Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, May 25, 2023

There’s a problem!  The Torah portions from this week until the first of July don’t match up.  Let me explain.  If you’re living in Israel, you keep the one day of Shavuot (as is commanded in Leviticus 23).  However; if you live outside of Israel (called the diaspora), then you observe two days for the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).  Although I live in the diaspora, I follow the Israel schedule because it is more biblical.

The diaspora schedule is the tradition of the rabbis to allow pilgrims the extra day which also allows time for the signal to go forth from Jerusalem to all the Jews living in distant lands.  That signal is that the feast has started, so for sure it will be celebrated on the correct day.

Rabbi Trail: Shavuot is one of the three holidays (Chagim Regalim – walking holidays), when Jewish men are commanded to appear in Jerusalem before the Lord.  The other two are Pesach and Sukkot.  To allow for pilgrims to make the journey, they added an extra day.  Same with Pesach and Sukkot but not Yom Kippur.  Rosh Hashanah has two days both in Israel and in the diaspora, but as Yom Teruah [the day of the shout, or sounding shofars] only one day is biblically commanded.  End RT.

This year it is a problem because the second day of Shavuot falls on Shabbat.  So inside Israel we read Parashat Nasso, (the next Torah portion) while outside Israel that is read the following week.  In the diaspora, this week, Parashat Shavuot Sheni (second day) will be read.  The two reading schedules will continue one week apart until they are resolved at the beginning of July when both Chukat and Balak will be read, as a double portion, in the diaspora.  Inside Israel, only Balak will be read that week because Chukat will be read the week before.

If all this confuses you, click on www.hebcal.org to get the Jewish calendar.  Under settings, choose “diaspora holiday schedule” or “Israel holiday schedule.”  With those two different settings you’ll see what I mean.  If you’re still confused, be comforted that it took me an hour to figure it out.


Day 47 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 weeks and five days of the counting of the Omer.

Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.


Victory Over Sin part 31 – Romans, part 92

Romans 8:9  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Ruach—if indeed the Ruach Elohim dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Ruach of Messiah, he does not belong to Him.

Say this, “I belong to the Messiah.  Therefore; the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) dwells in me.”  Belonging to Messiah is not an “on again, off again” proposition.  Revelation 3:16  So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth.

Rabbi Trail:  Amy Grant sang this song “Fat Baby” on her fourth album (titled “Age to Age”)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBenQ7MfMc4&list=PLcplJQn6klj4rY72zz8b6dWGegtL7o_75&index=5  It is a reminder to be a doer, and not a hearer only.  Years ago I was part of a monthly group of men who adopted the theme “death to dualism” as our motto.  Dualism (not “duelism” which is the belief that a fight to the finish is the best way to end an argument) is being one person when you’re “out with the boys” and someone else when you out with the family.  End RT.

To the secular world, everything is relative.  In the world, how you act depends on the situation.  In the kingdom of God, how you act depends on faith and values.  Consistency is the hallmark of the life of the believer.  Luke 16:13  “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The opposite of a faith based life is moral relativism.  Moral relativism means acting morally based on the circumstances.  It is the very definition of dualism.  Yeshua rightly taught… Matthew 5:37  But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’—anything more than this is from the evil one.”

To live inconsistent with the values of the Holy Spirit that is within you is to grieve the Holy Spirit.  Paul put it this way in his letter to the Ephesians.  Ephesians 4:30  Do not grieve the Ruach ha-Kodesh of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31  Get rid of all bitterness and rage and anger and quarreling and slander, along with all malice. 32  Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other just as God in Messiah also forgave you.

We belong to God, we must act like our Father and bring glory to Him and the rest of the family.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 47 of the Omer
Thu 25 May-2023 5th of Sivan, 5783
De 16:4-8  Jer 17 Job 37 1 Co 1 (Mk 5)