January 2015 Archives

ב ' ח

Gematria Shemot Shemot 2/1

Exodus 1.1 - 6.1


A Taste Of Torah 

Weekly Torah Gematria Video1

A New Ruler


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Exodus 1. 8

וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ־חָדָשׁ עַל־מִצְרָיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדַע אֶת־יוֹסֵף1:1 


And He arose, a new king to Egypt that did not know everything from Aleph to Tav of Yoseif.

וַיָּקָם

Vaw Yaw Kawm

And He Arose

ו6 י10 ק100 ם40 = 156


יוֹסֵף

Yoseif 

ו6 י10 ס60 ף80 = 156


The Words  מְצַוְּךָ Mih Tzah Voo Chaw, meaning Commanding You and הָאָסִיף Haw Aw Seef, meaning ingathering. They are the Gematria 156.


מְצַוְּךָ

Mih Tzah Voo Chaw 

Commanding You

מ40 צ90 ו6 ך20 = 156


הָאָסִיף

Haw Aw See

ingathering

ה5 א1 ס60 י10 ף80 = 156



New leaders bring changes. Departing leaders bring changes. With the departing of Yoseif / Joseph we see ingathering.  With the new king we see commanding you...


In our world today we need ingathering that Yoseif brought. Yoseif brought families, peoples and nations together.  Yoseif was concerned for all of The Lord's Creation. Notice the Final Letters of Yoseif and Haw Aw Seef.  Both Words end in the Letter ף Final Pey.  The Final Pey looks like a shepherd's staff.  In our world we need people who care about others.  We need the right type of leadership in every facet of life.  We need leaders who draw people together.  Our world is hurting for the right type of leadership. We see this in the Gematria 156. There are different types of people in leadership positions.   One ף Final Pey the Verse the other concludes it. 


Genesis 50.19 - 21

'Joseph said to them, Fear not; for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it to be good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore do not fear; I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spoke kindly to them...'


Many years ago as a staff member for a Jewish school  I observed such an act.  We were having the dedication for  a new building. Great Rabbis were invited to participate from all around the country. The school was across the street from a major Hospital.


One afternoon during our celebration a young man came in the front door of the school heading right into the sanctuary where he sat down, bowed his head and remained quiet. He was from hundreds of miles away.  I noticed him.  One of the Rabbi's also noticed him.  The Rabbi walked over to me, leaned over and whispered into my ear something like, What does this young man need? 


My reply was, I don't know


He immediately motioned for his assistance to go speak with the young man. Then he whispered another sentence in my ear, 'We should find out what he needs.'  This is what one expects of a great Rabbi.   He was a Yoseif type leader. 

We learned, the young man was Jewish.  He lived in a small town hundreds of miles away.  His wife was in the hospital having surgery. That Rabbi saw to it that this young mans needs were attended to.


We need rulers who care about people as this Rabbi did. The man was dressed in blue jeans. He was not wearing a kippah or tzitzit. So What! The keen sensitiveness of this great Rabbi has stuck with me. 



ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 13

Genesis 13.1 - 18

Bereisheit Limood Video 1

Traveling Towards The Altar


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Course Text Begins Here:

Chapter - 13 Traveling Towards the Altar 


Bereisheit  / Genesis 13.1 - 18


Bereisheit 13.1

וַיַּעַל אַבְרָם מִמִּצְרַיִם הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וְלוֹט עִמּוֹ הַנֶּגְבָּה1:1


Genesis 13.1

And He, Avram went up from Mitzraim, He and his wife and all that he had, and Lot together they went south.


Bereisheit 13.2

וְאַבְרָם כָּבֵד מְאֹד בַּמִּקְנֶה בַּכֶּסֶף וּבַזָּהָב1:1


Genesis 13.2

And Avram was burdened greatly in cattle in silver and in gold.


This almost has the appearance of a fairy tale. Why? Only a very small number of individuals are wealthy like Avram.  The Word  כָּבֵד Caw Bayd means heavily burdened. Caw Bayd means one is weighted down. Avram was so wealthy that his wealth was an encumbrance to him. It was a troublesome difficulty for him. Avram was over loaded with wealth. Avram was wealth was so great it was oppressive. The Torah portion of the Bible Tells us Avram was greatly burdened in cattle, in silver and in gold. It is difficult for me to imagine being that wealthy. Many of us are on the other side of that coin.  We are burdened with paying bills and earning enough to get by. 


