The Weekly D'rash and the Scriptures that we will be reading this Shabbat for Sukkot Shabbat from Rabbi Howard Silverman
TORAH ~ Leviticus 22:26-23:44
HAFTARAH ~ Zechariah 14:1-21 BRIT CHADASHA ~ John 7:37-46
This Shabbat is Sukkot, the Feast of Booths. The Torah portion for this week comes from Leviticus 22:26 - 23:44. It is the third of the three fall holidays. We recently observed Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. They represent the journey of repentance and return to the Lord. It began with a call to repentance, which led to confession and forgiveness. Now on Sukkot we rejoice in the provision of God and restored relationship with Him.
Sukkot is the fall harvest festival. It demonstrates the provision and care that God has for His people. The most famous tradition on sukkot is the sukkah. A sukkah is a hut, or a temporary shelter, that we build that reminds us of the temporary shelters that our ancestors dwelt in while they travelled in the wilderness. The sukkah is supposed to be a flimsy simple structure. When we spend time in our sukkah it reminds us that life is fragile and that our real protection comes from God. Most of us live in houses and most of us have all of our basic needs. Sometimes it is hard to realize that our lives are dependent on God when we have all of these things. Therefore, the sukkah not only reminds us of how God protected and provided for our ancestors, but it also reminds us that God protects and provides for us. The sukkah is a demonstration of hope.
Our very life is a sukkah. Paul compares our bodies today to our bodies in the future. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 we read, “ For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Today we live in a "sukkah." Our bodies are a temporary dwelling place. While we have them, we journey through this life. Through Messiah Yeshua we have the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) as a pledge or as a partial reality of the world to come. Even though our physical body deteriorates over time, we are being renewed on the inside.
Leroy White was a man who was and is alive in his nefesh, his soul or inner being. He was a strong man, but he has gone the way of all human beings. We grieve and mourn because we will not see him any more in this life. We will not see his smiling face on Shabbat. We will not hear his voice praying in the most powerful and intimate way. We can no longer share a meal or a laugh or discuss bible passages. But the good news is that though we weep and mourn, we also rejoice. Leroy is very much alive! He has exchanged mortality for immortality! He is in the presence of the Lord. He has a building from God in heavenly places.
As we ourselves continue in our earthly sukkah, may we find comfort and peace from God knowing that one day we ourselves will have that building from God. Yeshua said “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua Messiah from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (John. 11:25-26; 1 Peter 1:3-5). May we rejoice, knowing that Leroy White has received his inheritance! Shabbat Shalom! - Howard TORAH READING: LEVITICUS 22:26 – 23:44 22:26 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27 "When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be accepted as a sacrifice of an offering by fire to the LORD. 28 "But, whether it is an ox or a sheep, you shall not kill both it and its young in one day. 29 "When you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. 30 "It shall be eaten on the same day, you shall leave none of it until morning; I am the LORD. 31 "So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the LORD. 32 "You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctifies you, 33 who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God; I am the LORD." 23:1 The LORD spoke again to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD'S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations-- My appointed times are these: 3 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings. 4 'These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. 5 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. 6 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. 8 'But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.'" 9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 'Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. 14 'Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 15 'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 'You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. 17 'You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD. 18 'Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. 19 'You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 'The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the LORD; they are to be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 'On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 'When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'" 23 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.'" 26 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27 "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. 28 "You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. 29 "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 "It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath." 33 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. 35 'On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 'For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. 37 'These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD-- burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day's matter on its own day-- 38 besides those of the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. 39 'On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 'Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 'You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 'You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'" 44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD. HAFTARAH READING: ZECHARIAH 14:1-21 14:1 Behold, a day is coming for the L-RD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the L-RD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the L-RD, my G-d, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! 6 In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the L-RD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. 8 And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. 9 And the L-RD will be king over all the earth; in that day the L-RD will be the only one, and His name the only one. 10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses. 11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. 12 Now this will be the plague with which the L-RD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. 13 It will come about in that day that a great panic from the L-RD will fall on them; and they will seize one another's hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. 15 So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps. 16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the L-RD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the L-RD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the L-RD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, "HOLY TO THE L-RD." And the cooking pots in the L-RD'S house will be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the L-RD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the L-RD of hosts in that day. B’RIT CHADASHAH READING: JOHN 7:37-46 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified. 40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, "This certainly is the Prophet." 41 Others were saying, "This is the Messiah." Still others were saying, "Surely the Messiah is not going to come from Galilee, is He? 42 "Has not the Scripture said that the Messiah comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. 44 Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why did you not bring Him?" 46 The officers answered, "Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks."