May 2015 Archives

Gematria Vayikra Acharei Mot

Leviticus 16.1 - 18.30

Weekly Torah Gematra Video

Guarding Against Sin - 6


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Vayikra 18.30

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־מִשְׁמַרְתִּי לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת מֵחֻקּוֹת הַתּוֹעֵבֹת אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשׂוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: פ פ פ

Leviticus 18.30

And You shall guard everything from Aleph to Tav of My Charge to you, to not do any of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and do not become defiled through them; I am The Lord your God.


In the previous Chapter we concluded with a caution to stay on the Path of Ha Torah.  Staying on the Path of Ha Torah can be a challenge. 

For example: It easy to become angry and say and do the wrong things. It is easy to let one's mind, thoughts eyes stray from the path of Ha Torah... How do we face these challenges?  Facing challenges is not new to our people. In the past we have been surrounded by abominations intended to attract us to sinfulness like when The People of Israel were surrounded by abominations while living in the BaMidbar / Wilderness.  There were nations intent on drawing us into there abominable customs. We had to draw together like eaglets drawn to the protection of their mother and covered by her wings.  The sin that was all around us could not be permitted in Eretz Canaan.  The People of Israel had to separate from these iniquities.  The People of Israel had to live by a higher standard.  


People who have not taken the time to carefully study The First Five Books of The Bible and who may not understand or know anything about The 613 Mitzvot / Commands from The Lord God written in The First Five Books of The Bible may take the position that the 613 Observances of Ha Torah are done away with. Many have been indoctrinated from conception to beliefs taught by their parents, their parents customs, traditions, religions just as we who Observe Ha Torah are supposed to do with our children. They believe they are correct. We believe we are correct. Many of them are zealous just as many of us are zealous. Only The Lord God knows the Truth!  Only the Lord God Knows how we will each come together in peace at some point in the future. I am saying that today as it was in the days of Moshe people who have been raised differently than us. They have different understandings of The Lord God than we have. Some try to persuade us to act like them, believe them etc. We MUST have a great deal of resolve to be understanding with them and to show kindness. Still we must remain committed to the Observances of Ha Torah. Dear Reader, lets think about this. We are supposed to be the Holy People. We are supposed to be the example.  This means we CANNOT act as they do. Our actions must follow the Path of Ha Torah. If they curse at us we MUST follow the Path of Ha Torah. If they are mean to us we MUST follow Ha Torah.  If they try to entice us we MUST follow the Path of Ha Torah. We MUST NOT ACT LIKE THEM!! 


Just as The Lord God charged The People of Israel then, we are charged now! The Lord God Said, 


Leviticus 18.30

And You [The People of Israel] shall guard everything from Aleph to Tav of My Charge to you, to not do any of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and do not become defiled through them; I am The Lord your God.


Now we are back to the question, How are we to do this?  Well, simply put, we stand guard over our lives, over our family, over our neighbor, over our house, over our block, over our community, over our city and over our nation...


The point is that we are our keeper and we are our brother's keeper.


When I was single my next door neighbor's were  the Kohn's. I lived in the basement of the house next door. They were very very special neighbors. They were like parents to me. Rabbi Kohn was always checking on me. If I did not daven / pray as part of the morning minyan at our congregation the Rabbi would ask me the next time we met where I davened that morning. A Minyan is group of ten Jewish men above the age of twelve.  When one davens they pray. 


On Sabbath, I would hear this tapping on my basement window. It was my neighbor, Rabbi Kohn.  I could hear him saying, 'Akiva!  Akiva! It's time to walk to shul for morning prayers.'  He wanted to make sure I was up and about.  He wanted to make sure I was going to be at the congregation for morning prayers. 


On one Erev Sabbath he was on his way to services. I just pulled up to my apartment in my old brown truck. He was going to wait for me to get ready so we could walk to congregation together. I said, I need to go to the store quickly.


He said, 'What for?'

I said, 'I need a few things?'

Rabbi Kohn said, 'What do you need? It is almost time for Sabbath to begin?'


I said,  'A few groceries and some whiskey. 

 

Rabbi Khon was a short man but that did not get in his way.  He reached up to me with both hands and firmly took hold of my lapels and pulled me down right in front of his face and firmly but kindly said, 'Akiva listen to me! You come eat a my house this Sabbath. You drink all the whiskey you want at my house. Now, park your truck. Empty your pockets. Let's walk together. It's time to Observe Sabbath.'


What could I say? I did as instructed. I ate all three meals with the Kohn's. It was real special. That Sabbath Rabbi Kohn invited a guest to come dine with us after Evening Prayers. He invited a Chassidic Rabbi from Israel, may he rest in peace.  Dear Ones, we MUST care about each other. We must be like the soldiers whose motto is not to leave anyone behind.  Then in addition to us caring about our own we MUST show gentle loving care and be kind to all humans, i.e. the Noachide. 


The Lord Chose us, the Jewish people, as His people.  The Lord Chooses Eretz Yisroel as the earthly location for His Dwelling place, the Bet HaMikdosh, the Holy Temple.  When I say Holy I am saying 'SEPARATED'. The OBSERVANCES of The Mitzvot of Ha Torah Make The People of Israel Holy, Make the Temple Holy, Make the City of Jerusalem Holy, Make the Land of Yisroel Holy. Our Creator Say's They are Holy. Our Creator Gave us guidelines to make sure this Holiness remains. The Lord God Has Selected each of these to be Holy. It is our duty as the Jewish People to keep these important Observances.  We are the ones who follow the directives that separate The Holy Things.

WHY is this important?

The Lord God Set a standard between The People of Israel and the other nations and beliefs of the world.  The Lord God Set a standard between The People of Israel  and the Levium.  The Lord God Set a standard between the Levium and the Kohenim! Each standard requires a greater degree of separation, Holiness.  The standard begins with being born Jewish and continues from this point onward. This standard cannot be achieved through any other means.  No amount of learning or number of degrees will achieve the standard set down in the Torah by The Lord God!  No amount of Holiness will achieve that standard set down by The Lord God in Ha Torah!


Some religions teach the Observances written in Ha Torah, i.e. the standards set by The Lord God  have been discarded. Some teach that they have been eliminated. Some teach they have been superseded. It is for these very reasons and others that The Lord God Said to The People of Yisroel: 


Vayikra 18.30

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־מִשְׁמַרְתִּי לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת

מֵחֻקּוֹת הַתּוֹעֵבֹת אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשׂוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם

וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם1:1

Leviticus 18.30

And You shall guard everything from Aleph to Tav of My Charge to you, to not do any of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and do not become defiled through them; I am The Lord your God.


