Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, December 27, 2019 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*, 

This Shabbat service at Shomair will be dedicated to visionary prayer as we pray over the year to come.  The word that came to Shomair a few weeks ago was “clarity.”  At the time it went right over my head, but clarity in 2020 is a good fit.  I hope to see you on Saturday at Shomair.  The ladies have a special Chanukah dance prepared and the worship will be special with Rachel Smith joining us again from Nashville.  And following the service, we will have our annual Chanukah party with fun and food for the whole family.  Please bring something to share, then stay and enjoy with us.   

Yesterday, I got a short email from a lady asking for resources so she could decide if she should “convert.”  Jewish tradition is to turn away such a person 3 times.  My first question to her was what would she convert from and what is she interested in converting to.  She said from agnosticism and to Judaism.  Here is my response.

Thank you (for telling me “from agnosticism to Judaism”).  That helps me a lot.  I know many Jewish people who practice Judaism while believing agnosticism.  

Rabbi Trail:  Can you “believe” agnosticism?  Agnosticism is not knowing if there is a god.  If that is a belief or faith, is it faith or belief in not knowing?  That would be like saying, “I believe in not knowing.”  How would you pray into such a belief?  Where would your prayers go?  Who would hear them?  So many questions, so little time.  End RT.

They practice Judaism to honor their ancestors and heritage.  But, I have to wonder, if you’re going to believe nothing, then why bother practicing Judaism?  Maybe you could set me straight.  As far as I know, agnostics have placed their faith in the fact that they don’t know if there is a god.

I am a Messianic Jew.  I was raised Jewish, in the Jewish faith, and 38 years ago came to believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Jewish Messiah.  Furthermore; I believe you don’t have to stop being Jewish to believe in the Jewish Messiah (in fact, it’s a good fit).  

Just for you to read this requires faith in God.  How did the first amoeba know it needed an eye?  The evolution option just doesn’t make sense.  In nature, things don’t get smarter, they get dumber.  Mutation is our day is what cancer is.  It’s a disease.

Yes, whether you believe it or not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob created you in a wonderful way.  But we had a problem,  Rebellion against God’s righteous principles in the Garden of Eden (there was only one at the time) caused separation from God (you can read about it in the Bible – the early chapters of Genesis).  

God had to send His own Son in the fullness of time to fix our problem.  Through Yeshua, God reconciled the world back to Himself.  It may not make sense that our faith in God’s Son could heal our sin problem, but much of the kingdom of God is counterintuitive.

If anything I’ve written makes you want to know more about how to live a happy, healthy and prosperous life (Did I leave out complete and satisfying?), then please contact me again.  I’m sure me or someone in my congregation would be glad to answer your questions.  I would wish you blessings for the New Year, but if you don’t know if there’s a god, you wouldn’t know where the blessings come from.  So I’ll leave you with this.  Happy New Year.  I can help you and hope to hear from you soon.  Rabbi Michael.

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   12/23    Monday:        Revelation 2 

257   12/24    Tuesday:       Revelation 3

258   12/25    Wednesday:  Revelation 19:6-20

259   12/26    Thursday:      Revelation 21

* 260 12/27    Friday:           Revelation 22

In the F-260 reading program, day 260 is the last reading for 2019.  On Monday, we start again with day 1 in Genesis.  During 2020 (at Shomair) we will be teaching and preaching on Shabbat based on the readings for the previous Wednesday.  2020 will be our third year of a five year program, unless God intervenes by sending His Son back to the earth sooner.  

Question of the day:  The book of Revelation is full of symbolism.  What is the meaning of this?  Revelation 22:2b … and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Answer:  We know that the tree is the tree of life.  In the beginning the focus was on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Now the people of God are not tempted to be knowledgable (like God) but are given eternal life (grafted in) to heal the nations.  

There is something else that is for healing.  The ashes of the red heifer have this purpose.  Numbers 19:9 “A clean man is to gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a clean place outside the camp. They are to be for the community of Bnei-Yisrael to use as water of purification from sin.

The red heifer is symbolic of the people of God who form the Bride of Messiah.  Our responsibility is to share the good news which is for “healing of the nations.”

This is the tree of life.  We want to eat of its fruit.  Psalm 34:9(8) Taste and see how good Adonai is. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.