Did Eve’s Fence Backfire? – 5782 Beresheet Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

Additionally, the Ashkenazic and Sepharidc, that is Eastern European and Spanish or Iberian Peninsula communities sometime differ on how they divide the Torah Portions. For example in Beresheet The Sephardi have all of chapter 1 plus a bit of chapter 2 as an aliyah, while the Ashkenazi first Aliyah is Genesis 1:1-13. THEN they converge at Aliyah 6 and continue in sync for the seventh and final aliyah. I point this out because I find it interesting, delightful and slightly irritating all at the same time. Honestly, I think the take away should be humility and a very soft pluralism based on individual community standards.

It’s time to explore Torah Portion Beresheet aliyah by aliyah.

 BERESHEET – GENESIS 1:1-6:8 

 Aliyah 1 – Genesis 1:1-2:3 

1:5 G-d called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

According to the Bible, the day begins at night.

Huh. That’s different from what we know today. Rather, that is different from what Modern Western Man has established for himself. Isaiah 55:8-9 come to mind when I think about this.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

and your ways are not my ways,” says HaShem.

9 “As high as the sky is above the earth

are my ways higher than your ways,

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I really like this. This is brilliant. 5 verses in and I am questioning a core paradigm of my life and culture. Taking a look back though, this whole passage so far is a challenge to what we think we know. Today, so many people reject G-d and the Bible based on various things, but this puts it all in a challenging context.

1:1 In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth.

[1:1] There is a G-d and he made everything. That means He is the owner of everything and everyone and no one can ever overcome Him.

1:2 The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of G-d hovered over the surface of the water.

[1:2] He not only made everything, He has involved Himself with it. He makes His presence known and exerts His will on His creation.

1:3 Then G-d said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

[1:3] It wasn’t that there was darkness, the reality is that there was NO light. That is UNFATHOMABLE. What would that look like?!

1:4 G-d saw that the light was good, and G-d divided the light from the darkness.

[1:4] Were light and darkness mixed? Is that possible? Did light not just push or burn away darkness like it does now? Was that a property He had to set or code into existence?

1:5 G-d called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

[1:5] Were back to this. Why would HaShem make the day start at night, but then make people to sleep at night? Are we supposed to be nocturnal? I don’t think so, that seems to go against the natural order of things and I think if He wanted His people to be THAT peculiar there would be a mitzvah about staying up all night.

1:18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and G-d saw that it was good.

[1:18] So the light and darkness were made and separated on the first day but the heavenly bodies: sun, moon stars, and though it doesn’t say this explicitly, I would presume the other planet were all created on the fourth day. As I have recently been delving into the Kent Hovind Creation Science Evangelism series, I am making a point to emphasize that this shatters the Gap Theory and Day Age narratives some people like to profess to bend the Torah to Evolution and the Big Bang. If there were no sun and moon until ages or millennia after plant life emerged on the planet, none of it would have survived to use the light from the sun at all, then the animals would have had nothing to eat and all life would have perished, making the Almighty a failed creator, Heaven forbid!

Based on my years studying the Torah through Jewish resources, I will also point out that the Torah is neither a history or science book. I believe everything recorded in the Bible is accurate, so some amazing things are stated in scripture that have only recently been proven to be true by science, but that doesn’t make it a science book. That is not the intention. The Torah, all of it, the whole megillah’s worth of 66 books is given to show redeemed people who love and fear their Creator how they can live lives pleasing to Him and fruitful to them.

1:27 So G-d created humankind in his own image;

in the image of G-d he created him:

male and female he created them.

[1:27] This sentence makes no sense from a humanistic, literalist stand point. It isn’t woke either, despite the fact that G-d is referred to as male, but then is implied to be male and female. The famous term Shekinah or Shekinah Glory is feminine and it is used to describe G-d. G-d is an infinite spirit being beyond our limited understanding and can not be put into a box. He isn’t male or female and that’s something we will have to learn to accept. Limited as we are, only a pair of us together could come close to mirroring the Ancient of Days.

1:29 Then G-d said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. 30 And to every wild animal, bird in the air and creature crawling on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I am giving as food every kind of green plant.” And that is how it was.

[1:29-30] Score one for the vegans. I can see a world without death being needed to sustain it as a paradise.

2:3 G-d blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day G-d rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

[2:3] The Sabbath is fundamental to Creation. It wasn’t a result of sin, it wasn’t given to Israel to fix a problem specific to them. G-d intended to rest on the Sabbath. It is important to Him.

 Aliyah 2 – Genesis 2:4-19 

2:6 Rather, a mist went up from the earth which watered the entire surface of the ground.

[2:6] This is kind of weird and wonderful. What was the source of the mist? It doesn’t sound like dew, because dew comes from the sky, where as this mist come from the ground. I wonder if pre-flood there were something like mist springs that watered the ground at some interval.

2:15 HaShem, G-d, took the person and put him in the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate and care for it.

[2:15] This mission to the Man and Woman from GEN 1:28 to subdue the earth and rule over the animals is often misunderstood. I think this verse clarifies the intention of that commandment.

2:17 “except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die.”

[2:17] This translation is from the CJB. I wonder what the JPS and KJV say because Adam and Chavah, obviously do NOT die on the day they eat the forbidden fruit.

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (KJV)

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (JPS 1917)

17 but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.” (JPS 1985)

[2:17] I wonder if Stern modified the translation to clarify the intent and muffle the criticisms of contradictions that are lobbed against the Bible. There is a teaching in Judaism that wherever there is an apparent contradiction, there are a two or more verses that will expound on and clarify the matter, showing it to be inline with the rest of scripture. Regardless,in the face of this blatant so-called contradiction, I think there is room for us to deepen our understanding of what is going on and who the Almighty is. Why didn’t they die THAT day? In what way did they die?

 Aliyah 3 – Genesis 2:20-3:21 

2:23 The man-person said, “At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She is to be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 This is why a man is to leave his father and mother and stick with his wife, and they are to be one flesh.

[2:23-24] I really love the romantic aspect of this passage. There is an implication here to, that a man leaving his family and joining with his wife to start a new family is kind of the point of life. It is not entirely the point of life to be married, but I have been a son, a brother and a cousin, but nothing has quite changed and stretched and grown me like the experience of being a husband and a father. In fact, now I am thinking of the idea that Man is to subdue Creation and I am wondering if part of that, is that he is supposed to come to subdue himself and that happens best in the context of familial leadership.

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which HaShem, G-d, had made. He said to the woman, “Did G-d really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden G-d said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’” 4The serpent said to the woman, “It is not true that you will surely die; 5 because G-d knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like G-d, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it had a pleasing appearance and that the tree was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her; and he ate.

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which HaShem, G-d, had made. He said to the woman, “Did G-d really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?”

[3:1] Why did HaShem make such a crafty creature? Was the snake supposed to be evil?

3:2 The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden,

[3:2] Did all the animals talk or was it just the serpent? Chavah seems unfazed by one talking.

3:3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden G-d said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’”

[3:3] It has been that Chavah added to what HaShem said and that her adding to the Word is what caused her to sin. I personally like the idea of putting one fence around the Torah. I think the key is to always acknowledge that the fence is, in fact, a fence. Why do I think a fence around the Torah is good? Two reasons, first if Chavah didn’t touch the fruit she couldn’t have eaten it. Have you ever eaten something without touching it? I think her conflating the fence with the Word is what caused her to sin. In Exodus 19, as HaShem is having Moshe prepare Israel to receive the Torah, He says tells to put a fence around Sinai so that no one transgresses and dies.

You are to set limits for the people all around; and say, ‘Be careful not to go up on the mountain or even touch its base; whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death. No hand is to touch him; for he must be stoned or shot by arrows; neither animal nor human will be allowed to live.’ When the shofar sounds, they may go up on the mountain.”

-Exodus 19:12-13

3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it had a pleasing appearance and that the tree was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her; and he ate.

[3:6] It isn’t the fruit that is toxic, it is the disobedience. Eating the fruit is an external demonstration of an internal reality.

 Aliyah 4 – Genesis 3:22-4:18 

3:7 If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high? And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door — it wants you, but you can rule over it.”

[3:7] This is a major verse for me. It is so meaningful and powerful and I can’t let it go. I believe that if we couldn’t overcome sin, HaShem would be unjust to judge us so severely. This is the basis of that belief

 Aliyah 5 – Genesis 4:19-22 

4:19 Lemekh took himself two wives; the name of the one was ‘Adah, while the name of the other was Tzilah.

[4:19] I find it interesting that we are told the names of the wives of Lemekh. What is the significance of that? Who are they? They must be granddaughters of Adam and Chavah because there is no other option, but what more is going on? So few of the “others sons and daughters” mentioned in genealogies. That stands out to me.

