Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, January 22, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Bonus #5 in a series on Psalm 112. Psalm 112:5 Good comes to a man who is gracious and lends. He will order his affairs with fairness.  If ever there was evidence of the value of knowing Hebrew, this is it.  Just two Hebrew words in this verse make a huge difference in our understanding.  

The word translated “lend” is from the Shoresh “Lamed-Vav-Hey” meaning to be joined one to another, same as the tribe of Levi.  A man who is gracious and in joined to others is a different kind of man.  This verse says he is a good man.  After the etnachta, we have the second part, this good man will make provision for his things with judgement.  The Shoresh for “judgment” is “Shin-Pay-Tet.”  A Shofet is a judge and Mishpatim are judgments.  Remember, these are all the result of a man who lives in awestruck wonder of God.  

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

Fri 22-Jan-2021 9th of Sh’vat, 5781

Ex 12:29-51 1 Ki 17 Ps 119:25-48 Jn 1:29-51 (1 Th 1)

In the sixth Aliyah this week we finish Exodus, chapter 12.  This Aliyah is really all about the Exodus from Egypt.  One verse caught my attention… Exodus 12:39 They had baked matzot cakes from the dough that they brought out of Egypt.  It had no hametz, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not delay, so they had not made provisions for themselves.

Anyone who bakes bread knows that you can’t rush it.  It takes time for the yeast to do its thing and make the dough rise.  How did the Hebrews get in this situation?  Let’s review… It was the middle of the night.  The angel of death had gone throughout Egypt and slain the first born of every Egyptian, including Pharaoh’s own son.  Pharaoh summons Moses and tells him to do as God commanded and leave with everything and everyone.  The Hebrew slaves ask their Egyptian masters for their wealth, and the Egyptians willingly give them everything of value.  

And then, in the middle of all this swirling change, we learn that the Hebrews were not prepared to leave.  How could they not be prepared?  They ate the Passover in anticipation.  They lived through the first 3 plagues and watched as Egypt suffered through the next 6.  But they were not ready to go anywhere, because of unbelief.  

Every time we eat matzah, we are reminded of the unbelief of the ancient Hebrews, who had prophesy after prophesy of the upcoming promised exodus.  Yet, when it came they were not prepared.  Reminds me of the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25.  Half were wise and the other half were foolish.  The wise virgins took oil and were prepared to leave when called.  The foolish virgins took no oil and were not prepared when called out.  

We are those virgins, waiting for the bridegroom to call us to Himself.  We love to say it, “Prepare, the Messiah is coming.”  What does the oil represent and how do we prepare for his coming?  The oil represents the Holy Spirit.  Those who had oil had a relationship with Yeshua through the Holy Spirit and had been transformed into His image through that relationship.  Just like there was no way to rush the baking of bread, there is no way to rush the development of a relationship with Yeshua.

Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time. It hastens to the end and will not fail. If it should be slow in coming, wait for it, For it will surely come—it will not delay.” 

When will Messiah return?  I’ll tell you… I don’t know; but I do know that today He is closer to His return than ever before.  For us, we must stay engaged with the Holy Spirit until He completes His work in us, which is never.  Love is always growing.  The key is endurance as is mentioned here.  

Jacob 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

And that, my friends, is the best description of Shalom I can find anywhere in the Bible.  I pray Shalom to you and from you to the uttermost parts of the earth.  And may your lamps be full.  

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:  Jacob asks the question today… Genesis 37:10b “What’s this dream you dreamed? Will we really come—your mother and I with your brothers—to bow down to the ground to you?”

Rabbi Trail:  Before we answer Jacob’s question for him, I want to say something about the other sons of Jacob.  I am amazed at the lack of character among these boys.  To his credit, Reuben convinced the other brothers not to kill Joseph, just throw him in a pit.  And to Judah’s credit, his big idea was to sell Joseph into slavery (make a little something) instead of killing him (very unprofitable).

But here’s what really amazes me.  Jacob is grief stricken, the Bible says, for a very long time.  All the boys are watching their father mourn as he believes Joseph has been killed by a wild animal.  They know the truth, but every one of them keeps the secret for 17 years.  For 17 years they didn’t tell Dad the truth about Joseph.  And yet, with all that guilt, they are still redeemed.  This is our own story too.  End RT. 

Answer:  Jacob didn’t get an answer that day, as the story unfolds, the answer is, “Yes, Jacob, you and your sons will bow down to the ground to Joseph.”  But first, Joseph (whose name means addition or increase), must appear to be dead.  

Joseph is a type of messiah, a kinsman redeemer, who will reappear to save his people.  Yeshua, the real Messiah, also appears to be dead (crucified on the cross) but the grave could not contain Him, and He rose on the third day, only to reappear thousands of years later in the clouds.  Jacob asked the question and then fulfilled the vision.  Likewise, Yeshua will fulfill the prophesy of His return found in Revelation 1.

Revelation 1:7 “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Yes, amen!”

Jacob asked if the whole family would bow to Joseph and years later they did.  Likewise, there will be a time (I believe in the not-too-distant future) when every knee will bow to Yeshua.  Now hear this… better get ready.  Bo Yeshua Bo.  Shabbat Shalom.