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hw:hylæ hj;n"mi ˆBær"q; byrIq]tæAyKi vp,n<w" 

Parshat Vayikra Vayikra

Gematria:  The Letter Tav as the Front Door and as the Back Door ©

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        By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Our study is in the loving memory of the Horvat Mishpacha that died in the Holocaust.  May they rest in peace.

I am again drawn to the words {And when a soul draws near with a meal offering to Hashem}, Vayikra 2.1

(Leviticus). when studying Parshat Vayikra Vayikra.

byrIq]tæ  Tah-Kih-Reet to draw near [with an offering...]

712 = b2 y10 r200 q100 t400

tv,by"  Yihv-Sheht [the earth /sin] dried up / Yih-Ba-Sheht his shame [left]

712 = t400 v300 b2 y10

Notice the third word of the Original Text. The Tav is in black.  The Kuf, Reish, Yod and Bet are in blue. Even though the Letter Tav is part of the word Tah-Kih-Reet in HaTorah the Letter Tav is added.  The Tav is normally not part of the word. Why?  The Letter Tav is the last letter in the word twOa Oht means sign. Frequently throughout Ha Torah the Letter Tav is added to the beginning of a word to draw our attention to the fact that we should stop.  Pay attention!  Mine here!  Examine here!  This is one of many purposes for the Tav being added to a word.  Another reason is to change the Gematria of a word. Normally Kih-Reet would be the Gematria 312 but because the Tav is added the Gematria changes to 712.  

In Bereisheit 8.7 (Genesis) we notice the first word in Ha Torah with the Gematria of 712. Yihv-Sheht which means to dry up. Ha Torah Tells us Noach sent the raven out of the Tava {Ark} in search of dry land.  The raven returned to the Tava because he could not find any dry land.  There is a similarity between Tah-Kih-Reet (to draw near) and Yihv-Sheht (to dry up). The similarity depends upon the intent of the first Letter of Yihv-Sheht. If we were to isolate the Letter Yud the root word would be Ba-Sheht meaning shame. The meaning would then represent his shame in reference to the raven's shame.  Then the meaning of HaTorah in Bereisheit 8.7 would be, He sent out the raven and it went out, going to and fro until the water [removed] his shame.  Now we know the raven experienced shame because the raven was one of three who copulated on the Tava.[1]  The three were Chawm, the dog and the raven.  In addition we know that water represents Ha Torah.  This being the situation the meaning of HaTorah in Bereisheit 8.7 would be, He sent out the raven and it went out, going to and fro until [Ha Torah removed] his shame.  Remember Ha Torah Has the power to restore the soul.  So the connection I see is that the Letter Tav is at the front of Tah-Kih-Reet standing like a door open to teshuva {repentance}.  The Tav is at the end of Yihv-Sheht which we are now translating as Yih-Ba-Sheht meaning his shame. When Ha Torah Works in the life of a sinner it's like his shame leaves through the back door.  Now if one were to choose not to agree with this mystical interpretation that is fine.  One could still say that the water / Ha Torah which washed away the sinners of the first world was absorbed into the earth.  In other words, the end result is the same.  Sin was dried up. The point is that the one who draws near to the altar with a meal offering for their sins has the comfort of knowing his shame is absorbed in the fire offering. His sin is dried up.  The raven was looking for a place of shelter from the judgment brought upon the world due to sin (dry land). Drawing near the Meez-Bayach {altar} with a meal offering for sin brings about that shelter.

byrIq]tæ  Tah-Kih-Reet to draw near [with an offering...]

712 = b2 y10 r200 q100 t400

tv,by"  Yihv-Sheht [the earth /sin] dried up / Yih-Ba-Sheht his shame [left]

712 = t400 v300 b2 y10

When Ha Torah uses the word  vp,n≤ Neh-Fehsh one should remember the At Bash is bwOf Tov which means good, agreeable.  From earth the soul of the poor, the destitute draws near the altar. Our Sages teach that the significance of bringing a meal offering is like offering one's own soul.  