This is why we we, The People of Yisroel REJECT ANY NOTION THAT HA TORAH IS FULFILLED, THAT THE TORAH IS COMPLETED, THAT THE TORAH IS SUPERSEDED!  It is our responsibility to guard every Observance of Ha Torah with all that we have! The Gematria for  וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם Vih Loh Tee Tah Mihoo Baw Hehm, meaning 'and you shall not defile yourselves through them' {any of the abominable customs...},  is 540.


וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם 

Vih Loh Tee Tah Mihoo  Baw  Hehm

'and you shall not defile yourselves through them'

ו6 ל30 א1  ת400 ט9 מ40 א1 ו6  ב2 ה5 ם40 = 540


שָׁמֹר

Shaw Mohr /Guard / Keep / Observe

ש300 מ40 ר200 = 540


Gematria Vayikra Kedoshim

Leviticus 19.1 - 20.27

Weekly Torah Gematra Video

Training Children - 7


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Vayikra 19.3

 אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ וְאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:  ד

Leviticus 19.3

Man shall fear his Mother and his Father  and everything from Aleph to Tav of keeping My Sabbaths; I am the Lord your God.

Why did our Creator place Sabbath alongside honoring one's Mother and Father? Are they connected? How are they connected? God Willing we are going to begin a gentle climb up to the answers over the entirety of this chapter.


Each of us are Children. This Chapter is about us. It is about our Parents who are children and their parents who are children and if we have children then our children who God Willing will have children. . In one way or another this is about everyone.


Our Creator allows many challenges. Sometimes the challenges seem insurmountable like climbing a great mountain, a 14,000 foot high mountain. Yet every mountain has a trail blazed to the top that can be conquered by steady, faithful diligence. In our Parshat this week we are considering the responsibility of honoring one's parents. Each of us has parents that we should honor. The Lord God places the Mitzvot / Observance  of honoring parents as perhaps one of the most important Commandments written in Ha Torah.  If an employer knew that the individual who they are considering for employment was disrespectful to her or his parents  would that make a difference? SHOULD RESPECTING ONE'S PARENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO AN EMPLOYER? If an institute were considering an application for a potential student should they be concerned if he or she was rude or impolite to his or her parents? SHOULD RESPECTING ONE'S PARENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THE INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING? If a business owner were uncivil or insolent to the Mother or Father that labored to bring this child into the world and to provide for the child the best he or she could should this make a difference to his or her clients? SHOULD RESPECTING ONE'S PARENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO CLIENTS OF THIS BUSINESS?

Let's consider these questions. Our country is governed by politicians who believe respect of parents is IMPORTANT!  How do we know this? The news media zooms in on the lives of ones parents. The news media shows parents and family members sitting in the audience and on  stage with their political daughter / son or relative. Why is it so important that the politician have the noticeable support of parents, spouse, family and relatives?  This is supposed to send us a message of family unity and of parental approval of the child. Why do  politicians speak of the labors of their fathers and mothers in their speeches? Well, if a  politician cursed his or her parents or was rude or impolite to his or her parents how would this play out in the media?   Politicians are fired by their supporters for marital infidelity all the time. So how well do you think political supporters would respond to parental abuse? Is it odd that so many Americans do not give high approval ratings to Congress or many political leaders? Many voters consider politicians to be liars...  deceptive... dishonest... whether they are or not. Yet the men and women who run for office feel the need to show the world how much their parents support and believe in them.  Are they trying to make a statement with us? Are they saying to the voters because my parents are in the audience and on the stage etc., you should trust me and you should vote for me because I am a good kid? I love and respect my parents. What is the message they are trying to convey?  

If a man does not respect his mother will he respect his wife? If a woman does not respect her father will she respect her husband? If a man has issues with his parents will he have issues with his children? If a woman has issues with her parents will she have issues with her children? 

CAN WE SEE HOW ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS RELATE?

If a man divorces his wife... if a woman divorces her husband... The children will be greatly impacted!! The husband / father will be impacted the wife / mother will be impacted each set of parents and relatives will be impacted. 

EVERYTHING we have mentioned in this chapter thus far comes down to respect for parents. 

All religions come together on this point. All beliefs teach RESPECT FOR PARENTS! This is a fundamental principle. Respect for parents is the foundation stone for every religion. 

Having lived in the world before Torah Observance and then in the World after Torah Observance I saw the difference. I learned the difference. The difference is very great. 

A man or woman that does not honor... esteem... hold in high regards his or her parents is an individual that is in serious trouble!! 

Before we delve into the degree of trouble a child is in who does not respect both her or his mother and father  we need to discuss the influence on a child from a divorced home. Sometimes a child is NOT at fault entirely. When the husband and wife divorce often children become victims of their parents and relatives revenge and rage. There is a story that is supposed to be humorous that helps to better explain this.

Two Jewish women were sitting next to each other under hair dryers at the hairdresser.

The first lady says, 'How's your family?'


The second lady responds, 'Just fine. It couldn't be better! She was so happy as she went on to share about her daughter.  My daughter is married to the most wonderful man. She never has to cook, he always takes her out. She never has to clean, he got her a housekeeper. She never has to work, he's got such a good job. She never has to worry about the children, he got her a nanny. Life couldn't be any better for her.'


The second lady ask the first lady, 'So how about you? How is your son these days?'


The first lady says, 'Awful. It couldn't be worse... My son is married to such a witch of a woman. She makes him take her out to dinner every night. She never sets a foot in their new kitchen.  She made Sam get her a housekeeper, God Forbid that she should vacuum a carpet or clean one of their five bathrooms.  He has to work so long and hard.  Why? Because that little princess will not get a job. With all her bridge parties she never takes the time to care for their children.  She demanded that my son hire a butler and a nanny. They live in the servants quarters at the back of the house. Life is horrible for him. Life could not be any worse for my son...'

Then they got from underneath their hair dryers and realized that...


Even though this couple was married and living together we see the same story as told from two completely different positions. The stories are so different it is difficult to believe they were speaking of the same two  people. Divorce can be somewhat like this. It can be challenging for children from relationshipls like this.  Poor relationships muddie the waters.


Years of non Jewish learning muddies the waters. Much sorting out has to be done. It takes weeks, months, years and possibly a lifetime to work through all the conflicts! Yet for the Jew who reestablishes Sabbath Observance there is a break in the conflict! There is a path to follow!




ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 23

Genesis 23.1 - 20

Bereisheit Limood Video

Chayei Sarah's Death - 23


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Genesis 23


Chayei Sarah's Death


Our Sages Teach that Sarah died when she was informed that Abraham Sacrificed her son Isaac. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 861


Sarah died from the shock that Abraham offered her only child as a sacrifice. How could he do this? Why would he do such a thing? Sarah died without knowing Isaac was saved by a Messenger of The Lord. Sarah died without seeing Isaac marry. Sarah died thinking her life had been for not. Sarah did not meet Rivkah her daughter-in-law to be. Sarah did not have the privilege of dancing at Isaac's wedding. Sarah did not enjoy her grandchildren. Sarah died at the age of 127 years. She did not live to realize the fulfillment of many of her dreams.  This is how death is. When one dies one cannot complete their plans.


My Mother of blessed memory realized a short time before she died that she would not live to see the fulfillment of all her dreams. We spoke shortly before Momma entered eternity. Mother shared with me somewhat like Jacob shared with his sons before he entered the next life. Momma was busy about setting everything right. She wrote letters. She asked forgiveness of any individual she perhaps may have hurt. At that time, in my eyes she went way overboard to make sure her slate was very clean. My Mother was a very Holy Woman. She would grieve over her mistakes like few I have known. Mother took living righteously very seriously. Mother had an awareness she would soon be entering the next life soon. She checked and rechecked. She reviewed and reviewed her past. She wanted to enter the next life entirely righteous before her Maker. Many have been taken into the next life without notice. Many did not have the opportunity Momma had.


The other day I was speaking with a friend who works at a Senior's Center. She was sharing with me and another individual of folks who left home in the morning and did not return. Their life was snuffed out by...


So we are discussing death, yet our focus is on what Sarah went through to have this miracle baby, Issac that she only enjoyed for 37 years. In Chapter 21 we read of The Lord God Giving Abraham the promise of a son. We read that his names was to be Yitzchok, Isaac. 


We read that The Lord God would continue the Covenant of Abraham with his son Isaac.  So if you are Sarah and you just received really bad news, Isaac was sacrificed. How would you feel? What would run through your mind? Would you be angry with Abraham? Would you also be angry with The Lord God for giving you a precious child then taking him away? What about the covenant Promised by The Lord God? Would you question, what happened to the promise that Isaac would receive the Covenant of Abraham? How would that happen now? Sarah experienced being the captive of two very powerful men, the king of Egypt and the king of Gerar. She was the good wife. She left here family behind. She traveled with Abraham. She gave Hagar to Abraham to have a son by her because up until then she was ninety, she could not have children. Then after Isaac was born and grew Yishmael and Isaac were seen in a field quarreling over who should receive the double portion set aside for the firstborn. Ishmael was the firstborn of Hagar. Isaac was the firstborn of Sarah. Yishmael made sport of Isaac by shooting arrows around him. This is when Sarah informed Abraham that the son of the slave woman would not inherit with her son Isaac. This is when Yishmael and Hagar were sent out by Abraham in Genesis 21.9 - 14. Rabbi Avrohom Davis, The Mesudah Chumash A New Linear Translation Bereishis (Hoboken New Jersey, KTVA Publishing House, Inc., 1991) p 220


We see how Sarah kept a close eye on her son. We see that Sarah was protective of her only son, her hope of the future. Then this happens. Abraham takes Isaac to Mount Moriah to offer as a sacrifice. Hearing the lie that Isaac was dead was an awful blow. She was so devastated that she died upon hearing this awful news...

One morning many years ago on September 2nd I came downstairs from my bedroom to the kitchen on the main floor for breakfast. My Mother was crying. I was young and felt so sad to see my Mother crying. I inquired. What is a matter? My mother said today is your brother Donald Wayne's birthday. There was no comforting my Mother. My Brother, Donald Wayne passed away at the age of 2 months and 17 days old on December 2nd 1938. He died from pneumonia. May he rest in peace. Each February 21st my mother would cry for my brother Gary Lee may he rest in peace.  Seeing my Momma cry and hurt so much at such a young age was very difficult. Mother ALWAYS remembered the birth dates and Yahrzites / Death Anniversary of my brothers. It was always painful and tearful. There was no relief for my Mother on these days. My Father, may he rest in peace moved on. He could not understand my Mother mourning the deaths of her two sons. Revi mourns the death of her daughter Carrie, may she rest in peace. And like my Mother, several days leading up to Carrie's death Revi cries. Like my Mother Revi cannot be comforted. Revi has shared with me the connection she felt with her children from conception. A Mother feels the baby move, sleep and kick inside her. A mother feels the birth and feeding pains. Can we imagine what it is like for a mother whose children die before them? Can we imagine the hurt and suffering and tears? 


Our Matriarch Sarah went through so much to get to the  birth of Isaac that the news of his death, even though it was a lie, killed her. Sarah's heart broke in two. She died. Sarah lived a life of Holiness. She was prepared to enter the next life when called home. Yet, that does not mean Sarah wanted to leave Abraham and Isaac. Death is sad. Death does bring sadness. I look at my Mother as a lady like Sarah.



Gematria Vayikra Emor

Leviticus 21.1 - 24.23

Weekly Torah Gematra Video

Defining Holiness - 8


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

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Vayikra 22.32

וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת־שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵלאֲנִי יְהוָֹה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם:  לג  


Leviticus 22.32

You shall not profane My Holy Name but I will be sanctified among, The People of Israel.  I am The Lord Who makes you Holy.


Within our universe there seems to be a misconception of what it means to be Holy.  We must consider the questions: What is Holy?  What is Holiness?   Who defines what Holy means?  Does it matter who defines the meaning of Holiness?  


So often we look so holy with our long black coats, our black hats, our black kippot, our short hair, our payot, our long dresses, our sheitels, our outward actions, our Sabbath  attendance, our davening and many other outward appearances.  The problem with outward appearances is that too often they are sadly founded on showtime pretenses.  They are not real.  Good habits are important.  And they are healthy.  Yet, to suggest that smoking and drinking among other habits are the soil for sinners is wrong.  


So the point is real Holiness may NOT be based on the conformity of how one dresses or if one lives in a community or one's education or one's position in the community.  The Tzaddik could be the woodcutter in the wilderness who cannot bear community incongruity.  It gives us something to think about...


