Sunday, November 22, 2009

#52 - Codes of the Coveted Covenant

Yes, a most unique name. And with this, there is another name that starts with the letter C that is very associated with this title.

You see, today's date - 6 Kislev - marks the 52nd Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl, a Rosh Yeshiva, author of Torah books, who expended much effort attempting to save Jews from the Holocaust. For the large part, "Jewish" organizations whom he asked to assist him in saving Jews turned a blind eye and a deaf ear, he lost his wife and five children to the Nazi beasts, and became physically weak in his later years from all the aggrevation that he had from everything that was happening to the Jews and to himself, which included heart attacks. It's comforting to know that he had remarried since the war, lived for like another 10 years, and has descendants today carrying his family name.

Perhaps what this rabbi may be most popularly known for to many is his unique contribution to the Hidden Codes of the Torah, before the computer era. The story that led to this is most unique. For his Bar Mitzva speech, he had composed a most brilliant lecture of his own thoughts on Torah. His grandfather, fearing that he would become conceited as a result of this, offered him a financial reward for refraining from doing so. Taking up on the offer, he used some of the money he received to purchase a Sefer from the Rabbeinu Bachya, a commentary on the Torah, which would be the very book that he was in the midst of reading when he passed away.

In this Sefer is where he first learned of this method of Hidden Codes of the Torah - which involves discovering words being spelled equidistantly, leaving an equal amount of skipped letters between the letters meant to spell a word or words. For example, let's say that we pick a certain place in a paragraph where the letter T, the first word of the word Torah, is at. After this letter, we count 49 letters, and then the 50th letter is the letter O. We continue this way for the letters R, A & H, and hence the letter Torah can be spelled with the exact amount of letters skipped in between the letters of the word Torah. And indeed, Rabbi Weissmandl did just this with the Hebrew word Torah in unique places in the Chumash that has a connection with the particular Torah section that has to do with this word.

This rabbi's findings can be found in a Sefer which is a compilation of his teachings and writings called Torat Chemed, which includes detailed mathematical analysis on building a Mikva, a ritularium in which married women after close to two weeks after becoming a Nida - beginning their period, use before resuming intimate relations. But what I would like to point out here is that the word Chemed - made up of the letters Cheit, Mem, Dalet - which means coveted, grace, or charm, is the acrostic for the three Hebrew names of this Rabbi - Chaim Michael Dov - is the Gematria of 52, and this year marks his 52nd Yahrzeit.

In honor of this, I would like to mention a piece of his Torah on the Hidden Codes - his favorite being the skip of 49 letters until the 50th letter - reminiscent of counting 49 days of the Sefirah, and then the 50th day marks the holiday of Shavuot, when we received the Torah. Hence, he used this very method with the word Torah which can be spelled this way various times in the Chumash.

Speaking of the number 50, I want to point out that the Hebrew word for this number is Chamishim - Cheit, Mem, Shin, Yud, Mem, this word totaling the Gematria of 398. Indeed, today's date - 6 Kislev, the 52nd Yahrzeit of Rabbi Weissmandl - marks the 398th day from when I began on 23 Tishrei 5769. And so while this may the 52nd post, it has everything to do with the number 50.


Being that in a few weeks will be the holiday of Chanuka, I want to mention another finding of this rabbi's in relationship to this holiday, which I touched upon on my 50th post - FIFTY in FIFTY. In this post, I had mentioned that the name of Matisyahu, patriarch of the Maccabbees, whose heroism led to this holiday, is hinted in the same way of the skip of 49 letters in between the letters of his name at the end of the Chumash, beginning with the letter Mem of Moshe Rabbeinu's name where it mentions "Moses died there" (Deutronomy 34:5). The significance of this is that there are 613 Mitzvot/Commandments of the Torah, following which rabbis from Moshe, who instituted kindling the Shabbat lights - until Matisyahu, who instituted kindling the Chanuka lights, made up what is known as the "Seven Mitzvot of the Rabbis", under the Mitzva of Lo Tasuru - "Do not turn aside from what they (the Jewish court) instructs you"; hence, these are not per se added Mitzvot of the Torah which is forbidden, but within the framework of what the Torah permits to be instituted.