Abraham is a most unique individual. What do I mean?  Adam HaReshon / the first man taught very guarded Torah truths to Chanoch who was taken and to his son Methushelach who taught them to Noach who taught them to his son Shem and to Abraham. The span of lives reached from Adam to Methushelach to Noach to Abraham. The principles Abraham learned from Noach and Shem  greatly strengthened his faith in the Lord. Then Abraham's faith drew him close to the Creator of the universe. 


Abraham was not weighed down with guests or being hospitable. Abraham was not weighed down by his daily hours of Torah study. Abraham was not weighed down by his many daily hours of Teaching his Talmidim. 


We, on the other hand are weighed down with earning a living and as a result it becomes a struggle for us to do as our Father Abraham did. It is a challenge for us to be hospitable.  It is a daily strain to learn Torah let alone the thought of teaching others. We are so different in comparison to Father Abraham. Our Father Abraham was full of Emunah / Faith yet we do not read anything about faith being a weight to Abraham.  We do not read of prayer being a weight to Abraham. Is it possible that we are a little backwards in comparison to Abraham? These areas that the Torah portion of the Bible does not out right mention are mystical. They are hidden.  The Name of our Creator is the Gematria 26. The Gematria of the Word כָּבֵד Caw Bayd meaning  heavily burdened is also 26. The Letters of the Word כַּבֵּד Cah Bayd, meaning to honor are also the same spelling. The vowels are different so the pronunciation is different. 


י-ה-ו-ה

The Lord

י10 ה5 ו6 ה5 = 26


כָּבֵד

Burden down

כ20 ב2 ד4 = 26


יודו

Yoh Doo / Tp praise, to offer thanksgiving

י10 ו6 ד4 ו6 = 26

It is also interesting to note that the names of the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs combined have 26 letters.

אברהם = 5 

יצחק = 4

יעקב = 4 

שרה = 3

רבקה = 4

רחל = 3

לאה = 3

_______


26 


We must ask ourself, what burdens me? Mystically Abraham was burdened with The Lord. Abraham did not seek wealth or honor. Abraham sought The Lord.  Yet Abraham did not consider these a burden. And it is not 'JUST' that Abraham  was burdened with the Lord, i.e burdened with being hospitable, daily Torah study, daily prayer daily education of others IT WAS HOW Abraham went about being burdened with the Lord. 


Our Matriarchs and Patriarchs left us a good path to follow right to the Altar of The Lord...

ב ' ח

Gematria Shemot Va'eira 2/2

Exodus 6.2 - 9.35


A Taste Of Torah 

Weekly Torah Gematria Video 1

ONE God


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Exodus 6.2

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עַתָּה תִרְאֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶעֱשֶׂה לְפַרְעֹה כִּי בְיָד חֲזָקָה יְשַׁלְּחֵם וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה יְגָרֲשֵׁם מֵאַרְצוֹ1:1


And The Lord Said to Moses, soon you will see what [I will do to] Pharaoh. For with [My] strong hand [he will] send them out and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.


Exodus 6.3

וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֲנִי יְהוָֹה1:1


And He, God Spoke to Moses, And He Said to him, I am The Lord.


Exodus 6.4

וָאֵרָא אֶל־אַבְרָהָם אֶל־יִצְחָק וְאֶל־יַעֲקֹב בְּאֵל שַׁדָּי וּשְׁמִי יְהֹוָה לֹא נוֹדַעְתִּי לָהֶם1:1


And [ I ] Appeared to Abraham, to Jacob and to Issac as God Almighty and not by My Name The Lord. [I] did not reveal to them.


The Word נוֹדַעְתִּי Noh Dah Tee means 'reveal'. The Gematria of נוֹדַעְתִּי Noh Dah Tee is 540

נוֹדַעְתִּי

Noh Dah Tee

נ50 ו6 ד4 ע70 ת400 י 10 = 540


שָׁמַר

Shaw Mahr

To Guard

ש300 מ40 ר200 = 540


A revelation from God is very special. We must carefully guard revelations. We have to be careful not to loose what we have. We have to be careful to keep the rust off the revelations the Creator Gives us. His revelations are precious to us. My Rabbi once spoke to me. He said, 'Akiva, do you know how fortunate you are? You have heard the Voice of God at least four times. I have never heard the Voice of God. I envy you!! You are truly Blessed!' He is right!


