In Parashat Re’eh, Moses set before the Israelites the choice between blessing and curse. Moses instructed the Israelites in the laws that they were to observe, including the law of a single centralized place of worship. Moses warned against following other gods and their prophets and set forth the laws of kashrut, tithes, the Sabbatical year, the Hebrew slave, firstborn animals, and the three pilgrim festivals.
This week’s haftorah is the third of a series of seven “haftarot of Consolation.” These seven haftarot commence on the Shabbat following Tisha b’Av and continue until Rosh Hashanah.
In the Apostolic writings, the council in Jerusaelm set basic rules for Gentiles who want to come along Jewish believers in Messiah.
The fourth portion of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is Re’eh, which means “See.” This is the 47th Torah Portion.
Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
Haftorah Portion: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
Apostolic Writings: Acts 15:12-29
You can read or listen to the Haftarah and Apostolic portions below:
“Storm-ravaged [city], unconsoled,
I will set your stones in the finest way,
lay your foundations with sapphires,
make your windows shine with rubies,
your gates with garnet, your walls with gemstones.
All your children will be taught by HaShem;
your children will have great peace.
In righteousness you will be established,
far from oppression, with nothing to fear;
far from ruin, for it will not come near you.
Any alliance that forms against you
will not be my doing;
whoever tries to form such an alliance
will fall because of you.
It is I who created the craftsman
who blows on the coals and forges weapons
suited to their purpose;
I also created the destroyer to work havoc.
No weapon made will prevail against you.
In court you will refute every accusation.
The servants of HaShem inherit all this;
the reward for their righteousness is from me,”
“All you who are thirsty, come to the water!
You without money, come, buy, and eat!
Yes, come! Buy wine and milk
without money — it’s free!
Why spend money for what isn’t food,
your wages for what doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and you will eat well,
you will enjoy the fat of the land.
Open your ears, and come to me;
listen well, and you will live —
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the grace I assured David.
I have given him as a witness to the peoples,
a leader and lawgiver for the peoples.
You will summon a nation you do not know,
and a nation that doesn’t know you will run to you,
for the sake of HaShem your G-d,
the Holy One of Isra’el, who will glorify you.”
Then the whole assembly kept still as they listened to Bar-Nabba and Sha’ul tell what signs and miracles G-d had done through them among the Gentiles. Ya‘akov broke the silence to reply. “Brothers,” he said, “hear what I have to say. Shim‘on has told in detail what G-d did when he first began to show his concern for taking from among the Goyim a people to bear his name. And the words of the Prophets are in complete harmony with this for it is written,
‘“After this, I will return;
and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David.
I will rebuild its ruins,
I will restore it,
so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
that is, all the Goyim who have been called by my name,”
says HaShem, who is doing these things.’
All this has been known for ages.
“Therefore, my opinion is that we should not put obstacles in the way of the Goyim who are turning to G-d. Instead, we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood. For from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat.”
Then the emissaries and the elders, together with the whole Messianic community, decided to select men from among themselves to send to Antioch with Sha’ul and Bar-Nabba. They sent Y’hudah, called Bar-Sabba, and Sila, both leading men among the brothers, with the following letter:
From: The emissaries and the elders, your brothers
To: The brothers from among the Gentiles throughout Antioch, Syria and Cilicia
We have heard that some people went out from among us without our authorization, and that they have upset you with their talk, unsettling your minds. So we have decided unanimously to select men and send them to you with our dear friends Bar-Nabba and Sha’ul, who have dedicated their lives to upholding the name of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. So we have sent Y’hudah and Sila, and they will confirm in person what we are writing.
For it seemed good to the Ruach HaKodesh and to us not to lay any heavier burden on you than the following requirements: to abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will be doing the right thing.