Torah - Annual Parsha

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Bereishit - Genesis

This is the book of Genesis.
There are 12 Parashot
 

Bereishit Genesis 1:1 - 6:8

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah  Gen 1:1 -2:3 34
Sheini Gen 2:4 - 2:19 16
Sh'lishi Gen 2:20 - 3:21 27
Revi'i Gen 3:22 - 4:18 21
Chamishi Gen 4:19 - 4:22 4
Shishi Gen 4:23 - 5:24 28
Shevi'i Gen 5:25 - 6:4 12
Maftir Gen 6:5 - 6:8 4

Topics:

Creation

People:

Adam, Havah (Eve), Elohim

Location:

Gan Edan (Garden of Eden), Iraq

Timeline:

4000 B.C.E. - 3000 B.C.E.

Bereshit - “In the Beginning” The Basis of Self Loathing

Bereshit 1:1 – 6:8

 
1. In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth:
       
2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep; And a wind from Elohim moved upon the face of the waters:
      
3. And Elohim said, Let there be light; and there was light:

4. And Elohim saw the light, that it was good; and Elohim divided the light from the darkness:
      
5. And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night; And there was evening and there was morning, one day:

An apikarot once asked R. Akiva,”Who created the world?”
“HaShem,” replied R. Akiva.
“Prove it,” replied the apikarot
R. Akiva answered only, “Come back tomorrow.”
When the man returned on the following day, R. Akiva asked him, “What are you wearing?”
“ A robe.”
“Who made it?”
“The weaver.”
“I don’t believe it! Prove it,: demanded R. Akiva.
“That is ridiculous.  Can’t you tell from the fabric and design that a weaver made this garment?” said the man.
“And – can you not clearly tell that Hashem made the world?”
After the apikarot left, R. Akiva explained to his students, “ Just as a house was obviously built by a builder and a garment obviously built by a tailor, so was the world (Which follows a natural order) obviously made by a Creator!”
The Midrash Says, Beraishis, R. Moshe Weissman, 1980, p4

This portion discusses the creation epic.  It is amazing that so many in this world fall into the heresy of rejecting Torah, Elohim, Messiah, etc.  I had a great deal of trouble at one time in understanding how and why some people could be so blind.  Yet our prophets tell us that Elohim allows some to be blind, while removing the blinders from others.

Consider those who would put a higher value on an animals life than that of a human.  How is such a thing even conceivable?  They would protect the birth of an animal going to extra-ordinary measures to ensure a viable, safe, and easy birth.  Yet, these same individuals and organizations would fund and support the abortion of human babies.  Why?

Believe it or not, it is a natural Torah response to a decision and practice in their lives. 

That decision is the rejection of Torah.  The rabbis have taught that one who rejects Torah becomes less than an animal.  Being less than an animal, it only makes sense that those who would reject Torah would elevate the animal kingdom above the needs and rights of their own species.  The activities of the people enables a natural law that is a result of their actions against or for Torah.  The Torah actually gives us specific blessings and curses as we discussed in that final parashot from last cycle, and will revisit again in this cycle.

The Ketuvim Netzarim backs up this view point in Romans 1:18-25

18.    For the wrath of Eloah is revealed from heaven upon all the iniquity and the ungodliness of men, those who hold the truth in iniquity,
19.    Because the knowledge of Eloah is revealed among them, for Eloah revealed it among them.
20.    For the hidden things of Eloah from the foundations of the world by his creations, by [his] wisdom were made evident and power and godhead, which is eternal, that they might be without excuse,
21.    Because they knew Eloah and they did not glorify him as Eloah and give thanks to him but were made vain in their reasonings, and their heart was darkened, without understanding, .
22.    And while they were thinking in their nefeshot that they were wise they were fools,
23.    And they changed the glory of the incorruptible Eloah into the likeness of the image of a son of man who is corruptible and into the likeness of birds and of four-footed [animals] and of creeping things of the earth.
24.    Because of this, Eloah released them to the defiled lust of their heart that they might dishonor their bodies by them.
25.    And they changed the truth of Eloah into a lie, and they reverenced and served the created more than their creator, to whom [be] our praises and our blessings forever and ever.  Amen

By the rejection of the creator and His Torah, of a necessity people become animals by comparison.  Even elevating the needs of animals above the needs of humanity.

In verse 25 above we see the word “truth”.  What is Truth?  We, of a necessity, but use the text to define itself in the use of idiomatic euphemism phrases.  The psalms define “Truth” for us:

Psalm 119:142
Thy righteousness [is] an everlasting righteousness, and thy law [is] the truth.

Psalm 119:151
Thou [art] near, O YHWH; and all thy commandments [are] truth.

In these two witnesses, we see that the Torah is TRUTH!!  Most of the time this euphemism can be seen where ever the word “truth” is used in the English.  Most of the time when you see the word you can mentally substitute “Torah” in its stead.  When you do this, an amazing thing happens in your understanding of scripture, and especially in your reading of the Ketuvim Netzarim.

Of a special note, and on this closing:

Yochanan 8:32
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Shabbat Shalom.

Noach Genesis 6:9 - 11:32

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah  Gen 6:9 - 6:22  
Sheini Gen 7:1 - 7:16  
Sh'lishi Gen 7:17 - 8:14  
Revi'i Gen 8:15 - 9:7  
Chamishi Gen 9:8 - 9:17  
Shishi Gen 9:18 - 10:32  
Shevi'i Gen 11:1 - 11:28  
Maftir Gen 11:29 - 11:32 4

Topics:

People:

Location:

Timeline:

Noach “Noah” - The Origins of Genetic Manipulation

Bereshit 6:9-11:32

 
9. These are the generations of Noah; Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with Elohim:  
       
10. And Noah fathered three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth:  
       
11. The earth also was corrupt before the Elohim, and the earth was filled with violence:  
      
12. And Elohim looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth:  
       
13. And Elohim said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth:   

In this parsha says that Noah was “perfect” in all his generations.  What does that mean?  There are several ways to view this passage.

These discussions about this time period are very important, for we are told:

36  Until that day, and concerning that hour there will be no man that knows, not even the angels in heaven, but my Father only.
37  And as it was in the days of Noach, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.
38  For as they were in the days that were before the flood eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noach entered into the ark,
and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 
Matthew 24:36-39 “HRV Translation”

In order to understand what things will be going on at the return of moshiach, we must have an objective understanding of what things may have been occurring at the time of the Great Deluge during Noah’s time.

In the phrasing of the passage, we can see that Elohim is not only speaking of “righteousness” with respect to Torah.  We can see the allusion to his genetic line.  The book of Sefer HaYashar (The Upright Book) makes reference to mankind’s meddling with genetics.

4:18 And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.
Sefer HaYashar 4:18

Even the Book of Enoch has this to say:

[Chapter 6]
1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto

2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men

3 and beget us children.' And Semkaza, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not

4 indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations

5 not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.' Then sware they all together and bound themselves

6 by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn

7 and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal,

8 Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaqel, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.

[Chapter 7]
1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms

2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they

3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed

4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against

5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and

6 fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

The indication is that the fallen angels had taken human wives, the offspring of which were known as the Nephilim.  This was a pollution of the blood-line which Elohim had created.  It appears that at the time of the flood, Noah’s and Methuselah’s blood-lines were the only ones left in a pure form.  All the others had become contaminated by mixing with the fallen ones.

Also, the fallen angels taught the son’s of man many things, which they would have otherwise not known or would have taken eons to develop knowledge of.  These are listed in  summarized form in Enoch 8:

[Chapter 8]
1 And Azazel  taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all

2 colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they

3 were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjaza taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, 'Armaros the resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal (taught) astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and Sariel the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven . . .

Jasher re-emphasized some of this when he stated:

19 For in those days the sons of men began to trespass against God, and to transgress the commandments which he had commanded to Adam, to be fruitful and multiply in the earth.

20 And some of the sons of men caused their wives to drink a draught that would render them barren, in order that they might retain their figures and whereby their beautiful appearance might not fade.

21 And when the sons of men caused some of their wives to drink, Zillah drank with them.

22 And the child-bearing women appeared abominable in the sight of their husbands as widows, whilst their husbands lived, for to the barren ones only they were attached.
Sepher HaYasar 2:19-22

Of course none of this would be occurring today [wink]. I am not trying to indicate that specific knowledge or learning in any of the above listed practices which the fallen ones taught to men is of itself inherently wrong, but that the form, purpose, and timing for which the were revealed was wrong.  The use of metallurgy certainly has it’s benefits, but if we use it to make tools for commission of crimes, such as murder, it is wrong.  The use of tinctures, roots, and herbs for healing can be of benefit, but the use of mind-altering or gene-altering drugs can be very destructive. 

