Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Chag Purim (the Purim holiday) starts this Thursday night. Enjoy the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpHmqaDl7jc
Rabbi Trail: That is, unless you live inside a walled city, then you celebrate one day later than everyone else. Not so fast… Except this year. Because everyone is celebrating on Friday, one day later would mean Shushan Purim (or Purim celebrated within walled cities) would have to be celebrated on Shabbat – a big “no-no.” So, what do we do? We celebrate Shushan Purim one day later on Sunday, February 28th. I hate the thought that my readers might be walking around ignorant of this truth. End RT.
But at Shomair we had our Purim Party last Sunday night, February 21st. We just couldn’t wait. What a great time we had too. If you’re on Facebook, find our post here… . As I was about to start writing this RR, the following article came across my screen. https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/one-of-the-worlds-oldest-esther-megillahs-comes-home/2021/02/22/ It reminded me of how we showed off our own kosher Magilla scroll Sunday night. And yes, those were the names of the 10 sons of Haman. The last one (there appear to be 11) just says that these are the 10 sons.
Blessings to you all in this happy season. The story of Esther is a story of God’s provision, yet God’s name is not ever mentioned in the entire book. However; His handiwork of provision for His people is unmistakeable. In our world today there are many existential threats to – what is still a very young – State of Israel. Yet, until today, we walk by faith in the One True and Living God Who is Shomair Yisrael (the Watchman of Israel).
Also last Sunday, many of you joined with Jan and me at 11:00AM EST (6:00PM Israel Time) in praying with Jewish people around the world for the coming of the Messiah. For us, we are praying for Yeshua to return. For non-Yeshua believing Jewish people, they were praying for the first coming of the Moshiach. Some of them even believe their now deceased rabbi is the Messiah, and will be resurrected. This raises the question, how can we agree in prayer with people with whom we disagree?
Let’s look the Bible for the answer to that question. (Remember the “verse me” game? Well, here are the verses.) Actually two verses come to mind. Paul entered Athens and addressed the non-believers, especially those who just like to talk. Acts 17:23 For while I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing, this I proclaim to you. The only way Paul had the opportunity to speak the truth was to enter in to the conversation. When we prayed last Sunday, we “entered in to the conversation.” Lord, open the window of opportunity for us to continue the discussion we just started. In Yeshua’s name, Amen.”
Paul gives us our second verse as well. 1 Corinthians 9:20 To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. Was this duplicitous of Paul? Certainly not! Paul’s life demonstrated that it is reasonable (and even consistent with Scripture) to live a Jewish lifestyle while following the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.
And let’s not forget that our witness (as a Messianic community) is made up of both Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Yeshua. This mutual blessing is what makes our witness powerful. Love of Yeshua and love of each other “never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13)
Paul was willing to lay his own salvation down for the sake of the salvation of Jewish people. Can we say the same? I would pray that our participating in an international prayer, open to Jewish people of all backgrounds, will be used of God in future encounters. They may not have been praying for Yeshua’s return, but we were. John 12:32 And as I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.”
Let’s pray: Lord, we implore You to hasten the day when Jewish people will ask, “I know why I prayed, but why did you pray?” And when that question comes, Lord, fill our mouths with words of love, encouragement and the Good News of Yeshua. In Yeshua’s name. Amen.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 23 Feb-2021 11th of Adar, 5781
Ex 28:31-43 Isa 1 Pr 1 Ac 1 (Heb 7)
Exodus 28:36 “Also you are to make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engravings of a seal, ‘HOLY TO Adonai.’ See the image of the mitre above. The word “holy” means to be “separate.” We (as the kingdom of priests) are to be holy, or separate, before God.
Why did God instruct the High Priest to wear this on his head? God was highlighting the value of our thought life. Mark 7:21a For from within (from the mind), out of the heart of men, come evil intentions,… 23 All these evil things come from within (from the mind) and make the man unholy.”
David Harwood has been writing each Saturday for many weeks on the value of thought life. Proverbs 23:7a For as he thinks within himself, so is he. Yeshua knew that every action is preceded by a thought. In other words, everything we do, starts in the mind. No one should wear the mitre of holiness more than you (and me)… 1 Corinthians 6:11b but you were washed, you were made holy, you were set right in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the Ruach of our God.
Let’s live every day as if we, ourselves, were wearing “Holiness to Yehovah” on our foreheads. Shalom.
Memory Verse: Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
41 2/22 Monday: Exodus 32-33
* 42 2/23 Tuesday: Exodus 34-36:1
43 2/24 Wednesday: Exodus 40
44 2/25 Thursday: Leviticus 8-9
45 2/26 Friday: Leviticus 16-17
Question of the Day: Why do I want to write a book on this verse? Exodus 34:12 Watch yourself, and make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, or they will become a snare among you.
Answer: Don’t worry, I’m not going to write the book today. However; I do find the subject intriguing. We have to live in the world among people who worship idols. So, while we live among them, we are admonished not to make covenant with them. This means we have to draw the line. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
And how is our mind renewed? Ephesians 5:26b …by immersion in the word. Even Daniel had to draw the line. Daniel was in a tough situation. He was being taught (some even say brainwashed) the ways of the Chaldeans. But he respectfully refused to eat the king’s food.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king’s delicacies or with the wine he was drinking, so he entreated the chief official for permission not to defile himself.
I think this was more than just keeping kosher. Because it included wine, I think the food and wine was being offered to idols and then provided to the young Jewish men eating at the king’s table.
Each of us too must pray and be aware of the many opportunities and temptations to defile ourselves with the ways of this world.
Ephesians 4:22 With respect to your former lifestyle, you are to lay aside the old self corrupted by its deceitful desires, 23 be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self—created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.