saw you underneath the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these!” 51 He said to him, “Most certainly, I tell you all, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Friday, November 24, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #6

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #6 - Genesis 31:17–42

My Thoughts: 

There are different thoughts as to why Rachel would “steal” some of her father’s gods (statues). I’ve heard it said that she wanted to take some of her “inheritance” or that she was still worshiping the gods, and all sorts of things. Whatever reason -- she steals them, hides them and later I believe they are destroyed. We all do wrongful actions and regret them later. But, the wisdom here is that we must turn them all over to Hashem. 

Laban chases Jacob and his family down. He confronts Jacob and they search for the “gods” but they are not found. Jacob repairs his relationship with his father-in-law and creates a covenant. All is well. If you are “running” from a problem and it catches up with you (like Laban caught up with Jacob) it would be good to make reconciliation at that point. We serve an Elohim of mercy and grace and it is obvious that He loves restoration of relationships.


Take a few minutes to think about the “foreign gods” in your life. Your immediate reaction may be -- “I don’t have any!” But what about TV and the internet? How many minutes a day do you watch TV or are you on the internet? Some homes have three to four TVs and have them turned on all day. When I walk my dog at night you see the pictures on TVs lighting up everyone’s homes. It is dominant in our daily life. We sit in front of it, we eat in front of it, we block out relationships while we watch it and we serve it. Isn’t that the same as a foreign god? Just something to think about. (And I admit I am the same and have a lot to think and pray about regarding TV and internet systems). 

Reading #6 - Genesis 31:17–42

31:17-42 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, 18 and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. 19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep; and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.

20 Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. 21 So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.

22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23 He took his relatives with him, and pursued him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24 Elohim came to Laban the Syrian in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead. 26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn’t tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp; 28 and didn’t allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly. 29 It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the Elohim of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.’ 30 Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?”

31 Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.’ 32 Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it.” For Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn’t find them. He went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt around all the tent, but didn’t find them. 35 She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I can’t rise up before you; for I’m having my period.” He searched, but didn’t find the teraphim.

36 Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.

38 “These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 Unless the Elohim of my father, the Elohim of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. Elohim has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #5

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out
Genesis 28:10-32:3
Reading #5 - Genesis 30:28–31:16

My Thoughts: 

Jacob is negotiating with his father-in-law. He is getting ready to pack up his family and leave. And then he makes a really astonishing statement to Laban, “Hashem has blessed you wherever I turned.” In other words, Jacob gives all the credit of Laban’s prosperity not to himself, but to Hashem! His faith in Hashem is so huge that he gives all acknowledgement to Him. And makes sure that Laban knows this. That all his success is really from Hashem. Jacob planned, worked and grew Laban’s assets. A lesson for us to follow. Whatever you do that becomes successful, and benefits others, should be recognized as from Hashem and not you!


Jacob makes an unusual “business deal” with Laban. It’s all about good and bad flocks of sheep. It turns out that over a period of time and sheep reproducing, Jacob is very successful. This must have been quite a surprise to Laban. My challenge to you today is to be on the lookout for a possible “business deal” that Hashem is orchestrating for you. Maybe you are already working on one. Be sure to be prayerful and to put Hashem right in the middle of your venture. Listen carefully to what He tells you to do. Even if it sounds really weird or unusual (like taking all the sheep rejects). You will be blessed. Guaranteed. 

Reading #5 - Genesis 30:28–31:16

28 He said, “Appoint me your wages, and I will give it.”

29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me. 30 For it was little which you had before I came, and it has increased to a multitude. Hashem has blessed you wherever I turned. Now when will I provide for my own house also?”

31 Laban said, “What shall I give you?”

Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it. 32 I will pass through all your flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted one, and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. This will be my hire. 33 So my righteousness will answer for me hereafter, when you come concerning my hire that is before you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that might be with me, will be considered stolen.”

34 Laban said, “Behold, let it be according to your word.”

35 That day, he removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36 He set three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Jacob took to himself rods of fresh poplar, almond, and plane tree, peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. 38 He set the rods which he had peeled opposite the flocks in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. They conceived when they came to drink. 39 The flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks produced streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the black in Laban’s flock. He put his own droves apart, and didn’t put them into Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock conceived, Jacob laid the rods in front of the eyes of the flock in the watering troughs, that they might conceive among the rods; 42 but when the flock were feeble, he didn’t put them in. So the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43 The man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

31 Jacob heard Laban’s sons’ words, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s. He has obtained all this wealth from that which was our father’s.” 2 Jacob saw the expression on Laban’s face, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. 3 Hashem said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

