Results tagged “Holy Scriptures” from BNTI Blog

ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 20

Genesis 20.1 - 18

Bereisheit Limood Video

Where Torah Does Not Exist

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Chapter 20 - Where Torah does Not Exist

Bereisheit 20.1 - 18

Dear Reader, have you asked yourself one of the following questions?

Am I normal?

Do I see things differently than others?

Am I different?

What makes me different?

Do my co-workers see me as being strange or odd?

Awhile back I chose to become part of a 501 c 3 organization that helps the community. This was not a religious organization. They are known for doing a lot of good yet it is a crusty place to visit... It smells awful. My first visit was uncomfortable. They do a lot of things I have no interest in. I looked around. It was clear I was different. What made me different? Why did I feel uncomfortable? Why did this organization that has helped so many down through the years make me feel entirely out of place?

Reader can you identify?

Do you work in a place that is not comfortable? Do you attend a school that is not comfortable? Do you live in a home which is not comfortable?

My wife, Revi arrived home after school one afternoon to find her clothes in a single box on the front porch. Can we imagine what it must of felt like for a sixteen year old woman to be tossed out of the family home. How did the most precious of places become such a place of pain?

Dear Reader, we look at our home as a place of safety from the world where those around us tenderly love us, support us, nurture us and encourage us. Our home is supposed to be a safety net, God Willing, a place where we can get away from the world. Unfortunately one's home can be changed into a very undesirable place quickly.

It was 8:00 am in the morning. It was time to report to work. I was a little early. Shortly after entering the large manufacturing building while walking towards the time clock a fellow worker cut me off. He got in front of me. He said what are you doing here?

I responded, I'am preparing to punch my time card and begin working.

He said, You don't work here any more.

I inquired, Why?

He said something like, We don't want any dirty Jews around here!!

Shortly after the conversation began about a dozen men from that company surrounded me. I was in the center of a circle that formed. They began terrorizing me. It happened so fast. It felt like they were about to hurt me when the owner of the company came rushing out of his office ordering them to halt. He took me back into the office and said, You cannot work here! File a law suit if you will. I will pay it but you cannot work here. File for unemployment, I will pay it but you cannot work here. What happened? They found out I was Jewish...

Dear Ones there may be times throughout our lives where we will be forced to operate in areas where we may feel uncomfortable. Will we be required to interact outside of our comfort zone?

Avraham was placed in a situation where he was forced to interact and associate with the people of Gerar. He was new to the area. Things got off to a rugged start. It was very uncomfortable for he and Sarah and their followers. Lets define why it was challenging. Our Sages say that Avraham moved because He saw the cities of Sedom were destroyed and travelers ceased from passing by. In addition, Avraham chose to distance himself from Lot who had acquired a bad reputation because he was incestuous with his daughters.

Genesis 20.1-9

And Abraham journeyed from there toward the Negev, and lived between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God Came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, you are but a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man's wife. But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, Lord, will you slay also a righteous nation? Said he not to me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother; in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God Said to him in a dream, Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart; for I also kept you from sinning against me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a Prophet, and he shall pray for you, and you shall live; and if you restore her not, know you that you shall surely die, you, and all who are yours. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears; and the men were very afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, What have you done to us? And in what have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.

Bereisheit 20.10

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲבִימֶלֶךְ אֶל־אַבְרָהָם מָה רָאִיתָ כִּי עָשִׂיתָ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה1:1

And Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see, that you have done this thing?

Bereisheit 20.11

וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם כִּי אָמַרְתִּי רַק אֵין־יִרְאַת אֱלֹהִים בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וַהֲרָגוּנִי עַל־דְּבַר אִשְׁתִּי1:1

And Abraham Said, Because I Said, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

Within our world we do business with and interact with people we may choose not to associate with. Abraham was placed in a situation like this when the King of Gerar took his wife, Sarah. What would you do if placed in the same situation?

Let's first remember that Avraham was a Prophet. This means Avraham had Visions and Dreams. This means Avraham spoke Words from God. We read in Ha Torah that Avraham Said.

וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם כִּי אָמַרְתִּי

Many translations use the Word 'thought' as in I thought Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

However Avraham was a Prophet. Avraham didn't just think the Fear of God is not in this place. Avraham Saw through a Vision that the Fear of God was not in this place. The Word אָמַרְתִּי normally means to say. One must ask was Avraham attempting to be politically correct here, when he spoke with King Abimelech? I don't think so! Avraham condemned the king because as a Prophet he Saw the Fear of God was absent. He took actions because of his Vision. Sarah did like wise. Sarah agreed with her husbands Vision. Sarah had a Vision. Sarah could see what an evil man Abimelech was. Our Sages reveal a discussion between our Creator and Abimelech which is not mentioned in Ha Torah.

After the destruction of Sedom, Abraham again changed his residence, moving his tent from Chevron to the Philistine city of Gerar. For what reasons did Abraham leave Charon?

1, Abraham was forced to forsake his old neighborhood because rumors of Lot's actions with his daughters were circulating. Lot's bad reputation also reflected in Avraham who was Lot's uncle. Avraham, afraid of a Chiluil The Lord, [profanation of the Divine Name] decided therefore to settle in a different place. 141

2. [Abraham's] overwhelming desire to perform kindness made him seek guests constantly. After the destruction of Sedom the roads in that area were deserted. Avraham consequently returned to Gerar where there would be wayfarers for him to serve.142

Avraham knew the people living in Gerar were not God fearing. As a result for safety reasons, he called himself Sarah's brother, like he did in Egypt. Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p. 180

The Midrash informs us that once Sarah was forcibly taken to Abimelech's palace she told him, 'I am a married woman!' Avimelech ignored Sarah but the Lord sent the Angel Michael to protect her. He could not even approach Sarah.

The Lord Spoke to Abimelech in a dream Saying, 'The woman you took to your palace is married! As a result you deserve to die according to the Seven Noachide Laws. Avimelech objected. He claimed to be righteous.

The All Seeing Eternal Judge Said, Your claim to righteousness is not justified, since it was I who Prevented you from touching her... You are deserving of death! You kidnapped Sarah! Stealing is a prohibition of the Noachide Law of 'robbery' in the Ha Torah. Now, return this woman to her husband at once! Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), pp 180 - 181

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲבִימֶלֶךְ אֶל־אַבְרָהָם מָה רָאִית כִּי עָשִׂיתָ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה

[What Do You] See?


ר200 א1 י10 ת400 ‫=611

As a Prophet Avraham Saw an absence of Torah Observances. Avraham Saw an absence of righteousness. When the Observances of Ha Torah are absent from our world our world is NOT the place our Creator Intended it to be!! 

The Words Avimelech asked Abraham are 'What do you see?' Mystically the Words ask, 'Do you see Torah? Do you see [anyone] Observing the Torah?' The answer is no!



ת400 ו6 ר200 ה5 = 611

Each of us are required to Observe various Commands within Ha Torah. It does not matter if we are Jewish or not. Why? Our Creator Established His Will and His Rule for this World, He Created it. His Will and His Rule remains the same today as when He Created this Universe. His Will includes joining Him in Heaven after our life on this earth is concluded. His Will is for us to IMPROVE as individuals.

So if the home place does not Observe Torah the Home place is a scary place to be. If the Work place does not Observe Ha Torah the Work Place is a frightening place to be. God Teaches us Seven Laws to follow and to Observe that makes every place a good happy loving wonderful place to live.

ב ' ח

Gematria Shemot Tezaveh - 8

Exodus 27.20 - 30.10

A Taste Of Torah 

Weekly Torah Gematria Video

Sanctified Clothing

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Exodus 28.3

וְאַתָּה תְּדַבֵּר אֶל־כָּל־חַכְמֵי־לֵב אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּאתִיו רוּחַ חָכְמָה וְעָשׂוּ אֶת־בִּגְדֵי אַהֲרֹן לְקַדְּשׁוֹ לְכַהֲנוֹ־לִי1:1

And you speak to all wise of heart Them that are completely filled with the Spirit of Wisdom And they shall make everything from Aleph to Tav of the clothes for Aaron To sanctify [to serve] as a Priest to Me.

