John the Baptist and Jesus are prefigured in this portion of the Torah that treats of the spiritual power of water. John must have had this reading in mind when he chose the ritual of baptism as a preparation for Jesus. Miracle water from the rock looks to Jesus as the living water, which flowed from his open side.
Whenever death has been touched, cleansing needs to happen. So too in death-bound unreconciled negative feelings within, such as hidden resentments and unhealed pain that pull the soul toward death. Notice the period of seven days of purification; what a blessing it would be to have your whole self cleansed of inner “death” within the space of a week! The water from your own tears can be the means of cleansing.
Look what happened to Moses when he challenged God’s decision to give the complaining people the water they needed! Do you complain when God is showing mercy?
What are these?
Cleanse my heart, O Lord, my God. 19:1ff
Cleanliness and Godliness
Water flowing from the rock 20:11
Praising You in all You do 20:13
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.