Thursday, April 01, 2021
First Reading (Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14)
 Adonai spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said,  “You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you.
 Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household —  except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it.
 Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats.  “‘You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk.
 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it.  That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire; they are to eat it with matzah and maror.
 “‘Here is how you are to eat it: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is Adonai’s Pesach [Passover].  For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals; and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I am Adonai.
 The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over [a] you — when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.  “‘This will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Adonai; from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation.
Second Reading (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
 For what I received from the Lord is just what I passed on to you — that the Lord Yeshua, on the night he was betrayed, took bread;  and after he had made the b’rakhah he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you.
Do this as a memorial to me”;  likewise also the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant effected by my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, as a memorial to me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes.
Gospel (John 13.1-15)
 It was just before the festival of Pesach, and Yeshua knew that the time had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. Having loved his own people in the world, he loved them to the end.  They were at supper, and the Adversary had already put the desire to betray him into the heart of Y’hudah Ben-Shim‘on from K’riot.
 Yeshua was aware that the Father had put everything in his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.  So he rose from the table, removed his outer garments and wrapped a towel around his waist.
 Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the talmidim and wipe them off with the towel wrapped around him.  He came to Shim‘on Kefa, who said to him, “Lord! You are washing my feet?”
 Yeshua answered him, “You don’t understand yet what I am doing, but in time you will understand.”  “No!” said Kefa, “You will never wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no share with me.”
 “Lord,” Shim‘on Kefa replied, “not only my feet, but my hands and head too!”  Yeshua said to him, “A man who has had a bath doesn’t need to wash, except his feet — his body is already clean. And you people are clean, but not all of you.”
 (He knew who was betraying him; this is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”)  After he had washed their feet, taken back his clothes and returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?
 You call me ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because I am.  Now if I, the Lord and Rabbi, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet.  For I have set you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Reading (Isaiah 50.4-9)
 Adonai Elohim has given me the ability to speak as a man well taught, so that I, with my words, know how to sustain the weary. Each morning he awakens my ear to hear like those who are taught.
 Adonai Elohim has opened my ear, and I neither rebelled nor turned away.  I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
 For Adonai Elohim will help. This is why no insult can wound me. This is why I have set my face like flint, knowing I will not be put to shame.  My vindicator is close by; let whoever dares to accuse me appear with me in court!
Let whoever has a case against me step forward!  Look, if Adonai Elohim helps me, who will dare to condemn me? Here, they are all falling apart like old, moth-eaten clothes.
Gospel (Matthew 26.14-26)
 Then one of the Twelve, the one called Y’hudah from K’riot, went to the head cohanim  and said, “What are you willing to give me if I turn Yeshua over to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to Y’hudah.
 From then on he looked for a good opportunity to betray him.  On the first day for matzah, the talmidim came to Yeshua and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare your Seder?”
 “Go into the city, to so-and-so,” he replied, “and tell him that the Rabbi says, ‘My time is near, my talmidim and I are celebrating Pesach at your house.’”  The talmidim did as Yeshua directed and prepared the Seder.
 When evening came, Yeshua reclined with the twelve talmidim;  and as they were eating, he said, “Yes, I tell you that one of you is going to betray me.”  They became terribly upset and began asking him, one after the other, “Lord, you don’t mean me, do you?”
 He answered, “The one who dips his matzah in the dish with me is the one who will betray me.  The Son of Man will die just as the Tanakh says he will; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him had he never been born!”
 Y’hudah, the one who was betraying him, then asked, “Surely, Rabbi, you don’t mean me?” He answered, “The words are yours.”  While they were eating, Yeshua took a piece of matzah, made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to the talmidim and said, “Take! Eat! This is my body!”
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Reading (Isaiah 49:1-6)
 Coastlands, listen to me; listen, you peoples far away: Adonai called me from the womb;
before I was born, he had spoken my name.  He has made my mouth like a sharp sword while hiding me in the shadow of his hand; he has made me like a sharpened arrow while concealing me in his quiver.
 He said to me, “You are my servant, Isra’el, through whom I will show my glory.”  But I said, “I have toiled in vain, spent my strength for nothing, futility.” Yet my cause is with Adonai, my reward is with my God.
