Parshas Bo
Exodus 10:1 - 13:16

Spirituality - Eh Ved - Judaism ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in loving memory to Mr. Mordechai and Mrs. Augusta Litman, may they rest in peace.

Two weeks ago when we began the study of the second book of Moshe, Shemos {Exodus}, we discussed in two different articles the same theme. That theme was how Spirituality was a part of Judaism. This week we examine another possibility. That possibility is the Eh ved {Servant} of a Jew. One living at the time of B'nei Yisroel’s deliverance from Mitzriam may have been an Ehver. The concept of a Jewish Ehver was first introduced then, during the time of deliverance. This is not to say that Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov did not have Ah Vaw Deem {servants}. They did. Yet there is a difference drawn between the Ah vaw deem prior to Pesach and the Ah vaw deem of Pesach to present. That difference is separation. Not every Ehved would be permitted to eat the Pesach offering. Not every Jewish Ehved would be permitted to eat the Pesach offering. There is a division. What is that separation? What is the division? What allows one Ehved to eat of the Pesach offering and denies another?

First the Ehved {or their descendant} must be purchased by a Jew. Second the Ehved must be circumcised. If a person was purchased that person was an Ehved, a servant. If a person was purchased by a Jew then that person was a Jewish

Ehved. Yet if the Jewish Ehved was NOT circumcised then that Ehved would not be allowed to eat of the Pesach offering. Here the concept of circumcision would seem to apply only to the male Ehved yet that is not entirely true. Even though the intention here with circumcision is physical, for women circumcision is spiritual. Circumcision is a sign of separation to G-d. It is a part of the Jewish Covenant with G-d dating back to Avraham in Genesis 17:10 - 14, 23-27.

Two weeks ago in Parshas Shemos in the article entitled “Spirituality-Part of the Entire Package” we stated, “...Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov are the Patriarchs of Judaism, they actually observed Spirituality. And in addition to this, the twelve sons of Yaakov were also Spiritualists... [Since] the Torah was given to B’nei Yisroel 193 years after Yaakov’s death... in the year 2448 C.E. [it means] mankind had been observing some form of the Seven Noaich Commands for thousands of years prior to the giving of the Torah... Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov observed Spirituality. Yet they did not just observe Spirituality, they also observed Torah mitzvohs.”

Holy reader, one of the mitzvohs that the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov observed was Bris Milah, circumcision. Bris Milah is NOT a requirement of Spirituality. Bris Milah is NOT part of our basic operating system. Bris Milah is required of Jews and Jewish Ah vaw deem on the eighth day after birth. Bris Milah is also required of converts to Judaism. Spiritualists are not required to observe Bris Milah.

Bris Milah was one of the Torah Mitzvahs observed prior to the giving of the Torah to B'nei Yisroel.

In addition:
- The Ehved is required to observe the Shabbos. {Exodus 20:20}
- The Ehved is required to join with his master’s household in eating pledges, donations and the terumah offerings at certain times of the year in Jerusalem... in the place Hashem chooses. {Deuteronomy 12:18}
- The Ehved is to observe certain High Holidays like Pesach, Shavuos, Sukkos, etc... {Deuteronomy 16:1 -17}

Chassidim, what happens to the Ehved who is released? What happens to the Ehved that for one reason or another becomes free? They are not Jewish yet their level of observance is beyond that of a Spiritualist. It is possible that the descendants of the Ehved feel this incredible tug... this pull... this identity to something more than Spirituality but less than Judaism requires. So what does this descendant of the Ehved do? They begin searching... Unfortunately sometimes their search leads them to some off brand of Messianic identity. Why? It is because they are the relatives of Ah vaw deem that stood alongside observant Jews. They did not convert to Judaism. They were comfortable in observing more mitzvahs of Torah. They enjoyed living on a higher level than required by Spirituality. They identified with parts of Judaism but not all of Judaism.

Today there are many who fit this pattern. However, today many nations of the world do not permit being the owner of Ah vaw deem. That being the situation those who feel compelled to observe more than Spirituality but less than Judaism often attach themselves to these pseudo groups. It is as if to say Messanics fill the gap for the descendants of the Ehvedim, G-d forbid!

What are we to do? First, we are to direct them to Spirituality. We are to teach them the Spiritualist concepts based upon the Seven Noaich Commandments. Second, we must understand that in many instances it is not a Torah violation for a Spiritualist to observe more mitzvahs than required by Spirituality even though there are some that they are prohibited from observing without the intent of conversion.

Third, we are commanded in the Torah many times to be compassionate, understanding and helpful to them. Why? Because we were once servants ourselves. This does NOT mean that we are to accept or agree with any of their mistaken ideas, doctrines or beliefs. Yet what it does mean is that we are to assist them. We are to teach them about the obligations of Spirituality and how it applies to them. We are to help them understand where they are, why they are there and where they should be in accordance to the Creator’s plan for the Universe. We are not to teach them about Judaism!

Again we at JewishPath invite you study Spirituality with us at so that you will learn... so that you will become a tool.. to redirect non-Jews away from Judaism to Spirituality instead of condemning their mistaken actions.

Two weeks ago we stated that Spirituality is a very big and important part of Jewish observance! To this we add that the Ehved is even a greater part of Jewish observance.

Wishing you the best!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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