Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, April 12, 2021


Thank you for being a faithful reader of the RR.  I don’t believe I have yet reported here that Jan’s mother (my mother-in-law) passed from this life into the next this last Friday at the age of 102.  That’s her picture at her 100th birthday above.  The funeral will be this coming Friday.  https://www.dejohnfuneral.com/mildred-manno/ 

Rabbi Trail:  I started to say she passed away, but that phrase doesn’t do justice to our faith.  People of faith don’t “pass away,” they graduate from this life into the next.  End RT.

Mildred Manno was known to many of her friends and family as “9 lives Millie” because she always bounced back from whatever ailed her.  This time, though, she suffered a stroke that put her into a coma.  Without life support measures of any kind, she stayed asleep in bed and non-responsive for 18 days before coming to rest.  And 18 means life, Chai (Chet-Yud, 8+10) in Hebrew.

I met my new mom for the first time on her 101st birthday last year in Cleveland, OH, where she lived all her life.  Jan and I were engaged at the time, and not yet married.  She immediately welcomed me into the family with enthusiasm.  I was amazed at how sharp she was.  She was very aware of everything going on around her and she still loved to win a game of cards.  She will always have a place in my heart, but better than that, she will always have a place in the presence of God, seated together with Yeshua.    

Day 9 of counting the Omer

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-Olam, Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu Al Sefirat Ha-Omer.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by his commandments and commanded us about the counting of the Omer.  Today is one week and two days of the counting of the omer.

As we count the omer, we take these 7 weeks between the 3rd day of Passover (this year it didn’t quite work out that way – previously explained) and Shavuot (The Feast of Weeks).  In the year of THE Exodus, all of Israel was delivered through the Red Sea on the 3rd day, and tradition has it that the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai on the 50th day.

About 1,300 years later, in the year of Yeshua’s crucifixion, Yeshua rose from the dead on the 3rd day.  He taught the disciples about the principles of the kingdom of God for 40 days (see Acts 1:3) and commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the giving of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:4,5).  Exactly 10 days later, on Shavuot… you can read what happened in Acts 2.  

So, today we are in day 9 of counting our blessings.  I continue to be inspired by A.W. Tozer’s writings.  He wrote extensively about the attributes of God, which are detailed in the Bible.  As we resume our discussion, we are thankful that God is good.  Psalm 119:68a You are good and keep doing good.

It is hard to find a page in the Bible that doesn’t declare the goodness of God.  Isaiah 63:7 I will remember the lovingkindnesses of Adonai, the praises of Adonai, according to all that Adonai has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion, and according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses.  

I want to draw attention to something.  We read God is good.  We know God is good.  But we don’t act like we know God is good.  Too often we act like God is our severe taskmaster.  We ask Him, why did you burden us with these commandments and laws?  And even worse, we act like beaten puppies afraid of our next whipping.  

God loves you.  He loved you before you loved Him.  Would you like to know what God thinks of you?  Read about it here… Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. 9 How much more then, having now been set right by His blood, shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him.

God is good.  Receive your “Shalom” from Him.  Yeshua is speaking to you right now… John 14:27 “Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you; but not as the world gives! Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.

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

Mon 12 April-2021 30th of Nisan, 5781 Rosh Chodesh Iyar Day 1

Le 13:24-39 Isa 49 Job 7 (Mt 9) 1 Pet 4

The Torah portion this week is double portion called Tazria-Metzorah (Leviticus 12:1-15:33).  “Tazria” means “conception.”  “Zara” is “seed” (as in casting seed or sowing seed).  “Metzorah” means “leper.”  “Tza’arat” is “leprosy.”  Rabbis are trained in many ways to be lawyers.  They must be able to judge fairly according to God’s law (which is not the same as jurisprudence).  They must also be trained (in many ways) medically.  Today, rabbis fulfill the role of priest, who was a judge, but was also expected to perform the role of doctor.  Many times (but especially regarding leprosy) in Scripture a person with a sickness is told to present himself to the priest who will judge the nature of the illness.  I’m not suggesting this is how we should treat rabbis today (as lawyers and doctors), but biblically this was their function, as in our reading today.     


I just read Isaiah 49 as if for the first time (you can do it too).  I didn’t get very far before I started to wonder, about whom exactly is Isaiah writing?  Go ahead, ask a non-Yeshua-believing rabbi.  He might answer you, “Israel,” or he might say, “Isaiah, himself,” or Isaiah’s king, Hezekiah.  But we need to answer this for ourselves.  We can’t leave such an important subject up to a bunch of – now deceased – rabbis.  

Isaiah 49:5 So now says Adonai, who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, to gather Israel back to Him. For I am honored in the eyes of Adonai and My God has become my strength.  

You may already see where I’m going with this.  Who is tasked with bringing “Jacob back to Him (God)?”  That’s right, Yeshua!  And as if to remove all doubt, we read the following verse… Isaiah 49:6 So He says, “It is too trifling a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved ones of Israel. So I will give You as a light for the nations, that You should be My salvation to the end of the earth.”  

Who is given “as a light for the nations?”  Right again, Yeshua!!!  The next phrase even says, “You should be ‘My Yeshua,’ even unto the furtherest parts of the earth.”  

Yeshua is the “top button” of the theology “shirt.”  If we get that wrong (and the rabbis did) then nothing in theology fits right.  It’s up to us to fix what the rabbis got wrong.  Paul got it right when he wrote to the Philippians.  

Philippians 2:9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 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.

Week 16

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 4:17a But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be proclaimed in full measure,…

* 76 4/07    Monday:         1 Samuel 17-18

77   4/08    Tuesday:        1 Samuel 19-20

78   4/09    Wednesday:   1 Samuel 21-22

79   4/10    Thursday:       Psalm 22; 1 Samuel 24-25:1

80.  4/11    Friday:            1 Samuel 28; 31

Spoiler Alert:  The rest of the RR today is not for children.

Question of the day:  What’s with the “bromance” of Jonathan and David?

Answer:  Bible “scholars” are always trying to make something unholy out of what God calls holy.  They point to this verse from today’s reading as a Biblical sanction for homosexuality.  1 Samuel 18:3 Then Jonathan cut a covenant with David, because he loved him as himself.  A man can love a man, but not in the way a man loves a woman.  

The Bible consistently calls homosexual relationships an abomination.  Leviticus 18:22 “You are not to lie with a man, as with a woman—that is an abomination.”  (And again in Leviticus 20:13)  God dealt with this by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.  

You might be tempted to assign this verse, (among others in the Hebrew Scriptures, that you don’t feel apply to us) to the “dispensation of grace.”  I put it in parenthesis because it is misused as a copout for everything ungodly; “there’s grace for that.”  Then we still have to deal with 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 

This is most fully explained in 1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately.  The chapter goes on to explain that the Torah is given to bring correction to all types of illicit behavior, specifically mentioning homosexuality.  1 Timothy 1:10b and for anything else that opposes sound teaching— 11 in keeping with what was entrusted to me, the glorious Good News of the blessed God.

God made us with a longing to love.  Isn’t it just like Satan to pervert what God made beautiful and perfect?  One last word to those who might read this and become offended.  I’m not writing to bring offense, but to bring conviction.  Get loose from Satan’s grip.  Repent and allow God to heal you from all unrighteousness.  Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous one his thoughts, let him return to Adonai, so He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.