Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Today is Yom HaZikaron (Day of Remembrance) in Israel. There is much to this. It is the day set aside on the national calendar to remember those who have died in all of the wars for survival in modern Israel. Not only those who died in declared wars, but also those lost through terrorist attacks.
The day began at nightfall (officially 8:00pm) on Monday (that’s when Tuesday starts) with a national siren blast (watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El0DcF37gmw ) in every corner of Israel. The video shows the ceremony at the Western Wall, which is empty of everyone else.
Try this website… https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/Spotlight/Pages/Memorial-Day-2020-for-the-fallen-soldiers-and-victims-of-terrorism-27-April-2020.aspx for more details in English.
We owe so much to those who made countless sacrifices that enabled the Zionist dream to be a reality in the world today. Pray with me… May God bless and preserve the memory of those who died, and reveal Himself to those who live, that all Israel would fulfill the entire vision of Ezekiel… Ezekiel 37:9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the Ruach. Prophesy, son of man, and say to the Ruach, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Come from the four winds, Ruach! Breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied just as He commanded me. The Ruach came into them and they lived. They stood up on their feet, a vast army. 11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel…. 14 I will put My Ruach in you and you will live. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, Adonai, have spoken and that I have done it.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
We continue in prayer… Lord, You have brought us back to the land. Now Lord, put Your Rauch (Spirit) in all of Israel. Yes, breathe on Your people Israel… Romans 11:26a and in this way all Israel will be saved. Amen.
It is important for you to know I’m writing this on Tuesday morning. Tonight (Tuesday night) as Yom HaZikaron ends, Yom HaAtzmaut begins (again at 8:00pm). As you must know, Yom HaZikaron is very somber. It is a day of mourning. Yom HaAtzmaut is Israeli Independence Day, which is quite celebratory. It is as if the entire country flips a switch, from somber to joyful. Yom HaZikaron is quiet, a day without music. Telling jokes or attaching happy faces is out of order on such a day. Then the switch flips and the party (for independence) is on. Fireworks and dancing in the streets are the order of the day. You’ve got to be there to appreciate the turn-around.
Counting the Omer – Day 18
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 the counting of the Omer. Today is two weeks and four days of the counting of the Omer.
This is installment 3 of 6 on the longing to be wholehearted and passionate with God. The first prayer every Jewish child learns is the “Shema” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Yeshua even refers directly to Deuteronomy 6:5 as the greatest commandment.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
It is written in the “Vav Conversive” second person future tense. This is how we receive many of the commandments, “you will”….aka “thou shalt.”
Rabbi Trail: The “Vav Conversive” changes the tense. It works both ways from past to future (like here) and from future to past (like other places). It’s a strange structure in which God is saying that He is not time constrained as we think of time. End RT.
This is also the prayer that every Jewish person wants to be speaking as he/she passes from this life to the next. I’ve been writing all of this to form a question. Do we have to be such fanatics about God? Does the Scripture not say, “ALL your heart, and ALL your soul, and ALL your might?” If we turn to God for the answer, I’m absolutely certain the answer is, “Yes and amen!”
Consider this “longing.” How would we propose to love God wholeheartedly and with passion and not be fanatical about it? This is my problem with sports. We are allowed to be fanatical about sports (hence the term “sports fan”), but when it comes to God we’ve got to be dignified and reserved. Let it not be so among us. Pursue God with reckless abandon. Let’s be “all in” and not look back. Shalom.
Memory Verse: Psalm 1:1 Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2 But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season. Its leaf never droops— but in all he does, he succeeds. 4 The wicked are not so. For they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand during the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For Adonai knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
86 4/27 Monday: Psalm 51
87 4/28 Tuesday: 2 Samuel 24; Psalm 24
* 88 4/29 Wednesday: Psalm 1; 19
89 4/30 Thursday: Psalm 103; 119:1-48
90 5/01 Friday: Psalm 119:49-128
Question of the day: What song comes to mind from Psalm 19?
Answer: In the King James Version (KJV) Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Verse 10 is the chorus and verses 7,8 and 9 form the 3 verses. Come to the service on Shabbat and we’ll sing it to start the service.