Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, March 10, 2021


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

Wed 10 March-2021 26th of Adar, 5781

Ex 38:1- 39:1 Isa 17-18 Pr 13 Ac 12 (Rev 6)

Proverbs 13:7 One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.  

I want to comment on this verse from the reading today.  Beside being a rabbi for the last 25 years, I was in the hotel and restaurant business for 40 years, retiring from that career in 2010.  Both careers have taken me into places and allowed me to meet people I would never have experienced otherwise.  

At one point, in my hotel career, I began to meet people in the Virginia Hunt Country (such as Clarke County Virginia).  These are people who have much money, but never feel the need to show it.  The richest folks I met wore blue jeans (not the designer kind) and drove old cars that were rusted through in places. 

There is a lesson here (contained in our subject verse) that I want to communicate.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?”  The Bible warns us not to favor the wealthy or to disadvantage the poor.  Read Jacob 2 on this.

Jacob 2:1 My brothers and sisters, do not hold the faith of our glorious Lord Yeshua the Messiah while showing favoritism. 2 For if a man with a gold ring and fine clothes comes into your synagogue, and a poor person in filthy clothes also comes in; 3 and you pay special attention to the one wearing the fine clothing and you say, “Sit here in a good place”; and you say to the poor person, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; 4 haven’t you made distinctions between yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?… 8 If, however, you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. 9 But if you show favoritism, you are committing sin and are convicted by the Torah as transgressors.

What can be added to the anointed words of Jacob (James)?  Here I sat for some time trying, so now, in wisdom, I give up.

Week 11

Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one . 5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, are to be on your heart. 7 You are to teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, they are to be as frontlets between your eyes, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

51   3/11    Monday:         Numbers 20, 27:12-23

52   3/12    Tuesday:        Numbers 34-35

* 53 3/13    Wednesday:   Deuteronomy 1-2

54   3/14    Thursday:      Deuteronomy 3-4

55   3/15    Friday:           Deuteronomy 6-7

Question of the day:  What is the significance of the Hebrew name for the book of Deuteronomy?

Answer:  First, let’s identify the Hebrew name itself.  The 5th and last book of the Torah (5 Books of Moses) is named “Devarim.”  Each book of the Torah takes its name from the first significant Hebrew word in the text.  “Ayleh HaD’varim” meaning “these are the words.”  The Shoresh (Dalet-Bet-Resh) means to speak.  What is spoken is words.  

Rabbi Trail:  the English name for the Book of Deuteronomy is from the Greek.  It means copy or repetition.  A “duet” is when two people sing the same song together.  Deuteronomy is a copy of what was previously stated in the Bible.  Essentially, it tells the same story as is told in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.  End RT.

Interestingly, the same Shoresh is used for the Hebrew name of the book of Numbers (BaMidbar) which means “in the wilderness.”  The “wilderness” experience is where God speaks to His people.  In Deuteronomy, God is speaking and His people are listening.  

The same Shoresh not only means “words,” but also “things.”  In the Hebrew mindset, words are things.  God spoke the world into existence.  So the title of Deuteronomy could be translated, Deuteronomy 1:1 “These are the things which the Lord spoke.”

Then later in Deuteronomy 1, we are warned not to, “show partiality in judgment.”  This warning is in alignment with the section above concerning partiality within the body of Messiah.  Deuteronomy 1:16 “I commanded your judges at that time saying: ‘Hear cases between your brothers, and judge fairly between a man and his brother or the outsider with him. 17 You must not show partiality in judgment —you must hear the small and the great alike. Fear no man, for the judgment is God’s.

I see a theme emerging from both the upper part of the RR and the lower part.  We, who follow Yeshua, should follow His example in all things.  Isaiah 11:3 His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor decide by what His ears hear. 4a But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the poor of the land.  Shalom my friends.  R. Michael.