The first verse of this week’s Torah portion says, “אלה הדברים אשר דבר משה אל כל ישראל בעבר הירדן...” “These are the words which Moshe spoke unto all of Israel across the Jordan…” The word “דברים” in this context means “words,” but if vowelized differently, it can mean “bees” as well. This is significant as the words of the Torah, especially those found in this week’s Torah portion, are comparable to bees. Bees are the source of honey, which represents the sweetness of the words of Torah. At the same time, the words of the Torah can sting like a bee, rebuking those who neglect its values. This is interestingly portrayed by the Gematriya (Numerical Value) of the word Mussar (Rebuke). Mussar equals 306, while the Gematriya of D’vash (Honey) is also 306. A final term with the same Gematriya is Av HaRachamon (Father of Mercy), equaling 306. These three terms all together indicate that although Mussar may sting, it is ultimately as sweet as honey, as it helps connect us to our Merciful Father in heaven.
The Neshama Foundation is an organization which strives to connect Jewish souls with their Merciful Father in heaven. While to a grieving family burying a loved one may sting like a bee, it is the beauty of providing a proper Jewish burial that ultimately makes it sweet, as it reconnects the soul to its Creator in the traditional way.