Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, July 31, 2020

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

“Ya’amode” is the call from the bimah.  Let’s unpack that statement.  The “Bimah” is what we call the stage in front of the synagogue sanctuary.  (Both “Bimah” and “Synagogue” are words of Greek origin.)  It is also the name given to the seat of judgment.  

Rabbi Trail:  2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat (Bimah) of Messiah, so that each one may receive what is due for the things he did while in the body—whether good or bad.

It’s very important that we grasp the meaning of judgment.  We tend to think of judgment as “verdict;” either guilty of not guilty. (Notice the pronouncement is not “innocent,” but “not guilty.”)  But the judgment is also the process of the trial.  In light of these truths, consider how Yeshua has commuted our guilty sentence to not guilty.  However; we are all going through a trial which will determine our reward.  And that is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:10.  End RT.

Back to the first word, “Ya’amode” (pronounced like a’lamode).  It is a Hebrew words meaning “he will stand.”  It is the only word used to call someone up to bless the Torah reading, an aliyah.  “He will stand”… like the call of a “best man” at a wedding.  The “best man” stands up for the groom.  The “best man” signs the ketubah (wedding contract) as a witness.  

The one who stands says two blessings, the blessing before the word is read and another blessing after the reading.  When we thank God for His Word, we are also praying that the “seeds of righteousness” contained in His word will be planted in the fertile ground of our hearts to bring forth much fruit unto righteousness.  

When you hear the call “Ya’amode” followed by your name, be ready to rise and be counted as a witness for the Word of God.  It is a high honor.  

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   7/27     Monday:       Luke 1

152   7/28     Tuesday:      Luke 2
153   7/29     Wednesday: Matthew 1-2

154   7/30     Thursday:     Mark 1 

* 155 7/31     Friday:      John 1

Question of the day:  In what ways are John 1 and Genesis 1 alike?  

Answer:  They both start with the same Hebrew word, “B’resheet” (meaning  “in the beginning”).  

Rabbi Trail:  You might be thinking that the New Testament (of which John is a part) is written in Greek, not Hebrew.  I’ll give you a “maybe” on that one.  Personally, I find a lot of Hebrew type phraseology in the New Testament.  And why not, it is a book written almost exclusively by Jewish people about Jewish things.  End RT.

The Torah starts “In the beginning, God…” but John starts “In the beginning was the Word.”  Yet they are not so different.  John goes on to say the “Word was God,” and then continues to describe the essence of creation, just like Genesis does.  

Of course the first act of creation in Genesis is “let there be light.”  The John narrative is not so different, and yet there is a huge difference.  John has a beautiful focus on the Son of God, Yeshua, saying nothing was made without Him.  

I want to say a little about this one verse and then we’ll be done for today.  John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.  Even one match brightens a dark room.  If you have received Yeshua as your personal Lord and Savior, (And if you have not yet, this would be a good time, invite Him into your life.  He’s listening.) He has created a spark in you that will continue to burn brighter until the day of His return.  

Isaiah 9:1(2) The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine.  Now read the next few verses of Isaiah 9 all the way to verse 6.  That’s a great message.

Do not be deceived, my friends, in spite of what you hear in this world, light and dark are not just all different shades of grey.  There IS a difference, light is not dark.  Hear the Word of the Lord.  Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until the full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness. They do not know what makes them stumble.

Be wise and follow the path of righteousness.  Shabbat Shalom (again).