Parasha for this week:
Parashah: B’chukkotai (By my regulations)
Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:3-27:34
B’rit Hadashah B’chukkotai:
Yochanan 14:15-21; 15:10-12
Yochanan Alef (1 John)
This Week’s Torah Reading
B’chukkotai (By my regulations) Vayikra 26:3-27:34
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
3 “‘If you live by my regulations, observe my mitzvot and obey them; 4 then I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing time will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvesting will extend until the time for sowing seed. You will eat as much food as you want and live securely in your land.
(ii) 6 “‘I will give shalom in the land — you will lie down to sleep unafraid of anyone. I will rid the land of wild animals. The sword will not go through your land. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before your sword. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand — your enemies will fall before your sword.
9 “‘I will turn toward you, make you productive, increase your numbers and uphold my covenant with you. (iii) 10 You will eat all you want from last year’s harvest and throw out what remains of the old to make room for the new. 11 I will put my tabernacle among you, and I will not reject you, 12 but I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, so that you can walk upright.
14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and obey all these mitzvot, 15 if you loathe my regulations and reject my rulings, in order not to obey all my mitzvot but cancel my covenant; 16 then I, for my part, will do this to you: I will bring terror upon you — wasting disease and chronic fever to dim your sight and sap your strength. You will sow your seed for nothing, because your enemies will eat the crops. 17 I will set my face against you — your enemies will defeat you, those who hate you will hound you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you.
18 If these things don’t make you listen to me, then I will discipline you seven times over for your sins. 19 I will break the pride you have in your own power. I will make your sky like iron, your soil like bronze — 20 you will spend your strength in vain, because the land will not yield its produce or the trees in the field their fruit.
21 “‘Yes, if you go against me and don’t listen to me, I will increase your calamities sevenfold, according to your sins. 22 I will send wild animals among you; they will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock and reduce your numbers, until your roads are deserted.
23 “‘If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; 24 then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword against you which will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be huddled inside your cities, I will send sickness among you, and you will be handed over to the power of the enemy. 26 I will cut off your supply of bread, so that ten women will bake your bread in one oven and dole out your bread by weight, and you will eat but not be satisfied.
27 “‘And if, for all this, you still will not listen to me, but go against me; 28 then I will go against you furiously, and I also will chastise you yet seven times more for your sins. 29 You will eat the flesh of your own sons, you will eat the flesh of your own daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your pillars for sun-worship, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols; and I will detest you. 31 I will lay waste to your cities and make your sanctuaries desolate, so as not to smell your fragrant aromas. 32 I will desolate the land, so that your enemies living in it will be astounded by it. 33 You I will disperse among the nations, and I will draw out the sword in pursuit after you; your land will be a desolation and your cities a wasteland. 34 Then, at last, the land will be paid its Shabbats. As long as it lies desolate and you are in the lands of your enemies, the land will rest and be repaid its Shabbats. 35 Yes, as long as it lies desolate it will have rest, the rest it did not have during your Shabbats, when you lived there. 36 As for those of you who are left, I will fill their hearts with anxiety in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf will frighten them, so that they will flee as one flees from the sword and fall when no one is pursuing. 37 Yes, with no one pursuing they will stumble over each other as if fleeing the sword — you will have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And among the nations you will perish; the land of your enemies will devour you.
39 Those of you who remain will pine away in the lands of your enemies from guilt over your misdeeds and those of your ancestors. 40 Then they will confess their misdeeds and those of their ancestors which they committed against me in their rebellion; they will admit that they went against me. 41 At that time I will be going against them, bringing them into the lands of their enemies. But if their uncircumcised hearts will grow humble, and they are paid the punishment for their misdeeds; 42 then I will remember my covenant with Ya‘akov, also my covenant with Yitz’chak and my covenant with Avraham; and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will lie abandoned without them, and it will be paid its Shabbats while it lies desolate without them; and they will be paid the punishment for their misdeeds, because they rejected my rulings and loathed my regulations. 44 Yet, in spite of all that, I will not reject them when they are in the lands of their enemies, nor will I loathe them to the point of utterly destroying them and thus break my covenant with them, because I am Adonai their God. 45 Rather, for their sakes, I will remember the covenant of their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt — with the nations watching — so that I might be their God; I am Adonai.’”
