Parshas Tezaveh
Exodus 27:20 - 30:10

Jewish Shabbos Observance and Non-Jewish Observance ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in loving memory to my beloved mother, Mrs. Ethel Channah Sakash Belk, may she rest in peace.

“And I will dwell in the midst of B’nei Yisroel, and I will be their G-d.” Exodus 29:45

There is an attraction, a great attraction in this verse. The attraction is G-d’s presence. It is strange how things are. Some Jews want nothing to do with our Creator, G-d forbid! Some non-Jews want everything to do with the Creator. They would do just about anything to live close to G-d. Is this fair? Certainly some feel that it is not.

I can remember as a youth how special it would feel when a pro basketball player would join with the other boys and me on the playground court for a game of basketball. We would tell all our family, friends and all the kids at school.

I have friends who were invited to the President’s Inaugural Ball. This president or that president... The president danced with some, sat at the table with others, took pictures with just about everyone, etc.

When the Pope came to Denver for the International Youth Conference over 100,000 people flooded the area. Many followers of the Pope were staying over 100 miles away. They were bussed in daily. So many people wanted to see the Pope. They wanted to be near him. They wanted to hear him. They wanted to get as close as possible...

This is the same picture religions paint about Jesus, Mohammed, Buddah, the Dahli Lama, etc...

However, with G-d this is a little different. We think of G-d as being loving, kind, understanding and tolerant. That is correct. Yet this is only a partial description of the Creator. So when we say G-d dwelt among B’nei Yisroel what are we actually saying?

We are saying that G-d, in the attribute of Grace and Mercy, dwelt among us. Now we could not actually see G-d yet the presence of G-d was very evident among B’nei Yisroel. G-d’s presence was extremely evident. G-d’s presence was evident in the cloud by day... the fire by night... the manna that fell six mornings a week... and in much more. G-d’s presence was evident in the deliverance of B’nei Yisroel from Mitzriam... in the splitting of the Sea of Reeds... in thunder, lightning and the great sound of the ram’s horn {shofar} on Har Sinai. So then why don’t we read of the nations of the world flocking to Ha BaMidbar? Why didn’t the people of the world travel hundreds or thousands of miles like they would today?? What is different today from several thousands of years ago?

Next one must ask what has become so attractive about Judaism now that we are no longer living in the wilderness. What is it that people feel so drawn to just 60 years after millions of Jews were slaughtered?

The attraction is the Jewish observance of Shabbos. Shabbos observance has such a special atmosphere that it is addictive. There are so many angles and beauties of Shabbos coming together that one actually feels the Creator’s Presence just as if they were also in the BaMidbar. Anyone who visits an observant Jewish home during Shabbos is affected by our Shabbos Queen.

How is it that the smallest of all nations and the fewest of all people are having such an impact? It is because on a weekly basis members of the world come face to face with a greater sign than the colors of the rainbow in the sky after a rain. The world sees the the sign of Creation, Shabbos. It is the powerful attraction of Shabbos that draws the Pentele Yid, the descendants of Jewish Eh Ved, Messianics, and Spiritualists. This would not be happening if Jews did not observe Shabbos.

Now even though Shabbos observance is reserved exclusively for the Jew many non-Jews, descendants of Jews, former servants of Jews, Messianics and Spiritualists all of a sudden have this great affinity to observe Shabbos. Unfortunately some Jews feel this is wrong... Some feel that non-Jews should not observe Shabbos... well within Torah there are many Mitzvohs that Jews share with Spiritualists and the Eh Ved. Our Torah is also the Torah of the Spiritualist and the Torah of the Eh Ved. Knowing this we cannot honestly prohibit the Spiritualist and the Eh Ved from observing certain Torah Mitzvohs. For example the very first mention of offering bread and wine was not Jewish. It was Spiritualist! Our Torah says that “Malki Zedek, the King of Peace [a Spiritualist] gave bread and wine [to Avram]. He was a Priest of the Most High Alm-ghty. [Malki Zedek] blessed [Avram] and [Malki Zedek] said, ‘Blessed be Avram unto G-d Alm-ghty who is Possessor of Heavens and earth.’ And [Malki Zedek] blessed G-d Alm-ghty for delivering [Avram's] enemies into his hand.’ ” Genesis 14:18-19

Even though the circumstances are different we see that a non-Jew can offer bread and wine, bless their fellow man and bless G-d. On Shabbos we offer bread and wine. We bless our fellow man. We bless our children. We bless our Creator often throughout Shabbos. So as a way of example the Jew, the Eh Ved and the Spiritualist share certain elements all within Torah and tradition. That being the situation why should the Jew be unhappy when the former Eh Ved, descendants of the former Eh Ved and the Spiritualist reclaim observances and traditions of the past?

Chassidim, this is all part of the human desire to draw closer to our Creator. Now on the other hand there are hundreds of Torah Mitzvohs which are exclusively designated for B’nei Yisroel. Because we have had such an enormous inquiry regarding Shabbos Observance I have recorded a discussion on Shabbos Observance. The purpose of this discussion is to share what our sages teach about Shabbos observance and how this relates to the Jew, to the descendant of a Jew, to the Eh Ved and the Spiritualist. This is an interesting discussion. However I will have to charge $9.00 for the CD plus a $4.00 shipping and handling charge. My intention is to make this an affordable blessing to anyone. However in so doing I will not accept returns.

Classmates, I invite each of you to participate in this learning opportunity. Those who are interested please send a check or money order {US dollars} to:

Dr. Akiva G. Belk
POB 1075
Georgetown Colorado 80444-1075

Wishing you the best!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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