Thursday, 16 December 2021
This week we are reading the final Torah portion of Genesis. Every time we finish a book of the Torah (or finish studying any other book of the Bible for that matter) it is a special occasion. In traditional Judaism, such a special occasion is reason enough to raise a glass of schnapps. At Shomair, that's one Jewish tradition we avoid. There is another Jewish tradition connected to finishing a book of the Torah that we have adopted. As the last word is read, we all speak three words, Chazak, Chazak, V'Nit'cha'zek. It means "be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened."
Why is this a custom? Who decided that we need to ask the Lord for strength as we finish a book of the Torah? I don't know "who," but I do know "why," and it's connected to the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
When we read the Word of God, we are planting His seed in our hearts. Yeshua explains His own parable in Luke 8. Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. What is Satan's self-ordained assignment? To steal the seed God is planting before it can bring for the fruit of righteousness. We say "Chazak" as a prayer against Satan's mischievous assignment.
Better get ready, it's coming up this Saturday.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,