WP - Am I Unique?

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Parshat Terumah

Shemot / Exodus 25:1 - 27:19


Am I Unique, Distinct, Rare, Exceptional, One of a Kind? 


Would I like to be Unique, Unlike others?


Our discussion is in the loving memory of Mr. and Mrs Belk may they rest in peace. May their memory be for good.  May they be elevated in the Heavens.


By Dr. Akiva G. Belk


Audio Discussion



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In my book entitled, Mysterious Signs Of The Torah REVEALED IN EXODUS I write about Parshat Terumah.  I share a store of when operating a charitable organization that received contributions of gifts. In the story I discuss the concept of giving. 

What is it like to give?

What is it like to give junk away?

What is it like to give discards, useless things of little or no value away?

What is it like to give something away that one does not need or use?

What is it like to give something that is costly, prized, cherished away? 


I share this story.


One day we were having a yard sale. Many items were on display, including a dozen or so bikes in very rough condition. A middle aged man seemed to be taking an interest in these bikes. A few of us noticed. We thought maybe he was a bike dealer. After a while I approached him to begin a conversation. The first words out of his mouth were, 'It's amazing what junk some people will give to a non profit organization.'


Over the years I have experienced and shared many humorous and sad stories. I cannot count the times someone has said to me, 'Akiva, it's amazing the discards people try to pawn off on non profits.' 

Dear reader, We would receive calls. The giver would describe the item over the phone. Their description would sound like ice cream with chocolate syrup melting down the sides, with nuts scattered generously over it with a cherry on top. We couldn't wait to receive the contribution. Well, needless to say, it did not take us long to begin asking several questions like, How old is it? Does it have any rips, tears, holes, worn spots, stains? What color is it? Does it need cleaning? With televisions, radios, stereos, refrigerators, ranges, etc. we would ask does it work... properly...?

Even after this, on some occasions when we would arrive to receive the contribution you would think we spoke a different language. I recall the conversation with an individual after refusing to accept her contribution. She was sincere. This professional blew big time. She said, 'What's the matter with you? I can't believe this! We took this furniture out of our home. It was good enough for us! The board of your organization is going to hear about this! Leave it! I'll call the Salvation Army.'  I made the mistake of saying, "They won't take it either..."

Her contribution was a particle board computer desk from Noah's ark. It had a hole in the side the size of a football. The children had redecorated it with paints and stickers. Unfortunately I touched it and it fell over. There were other items but...

I cannot count the shoes with holes, the high heels without the heel, the pants where the seat was missing, the faded dresses, the stained shirts and blouses, pots and pans without handles, etc.

Actually we did receive many very good usable gifts but our focus today is on acceptable gifts. Many gifts were not acceptable.

Years ago I purchased an old oak desk that several friends help restore to its original condition. This took much work. It was drenched in white and blue enamel paint. We spent days of stripping, sanding, oiling, etc. This desk lived in my study at home. At my office I had a new solid wood executive desk. It was nice but I like the old oak desk the best.  When the office was closed I had two desks. A friend expressed a desire for my old restored oak desk. I did not want to part with it.  I gave it to her and her husband even though it was very special to me. Years later when my friends no longer required the desk they gave it back to me.

Dear Reader, It is one thing to give away a useless piece of discarded junk and an entirely different matter to give away a priceless, warm, special treasure that happily lives in your home or office.

Years ago in a discussion entitled GENEROSITY I shared the following comment:

There is no way to describe the impact of generosity BECAUSE it is so unusual. It is so odd based upon the pattern of people who study on our web sites. Well over 99.9% take without giving anything back.. In fact it is so very very rare to even receive a simple 'Thank You' let alone a contribution. In this sense here is what I am saying.

At JewishPath.org... JewishPath.com... Jewishlink.net... 7commands.com... and bnti.us we reach out to people. Our web sites reach millions of individuals. Thousands study on our sites daily. We are so pleased! YET, - Only a very very small handful of all these millions upon millions of people ever send a thank you... an appreciation... a gift... an offering. This type of generosity is so rare... 

Now we return to the question we began with. Am I Unique, Distinct, Rare, Exceptional, One of a Kind? Then this question was followed by another, Would I like to be Unique, Unlike others?

To be unique all that is necessary is to simple write the words, 'Thank you' and e-mail them to us... 

Every once in awhile we receive an email or letter or a phone call from the millions who are out there... Several days ago was one of those days. The phone rang. I answered. The caller was a lady. She asked who she was speaking to. I said, 'Akiva Belk'.  She went on to explain that she had placed an order and had not received it. Within a couple of days we took care of that issue. I drove the order to the US Post Office and shipped it myself.  What is the point?

This special lady has been studying with us for years.  We did not know who she was.  We still don't. Yet, we knew she was out there. Dear Reader, you are out there.  We don't know you. Yet, we know you are out there. You are one of the millions who are from one of over a hundred plus countries that learn with us daily... weekly... monthly... We love you! We appreciate you!  Yes, it would be nice to hear from you. It would be nice to know who you are... If you wrote to us it would get our attention. Then if you sent us a gift... Can you imagine how rare and unusual you would be?  Do you have any ideal of the power it takes to move one to just write 'Thank You!?  Can you imagine the enormous motivation required to take a charge card out of one's billfold or purse and to take five minutes to send a Terumah Offering to us?  I cannot describe to you how unique... how different... how rare this type of individual is.

