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 studies the materials that were commanded for the building of the tabernacle, examining their various sources and unique characteristics and what they each symbolically represent according to the Scriptures. He concludes on how these representations reflect us as the temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells today.
You can click here to view the slides presented and follow along.
R. Paul Falk continues the series on the Sabbath with the Torah portion, Terumah, about being called to build a house (tabernacle) for the Eternal One. He highlights big differences between keeping the Shabbat in our dwellings compared to the commands regarding His house, almost all of which come down to the heart behind certain works on Shabbat.
Rick Ortiz shares an outline of the Torah portion, Mishpatim, and focuses on the release of the Hebrew servant after seven years. Upon receiving his freedom, he has the option of making his servitude permanent, due to his love for his master, which is signified by the piercing of his ear at the doorpost of the master’s house.
In this Torah portion and message, R. Paul Falk continues the Shabbat series with some very clarifying insights about the enemy’s primary goal which is to enslave us, and how YHVH rescues us, bringing us out of bondage to give us freedom and rest. He also warns about how we sometimes misinterpret isolated scriptures and formulate false doctrines that we impose on others.
Rick Ortiz outlines the Torah portion, Va-Era, and focuses in on the various aspects of a name, and in particular, the name of the Eternal that was given to Moses and the people of Israel. He also highlights what it means to have the name “put on us” and the significance that carries for us today.
Patrick Shannon launches from Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh into the will of Yah for all of creation which culminates in the mission of Yeshua which is handed down to us. As one of many congregations in the modern Messianic movement, Patrick identifies a spectrum of different doctrinal groups and answers the question, “What Tribe Are We?”
You can also click here for the slideshow to follow along.
R. Paul Falk continues the Run the Race series based on Hebrews 12:1 showing how God changes each of us through the example in the Torah portion of Jacob dividing his house into two before meeting Esau, and how he uses the long-term effects of Jacob’s dislocated hip for a bigger plan.
Rick Ortiz shares an outline of the Torah portion Mi-Ketz and highlights several important lessons that can be gleaned from the story of Joseph rising to power in Egypt and dealing with his brothers who came to him to buy food during the famine.
In the story of Jacob’s wives and children, Patrick Shannon makes some observations about differences in personalities between Rachel and Leah. Jacob loved Rachel more and she was apparently more beautiful, but the Eternal blessed Leah with more than half of Jacob’s children.
R. Paul Falk answers some of the tough questions about the scriptures involving Jacob whom God “loved” and Esau whom He “hated”…explaining the connection to the wives of Jacob and Esau, and how all of this relates to US being either “children of the promise” or those who are the descendants of a cursed people from the line of Ham.