Va’era 5780 Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings

Torah Portion: Shemot (Exodus) 6:2-9:35
Haftorah Portion: Yechezk’el (Ezekiel) 28:25–29:21
Apostolic Writings: Romans 9:14–17; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1

You can read or listen to these selections below:


Ezekiel 28:25–29:21

“ Adonai Elohim says, ‘Once I have gathered the house of Isra’el from the peoples among whom they are scattered, once I have shown my holiness in them as the Goyim watch, then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Ya‘akov. They will have security when they live there, building houses and planting vineyards; yes, they will live in safety, once I have executed judgments against all their contemptuous neighbors. Then they will know that I am Adonai their God.’”

On the twelfth day of the tenth month of the tenth year, the word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, turn your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt; prophesy against him and against all Egypt; speak out; and say that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, you big crocodile lying in the streams of the Nile! You say, “My Nile is mine; I made it for myself.” But I will put hooks in your jaws and make your Nile fish stick to your scales. Yes, I will bring you up from your Nile, with all your Nile fish sticking to your scales, and leave you in the desert, you and all your Nile fish. You will fall in the open field and not be gathered or buried; but I will give you as food to wild animals and birds. Then all who live in Egypt will know that I am Adonai , because they have been a support made of straw for the house of Isra’el. When they grasped you in hand, you splintered and threw all their shoulders out of joint; when they leaned on you, you broke and made them all wrench their backs.’ “Therefore Adonai Elohim says, ‘I will bring the sword against you and eliminate both your people and your animals. The land of Egypt will become a desolate waste, and they will know that I am Adonai ; because he said, “The Nile is mine; I made it.” So I am against you and your Nile; and I will make the land of Egypt a totally desolate waste from Migdol to S’venah, all the way to the border of Ethiopia. No human foot will pass through it, and no animal foot will pass through it; it will be uninhabited for forty years. Yes, I will make the land of Egypt desolate, even when compared with other desolate countries, likewise her cities in comparison with other ruined cities; they will be desolate forty years. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them through the countries.’ “For this is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples where they were scattered — I will restore the fortunes of Egypt and cause them to return to the land of their origin, Patros. But there they will be a humble kingdom, the humblest of kingdoms. It will never again dominate other nations; I will reduce them, so that they never again rule other nations. Moreover, they will no longer be a source of confidence for Isra’el to turn to; rather, it will only bring to mind their guilt in having turned to them before. Then they will know that I am Adonai Elohim .’” On the first day of the first month of the twenty-seventh year, the word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, N’vukhadretzar king of Bavel had his army mount a massive expedition against Tzor; [the loads of dirt they carried] made every head bald and every shoulder raw; yet neither he nor his army derived any benefit from Tzor out of this expedition against it. Therefore Adonai Elohim says, ‘I will give the land of Egypt to N’vukhadretzar king of Bavel. He will carry off its riches, take its spoil and its prey; and these will be the wages for his army. I am giving him the land of Egypt as his wages for which he worked, because they were working for me,’ says Adonai Elohim . ‘When that day comes I will cause power to return to the house of Isra’el, and I will enable you [Yechezk’el] to open your mouth among them. Then they will know that I am Adonai .’”

Apostolic Writings

Romans 9:14–17

So are we to say, “It is unjust for God to do this”? Heaven forbid! For to Moshe he says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will pity whom I pity.” Thus it doesn’t depend on human desires or efforts, but on God, who has mercy. For the Tanakh says to Pharaoh, “It is for this very reason that I raised you up, so that in connection with you I might demonstrate my power, so that my name might be known throughout the world.”

2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1

Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said, “I will house myself in them, . . . and I will walk among you. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore Adonai says, “‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you. In fact, I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.’ says Adonai -Tzva’ot. ”

Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.

Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings for Shemot 5780

The first Torah Portion of the book of Exodus is Shemot, Names.

