Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, March 9, 2022
A N N O U N C E M E N T
May I draw your attention to the flyer pictured above? Do I need to? It pretty much draws attention to itself. There are two events featured. Last week we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Adar II. Purim is in the middle of Adar. Adar is the last month of the year, so in a leap year, we have a leap month with not such a creative name, Adar II. Makes sense then that Purim is next week. A month later, we celebrate Pesach.
Purim actually falls on Wednesday night and Thursday (until sundown), March 16 and 17. However; we are having a Purim party on Sunday, March 13th, which is a few days early, but more convenient for those who have other responsibilities during the week. All are invited to attend this celebration of the story of Esther. Come in a Persian costume (optional) and be ready to shout to drown out the name of #%&@* (not optional).
The book of Esther is written in Hebrew on parchment and rolled up on a single scroll. That scroll is called a Magillah, and Shomair has a kosher one that is at least 200 years old. We’re going to read the whole Magillah, in English. Be there to cheer for Mordecai and Esther. The celebration will continue with a covered dish dinner, so bring something to share.
A month later, we will celebrate the first of the spring feasts, Passover (Pesach) with our annual community seder. This year we are offering a discount for early registration. The prices will increase $10 on April 1st.
At the Seder, we ask the question, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” It is because of what the Lord did long ago to deliver His people from slavery to freedom. Yet, that’s not the end of the story for His people. But it is the end of this announcement.
The RR continues… We read about the rest of the story in Jeremiah 23:7 “Therefore behold, days are coming,” says Adonai, “when they will no longer say: ‘As Adonai lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ 8 Rather, ‘As Adonai lives, who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ So they will dwell in their own soil.
What does it mean, “they will dwell in their own soil?” Is it just geography? Is it only measured in dunamim and hectares?
Rabbi Trail: I don’t want you to be ignorant of these things. A “dunam” is a measure of land area held over from 400 years of Turkish occupation of what is now Israel. It is 900 square meters or about 1/4 of an acre. A “hectare” is a measure of land held over from the British occupation of what is now Israel. It is 10,000 square meters or about 2 1/2 acres. End RT.
Like everything else, so also, when we think of land there is a physical reality and a spiritual reality. The “dry bones” vision of Ezekiel is only partially complete. It brings to mind the lyrics of “Fall Upon Us Now” by Rabbi Bruce Cohen, “We’re back in the land, the time is at hand, to pour out Your Spirit with power.” It also brings to mind the words etched on Frank Sinatra’s tombstone, “The best is yet to come.”
Ezekiel had a vision. The Tree of Life Version (the version of the Bible we use at Shomair) captions Ezekiel 37 as “Dry Bones Live.” Part of the vision is in process…. Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I will open your graves. I will bring you up out of your graves, My people. I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
Yet the conclusion of the vision is by no means complete.… Ezekiel 37:14 I will put My Ruach in you and you will live. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, Adonai, have spoken and that I have done it.” It is a declaration of Adonai. God promises to put His Ruach (Spirit) in HIs people. That has happened in part, but not yet in large part.
The promise of God includes a change of heart for His people. Deuteronomy 30:6 Also Adonai your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants—to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. This is a promised reality not yet seen. And I love it when there is a confirming verse in the New Testament…. Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision done not by hand, in the stripping away of the body of the flesh through the circumcision of Messiah.
Paul writes this affirmation that God will keep His promise to His people Israel. Romans 11:26 and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Being back in the land is not all the way home. There is coming a day… Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue profess that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord— to the glory of God the Father.
“Every knee” and “every tongue” will include Jewish people. Lord, hasten the day when all Israel will see what Yochanan HaMatbeal (John the Baptizer) saw…. John 1:29 The next day, John sees Yeshua coming to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! And let us all say, “Amen.”
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 09-Mar-2022 6th of Adar II, 5782
Le 3:1-17 Isa 2 Ps 142 Ac 9 (Rev 3)
Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that has gods so near to them, as Adonai our God is whenever we call on Him?
51 3/7 Monday: Numbers 20; 27:12-23
52 3/8 Tuesday: Numbers 34-35
53 3/9 Wednesday: Deuteronomy 1-2
54 3/10 Thursday: Deuteronomy 3-4
55 3/11 Friday: Deuteronomy 6-7
55 3/13 Friday: Deuteronomy 6-7