Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26
Shabbos Zakhor {The Shabbos before Purim when
a special Torah reading replaces the Maphtir Deuteronomy 25:17-19, }
Restoring The Karbon Of Tefillah ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

It is awkward learning about the Mishkon and the karbon {sacrifice} with only remnants of our former Temple existing. One long, tall Western Wall bearing the painful scars and holding the many thousands of prayers for our future {third} Bais Ha Mikdosh is all that remains. It is to this thought that we draw our attention to the restoration of the Temple, the restoration of the Kohanim and the restoration of the karbon olam.

What can we as Jews do? How can we participate in restoring our Temple, our priests, our sacrifice offerings? There is one very important thing every Jew can do three times every day. During Parshas Vayakhel we discussed the restoration of our tefillah. We learned how our nefesh is the current Mishkon for Jewish study and prayer. Yet for some of us that doesn't seem to be enough.

The Effects Of The Doldrums
Have you experienced the doldrums, the 'nothing feels good' feeling, the 'I'm motivated to do nothing but think about doing something' feeling? Well, as a child growing up on Denver's old east side {Capitol Hill}, I would occasionally experience the doldrums. In our community there was a group of boys that hung out together. We weren't a gang. We played baseball, football, basketball and hockey together. We went to the Bears baseball games, decades before the Colorado Rockies ever came along. We rode the old #13 downtown to watch the ABA Denver Rockets before they became the Nuggets. We were Broncos fans who could not afford tickets in the days of the half loaf game and the old brown socks.

Well, there were times when one of the guys didn't want to play basketball, or baseball or whatever. It seems like that would only happen when three guys wanted to play and we needed a fourth to make a team. Sometimes we would go to one house and Jonathan would have the doldrums. We couldn't motivate him. Then we would walk over to Rose's house and try to motivate him or his brother. Sometimes a good baseball card trade would work with him. Anyway, the point is, there were times it was really difficult to put a team together. One guy would want one park and another guy would want a different park. One issue would be who was going to play. Maybe someone was invited to play that we were angry with. Remember those days? They still exist. In my years of Yeshiva employment I observed them often in day to day contact with the bucharim.

As it happens, we have a serious case of the doldrums in Yiddishkeit, especially when it comes to study, prayer and improving our observance levels. At times it is difficult to capture the motivation to do what many of us know to be very important. It's one of those doldrums days, weeks, etc. Yet if we are to see the restoration of the Temple, the Kohanim, the karbon olam it is necessary.

There is a story in the Torah that helps to express what we need to do. Yitzchok, Avraham Aveinu's son, was told to leave the area where he was raised. The Phillistines stopped up the wells that Avraham's servants had dug there. As a result Yitzchok moved to the Valley of Gerar. There in the Valley of Gerar they re-dug wells which were also plugged by the Phillistines. They dug the same wells as they did years earlier for Avraham. They named the wells with the same names given originally by Avraham. The herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with them over Esek, the first well {meaning quarrel} and over Stinah, the second well {obstruction} but over the third well, Rehoboth {meaning wide spaces}, they did not quarrel. Yitzchok said, regarding the third well, "For now Hashem has granted us ample space, and we can be fruitful in the land." Genesis 26:22

There were three wells and there are going to be the Three Temples, thank G-d! Yet, the third Temple has to be dug, it has to be constructed. The third well would never have been dug had the men had the doldrums... The third Temple will not be constructed until we get the doldrums out and the motivation in. Getting the doldrums out begins with each individual Jew's karbon of tefillah in their own Mishkon.

Yitzchok said after the third well was dug and unopposed by the Phillistines neighbors, Oo Faw Ree Nu, meaning, "and we shall be fruitful {vaw Eretz, in the land}." In the same sense, G-d willing, when the Third Temple is built, we shall be fruitful in our land.

The Torah / Mishkon is like a well; you have to dig down deep, sometimes even hundreds of feet to reach good, clean, pure water.

Wells Of Good Water And Wells Of Bad Water
Years ago, I was invited to learn the halacha of matzoh baking for Pesach by a dear friend, Rabbi Mordechai Twerski so that I could participate as a moshgiach in the matzoh baking factory in Denver. One evening, just at dusk, we met at what used to be called the Jewish Consumption Relief Society complex where many years ago Jewish people diagnosed with tuberculosis received medical assistance. It is now the American Cancer Research clinic. On the evening that I met Rabbi Twerski and several other men there to draw water from this old Rocky Mountain artesian well, Rabbi Twerski shared with me warm feelings for the times when he came there with his father, Ha Rav Shlomo Twerski, zt'l, to draw water for the matzoh baking factory. This well is about 800 feet deep. The water tastes absolutely wonderful.

On the other hand, there is another story...Many years ago as a Jew desiring to learn more about Torah and turn away from my Messianic past, I was invited by a man whom I dearly love and appreciate, Rabbi Yaakov Meyer, then the Director of Community Services of Yeshiva Toras Chaim and now the Rav of Ahavas Yisroel. He offered outreach classes on Denver's east side. He invited me to attend, I did. That became a habit for years. On my first visit, I was shocked, even seriously appalled. The outreach center classes were conducted in this field in an old, dilapidated single wide trailer... but it served its purpose. On arriving, I was instructed, DON'T DRINK THE WATER. Upon visiting the restroom area, the bathroom facilities were grotesquely stained with this contaminated water. Years later I learned the property had two wells, which we would term "shallow wells," meaning they were easily contaminated by surface water.

Now, the point to all of this is Avraham Aveinu and his son Yitzchok and their followers / servants did not dig a well 800 feet deep, but they dug until they found good water, clean water, pure water, refreshing to the soul. Water that would restore one, sustain one, like the Torah flowing from the Mishkon. It was not tainted surface water. It was indeed environmentally pure and wholesome. Just as it took work to dig those wells, it takes much work for us to reach the paz {pure gold} of Torah.

The Gematria for karbon, meaning sacrifice... the Gematria for May Shev, meaning restore... and the Gematria for Oo Faw Ree Nu meaning "and we shall be fruitful" are each 352. We each can do our part. We can restore the daily karbon of the spiritual Mishkon which will be a very large step to ushering in the third Bais Ha Mikdosh. We can daven each day and when we do we can say, "O Hashem open my lips that my mouth may declare Your praise" as a form of karbon. {Tehillim 51:17}

{From right to left}

Nun = 50 + Bais = 2 + Reish = 200 + Kuf = 100

May Shev
352 = Bais = 2 + Yod = 10 + Shin = 300 + Mem = 40

Oo Faw Ree Nu
352 + Vav = 6 + Nun = 50 + yod = 10 + Reish = 200 + Pey = 80 + Vav = 6

Questions & Comments On: We Shall Be Fruitful

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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