Results tagged “abraham” from BNTI Blog

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


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Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk



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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 ' ח

Parshat Bereisheit Lech Lecha

Genesis 12.1 - 17.27


Gematria In Genesis - Link


The Altar


Lesson 3 Link


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


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Bereisheit Lech Lecha

Genesis 12.1 - 17.27


Gematria In Genesis -  Meez Bay Ach  /  The Altar


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk


Genesis 12.7

וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָֹה


Dear Friends, Perhaps the greatest association in Abraham's life was The Altar to The Lord. We are going to consider Mysticism of several Scriptures in This Parshat.


Genesis 12.7

And The Lord Spiritually Appeared to Abram, and said, 'To your seed will I give this land; and there [Abram] וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָֹה built an altar to The Lord, who appeared to him.


Genesis 12.8

And he moved from there to a mountain in the east of Beth-El, and pitched his tent, having Beth-El on the west, and Hai on the east; and there [Abram]  וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה built an altar to The Lord, וַיִּקְרָא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָֹה and called in The Name Lord.


Genesis 13.3 - 4

And he went on his journeys from the Negev to Beth-El, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-El and Hai; אֶל־מְקוֹם הַמִּזְבֵּחַ To the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first;

וַיִּקְרָא שָׁם אַבְרָם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָֹה and there Abram called in The Name Lord.


Genesis 13.8

Then Abram removed his tent, and came and lived in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָֹה built there an altar to The Lord.

There are several Word we want to consider. Please notice the individual Letters in the screened row. They are the true first Letter of Each Word. Mystically the First Letters combine to spell בָּשֹמִי Baw Sa Mee meaning fragrance. So when Abram built an Altar to The Lord, Mystically it was for the purpose of honoring The Lord with a Pleasing aroma a special fragrance that would rise into The Heavens. Noah did this in Genesis 8.21. The Gematria for  בָּשֹמִי Baw Sa Mee is 352. The Gematria for קָרְבָּן Qaw Rih Bawn / Karbon / meaning Offering is also 352. We are beginning to see the Spiritual Revelation of 'Abraham Built an Altar to The Lord.'


Gematria In Genesis -The Altar.jpg

בָּשֹמִי

Baw Sa Mee / Fragrance

ב2 ש300 מ40 י10  =352


קָרְבָּן

Qaw Rih Bawn / Karbon / Offering

ק100 ר200 ב2  ן50  =  352


Mystically we Observe that when Abram  וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָֹה built there an altar to The Lord it was for the purpose of offering a קָרְבָּן An offering a sacrifice. The sacrifice Offering pleased The Lord. In Genesis 13.3 - 4 we read, אֶל־מְקוֹם הַמִּזְבֵּחַ To the place of the altar.  Notice the Words מְקוֹם הַמִּזְבֵּחַ Mih Qohm - Hah Mee Zih Bah Ach meaning 'place of the Altar'. The Gematria is 248. Is this interesting? In Genesis 17, The Lord Changes his name from Abram to Abraham. The Gemmatria of Abraham is 248. Mystically this is like The Lord is Saying to Abram because you build Altars to Me and because you come to the Place of the Altar to call in My Name I am going to change your name from Abram [Gematria 243] to Abraham [Gematria 248]. You build the Altar to Me. You offer a Karbon. The fragrance rises into The Heavens.


מְקוֹם הַמִּזְבֵּחַ

Ha Mee Zih Bay Ach - Mih Qohm

The Place of The Altar

מ40  ק100 ו6  ם40       ה5 מ40 ז7  ב2  ח8  = 248


Genesis 17.5

Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be אַבְרָהָם Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. 


אַבְרָהָם

Abraham

א1 ב2 ר200 ה5 ם40 = 248


אֶל־אַבְרָהָם

To Abraham

א1  ל30       א1  ב2  ר200 ה5  ם40  = 279


אֶל־מְקוֹם הַמִּזְבֵּחַ

To The Place of The Altar

א1 ל30     מ40  ק100  ו6  ם40     ה5 מ40  ז7  ב2  ח8  = 279


Mystically it's like The Lord God Changed Abraham's name to 'The Place of The Altar.


In Genesis 13.4 וַיִּקְרָא שָׁם אַבְרָם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָֹה and there Abram called in The Name Lord. I did not write 'In The Name of The Lord because The Text does not say this. Translators add this to The Scripture. It is important to note this. Abram called in The Name Lord. We do not know how to do this!! Abraham did NOT necessarily Say The Holy Name 'Lord'. He called in The Name Lord. His Intent was in the Name Lord. What he was saying was communicated in The Name Lord. Abraham was a Mystic. Abraham had a unique relationship with The Lord. We know that the only place where Abraham called in The Name Lord was 'There' at the altar. At this time, we are not going to discuss the method by which Abraham called in The Name Lord. 



Bereisheit Limood 24 / 25

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ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood

Genesis Twenty-four and A Half

Bereisheit Limood Video

Keturah's Faithfulness - 24 / 5


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Genesis Twenty-four and A Half


Keturah's Faithfulness


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


Genesis 25.1

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


We need to back up a little...


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


Genesis 17.21

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


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


Genesis 21.8 - 14

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


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


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


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


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


Genesis 18.19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.


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


Abraham kept the way of the Lord. 

This means Abraham guarded the Observances in The Holy Scriptures. There are 613 Observances in The Holy Scriptures. Not all apply to each of us. Abraham kept those that applied to him. He carefully followed what The Lord God Commanded. He was meticulous with the Observances that applied to him.. Abraham was just. He was honest. He judged situations fairly. He did not deviate. He stayed on the path of The Lord.  He did not wander or stray. He taught his children and those living with him to follow the Observances that applied to them. Following the Observances worked for Abraham. Following the Observances will also work for us. First we must learn what the Observances are and then which apply to us individually. 



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


We pick up the story with Genesis 22.


Genesis 22

And it happened after these events, that God Tested Abraham, and He Said to him. 'Abraham!'


and Abraham responded, 'Here I am.' 


and He Said to him, 'Take your son.'


and Abraham said I have two sons,


and God Said, 'your only son,'


and Abraham said 'Yishmael is an only son to Hagar and Isaac is an only son to Sarah.'


and God Said, 'the one whom you love.'

 

and Abraham said, 'I love Yishmael, and I love Yitzchok.'


and God Said, 'take Yitzchok and go to the land of Moriah sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will designate to you.'


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


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


Genesis 22.3 - 5

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


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


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


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


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


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

ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 24

Genesis 24.1 - 67

Bereisheit Limood Video

The Blessing Of Abraham - 24


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Genesis 24


The Blessing Of Abraham


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


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

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


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


Genesis 21.5

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


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


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


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


Abraham Was Blessed As He Departed Haran.


Abram had substance and servants.