4 Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock, 5 and said to them, “I see the expression on your father’s face, that it is not toward me as before; but the Elohim of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all of my strength. 7 Your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times, but Elohim didn’t allow him to hurt me. 8 If he said, ‘The speckled will be your wages,’ then all the flock bore speckled. If he said, ‘The streaked will be your wages,’ then all the flock bore streaked. 9 Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock, and given them to me. 10 During mating season, I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which leaped on the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled. 11 The angel of Elohim said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 He said, ‘Now lift up your eyes, and behold, all the male goats which leap on the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled, for I have seen all that Laban does to you. 13 I am the Elohim of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you vowed a vow to Me. Now arise, get out from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’”

14 Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15 Aren’t we considered as foreigners by him? For he has sold us, and has also used up our money. 16 For all the riches which Elohim has taken away from our father are ours and our children’s. Now then, whatever Elohim has said to you, do.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #4

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #4 - Genesis 30:14–27

My Thoughts: 

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

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


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

Reading #4 - Genesis 30:14–27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #3

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #3 - Genesis 29:18–30:13

My Thoughts: 

Jacob is an interesting Bible character for sure. It was clear that he loved Rachel from the beginning, yet he ended up with three more wives. He has multiple children and some inside bickering between the women. What went wrong, or did everything go right? It’s hard to say what would have happened if Jacob would have just married Rachel. Would she be the mother of the twelve tribes of Israel or did Hashem have it in His plan to have four mothers? It’s very interesting. Again, I would suggest that when we have a desire and prayer request for Hashem, it’s better to wait. His way is definitely higher than ours!


Would you sacrifice seven years to get a prayer answered? We are so used to “instant” results in all we do. How many of us would actually sacrifice something to achieve the answer of the prayer? It seems that Jacob did not hesitate. He knew right away that he would work and give up things so that he could marry Rachel. Would you do this? My challenge today is to spend some time thinking about what you would have done if you were Jacob.

Reading #3 - Genesis 29:18–30:13

18 Jacob loved Rachel. He said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.”

19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”

20 Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.

21 Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.”

22 Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 In the evening, he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to Jacob. He went in to her. 24 Laban gave Zilpah his servant to his daughter Leah for a servant. 25 In the morning, behold, it was Leah! He said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Didn’t I serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”

26 Laban said, “It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you will serve with me for seven more years.”

28 Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week. He gave him Rachel his daughter as wife. 29 Laban gave Bilhah, his servant, to his daughter Rachel to be her servant. 30 He went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him seven more years.

31 Hashem saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Reuben. For she said, “Because Hashem has looked at my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33 She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, “Because Hashem has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also.” She named him Simeon. 34 She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. 35 She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “This time I will praise Hashem.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

30 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.”

2 Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in Elohim’s place, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”

3 She said, “Behold, my maid Bilhah. Go in to her, that she may bear on my knees, and I also may obtain children by her.” 4 She gave him Bilhah her servant as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son. 6 Rachel said, “Elohim has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel said, “I have wrestled with my sister with mighty wrestlings, and have prevailed.” She named him Naphtali.

9 When Leah saw that she had finished bearing, she took Zilpah, her servant, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a son. 11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” She named him Gad. 12 Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a second son. 13 Leah said, “Happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy.” She named him Asher.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #2

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #2 - Genesis 29:1-17

My Thoughts: 

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

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


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

Reading #2 - Genesis 29:1-17

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

They said, “We are from Haran.”

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

They said, “We know him.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #1

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #1- Genesis 28:10–22

My Thoughts: 

In verse 16, “Hashem is in this place!” It was clear to Jacob that because of his wonderful and blessed dream that Hashem must be in the place where he had it (Bethel). I wonder if his “sense” of Hashem’s presence in that place was different then in other places. It makes me think of the times in my life when I “sensed” the presence of Elohim. Where it felt so intensely peaceful and wonderful and where I could hear His voice so clearly. 

Such a place for me has been the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The “prayer wall”. Every time I have visited that wall -- the presence of Hashem was strong. In prayers there I felt like He would show me special things. I kept a journal once and wrote it all down. Has there ever been a place or space or time that you felt the presence of Hashem? What was it like? I would love to hear your replies!


Take some time out today to sit and listen to Hashem. Pray and ask Him to show Himself to you in a special way. Hear what He has to tell you. Write it down. Believe Him.

Reading #1 - Genesis 28:10–22

29:10 Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. He took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 He dreamed and saw a stairway set upon the earth, and its top reached to heaven. Behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 Behold, Hashem stood above it, and said, “I am Hashem, the Elohim of Abraham your father, and the Elohim of Isaac. I will give the land you lie on to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your offspring, all the families of the earth will be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you until I have done that which I have spoken of to you.”

16 Jacob awakened out of his sleep, and he said, “Surely Hashem is in this place, and I didn’t know it.” 17 He was afraid, and said, “How awesome this place is! This is none other than Elohim’s house, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Jacob vowed a vow, saying, “If Elohim will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, and Hashem will be my Elohim, 22 then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be Elohim’s house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give a tenth to you.”