Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, April 30, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Counting the Omer – Day 27

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 six days of the counting of the Omer.

The children of Israel experienced deliverance by the hand of God from Pharaoh and his army.  When they arrived on the far side of the Red Sea and watched Pharaoh’s destruction, they sang a song to God.  There are 2 Hebrew words in the middle of song in Exodus 15:11, “Nedar BaKodesh.”  “Kodesh” is “holiness,” and God’s attribute of holiness is my subject today.

But what is “Nedar?”  The Shoresh is actually “Aleph-Dalet-Resh,” meaning “great and glorious.”  

Rabbi Trail:  If you are asked in Hebrew, “Ma Sh’lom’cha?” (Or “Ma Sh’lom’ech” if you are feminine), meaning, “How is your shalom?”  It is idiomatic for “How are you?”  You can answer (same for both masculine or feminine), “Nedar.”  While meaning “glorious,” it connotes the highest possible or most excellent.  End RT.

In Exodus 15, the children of Israel were extolling God’s holiness to say that His holiness is most excellent and as high as possible.  They sang about God’s holiness, but there are no words to adequately express it, so for me to write about God’s holiness is also an exercise in futility.  

God’s holiness is only experienced in His bosom.  Every thing and every place else is on the other side of a chasm that cannot be breached.  It is described in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  Father Abraham calls out to the rich man, who is in hell… Luke 16:26 “Besides all this, between us and you a great chasm is firmly set, so that those who want to cross over to you cannot, nor can those from there cross over to us.”

In Hebrew, “Kadosh” connotes “sanctification” or being set apart.  God’s holiness is His “set apart-ness.”  The only way to be with Him is to be like Him.  While the question is asked in Exodus 15:11a “Who is like You?”  The question is answered in Psalm 86:8a “There is none like You.”

God is untainted by the world, and His call on our lives is to follow Him in this.  Jacob 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  Or better yet, I like this to prove my point… Ephesians 5:11a Take no part in the fruitless deeds of darkness… 15 So pay close attention to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise.

God is holy, and He will not be mocked.  1 Peter 1:16 For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.”  This is a quote from Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; and 20:7.  Yeshua said it all when He told Peter and Andrew, “Follow Me.”  And He’s still telling us today, “Follow Me and be holy as I am holy.”

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

Fri 30 Apr 2021 18th of Iyar, 5781 

Le 23:33-44 Jer 3 Job 23 (Mt 23) Ro 4

Jeremiah 3:14 “Return, O backsliding children,” declares Adonai. “For I am your Husband. I will choose you—one from a city and two from a clan— and will bring you to Zion.”

I know an evangelist who goes out to street witness.  He sits on a park bench and watches the people pass by.  Suddenly, he shouts “Hey you,” to no one in particular.  He’s just watching to see who turns to look at him.  Then he says, “Yes you, come here, I have to ask you a question.”  And so the conversation begins.  I think God is calling to see who will answer His question, “Will you follow Me?”  

Interestingly, the Hebrew words translated “return” and “backsliding” are from the same Shoresh “Shuv” (Shin-Vav-Bet) meaning to change direction.  Backsliding is to change direction away from God, and return is to change direction toward God.  

The saying is, “Choose to be chosen.”  There it is in “the faith chapter” (Hebrews 11)… Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  Have faith… believe He is a rewarder… of those who SEEK HIM.  Don’t leave that out… SEEK HIM.  

This is from the F-260 for today.  I’m using it here to close this out and be finished.  Psalm 119:97 O how I love Your Torah! It is my meditation all day. 

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:  There is no question today.  This RR is complete.