Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, May 7, 2020 


Counting the Omer – Day 26

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 three weeks and five days of the counting of the Omer.

Can you believe I’m already writing for Thursday?  What a fast week!  You may not know this, but I’m writing these RRs, as we count the Omer, from notes.  My only note for today is this… “He walks with us and treats us with honor in every season of our lives.”  That’s it!  Yeshua is our High Priest, but (even better) He is also the lover of our souls.  Hear His words… John 15:9a “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you.”  

Being a recipient of His love is a high honor.  (I like being master of the understatement.)   When God does something, He is so powerful (and what He does is so filled with power) that whatever He does keeps on being done until He commands it to stop.  So it is with His love for us.  God still loves us with the same intensity that He loved us on “opening day.”

Rabbi Trail:  I’ve told this story that I first heard from David Chansky.  Two boys were watching TV when their dad asked the older one for a glass of water.  He said he would get the water, but never moved a muscle.  So dad then asked the younger boy to get him some water.  The younger boy jumped up, got the water, but in his haste to deliver it, tripped and spilled all the water.  Which boy did more of the will of his father?  I think you know. (I’ve never had anyone get this wrong.)  Sometimes we spill the water, but God’s love is constant.  End RT.

God judges our hearts.  We invite Him to test us…. Psalm 26:2 Probe me, Adonai, and test me, refine my mind and my heart.  And we love Him back with equal passion.  Song of Songs 3:4b  I found the One my soul loves. 

What does it mean to pass out of judgment and into His love?  In Hebrew, a “courthouse” is called a “Beit Din” (house of judgment).  There is a trial followed by a verdict.  We are all being tried, but we have passed out of verdict due to God’s love…. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God’s love frees us from shame.  God calls us to a life free from guile (evil intention).  The opposite of guile is sincerity and truth.  We are set free.  Galatians 5:1a For freedom, Messiah set us free.  John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!  We were all captives, and we have all been set free.

1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 All power to Him forever! Amen.

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    5/04      Monday:        Psalm 119:129-176; 139

92    5/05      Tuesday:       Psalm 148-150 

93    5/06      Wednesday:  1 Kings 2

* 94  5/07      Thursday:      1 Kings 3; 6 

95    5/08      Friday:           1 Kings 8; 9:1-9   

Question of the day:  Hey Rabbi, what grabbed your attention in 1 Kings 6 and why?

Answer:  It is these two verses… 1 Kings 6:12 “As for this House which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes, execute My ordinances and keep all My mitzvot by walking in them, then I will establish My word with you, which I spoke to your father David, 13 I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

First, this is an “if/then” couplet.  If “you will walk”… then “I will dwell”….  All that’s left is for Solomon to walk.  But how?  There are 3 distinct words used, Chukim (statues), Mishpatim (ordinances – judgments is a better word), and Mitzvot (commandments).  

These are distinct types of laws, but the lines of distinction are blurred.  A “Chauk” (one) or Chukim (many) are laws for which there is no obvious understanding.  The classic Chauk is the Red Heifer (Numbers 19).  Mishpatim are easily understood ordinances that make sense.  Mostly, these relate to interpersonal relationships (like “Thou shalt not murder”).  The final category, Mitzvot, are commandments of all types.  They are usually positive commandments connected to a good deed, the giving of charity for instance.

I guess the “take away” is that God promises He will dwell and not forsake His people Israel.  There is plenty of upside, but the people never could manage to obey sufficiently well.  So God had to remedy the situation by sending His own Son.  Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a kohen gadol who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all the same ways—yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.

Love and blessings.  Ad Machar (until tomorrow).  Michael.