The pre-Deluge peoples lived to be nearly one thousand years of age.  95% of the technology we now enjoy has been developed in th last 150-200 years.  To think that those pre-Deluge peoples did not have advanced technology is arrogant at a minimum.  We, today, have developed technology to have many things bio-degradable.  If our society ended today, four-thousand years from now there would be virtually noting left to indicate that an advanced civilization ever existed.  Our stone monuments may be all that is left, and maybe none of them.  Most of our technology, even our buildings, would fall to dust in a few hundred years without constant maintenance.

Artifacts have been discovered that indicate that the technology of these ancients was very advanced.  These include bronze columns in Africa that are so hard that we are unable to reproduce them today and show only minimal signs of wear after several thousand years of weathering, pendants found in deep coal mines in Pennsylvania which are made of a silver so pure that we cannot duplicate it and in the form of what in our era ould be modern jet fighters, and the stones of the great monuments in the world that we still cannot figure our how they got moved from their quaries.

These things and more were occurring during the time of the pre-Deluge.  So are they again becoming a reality in our own life-time.  Perhaps the reality of those things is already here.

Noah was instructed from his youth in the ways of Elohim.  Because of this Noah found favour  in the eyes of Elohim.  According to Sefer HaYeshar (The Upright Book), Noah went out with Methuselah and taught repentance for 120 years. Men were given 120 years to repent of their evil ways and return to Elohim.  Methuselah did not live until the time of the food, but died the year of the flood.

It is said in the Midrash that Noah’s sons married Methuselah’s grand-daughters.  Thus showing that the righteous bloodline had continued through those who were not defiled by the evils of that generation – genetic or otherwise.

So as we have already entered into an age where it is or is becoming as it was in the days of Noah, let us prepare ourselves and repent, and be ready as a proper bride for the return our husband – the Moshiach ben David of Israel!

Shabbat Shalom

Lech Lecha Genesis 12-17

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 12:1 - 12:13  13
Sheini  Gen 12:14 - 13:4  
Sh'lishi  Gen 13:5 - 13:18  
Revi'i  Gen 14:1 - 14:20  20
Chamishi  Gen 14:21 - 15:6  
Shishi  Gen 15:7 - 17:6  
Shevi'i  Gen 17:7 - 17:23  
Maftir  Gen 17:24 - 17:27  4

Topics:

People:

Location:

Timeline:

 

Lekh Lekha “Go Forth, yourself!”

1. And YHWH had said to Abram, Get out from your country, and from your family, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you:
2. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:
3. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you; and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed:
4. So Abram departed, as YHWH had spoken to him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy five years old when he departed from Haran:
5. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan; and to the land of Canaan they came:

Avram is told to get out of his home and go to a new home. This should not be too surprising since he was living in a land controlled by Nimrod. Nimrod had already tried to kill him twice: Once as an infant and once as a young man (Sepher Ha Yashar chapters 11-12)….

The first time that Nimrod attempted to kill him, was after Nimrod’s prophets had seen him as being an end to Nimrod’s reign (Sepher HaYashar Chapter 8). At this time Avram was hidden for a while, as seems to be a recurring theme, other children that were born around the same time were murdered by Nimrod.  This is a direct parallel tactic later used by Pharoah.

Where could one possibly hide a small child when Nimrod, the mighty hunter, was wanting him executed/murdered?

How about with Noah and Shem.  Sepher Ha Yashar indicates that Avram lived with Noah for 39yrs.  The chart below shows the biblical account of years and overlap in life times.

It is reported that Avram was about 56 years of age when Noah died, and He was much older when Shem died.

 

This chart was extracted from: http://www.cynet.com/jesus/timeline/timeline.htm

One reason that Avram loved YHWH so much was because of his close personal involvement with these righteous relatives - Noah and Shem.  It is amazing to find that these men were still alive at the time of Avram.  Another reason was the miraculous protection he had been privy to in Nimrod's furnace (Sepher HaYashar chapter 12)

This causes us to question further when it was that Avram left Ur. Nimrod was king, and was establishing himself as a "god" over the people.

The Tower incident had already taken place after Avram's stay with Noah and Shem, but before Avram's departure from  Bavel. There were people in the other lands where Avram was sent to, and were well established kingdoms by this time. Plus the events that recorded the dividing of the land pose as 2 witnesses for this theory:

Genesis 10:25 (NIV) Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan. 

1 Chronicles 1:19 (NIV) Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.

Egypt was already established at some level with a "pharaoh" in place. There were people in Canaan with cities already built – Sodom, Gemorah, and others… So this would appear to be after the scattering of the people, also it appears that sufficient time has passed so that some of the people had learned the languages of their neighbors.

 

During this time Avraham also, because he and Sarah were doubting how YHWH was going to fulfill His promise, had relations with Hagar. The result of this union is Ishmael, and his descendants are still with us today. They are jealous because they were Avraham’s first born, but not to Avraham’s wife. This jealousy is still there today as those some descendants insist that on their own right as first born to the Promise.

 

We find that this off shoot from Avraham also developed a religious system. This is spoken of in Galations 4 and 5

 

Chapter 4
21 Say to me you who desire that you be "T'cheit Namosa", do you not hear the Torah?
22 For it is written that Avraham had to him two sons - one from the bondwoman and one from the freewoman
23 But [the one] that was from the bondwoman was born by the flesh but [the one] that was from the freewoman was by the promise
24 Now these are allegories of two covenants. One that is from Mount Sinai bears servitude which is Hagar
25 For Hagar is the mountain of Sinai which is in Arabia, and fulfills to this Yerushaliyim and serves in servitude she and her sons
26 But that Yerushaliyim is the freewoman who is our mother
27 For it is written: Take delight barren one who bears not and rejoice and shout You who have not labored in birth because that many are the sons of the dissolute [one] more than the sons of the married [one].

28 But we my brothers, like Yitzak are the sons of promise
29 And like them, he that was born by the flesh persecuted the one of the Spirit, thus also now.
30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son because the son of the bondwoman will not inherit with the son of the freewoman
31 Therefore we, my brothers, we are not sons of the bondwoman but sons of the freewoman.

 

 

Chapter 5
1 Stand therefore in the freedom which The Messiah freed us and do not be bound again by the yoke of servitude
2 Behold, I Paul say to you that if you be circumcised, [then] The Messiah is a thing which does not profit you.
3 Now I testify again to every son of man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do all the Torah
4 You have made The Messiah of no effect, these would be justified by the Torah and from favor you have fallen.
5 For we by the Spirit which is from trust, await the hope of righteousness
6 For in The Messiah Yeshua neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but trust which is perfected by love.
7 You were running good; who disturbed you that by the truth you should not be persuaded?
8 You persuasion is not from the one who called you
9 A little leaven leavens all the lump
10 I am confident concerning you in Our Lord, that you will not think other things, and the one who frightened you will bear to himself judgment whoever he is.
11 Now my brothers, if I was still proclaiming circumcision, why am I persecuted? Has the offense of the crucifixion ceased?
12 Now would that also those troubling you would be cut off!
13 Now you were called to freedom my brothers, only do not let your freedom be an occasion of the flesh but in love serve one another

By backing up into chapter 4, we see that these men who were about to become circumcised were about to be joined to the sons of Hagar (Ishmael). Today we see this religion as Islam. It, as does Judaism, requires circumcision to join them. However, notice in 4:30 that the bondwoman and her son are cast out and will not inherit with the son of the freewoman.

If these men had done this thing, they would have joined the bondwoman and would have thrown away their birthright as part of the Bride Israel.

The problem here was not circumcision, but the reason they were getting circumcised.

The issue of circumcision is a tough one, as it has been taught for generations that it is not needed, nor desirable, for those in Messiah. But to be part of the Bride, requires conversion. To partake in the Pesach requires conversion. To become a King/Priest in the Kingdom requires conversion. Messiah NEVER said anything against established conversion practices. It is only the writings, ie. Commentary, of one man who seems to speak against conversion in the first century. And those writing must be taken out of their intended context to do so.

To remove conversion, is to remove part of the Torah. Something this author is unwilling and unable to do. Salvation is a free gift, always has been. To be part of the set-apart people which are Messiah’s Bride requires circumcision – of heart and flesh.

For faith without works is dead.

Shabbat Shalom.

Vayeira Genesis 18-22

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 18:1 - 18:14  
Sheini  Gen 18:15 - 18:33  
Sh'lishi  Gen 19:1 - 19:20  
Revi'i  Gen 19:21 - 21:4  
Chamishi  Gen 21:5 - 21:21  
Shishi  Gen 21:22 - 21:34  
Shevi'i  Gen 22:1 - 22:19  
Maftir  Gen 22:20 - 22:24  

Topics:

People:

Location:

Timeline:

 

VaYera “and He appeared”

1: And YHWH appeared to him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day:
2. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the ground:
3. And said, My Adonai, if now I have found favor in your sight, pass not away, I beseech you, from your servant:
4. Let a little water, I beseech you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
5. And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and you comfort your hearts; after that you shall pass on; seeing that you are come to your servant; And they said, So do, as you have said:

Here we begin with Avraham sitting in the door to his tent. The Midrash indicates that this is about three days after his circumcision. He would have been just ending his sickness from the circumcision. Circumcision can cause an illness that peaks out in 2-3 days and ends in 3-4 days.

