Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, January 13, 2021


Bonus (#6 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.”

We are getting close to the end (tomorrow will be #7 and the last words).  Today we study “El-Ha’aretz” meaning “toward the land.”  “Aleph-Lamed” is the spelling of “El.”  That same spelling has several possible meanings, three that immediately come to mind.

  1. El (Aleph-Lamed) can mean to or toward as it does in our subject verse.
  2. El (Aleph-Lamed) is one of the names for God.  It is the basis of Elohim and a prefix to many specific names for God such as El Elyon (God Most High), El Gibor (Mighty God), and El Shaddai (God Almighty) along with many more.
  3. Al (Aleph-Lamed) can mean “don’t.”  It is used in “Al Ta’arivu Im Rav” meaning “don’t argue with Rabbi.”

“Ha” means “the.”  Aretz means “land.”  Put them together and you get “the land.”  “El-Ha’aretz” is the answer to the question, “Hey, Father Abraham, where are you going?”  Answer: “El-Ha’aretz” meaning to the land.  Tomorrow we will study the last 2 words which specifies which land.  

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

Wed 13-Jan-2021 29th of Tevet, 5781

Ex 7:8-8:6 1 Ki 9 Ps 108 Lk 21 (Php 1)

In the 4th Aliyah for this week we have the first one and a half plagues.  The first plague is blood (the nile turns to blood) which lasts a week.  The second plague is frogs.  But how can we only have half a plague of frogs?  The frogs come forth, but they are not killed and eradicated until our reading tomorrow.

Also worthy of note is that Pharaoh’s magicians could do the same.  God allows the fakers to look like the real thing.  But the fakers will be exposed.  They can’t keep up with God, Who is supreme.  Look at these ways in which Satan falls short of the glorious God.

Satan is the great imitator.  Let me count the ways… 

  • He fakes love by seducing us into a love affair with nature.  We falsely worship the creation instead of the creator.  
  • Then Satan lies by twisting God’s word.  For example, Matthew 4:6 (Satan said to Yeshua) “If You are Ben-Elohim,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written,…”  
  • Satan sucks us into a basic misunderstanding of what God means by the very word “love.”  God is the creator, and His creation is beautiful.  Satan cannot create, only pervert what God made perfectly.
  • Satan sends perverted people to pervert the people of God.  1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
  • Satan wants us to believe what we see in the natural, so that we forget to live by faith in what we don’t see in the supernatural.  1 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.  Romans 4:17b He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist.

I could go on with more about the false witness of Satan.  Pharaoh’s magicians were imitators.  Today, Satan and his minions are imitators of the same ilk.  Let’s remember that most of what we see and hear in this world is designed by the enemy to discourage the people of God.  Psalm 3:9(8) Deliverance belongs to Adonai. Let Your blessing be on Your people. Selah

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:  Ahhhh, the “Akedah!”  That’s Hebrew for “binding.”  It is a Jewish code word for the biblical story of the binding of Isaac, found in Genesis 22.  Why is it read twice each year?

Answer:  Genesis 22 is read in the usual cycle in Parashat VaYera (the 4th reading of Genesis, not to be confused with Parashat VaEra (the 2nd reading of Exodus).  But it is also read from the Torah on the second day of Yom Teruah (aka Rosh Hashanah).

What is happening on Rosh Hashanah?  The sounding of the rams horn.  The Biblical name for this feast day is Yom Teruah (the day of the shout). 

Rabbi Trail:   A tradition arose out of ancient practice.   Many holidays are  commanded in Scripture to be celebrated for 1 day.  In the land of Israel, they are celebrated for one day only.  But for Jews living outside the land of Israel these 1 day holidays are actually celebrated for 2 days.  This is because of the way a day is officially designated as a holiday.   A holy day is only a holiday when word arrives from the Sanhedrin in Israel to a community marking that day as holy.  In ancient times, word traveled so slowly that communities were not quite sure of the exact date by the time word of a designated holiday reached them.  So communities started celebrating 2 days in the hopes that one of them would be the correct day.  In the land of Israel today those 2 day holidays are only celebrated for one day, as the Bible commands… EXCEPT, Rosh Hashanah, which is also celebrated for 2 days in the holy land.  Now back to our lesson on the Akedah.  End RT.

Since we are sounding the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah in celebration of the coronation of Yeshua, why not read the story that the ram’s horn comes from, the binding of Isaac?  There he was, Abraham, with his only begotten son on the altar, prepared as a sacrifice, when the angel called… Genesis 22:11 But the angel of Adonai called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham! Abraham!” He said, “Hineni!” 12 Then He said, “Do not reach out your hand against the young man—do nothing to him at all. For now I know that you are one who fears God—you did not withhold your son, your only son, from Me.”

Some 1,500 years later, the same scenario was repeated on a much greater scale.  This time it was God, Himself, who placed His only begotten Son on the altar (this time the altar was a cross).  But there was no substitute.  And Yeshua died… Matthew 27:50 And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.  Yet, the grave could not contain Him.  Hear the words of the 2 men who suddenly appeared in dazzling clothes… Luke 24:6a He is not here, but He is risen!

And just like the ram (which was once a little lamb) is dead, yet still speaks through the sounding of his horn, Yeshua is the Lamb of God Who is also still speaking today.  He is very much alive!  Rejoice and be glad, oh you of somber spirit.

‘Till tomorrow, shalom.