Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, April 7, 2020 


Passover begins Wednesday night.  Now is a good time to prepare.  Buy some Matzah, bitter herb and either sweet Shabbat wine or grape juice.  

You can make come charoseth by chopping up apples, nuts (pecans or walnuts), ground cinnamon, and sugar.  Add some of the wine or grape juice and mix.  Then just like that, it’s charoseth.  

Rabbi Trail:  The charoseth is said to resemble the mortar by which the Jews were ordered to make bricks.  A better meaning is how sweet it is.  It tastes like “mom’s apple pie.”  This is in contrast to the bitter herb.  First we eat the bitter herb, then the charoseth and ask everyone, even the youngest, “How would you like to spend eternity?  With bitterness or sweetness?”  The answer should be obvious. End RT.

If you would like a copy of our Haggadah (prayer book to conduct a seder), just ask and I’ll email you one in pdf format.

Psalm 91:10 so no evil will befall you nor any plague come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways.

We’ve been studying Psalm 91 for about a week now.  We chose Psalm 91 because it speaks often of the protection God promises to His people.  This is true in our verses today too.  “No plague will come near you.”  The Hebrew word used here for “plague” is “Nega.”  (Could that be where our English word “nega-tive” comes from?  Probably not.)  It is first used in Genesis 12 when Pharaoh is plagued on account of Sarah (verse 17).  Abraham must have been wearing the orange robe of bad decision.  (Inside joke to be explained at a later date.)

Protection is only the first of 3 words the Lord has spoken to me today.  It’s important, but it must be covered by the second word, “prayer.”  This is a time to increase our prayers.  Prayers can be “increased” in several ways.  They can be lengthened and/or deepened, but the “increase” of which I am speaking is in the Hebrew word “Kavenah.”  “Kavenah” is “intentionality.”  Do we really believe what we are praying.  The scripture warns against “vain repetition.”  

Psalm 105:1 Praise Adonai, call upon His Name. Make known His deeds among the peoples. 2 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him— tell about all His wonders! 3 Glory in His holy Name. Let the heart of those who seek Adonai rejoice. 4 Seek Adonai and His strength, seek His face always. 5 Remember His wonders that He has done, His miracles and the judgments of His mouth.

The third word is change.  It is always important for us to be coachable (changeable) by God.  We must remain the clay that He can mold according to His will.  While change is our way of life (especially in these trying times), change comes with a warning.  Let’s be sure we only allow the Lord to change us.  The world wants to change us, that’s a certainty.  But the call of this world is to change us away from God.  Let’s follow God’s desire to change us toward Him.  

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory—just as from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Stay ready to change, my friends.

Week 15
Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel said: “Does Adonai delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Adonai? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay heed than the fat of rams.

71    4/6      Monday:        1 Samuel 1-2 

* 72  4/7      Tuesday:       1 Samuel 3;8  

73    4/8      Wednesday:  1 Samuel 9-10  Erev Pesach

74    4/9      Thursday:      1 Samuel 13-14

75    4/10    Friday:           1 Samuel 15-16

Question of the day:  Read these two chapters, and then answer the question of the day.  “What’s the problem?”

Answer:  The problem is reported in 1 Samuel 8:19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel, and they said, “No! But a king should be over us!

“The people refused to listen.”  There’s your problem right there.  Interesting that our main liturgical and scriptural prayer is Deuteronomy 6:4 which is called by the first word, “Shema,” meaning “listen.”

It’s not like Samuel wasn’t being specific either.  Samuel told the people in great detail what was going to happen, and it wasn’t pretty.  Samuel told them a king will abuse their children and their property.  But the people still insisted on a king who would lead them into battle.  

God wants to be our King.  God promises to fight for us.  Many “flesh and blood” kings have ruled by what has been known to history as “divine right.”   There are two aspects to “divine right.”  First, that the king is appointed by God.  The second, equally disturbing, is that the divinely appointed king cannot make a mistake (because he is god – or so they say).  The sad truth is that kings (and all other earthly rulers) make mistakes.  

Even the Pope makes mistakes.  (Although most practicing Catholics believe the Pope cannot make mistakes, there are plenty of examples of one Pope having to apologize for the shortcomings or errors of a previous Pope.)  

We will see in the short future that King Saul makes mistakes (his final mistake will get him killed).  And the people suffered.  God still (to this day) wants to be our King.  It’s not an accident that Yeshua was crucified under a sign that read in 3 languages, “King of the Jews.”  Satan meant it to mock God, but God meant it to tell the truth.  Let’s all make Him our King on this Passover.