The thread between the selections this week is more branching than last week. The Haftorah and Apostolic writings each focus on different concepts found in the Torah portion. The Haftorah focuses on the coming deliverance of Israel and builds suspense towards it. The Apostolic writings on the other hand offer a seemingly conflicting message. Moshe elevated himself and appointed himself as a judge to rule between his brethren. Yeshua seemingly rejected being put in the place of a judge between two men, but then counseled the people around them. The counsel He gave was an answer to the feuding brothers, but it was also an instruction to the people: do not be consumed by greed.

Are the Messiah’s words an indictment of Moshe? Is the passage in Acts? I would advise against making any quick judgments and suggest looking deeper into what these seemingly conflicting messages mean in concert. Are they even speaking to each other? And besides that, who made you judge over them? 

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

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

Apostolic Writings: Luke 12:13-15, Acts 7:25-28

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

Isaiah 27:6-28:13

The time is coming when Ya‘akov will take root; Isra’el will bud and flower, and fill the whole world with a harvest. [ Adonai ] will not strike Isra’el, as he did others who struck Isra’el; he will not kill them, as he did the others. Your controversy with her is fully resolved by sending her [into exile]. He removes her with a rough gust of wind on a day when it’s blowing from the east. So the iniquity of Ya‘akov is atoned for by this, and removing his sin produces this result: he chops up all the altar stones like chalk — sacred poles and sun-pillars stand no more. For the fortified city is alone, abandoned and deserted, like the desert. Calves graze and lie down there, stripping its branches bare. When its harvest dries up, it is broken off; women come and set it on fire. For this is a people without understanding. Therefore he who made them will not pity them, he who formed them will show them no mercy. On that day Adonai will beat out the grain between the Euphrates River and the Vadi of Egypt; and you will be gathered, one by one, people of Isra’el! On that day a great shofar will sound. Those lost in the land of Ashur will come, also those scattered through the land of Egypt; and they will worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Yerushalayim.

28 Woe to the haughty crown of Efrayim’s drunks, to the fading flower of its proud splendor, located at the head of the rich valley belonging to people overcome by wine! Adonai has someone strong and powerful. He comes like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a flood of water, rushing, overwhelming; with his hand he hurls them to the ground. The haughty crown of Efrayim’s drunks is trampled underfoot; and the fading flower of its proud splendor, located at the head of the rich valley, is like the first ripe fig of summer — whoever sees it picks and eats it. On that day, Adonai – Tzva’ot will be a glorious crown, a brilliant diadem for the remnant of his people. He will also be a spirit of justice for whoever sits as a judge, and a source of strength for those repelling enemy attacks at the gate. But there are others reeling from wine, staggering about because of strong liquor; cohen and prophet reel from strong liquor, they are confused by wine. Led astray by strong liquor, they err in their visions and stumble when judging. All tables are covered with vomit and feces, not a single place is clean. Can no one be taught anything? Can no one understand the message? Must one teach barely weaned toddlers, babies just taken from the breast, so that [one has to use nursery rhymes]? — Tzav la-tzav, tzav la-tzav, kav la-kav, kav la-kav z‘eir sham, z‘eir sham [Precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there]. So with stammering lips, in a foreign accent, [ Adonai ] will speak to this people. He once told this people, “It’s time to rest, the exhausted can rest, now you can relax” — but they wouldn’t listen. So now the word of Adonai for them comes “precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there,” so that when they walk, they stumble backward, and are broken, trapped and captured!

Isaiah 29:22-23

Therefore, here are the words of Adonai , who redeemed Avraham, concerning the house of Ya‘akov: “Ya‘akov will no longer be ashamed, no longer will his face grow pale. When his descendants see the work of my hands among them, they will consecrate my name. Yes, they will consecrate the Holy one of Ya‘akov and stand in awe of the God of Isra’el.

