In Loving Memory of our Dear Parents

Benjamin Assa & Rebeca Assa z"L

Parasha Jaye-Sara

Sarah dies at the age of 127 after finding out about the Akedat Itzjak.

And Abraham pays a high fee to buy the best place where to bury Sarah, Mearat Hamajpelah (double cave), in Hebron, where Adam and Chava´s bodies laid. And he buries her there. 

At the age of 140, Abraham sends Eliezer, his loyal servant, in search of a good wife for his son Itzjak. 

And Abraham makes Eliezer swear: “that you will not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Itzjak...”

Hashem travels with 10 camels in order to fulfill his mission....

Eliezer prays to Hashem: “Behold, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water.”

“Let it come to pass that the maiden to whom I shall say, ‘Please, dip down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she shall say, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels to drink also’—she is the one You have appointed for Your servant Itzjak.”

As he finishes his tefila RIVKA appears, beautiful. And Eliezer asks her for water, and she cordially gives him to drink and his camels as well. 

When Eliezer asks her for her family, Rivka answers that she is Bethuel´s, tn of Nachor, 

Abraham´s brother´s, daughter. 

Eliezer thanks Hashem!!

Rivka invites him to stay at her house. And Eliezer meets her father Bethuel, and his brother Laban. And Rivka's engagement to Itzjak is formalized.

Eliezer in the name of Abraham, gives Rivka beautiful gifts of gold and silver and garments.

Parasha Vayera

 

This Parasha begins with 3 Malajim (angels) who visit Abraham on the 3rd day after his Brit Mila. Abraham, despite his pain, and eager to fulfill the mitzva of hospitality, goes out of his tent to receive these special “guests”, who he thought were just ordinary people walking through the desert.

One of these Malajim, tells Abraham that Sarah will give birth to a boy next year! And Sarah laughs.... and Hashem asks Abraham: Is there anything that is impossible for Hashem?

The angels leave, and go on their way to the city of Sodom to destroy it, fulfilling an order from Hashem to do so. And Abraham pleads before Hashem to save the city of Sodom from destruction....

When the angels arrive to Sodom, they stay at Lot´s home (Abraham´s nephew). The wicked neighbors demand that Lot hands in his visitors so they can abuse them!!! But Lot denies them. And the angels flee from Sodom, rescuing Lot, his wife and two daughters.

Hashem rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from out of heaven. Hashem turned over these cities and the entire plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and the vegetation of the ground.

Lot’s wife violates this command, looks back to witness Hashem´s destruction of Sodom, and turns into a pillar of

Believing that “there is not a man left alive on the earth” the daughters of Lot get their father drunk and lie with him, both becoming pregnant.

They conceive Moab and Ammon, giving birth to 2 nations forbidden to join the people of Israel.

Abraham and Sarah emigrate to Gerar. Abraham introduces Sarah as his sister, and king Avimelech takes her to his palace. But Hashem, through a dream, tells Avimelech that he will be punished for having taken Sarah, although he never touched her.

Sarah is returned, untouched, to Abraham with much apologies and gifts from the repentant king.

Exactly one year after the angel announced to Abraham that Sarah will give birth to a child, Itzjak, in the year 2048 is born!! And he was circumcised at 8 days old. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah 90.

As Itzjak was growing up, Sarah realized that Ishmael was a bad example for her son. And asked Abraham to banish Hagar and her son from her house. Abraham accepts.

As Hagar and Ishmael wander in the desert heat, they run out of water. Hagar walks away from her dying son and prays to Hashem. Hashem hears her cry and shows her a well for her thirsty son. Hashem sends an angel to tell Hagar that Ishmael will not die and that he will become a father of a great nation.

The last chapter of the Parasha narrates about Abraham´s last test:

AKEDAT ITZJAK!!

Hashem tested Abraham´s devotion and asked him to sacrifice his son Itzjak at the age of 37.

Abraham obeyed and when he was about to sacrifice him, he heard the voice of an angel: "... Abraham, do not stretch out your hand to the young man, and do not do anything to him, for now I know how fearful of Hashem you are. "And he refrained from beheading him, and in turn he beheaded a ram.”

Hashem blesses Abraham and his descendants!!

Vayeira concludes with report of a granddaughter born to Abraham’s brother Nachor, named Rifka (destined to become Itzjak´s wife).

