Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, December 5, 2019 

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Chanukah means dedication (as I told you a few days ago).  It is the Feast of Dedication.  It is also the known as the Festival of Lights.  We light the 8 candles (adding one each night) for a total of 36 candles, in 8 nights.  

But there are 8 more (one for each night) candles called “Shamas” candles.  Shemas is the Hebrew word for “servant.”  This means we need 44 candles to complete the lighting of the lights from the beginning of the holiday to the end of it.  The Shamas candles is the first candle lit each night.  It sits up a little higher than the others.  And, what do they do?  They light each of the other candles. 

The candelabra (or candle holder) is called a menorah, This is a 9 branch menorah (one Shamas and eight regular candles).  To distinguish it from the 7 branch menorah found in the Holy Temple, this one is called in Hebrew a Chanukiah.  The candles are placed in the Chanukiah from right to left (like we read Hebrew) and the newest candle is lit first (from left to right).  

All of this is nice to know, and maybe you learned something about the Chanukiah.  But the greater reality is Yeshua, Who is the light of the world.  He is our Shamas.  This is how the kingdom of God works.  It’s upside down.  How can our King be our Servant?  

John 13:8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”  Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Yeshua explained this further, saying… John 13:14 So if I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example—you should do for each other what I have done for you. 16 “Amen, amen I tell you, a servant isn’t greater than his master, and the one who is sent isn’t greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them!”

That’s another lesson on Chanukah, but not the last lesson on Chanukah.  More to come…

Week 49
Memory Verse:  2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

241   12/2    Monday:        Hebrews 7

242   12/3    Tuesday:       Hebrews 8-9

243   12/4    Wednesday:  Hebrews 10

* 244 12/5    Thursday:      Hebrews 11

245   12/6    Friday:           Hebrews 12

Question of the day:  Whachagonnarite about today, Rabbi?

Answer:  Let’s see… I’m writing on Hebrews chapter 11.  I didn’t even have to read it to know I was going to write about faith.  Everybody knows that’s the “faith” chapter.  The real question was, “How far into Hebrews 11 will I have to read before finding my topic?”  And the answer to that question is, “Not very far.”

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen.

I was captured by the phrase “evidence of realities not seen.”  That sounds like it is connected to the RR I wrote a few days ago.  That message  contained another phrase “for every physical reality, there is a greater spiritual reality.”

Consider this verse about Yeshua… John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being.   Since He made all things, it makes sense that He, alone, is the reality of all things.

What happened at the end of every lecture (no matter the subject) on every college campus through the late 60s and early 70s?  They would ask if there are any questions.  And there was one anonymous person in the back of every room who would shout out without being recognized, “What is reality!”  And now you know, the reality is Yeshua.

But I digress (ya think?), the question today is, “What is faith?”  Much has been written and spoken in the last few years that abuses faith.  Despite what you have been told, faith is not “believe it and you will receive it.”  Neither is it “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it.”  Enough about what faith is not.  What is it?

Faith is trust, and perfect faith is complete trust.  What made Yeshua say in Mark 10:14b Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  What is it about the faith of little children that so captivated Yeshua?  Children trust the adults around them.  

Children rest in your arms so completely they will fall asleep.  Rarely do they cling for fear that you might drop them.  We also should rest in our Heavenly Father’s arms, without fear that He will abandon us or harm us.

We are called to a life of faithfulness, because our God is a faithful God.  

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that Adonai your God, He is God—the faithful God who keeps covenant kindness for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His mitzvot,

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is trustworthy—and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

Many books have been written about faith and to build our faith. The Bible is full of the stories of persons who were less than perfect, but had faith.  So we return to Hebrews 6 for the last word.

Hebrews 6:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.