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Parashat Vayeira | Genesis 18:1-22:24

As followers of Yeshua, we believe in life after death. Our eternal hope is in the resurrection of the dead and the life we will enjoy in our immortal bodies. Yeshua speaks of this eternal life in Matthew 25. Paul explains this reality by saying, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). Our eternal resurrection will be the defeat of the ultimate enemy: death. This is the understanding many have of immortality and how we enter into it. However, there may be another aspect of immortality and a way we can achieve it now, even while we live in this world. Let’s turn to our parashah to help us understand this concept.

Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30

Our current Torah portion is primarily focused on the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua. But we also learn that Moses has finished writing the Torah and places it in the charge of the kohanim, the priests. He then charges them to read it in its entirety at a specific time each year, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths” (Deuteronomy 31:10). At first, this may seem to be a simple statement: In the year of the Shemitah (the seventh year of rest), you are to read the Torah during Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles). However, there is more implied in this statement in regard to the time when this occurs.

Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

At the beginning of our parashah we learn about the calling of a man named Abram. The LORD would eventually change his name to Abraham, but while he was still called Abram, the Creator of the Universe summoned him out from among his people and into His service. He immediately left a city named Haran and headed toward Canaan, the land God would eventually give to him and his descendants. When he reach Canaan, however, the Torah details Abram’s encampments, naming them individually beginning with Shechem, as it says, “Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh” (Genesis 12:6). Ramban (Nachmanides) takes note of this and asks why the Torah records these encampments. He answers his own question by saying the Torah is teaching us a valuable lesson. It is a principle of the Torah which states, ma’asei avot siman l’banim, “The deeds of the fathers are portents / signs for the children.”

Breisheet (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

After the creation of the universe and all things on the earth, God created humanity as His crowning achievement. Once the first man was created, He didn’t just set him loose to fend for himself. He specifically placed him in a literal paradise called Gan Eden (The Garden of Eden). The Torah gives us a basic description of this place, saying, “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:8–9).

Vezot HaBrachah (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12)

The final Torah reading before we roll the Torah back to the beginning takes its name from the opening line, Vezot ha’brachah, which means “This is the blessing.” It contains the concluding words of Moses before his death. In his final breath, he blesses the Children of Israel with various blessings that can be difficult to fully understand. At the beginning of the chapter, however, Moses gives a vivid description of God as a groom coming out to meet Israel, His bride, at Sinai. There is a portion of this passage that can help us understand a responsibility we have as God’s children. The chapter begins by describing God coming out to meet Israel at Sinai. Right after this, we read, “Thus the LORD became king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people were gathered, all the tribes of Israel together” (Deuteronomy 33:5). What does this mean?

Parashat Ha'zinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)



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