46 These are the laws, rulings and teachings that Adonai himself gave to the people of Isra’el on Mount Sinai through Moshe.
1 (iv) Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘If someone makes a clearly defined vow to Adonai to give him an amount equal to the value of a human being, 3 the value you are to assign to a man between the ages of twenty and sixty years is to be fifty shekels of silver [one-and-a-quarter pounds], with the sanctuary shekel being the standard, 4 if a woman, thirty shekels. 5 If it is a child five to twenty years old, assign a value of twenty shekels for a boy and ten for a girl; 6 if a baby one month to five years of age, five shekels for a boy and three for a girl; 7 if a person past sixty, fifteen shekels for a man and ten for a woman. 8 If the person is too poor to be evaluated, set him before the cohen, who will assign him a value in keeping with the means of the person who made the vow.
9 “‘If the vow is for the value of an animal of the kind used when people bring an offering to Adonai, all that a person gives of such animals to Adonai will be holy. 10 He is not to exchange or replace it by substituting a good animal for a bad one or vice versa; if he does make such a substitution, both the original animal and the one replacing it will be holy. 11 If the animal is an unclean one, such as may not be used in an offering to Adonai, he must set it before the cohen; 12 and the cohen is to set a value on it in relation to its good and bad points; the value set by you the cohen will stand. 13 But if the person making the vow wishes to redeem the animal, he must add one-fifth to your valuation.
14 “‘When a person consecrates his house to be holy for Adonai, the cohen is to set a value on it in relation to its good and bad points; the value set by the cohen will stand. 15 If the consecrator wishes to redeem his house, he must add one-fifth to the value you have set on it; and it will revert to him.
(v) 16 “‘If a person consecrates to Adonai part of a field belonging to his tribe’s possession, you are to value it according to its production, with five bushels of barley being valued at fifty shekels of silver [one-and-a-quarter pounds]. 17 If he consecrates his field during the year of yovel, this valuation will stand. 18 But if he consecrates his field after the yovel, then the cohen is to calculate the price according to the years remaining till the next yovel, with a corresponding reduction from your valuation. 19 If the one consecrating the field wishes to redeem it, he must add one-fifth to your valuation, and the field will be set aside to revert to him. 20 If the seller does not wish to redeem the field, or if [the treasurer for the cohanim] has already sold the field to someone else, it can no longer be redeemed. 21 But when the purchaser has to vacate the field in the yovel, it will become holy to Adonai, like a field unconditionally consecrated; it will belong to the cohanim.
(vi) 22 “‘If he consecrates to Adonai a field which he has bought, a field which is not part of his tribe’s possession, 23 then the cohen is to calculate its value according to the years remaining until the year of yovel; and the man will on that same day pay this amount; since it is holy to Adonai. 24 In the year of yovel the field will revert to the person from whom it was bought, that is, to the person to whose tribal possession it belongs.
25 “‘All your valuations are to be according to the sanctuary shekel [two-fifths of an ounce], twenty gerahs to the shekel.
26 “‘However, the firstborn among animals, since it is already born as a firstborn for Adonai, no one can consecrate — neither ox nor sheep — since it belongs to Adonai already. 27 But if it is an unclean animal, he may redeem it at the price at which you value it and add one-fifth; or if he does not redeem it, it is to be sold at the price at which you value it. 28 However, nothing consecrated unconditionally which a person may consecrate to Adonai out of all he owns — person, animal or field he possesses — is to be sold or redeemed; because everything consecrated unconditionally is especially holy to Adonai. (vii) 29 No person who has been sentenced to die, and thus unconditionally consecrated, can be redeemed; he must be put to death.
30 “‘All the tenth given from the land, whether from planted seed or fruit from trees, belongs to Adonai; it is holy to Adonai. 31 If someone wants to redeem any of his tenth, he must add to it one-fifth.
(Maftir) 32 “‘All the tenth from the herd or the flock, whatever passes under the shepherd’s crook, the tenth one will be holy to Adonai. 33 The owner is not to inquire whether the animal is good or bad, and he cannot exchange it; if he does exchange it, both it and the one he substituted for it will be holy; it cannot be redeemed.’”
34 These are the mitzvot which Adonai gave to Moshe for the people of Isra’el on Mount Sinai.
Hazak, hazak, v’nit’chazek!
Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!
