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BALAK – Video Commentary on this Shabbat

    Please note that parashat PINCHAS is being read in the land of Israel this Shabbat.

Galut: „BALAK“: Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 || Micha 5:6 – 6:8

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«The heathen prophet Bilaam specialized in locating and channeling G-d’s momentary anger in order to achieve the curses by which he won his infamy. But what is G-d’s fleeting wrath compared to His abundant and overflowing love which the nation of Israel is commanded to cleave to, be nourished by, to live by and to bless all nations by? Confronted with Israel’s righteousness, Bilaam’s curse had no purchase, and his ’special ops‘ mission on Balak’s behest proved a total failure»…more:

Shabbat Shalom

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BALAK – Shabbat Video Commentary

Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 || Micah 5,6 – 6,8

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Bilaam, the heathen prophet and curser for hire, whose motto was „anything you can do, I can do badder,“ was the negative twin of Moshe, and as our sages teach us, was the exact opposite of our father Avraham. Avraham, referred to by G-d as „my love,“ was a righteous man of loving kindness who sought peace and friendship in the world. Bilaam was a disgruntled evil-doer, who sought to increase anger and strife in the world, a destroyer of all that is good»…more:

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat BALAK Video-Commentary

Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 || Micha 5:6 – 6:8

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Bilaam, the heathen prophet and curser for hire, whose motto was „anything you can do, I can do badder,“ was the negative twin of Moshe, and as our sages teach us, was the exact opposite of our father Avraham. Avraham, referred to by G-d as „my love,“ was a righteous man of loving kindness who sought peace and friendship in the world. Bilaam was a disgruntled evil-doer, who sought to increase anger and strife in the world, a destroyer of all that is good»…more:


Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Shabbat Balak Readings and Video Commentary

Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 || Haftara: Micha 5:6

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

    „Three times the heathen prophet Bilaam tried to curse Israel and three times he blessed Israel. Three times Bilaam tried to employ his dark arts against Israel and three times his words bespoke the purity of Israel. Three times Bilaam tried to destroy Israel and three times his words revealed the secret of Israel’s eternal life.

    We have just buried three pure souls, three young Jews, Eyal, Naftali and Gilad, stolen and murdered by vile Muslim terrorists, who sought to break and crush and destroy Israel. These three pure souls who embody the very best in Israel, will live forever, three beacons revealing the strength and unity of Israel, the victory of good over evil“, more:

Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Shabbat LECH LECHA – Readings and Video Commentary

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

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

°And the Lord said to Abram, „Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.“ What makes a great nation? A nation whose people seek to be like Avraham, the man who sought the One True G-d, and made His presence known to mankind.. . beginning of the Jewish People…“
Listen to his entire commentary:

Shabbat Shalom !

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Parashat Shabbat Reeh Video Commentary

Deuteronomy 11:26 till 16:17; Haftara: Isaiah 54:11 till 55:5

Watch video commentary by Rabbi Richman from The Temple Institute about the Parasha beginning with the order “behold” or “see, look” what God has prepared for YOU.

    Israel is given a choice and a challenge: Choose blessing or curse, to rid the land of idolatrous practices and choose to live each moment in G-d’s presence, and G-d will abide in His chosen place, from which will shine forth His Holy Shechinah.:

Shabbat Shalom Comments are off for this post

Shabbat TOLDOTH Readings and Commentary

Genesis 25:19–28:9; Malachi 1:1–2:7

Abstract of the Commentary by
Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:

In this week’s Torah Portion we meet another childless couple: Isaac and Rebekah (25:21). We can read of several Man of God that shared the same fate like Abraham and later the parents of Joseph, Samuel and also Samson…

After 20 years of prayer, when Isaac was 60 years old, the LORD in his sovereign grace allowed Rebekah to bear twins, Jacob and Esau. Verse 22 tells us the twins “struggled within her.” God told her “two nations are in your womb … and the older shall serve the younger.” This was one promise Rebekah kept to herself until later.

We find parallels between Abraham’s life story to Isaac’s, such as the times of famine and both men lying to authorities, claiming that their wives were their sisters. Isaac did so, lying to the Philistine king in Genesis 26:7. So the lesson was not learned!

A Jewish commentary says, why was Jacob cooking lentils? It was during the Shiva (the seven-day mourning to eat lentils during the mourning period. And how old was Jacob and Esau when Abraham their grandpa passed away? They were 15 years old. Thus, the three patriarchs, Abraham, Yitzhak (Isaac) and Jacob, lived during the same period for 15 years.

But Isaac and Rebekah’s younger received the covenant blessing of promise also in following generations. Jacob even favoured Joseph’s younger sons in blessings over the older ones, so with Ephraim. While this seems unfair to man, God looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7).
To the question ‘Why Jacob and not Esau?’ we find answer in our prophet portion in Maleachi 1

Now, why did God hate Esau? Esau didn’t value God’s blessing and was ready to sell it for bread and lentil soup. Genesis 25:34 says, “So Esau despised his birthright…”

Jacob, in Hebrew is related to the word “akev” meaning “heel” (25:26). “Akov,” also related, means ‘deceitful’, like the heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9). Yes, Jacob – even if it meant receiving the blessing from God – was a deceiver (27:35) – we would even call it today a tricky manipulator. He attempted to do all in his own strength until he wrestled with God “face to face” at Peniel. From this time on, Jacob was called:

Isra-El, or God strives (for you) „.

