Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, April 9, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Day 2 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 six days and no weeks of the counting of the omer.

We’ve been appreciating the glory, beauty and majesty of God.

Psalm 104:1 Bless Adonai, O my soul. Adonai my God, You are very great! (Gadalta Me’od) You are clothed with splendor and majesty (Hod V’Hadar – see note below)— 2 wrapping Yourself in light as a robe, stretching out heaven like a curtain, 3 laying beams for His upper rooms in waters, making the clouds His chariot, walking on the wings of the wind, 4 making His angels spirits, His servants a flaming fire. 5 He set the earth upon its foundations, so it should not totter forever and ever.

And the Psalm goes on… At the end of verse 1, we have “splendor and majesty,” as translations of “Hod” (Hey-Vav-Dalet) and “Hadar” (Hey-Dalet-Resh).  “Hod” is where we get “Todah” (thank you).  When we say “thank you,” we are saying “may you be glorified.”  As we express our appreciation, we are saying “splendid.”  The other word, “Hadar” is the basis of one of the top 8 words used to express the magnificence of God in the Kaddish prayer, “V’Yit’ha’dar,” which is Aramaic.  

Think for a moment with me on the majesty of God.  As immense as all of creation is, our God is greater.  In this, we have the answer to the age old question, “Can God create a boulder so huge that He can’t lift it?”  And the answer is, “No.”  

Let’s continue to ponder the greatness of God.  Think about the amount of effort it takes to create a nuclear explosion.  The number of scientists and resources necessary to break apart matter.  The explosion is forcing confusion into God’s order.  

God created the world and everything in it.  You can read about this in Genesis 1 and in John 1, and in 1 John 1.  God created order, and His order is holding the world together.  We think of the natural state as order, because that’s what we see, but the natural state is confusion and disorder.  God, through His sovereignty brings order.  How great is our God?

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

Fri9 April-2021 27th of Nisan, 5781

Le 10:16-20 Isa 47 Job 5 (Mt 7) 1 Pet 2

We only have 5 verses in the Aliyah (Torah reading) today.  They present a strange interchange between Moses and Aaron.  Here, I’ll reprint all 5 verses to make it easy for you to follow…

Leviticus 10:16 Then Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering and noticed it had been burned up. So he snapped at Eleazar and Itamar, the surviving sons of Aaron, saying: 17 “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the Sanctuary, since it is most holy, and He gave it to you in order to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before Adonai? 18 Look, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly shall have eaten it in the Sanctuary, as I commanded.” 19 But Aaron said to Moses, “Behold, today they presented their sin offering and their burnt offering before Adonai. When things like these have happened to me, would it have been good in the eyes of Adonai if I had eaten the sin offering today?” 20 When Moses heard this, it was good in his eyes.

This is challenging to understand.  None of the commentaries I checked have a clear cut explanation.  Apparently, the surviving sons of Aaron, Eleazar and Itamar, left the sin offering (goat) on the fire too long and burned it up.  They didn’t take it off the fire and eat it as instructed.  They also didn’t bring its shed blood into the holy place.  

As I said, Aaron’s comment is cryptic and hard to follow.  Remember, these boys and their dad are still dealing with the recent (perhaps the same day) sudden deaths of their brothers, Nadab and Abhihu.  They realized their deaths were the result of sin, and they knew that they, themselves were not free from sin.  This made them nervous and unsure of what to do next.  Aaron was asking Moses, “Would it have been good for me to eat the sin offering while still in a state of sin myself?”  This seemed like a good defense to Moses.

Whenever we partake of Yeshua’s body and blood, we are fulfilling our appointment as priests unto the Lord.  We are a kingdom of priests eating the flesh of the sin offering (Yeshua).  2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Yeshua commanded us… John 6:53 So Yeshua said to them, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 “For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink.

So, we dare not do as Aaron’s sons and abstain.  They didn’t have the body and blood of Yeshua available to them.  We do.  We pray and partake.  1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Week 15

Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 16:7 But Adonai said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have already refused him. For He does not see a man as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks into the heart.”

71   4/07    Monday:         1 Samuel 1-2

72   4/08    Tuesday:        1 Samuel 3; 8

73   4/09    Wednesday:   1 Samuel 9-10

74   4/10    Thursday:       1 Samuel 13-14

* 75 4/11    Friday:            1 Samuel 15-16

Question of the day:  We’ll let the elders of Bethlehem as the question of the day.  They asked Samuel, “Do you come in shalom?”

Answer:  They didn’t just ask, they asked “trembling.”  1 Samuel 16:4 The elders of the town came out to meet him trembling, and asked, “Do you come in shalom?”  Why were they trembling?  They were asking themselves, “Why would Samuel come to us?”  

This same thing happens to me.  Certain phone calls make me nervous.  Why would my boss call (when I had a boss)?  In those days, it could only be bad news.  The corporate office almost never called to just say that everything is fine and I’m doing a good job.  That was too rare to be considered a real possibility.

So the elders of Bethlehem were scared at Samuel’s arrival.  What had they done?  Who sinned?  Do you come in shalom?  In fact, Samuel was on a clandestine mission, a mission he was reluctant to undertake.  His assignment was to anoint another King of Israel while the current King (Saul) was still reigning.  Saul might object and order Samuel’s head to be removed from his shoulders.  

So Jesse produces his sons.  They’re all strapping, good looking boys, but Samuel doesn’t see the anointing of God on them. 1 Samuel 16:11a Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the boys you have?”  Jesse answers Samuel (I’m paraphrasing here)… You’re looking for the next King of Israel and you’ve already seen my best and brightest.  But there is one more son, who is so small and tender that I can’t even recommend him to you.  In fact, we consider him so useless, all we can do with him is let him tend the sheep.  He loves to play his harp and sing softly.  He seems to always have his mind on things that are not of this world.  He’s such a tender boy, I really can’t bring him forward to you.  You’ll laugh at me and shame me in front of my bigger and stronger boys, who are already warriors in Saul’s army. 

1 Samuel 16:12 So he sent word and had him (David) come. Now he was ruddy-cheeked, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. Then Adonai said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is the one.” 13a So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. From that day on Ruach Adonai came mightily upon David. And the rest is his story (history).