Shemot / Exodus 19.6

וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ־לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים

וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר

תְּדַבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל1:1

And you shall be to Me a Kingdom of Priests And a sanctified nation These are the Words that you shall say to B'nei Israel.

The purpose for comparing is to point out that just as the Kohan Gadol and the Kohanim are sanctified through clothing as stated in Shemot 28.3 so is every Jew because we are a kingdom of Priests to the entire world. There are several points to consider.

First is that Kal Israel is sanctified through clothing just as the Kohan Gadol and the Kohanim are. Our sanctified clothing is different from theirs.

Second is the concept of making sanctified clothing. Ha Torah Says, 'And they shall make everything from Aleph to Tav of the clothes for Aaron'. What does this mean? It means there is a plan, a pattern to follow and there is a goal. How does this apply to us? Are we to wear clothing like the Kohan Gadol or the Kohanim? What is the point?

The point is clothing is sanctified. Marriage is sanctified. Israel is sanctified. The Kohanim are sanctified. The Kohan Gadol is sanctified. Each of these are sanctified through clothing. One of the keys is 'speak to all wise of heart'. It is important to have direction with the clothes we cover ourselves with. Another point is that ONLY those who are completely filled with the Spirit of Wisdom can be selected to make this sanctified clothing. Making sanctified clothing require Chochmah / Wisdom and being over flowing with the Spirit of Wisdom... How many clothing designers and manufactures meet these requirements? Why are these important requirements?

Think about the importance of making Holy / Sanctified clothing. Only few have the wisdom to qualify. Why is wisdom so important? It is because those of us who are not as enlightened may make the wrong pattern or may select the wrong material. Remember we are forbidden to mix Shaatines, i.e. mix wool and linen within the same garment...

Why Jewish men should wear a Kippah and women should not...

Why Jewish men should wear a Tallit with Tzitzit and women should not...

Why our Sages Teach ladies should follow the custom of wearing a head covering... What types of head coverings...

Why our Sages Teach ladies should not wear mens clothing... What is the definition of men's clothing?

There is a point. I think the wise of heart can discuss and fully answer all questions regarding these issues. The Wise of heart are 'OVERFLOWING' with all that is necessary to answer our questions in these areas. Their answers are compelling.

Clothing is a material thing with a Spiritual purpose. When HaTorah Says these are the clothes you shall make we can begin to understand material things are sanctified for holy purposes...

Exodus 28.4

And these, the Clothes that he shall make:

Breast plate

and a Eiphod

and a robe

and a checkered undershirt

a turban

a sash-belt

And make sanctified garments For Aharon you brother And for the sons to serve Me as Priests.

Exodus 31.10

And everything from Aleph to Tav of the clothing of the service And everything from Aleph to Tav of the sanctified clothing for Aharon the Priest And everything from Aleph to Tav of the clothing the sons for Priests

Shemot / Exodus 28.5

And he, Moses went down from the Mountain To the people [B'nei Israel] And sanctified everything from Aleph to Tav of the people And they immersed [themselves] and their clothing

Bereisheit / Genesis 35.2

And Jacob said to his household And to all the people with him Get rid of everything from Aleph to Tav of these the foreign gods in your midst Purify yourselves and change your garments.

Yisaiah / Isaiah 61.3

To appoint to them that mourn in Tzion To give to them Beauty instead of dust / ashes Oil for Joy instead of mourning The Garment Mantel of Praise instead of the spirit of heaviness And to call themselves Leaders of the Righteousness who are planted by The Lord for Beauty / Glory.

בֶגֶד Beged, meaning Garment has the exact same letters as בָּגָד bagad, meaning to betray, to deceive. The difference is how clothing is designed and how clothing is worn.

My wife Brachah Rivkah says,

There is a physical function of clothing and a spiritual function of clothing.

Clothing can be a distraction.

Clothing is intended to be Spiritual.

Our clothes show how we Honor and Glorify The Lord.

Our clothing communicates messages to the world.

