Gematria Vayikra Kedoshim
Leviticus 19.1 - 20.27
Weekly Torah Gematra Video
Training Children - 7
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
Dean of Jewish Studies
B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC
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Course Text Begins Here:
אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ וְאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: ד
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!