Dear Reader the Torah portion of the Bible was given to Moses by the Voice of God. The Torah is a revelation of God! No other Book of the Bible was spoken to the Writer Word for Word. In this chapter we are going to review how God [singular] Spoke these Words.


The Name אֱלֹהִים El Loh Heem is plural. אֱלֹהִים means gods when it is not used in reference to God as Judge or Creator. Even though the Name אֱלֹהִים El Loh Heem is plural אֱלֹהִים El Loh Heem is ALWAYS used as singular when reference is made to God as Creator. Why? אֱלֹהִים El Loh Heem our Creator is One. The Name אֱלֹהִים is singular in Exodus 6,3. The Name אֱלֹהִים is always used with the singular intent when used in reference to God.


ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 14

Genesis 14.1 - 24

Bereisheit Limood Video 1

Struggling With Our Nature


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Bereisheit 14.1

וַיְהִי בִּימֵי אַמְרָפֶל מֶלֶךְ־שִׁנְעָר אַרְיוֹךְ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּסָר

כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר מֶלֶךְ עֵילָם וְתִדְעָל מֶלֶךְ גּוֹיִם1:1


Genesis 14.1

And it happened in the days Ahm Raw Phel, king of Shinar...


Who is אַמְרָפֶל מֶלֶךְ־שִׁנְעָר Ahm Raw Phel, king of Shinar? We address this by reviewing Genesis 10.8 Here Ha Torah states, Cush had a son who was named נִמְרֹד Nimrod. In verse 10 Nimrod is identified as being the king in the land of Shinar. Once we put the pieces of these verses together we learn that Nimrod is Ahm Raw Phel.


Why did he change his name from Nimrod to Ahm Raw Phel?


When we examine the name נִמְרֹד Nimrod we observe the first three letters as נ Nun מ Mem ר Reish. They are the three-letter Shoresh / root of the word Nimrod. Naw Mayr means tiger, leopard. When the ו Vav and the ד Dalet are added to Naw Mayr the meaning changes slightly to one who hunts like a tiger or hunter. נִמְרוֹד with the Letter Vav is often how Nimrod is spelled. Today we do not think of a hunter as one who hunts like a tiger yet that is the etymology of the word from Ha Torah for Nimrod. Reuben Alcalay, The Complete Hebrew English Dictionary {Chemed Books Massada 1990} p 1646


Dear Ones, I have observed that the letter י Yud which has the Gematria of ten often has the effect of added strength. When the Letter Yud is added to a word Strength is added. When the Letter Yud is removed from a word strength is removed from that word. As we study the Hebrew of Ha Torah please keep this in mind. I mention this because when we add the Yud to Naw Mayr, meaning tiger, leopard we get Ni May Ree, meaning tigerish or tiger like. The significance of this is that the Gematria of Vav and Dalet combined equal the Yud. So it appears as though the Vav and Dalet added to Naw Mayr have an impact similar to that of the Yud. The Gematria of Nimrod meaning One who hunts like a tiger and the Gematria of Ni May Ree meaning tigerish or tiger-like are each the Gematria of 300.


Nimrod meaning hunter

נ50 מ40 ר200 ו6 ד4 = 300


Ni May Ree meaning tigerish or tiger like

נ50 מ40 ר200 י10 = 300


Inclination

י10 צ90 ר200 = 300


Humans have two inclinations a טוב Tov meaning good and an רע rah meaning evil. Our inclinations can be tiger like...


ב ' ח

Gematria Shemot Bo 3

Exodus 10.1 - 13.16


A Taste Of Torah 

Weekly Torah Gematria Video

Remembering


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Shemot 10.1-2

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בֹּא אֶל־פַּרְעֹה כִּי־אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת־לִבּוֹ וְאֶת־לֵב עֲבָדָיו לְמַעַן שִׁתִי אֹתֹתַי אֵלֶּה בְּקִרְבּוֹ:  ב 


וּלְמַעַן תְּסַפֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי בִנְךָ וּבֶן־בִּנְךָ אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְעַלַּלְתִּי בְּמִצְרַיִם וְאֶת־אֹתֹתַי אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי בָם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָֹה:  ג 


Exodus 10.1-2

And He, The Lord Said to Moses, Go to Pharaoh; for I have Strengthened Everything From The Letter Aleph to The Letter Tav of his heart, and Everything from The Letter Aleph to The Letter Tav of the heart of his 

servants, that I might show these My Signs before him; 


And that you may relate [tell in book format] in the ears of your son, and of your grandson, what things I have done in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am the Lord.