Now, let's turn to the beginning of the Torah, which speaks of the accounting of the days of Creation. The same way that Matisyahu's name is spelled, so is Abraham's name spelled with the same skip of 49 letters in between this name's letters. This begins from the letter Alef of Abraham's five lettered name- the first letter of G-d's five lettered name Elokim, in the 5th day of Creation where He blesses the fish and the birds, beginning with the words Peru Urvu - "Be fruitful and multiply". While He is addressing other creatures, the very first Mitzva of the Torah is Hashem's command to mankind using this very phrase. Now, ending of with the Mem of Abraham's five lettered name is the last letter of G-d's five lettered name Elokim which is right next to G-d's statement "Let's make man".

Rabbi Weissmandl explains that Abraham came to rectify Adam's sin of the forbidden fruit; and indeed, in the verse immediately following the accounting of the first week of Creation, it says that "These are the products of the heaven and the earth WHEN HE CREATED THEM" = B'Hibaram, using the same letters as B'Avraham - through Abraham, because where Adam messed up in the world, Abraham was the first to rectify.

In the same vein, that Abraham - the FIRST Jew who observed the Torah which begins with the FIRST Mitzvah of having children - was the FIRST to work on Adam's shortcoming, it was Matisyahu who closed the lid on the giving of the Written Torah that began with Moses, so to speak. While physically, the Torah ends speaking of Moses' departure from this world and his accomplishments, the spiritual aspect of the giving of the Chumash - the foundation of the Written Torah - was not over until Matisyahu accomplished his mission of completing the "Seven Commandments of the Rabbis" - the LAST of the total of 620 Commandments - under the jurisdiction of the Torah commandment of Lo Tasuru.

A unique connection that is given between the first Mitzva of Peru UrVu and the lights of Shabbat is that a minimum of two lights - signifying husband & wife - are lit for the night of Shabbat - which is meant especially as a time for relations between the two, especially for men who are Torah scholars. Using Gematria, the word Ner which means candle - times two, that is, 250*2 - equals 500. So too, the phrase Pru Urvu - the first Mitzva - equals 500. And indeed, the Talmud in Tractate Shabbat where it speaks of lighting Shabbat & Chanuka candles tells us that in reward for diligently kindling these lights, one is granted children who will be Torah scholars.

Hence, as the Kabbalah states, the beginning is rooted in the end, and the end is rooted in the beginning. The beginning is the Pru Urvu of the number 500, and the end are the lights of Shabbat where the Hebrew word Ner times two is 500. And for the Mitzva of Chanuka, the ideal way of fulfilling it is Ner Ish U'Beito - each member of the family lighting the Chanuka lights. It's interesting to note that while lighting Shabbat candles rests upon the wife to do, and lighting Chanuka candles rests upon the husband to do, if either of them aren't able to be around to do their respective duty, it's upon the other spouse to do it for them, and the absent spouse fulfills the Mitzva through the active spouse's performance.

As I had mentioned about the topic of Mesirut Nefesh/self sacrifice in the past, both Abraham & Matisyahu displayed this very characteristic when it came to idolatry. Abraham smashed the idols of his pop's shop leading him to be thrown into a fiery furnace who refused to recant in his rejection of the deity of the gods, and Matisyahu amidst religious persecution struck dead a Hellenistic Jew who dared to sacrifice a pig on an altar in worship to the gods. And as the Talmud states, the prohibition of idolatry is equal to all of (the commandment of ) the Torah.
Hence, it is most fitting that their names should be hinted as such at the beginning and the end of the Torah, respectively.


