Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, December 7, 2020


Okay, okay… in my own defense, I have not been feeling well.  I’ve lost my rhythm.  I needed a break from the RR due to the debilitating effects of COVID and I took it.  Now I’m back.  

Rabbi Trail:  Isn’t “debilitating” a terrible word?  It sounds so full of shame. Someone who is “debilitated” must be unable to help himself.  In fact, it seems to me that the opposite of “debilitated” should be “abilitated.”  That’s right, we have “able” and it’s opposite “debil.”  Mercifully End RT. 

All that to say that I just realized I didn’t give you the readings for the Daily Bread on Saturday or Sunday, but I want you to have them, so here you go… 

Sat 5-Dec-2020 19th of Kislev, 5781 Parashat Vayishlach

Ge 36:20-43 Obad 1 Co 5:1-13

Sun 6-Dec-2020 20th of Kislev, 5781

Ge 37:1-11 1 Sa 20 Ps 66-67 Mk 14:1-42 (1 Co 11)

You may notice that today (Monday) is the 21st of Kislev.  That means there are only 4 shopping days left until Chanukah begins on Thursday night, the 25th of Kislev.  Of course, Chanukah is a great occasion to eat all kinds of unhealthy (especially fried) foods.  How did this happen?  The rabbis wanted to honor the miracle of the one day supply of oil lasting 8 days, so we eat potato pancakes (latkes), fried in oil, and jelly donuts (sufganiot) also fried in oil.

Follow my instruction (and not my example) and eat the fried foods in moderation.  In addition, light your menorah at home.  Here is a link with some details. There is a right and a wrong way to do everything.   https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/hanukkah-candle-lighting-ceremony/   

And if you need help with the blessings (there are 3 the first night and 2 every night after that), here is another link.  https://www.jewfaq.org/chanukahref.htm  Happy Chanukah everyone, but more on this later.

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

Mon 7-Dec-2020 21st of Kislev, 5781

Ge 37:12-22 1 Sa 21-22 Ps 68 Mk 14:43-72 (1 Co 12)

This week, our Torah reading begins in Genesis 37:1 with the phrase “VaYeshev Ya’akov BaAretz” (and Jacob dwelled in the land…”).  Jacob lived in the land of Canaan in which his father and grandfather also lived.  Joseph, Jacobs young and most favored son, is a most interesting character who also lived in Canaan.  He has to know his brothers hate him.  Don’t you know when someone (and much more a group of people, and family no less) doesn’t like you?  This went beyond dislike to what the Bible calls hate.

Genesis 37:8b So they hated him even more.  Then Joseph gets a confirming dream and speaks openly about that.  This is so bad that even Joseph’s father (Jacob) had to rebuke him.  Genesis 37:10 He told it to his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him.

No wonder God had Joseph sold into slavery.  Of course it was all part of God’s plan to fulfill the promises and accomplish the appointed destiny of all the children of Israel.  Joseph was further humbled in jail and even then he was forgotten (which is how our Torah portion this week ends).  

God had to teach Joseph the same lessons He wants to teach each of us.  Let’s not make it hard for God to teach us the lessons of life.  We need to learn humility.  We need to learn to trust God.  And we need to learn to be patient.  God taught these lessons to Joseph, but Joseph learned the hard way.  Now, God wants to teach these same lessons to us.  We will all be tested in these areas.  Grow in maturity and pass the test and so avoid further testing.

Week 50
Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 2:1 Therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Messiah Yeshua. 2 And what you have heard from me among many witnesses, entrust to faithful people who will be capable to teach others also.

* 246 12/10  Monday:       1 Timothy 1-3

247   12/11  Tuesday:       1 Timothy 4-6

248   12/12  Wednesday:  2 Timothy 1-2    

249   12/13  Thursday:      2 Timothy 3-4

250   12/14  Friday:           1 Peter 1-2

Question of the Day:  What are Paul’s standards for being a servant leader?

Answer:  We find the answer in 1 Timothy 3.  1 Timothy 3:8 Servant-leaders likewise must be dignified, not double-speaking, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 Also let them first be tested—then let those who are blameless serve as servant-leaders. 11 Women likewise must be dignified, not backbiting; clear-minded, trustworthy in every respect. 12 Let servant-leaders be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.

Next Shabbat we will set in 7 new Shamashim (servant leaders).  (Their dedication on the Feast of Dedication.)  Each of these people have been serving in a leadership capacity at Shomair for some time.  Now, we will set them into the office in which they have already been serving.  None of them is a new believer.  Each of them exhibits the fruit of the spirit called for by Paul in 1 Timothy 3.  We are very thankful for the calling of God on their lives.  

Please pray for them.  Every time we step forward into the front lines to serve God, the enemy wants to cause confusion and discouragement.  The enemy is a liar.  He tells us not to believe God’s call.  He tells us not to trust God.  Pray that these leaders will stand tall and firm in the call of God to serve in the community of Shomair and beyond.