Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, March 8, 2021


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

Mon 8 March-2021 24th of Adar, 5781

Ex 35:30-37:16 Isa 14 Pr 11 Ac 10 (Rev 4)

Rabbi Trail:  This is one big RT.  Please read it.  This coming Shabbat (on March 13th) we have a double portion, Vayakhel – Pekudei (Exodus 35:1-40:38).  This is made necessary because about 37% of the time (7 out of every 19 years) we have a leap year.  In a Jewish calendar leap year there are 4 extra weeks as the Jewish leap year includes a leap month (Adar II). In a non-leap year, like this year, we need to double up those 4 extra portions because there are 4 fewer weeks, but we still have to read through the Torah. 

Also, the readings can be affected by the major holidays and how they fall.  If we have major holidays on a Shabbat, those special holiday readings can cause additional double portions at other times throughout the year.  We should (and do) leave it in the hands of senior rabbis to figure it out.  I use the website hebcal.com for all of this type of information.

Also affecting this Shabbat is the last of 4 special Shabbats that help us prepare for Pesach.  This one is called HaChodesh (translated as “the month).  This is always the last Shabbat before the beginning of the Hebrew month Nisan (Passover is always in the middle of Nisan).  Nisan actually begins next Saturday night.

As if all that were not enough, there is an additional blessing.  Another name for this coming Shabbat is “Shabbat Mevarchim” (meaning “Shabbat Blessings”).  Every Shabbat before the start of a new month is a Shabbat “when we bless.”  We bless the month to come.

Every occasion throughout the Jewish year is celebrated in light of our anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, and Shabbat Mevarchim is no exception.  As we pray over the new month, we pray in anticipation that maybe this we be the month when Yeshua returns to the earth.  How much more in the exact month when Yeshua was crucified?

But wait, there is still more.  Soren Strom’s Bar Mitzvah is this week too.  Soren is prepared to take his place among the faithful followers of Yeshua from within the house of Israel.  As part of his preparation, he is ready to read from the Torah and has prepared a message for the congregation.  We are very proud of him and are looking forward to celebrating this special day with him and his family.  End RT.

Acts 10 is part of our reading schedule for today.  Of course Acts 10 is famous for the wrong reason.  It is best known for Peter’s vision of the sheet coming down from heaven.  The “wrong reason” part is that Peter’s sheet vision does not give us permission to eat anything we want.

God never defines food as what you can put in your hand and stick in your mouth.  In fact, in God’s worldwide ecology (the planet on which we live), God created some animals to be his living and breathing garbage cans.  On land, pigs and lots of other animals that eat lots of other dead animals.  When you eat them, you’re eating what they ate.  God gave us His wisdom when He specifically told us to only eat land animals that have a split hoof and chew their cud (cows, deer, bison, etc.).  

And in the sea, God created bottom dwellers to keep the bottom of the oceans clean.  Crabs, lobsters, oysters, shrimp and other living garbage cans to keep the oceans clean.  In God’s wisdom, He told us only to eat fish from the sea that have both fins and scales.  

Lastly, a little lesser known instruction from God is not to birds of prey.  Because God does not want us to eat what they ate, other dead animals.  Non-birds-of-prey (like chickens and turkeys) are kosher.

Back to Peter… he gets a vision and has no idea what it means.  Acts 10:17a Now while Peter was puzzling about what the vision he had seen might mean…. Peter knew (as we should also) that God cannot contradict Himself.  Then Peter gets the revelation.  This has nothing to do with what we eat.  

Acts 10:28 He said to them, “You yourselves know that it is not permitted for a Jewish man to associate with a non-Jew or to visit him. Yet God has shown me that I should call no one unholy or unclean.  And there you have it.  “Call no man unholy or unclean.”  Peter’s vision has nothing to do with what we eat, it has to do with fellowship between Jewish and non-Jewish people.  God had to break down that middle wall of separation, which in other places in the Bible is called a mystery.  

Ephesians 3:6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are joint heirs and fellow members of the same body and co-sharers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the Good News.

Week 11

Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one . 5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, are to be on your heart. 7 You are to teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, they are to be as frontlets between your eyes, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

* 51 3/11    Monday:         Numbers 20, 27:12-23

52   3/12    Tuesday:        Numbers 34-35

53   3/13    Wednesday:   Deuteronomy 1-2

54   3/14    Thursday:      Deuteronomy 3-4

55   3/15    Friday:           Deuteronomy 6-7

Question of the day:  Why was Moses really not allowed to enter the promised land?

Answer:  Numbers 27:14 For in the wilderness of Zin during the strife of the community, you both (Moses and Aaron) rebelled against My Word instead of honoring Me as holy at the waters before their eyes.”

This was not the first time the people were thirsty.  It was the second time.  On both occasions, God was making an example of their thirst for water and intimating a future reality.  There is a time yet to come when people will thirst for the righteousness of Messiah Yeshua.  Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  And also, Yeshua’s own words about Himself.  John 6:35 Yeshua said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.

The two times water came from the rock represent the first and second coming of Yeshua.  1 Corinthians 10:1 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2 They all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 And all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink—for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah.

The first time, Moses was told by God to strike the rock.  Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you, there upon the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people can drink.” Then Moses did just so in the eyes of the elders of Israel.  This symbolized the crucifixion of Yeshua.  Isaiah 53:4b Yet we esteemed Him stricken, struck by God, and afflicted.

Then in the second coming, He will also satisfy thirst, but this time, not as a suffering servant, but as King of the Jews.  Read Revelation 4 (yes, the whole chapter) to receive the vision for this reigning King.  Moses was supposed to bless the rock this second time to model a future reality.  Matthew 23:39 “For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”  which quotes Psalm 118:26.

Let’s learn the lesson from Moses and be ready to speak blessing to Yeshua as He returns to the earth.  We need to listen carefully to the Lord.  The old instructions may not be the current instructions.  Everything in its season.  Shalom.