Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, May 6, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Day 28 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 four weeks and no days of the counting of the Omer.

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


Day 35: Evening
Encouraged and Guided by Moses’ Example
by David Harwood

Our love for God is important to the God we love. We were successfully created to be creations whose love for our Creator is meaningful to the Creator. We are commanded, encouraged, and guided into this relationship by Moses, who conveyed this command to Israel.

Love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 TLV) 

Yeshua reinforced it.

And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38 TLV) 

It is the greatest, foremost, prioritized Command. The Messiah prioritized it. By faith, even if we do not emotionally resonate with it, we should, too. It is more important than any other command. It is always first in line. When it walks into a room every other command stands up showing reverence.

Although commanded, and although we should obey, it is obvious that we need His help to love Him. One way we are helped is through God revealing Himself to us in a way that has something in common with what He did with Moses.

Certainly, Moses loved God. Therefore, he was someone with whom the Lord might be vulnerable. Moses’ hunger to experience more of God was a conduit for a revelation that has fed the souls of multitudes.

Let’s review this episode in the lives of God and Moses.

Israel’s faltering faith led to episodes of complaint, rebellion, and unfaithfulness culminating in worship of the golden calf. Their ongoing alienation from God finally birthed a full manifestation of outrageous ungodliness. The text says that they were out of control.

Moses saw that the people were unrestrained, because Aaron had let them run wild, to become a joke among their enemies. (Exodus 32:25 TLV)

This was happening at the time God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments. When Moses saw the opposite of covenant faithfulness, he realized that the national covenant was broken before it was solemnized. This was like a bride ignoring her groom, leaving him at the altar, and engaging in public extended flirtation with a guest.

To say the least, the groom would not be pleased. He would be humiliated and enraged, and by the way, Yahweh was not overjoyed at Israel’s behavior. (Behold, an understatement.) In this case, neither was Moses, who was the friend of the bridegroom.

Both divine and human judgment ensued. What came next was that Moses, scandalized and fearful, turned to God and pleaded with Him to forgive Israel. The Lord recommissioned Moses to lead the people to their inheritance. He said He’d send an angel to bring about the fulfillment of His promises to Israel.

I will send an angel before you. I will drive out the Canaanites … but I will not move within the midst of you, so that I do not destroy you along the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” (Exodus 33:2a, 3b TLV) 

Here was Israel’s response and God’s quandary.

When the people heard these dreadful words, they mourned, and no one put on any ornaments. Adonai said to Moses, “Say to Bnei-Yisrael, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were going up among you for one moment, I would consume you. Take off your ornaments, so that I may consider what to do to you.’” (Exodus 33:4-5 TLV)

God basically said, “You have so alienated Me that I don’t even know how to relate to you.”

It is in the light of this situation that Moses entered God’s presence and sought to resolve this alienation.

That is the relational background to Moses’ request to see God’s glory.

We are not consistently faithful to God, either. We need His help to love Him more. Let’s not be ashamed to ask for that help. Let’s not pretend that our love is consistently, utterly, steadfastly wholehearted and mature. Confess your need and earnestly pray:

Help me love You with all of my heart, soul and mind.

Make that your equivalent of Moses’ “Show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18b)

In ourselves we are helpless, but God will help us. God came down to talk to Moses about Himself. We can believe for something similar for ourselves. After all, it is God’s will. Paul prayed for the Ephesians to receive a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:17). That same Spirit will reveal to us the love-worthiness of God.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 28 of the Omer
Sat 6 May-2023 15th of Iyar, 5783 Parashat Emor
Le 24:1-23 Ez 44:15-31 Lk 12:35-48