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Lech-Lecha

This Parasha speaks about the life of Abraham Avinu.

Lech-Lecha means: “Go,” since Hashem orders Abraham to abandon his birthplace, his father´s house, and to go to an uncertain land which Hashem will show him.

Abram obeys and takes his wife, Sarai, accompanied by his nephew Lot, and head to the land of Canaan,

A famine strikes Canaan and Abram decides to descend to Egypt.

In Egypt, Sarai is taken by Pharaoh, but with Hashem´s help, Abram recuperates her and leaves Egypt with many riches.

Abram, Sarai and Lot return to Canaan and back in the land of Canaan Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sedom.

Lot is taken prisoner, due to a War of Nations. Abram sets out with a small band to rescue his nephew, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek the king of Salem (Jerusalem).

Hashem promises Abram that his descendants will be as numerous as the “Dust from the Earth” and that all of the Land of Canaan (Israel) will belong to him and all his descendants as an eternal heritage.

Abram is 70 years old and Sarai is 60 and they are childless, but Hashem tells him “Look now toward heaven and count the stars.... So shall be your progeny.”

Your descendants shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved to them, and they will afflict them, for four hundred years.

Sarai tells Abram to take her handmaid, Hagar, so he can have a child. Hagar gives birth to Ishmael, Abram was 86 years old.

Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin and all the men of his household as well.

Hashem changes AbraHam and SaraH´s name and announces that in one year Sarah will give birth to a baby boy!

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Noach

Hashem instructs Noah—the only righteous man in a world consumed by violence and corruption—to build a large wooden tevah (“ark”), coated on the inside and on the outside with tar. A great flood, says Hashem, will wipe out all form life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, protecting Noah and his family, and two members (male and female) of each animal species.

Rain falls for 40 days and nights, and the waters beat for 150 more days, before beginning to subside. The ark rests on Mount Ararat, and from his window, Noah sends a raven, then a series of doves “to see if the waters have abated from the face of the earth.”

Then the ground completely dries, exactly one solar year (365 days) since the beginning of the flood, Hashem orders Noah to leave the ark and to re-populate the earth.

Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to Hashem. Hashem swears never again to destroy all of mankind because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man

Hashem instructs Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is regarded as a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from any living animal.

Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah’s sons, Shem and ,Japheth are blessed for covering up their father’s nudeness, while his third son, Ham, is punished for taking advantage of his perversion

For 10 generations Noah´s descendants remain as one nation, with one language. Then they defy their Creator by building an enormous tower which symbolized their “own” power and invincibility  Hashem confuses them by mixing their language in a way no one understood what the other was saying, causing them to give up on their project and they disperse across the face of the earth; separating into 70 nations.

The Parshah of Noach concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abram (later Abraham ), and Abraham´s journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the land of Canaan.

Perasha Bereshit

Bereshit is the 1st Parasha of the Torah! It talks about the Creation of the World and narrates a span of 10 generations, from Adam until Noach!!

"Bereshit bara El-kim et Hashamayim veet haarets" 

 ("In the beginning Hashem created the Heavens and the Earth)

 »CHAP 1 :

Hashem created the world in 6 days:

 *On the 1st day Hashem created light and separated it from darkness.

*On the 2nd day Hashem divides the”upper waters,” from the “lower waters.”

 *On the 3rd day He sets the boundaries of land and sea, and calls forth trees and greenery from the earth.

*On the 4th day He fixes the position of the sun, moon and stars as timekeepers and illuminators of the earth.

*Fish, birds and reptiles are created on the 5th day.

*On the 6th day the land animals, and last but not least the Human Being.

*On the 7th day Hashem ceases from work, and sanctifies it as a day of rest, SHABBAT KODESH.

 »CHAP. 2:

Describes the “Gan Eden” and places Adam and Chava in it.

And they are commanded not to eat from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”.

»CHAP. 3:

The serpent persuades Chava to violate the command, and she shares the forbidden fruit with her husband. Because of their sin, it is decreed that man will experience death, returning to the soil from which he was formed, and that all gain will come only throughstruggle and hardship. Hashem punishes the serpent, Adam and Chava. They are banished from Gan Eden.