 So now Adonai says —he formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Ya‘akov back to him, to have Isra’el gathered to him, so that I will be honored in the sight of Adonai, my God having become my strength —  he has said, “It is not enough that you are merely my servant to raise up the tribes of Ya‘akov and restore the offspring of Isra’el.
I will also make you a light to the nations, so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth.”
Gospel (John 13:21-33, 36-38)
 After saying this, Yeshua, in deep anguish of spirit, declared, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that one of you will betray me.”  The talmidimstared at one another, totally mystified — whom could he mean? 
One of his talmidim, the one Yeshua particularly loved, was reclining close beside him.  So Shim‘on Kefa motioned to him and said, “Ask which one he’s talking about.”  Leaning against Yeshua’s chest, he asked Yeshua, “Lord, who is it?”
 Yeshua answered, “It’s the one to whom I give this piece of matzah after I dip it in the dish.” So he dipped the piece of matzah and gave it to Y’hudah Ben-Shim‘on from K’riot.  As soon as Y’hudah took the piece of matzah, the Adversary went into him.
“What you are doing, do quickly!” Yeshua said to him.  But no one at the table understood why he had said this to him.  Some thought that since Y’hudah was in charge of the common purse, Yeshua was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival,” or telling him to give something to the poor.
 As soon as he had taken the piece of matzah, Y’hudah went out, and it was night.  After Y’hudah had left, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.
 If the Son has glorified God, God will himself glorify the Son, and will do so without delay.  Little children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and, as I said to the Judeans, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ now I say it to you as well.
Monday, March 29, 2021
Reading (Isaiah 42.1-7)
 “Here is my servant, whom I support, my chosen one, in whom I take pleasure. I have put my Spirit on him; he will bring justice to the Goyim.  He will not cry or shout; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
 He will not snap off a broken reed or snuff out a smoldering wick.
He will bring forth justice according to truth;  he will not weaken or be crushed until he has established justice on the earth, and the coastlands wait for his Torah.”
 Thus says God, Adonai, who created the heavens and spread them out, who stretched out the earth and all that grows from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk on it:
 “I, Adonai, called you righteously, I took hold of you by the hand, I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people, to be a light for the Goyim,  so that you can open blind eyes, free the prisoners from confinement, those living in darkness from the dungeon.
Gospel (John 12:1-11)
 Six days before Pesach, Yeshua came to Beit-Anyah, where El‘azar lived, the man Yeshua had raised from the dead;  so they gave a dinner there in his honor. Marta served the meal, and El‘azar was among those at the table with him.
 Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair, so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But one of the talmidim, Y’hudah from K’riot, the one who was about to betray him, said,  “This perfume is worth a year’s wages!
Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?”  Now he said this not out of concern for the poor, but because he was a thief — he was in charge of the common purse and used to steal from it.
 Yeshua said, “Leave her alone! She kept this for the day of my burial.  You always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
 A large crowd of Judeans learned that he was there; and they came not only because of Yeshua, but also so that they could see El‘azar, whom he had raised from the dead.
 The head cohanim then decided to do away with El‘azar too,  since it was because of him that large numbers of the Judeans were leaving their leaders and putting their trust in Yeshua.
Sunday, March 28, 2021
First Reading (Isaiah 50:4-7)
 Adonai Elohim has given me the ability to speak as a man well taught, so that I, with my words, know how to sustain the weary. Each morning he awakens my ear to hear like those who are taught.
 Adonai Elohim has opened my ear, and I neither rebelled nor turned away.  I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
 For Adonai Elohim will help. This is why no insult wound me. This is why I have set my face like flint, knowing I will not be put to shame.
Second Reading (Philippians 2:6-11)
 Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force.  On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave
by becoming like human beings are.
And when he appeared as a human being,  he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death — death on a stake as a criminal!
Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name;  that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth —  and every tongue will acknowledgethat Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel (Mark 14:1 – 72; 15: 1 – 47)
 It was now two days before Pesach (that is, the festival of Matzah), and the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers were trying to find some way to arrest Yeshua surreptitiously and have him put to death;  for they said, “Not during the festival, or the people will riot.”
 While he was in Beit-Anyah in the home of Shim‘on (a man who had had tzara‘at), and as he was eating, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfume, pure oil of nard, very costly. She broke the jar and poured the perfume over Yeshua’s head.