Apostolic Writings: Luke 12:13-15, Acts 7:25-28

Luke 12:13-15

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Rabbi, tell my brother to share with me the property we inherited.” But Yeshua answered him, “My friend, who appointed me judge or arbitrator over you?” Then to the people he said, “Be careful to guard against all forms of greed, because even if someone is rich, his life does not consist in what he owns.”

Acts 7:25-28

He supposed his brothers would understand that God was using him to rescue them, but they didn’t understand. When he appeared the next day, as they were fighting, and tried to make peace between them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers! Why do you want to hurt each other?’ the one who was mistreating his fellow pushed Moshe away and said, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me, the way you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’

Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings for Vayechi 5780

Torah Portion 11 Vayechi: Genesis 47:28 – 50:26

Haftorah Portion: Kings I 2:1-12

Apostolic Writings: 1 Peter 1:1-9

Read or listen to the selected portions below.

Haftorah Portion: Kings I 2:1-12

The time came near for David to die; so he commissioned Shlomo his son as follows: “I am going the way of all the earth. Therefore, be strong; show yourself a man. Observe the charge of Adonai your God to go in his ways and keep his regulations, mitzvot , rulings and instructions in accordance with what is written in the Torah of Moshe; so that you will succeed in all you do and wherever you go. If you do, Adonai will fulfill what he promised me when he said, ‘If your children pay attention to how they live, conducting themselves before me honestly with all their heart and being, you will never lack a man on the throne of Isra’el.’ “Moreover, you are aware of what Yo’av the son of Tz’ruyah did to me, that is, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Isra’el, Avner the son of Ner and ‘Amasa the son of Yeter — he killed them, shedding the blood of war in peacetime, putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and the shoes on his feet. Therefore, act according to your wisdom; don’t let his gray head go down to the grave in peace. “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gil‘adi. Include them with those who eat at your table, because they came and stood with me when I was fleeing from Avshalom your brother. “Finally, you have with you Shim‘i the son of Gera the Binyamini, from Bachurim. He laid a terrible curse on me when I was on my way to Machanayim; but he came down to meet me at the Yarden; so I swore to him by Adonai that I would not have him put to death with the sword. Now, however, you should not let him go unpunished. You are a wise man, and you will know what you should do to him — you will bring his gray head down to the grave with blood.” Then David slept with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. David had ruled Isra’el for forty years — seven years in Hevron and thirty-three years in Yerushalayim. Shlomo sat on the throne of David his father; and his rule had become firmly established,

Apostolic Writings: 1 Peter 1:1-9

From: Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora — in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia — chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood: Grace and shalom be yours in full measure. Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah. Without having seen him, you love him. Without seeing him now, but trusting in him, you continue to be full of joy that is glorious beyond words. And you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.

Above text excerpted from the Complete Jewish Bible.

Chabad has great resources for learning the Torah portion. You can find them here.

Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings for Vayishlach 5780

Reading of the Haftorah Hosea 11:7-12 – 12:13 and the Apostolic Writings 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 and Revelation 7:1-12 for the week of Vayishlach 5780.

Chabad has great resources for learning the Torah portion. You can find them here.

Less Than Three Weeks Until Hannukah!

Sundown December 22, 2019 marks the start of the Festival of Lights.

Did you know that John 10 places the Messiah at the Temple during Hannukah? At the core of Hannukah are devotion to HaShem even unto death and a resistance to assimilation. Yeshua came first to the lost sheep of Israel to call them to repentance and then sent his Disciples to the gentiles. 1 Maccabees details an occupied Jerusalem, filled with gentiles seeking to pull Jews away from the Torah and towards idolatry. Yeshua lives out the Torah, walking in Spirit and Truth. His mission called gentiles to cast away their idols and devote themselves to the one and only Almighty.

Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings for Chayei Sarah 5780

Reading of the Haftorah I Kings 1:1-31 and the Apostolic Writings 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 and Hebrews 11:11-13 for the week of Chayei Sarah 5780.

Chabad has great resources for learning the Torah portion. You can find them here and here.