Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Mishpatim - Reading #3

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18

Reading #3 -  Exodus 22:4–26

My Thoughts:

We are learning more about the fairness of Hashem. What I particularly like and appreciate is if we borrow things or we are using things from someone else and they become broken or damaged, we make restitution. Many people who do this will simply say they are sorry, but they don’t replace or repair the item. It is so very fair to provide restitution. It makes things right and just. If your conscience is jarred about something you did similar to this, then I encourage you to make restitution today! This is a part of making the world better, because you are making your relationships better!


Verse 21 tells about how to treat strangers. Remember we were once strangers. Which is true for all of us. Whether we were strangers in a new neighborhood, or job, or relationship. We had to adjust to new surroundings and new people. So, we are to look out for the stranger that comes into our lives. It reminds me of when I go to a community event. If I have been there before and I notice a new person, I try to go out of my way to make them comfortable. You should do the same. It is a Commandment. And you will be blessed -- especially the next time you are the new person in a group!

Reading #3 -  Exodus 22:4–26

22:4 If the stolen property is found in his hand alive, whether it is ox, donkey, or sheep, he shall pay double.

5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be eaten by letting his animal loose, and it grazes in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field, and from the best of his own vineyard.

6 “If fire breaks out, and catches in thorns so that the shocks of grain, or the standing grain, or the field are consumed; he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

7 “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief isn’t found, then the master of the house shall come near to Elohim, to find out whether or not he has put his hand on his neighbor’s goods. 9 For every matter of trespass, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any kind of lost thing, about which one says, ‘This is mine,’ the cause of both parties shall come before Elohim. He whom Elohim condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.

10 “If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies or is injured, or driven away, no man seeing it; 11 the oath of Hashem shall be between them both, he has not put his hand on his neighbor’s goods; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if it is stolen from him, the one who stole shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn in pieces, let him bring it for evidence. He shall not make good that which was torn.

14 “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor’s, and it is injured, or dies, its owner not being with it, he shall surely make restitution. 15 If its owner is with it, he shall not make it good. If it is a leased thing, it came for its lease.

16 “If a man entices a virgin who isn’t pledged to be married, and lies with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

18 “You shall not allow a sorceress to live.

19 “Whoever has sex with an animal shall surely be put to death.

20 “He who sacrifices to any god, except to Hashem only, shall be utterly destroyed.

21 “You shall not wrong an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

22 “You shall not take advantage of any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you take advantage of them at all, and they cry at all to me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor. You shall not charge him interest. 26 If you take your neighbor’s garment as collateral, you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down,

Monday, February 5, 2024

Mishpatim - Reading #2

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18

Reading #2 - Exodus 21:20–22:3

My Thoughts:

Today’s reading we learn about justice. If someone does some ill will to you, then there must be compensation. The punishment should match the crime. And apparently if you can’t find a way to initiate equal justice then here is your remedy. A life for a life. In our time, it’s called capital punishment. And we live under the law in our land. But, if we were to be a new nation like the Israelites, then here are your instructions -- and here is your Law. For every crime there is a punishment, like it or not. It is clearly spelled out.


How do you feel about equal justice? Do you think everyone who does something intentionally wrong should be punished? Is it a fault among our family and friends that we are not punished for wrongdoings? For instance, if your young child hits you, do you say, “Oh, don’t hit daddy. That’s not nice.” Or do you spank him for hitting you? This section of Scripture really makes you think about equity in punishment. It is obvious the end goal is to learn to be a better person. To learn how to treat others. Make changes where necessary, but do it with equity.

Reading #2 - Exodus 21:20–22:3

21:20 “If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod, and he dies under his hand, the man shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if his servant gets up after a day or two, he shall not be punished, for the servant is his property.