 Aliyah 6 – Genesis 4:23-5:24 

5:24 Hanokh walked with G-d, and then he wasn’t there, because G-d took him

[5:24] This is one of the great mysteries of the Bible. Fun Fact: there is a non-canonical book from the Apocrypha call the Books of Enoch. Enoch is the English equivalent of Hanokh. There are multiple passages in the Apostolic writings that quote the Apocryphal Enoch., see: Jude 1:14-15

 Aliyah 7 – Genesis 5:25-6:8 

5:28 Lemekh lived 182 years and fathered a son, 29 whom he called Noach [restful]; for he said, “This one will comfort us in our labor, in the hard work we do with our hands [to get what comes] from the ground that HaShem cursed.”

[5:28-29] After the Flood, Noach is called a farmer. Tuval-Kayin, one of Kayin’s descendants made metal tools, but we don’t know what they were used for. Noach was able to build the ark. That means cutting and binding wood together in a water-tight structure. Did Noach develop farming technology? Did he master the tools others had made and figure out a way to use them to make growing food a little easier? Man and beast were still supposed to be vegan at this time, and with the curse on the ground people would had to have struggled to subsist. Noach is the 10 generation from Adam and not until then, almost 1000 years later did Man have some respite from the taxing job of subsistence farming.

I had this idea about knowing bringing this revolution to the world and how it may have allowed Man to deteriorate more rapidly. I wrote a short story about it called A Cold Comfort

That concludes my journey through Beresheet for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Did Lot BLOCK Abraham’s Blessing? – 5782 Lech Lecha Aliyah by Aliyah

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Welcome to another Torah Portion break down for the week of Lech Lecha 5782.

My name is Matthew. I welcome comments and questions you might have about what is presented here. I am humbly reading through the Word to make observations and ask questions of my own.

5782 Lech Lecha Aliyah by Aliyah

There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

Additionally, the Ashkenazic and Sepharidc, that is Eastern European and Spanish or Iberian Peninsula communities sometime differ on how they divide the Torah Portions. For example in Beresheet The Sephardi have all of chapter 1 plus a bit of chapter 2 as an aliyah, while the Ashkenazi first Aliyah is Genesis 1:1-13. THEN they converge at Aliyah 6 and continue in sync for the seventh and final aliyah. I point this out because I find it interesting, delightful and slightly irritating all at the same time. Honestly, I think the take away should be humility and a very soft pluralism based on individual community standards.

Below you will find my observations and questions sparked by Torah Portion Lech Lecha. I decided to work section by section and examine the Word aliyah by aliyah.

 LECH LECHA – GENESIS 12: 1-17:27

 Aliyah 1 – Genesis 12:1-13 

12:1 Now HaShem said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing.

[12:1-2] Avram must be someone special. What did he do to merit being called? One thing he has going for him is that he is from the line of Shem, but so was his father and grandfather. Shem is still alive at this point in history. Why not call out to him? Maybe being of that line isn’t enough. I suspect it was something in Avram’s character that made him special to HaShem.

12:3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

[12:3] Noach cursed Ham’s son Kena’an for his insult or “curse” laid on him. I suppose this is in line with that, but this is a really big deal. Anyone who curses Avram will be cursed by HaShem. Wow.

[12:3] To what degree? What does that mean? I wonder if all nations will be blessed by Avram because they will bless him out of their own self-interest. Wait, this says that “by you (Avram) all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So all the nations or families of the earth will be blessed by Avram. That is more of a definitive statement. Throughout history, the Jewish people have made so many wonderful contributions to humanity; those may be part of this, but I imagine this prophecy is really about Messiah. HaShem’s will has always been to have fellowship with Man. That got messed up in the garden, but HaShem’s will be done.

12:4 So Avram went, as HaShem had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

Did people live at home until very late in life at the time? Was Avram helping take care of Terach? I guess there would be no real reason to more out in a situation where you live on acres and acres of land and have flocks or herds to care for. People had to work to live in a much more profound way than today. Since many hands make light the load, it probably made more sense to live in small clans to ensure that everyone was provided for. If you needed privacy, I imagine you could just pitch your tent a ways from others and have the space you need.

12:5 Avram took his wife Sarai, his brother’s son Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, as well as the people they had acquired in Haran; then they set out for the land of Kena‘an and entered the land of Kena‘an.

[12:5] Who are the people they acquired in Haran?

12:6 Avram passed through the land to the place called Sh’khem, to the oak of Moreh. The Kena‘ani were then in the land. 7 HaShem appeared to Avram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to HaShem, who had appeared to him.

[12:6-7] The Kena’ani were in the land at that time. There are 10 generations from Adam to Noach and 10 generations from Noach to Avram. Shem is Avram’s ancestor. I have heard it said that the Kena’ani forcibly took the Land of Israel from Shem’s descendants. I would have to dig in to discern that here, but there were 5 generations from Noach to Avram’s ancestor, Ever, who would have been the first to speak Hebrew as his primary language post-Bavel Tower. The peoples were scattered by languages at that time. That leaves up to 5 generations for these Kena’ani to have come into the Shemi Lands and taken them by force. According to the curse of Noach on Kena’an, they are to be subordinated to Shem and his descendants. Explicitly Kena’an is cursed to serve Shem, while Yefet is to be in fellowship with Shem, but Shem will have primacy. If Kena’an was cursed to serve Shem, then he should never be allowed to seize the property of his master.

[12:7] This altar building goes back to Noach. He made an offering after the Flood. Cain and Abel made offerings too. Did Adam and Chavah make offerings? Did HaShem instruct them how to do it? Did everyone just make up how to do it? How to serve the Master of the Universe? I am guessing no, based on the Levitical system.

12:10 But there was a famine in the land, so Avram went down into Egypt to stay there, because the famine in the land was severe.

[12:10] Was Avram supposed to go into Egypt at this time? Was that the right thing to do? Would he have been saved from the famine if he had stayed in the Land? Did HaShem cause the famine to send him into Egypt or to test his faith?

12:13 Please say that you are my sister, so that it will go well with me for your sake, and so that I will stay alive because of you.”

[12:13] Or is THIS the test? Did HaShem want Avram to tell the truth and have faith that HaShem would protect him? HaShem protected Sarai from harm when she was away from Avram, so why wouldn’t he have protected her when she was with Avram? Why wouldn’t HaShem have protected Avram for his own sake? I am trying to say that he protected Sarai to protect her, so it seems to me that He would protect Avram to protect him.

 Aliyah 2 – Genesis 12:14-13:4 

12:14 When Avram entered Egypt, the Egyptians did notice that the woman was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s princes saw her and commended her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 He treated Avram well for her sake, giving him sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.

[12:14-16] We don’t know this yet, but later on the text says Sarai is 10 years younger than Avram. She must have been quite the 65 year-old beauty for Pharaoh to pay so rich a bride price to her so-called brother to add her to his harem.

 Aliyah 3 – Genesis 13:5-18 

13:14 HaShem said to Avram, after Lot had moved away from him, “Look all around you from where you are, to the north, the south, the east and the west. 15 All the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever, 16 and I will make your descendants as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth — so that if a person can count the specks of dust on the earth, then your descendants can be counted.

[13:14-16] Why did HaShem come to  Avram after Lot had departed? Was Lot’s presence interfering with HaShem’s objective? It’s funny because Ruth is a descendant of Lot and she’s King David’s granny and in the line of Messiah. That’s important. Did Avram need to leave behind the last remnant of his father’s house, in the person of Lot, in order to fully receive the destiny HaShem had for him?

 Aliyah 4 – Genesis 14:1-20 

  14:19 so he blessed him with these words:

“Blessed be Avram by El ‘Elyon,

maker of heaven of earth.

20 and blessed be El ‘Elyon,

who handed your enemies over to you.”

Avram gave him a tenth of everything.

[14:19-20] If you have been reading the Torah from Genesis 1:1, this section is even more impressive. HaShem spoke the universe into being, commanded all the animals to fill the earth, He formed man out of the earth, He breathed His own breath into that man, He gave him a wife and then He walked with the two of them in the garden He provided for them. This infinite cosmic being cares for you. He empowers a man and his small band of fighters to over come an army of FOUR kings who had defeated an army of FIVE kings. This makes no sense to the world, but HaShem cares deeply about the lives of those He loves and He loves us all. When Avram and His men were victorious through the Almighty, not only Lot and his people were saved, but so were the women and others who had been captured by the Four Kings.

 Aliyah 5 – Genesis 14:21-15:6 

15:2 Avram replied, “HaShem, G-d, what good will your gifts be to me if I continue childless; and Eli‘ezer from Dammesek inherits my possessions? 3 You haven’t given me a child,” Avram continued, “so someone born in my house will be my heir.”