Bereisheit 24.1

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


Genesis 24.1

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


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


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


וַיהוָֹה בֵּרַךְ  

Vah HaShem Bay Rahk

And The Lord Blessed

ו6 י10 ה5 ו6 ה5     ב2 ר200 ך20 = 254


דְּרָכֶיךָ 

Dih Raw Kheh Chaw

ד4 ר200 כ20 י10 ך20  =  254



ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 23

Genesis 23.1 - 20

Bereisheit Limood Video

Chayei Sarah's Death - 23


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Genesis 23


Chayei Sarah's Death


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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



ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 22

Genesis 22.1 - 34

Bereisheit Limood Video

The Tenth Trial Of Abraham - 22


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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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The Tenth Trial Of Abraham


Life is filled with challenges. Everybody has them. No one is exempt from challenges, or trials, or road blocks, or difficulties, or tests. Some tests are very great. Some challenges are so great it may feel like we won't survive the trial. This past year my wife, Revi [Rivkah / Rebekah ] has faced a life challenging disease, Kah Naw Nah Haw Raw. We have traveled to over 100 medical appointments. Revi has had several surgeries. There have been some very dark days. We have experienced times of depression. We have shed many tears. We have worried. We have tried to trust in The Lord God. Our faith has been challenged. We have cried out to The Lord. We have expressed our anger to The Lord. We have been upset many times. Dear Reader, when the one we love is faced with a life changing illness it is very difficult.


Revi loves to feed the birds. We have a special place on our deck set aside for bird pleasures. I say pleasures because during this very difficult time Revi would receive such pleasure from feeding the birds. Even though this tiny little woman was sick and in enormous pain she would find a way to feed the birds. On days after her surgeries when she was in the hospital we made arrangements for the birds to be cared for. When Revi was not permitted to get out of bed she would softly say to me 'Honey please don't forget to feed the birds.' I would stand in the background and watch Revi. She would stand by the flaishik sink [meat sink] and gaze out the window. She would call me to announce when a yellow finch would come for seeds. Every new bird would bring a glow on her face. Revi would talk about the Crows. Oh how she enjoyed it when they came in for a drink. They would grab a piece of bread and often dip it in the water then fly off. They would call to her, Revi! Revi! How are you?


With our Creator's help Revi improved a little here and a little there. We thank God for His many Blessings. And we look forward to better days, God Willing... Kah Naw Nah Haw Raw.

A few years back I was injured at my place of employment. The injuries were serious but we were told that they were not life threatening. Surgery was required. Hundreds of medical appointments were necessary. I received physical therapy 5 days a week. There was physical therapy for my wrist, hand and fingers at one location then there was physical therapy for my lower back and knee at another location. Then there was pool therapy at another location. There were medical appointments with wrist, hand and finger specialists. There were appointments with back and spine specialists. There were appointments with knee specialists. With this type of injury sleeping beyond several hours was very difficult so there were appointments with sleep specialists etc. There were dozens and dozens of doctor and medical appointments. There was a point where one doctor said I might be 100 percent disabled for life. During the first four months it was necessary to be driven to each appointment. It was necessary to use a walker. The medical appointments would require the entire day just about every day for a long time.. I would leave in the morning after breakfast and not return until evening. It was necessary to do in home physical therapy before leaving and after returning. My life... my recovery... my health were tied to hours and hours of physical therapy each day. For months my only job was following three to five different physical therapy plans daily. I constantly had to remind each therapist of therapy over load.


The injuries left me with disabilities. Yet, I do my best to fight through these limitations. From time to time there are flare ups resulting from these injuries which require more physical therapy. The path has not been easy. It has been challenging. Yet, through these struggles The Lord has been my guide and comfort. I am extremely thankful for all who have aided me in these times of difficulty. Kah Naw Nah Haw Raw.


Even though my path has been difficult it is nothing in comparison to what my wife, Revi has faced this past 15 months. I have seen Revi suffer in anguish and enormous pain even with powerful medication. Yet, God has been with us through everything. I think of what we have been through and am very very grateful for all that have assisted us each and every day. Thank God!


I had a wonderful neighbor, a distinguished Rabbi who used to say to me, 'Akiva, everyone has a pack'. His point was we each face trials. The rich, the wise, the poor, the foolish, the young and the seniors each face trials. I have written in this book about some of the trials Revi and I have experienced. Please don't make too much of them. They are trials. Everyone has trials. So it is not a surprise to read Abraham had a test, a trial. Abraham was a tzaddik, i.e. a righteous man. The righteous face trials differently than we do. Our goal in this discussion is to view Abraham's method of working through a trial.


Dear Reader, Abraham was a 137 years old at the time of his last trial. This is the trial we are about to discuss. Abraham was different than us. We do not read of Abraham doing the things most of us do. We do not read of Abraham ever being angry with God. We do not read of Abraham doubting God or complaining to God. In fact The Holy Scriptures only record Abraham speaking 13 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. I find this interesting. We read about the trials Abraham experienced but we don't read about Abraham being depressed or sad or frustrated like most of us would be. Abraham was different. His faith was challenged but he did not waver. Mystically we will Observe Abraham remained strong when he was being tested. We will Observe why Abraham remained strong while being tested. In The Torah we read that God completely Tested Abraham. Yet Abraham remained strong. How did Abraham do this?


We need to be aware that Abraham and Sarah were seniors. As one grows older, life events take on a different impact. Children need to be aware of how age impacts their parents. We Observe the closeness of Isaac and Ishmaael to Abraham several times in The Holy Scriptures. Ishmaael was one of the 'young men' who traveled with Isaac and Abraham to Mount Moriah. Isaac climbed the mountain with Abraham while Ishmaael waited at the foot of the mountain as instructed.


These are the thirteen times Abraham spoke.

Genesis 13.8, 14.22, 15.2, 15.3, 16.6, 17.18, 20.2, 20.11, 21.24, 22.5, 22.8, 24.2 and 24.6.


Genesis 22.1,2

And it happened after these events,(the birth of Yitzchok, the ejection of Hagar and Yishmael and the agreement between Abraham and Avimelech,) and the God Tested everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of Abraham... Examined Abraham... Tested Abraham... and He Said to him. 'Abraham!' and he responded,


'Here I am.' He Said,

'Take everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of your son, everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of your only son, everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of who you love - Yitzchok - and go get everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of to the land of Moriah [Jerusalem] Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will designate to you.'


This was Abraham's tenth test.

Dear Reader, would you like to be tested like Abraham? I doubt that any of us would. Some of us like to think we are being tested as Avraham. This is NOT SO in most instances. We are not on Avraham's level of righteousness or Observances. Yet we comfort ourselves by thinking we are being tested like Abraham... What was the key to Abraham's success when he was tried? The Holy Scriptures Tell us. So none of us should worry about being tested like Abraham. We don't need to worry about being required to take our child to Mount Moriah to offer our child as a sacrifice on the altar. Our trials are different. Still, we need to know how Abraham faced his trials and worked through them. As an individual becomes older it is important for their children to reach out to assist them.


Genesis 18.19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.


Abraham kept the way of the Lord.

