Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, January 18, 2021

Shalom,

Okay, I’m going to start the week by taking a giant leap.  I am not a doctor and this is not an attempt at giving medical advice.  That being said, it is not popular to spread the word that “Big Pharma” may not have your best interest as their top motivation.  In fact, your best interest may or may not be one of their top 5.  Please pray about how to respond to this information.

I’m inviting you to take 30 minutes to listen to Alex Newman interview Dr. Lee Merrit.  I realize that 30 minutes is a long time for someone with the attention span of a gnat.  I wasn’t talking about you, but this could save your life, literally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvI-_jXck7Y&feature=youtu.be 

Rabbi’s note: She lauds the use of Vitamin D supplements.  She says it is your best line of defense against COVID.  Let me add to that, my personal doctor told me that most Vitamin D supplements are not effectively absorbed by the body.  I take one that is highly rated (and probably more expensive than the less effective ones), “LIQUI-D3.”  A bottle costs $22, but at my dosage, a bottle will last about 14 months.  RxVitamin.com  If you prefer to do business in person, it is available at the Medicine Shop with a drive up window at 4206 Chapman Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920.  No excuses.  End RN.

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Bonus #2 in a series on Psalm 112.  Psalm 112:1 Halleluyah! Happy is the man who fears Adonai, who delights greatly in His mitzvot.

Sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it; happiness is a product of fear?  But, what if we translated “Yara” as “awestruck wonder” instead of “fear?”  Does that help?  As we muse in awestruck wonder over God and how wonderful He is, we can’t help ourselves; we must praise the Lord.  We are awestruck.  We behold the Son and hear the salvation message.  As we sing on Passover, “Di’eynu,” meaning “that would be enough for us.”

I want to couple 2 Corinthians 3:5 together with 2 Corinthians 9:8.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from God.  AMP

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. AMP

I didn’t care for the TLV translation, so I used the Amplified Version.  The point is simple.  We take delight in resting in the all sufficiency of God.  The pressure, the stress the strain is not on us.  In God we trust.

Psalm 1:1 Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2 But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night.

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

Mon 18-Jan-2021 5th of Sh’vat, 5781 

Ex 10:12-23 1 Ki 13 Ps 115 Lk 23:26-56 (Col 1)

Our Torah portion this week is titled “Bo.”  This word is found as the first significant word of Exodus 10:1.  God is commanding Moses to “come in” to Pharaoh’s presence.  Many translations have God saying, “Go to Pharaoh” (like our own TLV that we like to use), but the Hebrew specifically has God commanding Moses to “go in” to Pharaoh.  

Why is this a big deal to me?   Where is God?  He is speaking to Moses as if He is in the presence of Pharaoh.  God can say to Moses, “Come in,” because He is already there.  

And what happens when Moses arrives?  The 8th plague, the plague of locusts, is about to begin.  Funny thing about locusts.  In Hebrew they are called “Arbeh” the same Shoresh as “rabbi.”  What is the connection between locusts and rabbis?  The Shoresh is “Rabah” meaning abundant.  A rabbi is one who is abundant with knowledge, while locusts are just abundant in number.  Nobody ever had just one locust, they come in swarms, but one rabbi is enough (Di’aynu).

Today, (Monday) we read the second Aliyah of Torah portion “Bo,” we actually have 2 plagues, locusts (as we already discussed) and darkness.  And it wasn’t just a little darkness.  Exodus 10:23a They (the Egyptians) could not see one another, nor could anyone rise from his place for three days.  They could not see to cook, get dressed, move about or even eat anything.  The darkness was all consuming and debilitating.

But not for the children of Israel… Exodus 10:23b Yet all Bnei-Yisrael had light within their dwellings.  This is miraculous all the way around.  It was a miracle that the light in Goshen was not seen as light in the rest of Egypt.  The Hebrews living in Goshen knew they had light and that the Egyptians didn’t, but the Egyptians didn’t know.  To them, there was nothing but darkness.  Today, we identify with the Hebrews in Goshen.

Our assignment today is to bring the light into the darkness.  This cannot be done in fear, but only by faith.  I’m going to let the Scriptures have the last word on this today.  Ephesians 5:8 For once you were darkness, but now in union with the Lord you are light. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

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:  What difference is there between Genesis 27 and Genesis 33?

Answer:  Today we are reading Genesis 27, the story of Jacob using deceit to steal his brother’s fatherly blessing.  On Thursday, we will read from Genesis 33 where Jacob and Esau are reunited.  In both stories, Jacob was afraid of Esau.  He ran from his brother in fear and then returned to his brother also in fear.  

And through all that fear, there was not one moment when God was not in charge of Jacob’s destiny.  God drove Jacob into marriage with Leah and Rachel.  God prospered Jacob in spite of his Uncle Laban.  And finally, God brought the brothers together in a happy reunion.  The take-away for us all is that we should trust God in every situation.  Just as God was always at work in arranging Jacob’s destiny, so too is God always at work arranging  each of our own destinys.  Hear the Word of the Lord…

Matthew 6:25a “So I say to you, do not worry about your life—what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…. 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’… 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

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