Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, May 27, 2020 


** Please feel free to forward this RR to family and friends.  If you know anyone who would like to be added to the daily distribution have them reply to this email at rabbi@syknox.org and I’ll add them.

** Sunday is Shavuot (Pentecost).  Shomair is having a special worship service beginning at 10:30am in the sanctuary.  We are meeting together with Grace & Glory Fellowship.  This is one of the three annual “Chagim Regalim” (literally, “foot holidays”) on which all Israel was commanded to appear before the Lord.  I hope you will come and share in the blessing with both congregations.  We were originally planning a picnic following the service, but that has been cancelled due to social distancing standards. 

Counting the Omer – Day 47

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 four days of the counting of the Omer.

Today we continue our discussion of the longing to make a deep and lasting impact.  We left off yesterday with the idea that the way to make a deep and lasting impact is to be fully submitted to the will of God.  

Near the end of practically every worship service at Shomair, we eat and drink at the Table of the Lord.  We believe that this is the highest form of spiritual warfare available to us.  Yeshua made this matzah and fruit of the vine (typical of His body and blood) available to us through His once-for-all-time sacrifice on the cross.  

John 4:32 But He (Yeshua) said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”  What is it that we “know nothing about?”  Is there a mystery?  We need to learn two things from Scripture here… 

First, we share in His victory… Colossians 2:15 After disarming the principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.

Secondly, His victory is in His submission… John 4:34 Yeshua tells them, “My food is to do the will of the One who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

Yeshua spoke (and prayed) into eternity from the Garden of Gethsemane when He concluded His prayer… Luke 22:41 And He pulled back about a stone’s throw from them, got on His knees, and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  The very next thing that happens is an angel comes to strengthen Yeshua’s resolve so that He can empty Himself and follow the will of the Father.  

Just so we’re clear… Yeshua’s eternal greatness is based on His ultimate act of submission.  So too, our own lasting impact will be based on our ability to be and remain broken before God in all things.  Psalm 34:19(18) Adonai is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those crushed in spirit.  Psalm 51:19(17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Week 22
Memory Verse:  Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life. Abundance of joys are in Your presence, eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

106     5/25      Monday:        Jonah 1-2 

107     5/26      Tuesday:       Jonah 3-4 

* 108   5/27      Wednesday:  Hosea 1-3

109     5/28      Thursday:      Amos 1:1; 9

110     5/29      Friday:           Joel 1-3 

Question of the day:  The first 3 chapters of Hosea seem confusing.  (Rabbi’s note: I’m preaching from this text on Saturday, so it better get less confusing in a hurry.)  Hosea is told to marry a prostitute, but he is himself a holy man, a prophet.  So he goes into the “red light” district and picks one out.  Then they have 3 children together (each with an unsavory name).  Then, in chapter 2 there are promises of betrothal and the relationship between God and Israel seems to be fixed, only to be broken again.  Finally, at the end of chapter 3 there is another reconciliation that is final.  As Ricky Ricardo used to say, “You got some ‘splainin’ to do Lucy.”

Answer:  The full answer will come in the message on Shabbat.  But for now, let me give you an appetizer.  Hosea picks out Gomer and marries her.  Her name means “finished” or “the end.”  “Gamarnu” in modern Hebrew means “we are kaput” or “we’ve reached the end.”  In marrying a prostitute, Hosea has prostituted himself.  God called Israel into a love relationship with Himself, but instead, Israel chose to follow false gods, prostituting herself.

Like I said, there is much more.  Let’s visit on Shabbat.