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MATOT-MASEI – Video Commentary on this Shabbat

MATOT-MASEI: Numbers 30:2 – 36:13 || Jeremiah 2:3-28 & 3:4 & 4:1-2

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Forty two way stations made up the travels of Israel as they made their way from Egypt to the promised land; forty two destinations, each with its own purpose and secret to reveal to us as we pass through our own life’s journey, from the narrow places of Egypt to the broad expanses of our Divinely intended destinies»…more:

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat SHEMINI Video Commentary

Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47 || 2 Samuel 6:1 – 7:17

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«On the very same day that G-d sends fire down from heaven to consume the inaugural offerings in the Tabernacle, He instructs Israel to eat only certain animals which are clean, and to not eat animals which are unclean. Why? By adhering to Torah’s dietary rules we renew our ascent from Egypt every day, with every morsel»…more:


Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Va’era Readings and Video Commentary

©  Lencer, Wiki Commons

© Lencer, Wiki Commons

Exodus 6:2 – 9:35; Ezekiel 28:25 – 29:21

 

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

      „The ten plagues that made G-d’s name known in all the world happened many years ago in the land of Egypt. The process they began of bringing the knowledge of G-d’s presence and power to all humankind for all generations continues till today. They resound and reverberate every time a Pharaoh arises and says „I do not know Hashem.“ …more:

      Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Shabbat Bo Readings and Video Commentary

Exodus 10:1–13:16; Jeremiah 46:13-26

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

„Are you afraid of the dark? Take comfort, fear of darkness afflicts many. But what if you are afraid of the light? The darkness that enveloped Pharaoh and his Egyptian subjects in the penultimate of the ten plagues was nothing more nor less than their all-consuming fear of the light of G-d’s truth:“

Shabbat Shalom

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Shabbat Bo Readings and Commentary

Exodus 10:1–13:16; Jeremiah 46:13-26

Abstract of the Commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
This week’s Torah portion BO („Come“) speaks about the last three plagues over Egypt, where God showed the mighty Pharaoh His great power. The final plague follows with the triumphant Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, from slavery into freedom.

Jewish scholars explain that the first nine plagues are divided into three-year cycles. Before every three-year cycle, the LORD commanded Moses early in the morning to stand before Pharaoh in the presence of many (7:15; 8:16; 9:13) and forewarned him of what was coming (7:17; 8:17). The third time of every cycle Moses stood before Pharaoh, it came without warning (8:12).

In the beginning, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, he refused let the people go, but then stepwise he did allow the people sacrifice to the God of Israel. Then he said it was okay for the men, women and children to leave Egypt, but without the livestock and finally God had the victory, calling the children out with wealth and blessings.

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

    A new world order. Sounds scary, but thats exactly what G-d established
    when he commanded Israel, saying, „This month shall be to you the head of
    the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year. (Ex. 12:2)

Even Pharaoh’s advisors told him to let God’s people go, but Pharaoh’s pride and selfish ambitions kept him from listening to counsel. May we also be careful and recognize our pride early on, willing to humble ourselves and surrender all. The punishment for Pharaoh and ‘all who trusted him’ came later through Nebuchadnezzar when he ruled Babylon (Jeremiah 46).

Remember it took only three days to leave Egypt, but 40 years for Egypt and her cults and idols to leave the minds and hearts of Israel.
In order to know the exact timing of the Exodus we must begin with the Babylonian exile, which we know happened in 586 BOT. If we add another 390 ‘day-years’ mentioned in Ezekiel 4:4-13 we come to the year King Solomon divided the two kingdoms into Israel and Judea in 976 BOT. Take another 36 (40 less 4) years of Solomon’s reign and the 480 years between his throne and the time of the Exodus described in 1 Kings 6:1 and the date comes to 1492 BOT!

Commandments were given, still used today, which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. A blameless lamb should be kept on the 10th of Nissan and on the 14th slaughtered and eaten at the last supper on the 15th of Nissan at the last night.

According to the faith of Christianity the Exodus also foreshadows the sacrificial atonement of the Lamb of God who, although blameless, was slaughtered on the cross. For the Children of God, celebrating the evening before brought salvation, but to those who opposed Him, it brought death. A lesson to us!

Concerning the final plague, the Lord had the final say. While Pharaoh was guilty of murdering all the Hebrew newborns, God went and killed Pharaoh’s first-born child.

Shabbat Shalom

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Parashat Vaeira Readings and Commentary

Hallel; Exodus 6:2 – 9:35; Haftara: Isaiah 66 (Ezekiel 28:25–29:21)

Abstract of the commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
This week’s Torah portion shows us how the children of Israel first began experiencing freedom from slavery as the LORD began making Himself known to them. God had a plan to deliver his people, first, by bringing them out of Egypt and redeeming them and then taking them as His people (v.6–7). This is also the way He saves people from the bondage of sin.