There is a ladder that stretches from earth to Ha Shemayim (the Heavens). We call this At Bash. It's a transformation of letters from earth to Heaven and from Heaven to earth. On earth it is the soul of the poor, the destitute. However, as one climbs each rung of the ladder toward HaShemayim (the Heavens), the word changes from Nefesh to Tov. It's like saying this is good, this is agreeable. What is good? What is agreeable? The meal offering.  The word Tov is a blessing from the Creator like dew descending upon the soul of the one who brings the meal offering.  the offering from the Heavenly ladder that extends to earth the Neh-Fesh (the soul) that draws near the altar with a meal offering it is good!

vpn Neh-Fehsh {Soul} - AT BASH - v = p = n = f  bwf Tov {Good Agreeable}

Authors note: To any Christians who might be reading this discussion I was surprised to notice the KJV translators used the word meat instead of meal for hj;n"mi .  I believe this was a deliberate misrepresentation of the Truth.  It would be worthwhile to investigate why they did this?  NIV and other Christian translations got it right.  I also noticed that Strong's Concordance does not give a reference number for this word.   Hum!  I wonder why?

[1] Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p. 97

ב ה

Most Holy of Offerings ©

Parshat Vayikra Tzva

 By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


There are three words that tell us of the Great Holiness of the Minchah Offering. 

 בָּנָיו הַנּוֹתָרִים קְחוּ אֶת־הַמִּנְחָה הַנּוֹתֶרֶת מֵאִשֵּׁי יְהֹוָה וְאִכְלוּהָ מַצּוֹת אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כִּי קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הִוא:

In Vayikra {Leviticus} 6.9,10 Ha Torah Teaches there are three offerings that are Most Holy. They are:

They are:

The Meal Offering - Vayikra 2.3

The Sin Offering - Vayikra 6.18

The Guilt Offering - Vayikra 7.1

The Meal Offering is  a  קָרְבַּן  Karbon which is translated sacrifice.  So even though there is no blood shed with a Meal Karbon {Sacrifice} Ha Torah Does not separate the Meal Karbon from that of the Sin or Guilt.  Notice Vayikra 1.2

Each are described as This is the Law of...the Meal Offering, the Sin Offering and the Guilt Offering.  Other offerings are also described with these words.  However only the Meal Offering, the Sin Offering and the Guilt Offering are described as Most Holy!! This is very significant.  The Meal Offering has the same status as the Sin Offering and as the Guilt Offering.  In other words the Meal Offering is like a Sin-Offering. - Rashi

What is the intent when bring an offering?  Intent is everything!

If there was there was no repentance of the heart the offering in and of its self will not bring about forgiveness. Zevachim 7b  Proverbs 21.27 says, The offering of the wicked is an abomination...

The offering is a Gift to G-d brought after receiving repentance.

Blessings, Love and Peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel

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Parshat Tazria: Closeness to Hashem ©

Parshat Tazria

By Leah

This parshat study is dedicated to the loving memory of Sue Elder, may she rest in peace and her memory be for good.

Perek 12, passuk 8 states: 

But if she cannot afford a sheep, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young doves, one for an      elevation-offering and one for a sin-offering; and the Kohen shall provide atonement for her and she    shall become purified. The Stone Edition The Chumash, ArtScroll Series; Rabbi Nosson Scherman/Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, General Editors (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., Third Edition) p 609.

The commentary offered by the Stone Chumash on the phrase one for an elevation-offering is as follows:

Although the service of the sin-offering is performed first, the Torah Mentions the elevation-offering first, because it symbolizes the goal of the entire service: to achieve closeness to [G-d] and become dedicated to Him. Ibid.

The goal of the entire service is to achieve closeness to G-d. Our offerings also have the goal of achieving closeness to Hashem. What are our offerings? Repentance is one. A friend pointed out that davening (prayer) is an offering. Meditation is another. When I see a beautiful sight in nature, sometimes an offering of gratitude wells up from within my heart and I feel a certain closeness to Hashem. There are moments in prayer and meditation that I experience a closeness to Hashem. Baruch Hashem. I am so grateful for those moments! 

Do you ever experience a kind of closeness to G-d? Would you share it with us?

A side note, you may have noticed that I bracketed  [-] Hashem's Name in the above quote. That's because the Stone Chumash, like other siddurim and seforim, spell out the Name of G-d because the author and publisher have the expectation that the publication will be a permanent part of a library, not something the purchaser would ever throw away; something to be passed on, not destroyed.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. I hope you will join the discussion with questions and/or comments.

Blessings and Peace,


Parshat Metzora:

Thinking Before We Speak ©

By Leah

This parsha study is dedicated to the loving memory of Mrs. Ethel Channah Sakash Belk, may she rest in peace and her memory be for good.