This Week’s Haftorah Reading
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 16:19-17:14
19 Adonai, my strength, my fortress,
my refuge in time of trouble,
the nations will come to you
from the ends of the earth, saying,
“Our ancestors inherited nothing but lies,
futile idols, completely useless.”
20 Can a person make himself gods?
(In fact they aren’t gods at all.)
21 “Therefore, I will make them know,
once and for all, I will make them know
my power and my might.
Then they will know that my name is Adonai.
1 “Y’hudah’s sin is written with an iron pen;
with a diamond point it is engraved
on the tablet of their hearts
and on the horns of your altars.
2 As they remember their children,
so they remember their altars
and their sacred poles by the green trees
on the high hills.
3 My mountain in the field, your wealth
and all your treasures will be plundered;
because of the sin of your high places
throughout your territory.
4 You will relinquish your hold
on your heritage which I gave you.
I will make you serve your enemies
in a land you do not know.
For you have kindled my fiery anger,
and it will burn forever.”
5 Here is what Adonai says:
“A curse on the person who trusts in humans,
who relies on merely human strength,
whose heart turns away from Adonai.
6 He will be like a tamarisk in the ‘Aravah —
when relief comes, it is unaffected;
for it lives in the sun-baked desert,
in salty, uninhabited land.
7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Adonai;
Adonai will be his security.
8 He will be like a tree planted near water;
it spreads out its roots by the river;
it does not notice when heat comes;
and its foliage is luxuriant;
it is not anxious in a year of drought
but keeps on yielding fruit.
9 “The heart is more deceitful than anything else
and mortally sick. Who can fathom it?
10 I, Adonai, search the heart;
I test inner motivations;
in order to give to everyone
what his actions and conduct deserve.”
11 A partridge hatches eggs it did not lay;
like this are those who get rich unjustly:
in the prime of life their wealth will desert them;
in the end they will prove to be fools.
12 Throne of Glory,
exalted from the beginning!
Our Holy Sanctuary,
13 Hope of Isra’el, Adonai!
All who abandon you will be ashamed,
those who leave you will be inscribed in the dust,
because they have abandoned Adonai,
the source of living water.
14 Heal me, Adonai, and I will be healed;
save me, and I will be saved,
for you are my praise.
This Week’s B’rit Hadashah Reading
Yochanan (John) 14:15-21; 15:10-12
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commands; 16 and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. 17 The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him. You know him, because he is staying with you and will be united with you. 18 I will not leave you orphans — I am coming to you. 19 In just a little while, the world will no longer see me; but you will see me. Because I live, you too will live. 20 When that day comes, you will know that I am united with my Father, and you with me, and I with you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
10 If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love. 11 I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.
12 “This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you.
The Word, which gives life!
He existed from the beginning.
We have heard him,
we have seen him with our eyes,
we have contemplated him,
we have touched him with our hands!
2 The life appeared,
and we have seen it.
We are testifying to it
and announcing it to you —
He was with the Father,
and he appeared to us.
3 What we have seen and heard,
we are proclaiming to you;
so that you too
may have fellowship with us.
Our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah.
4 We are writing these things
so that our joy may be complete.
5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him — none!
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we are lying and not living out the truth. 7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.
10 If we claim we have not been sinning, we are making him out to be a liar, and his Word is not in us.
My children, I am writing you these things so that you won’t sin. But if anyone does sin, we have Yeshua the Messiah, the Tzaddik, who pleads our cause with the Father. 2 Also, he is the kapparah for our sins — and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands. 4 Anyone who says, “I know him,” but isn’t obeying his commands is a liar — the truth is not in him. 5 But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with him. 6 A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command. On the contrary, it is an old command, which you have had from the beginning; the old command is the message which you have heard before. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command, and its reality is seen both in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in this light while hating his brother is still in the dark. 10 The person who keeps loving his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him that could make him trip. 11 But the person who hates his brother is in the dark — yes, he is walking in the dark, and he doesn’t know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
12 You children, I am writing you
because your sins have been forgiven for his sake.
13 You fathers, I am writing you
because you have known him who has existed from the beginning.
You young people, I am writing you
because you have overcome the Evil One.
14 You children, I have written you
because you have known the Father.
You fathers, I have written you
because you have known him who has existed from the beginning.
You young people, I have written you
because you are strong —
the Word of God remains in you,
and you have overcome the Evil One.
15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; 16 because all the things of the world — the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life — are not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God’s will remains forever.
