Thursday, January 4, 2024

Shemot - Reading #5

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #5 - Exodus 3:16–4:17

My Thoughts:

Hashem is determined to use Moses. Even though he is scared and objects. What is so interesting is that Hashem works through his doubts with him. He promises that He will do miracles, signs and wonders. That He will make Moses rod do special things to convince people. And Hashem promises to put words into his mouth to speak. Moses is still afraid. Hashem gets a little upset with him, but then agrees to using his brother Aaron as a mouthpiece. It’s like Hashem is telling Moses, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.” 

Isn’t that what Hashem does with us? He tells us to do something, we give a thousand excuses, and He stays with us through it all. That is the coolest thing. So, don’t be afraid to carry out Hashem’s task. He is there and He will help you!


I have a brave challenge for you today. Look around you and see if Hashem is showing you something that someone needs. Take that need, pray about it and ask Hashem to do a miracle. Don’t do anything (unless Hashem tells you to) -- just pray about it. And see what He does. Be sure to pray HIS WILL in the situation. You may be super surprised at His answer to your prayer! I just thought of someone and prayed a special prayer for Hashem to help this person (actually a couple). I will wait, continue praying and see what happens.

Reading #5 - Exodus 3:16–4:17

16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt. 17 I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 They will listen to your voice. You shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Hashem, our Elohim.’ 19 I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20 I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go. 21 I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing. You shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”

4 Moses answered, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say, ‘Hashem has not appeared to you.’”

2 Hashem said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

He said, “A rod.”

3 He said, “Throw it on the ground.”

He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses ran away from it.

4 Hashem said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail.”

He stretched out his hand, and took hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand.

5 “This is so that they may believe that Hashem, the Elohiim of their fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has appeared to you.” 6 Hashem said furthermore to him, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.”

He put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.

7 He said, “Put your hand inside your cloak again.”

He put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, behold, it had turned again as his other flesh.

8 “It will happen, if they will not believe you or listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 It will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the dry land.”

10 Moses said to Hashem, “O Hashem, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

11 Hashem said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes one mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Isn’t it I, Hashem? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak.”

13 Moses said, “Oh, Lord, please send someone else.”

14 Hashem’s anger burned against Moses, and he said, “What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Also, behold, he is coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. 16 He will be your spokesman to the people. It will happen that he will be to you a mouth, and you will be to him as God. 17 You shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Shemot - Reading #4

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #4 - Exodus 3:1–15

My Thoughts:

How amazing Hashem speaks to Moses and gives him a direct order. He basically orders him to go back to Egypt and lead His people out to the promised Land. Hashem has heard the cries of His people and now is ready to do something. Moses just must be jarred. He is comfortably living in the mountains with his new family and now he has been called to this huge task. After he is called, he asks Hashem two things. Who is he to be called and what is the name of G-d that is calling him. Hashem tells him His eternal Name - “I AM”,  Hashem assures Him that the reason Moses can carry out this great task is because HE WILL BE WITH HIM. And another promise that he will be able to worship Hashem on this very same mountain. 


Has Hashem asked you to do something that you didn’t think you’d be able to do? He would not call you to do something big, unless He was going to be with you. Think about what He asked you to do in the past few days or weeks. Did you do it? Did you carry out the task? Did you believe He was with you and helped you? If you are hesitant or afraid to move forward, remember this story of how Hashem called Moses and His promises. Do what He says, and you will be amazed at the outcome.

Reading #4 - Exodus 3:1–15

1:3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to Elohim’s mountain, to Horeb. 2 Hashem’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 Moses said, “I will go now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

4 When Hashem saw that he came over to see, Elohim called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”

He said, “Here I am.”

5 He said, “Don’t come close. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the Elohim of your father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob.”

Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at Elohim.

7 Hashem said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 Moses said to Elohim, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve Elohim on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to Elohim, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?”

14 Elohim said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and He said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Elohim said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Hashem, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Shemot - Reading #3

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #3 - Exodus 2:11–25

My Thoughts:

Hashem hears our cries. This Scripture today proves it. In verse 24 it says, “Elohim heard their groaning, and Elohim remembered His covenant…”. Sometimes I know we feel like giving up because we don’t think Hashem is going to help us when we are in trouble or fighting a battle. But He does! It is just all in His timing not ours. We must remember this powerful story of His people. They were oppressed and were down trodden, they cried out to Hashem and He heard them. And most importantly, He did something about it! He raised up a deliverer in Moses -- and took them out of their hardship to the Land of milk and honey. Of course, that is another story...