Gematria Motel

[Regular Gematria + the number of total Letters]


וּלְמַעַן תְּסַפֵּר

Voo Lih Mah Ahn - Tih Sah Payr

And to Teach / Relate from a Book


ו6 ל30 מ40 ע70 ן50   -   ת400 ס60 פ80 ר200 = 936

945 = 935 + 9 Holy Letters [ולמען תספר]


Shemot 10.20

וַיְחַזֵּק יְהוָֹה אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא שִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: פ 


Exodus 10.20

And The Lord Strengthened everything from Aleph to Tav of Pharaoh's heart, and he did not send out anything from The Letter Aleph to The Letter Tav of the people of Israel.


וַיְחַזֵּק יְהוָֹה אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה


וַיְחַזֵּק יְהוָֹה

Vih Yih Chah Zayk HaShem

And He, The Lord Strengthened

ו6 י10 ח8 ז7 ק100  -  י10 ה5 ו6 ה5 = 157


אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה

Eht Lahv Pharaoh

Everything From The Letter Aleph To The Letter Tav

Of Pharaoh's Heart

א1 ת400 ל30 ב2  -  פ80 ר200 ע70 ה5 =  788


945 = 157 + 788


Deuteronomy 6.12

Beware lest you forget The Lord, who Brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.


Pharaoh was steeped in hard denial. Not only was he unwilling to acknowledge his sin of oppressing B'nei Israel, he increased the level of oppression. Pharaoh also denied the existence of God. 

Throughout this parshat we are constantly reminded that Pharaoh's heart was hard, that his heart remained set in preventing B'nei Israel from worshipping The Lord! His denial was a public denial! It was a sin against The Lord and against His people. B'nei Israel! 

He ordered his officers to afflict B'nei Israel! At each turn in the course of events, The Lord Tells Moses to remind Pharaoh and the people of Egypt.


'...that I am The Lord...' Exodus 7:5 


'By this you will know that I am The Lord...' Exodus 7:17 


'...You will know that there is none like The Lord, our G-d..' Exodus 8:6

 '...You will know that I am The Lord in the midst of the earth...' Exodus 8:18


'This is what The Lord The God of the Hebrews has said...' Exodus 9:1


'...so that you may KNOW that there is none like Me in all the earth.'  Exodus 9:14 


'...so that My Name will be declared throughout the earth.' Exodus 9:16


Long before this point, the end of the fifth plague, Pharaoh knew! Yet, he continued in his ways of sinful disobedience of The Lord's Commands. There are those who know what The Lord has Commanded yet in outright denial they continue in their pattern of sin. Their conclusion will be like that of Pharaoh and Egypt. They will cross the line as Pharaoh did. Pharaoh reached a place where he was no longer was able to control his own heart... his thoughts... his actions... The Torah tells us that God took control of them. God hardened his heart!  When Pharaoh had a choice he chose to oppress B'nei Israel. He chose to continue in his pattern of disobedience. He chose to continue his denial of The Lord. He crossed the line that no one should cross. He could not return. This is the danger of the one hardened in denial of The Lord and His Commands!!


Holy reader, a staff member at JewishPath posed this question: Can't a Jew return from wherever they are, from however far they have fallen? Isn't the Jewish light an eternal light? Well, the answer is Yes and No! Yes in the sense that it is possible. Yes in the sense that The Lord can draw anyone to him. However in the practical sense, No! Don't be fooled! When a tree is young it is flexible but when it is old the flexibility is gone. If it bends too much it will break. This should serve as a caution to us not to live on the outer perimeters of Judaism where God forbid, one's lifestyle may prevent one from repentance...

One may think that eventually they may change their mind, BUT that is not necessarily true.  Those like Pharaoh, who cross the line, or those who live on the outer perimeters may go to far. It is a very scary, dangerous place to dangle with one's life! I don't like this type of teeter.