Perek 14, passuk 4 states: 

The Kohen shall command; and for the person being purified there shall be taken two live, clean birds, cedarwood, crimson thread, and hyssop. The Stone Edition The Chumash, ArtScroll Series; Rabbi Nosson Scherman/Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, General Editors (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., Third Edition) p 621.

Per the Stone Chumash commentary, Rashi explains that [b]ecause his affliction came in punishment for the chatter of gossip and slander, his purification is effected by means of chirping, twittering birds. Ibid. p 621. 

In his book, Growth Through Torah {(Brooklyn, NY: Benei Yakov Publications 1988) p 260}, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin paraphrases and quotes commentary from Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz in Rabbi Levovitz's book, Daas Torah: Vayikra, pp. 109-10: Before speaking you need to ask yourself, 'What is the purpose of what I am about to say? What will it accomplish? What effects will it have?' Once you get in to the habit of asking yourself these questions, you will always think before you speak. This will enable you to overcome the tendency of speaking against others.

What a wonderful gift! A recipe for overcoming the tendency of speaking loshon hara. This I see as a pursuit for a lifetime. If we have small victories, we can build on them. One victory would be to memorize the 3 questions. Another would be to have one instance in a day where we asked ourselves the three questions and succeeded in thinking before speaking.

One practice we have in [our families] is to forbid the use of certain words. These are words that are demeaning and demoralizing, words that tear the fabric of harmony in the home. In this way, we make inroads into protecting our home from loshon hara

May we overcome the tendency of speaking ill of others!

Blessings and Peace,


Blessings & peace,



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Rebbetzin Revi's Reflections

Pekudei ©

by Rebbetzin Brachah Rivkah Belk


Pekudei, (פקודי -- Hebrew for amounts of)

Shemot 38.21 - 40.38


There are two parts of this Parshat that stand out for me.


The first part:

Shemot 40.13 And you shall clothe Aaron with the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and sanctify him so that he may serve Me.


Shemot 9.1 The L-rd said to Moses, Come to Pharaoh and speak to him, So said the L-rd, G-d of the Hebrews, Let My people go, that they may serve Me.


We were redeemed from Mitzrayim to serve the Creator of the Universe so there is a definite connection between liberty and service of G-d. Without service to G-d there is no point in the Exodus or for the Mishkan. Freedom necessitates one have purpose and direction. If you simply free slaves without providing them with a purpose for their lives then they will never reach their potential. In Shemot the Jewish people were asked to seek HaShem G-d and receive His Revelation, Direction and His Purpose for them as a nation. We were given eternal values which provide meaning to our lives through Observance of the Mitzvot. This system of Observance of the Mitzvot was meant to perfect the world, first the Jewish nation then the rest of the world which brings the world to an awareness and acceptance of HaShem Echad.


So how do we get there from where we are?

Joel 2.12-13

And even now, Says the L-rd, return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping and with lamentation.


And rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the L-rd your G-d, for He is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil.


As you know our lives are a journey, a progression of steps, and an aliya - an ascent as the Tehillim we spoke of last week makes us aware of. Those making pilgrimage to Yerushalayim prayed the Tehillim of Ascents as they journeyed to the Temple. Perhaps we can do the same. Use these Tehillim as a tool for our journey.


It seems like there are so many prayers to be said in the morning. I am always in a hurry - a hurry to get myself together and get to work, in a hurry at work to get things accomplished so I can go home, a hurry at home to get a meal prepared, in a hurry to get the kitchen straightened up so I can work on one of the many tasks I have on my todo list. And on and on it goes.


Are there really too many prayers or am I not organizing my day well enough to provide the time needed for these?


It really isn't a lot of time - just seems like it when my schedule gets really busy. I ask HaShem G-d to help me become more organized so that I can achieve my goals of saying prayers, saying 100 Brachot a day and also to include Tehillim which I love in my day as well. I need to make time for Torah study and Torah discussion. What amount of my day am I giving to these tasks? Do my secular tasks, my time spent earning a living - do these have any meaning?


The second part:

Shemot 40.35

And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud rested on it, and the glory of G-d filled the Tabernacle .


Shemot 24.18

And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mount; and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.


If I can with G-d's Help complete the first part then this second part - entering the Presence of the Shekinah - will be obtainable. This is what life is all about. All of our secular endeavors are given spiritual meaning if we dedicate ourselves to Observance with Kavanah. Even the smallest thing we do, if we live according the Ha Torah will be elevated, then our lives are elevated and the world is elevated.