Years ago, On 1 Shevat my father passed away. May he rest in peace! He was eighty-nine years of age. We informed our students about my loss. 100% of my classmates... those enrolled at B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLCV wrote words of kindness and thoughts of compassion. A small percentage sent cards and gifts which were very much appreciated. However from the millions of students {not classmates} who have received this service free for years sent fewer than 5 emails of condolence. Dear Ones, a foundation stone of Judaism is Chesed... Kindness...Charity... Recently, i.e. less than two weeks ago I released two books. Book one is entitled, 'Would You Like To Be Jewish?' Book two which is real hard hitting is entitled, 'Would You Like To Be Jewish 2 ?' In these two books we discuss how to have and enjoy doctrinal FREEDOM from the religions of the world. We discuss how one does not have to fear hell or satan or believe in Jesus to be saved or to make heaven their home. These books are part of a series.  One cannot cover all there is to being Jewish in two books of a 150 pages. One of the areas I did not discuss YET is a heart of generosity! God Willing this is a topic for another book in this series of books. 

Dear Reader, the point is that in this weeks parshat we read about the Jew whose heart is impelled... is driven to generosity. 

Exodus 25.1,2

 וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָֹה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר:  ב

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

 דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ־לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִי: ג

Speak to the people of Israel, that they may take me an offering; from every man that is impelled by his heart you shall take everything from Aleph toTav of my offering. 

Dear Ones there is a special message here.  The message tells us who can be Jewish. The message is ONLY one whose heart impels him / her to generosity. How is one implied to generosity?  One can ONLY be impelled through The Letters... the Words... the Verses... the Observances of Ha Torah. How do we know this?  The Gematria of 'TORAH' is 611. The Gematria of אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ Ah Sher - Yee Dih Beh Nu - Le Boh, meaning, implied by his heart, is the Gematria of 611. What does this mean?  This means if you are of that school that teaches the Hebrew Scriptures are Old and fulfilled and done away with THE MESSAGE OF TORAH CANNOT TOUCH YOU! You cannot be Jewish! Your heart is hardened by a doctrine that takes you away from the source, i.e. Ha Torah that has the power to impel your heart to generosity!  You cannot be Unique or Distinct, Rare, Exceptional in this way. Your heart is CLOSED to the force that impels. Can this change? Yes!  Dear Ones I am not saying that because you haven't written to us or sent a gift offering to us that your heart is not impelled to  generosity. I am saying when your heart is impelled by Ha Torah to Generosity you will know it. No one will have to tell you. The scales by which one measures changes drastically!  No longer does one measure how much one is required to tithe or to give but one is told by the Sages they have reach the maximum of giving allowed for them in a year. They are not permitted to give beyond this point!  I have know individuals so motivated by Ha Torah to give that it is difficult for them to operate their business.  Their office is lined with individuals seeking a contribution. There is a beaten path to the door of their homes from individuals needing assistance. 

Dear Ones, there are non-Jews who are motivated by The Torah to give like this. The point I am making is the motivation to give like I have described comes from the Torah. The principle comes from the Torah. 

Now do not be saddened if you have no money to give. Do not be down and out if you cannot give money in the way your heart desires to give. You have something else that is of great value that you can give. SIMPLY WRITE 'THANK YOU!'  I am saying Words of sincere encourage are very valuable!  Dear Reader you can give Ha Torah's Words of encouragement to anyone you choose. The Torah Speaks more about the Words we select to use than Tithes... than Offerings... than Charity... even those these are important. 

Your Words are powerful. You can help others by sharing experiences... you can help others who are lonesome. Call someone who is lonesome. Love them. Listen to them! Care about them. God has chosen those who are wealthy to give money. God has chosen us to give our time, our energy, our experience, our advice, our words to help others...

We can tithe our time.  We can give an offering of time.  We can share with others the things we are good with. There is an individual that i follow on Twitter. This individual has a gift of baking which she gives to others. There is another individual who cares deeply about pets. She advocates for pets. There are a number of men that do not have congregations who learn with others. They give what they have with others. They share what they are good at with others.

We ask the questions again, Do you want to be Unique or Distinct, Rare or Exceptional. You can be Unique  Distinct, Rare and Exceptional.

I would like to encourage you to make a contribution to B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC. We are NOT a 501 c3. We do not want the government telling us what we can and cannot say. Why? At B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC we have a flask of wine we call Yien Ohlam, meaning 'Eternal Wine.' When an individual sends a offering of any size a small portion is used to purchase Kosher Wine. A small portion of the wine from each purchase is poured into the flask of Yien Ohlam, the 'Eternal Wine.' This goes back many years now. Only God knows how many individuals have made a contribution to the Eternal wine. We have said thousands and thousands of Blessings on the wine which comes from the Eternal Wine. Every Sabbath, High Holiday etc we take from the Yien Ohlam to say Blessings. These that gave when we began the 'Eternal Wine' have been blessed thousands of times. Some gave money to help us purchase the wine.  Others gave their time. Both are valuable. If you would like to be included send a money offering of any amount through our secure donation button or give donation of your time then email us these Words along with your name, 'I give!' We will include you in our Blessings of the 'Eternal Wine'. 

 אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ 

Ah Sher - Yee Dih Beh Nu - Le Boh, meaning, implied by his heart,

א1 ש300 ר200     י10 ד4 ב2 נ50 ו6    ל30 ב2 ו 6 = 611

תּוֹרָה

Torah - Five Books of Moses

ת400 ו6 ר200 ה5 = 611

May we be blessed by strong acts of generosity.


Blessings, Love and Peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel & Rebbetzin Revi Belk


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This page contains a single entry by B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC Blog published on February 13, 2013 10:05 AM.

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