This means Abraham guarded the Observances in The Holy Scriptures. There are 613 Observances in The Holy Scriptures. Not all apply to each of us. Abraham kept those that applied to him. He carefully followed what The Lord God Commanded. He was meticulous with the Observances that applied to him.. Abraham was just. He was honest. He judged situations fairly. He did not deviate. He stayed on the path of The Lord. He did not wander or stray. He taught his children and those living with him to follow the Observances that applied to them. Following the Observances worked for Abraham. Following the Observances will also work for us. First we must learn what the Observances are and then which apply to us individually.


In my Book entitled, Would You Like To Be Jewish I write, 'From the beginning of creation God Revealed to humankind 613 Observances that cover every aspect of life in this universe. The 613 Observances were given EXCLUSIVELY to the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai 2,449 years later yet, these Observances were in existence and Observed from Creation. THINK ABOUT IT! This makes sense because the first Five Books of the Bible are the Torah. The 613 Observances are contained in these Five Books. Even though the bulk of these Observances are intended only for the People of Israel, each of us are responsible to observe certain Obligations within The Torah. This is one of the areas religions omit. Religions fail to accurately identify what Obligations humankind is required to observe.' Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk Would you Like To Be Jewish? (Cedar Hill Missouri, B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC, Publisher 2013) pp 44, 45 Some Observances are just for women. Some Observances are just for men. Some are just for children. Some Observances are for the High Priest. Some are just for the Priests. Some are just for the Levites. Some are just for farmers. Some are just for husbands. Some are for plants, some for animals and some are for mother earth. Still the key is to keep The Way of The Lord with all that we have...


Bereisheit 22.1

וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְהָאֱלֹהִים נִסָּה אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי: ב


Genesis 22.1

And it came to pass after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham; and he said, Behold, here I am.


The Word נִסָּה Nee Sawh means to prove to try... The Word חָזַק Chaw Zahq means to be strong. Mystically we see the benefit of keeping our Observances. Keeping The Observances is also known as 'Keeping The Way of The Lord' or Derek HaShem, i.e. The Way of The Lord or The Path of The Lord. The point is that when one follows the Observances of Ha Torah, the Holy Scriptures they are keeping the way of The Lord. This is what Abraham did. Abraham was strong because he kept the Way of The Lord. We can be strong if we keep The Way of The Lord. Moses wrote:


Exodus 15.2

The Lord is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt Him.


Keeping The Way of The Lord is how one remains strong when tested. Mystically we see this in the Gematria 115. The Observances of Our Creator proved Abraham's strength in His Word. Abraham was obedient to The Word of The Lord..


נִסָּה

Nee Sawh means to prove to try

נ50 ס60 ה5 = 115


חָזַק

Chaw Zahq means to be strong.

ח8 ז7 ק100 = 115


I write about Avraham's experience in my book entitled, Passover, The Last Six Days of Jesus Life On Earth.


And it happened after these events, that God Tested Abraham and He Said to him. 'Abraham!'


and Abraham responded, 'Here I am.'


and He Said to him, 'Take your son.'


and Abraham said I have two sons,'


and God Said, 'your only son',


and Abraham said 'Yishmael is an only son to Hagar and Isaac is an only son to Sarah'


and God Said, 'the one whom you love'

and Abraham said, 'I love Yishmael and I love Yitzchok.'


and God Said, 'take Yitzchok and go to the land of Moriah sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will designate to you.'

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?

רָאִיתָ

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!


Torah

תוֹרָה

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

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 18

Genesis 18.1 - 33

Bereisheit Limood Video

Children


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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While reading Genesis 18 one Word really caught my attention this time through on our learning expedition. Please notice the seventh Word of Genesis 18.19.


Bereisheit 18.19

כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת־בָּנָיו

וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה

לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט לְמַעַן הָבִיא

יְהוָֹה עַל־אַבְרָהָם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר עָלָיו1:1


Genesis 18.19 '

For I know him, that he will command everything from Aleph to Tav of 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.


Why did the Word בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv, meaning children catch my attention? First it is because at that time in history Avraham's ONLY child was Yishmael. Yet Ha Torah Records The Lord as Using the Word, בָּנָיו Baw Nawv, 'children.' Baw Nawv occurs five times before Genesis 18.19. Baw Nawv occurs in Genesis 7.7, 13; 8.18; 9.1 and 9.8. Each occurrence means children. The Word Baw Nawv is common. Baw Nawv occurs in 230 Passukim / Verses of Ha Tenach. The first Letter of Baw Nawv is ב / Bet, meaning house. Bet is the second Letter of the Aleph Bet [Hebrew Alpha Bet]. The Letter Bet Represents בית Bah Yeet, meaning House; בראשית / Bereisheit / means in the beginning. ברוך / Baw Rook, means blessings. ברא Baw Raw means to create. בן / Ben means Son and בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv, means children. This is just a very small sampling of what the Letter ב Bet Represents. Mystically we observe the connection to parenting and children. We observe that a good parent tries to build a house from the beginning creating the correct atmosphere for blessings of their children.


Why did The Lord Use the Word בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv? Well.,we cannot second guess the Creator. However we do know that בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv can represent children and grandchildren. בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv can also represent sons. We know that Avraham had eight sons, Yishmael, Yitzchok, Zimran, Yokshon, Medan, Midian, Yishbok and Shuach. Only Yitzchok was the son of the Covenant בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv represents Yitzchok and his children and grandchildren etc. and בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv represents all eight of Avraham's sons. It should not be difficult for us to understand Ha Torah's Intention in the use of the Word בָּנָיו / Baw Nawv. It is clear that The Lord Made direct reference to both Yishmael and Yitzchok and indirect references to the other sons of Avraham. Ha Torah Takes us further than this. Ha Torah Says, אֶת־בָּנָיו / Eht Baw Nawv, meaning everything from Aleph to Tav of Avraham's children and grandchildren. The Word Eht makes this all inclusive. The meaning is all Avraham's sons and their children and their grand children. Baw Nawv is the Gematria 68. Eht - Baw Nawv is the Gematria 469. Yih Tzah Veh - Eht - Baw Nawv is the Gematria of 580. Each Gematria has important associations as all Gematria does.


Now we observe the phrase יְצַוֶּה אֶת־בָּנָיו / Yih Tzah Veh - Eht - Baw Nawv, meaning [Avraham] commanded his children. This phrase brings everything back into focus. The Word, יְצַוֶּה Yih Tzah Veh, meaning he [Avraham] commanded expresses much. We have already discussed this. What did Avraham command his children? Remember back in Genesis 13 entitled Traveling Towards the Altar. There we set the foundation for this discussion. Avraham was a Teacher. Avraham taught his family to observe. In a few chapters we are going to learn how Avraham dealt with children who were rebellious.


Bereisheit 18.19

כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת־בָּנָיו

וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה

לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט לְמַעַן הָבִיא

יְהוָֹה עַל־אַבְרָהָם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר עָלָיו1:1

'

For I know him, that he will command everything from Aleph to Tav of 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.