[15:2-3] It isn’t a problem to question G-d. There are some people who say that if spouses never have disagreements there is something wrong. I wonder if that is true in a way with HaShem. If you are close to Him, you’ll have questions and you’ll struggle with what He is doing in your life at times, but you stay committed to the One True King, no matter what.

 Aliyah 6 – Genesis 15:7-17:6 

  15:9 He answered him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove and a young pigeon.”

[15:9] What is the significance of the animals for the cut covenant being 3 years old? Yearling animals are the most commonly brought of the herd animals, if I recall correctly. That seems like an odd specification. I wonder if that is how it was done in the culture at the time or if the animals had more heft and therefore made a more substantial pathway for them to walk through.

16:10 The angel of HaShem said to her, “I will greatly increase your descendants; there will be so many that it will be impossible to count them.”

17:5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.

[16:10, 17:5-6] Do Avram and Hagar have some sort of destiny together? Sarai is not promised that she will be a mother of multitudes. Or is she? There is a teaching that Avraham’s wife, after Sarah dies, Keturah is actually Hagar and I can see these verses here as possibly supporting that view.

 Aliyah 7 – Genesis 17:7-27 

17: 7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be G-d for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their G-d.”

[17:7-8] My fellow Gentiles, moreso my Christian borthers and sisters, these verses are crucuial in understanding our relationship with HaShem and the Jewish People. Israel is the heritage of Avraham. When HaShem put him to sleep and walked through the halves of the animals to seal the covenant by Himself in the form of the smoking pot and flaming torch, He made Himself responsible for Avraham’s end of the bargain. Israel and the 12 Tribes inherit that blessing and that commitment from HaShem. We who know Yeshua as Messiah believe he is the fulfillment of that promise, that he is the flaming torch who banishes the darkness and brings us into the holy light of the Most High, but he is from Israel and he is called the root of Israel and the First Fruits of Israel, so that none will be cut off who number among his. We need to take care with how we think of our Jewish brethren, lest we make a liar of G-d and cast doubt on the Might of Messiah’s redemptive work.

That concludes my journey through Lech Lecha for the year 5782.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

Lech Lecha 5782 Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings

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Parashat Lech-Lecha tells the stories of G-d’s calling of Abram (who would become Abraham), Abram’s passing off his wife Sarai as his sister, Abram’s dividing the land with his nephew Lot, the war between the four kings and the five, the covenant between the pieces, Sarai’s tensions with her maid Hagar and Hagar’s son Ishmael, and the covenant of circumcision (brit milah).

In the Haftorah, Isaiah reminds Israel of Abraham’s faithfulness, how he let the land of his fathers and was given strength to conquer the four kings. G-d promises to defeat the idolatrous enemies of Israel

In the Apostolic Writings, the author of Romans explains how Abraham is the Father of faith to the circumcised and uncircumcised and how the salvation of both is secured by the work of Messiah.

The third portion of the book of Beresheet/Genesis is Lech Lecha, which means “Get Yourslef Out.” This is the 3rd Torah Portion.

Torah: Genesis 12:1-17:27

Haftorah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16

Apostolic: Romans 4:1-25

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

https://www.chabad.org/parshah/default_cdo/jewish/Torah-Portion.htm

You can read or listen to the portions below:

Haftorah

Isaiah 40:27-41:16

Why do you complain, Ya‘akov;

why do you say, Isra’el,

“My way is hidden from The LORD,

my rights are ignored by my G-d”?

Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard

that the everlasting G-d, The LORD,

the Creator of the ends of the earth,

does not grow tired or weary?

His understanding cannot be fathomed.

He invigorates the exhausted,

he gives strength to the powerless.

Young men may grow tired and weary,

even the fittest may stumble and fall;

but those who hope in The LORD will renew their strength,

they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings;

when they are running they won’t grow weary,

when they are walking they won’t get tired.

41

“Keep silence before me, coastlands!

Let the peoples replenish their strength!

Let them approach; then let them speak.

Let us assemble for judgment.”

Who has raised from the east one who is just

and called him to be in his service?

He hands nations over to him

and subjects kings to him;

his sword reduces them to dust,

his bow to driven straw.

He pursues them, passing on unscathed,

hardly touching the path with his feet.

Whose work is this? Who has brought it about?

He who called the generations from the beginning,

“I, The LORD, am the first;

and I am the same with those who are last.”

The coastlands have seen and became afraid.

The ends of the earth have trembled.

They have approached, and now they have come.

Every one helps his fellow workman,

everyone says to his brother, “Be strong!”

The woodworker encourages the goldsmith,

the polisher encourages the hammerer;

he says of the soldering, “Yes, that’s good,”

then puts nails in [the idol] to keep it from moving.

“But you, Isra’el, my servant;

Ya‘akov, whom I have chosen,

descendants of Avraham my friend,

I have taken you from the ends of the earth,

summoned you from its most distant parts

and said to you, ‘You are my servant’ —

I have chosen you, not rejected you.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you;

don’t be distressed, for I am your G-d.

I give you strength, I give you help,

I support you with my victorious right hand.

All those who were angry with you

will be disgraced, put to shame;

those who fought against you

will be destroyed, brought to nothing.

You will seek them but not find them,

those who contended with you;

yes, those who made war with you

will be brought to nothing, nothing at all.

For I, The LORD, your G-d,

say to you, as I hold your right hand,

‘Have no fear; I will help you.

Have no fear, Ya‘akov, you worm,

you men of Isra’el!’

I will help you,” says The LORD;

“Your redeemer is the Holy One of Isra’el.

“I will make you into a threshing-sledge,

new, with sharp, pointed teeth,

to thresh the mountains and crush them to dust,

to reduce the hills to chaff.

As you fan them, the wind will carry them off,

and the whirlwind will scatter them.

Then you will rejoice in The LORD,

you will glory in the Holy One of Isra’el.

Apostolic Writings

Romans 4:1-25

Then what should we say Avraham, our forefather, obtained by his own efforts? For if Avraham came to be considered righteous by G-d because of legalistic observances, then he has something to boast about. But this is not how it is before G-d! For what does the Tanakh say? “Avraham put his trust in G-d, and it was credited to his account as righteousness.” Now the account of someone who is working is credited not on the ground of grace but on the gound of what is owed him. However, in the case of one who is not working but rather is trusting in him who makes ungodly people righteous, his trust is credited to him as righteousness.

In the same way, the blessing which David pronounces is on those whom G-d credits with righteousness apart from legalistic observances:

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered over;

Blessed is the man whose sin The LORD

will not reckon against his account.”

Now is this blessing for the circumcised only? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say that Avraham’s trust was credited to his account as righteousness; but what state was he in when it was so credited — circumcision or uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision! In fact, he received circumcision as a sign, as a seal of the righteousness he had been credited with on the ground of the trust he had while he was still uncircumcised. This happened so that he could be the father of every uncircumcised person who trusts and thus has righteousness credited to him, and at the same time be the father of every circumcised person who not only has had a b’rit-milah, but also follows in the footsteps of the trust which Avraham avinu had when he was still uncircumcised.

For the promise to Avraham and his seed that he would inherit the world did not come through legalism but through the righteousness that trust produces. For if the heirs are produced by legalism, then trust is pointless and the promise worthless. For what law brings is punishment. But where there is no law, there is also no violation.

The reason the promise is based on trusting is so that it may come as G-d’s free gift, a promise that can be relied on by all the seed, not only those who live within the framework of the Torah, but also those with the kind of trust Avraham had — Avraham avinu for all of us. This accords with the Tanakh, where it says, “I have appointed you to be a father to many nations.” Avraham is our father in G-d’s sight because he trusted G-d as the one who gives life to the dead and calls nonexistent things into existence. For he was past hope, yet in hope he trusted that he would indeed become a father to many nations, in keeping with what he had been told, “So many will your seed be.” His trust did not waver when he considered his own body — which was as good as dead, since he was about a hundred years old — or when he considered that Sarah’s womb was dead too. He did not by lack of trust decide against G-d’s promises. On the contrary, by trust he was given power as he gave glory to G-d, for he was fully convinced that what G-d had promised he could also accomplish. This is why it was credited to his account as righteousness.

But the words, “it was credited to his account . . . ,” were not written for him only. They were written also for us, who will certainly have our account credited too, because we have trusted in him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead — Yeshua, who was delivered over to death because of our offenses and raised to life in order to make us righteous.”

5782 Noach Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

Below you will find my observations and questions sparked by Torah Portion Noach. I decided to work section by section and examine the Word aliyah by aliyah.

Before I get to the aliyot, I wanted to take a broader look at Noach and have more context on him. Outside of his story in this Torah portion, Noach is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. These are all the references to Noach I found through a quick search:

-Isaiah 54:9

““For me this is like Noach’s flood. Just as I swore that no flood like Noach’s would ever again cover the earth, so now I swear that never again will I be angry with you or rebuke you.”

