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 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 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.
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.
Patrick Shannon shares insights from the song about the future of Israel that Moses was commanded to teach the people before he died. The song constitutes most of the chapter of Deuteronomy 32, and it actually refers to every one of us today.
Rick Ortiz shares an outline of the Torah portion, Vayelek, and expounds on the concept of YHVH telling us about our future. Throughout the Scriptures, He issues warnings and specific details about what we will do, and yet gives us hope for a positive outcome.
Chris Shannon starts the Torah portion, Nitzavim, with a quick social experiment that reveals how we notice and ignore certain priorities based on our focus. This principle applies in Deuteronomy where Israel is commanded to be “Hyperfocused on YHVH.”
R. Paul Falk starts with the Torah portion, Ki Tavo, and links to Psalm 139:7 about the spirit and presence, and he shows how the story of Jonah illustrates global truths about our Father’s presence.
Patrick Shannon shares a section from Deuteronomy 22 that seems to have a common thread of unusual kindness which is being taught to us but is also an example of how our Father is with us, and how we are to be in the lives of others.
Click the image below to watch online.
R. Paul Falk continues with The Spirit series taking a in-depth look at the concept of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
Patrick Shannon analyzes the first few chapters of Deuteronomy as a recounting of events that occurred as a result of the people’s fear, which leads to other ramifications, even in our lives today.