One Day. One G-d. One Venture.

EIKEV – Shabbat Video Commentary

Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25 || Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«The promised land – the land of Israel – the land where Torah, the covenant between G-d and His people Israel, is fulfilled in the deeds and the hearts of the people, in the soil and the rivers and the mountains and the valleys of the land, the only land where all this is possible, the land G-d chose to place His people to inherit and inhabit forever: Zionism, direct from the Creator of all and the G-d of Israel»…more:

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat KORACH Video Commentary

Numbers 16:1 – 18:32 [28:9-15]|| Isaiah 66

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Brilliant, wealthy, influential, and tasked with transporting the Ark of the Covenant, Korach had it all. But it wasn’t enough. He wanted more. Korach wanted to usurp Moshe’s leadership and he wanted to commandeer Aharon’s role as Kohen Gadol. Like all who reach too far, Korach was ultimately buried by his own perfidy, avarice, and unbridled ambition»…more:



Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Shabbat KORACH Video Commentary

Numbers 16:1 – -18:32 || 1 Samuel 11:14 – 12:22

 

    Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman, The Temple Institute, Jerusalem:

      »Brilliant, wealthy, influential, and tasked with transporting the Ark of the Covenant, Korach had it all. But it wasn’t enough. He wanted more. Korach wanted to usurp Moshe’s leadership and he wanted to commandeer Aharon’s role as Kohen Gadol. Like all who reach too far, Korach was ultimately buried by his own perfidy, avarice, and unbridled ambition« …more:

      Shabbat Shalom

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WHEN YOU COME is KI TAVO – Shabbat Video Commentary

Deuteronomy 26:1 till 29:8; Isaiah 60:1 till 22
From 1st Elul thru Hoshana Raba Psalm 27 will be read additionally in the Shacharit and Maariv

    Viedo commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman, Temple Institute, Jerusalem:
    „The twelve massive stones Israel is commanded to to take from the Jordan River bed from the very spot upon which the feet of the priests who held the Ark of the Covenant stood, and to stand upright and build with them an altar and write upon them the entire Torah, are not mere markers or billboards. These stones‘ function is to make real Israel’s eternal unbreakable bond to the land promised us by G-d.“

    Complete Commentary:

Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Shabbat Ki Tissa Readings and Commentary

Exodus 30:11–34:35; 1 Kings 18:1-39

Abstract of the Commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
This weekly portion (parashat) begins with ransom (kofer nefesh) and atonement money (kessef kippurim) in the value of “half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary” for every man over 20. “The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves.” (30:15).

In chapter 31, we read about God’s Calling to Bezalel (in God’s shadow) from the tribe Judah. He was a man with the Spirit of God with wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Bezalel Ben-Uri was anointed by the Almighty to design His sanctuary – what a privilege! He was a skilled, inspired craftsman. (The art academy today in Jerusalem is named after him, Bezalel – and is located across the street where the ISRAEL TODAY offices are).

In chapter 32, we read about the building of the Golden Calf.

That is what happens when spiritual leadership is missing! Moses, the mediator between man and God, was on Mount Sinai for 40 days….

The Lord warns: “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them…” (32:8).

Here we have the true test of a man of God: The Lord said to Moses: “… I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation“ (32:9-10). God wanted to destroy this rebellious people and bless Moses with a nation through him.

But Moses, a true leader, spoke to the heart of God and pled for his people. He asked God to reconsider, wondering what the nations, especially Egypt, would think of the mighty God of Israel who had delivered them from Egypt just “to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth” (32:12)?
Second try: Moses reminded the Lord of His eternal Covenant with the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After seeing the golden calf, Moses broke the two tablets of the 10 commandments and then the golden idol was burn. He said: “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!“ (32:26; which, by the way, is an election slogan for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party today). Following that, 3,000 people were killed in punishment.

