Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, April 20, 2023


Day 12 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 five days of the counting of the Omer.

Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.


Rabbi Trail: I just learned that my friend of many years, Jonathan Settel, Z”L, died yesterday.  He was a great recording artist, but an even better worshipper, cantor and friend.

Rabbi’s Note:  “Z”L” is an honorific shorthand that follows the name of a person who has died.  It stands for “Zichrono (Zichronah for a woman) Liv’ra’cha” meaning “may his/her memory be blessed,” or alternatively, ‘may he/she be remembered for blessing.”  End RN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MBgACM_LcE&list=RDEMk9_2UIy4q1BS4wH8UXubYA&start_radio=1  This link is Jonathan’s Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming the Shabbat).  The first time I heard it was on a “bootlegged” cassette tape that was given to me 41 years ago.  It only had part of the recording and for many years I didn’t know who had recorded it.

Jonathan visited our community in Knoxville often when he was traveling for ministry.  The first time I met him was in Knoxville at a church service.  He called a Jewish woman out of the crowd and led her to receive Yeshua on the spot.  It was then that I knew he was the “real deal.”

Beside that, we enjoyed a close relationship over the years and even visited a few times in South Florida when he lived there.  We still stayed in touch after he moved to Dallas.  He will be dearly missed.  Please pray for his wife, Sharon, and the rest of his family and friends.  End RT.


Victory Over Sin 9 – Romans, part 70

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that to whatever you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to what you obey—whether to sin resulting in death, or to obedience resulting in righteousness?

Jonathan Settel used to say that the “Law of God” has a bad name, just because it sounds so legalistic.  He preferred to call God’s Law, “God’s righteous principles” instead.  We might like to think that we are free from God’s Law, but who could ever think we are free from God’s righteous principles?

With that in mind, let’s redefine sin as violation of God’s righteous principles.  Now let’s reread our first subject verse and add this new translation.  Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we violate God’s righteous principles because we are not under God’s righteous principles, but under grace? May it never be! There, that adds clarity, now doesn’t it.

Paul started this chapter with that same thought.  Now, fifteen verses later, he is back around to “close the loop.”  We are called to walk in “the beauty of holiness” (which is the subtitle of the book Humility by Andrew Murray).  Walking in the beauty of His holiness is the opposite of stumbling about in sin.

God promises us, through His Word, that He will protect us and not allow us to stumble.  Psalm 121:3 He will not let your foot slip. Your Keeper (Shomair) will not slumber. 4 Behold, the Keeper (Shomair) of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.  There are many other Scriptures which affirm this promise.  God is going to take His righteous standard and make it part of who we are (write it on our hearts).

Jeremiah prophesies concerning the righteous ingathering of the children of Israel, not just to a place, but a people melded into His character.… Jeremiah 31:7b A great throng will return here. 8 With weeping and supplications they will come. I will bring them, leading them to walk by streams of water on a straight path where they will not stumble. For I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is My firstborn.” 9 Hear the word of Adonai, O nations, and declare it in the distant islands, and say: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather and watch over him, as a shepherd does his flock.’

And all of these promises are based on receiving the Son of God as Lord and Savior.  Jeremiah prophesies the virgin birth later in the same chapter… Jeremiah 31:21 How long will you waver, O backsliding daughter? For Adonai has created a new thing on earth: a woman surrounds (will go around) a man.  That “new thing” was a woman giving birth without a man.

God even confirms His “new thing” promise, by saying it will result in a “new covenant.”  Jeremiah 31:30 “Behold, days are coming” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—… 32 “But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “I will put My Torah within them. Yes, I will write it on their heart. I will be their God and they will be My people.

Here, in Romans 6, Paul is affirming the words spoken by Jeremiah 600 years before Yeshua came to earth and made them our reality.  Let’s praise the faithful God Who keeps His promises (all of them).  Shalom shalom.

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

Day 12 of the Omer

Thu 20 Apr-2023 29th of Nisan, 5783

Le 14:21-32 Isa 48 Job 6 1 Pet 3 (Mt 8)