We are in the midst of reading the Torah portions that relate to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. The Talmud in Tractate Bava Batra (16a) points out that Hashem gave these three forefathers a taste of the world to come in this world, using the word Kol everything in reference to these three. The only difference between these three is how this word is used. For Abraham, the word used is BaKol - with everything; for Isaac, the word used is MiKol - from everything; and for Jacob, the word used is Kol - everything.

Abraham was blessed with his son Isaac as the ripe old age of 100. The word in Hebrew for son is Ben, which shares the same Gematria as BaKol (52). Isaac specialized in giving tithes from everything he owned, thus he gave 10% from his total earnings, leaving him with 90% the Gematria of MiKol, from which he had an enormous blessing. Jacob was the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel, who have a total of 50 letters, and the word Kol is the Gematria of 50.

Anyways, we see that there is some sort of connection here between the number 52 relating to Abraham and the number 50 relating to Jacob, as both have to do with children. Similarly, I had mentioned earlier how Rabbi Weissmandl, whose Hebrew names begin with the letters that add up to the number 52, based much of his Hidden Codes of the Torah on the number 50. Hence, the word Chemed of this Rabbi's name is used as part of the title of the Sefer of this rabbi's teachings. Literally, it is a word that signifies something being cherished, and any good parent will tell you that aside from his/her spouse, it is their children who are the most cherished possessions in their life, who are literally everything in their life, and with G-d forbid even the loss of one of them, regardless of how many other children they have, they feel in a sense that they lost everything, that life is not the same anymore. As much as it may be painful to loose a parent or a spouse, losing a child is not the norm in everyday living when children are supposed to survive their parents and not the other way around. The parents usually sacrifice virtually everything within their means for the best of their children whom they began loving unconditionally, who came from the combined love of husband and wife, and hence a physical part of them.


It was only on Friday, literally less than 72 hours ago, that I came across a most unique story about a modern Abraham. To begin with, no one who is a convert to Judaism should be made to feel less than anyone else, as Abraham was no better when he started worshipping idols but in time learned the truth of monotheism. And so, the following story about a newcomer to Judaism who literally went through the conversion only within this past week should hope to add a special dimension to the Mitzva of loving a Ger Tzedek/convert about which we fulfull an additional Mitzva of the Torah in addition to the regular commandment of loving a Jew - Ahavat Yisrael.

A non-Jew born to a Hindu cleric who worshipped idols back in India, he knew from when he was young that idols are worthless. When becoming of college age, he smashed his father's idols, reminiscent of the Biblical Abraham who did the same to his father's idols. Following a confrontation with his father, he attended medical school during which time was introduced to the Bible by Christians. In time, he became the director of a medical center in Mumbai, India. At one point, he realized the truth of Judaism and changed his name to Aaron Abraham, his first name which he named himself after Aaron the first High Priest. His search for Judaism led him to the Holzberg couple who established a Chabad House in the Mumbai town, and together with his wife Ruth, a nurse whom he met while attending medical school, who shared his views on religion, they learned much more about Judaism from the rabbinical couple. Tragically, the Holzberg couple were murdered one year ago by terrorists in the Mumbai attacks, which saddened Dr. Abraham very much, but realized that life goes on. During the course of this past year, he gave up his prestigious position at the hospital and moved to Israel with his wife and three kids. During this past week, on the first Yahrzeit of the Holzberg couple - may Hashem avenge their blood - he and his wife converted to Judaism and were married at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, whose wedding ceremony I watched on video.


Rabbi Weissmandl points out in Torat Chemed that he has Hidden Codes for virtually most of the great Rabbis of earlier times, however, it would be too lengthy and time consuming to mention them all. However, he picks out particularly the Rambam/Maimonides - Rabbeinu Moshe Ben Maimon for this.

