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ב׳׳ה


צניעות

Tzniut  Lessons


INTRODUCTION


Modesty Meekness Chastity


The Lessons We Learn From Adam And Eve


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


Books And Other Information By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk


Akiva & Revi 2013_4.jpg

Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk



Course Information

Every course at B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC is FREE

for those who do not have the means to pay.  Give



Dear friends, some of us perhaps wonder why we have issues at home, at work, with our spouse, our children our parents, and perhaps with people we think are our friends and so forth. There are reasons that we have issues. I have issues. Each of us has issues. Are you open to admitting that you have issues? So, we all have issues. How do we deal with our issues? 


The base of our issues has to do with our relationship with The Lord God. Our relationship with God reflects on how to take care of ourselves. The Torah teaches us how to take care of ourselves in a most excellent way. The Torah teaches us.  Are willing to learn? 


Our discussion is going to preview the great value of a tzniut life. The Torah Teacher, scholar and philosopher, Rashi defines this as The Path of Modesty.


A modest, humble discrete individual is distinguished by virtuous characteristics. A distinguished individual is appropriate, proper and suitable for every circumstance. A distinguished individual avoids inappropriate, indecent communication and immodest clothing.


A virtuous individual is one whose pattern of living has good, desirable moral standards.


How we live and how, we present ourselves is a choice that is founded within us.  How do we take care of ourselves? Do we want to be respected? Do we want to be appreciated?  Do we want to be regarded and valued and esteemed?


The Lord God is our Creator. Each of us was created in Gods Spiritual Image, Genesis 1.27. Our Creators Breath gave us life. We are created from the very best dust of the earth. We were gathered and formed by The Lord God from the dust surrounding The Holy Altar. We are special. This is our physical home. When we die, our body returns to the earth.


Our goal is to live up to our potential. We have The Lord God's Spirit within us, so we do not lack for potential. I understand, sometimes we do not feel or think we are special. And we may feel like our potential is limited. This is not unusual. This is the human part of us.


Life's struggles are between The Spiritual part of us and The human part of us. Our Sages teach that humankind was created from the dust surrounding the Holy Altar.  This tells us the location of our home. We were created from the place where atonement is made. We who are kids... we who are children Fashion by The Lord God sometimes need to go home to be reassured and to be comforted. Our home is the location of the Holy Altar. The altar is a symbol of our place of communication with the Lord God. When we have struggles between The Spiritual part of us and human the human part of us, we can talk to God. God answers us through The Torah. We have questions for The Lord God we find the answers in The Torah. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Jerusalem the Eye of the Universe, {New York, N.Y. Publishers: National Conference of Synagogue Youth / Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, 2002} pp. 13,14



We are heavily impacted by the human side. 


In this Weeks Parshat, The Torah Informs us that Eve did not assert herself when she was confronted by the serpent. Why? Humankind was made master over all of the animals, beasts fowl, etc.  creation including the serpent.


Adam did not get involved. He was standing near Eve watching and listening.


Appropriately Assertive

Being appropriately assertive is an important lesson to learn from the history of our parents failure. The word history is significant. I say history because if we are not careful, History repeats itself. However, history does not need to repeat itself.  The Lord God included Adam and Eve's failure in The Torah for a purpose. It is to teach us to be appropriately assertive.


Associations

Who do we associate with? Where do we 'hang out?'  Who do we keep company with? Who are our associations? Inappropriate associations lead to problems.  When we have an appropriate associations, we do things that later we are sorry for. We need to be very careful with those we communicate. Adam and Eve were hanging out with the serpent.



Responsibility

It is a mistake to think the responsibility in The Garden was only Adam's. The responsibility of guarding the Garden was shared. Let's return to a principle of Bible Interpretation that I shared in the discussion Forbidden Unions. The principle is Everyone is accountable to The Lord for the Instructions He Gives. We could also establish this point on equality. I discuss equality in my book, Eve of Creation Restored.


Genesis 2.16 - 17

And The Lord God Commanded The Man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.


The Torah clearly states that 'The Lord God Commanded The Man'. Nothing is said of Adam's wife, Eve on his children. 'The Lord God Commanded The Man' Yet, In Genesis 3.16 - 17 Eve is judged by The Lord God. She is punished for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God Instructed the Man yet the wife was also accountable. This is a principle. Everyone is accountable to The Lord for the Instructions He Gives. The Lord is accountable, Adam is accountable, Eve is accountable, and all creations is accountable. 


How could a just God Judge Eve if she was not equally accountable?


The Torah Informs us that God is Holy. Humankind fails to understand that being Holy is also being accountable. The Lord God is Holy. The Lord God is accountable to Himself. Being Holy and being Accountable has more than one side. One is not only accountable for their actions, but one is accountable for the actions of others. This means we are accountable to hold others responsible for their actions. The Lord God Held Eve accountable for her actions.


Why is it necessary for The People of Israel to learn and know all 613 Mitzvot of The Torah? Please think about this! No one can Observe each of the 613 Mitzvot of The Torah yet each of us is responsible to learn the Mitzvot and to know them. There Observance just for the High Priest. There Observance just forThe Priests. There Observance just for the Levim. There Observance just for Kings. There Observance just for a Nazirite. There Observance just for farmers. There Observance just for women. There are Observances just for wives. There are Observances just for men. There are Observances just for Husbands. There are Observances just for Husbands and wives. There are Observances just for children. There are Observances for Sabbath. There are Observances for each High Holiday.  There are Observance just for live stock.  There Observance just for lost animals.  There are Observance just for the Holy Temple.  There are Observances just for the Holy Place in The Holy Temple.  There are Observances just for the Land of Israel.


Dear friends, ignorance of a Mitzvot cannot be used as a reason to violate a Mitzvot of The Torah!! We are required to learn and to know all 613 Mitzvot to Observe Them. We Observe them by holding each other accountable. When one lives in a Jewish Community, each member of the community is being constantly held lovingly accountable by the other members of the community. When one is sick, the community lovingly assists. When one is hungry, the community lovingly assists. When one is lonely, the community lovingly assists. 


When I was a single man every Sabbath and High Holiday one or more members invited be to join them at their Sabbath or High Holiday table table.  Hundreds of time I joined members of the Jewish Community for a Sabbath / High Holiday meal. In a small congregation, it would not be unusual to receive a half dozen invitations on Sabbath Eve or Sabbath day. When I lived outside of the Jewish Community, I walked into the community for Sabbath prayers. When Sabbath concluded men from the community made sure I had a ride home. 


We are discussing being accountable. God is Accountable. God Does Not Sin! Other religions state God through The Holy Ghost impregnated Mary, the wife of Joseph. The Lord God did NOT do this. Why? Mary was the wife of Joseph. The Lord God is Accountable to HimSelf. Therefore, The Lord God would not do this. Did The Lord God Hold David accountable for taking Bathsheba? Did the Lord God send The Novie / Prophet Nathan to say to David, 'You are the man'? 


When men from the army of Israel would go to war,, they would write a decree of divorce for their wife. The purpose for the decree was to allow their wife to remarry if they were missing in action. Uriah wrote a divorce decree For his wife, Bathsheba. Technically speaking Bathsheba was a divorced woman. Yet, the purpose for The Divorce Decree was not to permit Bathsheba to marry David. Still, this is what happened. The marriage between Bathsheba and David was technically legal. David's intent was wrong! Some of David's actions were wrong. 2 Samuel 12


2 Samuel 12.9 - 11

Why have you despised The Commandment of The Lord, to do evil in His Sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10   And therefore the sword shall never depart from your house; because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 


The Lord God is Holy. Because The Lord God is Holy, He holds us accountable for The Observances of The Torah. In this sense, The Lord God is also Accountable. The Lord God Does NOT sin. Because The Lord God is Holy He Holds us accountable. The Lord God sent the prophet Nathan to inform David that he was being held accountable for his soon.What did David do? He took the wife of Uriah for his wife. He impregnated Uriah Wife. 


The Lord God Judged David for his improper action. What David did was wrong in the eyes of The Lord and according to The Torah. Therefore, The Lord God would never take Mary, the wife of Joseph. This is how principals in The Torah Work. The Lord God looked upon the intent as well as the wrongful actions.


Responsibility

The Torah clearly states the purpose the Lord God placed Adam In The Garden.

Genesis 2.15

And the Lord God took everything from the Aleph to the Tav of the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ and to Guard it.


Eve's purpose in being in the Garden was the same purpose as Adam's. Humankind was placed in The Garden to guard it. The Word וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ Voo Lih Shaw Mih Raw means 'And to Guard it'. Many translation uses 'Keep it'. The root Word שָׁמְרָ Shaw Mih Raw means 'To Guard'.  Eve had a responsibility to The Lord God. Eve had a responsibility to herself.  Eve had a responsibility to Adam.  Eve had a responsibility to the serpent.  Eve had a responsibility to every being living in The Garden. 


Remember we are discussing being Tzniut / Modest. We have a responsibility to the Lord God, to ourselves, to our spouse, to the members of our family, to our community, and to the world just as Eve had. Our service to God is important. Our self-worth is important. How we are esteemed by our spouse, our children, our relatives, our community is important.


Passivity

Let's discuss Adam briefly. Adam is also responsible for the exact same areas as we discussed for his wife Eve. Just because we are discussing Eve does not mean Adam is any less responsible. Adam is equally responsible! Adam had the opportunity to stand up but he didn't! Adam had the opportunity to get involved, but he did nothing. He just let his wife, Eve sin. He let it happen. He stood by and did nothing! He was passive! He accepted what was happening without an active response! Adam could have made a difference. 


