Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, April 28, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,


This week (Saturday, April 29th) is the 5th Shabbat of this quarter (there are 4 months with 5 Saturdays in them, one each quarter of the year).  On those four weeks of 5th Saturdays, we have a community Friday night (Kabbalat Shabbat) welcoming the Shabbat celebration, instead of our usual Shabbat morning worship service.

Have you ever wanted to welcome Shabbat into your home on Friday evening?  Here is a link to Joshua Aaron’s song about it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIwCDYWOEQ4  You are all invited to participate with us at Shomair tonight, April 28th, at 6PM.  We will light the candles together (bring yours if you have some, if not, we’ll have extras) and a covered dish to share.

We’ll have a kiddush (sanctification of the fruit of the vine), sing “Shalom Alechem” (peace be unto you) and pray the Eyshet Chayil (Proverbs 31:10-31), then pray over our children and welcome the Shabbat in other special ways.  After dinner, some of our members who have been to Israel recently (including yours truly) will talk briefly about their experiences in the land and with the people of God there.

Then, we will all take the rest of Shabbat and rest.  Find a way to celebrate God’s goodness, and give Him praise for all He has done.  Our sanctuary will be locked up tight with the lights out, so don’t come to Shomair on Saturday morning, the 29th.  How special it will be to once again welcome the Shabbat together.  Hope to see you then.


Day 20 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 six 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 15 – Romans, part 76

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that came through the Torah were working in our body parts to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter.

Paul is writing a compare and contrast.  Back then, “sinful passions” that “bear fruit for death.”  But now, we serve in the “new way of the Ruach (Spirit).”  He’s actually in the middle of making the point that God’s righteous principles (the Torah) hasn’t changed, we (and our approach to it) have.  1 John 5:4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith.  When we hear “overcome the world,” it means to have victory over the temptations of the world.

If we read ahead, (and it’s hard not to) we will discover Paul is making this case… the Torah commandments are spiritual.  Consequently, we must obey them in the spirit.  The flesh will never have the victory over the spirit.  Galatians 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Ruach, but the Ruach sets its desire against the flesh—for these are in opposition to one another, so that you cannot do what you want.

Rabbi Trail:  For every physical reality, there is a greater spiritual reality.  That greater spiritual reality will always win out over the physical one.  We think physical is greater because we can see it and touch it, but in reality, the Spirit is greater, yet in another dimension.  That’s the reason Paul will soon refer to those of us who are born of the Spirit as “more than conquerors.”  Don’t take my word for it.  Hear what else Paul says on this subject… Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. End RT.

The tension is not between Law and Grace, but between sin and righteousness.  How will we have the victory to obey God?  Through humility (the beauty of holiness).  Even Yeshua had to humble Himself.… Yeshua Luke 22:41b got on His knees, and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  When He humbled Himself, immediately an angel came and strengthened Him.  So may it be with us as well.

Paul is almost redundant, but we’ll give him the last word on true humility this Erev Shabbat.  Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 20 of the Omer
Fri 28 Apr 2023 7th of Iyar, 5783
Le 19:33-20:7 Isa 57 Job 13 1 Jn 2       (Mt 13:31-58)