if in my statutes

Triennial Torah Cycle Readings for Shabbat

Iyar 24, 5774 – May 24, 2014

For Discussion on Live Torah Focus Class on 5/29/2014 @ 7pm cst

אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי

“Im B’Chuqotai”
“If in My Statutes”
Vayiqra (Lev.) Lev 26:3 – 27:34     Num. 28:9-15
Ashlamatah: Is. 1:19-20, 24-27 + 2:2-5
Special: I Samuel 20:18,42
Psalm 89:16-53    Abot: 3:17
N.C.: II Pet 3:11-18; Lk 18:1-14; Acts 28:23-32

The Goal

In his Iggeret (letter) to the Synagogue in Rome (10:4), Hakham Sha’ul says that, the “Mashiach (Messiah) is the goal of the Torah…” Unfortunately, English translations give us a erroneous impression stating that Mashiach is the end of the Torah – as in a termination of the Covenant of the Torah. The Written and Oral Torah provides the vision for our maturity and the means by which it is attained — keeping the commandments transforms us into maturity. We, as was Mashiach, are perfected by the things that we endure and overcome from within and without — this is the goal of the Torah

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The Resurrection of God’s Son

The_Vision_of_The_Valley_of_The_Dry_BonesIt is safe to assume that this weekend most of the world’s 2 billion Christians will be hearing messages about the resurrection of Jesus. After all, this single event is the cornerstone of Christianity. The apostle Paul said it this way, “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:12–19 ESV).

But did you know that Christians are not the only ones hearing about resurrection of the dead this weekend. According to the Jewish calendar, this Sabbath is a special Sabbath. It is the intermediate Sabbath of Passover, and therefore the regular readings from the Torah and Prophets are suspended to read passages that include Ezekiel 37:1-14, the Vision of Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones. In this exciting and informative class originally recorded on March 30, 2013, Ross shared a message from the Hebrew Scriptures that is in keeping with the theme for this “resurrection” weekend. If one looks carefully into the Hebrew Scriptures a message emerges that many have not seen before. Do the Hebrew Scriptures speak of the death, burial and resurrection of God’s son? And who is this suffering son? You will not want to miss this teaching.

 

On The Eighth Day

בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי

“BaYom HaSh’mini”
“On the eighth day”
Vayiqra (Lev.) 9:1 – 10:7
B’Midbar (Num.) 28:9-15
Ashlamatah: Ezekiel 43:27 – 44:5, 28-30
Special: I Samuel 20:18,42
Psalm 77:11-21
N.C. 1 Pet 3:1-7; Lk 12:2-9, 13-21; Acts 22:1-21

How do you come up with such an interpretation?

Whether vocalized or not, people have questions like these. Questions are good when they are asked with sincerity and humility. Notice the Scripture verse in bold and a deeper explanation in parenthesis’ and brackets.

Shemot (Ex.) 19:16 So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder (the voices of the Hakhamim) and lightning flashes (the Hakhamim running back and forth to elucidate the Torah) and a thick cloud upon the mountain (governance [kingdom] of God [through the Hakhamim and Bate Din as opposed to human kings]) and a very loud voice of the shofar (Tiferet – Darshan or Maggid [Prophet]), so that all the people who were in the camp (world) trembled.

Join us this week’s on Torah Focus, but be ready to listen more than once!

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Command

צַו

“Tsav”
“Command” / “Enjoin”
Vayiqra (Lev.) 6:1 – 7:10
Ashlamatah: Mic. 6:6-8 + 7:14-20
Psalm 76:1-7
1 Pet 2:11-12; Luk 10:38-42; Acts 20:17-38

Understanding the Basics of the Readings

It is important for newcomers to our class that they get an orientation to the language and workings of the Triennial Cycle and our weekly studies. The recovery of these ancient principles is  relatively new and we are involved in the pioneering work to bring them back to the forefront as they once were in the Land of Israel. Tonight we review some basics and it always serves to strengthen and clarify the system that we are teaching. Join us on Torah Focus for this refreshing overview.

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If A Man Sins

וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי-תֶחֱטָא

“V’Nefesh Ki Techetá”

“And if a soul sins”

“Si alguien peca”

Vayiqra (Lev.) 5:1-26

Ashlamatah: Zech. 5:3-11 + 6:14 Psalm 75:1-11

N.C.: 1 Pet 2:4-10; Luke 10:13-24; Acts 20:1-16

Chanukah and Or HaGanuz – The Hidden Light

When one looks at the story of creation we notice that there was no light upon the earth from the sun, moon, and stars until the fourth day of creation, as written in Genesis 1:14. Yet, there was a light that was already spoken of in Genesis 1:3-4, “Let there be light and there was light…(and He) divided the light from the darkness…” Further, we remember the verse in 1 John 1:5 that says, “G-d is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” So, (1) G-d who is light, (2) created a light (that was outside of Himself), and then, (3) created another physical light of the sun. The created light we call “Ohr HaGanuz” – the primordial light. Chanukah is about seeing, not the light of the sun and moon, but this “Ohr HaGanuz.” This light was hidden and separated from the darkness to be accessed by the righteous at different times. Join us this week on Torah Focus as we learn about this access.

