Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, July 25, 2022

ANNOUNCEMENT: Next Shabbat is the fifth Saturday of July.  Once a quarter, there are five Saturdays in a month.  When that happens, we have a special dinner and service on Friday night.  Then on Saturday, the building is closed and locked with no activity.  NO SERVICE NEXT SATURDAY.

So, please come for the candle lighting (“Bench Licht” in Yiddish) and Kiddush at 6PM on Friday night, July 29th.  Bring a dish to share.  Salads, casseroles and desserts are always appreciated, but if you’re single or don’t cook, then bring a bag of healthy tortilla chips and some (mild) salsa.  Then enjoy a fine evening of fellowship.

Following dinner, at 7PM, we will move to the sanctuary where we have a special treat planned.  Baht Rivka Whitten will be with us for a special mini-concert and time of worship.  Baht Rivka is a Sabra (born in Israel).  She and her husband, George, are Israeli and will be ministering after dinner.

Why not treat yourself at the end of a busy week with a mini “stay”cation and welcome the Shabbat with us in this special way.  Something to which we can all look forward this week.


Is The Bible True?

I’ve been praying about the next RR topic.  There is a piece of unfinished “business” to which we must attend, and it’s based on this… John 5:46 For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. 47 But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

This is an addendum to the series on Jewish Evangelism titled “Was Yeshua Successful.”   Those RR’s (most of July) can be found archived at www.syknox.org/blog .  My purpose in writing this series is to understand better why Jewish people don’t believe in Yeshua.  Certainly, if anyone heard what I heard 40 years ago, Jewish or non-Jewish, they would believe in Yeshua too.  Thank you, Lord, for opening blind eyes to the truth of your Son.

In our subject verses, Yeshua is proposing that the Jewish people (to whom He was speaking) don’t believe the Torah (or the rest of what we have as the TaNaCH.  Could this still be true?

Rabbi Trail:  The TaNaCH is the Hebrew Scriptures aka “The Old Testament.”  I’m reluctant to call it the OT because that implies something old and out dated, ready to be thrown away or replaced.  For the same reason, I don’t like the term New Testament or New Covenant.  However; because of modern parlance, I’m pretty much forced to use them both.

The TaNaCH has 3 Hebrew letters.  The T (Tav) stands for Torah (5 Books of Moses).  The N (Nun) stands for Nevi’im (Prophets).  The CH or K (Kaf) stands for K’tuvim (writings).  Together they make up the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures.  End RT.

Let’s answer the question, “Do Jewish people believe the Bible?”  Some do and some don’t.  My experience is that most have “cherry picked” to believe the parts they like and disregard the parts that conflict with their previously held beliefs.

In the Jewish world, we must never confuse practice with faith.  Being observant of the commandments may or may not be the product of faith.  There are many practicing orthodox Jews who are actually agnostic or atheist.  There are also many possible reasons to live ortho-practic (practicing orthodox Judaism).  One could do so to honor or continue Jewish heritage or perhaps to honor some, now deceased, relatives.  You know, because Zayde (Yiddish for grandpa) did it.

This still leaves us with the challenge, can we prove the Bible is true?  My rabbi, Dave Chansky, had a number of answers to that question.  Let me take you through a few I remember (although his list was exhaustive).  Several proofs are found in the Book of Job.

Job is believed to be one of the most ancient of Hebrew Scriptures.  It was probably written during the time of the Patriarchs, after the flood, but before Moses, and certainly well before any of the scientific discoveries mentioned in it.

For instance, Job 36:27 For He draws up the drops of water; they distill rain into its mist, 28 which the clouds pour down and shower mankind abundantly.  This is a very accurate description of evaporation, but evaporation wasn’t discovered until the Swedish physicist, philosopher and theologian, Nils Wallerius, performed experiments in 1739AD.  That was about 3,000 years after Job was written.

At that time, men were convinced the earth was flat and positioned on the back of a turtle.  Yet we read in Job, Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over the void; He suspends the earth over nothing. Here is a biblical description of the earth just hanging in space.

Got time for one more, that is actually in the New Testament?  Hebrews 11:3b …what is seen did not come from anything visible. The writer of the book of Hebrews was a very smart Messianic rabbi, but how did he know about atomic matter.  Everything visible is made from atoms which are invisible.  The book of Hebrews was written about 2,000 years ago.  The existence of atoms wasn’t even proposed until the English physician J. J. Thompson did it about 150 years ago.

As I said, by no means is this exhaustive.  I’m just trying to suggest that we don’t have to have blind faith to believe the Bible is true.  Feel free to share your own ideas on the truth of Scripture.  Maybe I’ll write more about this soon.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 25-Jul-2022 26th of Tamuz, 5782
Nu 31:13-54 Eze 24 Ne 11 (Lk 19) Col 3

Week 31
Memory Verse: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

151   7/25     Monday:       Luke 1
152   7/26     Tuesday:      Luke 2
153   7/27     Wednesday: Matthew 1-2
154   7/28     Thursday:     Mark 1
155   7/29     Friday:      John 1