We need to understand what Holiness is and who defines what Holiness is.  Holiness is not up for personal interpretation.  Holiness was predefined before the Creation of man or religion.  Holiness was defined by The Lord God!


1 Samuel 2.2

There is none Holy as The Lord for there is none besides You neither is there any Rock like our God.


The Torah clearly States that The Lord Expects The People of Yisroel, / Kal Yisroel / all of Yisroel to be Holy!  Why?


Leviticus 19.2

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel, and say to them, You shall be Holy; for I the Lord your God Am Holy. 


Leviticus 20.26

 And you shall be Holy to me; for I the Lord am Holy, and have separated you from other people, that you should be mine.


Leviticus 21.8

You shall make him {the Kohen} Holy {even against his will, Rashi} {WHY?} for he offers the bread of your God; He shall be Holy unto you {WHY?} for I, The Lord, am Holy, Who Makes you Holy.


Again, the point is The Lord Expects Kal Yisroel to be Holy!  Why? The People of Israel are called by His Name... 

 

2 Chronicles 7.14

If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Leviticus 22.2

Speak to Aharon and to his sons and let them keep away from the Holy Offerings of The People of Israel {on the days of their impurities, Rashi} and they shall not profane My Holy Name which they sanctify for Me, I am The Lord. 


Leviticus 22.32

You shall not profane My Holy Name but I will be sanctified among, The People of Israel.  I am The Lord Who makes you Holy.


This tells us something about a Jew's responsibility.  We are NOT TO PROFANE The Lord's Holy Name!  Instead we are to SANCTIFY The Lord'S HOLY NAME!  No other people or religion are given this great and Holy responsibility!  Only The People of Yisroel are held responsible to SANCTIFY The Lord's HOLY NAME!  So how do we fulfill our important responsibility?  What is our guideline?  The Torah of The Lord is our guide.  


THE TORAH DEFINES what The Lord Deems as Holy. 


Exodus 19.6

And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the people of Israel. 


Exodus 20.8

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 


Exodus 26.34

And you shall put the covering upon the Ark of the Testimony in the most Holy Place.


Holy Garments Ex. 28.2, the Holy Offering, the Holy Gifts Ex. 28.38,  the Holy Crown, Ex. 29.6, the Holy Altar Ex. 29.37, the Holy Ointment,  the Holy Anointing oil Ex. 30.25, the Holy Rim Ex. 39.30, the Holy Mishkon, the Holy Utensils Ex. 40.9, the Holy Offerings Lev. 2.3, the Holy Crown Lev. 8.9, the Holy Linen Coat Lev. 16.3, the Holy Sanctuary Lev. 16.33, the Holy Fruit Lev. 19.24,  the Holy Things Lev. 22.2, the Holy Name Lev. 22.32, the Holy Gathering Lev. 23.2 and many, many, more items and degrees of Holiness.


ONLY KAL YISROEL  ARE COMMANDED AND REQUIRED BY The Lord TO DO SO!  It is a very, very serious responsibility to be chosen for such an important task!  Not only is the responsibility very important but the Book, the Torah, which instructs us in fulfilling these responsibilities is also extremely IMPORTANT!  The Torah is our guide!  No other book has replaced our Torah!!


Our Sages Teach that every Jew is Holy. Our Holiness is Echad / One!  We we are not one individual but we are one. Kal Yisroel / All Yisroel are Echad as one. We are a kingdom of priests.  We Kal Yisroel as Echad  are a Holy Nation.  The Gematria for 'Kal Yisroel' is 591.  The Gematria for Ah Nee The Lord Mi Kah Deesh Chem {meaning 'I am The Lord Who makes you [Kal Yisroel] Holy.' is also 591.  So from this we Mystically learn that it is The Lord that chooses, requires and makes Kal Yisroel Holy, and it is Ha Torah that Teaches Kal Yisroel to differentiate between Holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean.


Vayikra 31.13

וְאַתָּה דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אַךְ אֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ כִּי אוֹת הִוא בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם לָדַעַת כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָֹה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם 1:1 


Shemot 31.13

Speak you also to the people of Israel, saying, Truly My Sabbaths you shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord that does sanctify you. 


כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל

Kal Yisroel / All of Israel

כ20 ל30   י10 ש300 ר200 א1 ל30 = 591


אֲנִי יְהוָֹה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם

Ah Nee  The Lord   Mi Kah Deesh Chem

I am The Lord which Makes You Holy

א1 נ50 י10  י10 ה5 ו6 ה5 = 87

מ40 ק100 ד4 ש300 כ20 ם40 = 504

591 = 87 + 504


Note that כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל Kal Yisroel / All of Israel is not written one time in Leviticus. However, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Bnai Yisroel, i.e. The People of Israel is recorded 49 times. Could this have anything to do with the 49 levels the People of Israel climbed out of during the 50 days from leaving Egypt to receive Ha Torah?


Still even though כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל Kal Yisroel is not written in Leviticus but וְהַשָּׂעִיר Vih Hah Saw Eer meaning And The Azazel Goat that is freed on Yom Kippur and sent into the Wilderness is written in Leviticus 16.10. The Gematria is 591. Mystically what does this say to us? Don't worry about which trib e you bloong to.  Don't worry if you or a realitive is a convert to Judasim because The Lord Has Provide a way for Kal Yisroel, Every Jew.


וְהַשָּׂעִיר

Vih Hah Saw Eer / And The Azazel Goat

ו6 ה5 ש300 ע70 י10 ר200 = 591



ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 24

Genesis 24.1 - 67

Bereisheit Limood Video

The Blessing Of Abraham - 24


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Genesis 24


The Blessing Of Abraham


Of all the Chapters in Ha Torah, The Holy Scriptures Genesis Chapter 24 is perhaps my favorite. Chapter 24 follows Abraham's offering of Issac and the death of his beloved wife Sarah.  Abraham was a very important man. He cast a huge shadow. We observe the intoxicating presence of Abraham Chapter by Chapter.  He was very powerful. Yet, Abraham was a humble man. He was a kind man, a loving man, a caring man. He was a war tried veteran. He was a seasoned politician. He was an influential man. He was careful. He was the husband of two wives. At this time he was the father of two sons and a few years later many sons. He was a widower. He was extremely wealthy.  Abraham was an astrologer. And most important of all Abraham had an awareness of The Lord God beyond what we can imagine. Abraham's faith in the Lord God is a beacon of light for each of us. Abraham's devotion to the Lord God is unparalleled. His obedience to The Instruction and direction of The Lord God is  unapproachable. Abraham believed The Lord God. Abraham was a Novie / a Prophet. Yet His Wife Sarah was greater.  Abraham had the qualities of a Patriarch. Sarah had the qualities of a Matriarch. Soon Abraham would learn Sarah was gone. However, now, Abraham turned his attention to Isaac.


