Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, June 14, 2020 


We continue with the teaching on the Shema… lesson 6.  Line 4, 3rd word in grey (V’Shinantam) plus the next word in yellow (L’Vanecha), and finally, the next two words in purple (V’Dibarta Bam).

V’Shinantam – (all of the “a”s in these words are pronounced “ahhhh” as if settling into a hot (but not too hot) bath.  Yes, the soothing “ahhhh.”  Are you feeling tired?  Ready for a hot bath?  Well forget it, you’ve got an RR to read.

This word is translated “teach” but it doesn’t really mean teach.  “Then what does it mean,” you ask.  As with all Hebrew words, all we have to do is look at the shoresh.  “Shanan” means “sharpen.”  Starting to see the connection to teaching?  

“Shinayim” are “teeth.” The Hebrew letter “shin” is the only letter with 3 tops (like the teeth of a saw).  Picture a barber sharpening his razor using a strap.  He repeatedly swipes the blade to sharpen it.  This is sharpening (teaching) through repetition.  

There is a reason some things are on the calendar once (speaking of “sharpen,” like circumcision) and others are on the calendar every year (some even every month or every week).  God wants all of us to learn through repetition.

L’Vanecha – These are children (the “cha” at the end means they are your children).  This is instruction of parental responsibility to “teach your children through repetition.”  

A “ben” (Van) is a son.  A “bat” is a daughter.  Any time we have a mixed gender group, the masculine plural is used.  Although “L’Vanecha” is masculine, it does not mean that only the boys should be sharpened.

V’Dibarta Bam – I’m putting these words together because I’m writing this and I want to.  “Bam” means “in them.”  “V’Dibarta” uses the Vav Conversive (we’ve studied this twice before) to take a past tense word and change it to future (which is how we express commands, “thou shalt”).  

“Daber” is to “speak.”  Remember recently I wrote about 3 words and the middle word was “Ha’D’varim from Deuteronomy 6:6?”  Same root, “davar” meaning “word.”  “L’Daber” means “to speak.”  We speak words (Midabrim HaDevarim).

In these two words, V’Dibarta Bam, we have a command to “speak them,” or idiomatically to “speak about them.”  Who is “them?”  Why it’s “them” words you have just been commanded to put on your heart.  We are getting additional instruction on how to teach them to our children; “speak about them.” 

We’ll pick this up again tomorrow.  God will go on to tell us when to speak about them.

Week 25
Memory Verse: Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the stony heart from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  27 I will put My Ruach within you. Then I will cause you to walk in My laws, so you will keep My rulings and do them.

* 121 6/18   Monday: Jeremiah 31-30(31)-39(40); 32-33

122   6/19   Tuesday:  Jeremiah 52; 2 Kings 24-25
123   6/20   Wednesday Ezekiel 1:1-3; 36:16-38; 37 

124   6/21   Thursday: Daniel 1-2
125   6/22   Friday: Daniel 3-4

Question of the day:  Why do I have some numbers in parentheses for today’s reading?  

Answer:  We are using only the Tree of Life Version (TLV) unless otherwise noted.  The numbering is different from many traditional Christian texts.  I am putting the KJV numbering in parenthesis in case you’re not using the TLV.  For the full TLV story, use this link.  https://www.tlvbiblesociety.org/about-us 

The real Question of the day:  And so we wait.  For what are we waiting?  

The real answer:  Read all about it in the reading for today.  God promises a new covenant with Israel.  It will include a new reality of Torah (written on our hearts) and forgiveness of sins for all Israel.  God also promises even the ashes of Israel will be holy (Jer 31:39)  

I want to expand on this answer.  As Jerusalem is being overtaken by the Babylonian army, God gives Jeremiah instructions to buy some property.  Jeremiah could have argued with God, saying, “This isn’t smart!  I’m about to pay good money for land that will be burned and taken away from me by an invading army.”  

Instead, Jeremiah says, (and I paraphrase) “Put the deeds away in a safe place, because God has promised they will be very valuable some day.”

Yes, my friends, God is not done with Israel.  As the saying goes, but wait, there’s more.  Read God’s promises concerning Israel coming back to Him, also found in Jeremiah 31.  He loves it when we pray His word back to Him.  Be blessed.