When I was a child my Father, may he rest in peace, would give an illustration to the children at youth camp. He had a bundle of sticks that were smooth and dried out. He picked these sticks up along a beach in the San Francisco Area. He also had several freshly cut Aspen branches. Daddy showed the children how flexible the young Aspen branches were.  He would bend them in every direction with out breaking a branch. He show how stiff and how unforgiving the smooth dried sticks, he found along the ocean were. He could not bend them at all. Daddy made the comparison.  Daddy explained that when we are young we can go in many directions.  Then he taught, when we are older, we will be hardened. We will not be able to go in many directions.  He explained that now was the time to let God shape our lives. Then, again reminding us many years later it would be difficult, and possible impossible, because we would be to set in out ways. 


Ecclesiastes 7.13

Consider the work of God; for who can make that straight, what He Has Made crooked?


Each of us should remember The Lord Who delivered us from Egypt and be careful to walk in His ways...

ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 15

Genesis 15.1 - 21

Bereisheit Limood Video

Prophecy


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Dear Reader, there is a great deal that happens in Genesis 15 which is especially known as the 'Covenant between the Pieces.' Avram is seventy years old. Sarai is Sixty years old. This was in year 2,018 From Creation. It was their first venture into Eretz Canaan. They would visit then return to Charan. They would leave Charan for the last time in 2,023 From Creation. That is five years away.


In Chapter 15 we learn:


The Lord is Avram's shield - מָגֵן


Avram and Sarai were childless


Avram is told he would have children - Look to the Heavens ... so shall your seed be...


The Lord tells Avram that He delivered him from the fires of the Chaldees...


Avram is instructed to sacrifice...


Avram is informed his seed would be strangers in a land that is not their's and will be afflicted four hundred years...


The Lord will Judge the nation responsible...


His Descendants would come forth with great wealth.


In the fourth Generation they will return to the land...


The Lord and Avram made a covenant.


Avram was informed,


Genesis 15.16

וְאַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶל־אֲבֹתֶיךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם תִּקָּבֵר בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה1:1


And you shall go to your fathers in peace;

you shall be buried in a good old age.


Genesis 15 Teaches us about death.


The Lord God offers comfort to Avram. '[Your Soul] shall go to your fathers in peace.'


Let's examine the mysticism of Children.


Bereisheit 15.1

אַחַר ׀ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָֹה אֶל־אַבְרָם בַּמַּחֲזֶה לֵאמֹר אַל־תִּירָא אַבְרָם אָנֹכִי מָגֵן לָךְ שְׂכָרְךָ הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד1:1


Genesis 15.1

After these Words, it happened the Word of The Lord came to Avram in a vision [in an ecstatic state] saying, 'Fear not Avram, I am your shield. Your reward is very great'.


Listen, Avram was an astrologer. He could see in the stars that he as Avram and his wife as Sarai would not have children.


בַּמַּחֲזֶה

Our Sages Teach that there are ten designations for prophecy, 

[ נָבוֹאָה ].

ב ' ח

Gematria Shemot Beshalach 4

Exodus 13.17 - 17.16


A Taste Of Torah 

Weekly Torah Gematria Video

Constancy


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Exodus 15.22

וַיַּסַּע מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּם־סוּף וַיֵּצְאוּ אֶל־מִדְבַּר־שׁוּר וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת־יָמִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וְלֹא־מָצְאוּ מָיִם1:1


So Moses brought everything from Aleph to Tav of Yisrael from the Sea of Reeds, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.


וַיָּבֹאוּ מָרָתָה וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹּת מַיִם מִמָּרָה כִּי מָרִים הֵם עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמָהּ מָרָה1:1

Exodus 15.23

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore its name was called Marah.

They came to Marah expecting one thing but got another. The intention of B'nei Israel was to find water, what they got was bitter water.


The Gematria for Marah is 245.