I know a young man who was circumcised at age 9. He was down for about a day and a half. The second day he was up and playing. By the end of the 3rd day he was back to climbing trees. So even today, I have seen first hand that the 3-4 day recovery time holds true.

We are told that he instructed Sarah to make cakes with 3 measures of flour. This was so that each of the guests would have an equal amount. In this we can see that we should treat our guests impartially as well.

The Midrash indicates that these three angels are: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. However, it is this authors opinion that one of these angels was actually Yeshua. Yeshua was the one whom Avraham was negotiating for the sake of any righteous in the area of Sodom. Yeshua would have been the only one with the authority to with hold the punishment deserved by those cities on the plain.

In these negotiations, we find Avraham starting out with 50 righteous people. Avraham was hoping for a righteous minion of ten in each of the five cities on the plain. Yet only Lot was found worthy to escape with his daughters and wife. They were only four people. And really only Lot as the others had already been heavily influenced by the surrounding community. Because the son-in-laws refused to leave, it is presumed that Lot had at least two other daughters in the city and that they stayed behind with their husbands. Perhaps this is why Lot’s wife looked back. To see if her other daughters escaped before the destruction came. It is said that Lot was the hind most person in the exit to Tzoar. Some have supposed that his wife was lagging behind and became a pillar of salt when the destruction overtook her . But the text says that “She looked behind HIM”. So she would have had to have been in front of Lot at the time this occurred.

Later we find that Yitzach , Avraham’s son, is brought to become an offering for Elohim. Can one imagine what would go on in your head should you be asked to offer your only son as an offering to Elohim? This son was promised to Avraham and was promised to be the progenitor of many nations, so that his seed would out number the sands of the sea.

But was Avraham commanded to slaughter his son? What does it mean for a person to take another and make them an offering? What of the promised nations from him? We, like Avraham did, generally assume that this means a death sacrifice.

There is another story in our Tanakh about person who offers up their offspring to Elohim.

Jude 11:30-40:
30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto Yahweh, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be Yahweh’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh delivered them into his hands.
33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, [even] twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she [was his] only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! Thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto YHWH, and I cannot go back.
36 And she said unto him, My father, [if] thou hast opened thy mouth unto YHWH, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; for as much as YHWH hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, [even] of the children of Ammon.
37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.
38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away [for] two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.
39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her [according] to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,
40 [That] the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

As we can see by the above passages, Jephthah’s daughter went to lament her virginity. This indicates that she would not die, but would never have a chance to marry. The Levites and Cohainim in the temple could not marry her as she was not from their tribe. She went to serve in Elohim’s temple instead.

From this we can see that it was the intention of Elohim that Yitzach be put into Yahweh’s service. His life was no longer to be his own, but sacrificed.

Avraham, like we, believed that he was to kill Yitzak on an alter. It is said that the place of the offering is the same as where Yeshua was later offered. It is also said the location was the same as the first sacrifice done to provide Adam with skin. So a ram was presented to replace Yitzach. In this YHWH said that he would offer Himself a sacrifice. This specific phrasing alludes to the Messiah and the future offering of Yahushua.

Thus Yitzach became sanctified at this place. When Avraham returns to Sarah, he leaves Yitzach on the mountain. It is said that Yitzach remained there for three years. This parallels an agricultural law for trees that bear fruit. This law also applies to men and new converts as represented by the tree.

Leviticus 19:23-25
23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise YHWH.
25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I [am] YHWH your Elohim.

Yitzach was separated for three years to learn of Yahweh before returning to his family and to gain a bride. When a man marries, he is separated from his daily obligations for one year to praise Yahweh with his new bride. This is to establish a strong relationship between the husband and bride.

Also, when a new believer comes to the faith, he is not immediately sent out to evangelize the world. He is instead admonished to study, to learn how to conform to the image of Elohim. After this he is allowed to teach within the community, to serve the community. This helps the community to fine-tune him, to ensure that he knows what he is talking about. Also, the converts insights feed back into the community strengthening it. After this four year period, he is permitted to become a public teacher. Circumventing this process leads to unproductive fruit which will whither and die because it has not been properly nourished and prepared for its purpose.

Since Yitzach, it is said, was thirty-seven years of age at the time of his dedication, he would have been forty at the time he came back to the community. This is also indicative of how Yitzach honored his parents. He, at age thirty-seven could have easily over powered his father. But instead he honored his father and despite the potential loss of his own life, obeyed his fathers voice and allowed himself to be bound for slaughter at the alter.

This also demonstrates the strength of Yitzach's faith. His faith was so strong in Elohim that his fear of Elohim was greater than the fear of this mortal life. He knew that if Elohim wanted him to die, then there must be a reason for it. He also knew the prophecies that concerned his offspring which he has not had yet. He knew that what ever was going on he would not cease to be in the outcome.

Yitzach later becomes the father of Ya’acob, who becomes Yisrael, and through the dispersion, his seed now populates many nations and can no longer be numbered.

Shabbat Shalom.

Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1-25:18

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 23:1 - 23:16  16
Sheini  Gen 23:17 - 24:9  
Sh'lishi  Gen 24:10 - 24:26  
Revi'i  Gen 24:27 - 24:52  
Chamishi  Gen 24:53 - 24:67  
Shishi  Gen 25:1 - 25:11  
Shevi'i  Gen 25:12 - 25:15  
Maftir  Gen 25:16 - 25:18  

Aliyah Sheini Sh'lishi
Revi'i
Chamishi Shishi Shevi'i Maftir Topics:

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Chayei Sarah “Life of Sarah”

1. And Sarah was a hundred and twenty seven years old; these were the years of the life of Sarah:
2. And Sarah died in Kiriath-Arba; which is Hebron in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her:
3. And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the Hittites, saying:
4. I am a stranger and a sojourner with you; give me possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight:
5. And the Hittites answered Abraham, saying to him:

Upon hearing of the offering of Yitzach, Sarah’s soul fled her body and she died. She had not known that HaSatan had deceived her and that Yitzach was spared his live, yet was still offered to Elohim, and was now in the service of Elohim as demonstrated in the previour parsha. Yitzach’s life was now dedicated. A holy life. He was consecrated to Elohim, for his service. This was done just as YHWH had asked of Avraham - despite Avraham's initial interpretation of the command.

Sarah was buried in the city of Kiriath-Arba (City of Four). It is said that it is called the City of Four because four couples are buried there: Adam and Chavah, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzach and Rivkah, and Yaacov and Leah. It is also said that it had this name because four giants lived there. It is most likely that both cases are true.

The burial place was purchased from Ephron, the Hittite, son of Tsohar for the sum of 400 shekels. The field is called Makpelah ( from the word Kaful meaning double). It has one cave on top of another, or twin caves. It is also said that the name was given to it because of the couples that were and would be buried there. The land was deeded to Avraham so that there would be a permenant record of the transaction and no one could deny that the land belonged to him and his decendants.

After this Avraham sought a wife for his son Yitzach. He caused his servant to take a vow that he would find a woman from Avraham’s family and that he would not select a woman from the land of Canaan. If a woman from Avraham’s family cannot be had, then the servant was released from this vow. However, he was forbidden to take Yitsach to the land under any circumstances. The land was full of idol worshippers. Yitzach was a holy man, consecrated to YHWH. Avraham feared that Yitzach would become adulterated by the practices there.

Also, remember that Nimrod has attempted to kill Avraham three times in that land. If Yitsach came to that land, it would become known to Nimrod that a son of Avraham was there and there is a high probability that he would be found and executed. Nimrod’s prophets had warned Nimrod that his kingdom would fail because of Avraham.

The first attempt was:

Jasher 8:1-7
1 And it was in the night that Abram was born, that all the servants of Terah, and all the wise men of Nimrod, and his conjurors came and ate and drank in the house of Terah, and they rejoiced with him on that night.
2 And when all the wise men and conjurors went out from the house of Terah, they lifted up their eyes toward heaven that night to look at the stars, and they saw, and behold one very large star came from the east and ran in the heavens, and he swallowed up the four stars from the four sides of the heavens.
3 And all the wise men of the king and his conjurors were astonished at the sight, and the sages understood this matter, and they knew its import.
4 And they said to each other, This only betokens the child that has been born to Terah this night, who will grow up and be fruitful, and multiply, and possess all the earth, he and his children for ever, and he and his seed will slay great kings, and inherit their lands.
5 And the wise men and conjurors went home that night, and in the morning all these wise men and conjurors rose up early, and assembled in an appointed house.
6 And they spoke and said to each other, Behold the sight that we saw last night is hidden from the king, it has not been made known to him.
7 And should this thing get known to the king in the latter days, he will say to us, Why have you concealed this matter from me, and then we shall all suffer death; therefore, now let us go and tell the king the sight which we saw, and the interpretation thereof, and we shall then remain clear.