 But some there angrily said to themselves, “Why this waste of perfume?  It could have been sold for a year’s wages and given to the poor!” And they scolded her.  But he said, “Let her be. Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me.
 For you will always have the poor with you; and whenever you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me.  What she could do, she did do — in advance she poured perfume on my body to prepare it for burial.
 Yes! I tell you that wherever in the whole world this Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told in her memory.”  Then Y’hudah from K’riot, who was one of the Twelve, went to the head cohanim in order to betray Yeshua to them.
They were pleased to hear this and promised to give him money. And he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Yeshua.  On the first day for matzah, when they slaughtered the lamb for Pesach, Yeshua’s talmidim asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare your Seder?”
 He sent two of his talmidim with these instructions: “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him;  and whichever house he enters, tell him that the Rabbi says, ‘Where is the guest room for me, where I am to eat the Pesach meal with my talmidim?’
 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations there.”  The talmidim went off, came to the city and found things just as he had told them they would be; and they prepared the Seder.
 When evening came, Yeshua arrived with the Twelve.  As they were reclining and eating, Yeshua said, “Yes! I tell you that one of you is going to betray me.”  They became upset and began asking him, one after the other, “You don’t mean me, do you?”
 “It’s one of the Twelve,” he said to them, “someone dipping matzah in the dish with me.  For the Son of Man will die, just as the Tanakh says he will; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him had he never been born!”
 While they were eating, Yeshua took a piece of matzah, made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “Take it! This is my body.”  Also he took a cup of wine, made the b’rakhah, and gave it to them; and they all drank.
 He said to them, “This is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many people.  Yes! I tell you, I will not drink this ‘fruit of the vine’ again until the day I drink new wine in the Kingdom of God.”
 After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  Yeshua said to them, “You will all lose faith in me, for the Tanakh says, ‘I will strike the shepherd dead, and the sheep will be scattered.’
 But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you into the Galil.”  Kefa said to him, “Even if everyone else loses faith in you, I won’t.”  Yeshua replied, “Yes! I tell you that this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times!”
 But Kefa kept insisting, “Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you!” And they all said the same thing.  They went to a place called Gat Sh’manim; and Yeshua said to his talmidim, “Sit here while I pray.”
 He took with him Kefa, Ya‘akov and Yochanan. Great distress and anguish came over him;  and he said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake.”
 Going on a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that if possible, the hour might pass from him:  “Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”) “All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me! Still, not what I want, but what you want.”
 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Kefa, “Shim‘on, are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour?  Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test — the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”
 Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words;  and again he came and found them sleeping, their eyes were so very heavy; and they didn’t know what to answer him.
 The third time, he came and said to them, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest. . . .There, that’s enough! The time has come! Look! The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners!  Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”
 While Yeshua was still speaking, Y’hudah (one of the Twelve!) came, and with him a crowd carrying swords and clubs, from the head cohanim, the Torah-teachers and the elders.  The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The man I kiss is the one you want. Grab him, and take him away under guard.”
 As he arrived, he went right up to Yeshua, said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him.  Then they laid hold of Yeshua and arrested him;  but one of the people standing nearby drew his sword and struck at the servant of the cohen hagadol, cutting off his ear.
 Yeshua addressed them: “So you came out to take me with swords and clubs, the way you would the leader of a rebellion?  Every day I was with you in the Temple court, teaching, and you didn’t seize me then! But let the Tanakh be fulfilled.”
 And they all deserted him and ran away.  There was one young man who did try to follow him; but he was wearing only a nightshirt; and when they tried to seize him,  he slipped out of the nightshirt and ran away naked.
 They led Yeshua to the cohen hagadol, with whom all the head cohanim, elders and Torah-teachers were assembling.  Kefa followed him at a distance right into the courtyard of the cohen hagadol, where he sat down with the guards and warmed himself by the fire.
 The head cohanim and the whole Sanhedrin tried to find evidence against Yeshua, so that they might have him put to death, but they couldn’t find any.  For many people gave false evidence against him, but their testimonies didn’t agree.
 Some stood up and gave this false testimony:  “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with hands; and in three days I will build another one, not made with hands.’”  Even so, their testimonies didn’t agree.
