Heshvan 13, 5764 / November 8, 2003
Heshvan 13, 5767 / November 4, 2006
Heshvan 13, 5770 / October 31, 2009
Heshvan 18, 5773 / November
Heshvan 11, 5776 /
SCRIPTURES should be read first
Ree! Ani natan
bracha v klala
Behold! I gift toward-your-faces this-day
blessing and curse.
The choice of whether or not to accept the entire Word of Yahweh the
Gracious One is the choice of blessing or curse! The path to blessing means
accepting everything, from the least understood statutes, to the most obvious
moral judgments (v.32).
(V.4) You shall not do this to Yahweh. We may not choose any
place we wish to offer sacrifice to God, as the pagans do, but only at the place
of Gods choosing (Shiloh, then Jerusalem). This is variously interpreted to
mean that we should never destroy a synagogue (as we are commanded to destroy
houses of idol worship), or that we should never erase the Name Yahweh (as we
are commanded not to use idols names).
(V.4) Elevation offerings are those that are completely burned upon the
altar: their satisfying aroma ascends up to God. Feast offerings are
animal or bird offerings that are usually shared with family and guests. These
two extremes refer to the whole range of animal offerings: they may only be
sacrificed at the Temple in Jerusalem (previously at the Tabernacle). The
tithes are animal offerings (Leviticus 27:32) and crops (Deuteronomy
14:22-27). What you raise up with your hands refers to firstfruits
(waved at Pentecost).
(V.7) And you shall rejoice: we should serve God joyfully, in all
of His instruction. We can do that, when we understand that it is for blessing,
and when we are trusting. As Yahweh your God has blessed you: the
amount of our offerings should be commensurate with the amount God has put in
our care; this applies to all areas, from charity to Torah study.
place in which Yahweh your God shall choose for His name to dwell: this was specifically temporarily Shiloh, then permanently Jerusalem.
Interestingly, from an aerial view, the valleys between the hills of Shiloh form
the Hebrew word Yahweh; the valleys around the Holy Temple form a letter
shin, for Shaddai the Almighty.
"Yahweh" at Shiloh
"Shin" like Shaddai's hand holding Jerusalem
(at top center in picture,
read from bottom up)
(V.17) All offerings, of animals and crops, may be consumed only at Jerusalem:
not at other places where one might dwell. However, (v.15) if a consecrated
animal becomes blemished, and is replaced by another animal, then the redeemed
blemished animal may be eaten elsewhere, and even by an unclean person.
Through Isaiah, God has promised us a beautiful dwelling place. There will
be no oppression, and nothing to fear. God can say this for a certainty, because
He created the one who fashions weapons, and He made the waster for the purpose
of causing destruction (Isaiah 54:16)! Though their intent be against us, Gods
intent is otherwise.
backs up Isaiah, showing that the one intending harm to the righteous will find
his intent turned around.
55:2) God asks, why do you spend your earnings for things that will not satisfy?
Obey Him, take what is really good, and you will be delighted forever! (V.6) Seek
Yahweh while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.
In Luke 6, Yeshua takes up the theme.
(V.20 & 24) Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was
dead, and has come to life, says this: I know your tribulation and your
poverty, but you are rich (Revelation 2:8-9).
to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true
Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: I know your deeds,
that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because
you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
Because you say, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,
and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and
naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become
rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of
your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you
may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and
repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)
(V.21 & 25) Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.
Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry.
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
(V.21 & 25) Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Woe
to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
in that day Yahweh God of hosts, called you to weeping, to wailing, to shaving
the head, and to wearing sackcloth. Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of
wine: Let us eat
and drink, for tomorrow we may die. (Isaiah 22:12-13)
then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes
of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds
of the sky with power and great glory.
(V.22-23 & 26) Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and
cast insults at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of
Man. Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great
in heaven; for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. Woe
to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to
treat the false prophets.
the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have
their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance
to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will
turn aside to myths.
(2 Timothy 4:3-4)
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who chose us from among all peoples by
giving us Your Torah.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
"See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
27 the blessing, if you listen to the
commandments of Yahweh your God, which I am commanding you
today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to
the commandments of Yahweh your God, but turn aside from the
way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods
which you have not known.
Reader 2* Amen.
"It shall come about, when Yahweh your God brings you into the land where you
are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim
and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 "Are they not across the Jordan, west
of the way toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the
Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? 31 "For you are
about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which Yahweh your God is
giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it, 32 and you shall
be careful to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am setting before
Reader 3* Amen.
