Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, May 2, 2022
Shalom *|FNAME|*,

First, the news… Last Monday, April 25th, I finished writing and editing all the RR’s up until this one (a week in advance).  I did this in anticipation of Jan and my scheduled trip to Israel.  Now, I wanted to put off writing this as long as possible, but it has to be said.

Some of you know (or may recall) that I’ve been under the weather for the last 2 weeks (really since the start of Passover).  We went to the health department and tested negative for COVID.  The day of our scheduled flight to Israel (Wednesday, April 27th), I needed another more recent test.   My rapid molecular COVID test came back positive.  They wouldn’t let us board the plane with a positive test, so we stayed home.

While it hurts my heart to write that, both Jan and I are steadfast in believing the goodness of God.  This blessed assurance alone modifies our disappointment.  We trust in His timing and provision.  So we’ll wait for another opportunity to go.  It will just have to be some other time.

Romans 8:28 Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

There are many other encouraging Scriptures.  Here are a few of them, just listed.  Look them up if you like.  Romans 5:3-5, Jacob 1:2-3, Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians 13:12, and many more.


On an unrelated topic…

Isaiah 50:7 For Adonai Elohim will help Me. Therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed…. 9a See, Adonai Elohim will help Me. Who is he who would condemn Me?

I woke this morning with thoughts of shame.  Not my shame, just shame in general.  I was thinking how there is good shame and bad shame.  Good shame is of God and bad shame is of Satan.  They both start the same, but when we believe a lie (John 8:44b Whenever he [Satan] speaks lies he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies.), good shame is turned into bad shame.

All shame starts out as conviction that our behavior has not matched God’s command.  His desire for us is that we would be perfect.  Matthew 5:48 Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  Good shame brings the conviction that we have missed the mark.  By grace, God uses good shame to draw us near to Himself.

Bad shame yields a harvest of condemnation when we believe the lie that we are a bad person (totally different from a good person doing something out of character).  The lie is compounded when we believe there is no remedy to fix the offense.  The harvest of condemnation sustains our separation from God, which is contrary to God’s plan for reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

This is why prayer is so important.  Pray that God will heal your shame and use it to draw you closer to Him.  My rabbi, Dave Chansky, used to say, “When you fall, fall toward the cross, so that when you get up, you’ll be closer to God than before.”  Reject bad shame, and embrace good shame.  It is the beginning of God’s gift of conviction that leads to reconciliation.

Micah 7:19 He will again have compassion on us. He will subdue our iniquities, and You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.


Counting the Omer – Day 9

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 one week and two days of the counting of the Omer.


We continue our series on the Beatitudes…

Matthew 5:6 part 1 of ?

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

These words are in quotes because Yeshua spoke them as part of His Sermon on the Mount.  Have you been following what He has been saying?  Yeshua’s words are turning the world upside down.  First, each of the Beatitudes begins with the Greek word, “makarios” (phonetic spelling: mak-ar’-ee-os), meaning happy or blessed.  The Hebrew equivalent is Ashre (connected to the tribe Asher), meaning joyful, exuberant.  Yeshua is saying that people who do certain things will shriek for joy.

And, what are these “things?”  They are counterintuitive.  The first four are,  be poor in spirit, mourn, be meek, and today we add, thirst for righteousness.  The world’s system of “getting ahead” cries out for the opposite.  The world says, “Put yourself in front, be proud, shout your successes, push yourself and strive.”  Yeshua is saying exactly the opposite.

In our verse for today, we find the message of communion (you should already know how important communion is to us).  Righteousness is found in the body and blood of Yeshua.  Yeshua spoke about His body and blood, saying… John 6:47 “Amen, amen I tell you, he who believes has eternal life.  48 I am the bread of life…. 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.

Read the entire context of John 6.  Yeshua is touching a nerve, and He knows it.  At the end of it all, He even asks His disciples…. John 6:61 But Yeshua knew His disciples were murmuring, so He said to them, “Does this offend you?  Yeshua knew it would be offensive to Jews to be instructed to eat human flesh (not kosher) and drink human blood (also not kosher).  Of course, it requires the Holy Spirit to give understanding.  But those who were stiff-necked would not receive.  John 6:66 From this time, many of His disciples left and quit walking with Him.

Yeshua turned to ask even His closest disciples…. John 6:67 So Yeshua said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to leave also, do you?”  But Simon Peter replied… John 6:68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!

So, Yeshua is asking each of us today, “You don’t want to leave also, do you?”  May each of us answer as Simon Peter and affirm Yeshua as both our Lord and Savior.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 02-May-2022 1st of Iyyar, 5782 9th day of the Omer
Rosh Chodesh Iyyar (Day 2)
Le 19:15-22 Isa 57 Job 3 (Mt 20) Ro 2

Week 19
Memory Verse:  Psalm 139:1 For the music director: a psalm of David. Adonai, You searched me and know me. 2 Whenever I sit down or stand up, You know it. You discern my thinking from afar. 3 You observe my journeying and my resting and You are familiar with all my ways.

91    5/02      Monday:        Psalm 119:129-176; 139
92    5/03      Tuesday:       Psalm 148-150
93    5/04      Wednesday:  1 Kings 2
94    5/05      Thursday:      1 Kings 3; 6
95    5/06      Friday:           1 Kings 8; 9:1-9