Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, May 4, 2023

Day 26 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 three 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 17 – Romans, part 78

Romans 7:10b The commandment meant for life was found to cause death. 11 Sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Writing my commentary on the Book of Romans, reminds me of the old joke.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Rabbi Trail:  Due to the comedy writers strike, enjoy the following… For the record, elephants are not to be eaten, and by telling that joke, I am not promoting it.  For one thing, they are not kosher.  (They don’t have both split hoofs and chew their cud.)  Secondly, they are an endangered species, so killing an elephant is considered poaching.

In the same way, polar bears are not to be eaten.  However; should you find yourself sitting down to dinner with polar bear on the menu, avoid eating the liver.  I’ve been told it contains lethal levels of vitamin A and is considered poisonous.

In fact, one polar bear liver contains enough vitamin A to kill 52 adults, that’s how potentially deadly it is.  (I read that on the internet, so it must be true.)  So, consider yourself warned, although I can’t imagine you will ever come face to face with a polar bear liver.  Well, this has certainly been the mother of all Rabbi Trails.  I hope it made you smile.  End RT.

Paul is saying, “The commandment deceived me.”  He is also saying, (speaking again of the commandment) “it killed me.”  Deception and death are the product of the unredeemed commandment of God.  Then, in the following verse, Paul praises that same commandment, calling it “holy… righteous and good.”

Could the tension between Law and Grace be any clearer?  And yet, I want to propose to you that there is no such tension at all.  The Commandment is Truth, and Grace our path to it.  How does this verse end, grace OR truth, or is it grace AND truth?

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Yes, Yeshua is way Who is full of grace and truth.  The idea that we must choose between them is not consistent with Who He is.  Without Yeshua, the Torah represents a tightrope, by which it is impossible to cross over to God.  With Yeshua, the Torah represents the highway by which everyone will cross over into the presence of God.

Isaiah 62:10  Go through, go through the gates. Clear the way for the people! Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Lift up a banner over the peoples.

This is how Isaiah introduces the salvation of all Israel.  Striving in the flesh to obey God cannot please God.  Only by faith in Yeshua do we dare to hope for salvation.

Hebrews 11:6  Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Now we see that the Torah is holy and righteous and good.  What will we see tomorrow?  It depends on where we happen to put our eyes.  Let’s visit again then.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 26 of the Omer
Thu 4 May 2023 13th of Iyar, 5783
Le 23:23-32 Isa 63-64 Job 18 3 Jn (Mt 18)