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Parashat Vezot Haberakhah

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

52nd Portion

[25 Oct 2024]


Theme of the Book of Deuteronomy:

Possessing the Promised Land


Meaning of "vezot haberakhah" = "and His blessing"

This week's Torah portions:

Sunday: Deuteronomy 33:1-7

Monday: Deuteronomy 33:8-12

Tuesday: Deuteronomy 33:13-17

Wednesday: Deuteronomy 33:18-21

Thursday: Deuteronomy 33:22-26

Friday: Deuteronomy 33:27-29

Shabbat: Deuteronomy 34:1-12 & Joshua 1:1-18


Apostolic Writings:

Revelations 22:1-5


It's hard to believe that we are officially at our last portion of the 2022/2023 Torah reading cycle. Next week, on 8 October 2023, the next Torah Reading Cycle restarts. And we'll once again start with Parashat Bereshit. The existing blog posts will be updated with new information.


This portion is always a short one (only 2 chapters) as it falls after the feast of Sukkot, just before the new reading cycle starts. It serves as the conclusion of the current reading cycle but also the "starter" or connection to the new cycle. If we have a clear understanding of the biblical festivals, we also grasp how significant the 8th day (after the 7 days of the feast of Sukkot) is and how it links to this week's portion. You'd remember from previous blog posts that the yearly reading cycle are "interrupted" by the biblical festivals. Thus before we came to this portion - we celebrated the fall feasts (remember when it's spring in South Africa, it's fall in Israel). The fall feasts are Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). If you haven't read the blog about the Biblical festivals yet; I highly recommend that you go and read it.


The Scripture readings which are read during the fall feasts obviously has a lot to do with the appointed times of Abba and the importance thereof. So with those Scriptures still fresh in our minds, we then come to parashat Vetzot Haberakhah, which means "and his blessing." The eighth day (day after 7 days of Sukkot) is known by two names:

  • "Shmini Atzeret" which literally means "the 8th day" and also as

  • "Simchat Torah" which means "rejoicing in Torah."

Thus on this eighth day, the day when Vezot Haberakhah is read - it's a reminder to rejoice and celebrate the amazing privilege to have the Word of God in our hands to help us and to guide us. We are fortunate and blessed to have His instructions in our hands and in our houses to enable us to walk in His ways and according to His principles.


What is so beautiful about this portion, is that it serves as a reminder to us that we are not only now receiving the Torah (Abba's instructions) for our lives for the first time, now that we are restarting the reading cycle... But we are rejoicing in the fact that it has been given to us and that we continually have it with us to help us grow and renew our minds and our lives so that we can live the way Abba desire for us to live! Obedience brings forth blessing. And therefore we can celebrate the fact that we have these instructions, as we realise that when we live according to it - our lives will be blessed! I'm not talking about earthly blessings! I am talking about a spiritual richness that no earthly wealth could ever come close to! THAT's the God we serve!


In this final portion of the book of Deuteronomy, we read about the death of Moses. By the time this portion was read, it was roughly 5 generations after Jacob (who was renamed Israel). Remember that Jacob had 12 sons and they ended up living in Egypt because of a famine. God then sent Moses to go and free the 12 tribes (which came from the 12 sons of Jacob) from Egypt and to lead them into the Promised Land.


Abba made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And in this portion we see that the blessing which Moses spoke over the Israelites before he passed away, was very similar to the blessing of Jacob.


This week's portion reminds us that it's not about starting over every year, but about a new beginning or a new phase. The number 8 in the biblical context carries the meaning of something which supersedes (follows) the natural. This in a sense this portion is our reminder of a "prophetic destiny" like the late Gerrit Nel said on his teachings on Kol Kallah. In this portion Moses's life ended, but the lives of the Israelites was about to start in the Promised Land. It links to parashat Bereshit where we read in Genesis 1:28 "God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


Moses's obedience had a ripple effect and his faith "multiplied" in the lives of the tribes of Israel. When Moses blessed them, he prophesied a new beginning over them - a new phase that was about to start and a continual rhythm of living in Abba's blessings!