Aaron, Moses’ brother, became his mouth, speaking in his place even though God commanded Moses to speak to Pharaoh. But all this shows is that it’s a waste of time to try and argue with God because His plans will always be accomplished.

God wanted to show His power in the battle between God and man as he did with Pharaoh and showed all of Egypt (the world) His ‘great judgments’ (7:4). He works the same today, showing the nations His work of restoring and returning His people back to their Land – even in much greater dimensions, according to the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 23:7–8.

There’s a story of a minister who was preaching in northern Alaska about the ‘Return of the Jews.’ More than 5,000, including Eskimos trekked through the arctic ice to hear of God’s mighty work in our time.

The world watched and was amazed. The birth of the State of Israel became the greatest miracle of the century!

In Ezekiel, the prophets says, “When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations… They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God” (28:25-26).

We first read about seven of the 10 plagues before deliverance from Egypt, in an ascending order of distress. They began by striking nature first, then the animals, followed by man.

It is remarkable that during the plagues, the children of Israel were set apart. They didn’t suffer as plagues rained down on Egypt (8:22). In spite of the blood, they were able to drink clean water and received light in the land of Goshen, despite the darkness. God, also, takes care of His children in today’s dark world.

However, before God plagued Egypt, He always hardened Pharaoh’s heart. As Moses demanded, “Let my people go, so that they will serve Me!” These words threatened Pharaoh as felt he’d lose his power.

This is why the first part of the command is easier with an emphasis on ‘Let my people go!’ The second part, ‘So that they will serve Me!’ is harder to follow and is why those of us who are stubborn will fail.

God did His part in delivering His people, now it’s our turn to have a change of heart.

Shabbat Shalom

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Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles Readings and Commentary

1st day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: Zech 14
2nd day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: 1.Kings 8:2-21

The Feast of Tabernacles is a fest of joy, Hag Sukkot Sameach, and we want to invite you to shake the lulav and to feel it beating the heart, okay? Please feel invited to have a look into a Sukkah in a childreans song: read more…

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Parashat Shabbat BO Readings and Commentary

Exodus 10:1–13:16; Jeremiah 46:13-26

Abstract of the Commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
This week’s Torah portion BO („Come“) speaks about the last three plagues over Egypt, where God showed the mighty Pharaoh His great power. The final plague follows with the triumphant Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, from slavery into freedom.

Jewish scholars explain that the first nine plagues are divided into three-year cycles. Before every three-year cycle, the LORD commanded Moses early in the morning to stand before Pharaoh in the presence of many (7:15; 8:16; 9:13) and forewarned him of what was coming (7:17; 8:17). The third time of every cycle Moses stood before Pharaoh, it came without warning (8:12).

In the beginning, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, he refused let the people go, but then stepwise he did allow the people sacrifice to the God of Israel. Then he said it was okay for the men, women and children to leave Egypt, but without the livestock and finally God had the victory, calling the children out with wealth and blessings.

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

    A new world order. Sounds scary, but thats exactly what G-d established
    when he commanded Israel, saying, „This month shall be to you the head of
    the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year. (Ex. 12:2)

Even Pharaoh’s advisors told him to let God’s people go, but Pharaoh’s pride and selfish ambitions kept him from listening to counsel. May we also be careful and recognize our pride early on, willing to humble ourselves and surrender all. The punishment for Pharaoh and ‘all who trusted him’ came later through Nebuchadnezzar when he ruled Babylon (Jeremiah 46).

Remember it took only three days to leave Egypt, but 40 years for Egypt and her cults and idols to leave the minds and hearts of Israel.
In order to know the exact timing of the Exodus we must begin with the Babylonian exile, which we know happened in 586 BOT. If we add another 390 ‘day-years’ mentioned in Ezekiel 4:4-13 we come to the year King Solomon divided the two kingdoms into Israel and Judea in 976 BOT. Take another 36 (40 less 4) years of Solomon’s reign and the 480 years between his throne and the time of the Exodus described in 1 Kings 6:1 and the date comes to 1492 BOT!

Commandments were given, still used today, which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. A blameless lamb should be kept on the 10th of Nissan and on the 14th slaughtered and eaten at the last supper on the 15th of Nissan at the last night.

According to the faith of Christianity the Exodus also foreshadows the sacrificial atonement of the Lamb of God who, although blameless, was slaughtered on the cross. For the Children of God, celebrating the evening before brought salvation, but to those who opposed Him, it brought death. A lesson to us!

Concerning the final plague, the Lord had the final say. While Pharaoh was guilty of murdering all the Hebrew newborns, God went and killed Pharaoh’s first-born child.

Shabbat Shalom

Comments are off for this post

Parashat Vaeira Readings and Commentary

Exodus 6:2 – 9:35; Haftara: Ezekiel 28:25–29:21

Abstract of the commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
This week’s Torah portion shows us how the children of Israel first began experiencing freedom from slavery as the LORD began making Himself known to them. God had a plan to deliver his people, first, by bringing them out of Egypt and redeeming them and then taking them as His people (v.6–7). This is also the way He saves people from the bondage of sin.

