Rabbi’s Reflections -Monday, September 6, 2021 (Erev Rosh Hashanah)



This Monday night begins our high holiday season.  We will be live and in person at our building, 3811 Boyds Bridge Pike, Knoxville, TN, as well as online (Shomair YouTube channel).  Shomair will hold a Rosh Hashanah service beginning at 7pm.  Visitors are welcome.  Bring a shofar to sound (if you have one, or can borrow one) and anything sweet (suggestions: cake, pie, cobbler, pudding, trifle, fruit) for a special dessert oneg after the service.  Rabbi’s note: Google “images of a trifle” to get an idea.

The following day, the day of Rosh Hashanah, we will not have a service at Shomair.  You may choose to take the day and rest, or attend a local synagogue service.  Some require tickets be purchased in advance.  I know the Jewish Congregation of Oak Ridge (JCOR), 101 West Madison Lane, is welcoming visitors without tickets.  Their service begins at 10AM on Tuesday, September 7th, and is scheduled on their website to conclude at noon.    


Messianic theology is sometimes, well,… sometimes “messy.” (Pun intended.)  We can be easily misunderstood.  Outwardly and inwardly, we obey God.  You wouldn’t think that would be enough to get you into trouble.  At issue is not our obedience, but our motivation.  Are we motivated by the flesh or motivated by the spirit?  Outwardly they look the same, but inwardly they are quite different.  This is the issue over which Paul wrote Galatians, chapter 3.  

Rabbi Trail:  Nothing, in true Messianic Jewish theology, is opposed to Scripture in any way .  Our approach to Scripture is that it is consistent with itself from beginning to end.  This is not the approach of some academics, so we disagree.  Many of these liberal academics also have bought into replacement theology (RT).  RT is the imaginary idea that the church has taken the place of Israel and is now heir to the blessings that originally belonged to Israel, leaving the curses to fall back on Israel.  In this false theology, the “church” replaces Israel because Israel has sinned away her blessings.  To believe that, one has to ignore (I call it “exacto knife” theology, because one must cut certain verses out of the Bible to believe this.)  Try these…

Moses, in the Torah, prophesied a regathering of Israel.  Deuteronomy 30:4 Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the heavens, from there Adonai your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.  Has this happened yet, or is it still in the future?  We only have to look two verses forward.  Deuteronomy 30:6 Also Adonai your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants—to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.  This hasn’t happened yet!

My other example today is from Ezekiel, who prophesies an ingathering.  Ezekiel 37:21 “Then say to them, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I will take Bnei-Yisrael from among the nations, where they have gone. I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.  Again, you might be tempted to say, “This has already happened.”  Again, we go forward only 2 verses.  Ezekiel 37:23 They will never again be defiled with their idols, their detestable things or with any of their transgressions. I will save them out of all their dwellings in which they sinned. I will purify them. Then they will be My people and I will be their God.  

The last verse I want to cite is the very next verse.  It contains a prophecy that “David” will reign over the united people of Israel.  Ezekiel 37:24 My servant David will be king over them. They will all have One Shepherd. They will walk in My ordinances and observe My rulings and do them.  Who is the good shepherd who sits on David’s throne?  We know Him as Yeshua HaMashiach.  

Yes, there is a future for Israel.  More good news, the church is included in the blessings.  The church doesn’t replace Israel, but is grafted in to be a part of Israel.  A verse from Saturday’s sermon is our proof text.  Romans 8:17 And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah—if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

End a significant Rabbi Trail.

Galatians 3:1a O foolish Galatians, who cast a spell on you? In verse 2, Paul asks a question.  Galatians 3:2 I want to find out just one thing from you: did you receive the Ruach by deeds based on Torah, or by hearing based on trust?  Then Paul answers his own question by asking another question.  He points out that that everything begins with faith in the spirit.  Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Ruach, will you now reach the goal in the flesh?  He even connects working in the flesh to achieve a spiritual result as foolishness.

Paul repeatedly makes the point that “by faith, Abraham” pleased God and his faith was counted as righteousness.  So too, with us, Abraham’s children, we must approach God by faith.  Galatains 3:7 know then that those who have faith are children of Abraham.  

Let’s pick this up tomorrow…

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Mon 6 Sep 2021 29th of Elul, 5781 Erev Rosh Hashana

De 31:4-6Zep 1-22 Ch 23(Ac 15)Rev 9

Week 37
Memory Verse: Acts 1:31 When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

181   9/6    Monday:       Mark 16

182   9/7   Tuesday:       Luke 14

183   9/8   Wednesday  John 20-21

184   9/9  Thursday:      Matthew 28

185   9/10  Friday:          Acts 1