Results tagged “holiness” from BNTI Blog

Gematria Vayikra Emor

Leviticus 21.1 - 24.23

Weekly Torah Gematra Video

Defining Holiness - 8

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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Vayikra 22.32

וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת־שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵלאֲנִי יְהוָֹה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם:  לג  

Leviticus 22.32

You shall not profane My Holy Name but I will be sanctified among, The People of Israel.  I am The Lord Who makes you Holy.

Within our universe there seems to be a misconception of what it means to be Holy.  We must consider the questions: What is Holy?  What is Holiness?   Who defines what Holy means?  Does it matter who defines the meaning of Holiness?  

So often we look so holy with our long black coats, our black hats, our black kippot, our short hair, our payot, our long dresses, our sheitels, our outward actions, our Sabbath  attendance, our davening and many other outward appearances.  The problem with outward appearances is that too often they are sadly founded on showtime pretenses.  They are not real.  Good habits are important.  And they are healthy.  Yet, to suggest that smoking and drinking among other habits are the soil for sinners is wrong.  

So the point is real Holiness may NOT be based on the conformity of how one dresses or if one lives in a community or one's education or one's position in the community.  The Tzaddik could be the woodcutter in the wilderness who cannot bear community incongruity.  It gives us something to think about...

We need to understand what Holiness is and who defines what Holiness is.  Holiness is not up for personal interpretation.  Holiness was predefined before the Creation of man or religion.  Holiness was defined by The Lord God!

1 Samuel 2.2

There is none Holy as The Lord for there is none besides You neither is there any Rock like our God.

The Torah clearly States that The Lord Expects The People of Yisroel, / Kal Yisroel / all of Yisroel to be Holy!  Why?

Leviticus 19.2

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel, and say to them, You shall be Holy; for I the Lord your God Am Holy. 

Leviticus 20.26

 And you shall be Holy to me; for I the Lord am Holy, and have separated you from other people, that you should be mine.

Leviticus 21.8

You shall make him {the Kohen} Holy {even against his will, Rashi} {WHY?} for he offers the bread of your God; He shall be Holy unto you {WHY?} for I, The Lord, am Holy, Who Makes you Holy.

Again, the point is The Lord Expects Kal Yisroel to be Holy!  Why? The People of Israel are called by His Name... 


2 Chronicles 7.14

If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Leviticus 22.2

Speak to Aharon and to his sons and let them keep away from the Holy Offerings of The People of Israel {on the days of their impurities, Rashi} and they shall not profane My Holy Name which they sanctify for Me, I am The Lord. 

Leviticus 22.32

You shall not profane My Holy Name but I will be sanctified among, The People of Israel.  I am The Lord Who makes you Holy.

This tells us something about a Jew's responsibility.  We are NOT TO PROFANE The Lord's Holy Name!  Instead we are to SANCTIFY The Lord'S HOLY NAME!  No other people or religion are given this great and Holy responsibility!  Only The People of Yisroel are held responsible to SANCTIFY The Lord's HOLY NAME!  So how do we fulfill our important responsibility?  What is our guideline?  The Torah of The Lord is our guide.  

THE TORAH DEFINES what The Lord Deems as Holy. 

Exodus 19.6

And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the people of Israel. 

Exodus 20.8

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

Exodus 26.34

And you shall put the covering upon the Ark of the Testimony in the most Holy Place.

Holy Garments Ex. 28.2, the Holy Offering, the Holy Gifts Ex. 28.38,  the Holy Crown, Ex. 29.6, the Holy Altar Ex. 29.37, the Holy Ointment,  the Holy Anointing oil Ex. 30.25, the Holy Rim Ex. 39.30, the Holy Mishkon, the Holy Utensils Ex. 40.9, the Holy Offerings Lev. 2.3, the Holy Crown Lev. 8.9, the Holy Linen Coat Lev. 16.3, the Holy Sanctuary Lev. 16.33, the Holy Fruit Lev. 19.24,  the Holy Things Lev. 22.2, the Holy Name Lev. 22.32, the Holy Gathering Lev. 23.2 and many, many, more items and degrees of Holiness.

ONLY KAL YISROEL  ARE COMMANDED AND REQUIRED BY The Lord TO DO SO!  It is a very, very serious responsibility to be chosen for such an important task!  Not only is the responsibility very important but the Book, the Torah, which instructs us in fulfilling these responsibilities is also extremely IMPORTANT!  The Torah is our guide!  No other book has replaced our Torah!!

