Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Rabbi’s note:  One of the reasons this is called “Rabbi’s note” is because it is not at all spiritual.  I was in the business world for 40 years.  Here are some of my observations.  If you’re interested in spiritual things only and not in secular observations, then skip this and begin reading after the line.

Does anyone in Washington DC even know what a job is?  It’s no secret that the Biden administration is planning to raise the minimum wage.  This is being done in the interest of providing a living wage to our lowest paid workers.  But a job is not a means of supporting a person fortunate enough to have one.  A job is a profit center for someone who owns a business.  Every person with a job must produce more than the cost of paying him/her or that employer/employee relationship is not sustainable.

Let me challenge you.  Please help me, anyone can play.  Give me the name of one person who is being paid the minimum wage of $7.25/hour.  You can’t!!!  That’s because supply and demand has already raised the minimum wage.   Market conditions have already moved the minimum wage better than passing a law that gives everyone a $5 raise.  By passing a law that artificially raises the MW, I’ve heard (I forget from whom) that 3 million jobs will be eliminated.  That’s because they will no longer be profitable for the employer.  And don’t forget the ripple effect.  Every job will be affected by a raise in the minimum wage, not just the lowest paid.

Businesses will have to find ways of getting the job done more efficiently.  More efficiently means more productivity.  Businesses that last, find ways of adapting to changing market conditions.  And one of the side effects of a raised minimum wage is inflation.  Businesses raise prices to cover the additional cost of labor.  Inflation hurts all of us, but the lower income people are hurt the most, because they tend to spend more of their income.  So the people who are the intended beneficiaries have several ways they can be harmed by an increase in minimum wage.

None of this will affect the intensions of our lawmakers, so we have to put this in the category of venting.  Thank you for reading my vent.  Care to make your own comment?  Just reply or email me at rabbi@syknox.org.  I read every response.


Bonus #4 in a series on Psalm 112.  We continue reading the detailed description of the life of the happy man who fears the Lord (first mentioned in verse 1). Psalm 112:3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.  “Hon V’Osher” is “wealth and riches” which are in his house.  The other Hebrew phrase I want to highlight is “Omedet L’Ad” which means “stands until eternity.”  “Stands until eternity” is another way to say “endures forever.”  The benefits of living in “awestruck wonder” of the magnificent God are eternal.  This is not something you want to do when you get around to it.  My guess is that if you’re reading this, you’ve already figured that out.


Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed    20-Jan-2021        7th of Sh’vat, 5781
Ex 11:4-12:20     1 Ki 15    Ps 118     Lk 24:28-53    (Col 3)

Our Aliyah today contains the ordinance of the sacrifice lamb.  Exodus 11:5 Your lamb is to be without blemish, a year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You must watch over it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it at twilight. 7 They are to take the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the crossbeam of the houses where they will eat it. 8 They are to eat the meat that night, roasted over a fire. With matzot and bitter herbs they are to eat it.

Yeshua followers know well this lamb sacrifice is an early prophetic act of a later reality.  Some 1,500 years after the exodus from Egypt, Yeshua is the Lamb of God.  John 1:29 The next day, John sees Yeshua coming to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

That lamb was brought into the house for 4 days and treated like a family pet.  The family cared for the lamb and grew to love it.  This made sacrificing it a greater act of faith.

Then each house had to put the blood in 4 places described in verse 7.  Exodus 11:7a “They are to take the blood” means from the place of slaughter, right there in the doorway of the house.  There was a dip at the threshold, perfect for catching the blood of the slain lamb, then the two side posts and the crossbeam up top.  These are the same places we would find blood on the cross, the nails in Yeshua’s feet and hands and finally, his crown of thorns.

On that first “passover” night, the houses of the obedient Hebrews were passed over by the angel of death, and the first born were saved.  We are a first fruit people, saved by the blood of the Lamb, Yeshua.

Jacob 1:18 By His will, He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created. 

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Messiah—who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God—cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Week 4

Memory Verse: 1 John 3:18 Children, let us not love with word or talk, but in deed and truth!

16   1/18     Monday:         Genesis 27-28
17   1/19     Tuesday:        Genesis 29-30:24
* 18 1/20     Wednesday:   Genesis 31-32
19   1/21     Thursday:       Genesis 33;35
20   1/22     Friday:            Genesis 37

Question of the day:  Why did God identify Himself as “the God of Beth-El?”

Answer:  Genesis 31:13 I am the God of Beth-El where you anointed a memorial stone, where you made a vow to Me. Get up now and leave this land.

Everybody but Jacob called that same place, Luz.  Genesis 28:19 He called the name of that place Beth-El (though originally the city’s name was Luz).  Beth-El is for God’s people.  As my rabbi Dave Chansky used to say, “Luz (means a nut, like almond or hazelnut) is for “Luz-ers.”

Rabbi Trail:  In Genesis 12:8 Abraham camped between two towns, a place called Beth-El and another town called Ai.  It is not clear to me that this is the same place identified later by Jacob by that name, probably not.  End RT.

God tells Jacob to “leave this land.”  That means he had to leave his father-in-law’s camp.  He’s headed to his first home, the camp of his brother.  But while he’s on the way, Jacob camps at Beth-El, meaning “the house of God.”  We ourselves are between two camps, the life we had before we were saved (born again) and our eternal reward.

There are two births and two deaths.  Right now, for those who have put their trust in the Lord, we are in between.  We are living after two births and before two deaths.  Of course second death is not for us.  Revelation 20:6 How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.

We, who walk by faith (trusting God) and not by sight (believing what we don’t see) are living in Beth-El, the house of God.  1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you? 17b for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

This affects how we live our lives… 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I delay, I write so you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God—which is the community of the living God, a pillar and foundation of truth.

Blessing upon God’s people.  Shalom.