-Ezekiel 14:14

“even if these three men were in it — Noach, Dani’el and Iyov — they would by their righteousness save only themselves,” says HaShem”

-Matthew 24:37

“For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach.”

-Luke 3:36 – Yeshua’s genealogy

“of Keinan, of Arpakhshad, of Shem, of Noach, of Lemekh,”

-Luke 17:26

“Also, at the time of the Son of Man, it will be just as it was at the time of Noach.”

-Hebrews 11:7

“By trusting, Noach, after receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, was filled with holy fear and built an ark to save his household. Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation and received the righteousness that comes from trusting.”

-1 Peter 3:20

“to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people — to be specific, eight — were delivered by means of water.”

-2 Peter 2:5

“And he did not spare the ancient world; on the contrary, he preserved Noach, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, and brought the Flood upon a world of ungodly people.”

NOACH – GENESIS 6:9-11:32

Aliyah 1 – Genesis 6:9-22

6:11 The earth was corrupt before G-d, the earth was filled with violence. 12 G-d saw the earth, and, yes, it was corrupt; for all living beings had corrupted their ways on the earth.

How? What was the corruption? Was the corruption the violence? Were these all-herbivore animals killing or attacking each other? Were people killing each other?

6:18 But I will establish my covenant with you; you will come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

They are segregated by sex, that is interesting.

6:20 Of each kind of bird, each kind of livestock, and each kind of animal creeping on the ground, two are to come to you, so that they can be kept alive.

The animals miraculously showed up to the Ark. That’s awesome!

Aliyah 2 – Genesis 7:1-16

7:2 Of every clean animal you are to take seven couples, and of the animals that are not clean, one couple;

From the beginning there was a distinction made between clean and unclean animals. Animals were not given for food until AFTER the flood and Noach sacrificed the other 6 pairs. What does that mean? HaShem made a provision and brought a deliverer to save the clean and the unclean alike. Only the clean were made as an offering to Him. Does this relate to Jew and Gentile?

13 On that same day Noach entered the ark with Shem, Ham and Yefet the sons of Noach, Noach’s wife and the three wives of his sons accompanying them;

The segregation of the men and women is mentioned again. Why twice?

15 They went in to Noach in the ark, couples from every kind of living thing that breathes.

16 Those that entered went in, male and female, from every kind of living being, as G-d had ordered him; and HaShem shut him inside.

HaShem shut him, Noach, inside. All the animals and the 7 other people are characterized as going into Noach. And once they have entered into Noach, then the Ark is closed by G-d himself, not Noach. Is this a type of Messiah. One man is raised up by G-d and works to save others by his labour. They are warned of coming judgment which they can escape by join him and entering into him. He is the only righteous man and G-d causes all life to be saved through him, despite the great destruction wrought on the earth. After which the earth is cleansed and ready for a new creation to fill it.

Aliyah 3 – Genesis 7:17-8:14

7:20 the water covered the mountains by more than twenty-two-and-a-half feet.

23 He wiped out every living thing on the surface of the ground — not only human beings, but livestock, creeping animals and birds in the air. They were wiped out from the earth; only Noach was left, along with those who were with him in the ark.

The Flood truly dominated the Earth.  Our Heavenly Father really is the Almighty, nothing can escape his wrath and destruction when he wills it. Even birds of the air need some place to rest and the all consuming waters robbed them of that, so that they would indeed die.

12 He waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, and she didn’t return to him any more.

It seems that Noach is seemingly relying on himself to know when to leave the Ark. That is strange because he has only listened to G-d and followed Him so far. Then again we just met Noach at 500 and have so little other information about him.

Aliyah 4 – Genesis 8:15-9:7

8: 16“Go out from the ark, you, your wife, your sons and your son’s wives with you.”

18 So Noach went out with his sons, his wife and his sons’ wives; 19 every animal, every creeping thing and every bird, whatever moves on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.

There is this interesting reversal here, where G-d says to Noah that he and his wife are to come out of the Ark along with their sons and their wives. Then in verse 18, it is flipped again, where the men and women are kind of segregated. What is the reasoning behind that? HaShem makes the distinction first in 6:18, then He seemingly removes the segregation by calling the people out of the Ark in pairs in 8:16. Then, in 8:18, the people seem to be keeping up the segregation

22 “So long as the earth exists, sowing time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”

This is an interesting definition of seasons. There are 6 seasons listed here and I find it profound when there are godly definitions to things that don’t quite align with how Man sees things. I think we are wise to find out what He says about these things and learn to think about them the same way.

3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything — 4 only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat.

Man had previously only eaten plants. He is given animals at this time, but the animals are made afraid of Man to aid them in survival, I would guess. However there is a restriction set with the availability of animals for food. Animals must be drained of blood, it seems to be eaten. Perhaps this means an animal should not be eaten until it has been killed.

9:1 G-d blessed Noach and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.

9:7 And you people, be fruitful, multiply, swarm on the earth and multiply on it.”

Both Noach and his sons were commanded to have children to replenish the Earth after the Flood. They are given the same commandment within seven verses. Why? Were they reticent to populate the Earth again? Is that why they had segregated themselves? Were they afraid history would repeat itself?

Aliyah 5 – Genesis 9:8-17

9:16 The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between G-d and every living creature of any kind on the earth.”

Fun Fact: Chazal says this is actually more of a threat and a warning than a warm and fuzzy thing. There is even a blessing upon seeing a rainbow. There is also legend that in the generation of, somebody, I don’t know who, there was never a rainbow because everyone was so righteous. Was that just Israel or was that the whole world? I couldn’t say. It is a fun fact though.

Aliyah 6 – Genesis 9:18-10:32

10:6 The sons of Ham were Kush, Mitzrayim, Put and Kena‘an.

21 Children were also born to Shem, ancestor of all the descendants of ‘Ever and older brother of Yefet.

It’s interesting that Avraham and Israel come out of Shem, while Kena’an and Mitzrayim, which is Egypt come out of Ham. I guess Shem and Ham really serve as prototypes for their peoples. Mitzrayim means opression and the Kena’anites kick Shem’s descendants out of their land and are destroyed… mostly by Joshua and the people of Israel when they are lead back to claim their inheritance by the Almighty.

28 After the flood Noach lived 350 years. 29 In all, Noach lived 950 years; then he died.

I find it odd that Noach had no more children, especially with 350 more years of life in him

Aliyah 7 – Genesis 11:1-32

11:1-9

1 The whole earth used the same language, the same words. 2 It came about that as they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shin‘ar and lived there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them in the fire.” So they had bricks for building-stone and clay for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city with a tower that has its top reaching up into heaven, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth.”5 HaShem came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 HaShem said, “Look, the people are united, they all have a single language, and see what they’re starting to do! At this rate, nothing they set out to accomplish will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse their language, so that they won’t understand each other’s speech.” 8 So from there HaShem scattered them all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 For this reason it is called Bavel [confusion] — because there HaShem confused the language of the whole earth, and from there HaShem scattered them all over the earth.

I firmly believe that Hebrew was the original language. This feels like a proof text of it.

Also in GEN 9:7 Noach’s sons are commanded to swarm on the Earth. Later when Noach curses Ham and blesses Shem, he does suggest that Yefet be in Shem’s tent and that Ham’s descendants would be there as servants to them both. The trouble with Man that causes G-d to scatter and disperse them is that they stay together and seek to make a name for themselves. Why? What does that mean? Was this during Ever’s time? Did he participate? Did he abstain? Is that why he got to keep his language? Hebrew is Evreet in Hebrew.

31 Terach took his son Avram, his son Haran’s son Lot, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Avram’s wife; and they left Ur of the Kasdim to go to the land of Kena‘an. But when they came to Haran, they stayed there.

Terach left Ur first, but he stopped in Haran. That stands out to me. I wonder if he was originally called to leave and sojourn, but he failed for some reason. I noticed that he didn’t have any children until 70, where as multiple ancestors before him were having children starting in their 30s. It felt like a trend that abruptly stopped with him. Was that his will? Was he defying the Almighty? Was he married for much of those 70 years? Is it significant that Avram and Sarai were barren into his 70s? Is this meant to contrast that?

Noach 5782 Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings

10-08-2021 Updated Audio

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Parashat Noach tells the stories of the Flood and Noah’s Ark, of Noah’s subsequent drunkenness and cursing of Canaan, and of the Tower of Babel.

In the Haftorah, Isaiah assures the Jewish people that G‑d has not forsaken them. Although He has momentarily hid His countenance from them, He will gather them from their exiles with great mercy.

In the Apostolic Writings, Messiah likens the coming day of Judgement to the Flood.

The second portion of the book of Beresheet/Genesis is Noach, which means “Rest.” This is the 2nd Torah Portion.

