I have been using the Walk! Messianic Jewish Devotional Commentaries since very near the beginning of my pursuit of the Messianic Torah-obedient lifestyle. They are still my favorite go-to resource for an overview and structural outline of the weekly Torah and Haftarah readings and an associated, relevant B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) reading.
Walk! Messianic Jewish Devotional Commentaries are published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, publishers of The Complete Jewish BIble. The author, Jeffrey Enoch Feinberg, Ph.D., is listed as the spiritual leader of Congregation Etz Chayim in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
This is a series that will appeal to Christians interested in the Hebrew roots of their faith as well as believers in Yeshua (Jesus) already committed to a Torah-based walk. Five paperback books, one for each book of the Torah, will take you through the 54 weekly Torah Portions in a consistent, systematic manner. They are well suited to personal or group studies, and are a valuable guide if you are the leader. I frequently use these as a springboard for discussion in a Messianic Bible study with a group of incarcerated men at a nearby prison.
Being a detail-oriented person, I love the organization of these books. Each Torah Portion is laid out in eighteen pages, following a pattern that builds as you go through the book. The presentation is clean and easy to read. When Hebrew is used, it is written for those whose native tongue is not Hebrew. Hebrew terms are almost always followed by the English meaning in parenthesis, and for those that aren’t there is a glossary in the back. References are cited for quoted Scripture passages and for outside rabbinic sources as well.
Layout of Each Portion
Here is the format for how each Portion is presented:
Portion Overview – 2 Facing Pages
This starts off with a cartoon drawing of something in the Torah portion, with the title of the portion written in Hebrew script making the basis of the picture. The author calls this a “doodle.” Below the doodle is a witty entertaining rhyme poem, also starting with the Hebrew name of the Torah portion. The second page, which is really the title page for each section, identifies the name of the Portion in Hebrew and in English along with the Scripture reference. This page then lists the seven aliyot divisions and the maftir of the Torah portion, the Haftarah reading, and the suggested B’rit Chadashah reading.
Hiker’s Log – 2 Facing Pages
The Hiker’s Log looks back and reviews each of the Portions in this book of the Torah. It includes an information box detailing the key people, scenes and events in the current portion, and leaves the reader ready for “The Trail Ahead.”
Compass Work – 2 Facing Pages
The Path, the first page, quotes the beginning verse of the Torah Portion from which the name of the Portion is taken. The Legend, the second page, transliterates and translates the beginning verse. Then follows a list of several other related Hebrew words, which gives the reader a clearer idea of the root and other ways it is used. Now we are ready to “Hit the Trail.”
The Seven Aliyot and the Maftir – 8 Pages
This is the meat of the Torah Portion. Each section of the Portion is detailed on its own page, with the a key passage highlighted at the top. The reading is summarized, along with some challenging questions related to the application of what was read.
Meanderings – 2 Facing Pages
The Haftarah reading is on the first page, again with a key passage, summary and challenging question. The facing page makes the same kind of presentation with the B’rit Chadashah reading.
Oasis – 2 Facing Pages
The first page, Talk Your Walk, reviews the key characters, events and/or topics from the Torah Portion. The second page, Walk Your Talk, looks at a practical application of what we have read in the Portion as it relates to the believer in Messiah.
The Journey’s End
This section after the last Torah portion for each book presents a final challenge for the reader.
This series can easily be used as a daily devotional for the Torah reading cycle. For those familiar with the cycle, understand that it will be necessary to make adjustments for Passover and Sukkot and for the combined readings in a 12-month Hebrew year.
The author suggests this plan in order to use this as a daily devotional:
- Sunday – Hiker’s Log and Compass Work (overview)
- Monday – Rishon (1st) & Sheni (2nd) sections of the Torah Portion
- Tuesday – Shlishi (3rd) & R’vi’I (4th) sections
- Wednesday – Chamishi (5th) & Shishi (6th) sections
- Thursday – Shvi’I (7th) and Maftir (concluding) sections
- Friday – Meanderings (Haftarah and B’rit Chadashah)
- Saturday – Oasis (summary and application)
Jeffrey Enoch Feinberg, Ph.D.
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