For every individual who is not of the bloodline of Avraham these three Words are real important. Remember back in Genesis 13 where we expanded upon the 318 servants that were born in Avraham's household? These were Noachides. They were NOT Jewish. Yet they follow observances like Avraham did.


וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו / Vih Eht - Bay Toh - Ah Chah Rawv, meaning, and everything from Aleph to Tav of the household of [Avraham]. Why is this so important? It is real important because these three Words include people from all walks of life and of all descents. Ha Torah Recorded that Avraham commanded his household after him.


Bereisheit 18.19

כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת־בָּנָיו

וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה

לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט לְמַעַן הָבִיא

יְהוָֹה עַל־אַבְרָהָם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר עָלָיו1:1

Genesis 18.19 '

For I know him, that he will command everything from Aleph to Tav of 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.


Avraham commanded his children and his household after him, וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה / Vih Shaw Mih Roo, meaning to guard... to keep; דֶּרֶךְ / Deh Rehk, meaning the path... the way... יְהֹוָה / The Lord, meaning of The Lord. How were they to guard the path of The Lord? Remember back a few pages when we discussed Avraham as having 8 sons? Again, there is Yishmael, Yitzchok, Zimran, Yokshon, Medan, Midian, Yishbok and Shuach. Only Yitzchok was the son of the Covenant. There is a point to this. The point is None of Avraham Sons were Jewish. Yet we know that Avraham taught those 318 trained in his own house, Ha Torah. Avraham taught his 8 sons and his two grandsons Ha Torah. He taught them the Way of the Lord. The Sages may differ as to whether Avraham received all 613 Mitzvot of Ha Torah or just the Seven Laws. Yet this Passuk lays a firm foundation for ALL to learn Ha Torah just as Avraham taught others!


Bereisheit 18.19

כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת־בָּנָיו

וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה

לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט לְמַעַן הָבִיא

יְהוָֹה עַל־אַבְרָהָם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר עָלָיו1:1


Genesis 18.19 '

For I know him, that he will command everything from Aleph to Tav of his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do kindness and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.


לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט meaning to do justice and judgment; לַעֲשׂוֹת / Lah Ah Soht, meaning to do the work of צְדָקָה / Tzih Daw Kawh Tzedakah meaning charity and וּמִשְׁפָּט / Oov Mee Shi Pawt, meaning Justice. So He, Avraham, Commanded his children and his household after him that they guard the path of The Lord by doing the work of Tzedakah / Kindness and Charity and Justice... Avraham taught Noachides Ha Torah! Did Avraham Teach Noachides the entire Torah? I don't know! Yet, we know Avraham taught Torah!


What is the meaning here? There are children of the bloodline of Avraham who do not 'guard the path of The Lord by doing the work of Tzedakah [Kindness and Charity] and Justice...' and there are disciples of Avraham who do 'guard the path of The Lord by doing the work of Tzedakah [Kindness and Charity] and Justice...' One is born of the bloodline of Avraham the other is born of the Spirituality of Avraham. Both are very important!!


The point is that Avraham was known for doing Kindness, Charity and Justice. Our Sages Teach that Yitzchok looked exactly like Avraham. People could not tell them apart from their looks or from their actions of Kindness, Charity and Justice. Yishmael was unruly. Yishmael was a thief. Yishmael was hated by those around him. See Genesis 16.12. Yishmael may have been from Avraham's bloodline but he did not do the actions of Kindness, Charity and Justice at first. On the other hand Eisov did the Commands at first then rebelled. Remember He [Avraham] commanded his children. As parents and grandparents we know that all of our children may not follow our instructions. It is our responsibility to command, i.e. teach them in the path of The Lord. It is their individual responsibility to Observe these Commands. At first Yishmael did not Observe these commands. Eisov did not Observe these commands after the age of 15. We can only Teach the path of The Lord. We cannot force our children to follow the Path of The Lord. So while they are all our children there is a difference!


Gematria Miluy

בָּנָיו

Baw Nawv, Children

בָּנָיו

בית = 412

בָּנָיו

נ50 ו6 ן50 = 106

בָּנָיו

י10 ו6 ד4 = 20

בָּנָיו

ו6 ו6 = 12


550 = 412+ 106 + 20 + 12


Gematria Regal

שֹׁמְרֵי

Sh Mih Ray

the Guardians

ש300 מ40 ר200 י10 = 550


The fullness of children is the Gematria Miluy 550. The Gematria Regal of שֹׁמְרֵי Sh Mih Ray, meaning the Guardians completes this Passuk. Even though the Word used is מִשְׁפָּט Meesh Pawt meaning Justice or Judgment it is the guardians that preform this Observance. He, Avraham commanded his children and his household after him that they guard the path of The Lord by doing the work of Tzedakah [Kindness and Charity] and Justice in order to bring upon Avraham everything from Aleph to Tav of that which The Lord Had [Spoken] upon him.

In other words Avraham's children are commanded to guard how they live in order to preserve the promises of The Lord Given to Avraham. Avraham's children are commanded to be guardians or to be just like Avraham. This tells us that Avraham was a proper example for his children. Our goal is to raise guardians of Ha Torah.


When a parent is not a proper example for their children what do they do? One begins from where they are. Try to begin repairing poor behavior. Try building on good traits.



A good parent builds a house from the beginning creating the correct atmosphere for blessings in their children. 

ב ' ח

Bereisheit Limood Chapter 17

Genesis 17.1 - 27

Bereisheit Limood Video

The Perfection Of Abraham


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Course Text Begins Here:

When does Avram's name change?

Avram is ninety-six years old and his name is still Avram. In Passuk Hey / Verse 5 Avram's name is changed to Avraham.


Bereisheit 17.1

וַיְהִי אַבְרָם בֶּן־תִּשְׁעִים שָׁנָה וְתֵשַׁע שָׁנִים וַיֵּרָא יְהֹוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֲנִי־אֵל שַׁדַּי הִתְהַלֵּךְ לְפָנַי וֶהְיֵה תָמִים1:1


Genesis 17.1

And when Abram was ninety nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be perfect.


When we write about the perfection of Avram aren't we really writing about the perfection of each of us? Aren't we really writing about each of us walking before our Creator as The Lord God Instructed Avraham to do? So when I ask questions about what the Lord Meant isn't that directed to a personal level for each of us?


What did The Lord Mean when He Said to Avram, 'Walk before Me and be Perfect' ? Notice the last Word of the Passuk.


תָמִים Taw Meem means honest, innocent, harmless, upright, naive, whole, full, complete, entire, flawless and unblemished...


The Word Taw Meem occurs 54 times in Ha Tenach. The first occurrence is Genesis 6.9 when Ha Torah States 'Noach was flawless in his generation.' The second occurrence of Taw Meem is here in Genesis 17.2. The Gematria of Taw Meem is 490.


In Genesis 15.2 Avram was 70 years old. Ha Torah Records Avram's statement, It is interesting that the tenth Word is עֲרִירִי Ah Ree Ree, meaning childless. The Gematria of עֲרִירִי Ah Ree Ree meaning: childless is 490.