After the punishment, Moses approached God for the third time to intercede for forgiveness on behalf of his people. Moses was ready to lay down his life for the sake of his people: “But now, if You will, forgive their sin–and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!“ (32:32; also the first hint that there is a Book of Life in heaven)

So God sent “His angel” who walked with the people (verse 34).

Moses wanted to see more of God: „I pray You, show me Your glory!
But not all the Lord has shown Moses, saying: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.“
“you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen“ (verse 23).

Then the LORD passed in front of him and proclaimed, „The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth…” (34:6)

Moses fell on the ground to ask forgiveness for his people: “If now I have found favor in Your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your own possession.“
God renewed His covenant: “Behold, I am going to make a covenant before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations…” (34:10)

And so it is until today! God has performed many miracles for His people before the eyes of all nations – just look at the rebirth of the State of Israel and the return of His people to their land after almost 2000 years!

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat Korach Readings and Commentary

Numbers 16:1 – 18:32; 1 Samuel 11:14 – 12:22

Abstract of the Commentary by
Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:

This Shabbat’s Torah reading is about Korah’s rebellion. Korah descends from the Levitical family of Kehat. Altogether, there were 250 renowned men that “rose up” against Moses by doubting his and Aaron’s authority as the chosen national leaders.
As if the separation of the Levites by God Himself was not enough, this family

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insert of the GSI editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Video Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman, The Temple Institute, Jerusalem:
What is the meaning of the Torah’s reference to the mysterious „covenant of salt?“ (Numbers 17:19) Salt can be lifeless and deadly. It can also preserve, enhance and provide nourishment. Each one of us has within us an aspect of salt, the potential for lifelessness and the potential to enhance and increase life, thereby forging our own „covenant of salt“ with G-d…

within the Levitical tribe did not want to tolerate any human authority. (“Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also?” verses 9-10)

Korah, Dathan and Abiram complain against Moses, but Moses defends God’s decision to appoint Aaron. Moses was not keen on being the only leader of the camp. That became apparent in his reaction to Eldad and Medad when they started prophesying. Moses responded to them: “Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets…” (11:29).

But Moses was not threatened, and even when Korah led his rebellion against him, Moses remained humble and brought the issue before God.
Moses’ humble response was followed by undeniable supernatural justice: “The ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions” (verses 31-32).

God is a God of justice and Moses knew it. When the people murmured again (17:6), God punished them with a plague. Aaron brought an atonement for the sins of the people with an incense offering and stood “between the dead and the living” for the plague to stop.

Subsequently, we read about God’s order to collect the rods of each tribe. The appointment of Aaron was confirmed among the murmuring and rebellious people: “The rod of the man whom I choose will sprout” (17:5). Almonds sprouted on Aaron’s rod! His rod became “a sign against the rebels” and was kept as a reminder.

Shabbat Shalom

    Here is the entire story in a small animation film:

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Shabbat Parashat Ki Tissa Readings and Commentary

Exodus 30:11–34:35; 1 Kings 18:1-39

Abstract of the Commentary by Michael Schneider,
israel today, Jerusalem:

This weekly portion (parashat) begins with ransom (kofer nefesh) and atonement money (kessef kippurim) in the value of “half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary” for every man over 20. “The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves.” (30:15).

In chapter 31, we read about God’s Calling to Bezalel (in God’s shadow) from the tribe Judah. He was a man with the Spirit of God with wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Bezalel Ben-Uri was anointed by the Almighty to design His sanctuary – what a privilege! He was a skilled, inspired craftsman. (The art academy today in Jerusalem is named after him, Bezalel – and is located across the street where the ISRAEL TODAY offices are).

In chapter 32, we read about the building of the Golden Calf.

That is what happens when spiritual leadership is missing! Moses, the mediator between man and God, was on Mount Sinai for 40 days….

The Lord warns: “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them…” (32:8).

Here we have the true test of a man of God: The Lord said to Moses: “… I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation“ (32:9-10). God wanted to destroy this rebellious people and bless Moses with a nation through him.