Torah: Genesis 6:9-11:32

Haftorah: Isaiah 54:1-55:5

Apostolic: Matthew 24:36-44

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions below:

 

Haftorah

Isaiah 54:1-55:5

“Sing, barren woman who has never had a child!

Burst into song, shout for joy,

you who have never been in labor!

For the deserted wife will have more children

than the woman who is living with her husband,” says HaShem.

Enlarge the space for your tent,

extend the curtains of your dwelling;

do not hold back, lengthen your cords,

make your tent pegs firm.

For you will spread out to the right and the left,

your descendants will possess the nations

and inhabit the desolated cities.

Don’t be afraid, for you won’t be ashamed;

don’t be discouraged, for you won’t be disgraced.

You will forget the shame of your youth,

no longer remember the dishonor of being widowed.

For your husband is your Maker,

HaShem-Tzva’ot is his name.

The Holy One of Isra’el is your Redeemer.

He will be called the G-d of all the earth.

For HaShem has called you back

like a wife abandoned and grief-stricken;

“A wife married in her youth

cannot be rejected,” says your G-d.

“Briefly I abandoned you,

but with great compassion I am taking you back.

I was angry for a moment

and hid my face from you;

but with everlasting grace

I will have compassion on you,”

says HaShem your Redeemer.

“For me this is like Noach’s flood.

Just as I swore that no flood like Noach’s

would ever again cover the earth,

so now I swear that never again

will I be angry with you or rebuke you.

For the mountains may leave and the hills be removed,

but my grace will never leave you,

and my covenant of peace will not be removed,”

says HaShem, who has compassion on you.

“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,”

says HaShem.

55

“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.”

Apostolic Writings

Matthew 24:36-44

“But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father. For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark; and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes. Then there will be two men in a field — one will be taken and the other left behind. There will be two women grinding flour at the mill — one will be taken and the other left behind. So stay alert, because you don’t know on what day your Lord will come. But you do know this: had the owner of the house known when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him.”

Beresheet 5782 Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings

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In Parashat Bereshit, G-d creates the heavens, the world, Adam and Eve, and Sabbath. A serpent convinces Eve, who then invites Adam, to eat the fruit of tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which G-d had forbidden to them. So G-d curses them and expels them from the Garden of Eden. One of their sons, Cain, becomes the first murderer, killing his brother Abel out of jealousy. Adam and Eve have other children, whose descendants populate the Earth. Each generation becomes more and more degenerate until G-d, despairing, decides to destroy humanity. Only one man, Noah, finds G-d’s favor.

In the Haftorah, Isaiah reminds Israel that G-d alone created the entire world and called them out from among the nations to be a light to them. He says that HaShem called them out and sent destruction and ruin upon Israel for their disobedience, but the prophet assures Israel that he will redeem Israel and see His will done for His own sake, closing with “besides me there is no deliverer.”

In the Apostolic Writings, Romans 5 recalls the fall of Man through Adam and the work of redemption through grace that will be completed by the Second Adam, the Messiah.

The first portion of the book of Beresheet/Genesis is Beresheet, which means “In the Beginning.” This is the 1st Torah Portion.

Torah: Genesis 1:1-6:8

Haftorah: Isaiah 42:5-43:11

Apostolic: Romans 5:12-21

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions below:

 Haftorah 

Isaiah 42:5-43:11

Thus says G-d, HaShem,

who created the heavens and spread them out,

who stretched out the earth and all that grows from it,

who gives breath to the people on it

and spirit to those who walk on it:

“I, HaShem, called you righteously,

I took hold of you by the hand,

I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people,

to be a light for the Goyim,

so that you can open blind eyes,

free the prisoners from confinement,

those living in darkness from the dungeon.

I am HaShem; that is my name.

I yield my glory to no one else,

nor my praise to any idol.

See how the former predictions come true;

and now new things do I declare —

before they sprout I tell you about them.”

Sing to HaShem a new song!

Let his praise be sung from the ends of the earth

by those sailing the sea and by everything in it,

by the coastlands and those living there.

Let the desert and its cities raise their voices,

the villages where Kedar lives;

let those living in Sela shout for joy;

let them cry out from the mountaintops!

Let them give glory to HaShem

and proclaim his praise in the coastlands.

HaShem will go out like a soldier,

like a soldier roused to the fury of battle;

he will shout, yes, he raises the battle cry;

as he triumphs over his foes.

“For a long time I have held my peace,

I have been silent, restrained myself.

Now I will shriek like a woman in labor,

panting and gasping for air.

I will devastate mountains and hills,

wither all their vegetation,

turn the rivers into islands

and dry up the lakes.

The blind I will lead on a road they don’t know,

on roads they don’t know I will lead them;

I will turn darkness to light before them,

and straighten their twisted paths.

These are things I will do without fail.

Those who trust in idols,

who say to statues, ‘You are our gods,’

will be repulsed in utter shame.

Listen, you deaf! Look, you blind! —

so that you will see!

Who is as blind as my servant,

or as deaf as the messenger I send?

Who is as blind as the one I rewarded,

as blind as the servant of HaShem?”

You see much but don’t pay attention;

you open your ears, but you don’t listen.

HaShem was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,

to make the Torah great and glorious.

But this is a people pillaged and plundered,

all trapped in holes and sequestered in prisons.

They are there to be plundered, with no one to rescue them;

there to be pillaged, and no one says, “Return them!”

Which of you will listen to this?

Who will hear and give heed in the times to come?

Who gave Ya‘akov to be pillaged,

Isra’el to the plunderers?

Didn’t HaShem, against whom we have sinned,

in whose ways they refused to walk,

he whose Torah they did not obey?

This is why he poured on him his blazing anger

as well as the fury of battle —

it wrapped him in flames, yet he learned nothing;

it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.

43

But now this is what HaShem says,

he who created you, Ya‘akov,

he who formed you, Isra’el:

“Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you;

I am calling you by your name; you are mine.

When you pass through water, I will be with you;

when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched —

the flame will not burn you.

For I am HaShem, your G-d,

the Holy One of Isra’el, your Savior —

I have given Egypt as your ransom,

Ethiopia and S’va for you.

Because I regard you as valued and honored,

and because I love you.

For you I will give people,

nations in exchange for your life.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

I will bring your descendants from the east,

and I will gather you from the west;

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’

and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!

Bring my sons from far away,

and my daughters from the ends of the earth,

everyone who bears my name,

whom I created for my glory —

I formed him, yes, I made him.’”

Bring forward the people who are blind but have eyes,

also the deaf who have ears.

All the nations are gathered together,

and the peoples are assembled.

Who among them can proclaim this

and reveal what happened in the past?

Let them bring their witnesses to justify themselves,

so that others, on hearing, can say, “That’s true.”

“You are my witnesses,” says HaShem,

“and my servant whom I have chosen,

so that you can know and trust me

and understand that I am he —

no god was produced before me,

nor will any be after me.

I, yes I, am HaShem;

besides me there is no deliverer.

 Apostolic Writings 

Romans 5:12-21

Here is how it works: it was through one individual that sin entered the world, and through sin, death; and in this way death passed through to the whole human race, inasmuch as everyone sinned. Sin was indeed present in the world before Torah was given, but sin is not counted as such when there is no Torah. Nevertheless death ruled from Adam until Moshe, even over those whose sinning was not exactly like Adam’s violation of a direct command. In this, Adam prefigured the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the offence. For if, because of one man’s offence, many died, then how much more has G-d’s grace, that is, the gracious gift of one man, Yeshua the Messiah, overflowed to many! No, the free gift is not like what resulted from one man’s sinning; for from one sinner came judgment that brought condemnation; but the free gift came after many offences and brought acquittal. For if, because of the offence of one man, death ruled through that one man; how much more will those receiving the overflowing grace, that is, the gift of being considered righteous, rule in life through the one man Yeshua the Messiah!In other words, just as it was through one offence that all people came under condemnation, so also it is through one righteous act that all people come to be considered righteous. For just as through the disobedience of the one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the other man, many will be made righteous. And the Torah came into the picture so that the offence would proliferate; but where sin proliferated, grace proliferated even more. All this happened so that just as sin ruled by means of death, so also grace might rule through causing people to be considered righteous, so that they might have eternal life, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.

Vezot Haberakhah 5782 Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings

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Parashat Vezot Haberakhah sets out the farewell Blessing of Moses for the 12 Tribes of Israel and concludes with the death of Moses.

In the Haftorah, G‑d assures Joshua that He will be with him just as He was with Moses and encourages him to be strong and brave, to study the Torah constantly and keep it close, so that he may succeed in all his endeavors.

In the Apostolic Writings, Moses and Elijah meet with Messiah and a voice from Heaven implores the disciples to listen to Yeshua.

The eleventh portion of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is Vezot Haberakhah, which means “This is the Blessing.” This is the 54th Torah Portion.

Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 33:1- 34:12

Haftorah: Joshua 1: 1-18

Apostolic Writings: Matthew 17: 1-9

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions below:

 Haftorah 

Joshua 1: 1-18

After the death of Moshe the servant of HaSehm, HaSehm said to Y’hoshua the son of Nun, Moshe’s assistant, “Moshe my servant is dead. So now, get up and cross over this Yarden, you and all the people, to the land I am giving to them, the people of Isra’el. I am giving you every place you will step on with the sole of your foot, as I said to Moshe. All the land from the desert and the L’vanon to the great river, the Euphrates River — all the land of the Hitti — and on to the Great Sea in the west will be your territory. No one will be able to withstand you as long as you live. Just as I was with Moshe, so I will be with you. I will neither fail you nor abandon you.

“Be strong, be bold; for you will cause this people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers I would give them. Only be strong and very bold in taking care to follow all the Torah which Moshe my servant ordered you to follow; do not turn from it either to the right or to the left; then you will succeed wherever you go. Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because HaSehm your G-d is with you wherever you go.”

Y’hoshua instructed the officials of the people to go through the camp and order the people, “Prepare provisions, because in three days you will cross this Yarden to go in and take possession of the land HaSehm your G-d is giving you.”

To the Re’uveni, the Gadi and the half-tribe of M’nasheh Y’hoshua said, “Remember what Moshe the servant of HaSehm ordered you: ‘HaSehm your G-d has let you rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones and your livestock will stay in the land Moshe gave you on the east side of the Yarden; but you are to cross over armed as a fighting force ahead of your brothers, to help them; until HaSehm allows your brothers to rest, as he has allowed you; and they too have taken possession of the land HaSehm your G-d is giving them. At that point, you will return to the land which is yours and possess it, the land Moshe the servant of HaSehm gave you in ‘Ever-HaYarden to the east, toward the sunrise.”

They answered Y’hoshua, “We will do everything you have ordered us to do, and we will go wherever you send us. Just as we listened to everything Moshe said, so will we listen to you. Only may HaSehm your G-d be with you as he was with Moshe. If anyone rebels against your order and doesn’t heed what you say in every detail of your order, he will be put to death. Just be strong, be bold!”

 Apostolic Writings 

Matthew 17: 1-9

Six days later, Yeshua took Kefa, Ya‘akov and his brother Yochanan and led them up a high mountain privately. As they watched, he began to change form — his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became as white as light. Then they looked and saw Moshe and Eliyahu speaking with him. Kefa said to Yeshua, “It’s good that we’re here, Lord. I’ll put up three shelters if you want — one for you, one for Moshe and one for Eliyahu.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the talmidim heard this, they were so frightened that they fell face down on the ground. But Yeshua came and touched them. “Get up!” he said, “Don’t be afraid.” So they opened their eyes, looked up and saw only Yeshua by himself.As they came down the mountain, Yeshua ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

5782 Special Yom Kippur Readings

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TORAH: Leviticus 16:1-34; 18:1-30 (Afternoon)

Morning HAFTORAH: Isaiah 57:14-58:14

Afternoon HAFTORAH: Book of Jonah; Micha 7:18-20

APOSTOLIC: Matthew 12:38-41; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:10-21; Hebrews 10:1-39; James 5:16; Revelation 5:1-14

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

You can read the portions below:

 TORAH 

Leviticus 16:1-34

1HaShem spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before HaShem and died; 2HaShem said to Moshe, “Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover.

3“Here is how Aharon is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering. 4He is to put on the holy linen tunic, have the linen shorts next to his bare flesh, have the linen sash wrapped around him, and be wearing the linen turban — they are the holy garments. He is to bathe his body in water and put them on.

5“He is to take from the community of the people of Isra’el two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 6Aharon is to present the bull for the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and his household. 7He is to take the two goats and place them before HaShem at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8Then Aharon is to cast lots for the two goats, one lot for HaShem and the other for ‘Az’azel. 9Aharon is to present the goat whose lot fell to HaShem and offer it as a sin offering. 10But the goat whose lot fell to ‘Az’azel is to be presented alive to HaShem to be used for making atonement over it by sending it away into the desert for ‘Az’azel.

11“Aharon is to present the bull of the sin offering for himself; he will make atonement for himself and his household; he is to slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. 12He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before HaShem and, with his hands full of ground, fragrant incense, bring it inside the curtain. 13He is to put the incense on the fire before HaShem, so that the cloud from the incense will cover the ark-cover which is over the testimony, in order that he not die. 14He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the ark-cover toward the east; and in front of the ark-cover he is to sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

15“Next, he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the ark-cover and in front of the ark-cover. 16He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el and because of their transgressions — all their sins; and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them right in the middle of their uncleannesses. 17No one is to be present in the tent of meeting from the time he enters the Holy Place to make atonement until the time he comes out, having made atonement for himself, for his household and for the entire community of Isra’el. (LY: ii) 18Then he is to go out to the altar that is before HaShem and make atonement for it; he is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on all the horns of the altar. 19He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, thus purifying it and setting it apart from the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el.

20“When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he is to present the live goat. 21Aharon is to lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the transgressions, crimes and sins of the people of Isra’el; he is to put them on the head of the goat and then send it away into the desert with a man appointed for the purpose. 22The goat will bear all their transgressions away to some isolated place, and he is to let the goat go in the desert.

23“Aharon is to go back into the tent of meeting, where he is to remove the linen garments he put on when he entered the Holy Place, and he is to leave them there. 24Then he is to bathe his body in water in a holy place, put on his other clothes, come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, thus making atonement for himself and for the people. (RY: ii, LY: iii) 25He is to make the fat of the sin offering go up in smoke on the altar.

26“The man who let go the goat for ‘Az’azel is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; afterwards, he may return to the camp.

27“The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, is to be carried outside the camp; there they are to burn up completely their hides, meat and dung. 28The person burning them is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; afterwards, he may return to the camp.

29“It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. 30For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before HaShem from all your sins. 31It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves.

“This is a permanent regulation. 32The cohen anointed and consecrated to be cohen in his father’s place will make the atonement; he will put on the linen garments, the holy garments; 33he will make atonement for the Especially Holy Place; he will make atonement for the tent of meeting and the altar; and he will make atonement for the cohanim and for all the people of the community. 34This is a permanent regulation for you, to make atonement for the people of Isra’el because of all their sins once a year.” Moshe did as HaShem had ordered him.

Leviticus 18:1-30

HaShem said to Moshe, 2“Speak to the people of Isra’el; tell them, ‘I am HaShem your G-d. 3You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Kena‘an, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws. 4You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am HaShem your G-d. 5You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am HaShem.

(LY: vi) 6“‘None of you is to approach anyone who is a close relative in order to have sexual relations; I am HaShem. 7You are not to have sexual relations with your father, and you are not to have sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother — do not have sexual relations with her. 8You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that is your father’s prerogative. 9You are not to have sexual relations with your sister, the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere. Do not have sexual relations with them. 10You are not to have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or with your daughter’s daughter. Do not have sexual relations with them, because their sexual disgrace will be your own. 11You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, because she is your sister; do not have sexual relations with her. 12You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s sister, because she is your father’s close relative. 13You are not to have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative. 14You are not to disgrace your father’s brother by having sexual relations with his wife, because she is your aunt. 15You are not to have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; because she is your son’s wife. Do not have sexual relations with her. 16You are not to have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, because this is your brother’s prerogative.

17“‘You are not to have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter, nor are you to have sexual relations with her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are close relatives of hers, and it would be shameful. 18You are not to take a woman to be a rival with her sister and have sexual relations with her while her sister is still alive. 19You are not to approach a woman in order to have sexual relations with her when she is unclean from her time of niddah. 20You are not to go to bed with your neighbor’s wife and thus become unclean with her.

21“‘You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your G-d; I am HaShem.

(RY: iv, LY: vii) 22“‘You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.

23“‘You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thus become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion.

24“‘Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. 25The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants. 26But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you; (LY: Maftir) 27for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled. 28If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. 29For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people. 30So keep my charge not to follow any of these abominable customs that others before you have followed and thus defile yourselves by doing them. I am HaShem your G-d.’”

 HAFOTRAH 

Jonah 1

1The word of HaShem came to Yonah the son of Amitai: 2“Set out for the great city of Ninveh, and proclaim to it that their wickedness has come to my attention.”

3But Yonah, in order to get away from HaShem, prepared to escape to Tarshish. He went down to Yafo, found a ship headed for Tarshish, paid the fare and went aboard, intending to travel with them to Tarshish and get away from HaShem. 4However, HaShem let loose over the sea a violent wind, which created such stormy conditions that the ship threatened to break to pieces. 5The sailors were frightened, and each cried out to his god. They threw the cargo overboard to make the ship easier for them to control.