Bereisheit 15.2

וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֲדֹנָי יֱהוִֹה מַה־תִּתֶּן־לִי וְאָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ עֲרִירִי וּבֶן־מֶשֶׁק בֵּיתִי הוּא דַּמֶּשֶׂק אֱלִיעֶזֶר1:1


Genesis 15.2

And Abram said, Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?


Avram's contention in Genesis 15.2 was 'Lord You have not given me children.' In last chapter's discussion of Genesis 16, Sarai, Avram's wife, had a similar contention. Sarai Said, 'The Lord has restrained me [Sarai] from having children.' Chronologically Genesis 16 is 15 years past Genesis 15.2.


In Genesis 16 Sarai gave Avram her handmaiden, Hagar. Avram was 85 years old at the time. A year later when Avram was 86 years old Yishmael is born. Something changes. Avram is no longer childless. Yet, Sarai remains childless.


תָמִים

Taw Meem / Perfect

ת400 מ40 י10 ם40 = 490


עֲרִירִי

Ah Ree Ree / Childless

ע70 ר200 י10 ר200 י10 = 490


What is the connection between these two Gematrias? What does not having children and walking perfect before The Lord possibly indicate? What did Avram lack? What do we lack? Do children bring about perfection? Do children bring about trials which may lead to perfection? Don't parents look back as grandparents and often say something like wish I knew what I know now today about raising children? I would have done things differently... think of the Words 'Walk before Me'.  This indicates that before a husband and his wife bring children into the world they should work on them selves first so there home will be the place to raise godly children.

ב ' ח

Bereisheit Toldot - 6

Genesis 25.19-28.9

Mystical Struggles


A Taste Of Torah

Weekly Gematria Video 1 & Video 2


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Course Text Begins Here:

Our Parshat begins with Yitzchok pleading to HaShem for children. 

Genesis 25.20, 21

And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah for his wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan-Aram, the sister to Laban the Aramean.  And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.


Our Gematria Parshat begins with Isaac taking Rebekah as his wife. He was forty years old. Rebekah was three years old.  Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old in 2048 From Creation.  Rebekah was born in 2095 F. C.  This was the year of the Akidiah  when Abraham took Isaac up Mt Moriah to be offered as a sacrifice. How do we know this?


The Torah Says Abraham was 10 years older than Sarah his wife. [Abraham said, '...Shall a child be born to him who is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear? - Genesis 17.17


The Torah Says Sarah was 127 years when she died. Genesis 23.1-2.

The ages are based upon Bereisheit 23.1.  Sarah is 127, Avraham is 137 and Yitzchok is 37.  It is immediately after the Akeidah that Avraham 'was informed [by HaShem] that his son's mate had been born. This is in accordance with Genesis 22.20-24. 'And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she has also born children to your brother Nahor... and Bethuel fathered Rebekah...' Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba (New York, NY: The Soncino Press 1983) - Midrash Rabbah writes, Tamar was the daughter of Shem. p 504


It is at this chronological time Abraham is informed of the birth of Rebekah. The soul of Sarah transmigrates to Rebekah. This is how in part we know that Rebekah was 3 years old when Isaac was 40 years old. In addition Genesis 24.16 provides more information 


Bereisheit 25.22,23

וַיִּתְרֹצֲצוּ הַבָּנִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אִם־כֵּן לָמָּה זֶּה אָנֹכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ לִדְרשׁ אֶת־יְהוָֹה1:1


וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לָהּ שְׁנֵי גיים [גוֹיִם] בְּבִטְנֵךְ וּשְׁנֵי לְאֻמִּים מִמֵּעַיִךְ יִפָּרֵדוּ וּלְאֹם מִלְאֹם יֶאֱמָץ וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר1:1 

Genesis 25.22,23

And they crushed [and bruised and struggled] the sons inside her, and when this happened she questioned why is this happening to me?  And she went to inquire from Aleph to Tav about this from HaShem.  Bereisheit 25.22


And He Said HaShem to her, 'Two nations are in your womb and two peoples will separate from within you and to one people will be fullness [and great] boldness and the great will serve the junior.' Bereisheit 25.23


This historical event we are discussing was in the year 2098 F.C.


For those in the 21st century this will seem strange. It maybe strange for people in the 21st century but it was common for people living in 


Bereisheit 24.16

 וְהַנַּעֲרָ טֹבַת מַרְאֶה מְאֹד בְּתוּלָה וְאִישׁ לֹא יְדָעָהּ וַתֵּרֶד הָעַיְנָה וַתְּמַלֵּא כַדָּהּ וַתָּעַל:  יז 

Genesis 24.16

And the girl [damsel] was very pretty to look upon, a virgin, and no man had known her; [i.e. she had not practiced unnatural intimacy] and she went down to the well, and filled her vessel and came up. 


Genesis 24.16. KJV uses the word damsel.  See Strong's reference # 5291, (a girl from infancy to adolescence).   It is immediately after the Akeidah that Avraham 'was informed [by HaShem] that his son's soulmate [Rebekah] had been born. This is in accordance with Genesis 22.20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she has also born children to your brother Nahor... and Bethuel fathered Rebekah...' Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba (New York, NY: The Soncino Press 1983) - Midrash Rabbah writes, Tamar was the daughter of Shem. p 504


Yitzchok and Rivkah did not consummate their marriage until she was twelve or thirteen. This means nine years passed.  Rebekah was now 12 and Isaac was 49 years of age. It was at this time that they consummated their marriage. Then they have no children after ten years of a normal husband wife relationship. Instead of taking a second wife as his Father Avraham did Isaac prays for his wife to have children. Within the next year they had a child see Bereisheit 25.21 - 26.  Isaac was sixty years of age and Rebekah was 23 years of age.


The girl.. והנערה Vih Hah Nah Ah Raw Rivkah was only three.    See Bereisheit 24.16. Her mother and brother refer to Rivkah as לנערה Lah Hah Nah Ah Raw, the girl. See Bereisheit 24.57.  They felt she was attached to her present family.  They felt she was too young to leave home even though boys and girls then, were much different than they are today.  They were more developed.  They were more intelligent.  They worked from a very young age.  To verify this consider, Yaakov's children.  All in all five references in Ha Torah refer to Rivkah as a young girl.


Yaakov's oldest child Reuben, who was born after Yaakov had worked for Laban for seven years, kept the flock for his father, which was a three-day journey away.  Ha Torah states, He gave them [the sheep] to his sons, Bereisheit 30.35.  Ha Torah states, He [Yaakov] placed them a three days journey [away], Bereisheit 30.36.  How old were his sons when this happened?  This was after Yaakov had served Laban for 14 years.  He served seven years for Leah and seven years for Rachel, then he served six years for his cattle. {Bereisheit 31.41}  This means that Reuben was no older than six years three months old when he began keeping his father's flocks with his brothers.  Reuben was born to Yaakov after Yaakov had worked for seven years.  Yaakov then worked an additional seven years.  It was during the first year of that second seven-year period that Yaakov's first wife, Leah, gave birth.  This was the birth of Reuben.  Now all the other brothers were much younger.  The second son, Shimon, was around five.  Levi, the third son, was around four.   Judah was close to three.  It was at this point that Rachel gave Bilhah to Yaakov.  So, dear reader, we see that Ha Torah establishes the age of children who worked a full day, and who were responsible to be much younger than children today.


