Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, June 12, 2020 

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

What’s cookin’, good lookin’?  Ever get tired of the same ole Shabbat dinner?  I thought from time to time I might suggest something new.  Jewish cooking is worldwide cooking, because Jewish people have been scattered around the world.  So, if you’re looking for gastronomic adventure, give Broiled Chicken With Mustard a try.  It calls for kosher salt, so it must be Jewish.  This is published on the Washington Post website.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/recipes/broiled-chicken-mustard/14613/    

A footnote at the bottom of the website says, “Adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred Knopf, 1961).  … but I recommend you get a fresh chicken.

Also, if you have a recipe to suggest, please send it to me and I’ll publish it in a future Friday RR.   Lastly, I am formally requesting my sister’s sweet and sour meatball recipe (and the meatballs themselves when we come to visit).  They are nothing like Mamma Leone’s, but very tasty, kind of sweet and sour.  Oy vey, I’m getting hungry.

We continue our discussion of the Shema with part 4 today.  This phrase is from the beginning of Deutermonomy 6:6… “V’Ha’yu Ha’D’varim Ha’Ayleh.”  

The first word is a form of the verb “to be” in a past tense form (Hayu – they were) but with the “Vav Conversive.”  The Vav Conversive is the convention in Biblical Hebrew that changes the tense of a verb, either from future to past, or like this one, from past to future.  Therefore; the best translation here is “And (it/He) shall be.”  

Rabbi Trail:  There is no neuter gender in Hebrew.  Everything is either masculine or feminine.  Therefore; there is no such thing as “it” (everything is “him” or “her”).  This avoids the “gender confusion” we find in Western society today.  As a side-note to the RT, I never understood using “it” to describe a baby before we know the gender.  Go ahead and say “him” or “her.”  At least you have a 50/50 chance of being right instead of being all wrong.  End side-note and mercifully, end RT.

We have to fill in the blank from the next word, Ha’D’varim; literally, “the words.”  (Quickly, “HaAyleh” means “these.”)  “These words” are what we are talking about.  What are they?  Let’s review.  They are the words of the previous pasuk (verse), “To love God with all our heart, soul, and more.”

The Hebrew word for “Word” is “Davar.”  That same word also means “Thing” as in “Something.”  A “Thing” is a qualifier for a noun (person, place or thing).  In the Hebrew (Jewish) mind, words are powerful.  Words have substance and weight.  They exist in the same realm as tangible things.  How powerful are they?  The world was created as God spoke them.

Tomorrow we’ll get some further instruction from God on how to deal with or treat these words of His commandment.

Week 24
Memory Verse:  Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no divine vision people cast off restraint, but blessed is the one who keeps Torah.

116     6/8      Monday:        2 Kings 17-18 

117     6/9      Tuesday:       2 Kings 19-21

118     6/10    Wednesday:  2 Kings 22-23

119     6/11    Thursday:      Jeremiah 1-3:5

* 120   6/12    Friday:          Jeremiah 25; 29

Question of the day:  Through Jeremiah, God promises 70 years of exile in both of our chapters today.  Daniel prayed into this (but that message is coming soon).  We have these verses tucked into Chapter 29.  What is the fullness of their meaning?

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.  12 “Then you will call on Me, and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  13 You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart. 14 Then I will be found by you,” says Adonai, “and I will return you from exile, and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” says Adonai, “and I will bring you back to the place from which I removed you as captives into exile.”

Answer:  I’m writing this today as an invitation.  Persist with God and don’t turn loose.  

Rabbi Trail:  Please remember, these messages are written by me to me; you just get to read/listen as I write/speak to myself.  End RT.

God loves it when we remind Him of His promises and some of His best promises are in these few verses.  God has plans for you!  When we search for God with our whole heart, He will cause us to find Him.  He will bring us back, so we will be close to Him.  Please pray into these verses from Psalm 68.

Psalm 68:2 Let God arise! Let His enemies be scattered! Let those who hate Him flee before Him.  3 As smoke is blown away, may You blow them away. As wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.  4 But let the righteous be glad. Let them exult before God. Let them rejoice with gladness.  5 Sing to God, sing praises to His Name. Prepare the road for Him who rides through the deserts, whose Name is Adonai— and rejoice before Him.  … 35 Ascribe strength to God— His majesty is over Israel and His strength is in the skies.  36 O God, You are awesome from Your holy places. The God of Israel gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!