Meanwhile, Yonah had gone down below into the hold, where he lay, fast asleep. 6The ship’s captain found him and said to him, “What do you mean by sleeping? Get up! Call on your god! Maybe the god will remember us, and we won’t die.”

7Then they said to each other, “Come, let’s draw lots to find out who is to blame for this calamity.” They drew lots, and Yonah was singled out. 8They said to him, “Tell us now, why has this calamity come upon us? What work do you do? Where are you from? What is your country? Which is your people?” 9He answered them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear HaShem, the G-d of heaven, who made both the sea and the dry land.” 10At this the men grew very afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done?” For the men knew he was trying to get away from HaShem, since he had told them. 11They asked him, “What should we do to you, so that the sea will be calm for us?” — for the sea was getting rougher all the time. 12“Pick me up,” he told them, “and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will be calm for you; because I know it’s my fault that this terrible storm has come over you.”

13Nevertheless, the men rowed hard, trying to reach the shore. But they couldn’t, because the sea kept growing wilder against them. 14Finally they cried to HaShem, “Please, HaShem, please! Don’t let us perish for causing the death of this man, and don’t hold us to account for shedding innocent blood; because you, HaShem, have done what you saw fit.” 15Then they picked up Yonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped raging. 16Seized with great fear of HaShem, they offered a sacrifice to HaShem and made vows.

Jonah 2

1HaShem prepared a huge fish to swallow Yonah; and Yonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. 2From the belly of the fish Yonah prayed to HaShem his G-d; 3he said,

“Out of my distress I called to HaShem,

and he answered me;

from the belly of Sh’ol I cried,

and you heard my voice.

4For you threw me into the deep,

into the heart of the seas;

and the flood enveloped me;

all your surging waves passed over me.

5I thought, ‘I have been banished from your sight.’

But I will again look at your holy temple.

6The water surrounded me, threatened my life;

the deep closed over me, seaweed twined around my head.

7I was going down to the bottoms of the mountains,

to a land whose bars would close me in forever;

but you brought me up alive from the pit,

HaShem, my G-d!

8As my life was ebbing away,

I remembered HaShem;

and my prayer came in to you,

into your holy temple.

9“Those who worship vain idols

give up their source of mercy;

10but I, speaking my thanks aloud,

will sacrifice to you;

what I have vowed, I will pay.

Salvation comes from HaShem!”

11Then HaShem spoke to the fish, and it vomited Yonah out onto dry land.

Jonah 3

1The word of HaShem came to Yonah a second time: 2“Set out for the great city of Ninveh, and proclaim to it the message I will give you.” 3So Yonah set out and went to Ninveh, as HaShem had said. Now Ninveh was such a large city that it took three days just to cross it. 4Yonah began his entry into the city and had finished only his first day of proclaiming, ‘In forty days Ninveh will be overthrown,’ 5when the people of Ninveh believed G-d. They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least. 6When the news reached the king of Ninveh, he got up from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7He then had this proclamation made throughout Ninveh: “By decree of the king and his nobles, no person or animal, herd or flock, is to put anything in his mouth; they are neither to eat nor drink water. 8They must be covered with sackcloth, both people and animals; and they are to cry out to G-d with all their might — let each of them turn from his evil way and from the violence they practice. 9Who knows? Maybe G-d will change his mind, relent and turn from his fierce anger; and then we won’t perish.”

10When G-d saw by their deeds that they had turned from their evil way, he relented and did not bring on them the punishment he had threatened.

Jonah 4

1But this was very displeasing to Yonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to HaShem, “Now, HaShem, didn’t I say this would happen, when I was still in my own country? That’s why I tried to get away to Tarshish ahead of time! I knew you were a G-d who is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in grace, and that you relent from inflicting punishment. 3Therefore, HaShem, please, just take my life away from me; it’s better for me to be dead than alive!” 4HaShem asked, “Is it right for you to be so angry?”

5Yonah left the city and found a place east of the city, where he made himself a shelter and sat down under it, in its shade, to see what would happen to the city. 6HaShem, G-d, prepared a castor-bean plant and made it grow up over Yonah to shade his head and relieve his discomfort. So Yonah was delighted with the castor-bean plant. 7But at dawn the next day G-d prepared a worm, which attacked the castor-bean plant, so that it dried up. 8Then, when the sun rose, G-d prepared a scorching east wind; and the sun beat down on Yonah’s head so hard that he grew faint and begged that he could die, saying, “I would be better off dead than alive.”

9G-d asked Yonah, “Is it right for you to be so angry about the castor-bean plant?” He answered, “Yes, it’s right for me to be so angry that I could die!” 10HaShem said, “You’re concerned over the castor-bean plant, which cost you no effort; you didn’t make it grow; it came up in a night and perished in a night. 11So shouldn’t I be concerned about the great city of Ninveh, in which there are more than 120,000 people who don’t know their right hand from their left — not to mention all the animals?”

Micha 7:18-20

Who is a G-d like you,

pardoning the sin and overlooking the crimes

of the remnant of his heritage?

He does not retain his anger forever,

because he delights in grace.

19He will again have compassion on us,

he will subdue our iniquities.

You will throw all their sins

into the depths of the sea.

20You will show truth to Ya‘akov

and grace to Avraham,

as you have sworn to our ancestors

since days of long ago.

APOSTOLIC

Matthew 12:38-41

38At this some of the Torah-teachers said, “Rabbi, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” 39He replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign? No! None will be given to it but the sign of the prophet Yonah. 40For just as Yonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea-monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the depths of the earth. 41The people of Ninveh will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they turned from their sins to G-d when Yonah preached, but what is here now is greater than Yonah.

Mark 10:45

For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve — and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Romans 3:21-26

21But now, quite apart from Torah, G-d’s way of making people righteous in his sight has been made clear — although the Torah and the Prophets give their witness to it as well — 22and it is a righteousness that comes from G-d, through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah, to all who continue trusting. For it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, 23since all have sinned and come short of earning G-d’s praise. 24By G-d’s grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before him, through the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua. 25G-d put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated G-d’s righteousness; because, in his forbearance, he had passed over [with neither punishment nor remission] the sins people had committed in the past; 26and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yeshua’s faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 5:10-21

for we must all appear before the Messiah’s court of judgment, where everyone will receive the good or bad consequences of what he did while he was in the body.

11So it is with the fear of the Lord before us that we try to persuade people. Moreover, G-d knows us as we really are; and I hope that in your consciences you too know us as we really are. 12We are not recommending ourselves to you again but giving you a reason to be proud of us, so that you will be able to answer those who boast about a person’s appearance rather than his inner qualities. 13If we are insane, it is for G-d’s sake; and if we are sane, it is for your sake. 14For the Messiah’s love has hold of us, because we are convinced that one man died on behalf of all mankind (which implies that all mankind was already dead), 15and that he died on behalf of all in order that those who live should not live any longer for themselves but for the one who on their behalf died and was raised. 16So from now on, we do not look at anyone from a worldly viewpoint. Even if we once regarded the Messiah from a worldly viewpoint, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new! 18And it is all from G-d, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation, 19which is that G-d in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore we are ambassadors of the Messiah; in effect, G-d is making his appeal through us. What we do is appeal on behalf of the Messiah, “Be reconciled to G-d! 21G-d made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in G-d’s righteousness.”

Hebrews 10: 1-39

1For the Torah has in it a shadow of the good things to come, but not the actual manifestation of the originals. Therefore, it can never, by means of the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, bring to the goal those who approach the Holy Place to offer them. 2Otherwise, wouldn’t the offering of those sacrifices have ceased? For if the people performing the service had been cleansed once and for all, they would no longer have sins on their conscience. 3No, it is quite the contrary — in these sacrifices is a reminder of sins, year after year. 4For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.

5This is why, on coming into the world, he says,

“It has not been your will

to have an animal sacrifice and a meal offering;

rather, you have prepared for me a body.

6No, you have not been pleased

with burnt offerings and sin offerings.

7Then I said, ‘Look!

In the scroll of the book

it is written about me.

I have come to do your will.’”

8In saying first, “You neither willed nor were pleased with animal sacrifices, meal offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings,” things which are offered in accordance with the Torah; 9and then, “Look, I have come to do your will”; he takes away the first system in order to set up the second. 10It is in connection with this will that we have been separated for G-d and made holy, once and for all, through the offering of Yeshua the Messiah’s body.

11Now every cohen stands every day doing his service, offering over and over the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this one, after he had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, sat down at the right hand of G-d, 13from then on to wait until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet. 14For by a single offering he has brought to the goal for all time those who are being set apart for G-d and made holy.

15And the Ruach HaKodesh too bears witness to us; for after saying,

16“ ‘This is the covenant which I will make

with them after those days,’ says HaShem:

‘I will put my Torah on their hearts,

and write it on their minds . . . ,’ ”

17he then adds,

“ ‘And their sins and their wickednesses

I will remember no more.’ ”

18Now where there is forgiveness for these, an offering for sins is no longer needed.

