Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, June 17, 2021
Let’s continue our purpose to answer questions concerning the Red Heifer. Why is the Red Heifer red? The clue is in the Hebrew word for the color “red.” “A’dum” (pronounced with a short “a,” and a long “u”) is masculine, while “A’dumah” is feminine. Naturally, that is the word used to describe the (Red) Heifer. “Dam” (again, short “a,” “ahhhh” like settling into a warm bath) is the Hebrew word for “blood.” And there’s your clue. The Red Heifer is red because she is symbolic of blood.
There is actually a “red thread” that runs from Genesis through Revelation. Everywhere we look, we see “red.” God had to sacrifice animals to make clothes for Adam and Eve. Abel’s blood was shed by Cain. And so the meta-narrative (story) of the Bible goes until we arrive at the crucifixion of Yeshua, symbolized by the wine of communion. Mathew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins.
We are going to see that there are many dimensions to the Red Heifer. This has been one of them.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 17 Jun-2021 7th of Tamuz, 5781
Nu 20:22-21:9 Jer 49 Esr 8 (Lk 8:1-25) 2 Co 10
In Numbers 21, the people rebel yet again against God and Moses. This time, God sends poisonous snakes to bite the people. At the end of the Aliyah today we read this… Numbers 21:5 The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the wilderness, because there is no bread, no water, and our very spirits detest the despicable food? 6 So Adonai sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people and many of the people of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against Adonai and you! Pray to Adonai for us, that He may take away the snakes!” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 Adonai said to Moses, “Make yourself a fiery snake and put it on a pole. Whenever anyone who has been bitten will look at it, he will live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, and it happened that whenever a snake bit anyone and he looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
All of us are born into rebellion. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In that sense, we have all been “snake bit.” It was the snake that deceived Adam and Eve in the first place. That part of this story is easy to understand, but how is it that the people are healed by the image of a snake on a pole?
How can the image of a snake represent Yeshua? John 3: 14 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life! The answer is wrapped up in this simple, yet complex, truth… God became a man (one of us) to redeem us from the curse.
The first snake, Satan, deceived Adam (the first Adam), so that Adam fell prey to his deception. Yeshua is the last Adam… 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive…. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
The lesson is clear… look to Yeshua and live.
Memory Verse: Daniel 4:32(35) All the inhabitants of earth are counted as nothing. He does as He wills with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. No one can hold back His hand, or say to Him, ‘What have you done?’
121 6/14 Monday: Jeremiah 31:30(31)-39(40),32–33
122 6/15 Tuesday: Jeremiah 52; 2 Kings 24-25
123 6/16 Wednesday: Ezekiel 1:1-3; 36:16-38; 37
*124 6/17 Thursday: Daniel 1-2
125 6/18 Friday: Daniel 3-4
Question of the Day: What makes Daniel so remarkable?
Answer: He was born in Jerusalem and was about 15 years old when he was exiled to Babylon. His faith remained strong throughout his life. Yet, it wasn’t his strength of faith that stands out to me today. It is this phrase from Scripture… Daniel 2:14a Then Daniel spoke with tact and discretion. God gave Daniel wisdom to speak with both kings and those who served kings. He was a man of principle, who kept to his principles, and at the same time, he also kept his head.
Daniel lived to be about 82 years old. He was never married and had no children (Don’t believe anyone who claims to be a direct descendant of Daniel.) He probably served four kings in 3 different cultures and governments. In Daniel’s day, the rule of the day was “off with your head.” For him to have not only survived, but thrived (rising to the top advisor and leadership position of every king he served) is a testimony to the blessing of God that was on his life.
There are a great number of lessons in these first 2 chapters of Daniel. Some of these will be the subject matter of the message on Shabbat.