Gematria Vayikra Shemini
Leviticus 9.1 - 11.47
Weekly Torah Gematria Video
Grading Our Holiness- 3 - 3
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
Dean of Jewish Studies
B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC
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Course Text Begins Here:
וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי קָרָא מֹשֶׁה לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו וּלְזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־אַהֲרֹן קַח־לְךָ עֵגֶל בֶּן־בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל לְעֹלָה תְּמִימִם וְהַקְרֵב לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה: וְאֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל תְּדַבֵּר לֵאמֹר קְחוּ שְׂעִיר־עִזִּים לְחַטָּאת וְעֵגֶל וָכֶבֶשׂ בְּנֵי־
שָׁנָה תְּמִימִם לְעֹלָה: ד
And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; And he said to Aaron, Take a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord.
We know that there are times when Jews do what is righteous, pure, Holy and correct. The same can be said for the B'nai Noach. Then there are sometimes when Jews and non-Jews walk a too close to the edge. There is a gray area where the two sides meet. In the gray area there is a thin line between being pure, Holy and correct and from being evil, sinful and wrong. In the gray area one could easily drift from one side to the other if they were not careful. This is a difficulty of living in or near the gray area. One can be shrewd in business and then quickly drift into improper business behavior. Therefore it is good to make a fence between the area we know to be pure, Holy and correct behavior from that of where the gray area begins. This way we are always careful to live in the pure, Holy and correct areas of life.
There was a sharp young businessman. He, his parents and grandparents were pillars of the Jewish Community. He and his wife had just returned from living in Israel. He returned to operate the family business so his parents could move to Israel. They owned businesses in America and in Israel. They were successful. They have a good name. The young couple rented a house in the community. After sometime the young man and a neighbor were talking. The neighbor indicated he would like to sell his home. The young man inquired how much he wanted for his home. The price was considerably lower than its actual value. The young man made the deal. Some of us might call this an awesome business deal. Others might say he swindled the neighbor. I don't know. After the deal was made the neighbor learned what the value of his property was worth and became angry.
So we must inquire, Was the young businessman responsible for educating the neighbor on the value of property in the area? Was the neighbor careless and reckless and just looking for someone to blame. I don't know! I don't know the entire story. This may have been an issue for the Community Rav to settle or the Bet Din / Jewish Court to settle. Did this young man break any local, county, state or government laws. I am not aware of any local, county, state or government laws that were broken. Yet, I ask, 'What is so different from grabbing the best deal possible from an unlearned, poor neighbor' Wouldn't most people of the world rush down to their attorney and have a deal drawn up as quickly as possible before the neighbor learned of the true value? Unfortunately yes! So why are we discussing this? It is because, God Has His own Law that we are compelled to abide by. So the next question is did this young man break God's law?
Perhaps... We don't know the entire situation or the conversation between the parties. The matter was not brought before the Community Rav or a Jewish Bet Din.
This goes back to chapters one and two where we made a case that we are our brother's keeper and that we have a moral and ethical obligation to our brother. How far does this care and goodwill for a brother extend? To what degree are each of us responsible for our brother? We have Ha Torah, God's Law, we have Rabbinic Law and we have our own Law. This is why we Examine ourselves and grade our level of Holiness. No matter how righteous we are if we walk a little too close to the edge we could get into trouble.
Dear Reader, in Judaism we teach that one should not dress as the nations of the world. We teach that our clothes should be modest. We teach that men should wear gentlemen's apparel and that women should wear ladies' apparel. We go to great lengths to dress in a very modest fashion. We do this because we are NOT supposed to be like the other nations of the world. This is a form of building a line of modesty and keeping it. Our actions MUST correspond with our way of dressing.
As observant Jews we make so much out of the fact we changed our pattern of daily worship. We no longer prostrate ourselves before God with the exceptions of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. WHY? Why did we change our pattern of worship? It was because the nations of the world prostrate themselves in their worship. We changed because we are commanded to be different.
