Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, June 23, 2020 


When was the last time I noticed this verse?  Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were immersed, Yeshua also was immersed. And while He was praying, heaven was opened.  I can tell you, I never noticed it like I did this morning.  

Rabbi Trail:  This coming Saturday, after our Shabbat morning service, many of us are going over to Holston River Park (https://www.knoxvilletn.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=109562&pageId=210062) for a special immersion (baptism) service.  Anyone who wishes to be immersed may do so by answering a few simple questions to be sure he/she understands the full reality of this symbolic act.  (And you don’t have to be a member at Shomair to answer the questions.)   

“Do you repent of your sins and acknowledge your need of a Savior?”

“Have you put your faith in Yeshua as your Lord and Savior?”

“Will you seek to obey Yeshua all the days of your life?  Are you making this commitment before God today?”

Then the rabbi becomes long winded… “Because of your repentance of sin and faith in Yeshua as your Lord and Savior, today we acknowledge your old self is buried with Messiah and you are raised to new life in Him! Therefore; I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit! 

Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried together with Him through immersion into death—in order that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become joined together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also will be joined together in His resurrection.  End RT.

Back to our opening verse in Luke 3… As Yeshua was praying, heaven was opened.  When we pray (especially at the time of baptism) heaven is opened!  An open heaven is euphemistic for a blessing poured out.  You might think that being baptized once is enough, and you’re right.  But rededicating your life to God and His purposes is always a good idea.

When each person comes up out of the water, we will pray.  We will pray God’s blessing with the authority delegated to us by Messiah Yeshua.  We will pray for protection, for the revelation of direction, and that God will be present in a new and enduring way from this time forth.  All in the name (by the delegated authority) of Yeshua.  Pray about it.  

Week 26
Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27(26) I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom people are to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. “For He is the living God, enduring forever! His kingdom will never be destroyed, His dominion will never end.  28(27) He delivers and rescues. He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions!”

126   6/22   Monday: Daniel 5-6

* 127 6/23   Tuesday:  Daniel 9-10,12
128   6/24   Wednesday Ezra 1-2

129   6/25   Thursday: Ezra 3-4
130   6/26   Friday: Ezra 5-6

Question of the day:  Where have I heard this before?  Daniel 9:5 we have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have acted wickedly; we have rebelled; we have turned away from Your mitzvot and from Your rulings. 6 We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our leaders and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 

Answer:  Daniel’s prayer to God at the beginning of chapter 9 sounds like some of our Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy.  Here are three examples.

Rabbi Trail:  “Ashamnu” is the first prayer cited below.  It sounds a little like “we are ashamed.”  This is what helped me with the connection to Daniel’s words above.  (See Daniel 9:8)  And yet, for all this, we still have not properly approached the holy God.  Oh sure, the world is in sin, but we, the people of God have not fulfilled our calling according to Romans 8:4 so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach.  (So much for Paul doing away with the Law.)  I’m coming back to this point below.  End RT.

The “Ashamnu” (we have trespassed) prayer goes in part like this… “We have trespassed, we have dealt treacherously, we have robbed, we have spoken slander, we have acted perversely, and we have wrought wickedness; we have been presumptuous, we have done violence, we have framed lies,…”

There are many “Avinu Malkeynu” (Our Father, our King) prayers… 

“Our Father, our King… we have sinned before You.

Our Father, our King… we have no King except You.

Our Father, our King… frustrate the counsel of our enemies.

Then it concludes like this… For all this, be gracious unto us and answer us; for we are unworthy; deal with us in righteousness and in grace.”

The “Al Chet” (concerning sin) prayer concludes… “For all these, O God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement.”  

Yet in all these prayers for forgiveness there is no forgiveness, because there is no blood.  Hebrews 9:22b …apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  You might be tempted to say that verse from Hebrews is in the New Testament, but where is it in the Hebrew Scriptures?  It is in the Torah.  Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives—for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.

But, we don’t have a Temple today, or any place or priesthood with which to make a blood sacrifice.  Also, the blood of animals was never sufficient to make a permanent atonement.  The rabbis took great liberty in assigning the value of blood to spoken prayers.  The Bible never offers this option.  The biblical standard is a life for a life.  We need to life (and death) of the Savior to make atonement for our souls.  1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive.

Here is another “question of the day.”  What has changed since Daniel wrote what would later be canonized as the Book of Daniel more than 2,500 years ago in Babylon?  

Answer: Not much!  Daniel 9:13 As it is written in the Torah of Moses, all this calamity came on us, yet we have not sought the favor of Adonai Eloheinu by turning away from our iniquities and paying attention to Your truth.  We still are living in calamity and we have yet to turn from our iniquities.  

“Repentance” in Hebrew is “T’shuvah,” which word is made from the “shin-bet” Shoresh (same as “Shabbat”).  “Shin-bet” literally means, “sit down.”  “T’shuvah” could be interpreted as “you will be sat down.”  In other words, “Get off your high horse and stop acting out.  Come to rest in the presence of the King and stop the wicked behavior.”

Of course, books could, have, and will be written about these chapters of Daniel. I am just giving you my take on the first few verses of chapter 9.  I will purpose to write more extensively on these chapters in the near future.  

Stay thirsty (for Him) my friends.