19So, brothers, we have confidence to use the way into the Holiest Place opened by the blood of Yeshua. 20He inaugurated it for us as a new and living way through the parokhet, by means of his flesh. 21We also have a great cohen over G-d’s household. 22Therefore, let us approach the Holiest Place with a sincere heart, in the full assurance that comes from trusting — with our hearts sprinkled clean from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering; for the One who made the promise is trustworthy. 24And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting our own congregational meetings, as some have made a practice of doing, but, rather, encouraging each other.

And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, of raging fire that will consume the enemies.

28Someone who disregards the Torah of Moshe is put to death without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses. 29Think how much worse will be the punishment deserved by someone who has trampled underfoot the Son of G-d; who has treated as something common the blood of the covenant which made him holy; and who has insulted the Spirit, giver of G-d’s grace!

30For the One we know is the One who said,

“Vengeance is my responsibility;

I will repay,”

and then said,

“HaShem will judge his people.”

31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living G-d!

32But remember the earlier days, when, after you had received the light, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. 33Sometimes you were publicly disgraced and persecuted, while at other times you stood loyally by those who were treated this way. 34For you shared the sufferings of those who had been put in prison. Also when your possessions were seized, you accepted it gladly; since you knew that what you possessed was better and would last forever.

35So don’t throw away that courage of yours, which carries with it such a great reward. 36For you need to hold out; so that, by having done what G-d wills, you may receive what he has promised. 37For

“There is so, so little time!

The One coming will indeed come,

he will not delay.

38But the person who is righteous

will live his life by trusting,

and if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.”

39However, we are not the kind who shrink back and are destroyed; on the contrary, we keep trusting and thus preserve our lives!

James 5:16

16Therefore, openly acknowledge your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Revelation 5:1-14

1Next I saw in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals; 2and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3But no one in heaven, on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look inside it. 4I cried and cried, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. 5One of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the sevenfold Spirit of G-d sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. 8When he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down in front of the Lamb. Each one held a harp and gold bowls filled with pieces of incense, which are the prayers of G-d’s people; 9and they sang a new song,

“You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals;

because you were slaughtered;

at the cost of blood you ransomed for G-d

persons from every tribe, language, people and nation.

10You made them into a kingdom for G-d to rule,

cohanim to serve him;

and they will rule over the earth.”

11Then I looked, and I heard the sound of a vast number of angels — thousands and thousands, millions and millions! They were all around the throne, the living beings and the elders; 12and they shouted out,

“Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive

power, riches, wisdom, strength,

honor, glory and praise!”

13And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth and on the sea — yes, everything in them — saying,

“To the One sitting on the throne

and to the Lamb

belong praise, honor, glory and power

forever and ever!”

14The four living beings said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshipped.

Ha’Azinu 5782 Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings

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Parashat Ha’Azinu sets out the Song of Moses — an indictment of the Israelites’ sins, a prophecy of their punishment, and a promise of G-d’s ultimate redemption of them.

In the Haftorah, David praises the Most High for rescuing him and speaks of the future victory and glory that will come to his line through HaShem’s Might.

In the Apostolic Writings, the Corinthians are exhorted to heed the example from Israel’s history and hold fast to the Most High, and strengthen themselves to overcome temptation, which is within their power.

The tenth portion of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is Ha’Azinu, which means “Hear.” This is the 53rd Torah Portion.

Torah Portion: Devarim 32:1-52

Haftorah: 2 Samuel 22: 1-51

Apostolic Writings: 1 Corinthians 10:1-20

Chabad has wonderful resources for studying the weekly Torah Portion

You can read or listen to the portions below:

 Haftorah 

2 Samuel 22: 1-51

David said the words of this song to HaShem on the day HaShem delivered him from the power of all his enemies and from the power of Sha’ul. He said:

“HaShem is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer,

the G-d who is my Rock, in whom I find shelter,

my shield, the power that saves me,

my stronghold and my refuge.

My savior, you have saved me from violence.

I call on HaShem, who is worthy of praise;

and I am saved from my enemies.

“For death’s breakers were closing over me,

the floods of B’liya‘al terrified me,

the ropes of Sh’ol were wrapped around me,

the snares of death lay there before me.

In my distress I called to HaShem;

yes, I called to my G-d.

Out of his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry entered his ears.

“Then the earth quaked and shook,

the foundations of heaven trembled.

They were shaken because he was angry.

Smoke arose in his nostrils;

and from his mouth, devouring fire,

with coals blazing from it.

He lowered heaven and came down

with thick darkness under his feet.

He rode on a keruv and flew,

he was seen on the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his canopy around him,

thick clouds in the skies dense with water.

From the brightness before him,

fiery coals flamed out.

“HaShem thundered from heaven,

Ha‘Elyon sounded his voice.

He sent out arrows and scattered them;

with lightning he routed them.

The channels of the sea appeared,

the foundations of the world were exposed

at HaShem’s rebuke,

at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

“He sent from on high, he took me

and pulled me out of deep water;

he rescued me from my powerful enemy,

from those who hated me, for they were stronger than I.

They came against me on my day of calamity,

but HaShem was my support.

“He brought me out to an open place;

he rescued me, because he took pleasure in me.

HaShem rewarded me for my uprightness,

he repaid me because my hands were clean.

“For I have kept the ways of HaShem,

I have not done evil by leaving my G-d;

for all his rulings were before me,

I did not depart from his regulations.

I was pure-hearted toward him

and kept myself from my sin.

“Hence HaShem repaid me for my uprightness,

according to my purity in his view.

With the merciful, you are merciful;

with the champion of purity, you are pure;

with the honest, you are honest;

but with the crooked you are cunning.

People afflicted, you save;

but when your eyes are on the haughty, you humble them.

“For you, HaShem, are my lamp;

HaShem lights up my darkness.

With you I can run through a whole troop of men,

with my G-d I can leap a wall.

“As for G-d, his way is perfect,

the word of HaShem has been tested by fire;

he shields all who take refuge in him.

For who is G-d but HaShem,

and who is a Rock but our G-d?

“G-d is my strength and protection;

he makes my way go straight.

He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer

and enables me to stand on my high places.

He trains my hands for war

until my arms can bend a bow of bronze;

You give me your shield, which is salvation;

your answers make me great.

You lengthen the steps I can take,

yet my ankles do not turn.

“I pursued my enemies and wiped them out,

without turning back until they were destroyed.

I destroyed them, crushed them; they can’t get up;

they have fallen under my feet.

“For you braced me with strength for the battle

and bent down my adversaries beneath me.

You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,

so that I could destroy those who hate me.

“They looked, but there was no one to help,

even to HaShem, but he didn’t answer.

I pulverized them like dust on the ground,

pounded and stamped on them like mud in the streets.

“You also freed me from the quarrels of my people.

You kept me to be the head of the nations;

a people I did not know now serve me.

Foreigners come cringing to me;

the moment they hear of me, they obey me.

Foreigners lose heart as they stagger from their fortresses.

“HaShem is alive! Blessed is my Rock!

Exalted be G-d, the Rock of my salvation,

the G-d who gives me vengeance

and makes peoples submit to me.

He brings me out from my enemies.

You raise me over those who rebel against me,

you rescue me from violent men.

“So I give thanks to you, HaShem, among the nations;

I sing praises to your name.

He is a tower of salvation for his king;

he displays grace to his anointed,

to David and his descendants forever.”

 Apostolic Writings 

1 Corinthians 10:1-20

For, brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea, and in connection with the cloud and with the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe, also they all ate the same food from the Spirit, and they all drank the same drink from the Spirit — for they drank from a Spirit-sent Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah. Yet with the majority of them G-d was not pleased, so their bodies were strewn across the desert.

Now these things took place as prefigurative historical events, warning us not to set our hearts on evil things as they did. Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were — as the Tanakh puts it, “The people sat down to eat and drink, then got up to indulge in revelry.” And let us not engage in sexual immorality, as some of them did, with the consequence that 23,000 died in a single day. And let us not put the Messiah to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. And don’t grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the Destroying Angel.

These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim. Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing up be careful not to fall! No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and G-d can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.Therefore, my dear friends, run from idolatry! I speak to you as sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. The “cup of blessing” over which we make the b’rakhah — isn’t it a sharing in the bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah? The bread we break, isn’t it a sharing in the body of the Messiah? Because there is one loaf of bread, we who are many constitute one body, since we all partake of the one loaf of bread. Look at physical Isra’el: don’t those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? So, what am I saying? That food sacrificed to idols has any significance in itself? or that an idol has significance in itself? No, what I am saying is that the things which pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice not to G-d but to demons; and I don’t want you to become sharers of the demons!