Adam was appointed to lead by The Lord God. Adam was appointed and established to Guard The Garden of Eden. Adam failed to lead. Adam failed to take charge. What did The Lord God Say to Adam? The Lord God Said to Adam, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it...,' Genesis 3.17 - 18. Please show me in The Holy Scriptures where Eve spoke to Adam. Eve did not speak to Adam. Eve spoke to the Serpent. Adam listened to the voice of his wife, Eve speaking to the serpent. 


Adam was NOT punished for listening to the serpent!! Where does Adam was punished for listening to the serpent? The Torah does not Say this. 


1. Adam was punished for listening to the voice of his wife.

2. Adam was punished because he violated a Command from The Lord God.

Adam ate from the tree The Lord God Commanded him not to eat from.


What did Eve say? We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God Has Said, 'you shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die,' Genesis 3.2 -3.


God did not say 'You shall not touch it' Eve added these words to the Command that the Lord God Gave. Adding to an Observance is a problem. Attributing the words, 'You shall not touch it' is an issue. Again Adam was passive. He knew what The Lord God Said. He knew the Lord God did not say, 'You shall not touch it', but he did not say a word. Adam heard Eve's voice and did nothing. It may seem so small and insignificant to us, but it's HUGE! Why? Eve altered the intended meaning and purpose. Eve changed the absolute Command, 'You shall not eat of it.'  No reason was given why they should not eat it. God Commanded. That's it! When Eve added, you shall not touch it the Mitzvah was changed. A new impression is given. By adding 'you shall not touch it,' Eve gave the implication 'It's poison!'  , 'you shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die', A rational person might think the reason the Lord God Said, 'You shall not eat of it.' is because the tree is position. Even changed the intent from one of being Observant to what The Lord God Commands to being health conscience. Don't eat it because it's poison. Rabbi Menachem Davis, The Shottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash Bereishis / Genesis, {Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. First Edition 1st impression 2007}, p 16


David wrote in Psalms 19 that The Torah of the Lord is perfect. If one Letter is changed, then The Torah of The Lord is no longer perfect. Eve's action may have been well intended, but she changed Letters and Words. Eve altered a Mitzvot of The Lord God. We are to pass the 613 Mitzvot of The Torah on exactly as the Lord Said them. We are not permitted to change even one Letter of The Torah.  Can you imagine what The Torah would be like if we were permitted to change a little here and a little there over 5776 Years? What would The Torah be like today if we had had NOTHING valuable to pass on to our children. The reason we have issues with Observance of  Tzniut is because we do not understand or believe The Words of The Torah are sweeter than honey from the honey comb and more valuable that the finest gold. If we truly believed this, we would alter how we live.


The Lord God is Teaching us we cannot be passive when it comes to The Torah. We must be preserved The Torah in It's original condition. A passive individual feels like I can take The Take what the Torah is Teaching today and tomorrow I may pass on what The Torah is Teaching. The Lord God Called Adam out for not stepping up and standing up in defense of what The Lord God Said.


Dear Friends, we must remember Adam was a King, Torah Teacher and Judge. Adam was not Created to be a passive king, a passive Torah Teacher or a passive judge. Being passive was an obstacle Adam faced. Each of us has obstacles we must face and work to improve.


Communication

Giving and receiving communication is one of the important functions of living. How we give and how we receive communications is extremely important. If we give an individual the wrong impression, we are misleading them. If we are frank, perhaps our frankness may hurt another individuals feelings. If we are not appropriately assertive, we may be taking advantage of. Our existence is dependent upon the communication we give or refrain from giving.In a similar way, we need to be very with the communication we receive. It is vital for us to learn the power of giving and receiving communication properly. A distinguished individual avoids inappropriate, indecent communication. 


Our communication has a power of giving life or death.


Proverbs 18.21

'Death and life are in the power of the tongue...'


We have the power to communicate encouragement or discouragement.


Proverbs 25.11

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.


We have the responsibility to guard ourselves against the wrong type of communication. In America, we have a phone, 'No Call Lists' for a reason. Skilled communicators phone us. We answer the phone. Our guard is down. They use their communication skills to sellers products.


Guarding Ourselves

Being careful with our selection of clothing helps us to guard ourself. The purpose of our clothing is to cover our body. A distinguished individual is appropriate, proper and suitable for every circumstance. This begins with the clothes we select. When we prepare to dress is it important for us to take into account our responsibility to God, our self, and others. Remember if we do not hold ourselves accountable, God will hold us accountable. 


There are other ways we guard ourself. I don't answer the door just because someone knocks. I Don't answer the phone just because someone calls. I don't respond to every email. I eliminate pictures from my computer screen. These are ways we can protect ourselves.


Internet dating sites are dangerous. They have predators! The Internet is dangerous. The internet can provide instance access to evil, vile, wretched predators. Adam and Eve let the serpent into their home. They let the serpent into their lives. The serpent was a predator. The Torah describes the serpent as being 'more cunning'. Read Genesis 3.1.


Predators

Each of us must be careful. We are vulnerable to predators. God Help us! Kah Naw Nah Haw Rah! Adam and Eve were covered by The Glory of God yet they were vulnerable. The serpent got to them! The Torah is Teaching us that our power of choice is very great. Predators are cunning. Predators know the power of choice is great. The Torah and The Glory of God do not protect us from our power of choice. The Torah Teaches us to make the right choices. Following the Torah is our choice!


When the Torah Informs us that Adam and Eve were naked, The Torah is Informing us that we are vulnerable. Read Genesis 2.25. 


The Holy Scriptures reminds us that a righteous man may fall seven times yet, he gets back up and continues. See Proverbs 24.16


The point is, it's easy to be caught off guard. Even the best of us sometimes error. It is necessary to be very careful!


Emunah

We must have implicit Faith in The Lord God and The Teachings of The Torah!! What did the serpent do? The serpent questioned Eve. Questions open doors! The serpent used a question to challenge what God Said. The serpent lied!  The serpent mischievously reinterpreted what God Said, for his own advantage. He lied. Eve looked upon the forbidden tree and lusted. Eve sinned. She took the f forbidden fruit. It did not belong to her. She stole.  She became a thief. She took what did not belong to her. Then she offered her stolen fruit to Adam.


After Eve ate the fruit and after Adam ate the fruit The Torah informs us that her eyes were opened. Dear Ones after we sin, and after we make mistakes, it becomes so clear to us. Our eyes are opened. 


Forgive Ourself

We may feel like the mistakes we have made are so foolish. We are ashamed of our errors. We don't want anyone to know. We blame ourselves. We blame others. We may put ourselves down. We put others down. Our errors can take us in so many wrong directions. Making mistakes can be depressing. Mistakes can lead us to make more mistakes. Adam separated from Eve for 130 years. Adam was righteous. Eve was righteous. On the other hand their son, Cain, was evil, defiant, rebellious, disobedient and a murderer! During the time, Adam separated from his wife because he was so angry Cain populated the earth with people like him. One sin led to others.


Forgive Others

Eventually, Adam forgave Eve. They had many more children. Each of us is descendants of these children.


Adam and Eve were punished for their sins. Then The Lord God Forgave them. How can any of us ask The Lord to forgive us on Rosh Chodesh and Yom Kippur if we are unwilling to forgive others?  We must avoid the actions of saying we forgive yet living like we forgave nothing.



The purpose for this Learning Group is to help us to learn these principles about Modesty in The Torah so that we can be the esteemed and distinguished individuals The Lord God desires us to be. The choice is ours. What will we choose?


Are we going to believe God?  Do we desire to please God or ourselves? We are just beginning to learn the rewards of being Tzniut / Modest. We learned methods on how to protect ourselves. We learned that when we employee modesty this helps us raise or to rebuild our self-worth. 


There is one area that we have not discussed. The Lord God Blessed Adam and Eve. Read Genesis 1.28. Do we understand what it means to be blessed by The Lord God? Adam and Eve had the seal of approval from the Lord God. They walked in His Ways and Observed His Statutes until they sinned. One is blessed when you observe the Torah. This is the only way to receive and keep The Blessing of The Lord God.


May The Lord Blesses help us in learning and following these principles in The Torah.  May we be successful.


ב׳׳ה


צניעות

Tzniut  Lessons


Lesson One


Modesty Meekness Chastity


The Lessons We Learn From Our

Associations with Abraham And Sarah


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


Books And Other Information By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk


Akiva & Revi 2013_4.jpg

Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk



Course Information

Every course at B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC is FREE

for those who do not have the means to pay.  Give



Dear Friends, Our introduction began with 'perhaps we may wonder why we have issues at home, at work, with our spouse, our children our parents, and with people we think are our friends and so forth. There are reasons that we have issues.' The discussion we are entering will ask this question. Are those whom we associate with Tzniut? 


For years I have been writing a book about Soulmates. Individuals seeking their Soulmate often have a list of what qualities they are seeking. Having a list of qualities is good. One knows what they want. However, there is often an issue. The individual seeking a Soulmate fails to look in the mirror. Sometimes when one is seeking their Soulmate they fail to look at themself. One must consider, how will the Soulmate I am seeking view me? Am I the individual that will meet her / his list of standards.


