Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, February 8, 2021


Rabbi Trail:  I want to write about this coming Shabbat.  It has many names in Hebrew.  First, it is Parashat Mishpatim.  It is the 18th reading since Simchat Torah and the 6th reading in “Shemot”/Exodus.  A “Shofet” is a “judge.”  A “Mishpat” is a “judgment,” using the same Shoresh.  The name “Mishpatim” is taken from the first verse of the Torah reading (Parashat) for this week, Exodus 21:1 “Now these are the ordinances which you will set before them.  A better translation than “ordinances” would be “judgments,” I’ll write more on the differences at another date.  “Ordinances” are “Chukim,” while “judgments” are “Mishpatim.”  In Exodus 21:1, we find the word “Mishpatim,” not “Chukim.”  

Another name for this Shabbat is “Shabbat Shekalim” (Sabbath [of the] shekel). The special reading is Exodus 30:11-16.  This is the first of four special sabbaths leading up to Pesach/Passover.  Shabbat Shekalim is read on the Shabbat before Adar (the month of Purim) begins.  The reading reminds us of the census offering of a half shekel.  It is a way to be counted by making an offering of a half shekel.  Purim was a time of great danger for every Jew.  We are reminded in times of great danger that every prayer (from each person) is important to God.  

Briefly, the other 3 special Shabbats are…

2. Shabbat Zachor (remembrance) The special reading is Deuteronomy 25:17-19.  This special Shabbat takes place on the last Shabbat before Purim.  The reading mentions the Amalekites.  Haman was an Amalekite.  We remember the importance of obedience to God.  Saul was told to destroy all the Amalekites, but he didn’t and the result was Haman.

3. Shabbat Parah (heifer) The special reading is Numbers 19:1-22.  This special Shabbat takes place on the last Shabbat before Shabbat HaChodesh.  The red heifer was a purification ceremony.  By reading it we remember the importance of being holy before God.

4. Shabbat HaChodesh (the month) The special reading is Exodus 12:1-20.   This is the last Shabbat just before Nisan  begins (two weeks before Passover begins, as Passover begins on the 15th of Nisan).  The first of Nisan is also the beginning of the civil year (the first month). 

I will write about these other 3 special Shabbats in more detail later, as we get to them on the calendar.  End RT.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Mon 8-Feb-2021 26th of Sh’vat, 5781

Ex 21:20-22:3 2 Ki 10 Ps 136 Jn 11:1-27 (2 Ti 2)

What does it mean “an eye for an eye?” Exodus 21:24a eye for an eye…

All of God’s ways are just… In Revelation 15, there is a crowd of overcomers singing a song called the song Moses and the song of the Lamb.  We read this lyric of the song… Revelation 15:3b Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations!  We also read in Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” It is a declaration of Adonai. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

God’s kingdom has rules and laws that provide a higher level of blessing and justice than we have known up to this point in our fallen state on earth.  Many people view “an eye for an eye” as somehow “cruel and unusual” punishment.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  “An eye for an eye” is to say, nothing further.  You don’t kill someone over an eye.  And, to be clear, these rules and laws apply to purposeful acts of aggression.  Accidents happen and are not punishable.  

God has great wisdom.  When we finally apply God’s wisdom to life on earth, this will be God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.   

Week 7

Memory Verse: Hebrews 9:22 And nearly everything is purified in blood according to the Torah, and apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

* 31 2/8     Monday:          Exodus 8-9 

32   2/9     Tuesday:         Exodus 10-11

33   2/10    Wednesday:   Exodus 12

34   2/11    Thursday:       Exodus 13:17-14

35   2/12    Friday:            Exodus 16-17

Question of the day:  What happened differently after the third plague in Egypt?

Answer:  God made a distinction between Goshen (where the Hebrews lived) and the rest of Egypt.  Exodus 8:18 “But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are dwelling—except no swarm of flies will be there—so that you may know that I, Adonai, am in the midst of the earth. 19 I will make a distinction between My people and your people. By tomorrow this sign will happen.”

God wants Pharaoh and all the Egyptians to know He favors the Hebrews.  We believe the 10 plagues of ancient Egypt are a prophetic act of the tribulation to come upon the whole earth in preparation for Yeshua’s return.  To me, it is significant that the children of Israel (who represent the modern day body of believers in Yeshua) were exempted from the last 7 plagues.  To be sure they had to do some things to be exempt, but is was God’s instruction that they would be eligible for exemption.  

The children of Israel had to put their livestock and themselves out of the way of the hail (protected under a roof).  They also had to mark their doorposts with blood for protection from the angel of death during the last plague.  So today, we will have the opportunity to be exempted from part of the tribulation, but we must be faithful and obey God’s instructions.  

What are those specific instructions?  The general instruction are God’s commandments.  I don’t know yet what the specific instructions for avoiding the effects of the tribulation will be, but, like the inhabitants of Goshen, I do know we should be listening for them.