Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue    16-Feb-2021        4th of Adar, 5781
Ex 25:31-26:14     2 Ki 19    Ps 144        Jn 16         (Heb 1)

10 Common verses

That’s what we have in common, the 10 verses at the end of Exodus 25.  Lars Enarson is following the Torah reading plan that will take us through the 5 books of Moses in the Jewish year from Simchat Torah 5781 (October 11, 2020) to Simchat Torah 5782 (September 29, 2021).  This reading plan was already in place when Yeshua came to earth 2,000 years ago.

Robby Gallaty, on the other hand, has his F-260 reading plan, which involves reading through the entire Bible, chronologically in one calendar year.  He started that 6 years ago and we, at Shomair, joined in 4 years ago.

It is inevitable that the 2 plans will overlap at some point each year, and that point in time is today (and tomorrow before Robby’s plan marches forward altogether independently.  I’m happy about the overlap because, for the next 2 days, I can write something about both plans at one time.


The 10 overlapping verses are all about the making of the solid gold menorah (candelabra).  I found this from many years ago.  I spoke about the menorah in a message at Shomair.  These are some of my notes.  Also, please be aware that some of the material came from sources not cited and I’m not sure of their origin.

The Menorah – An Ancient Symbol (bonus read)

When Israel became a state in 1948 it was necessary to find a symbol to represent the new country internationally as a sovereign nation.  This was the symbol that would represent the realization of the Zionist dream.  The flag had been conceived in the diaspora by those dreaming of returning to Zion.  This symbol, the seal of the state of Israel, would be created on Israeli soil by those who made the dream come true.

There are three components, the Menorah, olive branches, and “Israel” written in Hebrew.  The Menorah was chosen because it is the oldest Jewish symbol that can be positively identified.  The designers chose the depiction of the menorah as it appears on the Arch of Titus in Rome.  This arch was erected to honor Titus’ triumphant march through Rome after the victory of defeating Israel that included the destruction of the second Temple.  They simplified the menorah to appear white on a light blue background.  The original design proposal included a row of 7 Jewish stars that Theodore Herzl chose because he envisioned a 7 hour work day for Jewish workers in their new country.

There was much debate over the final form of the seal which at one time included designs from a mosaic floor uncovered in a 6th century synagogue in Jericho that included the last words of Psalnm 125  Peace on Israel.  This was one of the Psalms of ascension which was another connection to the Temple.

The seal of Israel is taken from Zechariah 4:2-14.

Zechariah 4:2 He asked me, ‘What do you see?’ I replied, ‘Behold, I see a solid gold menorah with its bowl at the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven pipes for the lamps that are on the top of it. 3 Also two olive trees are by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on the left side of it.’… 6 Then he responded to me by saying, ‘This is the word of Adonai to Zerubbabel saying: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Ruach!” says Adonai-Tzva’ot…. 10 For who despises the day of small things? 11b  “What are these two olive trees, on the right and on the left of the menorah?” 14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.”

So the menorah symbolizes both destruction and exile as well as hope of redemption.  It serves as the symbol of, “The coming of the Messiah.”  It is escatological in nature and stresses the messianic-religious content.  These two witnesses are understood by the rabbis to be both king and redeemer (high priest).  You may recall from the RR yesterday, this is the image of Messiah Yeshua.

The shape of the menorah is like that of the local plant, Jerusalem moriah.  Talmudic commentators dealt with the scriptural description.  This is patterned after several varieties of Moriah plant found in Israel today (aka Salvia).  This is most pronounced in the variety from the Island of Crete.  (Cretan apples)  Notice that many of these contain the consonants MR which reminds us of Myrrh.  These plants exude oils from their stems and leaves especially in the hot season.  The Moriah plants (the word is made of Myrrh and Ya) clearly were the symbol for the menorah, and it was not lost on ancient Israel.

The knob and flower (kaftor and ferah)  “like almond blossoms” is like a goblet when the flower has not yet fallen from the developing fruit.

The location of the menorah is specific.  Near the end of the growing season, a north wind is good for wheat while a south wind is good for olives.  The table of shewbread (made from wheat) is in the north while the menorah (burning olive oil) is in the south.

Exodus 26:35 You shall set the table outside the curtain, and the menorah opposite the table on the side of the Tabernacle toward the south. You are to put the table on the north side.

This is an enactment of a prayer to the Lord that He bring every wind in its proper time.

We read in Jeremiah 1:11 Moreover, the word of Adonai came to me, saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “I see an almond (shaked) branch.” 12 Then Adonai said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching over (shokaid) My word to perform it.”

This moment between the formation of fruit and the falling of the petals indicate the watchfulness of the Lord.

The gold of the menorah is pure gold.  There is a distinction between pure gold and the gold used in places other than ornaments.  The menorah is the only item made of pure gold. Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Week 8

Memory Verse: Galatians 5:14 For the whole Torah can be summed up in a single saying: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

36   2/15    Monday:         Exodus 19-20
* 37 2/16    Tuesday:        Exodus 24-25
38   2/17    Wednesday:   Exodus 26-27
39   2/18    Thursday:       Exodus 28-29
40   2/19    Friday:            Exodus 30-31

Question of the day:  What is our “take-away” from the last verse of Exodus 25?

Answer:  Exodus 25:40 See that you make them according to their pattern being shown to you on the mountain.  God is calling Moses (and us as well) to be “master-builders” following His blueprints.  This is strangely described in the Bible as we are both the builders and the building.

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. 20 You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone. 21 In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. 22 In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.

Rav Shaul (the apostle, Paul) describes himself as a “master builder.”  1 Corinthians 3:10a According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it.  Then he warns us about “how” we build… 1 Corinthians 3:10b But let each consider carefully how he builds on it.

Then, finally, we are admonished to build upon the foundation of Yeshua.  1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what is already laid—which is Yeshua the Messiah.  So we build upon the rock, and that rock is Yeshua.  1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink—for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. 

The blueprint is described in the Bible as having both ancient paths and new paths.  Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says Adonai: “Stand in the roads and look. Ask for the ancient paths— where the good way is— and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls.  And the new way… Hebrews 10:20 He inaugurated a new and living way for us through the curtain—that is, His flesh.

The “new way” is the giving of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to walk the ancient paths.  Here’s a parting gift as we bring this to a close… remember that God cannot contradict Himself.  The old way and the new way will never make God a liar.  Hebrews 6:17 In the same way God, determining to point out more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchanging nature of His purpose, guaranteed it with an oath.18 So by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

The promise is access to God behind the veil.  Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both firm and steady—a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain.  Thus, we fulfill our role as priests.