The 2nd attempt was after Avram had destroyed his father’s idols and was turned in to Nimrod:

Jasher 12:19-24, 12:33-35
19 And Haran said in his heart, Behold now the king has seized Abram on account of these things which Abram did, and it shall come to pass, that if Abram prevail over the king I will follow him, but if the king prevail I will go after the king.
20 And when Terah had spoken this to the king concerning Haran his son, the king ordered Haran to be seized with Abram.
21 And they brought them both, Abram and Haran his brother, to cast them into the fire; and all the inhabitants of the land and the king's servants and princes and all the women and little ones were there, standing that day over them.
22 And the king's servants took Abram and his brother, and they stripped them of all their clothes excepting their lower garments which were upon them.
23 And they bound their hands and feet with linen cords, and the servants of the king lifted them up and cast them both into the furnace.
24 And the Lord loved Abram and he had compassion over him, and the Lord came down and delivered Abram from the fire and he was not burned.

33 And when Abram came out the king and all his servants saw Abram coming before the king, with his lower garments upon him, for they were not burned, but the cord with which he was bound was burned.
34 And the king said to Abram, How is it that thou wast not burned in the fire?
35 And Abram said to the king, The God of heaven and earth in whom I trust and who has all in his power, he delivered me from the fire into which thou didst cast me.

And a 3rd attempt was made after Nimrod had a dream concerning Avram:

Jasher 12:58-61
58 And Nimrod hearkened to the voice of Anuki, and he sent some of
his servants in secret to go and seize Abram, and bring him before the king to suffer death.
59 And Eliezer, Abram's servant whom the king had given him, was at
that time in the presence of the king, and he heard what Anuki had advised the king, and what the king had said to cause Abram's death.
60 And Eliezer said to Abram, Hasten, rise up and save thy soul, that
thou mayest not die through the hands of the king, for thus did he see in a dream concerning thee, and thus did Anuki interpret it, and thus also did Anuki advise the king concerning thee.
61 And Abram hearkened to the voice of Eliezer, and Abram hastened
and ran for safety to the house of Noah and his son Shem, and he concealed himself there and found a place of safety; and the king's servants came to Abram's house to seek him, but they could not find him, and they searched through out the country and he was not to be found, and they went and searched in every direction and he was not to be met with.

Eliezer, Avraham’s servant, did as he was asked and went to Avraham’s homeland to seek a wife from among Avraham’s family for his son Yitzach. He went to the land and he prayed at a well outside of the city that Elohim would interfere and deliver a wife for Yitzach to him. What Avraham had caused him to take an oath to do would require divine intervention. He was seeking a righteous woman, a maiden, a virgin in a land of idolaters. This may have been impossible for him to do with out divine assistance. When Eliezer went to Laban’s home, he recounted all that had happened to him, so as to convince him that this was a divine appointment and not one of chance or of lust of the flesh.

Notice that Rivkah is Laban’s brother’s daughter. He was raising his brother’s daughter. This was a financial burden to him and Laban was quick to release her into Eliezer’s hand. They did ask if Rivkah wanted to go with this man to marry Yitzach – a man she had never met – and she went.

Rivkah was such a modest woman that upon seeing the man she was to marry, she immediately veiled her face.

A few years ago, I witnessed this practice at Succoth. While there a young woman became betrothed to a young man. While anywhere in his presence or where they might see each other she kept herself veiled because of modesty. It was quite an inspiring experience to see such faith and honor towards each other. Such effort from such a young couple was inspiring. I was told by their families that this practice would continue until they are wed. This tradition among Israelites seems to have begun here with Yitzach and Rivkah.

In chapter 25 verse 20 ( which is in the next parshah) we learn that Yitzach was forty years of age when he took Rivkah into Sarah’s tent and Rivkah became his wife. We also learned at the end of chapter 24 that Yitzach had just learned of his mother’s death, remember he had been away for three years. He was mourning for her when Rivkah came. The finding of a wife comforted him.

Shabbat Shalom.

Toldot Genesis 25:19-28:9

Aliyah Gen 25:19 - 26:5
Sheini Gen 26:6 - 26:12
Sh'lishi Gen 26:13 - 26:22
Revi'i Gen 26:23 - 26:29
Chamishi Gen 26:30 - 27:27
Shishi Gen 27:28 - 28:4
Chevi'i Gen 28:5 - 28:6
Maftir Gen 28:7 - 28:9
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Tol’dot - “Generations” Bereshit 23:19-28:9

19. And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son; Abraham fathered Isaac:
20. And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah for his wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan-Aram, the sister to Laban the Aramean:
21. And Isaac prayed to YHWH for his wife, because she was barren; and YHWH granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived:
22. And the children struggled together inside her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire YHWH:
23. And YHWH said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall be separated from your bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger:

Here we have the birth of two peoples, Esau and Ya’acov. There is much that it is very interesting in this parsha. Let us recount the events and try to understand:

GEN 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob [was] a plain man, dwelling in tents.
GEN 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of [his] venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
GEN 25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he [was]faint:
GEN 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
GEN 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
GEN 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I [am] at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
GEN 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and He sold his birthright unto Jacob.
GEN 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did Eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised [his] birthright.

Why would Esau, a mighty hunter, sell his birth-right for a bowl of soup? Some say that it was because he was starving to death because the next chapter starts by talking of a famine in the land and he has just come back from what appears to be an unsuccessful hunt. The story changes in the next chapter. I believe there is a better explanation as to why any man would sell his birth-right. We shall view all of chapter 27 of Jasher, as it is directly relevant to this issue:

Jasher 27:1 And Esau at that time, after the death of Abraham, frequently went in the field to hunt.
Jasher 27:2 And Nimrod king of Babel, the same was Amraphel, also frequently went with his mighty men to hunt in the field, and to walk about with his men in the cool of the day.
Jasher 27:3 And Nimrod was observing Esau all the days, for a jealousy was formed in the heart of Nimrod against Esau all the days.
Jasher 27:4 And on a certain day Esau went in the field to hunt, and he found Nimrod walking in the wilderness with his two men.
Jasher 27:5 And all his mighty men and his people were with him in the wilderness, but they removed at a distance from him, and they went from him in different directions to hunt, and Esau concealed himself for Nimrod, and he lurked for him in the wilderness.
Jasher 27:6 And Nimrod and his men that were with him did not know him, and Nimrod and his men frequently walked about in the field at the cool of the day, and to know where his men were hunting in the field.
Jasher 27:7 And Nimrod and two of his men that were with him came to the place where they were, when Esau started suddenly from his lurking place, and drew his sword, and hastened and ran to Nimrod and cut off his head.
Jasher 27:8 And Esau fought a desperate fight with the two men that were with Nimrod, and when they called out to him, Esau turned to them and smote them to death with his sword.
Jasher 27:9 And all the mighty men of Nimrod, who had left him to go to the wilderness, heard the cry at a distance, and they knew the voices of those two men, and they ran to know the cause of it, when they found their king and the two men that were with him lying dead in the wilderness.
Jasher 27:10 And when Esau saw the mighty men of Nimrod coming at a distance, he fled, and thereby escaped; and Esau took the valuable garments of Nimrod, which Nimrod's father had bequeathed to Nimrod, and with which Nimrod prevailed over the whole land, and he ran and concealed them in his house.
Jasher 27:11 And Esau took those garments and ran into the city on account of Nimrod's men, and he came unto his father's house wearied and exhausted from fight, and he was ready to die through grief when he approached his brother Jacob and sat before him.
Jasher 27:12 And he said unto his brother Jacob, Behold I shall die this day, And wherefore then do I want the birthright? And Jacob acted Wisely with Esau in this matter, and Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, for it was so brought about by Yahweh.
Jasher 27:13 And Esau's portion in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham had bought from the children of Heth for the possession of a burial ground, Esau also sold to Jacob, and Jacob bought all this from his brother Esau for value given.
Jasher 27:14 And Jacob wrote the whole of this in a book, and he testified the same with witnesses, and he sealed it, and the book remained in the hands of Jacob.
Jasher 27:15 And when Nimrod the son of Cush died, his men lifted him up and brought him in consternation, and buried him in his city, and all the days that Nimrod lived were two hundred and fifteen years and he died.
Jasher 27:16 And the days that Nimrod reigned upon the people of the land were one hundred and eighty-five years; and Nimrod died by the sword of Esau in shame and contempt, and the seed of Abraham caused his death as he had seen in his dream.
Jasher 27:17 And at the death of Nimrod his kingdom became divided into many divisions, and all those parts that Nimrod reigned over were restored to the respective kings of the land, who recovered them after the death of Nimrod, and all the people of the house of Nimrod were for a long time enslaved to all the other kings of the land.

