Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, March 25, 2021


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

Thu 25 Mar-2021 12th of Nisan, 5781 Ta’anit Bechorot 

Le 8:14-21 Isa 36 Pr 26 Ac 25 (Rev 19)

Ex 32:11-14; 34:1-10

Did you notice the reference above to “Ta’anit Bechorot in the Daily Bread listing for today (above)?”  “Bachur” in Hebrew is a “first fruit” which can also be a first born.  “Ta’anit” is a fast.

Rabbi Trail:  In Judaism, fasting means avoiding all food and beverages from sundown to sundown.  But then, there are plenty of exceptions.  One such exception is that it is never okay to fast necessary medications or as a threat to good health.  For instance, since I got kidney stones from fasting water 40 years ago, I don’t fast water.  And, thankfully, I have not had any other bouts with kidney stones since.  End RT.

So, “Ta’anit Bechorot” is the fast of the first born.  Every year, as the title would indicate, only the first born are required to observe this fast.  Every first born is to fast because on the following evening of Passover, the life of every first born was at risk, as the angel of death moved through Egypt on that night.

Then the rabbis came up with a “work-around” just for those first born.  Instead of fasting all day, all first born are invited to attend the morning synagogue service the day before Passover.  At that service, a tractate of the Talmud is completed requiring a “Siyum” celebration.  The “Siyum” is a celebration meal that supersedes the requirement to fast, thus ending the fast early.

However; this year, “Ta’anit Bechorot” doesn’t fall on the day before Pesach, but 3 days before (the 12th instead of the 14th).  Why is that?  Because the 14th falls on Shabbat this year (this last happened in 2008).  And it is a violation of the Shabbat to fast on the Shabbat (except when Yom Kippur falls on Shabbat).  The fast can’t be backed up just one day because that would require fasting on Friday, and Friday touches Saturday (on Friday night), so it is backed up 2 days to Thursday.  Oy-vey.  Bo Yeshua Bo! 

Week 13

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:  Who has been sent by God to test you?

Answer:  Ancient Israel was tested.  Judges 3:4 They (the nations among whom Israel was living) were for testing Israel, to know whether they would obey the mitzvot of Adonai, which He had commanded their fathers by Moses’ hand.  The answer is different for each of us.  But one thing is certain, God loves you and His desire is to make you strong.  He does this by testing us in various ways. 

Israel was living among heathens.  We also are living among heathens.  We are repeatedly told in many places in Scripture 2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore, come out from among them, and be separate, says Adonai. Touch no unclean thing. Then I will take you in.  We are also told… Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

God is raising up an army.  If you have professed Yeshua as your Lord and Savior – repenting of sin so you can follow Him, then God is discipling you.  His desire is to train you up, so that in the day of battle, you will fight for Him.  This is the image of God’s army.

It is exactly the opposite of what happened at the foot of Mt. Sinai, immediately after God spoke the 10 Commandments.  Exodus 20:18 All the people witnessed the thundering and the lightning, and the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled and stood far off. 19 So they said to Moses, “You, speak to us, and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”

From where will temptation come?  BOLO (be on the lookout)  1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour. 9 Stand up against him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being laid upon your brothers and sisters throughout the world. 10 After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.