Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, February 5, 2020 


Please hear my request.  There are two things you can do to help with the “Brothers Together” worship event.  First, buy 2 tickets and bring someone with you.  Secondly, use these links to help promote the event to your many followers.

Twitter: @togetherconcert

Instagram: @brostogetherknox

Facebook: search Brothers Together Fundraiser Concert

Pillar Five: The Kingdom is Expressed in a Life of Character – part 1

I’m really sorry Dan Juster put “Character” after “Power.”  Without character we have no right to use power.  Another way to say that is, a lack of character will always lead to an abuse of power.  Character is what we do when no one is looking.  (Hint, God is always looking.)

Character is found in a life of faithfulness.  1 Corinthians 4:2 In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy.  Being faithful (the TLV uses “trustworthy”) is not a “lapdog” mentality, but a life of obedience.  

Somehow, we have gotten the idea in the modern expression of life that what we believe can be divorced from what we do.  If what we believe is not consistent with how we act, that is a pretty good definition of hypocrisy.   Although it is seen in epidemic proportions in Christianity, it is not exclusive.  It is also endemic to Judaism.  

Well known Jewish authorities practice orthodox Judaism while professing agnosticism.  

Rabbi Trail:  I’ve previously given you my opinion of agnostics.  They are all intellectually dishonest.  To be agnostic is to say, “I don’t know if there is a God.”  You hypocrite!  You can’t even take your next breath without the grace of God.  

Follow me here… take you right hand and scratch your left ear (I know, that’s a challenge for some of you).  We don’t even know where our left ear is without the grace of God.  Just thinking about moving our right hand takes the grace of God.  Need I go on?  I think not.  (And that took the grace of God too.). End RT.

Linking belief to action requires character.  And any display of character is a reflection and magnification of the kingdom of God.  We use the term “Making disciples of Yeshua” as if we know what it means.  The definition is found in Matthew 28.  Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… 20 teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.

And what did Yeshua command?  Is it just to love God and love your neighbor, or is there more?  Of course there is more.  Yes, we read… Romans 13:8b “…for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Torah.”  But “love” is defined by the word of God.  There are both positive and negative commandments, but we have to know right from wrong by the word of God.  

Romans 13:9 For the commandments—“You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment—are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fullness of the Torah.  Sure love is the fullness of the Torah, but the Torah is still the Torah, and by it do we know what love is.

Let me say this another way as I close for today.  Without God’s righteous standard (Law), we are a law unto ourselves.  If we apply our own standard in place of God’s standard, we have become our own God.  And I’m sure none of us would agree to that knowingly.  

Week 6
Memory Verse: Genesis 50:20 Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people.

26   2/03     Monday:         Genesis 48-49

27   2/04     Tuesday:        Genesis 50, Exodus 1

* 28   2/05     Wednesday:   Exodus 2-3

29   2/06     Thursday:       Exodus 4-5

30   2/07     Friday:            Exodus 6-7

Oops!  I’ve made a mistake which was pointed out to me in the kindest and sweetest way.  I believe the readings are now correct.  Today we read Exodus 2 & 3.

Question of the day: What is the fuller meaning of the last verse of Exodus 2?

Answer:  Exodus 2:25 God saw Bnei-Yisrael, and He was concerned about them.  First “God saw…”  This is one of God’s names, Yehovah Yireh.  We translate that “God is my provider.”  But it really means “God sees” or “God will see to it.”  God saw the affliction of the children of Israel.  

Then the TLV says God was “concerned.”  Not such a great translation.  The Hebrew root is “Yada” meaning God “knew.”  What did God know?  Everything!  God always knows everything.  There is nothing He doesn’t know.  

God has no learning curve.  When we pray, we are not informing God of anything.  We are informing ourselves in God’s presence.  God knew the bondage and suffering of the children of Israel.  He used that suffering to form them into a distinct people.  

Meanwhile, Moses was on the back side of the desert in a way in his own bondage.  Then in chapter 3 God appears to Moses from a bush that burned but was not burned up.  Moses is called by God to return to Egypt and set the captives free.  The rest (as the saying goes) is history.