Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Bonus #8 in a series on Psalm 112.  Wow!  Verse 7 was a powerhouse.  Here is verse 8… Psalm 112:8 His heart is secure, he will not fear— until he gazes on his foes.  We have in this verse two important words with 2 different but similar Shorashim.  “Yud-Resh-Aleph,” Yarah meaning “fear” and “Resh-Aleph-Hey” meaning “see.”  While different, they share the Resh and the Aleph which makes them look alike in many structures.  This is noticeable in our subject verse.  So then, they are look alike words with different meanings or homonyms.  In Psalm 112:8 they are separated by the Etnachta, which is like a dash or comma in English.  

Rabbi Trail: How do we know they are not the same word?  Because we know Hebrew.  We have homonyms in English.  I saw the dog bark at the bark of the tree.  Take your pen and write about the pig pen.  These are examples in English.  They abound in Hebrew.  End RT.

Remember I taught you about the value of the etnachta.  Most verses of Scripture have these two parts.  I think of them as “this” and “that.”  The “etnachta” is a cantillation mark in the shape of a wishbone (point-up) always located under the last word in the “this” part of the verse.  Then what follows is “that” part of the verse.  Almost every verse of the Hebrew Scriptures has one (rarely, there are two or none).  So the entnachta is like a comma in English grammar.  It marks a pause in the reading or singing, but especially a pause in thought.  It also prompts our tone or voice quality that adds meaning to what we are reading or singing.  

Rabbi Trail: Don’t doubt me on this… I’ll prove it.  The meaning of this sentence changes completely depending on which word you accent.  “I would like a cup of coffee.”  Play with it for 30 second and then stop playing and continue reading. End RT.

The first word of the verse uses the Shoresh “Samach” meaning “established.”  It the same Shoresh as the word “S’micha” meaning “certified.”  For instance, a rabbi is certified with a rabbinical ordination called a S’micha.  “The established heart will not be afraid.”  In our subject verse, the location of the etnachta is under “fear” or “afraid.”  It is identified in the English translation by the dash after “fear.”   

Then the other side of the etnachta… “forever (eternally) he sees his adversaries.”  It is left to our imagination what we will see done to our adversaries.  Presumably they will be destroyed. 

God is not mocked.  Deuteronomy 28:7 “Adonai will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck down before you. They will come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.   

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

Wed 27-Jan-2021 14th of Sh’vat, 5781 

Ex 14:26-15:26   1 Ki 21 Ps 119:121-144    Jn 4:31-54 (1 Th 5)

In the Aliyah for yesterday, we had one of the greatest verses in the Bible… Exodus 14:13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today.  Notice what follows.  After Moses says that, he gets instructions about how God is going to deliver the people.  Moses had to make the proclamation first, then God showed him what to do and how to lead the people through the Red Sea.

That’s my word for today.  Don’t proclaim recklessly.  Seek the Lord and based on what you hear, proclaim His victory.  The children of Israel were filled with fear.  They were afraid God was going to let them down.  

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us—on whom the ends of the ages have come.  They were tested for our benefit.  How many times does the Bible warn us “Do not fear?”  Although this is written in the ancient text of the Torah, we live by faith that this verse still applies to us today… Deuteronomy 31:8 Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”

God always does what He says.  In the Aliyah today we read of the final destruction of Pharaoh and his army.  And the people sing and dance before the Lord because of the victory.  Yet, immediately they complain again at the bitter waters of Marah.  The tree that made the waters sweet is an image of the cross of Messiah Yeshua.  Why complain when you can pray?  Give thanks and take every opportunity to remind God of His promises.  The last verse of the Aliyah today is a great one… Exodus 15:26 He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of Adonai your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His mitzvot, and keep all His decrees, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am Adonai who heals you.”

Week 5

Memory Verse: Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, 21 to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.

21   1/25     Monday:         Genesis 39-40

22   1/26     Tuesday:        Genesis 41

* 23 1/27     Wednesday:   Genesis 42-43 

24   1/28     Thursday:       Genesis 44-45

25   2/29     Friday:            Genesis 46-47

Question of the day:  Can you read these two chapters (Genesis 42 & 43) without getting emotional?

Answer:  I don’t know about you, but I cannot.  Joseph as a picture of Yeshua is overcome with emotion and compassion for his younger brother, Benjamin (whose name means “son of the right hand”).  Joseph and his brothers are having lunch together, but not quite together (yet).  (The Egyptians were not allowed to eat with the Hebrews.) 

We have this as our earnest expectation… Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.  As if that is not enough, the next verse makes the ultimate promise.  Revelation 3:21To the one who overcomes I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I myself overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

As Dr. Finney likes to say, “Shalom and Maranatha.”