Jewish man fervently prays at the Western Wall (Shutterstock).
Accordingly, written instructions were dispatched by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, massacre, and exterminate all the Yehudim, young Esther 3:13 (The Israel Bible™)
וְנִשְׁלוֹחַ סְפָרִים בְּיַד הָרָצִים אֶל־כָּל־מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַשְׁמִיד לַהֲרֹג וּלְאַבֵּד אֶת־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים מִנַּעַר וְעַד־זָקֵן טַף Hear the verse in Hebrew
The Urgent Importance of Embracing Israel and Returning Often
Usually, the Torah gives us the reason why an individual, or the nation as a whole, are punished. MegillatEsther, however, does not explicitly state what the people did to deserve the threat of annihilation. When viewed in historical context, it becomes clear that the Jews of Shushan were guilty for not having returned to Eretz Yisrael even though they had the opportunity to do so. After the Persian king Cyrus conquered the Babylonians, he allowed the Children of Israel to return to the Land of Israel and begin reconstruction of the Beit Hamikdash. However, a mere 42,360 returned to Yerushalayim (Ezra 2:64) while close to a million remained in Babylonia. The generation was therefore punished for their lack of enthusiasm towards returning to Israel. This teaches us the importance of making every effort to embrace the land and to physically return to it whenever possible.
As the Festival of Sukkot comes to an end, the yearly reading through the Torah begins again.
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses came quite late in history. Before that, Jewish people had divided the Torah, the first five books, into sections called "parashot" (portions). We read one "parasha" (Torah portion) each week, and we invite you to read along with us!
Each week, a faculty or staff member from ONE FOR ISRAEL Bible College willguide us through a brief study of the traditional Jewish Torah reading portion from a Messianic Israeli perspective.
Dr. Erez Soref, President
of ONE FOR ISRAEL
FIVE ALIVE! READ THE TORAH WITH US
Genesis 1:1 – 6:8
בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit (In the Beginning)
Though many believers tend to think of the books of the law as old and outdated, our desire in these weekly studies is to show you that these FIVE books are very much ALIVE!
This week we are looking at the very first Torah portion, “In the Beginning.” The opening chapters not only introduce the key themes of the Torah – land, seed, and blessing – they also lay the foundation for the future Messianic hope.
You don’t have to go far in either the Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament before you hit them – those lists of unpronounceable names! The lists and genealogies in the Bible have been a source of much consternation (and sometimes merriment) as hapless readers struggle through exotic and multi-syllabled Middle Eastern names in their Bible study groups. Do we really have to bother with these lists? Is it so bad to just skip them?
The Torah (Bible) talks about the importance of chasing a mother bird from its nest before taking its fledglings. Commentators believe this reflects the state of the Jewish People in exile. The mothers bird who has been chased away cries about the separation from her children. When Hashem (God) hears these cries, he compares the suffering of the mother bird to His own fate. Hashem’s presence has been driven out of the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple), and His children have been driven into exile. The Jewish People must return to their homeland and restore the Beit Hamikdash so that Hashem’s presence can once again dwell in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).