ב ' ח
Bereisheit Limood Chapter 22
Genesis 22.1 - 34
Bereisheit Limood Video
The Tenth Trial Of Abraham - 22
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
Dean of Jewish Studies
B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC
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The Tenth Trial Of Abraham
Life is filled with challenges. Everybody has them. No one is exempt from challenges, or trials, or road blocks, or difficulties, or tests. Some tests are very great. Some challenges are so great it may feel like we won't survive the trial. This past year my wife, Revi [Rivkah / Rebekah ] has faced a life challenging disease, Kah Naw Nah Haw Raw. We have traveled to over 100 medical appointments. Revi has had several surgeries. There have been some very dark days. We have experienced times of depression. We have shed many tears. We have worried. We have tried to trust in The Lord God. Our faith has been challenged. We have cried out to The Lord. We have expressed our anger to The Lord. We have been upset many times. Dear Reader, when the one we love is faced with a life changing illness it is very difficult.
Revi loves to feed the birds. We have a special place on our deck set aside for bird pleasures. I say pleasures because during this very difficult time Revi would receive such pleasure from feeding the birds. Even though this tiny little woman was sick and in enormous pain she would find a way to feed the birds. On days after her surgeries when she was in the hospital we made arrangements for the birds to be cared for. When Revi was not permitted to get out of bed she would softly say to me 'Honey please don't forget to feed the birds.' I would stand in the background and watch Revi. She would stand by the flaishik sink [meat sink] and gaze out the window. She would call me to announce when a yellow finch would come for seeds. Every new bird would bring a glow on her face. Revi would talk about the Crows. Oh how she enjoyed it when they came in for a drink. They would grab a piece of bread and often dip it in the water then fly off. They would call to her, Revi! Revi! How are you?
With our Creator's help Revi improved a little here and a little there. We thank God for His many Blessings. And we look forward to better days, God Willing... Kah Naw Nah Haw Raw.
A few years back I was injured at my place of employment. The injuries were serious but we were told that they were not life threatening. Surgery was required. Hundreds of medical appointments were necessary. I received physical therapy 5 days a week. There was physical therapy for my wrist, hand and fingers at one location then there was physical therapy for my lower back and knee at another location. Then there was pool therapy at another location. There were medical appointments with wrist, hand and finger specialists. There were appointments with back and spine specialists. There were appointments with knee specialists. With this type of injury sleeping beyond several hours was very difficult so there were appointments with sleep specialists etc. There were dozens and dozens of doctor and medical appointments. There was a point where one doctor said I might be 100 percent disabled for life. During the first four months it was necessary to be driven to each appointment. It was necessary to use a walker. The medical appointments would require the entire day just about every day for a long time.. I would leave in the morning after breakfast and not return until evening. It was necessary to do in home physical therapy before leaving and after returning. My life... my recovery... my health were tied to hours and hours of physical therapy each day. For months my only job was following three to five different physical therapy plans daily. I constantly had to remind each therapist of therapy over load.
The injuries left me with disabilities. Yet, I do my best to fight through these limitations. From time to time there are flare ups resulting from these injuries which require more physical therapy. The path has not been easy. It has been challenging. Yet, through these struggles The Lord has been my guide and comfort. I am extremely thankful for all who have aided me in these times of difficulty. Kah Naw Nah Haw Raw.
Even though my path has been difficult it is nothing in comparison to what my wife, Revi has faced this past 15 months. I have seen Revi suffer in anguish and enormous pain even with powerful medication. Yet, God has been with us through everything. I think of what we have been through and am very very grateful for all that have assisted us each and every day. Thank God!
I had a wonderful neighbor, a distinguished Rabbi who used to say to me, 'Akiva, everyone has a pack'. His point was we each face trials. The rich, the wise, the poor, the foolish, the young and the seniors each face trials. I have written in this book about some of the trials Revi and I have experienced. Please don't make too much of them. They are trials. Everyone has trials. So it is not a surprise to read Abraham had a test, a trial. Abraham was a tzaddik, i.e. a righteous man. The righteous face trials differently than we do. Our goal in this discussion is to view Abraham's method of working through a trial.
Dear Reader, Abraham was a 137 years old at the time of his last trial. This is the trial we are about to discuss. Abraham was different than us. We do not read of Abraham doing the things most of us do. We do not read of Abraham ever being angry with God. We do not read of Abraham doubting God or complaining to God. In fact The Holy Scriptures only record Abraham speaking 13 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. I find this interesting. We read about the trials Abraham experienced but we don't read about Abraham being depressed or sad or frustrated like most of us would be. Abraham was different. His faith was challenged but he did not waver. Mystically we will Observe Abraham remained strong when he was being tested. We will Observe why Abraham remained strong while being tested. In The Torah we read that God completely Tested Abraham. Yet Abraham remained strong. How did Abraham do this?
