Parshas Behar
Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2


Parshas Bechukosai
Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34

What are the First and Last

Commands of Torah? ©

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.

There are many precepts discussed in Sefer Vayikro. The last words of this, the third book of Moshe, are "These are the commandments that were commanded by Hashem to Moshe to B'nei Yisroel from Mount Sinai. Leviticus 27:34 The words Ay leh - Ha Mee ztoos, meaning "these are the commands" caught my attention. As we know, there are 613 commands spoken from Har Sinai of which 365 are prohibitive and 248 are performative. 365 corresponds to the number of days in each year. 248 corresponds to the number of limbs and organs of our body. The 365 combined with the 248 mean each and every day we are to be conscientious of all Torah commands with every part of our body.

Ay leh - Ha Mee ztoos {these are the commands}
577 = Sav 400 Vav 6 Tzaddi 90 Mem 40 Hey 5 - Hey 5 Lamid 30 Aleph 1

Every commandment is important. While it is true that we place importance and emphasis on certain commandments, every command of Hashem is important. When we consider the Gematria of Ay leh - Ha Mee ztoos equaling 577 we notice that every commandment is first. There are no second places among Hashem's commands. It is NOT like a race where 613 runners line up at the starting line, where one will be first and one will be last {613th}. No! The Torah is Not like that at all. In other words, just because one command appears in Genesis and another in Deuteronomy, that DOES NOT mean one was given before the other. Just because one may have been recorded by Moshe before another does not mean this one is first and that one is second, etc.

Hashem gave every command simultaneously. Every command of Hashem happened at the exact same time. Every command of Hashem is first. This is extremely important to understand because we may be tempted to discount the commands that may have been written later in the Torah. NOT SO! Every command is first. We understand this mystically. Notice the word Caw Ree shoon, meaning "as the first." In other words, every command of Hashem is like the first or is as the first.

Caw Ree shoon {as the first}
577 = Nun 50 Vav 6 Shin 300 Aleph 1 Reish 200 Chof 20

Since every command is "as the first," that places special onus on us, the students of Torah; it teaches us that each and every command must be studied with the same emphasis, just as if every command was the first. Each command must be studied with the same fresh zeal.

As an employer there is one interesting human behavior I have constantly noticed. The first day on the job an employee has more zeal and interest and enthusiasm than the fourteenth day. We are to approach Torah study every time with the zeal and enthusiasm of an employee's first day on the job. This is what is meant when the Torah says "As first!"

Even though certain commands have greater importance, every command is to be studied with the same interest and excitement!!

Good Shabbos!

Dr. Akiva 

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