The point is that when it comes to Tzniut, The Torah requires each of us to have standards. Tzniut standards apply to us as well as our associations. The Torah offers some guidance that will help us live Tzniut. We will need to be honest with ourself. We will need to consider our actions and the actions of our associates.


In the Introduction, I stated, 'The base of our issues has to do with our relationship with The Lord God. How we live and how we present ourselves is a choice.  Perhaps I should say, How one lives needs to be a choice. It is so important for us to understand we have the power of choice. Sometimes our choices are not as many as we would like, however, we always have the power of choice.


In the introduction, we discussed Adam's Passivity. Remember, Adam set back allowing issues to begin and to develop. Adam chose not to stand up. Adam chose to be irresponsible. Adam chose not to accept the responsibilities given to him by The Lord God. Adam was appointed King and ruler of the earth. Adam was placed in The Garden of Eden to protect it from the serpent. Adam was given Seven Instructions to follow by The Lord God.  Adam was given a beautiful place to live. Adam was given a beautiful wife Eve, as his lifetime partner to share life. Adam was given children.


Dear Reader, Adam's choice was to be passive. Adam chose to let things happen without interfering. Adam chose to let the chips fall where they may. Adam did not follow the Path of The Torah. The Torah requires us to make positive choices. Adam did not touch the steering wheel of his life so to speak. Adam allowed his life to wander without following the guidance of The Torah. Adam chose to ignore and reject The Observances given to us by The Lord God. Adam did not guard The Garden from the serpent. Adam did not rule. Adam did not offer guidance to his wife, Eve. He did not take charge over the serpent. Adam did not object to Eve's mischaracterization of what the Lord God Commanded. Adam understood the teaching of the Lord God, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it.' 


Each of us has been impacted by Adam being passive.  Our world is a different place because Adam failed. We are the children of Adam and Eve. We face issues because of our parents failings. We suffer because of Adam and Eve made some poor choices. 


Some of us have children and perhaps grandchildren. If we have children or grandchildren, we should want the best for them. I say, 'we should want the best for them' but sometimes our actions collide with what we want for our children and grandchildren.  We should want our children to have virtue. We should want our children to have standards. We should want our children to have self-esteem. Again, we must look at ourselves in the mirror. Are we like the individual seeking high standards for a future Soulmate but we do not abide by the same standards?  Are we the parent that seeks high standards for our children but not for ourselves?


Some of us send our children and grandchildren to a Torah Day School. Good! We want our children have a better life than we had. Good! However, we must seek the same values and standards for ourselves. What did The Lord God Say about Abraham?


Genesis 18.19

'For I know [Abraham]. 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.' 


Later we are going to discuss why and how Abraham was blessed in everything.


We have a responsibility to command our children in keeping and maintaining the Way of The Lord. One of the Seven Universal Laws in Genesis 2.16 comes from The Word Lay Moor, meaning לֵאמֹר 'To Say.' Before anyone can learn The Torah in their home, the home MUST be prepared to receive The Torah. How does one prepare the ceiling, walls and floor to receive The Torah? Tzniut! 


In a similar way, the Heavens are our ceiling and the earth is our floor. On three separate occasions Moses, Our Teacher said, 'I call heaven and earth to witness, Deut. 4.26. ' I call heaven and earth to record,' Deut. 30.19. 'call heaven and earth to witness, Deut. 31.28. Our ceiling, walls and floor bear witness to how we conduct ourselves behind closed doors. Our ceiling, walls, and floor record our deeds. 


Abraham lived in a tent. One can stand fifty feet away from a tent and listen to conversations. What about our homes. What will neighbors hear?  A lesson in being Tzniut is that one ALWAYS lives in the Presence of The Lord God. Remember What The Lord Testified to regarding Abraham? 'I know Abraham. I know Abraham will command his children and his household after him.' The Lord used Abraham as a standard. The Lord Said, 'He will command his children and his household after him. In other words, Abraham was the living Torah. Every action was a reflection of The Torah.  Not only did the ceiling, walls, and floors of Abraham's tent speak, The Lord Spoke about the high standard of Abraham's Tzniut.


What should parents do when they see their child making a mistake? What do government officials do when they see us break The law? What should one's spouse do when they see their soulmate wandering from the direction of The Torah? What did Adam do when he saw Eve wander from The Truth? Adam did nothing. Adam chose to be passive. Adam was punished for not keeping ALL The Observances given to him by the Lord God. 


The point is that The Lord God has given each of us Torah Observances to help guide us in being a modest, humble, discrete individual distinguished by virtuous characteristics. Our responsibility is to choose to learn and abide by The Observances given to us by The Lord God.


How we take care of ourselves depends upon how well we Observe The Torah. Respect, appreciation, regard, value and esteem are each products of observing The Torah. The Torah Teaches us that we have potential. Are we living up to our potential?


Our issues stem from the human side of us. Each day we must contend with our human side. I said, 'MUST CONTEND' because each day requires us to make choices. In this Weeks Parshat, we are going to review Abraham's associations. We are also going to tie our Spirituality to Tzniut.


Let's begin by noting what Isaiah wrote, ' I will greatly rejoice in The Lord. My soul shall be joyful in My God. [Why?] For He Has Clothed me with the garments of salvation, He Has Covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61.10.


What is Isaiah sharing with us? Isaiah is sharing about his Spirituality. Isaiah is Teaching us about Spiritual garments The Lord clothes and covers us. The Observances of The Torah clothe and cover us when we Observe them. The concept of being Tzniut is to cover ourselves Spiritually with Mitzvot and Physically with clothing that is appropriate, proper and suitable for every circumstance.


The Zohar writes, 'The righteous are illumined by the reflection of that supernal resplendency, and on each New Moon The Glory of the Shekinah as revealed in that firmament transcends that of other times. All the righteous then approach and prostrate themselves before [The Shekinah of The Lord God]. Happy is the portion of whoever is found worthy of those garments wherein the righteous are clad in the Garden of Eden. Those garments are made out of the good deeds performed by a man in this world in obedience to the commands of The Torah.'  Zohar 210 a - b


We read that Observance of The Torah and good deeds surround us like a garment. This is the tzniut garment each of us should greatly desire to wear. It is important for us to understand the bridge between Observing The Mitzvot of The Torah and doing good deeds, as being a Spiritual Covering. The point is that being Tzniut is not just about just how one clothes their body. Tzniut is also about laboring to 'do good deeds in this world and in obedience to The Commands of The Torah.'


I have shared this connection to being Tzniut because our associations greatly impact our desire to please and serve The Lord God. Our Parshat begins with The Lord Instructing Abram to alter his associations. Why? The influence from Abram's associations was hampering his Spirituality.


I realize we may be stuck with associations we would rather not have. Abram and Sarai had to endure the wicked, biased ruler Nimrod. Terach, the father of Abram and Sarai, was an idol maker and worshiper. Lot attached himself to Abraham. Sarah was the captive of Pharoah and Abimelech. Isaac and Rebecca were close neighbors with the idolatrous wives of their son, Esau. Jacob's brother Esau was an association he had to flee from to protect himself. Jacob's father-in-law, Laven was evil. Deenah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, was kidnapped and raped. Difficult and challenging associations do exist.  David wrote, 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes. The Torah of Your Mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver. Psalms 119.71 - 72. 


We should not use difficult associations that are imposed upon us as an excuse because Abram, Sarai, Issac, Rebecca, Jacob, Deenah showed us how to face those. We will consider a few difficult associations during our discussion.


Genesis 26.24 - 35

And Esau was forty years old when he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, And they were sources of Spiritual bitterness for Isaac and Rebekah.


Esau married the daughters of Canaanites that Abraham forbid his servant, Eliezer to take as a wife for his son, Isaac, Genesis 24.3.

Marriage is a very strong association. Esau's marriage to Canaanite wives impacted Isaac and Rebekah. Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says Beraishis (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p 255.


When one associates, i.e. marries the wrong individual it impacts them, their parents and relatives. Isaac and Rebekah suffered because of Esau's wives.


Genesis 27.

And Rebekah said to Isaac, 'I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Cheth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Cheth, such as these who are of the daughters of the land, [i.e. Cannanites] what good shall my life be to me?'


Genesis 28.1

And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and commanded him, and said to him, 'You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.' 


We see the struggles Isaac and Rebecca faced each day because of the idolatrous daughters of Cheth. It was unpleasant for Isaac and Rebecca yet they endured. It impacted their health yet they endured. Isaac and Rebecca continued with their Observances of the Torah. Isaac tried to learn The Torah with his son, Esau. 


Dear Friends, children reach an age where they choose to follow The Torah or choose to forsake The Torah, God Forbid. Isaac and Rebecca were righteous individuals. They sent both of their sons to learn at the Academy of Shem and Eiver. They had a righteous home. They set an atmosphere of learning in their home as they learned from Abraham. Yet, Esau became evil. We must understand the power of individual choice. We are not robots. We have a Yetzer Tov / A Good Inclination and a Yetzer Raw / Evil inclination that  we battle with everyday.


People change. Sometimes people change for the good, and sometimes people change for evil. We can offer guidance. We can point them in the direction of Torah Observance, but each person makes their choices. There are times when divorce becomes necessary for a variety of reasons. 


Genesis 12.1 - 6

And The Lord [HAD] Said to Abram, Get out from your country, and from your family, and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. And I Will Bless those who bless you, and Curse him who curses you; and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as The Lord Had Spoken to him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Charan. And Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Charan; and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan, and to the land of Canaan they came.


