Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, March 29, 2021
Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon    29 Mar 2021        16th of Nisan, 5781 Pesach II
Le 22:26-23:44    Nu 28:19-25    2 Ki 23:1-9, 21-25
Mk 16:1-14, 1 Co 15:12-28

Rabbi Trail:  Please notice that I will not start counting the Omer until next Sunday.  This is different from the vast majority of the rest of the Jewish community, and the Daily Bread which we are otherwise following.  They all start counting today.  Ordinarily, whenever I have the chance, as long as it is not against Scripture, I prefer to conform to the majority of the Jewish community.  About 15 years ago I became convinced that this was one of those important exceptions.  Let me explain.

The counting of the Omer (a measure of barley) is done every day for 49 days (a week of weeks) from Passover until Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks).   During these 7 weeks (from the Exodus until Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Torah) we count our blessings.  The question over when to start is based on this verse… Leviticus 23:15a “Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat.”  This raises the question, “The day after which Shabbat?”

You see, there are two from which we must choose, the regular Saturday Shabbat and the special Shabbat of Passover.  The rabbis chose the latter, while I agree with the Karate Jews (and several other minority sects), and believe that the biblical Shabbat reference is to the regular weekly Shabbat.  So I start counting on the day after Saturday, (which is always a Sunday) the first Saturday Shabbat FOLLOWING the special Shabbat of Passover.

It is actually the next verse that leads me to this conclusion.  Now let’s look at both verses… Leviticus 23:15 “Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering, seven complete Shabbatot. 16 Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat you are to count fifty days, and then present a new grain offering to Adonai.”

Verse 16 clearly instructs us to “count 50 days.”  The 50th day has to be the day after a Shabbat (the 7th Shabbat).  This year, the rabbis start counting on Monday, which means the 50th day will be on a Monday.  And, sure enough, it is on Monday, May 17th.  But May 16th is not a Shabbat, it’s a Sunday.  I believe God intended that Shavuot (Pentecost) should always fall on a Sunday.  It does the way I count, but not the way Talmudic Judaism counts.

And that is why I will be counting, this year, 6 days behind the rest of the Jewish world.  We will also finish 6 days after they do, on the 23rd of May.  That is our day to celebrate Shavuot (Pentecost).  We are planning a joint celebration with Grace and Glory Church, as we have done in the past.  Details will follow.  End RT.


More Rabbi Trail: (I’m writing on Sunday for Monday.) Last night (Saturday night) we obeyed God.  Leviticus 23:5 During the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is Adonai’s Passover. 6 On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot to Adonai. For seven days you are to eat matzah . 7 On the first day you are to have a holy convocation and you shall do no regular work.

Of course, there is nothing in there about holding a Seder on the evening of the 14th.  My answer, “TRADITION!” (finger wagging in the air).  We do have this instruction from the Lord… Exodus 13:14 “So when your son asks you in times to come, ‘What is this?’ say to him, ‘By a strong hand Adonai brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage.  The Seder is how we traditionally fulfill the command to answer the question, “What is this?” End MRT


Rabbi’s Note:  My wife, Jan’s, mother (Mildred Manno, I call her “Mom”) is 102 and living in Cleveland, OH.  Six days ago she suffered a stroke and has not awakened since.  She has entered hospice care but without a significant miracle has entered the final stages of this life and preparation for the next.  Jan and I stayed in Knoxville to be with our community for the start of Passover, but now feel released to travel north.  Therefore; the RR is somewhat abbreviated today.  Please read the assigned Scriptures and let the Lord direct your steps as you study His word.

Week 14

Memory Verse: Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5 to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.

* 66 4/1    Monday:        Judges 6-7
67   4/2    Tuesday:       Judges 13-14
68   4/3    Wednesday:  Judges 15-16
69   4/4    Thursday:      Ruth 1-2
70   4/5    Friday:           Ruth 3-4