So Esau sold his birth-right because he thought his life forfit. He had just killed Nimrod in the field while hunting. He had thought that he would not live for long, so of import was his birth-right to him? In such a circumstance, any of us might have done the same.

After this event, we learn that there is a famine in the land. Yitsach is warned not to go to Mitsrayim, but to stay in the land which  YHWH had given him. Yitsach makes the same error of his father, Avraham. He is dwelling in Gerar. He told the people that Rivkah was his sister because he was afraid that the men of the area would kill him and take his wife from him because of her beauty.

Abimilech, the king in that area had been through this once before. He saw how Yitsach and Rivkah played together and ascertained that she was his wife. He, appropriately, reprimanded Yitsach and warned the men of the land not to touch either of them on pain of death.

Later we have the blessings given and Ya’acov deceives his father Yitsach to give him Esau’s blessing. After it had been done, Esau plotted to kill Ya’acov because of the blessing which was taken by him, but planned to wait until after his father’s death and until the days of morning were completed. Rivkah overheard this and sought to have Ya’acov go into hiding until Esau’s anger had passed.

This actually worked to YHWH‘s advantage because he went to Laban in Haran and took a wife there from, again, among his kin. Esau had taken wives from the daughter’s of Heth, and they were a thorn in Yitsach and Rivkah’s side. Esau also saw that his father was not pleased with his wives, and went to Yishmael and took a wife from among his kin to please his father. So despite all that had happened, Esau still sought to honor his father and mother.

Vayetzei Genesis 28:10-32:3

Aliyah Gen 28:10 - 28:22
Sheini Gen 29:1 - 29:17
Sh'lishi Gen 29:18 - 30:13
Revi'i Gen 30:14 - 30:27
Chamishi Gen 30:28 - 31:16
Shishi Gen 31:17 - 31:42
Shevi'i Gen 31:43 - 31:54
Maftir Gen 32:1 - 32:3
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VaYetse - “And he went out” Bereshit 28:10-32:2

10. And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran:
11. And he lighted upon a certain place, and remained there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep:
12. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on it:
13. And, behold, YHWH stood above it, and said, I am YHWH Elohai of Abraham your father, and the Elohai of Isaac; the land on which you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed:
14. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed:

While in the land which YHWH was giving to Ya’acov, he stopped to sleep because the sun had set. There he setup stones to use as a pillow. This is where he beheld the vision commonly known as “Ya’acov’s Ladder”. In some circles it is also thought that this is equivelant to the "Tree of Life".  In other words, Ya'acov witnessed a revealing into our reality of the expressed manifest characteristics of Elohim.  The Midrash indicates that the location of this even was on the border of Yisrael, as Ya’acov was preparing to leave it.

Here it is interesting that YHWH tell’s him that his seed will be as the dust of the earth. So they have become… Yisrael has become very numerous, but because of continued sin they have become trodden on and kicked about as the dust of the earth. Instead we should have become as the stars of the heaven: Again numerous, but elevated because of our inclination and practice of Torah. The reason both idioms are used is to demonstrate both prospects for Yisrael. Today we have the same choices to make: Will we, as Yisrael, be a pious people, living a holy life, being elevated as the stars of heaven? Or will we, knowingly cast Torah aside and become (or continue to be) kicked around as the dust of the earth? The choice is ours to make.

This is also the beginning of the tithing concept. The establishment of the location of Elohim’s house is made. Bereshit 28:22 tells us plainly that it is Ya’acov setup a standing stone and declared it to be Elohim’s house and vowed to give a tenth of all that Elohim gives him.

From that time forward, Ya’acov gave a tenth of all that Elohim provided him: his children (Levi), the livestock, gold, and silver. This was a voluntary vow to Elohim. As we had read in earlier portions, we know that Elohim takes a vow as a very serious matter. As Elohim blessed him, he is obligated to provide as he had promised. Ya’acov did as he promised and gave to Elohim as he had said.

Such is a test of faith. How many of us would be willing to take such a vow? Ya’acov was not obligated before this time. He could of taken the blessings and ran with them. Instead he chose to show esteem to Elohim, appreciation for all that has been provided to him.

Ya’acov moved in to Lavan’s house and upon seeing Rak’hel he set his heart towards her. As can be seen during Ya’acov’s stay with Lavan, Lavan was a deceptive person, always seeking to benefit himself, the fact that Ya’acov was a member of his own family only had a little meaning to him.

Lavan began his efforts early on. When he asked Ya’acov what his wages were, it was to protect himself. If Ya’acov continued to work for Lavan for nothing, Ya’acov could not be held responsible for anything that would happen to those things which he was watching over. If, however, he was paid anything, he would be wholly responsible. This explains why in Bereshit 31:39 Ya’acov stated that he bore the loss of any of the livestock that were torn by beasts. Because he had received wages for his labor, he was responsible for the loss of that which he was instructed to watch over.

In fact the text states that Lavan changed Ya’acov’s wages ten times in twenty years. We know that he always changed them so that the trend would favor him. But Elohim was with Ya’acov, so that the trend always shifted towards Ya’acov’s favor. By the time it was all over, Ya’acov had all Lavan’s livestock.

Ya’acov worked for Lavan seven years for Le’ah, although he was deceived and thought he was working for Rak’hel. Since he had already taken possession of her, his purchase was completed, or the his wages had been paid. So, he waited a week and then took Rak’hel. After taking her, he worked for Lavan another seven years. After this he worked another six years for Lavan’s sheep.

Most of us would have left immediately upon the first or second deception, but Ya’acov waited out twenty years and ten changes in his wages. Ya’acov demonstrated great restraint and patience in this.

Upon leaving, Rak’hel took the idols from her father’s house. Lavan didn’t really consider the livestock, Le’ah, Rak’hel, their handmaids, and their children to be Ya’acov’s All of Ya’acov’s son’s, except for Benyamin, were born during his time with Lavan. He really believed that they were all his. If Ya’acov had come to him directly and told him he was going to leave, Lavan would have tried to deceive him again or sent him away without anything, as he had arrived.

Lavan used the missing idols as an excuse to hunt down Ya’acov, to get back his daughters, and to take back his livestock. Ya’acov knew nothing of Rak’hels deception and theft, and so denied having them. Elohim protected Ya’acov and Lavan did not find the idols.

A covenant was reached between Lavan and Ya’acov that they would not pass over beyond that marker to cause veil to one or the other. At this point Lavan recognized that the Elohim of Arvraham and Yitzach was with him. He established this covenant because he knew that Yahweh was going to bless Ya’acov and he wanted to protect himself, lest Ya’acov decide years from now to come back after him.

As a side note, it is also expressing in the Midrashim in a later parsha that the pile of stones that they created as a sign of this covenenant was the same stone wall that Balam was crushed into as he went to curse Israel for Balak.  This is the narrow pass where the Angel of Elohim was going to slay him if he had continued with that intent.  Balam was a descendant of Lavan and was going to violate the covenant made between Ya'acov and Lavan, a covenant which he would have known about.  Elohim honored the covenant, and stopped Balak from bringing harm to Israel and instead blessed them.

In subjecting himself, Ya’acov became a blessed man. He became very wealthy. In this we can learn that in our servitude of thers we are blessed. We are told that in all we do for those we server, we should do it as though we were doing it for Yahweh. In doing so, we will become blessed. In doing this, we are also to continue in our Torah observance.

Lavan returned home and Ya’acov continued on his way to where Esau was.

Vayishlach Genesis 32:4-36:43

Aliyah Gen 32:4 - 32:13
Sheini Gen 32:14 - 32:30
Sh'lishi Gen 32:31 - 33:5
Revi'i Gen 33:6 - 33:20
Chamishi Gen 34:1 - 35:11
Shishi Gen 35:12 - 36:19
Shevi'i Gen 36:20 - 36:39
Maftir Gen 36:40 - 36:43
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VaYishlach - ”and he sent”

4. And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir, the country of Edom:
5. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall you speak to my lord Esau; Your servant Jacob said thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
6. And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and women servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight:
7. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to your brother Esau, and also he comes to meet you, and four hundred men with him:
8. Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, in two bands:


Ya’acov is returning home.  He has been away for twenty years.  He is concerned over how he will be received by his brother.  Remember, the last he had heard, Esau was planning on killing him as soon as Avraham died and his mourning period ended.  Esau was still living in the land of Yisrael and Ya’acov had run off to another land. 

 

Was Ya’acov still keeping Torah?  Was he still worshipping Elohim?  Had he begun worshipping the idols of the land he was sojourning in?  Was he coming to wage a war against his brother and establish the birthright and blessing that was now his?  Esau did not know.

 

Ya’acov did not know how he would be received and interpreted Esau’s activities as if they were hostile towards him.  Esau was a mighty hunter.  According to the book of Sefer HaYashar ( Book of Jasher) he killed Nimrod.  The killing of men, even mighty or important men, was not beyond him.  Certainly, from Ya’acov’s perspective, after all that had happened, Esau was coming to kill him…. After all he had a small army of four-hundred men with him.

