Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, September 18, 2020
(Early) Shabbat Shalom and Gut Yontov

The morning rant:  The earth has had “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming” but then they realized the globe is always either warming or cooling) since the dawn of time.  Now these climate change alarmists (I’m a climate change denier, which makes me an extremist but not an alarmist) want to blame forest fires on climate change.  Is there any truth left in the world?  Are there any “scientists” who are intellectually honest?

Forest fires are a real threat in all conditions.  I grew up listening to Smoky Bear tell me, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”  We put civilization deep into forests.  We then forbid the cutting down of trees along with proper forest management.  (I almost studied forestry instead of hotel management.) Then we are surprised when the forest burns and we look for someone or something to blame.  Let’s not blame climate change.  

Two rants in one day.  I should spread them out.  From the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website… “In urban settings, rising seas threaten infrastructure necessary for local jobs and regional industries. Roads, bridges, subways, water supplies, oil and gas wells, power plants, sewage treatment plants, landfills—virtually all human infrastructure—is at risk from sea level rise.”  

That is the last line in a press release on the rising sea level.  Earlier in the same article they note that sea level is rising at the rate of 1/8 of an inch per year on the average over the last 20 years.  The ocean is pretty big.  Can you even call 1/8 of an inch a trend in such a big ocean?  

It brings to mind a story written by James A. Michner in his epoch novel (all his novels are epoch novels) Chesapeake (1978) how the first explorers to discover Chesapeake Bay found the islands eroding due to the tides.  What follows seems more like the story of “Chicken Little” (the sky is falling) than it does science.

I’m sorry, I’m a layman here, but I want to wonder out loud if 8 inches of sea level rise in 100 years (according to the current 20 year trend, and there is no guarantee that the current 20 year trend will continue) is going to affect anybody’s life.  Certainly not anybody alive today.  What if the current trend is reversed, it won’t be because man made it reverse, everything has natural ups and downs.  Nothing stays the same.  Why should we expect sea level to stay the same?

Read the last verse of Ecclesiates written by Solomon in his wisdom.  There is a season for everything.  Solomon looks at power, prestige, popularity and pleasure.  Then he decides all of that turns out to be vanity of vanities.  Ecclesiates 12:13 A final word, when all has been heard: Fear God and keep His mitzvot! For this applies to all mankind. 14 God will bring every deed into judgment, including everything that is hidden, whether it is good or evil.


The rants are over… or are they?  As of today (Friday night) 5780 is over.  And I’m over 5780.  It’s been a great year personally (you may know why) but a challenging year in many ways.  The Bible makes this prophesy in the last 3 verses of Hebrews 12…. Hebrews 12:27 Now this phrase, “Yet once more,” shows the removal of those things that are shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude—through this we may offer worship in a manner pleasing to God, with reverence and awe. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.  All of this is happening in 5780.

Personally, I have always believed that Yeshua will return on Yom Teruah.  However; I’m not declaring that to be a truth.  Be sure you believe in the Bible and not in what any man (including me) thinks about the Bible.   

I’m not saying which Yom Teruah will announce His return, because I don’t know.  Which one is not the question to be answered.  “Are you ready,” is the penultimate question?  Yom Teruah is all about sounding shofars.  What better time to announce Yeshua’s coronation as King of the Jews and consequently King of the World?  

Rabbi Trail:  Although the Bible prophesies (spoken to Abraham in Genesis 15:13) 400 years of slavery in Egypt, the rabbis believe (without biblical evidence) that the period of slavery was shortened to 210 years.  They believe a number of things.  Maybe God shortened the slavery sentence on account of good behavior?  Or maybe the time of slavery is marked from the birth of Isaac?  End RT.

Yom Teruah is believed by the rabbis to be the anniversary of the birth of the world.  Also, the rabbis know God is allowing the world to grow through 6,000 years of pain and suffering since Adam.  What better time to crown Yeshua HaMashiach and establish His 1,000 year (millennial) reign, a 1,000 year shabbat, after a 6,000 year week of works.

We can speculate about when, but the Bible commands something else.  Yeshua did not dispute with the Apostles about “IF” the kingdom would be restored to Israel.  Read this…

Acts 1:6 So when they gathered together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them, “It is not your place to know the times or seasons which the Father has placed under His own control. 8 But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

His kingdom comes when we receive power through the Ruach HaKodesh.  Is that all there is?  Nope, but it is a start.  Let’s get started. 

Week 38
Memory Verse: Acts 2:42 They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers.

186   9/14      Monday:       Acts 2-3 

187   9/15      Tuesday:      Acts 4-5 

188   9/16      Wednesday:Acts 6 

189   9/17      Thursday:    Acts 7 

* 190 9/18      Friday:      Acts 8-9 

Question of the Day:  The Ethiopian eunuch asks the question of the day.  Acts 8:34b “Please tell me, who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?”

Answer:  The eunuch had been reading from Isaiah 53.  Acts 8:32 Now the passage of Scripture that he was reading was this: “He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opens not His Mouth. 33 In His humiliation justice was denied Him. Who shall recount His generation? For His life is taken away from the earth.”

And Philip answered, Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he proclaimed the Good News about Yeshua.

The eunuch received the Good News and his first question was… Acts 8:36 Now as they were going down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, water! What’s to prevent me from being immersed?”

Turns out, he was immediately baptized.  Let me transition to an announcement here.  After our Saturday service (yes, this Saturday), which is our RH service, we are going to drive over to the Holston River Park to cast our bread upon the water in a ceremony known as Tashlich (you will send).  This is a symbolic act of repentance.  Our sins are forgiven, but we can always repent.  First we repent for ourselves, but then we repent on behalf of our people.  In this we are in sync with the prophets like Jeremiah and Daniel.   

Either following or before (not sure which yet) Tashlich, we will once again offer baptism for any who wishes to be immersed.  There is an impartation of Holy Spirit power when we immerse in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The message I’ve written for Friday night concludes with this thought, and I want to end this RR there too.

Can we really say we are under God’s authority if we are not moving in His power?  The words of Peter we read this past Monday are ringing in my ears… Acts 3:6 But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati, get up and walk!”

Psalm 18:2 He (King David) said, I love You, Adonai my strength! 3 Adonai is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in Him I take refuge, my shield, my horn of salvation, my stronghold. 4 I called upon Adonai, worthy of praise, and I was rescued from my enemies.