Parshas Chukas
Numbers 19:1 -22:1

The Holy Staff Of Learning ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Michael and Mrs.Channah Sakash, may they rest in peace.

We experience a most interesting word in which the Shoresh {the root}, Yaw Tzaw [meaning to go out or to empty out} is quite different in spelling than the actual word in use, Vi Ho Tzay Saw {meaning and you will then bring forth}. It causes one to wonder how these two words are related.

Compare the spellings from right to left:

Yaw Tzaw
Aleph - Tzaddi - Yud

Vi Ho Tzay Saw
Sav - Aleph - Tzaddi - Vav - Hey - Vav

Now Yaw Tzaw is the shoresh for another word, Tzays {meaning to go out, to depart}.

Notice how Tzays is spelled from right to left:

Sav - Aleph -Tzaddi

From tzays it is easer to see the connection to Vi Ho Tzay Saw. Notice the spelling. Both have the letters Sav - Aleph -Tzaddi in order.

Hashem could have used a simpler form to accomplish the exact same thing. Hashem could have said "You bring forth" or "and you bring forth." That would have been a much easier translation. Yet the simpler form would have changed the Gematria from 508 to 107, Vav - Aleph - Tzaddi - Yud.

The Writer of the Torah did NOT want to do this! There is a Gematria message in Vi Ho Tzay Saw that connects to Parshas Chukas, meaning statute or law. Chokim are special laws that few humans will ever understand. Their meanings are beyond our reach. Having said that, notice that the Gematria for Choo Kahs is 508.

From right to left:

Choo Kahs
508 = Sav = 400 + Kuf = 100 + Chess = 8

Choo Kahs is the same Gematria as Vi Ho Tzay Saw.

Vi Ho Tzay Saw
508 = Sav = 400 + Aleph = 1 + Tzaddi = 90 + Vav = 6 + Hey = 5 +Vav = 6

One must wonder, Why? What is the connection especially since the meaning of Vi Ho Tzay Saw could have been spelled differently with an easier meaning?

This causes us to ponder, What is the connection between Choo Kahs and Vi Ho Tzay Saw?

Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying, "Take the staff and assemble the community, you and Aharon your brother, and speak to the rock in their presence that it may give forth for them water from the rock, and give drink [to] the community and their livestock." Moshe took the staff from before Hashem as He instructed him. Moshe and Aharon assembled the community before the rock; Moshe said to them,
"Listen, you rebels can we extract water from this rock for you? And Moshe raised his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice; water rushed out abundantly, and the community and their livestock drank. Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not believe in Me to sanctify Me in the presence of B'nei Yisroel; therefore you will not bring this congregation into the land that I have given then." Numbers 20:7-12

Notice that the word Kahch {meaning take} is spelled the exact opposite of Chok {meaning statute}. Hashem said to Moshe, "Take the staff." What staff? The staff from before Hashem's presence. This staff was holy. It was separated only unto Hashem. It represented Leadership, Hashem's divine blessing upon Moshe's leadership.

Hashem said to Moshe, "And {everything about - from Aleph to Sav} of this staff Te Kahch, 'take' in your hand, for with it you will perform the [miraculous] signs." Exodus 4:17

The Gematria of Te Kahch is 508, from right to left:

Te Kahch
508 = Chess = 8 + Kuf = 100 + Sav = 400

This staff was to be used only as Hashem directed Moshe. The staff was a noticeable object to B'nei Yisroel. This was the staff that Moshe instructed his brother Aharon to cast before Pharaoh in accordance with Hashem's command. Exodus 7:10 IT HAPPENED!

This was the staff that Hashem instructed Moshe, "Go to Pharaoh in the morning when he goes out to the water, and stand there to meet him by the bank of the river. The staff that was turned into a snake, Te Kahch, 'take' in your hand. Say to him. 'Hashem, G-d of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say [to you] "Send out My people that they may worship Me in the wilderness. Behold, thus far you have not listened. This is what Hashem has said, 'By this you will know that I am Hashem, Behold with the staff that is in my hand, I will strike the water of the river and it will turn to blood. the fish that is in the river will die, and the river will become polluted... Exodus 7:18 IT HAPPENED!!