Now this proves that the age of Rivkah, three,  when she married Yitzchok was not out of the question.  It is well within the realm of possibility!!  Yet this is why they sent Devorah, Rivkah's nurse, along with her.


Interesting letters are added to several of the words in the first Passuk / Verse.  This is not by mistake.  I have noted the letters.  The Yud represents the intensity of the struggle between Esau and Yaakov.  The Tav in Vah Yeet Roh Tzah Tzoo represents that this fighting in the womb of Rivkah was a sign.  The Tav in Vah Toh Mehr represents another sign.  Rivkah spoke out loud to her sons.  Why are you fighting?  Like a mother would say to her children, Why are you fighting / hurting your brother?  Yet this was very puzzling to Rivkah.

 

Our sages state that when Rivkah would pass by the doorways of Torah study at the school of Shem and Evier, Yaakov would rush to come out, and when Rivkah would pass by houses of idol worship Esau would rush to come out. Can you imagine how Rivkah must have felt?


Let's examine this a little closer. Notice the phrase, שני גוים בבפנך Shih Nay - Goh Yeem - Bih Veet Naych {Two nations are in your womb} Within these three words there are two unique acrostics. An acrostic is the composition in which certain letters in a line form a word or words. In the first acrostic notice the first Letter, i.e. on the right.  In the second acrostic notice the last Letter on the left.


The first acrostic is from the first letter of each of the three words below from the phrase Shih Nay - Goh Yeem - Bih Veet Naych. This is noted in the first example. The second acrostic is taken from the last letter of the last two words of the same phrase. The second acrostic follows the first as Yaakov followed Esau in birth. This acrostic is taken from the last letter of the last two words of the same phrase. I noted this by making these letters darker.  Esau was the first born.  The first acrostic refers to him. 


 שני   גוים   בבטנך = שגב

Saw Gahv {to be high, mighty, strong, extolled, sublime}.


ש300 ג3 ב2 = 305


 שני   גוים   בבפנך


[Final Mem]       מ = ם  [Normal Mem]

 מך

Mawch {poor, humble}


מ40 ך20 = 60


The second acrostic describes Yaakov the second born son, the son who fled from his brother.  Yaakov was the son who for twenty years was the poor son.  From a lesson in a course {Torah 203} at B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC entitled Yaakov's Staff we take the following quote which discusses Yaakov's poverty: 'Our sages teach that when Yaakov fled his father Yitzchok's home, Elifaz, the son of Esau, went after him {Yaakov} and overtook him. Elifaz was ordered by his evil father Esau to murder his Uncle Yaakov. Yet Elifaz was raised by his grandfather Yitzchok. Elifaz did not want to disobey his father's order to kill his Uncle Yaakov, even though he realized it was an evil order. Elifaz recognized this responsibility to his father, yet he also recognized his responsibility to do righteousness... When he overtook his Uncle Yaakov he explained his predicament. His Uncle Yaakov helped him sort things out.


...Yaakov's counsel to his nephew was to take everything that he [Yaakov] had with him because a poor man is considered dead. So Elifaz heeded his Uncle Yaakov's counsel and took everything but Yaakov's clothes and staff.


So from the same three word phrase Shih Nay - Goh Yeem - Bih Veet Naych {Two nations are in your womb} we have the acrostic of Saw Gahv {to be high, mighty, strong, extolled, sublime} representing Esau and the acrostic of Mawch {poor, humble} representing Yaakov. The Gematria of שגב Saw Gahv is 305.  The Gematria of מך Mawch is 60.  


The Gematria 305 through Mysticism describes the actions and intent of Esau in the word להרע Lih Haw Rah {to hurt, harm; to do evil} which is what Ha Torah states Esau intended to do to his brother Yaakov. Esau said in his heart, 'The days of mourning for my father are approaching. I will then kill everything from Aleph to Tav of my brother, Yaakov,'  Bereisheit 27.41.  Esau's evil intention was to make it seem as if Yaakov had never been born or existed.


להרע Lih Haw Rah {to hurt, harm; to do evil} 

ל30 ה5 ר200ע70 = 305


הלכה Ha Law Chawh {law, rule, tradition}

ה5 ל30 כ20 ה5 = 60


In the Gematria 60 we see reverence for God and reverence for His Commands in Ha Torah in the word הלכה Hah Law Chawh {law, rule, tradition}. It was Yaakov who loved to study Hah Law Chawh, according to our sages. Yaakov who loved to dwell in tents of learning. Yaakov learned with Shem, the righteous son of Noach, and with Eiver, the righteous great grandson of Shem.


So among these two nations we see Esau, the high, mighty and strong one, subdued by Yaakov, the younger, the humble student of Ha Torah! 

Who is My Soul Mate? 5

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ב ' ח


Bereisheit Chayei Sarah

Genesis 23.1 - 25.18

Who Is My Soul Mate? 5


A Taste Of Torah

Weekly VIDEO Gematria Parshat


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Course Study Begins Here:


Bereisheit 25.1

וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה

וּשְׁמָהּ קְטוּרָה: ב


Genesis 25.1

And He, Avraham again took his wife and her name was Keturah.


Our Sages Teach that Avraham took Hagar whose name was changed to Keturah because here deeds were as beautiful / spiritual as קְטֹרֶת incense. Incense rises to the Heavens like one's Spirit. The root for קטר means incense, smoke and to shut one's self in, to enclose. Because of Hagar's attitude she became known as Keturah, the lady with a Spirit like incense or the lady who secluded herself to remain true to her husband. Keturah was was well thought of because she did not seek a divorce from Avraham. And Avraham did not grant Hagar a divorce. The Torah Portion of the Bible Says, וַיְשַׁלְּחֶהָ Vah Yih Shah Lih Cheh Caw, meaning 'And he sent her away.' Hagar was lost without her husband, Avraham. Ha Torah does NOT Say Avraham divorced Hagar. Sarah did not say to Avraham divorce Hagar. Sarah Said,


Genesis 21.10

[Sarah] Said to Avraham, 'Drive out this slave woman and everything from Aleph to Tav of her son for the son of this slave woman will not inherit with my son with Yitzchok.'


We have NO indication that Avraham divorced Hagar. Our Creator Said to Avraham,


Genesis 21.12

Elohim Said to Avraham, 'Do not consider this wrong in your eyes on account of the boy and your slave woman. Regarding all that Sarah tells you listen to her. For through Yitzchok will seed be considered yours.


