Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, December 14, 2020
(Fifth light of Chanukah – Monday night)
Happy middle of Chanukah. The Maccabeats have a new 2020 Chanukah song and video for your enjoyment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6PvoWmHiUs
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 14-Dec-2020 28th of Kislev, 5781 Chanukah Day 4
Ge 41:15-38 2 Sa 1 Ps 75-76 Lk 2:22-52 (1 Co 16)
Nu 7:30-41 1 Macc ch. 7-8
This week our Torah portion is called “Miketz.” The reading goes from Genesis 41:1-44:17. It takes its name from the second word in Hebrew. “Ketz” is Hebrew for “end.” Miketz has the prefix “Mi” (“Mi” is a contraction of “Min” which does mean “from”) appended to it. So, “from the end.”
Genesis 41:1 Now at the end of two whole years, Pharaoh was dreaming. Behold, there he was standing by the Nile. This means Joseph was forgotten by the cupbearer for 2 full years. So, in a sense, Joseph (the kinsman redeemer of his people) was resurrected (from prison) in the third year. Is this starting to match a theme we find in other places of Scripture?
Hosea 6:2 After two days He will revive us. On the third day He will raise us up, and we will live in His presence.
And, of course, these things point to the ultimate reality of the resurrection of Yeshua… 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.
Yeshua, Himself, prophesied His own resurrection. Matthew 12:40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
And where are we in history? Yes, 2,000 years (2 millennia) since the crucifixion. Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day just passing by, or like a watch in the night. This verse is quoted in 2 Peter 3:8.
God saw to it that Joseph was not forgotten in ancient Egypt. Let us be mindful of God’s promises to remember His people. Our current condition is not the end of our story. Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and people sat upon them—those to whom authority to judge was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Yeshua and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image, nor had they received his mark on their forehead or on their hand. And they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 2:11 Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul.
251 12/14 Monday: 1 Peter 3-4
252 12/15 Tuesday: 1 Peter 5, 1 John 1
253 12/16 Wednesday: 1 John 2-3
254 12/17 Thursday: 1 John 4-5
255 12/18 Friday: Revelation 1
Question of the Day: What story would you like to tell us today, Rabbi?
Answer: I’m glad you asked. Years ago I was reading 1 Peter 3 when these verses jumped off the page… 1 Peter 3:10 For, “The one who loves life, wanting to see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek shalom and pursue it.
I was already very familiar with these verses because they are part of the concluding paragraph of the Amidah. The Amidah is the central liturgical prayer in every public and private Jewish worship time. It is also known as the Shemona Esrei (which is the Hebrew number 18), because originally there were 18 blessings in it.
So, when I saw these verses in 1 Peter, my mind immediately began to question, “What made the rabbis quote 1 Peter in the most holy prayer in the Siddur (Jewish prayer book)? How did that happen? Maybe it was Peter who was quoting the rabbis.” Then I found the answer to my dilemma.
Both 1 Peter and the Amidah are quoting the Psalms. Psalm 34:13 Who is the one who delights in life, and loves to see good days? 14 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking treachery. 15 Depart from evil and do good. Seek shalom and pursue it.
As Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.” Those of you under 40 are saying, “Who’s Paul Harvey?” The rest of you know what I’m talking about. But back to the point… let’s all take the lesson being delivered and own it.
Our desire is to delight in life, so we should keep our lips from speaking treachery, depart from evil, do good, and finally, seek shalom. God is our doctor and He is writing this prescription for the delight of life. The real question of the day is, are we going to follow His prescription?