This was the staff that Hashem commanded Moshe to "Say to Aharon 'Extend your hand with your rod over the rivers, over the streams and over the lakes, and bring up the frogs upon the lakes, and bring up the frogs upon the land of Mitzriam.'" Exodus 8:1 IT HAPPENED!

This was the staff that Hashem commanded Moshe to "Say to Aharon 'Extend your rod and strike the dust of the earth; and it will turn into lice throughout the whole land of Mitzriam." Exodus 8:12 IT HAPPENED!!

This was the staff that Moshe extended towards the heavens and "Hashem sent thunder and hail, and fire came streaming down upon the earth, Hashem caused it to rain hail upon the land of Mitzriam.' Exodus 9:23 AGAIN, IT HAPPENED!

This was the staff that Moshe stretched out over the land of Mitzriam "And Hashem directed an east wind over the land all that day and all the night. When the morning came the east wind had carried [brought] the locusts." Exodus 10:13 AND AGAIN IT HAPPENED!

This was the staff that Hashem commanded Moshe "raise your staff and extend your hand over the sea and split it. The B'nei Yisroel will then come [across] on dry land in the midst of the sea." Exodus 14:17 YES, IT DID HAPPEN!

This was the staff that Hashem commanded Moshe "Pass to the front of the people and take with you the elders of the [B'nei] Yisroel. The staff with which you struck the river take in to your hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock of Choreiv. You shall strike the rock and water will come out of it, and the people [will be able] to drink. Moshe did this in the sight [presence ] of the elders of the [B'nei] Yisroel. Exodus 17:5,6 IT HAPPENED!

This was the staff that Moshe stood atop of the hill while B'nei Yisroel battled Amalek. Exodus 17:9 AGANI IT HAPPENED1

Holy reader, B'nei Yisroel KNEW THIS STAFF! Moshe's staff was famous! Moshe's staff was separated unto Hashem! TIME AND AGAIN IT HAPPENED AND HAPPENED AND HAPPENED WHEN MOSHE'S STAFF APPEARED ON THE SCENE....!

Now Hashem wanted Moshe and Aharon to take this HOLY STAFF which represented Hashem's direction, power, might and leadership. B'nei Yisroel knew that this staff rested in the presence of Hashem. They knew Moshe could not remove this staff from before Hashem's presence without Hashem's direction. The staff was a sign from Hashem to B'nei Yisroel. Moshe and Aharon were to use this Holy Staff as a focal point to instruct the leadership of B'niei Yisroel, then to speak to the rock.

The intention here appears to be on the Holy Staff of Learning where in the past the intention was smiting. Moshe and Aharon were to direct the leadership from the physical {smiting} to the spiritual {learning}. Moshe and Aharon were to teach the leadership the power of learning Torah over physical might over smiting..

Again this is clear because Kahch {meaning take} is spelled the exact opposite of Chok {meaning statute}. Moshe did take but Moshe and Aharon did not obey. They took the staff but they also took it upon themselves to disobey Hashem's command regarding the Holy Staff. They did not fulfill the purpose for which they took the Holy Staff from Hashem's presence. They misused the Holy Staff.

Here the emphasis was not on Kahch {take} but Chok {obey my Statute}. Use the staff of leadership as a focal point of learning NOT smiting. Moshe and Aharon had become accustomed as had B'nei Yisroel to the smiting edge of the staff. They failed to make the necessary transformation in the eyes of the leadership. They used the Holy Staff improperly!

Hashem chose to take this opportunity to transform the power of the staff from smiting to learning from physical to spiritual! They failed to teach the leadership that the power of learning is the power of smiting from the spiritual realm!

As a result Moshe and Aharon failed to sanctify Hashem's name in the presence of the leadership and in the presence of the congregation.

The clear emphasis was on SPEAKING TO THE ROCK. Speaking is a form of learning. After learning, after speaking "and you will then bring forth" for them water from the rock... Numbers 20:8 Had Moshe and Aharon obeyed Hashem's command they would have brought forth LIVING WATER". Living water is the result of Torah learning. This is the only water that can satisfy man's thirst!

It was their obedience to Choo Kas that would bring the Vi Ho Tzay Saw, that would "then bring forth" the living water from the rock but they took for themselves this Glory by striking the rock... They took away from Hashem more than they added to themselves... which we must be careful not to do.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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