The point is that Jews have a higher power that we give account to and that we must ALWAYS be aware of and act accordingly!! We are supposed to be righteous! We are supposed to be honest in our business dealings. We are supposed to be above reproach! IT IS NOT GOOD TO ACT DIFFERENT IN BUSINESS THAN IN PRAYER... IT IS NOT GOOD TO DRESS THE PART OF A RIGHTEOUS JEW YET CONDUCT BUSINESS LIKE SUTAN (SATAN), God forbid!! God calls ALL JEWS to a higher level of righteousness. Unlike the nations of the world, we are chosen... we are separated... we are elected to righteousness! WE MUST LIVE LIKE IT!
Dear Reader, there are only seven days of the week however in a few places of the Torah Portion of the Bible we read about the eighth day as we do here in this Parshat of Leviticus. This has special meaning. It was on the eighth day, 1 Nisan, the Jewish new year, the beginning of months, that our Mishkon service... our Temple worship began... וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי equals the Gematria 504. Also there is a place in this weeks Parshat that is known as the center of The Torah portion of the Bible. The halfway point between the first half of the Torah and the second half of the Torah is marked by the words דָּרשׁ דָּרַשׁ Daw Rahsh Daw Rahsh meaning to diligently inquire makes the center word of the Torah Inquiry! This is what our discussion is about. We are to diligently inquire about our actions.
וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי
And On the Eighth Day...
ו6 י10 ה5 י10 ב2 י10 ו6 ם40
ה5 ש300 מ40 י10 נ50 י10 = 504
To Diligently Inquire
ד4 ר200 ש300 = 504
Vayikra 10.16 [The Center of Ha Torah]
וְאֵת ׀ שְׂעִיר הַחַטָּאת דָּרשׁ דָּרַשׁ מֹשֶׁה וְהִנֵּה
שׂרָף וַיִּקְצֹף עַל־אֶלְעָזָר וְעַל־אִיתָמ
בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַנּוֹתָרִם לֵאמֹר: יז
And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burned; and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron, who were left alive, saying,
Few of us are anywhere near the level of the righteousness of Aharon's two sons who crossed the line a little. Crossing the line is serious, especially for a very righteous person, is quite serious. Yet we know,
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord Will uphold him with his hand.
As noted above many translate 'The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord:' However the correct translation is The Steps of the Strong are Ordered by The Lord and He Delights in His Way.
Judging and correcting one actions takes great strength. One must be just with their self. One must not be to strict or to lenient. This is a fine line to walk.
This is why we inquire about our actions.
Many years ago while sitting in a packed auditorium as a Junior High student at Morey Middle School in Denver, Colorado, I heard Principle George E. Mathes relate the following story. Principle Mathes said, There was a little boy named Billie who was about twelve years. Billie worked for the local drugstore as a delivery boy. He would ride all over town on his shiny red bike with chrome fenders.
One day Billie came into the local Ice Cream store which was located a block or so down the street from the drug store where he worked. He climbed up on the stool, sat down and ordered a ice cream shake. After ordering the ice cream shake he asked the owner, Mr. Fisher if it would be alright for him to use his phone for a local call. Mr. Fisher said, Sure. Billie went to the end of the counter and made his call. Mr. Fisher over heard the following conversation.
Billie said, Hello, could I speak with the owner of Smith's Drug Store.
Mr. Smith answered, Yes! This is Mr Smith.
Billie inquired, Mr. Smith, I hear you are looking for a delivery boy.
Mr. Smith said, No! We have a delivery boy.
Billie said, I hear he is not doing a good job. Are you sure you don't need a new delivery boy.
Mr Smith said, Our delivery boy is Billie Jones. He is johnny on the spot. He is polite to our customers. He is quick to make his deliveries. We are very pleased with him. You must be thinking about another delivery boy somewhere else.
Billie hung the phone up. His Ice Cream Shake was just about ready. As Billie sat there enjoying his Ice Cream Soda. Mr Fisher asked Billie a question.
Billie I thought you were the delivery boy for Mr. Smith's Drug Store down on the corner.
Billie said, I am.
Mr Fisher asked, Can I ask why you called to see if Mr. Smith needed a delivery boy?
Billie said, Yes! I was just checking up on myself. I want to make sure Mr. Smith is pleased with my delivery service.
This is the type of attitude I am trying to draw out in this discussion. We need to check on ourselves. We also need to remember that when a strong man or woman fails the Lord Will help them back up again.