 The cohen hagadol stood up in the front and asked Yeshua, “Have you nothing to say to the accusations these men are making?”  But he remained silent and made no reply. Again the cohen hagadol questioned him: “Are you the Mashiach, Ben-HaM’vorakh?”  “I AM,” answered Yeshua.
“Moreover, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  At this, the cohen hagadol tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses?  You heard him blaspheme! What is your decision?” And they all declared him guilty and subject to the death penalty.
 Then some began spitting at him; and after blindfolding him, they started pounding him with their fists and saying to him, “Let’s see you prophesy!” And as the guards took him, they beat him too.  Meanwhile, Kefa was still in the courtyard below.
One of the serving-girls of the cohen hagadol  saw Kefa warming himself, took a look at him, and said, “You were with the man from Natzeret, Yeshua!”  But he denied it, saying, “I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about!” He went outside into the entryway, and a rooster crowed.
 The girl saw him there and started telling the bystanders, “This fellow is one of them.”  Again he denied it. A little later, the bystanders themselves said to Kefa, “You must be one of them, because you’re from the Galil.”
 At this he began to invoke a curse on himself as he swore, “I do not know this man you are telling me about!” —  and immediately the rooster crowed a second time. Then Kefa remembered what Yeshua had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times.”
And throwing himself down, he burst into tears. [15:1] As soon as it was morning, the head cohanim held a council meeting with the elders, the Torah-teachers and the whole Sanhedrin.
Then they put Yeshua in chains, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.  Pilate put this question to him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “The words are yours.”  The head cohanim too made accusations against him,  and Pilate again inquired of him, “Aren’t you going to answer?
Look how many charges they are making against you!”  But Yeshua made no further response, to Pilate’s amazement.  Now during a festival, Pilate used to set free one prisoner, whomever the crowd requested.
 There was in prison among the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection a man called Bar-Abba.  When the crowd came up and began asking Pilate to do for them what he usually did,  he asked them, “Do you want me to set free for you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
 For it was evident to him that it was out of jealousy that the head cohanim had handed him over.  But the head cohanim stirred up the crowd to have him release Bar-Abba for them instead.
 Pilate again said to them, “Then what should I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”  They shouted back, “Put him to death on the stake!”  He asked, “Why? What crime has he committed?” But they only shouted louder, “Put him to death on the stake!”
 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the mob, set Bar-Abba free for them; but he had Yeshua whipped and then handed him over to be executed on the stake.  The soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the headquarters building) and called together the whole battalion.
 They dressed him in purple and wove thorn branches into a crown, which they put on him.  Then they began to salute him, “Hail to the King of the Jews!”  They hit him on the head with a stick, spat on him and kneeled in mock worship of him.
 When they had finished ridiculing him, they took off the purple robe, put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be nailed to the execution-stake.  A certain man from Cyrene, Shim‘on, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country; and they forced him to carry the stake.
 They brought Yeshua to a place called Gulgolta (which means “place of a skull”),  and they gave him wine spiced with myrrh, but he didn’t take it.  Then they nailed him to the execution-stake; and they divided his clothes among themselves, throwing dice to determine what each man should get.
It was nine in the morning when they nailed him to the stake.  Over his head, the written notice of the charge against him read,  On execution-stakes with him they placed two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
[28-29] People passing by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! So you can destroy the Temple, can you, and rebuild it in three days?  Save yourself and come down from the stake!”
 Likewise, the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers made fun of him, saying to each other, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!”  and, “So he’s the Messiah, is he? The King of Isra’el? Let him come down now from the stake! If we see that, then we’ll believe him!” Even the men nailed up with him insulted him.
 At noon, darkness covered the whole Land until three o’clock in the afternoon.  At three, he uttered a loud cry, “Elohi! Elohi! L’mah sh’vaktani?” (which means, “My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?”)
 On hearing this, some of the bystanders said, “Look! He’s calling for Eliyahu!”  One ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar, put it on a stick and gave it to him to drink. “Wait!” he said, “Let’s see if Eliyahu will come and take him down.”
 But Yeshua let out a loud cry and gave up his spirit.  And the parokhet in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw the way he gave up his spirit, he said, “This man really was a son of God!”