The Gematria of וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה Vah Yee Kah Ach - Ee Shaw, meaning and he took is 430. The Gematria of נֶפֶשׁ Neh Pehsh / Nefesh meaning 'Soul' is 430. When one takes a wife Mystically we observe he is connecting with a soul. His wife is his Soulmate. How does one know He / she are soul mates? The fact is we are each from the same soul given to us by our Parents of Creation. Still the concept of one's SoulMate being the perfect one... the exact match... the correct fit... is correct. One must understand that perfection is received through marriage. Marriage is an institute where by the husband and wife help to polish the other into what our Creator Intends. The husband and wife work together to form a holy relationship to have a Holy Family with Holy children. The work together to be the single soul God Created them as.


וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה

Vah Yee Kah Ach - Ee Shaw, and he took

ו6 י10 ק100 ח8 - א1 ש300 ה5 = 430


נֶפֶשׁ

Neh Pehsh / Nefesh 'Soul'

נ50 פ80 ש300 = 430


Remember: THERE IS A CHOICE! A man or woman's intent is VERY IMPORTANT. The purpose of taking each other is NOT for just physical sexual pleasure. The Marriage relationship is intended by our Creator to be one of Holiness. Our Creator Blessed the marriage relationship. He did NOT Bless the one night sexual fling!!


Sarah was noted as Avram's Wife. This is an elevated place. Bereisheit 16.2

וַתִּקַּח שָׂרַי ׀ אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם אֶת־הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית שִׁפְחָתָהּ מִקֵּץ עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים לְשֶׁבֶת אַבְרָם בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַתִּתֵּן אֹתָהּ לְאַבְרָם אִישָׁהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה: ד


Ha Torah Says, 'And Sarai, Avram's wife took... Why does Ha Torah inform us Sarai was Avram's wife? We already know this. Why not say Sarah took. Why was it necessary to point out Sarah was Avram's wife again? Ha Torah Informs us that Sarai took Hagar to be Avram's wife in Genesis 16.3.


אֵשֶׁת

[Avram's] Wife / His Wife

א1 ש300 ת400 = 701


שְׂאֵת

To Elevate... To Rise...

ש300 א1 ת400 = 701


For a Husband and Wife to reach the lofty Mystical place of being a SoulMate requires elevating the relationship. It requires raising the relationship. Being a 'SoulMate' is not physical. Being a 'SoulMate' is Spiritual!


We continue with several additional points of importance.


What did Avraham do?

וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם ׀ בַּבֹּקֶר He got up early in the morning. Whenever we see Avraham facing a great difficulty we observe these three Words, וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם ׀ בַּבֹּקֶר See Genesis 19.27; 21.14 and 22.3. The first Letter of each Word combined spells שֹׁאֵב Shoh Ayv, meaning to draw as in to draw strength or as in to draw water (Devarim 29.10) which Mystically means to draw strength from Ha Torah. Sending Yishmael and Hagar away was troubling for Avraham but he did it first thing in the morning. Watching Sedom burn was troubling for Avraham. He arose early in the morning with the hopes there were ten righteous in Sedom. Avraham counted, Lot, Lot's wife, Lot's two married daughters and their husbands, Lot's two daughters who were yet to consummate their marriage and their husbands, a total of 10. When Avraham saw the smoke from the fire it was troubling to him. He felt great anxiety. Avraham arose early to travel to the place where he would offer Yitzchok as an offering. Why? This was deeply troubling to him. וּבְצָרָה Voo Vih Tzraw Rawh, meaning 'And with trouble.' From this we learn that Avraham faced his troubles in the morning. Avraham would draw from the Wells of Torah for Strength. The morning was Avraham's time for prayer. Avraham would seek הָרַחֲמִים Haw Rah Chah Meem, meaning the Mercy [of The Lord]. The Gematria of שֹׁאֵב Shoh Ayv, meaning to draw {from the waters of Ha Torah] is 303. The Gematria of וּבְצָרָה Voo Vih Tzraw Rawh, meaning 'And with trouble.' is 303. The Gematria of הָרַחֲמִים Haw Rah Chah Meem, meaning the Mercy [of The Lord] is 303.


שֹׁאֵב

Shoh to draw {from the waters of Ha Torah]

ש300 א1 ב2 = 303


וּבְצָרָה

Voo Vih Tzraw Rawh, 'And with trouble.'

ו6 ב2 צ90 ר200 ה5 = 303


הָרַחֲמִים

Haw Rah Chah Meem, the Mercy [of The Lord]

ה5 ר200 ח8 מ40 י10 ם40 = 303


We have discussed how Avraham faced issues that deeply troubled him. Now lets return to considering what a SoulMate is. We have established that The Torah Portion of the Bible does not Say Avraham divorced Hagar. This means they remained married. They remained separated for 38 years. How do we know this? Yitzchok was weaned when Yishmael mocked him, Genesis 21.8 - 14. Our Sages Teach this was after 24 months which is the customary time for a child to suckle, Gittin 75b; Kesuvot 60b. Yitzchok was 40 years of age when he married Rivkah, Genesis 25.20. It was immediately after this Avraham again took his wife Hagar whose name became Keturah.


Bereisheit 25.1

וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה

וּשְׁמָהּ קְטוּרָה: ב


Genesis 25.1

And He, Avraham again took his wife and her name was Keturah.


I understand אִשְׁתּוֹ is the Word for 'His Wife. Because אִשָּׁה is used the translation would normally would be 'Wife' or 'A Wife'. However Keturah was already Avraham's wife. Therefore this usage means something entirely different than what meets the eye. When Avraham married Hagar she was Sarah's Servant. Notice the Wording carefully!!


Bereisheit 16.2

וַתִּקַּח שָׂרַי ׀ אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם אֶת־הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית שִׁפְחָתָהּ מִקֵּץ עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים לְשֶׁבֶת אַבְרָם בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַתִּתֵּן אֹתָהּ לְאַבְרָם אִישָׁהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה: ד

Ha Torah Says, 'And Sarai, Avram's wife took... Why does Ha Torah inform us Sarai was Avram's wife? We already know this. Why not say Sarah took. Why was it necessary to point out Sarah was Avram's wife again? Ha Torah Informs us that Sarai took Hagar to be Avram's wife in Genesis 16.3. In Genesis 25.1 Ha Torah Informs us that Avraham took again. Does this mean He took Sarah and now he was taking a wife again? Or does this mean Avram had already taken Hagar and was taking her back again? The Answer has to do with שָׂרַי ׀ אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם Sarai was the wife of Avram. Hagar was a wife to Avram but not אֵשֶׁת 'his wife' because she belonged to Sarai. This changed when Avram sent Hagar out from his home. Hagar was free. She was no longer Avram's responsibility to care for as a slave. As a result he only gave her bread and water, i.e. Mystically Ha Torah to live on.


Exodus 21.7 -

And if a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she pleases not her master, who has designated her for himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her to a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her. And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. If he takes for himself another wife; her food, her garment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he does not do these three things to her, then shall she go out free without payment of money.


Thirty eight years pass. Sarah dies. Yitzchok marryies Rivkah. At this point Avraham again takes Hagar. We know it is Hagar because of several Words that are used.

First is וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם and again Avraham took a wife...