מָרָה

Bitter

מ40 ר200 ה5 = 245


מהר

Moh Hahr

Contract price, to hurry,

מ40 ה5 ר200 = 245


Hah Mayr

המר

Change

ה5 מ40 ר200 = 245


המר

Hay Mar

Embitter / Permute

ה5 מ40 ר200 = 245


המר

Haw Mayr

Alterations Rearrangements

ה5 מ40 ר200 = 245


רככה

Roo Chi Chawh

Softness / Tenderness

ר200 כ20 כ20 ה5 = 245


באברם

Bih Avram

Through With Avram

ב2 א1 ב2 ר200 ם40 = 245


Dear ones, it is so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the minute. B'nei Israel just experienced the greatest military victory of their lives. The greatest, most feared army of Egypt had just been annihilated. They watched as the waters came crashing down on horse, chariot and rider. They observed as foot soldier, sergeant and captain drowned in the Yam Suf / the Reed Sea. They saw their once feared tormenters eliminated in an instant, never to bother them again. Under such circumstances it is extremely difficult not to get caught up in the singing and rejoicing. After all, this was a very great victory. This was a powerful deliverance by The Lord.


The same can be said for tragedy. On the morning of 9-11 I was preparing to leave for work when the phone rang. The caller was our son. He stated, "Turn on your television, Avie. The World Trade Center has just been hit by a terrorist plane." I turned on the television and watched. Soon my ride to work arrived at the door. He came in. I asked if he had heard the news. He said, "What news?" I invited him to join me. We sat their stunned as the events of the day unfolded. We decided to not go to work that day. We watched for hours....


Holy reader, it is easy to get caught up in festivities and in tragedies. We must be careful. While we need to rejoice and mourn we must still remain constant in our observance of Torah study. If we allow ourselves to be drawn away or permit ourselves to be attracted to something other than what it is we should be doing, we may be endangering our own existence. This is what happened to B'nei Israel in Parshat Beshalach. This is what can and occasionally may happen to us. We must be careful.


In all the rejoicing, B'nei Israel neglected to study The Torah for three days. Their neglect immediately resulted in the evaporation of their entire water supply. B'nei Israel went for three days without water and without studying The Torah. Their rejoicing almost immediately turned into tragedy. Over three million people were in need of water. The mothers, children and fathers needed water. Millions of sheep and cattle needed water. The vast herds grew weak. Everyone was searching for water. No one could find water. Things were quickly becoming desperate.


The point is being constant in times of rejoicing and tragedy. The point is remaining constant in all types of weather. This is why our Sages instituted the reading of Torah on Shabbat, Monday and Thursday so B'nei Israel would never again go three days without Torah study. You see we became so involved in a good thing... a great deliverance... a great victory... a powerful miracle that we neglected a very important thing, our Torah study.


So even though there are times that by accident or need we are drawn away from our important responsibilities of studying Torah, during each day our sages have placed a guard... a fence... a protection in our path to protect us from the bitter waters. That guard is consistency. It is good to rise at the same time each day. It is good to study at the same time each day. It is good to pray at the same time each day. In other words, it is important to develop a life built on consistency. I refer to this as digging a rut. When a Jew has deep ruts to follow throughout life it is much easier. There is nothing wrong in hugging deep ruts. They keep us consistent. They keep up us in place, God Willing, the right place. What I am saying is that for the observant Jew there is always a place that we are supposed to be and normally that is good. The problem erupts when we get out of our rut. Emergencies, vacations, meetings all have the potential of drawing us away from where we are supposed to be and away from what we should be doing. As an author of parshat studies each week, I must carefully guard my time. Studying, preparation and writing require many hours each week. I spend hours at work each week and driving between home and work. Each day begins with prayer. The night normally concludes with supper before bedtime and prayer. The days are long. The nights are short. Every minute of the day is scheduled in some form.


Dear Reader it does not matter how high one can climb. One can fall just as far. These principles are not for you alone but for me also. They are for all of us. One of the guards or fences the Rabbis strongly encourage is living in a Jewish Community. I did not use the word Orthodox for a purpose. Live next door to Jews. Live across the street from Jews. Live down the block from Jews. I appreciate the wisdom of living in a community. Several of the great mistakes in my life have been living outside the Jewish Community. Choose a community that is large enough to allow for some privacy. Choose a community with choices of many congregations. If it is not possible to live in a community then associate closely with the community. Attend studies, events, social gatherings daily prayer and Sabbath services when possible. Remember the waters of Marah were bitter but Ha Torah is sweet.


Psalms 19.8 - 12

The Torah of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even very fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward.


If we make the right changes we can avoid a lot of bitterness.

