Parshas Vayikro
Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26


By Dr. Akiva G. Belk


This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mrs. Ethel Sakash Belk, my mother, may she rest in peace.

Well it's late Wednesday evening. Our Pesach cleaning is winding down. Our kitchen is kashered for Pesach, thank G-d. We began our cleaning earlier this year than any time in the past which is so good because Naomi and I each experienced almost three weeks of illness. We are reviewing the lesson for this Shabbos and the first two days of Pesach.

A Story About JewishPath
JewishPath originally began many years ago as R.A.A.M. {Ram}, Rescue and Assistance Against Missionaries. Years later our board changed the name to JewishPath at the suggestion of several members. We began our internet operations in May of 1999. In our first year over 240,000 lessons were studied. We will soon be completing our second full year, thank G-d. As of April 1st 2001, 680,000 lessons were shared with people like yourself, Baruch Hashem! Much has happened since we entered the internet world .

We have received thousands of requests for information. Most we simply cannot respond to because our time is very limited. Every member of our staff is employed full-time, thank G-d! Originally our staff began with the intention of supporting it but you our readers have out of kindness and tender hearts also participated. We really appreciate it when one of you sponsors a month, becomes a member, or dedicates a parsha. We do not expect it but we really are grateful! We thank each of you so much!! May Hashem bless you!!

In our first year of internet publication we addressed many Christian Messianic issues. We wrote dozens of lessons explaining why Jews do not believe in Jesus and why Jews should NOT believe in any other religion than Torah Judaism. This year as well as last year at Pesach we have written several articles about the differences between Judaism and Christianity. Last year we wrote about the Chronology of Pesach comparing it to the New Testament record. This year we discuss the topics Shabbos or Sunday and The Seven Noaich Laws.

In our second year we have attempted to address other issues. The past few weeks we have discussed the ideas and concepts of the Mishkon of the soul. This year from time to time we have studied a few mini series.

In this week's parsha is the entrance to Pesach. In our regular parsha class we discussed the Covenant of Salt. This lesson 'NOT KOSHER FOR PESACH" is a spin off to that discussion, as it often happens.

A Matzah Story
This year when Naomi and I began our Pesach shopping we were shocked to discover that grocery store after grocery store stocked Matzah "NOT KOSHER FOR PASSOVER." At first we passed it off thinking they must have sold out of Pesach Matzah. Normally we purchase Shmuera Matzah or participate in a Matzah bake at one of the local congregations. This year neither was possible yet we needed Pesach Matzah! After visiting and calling many stores we were preparing to have some shipped overnight to us . It was then that we obtained Pesach Matzah! That is what led to this discussion.

Holy reader, there is a very serious difference between Matzah and Pesach Matzah. Pesach is a time like no other time of the year. We are stricter at Pesach because Jews are commanded by G-d to remove the chometz from their lives for eight days... This is laborious. Pots and pans that we use all year CANNOT BE USED AT PESACH! They are NOT Kosher for Pesach! Why? We have cooked, baked and barbecued chometz in them all year. Chometz is leaven... yeast products or products that could rise even a little.

Before Pesach arrives we must clean our houses, autos and clothes removing all chometz. This is a very involved task when one begins to consider all the items that may have even a trace of the five grains {wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats.} Then each item we purchase must be properly prepared in a kitchen / factory which is Pesadic. That means they use utensils that are kosher for Pesach. That means they use only Pesach approved products. This can be very confusing because matzah we purchase throughout the year may not be KOSHER FOR PESACH. This brings us to a two letter word Loh meaning "no or Not". Loh is the word that stands between what is Kosher for Pesach and what is not Kosher for Pesach! Loh is spelled Lamid Aleph.

Loh {no}
31 = Aleph = 1 Lamid = 30

There is another famous word with the same letters: El meaning G-d! The only difference is the letters are reversed. The Aleph is first and the Lamid is second.

El {G-d}
31 = Lamid = 30 Aleph = 1

This is significant because the essence of the words Loh and El are the exact same yet their meaning is greatly different. This accentuates the confusion surrounding items that are kosher throughout the year but not kosher for Pesach. G-d {El} says certain items are not {loh} kosher yet man has difficulty understanding this. Man has difficulty accepting this. Why? Because these same items are kosher the rest of the year...

Unfortunately that results in grocery store after grocery store stocked with items NOT KOSHER FOR PESACH! If Jews have difficulty understanding and accepting this how do you think a non Jewish merchant will respond? How can all these items that are kosher throughout the year not be kosher at Passover?

Holy reader, even though these situations are true that does NOT {Loh} alter G-d's {El}command regarding Pesach. It is our responsibility to learn what is kosher for Pesach and what is NOT KOSHER FOR PESACH! I cannot describe the feeling I am left with when observing store after store in and near Jewish communities stocking Matzah "NOT KOSHER FOR PESACH"! The implication is clear! Who cares? Who cares enough to explain there is a difference? Who understands the difference?

The difference is Loh is opposite of El... The letters of Loh are the reverse of what G-d {El} desires. It is our obligation to change this.

I would also like to add that it is most unfortunate when kosher stores are insensitive to the needs of the community. In most communities the average person leaves work several hours before Shabbos. I worked as a mashgiach at a kosher deli 36 miles from our home through some of Boulder's and Denver's worst traffic. Yet the Rav felt that I should leave work three hours prior to Shabbos. So the point is, in a community where a kosher grocery closes 5-1/2 - 6 hours before Shabbos, it is ludicrous! THAT IS NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS, THAT IS ABSURDITY AND IT DOES NOT SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY.

When a kosher deli charges $45 for a 5 lb. block of cheese, that is nothing more than highway robbery. Especially when non kosher cheese is considerably less. In these situations, unfortunately for some blind, misguided reason the Lamed is placed in front of the Aleph. As in NOT KOSHER. And not kosher for Pesach.

Best Wishes!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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