Are we ready for redemption? This week’s portion begins with Exodus Chapter Six verse 2. G-d speaks to Moses and explains to him that He is the G-d that appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that He hears the suffering of the Children of Israel and that He will keep His promise with their forefathers … Read more
This week’s Torah reading opens with the death of Sarah, the wife of Abraham, in Hebron (Genesis 23). Abraham mourns his wife and then immediately goes about the business of burying her.
So whatever situation you are facing today, know that your God is bigger than any giant you are facing, any mountain standing in front of you. I have often heard it said: “Don’t talk to God about how big your mountain is; talk to your mountain about how big your God is.” So I have to ask myself, what made Caleb different? Why didn’t he go with the majority? Why did he see the situation differently than the others?
So begins this week’s Torah reading. And what a reading it is. If there was ever a “Zionist” Torah reading it’s this one. And each year, we are reminded that G-d chose Abraham out of all the people of the earth, and made him the father of our nation and the recipient of G-d’s promises for the Jewish people.
I know for many who love Israel and follow the Hebraic roots of our faith, whether or not to celebrate Christmas can be a real struggle. And I usually get some chastising notes and emails from well-meaning folks who are aghast that I allow a pagan Christmas tree in my home, when I should know better! So I will apologize in advance if talking about Christmas or saying “Merry Christmas” is offensive to you.
Should there be a house fire, a car accident, or any emergency situation, the emergency personnel need to know where to go to give aid, and they need to be able to call for help. Can you imagine their frustration watching a house burn down and not being able to reach the main fire department because they can’t get a signal on their cell phone? This is exactly why Migdal Oz is asking for your help.
As Christians, you share the Bible with us, but you have not shared our experiences as a nation. But it is so moving to me to meet Christians who want to understand those experiences better, who are eager to meet Jews, face to face, and hear the telling of the Exodus directly from us. For the modern –day Exodus from Exile to the Land of Israel is truly the story of Modern-Day Israel. It is the story that can be told by Jews of faith, on the basis of faith and it is this story that never fails to grab Christians, for you too are people of faith.
The city of Shechem is first mentioned in Genesis 12:6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. This is the first place where Abraham enters the promised land and this is the first time that Abraham hears God say “this” is the land that I promised to show you.