 

Ya’acov had changed during his trip.   He was no longer the young upstart, the supplanter that he was when he left.  He was spiritually mature, serving Elohim with al his heart soul and mind at this point.

 

When one of our brothers goes out away from us, is he become more Torah observant?  Less?  What are we to do upon that persons return?  What if it were us?  Would we still be received by our brethren having gone away for a long period of time?  Would we present ourselves in a righteous fashion?

 

After all he owned had crossed over the Jordan into Kenaan, he wrestled with a “Man”.  This man turns out to be Elohim.  Ya’acov knew he was wrestling someone special, because he would not let Him go until after He blessed Him.  Ya’acov did receive a blessing from Him and his name was changed to Yisrael.  Ysrael also wanted to know the name of the One who blessed him.  Although not stated, it is implied that he was told. 

 

Because of the damage to the hip, as it is stated:

 

GEN 32:32   Therefore the children of Israel eat not [of] the sinew which shrank, which [is] upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because He touched the hollow of Ya’acov's thigh in the sinew that shrank.

 

It is the practice among the Jewish people, even to this day, to not eat of the meat of the thigh of an animal unless the sciatic nerve is first removed.  This is because of this statement in Torah.  It is part of the koshering process when an animal is slaughtered.  It is interpreted that the sinew that is being spoken of is that nerve.

 

Later as he approached Esau, notice how he placed his women and children.  The maidservants and their children went first, then Leah and her’s then Riv’kah.  Still placing Riv’kah’s safety above that of all the others.  Perhaps this is why Riv’kah was taken first, when Bin’Yamin was born.  This coupled with the fact that Lavan’s idols never were recovered from her.

 

To Ya’acov’s surprise, Esau is not upset but is overjoyed at his brother’s return.   Esau returns to his home, and Ya’acov continues on to stay in the land.  Esau, after this, moves on to the land to become known as the land of Edom.

 

Vayeshev Genesis 37-40

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 37:1 - 37:11  11
Sheini  Gen 37:12 - 37:22  11
Sh'lishi  Gen 37:23 - 37:36  14
Revi'i  Gen 38:1 - 38:30  30
Chamishi  Gen 39:1 - 39:6  6
Shishi  Gen 39:7 - 39:23  17
Shevi'i  Gen 40:1 - 40:19  19
Maftir  Gen 40:20 - 40:23  4

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VaYeshev - ”and he settled” - Genesis 37:1-40:23

Genesis 37:

  1. And Jacob lived in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan:
  2. These are the generations of Jacob; Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought to his father their evil report:
  3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a coat with long sleeves:
  4. And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him:
  5. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brothers; and they hated him even more:

Yoseph (Joseph) is seventeen years of age when all this plays out…   Remember when we were seventeen?  Young, thought we knew it all, ready to show-off ourselves and anything we had, not knowing how to truly be merciful, not knowing how to address situations with tact.

Yoseph had a dream.  This dream invoked hatred among his brothers.  This dream dealt with an aspect of Joseph’s life, his wealth.  Notice in the dream that his brother’s did not bow down to him, but their sheaves bowed to his sheaf.  The sheaves were symbols of wealth. 

Later in Yosephs next dream, the stars in heaven are bowing to him.  Here the allusion is obvious and is stated in the text.  But the emotion brought forth is not hatred but jealousy. 

Why jealousy?

The stars and the heavens were not just allusions to people, but to their spiritual state.  The dream presented the idea that Yoseph was to be more spiritually minded than the others.His life would be dedicated to service.  This brought about jealousy.  The brothers all wanted to have a closer relationship with Elohim.

We see this same thing happening today.  The purpose of the wild olive branches being grafted into the cultivated olive tree is for the purpose of jealousy.

ROM 11:17    And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

But are those who have grafted in making the natural branches jealous?  For the most part no.  Most of those who believe they are grafted in do not observe Torah, but instead teach against it or ignore it.  But they “consider” themselves grafted in.

Those who are grafted in are warned:

ROM 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be grafted into their own olive tree?

Most people today do not believe that this will happen.  “Once saved always save..”  But salvation doesn’t come from our perfect observance of Torah, it is a free gift.  But we could throw that gift away and lose it by rejection of Torah.  Those who reject Torah will be “Cut off”, they will be removed from the tree. 

The thing which makes us jealous is when someone is doing something better than we.  This is especially true of spiritual matters.  As we become more observant of Torah, those who are not become more jealous.  Most of the time they will ridicule and try to stop you from doing what you are doing, effectively trying to bring you down to their level.

Here after Yoseph’s second dream, his brothers do just that.  They are not happy with his piety, so instead of attempting to lift themselves up to his level, they instead attempt to pull him down.  They discuss killing him bur Reuven won’t let them. 

Yehudah seeks to profit from this whole ordeal.  He suggest that they sell Yoseph to some passing Yishmaelites.  This was done for twenty pieces of silver. 

Reuven was unaware of his brothers’ treachery and was unaware of what had happened to Yoseph.  He tore his garments at the sight of the pit being empty.  The others, instead of seeking a more righteous path, took a path of lies and deceit.  They even killed a kid of the goats from their father’s flock to cover up the incident.

They took Yoseph’s robe and put the ram’s blood on it and presented it to Yitzach.  When Yitzach saw the robe he wept and tore his clothes.  There is an interesting story about what followed in Sepher HaYashar (Book of Jasher):

Jasher 43:36  And after this, Jacob rose up from the ground, and his tears were running down his cheeks, and he said unto his sons, Rise up and take your swords and your bows, and go forth into the field, and seek whether you can find my son's body and bring it unto me that I may bury it.
Jasher 43:37  Seek also, I pray you, among the beasts and hunt them, and that which shall come the first before you seize and bring it unto me, perhaps Elohim will this day pity my affliction, and prepare before you that which did tear my son in pieces, and bring it unto me, and I will avenge the cause of my son.
Jasher 43:38  And his sons did as their father had commanded them, and they rose up early in the morning, and each took his sword and his bow in his hand, and they went forth into the field to hunt the beasts.
Jasher 43:39  And Jacob was still crying aloud and weeping and walking to and fro in the house, and smiting his hands together, saying, Joseph my son, Joseph my son.
Jasher 43:40  And the sons of Jacob went into the wilderness to seize the beasts, and behold a wolf came toward them, and they seized him, and brought him unto their father, and they said unto him, This is the first we have found, and we have brought him unto thee as thou didst command us, and thy son's body we could not find.
Jasher 43:41  And Jacob took the beast from the hands of his sons, and he cried out with a loud and weeping voice, holding the beast in his hand, and he spoke with a bitter heart unto the beast, Why didst thou devour my son Joseph, and how didst thou have no fear of the YHWH of the earth, or of my trouble for my son Joseph?
Jasher 43:42  And thou didst devour my son for naught, because he committed no violence, and didst thereby render me culpable on his account, therefore YHWH will require him that is persecuted.
Jasher 43:43  And Elohim opened the mouth of the beast in order to comfort Jacob with its words, and it answered Jacob and spoke these words unto him,
Jasher 43:44  As YHWH liveth who created us in the earth, and as thy soul liveth, my lord, I did not see thy son, neither did I tear him to pieces, but from a distant land I also came to seek my son who went from me this day, and I know not whether he be living or dead.
Jasher 43:45  And I came this day into the field to seek my son, and your sons found me, and seized me and increased my grief, and have this day brought me before thee, and I have now spoken all my words to thee.
Jasher 43:46  And now therefore, O son of man, I am in thy hands, and do unto me this day as it may seem good in thy sight, but by the life of YHWH who created me, I did not see thy son, nor did I tear him to pieces, neither has the flesh of man entered my mouth all the days of my life.
Jasher 43:47  And when Jacob heard the words of the beast he was greatly astonished, and sent forth the beast from his hand, and she went her way.
Jasher 43:48  And Jacob was still crying aloud and weeping for Joseph day after day, and he mourned for his son many days.

So Ya’acov even had a fleece attesting to Yoseph’s disappearance.  His fleece that he had asked for did not come to pass.  Yoseph’s brothers had a shange of heart after the sale but the Yismaelites who now had Yoseph could not be found.  So upon this sin, the fate of Yisrael for 400 years of future affliction is now set.  The stage is prepared for Yoseph’s dreams to be fulfilled, though it is doubtful that his brothers even thought about the dreams again – until they were in his presence again and he was made known to them.

How sin travels.  One leads to another and to another.  It is said that if a person violates one of the commandments, he has violated them all… How true a statement.  For in violating one, we must invariable violate others to cover our initial sin.  Then we must violate more to conceal those.  Before we are done, we have violated them all.

Let us be watch full that we bring each other to jealousy in such a way as to cause us to become more observant and not less.  Let us not bring each other to scorn as we seek to become pious individuals.  Let us not sin against each other in our struggle to understand the words of Elohim.