There is a phrase "From Moshe (Rabbeinu) to Moshe (Maimonides), there was none who rose like Moshe (Maimonides)". Of his many writings, his magnum opus is what is known as the Mishneh Torah, composed of a halachic work of all the laws of the Torah based on the 613 Mitzvot, consisting of 14 volumes or categorized into 14 sections of Jewish Law. We even know the exact date that he completed this, which is two days from now - the night of 8 Kislev. It is said that upon completion of writing this, there appeared two people to him - his late father Maimon who was an accomplished scholar in his own right, and none other than Moshe Rabbeinu himself. Moshe asked the Rambam to show him his completed scholarly work, and upon looking through it, he wished him a Yishar Koach, wishing him strength for having completed such an important work in Judaism, upon which there is virtually no halachic work until this day that does not quote from the Rambam.

And so, various hints in the Torah using the Hidden Codes point out to the Rambam and especially this scholarly work. When Hashem tells Moshe shortly before placing the final plague on Egypt force them to let the Jews out, He states Revot Mofsei B'Eretz Mitzraim - "My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt". Indeed, the first letters of this phrase - Reish, Mem, Beit, Mem spells the acronym Rambam - Rabbeinu Moshe Ben Maimon, who lived for a good part of his life in Egypt! Following this, in the section about the Sanctification of the New Moon and the details of the Pascal sacrifice and other Mitzvot related to Passover, there are other hints to the Rambam, including a 613 letter count from where the word Mishneh is spelled every 50th letter equidistantly until the word Torah which is spelled every 50th letter equidistantly, corresponding to the 613 Mitzvot upon which this work is based on! Additionally, the Pascal sacrifice was slaughtered in the afternoon of the 14th of Nissan, the very time of day that the Rambam was born!

There is a regular study session of learning the Rambam. Some learn according to the schedule of three chapters a day, while others follow the schedule of one chapter a day. And then for an elementary level of learning, there is also a schedule of the 613 Mitzvot of the Rambam in his Sefer HaMitzvot. In any case, for those who learn one chapter of Mishneh Torah a day, it is right now in the midst of the laws of Kiddush HaChodesh - sanctification of the New Moon, one of the Mitzvot that is in the midst of the hints of the Rambam and his work. It's interesting to note that just as there are 19 years to the solar-lunar cycle that we use in which there are virtually the same amount of solar & lunar days in a 19 year cycle which includes 235 months of the lunar calendar, so too, this section of the Rambam about these laws contains 19 chapters and 235 laws/paragraphs!

There is an amazing discovery that I found a few years ago that is related to this work of the Rambam in the Hidden Codes. While the Rambam wrote a number of works, it is the Mishne Torah in particular that is called particular the Rambam, as when quoting from this work, we say, "In the Rambam..." With this being said, I typed in the phrase Sefer Rambam. Though normally, it may be known more as Sefer HaRambam - "the" Rambam, it is essentially the same thing. Well my friends - this phrase can be spelled equidistantly only ONCE in the Chumash (spelled backwards). Well, we know that this year is 5770, and it is every 5770th letter that spells out this phrase! And speaking of years, I am presently in my 40th year. The first word of the regular name of this work Mishne Torah, can be read as two words - Mem (the letter)=40 & Shana/year. Hence, being in my 40th year of my life, it is most interesting that this phenomenon about the number of this year 5770 shows up in relationship to this work of the Rambam.

And in the wake of the upcoming holiday of Chanuka, according to the worldwide schedule of learning one chapter of this work daily, the two chapter of the laws of Chanuka fall out on - Erev Chanuka (day before Chanuka) & the 1st day of Chanuka! Indeed, with the fact that Rabbi Weissmandl's 52nd Yahrzeit falling out in this year of 5770, whose findings about the Rambam that he selects of all the great rabbis to record in the Sefer Torat Chemed, and the word Chemed is the Gematria of 52 like the number of his Yahrzeit this year, which falls out in the midst of the laws of Kiddush HaChodesh which is in the section of the Torah hinting to the Rambam and his work of Mishneh Torah, which is the bridge between the Chumash - the Written Torah & the Oral Torah of the Mishnah and Talmud, so too is Chanuka the bridge between the Chumash - the Written Torah that Matisyahu spiritually completed and the Oral Torah handed down by the Rabbis which includes the innovation of their Seven Commandments of the Rabbis of which the lighting of the Chanuka candles is the conclusion of these.

