Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Bonus (#5 in a series): 

“.לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ”   

Lech-l’cha May’artzecha U’Mi’molad’t’cha U’Mi’Bayt Avicha, El-Ha’aretz, Asher Ar’e’cha.

Genesis 12:1 Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.”

Today we get a phrase, “U’Mi’Bayt Avicha” which means “and from your father’s house.”  “U” (pronounced “ooh” as in “moon”) is the leading “Vav” (meaning “and”) before “Mi” which is the same contraction we just had in the previous word.  It is a shortened form of “Min” meaning “from.” 

Rabbi Trail:  A “Vav” (the sixth letter of the Aleph-Bet) is very versatile.  It can have any of 3 basic sounds.  It can say it’s name (a “V” sound) along with any vowel associated with it, or it can have a long “O” sound (as in “hope”) or it can have an “Ooh” sound (like here in our current word) as in “moon.”  Much of the time, the sound of the “Vav” is determined by the consonants surrounding it.  My apologies if you’re now thoroughly confused.  Although that was not my intention, it is likely inevitable at this point.  End RT.

A “Bayit” is a house.  It can be shortened to “Bayt” much like we might say “house” on some occasions and “home” on other occasions.  A “Bet” is the second letter, and it takes it’s name from being in the shape of a house.  I’ve pictured it above.  It has a roof, a wall, a floor and a door, basic but effective.  

“Av” is “father.”  “Avicha” is “your father” because the phrase “Av Shelcha” is contracted to “Avicha.”  The point to Abraham is obvious.  God is calling him to leave the security of established family for the unknown.  This will require faith, the faith of Abraham.  The same call, to trust God, is on each of us as well.  

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

Tue 12-Jan-2021 28th of Tevet, 5781

Ex 6:29-7:7 1 Ki 8 Ps 107 Lk 20:27-47 (Eph 6)

David Harwood wrote with excellence in the RR last Saturday about the trials of (King) David.  David and his army had been defeated and his men were blaming him.  At the end of our Torah portion last week we read how things went from bad to worse for Moses too.  God has to set the stage for the 10 plagues.  But first, He must first reveal the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart.

Exodus 5:6 Then on the same day Pharaoh commanded the slave masters of the people and their foremen saying, 7 “You are not to give the people any more straw to make bricks, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But impose on them the quota of bricks that they made previously; don’t reduce it. For they are lazy—that’s why they cry out saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let even heavier work be laid upon the men, so that they must labor, paying no attention to deceptive words.”

The people complained to Moses and Moses complained to God.  Exodus 5:20 Then they (the Hebrew taskmasters, who were family leaders) met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them as they came from Pharaoh. 21 So they (the taskmasters) said to them (Moses and Aaron), “May Adonai look on you and judge, because you have made us a stench in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants—putting a sword in their hand to kill us!” 22 So Moses returned to Adonai and said, “Adonai, why have You brought evil on these people? Is this why You sent me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he has brought evil on these people. You have not delivered Your people at all.”

But God had a purpose… Exodus 6:1 Adonai said to Moses, “Now you will see what I am going to do to Pharaoh. By way of a strong hand he will let them go, and drive them out of his land.”

The reason I felt compelled to write this today is that there is similar trouble in the world today.  Things are going from bad to worse.  The word in Exodus 6:1 is for us right now.  God is saying, “Now you will see what I am going to do to ________________ (you fill in the blank).”  God is going to set the captives free.  

Yeshua proclaimed this prophesy in the synagogue in Natzeret one Shabbat early in His ministry (Luke 4:18), and it is more true today than ever… Isaiah 61:1 The Ruach Adonai Elohim is on me, because Adonai has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, 2 to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all who mourn….

Week 3

Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had received the promises was offering up his one and only son— 18 the one about whom it was said, “Through Isaac offspring shall be named for you.” 19 He reasoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead—and in a sense, he did receive him back from there.

11   1/11     Monday:          Genesis 18-19

* 12 1/12     Tuesday:         Genesis 20-21

13   1/13     Wednesday:    Genesis 22 

14   1/14     Thursday:        Genesis 24

15   1/15     Friday:             Genesis 25:19-34;26

Question of the day:  What was Abraham’s family trouble?

Answer:  Sarah and Abraham have had disagreements more than once over Hagar and Ishmael.  Ishmael was born because Sarah thought that God might fulfill His promise of progeny through Hagar.  God did bless Hagar and Ishmael, but not in that way.  There is much to be said about this, but not today.  

I simply want to comment on this… (and I’m speaking to the men who are reading) God spoke these words to Abraham.  Genesis 21:12b Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her voice.  First and foremost, Abraham heard the voice of God and obeyed.  God must have our ear.  Secondly, listen attentively with godly discernment to your wife, for she may be speaking the words of God.    

Rabbi’s note: never forget that I’m writing these RRs for and to myself, and you get to read them.  End RN.

Reflect on the distinction between listening and obeying.  Bear in mind that we listen because we value our covenant relationships, but we only obey God.  Note to self… Listen to the voice of your wife and obey God.  As we say in Hebrew, “Ze Barie,” meaning “this is healthy.”