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!
Patrick Shannon presents a teaching on Blessing, starting from the Torah portion Vayechi in which Jacob blessed his sons and showing an encapsulated overview of all the different uses of words from the same root and their various meanings in the scriptures. Interesting to understand the actual meaning of the word as it pertains to how and why we bless our Father, our children, others, and even ourselves.
Rick Ortiz outlines the Torah portion, Vayigash, and shows the dramatic change that Joseph underwent during his plight in Egypt for his sake and the sake of all Israel.
Chris Shannon takes a hard look at interpretation of dreams in the scriptures to determine whether or not all of us should be able to interpret dreams if we really know the scriptures. His conclusion may surprise you.
Patrick Shannon shares insights from Jacob’s return to meet Esau showing a certain lesson that Jacob was to learn, which we ALL need to learn, and which changed his name from Jacob to Israel, just as we each become Israel ourselves.
R. Paul Falk expounds on the even in which Yeshua questions the women at the well in John 4, expounding on the differences between Samaritans and Jews, especially as depicted by passages in the Tanakh (Old Testament). A very educational teaching about being a well of water in our Father’s Word.
Rick Ortiz shares an outline fo the Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, and then highlights the birth of Jacob and Esau and how Esau lost the inheritance fo the first-born as Jacob basically stole it. A simplified illustration leading to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people.
Chris Shannon shares an insightful outline from the Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, formulated to be what qualities to look for in a bride, as well as how WE are to be as a bride, exemplified by Rebekkah when she was chosen to to Isaac.
R. Paul Falk takes an in-depth look at what Yeshua meant when he said “Before Abraham was, I am,” which is not what most of us think. In fact he was stating that he was the WORD which dwelt with the Father before the foundation of the world, and this has significant meaning for each of us today.
R. Paul Falk takes a deep look at the doctrine of Abraham’s righteousness being based on his faith, which only makes sense with other scriptures when faith is understood as trust that actually contains certain actions. A solid look at a lot of the verses used to make the case for salvation by grace and not by works, though with a clearer understanding of where obedience to the Word fits in.
R. Paul Falk looks at the phrase often translated “under the law” and shows how the correct understanding of this phrase reconciles completely with being “saved by grace,” the doctrine of circumcision, and what it means to be free with the liberty that Messiah’s death brought about.