Torah Portion for October 16-25–Special Sukkot/Simchat Torah Readings

A special portion for Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot is read this Shabbat!

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot (סוכות שבת חל המועד | Intermediate Day of Sukkot on Shabbat)

Torah: Exodus 33:12-34:26

Haftarah: Ezekiel 38:18-39:16

THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION:

From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets. We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. All texts are those of English translations of the Scriptures.

Since the eight days of Sukkot extend over a Sabbath, a special Parashah is read on the weekend, and there are also a number of other readings read during the festival week. From among these, we find the following to be of special significance:

1st Day of Sukkot

(Monday October 17, 2016)

Torah

Leviticus 22:26—23:44

Haftarah

Zechariah 14:1-21

2nd Day of Sukkot

(Tuesday October 18, 2016)

Haftarah

I Kings 8:2-21

Shabbat Chol haMoed

(Sabbath falling within the Festival)

(Saturday October 22, 2016)

Torah

Exodus 33:12—34:26

Haftarah

Ezekiel 38:18-39:16

Simchat Torah (“The Joy of Torah!”)

Sunday Night and Monday October 23-24 – in Israel

Monday night and Tuesday October 24-25—in other nations.

Torah

Deuteronomy 33:1—34:12

Genesis 1:1—2:3

Haftarah

Joshua 1:1-18

Simchat Torah

During this joyous celebration, the Torah Scrolls are opened, the final portion from Deuteronomy is read—then the scroll is rolled back to Beresheet—“In the Beginning.” It is a time for rejoicing in a God who has not remained silent, but has revealed Himself to humankind by the release of instruction and laws by which we are to live (Hebrew: torah).

PLEASE PRAY: That as this year of going through the weekly Parashot draws to an end and is begun again—that the Living Word, through which this Torah was released to Moses, would be revealed to those who read it. That even as Yeshua did to His disciples after he was raised from the Dead, He would open the minds of Jews around the world to understand what was written about Him in the Torah, the Nevi’im (Prophets) and the Tehilim (Psalms).

It is significant that the Haftarah readings for both the first day of Sukkot and for the following Sabbath include calamitous occurrences of the last days when nations will unite to come against Israel. In the holy, divine judgments released at that time, the LORD ” will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am YHVH, the Holy One in Israel (Ezekiel 39:7; Emphasis ours). Israel will come to know the holy name of her God in her midst (Yeshua- a name which historically most of Israel has refused to know, means “Yehovah Saves”)-and nations will be required to acknowledge that this Holy One still chooses to identify Himself with and in the land and people of Israel. The Zechariah passage teaches that this acknowledgment will be exemplified by the nations coming annually to Jerusalem to participate in the Feast of Sukkot (Zechariah 14:16-19).

As a prophetic anticipation of this, the streets of Jerusalem are filled each year with thousands of believers from the nations joining together in various places to worship, praise and to pray.

AS WE MAKE OUR WAY THROUGH THIS JOYOUS WEEK OF SUKKOT 5777, PLEASE PRAY:

*For protection of Israel during this week of rejoicing-both of native Israelis and of those who are joining us for the Feast. Pray for powerful praise to be released and for God to grant prophetic insight for those with ears to hear what His Spirit is saying to the congregations.

*That Israelis discover that in order truly to “rejoice before the LORD for seven days”, they must come first into relationship with the One who came that their “joy might be full”.

*For God’s presence to be in the “sukkot” of Messianic believers where many will have their devotions during this week. Many will also invite their neighbors to pay a visit there.

*For safety and a great blessing over all the believers from the Nations who are coming up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast this week. Pray that they release what God would have them release, and receive what He would have them receive while they are here. Pray for understanding and graciousness on behalf of Israelis to welcome and be thankful for their presence here at this time.

*Many Orthodox Jews follow a mystical Jewish tradition calling for special hospitality: during this festival the spirits of various Patriarchs and rabbis are said to sometimes arrive “spiritually” or, unannounced, as visitors (Ushpazin) to the sukkot of the faithful. Some streams actually list varying orders in which these visitors will arrive each evening. 

We do not hold to this teaching—considering it to be an opening for occult spiritual deception. Yet, we find it in some ways reminiscent of the admonition to early Messianic believers, that they “not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). 

PLEASE PRAY

That this week the awakening and convicting Holy Spirit of Yeshua (whom the Patriarchs themselves longed to see) will truly visit many Jews in their sukkot throughout the world!