Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, May 6, 2022
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Counting the Omer – Day 13
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 one week and six days of the counting of the Omer.

Matthew 5:7 part 2 of 2

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”

The Greek word for mercy is eleémón (phonetic spelling el-eh-ay’-mone).  We have to be specific here, because there are several scriptural concepts that are similar, yet quite different.  The “Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels” gives us our best clue.  The word he uses is based on “Rach’mon’ot.”  There are other possibilities, like “Chen” and “Chesed,” but Rach’mon’ot was his choice for good reason.  Let’s examine…

“Chesed” is the best word to describe grace.  It is God’s undeserved favor.  God accepts us when such acceptance is not required or expected.  As our friend, Jerry Miller, put it into the title of his book, it truly is “Grace Beyond Reason.”  https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Beyond-Reason-Untapped-Intends/dp/1954533098 God’s love trumps our expectation of justice.  It’s not just His love for us, but the fulfillment of His purpose for creating the world (so He could love us).  We know what we deserve, but His love exceeds our expectations.  His love exceeds what is reasonable.

Another Hebrew possibility would be “Chen,” or “bowels of mercy.”  This is a word that describes a “gut wrenching” outreach of emotion.  This is the word used in Genesis 6 verse 8 to describe God’s feeling toward Noah.  Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in Adonai’s eyes.  It is also the second Hebrew word in Psalm 103:8 Adonai is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and plentiful in mercy.

But the first Hebrew word of Psalm 103:8 is our subject word, “Rachum.”  God is compassionate toward us.  This is Who He is.  God is compassionate. Ephesians 3:20b …far beyond all that we ask or imagine…. God wants our character to reflect His character.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfishness or conceit, but with humility consider others as more important than yourselves, 4 looking out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves, which also was in Messiah Yeshua.  Although the verses are usually separated differently, I don’t think I’m abusing the text by putting the vases together in this way.

Sadly, the history of mankind is a history of cruelty.  It should be no surprise then, that we continuously return to the two greatest commandments, to love God and to love each other. Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” Have compassion and you will be shown compassion.  It is a blessed promise from the Lord.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 06-May-2022 5th of Iyyar, 5782 13th day of the Omer
Le 20:8-22 Isa 61-62 Job 7 (Mt 22:23-46) Ro 6

Week 19
Memory Verse:  Psalm 139:1 For the music director: a psalm of David. Adonai, You searched me and know me. 2 Whenever I sit down or stand up, You know it. You discern my thinking from afar. 3 You observe my journeying and my resting and You are familiar with all my ways.

91    5/02      Monday:        Psalm 119:129-176; 139
92    5/03      Tuesday:       Psalm 148-150
93    5/04      Wednesday:  1 Kings 2
94    5/05      Thursday:      1 Kings 3; 6
95    5/06      Friday:           1 Kings 8; 9:1-9