Parshas Masei
Numbers 33:1 - 36:13

How To Succeed ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in loving memory to Fredrica Ann Brown, may she rest in peace.

Yaakov studied at the house of Shem and Eiver for fourteen consecutive years. It was then, after making spiritual preparations, that Yaakov left to work for his Uncle Lavan. On his journey he spent the night at a special place where "he took some stones of that [special] place and arranged them Mi Rah Ah Shoo Sawv {meaning "above / around his head"}."

Kal Yisroel had spent nearly forty years in the BaMidbar. As a nation... as a people... as Jews they had traveled to the plains of Moav at the Yardein near Yereicho. They were being instructed by Hashem through Moshe in preparation for entering the new land, Eretz Canaan. They were instructed, Vi Hoh Rah Shi Tehm {meaning "Drive out [the inhabitants of the land]"}.

Mi Rah Ah Shoo Sawv {above / around his head}
957 = Vav6 Yud10 Sav400 Shin300 Aleph1 Reish200 Mem40

Vi Hoh Rah Shi Tehm {Drive out [the inhabitants of the land]}
957 = Mem40 Sav400 Shin300 Reish200 Vav6 Hey5 Vav6

The Gematria of Mi Rah Ah Shoo Sawv is 957 and the Gematria of Vi Hoh Rah Shi Tehm is also 957.

Even though the meanings of these words are very different, one thing stands out about them. Yaakov prepared and Kal Yisroel prepared! Yaakov recognized the task before him. He was an intelligent man of seventy-seven years of age. He was NOT a child. He understood the task before him. He was acquainted with the evil man Lavan. He prepared. Kal Yisroel was prepared by Moshe prior to entering Eretz Canaan. Both Yaakov and Kal Yisroel faced ENORMOUS EVIL. Their preparation was extremely important.

For this reason the Torah states that Yaakov Mi Rah Ah Shoo Sawv {arranged the stones} "above / around his head." There was something special about the way Yaakov prepared the stones. When Hashem instructs B'nei Yisroel to Vi Hoh Rah Shi Tehm {"Drive out [the inhabitants of Eretz Canaan]"} there is this unique mystical connection between these words. The connection has to do with preparation! The connection has to do with following instruction. Yaakov was following the instruction of his mother and father {at the age of 77}!! Their instruction was good! It did NOT violate Torah! On the other hand, B'nei Yisroel was following the instruction of Hashem through Moshe. The future of our father Yaakov and the future of B'nei Yisroel depended on preparation and following instruction exactly!

Recently a young man from a coastal area competed in a 5-K run held at 8,600 ft. above sea level. This was not easy for him, seeing as he was accustomed to competing at a much lower elevation. He arrived at the area of competition three weeks before the race and immediately began preparing. He signed up for the race. He studied the race course. He established short and long markers for practice runs. He began running the first day. He ran nearly every day except Shabbos. He needed about one more week of preparation for the race at one mile and a half PLUS above sea level. On race day he was ready to give it his best. Hundreds entered the race. The young man ran very hard! He finished third, immediately behind two competitors with years more experience and preparation. The point is, when we have a difficult task we need to make preparations. This young man did that.

During the week the young man called coaches he ran for in the past, seeking their direction and advice. He spoke with local coaches. He learned of the time he had to beat from previous years. I overheard the young man's father say to him, "I wish that I could have offered you some direction for the race. I couldn't. But Avie and Emah are here for you!"

Dear reader, just as Yaakov arranged the stones above and around his head that night that he had the supernatural experience of malachim ascending and descending, we must take our preparation very seriously! Just as B'nei Yisroel followed Hashem's instruction to drive out all the inhabitants of the land, we must follow good advice.

May Hashem bless us in our Torah preparation and observance!!

Good Shabbos!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk


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