In this week’s teaching Ross covers Torah portion Mishpatim. He begins by defining the term from a biblical perspective and then works through several texts related to the subject. In this class Ross associates knowing YHVH with following the Way of YHVH, and shows how they are mutually supportive. He covers some of the greatest passages in the Hebrew Bible as he answers some of the great religious questions of all time. What does God ask of us? What does God seek from us? Ross shares some of the mishpatim in this class that should challenge all of us. After all, who is our neighbor? Who is our enemy? Does the Torah suggest that we help even our enemies? You will not want to miss this teaching!
The painting is Rembrandt’s, Good Samaritan from 1630.
In this week’s teaching, Ross teaches from Torah Reading Yitro. Among other subjects, this Torah reading contains a version of the “giving of the Ten Commandments” as they are popularly known. In this week’s class, Ross takes a close look at the setting for the day on which these words were given to the children of Israel. He pulls passages from the accounts in Deuteronomy and Exodus to provide a clearer picture of what the Torah calls, “the day of the assembly.” Ross shows that two important aspects of divine / human communication took place on this day of the assembly. Do you know what they are? You will not want to miss this teaching.
In this week’s teaching Ross covers the final climactic confrontation between Egypt and the children of Israel. Ross begins by stating the clear purpose for these events – namely the making known of Yehovah in the earth. He works through the basic story of the crossing of the sea and then turns his attention to the words of the song contained in Exodus 15. Ross shows that the language of the Song of the Sea suggests that while it clearly speaks of the Exodus of Israel in the days of Moses, it also uses language that implies prophetic insights as well. Based upon the words of phrases contained in the final stanzas of the Song, Ross weaves prophetic texts into his discourse to shed light on the coming, greater Exodus spoken of by the ancient prophets of Israel. He shows that these texts point to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. You will not want to miss this teaching!
In this week’s teaching Ross begins by speaking of the importance placed on time, even in our current culture. Torah reading Bo declares that the departure from Egypt represented a new beginning for the children of Israel and the time of this exodus was to be a beginning of months. Ross concentrates on the distinction between secular time and sacred time and then points his listeners back to the point of origin for the redemption known as the Passover. He narrows in on the ancient oath sworn to Abram. In the process of teaching about the coming redemption Ross explains that the coming salvation of Israel can be described as a separation between those who chase righteousness and seek YHVH and those who do not. He refers back to Abraham and the reason for his being chosen and encourages his listeners to be like him, possessing a faithful heart. You will not want to miss this teaching.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. While I claim to be no authority on the man, I have always been inspired by his speeches and have a great admiration for his work to achieve social justice and equality on behalf of his people.
I am a student and teacher of Scripture; and so from this perspective I wanted to share something that I discovered several years ago. My studies and teachings follow the Annual Jewish cycle of readings from the Torah of Moses. Time and again I have noticed interesting points of congruence between current events and the stories contained within the words of the Torah portion. It was at this time of year as I prepared my class on the portion of Scripture that deals with the Exodus from Egypt (Bo – Exodus 10:1 – 13:16), that I immediately thought of Martin Luther King, Jr..
As it turns out, the week that Dr. King was born, all over the world Jewish people were reading Moses’ words to Pharaoh – “Let my people go!” Like a modern day Moses, Martin Luther King Jr. would devote his adult life to a struggle for freedom for his people. Did these words carry in the wind into the ears of a small baby who would grow up to speak them again to the oppressors of his own generation? I leave it to the reader to ponder.
In light of this interesting connection, watch this video of Dr. King’s final speech. He would be killed the very next day.