    Sabbath Song: Adon Olam

Aaron, Moses’ brother, became his mouth, speaking in his place even though God commanded Moses to speak to Pharaoh. But all this shows is that it’s a waste of time to try and argue with God because His plans will always be accomplished.

God wanted to show His power in the battle between God and man as he did with Pharaoh and showed all of Egypt (the world) His ‘great judgments’ (7:4). He works the same today, showing the nations His work of restoring and returning His people back to their Land – even in much greater dimensions, according to the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 23:7–8.

There’s a story of a minister who was preaching in northern Alaska about the ‘Return of the Jews.’ More than 5,000, including Eskimos trekked through the arctic ice to hear of God’s mighty work in our time.

The world watched and was amazed. The birth of the State of Israel became the greatest miracle of the century!

In Ezekiel, the prophets says, “When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations… They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God” (28:25-26).

We first read about seven of the 10 plagues before deliverance from Egypt, in an ascending order of distress. They began by striking nature first, then the animals, followed by man.

It is remarkable that during the plagues, the children of Israel were set apart. They didn’t suffer as plagues rained down on Egypt (8:22). In spite of the blood, they were able to drink clean water and received light in the land of Goshen, despite the darkness. God, also, takes care of His children in today’s dark world.

However, before God plagued Egypt, He always hardened Pharaoh’s heart. As Moses demanded, “Let my people go, so that they will serve Me!” These words threatened Pharaoh as felt he’d lose his power.

This is why the first part of the command is easier with an emphasis on ‘Let my people go!’ The second part, ‘So that they will serve Me!’ is harder to follow and is why those of us who are stubborn will fail.

God did His part in delivering His people, now it’s our turn to have a change of heart.

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Shabbat VaYeshev Readings and Commentary

Genesis 37:1 – 40:23; Amos 2:6 – 3:8

Abstract of the Commentary byMichael Schneider, Jerusalem:
In our Torah portion, ‘Va‘Yeshev,’ last year, we discussed Joseph as a prototype of the Messiah. We saw the parallels between Messiah Ben-Joseph and the Joseph’s life. Through Joseph’s brother’s rejection, he was sent to Egypt where he attained status of being second to Pharaoh and regarded as a deity. The Egyptians also used the concept of the trinity with three Pharaoh’s. He became a stranger to his brothers because he was now ‘Egyptian’ and they could not recognize him.

    Hanukkah Sameach

David, like Joseph has a similar story. Both were shepherds and despised by their brothers. Samuel anointed David as king at 17, but it wasn’t until age 30 when he reigned over Israel. Joseph’s life in Egypt began at 17, but he didn’t sit ‘at the right hand’ of Pharaoh until 30. Both, Joseph and David, were sons from another mother, which Jewish scholars claim was the reason for David’s ‘red’ look and why “Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons…”

Chapter 38 interrupts with a different story: the deceitful affair between Judah and Tamar, his daughter-in-law. Judah, in the chapter before intervenes and saves his brother’s life (37:26-27). One interpretation says it’s the reason his descendants are of the royal line in the kingdom of Israel. Judah (where the word ‘Jew – yehudi’ comes from) desired for his sons to produce offspring so they could continue his forefather’s blessing.

When Judah’s oldest son, Er, passed away, his wife Tamar was given to Onan. “Lie with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother” (38:8). But, after Onan died, Judah told Tamar to go back to her father’s home until the third son Shela grew up.

Many years passed and the agreement was forgotten. But, when Tamar saw her father-in-law she sought revenge. She took off her widow’s clothes (38:14), which were a sign she was waiting for Judah to fulfill his promise, and covered her face so he couldn’t recognize her. Once protected from evil she was now covered with the mask of sin and deceit. Out of rage and revenge she dressed like a prostitute and Judah fell into ‘her snare’ (Proverbs 7).

Once her sin was made known, Judah confessed, “She is right, I am to blame.” Tamar went on to give birth to – again – twins, Peretz and Zerach (38:25 – 26). Again, the younger (Peretz) struggled to be born first, like with Esau and Jacob.

Another similarity we find is that Tamar shows Judah his three belongings: his ring, cord and staff. She says, “Recognize please…” (Hebrew haker-na; 38:25), which reminds us of the same words used in the chapter before as Judah himself deceived his father with Joseph’s coat and said: “Recognize please…” (37:32). What Judah did to his father through deceit Tamar did to him.

We can ask ourselves why the LORD allowed the marriage to be ‘legitimate’ even though it was incest and allow the heirs to be a part of the Messianic line of David? God allowed it to happen! Tamar even became one of the four ‘non-Jewish’ mothers along with Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.

Hag Hanukkah Sameach (HanukkahErev Hanukkah is 2011, December 20)

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