Are you or someone you know going through a really tough time? Cry out to Hashem (pray and seek His face) and ask Him to help you/them. Write your prayer down on paper, and then when He answers you in His very special way -- write down how He blessed you! Maybe keep a prayer journal with other requests and answers. It will become a lifelong blessing and testimony of Elohim and His love for you!

Reading #3 - Exodus 2:11–25

2:11 In those days, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his brothers and saw their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. 12 He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no one, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

13 He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow?”

14 He said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?”

Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely this thing is known.” 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and lived in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 When they came to Reuel, their father, he said, “How is it that you have returned so early today?”

19 They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock.”

20 He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”

21 Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 In the course of those many days, the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to Elohim because of the bondage. 24 Elohim heard their groaning, and Elohim remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 Elohim saw the children of Israel, and Elohim was concerned about them.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Shemot - Reading #2

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names
Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #2 - Exodus 1:18–2:10

My Thoughts:

The plans of Hashem always carry through. In today’s reading we see two miracles. First of all that the midwives are rescuing babies from murder, and secondly that the Pharaoh's daughter finds Moses in the river and rescues him! And actually a third miracle -- baby Moses is given back to his birth mother to be nursed and cared for! Hashem had a wonderful plan to raise up a deliverer for His people and the enemy obviously was not liking this. However, Hashem’s plan prevailed. Moses is saved and placed back into the loving arms of his mother. There is nothing that can stop the plans of Hashem! Amen!


If you saw something that was going on that was wrong, would you intervene to stop it? Would you lie to save a life? Would you be daring to carry out a dangerous plan (like placing baby Moses into the river)? Would you trust in Hashem that if you did any of this that He would bless and protect you? My challenge to you today is to be on the lookout for what Hashem is challenging you to do. It is going to take you out of your “comfort zone” but you must pray that He will give strength to you. Be brave and bold. Hashem will go with you wherever you go!

Reading #2 - Exodus 1:18–2:10

1:18 The king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, “Why have you done this thing and saved the boys alive?”

19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women aren’t like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

20 Elohim dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very mighty. 21 Because the midwives feared Elohim, He gave them families. 22 Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”

2 A man of the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi as his wife. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. 3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. 4 His sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him. 5 Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her servant to get it. 6 She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”

8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.”

The young woman went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.”

The woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Shemot - Reading #1

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Reading #1 - Exodus 1:1–17

My Thoughts:

The story of the midwives is one of my favorite stories in the Bible! They decide to “not tell the truth” and save babies from being murdered -- it is a beautiful story of dedication. In verse 17 we read, “But the midwives feared Elohim, and didn’t do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.” They feared and respected Hashem so much that they didn’t do what the King asked of them! This is the most pro-life story in all of Scripture. Maybe there are times in our lives when it is wiser to fear Hashem, and do what we have to do even if it is disobeying someone in authority. As we will read tomorrow their households were blessed for actually being disobedient to the King’s orders. We can assume from this teaching that Hashem would do the same for us in a similar situation.


Think of a situation in your life where you righteously defended someone and so you could not tell the truth or had to disobey your authority. Or maybe you have a situation right now in your life where Hashem is calling you to do something brave. Pray and ask Him for strength to defend what is right. Unfortunately, there may be a time where you do not dispel the truth or you disobey some authority and it might land you in jail or you may lose a job, or get fined. This is where you must be sure you have heard from G-d how to handle a difficult situation. Be in prayer and use a listening ear. You may have a “cost” for defending what is right, but in the end you will have done what is good and you will be blessed for doing so.

Reading #1 -  Exodus 1:1–17

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob): 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 All the souls who came out of Jacob’s body were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who didn’t know Joseph. 9 He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. 10 Come, let’s deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies and fight against us, and escape out of the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. They started to dread the children of Israel. 13 The Egyptians ruthlessly made the children of Israel serve, 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and in brick, and in all kinds of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.

15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah, 16 and he said, “When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared Elohim, and didn’t do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.