22 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If the thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him. 3 If the sun has risen on him, he is guilty of bloodshed. He shall make restitution. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Mishpatim - Reading #1

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18

Reading #1 -  Exodus 21:1–19

My Thoughts:

Israel is becoming a nation. They have escaped slavery and are being led into the Land of milk and honey. There they will have to have a “constitution” -- the Law -- to keep things in order. And now we see how the Ten Commandments will be applied, in more detail. I find it interesting that Hashem would begin with the treatment of slaves and others. But, that makes sense doesn’t it? That Hashem wants to love Him and to love others. So, now we are learning what will happen if we mistreat others. We serve an Elohim of order.


In verse 17 we read that we are not to “curse” our mother and father. This must be a serious curse, because the punishment is death. Could it be that Hashem wants us to treat our parents as we treat Him? He created us and our parents created us. If we are not going to honor our parents, then it is obvious we are not honoring Him. It is a lesson in life. To respect our parents, because they came from the Father. If you are not doing so, in many ways, then start doing so today. It may affect your (spiritual) life.

Reading #1 -  Exodus 21:1–19

21 “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them:

2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free without paying anything. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he is married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant shall plainly say, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go out free;’ 6 then his master shall bring him to Elohim, and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.

7 “If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go out as the male servants do. 8 If she doesn’t please her master, who has married her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. 9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her as a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marital rights. 11 If he doesn’t do these three things for her, she may go free without paying any money.

12 “One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death, 13 but not if it is unintentional, but Elohim allows it to happen; then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee. 14 If a man schemes and comes presumptuously on his neighbor to kill him, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.

15 “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.

16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

17 “Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

18 “If men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone, or with his fist, and he doesn’t die, but is confined to bed; 19 if he rises again and walks around with his staff, then he who struck him shall be cleared; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall provide for his healing until he is thoroughly healed.

Mishpatim - Week #6

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18

Isaiah 66:1-24

Matthew 26:20-30

1.1 First reading — Exodus 21:1–19

1.2 Second reading — Exodus 21:20–22:3

1.3 Third reading — Exodus 22:4–26

1.4 Fourth reading — Exodus 22:27–23:5

1.5 Fifth reading — Exodus 23:6–19

1.6 Sixth reading — Exodus 23:20–25

1.7 Seventh reading — Exodus 23:26–24:18

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Yitro - Reading #7

Yitro יִתְרוֹ - Jethro

Exodus: 18:1-20:22

Haftarah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6

Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 19:16-26

Reading #7 - Exodus 20:15–23

My Thoughts:

It seems like very day and every week as I study a particular Torah portion, that it applies to my life and what is happening now! For instance, the Commandment not to covet your neighbor’s house. We are in the process of looking to purchase a house and sell ours. We are  moving to the same city, just need to downsize. So, we take walks and drives and look at houses. Even houses that are not for sale we look at and make comments. I had to be careful this week, because I was starting to “covet” some houses! Really! But, because I have been studying and trying to follow the Commandments and I repented quickly and told Hashem that whatever house He gives us we will be super satisfied! 

Sometimes following the Commandments is a daily task! Especially what we are thinking in our minds! I don’t know about you, but it seems like the more I study and get to know Hashem’s desires for us, the quicker I get convicted of sinning. And I am learning to repent quickly and trying to change. Taking one day at a time!


During my “coveting” experience this week, I also had a strong thought about those who are in need. Here I am, thinking about buying a new house, when many people around the world --don’t even have houses! We must remember to help those who are not as fortunate as we are. We must remember to pray for hunger, abuse, and poverty to stop. And we must remember to pray for the Mashiach to return -- so that the earth can return to its original plan. Just like the Garden.

Reading #7 - Exodus 20:15–23

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

18 All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance. 19 They said to Moses, “Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don’t let Elohim speak with us, lest we die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for Elohim has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, that you won’t sin.” 21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses came near to the thick darkness where Elohim was.

22 Hashem said to Moses, “This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall most certainly not make gods of silver or gods of gold for yourselves to be alongside me.

