Weekly D'rash and Parsha Rosh HaShanah

The Weekly D'rash and the Scriptures that we will be reading this Shabbat for Rosh HaShanah Shabbat from Rabbi Howard Silverman:


TORAH ~ Genesis 21:1-34

HAFTARAH ~ 1 Samuel 1:11-2:10 BRIT CHADASHA ~ John 5:1-24

This year, Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat. Therefore, we have a special Torah reading on Shabbat as well as on the second day of the holiday. The reading on the second day is the well-known passage in which Abraham is tested by God and told to sacrifice his son Isaac. It is found in Genesis chapter 22 and is known as the Aqedah (Binding). The passage demonstrates the faithfulness of Abraham and Isaac in their radical obedience of following the way of the Lord. It encapsulates the meaning of Rosh Hashanah as well Yom Kippur. The sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a call to radical obedience. This means a radical form of loving God and loving people. When Abraham and Isaac made their way up the mountain, they did not know exactly what God had in mind. All Abraham knew was that they would both return. How that would happen, no one knew. Radical obedience is walking in the Torah way of life without knowing exactly how things might turn out along the way—but with an assurance of victory at the end. It means putting one foot in front of the other and doing the right thing. It means following the Lord moment by moment without being able to see the result. When we declare that God is our king and embrace Yeshua, it means we do as He pleases. We have an unwavering trust that He knows the plan and is leading us in a way that ultimately brings victory to God. We do not have to know what tomorrow will bring because we trust Him today (see, e.g., Matt 6:34 and James 4:13–15). Radical obedience means to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Abraham's assurance was that he knew that God was his benevolent Leader. If God asked him to do something, he trusted the outcome whatever it would be. Rosh Hashanah gives us an opportunity to take stock of our lives and ask ourselves if we are living that kind of life. When we hear the shofar, we respond by returning to radical obedience. This year has been challenging for all of us. We may not know exactly what the outcome will be for whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, but we know that God will provide. Moreover, in the end there is victory for the plan of God. In the Torah portion, God provides the lamb for the sacrifice. He shows His radical love for Abraham. The text says that a ram was caught in the thicket. The ram's horn is used as the shofar, which reminds us that God will provide and we must turn to Him in repentance to receive His provision. The shofar is the sound of hope, and in a way it is the voice of God calling us to Himself. The special Haftarah portion for the second day of Rosh Hashanah is Jeremiah 31:1–19. It describes the radical love of God toward Israel, and by extension the whole world. It describes the future. The words are majestic, and they tell Israel that God will start over again with His chosen people. They who have been called harlots would again be called virgin Israel. Israel is promised to be a new creation! The relationship with God and all of its blessings would be restored. Israel's weeping would be replaced by joy. In the days of Yeshua there was great weeping (Matt 2:18), but it was in Yeshua that the ultimate promise would come to pass. We are still waiting for the radical love of God to take full effect in this world. However, in the plan of God, His radical love is manifested through those who embrace the Kingship of Messiah and express radical obedience to the King. It is the hope that we have in Messiah Yeshua in this life and in the world to come that should drive us to repentance on Rosh Hashanah. In Yeshua, we can live Israel's future today! Even though we may not know what the future holds, we know that our future is secure in Yeshua. No matter how choppy the waters may be today, we can find rest in Him. May 5781 be a year of shalom for us all! L'Shana Tova! Rabbi Howard TORAH READING: GENESIS 21:1-34 21:1 Then the L-RD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the L-RD did for Sarah as He had promised. 2 So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which G-d had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as G-d had commanded him. 5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, "G-d has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me." 7 And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age." 8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac." 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. 12 But G-d said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 "And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant." 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was used up, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, "Do not let me see the boy die." And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept. 17 G-d heard the lad crying; and the angel of G-d called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for G-d has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 "Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him." 19 Then G-d opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink. 20 G-d was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 22 Now it came about at that time that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, "G-d is with you in all that you do; 23 now therefore, swear to me here by G-d that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity, but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me and to the land in which you have sojourned." 24 Abraham said, "I swear it." 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, "I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor did I hear of it until today." 27 Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, "What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?" 30 He said, "You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well." 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because there the two of them took an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the L-RD, the Everlasting G-d. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days. HAFTARAH READING: 1 SAMUEL 1:11 – 2:10 1:1 Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the L-RD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the L-RD there. 4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; 5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the L-RD had closed her womb. 6 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the L-RD had closed her womb. 7 It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the L-RD, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" 9 Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the L-RD. 10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the L-RD and wept bitterly. 11 She made a vow and said, "O L-RD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the L-RD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head." 12 Now it came about, as she continued praying before the L-RD, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14 Then Eli said to her, "How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you." 15 But Hannah replied, "No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the L-RD. 16 "Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation." 17 Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace; and may the G-d of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him." 18 She said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. 19 Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the L-RD, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the L-RD remembered her. 20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked him of the L-RD." 21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the L-RD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the L-RD and stay there forever." 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the L-RD confirm His word." So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the L-RD in Shiloh, although the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. 26 She said, "Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the L-RD. 27 "For this boy I prayed, and the L-RD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 "So I have also dedicated him to the L-RD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the L-RD." And he worshiped the L-RD there. NAU 1 Samuel 2:1 Then Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the L-RD; My horn is exalted in the L-RD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 "There is no one holy like the L-RD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our G-d. 3 "Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the L-RD is a G-d of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. 4 "The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength. 5 "Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, But she who has many children languishes. 6 "The L-RD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 "The L-RD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. 8 "He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the L-RD'S, And He set the world on them. 9 "He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 10 "Those who contend with the L-RD will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The L-RD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed." B’RIT CHADASHAH READING: JOHN 5:1-24 5:1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel of the L-rd went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted . 5 A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Yeshua saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" 7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me." 8 Yeshua said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk." 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet." 11 But he answered them, "He who made me well was the one who said to me, 'Pick up your pallet and walk.'" 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Pick up your pallet and walk '?" 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. 14 Afterward Yeshua found him in the temple and said to him, "Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you." 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Yeshua who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Yeshua, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working." 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Therefore Yeshua answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life

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