Note from Rabbi Michael:

Happy 25th Anniversary to Congregation Shomair Yisrael, Founded 8/13/1997.

25 years ago today, my late wife, Ann, and I along with a small band of faithful followers of Yeshua, including our children, started meeting in our living room in West Knoxville.  Within two weeks we had transitioned to the Knoxville Christian Center on Cedar Bluff Road where we stayed for 13 years.   In 1997, I was 45 years old.  Now, I’m 70 (do the math).  Today, Keith is 45, (happy birthday Keith –  it really is his birthday).

So, today is “Happy Transition Day” at Shomair.  It’s not Joshua and Moses, and it’s not Elijah and Elisha.  We are simply two men trading seats, who love God, are devoted to Yeshua and share the same vision for Shomair Yisrael.  Keith has been with Shomair for 8 years and assisting me for the last 6 years, now and going forward, I’ll be assisting him.

There is a deep sense of joy and gladness as we look back on how the Lord has moved to make Shomair into the thriving community it is today.  This transition is the next step on the road to Jerusalem.  Orderly transition is part of God’s divine order.  Keith and I have both heard His voice.  Together we respond, “Hineni, we are here, Lord, and ready to serve You.” 

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let everything be done decently and in order.

Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, August 13, 2022
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Growing in Love for God 29 by David Harwood

For almost one and a half years, David, his warriors and their families, had lived at the town of Ziklag. This town, bordering Philistia and Judah, was given to them by Achish, a Philistine leader. It was a home base that provided a semblance of stability. Throughout this time David and his outlaw band raided towns, slaughtered their inhabitants, and returned to Ziklag with plunder. Ziklag was safe. Ziklag was secure. David and his people prospered there.

And then the Amalekites came.

In David and his men’s absence they attacked, conquered and burned Ziklag. They enslaved their families and took everything of value. It seemed like their victory was complete. David and his warband lamented until they were physically and emotionally spent.

David, himself, was devastated and in danger.

6So David was in a serious bind, for the troops were calling for his stoning, for all the troops were bitter of soul, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in Adonai his God. (1 Samuel 30:6 TLV)

God directed David to pursue their enemies and promised restoration. As they searched for the Amalekites they came across someone who guided them to where the raiders were.

This is what they found:

(The Amalekites) So were scattered over all the area, eating, drinking and feasting because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. (1 Samuel 30:16 TLV)

This is what they did.

David attacked them from the twilight until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who rode on camels and fled. (1 Samuel 30:17 TLV)

Here is the result.

So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives.

There was nothing of theirs missing, whether young or old, sons or daughters, spoils or anything else that had been carried off—David recovered everything. (1 Samuel 30:18–19 TLV)

They returned to Ziklag with all they had lost and with the wealth of these Amalekites. They had so much plunder that David distributed large gifts to several towns in Judah.

Questions: Do you think that the warriors of Ziklag were glad that they prevailed? Can you imagine these men’s joy at the rescuing of their wives and children? Most likely they were quite happy that they’d recovered their possessions and even came away with more than they lost. I think they were joyous.

How about the rescued families? They were the spoils of war waged by a brutal band of ancestral enemies. They were separated from their husbands and fathers, enslaved, terrified and about to be abused. Hope against hope was answered. They were rescued and enriched.

Do you think those who were rescued rejoiced? Do you think those who victoriously recovered their wives, children and possessions rejoiced? This must have been some victory celebration.

The text doesn’t report this, but I think that the culture indicates that there was a huge party at Ziklag. Joy-tears, laughter, music, feasting, dancing, testimonies of successful warfare… I think it went on for a while.

It is like that with us and the Lord. We are rescued. We sing and celebrate His victory – we offer gratitude to Him. It is like this:

14Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult wholeheartedly, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15Adonai has taken away your punishments. He has turned back your adversary. The King of Israel, Adonai, is in your midst. Never again will you fear harm. (Zephaniah 3:14–15 TLV)

What a redemption is in our future! Keep reading in Zephaniah.

16On that day, it will be said to Jerusalem, ‘Have no fear, O Zion, do not let your hands fall limp. 17Adonaiyour God is in your midst— a mighty Savior! He will delight over you with joy. He will quiet you with His love. He will dance for joy over you with singing.’ (Zephaniah 3:16–17 TLV)

What we find in Zephaniah is mutual rejoicing. We rightly rejoice because we’ve been saved. Do you think God might rejoice over us while we are rejoicing in being rescued?

This is a relational love! His love for us is so important to us. Our  love for Him is a treasure He seeks. In His estimation, our love was worth the warfare He waged at Calvary.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (

Sat 13-Aug-2022 16th of Av, 5782 Parashat Vaetchanan
Shabbat Nachamu
De 6:4-7:11 Isa 40:1-40:26 1 Pet 1:18-25