Genesis 1.1

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־אַבְרָם לֶךְ־לְךָ

And He, The Lord Said to Abram, 'Go! Get out!'


An understanding of the words spoken to Avram by The Lord results in some translators including the word 'had' in their translations. They translate, 'And The Lord [HAD] Said to Abram.' The word had is not written in Hebrew. The Word had is implied by The Words לֶךְ־לְךָ Lech Leh Chaw meaning 'Go! Get out!' Abram was to go to the land of Eretz Cannan. We do not know the exact date The Lord God Instructed Abram to go. However, we know Abram was 70 years old in Genesis Chapter 15. How do we know this?


SIDENOTE

Genesis 15.13

[And The Lord God] Said to Abram, 'Know for a certainty that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.'


2048 From Creation

Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old. This is when the 400-year count begins. How do we know this? The Scripture your ' your seed'. Isaac and Ishmael were both Abraham's seed. We know The Holy Scripture is speaking of Abram's seed through Isaac because they were strangers and afflicted from the time Isaac was born. The same is not reported of Ishmael.


2018 From Creation

We know Abram was 70 years old at the time of the prophecy in Genesis 15 because of what is written in Exodus 12.


Exodus 12.41

And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even on that very day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.


The 430-year count began at Passover on 2018 From Creation. Abram was Seventy years old. The Holy Scripture emphasizes 'That Very Day'. The Midrash informs us that Abram called for public assemblies to proclaim the Truth to B'nai Noachides, i.e. the people of the world after the flood. Abram authored books dennouncing idolarty and idolatrious practices. Abram traveled back and forth between Eretz Canaan and Charan until The Lord Instructed him to move permanently to Eretz Canaan in 2023 From Creation at the age of Seventy-Five. Abram gained tens of thousands of followers.  Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says Beraishis (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p 125.


These Associations of Abram and his descendants being afflicted and serving were associations that were Prophesied in Holy Scripture. The Lord God Speaks Words of Prophecy from His foreknowledge of events.  In other words, The Lord God Knows in advance the results of the choices we will make. The Lord God Shares His Foreknowledge with Abram.


So we know Abram was in Eretz Cannan when he was Seventy Years of age. We know Abram returned to Haran because The Holy Scriptures speak of Abram leaving at the age of Seventy-five. This was the second time Abram left Haran.  The second time is noted as לְךָ Leh Chaw, 'Get Out' which is more forceful. The second time specifies, 'Get out from your country, and from your family, and from your father's house.' 


There are strict interpretations of The Holy Scriptures, and there are lenient and interpretations of The Holy Scriptures. Sometimes it is necessary to be very specific regarding what is the intended meaning to avoid misunderstandings. The Lord was being specific with Abram in Genesis 12.1 for a reason. Our Sages teach that the first time The Lord Instructed Abram to go that he left from Mesopotamia. There is a reference to this. 


Abram was reluctant to leave his father, Terach. The Torah Requires children to care for their parents. This caring for our parents is one way we honor our parents. Abram was concerned about His Torah obligation to honor his father. Abram was conscientious with Observing all Mitzvot of The Torah. It is for this reason and others that the Lord was specific with Abram.


Abrams father, Terach was an idol maker. This is not a good association. The Lord is Teaching us that there are times one may not associate with parents and relatives.  So, on one hand we are required to honor and care for our parents, but on the other hand not at the expense of being subjected to idol worship or the doctrines of other religions.  There is another message. Associations that oppose Observances of  The  Torah are similar to Terach. We need to separate from them and limit our contact with them, even when the evil influence is from our parents or relatives.


Genesis 15.7

[And The Lord God] said to [Abram], I am The Lord who brought you out of מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים Ur [from the fire] of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.


מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים  May Oor Cah Sih Deem means from the fire of Chaldean. Abram was thrown into a firey furnance by king Nimrod. Why do translators say Ur of the Chaldeans instead The furnaces of  Chaldeans? The Midrash shares the following Story:


Terach's business was the sale of idols, and the young Avram did his best to convince people not to buy them. Once it happened that his father, Terach, had to go on a trip. He left Avram in charge of his store. His instructions to his son were, 'The bigger the god, the higher the price you charge. If an important person comes in, offer him a big idol; to a lesser customer, give a smaller one.' Terach left.

 An impressive-looking broad-shouldered man entered the store. He spoke to Abram, 'Give me a big idol that befits my status!'  Avram handed him the largest idol he could find on the shelves, and the man drew a substantial amount of money from his pocket.

'How old are you?' Avram questioned him.

'I am fifty years old,' the man stated.

Abram questioned, 'Why aren't you ashamed to worship a god that is only one day old? My father just made this idol yesterday!'  Confused, the man put the money back in his pocket and left.

An old woman entered. She told Avram that thieves had invaded her house during the previous night and stolen her gods.




'Is that so?' Avram asked. 'If your gods were unable to protect themselves from the robbers, how do you expect them to protect you?'




'You are right,' the older woman admitted. 'But whom shall we serve?'




'The God of Heaven and earth who made you and me,' Avram answered.

The older woman left without buying a god.

Another woman came with a bowl full of flour as an offering for the gods. After she left Avram took an ax and smashed all the idols except the biggest. He placed the ax leaning against the big idol. When Terach returned and saw the havoc in the house, he screamed angrily, 'What happened here?'




'Why should I conceal the truth from you?' answered Avram.




'While you were away, a woman brought some flour as an offering. Each god exclaimed that he wanted to be the first to have it. The biggest was insulted, so he seized an ax and broke all the others!'



'Nonsense!' shouted Terach. 'You know very well that these idols neither speak nor move around.'


Avram responded, 'Is that so?  Think about what you just said. Why do you serve them?' 


One day it was Terach's turn to conduct the services before the gods in Nimrod's royal palace. Terach took Avram along to the capital. They arrived in Nimrod's palace and found it to contain a large exhibition of gods in gold, silver, copper, wood, and stone.

Terach brought bread and wine and offered them to the gods. [Abram sneered] 'Take them, eat, and drink, and be appeased.'  None of the idols moved or answered with a sound.




'You see, they are not worth anything,' Avram remarked.

He threw all the idols down and shoved them together in a pile. Then he set fire to them and hurriedly fled from the palace.

This could not be ignored any longer. Terach himself, a loyal subject of King Nimrod, reported his son's misdemeanor to the king.

Avram had successfully passed the first trial. He had applied his mind to recognize his Creator and had rejected idol worship. Abram was arrested and placed in prison.


Nimrod commanded his soldiers to bring Avram to the palace. Avram was taken to Nimrod.
Nimrod sat on top of his throne which was an artistic creation placed high on top of a spiraling tower comprised of seven different materials. Whoever approached it had to prostrate before the king. Avram was brought in and stood erect. Nimrod questioned,
'Are you Avram, son of Terach?'


Abram annswered, 'I am.'


Nimrod stated to Abram, 'You are the traitor who had the audacity to burn my gods. Don't you know that I am the master of all creation? Sun, moon, and stars obey me!'



'Excuse me!'  said Avram, 'This is new to me. Let me make only one request and I will believe what you say.'



Nimrod said, 'State your request!'


Abram said, 'The sun rises daily in the east and sets in the west. Command that tomorrow it rise in the west and set in the east!' All ministers and nobles expectantly looked at the king. But Nimrod was strangely silent. 'Perhaps you can fulfill a different request of mine,' Avram persisted. 'Reveal to me what my thoughts at this moment are and what I am about to do next.' There was complete silence in the palace as all eyes were turned towards the young man who had the courage to challenge the king. Nimrod was stupefied. No one had ever dared to use such words in his presence. 'Do not act so amazed,' Abram said.  'You are no god! You are a descendant of Kush. And if you deny it, how is it that you were not able to save your father from death? The truth is that just as you could not save your father from death, so you could not save yourself either. You are not an immortal being!'


Avram raised his eyes to Heaven and exclaimed, 'Lord, see the wicked and judge them.'


Nimrod by this time had composed himself. 'Soldiers,' he ordered, 'Immediate imprisonment for this rebel!'  The soldiers rushed forward, bound Avram in chains and led him away. Avram was thrown into the dungeon. He was held a prisoner for a full ten years. Yet, his belief in The Lord did not waver. Later Avram is returned to Nimrod.


Nimrod said, 'Let us worship the fire!'


Avram countered, 'Let us rather worship water, which extinguishes the fire.'


Nimrod agreed, 'Then, let us worship water!'


Avram objected,  'Let us rather worship the clouds that bear the water.'


'Fine!' said Nimrod, 'Then let us worship the clouds!'


Avram objected again, 'Let us rather worship the winds that disperse the clouds.'


Nimrod agreed, 'Then let us worship the wind!'


Avraham said,  'Let us rather worship human beings, who withstand the wind.'


Nimrod said,  'You are just bandying words!  We will worship none, but the fire. Behold, I will cast you into the fire, and let your God whom you adore come and save you from the fire.' Now, Charan, Abram's brother was standing there undecided. If Abram is victorious, [thought he], I will say that I am of Abram's belief, while if Nimrod is victorious I will say that I am on Nimrod's side. After Abram had descended into the fiery furnace and [The Lord] saved him, Nimrod asked Charan,  'Of whose belief are you?' 