Haftarah Reading:

My Thoughts:

Hashem of armies! We sometimes forget the ultimate power of our Elohim! Not only is He sovereign over all the world, but He LEADS the spiritual armies in the heavens. I do believe He “wars” on our behalf on a daily basis. He must be encouraged by our prayers and our needs. He wants to join us in our battles. But, only if we let Him. It’s time to let Hashem be in control of your needs, your struggles. It’s time to let go. Amen.


Can you imagine a whole world full of the glory of Hashem (verse 3)? Are you prepared for this? Am I prepared? That is why Hashem gave us His Law. It gets us ready. In a world full of sin and temptation, He has outlined for us a clear path to holiness. And He tells us it is not too difficult. 

Today is a good day (Shabbat) for self-reflection. Take a hard look at your life and praise Hashem for the things you are doing right and ask His help to correct the things you are doing wrong. Each day is a new day. Keep trying to overcome sin in your life. If you fall, get right back up! And hold unto Him, the author and finisher of your faith!

Haftarah Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6

6 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw Hashem sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew. 3 One called to another, and said,

“Holy, holy, holy, is Hashem of Armies!

    The whole earth is full of His glory!”

4 The foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Hashem of Armies!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin forgiven.”

8 I heard Hashem’s voice, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

9 He said, “Go, and tell this people,

‘You hear indeed,

    but don’t understand.

You see indeed,

    but don’t perceive.’

10 Make the heart of this people fat.

    Make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;

lest they see with their eyes,

    hear with their ears,

    understand with their heart,

    and turn again, and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Hashem, how long?”

He answered,

“Until cities are waste without inhabitant,

    houses without man,

    the land becomes utterly waste,

12     and Hashem has removed men far away,

    and the forsaken places are many within the land.

13 If there is a tenth left in it,

    that also will in turn be consumed,

as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stump remains when they are cut down;

    so the holy seed is its stock.”

7 In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 David’s house was told, “Syria is allied with Ephraim.” His heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind.

3 Then Hashem said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you, and Shearjashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller’s field. 4 Tell him, ‘Be careful, and keep calm. Don’t be afraid, neither let your heart be faint because of these two tails of smoking torches, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have plotted evil against you, saying, 6 “Let’s go up against Judah, and tear it apart, and let’s divide it among ourselves, and set up a king within it, even the son of Tabeel.”

9:5 For all the armor of the armed man in the noisy battle, and the garments rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. 6 For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Elohim, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Apostolic Scripture Reading

My Thoughts:

In verse 17, Yeshua says “...if you want to enter into life, keep the Commandments.” Pretty simple right? He has paved the way of understanding for us to be in His eternal presence. But, it requires “action”. We are not just to go to synagogue or church and say our daily prayers. There is a daily, sometimes minute by minute requirement to follow His Commands. If you are studying Torah, you will be quickly reminded when you break a Commandment. And it will not be good. But, our gracious and kind Elohim will quickly forgive you and give you another chance. Take it.


In verse 21 we are challenged to give to the poor. Are you doing that? Look for opportunities around you -- there are absolutely times when Hashem will show you the needs of others. When the need is presented, take action and help. You will know your guidelines and you will know what to give or do by simply listening to the voice of Hashem. Don’t be afraid to let go of some of your resources, you will be blessed back in incredible ways!

Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 19:16-26

16 Behold, one came to Him and said, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”

17 He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, Elohim. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 He said to him, “Which ones?”

Yeshua said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother.’  And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

20 The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?”

21 Yeshua said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.

23 Yeshua said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into Elohim’s Kingdom.”

25 When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Looking at them, Yeshua said, “With men this is impossible, but with Elohim all things are possible.”