18 Children, this is the Last Hour. You have heard that an Anti-Messiah is coming; and in fact, many anti-Messiahs have arisen now — which is how we know that this is the Last Hour. 19 They went out from us, but they weren’t part of us; for had they been part of us, they would have remained with us.
20 But you have received the Messiah’s anointing from HaKadosh, and you know all this. 21 It is not because you don’t know the truth that I have written to you, but because you do know it, and because no lie has its origin in the truth. 22 Who is a liar at all, if not the person who denies that Yeshua is the Messiah? Such a person is an anti-Messiah — he is denying the Father and the Son. 23 Everyone who denies the Son is also without the Father, but the person who acknowledges the Son has the Father as well. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you will also remain in union with both the Son and the Father. 25 And this is what he has promised us: eternal life.
26 I have written you these things about the people who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the Messianic anointing you received from the Father remains in you, so that you have no need for anyone to teach you. On the contrary, as his Messianic anointing continues to teach you about all things, and is true, not a counterfeit, so, just as he taught you, remain united with him.
28 And now, children, remain united with him; so that when he appears, we may have confidence and not shrink back from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you should also know that he is the Father of everyone who does what is right.
See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known him. 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when he appears, we will be like him; because we will see him as he really is.
3 And everyone who has this hope in him continues purifying himself, since God is pure. 4 Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him. 6 So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him.
7 Children, don’t let anyone deceive you — it is the person that keeps on doing what is right who is righteous, just as God is righteous. 8 The person who keeps on sinning is from the Adversary, because from the very beginning the Adversary has kept on sinning. It was for this very reason that the Son of God appeared, to destroy these doings of the Adversary. 9 No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed planted by God remains in him. That is, he cannot continue sinning, because he has God as his Father. 10 Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God’s children and those of the Adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God.
Likewise, anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God. 11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love each other 12 and not be like Kayin, who was from the Evil One and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Don’t be amazed, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We, for our part, know that we have passed from death to life because we keep loving the brothers. The person who fails to keep on loving is still under the power of death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16 The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! 17 If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God? 18 Children, let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!
19 Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; 22 then, whatever we ask for, we receive from him; because we are obeying his commands and doing the things that please him.
23 This is his command: that we are to trust in the person and power of his Son Yeshua the Messiah and to keep loving one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands remain united with him and he with them.
Here is how we know that he remains united with us: by the Spirit whom he gave us.
Dear friends, don’t trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being is from God, 3 and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God — in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah. You have heard that he is coming. Well, he’s here now, in the world already!
4 You, children, are from God and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God doesn’t listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
7 Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. 8 Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. 9 Here is how God showed his love among us: God sent his only Son into the world, so that through him we might have life. 10 Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah for our sins.
11 Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for him has been brought to its goal in us. 13 Here is how we know that we remain united with him and he with us: he has given to us from his own Spirit. 14 Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as Deliverer of the world. 15 If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God. 16 Also we have come to know and trust the love that God has for us. God is love; and those who remain in this love remain united with God, and God remains united with them.
17 Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment. 18 There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.
19 We ourselves love now because he loved us first. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.
Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his father, and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. 2 Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. 3 For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome, 4 because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust. 5 Who does overcome the world if not the person who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God?
6 He is the one who came by means of water and blood, Yeshua the Messiah — not with water only, but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three witnesses — 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood — and these three are in agreement. 9 If we accept human witness, God’s witness is stronger, because it is the witness which God has given about his Son. 10 Those who keep trusting in the Son of God have this witness in them. Those who do not keep trusting God have made him out to be a liar, because they have not trusted in the witness which God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the witness: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Those who have the Son have the life; those who do not have the Son of God do not have the life. 13 I have written you these things so that you may know that you have eternal life — you who keep trusting in the person and power of the Son of God.
14 This is the confidence we have in his presence: if we ask anything that accords with his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — then we know that we have what we have asked from him.
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will ask; and God will give him life for those whose sinning does not lead to death. There is sin that does lead to death; I am not saying he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that everyone who has God as his Father does not go on sinning; on the contrary, the Son born of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him.
19 We know that we are from God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment, so that we may know who is genuine; moreover, we are united with the One who is genuine, united with his Son Yeshua the Messiah. He is the genuine God and eternal life.
21 Children, guard yourselves against false gods!