The same will happen to the “Sons of Jacob” as a nation, Israel will meet His Saviour and not needing anymore to “put on clothes of someone he is not”!
Esau, today, would be identified as a “real man,” the type of son who makes his father proud as a skilled hunter. Jacob, on the other hand, would be called a “mama’s boy” as a quiet guy who hung around at home.

Nevertheless, Esau was disobedient to his father taking foreign wives while Jacob obeyed his father (28:6-7). But Jacob listens to the will of his father.
Jacob received the blessing by deceiving his father with the help of his mother, but it came at a price. Although Rebekah took the curse on her (27:13), Jacob had to leave his parents’ tents to flee the wrath of his brother. There Jacob met an even greater deceiver – his future father-in-law, Laban.
That’s how the LORD works sometimes in order to humble the prideful heart/man.
“If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart,
To give glory to My name,” says the LORD of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings.
Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart.
” (Malachi 2:2; from our Haftara)

Shabbat Shalom

Titlepicture © by Frank Rothert 2007 /
Retouched by God’s Sabbath International 2011

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Parashat Shabbat Nitzavim Readings and Commentary

Deuteronomy 29:10-30:20; Isaiah 61:10-63:9

With The Burning Bush the story of Moses began, today we are approaching the end of his farewell-story. In German Synagogues it’s usal to sing a farewell Sabbath Song, the „Adon Olam“, at the end of every Shabbatmorning ministry in order to protect us from forgetting that He is the „Lord of the Universe“ when we are back in our homes▼

Commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
It is common that these two weekly Torah portions are read together on a Shabbat. Further, this Shabbat the 25th Elul is als in Judaism marked as the first Day of Creation of the universe – and six days later at the creation of man we celebrate the New Year 5768.
We approaching Moses’ farewell speech before the leaders of the tribes. In our reading we find a confirmation of validity and eternity in the promises to Moses, the humble servant of God as in verses 14 and 15: „Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath… but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today.” A eternal covenant!“then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.” (30:3)

In the same chapter the Lord of hosts says that His commandments are not ‘Mission Impossible’ caliber, but can be reached. As a believer I understand, that God’s commands can be observed. We do not need to travel across continents and countries, even not to so-called revival conferences to experience God and His will – for His ‘Word is very near’ – to your mouth and your heart!

It was assured from then that the Good News, God’s divine word, would be spread all over the globe and no one would need to travel to experience salvation or healing.

„See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity!” (verse 15) This is the LORD’s same proclamation to man today. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people…” (Isaiah 65:2).

Moses pled and hopes that his people, who he knew well for 40 years, would “choose life, and therefore live… between life and death, blessing and curse, that I have set before you” (30:19). It is also set before us today!

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Parashat Shabbat Reeh Video Commentary

Deuteronomy 11:26 till 16:17; [for Rosh Chodesh Num. 28:9-15 – Isaiah 66] Haftara: Isaiah 54:11 till 55:5

Watch video commentary by Rabbi Richman from The Temple Institute about the Parasha beginning with the order “behold” or “see, look” what God has prepared for YOU.

    Israel is given a choice and a challenge: Choose blessing or curse, to rid the land of idolatrous practices and choose to live each moment in G-d’s presence, and G-d will abide in His chosen place, from which will shine forth His Holy Shechinah.:

Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Shabbat Behar-Bechukotai Readings and Commentary

The Sabbatical Year makes Eretz Yisrael to His Land HaAretz

Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34; Jeremia 16:19 – 17:14
Abstract of a Commentary on this parasha
by Michael Schneider, israel today, Jerusalem:

This week we again have a double Torah portion. In the first part, „BeHar – At the mount (Sinai),“ God’s appointed times of rest are stressed.
God ordered resting times for mankind and for nature, which He connected with the number seven (sheva). In Hebrew, a week is called shavua because of its seven days. The shabbat, the seventh day, is the holy resting day for all mankind, even gentiles (see Isaiah 66).

 

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

Rabbi Chaim Richman, The Temple Institute, Jerusalem:
„G-d commands the children of Israel to observe the sabbatical year by letting the land of Israel rest. This act of sanctifying the land by placing our total faith in G-d, grants us the peace we so fervently desire.“ Watch Video-Commentary here ▼

Nor was nature forgotten. According to our reading, the land should rest every seven years (the Sh’mita Year).
Additionally, the Seventh Millenium – according to the Jewish calender we are ending the 6000 years! The Mishna refers to this when it calls the Shabbat, the seventh day, a „foretaste of the World-to-Come.“

Seven, as we can see, is a number of fullness and completion (shalem), which has the same root of the word for peace (shalom).
In the second part of our double portion, beginning from chapter 26, the topic is that of blessing and curse. When we serve God with joy and walk in His paths, He showers/overwhelms us with His blessings, and keeps us away from any curse.

Shabbat Shalom!

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