Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 21, 2021

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,


We will have our usual Shabbat morning service at 10:30 on Saturday.  But the following day we will be celebrating Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost).  We will gather again as a community on Sunday morning at 10:30, this time with our brothers and sisters from Grace and Glory Fellowship, for a joint celebration.  

Following that time of praise, worship, teaching, prayer and blessing, we will meet at the pavilion at Holston River Park near the synagogue for a old fashioned picnic and cook-out.  G&G folks are bringing salads and desserts.  Shomairians are bringing sides to go with the hamburgers and hot dogs and drinks Shomair is providing.

Then, following the picnic, there will be more worship time (harp and bowl worship) led by our young adults until sundown.  All in all, it is a great way to honor the Lord’s commanded feast of Shavuot.  Visitors are welcome.  Come early and stay late.  The blessing is yours.  

Counting the Omer – Day 48

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 six weeks and six days of the counting of the Omer.

So today we come down to day 48.  Does it seem like we’ve been counting our blessings for almost 7 weeks?  Not to me.  I mentioned yesterday that God Self-identifies as the great “I WILL BE.”  We think past, present, and then future.  In our way of thinking, we tend to think of what was first.  History is our great teacher.  But God is exactly the opposite.

You see, God knows He doesn’t change.  Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  We are not used to that.  In our world (current existence), everything changes.  Don’t believe me?  Look in the mirror.  Not quite the same as yesterday, huh.  

But this is our blessing.  God IS all He will be or ever was.  He doesn’t get smarter, or better.  Nor is He diminished or depleted in any way.  In this world and in the world to come there is tension between God, Who is good, and every adversary of God, who is evil.  But the outcome (future) is never in doubt.  The victory belongs to our God.  Romans 8:31 What then shall we say in view of these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?  (There’s your blessing, if you’ve been looking for it.)

Everything Satan does is to make God out to be a liar.  He started with this question… Genesis 3:1b “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from all the trees of the garden’?”  The fall began with Satan questioning God and twisting the truth, and nothing has changed to this day.  But I have good news, my friends… 1 John 5:4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?  

This is great!  I love it when God’s people have the victory.  

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

Fri 21 May-2021 10th of Sivan, 5781 

Nu 5:11-6:27 Jer 20-21 Job 40 (Mk 7) 1 Co 4

The Aliyah for today ends with the Aaronic Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26), 3 verses of Scripture for blessing.  I don’t want to teach all of it today, just a small part.  The first word of each verse is important.  (There are only 15 words all together, and each one is important.)

“Y’va’re’cha’cha” – “Baruch” means “bless.”  Our word, “Y’va’re’cha’cha” means “He will bless you.”  “Baruch” comes from “Varech” which is the Hebrew word for “knee.”  So, when we invite God’s blessing, we are asking Him to bend His knee toward us?  Yes!

“Ya’er” – “Ohr” is light.  “Ya’er” means “He will enlighten.”  Moses reflected God’s light from being in His presence.  When God looks in our direction, the light is better.  One of the blessings of better light is that we can see sin more clearly.  Then, this middle blessing offers grace, but I’m not teaching on that today.

“Yisah” – “Oseh” means “make.”  “Yisah” means “He will make.”  The blessing includes God making something within you, His shalom.  Philippians 4:7 And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.  

Receive the fullness of this blessing, and be blessed.  

Week 21
Memory Verse: Psalm 63:1 A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 2 O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You. My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.

101   5/20 Monday:        1 Kings 16:29-34; 17

102   5/21 Tuesday:       1 Kings 18-19
103   5/22 Wednesday:  1 Kings 21-22
104   5/23 Thursday:      2 Kings 2
* 105 5/24 Friday:          2 Kings 5; 6:1-23

Another repeat from 2 years ago…

Question of the day:  The reading today is so great.  There is no question of the day.  Oh, okay.  Just one.  How do we respond when God does do what we want or expect?

Answer:  The lesson of Naaman is in the reading today.  What lesson is that?  Come back to me after you read 2 Kings 5 with the answer.

2 Kings 5:11 But Naaman was angered and walked away, saying, “I thought he would surely come out to me, stand and call on the Name of Adonai his God, and wave his hand over the spot and cure the tza’arat.”

Naaman had decided how he would be healed, but God.  But God had another plan.  Naaman was angered.  Sometimes Naaman is us.  But God… We must always submit to the will of God.  We frequently want to complicate things.  God cuts through the confusion to make things simple.

2 Kings 5:15a When he returned with his entire retinue to the man of God, and came and stood before him, he said, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.”

To God be the glory.