Readership Response

Dr. Akiva G. Belk, Director


Subject: Whe Linked To Your Site
Attention: Akiva Belk
I have just linked to your site. I share your parsha with my family and enjoy reading the Gematrias even though they're a little deep for me.
Chana in L.A.

Dear Chana,
We always appreciate when an individual or an organization links to our site. We look forward to walking with you on the JewishPath.
For Akiva Belk, We enjoy hearing of people, groups and other organizations linking with JewishPath. However, if you link with Messianic sites PLEASE DO NOT LINK TO JEWISHPATH!
Rachel Gold

Subject: Gematria Made Easy
To the Editor:
Thank you for the Gematria studies using the letters of the Aleph Bais. These articles are inspiring and open the door to a fascinating area of Jewish studies. My previous forays into Gematria were dashed by concepts too complex for a beginner. These Aleph Bais articles whet the appetite for Gematria and make the letters dance with liveliness! I especially like the article on Tes and its indivisibility with Tov. I look forward to the rest of the alphabet!
Rivka, Atlanta

Dear Rivka,
FYI, in October-November of 1999, Z Publishing will be releasing Dr. Belk's new book entitled Revealing the Mysteries of Hebrew Letters and Numbers. It discusses the disciplines and offers easy to understand charts and many insights every student of the Bible will enjoy.

We are taking advance orders...

Best regards,
Rachel Gold


Subject: Your Site Is a Blessing

I just wanted to pop in to tell you that I have been blessed by your site, and sent it to several people. It's 3:30 AM, and still G-d blesses my effort to learn and grow. I hope to improve who I am with knowledge.

Thank you,


Shalom Irene,
Thanks for your kind note. My staff always enjoys hearing from those that join us for a walk on the JewishPath. Our staff thanks G-d that our "Sight" has blessed you. It's wonderful to hear of your dedication for learning. Studying G-d's word is one of the greatest joy's of my life.

I personally appreciate your desire to share the JewishPath with some friends. I pray that the Creator will bless you. My staff would like to make several requests:

Please pray for us. We are a small staff doing a large task. We need your prayers.
Also please place JewishPath on your list for a contribution at sometime in the future.

Thank You,
With kindest regards,

Akiva G. Belk

Shalom Your Honor.
I pray all is going according to Hashem's plan in your life.

I truly thank you for the past help you have given me in my quest.

Today I have two/few questions.

1) Is there a Rabbinical ruling on when is the proper time to return the Torah scroll?
1a) Does it matter if the Torah is returned before or after the teaching?

2) When is it proper for seven readers of Torah to be assigned?
2a) Should a man be permitted to read as one of the Seven Torah readers if he come in during or after
the Amidah? (Even if he is needed for the seventh man?)

Thank you for your most valuable time and knowledge.
If you can also give me some references to where I can do more research on my questions I would be
most grateful.

Baruch HaShem


Shalom, Asher,

Thank you for your email, it was very nice to hear from you.

Akiva read your email and would like to personally respond to you but he cannot. However, we at JewishPath have a link site that we recommend to all of our readers which can be very helpful with questions such as yours. Akiva suggests that you visit the Surfing Rabbi with these particular questions. Ask The Surfing Rabbi


Best regards,

Rachel Gold

Subject: Do Jews Believe In Grace? Does The Torah Teach Grace?
Thank you for your web site. Since I don't know if you are a rabbi, I'm not sure how to address you. I hope you aren't offended.

First, I am not Jewish, but I hope that won't preclude you from reading the rest of this email and responding.

