Welcome to Mishpatim (Laws), this week’s Parasha (Torah Portion).
This portion of Torah will be
read during this week’s Shabbat (Saturday) service in synagogues all around the
Jeremiah 34:8–22, 33:25–26; Colossians 3:1–25
“These are the ordinances [mishpatimהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים] that you are to
set before them.”(Exodus 21:1)
In last week’s portion of
Scripture, Israel received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
Numbers in Hebrew are represented by corresponding letters of the alphabet, such as Numbers 1–10 above.
Shalom Friends & Believers,
"Teachus to number our
days, that we maygainaheartofwisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
While numbers are mundane to
most people, in Judaism they have a personality and metaphysical meaning; they
help reveal the universal truths of the Torah (first five books of the
Bible), as well as the writings of the Prophets and Yeshua's disciples.
Tonight, as the sun sets, Yom
Here in Israel and around the world, the Jewish people
face the memory and pain of the Holocaust and say, “Never again.”
mood covers the land of Israel, and tomorrow morning a 10 AM, the nation will
come to a complete standstill as citizens stand at attention when sirens blast
for two minutes. Even those driving will pull to the side and exit their
vehicles to stand in honor of those who perished.
This annual remembrance of their
sacrifice called the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, or Yom
HaShoah, dedicated to those who suffered and resisted, is held under the
auspices of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance
Wednesday: Eliciting the Supernatural
Adar II 20, 5776 · March 30, 2016
Fourth Reading: Leviticus 10:12–15
Moses comforted Aaron and his sons over the death of Nadav and Avihu. Even though it is normally forbidden for a priest who is in mourning to officiate, Moses instructed Aaron and his two surviving sons to continue with the sacrificial service – including eating their designated portions of the sacrifices – as an exceptional case.
Eliciting the Supernatural
(וַאֲכַלְתֶּם אֹתָהּ .
Shabbat: Bringing Creation to its Fulfillment
Adar II 16, 5776 · March 26, 2016
Seventh Reading: Leviticus 8:30–36
The installation rituals were repeated every day for a full week.
Bringing Creation to its Fulfillment
(כִּי שִׁבְעַת יָמִים יְמַלֵּא אֶת יֶדְכֶם: (ויקרא ח:לג
[Moses told Aaron and his sons,] “[G-d] will install you [by these rituals] for seven days.” Leviticus 8:33
When the world was first created, G‑d’s Presence rested on earth. But the misdeeds of successive generations banished it to further and further spiritual realms.
What Is Purim?
The festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”The story in a nutshell:
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen.
Wednesday: “Feeding” G-d
Adar II 6, 5776 · March 16, 2016
Fourth Reading: Leviticus 3:1–17
In teaching Moses the procedures for the sacrifices, G-d referred to them several times as “bread for the fire [of the Altar].
(וְהִקְטִירוֹ הַכֹּהֵן הַמִּזְבֵּחָה לֶחֶם אִשֶּׁה לַיהֹוָה: (ויקרא ג:יא
[G-d told Moses,] “The priest must burn [the sacrifice] on the Altar, as food for the fire, to G-d.” Leviticus 3:11
Throughout the Torah, G‑d refers to the sacrifices repeatedly and figuratively as His “bread.
Today is: Wednesday, Adar II 6, 5776 · March 16,
Today in Jewish History
Moses Completes the Torah (1273 BCE)
Moses completed the book of Deuteronomy, concluding
of the Torah which
he began several weeks earlier, on the 1st of Shevat. He then wrote down the
completed Five Books of Moses, word for word, as dictated to him by G-d. This
scroll of the Torah was put into the Holy Ark, next to the Tablets of
Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
וַיִּפֹּל עַל צַוְּארֵי בִנְיָמִן אָחִיו וַיֵּבְךְּ וּבִנְיָמִן בָּכָה עַל צַוָּארָיו
Biblical scholars point out that Joseph wept over the destruction of the Temple that was in the future territory of Benjamin, while Benjamin wept over the fall of the Tabernacle of Shilo, found in Joseph's future territory. Why did each brother weep over the other's tragedy, surely their own was enough to mourn!
Tuesday: Elevating the Four Kingdoms
Adar II 5, 5776 · March 15, 2016
Third Reading: Leviticus 2:7–16
All sacrifices were salted just before they were burned on the Altar.Elevating the Four Kingdoms
(עַל כָּל קָרְבָּנְךָ תַּקְרִיב מֶלַח: (ויקרא ב:יג)
[G-d told Moses,] “You must offer up salt on all your sacrifices.”
All four kingdoms of creation are incorporated in the sacrifices: Salt is the mineral element; the oil, wine, and flour that accompany sacrifices are the vegetative element; the animal itself is the animal element; the person offering the sacrifice and the priest officiating at the sacrifice are the human element.