Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, April 1, 2021
Shalom *|FNAME|*,

I want to seize the moment to share a prayer request.  I met my (at the time “future”) mother-in-law, Midred “Millie” Manno in February 2020 on her 101st birthday.  Yes, “Nine Lives Millie” (as she is known at the assisted living center) was born on February 21, 1919 in Cleveland, OH where she has lived for all of her (now) 102 years.

Last night her 3 children and their spouses (Seems like the plural of “spouse” should be “spice.”  Maybe it is “spouses” because it is illegal for one person to have “spice.”) gathered for dinner and each one had their favorite stories about their most memorable experiences with Mom.

I told my favorite “Millie” story at the Seder last Saturday night.  Jan introduced me to Millie, saying, “Mom, he’s a rabbi.”  And Millie responded, “Oh, we always wanted a rabbi in the family.”  Jan had to remind her, “But Mom, you’re Catholic.”  Well, at that point in her life, Millie was prone to repeat a thought continuously.  That day she must have said, “A rabbi, we always wanted a rabbi in the family” twenty-five times.  She made me feel so welcome, and Jan and I weren’t even married yet.

She has lived a good and long life to see 5 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.  She only married once.  Ralph Manno died in 1986.  Millie was a long time employee of The May Company where she was recognized on numerous occasions for her work at the jewelry counter.  And of course, she was a great Mom.

Now, she is in Hospice care and has been in a coma (without life support) for 7 days.  Please join our family as we pray for Mom to pass in peace from this life to the next.  May the Lord make her transition filled with Shalom.  In Yeshua’s name.  Amen.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu    1 April-2021        19th of Nisan, 5781 Pesach V
Ex 13:17-19    Isa 41    Pr 30        (Mt 1)    Jas 1

Three simple verses in the Aliyah today.  If you had to buy it, it should be at a discount because it’s so small.  Anyway, I’m reading these verses with interest and believe the Lord has something for us in them.

Exodus 13:17 After Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby, for God said, “The people might change their minds if they see war and return to Egypt.”

That first phrase should be more fully explained.  “After Pharaoh had let the people go.”  In Hebrew, the first three words are “Va’y’hi B’Shalach Par’oh.”   “Va’y’hi” is an interesting word used often in Scripture.  My best translation would be “And it happened.”  You might know it as “And it came to pass,” but in some places it is translated as “suddenly.”  It is a form of the verb “to be.”

But the real translation correction should be on “B’Shalach.”  “Shalach is “send” in the past tense, “(He) sent.”  There is a big distinction between being “let go” and being “sent.”  God promised Moses… Exodus 11:1b When he (Pharaoh) lets you go (“Y’Shalach” meaning “he will send”), he will surely thrust you out altogether from here.  To be “thrust out” is to be “Garash.”  That word is repeated to show emphasis (hence the addition of “altogether”).  A better translation might be “in thrusting you out, he will thrust you out.”  To simply say that Pharaoh “let the people go” marginalizes the power of God in working the 10 plagues.

Finally, the whole idea of “change their minds” is not in the Hebrew text.  The Hebrew word “Nacham” is used, actually for the second time in the verse.  “Nacham” is from the same Shoresh as Noah’s Hebrew name, it means “comfort.”  The first time it is used in the verse, it is translated as “lead” in “for God did not lead them along the road to ‘Philistia,’ though it was nearby.”  God did not comfort the people by taking them the comfortable way.

Now, God says, “Maybe the people will ‘comfort themselves’ by turning back to Egypt when they see war.  God is very smart.  (Please remember I said that.)  He is able to anticipate adverse responses and plan a difficult path for a greater benefit even when a simpler or more straightforward path seems better to us.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Even in adversity, let God be God… Proverbs 3:5 Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

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

Question of the day:  I dare you to read this without crying.  Naomi asks the question today… Ruth 1:11a Now Naomi said, “Go back, my daughters! Why should you go with me?

Answer:  Orpah and Ruth, Naomi’s two daughters-in-law, had quite different answers.  Ruth 1:14b Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye. But Ruth clung to her.  Ruth answered the way each of you, who have decided to follow Yeshua answered.  Ruth refused to return to following false Gods and became connected to the lineage of Yeshua through her marriage to Boaz.

This is a great love story.  It’s our own love story with Yeshua and His people, Israel.  When we love God, we love what He loves.  And God loves Israel.  So we close today with an appropriate verse for Pesach.  Deuteronomy 4:37 Because He loved your fathers, He chose their descendants after them. Then He brought you out from Egypt with His presence, by His great power.