Blessings and Peace



Parshat - Continuous Fire

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Revi's Reflections

Continuous Fire ©

By Rebbetzin Brachah Rivkah Belk



Vayikra 6.5

A continuous fire shall burn upon the altar; it shall not go out.


The Kohen's Duty is to keep the fires of the Altar constantly burning, and to remove the accumulated ashes each morning.  This happens daily - each and every day - even on Shabbat - the fire is not to go out and the ashes have to be removed every day.


Each Shabbat we kindle the fire of our Shabbat candles and our table becomes the mizbeach - the altar.  We should have prepared and removed the ashes from our lives.  Those things that sometimes cling to us .... our failures at prayer, our missteps - all those failed attempts to live a Torah life, to Observe the Mitzvot, our stumblings in our relationships, etc.  We now come to Shabbat, our spirit is lifted, we sense the Presence of the Holy One of Yisrael, we discuss His Torah, we are refreshed, we are Blessed.


The Hebrew name for Altar xbzm is explained as signifying, It wipes away sin; it nourishes the higher man; it fosters love for G-d; and it atones for all guilt (Ket. 10b): its four letters    myyx  hkrb  twkz  hlyxm ( meḦilah, zekut, berakah, Ḧayyim ) , point to Forgiveness, Justification, Blessing, and Life (Tan., Terumah, 10). It was considered a miracle and a proof of the manifestation of the Shekinah that the continual fire upon the Altar did not destroy the copper with which the stones were overlaid (Lev. R. vii.; Tan., Terumah, 11).   Jewish Encyclopedia


There is a fire of love for G-d that burns within every soul. It is the task of the Kohen--the spiritual leaders of the generation--to feed and preserve this fire.

Rabbi Moshe Alshich: he was born in Adrianople, Turkey in 5268 (1508 CE) - he was considered a great Kabbalist


Are you the spiritual leader in  your family?  What an awesome task some are given.


We have spoken many times in the past of the Sefirot. 

To refresh our memories they are:


Ten Sefirot:

1.  Keter                - Crown, Divine Plan

2.  Chochmah       - Wisdom

3.  Binah               - Intuition; understanding

4.  Chesed            - Mercy; Kindness

5.  Gevurah         - Strength; intentionality

6.  Tiferet              - Beauty; Glory

7.  Netzach           - Victory

8.  Hod                  - Majesty; Awe

9.  Yesod              - Foundation

10.              Malchut   - Kingdom; physical revelation in space-time


Zohar volume 14 Tzav

22. Two fires

The Faithful Shepherd says that the two fires are a supernal fire, called the Throne of Mercy, and a lower fire, called the Throne of Judgment. When Tiferet clings to the two fires Binah and Malchut, Chochmah rests upon it.


Chochmah - Wisdom

When Beauty, Harmony (Tiferet) rests and brings the two fires together then wisdom is given.   It is so important when coming to the Shabbat table that we bring these two fires together.  Since we receive an extra soul on Shabbat it should be easier to make this a reality in our lives.  The Throne of Mercy and the Throne of Judgment - how far apart these are - how we need them to come together to produce Wisdom for our lives.


Kabbalah teaches that the two sephirot (Binah and Malchut) are feminine.

The female principle in Kabbalah describes a vessel that receives the outward male light, then inwardly nurtures and gives birth to lower sephirot.


Women have a unique role in life - oftentimes we are the peace makers, the ones who see things a bit differently - the ones who bring balance to our families - the ones who inspire and motivate.  Do we bring Torah nuggets to the Shabbat table?  We should.


The Zohar comments that the command to maintain a constant presence of fire on the altar is symbolic of Am Yisrael's obligation to always maintain the fire of Torah, and never allow it to be extinguished.


The Talmud says:

Although a fire descended from heaven upon the Altar, it is a mitzvah to add to it a humanly produced fire.  Talmud, Eruvin 63a


We need to find a way to join the spiritual and the physical fire in our lives. We need to ensure that the fire that motivates us does not consume those around us. 


Women oftentimes put their needs aside so that someone else's needs can be taken care of.  HaShem G-d Made us that way but we need to allocate time for study and prayer, for meditation and reflection.  We need time to be alone with the Alone, the One who is Separate, the One who is Whole (Holy), our Creator.


May the Holy One of Yisrael Bless you with Chomah this week.


Blessings and Peace


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