Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Counting the Omer – Day 25

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 four days of the counting of the Omer.

One of God’s attributes is that He cannot be measured.  God is bigger than the universe that He created.  Since He created everything, there is nothing He doesn’t know (omniscient).  “Without limits” means without borders of time (omnipresent), without borders of space (also omnipresent), and all powerful (omnipotent).  There is one other “omni” that applies only to God, “omnibenevolent.

Psalm 145:9 Adonai is good to all. He has compassion on all His creatures. 

Psalm 34:9(8) Taste and see how good Adonai is. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

So, God is omnipresent.  He is everywhere, all the time.  We know that, but God is invisible, so we forget that.  I’m writing today to remind us of this.  Whether we see God or not, He is present and He is watching us all the time.  Since we know that, we should act like we know that.  

God gave us His law to protect us.  He is saying, in effect, “Here are some borders that you should not cross in order to live safely.  Deuteronomy 4:40 You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time.”

“Shema Yisrael,” take heed, O Yisrael, and obey God so the blessing will be yours.  Wherever you are, God is there.  

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

Wed 28 Apr 2021 16th of Iyar, 5781

Le 23:1-22 Jer 1 Job 21 (Mt 21) Ro 2

Leviticus 23 contains instructions concerning all of the annual feasts.  Today’s Aliyah only covers the first 4, but I’m being all inclusive here.  There are 7 of them; Weekly Shabbat, which overrides them all, is first.  What follows are 3 in the spring (Pesach, Yom HaBikurim, and Shavuot), and 3 in the fall (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot).  

Shabbat is our beginning and our end.  We start in rest and we will end in rest.  The 3 spring feasts memorialize the first coming (crucifixion, resurrection and giving of the Holy Spirit).  The 3 fall feasts memorialize the second coming (His coronation, judgment day, and He will tabernacle among us).  

There you have it, the shortest lesson on the feasts of the Lord ever.  

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:  Is Psalm 1 in the Jewish Bible?

Answer:  Yes it is.  I asked the question because when I was in the 4th grade, I didn’t think so.  Therefore; when I was told to memorize it for my public school class, I opted out because I’m Jewish.  

Rabbi Trail:  Therefore; Mrs. Reeves set me up to monitor all the other students who did need to memorize it.  By monitoring my 30 classmates (one at a time), I learned the Psalm by heart without being required to do so.  Mrs. Reeves was smarter than I thought.  End RT.

It turns out that Psalm 1 (and all the other Psalms) ARE in the Jewish Bible.  Who knew, I certainly didn’t.  “Blessed is the man….”  Who doesn’t want to be blessed?  There are a few “thou shalt not’s” in there, to encourage us to set ourselves straight.  We are then told to take delight in the Torah.  When did that change?  It hasn’t.  

The Psalm ends with the promise of a great divide.  It’s so simple, it would be easy to miss… Psalm 1:9a For Adonai knows…. And what does Adonai know?  He knows everything, especially the way of the righteous and He knows that the way of the wicked leads to ruin.  Let’s take it to heart and meditate on it.  It was good in the 4th grade and it’s still good 60 years later.