Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, April 13, 2021


This is from Jan… “Thank you to everyone who offered condolences for my mom.  I so appreciate your prayers and continue to rest in the joy that she is in paradise with her Lord.  Bless the Lord, Mom lived to 102 in the natural, what a gift!  Now she is experiencing eternal life.  Oh, the exceeding abundance of our great God.” 


Wednesday (tomorrow) and Thursday (the day after) are both national holidays in Israel.  Wednesday is Yom HaZikaron (Day of Remembrance) or the Israeli equivalent of our own Memorial Day.  The next day, Thursday, is Yom HaAtzma’ut (Day of the Independence) or the Israeli equivalent of our own Independence Day.  The fact that they always follow one another is a stark contrast.  The entire country goes from the solemn and somber day of remembering those who died to preserve the Jewish State. To the sublime joy of celebrating the realization of the Zionist dream.

Rabbi Trail:  This is two RTs in one.  First, the word “Zionist” is not a bad word, as some would have you believe.  It is simply the concept that Jewish people should have their own country (self-government) in the promised land.  

Secondly, it is tragic in itself for a soldier to die in battle, while in uniform.  It is quite another thing for civilians to be murdered, as has been the case in so many terrorist attacks.  However; we mourn the loss of life on both sides and pray for the conflict to end.  Micah 4:3 He will judge between many peoples and decide for mighty nations far off. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war again. 4 But each man will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one causing terror, for the mouth of Adonai-Tzva’ot has spoken.  End double RT.

And then immediately, as Yom HaZikaron ends, Yom HaAtzma’ut begins.  24 hours of mourning is followed immediately by 24 hours of rejoicing.  It is quite a contrast and there is no way to prepare for it.    

Day 10 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 three days of the counting of the omer.

Yesterday, I wrote about God’s goodness.  Today, I want to write about God’s severity.  But we read in Scripture… Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Let me ask you, “How can the same God be both good and severe?  The answer is that the goodness and severity of God depend on how we receive Him.  

To the one who receives God, He is good.  To the one who rejects God, He is severe.  Romans 11:22 Notice then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell; but God’s kindness toward you, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off!

God’s goodness is offered to all.  Those who reject His goodness receive His severity.  We surrender to His love and He is good.  We resist His love and His judgment is severe.  As my father used to say, “Better smarten’ up.”    It all goes back to our tasting at the Seder, bitter herb or sweet charoset?  This is not just a matter of personal taste, it’s a matter of eternal judgment or eternal blessing.  Hint, hint… choose blessing.  

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

Tue 13 Apr-2021 1st of Iyar, 5781 Rosh Chodesh Iyar Day 2

Le 13:40-54 Isa 50 Job 8 (Mt 10) 1 Pet 5

Yeshua is giving His disciples instructions before sending them out to do this… Matthew 10:7 As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near!’  Sounds simple, right?  But then there is this… Matthew 10:12 As you come into the house, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your shalom come upon it. But if it’s not worthy, let your shalom return to you.  

Why did these verses catch my attention?  It appears we are to be selective about blessing with shalom.  Yeshua isn’t agonizing over who accepts or rejects His message, so why should we?  Apparently, our shalom is something God wants us to protect.  

Rabbi Trail:  In Israel a common greeting is “Ma Sh’lom’cha?” (Or “Ma Sh’lom’ech” for a female). It literally means, “What’s your shalom (like)?”  Colloquially, is means, “How are you doing?”  The answer is usually “Baseder,” meaning “in order.”  End RT.

Can we pray for others and even intercede for others without losing our shalom?  That is a measure of spiritual maturity.  In fact, spiritual maturity is not growing old spiritually, but the degree to which we will persevere through challenging times and difficulties, and stand firm in faith.  The five fold ministry (pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets and apostles) is given to us so we can grow into maturity. Ephesians 4:13a This will continue until we all come…—to mature adulthood. 14a As a result, we are no longer to be like children.

I found a quote online from Dr. DL Moody, “I’ve had more trouble with myself than any other man I’ve ever met.”  Another quote I found online is, “Get out of your own way, so God can have His way.”

Ephesians 4:22 With respect to your former lifestyle, you are to lay aside the old self corrupted by its deceitful desires, 23 be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self—created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

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

Question of the day:  Did you read the story of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20?  What is the significance of the last phrase in the story?

Answer: 1 Samuel 20:42a Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in the shalom….  Of course Saul thought his son, Jonathan, was a fool for befriending his perceived adversary (and real threat to the throne) David.  “Go in shalom” means so much more than just “go in peace.”   Shalom is complete wholeness, perfection, lacking nothing.  Shalom is the highest blessing we have and the last word of the Aaronic Benediction.

Numbers 6:24 ‘Adonai bless you and keep you!

25 Adonai make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you!

26 Adonai turn His face toward you and grant you shalom!’

Receive it in the name of Yeshua.  Amen (So be in unto you).