 There were women looking on from a distance; among them were Miryam from Magdala, Miryam the mother of the younger Ya‘akov and of Yosi, and Shlomit.  These women had followed him and helped him when he was in the Galil. And many other women were there who had come up with him to Yerushalayim.
 Since it was Preparation Day (that is, the day before a Shabbat), as evening approached,  Yosef of Ramatayim, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin who himself was also looking forward to the Kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body.
 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead, so he summoned the officer and asked him if he had been dead awhile.  After he had gotten confirmation from the officer that Yeshua was dead, he granted Yosef the corpse.
 Yosef purchased a linen sheet; and after taking Yeshua down, he wrapped him in the linen sheet, laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.  Miryam of Magdala and Miryam the mother of Yosi saw where he had been laid.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Reading (Ezekiel 37:21-28)
 Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will take the people of Isra’el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land.
 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Isra’el; and one king will be king for all of them. They will no longer be two nations, and they will never again be divided into two kingdoms.
 “‘They will never again defile themselves with their idols, their detestable things, or any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the places where they have been living and sinning; and I will cleanse them, so that they will be my people, and I will be their God.
 My servant David will be king over them, and all of them will have one shepherd; they will live by my rulings and keep and observe my regulations. They will live in the land I gave to Ya‘akov my servant, where your ancestors lived; they will live there — they, their children, and their grandchildren, forever; and David my servant will be their leader forever.
 I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give to them, increase their numbers, and set my sanctuary among them forever.  My home will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
 The nations will know that I am Adonai, who sets Isra’el apart as holy, when my sanctuary is with them forever.’”
Gospel (John 11:45-56)
 At this, many of the Judeans who had come to visit Miryam, and had seen what Yeshua had done, trusted in him.  But some of them went off to the P’rushim and told them what he had done.
 So the head cohanim and the P’rushim called a meeting of the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? — for this man is performing many miracles.
 If we let him keep going on this way, everyone will trust in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both the Temple and the nation.”  But one of them, Kayafa, who was cohen gadol that year, said to them, “You people don’t know anything!
 You don’t see that it’s better for you if one man dies on behalf of the people, so that the whole nation won’t be destroyed.”
 Now he didn’t speak this way on his own initiative; rather, since he was cohen gadol that year, he was prophesying that Yeshua was about to die on behalf of the nation,  and not for the nation alone, but so that he might gather into one the scattered children of God.
 From that day on, they made plans to have him put to death.  Therefore Yeshua no longer walked around openly among the Judeans but went away from there into the region near the desert, to a town called Efrayim, and stayed there with his talmidim.
 The Judean festival of Pesach was near, and many people went up from the country to Yerushalayim to perform the purification ceremony prior to Pesach.
 They were looking for Yeshua, and as they stood in the Temple courts they said to each other, “What do you think? that he simply won’t come to the festival?”
Friday, March 26, 2021
Reading (Jeremiah 20:7, 10-13)
 You fooled me, Adonai; I have been your dupe. You overpowered me, and you have prevailed. All day long I’m a laughingstock; everyone makes fun of me.  I have heard many whispering their plot: “‘Terror in every direction’? Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!”
Even all my close friends are watching for me to make a false step — “Maybe he can be tricked, then we’ll get the better of him, then we’ll take our revenge on him.”
 But Adonai is with me like a dreaded warrior; so my persecutors will stumble, defeated, greatly ashamed because of their failure; their lasting disgrace will not be forgotten.
 Adonai–Tzva’ot, you who test the righteous and see people’s hearts and thoughts, let me see you take vengeance on them, for I have committed my cause to you.  Sing to Adonai! Praise Adonai! For he rescues those in need from the clutches of evildoers.
Gospel (John 10:31-42)
 Once again the Judeans picked up rocks in order to stone him.  Yeshua answered them, “You have seen me do many good deeds that reflect the Father’s power; for which one of these deeds are you stoning me?”
 The Judeans replied, “We are not stoning you for any good deed, but for blasphemy — because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God.”  Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Torah, ‘I have said, “You people are Elohim’”?
 If he called ‘elohim’ the people to whom the word of Elohim was addressed (and the Tanakh cannot be broken),  then are you telling the one whom the Father set apart as holy and sent into the world, ‘You are committing blasphemy,’ just because I said, ‘I am a son of Elohim’?