"These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in
the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long
as you live on the earth. 2 "You shall utterly destroy all the places
where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high
mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 "You shall
tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim
with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and
obliterate their name from that place. 4 "You shall not act like this
toward Yahweh your God.
Reader 4* Amen.
"But you shall seek Yahweh at the place which Yahweh your God will choose from
all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you
shall come. 6 "There you shall bring your elevation offerings, your
sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings,
your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.
7 "There also you and your households shall eat before Yahweh your God,
and rejoice in all your undertakings in which Yahweh your God has blessed you.
Reader 5* Amen.
"You shall not do at all
what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;
9 for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the
inheritance which Yahweh your God is giving you. 10 "When you cross
the Jordan and live in the land which Yahweh your God is giving you to inherit,
and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in
security, 11 then it shall come about that the place in which Yahweh
your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I
command you: your elevation offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the
contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will
vow to Yahweh.
Reader 6* Amen.
"And you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you and your sons and daughters,
your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he
has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 "Be careful that you do
not offer your elevation offerings in every cultic place you see, 14
but in the place which Yahweh chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall
offer your elevation offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
15 "However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates,
whatever you desire, according to the blessing of Yahweh your God which He has
given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the
Reader 7* Amen.
"Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like
water. 17 "You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of
your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of
your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the
contribution of your hand. 18 "But you shall eat them before Yahweh
your God in the place which Yahweh your God will choose, you and your son and
daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your
gates; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God in all your undertakings.
19 "Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live
in your land.
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living
Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who selected good prophets, delighting
in their words which were spoken truthfully.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the
Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,
and the prophets of truth and
Isaiah 54:11 - 55:6
Reader 8* Amen.
"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your
stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. 12
"Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal,
and your entire wall of precious stones. 13 "All your sons will be
taught of Yahweh; and the well-being of your sons will be great. 14
"In righteousness you will be established; you will be far from oppression, for
you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not come near you. 15
"If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will
fall because of you. 16 "Behold, I Myself have created the smith who
blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and
I have created the destroyer to ruin. 17
"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that
accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants
of Yahweh, and their vindication is from Me," declares Yahweh.
Reader 9* Amen.
"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come,
buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2
"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not
satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in
abundance. 3 "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may
live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the
faithful mercies shown to David. 4 "Behold, I have made him a witness
to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5 "Behold,
you will call a nation you do not know, and a nation which knows you not will
run to you, because of Yahweh your God, even the Holy One of Israel; for He has
glorified you. 6 Seek Yahweh while He may be found; call upon Him
while He is near.
(To be sung.) A Song of Ascents.
"Many times they have persecuted me from
my youth up," let Israel now say, 2 "Many times they have persecuted
me from my youth up; yet they have not prevailed against me. 3 "The
plowers plowed upon my back; they lengthened their furrows." 4 Yahweh
is righteous; He has cut in two the cords of the wicked. 5 May all
who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward; 6 let them be like
grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up; 7 with
which the reaper does not fill his hand, or the binder of sheaves his bosom;
8 nor do those who pass by say, "The blessing of Yahweh be upon you;
we bless you in the name of Yahweh."
Reader 10* Amen.
And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, "Blessed are you who
are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 "Blessed are you who
hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you
shall laugh. 22 "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize
you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of
Man. 23 "Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your
reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the
prophets. 24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your
comfort in full. 25 "Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall
be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26
"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the
false prophets in the same way.
27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who
hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat
you. 29 "Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and
whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.
30 "Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is
yours, do not demand it back. 31 "Treat others the same way you want
them to treat you. 32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is
that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 "If you do
good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners
do the same. 34 "If you lend to those from whom you expect to
receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to
receive back the same amount. 35 "But love your enemies, and do good,
and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you
will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil
men. 36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you
will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 "Give,
and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--
pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure
it will be measured to you in return." 39 And He also spoke a parable
to them: "A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall
into a pit? 40 "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after
he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 "Why do you
look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that
is in your own eye? 42 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother,
let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the
log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own
eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your
43 "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other
hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 "For each tree is
known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick
grapes from a briar bush. 45 "The good man out of the good treasure
of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil
treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills
his heart. 46 "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I
say? 47 "Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on
them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a
house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood
occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because
it had been well built. 49 "But the one who has heard and has not
acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any
foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and
the ruin of that house was great."
"Blessed are You, Yahweh
our God, King of the Universe,
Rock of Ages, righteous
throughout all generations.
You are the faithful God,
promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,
for all Your words are true
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."