Parshas Ki Sisa
Exodus 30:11 - 34:35

What Does B'nei Yisroel Mean? ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in loving memory to Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

Dear ones, in Parshas Ki Sisa like many other places within the Torah we observe instructions given to “B’nei Yisroel.” For example:

“And you, [Moshe], speak [these words] to B’nei Yisroel saying, ‘Everything [from Aleph to Sav of] My Shabbos you, [B’nei Yisroel], must observe, for [Shabbos] is a sign between Me and yourselves [passed down] to each of your generations to know that I, Hashem, am making you holy [separated]. And you must observe everything [from Aleph to Sav of] Shabbos for it is holy to you.’” Exodus 31:13,14

“And they, B’nei Yisroel, shall guard [observe] everything [from Aleph to Sav] of the Shabbos to accomplish [Torah Observance for] everything [from Aleph to Sav regarding] the Shabbos to their [future] generations as an everlasting covenant. Between Me and Between B’nei Yisroel [Shabbos] is an everlasting sign that in six days Hashem made everything [from Aleph to Sav of] the Heavens and everything [from Aleph to Sav of] the earth and in Day Seven, [Shabbos], He [G-d] abstained from work and rested.” Exodus 31:16,17

On our sister web site for the past few weeks we have been discussing Shabbos Observance. There is a misunderstanding about Shabbos Observance. The foundation for this misunderstanding has several beliefs:

First, many non-Jews do not understand that Shabbos Observance is a command given ONLY to B’nei Yisroel. Maybe some non-Jews do not understand this... maybe they do not care to observe the Torah’s explicit instructions regarding Shabbos... maybe they disagree with the Torah’s instructions regarding Shabbos Observance...

Second, it is possible that non-Jews do not understand the meaning of B’nei Yisroel... Maybe some non-Jews do not care to know the meaning of B’nei Yisroel... maybe some non-Jews disagree with the Torah’s explicit instructions regarding who B’nei Yisroel is...

So in one form or another of these two areas we have non-Jews attempting to redefine Shabbos Observance to include them, i.e., their definition of Shabbos. We also have non-Jews attempting to redefine the Torah’s definition of B’nei Yisroel to include their definition of B’nei Yisroel.

Dear ones... holy ones... We cannot alter the meaning of Torah like this. The Torah definition of Shabbos Observance and B’nei Yisroel must remain exactly the same as the day Hashem gave it. The definition of Shabbos Observance and B’nei Yisroel cannot adapt to new meanings PERIOD! Their definition and purpose remain the same from generation to generation. No matter how much we want to observe Shabbos or be included as B’nei Yisroel, we MUST honor the original definition of Shabbos Observance and B’nei Yisroel. There can be no variance from this!!

In accordance with the above verses, Shabbos Observance is given and required ONLY of B’nei Yisroel. What does this mean? Shabbos Observance is given only to the descendants of Yisroel / Yaakov. Essentially this means, “the descendants of Yaakov / Jacob” who have continued to guard Shabbos as originally given by Hashem. This means the descendants who have passed down proper Shabbos Observance from generation to generation. So it is possible that one may be of Jewish descent yet not be included in the Torah’s meaning of B’nei Yisroel. How can this be?

When Jews violate the Torah by intermarriage with non-Jews, immediately Shabbos Observance is affected. The marriage is not recognized by G-d, the Giver of the Torah. Since the marriage is not recognized by G-d, other areas are also not recognized. When one enters into a relationship that is not Jewish it sends a signal. The signal may be one or more of the following:

‘I am a less observant Jew who disagrees with the Torah’s requirement that Jews marry Jews.’

‘I am a less observant Jew who does not understand why Jews are required to marry Jews. For one reason or another Torah Observance was not handed down to me by my parents or relatives. My parents belonged to that group who considered themselves JEWISH FREE THINKERS.’

‘I am a less observant Jew who does not understand why Jews are required to marry Jews because my parents drifted away from Torah Observance. My parents or relatives did not pass along many Torah Observances to me. They encouraged my marriage to a non-Jew...’

‘I am a less observant Jew who does not understand why Jews are required to marry Jews because my parents or grandparents began observing another religion. I was not raised to understand or Observe Torah...’

‘I am a less observant Jew who does not understand why Jews are required to marry Jews because my parents or grandparents were forced to earn a living. This meant working on Shabbos... Working on Shabbos led to other Torah breakdowns. As a result I was raised with redefined Torah Observances...’

‘I am a less observant Jew who does not understand why Jews are required to marry Jews because my distant relatives were forced to join another religion. Over a period of time Torah Observances were overrun or confused by teachings of this other religion...’

I am not Jewish but want to observe the Old Testament like the Jews do...

I am a Christian / Messianic who believes I am engrafted into the house of Israel. I believe that I am Jewish through the blood of Jesus....