As we know, there is a commandment to relate the story of the Exodus on the Seder night - V'Higadta L'Bincha - "You shall relate to your child" using the masculine form for child - Ben/son which is the Gematria of 52, and in the very next verse is says Ki B'YAD CHAZAKA Hotziacha Hashem M'Mitzrayim - "For with a STRONG HAND, Hashem brought you out of Egypt". Another name for the Rambam's Mishneh Torah work is Yad HaChazaka, as Yad is the Gematria of 14, as this work consists of 14 major sections. And taking a peek on the schedule for the Rambam's birthday of 14 Nissan - the date of the slaughter of the Pascal sacrifice in Temple times, the Mitzva of which is crucial to mention in fulfilling the Mitzva of relating the story of the Exodus on the Seder night - in this year of 5770, the schedule of learning three chapters a day is the beginning of the 14th and last of these volumes (the laws of the Sanhedrin)!

For free learning of Mishneh Torah or the Rambam's writings on the 613 Commandments online, turn to this site


Speaking of the Written Torah & Oral Torah in reference to the number 52, this would not be complete without mention of the 52nd Parsha of the Chumash - Parshat Vayeilech. This Parsha includes the last two Mitzvot of the Torah. The first is the Mitzva of Hakhel - the king reading from parts of the Sefer Devarim/Deutronomy which is also called Mishne Torah like the name of the Rambam's magnum opus, read during Succot every seven years following the Shemitta year, and the second is the Mitzva of every Jew writing or having written for him a Sefer Torah, which can be fulfilled nowadays with owning Sefarim - including the Written Torah & Oral Torah.

Now, this 52nd Parsha being the shortest Parsha of the Torah consisting of 30 verses, it can be divided into two. The 24th verse states "So it was that when Moses finished writing the words of this Torah into a book, until their conclusion". As we know, there are 24 books to the Tnach - WRITTEN Torah. The 24th and the CONCLUDING BOOK of these is called Divrei HaYomim/Chronicles - which literally means the WORDS of the days, just like the name of the last Sefer of the Chumash in which this Parsha is located in - Devarim/Deutronomy which means WORDS. Now note the ending of this verse "book, UNTIL their conclusion". Meaning, the Torah could be written down UNTIL coming to what is called "their conclusion", which is the word Tumam, which has the same Gematria as Talmud (480), which in one sense, includes the teachings which form the basis of the Mishnah & Gemara, which could not be written down.

Now, for the last six verses of the Parsha, the last verse states, "Moses spoke the words of this song into the ears of the entire congregation of Israel, until their conclusion". Now note the phrase - "Moses SPOKE...into the EARS". These last SIX verses of this Parsha correspond to the SIX Orders of the Mishnah, which is the foundation of the Oral or SPOKEN Torah, which was originally forbidden to be written down, until troubles increased for Jews during which time it was written down in fear of being forgotten, that is, they were only spoken until "their conclusion", which is the word Tumam; that is, they were only spoken until it became the written form of what we call the Talmud, having the same Gematria as Tumam. Also, one the meanings related to the word Gemara, the explanation of the Mishnah, is the word Gemar - finish or completion.


I had mentioned a little earlier how the letter Mem from the equidistant spelling of Abraham's name is the last letter of G-d's name Elokim, which immediately precedes His Statement "Let us make man". The Midrash points out that the Ten Statements that Hashem proclaimed in creating the world and the Ten Commandments correspond to one another. Hence, it is this last of the Ten Statements "Let us make man" that is congruent to "Thou shalt not covet" the last of the Ten Commandments.