 “If I am not doing deeds that reflect my Father’s power, don’t trust me.  But if I am, then, even if you don’t trust me, trust the deeds; so that you may understand once and for all that the Father is united with me, and I am united with the Father.”
 One more time they tried to arrest him, but he slipped out of their hands.  He went off again beyond the Yarden, where Yochanan had been immersing at first, and stayed there.
 Many people came to him and said, “Yochanan performed no miracles, but everything Yochanan said about this man was true.”  And many people there put their trust in him.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10)
 Adonai spoke again to Achaz; he said,  “Ask Adonai your God to give you a sign. Ask it anywhere, from the depths of Sh’ol to the heights above.”  But Achaz answered, “I won’t ask, I won’t test Adonai.”
 Then [the prophet] said, “Listen here, house of David! Is trying people’s patience such a small thing for you that you must try the patience of my God as well?
 Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign: the young woman will become pregnant, bear a son and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us].
[8:1] Adonai said to me, “Take a large tablet, and write on it in easily readable letters; ‘Maher shalal, hash baz [the spoil hurries, the prey speeds along].’”  I had it witnessed for me by reliable witnesses — Uriyah the cohen and Z’kharyahu the son of Y’verekhyahu.
 Then I had sexual relations with my wife; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son; and Adonai said to me, “Name him Maher Shalal Hash Baz;  because before the child knows how to cry, ‘Abba!’ and ‘Eema!’, the riches of Dammesek and the spoil of Shomron will be carried off and given to the king of Ashur.”
 Adonai went on speaking and said more to me:  “Since this people has rejected the gently flowing waters from Shilo’ach and takes joy in Retzin and the son of Remalyah;  now Adonai will bring upon them the mighty floodwaters of the [Euphrates] River — that is, the king of Ashur and his power. It will rise above all its channels and overflow all its banks.
 It will sweep through Y’hudah, flooding everything and passing on. It will reach even up to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the whole expanse of the land.” God is with us!
 You may make an uproar, peoples; but you will be shattered. Listen, all of you from distant lands: arm yourselves, but you will be shattered; yes, arm yourselves, but you will be shattered;
devise a plan, but it will come to nothing; say anything you like, but it won’t happen; because God is with us.
Second Reading (Hebrews 10:4-10)
 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.  This is why, on coming into the world, he says, “It has not been your will to have an animal sacrifice and a meal offering; rather, you have prepared for me a body.
 No, you have not been pleased with burnt offerings and sin offerings.  Then I said, ‘Look! In the scroll of the book it is written about me. I have come to do your will.’”
 In saying first, “You neither willed nor were pleased with animal sacrifices, meal offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings,” things which are offered in accordance with the Torah;  and then, “Look, I have come to do your will”; he takes away the first system in order to set up the second.
 It is in connection with this will that we have been separated for God and made holy, once and for all, through the offering of Yeshua the Messiah’s body.
Gospel (Luke 1:26-38)
 In the sixth month, the angel Gavri’el was sent by God to a city in the Galil called Natzeret,  to a virgin engaged to a man named Yosef, of the house of David; the virgin’s name was Miryam.
 Approaching her, the angel said, “Shalom, favored lady! Adonai is with you!”  She was deeply troubled by his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favor with God.
 Look! You will become pregnant, you will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua.
 He will be great, he will be called Son of Ha‘Elyon. Adonai, God, will give him the throne of his forefather David;  and he will rule the House of Ya‘akov forever — there will be no end to his Kingdom.”
 “How can this be,” asked Miryam of the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered her, “The Ruach HaKodesh will come over you, the power of Ha‘Elyon will cover you. Therefore, the holy child born to you will be called the Son of God.
 “You have a relative, Elisheva, who is an old woman; and everyone says she is barren. But she has conceived a son and is six months pregnant!  For with God, nothing is impossible.”  Miryam said, “I am the servant of Adonai; may it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Reading (Daniel 3:13-20, 24)
In a raging fury N’vukhadnetzar ordered that Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go be brought. When the men had been brought before the king,  N’vukhadnetzar said to them, “Shadrakh! Meishakh! ‘Aved-N’go! Is it true that you neither serve my gods nor worship the gold statue I set up?
 All right, then. If you are prepared, when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments, to fall down and worship the gold statue, very well.