As Abraham and Isaac journey from their  experiences on Mount Moriah among the things that occur to Abraham was the  thought if Isaac had of died on Mount Moriah he would not have fulfilled the Mitzvah / the Observance of having children. It is God's Desire for us to father and mother children. The awareness of Isaac dying without children was interrupted by a revelation from the Lord God recorded in Genesis 21.20 - 24. The Lord God Informed Abraham that Isaac's Berschert, i.e. His God appointed mate Rebekah was born to his Brother, Nachor's eighth son Bethuel. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 817.

At this time Abraham was 137 years of age, Sarah was 127 years of age. Issac was 37 years of age. Abraham was ten years older than Sarah.


Abraham was one hundred years of age when Isaac was born.


Genesis 21.5

And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born to him. 


In Chapter 23 we learned that Sarah died at 127 years of age.


Another area Abraham contemplated on as he and Isaac departed Mount Moriah was how he and Isaac looked like identical twins. Abraham was youthful. Up until this time people did not show or experience aging. All humans were youthful. The human body did not show age. Humans did not experience age as we know it today. Up until Abraham there was no old age, i.e. age did not mark a person. There were no wrinkles. There was no gray hair. The body did not experience the aches and pains of aging. Bones were not hard and brittle. The body remained youthful. Whoever wished to speak to Abraham would speak to Isaac, and the reverse would happen. Why because sons were identical looking as their fathers. Daughters were identical looking as their  mothers. Then Abraham prayed for distinction among people and old age came into existence, as it is written, 'And Abraham was old and well-stricken in age.' Bava Metzia 87a


As we begin Genesis 24 we are going to move away from discussing Isaac for a few pages to discuss Abraham's great and vast wealth.


Abraham Was Blessed As He Departed Haran.


Abram had substance and servants.


Bereisheit 24.1

אַבְרָהָם זָקֵן בָּא בַּיָּמִים וַיהוָֹה בֵּרַךְ אֶת־אַבְרָהָם בַּכֹּל:  ב


Genesis 24.1

Abraham was an Elder with many days and The Lord Blessed Everything from Aleph to Tav of Abraham in everything.


At this point in Abraham was only 140 years of age. He would live another 35 years. Is it strange for this statement to be located in this place?  Perhaps it is. Yet there is a purpose for everything. In Chapter 24 we are provided the opportunity to view a few weeks in Abraham's life.


Dear Reader, Chapter 24 follows with many,  many examples how HaShem Blessed Abraham in everything. The Gematria of  וַיהוָֹה בֵּרַךְ  Vah HaShem Bay Rahk meaning And The Lord Blessed is the Gematria 254. דְּרָכֶיךָ Dih Raw Kheh Chaw neaning in your way is also the Gematria 254.


וַיהוָֹה בֵּרַךְ  

Vah HaShem Bay Rahk

And The Lord Blessed

ו6 י10 ה5 ו6 ה5     ב2 ר200 ך20 = 254


דְּרָכֶיךָ 

Dih Raw Kheh Chaw

ד4 ר200 כ20 י10 ך20  =  254



Gematria Vayikra Behar

Leviticus 25.1 - 26.2

Weekly Torah Gematra Video

Gematria 570 - 9


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Vayikra 25.10

וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ יוֹבֵל הִוא תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל־אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶל־מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ:  יא


Leviticus 25.10

And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants of it; it shall be a Jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family.


The Gematria of 570 is among one of my favorites.  From early in the days when I returned to Yiddishkeit I have deeply cherished its special message.  


In the Shema we {the Jewish men from thirteen years and up} are Commanded by God in Ha Torah, 'Place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul; bind them for a sign upon your arm and let them be Tefillin between your eyes...'


In our daily prayer Siddurs Artscroll translates the word לְטוֹטָפֹת Lih Toh Taw Poht meaning frontlets as  תְּפִלִּין Tefillin. Rabbi Menachem Davis, Editor, The Shottenstein Edition Siddur for Weekdays, (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., First Edition, 2002), p 134 

The Gematria of  לְטוֹטָפֹת is 534. 


Each morning at the time of prayer, Shacharit, we don our Tefillin with special blessings.  It is a routine, a good routine.  It is a habit, a good habit.  But wearing Tefillin is more than that.  I don't suppose that those who wear Tefillin have ever felt the HEAVY WEIGHT of the obligation of fulfilling the mitzvah. Wearing Tefillin is a sign.  It is a sign of the generations passed from Father to son to grandson.  It is a sign of responsibility!  It is a sign of maturity.  It is a sign of one's Jewishness.  It is also a sign of Gematria.  


The Gematria of Tefillin is 570.


תְּפִלִּין

Tefillin

ת400 פ80 ל30 י10 נ50 = 570


One should note that any challenge to not wear their Tefillin comes from Yetzer Raw, meaning  evil inclination.  I do not designate or preface evil inclination with the letter ה 'Hey' meaning 'the',  as some do, because using the letter in front of Yetzer Raw designates the word with a definite article.  Having the Yetzer Raw / Evil inclination is difficult enough. Why would any of us want to lay the royal carpet in front of the Yetzer Raw. Why classify the evil inclination with a  definite article? My Rabbi argues with my 'grammar' here. With due respect of this objection, there are many variations in Hebrew Letters and Words and I think this should be one of them.   Why should the word Yetzer Raw receive the same honor given to other names and titles?  Why should my personal tester - my יצר רע Yetzer Raw / Evil inclination receive the Letter Hey if front of it? I argue,  It should NOT!  The Gematria for Yetzer Raw is 570.


יצר רע 

Yetzer Raw / Evil inclination

י10 צ90 ר200   ר200 ע70 = 570


In the Midrash evil inclination is written often as / יצר רע Yetzer Raw. We should also note that the God given responsibility of Yetzer Raw is to test us.  Our father Avraham Aveinu was tested Yeh Sehr meaning "Ten" {times}  He passed each test, thank God!  The Gematria for ten is 570.


