THIS WEEK
THIS WEEK

Rosh Hashanah

Beginning of the Year — ראש השנה


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TORAH: Genesis 21

Genesis 21

The Birth of Isaac

21:1 The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

God Protects Hagar and Ishmael

And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

A Treaty with Abimelech

22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.” 24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.”

25 When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized, 26 Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today.” 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He said, “These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beersheba, because there both of them swore an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.

(ESV)

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HAFTARAH: Jeremiah 31:1-19

Jeremiah 31:1–19

The Lord Will Turn Mourning to Joy

31:1 “At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

  Thus says the LORD:
  “The people who survived the sword
    found grace in the wilderness;
  when Israel sought for rest,
    the LORD appeared to him from far away.
  I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
  Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
    O virgin Israel!
  Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
    and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
  Again you shall plant vineyards
    on the mountains of Samaria;
  the planters shall plant
    and shall enjoy the fruit.
  For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
    in the hill country of Ephraim:
  ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
    to the LORD our God.’”
  For thus says the LORD:
  “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
    and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
  proclaim, give praise, and say,
    ‘O LORD, save your people,
    the remnant of Israel.’
  Behold, I will bring them from the north country
    and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
  among them the blind and the lame,
    the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
    a great company, they shall return here.
  With weeping they shall come,
    and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
  I will make them walk by brooks of water,
    in a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
  for I am a father to Israel,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10   “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
    and declare it in the coastlands far away;
  say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
    and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11   For the LORD has ransomed Jacob
    and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12   They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
    and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD,
  over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and over the young of the flock and the herd;
  their life shall be like a watered garden,
    and they shall languish no more.
13   Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
    and the young men and the old shall be merry.
  I will turn their mourning into joy;
    I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14   I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
    and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
      declares the LORD.”
15   Thus says the LORD:
  “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
  Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.”
16   Thus says the LORD:
  “Keep your voice from weeping,
    and your eyes from tears,
  for there is a reward for your work,
      declares the LORD,
    and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17   There is hope for your future,
      declares the LORD,
    and your children shall come back to their own country.
18   I have heard Ephraim grieving,
  ‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined,
    like an untrained calf;
  bring me back that I may be restored,
    for you are the LORD my God.
19   For after I had turned away, I relented,
    and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh;
  I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
    because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’

(ESV)

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GOSPEL: Matthew 24:29-36; Luke 1:39-55

Matthew 24:29–36

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

No One Knows That Day and Hour

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

(ESV)

Luke 1:39–55

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary's Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

  “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48   for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49   for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50   And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51   He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52   he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53   he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54   He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55   as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

(ESV)

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Note: The regular readings above are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.


Portion Summary

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה), (literally "head of the year"), is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe"), celebrated ten days before Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. It is described in the Torah as יום תרועה (Yom Teru'ah, a day of sounding [the Shofar]).





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