In Hebrew, the wording for this Tenth Commandment is Lo Tachmod, using the very same wording of the word Chemed, part of the title of the Sefer which includes the above finding of Rabbi Weissmandl. Now, you will notice that there is a uniqueness to this Tenth Commandment.
It uses the same phrase Lo Tachmod not once - but twice! You see, the first part is about not coveting one's friend's wife, and the second part is about not coveting one's friend's possessions.
Then, we see in the repetition of the Ten Commandments in Deutronomy, it is formatted the same way, except that it is only the first time that is says Lo Tachmod, and the second part is Lo Titaveh "Thou shalt not be envious/jealous". So, what's the deal here?

Having feelings for a person differs very vastly than for feelings for possessions. While coveting possessions of someone else is the same sin on the books as coveting a woman who doesn't belong to him, they represent two different dimensions. Even as you will see in the list for the second Lo Tachmod or Lo Titaveh, it includes servants/slaves/handmaids but according to the Talmud, they are considered as other acquisitions, and hence are not considered on the same relationship as someone to whom one will feel much more naturally attracted to. Bonding and mating with the opposite sex represents the ultimate fulfillment on our part of Na'aseh Adam "Let us make mankind". Indeed, having children is considered by the Talmud as being partners with Hashem in the creation of the world. However, it must not be at the expense of mating with someone who is forbidden to him by the Creator of the world. Violating the rules of the Creator of the world disturbs the spiritual as well as the physical equilibrium of the natural order of the world, and does quite often lead to much heartache and pain to say the least. In that type of situation, the coveting and ultimate sinning of adultery is not done for the purpose of having children, though it might lead to that, but to fulfill one's lust. However, lust is not the same for other items, for it is jealousy with a desire that doesn't come from a sexual drive, but strictly from a mental drive to feel that not only one wants the same for oneself, but actually wants the other person's possessions themselves. Hence, while it is indeed a mental exercise for both the forbidden woman and forbidden possessions, they are two different types of relationships with the added sexual drive that is exclusive to women - especially for some if it is forbidden which makes it more exciting for sinners.

And indeed, the Mitzva of the Brit Mila/circumcision on the reproductive organ of the body was first given to Abraham. This commandment is supposed to remind us to curve our excessive lust for sexual relations, especially for those who are forbidden to us, which is all women except for the one to whom we are married to. And even at that, there are times that our own wives are forbidden to us from the time she became menstrous, counting at least five days until the blood from her stops flowing, then counting a full seven days with no blood stains, and then and only then after a through and through cleaning of her body does she enter the Mikva/ritual aquarium to purify herself for her husband once more. For men, it is the circumcision that is performed after the first seven days of their life, and for the women, the purification of the Mikva takes place after seven "clean days". And indeed, it is through these very methods that one converts to Judaism, except that women do not have a circumcision.

Similarly, following the Exodus from Egypt, bearing in mind that this is like the exodus of the baby from the womb, the Jews counted seven weeks, and following their purification in comparison to one converting to Judaism and the menstrous woman, received the Torah. Indeed, the word for Egypt - Mitzrayim literally means the straits, the narrowness, as the constricted place of the womb from which the baby emerges into the wide world. And in reference to this, there is another Jewish book from Rabbi Weissmandl of his account of the Holocaust entitled Min HaMeitzar that means from the straits, from the horrors of the Holocaust about which this Rabbi lamented about in reference to the lack of assistance from so called Jewish organizations who pretended to be all about helping other Jews but remained impervious so to speak to the reality that they chose to ignore while millions of Jews were led to the slaughter house by the Nazi beasts.


As I mentioned the connection between the numbers of 50 and 52 during the course of this 52nd post using the number 50 as the magic number discovering Hidden Codes - Hidden Treasures of the Torah, there is another connection here between these two numbers.

