Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, August 26, 2021
About “Slichot”: (pronounced “slee-KHOT”) Do you remember the times before “social distancing?” It wasn’t that long in the past, about 18 months ago. Back then, you would bump into someone (not so much these days) and say “excuse me,” or “pardon me.” In Hebrew, you would say, “Slicha.” “Slicha” is one pardon, “Slichot” is plural.
The reason I am bringing this up is that this Sunday IS “Slichot.” Sunday begins at sundown on Saturday night. This Saturday night, August 28th, is on the Jewish calendar as the first Slichot service. There are a lot of details (as there is with everything Jewish), but let me give you the highlights.
Slichot is a worship service that is typically appended to morning prayers during the week before Rosh Hashana (Yom Teruah). Some traditions extend these prayers between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The first Slichot service is typically held on a Saturday night. Many communities hold a Slichot service beginning at midnight between Saturday and Sunday. At Shomair, we have no such service planned, but if you want to read these prayers, here is a link. https://www.sefaria.org/Selichot_Nusach_Ashkenaz_Lita
What is the “gospel?” The gospel is the simply the “good news.” THE good news is that Yeshua is the Son of God, Who has come in the flesh. But that’s not the whole story. Those who have repented of their sins, believe He is atonement for our sins, that He was buried and then raised up (resurrected) on the 3rd day to newness of life, and have received this as a gift from God are pardoned (Slichot). So, we make Yeshua our personal Lord (obey Him) and Savior (receive His offer of eternal salvation) and we are Slichot.
A couple of Scriptures come to mind. 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. And one more… Romans 10:9 For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…. 13 For “Everyone who calls upon the name of Adonai shall be saved.”
Every year, Jewish people, who have not yet received the gospel, pray prayers of repentance, as they petition God to be included in the Book of Life for another year. We who are saved, have blessed assurance that our salvation is for eternity. So there is no need to pray for another year of life when we already have eternal life
Then what do we, as a Messianic community do while the broader Jewish community is praying to be pardoned for another year? We intercede for their salvation. Let’s pray. Oh Lord, remove the blinders and open blind eyes to Your truth. Let Your word be fulfilled this year, that all Israel shall be saved. Please continue in prayer, I just got you started. Shalom.
Our Congregational Declaration – part 9: In light of what I’ve already written today, this might be short. In prayer, the Lord highlighted this phrase from our Declaration… “He is coming, Bo Yeshua Bo.” We’ve been hearing this promise for 2,000 years.
Yeshua Himself spoke these words. Matthew 24:44 “So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” The first time I traveled to Israel was in 1991. There were yellow plastic signs with black Hebrew letters hanging from many balconies. The translation was “prepare, the Messiah is coming.”
These signs were displayed by “chabadniks” who believed that their rebbe (leader, Menachem Schneerson) would come to Israel (from New York) and establish his messianic kingdom. But, sadly, he passed away 18 months later at the age of 92 before ever setting foot in Eretz Yisrael. Now they are expecting his resurrection.
Nevertheless, the real Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach, is coming, and we believe it. Hebrews 10:25 speaks of “an approaching day.” This is frequently called “the day of the Lord” by the Hebrew prophets. Yeshua, Himself, is quoted at the end of the Bible. Revelation 22:20b “Yes! I am coming soon!”
Soon? It’s been 2,000 years and we are still waiting, still expecting. But to the eternal Lord, 2,000 years is like 2 days. 2 Peter 3:8 But don’t forget this one thing, loved ones, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. One more verse comes to mind here. Galatians 6:9 So let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good toward all—especially those who belong to the household of faith. Makes me think this verse belongs in our next Declaration.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 26 Aug 2021 18th of Elul, 5781
De 27:11-28:6 Ob 1 2 Ch 14 (Ac 7:30-60) Heb 13
Memory Verse: John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. The branch cannot itself produce fruit, unless it abides on the vine. Likewise, you cannot produce fruit unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.
171 8/23 Monday: John 11; Matthew 21:1-13
172 8/24 Tuesday: John 13
173 8/25 Wednesday: John 14-15
174 8/26 Thursday: John 16
175 8/27 Friday: Matthew 24:1-31