Second is וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה 'And he took a wife.' Ha Torah Uses this language to point out this was Hagar, a wife. In Ha Torah 'A Wife' who is owned as a servant is not like a wife that is free. Hagar was NOT אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם a wife of Avram. Hagar was Sarai's bond maiden. Hagar was a servant wife. She was owned by Sarai. So Sarai gave Hagar to her husband Avram to be a wife not to be אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם a wife of Avram. So when we see Ha Torah Say וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה 'And He, Avraham again took his wife...' We understand this is in reference to Hagar, 'a wife.' Our Sages point out that Hagar's / Keturah's status is still that of a concubine, i.e. a wife who status is lower than אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם 'His Wife', Genesis 25.6. Rabbi Avrohom Davis, The Mesudah Chumash A New Linear Translation Bereishis (Hoboken New Jersey, KTVA Publishing House, Inc., 1991) p 267



The Torah portion of the Bible Teaches a man may have more than one wife at the same time. While a Wife may only have one Husband. Why? Does this seem equal? Is this fair? This is not an issue of fairness or equality. It is an issue of mixing seed which is prohibited by the Creator. Now, we are also required to abide by the laws where we reside. Laws that prohibit polygamy must be followed.


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ב ' ח


Bereisheit Vayera

Genesis 18.1 - 22.24

How The Taryag [613] Mitzvot Protect Us


A Taste Of Torah

Weekly VIDEO Gematria Parshat


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

 Order Class Textbook


Course Information

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

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



Course Text Begins Here:

We have been discussing different applications of  אֶת־הָאוֹר The Light, i.e. the Revelation of The Lord the past three lessons. 


אֶת־הָאוֹר

Eht Haw Ohr

א1 ת 400     ה5 א1 ו6 ר200 = 613


616 Mitzvot


We have examined the relationship of The Torah and the number 613. The number 613 represents the 613 observances given to all humankind originally then in 2448 F.C.  the majority of the 613 Observances were placed upon The People of Israel. Now, chronologically the discussion here in Ha Torah is taking place hundreds of years before the separating of the Mitzvot / Commandments from B'nai Noach to B'nei Yisroel.


In Genesis 1.1 - 4 we discovered that the Light, i.e. The Revelation of God's Will for us preceded the creation of the sun, moon and and stars which were Created on the Fourth Day.  We learn that the 613 Commands of Ha Torah flow out from the Words God Spoke, 'Let My Light Be Revealed.' We learn of the great importance of the 613 Commands for each of us. 


In week three we learned that the Spiritual Light, i.e. The Shekinah covered Adam and Chavah from there creation until there sin. When they sinned the Spiritual Light departed from them. They were uncovered .  They were naked. They needed a covering. The Creator Provided a skin covering for them. The serpent shed his skin. The Creator took the shed skin from the serpent along with goats hair and lamb's wool to fashion coats for our first parents. Spiritual Light is represented by the Letter א Aleph. The Letter אלף Aleph is the first Letter in Name of Godאלהים . and and the first Letter of אֶת־הָאוֹר Eht Ha Ohra. Adam and Chavah were created to live forever in Gan Eden but because of there sin they were expelled. The Orah, the Spiritual Light departed our parents. Later the עור orah / the skin of the serpent and the hair from goats and the wool from lambs would be combined to covered their bodies. Notice the עור  orah is spelled beginning with the Letter ע Ayin which has to do with vision, sight, the eyes. Chavah saw that the Tree of knowledge of good and evil was good for food... She saw the fruit was pleasant to the eyes and Chavah saw it was a tree to be desired to make one wise.   So to a degree Adam and Chavah sinned because of gazing upon Tree of knowledge of good and evil and because of their disobedience.


All humanity was weakened because of our parents failure. They did not implore the Mitzvot of Ha Torah. Unfortunately they let their guard down.  They allowed themselves to be vulnerable to the craftiness of the serpent. 


They were warned in advance about the serpent when they were placed in Gan Eden.



Bereisheit 2.15

 וַיִּקַּח יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן־עֵדֶן לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ:     טז


Genesis 2.15

And the Lord God took everything from the Aleph to the Tav of them [ha Adam], and put him into the Garden of Eden to guard it and to work it. 


Adam and Chavah had the upper hand.  They were in control. They failed to use the tools given to them by The Lord God. When we sin it is normally the same for us. We did not use all of our resources to defeat the enemy.


Bereisheit 22.1

  וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְהָאֱלֹהִים נִסָּה אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי1:1

Genesis 22.1

And it happened after the words, the oath and then God tested everything from the letter Aleph to the letter Tav of Avraham, and He said to Avraham, and he [Avraham answered], Here I am. 


The fifth, sixth and seventh words equal the Gematria 613.  והאלהים נסה את Vih Haw El-Him - Nee Saw - Eht - Avraham 'And then God tested everything from the letter Aleph to the letter Tav [of Avraham]. 


This reminds us when we are going through tests to remember to observe the 613 Commands of Ha Torah.  The Mitzvot are our protection. The Observances are our shield. It is difficult to stand when going through tests.  Sometimes it is challenging to observe the 613 Commands of Ha Torah when going through tests. One feels like they need to be protected, like they need to be shielded. Just as sheep are gathered into a corral we need to be gathered into the corral of the Great Shepherd, HaShem.  The boundaries of the fence are the 613 Commands of Ha Torah


613 Mitzvot / Commands of Ha Torah

Vih Haw El-him - Nee Saw - Eht - Avraham

 ו6 ה5 א1 ל30 ה5 י110ם40   נ50 ס60 ה5   א1 ת400  = 613


Protective Fence Pen or Corral

ג3 ד4 ר200 ו6 ת400 =613


Remember Satan's complaint to the Creator with regards to Job.  You have built a hedge... a fence around him...


Job 1.10

You have made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side. You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.


When Adam and Chavah sinned there was a breach in their hedge in their fence.  Ask this question would you rater be tested with in the protection of the fence or outside of the protective fence?


Avraham opened the door for his descendants to receive the 613 Mitzvahs of Torah.  How?  Avraham went on a discovery of God. Avraham trusted God. Avraham was obedient to God.


The Akeidah was to prove that there was strength in the agreement between God and Avraham.   It was to place the agreement between God and Avraham on trial.  Avraham was tested to see if he would obey God's Command.  We are also tested to see if we will obey God's Commands.   Now, we are not commanded to sacrifice our children as Avraham was, Thank God!   Yet we are tested.  When we are tested, our test can reach the same Spiritual places as our Father Avraham. 


Avraham faced his test relying on what God had promised him.  We share in the promises of our father Avraham.  Each generation from Avraham until now shares in the Covenant between God and the People of Israel. Our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren share in our agreement.  Yet like Avraham we must be tested to demonstrate the dedication, honor and strength of our agreement with God. 


So we are going to be tested. The question is do we want to be tested with in the protection of the fence or outside of the protective fence? Will we use the Observances of Ha Torah to help shield us in our times of being tested. Will we use all of our resources to succeed? God Willing!


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