Isaac and Ishmael. Jacob and Esau. And now, we have I think the next longest rivalry in Scripture: Zion-Moriah vs. Gerizim or, if you prefer Judeans vs. Samaritans. This parsha all the controversies between that last group come to the forefront. What was the original Torah message regarding Mount Gerizim? Was it changed How can we know for sure? Some of those answers are in this parsha as we explore the Samaritans throughout history and their relationship to ancient Israel. Along the way we will see how the gathering of the tribes on Gerizim and Ebal creates perhaps the largest calendar clock ever made–Big Ben going silent has nothing on this–and get an update on that impending massive solar eclipse coming next week. What foreboding might it hold for our future? These are just some of the mysteries we will explore in this parsha, along with a very surprising exchange of views on Oral Law. Don’t miss it!
We’ve seen the “big picture” over the last few weeks. The 40 year re-cap to the new generation with very selective editing, followed by the reissuing of Ten Commandments 2.0, complete with tweaks for this new generation, followed by the Shema itself. Now here is where we get the details to make that big picture possible. This week, Moshe gives even more dire messages to Israel, telling them about the true extent of their fathers’ sins and trying to make sure this generation understands that while some of them may not have seen the original miracles, following the Torah is literally a matter of life and death.
The Tour Continues with the most foundational concepts Israel ever had: The reissuing of the Ten Commandments with some critical distinctions from what was given in Exodus 20 and the Shema Prayer of Deuteronomy 6. But this parsha also draws heavily from its proximity of the 9th of Av, the day both Temples were destroyed and some of the most profound questions ever asked by the Jewish people about their purpose in the world. Then explore some deep connections between Isaiah 1 and a critical NT book and also how modern scholars have unjustly attacked the unity of that great prophet’s work.
The Farewell Tour Begins! But this tour isn’t about some rock star or other celebrity in our media saturated culture. No, this is a farewell tour of one of the most righteous people who have ever lived–Moshe himself. Enter the extreme urgency of his words because if Israel doesn’t understand him today they never will. More than any other book, Devarim is the closest thing to the unfiltered thought, desires and tragedies of this man who in spite of all against him comes down to us as someone only Messiah can best. There is glory in his struggles and eternal legacy in his challenges. Plus, explore a new calendar find from the writings of Josephus and an update on our talk about Enoch! And don’t forget to check out please the new 4 minute video on the Arch of Titus in color. Enjoy!
As the fourth Torah book of Bamidbar (Numbers) ends, we find a curious mixture of old and new, and recapping the past and preparing for the future. We begin with finding a beautiful and deep number code hiding in plain sight and progress to looking at a legal challenge that, if not dealt with properly, could literally tear the new nation apart before it even has a chance to get started. Along the way we will also explore the mystery of how to view the book of Enoch against the backdrop of the canonized Scripture. Are there unique insights in 1 Enoch that the rest of the Scripture lacks or is even venturing towards it a danger most cannot come back from? Then, after critical readings from some of the most dramatic portions of Jeremiah and the Epistle of Ya’akov, we proceed to the climax of going even deeper into the mysteries of the Gospel of Luke and how Luke himself may have used the greatest tragedy in Theophilus’ life to make a final push for him to believe in Messiah. Explore the evidence and judge for yourself! No matter where you end up, it is sure to be an adventurous ride.
Welcome to the expanded edition of Matot—these are the tribes. This fascinating look into arcane rules of land inheritance punctuated with a deadly serious war with the nation of Midian offers one of the starkest studies in contrasts of any parsha. Also join me for a special exploration into the mysterious origins of the Gospel of Luke and see how the rabbis of Chabad view the differences between the previous Temples and the future one. Also this week (Scroll to Scroll only) enjoy two free songs about the prophet Jeremiah.<!-
This hero Phinehas is so larger than life that the Scripture can be interpreted to mean he was a warrior priest for nearly 400 years (he didn’t but you’ll have to tune in to find out why! Welcome to one of the most action packed parshas of them all, where one man is elevated to the high priesthood because he saved the life of 2 million Israelite, so Samason and Shamngar, you guys need to take a step back and make room for Phinehas. But this parsha is also about the deepest depths of depravity amongst Israel’s enemies as evidenced by the extremes they take for even a chance to destroy them. Then, our Haftorah portion takes us through the most terrifying day of the great prophet Eliyahu’s life, wrapping up with the Renewed Covenant reading of Acts 2 where we find almost nothing is what it seems when we line up the traditional church version with what really happened. Also don’t miss the two bonus teachings included in the parsha for Scroll to Scroll!