Unfortunately there are times in life where we are forced to face an evil man, an evil person.  To say they are unpleasant to deal with does not come close to the level of frustration they attempt to invoke.  That individual is  NOT Yetzer Raw.  That person is Raw Shaw, meaning evil / wicked.  There is a difference between the two.  One is a tester sent to test and strengthen us, the other is a destroyer sent to ruin us, God Forbid!    We deal with both in the same manner.  We don our royal crown.  We don our Tefillin.  Our Tefillin is the sign that we are obedient to our King, The Lord, and His Commands and His Torah.  We wrap our weaker hand and arm with Tefillin as a form of "SPIRITUAL ARMOR" and by fulfilling the Commandment of Tefillin we defeat Yetzer Raw and Raw Shaw, thank God.  The Gematria for Raw Shaw is 570.


רָשָׁע

Raw Shaw

ר200 ש300 ט70 = 570


Vayikra 25.10

וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ יוֹבֵל הִוא תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל־אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶל־מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ:  יא


Leviticus 25.10

And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants of it; it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family.


יוֹבֵל הִוא תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם

Law Chem Yoh Vayl Hee Tee Hih Yeh

It shall be for you a Jubilee

י10 ו6 ב2 ל30    ה5 ו6 א1 = 60

ת400 ה5 י10 ה5   ל30 כ20 ם40 = 510

570 = 60 + 510


Now there is much, much more to the Gematria 570 including but not limited to Yoh Vahl  Hee   Tee Yeh  Law Chem, meaning 'It shall be for you a Jubilee.' Leviticus 25.10.  In other words, wearing Tefillin is an expression of freedom.   Observing the mitzvah of putting the Tefillin on, which is like the accumulation of seven Sabbatical years {7 x 7 = 49} in that it is approaching the fiftieth year, the year of Jubilee, just as wearing Tefillin is a spiritual act whereby one elevates towards the fiftieth level.  Wearing Tefillin is an expression of our superiority over Yetzer Raw and Raw Shaw. 


There are many other expressions that reinforce the powerful sign of donning Tefillin and reciting the Shema and Shemoneh Esrei.  This is a very deep subject! 


Rev Shlomo Carlebach related the following story at the Lubavitcher Rebbe's funeral. He said that there was no distance between the Rebbe and every other Jew in the world. He said when one would come before the Rebbe  that the Rebbe knows you. He knows you in this life or in a previous life. Rebbe Shlomo said that while doing a concert in Israel a non religious Yid came up to him. They talked.  He was becoming reform. Shlomo asked him a question. What turned you on? 


He said, I got divorced. My children don't talk to me. I feel very lonely. I have children. Then one morning there's a bang on his door. He opens the door and two Yidden with beards are standing outside. 


They said to him, We are coming to you in the name of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He wants you to put on the Tefilin. 


The man says,  What? The Lubavitcher Rebbe wants me to put on Tefilin. He thinks, Hummmm... There is a Yid in the world that cares so much for me that he wants me to put on Tefillin.  Dear Reader the Lubavitcher Rebbe knew the power of wearing Tefillin.


Yid I would really appreciate it if you would join with me by sharing in the mitzvah of putting on Tefilin...



Gematria Vayikra Bechukotai

Leviticus 25.1 - 26.2

Weekly Torah Gematra Video

Remember My Holy Land - 10


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Remember My Holy Land!

Chapter 10


Parshat Bechukosai

Leviticus 26.3 - 27.34


Vayikra 26.43

וְהָאָרֶץ תֵּעָזֵב מֵהֶם וְתִרֶץ אֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתֶיהָ בָּהְשַׁמָּה מֵהֶם וְהֵם יִרְצוּ אֶת־עֲוֹנָם יַעַן וּבְיַעַן בְּמִשְׁפָּטַי מָאָסוּ וְאֶת־חֻקֹּתַי גָּעֲלָה נַפְשָׁם:  מד


Leviticus 26.43

The land, being bereft of them, will be appeased for its Sabbaths, during the time of its desolation from them and their iniquities will then be appeased {forgiven} since what certainly caused {this} is that they despised My laws and their soul loathed {rejected} My statutes.  


The Lord made these Comments in reference to His faithfulness to His Covenant with The People of Israel. Yet, we failed to keep the Sabbatical year and Sabbaths because we despised His Laws. 


In this week's Parshat we read The Lord's Words, 'I Will Remember.'  We also read, 'and I Will Remember the land.' Leviticus 26.42 


Holy reader, why is the land of Israel called the Holy Land?  Israel is Holy, because The Lord God Separated this parcel of Land from all other lands. We read that The Lord Instructed Avram, '...Go to The Land that I will show you...' in Genesis 12.1 We read, 'Avram...set out to go to the Land of Canaan...' in Genesis 12.5.  This is chronologically followed by Genesis Chapter 15. In Genesis 15.7 Avram chronologically was  in the land of Eretz Canaan for the first time at the age of seventy. Rabbi Avrohom Davis, The Mesudah Chumash A New Linear Translation Shemot (Hoboken New Jersey, KTVA Publishing House, Inc., 1991) p 142 Also Note: Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 514


The Lord God Said in Genesis 15 , 'I Am The Lord Who Brought you out of Ur Kasdim to Give to you this land as an inheritance.'  Chronologically this occurs before Genesis Chapter 12.6 - 14.24.


Genesis 15.18 - 21

In the same day The Lord Made a covenant from Aleph to Tav with Abram, Saying, To your seed have I Given everything from Aleph to Tav of This Land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates; Everything from from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Kennith, and Everything from from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Kenazites, and Everything from from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Kadmonites, And Everything from from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Hittites, and Everything from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Perizzites, and Everything from from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Rephaim, And Everything from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ]the Amorites, and Everything from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Canaanites, and Everything from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Girgashites, and Everything from Aleph to Tav of [ the lands of ] the Jebusites.


About 429 years later Moshe climbs Mt Horeb / Sinai to observe the Burning Bush. The deliverance of the People of Israel from slavery in Egypt took place the next year. The People of Yisroel  were delivered in 2448 F.C.


Exodus 3.5 

And He Said, Do not come any closer; take off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is Holy Ground. 


Where was this place? This was Mount Horeb. This is Mt Sinai. This is 'The Place' הַמָּקוֹם Hah Maw Kohm where the ladder extended into the heavens. Yaakov Said, This was the Gateway to Heaven.


While Moshe is their at 'The Place' The Lord God Tells Moshe that He Will bring the People of Israel out of Mitzrim.


Exodus 3.16, 17

Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt; And I have said, I will bring you out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey. 


