Wednesday, September 2, 2020

13th Day of Elul: The King is in the Field

Elul, 13th Day. Elul, The King is in the Field. 

"The King’s place is in the royal palace. To speak with the King, an individual must go through bureaucratic channels, gain approvals, journey to the capital, pass through the castle, and be entirely prepared. But there are times when the King comes out to the fields. Anyone can approach to be received with care and compassion." Alden Solovy

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Elul 12th Day: Humble Compassion

Elul 12th day. Another look at compassion. A deeper level is humble compassion.
"Compassion that humbles
is born of a deeper understanding of the order of things:
When you understand that the other guy is lacking
in order that you may be privileged to help him
—then you are truly humbled." chabad.org

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

Monday, August 31, 2020

11th Day of Elul: Compassion

Elul, 11th day, 31 August 2020. Can we learn to be more compassionate and caring? "The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion." Psalm 103:13
Humble Compassion
There is compassion that feeds the ego and there is compassion that humbles it. chabad.org

"We become like God and are drawn closer to God: deepening our capacity for caring, for being present and attentive to the needs of others — while setting our own needs aside, we seek to become more like God." Rabbi Yoel Kahn

Sunday, August 30, 2020

10th Day of Elul: Givers & Takers

On this 10th day of the Hebrew month of Elul, the emphasis of giving and receiving is key in our relationships with those who are weak.
The Passion Translation of Acts 20:35 teaches us how to serve and take care of the weak. "I’ve left you an example of how you should serve and take care of those who are weak. For we must always cherish the words of our Lord Jesus, who taught, ‘Giving brings a far greater blessing than receiving.’”
Givers & Takers
"Our view of the world and its Creator’s view are very different. From our perspective, there is always a giver and a taker. Whether the merchandise be knowledge, affection, or money—somebody always comes out on top and the other on the bottom. In the Creator’s view, giver and taker are one. The taker is really giving and the giver, receiving. For without the opportunity to give, the giver would be forever imprisoned within his own self." (Daily Thought from Chabad.org)

Saturday, August 29, 2020

9th Day of Elul: Kindness Needs to Grow

Shabbat, August 29th, 9 Elul. Today is Sabbath for Jews and as this Hebrew month progresses kindness needs to expand in the world.
"A seed ignites the power of the earth, but a gift of kindness seeds the very ground of the cosmos—for out of Divine Kindness the universe emerged, of Kindness it is built, and with Kindness it is sustained and nourished." Igeret HaKodesh 8
Loving-kindness is the goodness of God. Psalm 27:13

Friday, August 28, 2020

Elul 8th Day: Kindness


8th day of Elul and kindness is our focus today. As Psalm 27 is read twice during the day we see how the kindness of God is loving-kindness in verse 13. "I would have been without hope if I had not believed that I would see the loving-kindness of the Lord in the land of the living."
"Plant Kindness. A gift is a gift, but a gift to one in need is an investment, a seed planted in the ground. Invest kindness in those who are in need. The fruits of your investment will be beyond wonder."
Igeret HaKodesh 8

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Joseph and Food Storage

There is a renewed interest in food storage for emergency situations that may arise due to COVID-19 and other natural disasters. Is food storage a lack of faith or can it be an action guided by God? There are several stories in the Bible in which God directed food storage. Yesterday we looked at Noah and how he was told to store food for his family and the animals. They were on the ark for 377 days so that was a lot of food that had to be stored.

Today we look at the story of Joseph and how he interpreted two prophetic dreams given by God to Pharaoh. This story is found in Genesis 41. Pharaoh dreamed about seven fat cows and seven severely thin cows. The thin cows ate the fat cows. He also dreamed about seven heads of grain, healthy and good, growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted--thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. No one could interpret the dream but word reached Pharaoh that a young Hebrew man in an Egyptian prison was an interpreter of dreams. Pharaoh called for him and Joseph was brought before him. In Genesis 41:25-31 "Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine. "It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 

Joseph then told Pharaoh that the grain harvest for the next seven years must be stored. 
"Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine."

Egypt experienced seven years of plenty and grain was stored in the cities as Joseph had instructed. Following the years of plenty, Egypt suffered a severe famine for seven years. The Egyptians were able to buy grain throughout the years of famine because of the wise planning of Joseph. In this tremendous example of prophetic dreams, interpretation, and obedience the principle of food storage saved a nation.