Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, April 26, 2021


Counting the Omer – Day 23

Here is the proper blessing to be said each day.  This is how Jewish people fulfill the command to count.

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 counting the counting of the Omer.  Today is three weeks and two days of the counting of the Omer.

It is hard to read the Bible (both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Covenant Scriptures) without reading about God’s grace.  Noah found it (Genesis 6:8), Moses found it (Exodus 33:17), the humble found it (Proverbs 3:34), and now you (all y’all) have found it…

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are set right as a gift of His grace, through the redemption that is in Messiah Yeshua.

I love baseball analogies… We all were behind by 3 runs, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs when Yeshua hit a grand slam home run at Calvary.  As David Chansky used to say, “And Satan is still looking for the ball.”  Game over, God and we win!

Yeshua is called “the way” (John 14:6) because without Him, there is no way.  By Him God’s grace is perfected.  

Rabbi Trail: Let me clarify something.  The Torah is God’s truth.  There are two thoughts in this verse… John 1:17 Torah was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah.  Here, the TLV got it right.  Most translations put a “but” between these two thoughts, but the “but” is not in the original texts.  End RT.

Now consider this verse… Isaiah 42:21 Adonai was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious.  Do you think this is a reference to King Hezekiah, like many rabbis do?  Who is the “righteousness of God?”  Yeshua of course… Matthew 3:16 After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17 And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”

The Torah is made “great and glorious” through Yeshua.  Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.

Today, as we continue to count our blessings (by counting the Omer), let us thank God for His attribute of grace, and the application of grace to us through Yeshua.

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

Mon26 Apr 202114th of Iyar, 5781

Le 21:16-22:16 Isa 65 Job 19 (Mt 19) Jude

In Isaiah 65, God speaks of two distinct people groups, those who reject Him and those who are His servants.  Isaiah 65:14 Behold, My servants will sing for joy with a happy heart, but you will cry from pain of heart, and wail out of a broken spirit.  Then the Lord speaks through Isaiah to prophesy about new things… Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating. For behold, I am creating Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for joy.

As if that’s not enough, God promises to answer prayer… Isaiah 65:24 And it will come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.  Let’s not act surprised when these things happen.  Isaiah 65:25b They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,” says Adonai.  Bo Yeshua bo!

Week 18

Memory Verse: Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart have I sought You —let me not stray from Your mitzvot. 11 I have treasured Your word in my heart, so I might not sin against You.

* 86 4/26    Monday:         Psalm 51

87   4/27    Tuesday:        2 Samuel 24; Psalm 24

88   4/28    Wednesday:   Psalm 1, 19

89   4/29    Thursday:       Psalm 119:1-48

90   4/30    Friday:            Psalm 119:49-128

Question of the day:  What’s going on in Psalm 51?

Answer:  David wrote a Psalm of repentance.  Every song (Psalms are songs) builds to a high point (crescendo) and then tapers off at the end.  The crescendo of this Psalm is these verses… Psalm 51:12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 13 Do not cast me from Your presence— take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me. 14 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.

But David understands something we all should understand too.  He (and we) is not asking God to “create, renew and restore” him as an end in itself, but for the sake of others.  David intends to disciple others… Psalm 51:15 Then will I teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will return to You.  David was a “man after God’s own heart” (this is told to Saul in 1 Samuel 13:14).  We should seek to make David’s heart for God our own.  Blessings for a great week.  R. Michael.