Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, July 7, 2020


Our own Don Finto (we love Papa Don and consider him one of our most valued fathers in the faith) is a member of TJCII.  After many years as an active member, Don is now listed as an Emeritus member on their website, TJCII.org.  Rabbi’s note – Don will be ministering at Shomair on Saturday, August 15, 2020.  

The reason I mention Don at this time is that I can’t think of anyone who exemplifies the practice of the 6th affirmation better than Don.  His first book, “Your People Shall Be My People” is a primer for the fight against supersessionism.  

6. We affirm our willingness to be a voice within our own ecclesiastical structures and spheres of influence against all forms of anti-Semitism, replacement theology (supersessionism) and teaching that precludes the expression of Jewish identity in Jesus.

What a great fit!… Jewish people following the Jewish Messiah while carrying on their Jewish identity.  And yet, the ecumenical movement has been hijacked to teach against it.  Professed followers of Jesus have agreed with non-believing rabbis that Christians should be Christians and Jews should be Jews.  It’s a “Shande.”  There is a new Yiddish word.  A “Shande” is best translated as “a bloody shame.”  

Even worse are those who teach Jewish people can be saved without Christ.  This false doctrine teaches that Jewish people follow the one God and that since Yeshua said, John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” then Jews who follow one God are de facto following Yeshua without knowing it.   My answer to that is, “Poppycock.”

You may have noticed that each of these affirmations still requires much work.  Today 2/3 of the major Protestant denominations believe, teach and promote supersessionism.  Is the church supposed to take the place of Israel, or do Jewish people still have a future in the kingdom of God?  Until Yeshua returns, we are commanded to love what He loves.   We will always need love.

What can each of us do then, in support of Jewish identity in Yeshua?  I’m going to take some risk here in providing my answer.  We need to take our place in both the Christian and Jewish dialogues in Knoxville; and they are not the same.  We want to participate, not intrusively, but organically.  

Regarding the Jewish dialogue, we need to participate in Jewish events and causes whenever we are allowed.  And we need to be a conduit for the rest of the Christian community to participate as well.  We are bridge builders.  I have some ideas regarding that.  If you would like to hear them, give me a call, text or email.  (You can always reply to this email any time.)  I would love some help in reaching out to both the Christian and the Jewish communities.  

Week 28
Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 29:28(29) “The secret things belong to Adonai our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever—in order to do all the words of this Torah. TLV

136 7/6      Monday:       Esther 5-7

* 137 7/7      Tuesday:    Esther 8-10
138 7/8      Wednesday  Nehemiah 1-2

139 7/9      Thursday:   Nehemiah 3-4 

140 7/10     Friday:   Nehemiah 5-6

Question of the day:  Why do we celebrate Purim?

Answer:  You might think there is no reason to actually answer that question because everyone already knows.  But, not so fast.   There are plenty of victories we don’t celebrate.  The parting of the Red Sea barely gets a mention.  The walls of Jericho came tumbling down, but we don’t throw a party.  We Jewish people are actually better at mourning what we’ve lost than at celebrating what we’ve gained.

So then, back to the original question of the day… Why the big Purim celebration?  Exactly one month after Purim is Pesach.  Purim is celebrated  in the diaspora on the 14th day of the 12th month.  One month later, Pesach is celebrated at evening between the 14th and 15th days of the 1st month.  In some ways Purim is a tune up for Pesach.  

Both holidays are celebrations of deliverance.  Both are commanded in the Bible.  Both involved the threat of annihilating the whole nation of Israel.  God has done marvelous things to preserve His people Israel.  And yet, His name is not mentioned in the entire book of Esther.  Still, we see God’s provision for His people.  God grants the victory against the enemies of the Jews.  For what purpose?

Rabbi Trail:  Before I answer that question, I want to make a comment.  Even to this day the Jews have enemies.  Somehow BLM (Black Lives Matter) has taken on anti-Semitic values.  A quick Google search of “black lives matter against Jews” provided 131 million hits in less than 1/2 second.  

Jewish people in America have always been predominantly liberal.  (Chuck Schumer, the leading liberal in the USA, is Jewish.  His name “Schumer” is from the same Hebrew word as Shomair, and he knows it.)  However; this is changing as Jewish people begin to realize the radical left is not their friend.  Turns out that President Trump is the most friendly President toward Israel since Truman.  

Used to be 90% of Jewish people were liberal.  That number is now closer to 44% according to a Gallup pole I just saw.  In just the last year the number of Jewish people who identify as conservative has increased by 30%.  Jewish people only make up about 2% of the population of America, but seem to be a pivotal voting block.    End RT.

At first God has to protect His people so that the Messiah could come forth.   That is why Sodom and Gomorrah had to be destroyed; before they destroyed Abraham and his family.  No Abraham, no lineage of Messiah.

But now, in modern times, God is preserving His people to welcome Yeshua’s return.  In both “dispensations” the enemies of God’s chosen people have made the mistake of not loving what God loves.   It happened back in Esther’s day and it’s still happening today.  And the result will be the same.  God will preserve His people.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. 11 Behold, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who quarrel with you will be as nothing and perish.