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 shows how the various battles near the end of Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness each taught certain lessons—even applicable to us today—in order to prepare the people for crossing into the promised land and conquering it.
Rick Ortiz shares an outline of the Torah portion, Korach, and focuses on maintaining the holiness of The Holy One. Not only was Korach and his companions destroyed, but there are other examples in the scriptures of those who approached the presence of the Father inappropriately.
Chris Shannon looks at the Torah portion Shelach in which a dozen men were sent to spy out the land of Canaan. What they saw was real. Or was it? Using a scene from The Matrix as an example, Chris shows that the world we live in today is quite similar.
R. Paul Falk continues an in-depth study of the Spirit starting with John 3:3 in which Yeshua told Nicodemus you cannot see the kingdom of God without being “born again.” There are some amazing connections to in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Yeshua himself.
After clicking the PLAY button below, click here to follow along with the slides.
R. Paul Falk shares insights on the prodigal son’s older brother as to how he represents the mindset of traditional Judaism with regard to those newly coming to Torah. He also explains what Yeshua meant when he said that we must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Patrick Shannon presents an eye-opening perspective of the huge number of Israelites that were roaming around in the wilderness, and yet shows how the Torah portion, Bemidbar, puts a repeated emphasis on each individual in the camps. A reminder that each of us have a place where we belong, and a unique role to play.
Rick Ortiz shares from the Torah portion, Bechukotai, about the promise of our Father to bless us if we keep his Torah. Among the list of blessings, one in particular is that He would send rain in its season. Rain turns into produce, abundance, and prosperity in numerous ways.
Chris Shannon springs from the Torah portion, Behar, and shows various connections to the Jubilee year, and how our learning to keep Torah, in the physical realm is actually teaching us about the spiritual realm.
A wonderfully designed presentation. After clicking the PLAY button below, click here to follow along with the slides.
R. Paul Falk looks at the prodigal son’s older brother highlighting parallels with the house of Judah, the scribe that crossed the road to avoid the man beaten by thieves, and many of us today!
After clicking the PLAY button below, you can also click here to follow along with the slides.
You can also watch the entire service online.
Patrick Shannon teaches on the various commands listed in Leviticus Chapter 19 in which the original Ten Commandments are interwoven throughout.