Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, January 15, 2020 

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Let me use a quote from the movie “Cool Hand Luke.”  (I’ve never watched it, I just know about it.)  Captain Strother Martin says, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”  God’s instructions are simple and pure.  Men, however; keep asking questions, stretching the envelope, trying to define the “edges” of what is permissible, and attempt to take God’s righteous standard in directions God never intended.  Yeshua’s ministry had as one of its goals, the purpose to make corrections to those wrong minded efforts.

God says, “1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  What commandments are they; just two, or all 10, or perhaps 613, or maybe even every commandment in the Talmud (which are many thousands)?

I’m not going to say my answer here.  My answer might not be your answer.  I do recommend each of us pray to inquire of the Holy Spirit.  “John 16:13a But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.”  I could jump off into so many different directions from here.  

We’re all reading the same Bible.  Shouldn’t we all reach the same conclusion?  Not necessarily.  We don’t even agree with ourselves.  Let me prove it.  We read the Scripture this year and believe the Lord is saying “ABC.”  Then we read the same passage next year and believe the Lord is saying “XYZ.”  His Word doesn’t change, we do.

Still, theologians have identified 4 main methods for understanding Scripture (called hermeneutics) identified by the Hebrew acronym “PaRDeS.”  Each of them is known by its Hebrew name.  

Peshat – “surface” (“straight”) or the straightforward or simple meaning.  None of the others may contradict this basic meaning.

Remez – “hints” or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond the literal sense.  

Derash – “inquire” (“seek”) – the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.

Sod – “secret” (“mystery”) or the mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.

Lord, would you bring us to a place of submission to Your Word.  Make our knowledge of Your Word a life-changing experience that goes beyond what we know in our minds.  Make it a heart-felt relational call that changes everything as we go forward.  In Yeshua’s name, Amen.

Week 3
Memory Verse:  Romans 4:20 Yet he did not waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God. Rather, he was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that what God has promised, He also is able to do. 22 That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

11   1/13    Monday:        Genesis 18-19 

12   1/14    Tuesday:       Genesis 20-21

* 13 1/15    Wednesday:  Genesis 22

14   1/16    Thursday:      Genesis 24

15   1/17    Friday:           Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Question of the day:  Genesis 22 is a chapter that is read twice year.  Most of the Torah is read only once a year as part of the annual cycle.  This chapter is also read on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.  Rosh Hashanah is also known as Yom Teruah (the day of the shout) when the ram’s horn is sounded.  

We sound the ram’s horn because of the story in this chapter which details the “ram caught in the thicket” story of the binding of Isaac.  For this reason it is known in Hebrew as the “Akeidah” meaning the “binding.”  That ram died, but the horn is still speaking.

Isaac, Father Abraham’s son, was delivered by a substitutionary ram.  When it was God’s Son’s time to be sacrificed, no substitute would do.  Yeshua, Himself, died in atonement for all our sins.  But I have good news.  He rose from the grave on the third day and conquered death so that we who follow Him would also be delivered from death into life.  Doesn’t that make you want to thank God for His goodness toward us?