Friday, February 2, 2024

Yitro - Reading #6

Yitro יִתְרוֹ - Jethro

Exodus: 18:1-20:22

Reading #6 - Exodus 19:20–20:14

My Thoughts:

The worship of idols is against everything Hashem stands for. When He gives the Commandments, He warns us that the sin of idolatry will fall on to our descendants. And if we do not worship false gods, He will bless us by being kind to us (verses 5 & 6)! Which do you choose for your life? To be treated wonderfully from Hashem with blessings, or to have your children and their children cursed because of your sin? Think about it and make a decision. Follow Hashem and His Commandments and have no other gods before you!


Today I challenge you to look at the “idols” in your life. You may be surprised what you do worship -- I know I am. Yes, we worship and love Hashem. But, we do other things too. What about TV? We sit before it, we eat before it, we absorb ourselves in it -- isn’t that like an idol? The same with our social media, computers and phones. I’ll bet you spend more time on those things then you do studying the Word of Elohim. I know I do.

It’s time for a change. Be sure to do your devotions and study every morning. Then try to minimize your time on electronics and media. Pray to Hashem throughout the day. Love others more than yourself. By doing all these things, I believe those “idols” in our lives will disappear slowly. We must try. He has commanded us to do so.

Reading #6 - Exodus 19:20–20:14

19:20 Hashem came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Hashem called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

21 Hashem said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to Hashem to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 Let the priests also, who come near to Hashem, sanctify themselves, lest Hashem break out on them.”

23 Moses said to Hashem, “The people can’t come up to Mount Sinai, for you warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it.’”

24 Hashem said to him, “Go down! You shall bring Aaron up with you, but don’t let the priests and the people break through to come up to Hashem, lest He break out against them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people, and told them.

20 Elohim spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am Hashem your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

4 “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Hashem your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of Hashem your Elohim, for Hashem will not hold him guiltless who misuses His name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Hashem your Elohim. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; 11 for in six days Hashem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Hashem blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Yitro - Reading #5

Yitro יִתְרוֹ - Jethro

Exodus: 18:1-20:22

Reading #5 - Exodus 19:7–19

My Thoughts:

What an exciting experience! Thunderings, lightning, smoke, fire and a very loud trumpet. Hashem is descending on Mt. Sinai in front of His chosen nation to speak to them! I can hardly imagine what this would be like! It would be so wonderfully overwhelming and probably frightening -- in a good way. This particular scene and the giving of the Law would create love for Hashem and obedience for centuries to come. And if we believe the prophets, His glory will return again -- to the Temple in Jerusalem. And He will send His Mashiach to rule and reign forever. We should be praying every day for His return! And for the Temple in Jerusalem to be built. Do not take this lightly. Just like He appeared in the most extreme, incredible way to Moses and His people -- so will He return to the Temple Mount, with great appearance! Get ready! Study Scripture so you know what to expect. Be repenting daily and seeking His face. 


Some say it’s been about fifty days since the Hebrew people have left Egypt, to the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. That is when we celebrate the Feast of Shavuot. This year when you get ready to celebrate this Feast, and you are counting the “omer” for fifty days, be sure to think of the occurrence we read of today. Take time to imagine what it was like when Hashem appeared to give the Law. Make sure you are continuing to give Him reverence in your life. Make sure you are staying clean and obedient to His Word. Wear your tzit-tzit to remember you to follow His Law. Show Him your love by loving others more than yourself. Get ready. Daily.

Reading #5 - Exodus 19:7–19

19:7 Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Hashem commanded him. 8 All the people answered together, and said, “All that Hashem has spoken we will do.”

Moses reported the words of the people to Hashem. 9 Hashem said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” Moses told the words of the people to Hashem. 10 Hashem said to Moses, “Go to the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, 11 and be ready for the third day; for on the third day Hashem will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai. 12 You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it is animal or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain.”

14 Moses went down from the mountain to the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15 He said to the people, “Be ready by the third day. Don’t have sexual relations with a woman.”

16 On the third day, when it was morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Moses led the people out of the camp to meet Elohim; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai smoked, because Hashem descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and Elohim answered him by a voice.