Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, November 9, 2023

Rabbi’s Note: Shalom everyone!  I want to make you aware of an opportunity to fast and pray for Israel.  Here is the link with details.  https://www.globalestherfast.com/  PM Netanyahu has declared war.  There is the physical war being fought by the Israel Defense Forces and the spiritual war which must be waged by the saints of God.   For every physical reality there is a greater spiritual reality.  God promises that the spiritual battle will be won as well.  Revelation 17:14 “They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them—because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”  Is the Lord calling you to participate at a higher level in this spiritual battle?  Take a look at the website above and pray over it.

One more comment… the world seems to be calling for a ceasefire.  The stated objective of Hamas is the elimination of Israel and the Jewish people.  They don’t want any Jewish state anywhere in the Middle East.  Only a fool would have a ceasefire with an adversary that is sworn to use terrorism to achieve it’s stated goal of your destruction.  We had a ceasefire with them on October 6th, which was foolish.  Never again!


Today is the 85th anniversary of “Kristallnacht.” https://www.britannica.com/event/Kristallnacht The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is planning a program on their Facebook page at 9:30am, Thursday, November 9th. The Night of Broken Glass: A Warning of Future Nazi Crimes.  To request a reminder… https://engage.ushmm.org/2021-livestream-confirmation.html


Life In The Body part 32 – Romans, part 207

Romans 14:2 One person has faith to eat anything, but the weak eats only vegetables.

Okay, here we go!  There it is… this verse proves it… now we can “eat anything,” all we need is faith, just as the Scripture says….  NOT!  Let me offer a few thoughts (not a complete defense) on the concept of “Kashrut.”  Kashrut is the Hebrew term for observing the Scriptural laws of eating kosher.  They are found in Leviticus 11, among other places.

First, it is important to remember, as we study the Bible, that it is a book written by Jewish people, who never had a desire not to be Jewish, but rather to see the Jewish people come into obedience to God and to bring the whole world along too.  This is called the metanarrative of the Bible.  To these authors (including the author of Romans, Rav Shaul), the idea of eating non-kosher was never an idea.

What is human food is defined by Scripture!  It is not anything that you can hold in your hand and put in your mouth.  The real contrast in our subject verse is between vegetarians (kosher), and omnivores (also kosher).  The important point (as we will see tomorrow) is not to look down or discredit someone because of what they eat.

I’m going to take a moment to jump a little deeper before closing for today.  There is no end to keeping kashrut.  There is kosher and then there is “glatt kosher.”  (Did you even know that was a thing?)  “Glatt” means “smooth” in Hebrew.  It is a reference to the smooth lungs of an animal considered to be glatt kosher meat.  Colloquially, it means food that is certified to be kosher at a higher standard.

Some Jewish people “jump deeper” into kashrut in many ways.  Who is certifying that food is kosher, is a big one.  “I don’t know that mashgiach,” (a rabbi who makes kosher certifications) is a big one.  One team of approval society or organization gets in competition with another team, and here we go.

Another kosher certification is based on the religion of the harvester or processor.  Some groups allow Jews only to handle food at certain points in their processing and others don’t.  The day of delivery of food can also determine if it is kosher.  Food harvested or processed on a Shabbat can make it unkosher.  For instance, apples delivered to a restaurant on Sunday might have been picked on Saturday, so they would be determined by the mashgiach to be unkosher.

This can create chaos, because that might make other foods in the same refrigerator or in the same storeroom or on the same shelf also nonkosher.  This becomes discretionary depending on the mashgiach.  I know this will shock you, but sometimes they might take a bribe to assist them in changing their minds.

I said there’s more (it never ends)… kashrut also means that meals are divided so that dairy never comes in contact with meat.  This is based on an obscure verse… Exodus 23:19b “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”  At Shomair, we do not observe this level of Kashrut, rather, we do observe what the Scripture says about keeping kosher.  Think about it, separate china and silver and cooking pots and utensils.  You have to have locks on all the cabinets and doors so nothing comes out at the wrong time.

One last note today… notice I didn’t include glass a moment ago?  That’s because the rabbis have decided that there is nothing you can do to glass to make it unkosher.  Glass (according to the rabbis) is nonporous in ways that china and silver can never be.  Oh my, a lot of “stuff” (it never ends).  Not terribly spiritual today, but I wanted you to have an overview of the complexities of kashrut.  Want something more spiritual?  Read the selections from the Daily Bread below.  Thank you, Lars.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 9-Nov -2023 25th of Cheshvan, 5784
Ge 24:53-67 Jdg 7 Ps 30 Mt 24:1-28 (Ro 8:1-17)