Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, July 22, 2021


What happens when you decide to appease a baby who is throwing a tantrum?  Think about it.  Every baby “pushes the envelope” (euphemistic for testing authority).  Every toddler wants to know if there really is electric current running through those fence wires.  And what if there isn’t?  What if that tantrum achieves its purpose, and you cave?  That’s right, you get more of the same bad behavior.  So it is with the Palestinians.

The Jews are praying, the Jews are praying.  1700 Jewish people went to the Temple Mount to pray on Tisha B’Av.  Read this about a perceived “provocation to the feelings” of Palestinians.  Side Note: Why are the feelings of Palestinians more important than Jewish Israeli feelings?  End SN.  A quote from the Jerusalem Post… “The Palestinian Presidency… considers this a grave threat to security and stability, and a provocation to the feelings of Palestinians, and holds the Israeli government responsible for this escalation.”  

Yes, there was violence, because the Israeli government didn’t kowtow to the Palestinian demands.  Also from the Jerusalem Post… “The violence comes after Hamas accused Israel of ‘playing with fire’ in allowing Jewish visits to the Temple Mount to mark Tisha Be’av. Hamas called on Muslims to mass at the entrances to the Old City and throughout Jerusalem to confront Israeli Jews and to protest the visits. Hamas also called on residents of Gaza, which it controls, to ‘keep their fingers on the trigger’ to defend Jerusalem.”    

The new government of Naftali Bennett (fragile as it is) includes Arab Israelis who don’t agree with the government letting Jews pray on the Temple Mount.  If they leave the government, this will cause a major crisis, but they can only leave the government once.  I’m glad the new and fragile government showed some backbone.  

I wrote the above, then I read this… https://thejewishvoice.com/2021/07/why-is-support-for-freedom-of-worship-for-jews-on-the-temple-mount-so-controversial/ 


Psalm 81 – part 5:  “Shema, my people,” says the Lord at the beginning of verse 9.  God is still speaking, when He ends the verse saying, “If you would only listen to Me.”  This sets up the command of verse 10, which is a repetition of the 2nd Commandment.  Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”  Following that, Psalm 81:11a is a repetition of the 1st Commandment.  Then in Psalm 81:11b we have the point I want to make today.  

Psalm 81:11b Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.  I’m going to speak about this at length on Shabbat.  It’s a pretty good fit to my text in Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. Then there will be food in My House. Now test Me in this”—says Adonai-Tzva’ot—“if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out blessing for you, until no one is without enough.”  

This is not a message on giving, this is a message on receiving.  God has a blessing for His people.  His instruction is, “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

There is a Hebrew word translated “open” that needs amplification.  The word is “Rachav” and the Shoresh is “Resh-Chet-Bet.”  That Shoresh is used in words that translate as street (R’chov), market place (R’Chava), broad expanse (Rachav) and width (Rochav).  Do you get the sense that it generally the meaning is “wide open space?”  

God want us to make our mouths into wide open spaces so that He can fill them up with blessing.  A closed hand can’t hold anything and a closed mouth can’t either.  

Rabbi Trail:  An ancient Christian symbol is the pelican.  The pelican has always been seen as a symbol of self-sacrifice.  It was believed that it would give its own flesh and blood to feed its young if necessary.  Pelicans are seen in the capital decorations in the upper room site in Jerusalem.  That is one of the reasons the site is believed to be the upper room.   End RT.

You do your part and God will do His part.  That’s His promise.  “Betach” meaning “you can count on it.”

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Thu 22 July-2021 13th of Av, 5781 

De 5:1-18 Ez 34-351 Ch 14(Jn 4:1-30)2 Th 1

Week 30
Memory Verse: Colossians 1:19 For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace through the blood of His cross— whether things on earth or things in heaven!

146   7/19  Monday:       Nehemiah 13 

147   7/20  Tuesday:      Malachi 1

148   7/21  Wednesday: Malachi 2

149   7/22  Thursday:     Malachi 3

150   7/23  Friday:          Malachi 4