Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Good morning my friends. I’m taking a week of vacation, so my writing may not follow the usual pattern. I found this RR from 2 years ago. It ministered to me. I hope and pray it will minister to you. Happy third day of Pesach.
Reprint from Rabbi’s Reflections, March 29, 2019
I’ve been wanting to write something funny for awhile. I like to teach you a new Hebrew word, “Vitamin P.” It’s not pronounced like vitamin in English. A more phonetic spelling would be “Veetamin P.” Veetamin or vitamin, is all the same thing. The “P” stands for another borrowed Hebrew word.
Rabbi Trail: Hebrew has borrowed many words from English, Spanish, German, French and Italian among other languages. Any word that cannot trace its origins to the Bible is likely borrowed. When reading in Hebrew, you can frequently tell a borrowed word by the use of the letter “tet” instead of the more common “tav.” My classic example of a borrowed word is “Bek Ex” which is the “back axle” of a car (someone may have been pulling my leg and I took the bait). There is another Hebrew word for it, but slang Hebrew takes many liberties. Like the word “Bingo,” works in both Hebrew and English. End RT.
The “P” in “Vitamin P” is another borrowed word, “Protec’sia” meaning “protection.” On the job in Israel, you can tell who has “Vitamin P” because they never seem to get in trouble for things that would get anyone else in trouble. Sometimes it is because they know something that would get the boss in trouble. Sometimes “Vitamin P” is a family connection to the boss or business owner. Whenever a person is “untouchable” it is said they have “Vitamin P.”
Well, I thought it was funny and now you know about it too.
Rabbi’s note: Now we are doing “The Daily Bread.” At the time this was written, we were reading through the Psalms, 5 per day, every 30th Psalm to match the date, so on the 29th of April we read Psalms 29, 59, 89, we skip Psalm 119 and saved it for the 31st of March, and Psalm 149 along with Proverbs 29. Here are the verses that jumped out at me as I read (and why).
Psalm 29:11 Adonai gives strength to His people. Adonai blesses His people with shalom. Note: This verse is part of the Torah service liturgy. Is there a better blessing than “shalom?” The shalom of God is the “shalem” of God. From this word we get the Yiddish word “shalema” (pronounced “Sha-lay-ma”). It means complete, whole, lacking nothing, and even perfect.
We are all born with a restlessness. As we grow older, we know we’re missing something, but we don’t know what it is, and we don’t know how to find it. So we start searching for that something that will complete us, make us satisfied, fulfill our dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Here’s a Hebrew lesson for you. “Chipasta U’Matzata” meaning “I searched and I found.” Everyone is looking for “Shalom,” but only Yeshua can provide it. Looking for Shalom anywhere else is idolatry.
Hear the words of Yeshua, spoken on the same night He was betrayed, the night before Passover. John 14:27a “Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you…. We have His “shalom,” what else is there?
Psalm 59:18(17) O my strength, to You I sing praises. For God is my strong tower— my God of lovingkindness. Note: Once again, the last verse wins. The second to the last verse was a contender. You know the first Hebrew word in this verse, “Uzzi” meaning “my strength.”
Yesterday, we had the word “Nisgav” meaning exalted. Today, in this verse, we have the same shoresh in a different form, “Misgav,” translated here as “strong tower,” but in other translations as “fortress.” In “exalted we see the concept of “high and lifted up.” Here the same concept is “a high or exalted place.”
And the verse concludes with “my God of grace.” That’s right, the concept of the need for grace is all over the Hebrew Scriptures. “Chesed” is “grace.” King David understood it. All of our sages understood it, and now you know it.
Rabbi Trail: Who are sages? Ancient Jewish leaders who were wise in their interpretation of Torah. Their writings and teachings are revered in Judaism. We have to be careful, because their teachings do not rise to the level of Scriptural authority, but some people believe they do. End RT.
Psalm 89:14(13) Your arm is mighty, Your hand is strong, exalted is Your right hand. 15(14) Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Lovingkindness and truth go before You. Note: Again, I pick two. Psalm 89 is a very Messianic prophetic Psalm. Every reference to David is a reference to Yeshua, who sits on David’s throne. Do you think it is a coincidence (hint – we don’t believe in coincidences, we call them God-incidences) that Isaiah 53:1 ends with the phrase “to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”
That same “arm” (called Z’ro’ah in Hebrew) is on the Seder plate.
Rabbi Trail: Every Seder plate that is, except mine. I became convicted that because He is risen, we no longer need to put a symbol of Him on our plate. End RT.
We are saving Psalm 119 for March 31st, when it will be the only Psalm we review.
Psalm 149:4 For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation. Note: God desires or wants His people. In fact, that is the reason God created the whole world; for fellowship with His people. He wanted to love a people who would love Him back, willingly.
Zephaniah 3:9 For then I will restore to the people pure speech, so that all of them may call upon the Name of Adonai and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
Shoulder to shoulder with each other, or with the Lord? Yes, both.
And the “crown of salvation,” what about that? The Hebrew word translated “crown” is “Pa’air” which is usually translated as “beautify” or “glorify.” In every way, this word ties us to Yeshua, who is our “salvation.”
And the word translated as “humble” is usually translated as “poor.” This is not financially poor, but poor in spirit. We should always be poor enough that we see the need to receive from the Lord. Hear this from the first words spoken on the Mount of Beatitudes… Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will gain honor. Note: There is constant tension between pride and humility. This verse captures that. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. And then there is this… Jacob(James) 4:6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Oh really? Where does it say that…? Psalm 138:6 and Proverbs 3:34 (but the TLV makes it difficult to see because they use different words in translation).
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 30 Mar 2021 17th of Nisan, 5781 Pesach III
Ex 13:1-16 Isa 38-39 Pr 28 Ac 27 (Rev 21)
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
Reprinted from April 2, 2019…
Question of the day: Question of the day: What kind of a phrase is this? From Judges 14:18b “…But he responded to them, “If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,…”
Answer: The word for “plow” is “Charash” meaning to cut in (like in a dance) or even devise (like to devise a plan). In other words, Samson knew those men had used Samson’s wife to get the riddle answer out of him. Still, a very interesting turn of phrase here.
The reading today starts with a visitation by a being usually called the angel of the Lord. In Judges 13:10 that angel is called a “man.” And then in Judges 13:18 the angel says his name is “Wonderful” using one of the names in Isaiah 9:6, “Pele” in Hebrew. Even more remarkable is Manoah’s response… Judges 13:2 Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, because we have seen God.”
How would Manoah know what God looks like, to know that he had seen God? Let me ask you the same question. When you are face to face with the Almighty do you think someone will have to tell you, “This is God,” or will you just know? Manoah just knew.
His wife also knew that if God was going to kill them, He would not have accepted their offering. The both handled the whole thing very well. How about us? Are we ready?