Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, August 11, 2020


Quick Announcement:  Don Finto confirmed yesterday (Sunday) that he will be on his way to Shomair on Saturday morning, August 15th.  1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News.  For many years now, Don Finto has been our “father in the faith.”   Plan to attend this service and receive the Father’s blessing.  Notice the capital “F” double entendre.  1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, through whom are all things, and we exist through Him.


Luke 17:17 Then Yeshua answered and said, “Weren’t ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  This will actually be in our reading next Thursday in week 34, but I felt like the Lord gave it to me now.  So, where are the nine?  Nine out of 10 will not say “thank you.”  

My point isn’t “where are they?”  My point is “where are we?”  The Scriptures put a premium on thankfulness.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua.  Every time we celebrate communion (and that’s quite often in our home), we are offering thanks for the greatest gift of all.

Each of us has been cleansed.  Tza’ara is the Hebrew word for leprosy.  In Yiddish “Tzores” (from the same Hebrew word) means “trouble.”  We have been delivered from trouble by the savior.  It is a gift from God of which we should be thankful for all eternity.  

Few things irritate me as much as unthankfulness.  I want to make this very personal.  I’m especially addressing any young people who might be reading this.  If you’re an older reader, please share it with a young person in your life.  

When I was young myself (it’s hard to remember so far back), I remember feeling privileged, which created in me a sense of thankfulness.  I felt privileged that I was born to two loving parents who worked hard to provide me with every opportunity for success.  I felt privileged that I was born in the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I felt privileged that I didn’t have to work my way out of a ghetto existence.  I felt privileged that I didn’t have to overcome prejudice (if there was any because I am Jewish, I was too obtuse to know it).  

All of this privilege made me thankful, first to God and then to my parents.  What came next was a sense that in order to show my thankfulness, I would apply myself to the opportunities afforded me.  And I felt like my parents, who always gave me their best, deserved my best in return.  And all of that is the basis of my thankfulness toward God today.  He gave me His best, so I should give Him my best.  

This is the heart of King David who said, 2 Samuel 24:24b “I will not offer burnt offerings to Adonai my God that cost me nothing.”  Being thankful to God will cost everything, but isn’t it great?  Hold nothing back from Him.   

Week 33
Memory Verse: Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—and yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.

161   8/10      Monday:       Luke 9:10-62

* 162 8/11      Tuesday:      Mark 9-10
163   8/12      Wednesday: Luke 12

164   8/13      Thursday:     John 3-4

165   8/14      Friday:       Luke 14

Question of the day:  Matthew, Mark and Luke are known as the synoptic gospels.  This means they all follow similar patterns of the story of Yeshua’s ministry.  The “outlier” gospel is John which is more Jewish oriented than the other 3.  The reading for today in Mark is very similar to what we read yesterday in Luke.  It is so rich with content, I can’t just do one question.  Here is the first one.

  1. Question: How did they know?  Answer:  Four men went up the mountain, Yeshua, Peter, Jacob and John.  Then Peter, Jacob and John saw Elijah and Moses speaking with Yeshua.  How did the three disciples know it was Elijah and Moses with Yeshua?  The Bible makes no mention of their introduction.  

This reminds me of a story I like to tell.  The Jewish family unit consisted a father, who was not a believer and two adult children who were believers and prayed for him regularly.  One morning the father said to his children, “I saw Yeshua in a dream last night.”  

The children asked “How did you know it was Yeshua, since you’ve never seen him and don’t  know what He looks like?”

To which the father responded, “Don’t you think I know Yeshua when I see Him?”  Yes, Jewish people will know Him when they see Him, just like the 3 Apostles knew Elijah and Moses.  Oh Lord, open Jewish eyes.

  1. Question: Yeshua asks the next question.  Mark 9:10a “What are you arguing about?”  Answer:  I’m paraphrasing the story, however; I recommend reading it for yourself.  The man needed help with his tormented child.  Somehow this came to be an argument.  The man asked Yeshua, “If you can help…?”  Yeshua took exception to his question.  In doing so, Yeshua left the responsibility where it belongs, not on Himself, but on the man.  Yeshua was saying, “I can do this.  You need to believe.”  The man then asked Yeshua to help his unbelief, and immediately his son was healed.  Oh Lord, help our unbelief.
  2. Question: What did Yeshua mean?  Mark 10:15 Amen, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it!”  Answer: Little children have faith.  They have faith, even in the face of obvious danger, because they trust their father.  They think, “Daddy is holding me.  He loves me, and therefore; will not drop me.”  Moses spoke this to Joshua, but we can receive it for ourselves today… Deuteronomy 31:6 Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”