What message am I sending?

Marriage Clothing

A wife gives her husband a Tallit to wear during prayers this is a special sign that to many means he is married. This depends upon the custom. However the point is he covers himself with the cloth garment his wife has prepared or purchased for him. He secludes himself within the Tallit. He communes with the Creator within the Tallit. It is like the tallit is a garment that wraps around their marriage.

Adam and Chavah were enwrapped by the Glory of our Creator. This means they were in the center of Tiferet / Beauty. Adam was not on the left and Chavah was not on the right. They were in the exact center. This is the Spiritual place for marriage. This is correct. Spiritual attraction is the greatest. Physical attraction may draw us to an individual. Spiritual attraction is what keeps spouses engaged and in love with each other. Adam and Chavah were in the center of God's Glory. When they departed the center of God Glory is when each sinned. When they sinned they were outside of Tiferet...

The clothing of the kohanim and kohen gadol are called begadim.

The kohen gadol's primary function was to provide atonement. Each piece of his clothing provided atonement for specific sins. [See Exodus 28.4]

Only Aaron's garments are composed of blue, purple, scarlet, gold and twined thread. These are the same materials that comprise the curtains of the Mishkan.

On the Kohen Gadol's forehead was a plate engraved saying Holy to the Almighty. Ramban Says that the commandment to dress the High Priest in garments for glory (kavod) and splendor (tiferet) is not only to enhance the status of the priest himself, but also to enhance the Glory of God.


Lee Chah Hah No - Lee - To Be A Priest to Me

To Serve Me

ל30 כ20 ה5 נ50 ו6 ל30 י10 = 151


Aw Keem - I will Establish

א1 ק100 י10 ם = 151

These Words are rare. לְכַהֲנוֹ־לִי Lee Chah Hah No - Lee, - To Be A Priest to Me To Serve Me occurs only three times in the Torah Portion of the Bible. אָקִים Aw Keem, - I will Establish occurs only twice in the Torah portion of the Bible. In the first, לְכַהֲנוֹ־לִי our Creator is Saying the office of High Priest is for the purpose of serving Me. In the second Word, אָקִים the Creator 'Established' the Covenant with Yitzchok / Isaac and the Office of Prophet.

ב ' ח

Relationships Restored

Introduction Part 1

Eve Of Creation Video - 1

What Makes A Man The Perfect Husband?

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Bereisheit 25.27

וַיִּגְדְּלוּ הַנְּעָרִים וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ צַיִד אִישׁ

שָׂדֶה וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם ישֵׁב אֹהָלִים: כח

וַיִּגְדְּלוּ הַנְּעָרִים וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ צַיִד אִישׁ

שָׂדֶה וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם ישֵׁב אֹהָלִים: כח

וַיִּגְדְּלוּ הַנְּעָרִים וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ צַיִד אִישׁ

שָׂדֶה וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם ישֵׁב אֹהָלִים: כח

Genesis 25.27

And the boys grew up. And it happened, Eisov was a cunning man [at 13 years of age] a hunter, a man of the field and Yaakov was a man without fault dwelling in the tents [of learning at 13 years of age].

The Torah Portion of the Bible is speaking about the time when the boys turned thirteen as noted above. It was then that each became a man. Notice the usage of the Words אִישׁ Eesh. Eisov is described as עֵשָׂו אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ a cunning man. Mystically through Gematria we learn Eisov was on the path to wisdom but made a sharp turn in the wrong direction the day Avraham died. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), pp 1068 - 1074

With Eisov everything was a guarded calculation based upon his accumulated knowledge, Ha Torah is Informing us that Eisov was a wise man at the age of thirteen. He was clever. He knew how to deceive. He knew how to trick others.

He was skilled in achieving what he wanted by using deceit or evasion, i.e. indirect answers. In addition Yoh Day Ah can mean to know another sexually. By this we know that Eisov was sexually active. He was all about fulfilling physical pleasures. Some men are like Eisov. They are all about themselves. It should not take long to identify Eisov like characteristics.

