For more than two thousand years, the entire Jewish community all around the world has focused on the same part of the Scriptures each week called (in English) the Torah portion. Except during Hebraic holy days, the weekly Torah portion is featured in the synagogue (house of study) every Shabbat.
Typically, the Torah is divided into 54 portions so that the Torah is entirely cycled through once each year. It is a long-standing and fascinating tradition that has kept the entire Israelite community unified in a special way, wherever they might be, for thousands of years.
There is also a Triennial reading cycle which divides the Torah into thirds, and then into smaller portions so that cycling through the entire Torah requires three consecutive years. Instituted during the 19th century, the triennial cycle allows more in-depth focus on smaller sections of Scripture than the traditional annual cycle.
Traditionally, in many synagogues, a Torah scroll is ceremonially removed from the ark (a dedicated cabinet) and is opened to the weekly portion from which a segment is read. At ARIEL, the ark is opened with a traditional Torah blessing, but not often removed, and a selected highlight of the weekly portion is read from an English translation. Afterwards, the ark containing the Torah is respectfully closed as another traditional blessing is said.
The Torah portions at ARIEL are also recorded each week and posted here online. Enjoy!
R. Paul Falk adds another teaching on the Holy Spirit with the Torah portion about accepting the covenant before entering the promised land. He shows several other passages confirming that the covenant is for everyone, including Gentiles, culminating with the Messiah’s calling for us to be “fishers of men” to all nations, to bring all into the covenant!
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Patrick Shannon answers questions about the large stones that Israel was commanded to set up upon entering the land, and concludes with the significance of this “monumental” command.
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R. Paul Falk discusses the role of eunuchs which are mentioned throughout the Scriptures, by many from Moses to Messiah, in the context of those not permitted to enter the assembly because of castration. But he also shows a contrasting a pattern with other groups of people that are not permitted that seem to be permitted later. A thought-provoking look at an ancient custom that was fairly common, and a condition that may have been the case with certain men in the Bible that you had never considered before!
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Rick Ortiz outlines the twenty areas of laws established in the Torah portion, Shoftim, highlighting three areas: finality of verdicts, specific laws for kings, and what made Israel different from the nations around them.
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R. Paul Falk continues on the Holy Spirit with this insightful teaching on “strange fire,” or the form of worship brought by Nadab and Abihu that was not commanded. He presents the deeper meanings of fire as seen throughout the scriptures which shine additional light on how we could actually be bringing strange fire in our worship today.
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Patrick Shannon concludes the teaching on Our Inheritance showing exactly what we are promised to inherit, WHO will (and will not) inherit it, and what we have TO DO, as heirs of the Creator.
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R. Paul Falk continues the series on the Holy Spirit with this Torah portion, focusing on what it means to “blaspheme the Spirit” referred to as “the unforgivable sin” in Matthew 12:31-32. Apparently, this is not a new concept but one that has roots in several passages in the Torah.
R. Paul Falk continues this eye-opening series on the Holy Spirit, starting from the first Torah portion in the book of Deuteronomy (Devarim), and examining exactly what it means to be born in the Spirit, as well the primary purpose that the Holy Spirit has in our lives.
Patrick Shannon presents a number of references to inheritances in the Scriptures which form a fascinating picture of what we as the children of the King are promised to receive, both in the future of this age as well as in the afterlife.
Part 1 of a 2-part study.
Patrick Shannon studies the list of commanded offerings in Numbers 28 which give us some interesting insights regarding our forms of worship today based on other correlating Scriptures. A very challenging teaching on what is actually required for those of us who claim to be His people.
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