It may be the oddest, and even the most whimsical, parsha of them all. This week we begin with the plotting of Balak, King of Moab. Having assessed the might of Israel, he has concluded outright military victory against them is to o difficult, so he enlists the help of a “have prophecy will travel” consultant we call Balaam, son of Beor. The plan: Curse Israel and then conquer them. The only thing standing in the way of this multinational plot (we don’t forget the Midianites are there too) is a donkey who suddenly acquires the gift of speech, a warrior Messenger who is probably Yeshua in pre-incarnate form and, oh yeah, did I mention Father Yah is dead set against the whole enterprise? And at the end of all that, it turns out Israel still gets decimated, but not by a pagan army or an overly-ambitious prophet, but their own depravity makes them their own worst enemy.
And also this week check out the bonus calendar teaching “Jacob and the Tabernacle of the Sun”, a very deep look at the calendar secrets behind Numbers 24:17 connecting Israel to the Tabernacle and the priesthood and from there, to the cosmos of Father Yah. Not to be missed!
Of all the sacrifices given in such glorious detail in the Torah, the most powerful one of them all is also the most mysterious: the red heifer. The stakes are incredibly high and those ashes could in theory last forever and continue to provide atonement until Yeshua arrives with the final answer. This is also the parsha when the narrative skips over 38 years and the last of the generation begins to die, including Miriam and Aaron. And, even as the Korah rebellion ended in disaster for the rebels, this week they started up with problems all over again. But a new problem looms large on their horizon as a king and a prophet are about to band together to destroy the nation of Israel before it even gets a chance to start!
“Come with me if you want to live.” “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” “Certainty of death! Small chance of success! Well…what are we waiting for?” These lines come from the imagination of Hollywood or what their idea of rebellions and epics look like and they all pale in comparison with this one, the greatest rebellion of them all: Korah! Explore the surprising roots of this rebellion as what starts as a family squabble threatens the fate of millions. This blockbuster has been a best seller for nearly 3,500 years.
It’s the rebellion before the even bigger rebellion. This week though the greatest danger to the Israelites is their own fears. They may say they fear giants and they may even believe the giants they saw are famed Nephilim, but none of that should matter because Father Yah promised to fight for them. And so it is that when the Israelties are commanded to fight they cower and when they are commanded to abstain they go up to fight and die. And yet, the greatest threat of all to Moshe’s position and his very life still looms large in their immediate future. Plus on the Scroll to Scroll program find a special bonus teaching on the long lost Zadokite priests and expanded study notes. Hear the bonus teaching separately later on video 3 and skip from video 2 to 4 for a seamless Torah to Haftorah teaching or watch them all in sequence.
Please also consider checking out the special “Clarifications” section at the start of the notes for even more details than the videos and audios have. It’s an extra long parsha and video # is a bonus! Also please left click with your mouse 1-2 times in the Notes field if the Notes are not displaying after 20 seconds. Enjoy!
Chag Sameyach! Welcome to the 2017 Shavuot Special. Explore the deep and meaningful connections with this second of three great feasts as we go from the earliest roots in Genesis literally all the way to Revelation, with many intriguing and unexpected stops in between. From calendar truths to the long reach of prophecy and from debunking long standing traditions of men to lining up the most ancient witnesses, journey with me to see our glorious past link up with our apocalyptic future as we do the Torah together!
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