But Moses, a true leader, spoke to the heart of God and pled for his people. He asked God to reconsider, wondering what the nations, especially Egypt, would think of the mighty God of Israel who had delivered them from Egypt just “to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth” (32:12)?
Second try: Moses reminded the Lord of His eternal Covenant with the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After seeing the golden calf, Moses broke the two tablets of the 10 commandments and then the golden idol was burn. He said: “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!“ (32:26; which, by the way, is an election slogan for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party today). Following that, 3,000 people were killed in punishment.

After the punishment, Moses approached God for the third time to intercede for forgiveness on behalf of his people. Moses was ready to lay down his life for the sake of his people: “But now, if You will, forgive their sin–and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!“ (32:32; also the first hint that there is a Book of Life in heaven)

So God sent “His angel” who walked with the people (verse 34).

Moses wanted to see more of God: „I pray You, show me Your glory!
But not all the Lord has shown Moses, saying: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.“
“you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen“ (verse 23).

Then the LORD passed in front of him and proclaimed, „The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth…” (34:6)

Moses fell on the ground to ask forgiveness for his people: “If now I have found favor in Your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your own possession.“
God renewed His covenant: “Behold, I am going to make a covenant before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations…” (34:10)

And so it is until today! God has performed many miracles for His people before the eyes of all nations – just look at the rebirth of the State of Israel and the return of His people to their land after almost 2000 years!

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat Lech Lecha Reading and Commentary

Genesis 12:1–17:27; Isaiah 40:27–41:16

Commentary by Michael Schneider,
israel today, Jerusalem:

This week’s Torah portion introduces Abraham, the first patriarch. It is here the Lord called him to “Go forth… to the Land which I will show you!” It tells us this was a step of faith that even believers find difficult to take. He risks everything.

Abraham, then called Abram, was obedient. Unlike believers today who want first a clear road map of where God is leading them, Abram picked up, left his home and followed God’s leading.

Abram’s life was one of constant tests of faith, beginning with the three-step call to leave his homeland (leave your country, your people and your father’s household), and ending with another three-step call in chapter 22 to sacrifice his son (Take your son, your only son, …whom you love). It shows full submission! God required of Abram the things he cherished most and he also wants those things we are holding onto most. Through our faith in Him, He intervenes and does His mighty work.

God’s Blessing over Abraham followed: “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.” What a powerfull blessing! The Lord continued: “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (12:3; Numbers 24:9 indicates these passages speak about Israel). Take this as good advice.

Abram left Ur (in present-day Iraq), the city of Nimrod, the adversary of God who elevated himself after the flood. A symbol of rebellion against God – out of this, God is calling us too today!

You are never too old to be targeted by God’s callings. God renews the strength to those who “Wait upon the Lord” (Isaiah 40:29-31). So, at age 75, Abram left his homeland and became the first “wandering Jew.”

Abram and his wife Sarai were facing numerous tests of faith. Even when Abram arrived in Canaan he encountered various conflicts within his family, but still he humbled himself, giving Lot first pick of the land, “… If to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left” (13:9). In those days, ‘right’ (yamin) was west, towards the sea (yam). Left, was the Dead Sea region of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Jordan Valley. Lot ended up choosing the left because it was visually appealing (the wealth of the world), but it was rife with immorality. Abram passed the test of faith and God blessed him. Lot could have repented and joined his godly uncle, but he preferred the things of the world and followed after the ‘lust of the eyes’ (1 John 2:16). Lot could be as Ruth the Moabite joining Nomi and be a part of the blessing!

Interestingly, we find the term “Lot’s face” (penei Lot; normally translated as ‘covering’) in Isaiah 25:7 showing the blindness of the nations toward Israel’s promises! Like Lot was blind to the promises of Abraham.

Abram later rescued his nephew when five kings destroyed Sodom. After this encounter, Lot received an additional wake-up call to repentance, but again he chose the comfortable life.