Shabbat Shalom.
 

Mikeitz Genesis 41:1-44:17

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 41:1 - 41:14  14
Sheini  Gen 41:15 - 41:38  24
Sh'lishi  Gen 41:39 - 41:52  14
Revi'i  Gen 41:53 - 42:18  23
Chamishi  Gen 42:19 - 43:15  35
Shishi  Gen 43:16 - 43:29  14
Shevi'i  Gen 43:30 - 44:18  18
Maftir  Gen 44:19 - 44:17  4

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MiKetz - ”at the end of” - Genesis 41:1-44:17

Genesis 41:

  1. And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed; and, behold, he stood by the river:
  2. And, behold, there came up from the river seven cows sleek and fat; and they fed in the reed grass:
  3. And, behold, seven other cows came up after them from the river, gaunt and thin; and stood by the other cows upon the brink of the river:
  4. And the gaunt and thin cows ate the seven sleek and fat cows; And Pharaoh awoke:
  5. And he slept and dreamed the second time; and, behold, seven ears of grain came up upon one stalk, plump and good:

We start with pharaoh’s dreams, and the beginning of Yospeh’s ascension of the political ladder from prison.     The whole of Yoseph’s life thorugh out this has been one of a righteous man being brought down and tested.  From a favorable place in his father’s house, which was obvious even to those initial Yishmaelites who took him to Mitzrayim. 

When we are lowest, we tend to seek Yahweh’s face the most.  Yoseph could not be any lower than he was at this point.  He’s been thrown into a pit, stripped of his fancy coat, sold as a slave twice (3 times according to the book of Jasher), his master’s wife had attempted to seduce him constantly for a year (indications are that she was quite attractive), and he has been in prison now for 13 years.  During this time in prison he has repeatedly been lifted up in his captivity.   He has been lifted up because he has always acted righteously in all that he put his hand to.  He did all as if he were doing for YHWH, and trusted in Him to provide for all his needs.

Now he is rushed out of the prison and prepared for presentation to Pharaoh.  Why “rushed”? Since every letter of Torah is important, there must be a reason for him being “rushed”.   I found this in the course of researching other commentaries:

Sforno (classic commentary of Rabbi Ovadya Sforno of Rome and Bologna; 1470-1550) explains that all redemptions happen instantaneously. Similar to the story of the Exodus, when the just liberated Jewish nation had no time to allow their dough to rise, from whence came matzos, so too Yosef's personal liberation happened instantaneously, as one moment he was incarcerated and seconds later he was out of jail. Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan of Radin; 1838-1933; author of basic works in Jewish law, thought and ethics and famous for his saintly qualities) takes this theme further, explaining that every event in world history, whether viewed as positive or negative, has an appointed time. When the moment destined to be historic arrives, G-d does not delay a second. Yosef's moment had arrived, and he was out "as quick as a flash."
http://www.torah.org/learning/kolhakollel/5762/miketz.html

We should expect Y’shua to arrive in a similar fashion.  When our redemption comes, it is time to move, not wait around.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I were praying with a woman from one of our local synagogues.  During the prayer, it was asked that a way be presented that I could go to Yisrael at little to no cost for myself.  Inside I kind of smirked at the idea.  Why would anyone send me to Yisrael for free.  Six months later I was presented with just such an opportunity.  I had 72hrs notice.  I had no passport.  I could get one in 24hrs if needed.  But all I could think of was my job and supporting my family.  If I did this, I would certainly lose my job.  I had just had harsh words with a man who was not supporting his family by choice, and was concerned about the impression that I would give in being a hypocrit.  I did not go.  A voice in my head told me that it would be the last time I would get a chance to go while there was a form of peace in the land.  Two days after I would have returned I was offered a new position at another company, which I immediately took.   A month or so later the Palestinian Arabs began blowing themselves up.  YHWH had already provided for my needs, and I didn’t trust in Him at the time, though I said that I did… I needed to see something, something tangible.  It was a tough lesson.  Perhaps in the future I will be more prepared, or more ready to move when He tells me to do so. 

It is said that when you repent of a sin, you will be presented with the same or similar opportunity again, to see if you have really repented or was it just words.

Ya’acov was not prepared at any of his moves from place to place, yet when the call came he went.  When we are given the command to go, we must be ready to move.  In the future, we may be called to flee from an area or to an area.  Our decision to move immediately or not may cost us our lives, or the lives of others.  Will we be will to drop everything and go? Or will we do as I did in the past and hesitate?  It is far easier to say “I will go” than it is to say “ I will wait”, but the reality is that the opposite is true in practice.

Shabbat Shalom.

Vayigash Genesis 44:18-47:27

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 44:18 - 44:30  13
Sheini  Gen 44:31 - 45:7  11
Sh'lishi  Gen 45:8 - 45:18  11
Revi'i  Gen 45:19 - 45:27  9
Chamishi  Gen 45:28 - 46:27  28
Shishi  Gen 46:28 - 47:10  16
Shevi'i  Gen 47:11 - 47:24  14
Maftir  Gen 47:25 - 47:27  3

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Vayechi Genesis 47:28-50:26

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah   Gen 47:28 - 48:9  13
Sheini  Gen 48:10 - 48:16  7
Sh'lishi  Gen 48:17 - 48:22  6
Revi'i  Gen 49:1 - 49:18  18
Chamishi  Gen 49:19 - 49:26  8
Shishi  Gen 49:27 - 50:20  27
Shevi'i  Gen 50:21 - 50:22  2
Maftir  Gen 50:23 - 50:26  4

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Sh'mot - Exodus

Vayikra - Leviticus

B'midbar - Numbers

D'varim - Deuteronomy

D'varim "Words" - Devarim 1:1-3:22

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah  Deu 1:1 - 1:11  
Sheini Deu 1:12 - 1:21  
Sh'lishi Deu 1:22 - 1:38  
Revi'i Deu 1:39 - 2:1  
Chamishi Deu 2:2 - 2:30  
Shishi Deu 2:31 - 3:14  
Shevi'i Deu 3:15 -3:22  
Maftir    

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Torah Portion: Devarim 1:1-3:22
Haftarah Portion: Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 1:1-27
Later Katuvim: John 15:1-11, Hebrews 3:7-4:11

Va'etchanan "I Pleaded" - Devarim 3:23-7:11

Section Verses # of V.
Aliyah  Deu 3:23 - 4:4  
Sheini Deu 4:5 - 4:40  
Sh'lishi Deu 4:41 - 4:49  
Revi'i Deu 5:1 - 5:18  
Chamishi Deu 5:19 - 6:3  
Shishi Deu 6:4 - 6:25  
Shevi'i Deu 7:1 -7:11  
Maftir    

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Devarim 3:23-7:11
Haftarah Portion: Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26
Later Katuvim: Matthew 4:1-11, 22:33-40
Mark 12:28-34
Luke 4:1-13, 10:25-37
Acts 13:113-43
Romans 3:27-31
I Timothy 2:4-6
James 2:14-26
 

Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8

In this portion, we are told what we are to do and not to do when we come into the land of Israel from our great journey through the wilderness.  We are given blessings and cursings in these final instructions. 

It is interesting that in giving these things, there is little among them that most of the religious community would object to ( as a matter of moral practice ).  However, when examining Deb 27:26, we find:

Cursed be he who does not maintain all the words of this Torah to do them; And all the people shall say, Amen: {emphasis added}

This means, ALL. Not some, or the ones a person finds convenient, but all.  The Torah constists of 5 books of instruction.  Not a few phrases that might seem to be good ideas.  I remember growing up and hearing parents complain that they never received an instruction manual for raising their children.  Most newly married couples do receive one, they just don’t read it.  Why? Because their pastor or priest told them that it didn’t apply, or was too complicated for them, or that they should leave the study of the Old Testament to them and let them interpret it for them so that they don’t get confused. 

Confused???  How could one not become confused when from the pulpit one hears, “it is nailed to the cross” but the book, on which their beliefs are supposed to be based, says “forever and ever, through out all your generations….”  Of course they would get confused.

As I read through the list of items that one is immediately cursed for, I was amazed at how many of them are in current practice in the western world.  Starting from verse 15 in this chapter and going to then end, I would say that within any given month the news media will have a report of at least one individual breaking at least one of these instructions, and probably more.  Over the course of a year, one can virtually guarantee that all of these things will have been reported in public media somewhere.

It may be interesting to note verse 17, in light of Israel’s historical land battles with her surrounding nations.   Israel is in constant turmoil over borders.  It seems as if the Palistinian Arabs adjust what they believe their borders are on a daily basis.  Then they wonder why their lives, as a people in the region are so miserable.  They are under a curse.  Every time they go to battle with Israel to steal more land, Israel not only defends her borders, but is capable and has at times, expanded her borders in the repulsion of armies seeking to “move their neighbor’s boundries”.