But if you won’t worship, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing hot furnace — and what god will save you from my power then?”  Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go answered the king, “Your question doesn’t require an answer from us.
 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power.  But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
 N’vukhadnetzar became so utterly enraged that his face was distorted with anger against Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go. He ordered the furnace made seven times hotter than usual.
 Then he ordered some of the strongest men in his army to tie up Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go and throw them into the blazing hot furnace.
 Suddenly N’vukhadnetzar sprang to his feet. Alarmed, he asked his advisers, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the flames?” They answered the king, “Yes, of course, your majesty.”
Gospel (John 8:31-42)
 So Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted him, “If you obey what I say, then you are really my talmidim,  you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  They answered, “We are the seed of Avraham and have never been slaves to anyone; so what do you mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?”
 Yeshua answered them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin.  Now a slave does not remain with a family forever, but a son does remain with it forever.  So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!
 I know you are the seed of Avraham. Yet you are out to kill me, because what I am saying makes no headway in you.  I say what my Father has shown me; you do what your father has told you!”
 They answered him, “Our father is Avraham.” Yeshua replied, “If you are children of Avraham, then do the things Avraham did!  As it is, you are out to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Avraham did nothing like that!
 You are doing the things your father does.” “We’re not illegitimate children!” they said to him. “We have only one Father — God!”  Yeshua replied to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me; because I came out from God; and now I have arrived here. I did not come on my own; he sent me.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Reading (Numbers 21:4-9)
 Then they traveled from Mount Hor on the road toward the Sea of Suf in order to go around the land of Edom; but the people’s tempers grew short because of the detour.  The people spoke against God and against Moshe: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt?
To die in the desert? There’s no real food, there’s no water, and we’re sick of this miserable stuff we’re eating!”  In response, Adonai sent poisonous snakes among the people; they bit the people, and many of Isra’el’s people died.
 The people came to Moshe and said, “We sinned by speaking against Adonai and against you. Pray to Adonai that he rid us of these snakes.” Moshe prayed for the people,  and Adonai answered Moshe: “Make a poisonous snake and put it on a pole.
When anyone who has been bitten sees it, he will live.”  Moshe made a bronze snake and put it on the pole; if a snake had bitten someone, then, when he looked toward the bronze snake, he stayed alive.
Gospel (John 8:21-30)
 Again he told them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin — where I am going, you cannot come.”  The Judeans said, “Is he going to commit suicide? Is that what he means when he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”
 Yeshua said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.  This is why I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not trust that I AM [who I say I am], you will die in your sins.”
 At this, they said to him, “You? Who are you?” Yeshua answered, “Just what I’ve been telling you from the start.  There are many things I could say about you, and many judgments I could make.
However, the One who sent me is true; so I say in the world only what I have heard from him.”  They did not understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Yeshua said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM [who I say I am], and that of myself I do nothing, but say only what the Father has taught me.
 Also, the One who sent me is still with me; he did not leave me to myself, because I always do what pleases him.”  Many people who heard him say these things trusted in him.
Monday, March 22, 2021
Reading (Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-64)
 In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim,  who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah;  her parents were righteous and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses.
 Joakim was very rich and he had a garden near his house. The Jews had recourse to him often because he was the most respected of them all.  That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges, of whom the Lord said, “Lawlessness has come out of Babylon, that is, from the elders who were to govern the people as judges.”
 These men, to whom all brought their cases, frequented the house of Joakim.  When the people left at noon, Susanna used to enter her husband’s garden for a walk.  When the elders saw her enter every day for her walk, they began to lust for her.
 They perverted their thinking; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments.  One day, while they were waiting for the right moment, she entered as usual, with two maids only, wanting to bathe in the garden, for the weather was warm.
 Nobody else was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her.  “Bring me oil and soap,” she said to the maids, “and shut the garden gates while I bathe.”  As soon as the maids had left, the two old men got up and ran to her.
 “Look,” they said, “the garden doors are shut, no one can see us, and we want you. So give in to our desire, and lie with us.  If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was here with you and that is why you sent your maids away.”
 “I am completely trapped,” Susanna groaned. “If I yield, it will be my death; if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.  Yet it is better for me not to do it and to fall into your power than to sin before the Lord.”