One Sabbath, while camping near Triangle Circle, about 26 miles up in the mountains above New Castle, Colorado, several family members took a hike. It was intended to be a short hike. We could not carry. It did not turn out that way. We refers to this hike as the Nine Mile Hike. We do not know how long it actually was. However, hours later by the time we found our way back to camp we were very thirsty.


I saw this water bottle lying there. I was very thirsty. I picked it up and removed the cap. I began to drink. I rinsed my mouth. After a couple of gulps I spit the rest out. PHEW!! Have you ever opened a plastic water bottle that has been sitting in the sun for a long time? Not only is it hot but it has a horrible taste. I can only imagine what it was like for B'nei Yisroel after traveling three days without water and then to see this wonderful looking oasis with what appeared to be refreshing water. Can you imagine bending down to drink this water? Can you imagine how awful the water tasted. B'nei Yisroel could not drink the water because it was so bitter.


We allowed our good intended walk to take us away from where we need to be. We allowed our walk to place us in a difficult place.


A friend from the Jewish Community stopped by my place of employment. During our brief conversation he asked, "Akiva, what day do you have off?" I responded, "Truthfully, only Shabbat!"


Dear ones, I remember the words of a Teacher who studied with me. He said something to the effect of, 'Akiva, there is never a time for a Jew to let his hair down. We are always suppose to be aware of God's Presence.' A Jew should always be somewhere. That somewhere is planned. That somewhere is prepared. That somewhere is deliberate. Unfortunately, B'nei Israel allowed themselves to be drawn out of that consistent cycle that my teacher spoke of. We must guard our constancy. May The Lord bless us with being great rut huggers!


We must be careful to fill our cups with The Torah several times a week. We must stay true to our agreements. Our actions God Willing will keep our water delightful...

ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 16

Genesis 16.1 - 16

Bereisheit Limood Video

Avram Listened To The Voice Of Sarai


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Bereisheit 16.1

וְשָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם לֹא יָלְדָה לוֹ וְלָהּ שִׁפְחָה מִצְרִית וּשְׁמָהּ הָגָר1:1


Genesis 16.1

And Sarai, the wife of Avram, had no children and she had a Egyptian maid servant and her name was Hagar.


At this time Sarai was 75 years of Age and Avraham was 85 years of age. Ha Torah Says Avram was 99 and Yishmael was 13 at the time of their Brit Milah. 13 from 99 equals 86. Avram was 86 when Yishmael was born and 85 when Yishmael was conceived, Genesis 17.24,25.


Bereisheit 16.2

וַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל־אַבְרָם הִנֵּה־נָא עֲצָרַנִ יְהוָֹה מִלֶּדֶת בֹּא־נָא אֶל־שִׁפְחָתִי אוּלַי אִבָּנֶה מִמֶּנָּה וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם לְקוֹל שָׂרָי


Genesis 16.2

And She, Sarai Said to Avram, Behold! Now! The Lord Has Constrained me from having children. Go, now to my maid servant, it maybe you can build [through her] and he, Avram listened to the voice of Sarai.


I was seeking a ladies perspective on the words וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם לְקוֹל שָׂרָי so I asked my wife, Brachah Rivkah what her perspective was on these words. Brachah Rivkah wrote several comments:


'Sarai was influenced by the customs of the time and the people whom they were surrounded by.' Society influence's us.


'She Saw that The Lord was restraining her from becoming pregnant because of some failing within her. The act of selflessness was meant to obtain favor from The Lord and in someway "atone" for her failing. Was she right to do this? Should she have waited? I think most people believe she should have waited. But Sarai did not want barriers in her relationship to The Lord. so Sarai took Hagar and gave her to Avram. He did not take Hagar. He received her from Sarai...'


What are your thoughts on this matter?


My close friend Yochanan and I were discussing these words. Yochanan felt like one has to see beyond the words sometimes. He felt like Avram should have prayed about Sarai's Words. He should have talked to The Lord like he did in Genesis 21.12. There we observe several changes. First the words are not לְקוֹל שָׂרָי meaning, 'listen to her voice.'


They are תֹּאמַר אֵלֶיךָ שָׂרָה שְׁמַע בְּקֹלָהּ meaning, 'Sarai, She Said to him, hear meaning in the words.' In other words hear what my heart is saying.


