Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Today is Yom HaAtzma’ut, the 75th Israel Independence Day.  It was May 1948 when Ben Gurion (later to become the first prime minister of the State of Israel) declared, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-declaration-of-independence-may-14-1948/ “…by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”  And look what the Lord has done in the last 75 years.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoizSL-TEJQ&t=4s (I picked over dozens of possible links to find this one.)


Day 18 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 two weeks and four days of the counting of the Omer.

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


Victory Over Sin 13 – Romans, part 74

Romans 6:22 But now, having been set free from sin and having become enslaved to God, you have your fruit resulting in holiness. And the outcome is eternal life. 23 For sin’s payment is death, but God’s gracious gift is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

Today we finish Romans 6, the first of three chapters, Romans 6, 7 and 8, which form Paul’s treatise on victory over sin.  We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light.  1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

For us, it is the difference between day and night, which is life and death, for all eternity. The difference in our lives could not be greater.  We were slaves to sin, but now, we are enslaved to God.  Disobedience is sin (bad fruit) while obedience is rightousness (good fruit).  Matthew 7:16a You will recognize them by their fruit…. 17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit, but the rotten tree produces bad fruit…. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.

Lastly, we are declared “set free from sin.”  But that’s not enough.  Yes, we are free from sin, but at the same time, we are released into something (or someone) greater.  If not, we are just empty vessels.  The reality is that we are set free from sin and released into the righteousness of God.  What’s better than that?  It’s all by grace through faith.

Rabbi Trail:  When I do an online search for any spiritual subject, almost always, the first verse suggested is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  This just happened when I searched for scriptures on “eternal life.”

The key phrase here is, “whoever believes in Him.”  What does that mean?  It has to be more than knowing Who Yeshua is.  In Matthew (8:29) the demons know Yeshua is “Ben Elohim” (the Son of God).  Knowing that truth doesn’t do them any good, because they were not His followers.  End RT.

To choose life, we must follow the way of Yeshua (obey His commands).  Yeshua’s original followers were not called Christians, but “followers of the way.”  John 14:6 Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Yeshua asked Martha a question concerning Himself.  I believe He wants to ask us the same question today.  John 11:25 Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  Answer, “Yes,” and enjoy the blessings of His favor.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 18 of the Omer
Wed 26 Apr-2023 5th of Iyar, 5783 Yom HaAtzma’ut
Le 18:22-19:14 Isa 54 Job 11 2 Pet 3     (Mt 12: 22-50)