We have the Eisov type men in our world. They give the appearance that they are on the path to Ha Torah but what they do shows otherwise. They use Torah Wisdom to only benefit themselves and to take advantage of others.

אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ

Eesh - Yoh Day Ah

א1 י10 ש300 י10 ד4 ע70 = 395


Lih Ha Seh Ceel

the path to Wisdom

ל30 ה5 ש300 כ20 י10 ל30 = 395

There is reason The Torah Portion of the Bible describes Eisov with the Word Eesh in two different ways. It is like Eisov had two different faces. He has the good inclination and the evil inclination. When we Observe Eisov the man who is described as a farmer we see a man who has gone through a cleansing but still struggles with his impure and evil nature. He says he is going to kill his brother. This is the evil nature. He does not kill his brother. This is the good nature. He is going to meet his brother with 400 servants. His intent seems to be evil yet he hugs his brother and invites him to travel with him. Now we know that even though we see this Gematria shows the clean good side of Eisov we realize he has a very bad side.

ב ' ח

Gematria Shemot Beshalach 4

Exodus 13.17 - 17.16

A Taste Of Torah 

Weekly Torah Gematria Video


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Exodus 15.22

וַיַּסַּע מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּם־סוּף וַיֵּצְאוּ אֶל־מִדְבַּר־שׁוּר וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת־יָמִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וְלֹא־מָצְאוּ מָיִם1:1

So Moses brought everything from Aleph to Tav of Yisrael from the Sea of Reeds, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

וַיָּבֹאוּ מָרָתָה וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹּת מַיִם מִמָּרָה כִּי מָרִים הֵם עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמָהּ מָרָה1:1

Exodus 15.23

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore its name was called Marah.

They came to Marah expecting one thing but got another. The intention of B'nei Israel was to find water, what they got was bitter water.

The Gematria for Marah is 245.



מ40 ר200 ה5 = 245


Moh Hahr

Contract price, to hurry,

מ40 ה5 ר200 = 245

Hah Mayr



ה5 מ40 ר200 = 245


Hay Mar

Embitter / Permute

ה5 מ40 ר200 = 245


Haw Mayr

Alterations Rearrangements

ה5 מ40 ר200 = 245


Roo Chi Chawh

Softness / Tenderness

ר200 כ20 כ20 ה5 = 245


Bih Avram

Through With Avram

ב2 א1 ב2 ר200 ם40 = 245

Dear ones, it is so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the minute. B'nei Israel just experienced the greatest military victory of their lives. The greatest, most feared army of Egypt had just been annihilated. They watched as the waters came crashing down on horse, chariot and rider. They observed as foot soldier, sergeant and captain drowned in the Yam Suf / the Reed Sea. They saw their once feared tormenters eliminated in an instant, never to bother them again. Under such circumstances it is extremely difficult not to get caught up in the singing and rejoicing. After all, this was a very great victory. This was a powerful deliverance by The Lord.

The same can be said for tragedy. On the morning of 9-11 I was preparing to leave for work when the phone rang. The caller was our son. He stated, "Turn on your television, Avie. The World Trade Center has just been hit by a terrorist plane." I turned on the television and watched. Soon my ride to work arrived at the door. He came in. I asked if he had heard the news. He said, "What news?" I invited him to join me. We sat their stunned as the events of the day unfolded. We decided to not go to work that day. We watched for hours....

Holy reader, it is easy to get caught up in festivities and in tragedies. We must be careful. While we need to rejoice and mourn we must still remain constant in our observance of Torah study. If we allow ourselves to be drawn away or permit ourselves to be attracted to something other than what it is we should be doing, we may be endangering our own existence. This is what happened to B'nei Israel in Parshat Beshalach. This is what can and occasionally may happen to us. We must be careful.

In all the rejoicing, B'nei Israel neglected to study The Torah for three days. Their neglect immediately resulted in the evaporation of their entire water supply. B'nei Israel went for three days without water and without studying The Torah. Their rejoicing almost immediately turned into tragedy. Over three million people were in need of water. The mothers, children and fathers needed water. Millions of sheep and cattle needed water. The vast herds grew weak. Everyone was searching for water. No one could find water. Things were quickly becoming desperate.