Charan replied, 'Of Abram's,' Immediately Charan was seized and cast him into the fire; his body was scorched, and he died in his father's presence. It is written: 'And Charan died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, בְּאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים in Ur [the fires] of the Chaldeans,' Genesis 11.28.  Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says Beraishis (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), pp 119 - 123


Based upon the forementioned stories we can see that Abram suffered because of the associations he had with his father, Terach. At that time, Terach's actions of making idols and promoting idoltry were exteremly evil. Terach's actions were so evil that The Torah pronounces him as dead Sixty Years before he actuallly died. Why? This Holy Scripture Teaches us that an evil person is termed as dead by The Holy Scripture? Terach was dead to the righteous. Abram was not required to show honor to his father who was Spiritually dead.


Proverbs 2.10 - 16

'When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is precious to your soul; Discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you; To save you from the way of the evil man, from the man who speaks perverse things, Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perverseness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths; To save you from the alien woman, from the stranger who speaks smoothly'


This is in part why, The Lord God Instructed Abram to 'Get out from your country, and from your family, and from your father's house.'


Abram had already departed from the place of his birth, i.e. his country, Abram had already departed from his relatives. Now, Abram was instructed to depart from his Spiritually dead father, Terach, Genesis 11.28 - 31.


The Lord Makes a promise to Abram. To comprehend the promise The Lord God Makes to Abram it is important to understand The Letter ו Vav.  The function of The Letter וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה Vav is to connect two Words, two Scriptures two stories two chapters, etc. together. It is important to comprehend that Abrams promised Blessings are each connected to 'Get out from your country, and from your family, and from your father's house.'  Notice:


'וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל 

'And I will make of you a great nation.'


וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ

'And I will bless you.'


וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ

'And I will Make your Name great.'


וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה

'And you will be a Blessing.'


  וַאֲבָרְכָה מְבָרֲכֶיךָ

'And I Will Bless those who bless you.'


וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר

'And I will Curse those that curse you.'


וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה

'And Bless all families of the earth through you.'


Please note that the Letter ו Vav begins each of these promises from The Lord. In other Words, every promise was Dependant on Abram separating from his place of birth, his relatives, and his father. Abram did as The Lord Instructed him. The Lord Did as he promised Abram.


2088 From Creation - Abraham is 140 years old.


Genesis 24.1

And Abraham was old and well advanced in age, and The Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.


2033 From Creation - Avram is 85 years old. Genesis 14.14 occures before Abram is married to Hagar. Genesis 14 occurs sometime before 2033 From Creation. It is important for us to comprehend the signifance of what The Holy Scripture is Stating here. Let's consider Avram's status before age 85.


Genesis 14.14

And when Abram heard that his brother's son was taken captive, he armed everything from Aleph to Tav of his trained servants, who were born in his household, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them to Dan.


The Words  אֶת־חֲנִיכָיו Et Chah Nee Chaw mean everything from Aleph to Tav of his trained servants. Please carefully notice what The Torah is informing us. The 318 trained Servants were born in Avram's house. We do not know how old the 318 trained Servants were. However, we know that Abram followed The Torah. The Torah numbered men for war from the age of twenty and upward, Exodus 30.14. We also know that Simon was the age of 12 / 13 and Levi was the age  11 /12 when they adjudicated the kidnapping and rape of their sister Deenah by Prince Shechem in Genesis 34. We also note that The Torah States, 'And Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Charan; and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan; and to the land of Canaan they came.'


There are several points we know. We know this had happened before Abram was 85 years of age. We know that both Genesis 15 and 14.14 occured on Passover. We know that there is a Fifteen Year span between Genesis15 and Genesis 14.14. We know Abram was a maggid, i.e. an Evangelist, who traveled between Eretz Cannan and Charan Teaching Mitzvot of The Torah. We know Abram had many followers. We know many souls followed Abram from Charan to Eretz Cannan. We know that during the 15 years 318 Male children were born in his house between the ages of 11 and 14. They cannot be older that 14 because the span of time is 15 years.


We are now going consider some basic numbers based on the above information.


 It is likely an equal number of female children were also born to about 122 couples. Perhaps 2,282 children between the ages of 6 to 10 were born to 312 couples and perhaps 5,240 children between the ages of an infant to 5 were born to 707 couples. These numbers are based on each couple having only four children, i.e. two males and two females. Based on these numbers the estimated number of people that became part of Abram's household between the age of 70 years to 85 years are 9,299 people.


The number of couples joining Abram's Household grew at about 20% each year for 15 years. This is a guess based upon the information we have. The point to this exercise is to show the vast wealth Abram had. 


Remember the population in 1657 From Creation immediately was only ten people. Only Three couples were physically able to bear children. The population in Abram's time was perhaps 600,000. This means about 1.5% of the earth's population was part of Abram's household. This would be like a household of 10,500,000 in 5776 From Creation, i.e. today. So when The Torah Says Abram was blessed in everything, we can only imagine the vastness of the Blessing. Our important responsibility is to remember The ו Vav's that connect the Blessings to our responsibilities. The Lord Blessed Abram because he obeyed. Abram believed The Lord. Each of us can walk in Abram's steps. It's up to us.


There are several other associations. Abram was forced to go down to Egypt, which forced His wife, Sarai into an unwanted association with Pharaoh and his Officers.


Abram associated with his Nephew Lot because Lot's father, Charan died in the fiery furnace of Chaldean. Abram felt compassionate towards his nephew even though they did not see eye to eye. Abram spoke kindly with Lot about the disagreements their herdsmen were having. Eventually, Abram determines he must separate from Lot. Shalom Bayit, i.e. Peace in The House is important. Lot and his herdsmen were the sources of discord. Even though Abram wanted to continue a loving relationship, Lot's servants were not of the same mind set.


The same could be said about Abram's association with his servant-wife, Haggar and their son Ishmael. Abram did not like his wife, Sarai's demand. Sarai ordered Abram, 'Cast out this slave and her son; for the son of this slave shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac,' Genesis 21.10. Haggar and Ishmael deliberately created issues between Abram and Sarai. All members of a household need to focus on peaceful relationships. When the tranquility of one's home is disrupted by relatives and friends who disagree with family rules and policies, perhaps it is time to request that they leave. The Lord God Values Shalom Bayit. This is in part why He Instructed Abraham to listen to the voice of his wife, Sarai. 


Perhaps the greatest association in Abraham's life was when he built the altar to The Lord. I discuss this in Chapter Three of Gematria in Genesis.


The following Scriptures describe wonderful traits of Abraham.


Malachi 2.5 - 7

My covenant was with him for life and peace, and I gave them to him for the fear with which he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The Torah of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should guard knowledge, and they should seek The Torah from his mouth; for he is a messenger of The Lord of Hosts.


Psalms 34.14

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile.


Psalms 51.17

O Lord, open you my lips; and my mouth shall declare your praise. 


Proverbs 16.21

The wise in heart shall be called prudent, and the sweetness of the lips increases learning.


Proverbs 16.20 - 24

 He who considers his words shall find good; and happy is he who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart shall be called prudent, and the sweetness of the lips increases learning. Intelligence is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the chastisement of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teaches his mouth and adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.


Proverbs 17.28

Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise; and he who closes his lips is considered a man of understanding.


Proverbs 20.15

There are gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. 


What is the point? Abraham had an association with The Lord God that impacted how he lived every breath. We can learn from Abraham how to love and serve The Lord and Observe The Torah of Truth if we choose to do so.  It is our individual choice.  We observe there is incentive in making the right choices.  The Blessings of Abraham are available to us.  The Lord Said, 'I Will Bless them that Bless you,' Genesis 12.3. In other words the Lord is informing us that it is His will for us to be blessed.


Remember when we discussed Genesis 18.19. Thousands of years later Abraham still commands his children, i.e. his descendants even in our time to follow after him and to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; so that The Lord May bring upon Abraham and his descendants all that He Has Spoken of him. The Torah is NOT making reference to those who are ONLY Jewish. At the Time The Lord Spoke, these in Words Genesis 18.19  Isaac was not born. There was only Ishmael and the 9,299 followers of Abraham. They were the members of his household. None of them were Jewish!! Therefore, we know the Scripture is prophetic. Scripture includes those who were then in Abraham's household and those who are his children. 


We began by sharing being Tzniut is both Spiritual and Physical. The same principle holds true here. While everyone is not a physical descendant of Abraham many may choose to be Spiritual descendants of Abraham. They will not be Jewish. That's OK. We need individuals who are not Jewish to follow The Observances in The Torah that The Lord established as universal Observances from the beginning.


May The Lord Bless all who learn and Observe The Torah.


ב׳׳ה


Tzniut Lessons


Intimate Associations


Lesson Two


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


Books And Other Information By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk


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Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk



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Dear Ones, we are going to consider the sexual intimacy of Genesis 2.24. Translators editorialize Genesis 2.24. Translators deliberately conceal the intended message in Genesis 2.24.  Translators are attempting to be tzniut. i.e. modest. The general rule translators follow is not to describe sexual organs or sexual acts. When translators editorialize the Scriptures this impacts the effectiveness of the message. Let's get real!! Moses wrote what The Creator Spoke. The Words written in the Scriptures are The Creator's. Who are we to editorialize His Words?


In Genesis 2.24 Our Creator is Quoting the words of Adam. At the time, Adam spoke these words he was perfect!


Bereisheit 2.24

: עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד-


Genesis 2.24 ( Editorialized )

Therefore shall a man leaves his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.


The Editorialized translation omits details. When we discuss relationships and marriage, details are important.


