Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, December 21, 2021 


Caring for Those in Need by Mark Smith (Deuteronomy 15:7-11)

Deuteronomy 15:8 “ I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and the needy in your land.

Before the Israelites crossed to the promised land, God gave them a set of final instructions.  One of them dealt with the treatment of the poor.  In Deuteronomy 15, forgiveness of debts of fellow Israselites every seven years (The shmitah year) was done to prevent any of them from becoming poor. Deuteronomy 15:4 “However, there should be no poor among you, for Adonai will surely bless you in the land Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess.”  No one would be poor in the land if they obeyed God and all His commands.  Deuteronomy 15:5 If only you would carefully listen to the voice of Adonai your God, being careful to do all these mitzvah that I am commanding you today! 6a For Adonai your God will bless you as He promised you. 

God also knew that bitterness would fester if any Israelite asked for a loan when those seven years were ended, for the lender knew he would likely have a larger amount to forgive. So God warned them that harboring resentment would cause them to be guilty of sin.   Deuteronomy 15:9 Watch yourself, so there is no unworthy thing in your heart saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of cancelling debts, is near,’ and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing. Then he may call out to Adonai against you, and it will be a sin upon you.  

But God also assured Israel that they would be blessed if they gave generously.  Proverbs 22:2 Rich and the poor have this in common – ADONAI is the maker of them all.  Additionally, Proverbs 28:27 One who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.  Yeshua said to one who came to Him… Matthew 19:21b “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you own, and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.

This is heavy stuff, but it is so true that the poor are all around us.  Giving to the poor is giving to Yeshua. Yeshua defines giving this way… Mathew 25:40 “And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Today there are too many veterans who fought and protected our beloved country, now on the streets fighting a new battle, homelessness,  which has impoverished the brave warriors, many whom are mentally impaired and can barely manage.

Right around the winters holidays, Carrie Smith got a text one day, from Winston, a veteran of the Iraqi war who reached out to say he had been sleeping on a lawn chair outside. He has a car, but there is no room in his car to sleep.  Every cubic foot of the car was occupied by his possessions.

Carrie was so moved that she decided to take action and make some room in his car by moving stuff out of it and paying for a storage space just so he wouldn’t have to sleep in the dead of winter outside. A simple act that provided space for him to sleep safely.

Everyone needs the essentials: food, water, and shelter.  May God direct us to use what we have to help those in need. Even though our gift may be small, the giving of moving boxes, packing tape, and some storage space for a warmer and safer night’s sleep will be huge to the one in need.  It could be the spark that brings hope for a brighter tomorrow for that veteran name Winston.

Let’s pray… Yeshua, help us to find ways we can help those around us and in doing so, help us find You. Please grant us generous hearts, that love others as You have loved us.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Tue 21-Dec-2021 17th of Tevet, 5782

Ex 2:11-25 2 Sa 4-5 Ps 73 Lk 4:22-44 (Gal 1)

Week 52
Memory Verse:  Revelation 21:3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”

256   12/20    Monday:        Revelation 2 

257   12/21    Tuesday:       Revelation 3

258   12/22    Wednesday:  Revelation 19:6-20

259   12/23    Thursday:      Revelation 21

260   12/24    Friday:           Revelation 22