Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, May 31, 2021


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

Mon 31 May-2021 20th of Sivan, 5781

Nu 13:21-14:7 Jer 30 Dan 6 (Mk 13) 1 Co 12

This week’s Torah portion starts in Numbers 13:1, but the name of it, “Sh’lach-L’cha,” comes from the second verse of Numbers 13.  The first verse is the most repeated words of the Bible.  In transliterated Hebrew, they are, “Va’y’daber Yehovah El Moshe Lamor.”  Numbers 13:1 Adonai spoke to Moses saying.  In Hebrew text, it looks like this…

.וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר

Va’y’daber = Daber means speak.  Davar is “word” or “thing.”  It is the Shoresh of 2 books of the Torah, Ba’Mid’bar meaning “in the wilderness” (Numbers) and D’var’im meaning “words” (Deuteronomy).  

Va’y’daber starts with the “Vav” which is used as a “Vav Conversive.”  (Okay, I just threw some of you a curve ball.  Follow me here.)  

Rabbi Trail:  God has written the Torah using an interplay of tenses (past, present and future), probably because they don’t mean to Him what they mean to us.  End RT.

God puts a “Vav” in front of many words to change their tense.  A future tense becomes past tense (as it is here), and a past tense becomes future tense (as in other places). The best translation for “Va’y’daber” is “And God spoke.”

Who spoke?  The “Yud-Hay-Vav-Hay” spoke to Moses (El-Moshe).

Lamor = “Omer” means “say.”  This is not the “Omer” of a measure of barley we just finished counting.  That one is spelled with an “Ayin,” (remember, the silent letter with an attitude) and as you can plainly see, this one is spelled with an “Aleph.” This is the “Omer” of “Ma Ata Omer?” (What are you saying?”)  “Lamor” is the infinitive form. 

All that “to say” that perhaps a better translation would be “The Lord spoke to Moses to say.”  And yet, that is not my subject.  The first word of the next verse is.  “Sh’lach-L’cha” means, “Hey you, send….”  It could also mean “to you, send,” but it could also mean “send for yourself….”

This isn’t going to turn out well, is it?  Moses will send 12 spies into Canaan.  Ten will come back in fear.  Only 2, Caleb and Joshua, will return with faith.  I’m sure there is a lesson for each of us in this.  Let’s determine in advance, before God sends us, to be people of faith.

It was in our Haftarah reading this past Shabbat… Zechariah 4:6b “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Ruach!” says Adonai-Tzva’ot.”  If I dare to jump ahead, Joshua only follows God’s instruction to walk around Jericho and on the 7th day, walk, sound the Shofar and shout.  Joshua 6:20 So when the shofarot blew, the people shouted. When the people heard the sound of the shofar, the people shouted a loud shout—and the wall fell down flat! So the people went up into the city, everyone straight ahead, and they captured the city.  Don’t you tell God what He can and cannot do.  The 10 false spies tried.  What is your Jericho?  Listen for God’s instructions and obey.    

Week 23
Memory Verse:  1 Peter 2:23 When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.”

* 111 6/3 Monday:        Isaiah 6, 9

112   6/4 Tuesday:       Isaiah 44, 45

113   6/5 Wednesday:  Isaiah 52, 53
114   6/6 Thursday:      Isaiah 65, 66
115   6/7 Friday:           Micah 1; 4:6-13; 5

Question of the day:  What do we read at the end of Isaiah 9:6?

Answer:  Isaiah 9:5,6(6,7) is one of the most famous passages in all of Scripture.  It starts, “unto us a child is born,” and ends with, “The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.”  Here it is in the Hebrew….

קִנְאַת יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, תַּעֲשֶׂה-זֹּאת

Kin’at Yehovah Tz’va’ot, Ta’aseh-Zot.

This Hebrew word, “Kin’at” is something about which I have not yet written.  It is translated here as “zeal,” but it is more often translated as “jealousy.”  These two English words are both words of passion.  They communicate strong emotional bonds that are worth fighting for.  

God is One.  This is God’s loving design.  We can only walk down one road at a time.  God is not asking us to do more.  He is jealous for our attention.  He is jealous for our affection.  In His passion for our attention and affection, God sent His own Son…. 

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5 to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.

God’s role not just Fatherhood.  It’s more, it’s also government.  He sent His Son to establish His Kingdom, here on earth as it is in heaven.  Our destiny… Revelation 5:10 You have made them for our God a kingdom and kohanim, and they shall reign upon the earth.”  It’s time to step into our priestly role and use the authority given to us through His sacrifice and claim His victory over evil.  More on this soon.