Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, December 15, 2020
(Sixth light of Chanukah – Tuesday night)
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue15-Dec-2020 29th of Kislev, 5781 Chanukah Day 5
Ge 41:39-52 2 Sa 2 Ps 77 Lk 3 (2 Co 1)
Nu 7:36-47 1 Macc ch. 9-10
Today’s Torah reading is the third Aliyah of Torah portion Miketz. In it, Joseph is appointed to lead Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. Apparently, God specializes in Horatio Alger stories before Horatio Alger was born. If you’re not familiar, look it up. Incidentally, Horatio Alger and I were born in the same town (Chelsea, MA) 120 years apart (he’s older), and we went to different schools separately. He attended Harvard Divinity School and I didn’t.
In the last two verses of today’s portion (v51 & v52) we learn the names and meanings of the names of Joseph’s two sons. Manasseh means (God) “made me forget.” For the first 30 years of his life, Joseph led a troubled life. This was all erased (God made him forget) with his elevation to power in Egypt at the beginning of the reading today. It is hidden, but there is a future reality for all the people of God in this.
When Yeshua returns, we also will forget our earlier troubled life. 2 Timothy 2:11 Trustworthy is the saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12a if we endure, we will also reign with Him. This was part of our teaching this past Shabbat. We also mentioned this yesterday in the RR. I see a theme developing around the promise of God to deliver us from this present suffering. Romans 8:18 For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to us.
Then, in the final verse of today’s reading, we learn about Ephraim, whose name means “fruitful” because Joseph recognized God had made him fruitful. Likewise, there is a message for us today in this name as well. Psalm 92 is labeled “A Psalm for the Sabbath Day.” At the end of the Psalm, we find this declaration. Psalm 92:13 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree. He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 14 Planted in the House of Adonai, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 15 They will still yield fruit in old age. They will be full of sap and freshness.
These palm trees are not the coconut palms that drop hard fruit on your head. These are date palms that produce the honey mentioned in “the land of milk and honey.” This is the promise of God. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law.
Let’s pray that we also may have the blessing of Manasseh and Ephraim, the blessing to forget our trouble and to be fruitful. These were the only grandsons of Jacob who received blessings and maintained their tribal identity after the Exodus. But we won’t get to that for another 2 weeks.
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: There are 10 verses in 1 John 1. Which verse will I feel compelled to write about today?
Answer: You got it, verse 7. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of His Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin.
The second part (of the 3 parts) of the Aaronic benediction reads like this… Numbers 6:25 Adonai make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you! The word translated as “shine” means “light” in Hebrew. God’s light informs our fellowship with each other and what follows is a good description of communion; “the blood of His Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin.”
One last note… the concept of “walk” is very Jewish. It is the term “Halacha” which comes from “Holech” meaning “to walk around.” Halacha is how we practice our faith. It’s how we obey God. And how we obey God is to walk in the light. This means we have nothing to hide; we are transparent. Here is a call for us all. (I love internal rhyme.) Let’s be 1 John 1:7 people. Shalom.