Now, we learn in Parshat Behar Leviticus 25.1 - 26.2) that The Land of Yisroel is required to Have a Sabbath of Rest.  What place in the world outside of Yisroel does the Creator of the universe require The People of the land to have a Sabbath of Rest?  Does this include ALL the lands Given to The People of Israel by The Lord God?  Perhaps... since the את Eht does not proceed the the Mitzvot here, there maybe room for other possibilities. I am saying that the Mitzvot here could be more absolute. Absolute would be

the inclusion of  את Eht in Verse one and in verse four. A much greater authority must make that decision.


Leviticus 25.1 - 5

And the Lord Spoke to Moses in Mount Sinai, saying, Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruit; But in the Seventh Year shall be a Sabbath of rest to the land, a Sabbath for the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. That which grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your vine undressed; for it is a year of rest to the land.


The Lord God Establishes Mitzvot regarding the Land of Israel.  The Observances the Lord God Established was ONLY for the Land of Israel. In doing this The Lord God Separated the Land of Israel from all other lands. Rabbi A. Y. Kahan The Taryag Mitzvot (Brooklyn, N.Y. Keser Torah Publications 1987, 1988) pp 201 - 202


Then the year of Jubilee is based on the Seventh year of Rest. 


Leviticus 25.8 - 13

And you shall count Seven Sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years; and the space of the Seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years. Then shall you cause the shofar to sound on the tenth day of the Seventh Month, in the Day of Atonement shall you sound the Shofar throughout all your land. And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants of it; it shall be a Jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family. A Jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you; you shall not sow, nor reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of your vine undressed. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be Holy to you; you shall eat the produce of it out of the field. In the year of this Jubilee you shall return every man to his possession.


Leviticus 27.30

And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's; it is Holy to the Lord.


The Creator, Takes great offense at the desecration of the laws pertaining to the Land of Yisroel and of the Sabbatical year and our Sabbaths. In fact, our Beit HaMikdosh is destroyed and most of us are scattered throughout the world because we failed as Jews to properly elevate the Sabbatical year and the Sabbaths.  


Holy reader, The Lord took offense at our loathing for His laws.  That is why we are so scattered throughout the world!  Now believing in Jesus will not reunite Israel or restore the Divine Blessings.


Vayikra 26.42

וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב וְאַף אֶת־בְּרִיתִי יִצְחָק וְאַף אֶת־בְּרִיתִי אַבְרָהָם אֶזְכֹּר וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר מג


The Lord Remembers. The Lord Forgives. The Lord Blesses!! The Lord Said, אֶזְכֹּר Ehz Cor / 'I will remember'.  When The Lord remembers Oo Vah Rayk / He Blesses.  The Gematria for both Ehz Cor  and  Oo Vah Rayk are 228. Shemot 23.25 reminds us that when we serve The Lord He Blesses us...


Shemot 23.25

וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּבֵרַךְ אֶת־לַחְמְךָ וְאֶת־מֵימֶיךָ וַהֲסִרֹתִי מַחֲלָה מִקִּרְבֶּךָ:  כו


Exodus 23.25

And you shall serve Everything from the Aleph to the Tav of the Lord your God, and He Shall Bless Everything from the Aleph to the Tav of your bread, and Everything from the Aleph to the Tav of your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.


אֶזְכֹּר

Ehz Cor / [The Lord Says], I Will Remember!

א1 ז7 כ20 ר200 = 228


וּבֵרַךְ

Oo Vah Rayk /  and He Shall Bless

ו6 ב2 ר200 ך20 = 228


When The Lord Said, וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר Vih Haw Aw Rehzt   Ehz Cor / And I will remember the land we see the connection with שָׁב / Shawv meaning Return, Repent, Restore.   While the Gematria for וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר Vih Haw Aw Rehzt - Ehz Cor is 530 the Gematria for  אֶזְכֹּר Vih Haw Aw Rehzt meaning 'And the land' is only 302. This is the same Gematria relationship with שָׁב / Shawv meaning Return, Repent, Restore.


So when we fulfill our areas of responsibilities The Lord will Remember us and He Will Bless us.


When Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was a young 'timid man' even though that is difficult to imagine. The way he tells stories which just reach out and touch the soul of anyone who listens... it hard to think he was ever timid, Blessed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe and how it changed his life forever. Reb Shlomo was learning in Lakewood. While studying Ha Torah in Lakewood he approached outreach at a distance. He didn't like getting up close and personal with individuals.


Reb Shlomo Said, he had the great privilege of sitting next to the Rebbe and learning with the Rebbe.  'It was Gan Eden'. This means it was like being in Heaven with the Creator. One day while learning together the Rebbe said to him, 'God Gave you Talent to talk to Yidden. You have to talk to Yidden. 'Right now, the world needs you to talk to Yidden'.  


Reb said, I want you to know the Rebbe gave me a new Neshama. That day after leaving the Rebbe's presence he felt different.  After receiving the new soul he wanted to talk to other Yidden up close.  He related suddenly He wanted to tell every Yid he saw there's a great Rebbe. He wanted to stand on his own two feet when talking to individuals up close when he was away from the Rebbe. He said that He would not leave the subway unless he had talked to at least one Yid. He would travel back and forth on the subway searching for a Yid to share with. He would say I'm not leaving until least I talk to Yid. 


Back when he was a young man Reb Shlomo said it was the night before Erev Shavuot . At that time Erev Shavuot and Sabbath were Observed together since the were on the same day. After learning he needed to travel home. It was late at night. He wasn't a rich schlepper and didn't have the chutzpah  meaning he was not particularly audacious or that he didn't have the guts to borrow money so he took the subway instead of riding in a cab.  While taking the subway sitting opposite of him was a young man maybe 20 or 22 years old. He was glowing. He appeared to be Jewish.   Rev Shlomo said to him,  'Hey brother I see you're so happy. What's the occasion?  


The Young Man Said, Well, I'm Jewish.  I'm so proud to tell you I'm getting married at a [Christian] Church to a non-Jewish girl in the Bronx on the Sabbath. It's a very special weekend for me.


Reb Shlomo related that  he knew it was a very special weekend for him. He said there is only one way of talking to him.  Shlomo said, listen to me.  I appreciate it! It is very very special that you're getting married but I feel you should get a blessing from a very holy man before you go to the chupah.  Just two stations back is this very holy man. I think our meeting here is providence. Let's go back just two stations and I'll bring you to Rebbe. 


