Haftorah for Korach

1 Samuel 11:14-12:22


Chambers Of Shuvah ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Ms. Fredrica Ann Brown, may he rest in peace.

There are so many good things in this week's haftorah reading. It was difficult to select a subject. At the conclusion of this week's reading are words of encouragement for everyone.

The novi, Samuel, said to the nation {the thousands and thousands present}, "Fear not {though} you have done all this evil, do not turn away from Hashem, but serve Hashem with all your heart."

This is a wonderful admonition for all of us. Recently an individual called my office with a problem. She made a mistake. We all make mistakes! What's new? The point is simple. You made a mistake, so what's new? Now, remember, the important thing here is to love Hashem with all your heart. This is what the novi said to Kal Yisroel, 'Look at all this evil you have committed. Look at all this wickedness you have done.' He pointed out serious errors, BUT he didn't just criticize. As a wise seasoned Judge he advised his subjects, 'Just because you failed, just because you made serious mistakes, do not use this as an excuse to stop following Hashem.' Then he offered encouragement and additional instruction, 'Do not use this as an excuse to stop following Hashem, BUT serve Hashem with all your heart.'

He identified the problem and offered a remedy which is the same thing I did for the lady who called my office. The problem was, 'You have done all this wickedness because you have from time to time stopped following Hashem and from time to time stopped serving Hashem with ALL YOUR HEART!' The remedy was, 'Continue following Hashem all the time.' How do we know this? Samuel said, "Serve Hashem with all your heart." You cannot serve Hashem with all your heart if you fail to constantly follow Him.

In reading this, we see that the nation acknowledged their mistake. They identified their problem. They claimed ownership of their mistakes. They said, "We have added wickedness to all our other sins, the evil of asking for a king."

Yet, the question is, where is the shuvah? Where do we see the nation Israel repenting for their mistakes? Where do we see restitution and the resolve not to repeat these mistakes? Where do we see the redirection of one's course, that is, the necessary steps to restructure one's medos? We see all of this in the novi's counsel, "Serve Hashem with all your heart." The key here is that within one's own heart are chambers with the capacity for shuvah. Therefore, when the novi said, "Serve Hashem with all your heart," that included shuvah.

At the top of this page we see that the phrases "With all your Heart" and "The Commandment" are related by the Gematria of 146. Still they are connected in a much deeper since. The phrase "With all your Heart" is like a hidden treasure because through Gematria it points to "the commandment." It is not just any commandment, but a specific commandment, referred to by some as, "the great commandment." It is the Shema..."You shall Love (serve) Hashem your G-d." How? "With all your heart!"

The beauty of the novi's statement is knowing that "the commandment" to love {serve} Hashem "with all one's heart" is inseparably bound with the chambers of shuvah!

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. BelkWeekly Studies

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