I think this means, hear what is in Sarai's heart... what is in Sarai's mind. Hear the intent of Sarai and not just what she is saying. Don't listen just to the words. Listen to her intent. In Genesis 16.2 Avram listened to the Words Sarai Said. A full month in the Jewish calendar, is thirty days. This is equal to the Letter Lamid.


The moon and its cycle of birth and death are a symbol of rebirth every thirty days. In the sefirot there are ten attributes. Each attribute is an emanation of The Lord God. We study the attributes to learn how to be more like our Creator. One of the ten attributes is Malchut, meaning kingdom. Malchut embodies King David in that he is a King that descended from the kingly tribe of Yehudah / Judah. How? The Gematria of יְהוּדָה Yehudah is 30.


יְהוּדָה

Yehudah

י10 ה5 ו6 ד4 ה5 = 30


This is mystically representative of the Letter ל Lamid and of the month's renewal. In קידוש לבנה which is the service of blessing the new moon we exclaim:


וְלַלְּבָנָה אָמַר שֶׁתִּתְחַדֵּשׁ. עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן שֶׁהֵם עֲתִידִים לְהִתְחַדֵּשׁ כְּמותָהּ. וּלְפָאֵר לְיוצְרָם עַל שֵׁם כְּבוד מַלְכוּתו: 
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' מְחַדֵּשׁ חֳדָשִׁים1:1

And He Said of the moon, that it should renew itself like a crown of splendor, as those that are borne [by Him] from the womb, those who are destined to renew themselves [each month] like [like the moon] and to glorify their Creator for the sake of His Glorious Kingdom. Blessed are You Lord Who Renews the months. The Shottenstein Edition Siddur for Weekdays With An Interlinear Translation (Mesorah Publications, Ltd., Brooklyn, N.Y. first edition 2002) p 456


An Adult woman has a monthly cycle. The basic, physically cycle is connected to the lunar month which is the basis of the Jewish calendar.


All of this is represented by the Letter Lamid. Now we connect the Lamid to the voice of Sarai. It is לְקוֹל שָׂרָי which means 'listen to the voice [heart] of Sarai. This is the issue that men have. Husbands listen to the voice of their wife without hearing or understanding what the wife's heart is saying. I think this is why The Lord used the Letter ב Bet in Genesis 21.12 when Speaking with Avraham.


Bereisheit 21.12

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל־אַבְרָהָם אַל־יֵרַע בְּעֵינֶיךָ עַל־הַנַּעַר וְעַל־אֲמָתֶךָ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר אֵלֶיךָ שָׂרָה שְׁמַע בְּקֹלָהּ כִּי בְיִצְחָק יִקָּרֵא לְךָ זָרַע1:1


Genesis 21.12

And God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the lad, and because of your slave; in all that Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac shall your seed be called.


We see in this Verse the Letter bet three times. Is this an indication that Avraham did not want to see... that Avraham did not want to listen... than Avraham wanted to share between Yishmael and Yitzchok? I don't know. However it is clear that Avraham was torn by what Sarah said. Avraham's heart was crushed. His heart was torn!


I think the point is for men not just to listen to their wife's voice but to hear what is in her heart. The Letter ל Lamid and ב Bet spell לב Lav meaning 'heart'. What is my wife communicating. So, if Avram had heard the heart of Sarah it would not have mattered that Sarai brought Hagar to him to be a wife to give him children. It would not have mattered that this was the custom of society the community. Why? Men must listen to the heart of their wife. The wife says the proper things, the expected thing. Yet the heart may not always agree with the voice. The voice of the wife attempts to put up a good front. The voice of the wife attempts to be pleasing to her husband. Many times a wife says what she thinks her husband whats her to say. The husband must go beyond the voice of his wife to hear her heart. In other words we could ask, is the husband seeking a rubber stamp from his wife? Such an action is normally not the best choice. Although the husband is listening to his Wife's Words he listens with blindness. He is not listening to her heart. The Gematria of לְקוֹל שָׂרָי Lih Kohl Sarai is 676. The Gematria of עוֹרֹת Oh Roht Blindness is also 676.


לְקוֹל שָׂרָי

Lih Kohl Sarai

To hear Sarai's voice

ל30 ק100 ו6 ל30 ש300 ר200 י10 = 676


עוֹרֹת

Oh Roht

Blindness

ע70 ו6 ר200 ת400 = 676

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