Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, June 19, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Shema lesson 10:  The four words in orange near the bottom.  V’ha’yu L’totafot Bayne Aynecha.

V’ha’yu:  Simply, this is a form of the verb “to be.”  This is the second time we have had this word in this paragraph.  Not so simply, it is using the “Vav Conversive” to change from past tense to future tense.  Because it is now second person plural future, it is now a command form “you all will ______.”  (Fill in the blank)  And the blank is filled in…

L’totafot:  How do we fill in the blank?  With the word “L’totafot,” which only appears 3 times in the Bible.  Each time it is in connection with this same teaching (which is repeated), here (Deut 6:8), Deut 11:18, and Exodus 13:16.  

Rabbi Trail:  It is unclear to me and everyone else exactly what L’totafot means.  The word is translated “frontlets” in many translations.  What are “frontlets?”  Are they “blinders” like some race horses wear?  The rabbinical interpretation is to put Scriptures in a box with leather straps between our eyes during morning prayers.  But again, the meaning of “L’totafot” is not known.

Bayne:  Means “between.”  Who wears blinders (which are worn on either side of the eyes) in between the eyes?

Aynecha:  Means “your eyes.”

Here God is speaking to us about our eyes.  Why do horses wear blinders?  So they keep focused on what is in front of them.  Blinders keep horses from being “spooked” from things not in front of them.  (Is this speaking to you like it’s speaking to me?)  Maybe the best understanding is being spoken to Joshua.  Joshua 1:6 Chazak! Be strong! For you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be very strong, and resolute to observe diligently the Torah which Moses, My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so you may be successful wherever you go.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

What does it mean to have a “good eye?”  We are being instructed to keep our eyes on the goodness of God.  The following verse appears in many places throughout the Scriptures…

1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to Adonai for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.  In Hebrew, “Hodu L’Adonai Ki Tov, Ki L’Olam Chasdo.”

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:  Two amazing and very different stories in Daniel, chapters 3 and 4.  Both are well known to anyone who has read the Bible.  And you, who have (by now) read the assigned chapters for today are also familiar.  What’s the “take-away” from these two stories?

Answer:  In chapter 3, 3 men are thrown into the fire, but 4 men are dancing in the fire.  The fourth appears as “Bar-Elohin,” the “Son of God.”  The furnace was so hot that the men who threw them into he fire died.  But the 3 faithful men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, were dancing with Yeshua.  

The king proclaimed the praises of God.  Daniel 3:32 It seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders that God Most High has done for me. 33 How great are His signs, how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, His dominion from generation to generation.

Note:  Most Christian translations seem to end at verse 30.  The Jewish Bible contains a few extra verses which include quotes found in other places of Scripture including Psalm 145.  End Note.

But, due to the seduction of power, the memory of king Nebuchadnezzar was short lived.  It appears that he wrote chapter 4 himself, in the first person.  The king had a dream and Daniel was called upon to provide the interpretation.  The king is humbled to living as a beast of the field before being restored by God and once again declaring His praises.

The real question today is for you (and me).  What will it take for each of us to sing the praises of God?  The warning and answer are found in the Torah.  Deuteronomy 8:17 You may say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand has made me this wealth.’ 18 Rather you are to remember Adonai your God, for it is He who gives you power to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant that He swore to your fathers—as it is this day.

Yeshua received resurrection power by the ultimate act of submission.  We too must submit to God (be under authority) if we expect to ever rule and reign with Him.  And we can only prove our submission to Him through obedience.  

Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obey, you will eat the good of the land.  Maybe we should just let Yeshua ask the question of the day… Luke 6:46 “Why do you call Me ‘Master, Master’ and do not do what I say? Or maybe we should turn to Jacob(James)… Jacob(James) 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.  And there are about a bunch of other similar verses.  So there, that should douse the flames of the hyper-grace movement.  Enjoy some Shabbat rest.