Reb Shlomo said, I'll never forget it. By that time it was 4:30 am of Erev Shavuot.  They went to Rebbe's home. He knocked on the door. The Lubavitcher Rebbe opened the door. How many people have the privilege of Lubavitcher Rebbe, this holy righteous man opening the door for them?  Reb Shlomo had his arms around this young man. He spoke to the Rebbe in Yiddish because the young man could not understand.


The Rebbe asked, What did you bring me?


Reb Shlomo said, The young man needs a little teaching.  He's getting married in church on Sabbath.


The Rebbe said to Reb Shlomo wait outside.  He waited until about 7:30 am very close to the door while saying Tehillim. He asked, Do you know what the Rebbe was doing?  He was washing out his Neshama / his soul.  This was not just a little dust. The Rebbe had to do plastic surgery on his neshama.  He had to cut very deep. The Rebbe opens the door. The Young man steps out.  The young man's  eyes were flooded with tears. The  Rebbe said to Reb Shlomo,  Take this young man to the mikvah. The Mikvah was very crowed because that evening was both Shavuot and Sabbath. The 'Rebbe said, Then put Tefilin on with him... The young man returned to Judaism. 


Can you imagine what it would be like if you were me and if you were standing in a check out line in a local store in the Jewish Community and Reb Shlomo Carlebach came up and stood in line behind you and began sharing about Judaism? Wouldn't that be wonderful?

  

Leviticus 27.34

These are the Commandments, which the Lord Commanded Moshe for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.


Chazak - חזק



ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood

Genesis Twenty-four and A Half

Bereisheit Limood Video

Keturah's Faithfulness - 24 / 5


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

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Genesis Twenty-four and A Half


Keturah's Faithfulness


Genesis 25 begins with Abraham taking back his former wife Hagar whose name was changed to Keturah meaning beautiful.


Genesis 25.1

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 


We need to back up a little...


How did it feel to Hagar and to Yishmael to learn that the daughter of an Egyptian princess', i.e. Hagar and her son would not inherit Avraham's great wealth and power? Ha Torah does not inform us of what Hagar thought when she learned that Sarah would have a son.


Genesis 17.21

But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time in the next year.


That day Abraham and Sarah connected. Sarah became pregnant. Sarah carried Isaac for Seven months. She gave birth on Passover. So Genesis 21.1 informs us of Sarah's impregnation. Verse 2 informs us of Isaac's birth. Verse 2 informs us that The Lord God Kept His Promise that Abraham and Sarah would have children as written in Genesis 15.1 - 5 and 18.10 - 14.


Genesis 21.8 - 14

And the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had born to Abraham, mocking. And she said to Abraham, Cast out this slave and her son; for the son of this slave shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 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. And also of the son of the slave will I make a nation because he is your seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away; and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.


Hagar struggled with her relationship with Sarah. It was challenging to be taken from the place in Egypt and to be given to a wealthy nomad's wife to be her slave. After Ten years, Sarah did not give en Avraham children so according to the system of the land she gave her husband a new wife, Hagar. Hagar conceives soon after the marriage. Sarah realizes that it is her that cannot conceive. Sarah is hurt and angry.  Hagar taunts her pregnancy in front of Sarah. Their Master Servant relationship detritus. Hagar runs away then returns after divine revelation. The stress between them comes to a halt when Dismal throws javelins around Yitzchok when he is playing. Sarah demands that Hagar and Dismal be removed. Sarah said to Avraham, 'Cast out this slave and her son; for the son of this slave shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac..'


When Avraham sent Hagar out with nothing more than a loaf of bread and a pouch of water. Avraham could have provided much more for Hagar and Yishmael, but he choose not too. He could have given them camels and servants.  He could have provided them with a lovely place to live.  Why?


Even though for awhile Hagar lost her way she quickly found it.  As a wife to Avraham, she remained isolated from other men. She learned Ha Torah. She Observed the Mitzvot of Ha Torah. She sent Yishmael back to Avraham where he learned Ha Torah and became an honorable attendant in Avraham's home. Avraham instructed Yishmael along side Eliezer.  In Genesis 22.3 - 5 we Observe Avraham instructing them with these Words, 'Stay here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come back to you.'


How do we know that Avraham instructed both Yitzchok and Yishmael?


Genesis 18.19

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.


Ha Torah does not say, child. Ha Torah Says children. This means more than one child. Eliezer was part of Avraham's household that received instruction in Ha Torah.


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. 



This was about 37 years from when Hagar and Dismal were put out.


We pick up the story with Genesis 22.


Genesis 22

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 that I will designate to you.'


Dear Reader, Abraham had many scars. He bled some. He was tried and proven. Abraham remained strong. How many of us can say when we have been tried we remained strong? 


How Did Abraham do this? It's not complicated. Abraham loved and worshiped the Creator. Abraham Obeyed the Creator.  


Genesis 22.3 - 5

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and broke the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far away. And Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come back to you. 


Our Sages Teach that Sarah died when she was informed that Abraham Sacrificed her son Isaac. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 861


Sarah died from the shock that Abraham offered her only child as a sacrifice. How could he do this? Why would he do such a thing? Sarah died without knowing Isaac was saved by a Messenger of The Lord. Sarah died without seeing Isaac marry. Sarah died thinking her life had been for not. Sarah did not meet Rivkah her daughter-in-law to be. Sarah did not have the privilege of dancing at Isaac's wedding. Sarah did not enjoy her grandchildren. Sarah died at the age of 127 years. She did not live to realize the fulfillment of many of her dreams.  This is how death is. When one dies, one cannot complete their plans.


Now Avraham 'Again' takes a wife. As we shall learn in Genesis 25 taking a wife again was in reference to Keturah. Hagar became a seriously observant woman with an excellent reputation. Hagar's Torah Observance was so great the community called her ketubah meaning one who is beautiful. This was a complement toKeturah from among the community regarding her Torah Observance. 


We can use this example of the struggle between Sarah and Hagar and Yishmael and Yitzchok as a guide to family members who have been mean and who have rejected us. Notice how Hagar became beautiful. Notice how Yishmael the older brother honored Yitzchok. Notice how Yishmael set aside his honor for Yitzchok. Both Keturah and Dismal were humble and contrite. Both were invited back to be apart of Avraham's live and live in him home.  When individuals reverse improper actions such as Hagar and Yishmael did they should be invited back.  They should be welcomed with open arms. 


On the other hand when relatives continue in the same deceitful pattern and using the same mean tactics as in the past they cannot be welcomed back. They remain bogged down with the same issues as in the past.  Nothing has changed except time.

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