As time went on Abram remained childless. Yet, he held on to promises like, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars… So shall your descendants be” (15:5). Abram and Sarai were between clinging to the promises of God and human desperation. Sarai became so desperate she even offered her Egyptian handmaid Hagar to her husband because “the LORD has prevented her from bearing children.” An act of a frustrated human.

In chapter 16 we read about the birth of Ishmael when Abram was 86 years old. By chapter 17, Abram had reached 99, Ishmael was 13 years old and all hope seemed lost for additional offspring. But it was at this time that God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. He made an unconditional covenant with him marked by circumcision and said, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly… For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” (17:2-5).

On the eighth day Jews circumcise their boys as a sign of entering the Abrahamic covenant. Arabs are also descendants of the 12-prince kingdom of Ishmael. Even today they circumcise their boys at age 13 like Ishmael. They are believed to be included in the borders from the brook of Egypt to the River Euphrates.

Finally, at the age of 100, Abraham began to understand that the promise could only be fulfilled supernaturally because Sarah was 90. Meaning, when our natural means switch off God’s super-natural means switch on!

Therefore, after hearing another promise Abraham was the first to laugh (17:17) – then Sarah.

Next week we’ll see Abraham’s biggest test of all.

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Shabbat Parashat Ki Tissa – Sabbath Reading and Commenatary

Exodus 30:11–34:35; Numbers 19: Ezechiel 36:16-38

▼ Sabbath Song:

Abstract of the Commentary by Michael Schneider,
israel today, Jerusalem:

This weekly portion (parashat) begins with ransom (kofer nefesh) and atonement money (kessef kippurim) in the value of “half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary” for every man over 20. “The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves.” (30:15).

In chapter 31, we read about God’s Calling to Bezalel (in God’s shadow) from the tribe Judah. He was a man with the Spirit of God with wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Bezalel Ben-Uri was anointed by the Almighty to design His sanctuary – what a privilege! He was a skilled, inspired craftsman. (The art academy today in Jerusalem is named after him, Bezalel – and is located across the street where the ISRAEL TODAY offices are).

In chapter 32, we read about the building of the Golden Calf. That is what happens when spiritual leadership is missing! Moses, the mediator between man and God, was on Mount Sinai for 40 days….

The Lord warns: “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them…” (32:8).

Here we have the true test of a man of God: The Lord said to Moses: “… I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation“ (32:9-10). God wanted to destroy this rebellious people and bless Moses with a nation through him.

But Moses, a true leader, spoke to the heart of God and pled for his people. He asked God to reconsider, wondering what the nations, especially Egypt, would think of the mighty God of Israel who had delivered them from Egypt just “to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth” (32:12)?
Second try: Moses reminded the Lord of His eternal Covenant with the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After seeing the golden calf, Moses broke the two tablets of the 10 commandments and then the golden idol was burn. He said: “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!“ (32:26; which, by the way, is an election slogan for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party today). Following that, 3,000 people were killed in punishment.

After the punishment, Moses approached God for the third time to intercede for forgiveness on behalf of his people. Moses was ready to lay down his life for the sake of his people: “But now, if You will, forgive their sin–and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!“ (32:32; also the first hint that there is a Book of Life in heaven)

So God sent “His angel” who walked with the people (verse 34).

Moses wanted to see more of God: „I pray You, show me Your glory!
But not all the Lord has shown Moses, saying: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.“
…New Testament instances:cp. Romans 9:15-20
…and “you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen“ (verse 23).

Then the LORD passed in front of him and proclaimed, „The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth…” (34:6)

Moses fell on the ground to ask forgiveness for his people: “If now I have found favor in Your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your own possession.“
God renewed His covenant: “Behold, I am going to make a covenant before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations…” (34:10)

And so it is until today! God has performed many miracles for His people before the eyes of all nations – just look at the rebirth of the State of Israel and the return of His people to their land after almost 2000 years!