Shemot - Week #1

Shemot, שְׁמוֹת - Names


Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

Matthew 2:1-12

1.1 First reading — Exodus 1:1–17

1.2 Second reading — Exodus 1:18–2:10

1.3 Third reading — Exodus 2:11–25

1.4 Fourth reading — Exodus 3:1–15

1.5 Fifth reading — Exodus 3:16–4:17

1.6 Sixth reading — Exodus 4:18–31

1.7 Seventh reading — Exodus 5:1–6:1

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #7

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived - Reading #7

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Haftarah: 1 Kings 2:1-12

Apostolic Scripture: John 13:1-19

My Thoughts:

In verse 21 Joseph comforts his sons and says he will provide for them. That is how parents have done it for generations. Part of your financial planning should be for your children and grandchildren. Some of us, even at retirement age, live paycheck to paycheck. So, what can we do? One thing would be to pay off your mortgage and place your children in your will to inherit your home. If you are young, work hard to buy a home and pay it off in time for your children. Do whatever you can do. If you are young, set up a trust for your children’s education. My kids inherited a trust from their grandfather, and it was a super blessing. To them and to us as their parents.


Make a financial plan to take care of existing/future kids and grandchildren. Do it today or put it on your planner. Do not delay. Set it up as soon as you are able, and it will put your mind at peace. Look at it as a lifelong gift.

Reading #7 - Genesis 50:21–26

50:21 Now therefore don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones.” He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.

22 Joseph lived in Egypt, he, and his father’s house. Joseph lived one hundred ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children also of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph’s knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying, but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “Elohim will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26 So Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.


My Thoughts:

Not only is financial planning for our children important, but more importantly is teaching them Hashem’s Torah and His ways. We read that Hashem told David if he did this -- then he and his children would prosper in ALL that he/they did. Isn’t that what we really want for our children, spiritual prosperity? My daily prayer is that my children and grandchildren will serve Hashem. The only way that will happen is through prayer and teaching Torah to them. Be intentional in this. So, that they may prosper.


Make a plan how you will teach your children/grandchildren Torah. Do daily readings, such as this one and the internet is rich with Torah videos -- adult and kid. Make your plan and carry it out. Start a routine with readings and study. They say it takes three weeks to make a habit. Do it. It’s super important. It will make the difference between a good life and a not so good life.

Haftarah: 1 Kings 2:1-12

2 Now the days of David came near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2 “I am going the way of all the earth. You be strong therefore, and show yourself a man; 3 and keep the instruction of Hashem your Elohim, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself. 4 Then Hashem may establish His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your children are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you,’ he said, ‘a man on the throne of Israel.’

5 “Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, even what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his sash that was around his waist, and in his sandals that were on his feet. 6 Do therefore according to your wisdom, and don’t let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother.

8 “Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by Hashem, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 Now therefore don’t hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood.”

10 David slept with his fathers, and was buried in David’s city. 11 The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon sat on David his father’s throne; and his kingdom was firmly established.

Apostolic Scripture

My Thoughts:

Yeshua knows He is about to leave His friends and die. As in all of our Scripture readings today He begins to prepare those around Him for His departure. In this very unique way, He chooses to “wash the feet” of His disciples. He performs an act of service. A humble act. He is teaching them that no matter who you are, or what your position is, you are not greater than others. In fact, it is an honor to be the “least”. He teaches that it is better to serve than to be served. An important lesson and one that we should be teaching our children and grandchildren. 


How can you “serve” your children, grandchildren today? And how can you teach them to do the same? This should be a daily part of your life, but it should also be a daily teaching to them. Be sure in all you do that your message to them is that we are to serve, and not to be served. Teach them humility and service to Hashem and others. It will make them really good “G-dly” people.

Apostolic Scripture: John 13:1-19

13 Now before the feast of the Passover, Yeshua, knowing that His time had come that He would depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Yeshua, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He came from Elohim, and was going to Elohim, 4 arose from supper, and laid aside His outer garments. He took a towel and wrapped a towel around His waist. 5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “L-rd, do you wash my feet?”

7 Yeshua answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.”

8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 Simon Peter said to him, “L-rd, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

10 Yeshua said to him, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew him who would betray Him, therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” 12 So when He had washed their feet, put His outer garment back on, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘L-rd.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. 14 If I then, Hashem and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should also do as I have done to you. 16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither is one who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I don’t speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am He.