Genesis 2.24

It is the right way; it is the higher path for a husband to use his strength properly to leave everything from Aleph to Tav of his Father and everything from Aleph to Tav of his Mother and sexually attach with his wife, and they shall become as one flesh.


The Torah is Teaching us the hierarchy of associations between a husband his wife and his parents. His wife is first in the hierarchy of associations. Parents are important. We are to honor our parents. Honoring our parents extends our life, Exodus 20.12. Still, The Torah Teaches One's wife comes first. Her needs are first.  Husbands are required to place their wife before all else. The wife's wants, desires, needs are first. If the wife wants the husband to take care of the children, then he must do so. If the wife wants the husband to do the laundry, he must do the laundry to the best of his ability. If the wife wants the husband to go on an errand, he must do so. The wife is first!!


Editorialized translations Say 'a man shall leave his father and mother'. The Word for man and husband is אִישׁ Eesh. We need to answer this question. When is Scripture speaking of a man and when is Scripture speaking or a husband?


In addition, we need to discuss בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ Bih Eesh Toh meaning 'with the wife'. The root Word for בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ Bih Eesh Toh is אִשָּׁה Eesh meaning 'wife'. The word for Woman and wife is אִישׁ Eesh. 


Why do the editorialized translations use the word man instead of husband? Why do they use the word wife instead of woman? It is not logical! Why is it not logical? If a man is sexually attached to a woman, it has to be his wife. So why is אִישׁ Eesh translated as a man in the editorialized translation when, in fact, it has to be the husband?


We need to know, is Scripture discussing a man or is Scripture discussing a husband. The rules of association are different between a man and a husband. A man should not have close associations with a woman especially if they are by themselves. On the other hand, a husband should have close intimate special sexual relations with his wife when they are alone.  This is a black-and-white issue in The Torah that society has muddied the waters on. The Editorialized translations also contribute to confusing This Scripture.


In the purest sense, This Scripture is informing us that only a husband and his wife may attach themselves sexually. Later in The Holy Scriptures we learn of an additional separation.

Intimate Associations within The People of The Covenant


Devarim 7.3

וְלֹא תִתְחַתֵּן בָּם בִּתְּךָ לֹא־תִתֵּן לִבְנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ לֹא־תִקַּח לִבְנֶךָ:ס 


Deuteronomy 7.3

And do not intermarry with them. Do not give Your daughter to his son. And do not take his daughter to your son.


The Mitzvot of The Torah draws a separation between The People of Israel and the rest of the world. The People of Israel are B'nei Yisroel, i.e. The Children of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Torah Says, וְלֹא תִתְחַתֵּן Vih Loh - Tee Tih Chah Tayn meaning 'And do not intermarry.' 


Genesis 7.7 - 8

And I will establish My Covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you. And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, The Land where you are a stranger, all The Land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. 


The Lord God is informing all of us that ONLY the seed of Abraham will inherit The Land of Israel. The Lord God specifies that ONLY the seed He He Makes His Covenant with will inherit The Holy Land. Do we understand what this means? The People of Israel MUST marry within their tribes!Their seed must remain the seed of Abraham. When we speak about the ten lost tribes they are indeed lost. They are gone. How can they inherit The Holy Land if they are not of the seed of The Covenant? How can they return if they have intermarried and dissolved into oblivion? Sanhedrin 110b, Yevamot 17a (notes). Still, with The Lord God there may remain pure seed from the ten lost tribes to resurrect the tribes. However, if no pure seed remains among the ten lost tribes, the other Tribes will inherit their Land. We are discussing the reasons for The People of Israel to remain purely the seed of Abraham.


Numbers 27.8 - 11

And you shall speak to The People of Israel, saying, If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. And if he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. And if he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman who is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it; and it shall be to The People of Israel A Statute of Judgment, as the Lord Commanded Moses. 


Association As Priests of The Lord God To The People of The World

The People of Israel have an Association with The Lord God as a Holy Nation of Priests. The Association between The Lord God and The People of Israel exists because The Lord God Chose The People of Israel to Observe His 613 Eternal Mitzvot. No one else has the responsibility of Observing The 613 Mitzvot of The Torah. Yet, Each of us has Mitzvot to follow. 


Exodus 19.3 - 6

And Moses went up to God, and The Lord Called to [Moses] from The Mountain, Saying, 'Thus shall you say to The House of Jacob, and tell The People of Israel, You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Now, therefore, if you will obey My Voice indeed, and keep My Covenant, then you shall be My own treasure among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, And you shall be to Me a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation. These are the words that you shall speak to The People of Israel. 


All The People of Israel are the Priests to the Nations and peoples of the world. In this sense, The People of Israel are separated from The rest of the world.  It is here that I must point out that Christians teach a conflicting doctrine. Christians teach they are the chosen people, that they are the royal priesthood, and that they are the holy nation, 1 Peter 2:9.


According to the writer of Acts Peter was unschooled, Acts 4:13. As noted he was strongly influenced by Rabbi Jesus. 


Peter taught Christians 'about Christian life and duties,' The NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Bible Publications 1985) P 1887 This was Peter's  opinion. Each of us has opinions. Peter's opinion is not qualified. Catholics consider Peter the first Pope because they believe Rabbi Jesus refers to Peter as the rock upon which he will build his kingdom, Matthew 16:18 - 19.  Peter's lack of knowledge, education or qualifications were not a consideration. According to Christians and Catholics, Peter was uniquely qualified because he had been taught by Rabbi Jesus. I wrote about How The Lord God Commanded the People of Israel 'Do not Bear false witness.'  We see that one may bear false witness because they do not have an adequate knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. One may not bear false witness because they lack information and knowledge about a particular subject in The Holy Scriptures. One may bear false witness simply because they lack understanding. Many bear false witness because they do not carefully read and research the Bible. At B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC we require references. Students are NOT permitted just to spout off. Students must back up what they say with references.  When individuals read our discussions, I want them to be able to study and to research what we are discussing. 


Most Christian New Testament translations reference 1 Peter 2.9 to Exodus 19.6. If one does just a little research, they will learn Peter consistently took Scripture The Lord God spoke to The People of Israel and applied The Scripture to Christians. Then Christians Teach The Holy Scriptures, i.e. The Hebrew Scriptures are done away with. They Teach The Christian New Testament is the New Covenant. The call their book 'The New Covenant, i.e. The New Testament. David wrote, 'The Torah of The Lord is Perfect,' Psalms 19. Christians do not know that The Torah is The 613 Mitzvot / Laws, The Covenant and The Five Books of Moses. They think of The Torah as being only The Law. Dr. Josh McDowell, A Christian apologist, writes that there are over 200,000 variants, i.e. errors in The Christian New Testament. Dr. Josh McDowell, author of Evidence that Demands A Verdict (Campus Crusade 14th printing July 1977) pp. 41-47. Dr. Norman L. Geisler and Dr. William E. Nix in their book, published by Moody Press, entitled, 'A General Introduction to The Bible,' say there are over 200,000 variants, i.e. error in the Christian New Testament. Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago, Il. Moody Press, tenth printing 1977) p 361. A little common sense is necessary. Why would The Lord God replace The Perfect Torah with the imperfect Christian New Testament? 


It is a common practice for Christians to quote from The Hebrew Scriptures and to do like Peter. Dear Friends, Christians were not slaves in Egypt. Christians were not delivered from slavery by the Mighty Power of The Lord God. Christians are not born of the seed of Abraham. The Lord God did not make a Covenant with Christians. Christians are not born into the Covenant The Lord God Made with Abraham. The Lord God did not promise Abraham that The Holy Land of Israel would be given to Christians. Christians are not The Holy Nation. Christians are not a Kingdom of Priests to the World. Christians cannot be part of the Royal Priesthood.


Yet, many Christians and Catholics truly love their perception of The Lord God. They try to be better people because of their belief. They try to be holy because of their belief. They deeply care about the Holy Land and the Holy City, Jerusalem. They support The people of Israel. They visit The Holy Land. Israel and Jerusalem are important to them!! There is a huge misunderstanding because of Peter's teachings. A little research can clear up that misunderstanding. It is important for each of us to verify what we read, see and hear. Each of us MUST do the research to know what we read see and hear is The Truth. 


What is the point? The People of Israel are separated from the other nations of the world by The 613 Mitzvot of The Torah from The Lord God. We, The People of Israel must not intermarry because we are Priests to the World. Our intimate associations must be within The People of Israel. Otherwise, we are no longer Holy and no longer separate from the nations of the world. We are no longer listening and following the Voice of the Lord God!


Leviticus 21.6

They shall be Holy to their God, and not profane The Name of their God; for The Offerings of The Lord made by fire, and The Bread of their God, they do Offer; therefore they shall be Holy.


Leviticus 7.8

You shall sanctify [the Lohan] therefore; for he offers The Bread of your God; He shall be Holy to you; for I the Lord, which sanctify you, Am Holy. 


The purpose of mentioning These Scriptures is to point to the fact that a Kohan / Priest is held to a higher standard with regards to who he marries. Why? Because 'The Priest Offers The Bread of your God'. The Priest must be Holy to offer sacrifices. Therefore Mitzvot within The Torah set a higher standard, i.e. sets restrictions on who The Priest is permitted to marry. Among The People of Israel, the priesthood is passed from father to son. 