Our Sages Teach that every Jew is Holy. Our Holiness is Echad / One!  We we are not one individual but we are one. Kal Yisroel / All Yisroel are Echad as one. We are a kingdom of priests.  We Kal Yisroel as Echad  are a Holy Nation.  The Gematria for 'Kal Yisroel' is 591.  The Gematria for Ah Nee The Lord Mi Kah Deesh Chem {meaning 'I am The Lord Who makes you [Kal Yisroel] Holy.' is also 591.  So from this we Mystically learn that it is The Lord that chooses, requires and makes Kal Yisroel Holy, and it is Ha Torah that Teaches Kal Yisroel to differentiate between Holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean.

Vayikra 31.13

וְאַתָּה דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אַךְ אֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ כִּי אוֹת הִוא בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם לָדַעַת כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָֹה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם 1:1 

Shemot 31.13

Speak you also to the people of Israel, saying, Truly My Sabbaths you shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord that does sanctify you. 


Kal Yisroel / All of Israel

כ20 ל30   י10 ש300 ר200 א1 ל30 = 591

אֲנִי יְהוָֹה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם

Ah Nee  The Lord   Mi Kah Deesh Chem

I am The Lord which Makes You Holy

א1 נ50 י10  י10 ה5 ו6 ה5 = 87

מ40 ק100 ד4 ש300 כ20 ם40 = 504

591 = 87 + 504

Note that כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל Kal Yisroel / All of Israel is not written one time in Leviticus. However, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Bnai Yisroel, i.e. The People of Israel is recorded 49 times. Could this have anything to do with the 49 levels the People of Israel climbed out of during the 50 days from leaving Egypt to receive Ha Torah?

Still even though כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל Kal Yisroel is not written in Leviticus but וְהַשָּׂעִיר Vih Hah Saw Eer meaning And The Azazel Goat that is freed on Yom Kippur and sent into the Wilderness is written in Leviticus 16.10. The Gematria is 591. Mystically what does this say to us? Don't worry about which trib e you bloong to.  Don't worry if you or a realitive is a convert to Judasim because The Lord Has Provide a way for Kal Yisroel, Every Jew.


Vih Hah Saw Eer / And The Azazel Goat

ו6 ה5 ש300 ע70 י10 ר200 = 591

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Keter - Crown - Use Your Head ©

By Rebbetzin Revi Belk

How do we become the person we want to be?


For a person to emulate his Creator, he must possess several qualities, which characterize the way G-d Conducts the world: Tomer  Devorah Rabbi Moshe Cordovero ch.2

Tomer  Devorah is the how-to manual to recognize HaShem; His Kindness, Compassion and Love for us. It teaches how to emulate His Ways.

The attributes of the head, the mind, the soul...

Through using our spiritual body language, literally using our head to improve our behavior we are able to emulate our Creator. Take a moment to think about it. Each one of us has this ability and the opportunity to become like our Creator. It's incredible to realize that we have the potential to behave on such a high level. It takes work and training to improve our old ways, but it is possible! 

If we contemplate what Tomer  Devorah says we will realize that we can emulate the Holy Behavior of HaShem.  This provides an incentive when we feel the goal is out of reach. This is mussar character trait improvement at it's finest.

Below is what Tomer Devorah has to say about Keter (about our head).

1.We must be humble (anavah)

2.Our thoughts (chokmah)  should emulate the thought process of keter.

3.Our forehead (metzach) should display no harshness. The forehead shows expression.

4.Our ears (Ozen) should always turn to hear good while falsehood or despicable things should be denied entry.

5.Our eyes (Ayin) should not gaze at anything despicable.

6.Our nose (Chotem) we should always remember that HaShem is constantly Breathing into us a living soul.  Nary a breath of anger should ever be found in our nose.

7.Our face (Panim) should always shine, and we should receive all with a cheerful countenance.

8.Our mouth  (Peh) should express nothing but good and the content of our words should be Torah and constant good will. Tomer Devorah Rabbi Moshe Cordovero ch.2

Simchah (joy) is a bulldozer that can break through barriers, but depression can lead

to apathetic paralysis. 


The Key To Kabbalah book one Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov page 155

Let all those who put their trust in You rejoice; let them always shout for joy, because You defend them; let those who love Your Name be joyful in You.  Tehillim 5.12

Let's take a look at Sarah for a moment...