Just like we now realise that the Torah reading cycle is not something that starts and ends only to restart again. It's a continuous cycle that keeps going forever. In this understanding lies so much beauty! We are reminded that our lives are a continuous cycle as well as we continuously live according to Abba's instructions and then we will harvest His blessings. It's not like we only live according to His instructions and then once the blessing comes - we stop following the instructions. NO! We continue to live according to His principles as a prophetic act and out of love for our Father - knowing that when we live according to His appointed times / His rhythm - there will always be more in store for us! It's an ongoing journey where we can continue to learn and grow in our relationship with Him!


This portion is our reminder that we all play a role in Abba's Kingdom! The way we live, guides the next generations. And when we understand that the theme of the Bible is about pursuing life, we have to live in such a way that will bring life to us, but also to the generations to come!


In Matthew 28:19-20 we read "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen."


Yeshua Himself spoke those words to His disciples; confirming the instructions that was given in the Torah! We always have to remember that the New Testament was written to people who already had the Old Testament. That was the basis of their knowledge and the New Testament only confirmed and built on it. It didn't change nor nullify a thing from the Old Testament!


We are reminded by this portion that:

  1. Our own journeys never end. We continue to learn and grow.

  2. Like this portion comes to an end and a beginning at the same time - we have to get to a place where we can have a prophetic new beginning. Where we release what we have learned and what Abba revealed to us on our journeys - so that others could also learn, grow and live in His instructions and blessings.

If there is one thing that is evident all throughout the Torah readings, it's that it's never just about ourselves! We have a responsibility towards ourselves, but also towards others! We know in part and we understand in part. But Abba sees the bigger picture and He is asking you to do your part for His Kingdom!


During the feast of Sukkot, they stayed in temporary dwellings / booths / tents. As we read this portion at the end of / just after the festival, we are also reminded that our lives here on earth is also just temporary. However, eternity awaits, and we are called to be fishers of men!


Our lives should impact others and cause others to also live in a way that they will impact the people whose paths they cross with! We might be living only temporary, but how we live has an everlasting impact!

 

If you are new here, you can follow the Torah portions with us every week!

(Simply click on the one you want to read).

  1. Portion 1: Bereshit

  2. Portion 2: Noach

  3. Portion 3: Lech Lecha

  4. Portion 4: Vayera

  5. Portion 5: Chayei Sarah

  6. Portion 6: Toldot

  7. Portion 7: Vayetzei

  8. Portion 8: Vayishlach

  9. Portion 9: Vayeshev

  10. Portion 10: Miketz

  11. Portion 11: Vayigash

  12. Portion 12: Vayechi

  13. Portion 13: Shemot

  14. Portion 14: Vaera

  15. Portion 15: Bo

  16. Portion 16: Beshalach

  17. Portion 17: Yitro

  18. Portion 18: Mishpatim

  19. Portion 19: Terumah

  20. Portion 20: Tetzaveh

  21. Portion 21: Ki Tisa

  22. Portion 22: Vayakhel & Pekudei

  23. Portion 23: Vayikra

  24. Portion 24: Tzav

  25. Portion 25: Shmini

  26. Portion 26: Tazria / Metzora

  27. Portion 27: Achrei Mot / Kedoshim

  28. Portion 28: Emor

  29. Portion 29: Behar / Bechukotai

  30. Portion 30: Bamidbar

  31. Portion 31: Nasso

  32. Portion 32: Beha'alotcha

  33. Portion 33: Sh'lach

  34. Portion 34: Korach

  35. Portion 35: Chukat / Balak

  36. Portion 36: Pinchas

  37. Portion 37: Matot / Masei

  38. Portion 38: Devarim

  39. Portion 39: Vaetchanan

  40. Portion 40: Eikev

  41. Portion 41: Re'eh

  42. Portion 42: Shoftim

  43. Portion 43: Ki Teitzei

  44. Portion 44: Ki Tavo

  45. Portion 45: Nitzavim / Vayeilech

  46. Portion 46: Ha'Azinu

  47. Portion 47: Vezot Haberakhah (The blog you are reading now)


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