»CHAP. 4:

Chava gives birth to two sons, Cain and Ebel. Cain, induced by envy, murders Ebel, so Hashem curses Cain and his descendants are doomed to extinction.

It also speaks about Lemech, a descendant of Cain. He takes 2 wives (Adah and Silah). And he has 3 children: Yabal dedicated to livestock, Yubal dedicated to music, and Tubal-Cain dedicated to metals.

Lemech was blind, and accidentally killed his grandfather Cain and his son Tubal-Cain !!!

Then Adam and Chava have a 3rd child: Seth, Seth’s eighth-generation descendant, Noah, is the only righteous man in a corrupt world.

»CAP 5:

Adam lived 930 años.

It narrates the 10 generaciones from Adam to Noach.

It explains how humanity comes from Seth, as Ebel was killed childless and the seed of Cain later died in the flood.

»CHAP 6: 

Describes the depravity of mankind. And Hashem said: "I have to erase humankind from the face of the earth ..." But Noach found grace in the eyes of Hashem.”

SHABBAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Vesot-Haberacha

And with this Parasha we culminate the reading of the five books of the Torah, which is read with much joy on Simcha Torah.

V’Zot HaBerachah “And this is the blessing...” recounts the blessings that Moshe gave to each of the twelve tribes of Israel before his death. Recalling Yaakov´s blessings to his twelve sons five generations earlier, Moshe assigns and empowers each tribe with its specific role within the Nation.

Moshe ascends Mount Nebo, from whose summit he saw the entire the Promised Land and Hashem says:

"This is the Land I swore to Abraham, to Itzjak, and to Yaakov, saying, 'I will give it to your offspring.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there."

The Torah describes: “...And Moshe, Hashem´s servant, died there, in the land of Moab, by the mouth of the Almighty

And He buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite. And no person knows the place of his burial, unto this day...”

“...And Moshe was 120 years old when he died, His eye had not dimmed, nor had he lost his natural freshness.... And the Children of Israel wept over his death for 30 years...”

And the Torah finishes: “And there was no other prophet who arose in Israel like Moshe, whom Hashem knew face to face. For all the wonders and miracles he performed in Egypt...”

“...and for all the greatness he performed before the eyes of all ISRAEL.”

 Immediately after finishing this Parasha, we begin reading The Torah, from the beginning, with the Parasha Bereishit.

SHABBAT SHALOM!!

Parasha Hazinu

This is a special Parasha, since it is written in poem or song-like form, delivered by Moshe to the People of Israel on last day before his death. Calling heaven and earth as witnesses, he says the following:

  1. First Moshe reminds The People about the importance of always having EMUNA in Hashem and trust in His judgement.
  2. He reminds them howridiculous it is to rebel and disobey Hashem.
  3. Moshe recalls Humanity´s History.
  4. Moshe reminds the People of Israel that Hashem was the One Who guided them and protected them throughout their 40 years in the wilderness.
  5. He advises them to be loyal to Hashem, so they can benefit from His protection.
  6. Moshe prophesied on the Final Redemption in the End of Times when...”Divine Justice will emerge, and all iniquities will end…”
  7. He ends his “song” by reminding The People about their mission to transmit the Torah to all future generations, therefore forming a “line of continuity.”

And Hashem spoke to Moshe on that very day, saying,

Ascend Mt. Nevo and you will see Eretz Israel from there. For you will die on that mountain, your death will be caused by a “Divine Kiss.” Hashem continues, “You caused the Jews to rebel against Me, and My Name to be desecrated, when you smote the rock at the Waters of Meriva.”

 

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Vayelech

This Parasha narrates what Moshe did and said the last day of his life: “Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and Hashem said to me, ´You shall not cross this Jordan...Yehoshua will cross with you.´”

Moshe writes the complete Torah and hands it to the Tribe of Levy. And tells them that every 7 years, in Succot, after the conclusion of Shemitah, Sabbatical year, the leader of the People must read the entire Torah before the entire congregation of Israel, this commandment is known as Hakhel.

Hashem tells Moshe: “Call Yehoshua so you can hand him the leadership.”

And Hashem transmits the last prophecy: “Behold, you are about to lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them.

And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because Hashem is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?'

Hashem commands Moshe to write the entire and to teach it to the Children of Israel.

Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, and then commands the Levites, who carried the ark:

…. “And take this Torah scroll and place it along side the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God, and it will be there as a witness.”

 ¡¡ SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Nitzavim

This Parasha, Nitzavim, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana.

Moshe continues to speak to The People, emphasizing Hashem´s Goodness which will soon permit them to enter The Promised Land, safe and well.

Moshe exhorted the people that the Covenant (from the Parasha before) which they have just entered with Hashem will last throughout all of the generations to come.

Then Moshe warns the People about idol worshipping, the iniquities, and the perversions the other nations practice, which the Jewish have witnessed throughout their years int he wilderness.

Moshe continues by warning them that if they yield to this evil inclination, he will be drawn to worse sins, and know that Hashem will not forgive this hideous attitude. The Divine anger will be rekindled against him and the curses written in the Torah will be fulfilled.

And if you then ask, “Why does Hashem punish His Chosen People this way?” they will be answered: “This happened, because you have transgressed Hashem´s covenant. You swayed from His ways and walked amongst idol worshippers. And that is why He has exiled you from the Land .”

In the last chapter Moshe promises that if the Jewish People do Teshuva in exile, Hashem will redeem them. “All of the People will return to Hashem and fulfill of the mitzvot and the Laws of the Torah with all their heart and soul, and so Hashem will return all of His People from exile and guide them to the Land which was promised to our Forefathers, to reside in it with greater prosperity and welfare than their ancestors enjoyed.”

Moshe continues saying: “This Law is not difficult to understand, ´For the word is very near to you in your heart and in your mouth that you may do it.´"

The principle of free choice.

 

“See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil . . .You shall choose life, so that you may live, you and your seed.

To love the L rd your G d, to obey His voice and to cleave to Him, for He is your life . . .

Perasha Ki-Tabo

This parasha is considered the harshest of all parashiot, since it contains the Kelalot (curses) which Hashem sentenced Am Israel to, in case they would disobey His Laws. But the beautiful and precious Berachot (blessings) which Hashem will send if we fulfill His Will, are also mentioned.

The parasha begins speaking about the Mitzva of bringing the first fruits (Bikurim) to the Beit Hamikdash, specifically the 7 fruits which grow in Eretz Israel. Every Israelite farmer who cultivated one of these fruits, should choose the first of the season and bring it to Yerushalayim to offer it in the Beit Hamikdash. Every farmer, with his basket of fruits, would approach the Kohen and say a tefilla thanking Hashem for his harvest.

 

Moshe teaches the Mitzva of Maaser (Tithe): the deadlines, forms and conditions when giving the maaser.

Moshe then orders the leaders of The People to build 12 large stones in which they would write the entire Torah, after crossing the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.

This is where, very clearly and directly the terrible curses and the precious blessings ,are expressed! 

The Parasha continues by Moshe saying “Hashem has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear, until this very day” ... 40 years after we were born as A people.

The Parasha concludes by saying:

with the words Moshe said to the People, reminding them about the great miracles Hashem had performed for them: “....Keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do.”

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Ki - Tetze

This Parasha is the parasha that contains the most laws!!

 

-The laws concerning a captive gentile women:

-A father may not deprive his first-born son of the double portion due to him

-The “rebellious” son

-the prisoner sentenced to death

-the mitzva of returning lost property to its owner

-to help a Jew load and unload a burden

-mitzva of burying a dead on the day of his execution

-not to dress clothing of the opposite sex

-to send away the mother bird before taking the fledglings

-mitzva to fence in a roof or porch

-not to dress wool and linen together

-to use tzitzit

-different kinds of animals may not be harnessed together

-prohibition of adultery, infidelity, rape and incest

-forbidden marriages

-laws regarding a servant who escapes from his master

-laws on loans and interests

-laws on divorces and remarriages

-concessions of farmworker.

-laws for the one who takes a new woman

-the death sentence of a kidnapper

-laws of “Tzaraat” (leprosy)

-payment and collection laws

-to have consideration for an orphan and a widow

-prohibition against false weights and measures

-the mitzva of Yibum, commandment to marry his widowed sister-in-law if she is childless.

-to pay compensation for shaming someone

-and last:the mitzva to remember the evil which Amalek did to Us and to wipe him out

 

 

SHABAT SHALOM !!


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