The point is that just as the Priesthood has restrictions on who a Priest can marry in a similar way the People of Israel are held to a higher standard, i.e. have a set of restrictions on who they can marry.


Dear Ones, thus far we have learned that one may have sexual relations only with their wife. Then we learned one's wife / husband must be from among The People of Israel. One may not intermarry with the other nations of the world. We must remain separated to inherit The Holy Land of Israel. We must marry within The Tribes of Israel because we are Priests to the world.


Now we are going to learn that the intimate associations, i.e. sexual relations between a husband and wife are prohibited during Niddah, i.e. the time of the month when one's wife has her menstruation cycle. 


Intimate Associations Have Restrictions

Leviticus 18.19

You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is apart for her menstrual uncleanness.


When a man and woman agree to marry the custom in the Observant Community is to instruct them in proper intimate associations and the Laws of Niddah, in Leviticus 15. One studies The Observances in The Shulchan Aruch and The Tractate Niddah of The Talmud. Men study with men. Women study with women. The study is normally one on one or in small groups. One studies each day up until the day of the Chassanah / wedding.


Leviticus 15.1 - 18 discusses discharges from the male organ. Some discharges occur when the husband inseminates his wife during permitted marital relations.  All other discharges whether voluntary or involuntary are forbidden. When the husband inseminates his wife both become unclean. When a husband and wife have intimate associations and he discharges both become impure. When a man has a discharge whether voluntary or involuntary, he becomes impure. Leviticus 15 discusses the Observances one follows to return to purity.


Leviticus 15.19 - 33 discusses the impurities a woman or wife has while discharging blood or any type and The Observances one follows to return to purity.


Remember, we began our discussion with Genesis 2.24.


Bereisheit 2.24

עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד1:1


Genesis 2.24

Therefore shall a man leaves his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.


Genesis 2.24

It is the right way; it is the higher path for a husband to use his strength properly to leave everything from Aleph to Tav of his Father and everything from Aleph to Tav of his Mother and sexually attach with his wife, and they shall become as one flesh.


When Holy Scripture Says, וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ Vih Daw Vahk - Bih Ee Shih Toh meaning 'And attach / cling With His Wife.' Scripture is speaking of a proper sexual association. The clinging action is for the purpose of having children. It is an action to provide pleasure and release for the purpose of having children. The clinging action is only permitted during the time of the month when a Wife is pure, i.e. not releasing blood.  When a Wife is in the time of impurity, she is 100% OFF LIMITS to her husband. Soulmates sleep in separate beds. They do NOT touch! Not even a hug or kiss is permitted!!  A Husband honors his Wife during this time by not sexually pursuing her.  When a Wife concludes her time of impurity and she visits the Mikvah, she may renew intimate associations with her husband. She renews herself by immersing in the Mikvah. She beautifies herself. Immediately the husband realizes his wife is available to him. They reunite in one bed. The Husband is required to spend plenty of time with his wife and to give her great pleasure. No excuses on either side!! During the days of impurity, there is plenty of time for business meetings, extended Torah studies, and other important responsibilities.


Now this leads us to another very important part of the marriage relationship.  Within marriage, there are immoral acts that are sinful and out of bounds. Sex between husband and wife during that time of the month is out of bounds. Any act of homosexuality between the husband and wife is unnatural and immoral!   You may wonder how can this be? 


What is proper Intimate Associations?

The Mitzvot of The Torah Establishes sexual boundaries.


Leviticus 18.22 has been used time and time again by those Teaching against Homosexuality. There is much more to this Scripture. So we are going to take a closer look.  


Leviticus 18.22 is used as a comparison between a man who has sexual relationships with women as opposed to a man that has a wrongful sexual relationship with a man.  I used sexual relations with women intentionally.  Why?


Most translations say the following:


Leviticus 18.22

'You shall not lie with men, as with women; it is abomination.' 


What is the Scripture saying? 'You shall not lie with men as a husband lies with his wife. It is an abomination.' Scripture is drawing a comparison between a proper sexual association from that of an improper sexual association. 


Let's observe the non-Editorialized translation of This Scripture.


Vayikra 18.22

וְאֶת־זָכָר לֹא תִשְׁכַּב מִשְׁכְּבֵי   אִשָּׁה תּוֹעֵבָה הִוא:  כג


Leviticus 18.22

Every action of the male sexual organ shall not be to cohabitant with men as a [husband] cohabitants with his wife.


Scripture is making a comparison between what is natural and what is moral from what is not natural and what is immoral. Sexual relations between a husband and a wife is for the purpose of having children. It is not about being a beast with one's spouse. Husbands, we are to do our very best to give our wife the highest proper pleasure. Let's discuss the comparison.


I cannot understand why any translator would use the word Woman instead of 'Wife'. 


Why? As noted before, The Word אִשָּׁה Ee Shaw means Wife and Woman. So אִשָּׁה Ee Shaw maybe translated either way. However, I cannot understand why any translator would say, 'You shall not lie with men, as with women.'


The intent of the Text in Leviticus 18 is to follow the higher path spoke of in Genesis 2.24 of The Perfect Torah.  Why would The Holy Scripture Offer a lower path when we know all the time The Lord God Instructs us to be Holy as He is Holy. See Leviticus 11.45 - 46. To translate a Scripture in a way that may give the impression it may perhaps be alright to have sex with a woman that is not one's wife is not taking the higher path. It borders on bearing false witness. Scripture does not do this. Poor translations do this. As we shall see, our obligation is to follow the higher road.. Sarah was taken twice from Abraham specifically for the sexual pleasure of two kings. The Lord Did not Permit this. See Genesis 20.6 'I also Kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I Did Not let you touch her.'


The Original Language of Leviticus 18.22 carries an intention with it beyond just the translation. The translator MUST consider Ha Torah's Intention along with what is written. The translation  'You shall not lie with men, as with women.' DOES NOT ACCOMPLISH THIS!


As noted before, the way in which this translation is offered implies that perhaps a man could have sex with a woman in which he is not married. Yet, we know The Holy Scripture Does not permit sex outside of Marriage! Men should not have sex with women they are not married to. The Holy Scripture forbids this unless the act of sex is intended as a marriage bond between the woman and the man. In other words, the woman becomes the man's wife through their first sexual act. While this is possible, this is not the comparison The Holy Scripture has in mind. In this instance, translators should use the Word wife instead of a woman. Now I am speaking specifically to women who may have had sexual relations with men not their husband.  Have you ever wondered why you can't get 'that man' out of your thoughts?  It is for exactly this reason.  When you entered that relationship the man became your husband.  The action you have to take now to remedy this situation is to ask for forgiveness and healing from the Lord God.  Teshuvah.  Commit to NOT doing this again and return to the Lord God and follow His Commandments.



There two points to remember.


First, The Lord is Forgiving and Gracious. There is no sin The Lord will not forgive if one repents. 


Exodus 34.6.

'And the Lord passed by before [Moses], and Proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, is Merciful and Gracious, Long Suffering, and Abundant in Goodness and Truth'.


Psalms 86.5

For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and of bountiful love toward all those who call upon You.


Second, one can alter past mistakes by not repeating them. The Lord God Commented to Cain in Genesis 4.7


Bereisheit 4.7

הֲלוֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת   וְאִם לֹא תֵיטִיב לַפֶּתַח חַטָּאת רֹבֵץ וְאֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ וְאַתָּה תִּמְשָׁל־בּוֹ:  ח


Tzniut Lesson 2 copy.jpg

The Lord God Said to Cain, 'Without any doubt if you ''Improve'' yourself you will be forgiven.' Genesis 4.7


So to any individual who has faultered please remember you can alter the past by not repeating it.


What does Improve mean? Improve means, One takes ownership of their error / sin. After one acknowledges their error, they go in the opposite direction by making a plan not to repeat the error / sin. One offers restitution for any damages. The sinner is forgiven and restored to Derek Ha Torah / The path of Torah. It's that simple!  See Eve Of Creation Restored -  Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk, Eve Of Creation Restored (B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC., First Edition 2013, Cedar Hill, MO)


To understand this Scripture properly, we must understand the comparison that is being made. As already noted, The Holy Scripture takes the higher road.  The higher road here is VERY IMPORTANT.


The Holy Scriptures are crème de la crème. The correct interpretation is Wife rather than a woman. However, the interpretation does not stop with this point. For this to be a Torah comparison, The husband and wife mentioned in Leviticus 18.22 must be crème de la crème. Their relationship as Soulmates, and as Husband and Wife are on the highest level. Using them sets a standard worthy of the Holiness written in Leviticus 11.45 - 46. When we understand this, we understand the comparison is NOT just about men sleeping with men. It is also about heterosexual men who are married who do not live according to the crème de la crème in their marriage relationship. I am speaking of the Intimate Association between husband and wife. The Intimate Association between husband and wife is the highest level of association.


The comparison in this Scripture is with the purest and the highest level of the proper act of sex between a husband and a wife. The husband and wife in Leviticus 18.22 represent the HIGHEST LEVEL of clean moral, pure, holy sex possible!! Anal sex is forbidden. Anal sex with one's wife is forbidden. Anal sex with a man is forbidden. Oral sex is forbidden. Oral sex with one's wife is forbidden. Oral sex with a man is forbidden. Fornication is forbidden. Adultery is forbidden. Rape is forbidden. The fact is that fornication, adultery, and rape are discussed more in the Bible than homosexuality. 