Holy readers, we could go on and on with different forms of Jewish Assimilation or non-Jewish beliefs... It is very possible that YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF JEWISH ASSIMILATION! It is also very possible that you are the VICTIM OF FALSE TEACHINGS regarding Shabbos Observance or B’nei Yisroel. You are the after-product of what someone else did... Now you find yourself here reading this discussion of ‘What Does B’nei Yisroel Mean?’ You have done nothing, yet your Jewish past is not recognized for one reason or another. You have only accepted what someone else taught you. You feel this incredible need to return to G-d as a Jew or as a non-Jew but more doors close than open. You receive much rejection and little or no encouragement. In some situations you are looked down on. You may feel like dirt. It can even be worse. Why is this?

The answer is not too difficult. First, only Hashem knows our heart. Only Hashem knows our intention. Only Hashem knows our desires. Only Hashem knows and understands our past, present and future. The Torah requires Jews to be extremely careful with those not defined as B’nei Yisroel. One’s commitment to Torah Judaism CANNOT BE A FAD! One’s commitment to Torah Judaism has to be very real. Rabbium are frequently inundated with those who T H I N K...

they have Jewish relatives... they are Jewish... ...with those who are deceptive: they pretend they want to be Jewish so they can receive a Jewish conversion and move to Yisroel to teach the doctrines of another religion to Jews... etc., etc., etc.

Now, dear ones, you may think that you want to be Jewish... that you want to return to the religion of your distant relatives... AND that may be true, but there is much more to being an observant Jew than just a whimsical desire or even a very extremely sincere desire. To return to Judaism requires much!! To convert to Judaism requires at least two years of dedicated study. There is much to being a descendant of B’nei Yisroel. The Mystical sense of B’nei Yisroel gives us the simple definition of what it means to be B’nei Yisroel. The Gematria of B’nei Yisroel is:

B’nei Yisroel {Children of Yisroel / Descendants of Yisroel}
603 = Lamid 30 Aleph 1 Reish 200 Shin 300 Yud 10 - Yud 10 Nun 50 Bais 2

611 = 603 + 8 letters

611= Hey 5 Reish 200 Vav 6 Sav 400

In this we see the actual definition of “B’nei Yisroel” as those descendants of Yaakov who observe Torah in words and in letters...

The words B’nei Yisroel are found only seven times in the Book of Creation, Bereishis / Genesis. Why does B’nei Yisroel occur only seven times? B’nei Yisroel represents Shabbos Observance.

Within the Letters of B’nei Yisroel we find:
Aleph for Avraham
Yud for Yitzchok
Yud for Yaakov

Shin for Sarah
Reish for Rivkah
Reish for Rachel

When we combine all occurrences of B’nei Yisroel within the Torah there are 374 occurrences. This is the Gematria for Bi Sheh Vah {In Seven}. In the Mystical sense we see all 374 occurrences of B’nei Yisroel defined Bi Sheh Vah {In Seven}. B’nei Yisroel are the people who live “in seven.” We are defined by the seventh day, our Shabbos! Our lives... our Torah... our beliefs revolve “In Seven.”

Bi Sheh Vah {In Seven}
374 = Ayin 70 Bais 2 Shin 300 Bais 2

Dear ones, I have spoken often regarding many issues surrounding conversion to Judaism. There are issues that you may not be aware of. There is much to being a descendant of B’nei Yisroel that is not written within the pages of this lesson. This is why so frequently one experiences such enormous rejection at the very word of converting to Judaism. Before one makes assumptions about what is required they should investigate what is meant by the words “B’nei Yisroel.” If you would like to learn more about the ins and outs of conversion to Judaism please write for my CD entitled: Obstacles to Jewish Conversion...

Judaism does have appeal. Judaism does have very great meaning. Judaism is powerful! Judaism has tradition with incredible meaning. Yet Hashem designed Judaism for Jews and Spirituality for everyone. If you would like to know more about the relationship between Judaism and Spirituality, please visit

Learn what Judaism, Torah Observance, Shabbos Observance and B’nei Yisroel mean, what they have always meant and what they will continue to mean, but please do not try to redefine them. That is a mistake!! It is especially important to understand the meaning of this week’s parsha where thousands lose their lives because of the sin of the Molten Calf. It is important to understand this because in this week’s parsha, Parshas Ki Sisa, Jews and non Jews introduced ideas that are contrary to the beliefs defined within the meaning of Torah observant Judaism and within the meaning of B’nei Yisroel. It is important to understand that death, destruction and sin resulted from their attempts to alter the truth!! One must wonder, did we grow relaxed during Moshe’s absence? Did we loosen the grip on our Jewish identity a few notches? What brought about the crack that allowed such a departure for Jews to openly worship the Molten Calf? How could such a rash of evil and vile sin break out among the camp of holy Jews? What permitted this? What may have encouraged this evil?

Dear ones, this results when we attempt to redefine our Torah, our G-d and the Truth.

Wishing you the best!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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