Parshas Tazria
Leviticus 12:1 -13:59


Parshas Metzoro
Leviticus 14:1 - 15:33

How to Change the World with Only ONE Action ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Arnold Student Litman, my, a graduate of Harvard and an honored World War II hero, may he rest in peace.

In Parshas Tazria I explained that there are two unique words each of which begins with the same letter, the letter Tes. The words are Taw May {not clean} and Taw Hoor {clean}.

Taw May {not clean}
Aleph Mem

Taw Hoor {clean}
Reish Vav Hey

I explained how the letter Tes represents "goodness" seeing as the letter Tes is the first letter of the word Tov meaning "Good". Then I mentioned that the letter Tes was deliberately left out of the first Tablets of stone given to Moshe on Har Sinai because if they had contained the letter Tes which represents "Good", then when Moshe smashed the Tablets into pieces it would have been a sign that all goodness had come to an end on the earth.

A Story About Kaddish
Now, dear holy readers, the exact opposite is also true. In a world encompassed by evil the Letter Tes can bring forth goodness. Social workers use a term called the cycle of abuse... the cycle of hate... the cycle of grief ... There is also the cycle of evil. Our sages tell the story of an evil king who did one good deed in his entire lifetime. Hashem blessed that evil king's action. Eglon, king of Moav who was a sinfully wicked king, received a messenger named Ehud. The Tenach states, "Ehud came to him [King Eglon who was very obese] while he was sitting alone in his cool upper chamber. Ehud said, 'I have a word of G-d for you,' [King Eglon ] stood up from his chair" [even though standing was extremely difficult for him] Judges 3:20

This may seem insignificant until you know the rest of the story. Our rabbium state that anyone who recites Kaddish should stand. Why? If this extremely wicked king of Moav stood to receive a word from G-d we should do likewise. As a result this wicked king has altered the world. Now millions of Yidden each year stand for Kaddish because of his single solitary action. Dear reader, in a similar way we can change the world. One action can give light... Thomas Edison. One action can give instant communication... Alexander Graham Bell. One action can change the world. We see this in the Gematria Permutation of Taw May.

Gematria Permutation
Taw May {not clean}
Aleph = 1 Mem = 40 Tes = 9
360 = 9 x 40 x 1

So we can see within the word Taw May is the Gematria Permutation of 360. We know that 360 degrees represents a complete circle.... a full cycle... a complete cycle. Unfortunately that circle or cycle is derived from the word Taw May meaning unclean. It is as if to say the entire world is unclean. It is as if to say the entire world is filled with a cycle of uncleanness. On an individual level it is as if to say, 'How can I break the cycle of violence... abuse... drugs...?'

The Story Of How One Action Can Change the World
We are writing this parsha very, very late in the week. I didn't understand the reason until just a few minutes ago. Yesterday, I took a break from business around lunchtime to take care of some errands. Sometimes while running an errand I include two very special little friends, our year and a half old beagles. They provide so much company! Their names are Kalie and Dov. As we were returning from an errand, Dovie looked up at me with those big brown, sad eyes, as if to say, "Could we please go for a run?" We were close to an area they particularly love to run in. Any time we are close to that area, they begin whimpering. I know what they want!

We went to this area where the two brothers occasionally run. Normally I let them out of the vehicle on a seldom used dirt road and they follow behind for a ways. Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, on this occasion, Kalie picked up the scent of bighorn sheep and instead of running behind the vehicle he immediately turned to the left and began climbing this steep, rocky mountain like a billy goat. It was absolutely phenomenal watching him go over rocks much larger than him, like a caterpillar with plungers on his feet. Up and down and around and over the rocks he went with his heavy little brother behind him. I stopped the vehicle, set the emergency break and jumped out, beckoning him to stop and to return to me. It was as if he was in a trance. Nothing I said made any difference! He was so concentrated and focused on following that scent that my words couldn't reach him. Nose to the ground, tail waving in the air... then came the bellows, every third or fourth step, as only a beagle can do. I knew he was gone and it seemed as if there was nothing I could do.

Both he and his brother were climbing farther and farther up the mountain. I called to his brother, "Dov! Come Tatty!" Dov stopped. He turned to look at me. I gave him a loving motion to come back to me. He did. With that one action, he chose me over his twin brother, over his powerful instinct to hunt and over his desire to have fun. He came down the mountainside right to me. And there is no way I can tell you how proud I was! We went to the vehicle, he got in, poked his head out the window, and began calling his brother. These boys love each other very much. And it is very difficult for them when they are separated. A short time later his brother, who had by this time climbed over a thousand feet up the mountain and was out of my voice range and almost my sight, heard his brother beckoning in that high pitched sound of his, halted in his footsteps and began his return to us.

Dear reader, this is an example of how one very positive, dedicated action can alter a situation. Had Dov not returned to me, the hunt, the following of the scent could have lasted for days. And certainly hours. In the same way, we can use our influence, and those who are influenced by us will also influence others. One act can change the world. At the end of this article I have included a picture of the Yiddishe beagle boys.

Now this is how we change the world with only one action. We alter Taw May. We change one letter. We don't change the Goodness represented by the Tes. We can't change our Creator represented by the Aleph. We change the mystery represented by the Mem. One should also note that the final letter Mem represents a 360 degree circle. It is a mysterious circle.

There are only two letters that can change the Taw May. One letter proceeds the Mem. It is the Lamid. One letter follows the Mem. It is the Nun. We have chosen the letter Nun because the Gematria of Nun = 50 which is the exact Gematria of Taw May. We remove the Mem from between the Tes and the Aleph and replace it with the Nun. Our word is altered. It no longer is Taw May. It becomes Teh Neh, meaning a fruit basket.

Taw May {not clean}
50 = Aleph 1 Mem 40 Tes 9

Teh Neh {fruit basket}
Nun = 50 Tes

Dear reader, we can break the cycle of uncleanness by simply changing one action. One action changes the essence of Taw May to Teh Neh. Again the fruit basket is round. The fruit within the basket is round. The concept of the cycle continues but in an altered form. It is no longer a cycle of uncleanness but now a cycle of blessing, of refreshment, of restoration... represented by the letter Nun.

Each of us should desire to do an act that will change the world... that will replace uncleanness with an object that gives, carries, holds goodness, the fruit basket.

Good Shabbos!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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