As we move into Chapter 28, we start out with short listing of blessings, but incredible ones they are.  But the blessings are conditional, they involve walking in His ways, upholding and observing His Torah.  If we don’t then we fall under the cursings as previously stated and then stated again further on in Chapter 28. 

I have heard teachers in Christendom tell me that the curses here are all nailed to the cross or tree, but that the blessings remain…  Remain for what purpose?  If we are not observance Torah – ie. Studying it and putting it into action in our lives, then we are ignoring it and just doing our own thing.  In the ignoring of Torah, we don’t get the blessings.  By default there is no middle ground.  There are blessings and cursings. Period.  If your are not in the camp of blessing, then what camp are you in?

For those who do not think that the western world has fallen under a curse… Read through Chapter 28.  How many of the items listed can we find current examples of?
You may not be able to find an example of all of these things, but you will find a frighteningly high percentage.

I know of people with boils that the doctors can’t cure.  These are believing people who know the history of the Christian church, yet don’t seem to care.   I can see the plague of locust here in Texas by driving down virtually any country road.  The failing of crops is increasing.  Men take wives and become engaged yet other men sleep with them.  Other people eat the fruit of our land, while people in our own country starve.  The earth in my area is like bronze, ie very hard, in the summer.  The heat can be unbearable at times.  Diseases are becoming worse and worse so that doctors can’t even identify them all…  Yet we are considered to be blessed among the nations… How much worse is for them?  We have much here in the way of knowledge and instruction.  Yet, for all we have the most powerful teaching in our country, and possibly the world is that the Torah is not for today.  And we wonder why all these things come upon us.  With every disaster, we see a short burst of people going to the Christian churches.  But they don’t stay long, and even if they did it would make little difference, because they are rejecting Torah.  And in that rejection our nation as a whole becomes cursed.

The final command in this section we are told yet again, that if we will follow this Torah, which He gave us, we would prosper in all that we do.  1, 2 3, more? Witnesses to tell us to Observe Torah.  So let the matter be established.

Shabbat Shalom.

Netsavim “You are Standing” Debarim 29:10 – 30:20

For those seeking a circumcised heart this is an interesting section.  In verse 6 we are told that YHWH will give us a circumcised heart.  Jewish literature refers to this section as Moshe giving us a “New Covenant”.  What is meant by this is that it is another covenant, or an additional covenant.  The covenants in scripture build on one another, so that one does not destroy the other.   If one covenant replaced another covenant, then our Elohim would have lied to us.  He said in each of these covenants that they are forever and ever, throughout all your generations…  So, if a covenant is destroyed then we cannot take YHWH at His word.  Since this is NOT possible, then the interpretation that leads one to believe that a covenant is done away must instead be a false doctrine, for each covenant builds upon the previous.  They refine us in to a closer relationship with Elohim.

We are told that the Torah is not too hard to do.  Is HaShem a deceiver?  Did He tell us that we could do this, when we really couldn’t?  One of the things Yahshua did was to demonstrate that the Torah could be kept in its perfection, that it wasn’t too far off.  A parable on this is found in The Midrash Says by Moche Weissman 1985 pp 324-325:

A fool enters the Beis Hamidrash.  Notice the other Jews studying with ferver, he inquires, “How does one become proficient in Torah?” He is told, “After learning the Alef-Bet one progresses to scripture, and from there to the prophets, and finally to Mishna and Gemara.”

The fool thinks,:How can I ever master all that?”  He gives up before he begins.

The wise person, though, acts like the sharper of two men who notice a loaf of bread dangling from a string that is suspended from the ceiling.  One commented, ”Look, it’s so high up that we could never get it down.”  The other thought, “Someone obviously hung it there! There must be a way of getting it down.”  He brought ladders and rods and fished for the bread until he finally pulled it down.
Similarly, the wise person says, “Let me learn some Torah today, some more tomorrow, and a new portion each day until I eventually master it.”

We are warned that at a future time Israel would depart from YHWH and that we would serve other gods.  And so we have for the most part.  In our departure from Torah, we have come to serve other gods.  We, as a western culture, serve them in our religious customs from whence they originated.  We are warned that doing as the pagans around us do to their gods to YHWH will not be accepted.  It doesn’t matter how good it feels.  It doesn’t matter how much fun it is.  It doesn’t matter how many others are doing it.  It doesn’t matter that Billy said it was O.K.  Some have told me they do it for the kids, that it promotes a strong family atmosphere, or that it is not all that important and that there are far more important things to worry about.  Really?  I think they need to read Ezekiel chapters 8 & 9, which plainly describe the Easter practices as defined by the Roman Catholic Church and practiced by her daughters, the protestant churches.  You will see the cause and effect at Messiah’s coming of these practices.

When the curses reach their height we are told that we would do Teshuva and be returned to the land from where ever it is we have been dispersed to.  Even unto the furthest reaches under heaven.  This is perhaps the first inkling that before teshuva as a nation will occur, we will be traveling into space.  And by the phrasing some may not come back right away.

We are finally promised that we have life and death set before us on that day. We are told to choose life, so that we may live.  If we reject Torah, we choose death.  If we accept and seek after it,, we choose life.  Blessings and cursings.  Life and Death. So choose life and live

Blessings in the name of Messiah, Shabbat Shalom.

VaYelekh “And he went Devarim 31:1-30

In verse 3 we find an interesting little item.  Here YHWH has said that He is going over the Jordan BEFORE Yisrael.  Also, He states that Jehoshua is going before Yisrael.  The reference is almost certainly a poetic parallelism.  We see the ideas presented as:

3. YHWH your Eloah, he will go over before you, and he will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall possess them;

and then again as:

and Joshua{Yehoshua}, he shall go over before you, as the YHWH has said:
4. And YHWH shall do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and to the land of them, whom he destroyed:
5. And YHWH shall give them up before your face, that you may do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you:

We can see by the way He organized the wording that in the context YHWH is referring to Himself in both places, as Yehoshua ben Nun is referenced specifically later.  A parallel is drawn then as a Messianic reference to the manifestation of YHWH as Yeshua (Salvation).  In future prophecy, Yeshua(Salvation) becomes the leader of Yisrael and leads her in the Olam Haba.

Yehoshua is told not to be afraid nor be discouraged.  In this, he is warned that Yisrael may not always do what is correct, nor would they always win in battle, because of her disobedience.  He is told that YHWH would protect them and lead them.

We are then given the warning to do ALL the words of YHWH‘s Torah.  We are instructed to read them every seven years at Succoth.  Not just Yisrael is to hear and do, but even the sojourner that is within their gates is to hear and do.  This seems to be a recurring theme in Debarim.  Learn and obey:Life and Death:Blessing and Cursing.

YHWH then warns Yehoshua of Moshe’s impending death, and that Yisrael would certainly go after other “gods”.   He also warned that in the day that they do it, His wrath would be against them and that He would hide His face from them. 

You know, sometimes in this era, many people wonder why their prayers are not heard.  Why, if there is a “god” would He let these atrocities occur?  Why, Why , Why???

Well the answer is write there in scripture, the very scripture that the writers of the Ketivim Netzarim (new Testament) taught from, the very scripture that Rabbi’s have taught from for centuries, the very scripture we should be teaching from today as the basis of our beliefs: The Tanakh!

Our instruction is there.  We are warned that YHWH will “hide His face” from us if we do not learn and guard to do all the words of Torah, which He has given us.  Now, there may be some discrepancies among us as to how we should carry out each specific instruction, but to not perform them is like telling Him that we don’t care if He listens.  And then we wonder why He doesn’t.

I had a friend in high school who was essentially agnostic.  He would say, “God has never done anything for me, why should I believe in Him?”.  The reverse would be far closer to the truth: If you do nothing for Him, If you question His existence, If you ignore Him, why should He do anything for you?

Even today, when we are in distress, we tend to run to prayer seeking relief from whatever persecution or trial we are under.  Most of the time we have placed ourselves outside of His protection when these things occur.  Of course, time and chance happen to everyone, and sometimes, bad things occur which there is no control over.

We are supposed to remember that there are reasons for not being blessed and for being cursed.  We are supposed to repent, and turn back to YHWH to observe and obey His instruction.

Most of Christendom does not even know how to repent, having rejected Torah.  Without knowing about and accepting Torah as a way of life prescribed by YHWH , how does one repent?  Repent of what?  Being a nice or not nice person?  The scripture has many righteous individuals in it who, by our standards today, would be considered not nice persons.  So the only standard given to us that we are to judge ourselves by is the Torah which YHWH gave to us almost 6000 years ago.  When we repent, we need to turn back to that Torah.  If we expect YHWH to hear us when we cry out, we had better be doing, or trying to do what He instructed us to do.

Before the Song of Moshe is given. There are three witnesses set against the people.  These three witnesses are the written Torah, which was placed beside the Ark of the Covenant, the Heavens, and the Earth.  So if one thinks that he does anything in secret, he is wrong for these three witnesses see him in secret and report his actions to YHWH. 

Shabbat Shalom