Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, June 16, 2020 


Shema, lesson 7: Today we will learn the next 4 words (all in yellow) beginning with the last word on line 4 (remember Hebrew is right to left), followed by the first 3 words on line 5.

“B’Shivt’cha B’Vaytecha U’V’Lech’t’cha VaDerech”  These 4 words are in two couplets (the cantillation marks show this, but I have not taught you much about cantillation marks).  Therefore; let’s study them as couplets.

B’Shivt’cha B’Vaytecha:  Literally “in dwelling in your house.”  To “shev” is to sit or dwell.  It is actually the same Shoresh as “Shabbat.”  You already know what the “cha” at the end means, but I’ll tell you one last time.  It means “yours” as a contraction of L’cha meaning “to you,” or perhaps Shel’cha meaning “for you.”   A “bayit” is a house.  It is the Shoresh of “Baytecha,” meaning “your house.”

U’V’Lech’t’cha VaDerech:  To “lech” means to “walk around” (from “holech”).  The “U” in front means “and” while the “V” in front means “in.”  So then this word U’V’Lech’t’cha means “and in your walking around.”

A “derech” is a road.  VaDerech means “in the road.”  The leading “V” means in and the “a” is a contraction of “Ha” meaning “the.”  

You do know that every word and every part of a word in Scripture is put there intentionally by God for a purpose (usually more than one purpose).  These two couplets are no exception.  

This paragraph started with God declaring His oneness.  Then He tells us how to love him (with all our…).  That is followed by His command to put His instruction in our hearts and to teach them to our children through repetition.  

Now we are told “to speak about them,” when?  We are to speak about His words when we are either in the house or in the road.  In other words, when we are home or when we are away.  This is God’s way of saying “all the time” because you are either in your house or you are out of your house.

Tomorrow we will see how God goes even further, telling us we are always up or down, one or the other.

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:  How do we know King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, really burned Jerusalem?  Jeremiah 52:13 Then he burned the House of Adonai, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He burned every large house with fire.

Answer:  Archeologists have found burnt  houses in the ruins of ancient Jerusalem.  This is an example of the second temple burning https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-burnt-house.   But what about the first Temple burning?  https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/jerusalem-mount-zion-babylonian-conquest-evidence-intl-scli/index.html

Another question of the day:  How about something more spiritual for today?

Answer:  If you insist… We close out the book of Jeremiah as well as 2 Kings.  These chapters report on the ultimate destruction of the first Temple and the first exile from Judah (to Babylon).  The end of Jeremiah and 2 Kings are remarkably similar.  Almost (and in many cases, actually) word for word identical.  The big spiritual take-away is actually in yesterday’s reading.  

This is the promised redemption by God of the people of Jerusalem.  Have you ever been asked what you believe?  Here is my suggested answer… “I believe the promises of God.”  Here is a promise that flies in the face of anyone who believes God is done with Jewish people.

Jeremiah 32:36a Now therefore thus says Adonai, the God of Israel 37 “See, I will gather them out of all the countries, where I have driven them in My anger, My fury, and great wrath, and I will bring them back to this place and cause them to dwell securely. 38 They will be My people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, so they may fear Me forever; for their good and for their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never turn away from doing good for them. I will put My fear in their hearts, so that they will not depart from Me. 41 “Yes, I will delight in doing good for them, and with all My heart and all My soul I will in truth plant them in this land.” 42 For thus says Adonai: “Just as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.”

Tomorrow we will see what Ezekiel has to say about this.