 Then Susanna screamed, and the two old men also shouted at her,  as one of them ran to open the garden gates.  When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden, they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her.
 At the accusations of the old men, the servants felt very much ashamed, for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.  When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day, the two wicked old men also came, full of lawless intent to put Susanna to death.
 Before the people they ordered: “Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.” When she was sent for,  she came with her parents, children and all her relatives.  All her companions and the onlookers were weeping.
 In the midst of the people the two old men rose up and laid their hands on her head.  As she wept she looked up to heaven, for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.  The old men said, “As we were walking in the garden alone, this woman entered with two servant girls, shut the garden gates and sent the servant girls away.
 A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her.  When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this lawlessness, we ran toward them.  We saw them lying together, but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we; he opened the gates and ran off.
 Then we seized this one and asked who the young man was,  but she refused to tell us. We testify to this.” The assembly believed them, since they were elders and judges of the people, and they condemned her to death.
 But Susanna cried aloud: “Eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be:  you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things for which these men have condemned me.”
 The Lord heard her prayer.  As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,  and he cried aloud: “I am innocent of this woman’s blood.”
 All the people turned and asked him, “What are you saying?”  He stood in their midst and said, “Are you such fools, you Israelites, to condemn a daughter of Israel without investigation and without clear evidence?
 Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”  Then all the people returned in haste. To Daniel the elders said, “Come, sit with us and inform us, since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
 But he replied, “Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them.”  After they were separated from each other, he called one of them and said: “How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:  passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says, ‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
 Now, then, if you were a witness, tell me under what tree you saw them together.”  “Under a mastic tree,” he answered. “Your fine lie has cost you your head,” said Daniel; “for the angel of God has already received the sentence from God and shall split you in two.”
 Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought. “Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah,” Daniel said to him, “beauty has seduced you, lust has perverted your heart.
 This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel, and in their fear they yielded to you; but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your lawlessness.  Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
 “Under an oak,” he said. “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,” said Daniel; “for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two so as to destroy you both.”  The whole assembly cried aloud, blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
 They rose up against the two old men, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of bearing false witness. They condemned them to the fate they had planned for their neighbor:  in accordance with the law of Moses they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day.
Gospel (John 8:1-11)
 But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives.  At daybreak, he appeared again in the Temple Court, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.  The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery and made her stand in the center of the group.
 Then they said to him, “Rabbi, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in our Torah, Moshe commanded that such a woman be stoned to death. What do you say about it?”
 They said this to trap him, so that they might have ground for bringing charges against him; but Yeshua bent down and began writing in the dust with his finger.  When they kept questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “The one of you who is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
 Then he bent down and wrote in the dust again.  On hearing this, they began to leave, one by one, the older ones first, until he was left alone, with the woman still there.  Standing up, Yeshua said to her, “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, sir.” Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and don’t sin any more.”
Sunday, March 21, 2021
First Reading (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai.
 “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
 No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know Adonai’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.”
 This is what Adonai says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name:
Second Reading (Hebrews 5:7-9)
 During Yeshua’s life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions, crying aloud and shedding tears, to the One who had the power to deliver him from death; and he was heard because of his godliness.
 Even though he was the Son, he learned obedience through his sufferings.  And after he had been brought to the goal, he became the source of eternal deliverance to all who obey him,
Gospel (John 12:20-33)
 Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greek-speaking Jews.  They approached Philip, the one from Beit-Tzaidah in the Galil, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Yeshua.”
 Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Yeshua.  Yeshua gave them this answer: “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
 Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just a grain; but if it dies, it produces a big harvest.  He who loves his life loses it, but he who hates his life in this world will keep it safe right on into eternal life!
 If someone is serving me, let him follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. My Father will honor anyone who serves me.  “Now I am in turmoil. What can I say — ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
No, it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour. I will say this:  ‘Father, glorify your name!’” At this a bat-kol came out of heaven, “I have glorified it before, and I will glorify it again!”
 The crowd standing there and hearing it said that it had thundered; others said, “An angel spoke to him.”  Yeshua answered, “This bat-kol did not come for my sake but for yours.  Now is the time for this world to be judged, now the ruler of this world will be expelled.
 As for me, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”  He said this to indicate what kind of death he would die.