Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Special Announcement:  This coming Saturday, August 22nd, the eldership of Shomair Yisrael is inviting everyone to attend a special healing service which will take place during our regular worship time.  “But wait!” You ask. “Isn’t every service a healing service?”  Yes, that’s true, but this will have an additional focus and extended prayer time for healing.  And healing is not just for the physical body.  We are 3 in 1 (made in the image of God) and each part of us (body, soul and spirit) needs healing.  

The enemy has brought destruction in the form of sickness, broken relationships, emotional hurts and much more, both on a personal level and on a corporate level.  Specifically, there are spiritual principalities that we must be emboldened to cast down.  Let’s take back what has been stolen from us.  As we say in Hebrew, “B’Ezrat HaShem” (with the help of the name – of God).  But let’s go further, “B’Ko’ach HaShem” meaning “by the power of the name of God.”

Following the service, we will again move around the corner to the Holston River and have a baptismal service.  Two young people accepted Yeshua as their Lord and Savior while at camp a few weeks ago and wish to follow Him in water baptism.  Anyone else wishing to do so is also welcome.  Bring a change of clothes and a towel.  End special announcement.


A couple of times in our first teaching on the Song of Songs, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was quoted.  Pronounced in two syllables – “clair,” as in “eclair” and vaux that rhymes with faux (fake).  Who was he, and why was he worth quoting?   He was not a “fake eclair,” but a French abbot.  In fact, he was very special in his day.

Rabbi Trail:  Abbots live in Abbeys while Monks live in Monasteries.  Nope, that’s not quite true.  A monk is any member of a monastic order while the Abbot is the head of such an order.  All monks live in monasteries until the Abbot (or head of the order) lives there, then the monastery becomes an abbey.  File that away.  End RT.

Bernard of Clairvaux was an advisor to five popes, one of which was his former student.  He was known as the “honey-tongued doctor” for his eloquent writings on the love of God.  He joined a struggling monastic order, the Cistercians, which grew from 1 monastery to 170 in his lifetime.  They were known for their austere and somewhat severe disciplines (like fasting and sleep depravation).  Though many in the order wanted an easier life, Bernard would not relent.  He once famously commented to mock other less austere monastic orders, “Surely humility in furs is better than pride in tunics.”

Some of those popes he counseled owed their positions to his support.  He was appointed head of the 2nd Crusade, which ended in a disastrous defeat from which he never recovered.  He died 4 years later.  

But he is best known today for his writings.  In particular, he delivered 86 sermons on the Song of Songs, forming much of our deeper understanding of the book.  Bernard promoted our understanding of how the soul achieves intimacy with God through the “kiss of the kiss.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  His writings on Proverbs and Ecclesiastes set up our understanding of Song of Songs.  Specifically he compared the Word of God to a hoe plowing up the fertile ground of our hearts.  I believe we quoted this verse last Sunday night.  Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.  

“Showers of righteousness” will only take root in plowed ground.  Only then will it bring forth its fruit.  We always return to an examination of our hearts.  Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart diligently, for from it flow the springs of life.  

Kol Tuv! Meaning “all the best.”

Week 34
Memory Verse: Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

166   8/17      Monday:      John 6 

167   8/18      Tuesday:      Matthew 19:16-30
* 168 8/19      Wednesday: Luke 15-16

169   8/20      Thursday:     Luke 17:11-37;18

170   8/21      Friday:       Mark 10

Question of the day:  What is the meaning of the last verse of the reading today?

Answer:  Luke 16:31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead!’”  

What does it mean, “listen to Moses?”  This is the concluding verse of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man was in torment while Lazarus was by the side of Abraham.  The rich man cried out to send Lazarus to his father’s house… Luke 16:28 “For I have five brothers to warn, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

Yeshua said this… John 5:46 For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me.  Where did Moses write about Yeshua?  I’ll give you two places, you can give me more.  First, we don’t even get out of the Garden of Eden without this.  Genesis 3:15 I will put animosity between you and the woman— between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will crush his heel.  The seed of the woman (Yeshua) will crush the head of the seed of the serpent. 

Then this is found near the end of the Torah.… Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him. 19 Now whoever does not listen to My words that this prophet speaks in My Name, I Myself will call him to account.  Yeshua is the “prophet like Moses.”  God spoke to Yeshua like He spoke to Moses.  Numbers 12:6 “Hear now My words!” He said. “When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. 8a I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai! 

My point is simply this… the first step in Jewish evangelism is to make the words of Moses believable.