So when we place Leviticus 18.22 in perspective, we should see that homosexual actions are unnatural and immoral in the intimate association between Husband and wife!!  Is there any difference between a gay man having anal relations with another gay man from that of a heterosexual man having anal relations with his wife. Ha Torah is Teaching us that both acts are not following what The Creator Has instructed. The same holds true for oral sex. Some actions between heterosexuals even in husband-wife relationships can be improper, unnatural, immoral and sinful.   Leviticus 18.22 prohibits homosexual acts, improper sexual acts, unnatural and immoral sexual actions in heterosexual relationships. Leviticus 18.22 establishes the HIGHEST LEVEL of clean moral, pure, holy sex possible in the intimate association between husband and wife.


We are not going to go into greater detail on this subject. Discussions on Leviticus 15 should be in person with one Rav, or an individual The Rav assigns a Torah Teacher for each to learn.


Dear Ones, A modest individual lives on a high plain of righteousness. Individuals who are modest do not need to be told what Improper Associations are. They already know. 


Improper Associations

Leviticus 18 speaks to sexual immorality. We are about to learn that the Mitzvot of The Torah Establishes sexual boundaries. We are not going to discuss each of these boundaries in detail. I think most individuals with a degree of common sense already realize these 'Forbidden Associations' is off limits.


Each of the following 'Forbidden Associations', i.e. relationships is prohibited by The Torah. Each is a Mitzvot of The Torah. These Torah prohibitions apply to B'nai Noach, all those who descended from Noah and his wife, Na'amah. This means each of us! The people of the world are included by The Seven Laws given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2.16.  Most translators do not mention The Seven Laws when translating. One of The Seven Laws Commands, Do not Steal. The following Observances come from the Law Do Not Steal. The Associations mentioned between Leviticus 18.7 - 18.19 are forbidden by The Lord God. The Lord God is Saying none of these belong to you. You cannot have any of these individuals. They are prohibited to you. Violating any of these Commands constitutes stealing! 


Leviticus 18.7

The nakedness of your father, or the nakedness of your mother, shall you not uncover; she is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness.


1.  One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's father.

2.  One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's mother.


Leviticus 18.8

The nakedness of your father's wife shall you not uncover; it is your father's nakedness. 


3. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's step-mother even if his / her's father is deceased.


Leviticus 18.9

The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or daughter of your mother, whether she was born at home, or born abroad, their nakedness you shall not uncover. 


4.  One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's sister or half sister.


Leviticus 18.10

The nakedness of your son's daughter, or of your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness.


5. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with their son's daughter.


6. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with their daughter's daughter.


7. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with their son.


8. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with their daughter.


Leviticus 18.11

The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, fathered by your father; she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness. 


9. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's sister from their father's side.


Leviticus 18.12

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister; she is your father's near kinswoman. 


10. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's aunt from their father's side.


Leviticus 18.13

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister; for she is your mother's near kinswoman.


11. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's aunt from their mother's side.


Leviticus 18.14

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.


12. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's uncle from their father's side.


13. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with the wife of one's uncle from their father's side.


Leviticus 18.16

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife; you shall not uncover her nakedness.


14. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's daughter-in-law.


Leviticus 18.16

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness. 


15. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with one's sister-in-law on their brother's side.


Leviticus 18.17

You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen; it is wickedness. 


16. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with a mother and her daughter.


17. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with a mother and her son's daughter.


18 One is prohibited from having sexual acts with a mother and her daughter's daughter.


Leviticus 18.18

Neither shall you take a rival wife from her sister, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. 


19. One is prohibited from having sexual acts with two sisters unless one is deceased.


Leviticus 18.22

Every action of the male organ shall not be to cohabitant [with men] as a [husband] cohabitants with a wife.



Bereisheit  1.27

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים ׀ אֶת־הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם:ס


Genesis 1.27

And He, God Created everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of Ha Adam / the man in His  Form in His Form God Created them with male / masculine parts and female / feminine parts He Created them.


The Word זָכָר Aw Chawr means with male parts, i.e. the male reproductive genitals. This is the body part in which The Lord God Created on a man to become firm to enter the hollow part of a female to eject seed. The Word Voo Nih Kay Vawh וּנְקֵבָה means with female parts, i.e. the female reproductive genitals. This is the body part in which The Lord God Created in a woman that is like a tunnel. It is designed to receive the male part and the seed ejected by the male part. The Lord God Intended that the first time the male genital entered the female genital this would be in the consummation of a marriage.  This is the action of becoming one flesh as described by Adam in Genesis 2.24. This is the clinging action that physically bonds a man and a woman together as Husband and Wife.  This is why the translation 'You shall not lie with men, as with women, is wrong.'  Scripture's intent is not to suggest men may have sex with women they are not married to.  Yet, it may give that impression. It's not suggesting that it is O.K. that laying with a woman other than one's wife is fine. It is not fine. Being one's Soulmate is so much more than just having sex. 


May each of us be blessed in Observing Proper associations established in The Mitzvot of The Torah!






ב׳׳ה


צניעות

Tzniut  Lessons


Association With The Lord God


Lesson Three


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


Books And Other Information By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk


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Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk



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Dear Friend, In the introduction I wrote, 'A modest, humble discrete individual is distinguished by virtuous characteristics. A distinguished individual is appropriate, proper and suitable for every circumstance. A distinguished individual avoids inappropriate, indecent communication and immodest clothing.


A virtuous individual is one whose pattern of living has good, desirable moral standards.


What are good moral desirable standards? 


The Lord God set the standards for modesty, so when we look at what is a good moral desirable standard, we must begin with the Originator of the standard, The Lord God. The foundation for modesty is Truth. Religions teach that they have the truth they know the truth, and they teach the truth.


The Holy Scriptures Teach that 'The Lord God is Truth,' Jeremiah 10.10. 'The Torah is Truth,' Psalms 119.142. When David wrote, 'The Torah is Truth' he was making reference to The 613 Observances in The Torah, The Covenant between Noah and The Lord God and The Covenant between The Lord God and The People of Israel. The Torah is The Five Books of Moses, i.e., Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Creator of the universe Gave instructions for each of us to follow. Our obligation is to do as The Lord God instructed us. 


Our Association to The Lord God is determined by how seriously we follow His Instructions. Following The Creator's Instructions is a choice. One may walk In The Path of Truth, which enjoys the Presence of God, or one may walk in the path of death with does not enjoy the Presence of God.


The Path of Truth was known and taught before being mentioned in The Torah. בְּדֶרֶךְ אֱמֶת Bih Deh Reh Kih - Emet meaning 'In The Path of Truth' is the Gematria of 667. The Gematria Miluy Echad allows us to add The Number One to any Gematria because The Lord God is Echad, i.e. One. From time to time I share a Gematria Miluy Echad. Now we must ask what if we subtracted The Aleph from a Gematria. What would the meaning of 'In The Path of Truth' be if just the Aleph was removed?


בְּדֶרֶךְ אֱמֶת

Bih Deh Reh Kih Emet / In The Path of Truth

ב2 ד4 ר200 ך20 ם40 ת400 = 667 


בְּדֶרֶךְ מֶת

Bih Deh Reh Kih Met / in the path of death

ב2 ד4 ר200 ך20 מ40 ת400 = 666


If The Letter Aleph representing God were removed the meaning of the phrase Bih Deh Reh Kih Emet / In The Path of Truth would change to Bih Deh Reh Kih Met / in the path of death. The Gematria would change from 667 to 666.


Again, It comes down to this question, Do we want to please God or do we want to please ourselves?


We need to speak Truth, write Truth, think Truth, preach Truth and live Truth!! Remember, Truth is only 'The Truth' when Truth is entirely true. Please notice all the benefits Truth Provides in Psalms 91.


Psalms 91

He who dwells in the secret place of The Most High, who abides under the shadow of The Almighty, Will say to The Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust, For He shall save you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you find refuge; His Truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night; nor of the arrow that flies by day; Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because you, O Lord, are my refuge. You have made the most High your habitation; No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall carry you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread on the lion and on the adder; the young lion and the crocodile shall you trample under foot. Because He has set his love upon me, therefore I will save him; I will set him on high, because he knows My Name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will save him, and honor him. With long life, I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.



Being modest is about being quiet. It is secret. Being Tzniut is not about bringing attention to one's self. It is not about being noticed. Being modest is about taking refuge in The Observances of The Torah. Those who are modest are especially careful in how they care for The Name of The Lord. We live in the shadows of His Presence. We sense The Spiritual Presence of The Creator all about us. It's not about us it's about our Creator. We live to exalt The Lord God. We study The Torah to be careful in our Observances. The Truth is more precious to us than the finest honey and the purest gold and silver. We live in The Secret Place.


Dear Ones, we speak about The Shield of Abraham in Genesis 15.1. Are we making the connection? The Lord who is Truth and The Torah which is Truth are the shield for Abraham. Are we guilty of thinking of Abraham in a One diminutional way? We think of Abraham as a man of faith but it does not end there. Jacob spoke of The Truth The Lord had Revealed to him in Genesis 32.11. Who blessed Jacob? Isaac his father. Who blessed Isaac? Abraham, his father. Who Blessed Abraham? The Lord God! Genesis 12.2 - 3


The point is that there is a great blessing in the Truth. One cannot be Tzniut with out The Truth. The Torah is The Path of Truth.


May The Lord Bless all who read, study and Observer The Torah.


Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies,

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

http://www.bnti.us/bjc16.html


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