I am an orthodox Christian (Armenian Apostolic), but I have a friend who is Jewish. He has made the remark that he is fascinated by the concept of grace, and he says this as if the concept is foreign to him. This surprises me because, in my faith, I have never been taught that grace was unique to Christianity. In fact, the Hebrew testament seems to me to be filled with prophets and patriarchs who are filled with grace. The priest at our seminary defined grace simply as "G-d's love for mankind." I know that many branches of Christianity--and in particular many of the fundementalist sects--would like to usurp the term and make it the sole province of one religion, but I don't think one can attempt to reign in G-d. So, here is my question, what does the
Jewish religion believe about grace (and I am not talking about the prayer before and after meals). Do you call this by some other name? So that you will know how I define grace (this are my words not a theological definition), it is to be filled with the presence of G-d and to walk in humbleness and awe to serve Him. It rather reflects the commandment you posted this

Why am I so concerned? Well, a couple of reasons. First, I have a tremendous respect for him. I have met a lot of priests, nuns, monks etc, and it is rare to meet someone who lives his life with a humbleness and a fear of the Lord that is not pretentious. He not only lives his faith, but is unabashedly genuine in his love for his own heritage. (A quality I respect about him.) The man walks in grace and is a light for others, yet I see a genuine struggle here. He truly thinks the concept is foreign to Judaism. I am convinced that this is semantical. I am sure this quality/concept was not invented by Christians for the word is used in my version of the Bible in the Old Testament. So I want to know what the correct word would be. What do you call this? I believe in my heart that grace is universal and I want to give him a way to see that he is not cut off from G-d's grace because he is Jewish. Call this my own act of charity--or to use an example from Book of Joshua--consider me a version of Rahab.

By the way, I have been genuinely impressed how Jewish psychologists will often reach out to Christians and use thier language, terms and metaphors to help them gain insights and understandings, but in struggling with a way to deal with my friend, I realize how ignorant I am
of the Jewish tradition.

I hope you will help me.
Thank you for reading this.

Shalom Lucia,
Thank you for your lovely letter. We always appreciate it when we hear from our readers. When we respond to people from religions other than Judaism, it is our sincere hope to build bridges that provide better understanding about our religion. Many years ago while employed with a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, our director worked for a man who was Armenian Apostolic. In 1996, Dr. Belk began writing an article on Chain Va Chesed. This article was about grace in the Torah. Your letter prompted him to post the article on the internet which is now entitled
The Origin of Grace in the Torah. This is a long article that covers three areas.

Dr. Belk studied in Los Angeles at a non-Jewish seminary, Southern California Theological Seminary, so he has an extended understanding of the Christian religion. In the early 80's, he also attended Denver Charismatic Theological Seminary where he received his doctorate degree. However, he is not a rabbi according to Orthodox standards which requires a shmicha from an individual who is a rabbi. Orthodox Judaism generally does not offer ordination after 4 years or 6 years or 8 years of study. The way it's supposed to work is a rabbi with a shmicha would pass his ordination to one of his students, not 10, 20 or 30, just one. That appears to be changing some.

Dr. Belk has hundreds of students around the world who study his lectures on the internet. Even though he is not a rabbi with a shmicha, he is a rebbe to many of his students which is another unique tradition to Judaism. Many men teach in Jewish day schools without a shmicha and their students refer to them as Rebbe.

Most of Dr. Belk's opinions are consistent with Orthodox Judaism.

Thank you again for your kind response.

Best regards,

Rachel Gold

Subject: Tikkun Olam

I am trying to find recent articles on Tikkun Olam. Thanks.


I recommend that you email a dear friend of Akiva's, Rabbi Yisroel Engel at:

Thank you again for your kind response.

Best regards,

Rachel Gold

Subject: Tell Me More About Dr. Akiva G. Belk
Saw your announcement in Maven.

Looks like you seek to present Orthodox Judaism in a positive light and
that you want to draw your visitors closer to Torah observance.

Please tell me something about you.

Kol Tov

Shalom Tzvi,

The best way to learn more about Dr. Belk is to follow the readership page, his essays and the weekly parsha. His Gematria receives considerable response also. He is not one to chase after honor. Dr. Belk as well as all of his staff are very dedicated Orthodox Jews. In reading his articles, you will see he speaks his mind respectfully.

any specific questions can be searched through our site search on our home page or on readership response.

Thank you again for your kind response.

Best regards,

Rachel Gold

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