Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, January 28, 2021


Bonus #9 in a series on Psalm 112.  Psalm 112:9 He gives freely to the poor. His righteousness endures forever. His horn is lifted high in honor.  The word translated “freely” is “Pizar” meaning “scattered.”  The picture is of a man who delights to open his hand and bless those in need.  

The entire Psalm is describing the life of a man who lives with “awestruck wonder” (sometimes referred to simply as “fear”) of God.  We get this from verse 1.  Psalm 112:1 Halleluyah! Happy is the man who fears Adonai, who delights greatly in His mitzvot.  Now, in verse 9 we find a reward awaits such a man.  Here is my own amplified translation of the rest of the verse… “His righteousness will stand for eternity.  His horn (of plenty) will be at the highest possible place of honor.”  The Hebrew word for honor is “Kavod,” which is the first word of the 5th commandment… “Honor your father and your mother….”  There are promises that go with obeying that commandment as well.

Remember the Scripture “Give and it shall be given unto you (Luke 6:38)?”  Well, give honor and honor shall be given unto you.  This reminds me of sewing and reaping.  What you plant, you will harvest.  This is a universal truth (like the law of gravity).  And like gravity, it cannot be changed.  Bottom line: fear God and reap a blessing.  

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

Thu 28-Jan-2021 15th of Sh’vat, 5781 Tu BiShvat 

Ex 15:27-16:10 1 Ki 22 Ps 119:145-176 Jn 5 (2 Th 1-2)

You might notice the extra label for today is “Tu BiShvat.”  Of course, right in front of that is “15th of Sh’vat” which is what “Tu BiShvat” means.  We write the number 15 in Hebrew using the letters for 9 (Tet) and 6 (Vav) and give it the nickname “Tu.”  “BiShvat” means in (the month of) Shvat.  

Rabbi Trail:  We write 13 in Hebrew as 10 (Yud) and 3 (Gimel).  We write 14 as 10 (Yud) and 4 (Dalet).  But, when it comes to 15, we do not write 10 (Yud) and 5 (Hay) because this uses the two letters that form God’s name, Yah.  So to avoid writing God’s name when we don’t intend to use God’s name in a holy way, we switch to 9 and 6.  End RT.

This is the name for the birthday (or new year) of the trees which is celebrated on Tu B’Shvat.  It is traditional to plant a tree or do something nice for a tree (mulch it or prune it) on Tu B’Shvat.  This is one day of the year when I’m a tree hugger.  Try it, it’s fun.


On to John chapter 5.  It is not known who first used the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished,” but in John 5 it applies very well to Yeshua.  

Rabbi Trail:  John is the most Jewish of the Gospels.  It is the only non-synoptic Gospel, meaning it does not follow the pattern of the other 3.  End RT.

Yeshua enters Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate (aka Lion’s Gate) where he is asked for help by a paralytic man.  Instead of helping the man into the water at the pools of Bethesda, Yeshua tells him to rise up (healing him) and to take up his bed and walk.  The scribes and Pharisees had two problems with that.  First, it is unlawful (a violation of the Shabbat) to carry anything (much less your bed) on the Sabbath Day.  

When the man was asked why he was carrying his bed on Shabbat, his defense was that he had been healed.  This raised the second issue, it was unlawful to heal on Shabbat.  They wanted to know who had done this.  Eventually, Yeshua was identified as the “culprit.”  

When Yeshua was asked for a defense, He said, John 5:17 But Yeshua said to them, “My Father is still working, (meaning on Shabbat) and I also am working (meaning on Shabbat”).”  

Rabbi Trail:  Yeshua essentially said “My Father and I are working.”  Yeshua simply stated that He participated in performing the miracles of God.  Talk about “lighting the fuse” this made “the rabbis’ heads explode.”  Strange the rabbis, even to this day, have no trouble calling God, “our Father,” but choke when someone refers to God as “my Father.”  End RT.

Which brings us to this verse… John 5:18 So for this reason the Judean leaders kept trying even harder to kill Him—because He was not only breaking Shabbat, but also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.  It’s amazing, Yeshua still has critics today.  As we keep the faith, let us focus on our sincere belief that according to Scripture, all will bow… 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!”  The “ultimate” victory belongs to the Lord. 

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:  Two great chapters of the Torah, Genesis 44 & 45.  What makes them great?

Answer:  Joseph is revealed to the heads of the tribes of Israel, just like Yeshua will be revealed (see Revelation 1:7 above).  Let’s pick up the story with Judah’s confession… Genesis 44:16b God has exposed your servants’ guilt.  Yes, true repentance starts with a confession of guilt.  Judah then pleads with Joseph to be allowed to take Benjamin’s place as Joseph’s slave.  In doing so, he admits their collective guilt in selling Joseph into slavery and telling their father, Jacob, he was dead.

Then, in chapter 45, Joseph cannot restrain himself.  And Yeshua will not be able to restrain Himself.  Genesis 45:4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me.” So they came near. “I’m Joseph, your brother—the one you sold to Egypt,” he said.  And we look forward to the day when Yeshua will say to His brothers (all Israel), “Please come near me.”  And Yeshua will speak the words of Joseph, “I’m Yeshua, your Brother – the One you crucified.  

And all the house of Israel was saved from famine in Canaan and brought to the table of the king.  And so it will be at the end of days… Romans 11:12 Now if their transgression leads to riches for the world, and their loss riches for the Gentiles, then how much more their fullness!15 For if their (Israel’s) rejection leads to the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

I love a story with a happy ending.  Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine, for your light has come! The glory of Adonai has risen on you. 2 For behold, darkness covers the earth, and deep darkness the peoples.  But Adonai will arise upon you, and His glory will appear over you.