Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, March 19, 2020 

Shalom Faithful RR Reader,

I know that not everyone who gets this is a faithful RR reader.  But I’m safe in writing the salutation because only the faithful RR readers will open it and read it.  To those few of you who are the exception (you’re reading this, but are not a faithful reader), please accept my apology for mislabeling you.  

Speaking of labels, it seems that our society is obsessed with labels.  20 Somethings, Millennials, Boomers, Seniors (unless you’re from south of the border, and then it’s “señor”), Teens, Tweens, and my fav, Gen X’ers.

Rather than focusing on labels, let’s just come together, bring our gifting (every generation is gifted) and bless one another.  But, not so fast, coming together flies in the face of doing our part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.  None of us wants to be a “Typhoid Mary.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/03/17/typhoid-mary-st-patricks-day-coronavirus/

For our part at Shomair, we are prepared to issue the following statement:

At Shomair we want our response to the COVID-19 outbreak to be responsible.  Our responsibility is to the kingdom of God which commands us to be responsible to society.  This is our policy for the next two weeks (14 days).  More information will follow, or additional updates will be published as needed.  


Shomair is going to improve the webcast of our Shabbat morning worship service.  Instructions for viewing the service from the safety of your own home will follow.  The next two Shabbat services at our synagogue will be modified to accommodate the need for social distancing.  Each person is free to hear from the Lord about whether to attend or to abstain from attending.   

We also want to announce that several events planned in the next few weeks have been cancelled or postponed.  

March 21st:  Jan Strous’ wedding shower planned for Saturday, March 21st is cancelled.  

March 29th:  Semi-annual congregational cleaning day is cancelled.

April 1st:  The Children’s Seder is cancelled.  

April 4th:  Michael and Jan’s wedding, at 4pm is closed to the public.  A small ceremony for the wedding party only will take place as scheduled.  A larger celebration will take place at a later time.  

April 10th:  The Passover Community Seder is cancelled.  Passover is still on God’s calendar and should be honored in our homes.  If you would like a pdf copy of the Haggadah we published last year, please send your request to rabbi@syknox.org  If you have already paid online to attend our community seder, a refund has been issued to your debit/credit card.

Rabbi Trail:  The Haggadah is the booklet that provides instructions and prayers for the Seder.  The Seder is the first worship service of Passover.  It includes the evening meal and ceremonial foods both commanded by Scripture and time honored traditions incorporated into Judaism for many centuries, going back to before the time of Yeshua.  End RT. 

Passover is a major holiday.  More than 3,500 years ago, the children of Israel in Egypt had to stay home and “hunker down” behind a cross of lamb’s blood to be protected from the angel of death.  Sounds similar to us today.  Get the ingredients and take communion often at home.  Love one another and remember to pray for our community, area, state, nation, Israel and the world.

Pillar Twelve: The Kingdom is Extended through Prayer – part 3

Some very bad theology is connected to prayer.  For instance, this verse is taken out of context and completely misapplied.  John 15:7 “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.  The verse is about “abiding” in God and bearing fruit.  Not about treating God like your personal genie.  Janis Joplin had it wrong.  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=janis+joplin+mercedes+benz 

God moves to honor the prayers of His saints.  His saints are not those who do everything perfectly.  His saints are those who are completely submitted to Him.  He alone is the authority in every area of life.  

Why is His kingdom extended through prayer?  Because He gives Himself all honor and power.  God honors Himself by answering the prayers of His saints.  Revelation 4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before the One seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. And they throw their crowns down before the throne, chanting, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, For You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created!”

Effective prayer is connected to the will of God.  God’s will is to grow His kingdom, so it is empirical.  God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven whenever He is obeyed immediately and without question (like in heaven).  Now I’m starting to repeat myself, so I’m going to stop.   

Week 12
Memory Verse: Joshua 1:8 This book of the Torah should not depart from your mouth—you are to meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will be successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Chazak! Be strong! Do not be terrified or dismayed, for Adonai your God is with you wherever you go.”

56    3/16      Monday:         Deuteronomy 8-9

57    3/17      Tuesday:        Deuteronomy 30-31  

58    3/18      Wednesday:   Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34

* 59  3/19      Thursday:      Joshua 1-2 

60    3/20      Friday:           Joshua 3-4

Question of the day:  What was the difference between Moses’ spies and Joshua’s spies?

Answer:  Moses sent out 12.  2 returned with a good report, and one of those was Joshua himself.  The other one was Caleb.  The other 10 came back with an evil report that discouraged the people and delayed them from receiving the bless God had intense for them.  Numbers 13:32 They spread among Bnei-Yisrael a bad report about the land they had explored, saying, “The land through which we passed to explore devours its residents. All the people we saw there are men of great size!

Joshua wisely chose only 2 men and sent them in secret.  They returned with a good report filled with promises of faith.  Joshua 2:24 “Surely Adonai has given all the land into our hands,” they said to Joshua. “Indeed, all the inhabitants of the land have melted in fear before us.”

What is the lesson to us?  We must be like Caleb and Joshua and the other  2 spies Joshua sent 40 years later.  Our good report will encourage others to obtain the blessing of God without delay.  Again we say, “Chazak V’Amatz,” which means, “Be strong and of good courage.”