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat Lech Lecha – Go forth – Sabbath Reading and Commentary

Genesis 12:1–17:27; Isaiah 40:27–41:16

Commentary by Michael Schneider,
israel today, Jerusalem:

This week’s Torah portion introduces Abraham, the first patriarch. It is here the Lord called him to “Go forth… to the Land which I will show you!” It tells us this was a step of faith that even believers find difficult to take. He risks everything.

Abraham, then called Abram, was obedient. Unlike believers today who want first a clear road map of where God is leading them, Abram picked up, left his home and followed God’s leading.

Abram’s life was one of constant tests of faith, beginning with the three-step call to leave his homeland (leave your country, your people and your father’s household), and ending with another three-step call in chapter 22 to sacrifice his son (Take your son, your only son, …whom you love). It shows full submission! God required of Abram the things he cherished most and he also wants those things we are holding onto most. Through our faith in Him, He intervenes and does His mighty work.

God’s Blessing over Abraham followed: “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.” What a powerfull blessing! The Lord continued: “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (12:3; Numbers 24:9 indicates these passages speak about Israel). Take this as good advice.

Abram left Ur (in present-day Iraq), the city of Nimrod, the adversary of God who elevated himself after the flood. A symbol of rebellion against God – out of this, God is calling us too today!

You are never too old to be targeted by God’s callings. God renews the strength to those who “Wait upon the Lord” (Isaiah 40:29-31). So, at age 75, Abram left his homeland and became the first “wandering Jew.”

Abram and his wife Sarai were facing numerous tests of faith. Even when Abram arrived in Canaan he encountered various conflicts within his family, but still he humbled himself, giving Lot first pick of the land, “… If to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left” (13:9). In those days, ‘right’ (yamin) was west, towards the sea (yam). Left, was the Dead Sea region of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Jordan Valley. Lot ended up choosing the left because it was visually appealing (the wealth of the world), but it was rife with immorality. Abram passed the test of faith and God blessed him. Lot could have repented and joined his godly uncle, but he preferred the things of the world and followed after the ‘lust of the eyes’ (1 John 2:16). Lot could be as Ruth the Moabite joining Nomi and be a part of the blessing!

Interestingly, we find the term “Lot’s face” (penei Lot; normally translated as ‘covering’) in Isaiah 25:7 showing the blindness of the nations toward Israel’s promises! Like Lot was blind to the promises of Abraham.

Abram later rescued his nephew when five kings destroyed Sodom. After this encounter, Lot received an additional wake-up call to repentance, but again he chose the comfortable life.

As time went on Abram remained childless. Yet, he held on to promises like, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars… So shall your descendants be” (15:5). Abram and Sarai were between clinging to the promises of God and human desperation. Sarai became so desperate she even offered her Egyptian handmaid Hagar to her husband because “the LORD has prevented her from bearing children.” An act of a frustrated human.

In chapter 16 we read about the birth of Ishmael when Abram was 86 years old. By chapter 17, Abram had reached 99, Ishmael was 13 years old and all hope seemed lost for additional offspring. But it was at this time that God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. He made an unconditional covenant with him marked by circumcision and said, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly… For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” (17:2-5).

On the eighth day Jews circumcise their boys as a sign of entering the Abrahamic covenant. Arabs are also descendants of the 12-prince kingdom of Ishmael. Even today they circumcise their boys at age 13 like Ishmael. They are believed to be included in the borders from the brook of Egypt to the River Euphrates.

Finally, at the age of 100, Abraham began to understand that the promise could only be fulfilled supernaturally because Sarah was 90. Meaning, when our natural means switch off God’s super-natural means switch on!

Therefore, after hearing another promise Abraham was the first to laugh (17:17) – then Sarah.

Next week we’ll see Abraham’s biggest test of all.

Comments are off for this post