Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, March 22, 2021
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram and their ministry Maoz (“What Strength”) support many messianic ministries in Israel. My family and I went to their home on a few Friday nights in Ramat HaSharon (a suburb of Tel Aviv) when we lived nearby in 1992 as they were starting what is now Congregation Tiferet Yeshua. The link below tells their fascinating story which includes details about the very beginnings of the modern Messianic movement in Israel.
ANNOUNCEMENT: “Al Tishkach” (don’t forget) to make reservations for our community Passover Seder. On the first night of Passover, Saturday, March 27th at 6pm we will celebrate together. The doors will open at 5:30 at Rothchild Catering, 8807 Kingston Pike. There is a full dinner on the menu. Adults $25 and Children 12 and under $15. Reserve your seats here. https://shomairyisrael.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/704149. The deadline is tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 22 Mar-2021 9th of Nisan, 5781
Le 6:12-7:10 Isa 31-32 Ps 23 Ac 22 (Rev 16)
Rabbi Trail: Wow! News Flash… The chapter division between Leviticus 5 and 6 is different in the Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible. All the verses and words are the same, just the chapter division. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It took me an hour to believe it (and research it out). Consequently, most Christian translations have 30 verses in Leviticus 6 while there are only 23 verses (7 less) in the Tree of Life Version (TLV) but those 7 verses appear at the end of Chapter 5.
In the Torah (the scroll itself, written on Sheepskin parchment) there are no chapter divisions at all. So these verses weren’t missing after all, just moved from one chapter to the next. Relax, all is well with the world. End RT.
I didn’t read very far into Isaiah today before finding a place to comment. Isaiah 31:4 For thus says Adonai to me: “As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey, though a company of shepherds is called out against Him —their voice does not disturb him, nor does their noise upset Him— so Adonai-Tzva’ot will come down to fight on Mount Zion, on its hill.
God is not scared off. The voices of a company of “does not disturb Him”. The Lord comes to fight on Mount Zion. We should rejoice in that truth. The Lord will protect and defend what is His. The next verse makes this clear.
Isaiah 31:5 Like hovering birds, so Adonai-Tzva’ot will protect Jerusalem. By protecting, He will deliver. By passing over, He will save.” The Lord has determined and in this verse, He promises, to protect Jerusalem, and nothing will scare Him away. The deliverance of Jerusalem is connected in this verse to the “Passover.” The Lord passes over in order to deliver.
The word “Tzav” appears in both the Torah reading this week (it’s the name of the Torah portion) and in Isaiah 31:5 (it’s the name of God), but these two uses of the same sounding word are spelled differently and consequently, have different meanings.
There are two ways to say the “v” sound in Hebrew, with a “Bet” (Vet) or with a “Vav.” There is Tzav (Tzadi-Bet) as the Shoresh of “Tzva’ot” which is the name of God (the Lord of hosts) and Tzav (Tzadi-Vav) which is the Shoresh of “Mitz’vot” meaning “commandments.”
I’m writing this so you will not get confused. I hope it helps.
Memory Verse: Judges 2:12 They abandoned Adonai, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples around them, and bowed down to them. So they provoked the anger of Adonai.
* 61 3/25 Monday: Joshua 5:10-15, 6
62 3/26 Tuesday: Joshua 7-8
63 3/27 Wednesday: Joshua 23,24
64. 3/28 Thursday: Judges 2-3
65 3/29 Friday: Judges 4
Question of the day: Why did Bnei-Yisrael observe the passover?
Answer: Joshua 5:10 While Bnei-Yisrael camped at Gilgal, they observed Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11 On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, matzot and roasted grain. 12 Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten of the produce of the land. Bnei-Yisrael had manna no longer, but ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan that year.
They did it because it was a command (Tzav – Tzadi-Vav) of the Lord. Exodus 23:15 You are to observe the Feast of Matzot. For seven days you will eat matzot as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Aviv, for that is when you came out from Egypt. No one is to appear before Me empty-handed. Interestingly, Leviticus 23 also contains the same instruction.
There is a 7 day prohibition on eating leaven. Could there be a health benefit to avoiding leaven for 7 days each year? I don’t know, but if there is, it’s a bonus. Do we need a physical benefit for a spiritually significant commandment? What would you tell God? “I’ll obey you if there is some physical benefit to me?” Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Why not just obey God. You might say, “But I’m not Jewish.” Okay, then for you this is optional. I will tell you this… every time anyone (Jewish or non-Jewish) obeys God, he/she gets a blessing. So then the blessing of God is optional too. Which means, “Do I have to?” becomes the first part of the sentence. The rest of the sentence is, “Your observance is optional, which makes the accompanying blessing also optional.” So the real question is, “How much blessing do you want?” Why are we even discussing this? Just let the Lord lead you.