The root is Shem, Resh, Hey.  This means according to Yaacov's encounter with the Angel to strive with G-d and man and to prevailBereisheit (Genesis) 32.29Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew  Matityahy Clark page 280    Her name would suggest a person with great strength of will who struggled against societal constraints.  Both Sarah and Yaacov had difficult relationships with both G-d and man.  Sarah encountered many difficulties - she was abducted by Pharaoh.  Her husband could not protect her from that.  She struggled with Hagar and her son Yishmael.  Yet she had great joy when in her old age she had a son.

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born to him who is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear Bereisheit 17.17

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am grown old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also.  Bereisheit (Genesis) 18.12

And the L-rd Said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old:  Bereisheit (Genesis) 18.13

There is one original explanation of G-d's rebuke to Sarah. Chizkuni 18.13 G-d's Criticism of Sarah is compared to a wise woman who wishes to rebuke her daughter-in-law.  Instead, she directs her rebuke to her daughter, and the daughter-in-law can infer the indirect message.  Similarly, G-d rebuked Avraham indirectly for his laughter by criticizing Sarah's behavior, in order to spare his feelings.  This interpretation suggests that Sarah reached such great intimacy and closeness with G-d that she is comparable to the daughter, as opposed to Avraham - the more distant daughter-in-law. Tending the Garden Chana Weisberg page 29-30

What an amazing woman.  What joy she must have experienced.  Wanting for so many years to give Avraham a son, now she will.  It is never too late, we can be bountifully Blessed by HaShem G-d at any moment in our lives.

We are looking this week at Simchah  (Joy) and Humility (Anavah).

Simchah : Joy.jpg

You will show me the path of life; in your Presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore: Tehillim (Psalm) 16.11

At our core, we are all holy

If we realize this our hearts will fill with joy.

Mussar tells us that, at our core, we are all holy, and it shows us ways to change those qualities within us that obstruct the light of our holiness from shining through us.

Just like a man conducts himself down here, so too he will merit to open that trait on high, mamash (literally) - according to how he acts, will be the Divine Flow from above Tomer Devorah Rabbi Moshe Cordovero ch.1 page 44

The Sages referred to the intellect as the Yetzer Tov and the forces within a person's soul as the Yetzer Hara.  The intellect (the mind) is termed the Yetzer Tov because its modus operandi is to investigate the final result.  One's bodily forces draw the sweetness of the moment into their net, even if this entails rebelling against HaShem.  This shortsighted force is the Yetzer Hara. Ohr Yesrael Rav Yisrael Salanter page 320-321

What we are being told is what Kabbalah teaches us.  We can bring Blessings into our lives by changing our behavior.    Remember  what Neil Armstrong said.... one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.  If we work to change our soul traits we too can change the world with G-d's Help.  One small step.....Ready?

Ezekiel describes a special function that existed during the time when the Temple was still available to us - whoever entered the Temple immediately became aware of the powerful holiness of one's own soul.

Within the inner sanctum of the Temple was Ha Kadosh Ha Kadashim.  One was very aware of the Holiness within the Temple.  Because we exist in the physical world and given the fact that the Temple is no longer available for us to go to, we have lost the vision, the ability to see the holiness of our soul.  Yet there are times when we can still feel it.  We have all had such experiences.  To become more aware of our soul and the holiness that is there we must have true humility, for nothing comes to us except from the Merciful Hand of HaShem G-d.

And the man Moses was very humble, more than any other men which were upon the face of the earth: Devarim (numbers) 12.3

Humility is not self nullification and not all pride is bad.  Humility will encourage tikkum, Teshuvah.  Humility is being honest with yourself.

Humility is the root of Divine service, and a small deed of the humble man or woman is a thousand times more acceptable to the Blessed One than a great deed of a proud man or woman.    The Ways of the Tzaddikim Feldheim page57

He Guides the humble in judgment; and He teaches the humble His way.  Tehillim (Psalms) 25.9

Rabbi Akiva's who was a student of Rabbi Nahum had a favorite maxim, 

All that G-d does He Does for good.

Kol de'av Rachmnan letav avad

Humility is associated with spiritual perfection. When humility effects depression it is defective; when it is genuine it inspires joy, courage and inner dignity Abraham Isaac Kook, The Moral Principles, p. 176

Perhaps if we start our day with....

Modeh Ah Nee.jpg

I give thanks to You, King Living and Everlasting, for You have restored my soul within me, with compassion. Great is Your Faithfulness.

Remembering that each and every breath we take, each moment of the day is a gift from G-d then we will have started our day with humility and gratefulness and joy will rule our lives.

We must remember when we are down to nothing,

HaShem is up to something

Blessings and Peace

Rebbetzin Revi


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