We need to be aware that Abraham and Sarah were seniors. As one grows older, life events take on a different impact. Children need to be aware of how age impacts their parents. We Observe the closeness of Isaac and Ishmaael to Abraham several times in The Holy Scriptures. Ishmaael was one of the 'young men' who traveled with Isaac and Abraham to Mount Moriah. Isaac climbed the mountain with Abraham while Ishmaael waited at the foot of the mountain as instructed.
These are the thirteen times Abraham spoke.
Genesis 13.8, 14.22, 15.2, 15.3, 16.6, 17.18, 20.2, 20.11, 21.24, 22.5, 22.8, 24.2 and 24.6.
And it happened after these events,(the birth of Yitzchok, the ejection of Hagar and Yishmael and the agreement between Abraham and Avimelech,) and the God Tested everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of Abraham... Examined Abraham... Tested Abraham... and He Said to him. 'Abraham!' and he responded,
'Here I am.' He Said,
'Take everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of your son, everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of your only son, everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of who you love - Yitzchok - and go get everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of to the land of Moriah [Jerusalem] Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will designate to you.'
This was Abraham's tenth test.
Dear Reader, would you like to be tested like Abraham? I doubt that any of us would. Some of us like to think we are being tested as Avraham. This is NOT SO in most instances. We are not on Avraham's level of righteousness or Observances. Yet we comfort ourselves by thinking we are being tested like Abraham... What was the key to Abraham's success when he was tried? The Holy Scriptures Tell us. So none of us should worry about being tested like Abraham. We don't need to worry about being required to take our child to Mount Moriah to offer our child as a sacrifice on the altar. Our trials are different. Still, we need to know how Abraham faced his trials and worked through them. As an individual becomes older it is important for their children to reach out to assist them.
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.
Abraham kept the way of the Lord.
This means Abraham guarded the Observances in The Holy Scriptures. There are 613 Observances in The Holy Scriptures. Not all apply to each of us. Abraham kept those that applied to him. He carefully followed what The Lord God Commanded. He was meticulous with the Observances that applied to him.. Abraham was just. He was honest. He judged situations fairly. He did not deviate. He stayed on the path of The Lord. He did not wander or stray. He taught his children and those living with him to follow the Observances that applied to them. Following the Observances worked for Abraham. Following the Observances will also work for us. First we must learn what the Observances are and then which apply to us individually.
In my Book entitled, Would You Like To Be Jewish I write, 'From the beginning of creation God Revealed to humankind 613 Observances that cover every aspect of life in this universe. The 613 Observances were given EXCLUSIVELY to the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai 2,449 years later yet, these Observances were in existence and Observed from Creation. THINK ABOUT IT! This makes sense because the first Five Books of the Bible are the Torah. The 613 Observances are contained in these Five Books. Even though the bulk of these Observances are intended only for the People of Israel, each of us are responsible to observe certain Obligations within The Torah. This is one of the areas religions omit. Religions fail to accurately identify what Obligations humankind is required to observe.' Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk Would you Like To Be Jewish? (Cedar Hill Missouri, B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC, Publisher 2013) pp 44, 45 Some Observances are just for women. Some Observances are just for men. Some are just for children. Some Observances are for the High Priest. Some are just for the Priests. Some are just for the Levites. Some are just for farmers. Some are just for husbands. Some are for plants, some for animals and some are for mother earth. Still the key is to keep The Way of The Lord with all that we have...
וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְהָאֱלֹהִים נִסָּה אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי: ב
And it came to pass after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham; and he said, Behold, here I am.
The Word נִסָּה Nee Sawh means to prove to try... The Word חָזַק Chaw Zahq means to be strong. Mystically we see the benefit of keeping our Observances. Keeping The Observances is also known as 'Keeping The Way of The Lord' or Derek HaShem, i.e. The Way of The Lord or The Path of The Lord. The point is that when one follows the Observances of Ha Torah, the Holy Scriptures they are keeping the way of The Lord. This is what Abraham did. Abraham was strong because he kept the Way of The Lord. We can be strong if we keep The Way of The Lord. Moses wrote:
The Lord is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt Him.
Keeping The Way of The Lord is how one remains strong when tested. Mystically we see this in the Gematria 115. The Observances of Our Creator proved Abraham's strength in His Word. Abraham was obedient to The Word of The Lord..
Nee Sawh means to prove to try
נ50 ס60 ה5 = 115
Chaw Zahq means to be strong.
ח8 ז7 ק100 = 115
I write about Avraham's experience in my book entitled, Passover, The Last Six Days of Jesus Life On Earth.
And it happened after these events, that God Tested Abraham and He Said to him. 'Abraham!'
and Abraham responded, 'Here I am.'
and He Said to him, 'Take your son.'
and Abraham said I have two sons,'
and God Said, 'your only son',
and Abraham said 'Yishmael is an only son to Hagar and Isaac is an only son to Sarah'
and God Said, 'the one whom you love'
and Abraham said, 'I love Yishmael and I love Yitzchok.'
and God Said, 'take Yitzchok and go to the land of Moriah sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will designate to you.'