Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, August 3, 2020
This is mostly just for informational purposes. It was news to me. We (I) intend to be “full service” in publishing the daily RR.
On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help combat the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. The bill provides increased tax incentives for charitable giving for both individuals and corporations, in an effort to stimulate charitable giving throughout America.
As a result of the increased standard deduction allowed since 2017, currently 94% of Americans no longer itemize their deductions, so for most of us, charitable giving is no longer deductible. The CARES Act allows these individual taxpayers to deduct donations to charity of up to $300 on their 2020 federal tax return, over and above the standard deduction. Married-filing-jointly taxpayers will get an above-the-line deduction of up to $600.
That being said (this is the self-serving part), Shomair Yisrael is a recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization and is a registered charitable organization with the State of Tennessee authorized to receive donations. This means that donations to Shomair are tax deductible. If you would like to help us further accomplish our 6 objectives (stated below) by making an offering, please click here:
We are using “Church Center” because we have not yet convinced them to rename themselves “Synagogue Center.” Our congregational objectives have not changed in 23 years. They are clearly stated in Article 2 of our Articles of Association.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE:
A. Worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and express our worship in a Messianic Jewish context.
B. Communicate effectively the Gospel of Jesus (hereinafter referred to by His Hebrew name, Yeshua), the Messiah, to all people, with special emphasis to the Jewish people.
C. Foster the spiritual growth and maturity of all congregants and to promote a loving, supporting community of both Jewish and non-Jewish believers.
D. Promote the education and discipleship of our children, passing on a Godly heritage.
E. Identify with and support the State of Israel, and other significant Jewish causes that do not conflict with our faith.
F. Promote the restoration of the Church to its Jewish roots.
Now on to another subject… Is it possible to stand on principle, and at the same time, honor those with whom we have differences? I want to propose that the Bible teaches “yes and amen” to that. First, why is this even a question? These days, every level of society this seems to have lost this concept. Our government leaders think nothing of disrespecting one another. School teachers and administrators are openly defied and disrespected by parents and students. Our police and first responders are not respected. Even our own rabbis and pastors are being disrespected. This is not God’s plan. This is not God’s order.
Asher Intrater makes the case for respect at every level and in every instance in his book “All Authority.” No matter how severe the disagreement, we are commanded to always show respect. This is valuable because God is the creator. When we disrespect His creation (including the people He created and put in authority) we are disrespecting Him.
Not every disagreement rises to the level of needing to sever relationship. Most disagreements fall short of the “nuclear option.” In every case, we (who are ambassadors for the Messiah) must offer a path to repentance, and be ready to take that path ourselves, when necessary.
God is the God of covenant and of covenant relationships. When we honor covenant, we honor God. 1 Peter 2:17a Honor all people. So then, it is possible to be right and wrong at the same time. Let me give you a “for instance.” Suppose we catch someone in a transgression. We can make a public announcement, “That’s wrong,” or we can go to the person according to Matthew 18.
Matthew 18:15 “Now if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault while you’re with him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother.”
This is only the first step in a 3 step process. Yet, how seldom do we find God’s kingdom plan followed? In carpentry, the saying is “measure twice, cut once.” In relationships, we should think twice and speak privately once. Such a blessing to have the wisdom of God recorded in His Word for us to read any old time.
Memory Verse: Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
156 8/3 Monday: Matthew 3-4
157 8/4 Tuesday: Matthew 5
158 8/5 Wednesday: Matthew 6
159 8/6 Thursday: Matthew 7
160 8/7 Friday: Matthew 8
Question of the day: In light of the lesson above, what is there in Matthew 3 that proves my point?
Answer: Yeshua, Himself, understood the value of submission. When we learn about honoring one another (as above), we are talking about submitting to one another. Matthew 3:15 But Yeshua responded, “Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So John yielded to Him.
Yeshua submitted to John and John submitted to Yeshua… and together they fulfilled “all righteousness.” We have that same opportunity in our own relationships at home and in our community. Romans 12:10 Be tenderly devoted to one another in brotherly love; outdo one another in giving honor.
What happened to Yeshua after He submitted to John? Matthew 3:16 After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17 And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”
Put yourself in the parable of the talents. God has given you grace. How we use His grace determines our future. Can we be kind and loving without bending on principle? With the power of God, “Yes and amen.” May this also be our future as we follow His example… Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’