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And Bazelel Made

 וַיַּעַשׂ בְּצַלְאֵל

“VaYa’as B’tsal’el” “And Bezalel made”

Shemot (Exod.) 37:1 – 38:20

Ashlamatah: 1 Kings 8:8-15, 21-22 Psalm 70:1-5

N.C.: Mk. 9:30-32; Luke 43b-45; Acts 18:12-17

Understanding the Process of Spiritual Success

Spiritual endeavors, whether building the Mishkan or a Marriage, begin with an initial Inspiration.  With a flicker of light in our souls we see the vision of a realized dream or a completed project. Then comes the effort to construct it into a tangible and living reality.  The inspiration is the easy part — Service is the difficult and prolonged work. Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai reminds us often that goals are realized by “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” It is committed and continued Service to the Inspiration that will bring us to the Shalom we envisioned initially. Understanding and remaining conscious of the process can help us bring the inspiration to fruition. How do we stay energized? Join us this week on Torah Focus as we discuss these key ideas for personal growth.

 

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See Adonai has called

רְאוּ קָרָא יי

“R’u Qara Adonai”

“See, Adonai has called”

Shemot (Exod.) 35:30 – 36:38

Ashlamatah: Is. 55:13 – 56:8 + 57:15  Psalm 69:1-37

 N.C.: Mk. 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43a; Acts 18:1-11

Everyone a Rabbi? The transformation and elevation of the world is accomplished as the Torah is written upon hearts of Sapphire! The breath of HaShem flows through the words of the Hakhamim (the Rabbis) engraving trans-formative wisdom, understanding, and knowledge upon our hearts! Works and accomplishments then flow into the world that sustain and beautify it. To be a faithful Rabbi is the premier calling at the root of this whole process. Lest we fail to comprehend the Nazarean calling, listen to the words of Hakham Shaul who reminds the Bereans as well as ourselves: For by this time you should be Rabbis, you still need to be taught fundamental principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Heb. 5:12   Everyone a Rabbi?  Please join us for this weeks Torah Focus as we elucidate on this theme.

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You Will Command

וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה

“V’Zeh HaDabar” “And this is the thing”

Shemot (Exod.) 27:20 – 28:43; Num. 28:9-15

Ashlamatah: Hos.14:7-Joel 1:5+2:14

Special: Is. 54:11 – 55:5, I Samuel 20:18,42

Psalm 62:1-13, Abot: 3:9

N.C.: Mk 8:14-21; Lk 12:1 & Acts 16:25-34

When we look at Biblical Interpretation, there are principles embedded in the text, illuminated by our Sages and passed down through to us through the millennia. The Jewish people are forbidden particular types of mixtures, like meat and dairy, because they bring into existence something that is detrimental. This applies further when yoking together a cow with a donkey or mating different species of animals. Certain things must be corralled in separation from one another lest they are joined together to create offspring that are unhealthy and sterile. This is also true with Jewish interpretation the scripture. The four levels (PaRDeS) cannot be mixed together, but each must be in its own corral.

Join us this week on Torah Focus as we delve into these important principles.

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T’rumah 5773

תְּרוּמָה

“T’rumah”

“A Heave Offering”

Shemot (Exod.) 25:1-40,

Ashlamatah: Is. 60:17 – 61:3,9 Special: Is. 40:1-26

Psalm 59 Abot: 3:7

N.C.: Mk 8:5-10; Acts 16:9-12

The Messianic Era will be an intermediate time between This World-Age and the Coming World-Age, one that will have elements of both worlds within it. This week we highlight a passage of our weekly study from Psalm 60:7. The Targum commentary to this verse says: “You will add days to the age to come (Olam HaBa), the days of the King Messiah; his years are like the generations of this age (Olam Ha Zeh) and the generations of the age to come.” It is an added period of transition to the World to Come. So then, how do the present days effect the days of Messiah and the World to Come? Are days still being added in some sense. Are we deciding through our Torah lifestyle what the condition of our present days will be at that time? Join us on Torah Focus as we discuss, for example, how it is that our rejoicing, our food, our clothing and conversation on Shabbat are indeed preparing us and adding days to the Olam HaBa[1]


[1] Synopsis by Adon Yoel ben Abraham

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Behold, I send (apostolize)

Hineh Anokhi Sholeach” “Behold, I send (apostolize)”

Shemot (Exod.) 23:20 – 24:18; Ashlamatah: Malachi 3:1-8, 23-24 Special: Isaiah 1:1-27

Psalm 58:7-12 Abot: 3:6

N.C.: Mk 8:1-4; Acts 16:1-8

 This week, as we leave the three weeks of rebuke and penitence and enter the seven weeks of consolation/strengthening, our study revolved around the Torah Seder. We also continued our discussion of how being conscious of the times and seasons will enable us to tap into the energies present within them. We discussed the Malakh of HaShem (Exodus 23:20) and ‘guardian angels’ — their nature as ‘powers’ and their role to guard/keep us in “the way.” We delineated true and false conceptions of them. Join us for this enlightening session of Torah Focus taking hold of the comfort and strengthening available as we face resistance in this time.

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