The point is being constant in times of rejoicing and tragedy. The point is remaining constant in all types of weather. This is why our Sages instituted the reading of Torah on Shabbat, Monday and Thursday so B'nei Israel would never again go three days without Torah study. You see we became so involved in a good thing... a great deliverance... a great victory... a powerful miracle that we neglected a very important thing, our Torah study.

So even though there are times that by accident or need we are drawn away from our important responsibilities of studying Torah, during each day our sages have placed a guard... a fence... a protection in our path to protect us from the bitter waters. That guard is consistency. It is good to rise at the same time each day. It is good to study at the same time each day. It is good to pray at the same time each day. In other words, it is important to develop a life built on consistency. I refer to this as digging a rut. When a Jew has deep ruts to follow throughout life it is much easier. There is nothing wrong in hugging deep ruts. They keep us consistent. They keep up us in place, God Willing, the right place. What I am saying is that for the observant Jew there is always a place that we are supposed to be and normally that is good. The problem erupts when we get out of our rut. Emergencies, vacations, meetings all have the potential of drawing us away from where we are supposed to be and away from what we should be doing. As an author of parshat studies each week, I must carefully guard my time. Studying, preparation and writing require many hours each week. I spend hours at work each week and driving between home and work. Each day begins with prayer. The night normally concludes with supper before bedtime and prayer. The days are long. The nights are short. Every minute of the day is scheduled in some form.

Dear Reader it does not matter how high one can climb. One can fall just as far. These principles are not for you alone but for me also. They are for all of us. One of the guards or fences the Rabbis strongly encourage is living in a Jewish Community. I did not use the word Orthodox for a purpose. Live next door to Jews. Live across the street from Jews. Live down the block from Jews. I appreciate the wisdom of living in a community. Several of the great mistakes in my life have been living outside the Jewish Community. Choose a community that is large enough to allow for some privacy. Choose a community with choices of many congregations. If it is not possible to live in a community then associate closely with the community. Attend studies, events, social gatherings daily prayer and Sabbath services when possible. Remember the waters of Marah were bitter but Ha Torah is sweet.

Psalms 19.8 - 12

The Torah of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even very fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward.

If we make the right changes we can avoid a lot of bitterness.

One Sabbath, while camping near Triangle Circle, about 26 miles up in the mountains above New Castle, Colorado, several family members took a hike. It was intended to be a short hike. We could not carry. It did not turn out that way. We refers to this hike as the Nine Mile Hike. We do not know how long it actually was. However, hours later by the time we found our way back to camp we were very thirsty.

I saw this water bottle lying there. I was very thirsty. I picked it up and removed the cap. I began to drink. I rinsed my mouth. After a couple of gulps I spit the rest out. PHEW!! Have you ever opened a plastic water bottle that has been sitting in the sun for a long time? Not only is it hot but it has a horrible taste. I can only imagine what it was like for B'nei Yisroel after traveling three days without water and then to see this wonderful looking oasis with what appeared to be refreshing water. Can you imagine bending down to drink this water? Can you imagine how awful the water tasted. B'nei Yisroel could not drink the water because it was so bitter.

We allowed our good intended walk to take us away from where we need to be. We allowed our walk to place us in a difficult place.

A friend from the Jewish Community stopped by my place of employment. During our brief conversation he asked, "Akiva, what day do you have off?" I responded, "Truthfully, only Shabbat!"

Dear ones, I remember the words of a Teacher who studied with me. He said something to the effect of, 'Akiva, there is never a time for a Jew to let his hair down. We are always suppose to be aware of God's Presence.' A Jew should always be somewhere. That somewhere is planned. That somewhere is prepared. That somewhere is deliberate. Unfortunately, B'nei Israel allowed themselves to be drawn out of that consistent cycle that my teacher spoke of. We must guard our constancy. May The Lord bless us with being great rut huggers!

We must be careful to fill our cups with The Torah several times a week. We must stay true to our agreements. Our actions God Willing will keep our water delightful...


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