You may have wondered why I didn't mention anything about the concept of Jubilee - as in the context of the Jubilee Year being the 50th year - a Mitzvah in the Torah, in my Jubilee post which is entitled FIFTY in FIFTY. It is true that I can write only so much for a posting that won't be so long. But my flow of writing works where there is a connection to the immediate topic or topics at hand.

And the same applies here. You will see why it is more special to write about the concept of Jubilee in this 52nd Post particularly, as I am writing about Rabbi Weissmandl's findings from the Sefer Torat Chemed, the last word being the Gematria of 52 on his 52nd Yahrzeit which is based on using the number 50.

As an act of Divine Providence, I found myself introduced to the Book of Jubilees just in the middle of late last night. Not considered part of the Tnach/Bible, this is supposed to be a set of mostly history with a bit of teachings given to Moses from the angels when visiting the heavens at one point during one of his 40 day stays. While some of this is not quite congruent to the order of years in Jewish history as we have it, it divides the years into a set of Jubilee years of 49 years per cycle.

Actually, a Jubilee cycle is 50 years, as in earlier times when we had the Temple and the Jews were living on their land, seven Shemita years were observed in the course of 49 years, and then the 50th year was the Jubilee year, an immediate second year of resting the land. Involving several commandments, the Beit Din announced the 50th year with a Shofar, for which another name for it is Yovel - "horn of the Yovel". These days, without the setup of Jewish living in Israel the way it used to be, we just observe Shemitta every seven years, but G-d willing, we will once again be observing the Jubilee year; in fact, according to some Rabbis, this is applicable once a majority of Jews in the world live in Israel, even if the Messiah or Temple is not yet in place, which can happen within the next several years.

In any case, I thought of a number of connections of the number of the cycle of 50 years from the Creation of the world in terms of that period in time:

Adam - passed away at the age of 930 -19th cycle. The Gematria of his wife's name Chava is 19.

Noah's Flood - in the year 1656 -34th cycle. The word Dal/poor is the Gematria of 34, and it was this flood that impoverished the world of all life outside of Noah's ark.

Jacob's stay in the house of his Lavan during which he worked for him for 14 years for his two daughters - Leah & Rachel - whom he married in the last part of the 22nd century of the world's existance before the year 2300. Now note, there is technically more than one literal meaning of Beit Lavan - house of Laban or White House. Now note, Lavan whose name means WHITE practiced BLACK magic in worshipping the gods. And this period of time falls out on the 44th cycle of 50 years from Creation. Now, in our present time, who is the 44th President of the United States? One who is half white - half black whose present residence is in Beit Lavan - the White House! And yes, he is one full of surprises, full of tricks, just like Lavan, a little more than just pulling the rabbit out of the hat.

Following this, Jacob bears the last of his twelve sons, completing the 12 Tribes of Israel, in the 45th period of 50 years from Creation. Now, our rabbis tell us that the beauty of Jacob is a reflection of the beauty of Adam. This means that Jacob came to rectify Adam's sin, a further level since Abraham. No doubt, with his completion of the 12 Tribes during this time with the birth of his son Benjamin, about whom our rabbis tell us that he was one of the biblical four who never did a sin in his life and only died because of Adam's sin, helped rectify this sin. And indeed, Adam's name is the Gematria of 45.

The Exodus took place in 2448 - near the end of the 49th cycle. And as we know, the Jews counted 49 days from after the Exodus until the Torah was given. Now, in an amazing choice of words, where Hashem told Moshe that the Jews are not to ascend Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah until Hashem says so, it says that the permission will be granted "when the shofar is sounded, then they can ascend the mountain" (Exodus 19:13). In this particular phrase, the Hebrew word that is actually used for shofar, the ram's horn is Yovel, which also means Jubilee! Hence, it was near the end of the 49th period of 50 years from the Creation that now it was the time to officially receive the Torah.

The Jews entered Israel under the leadership of Joshua in 2488, during the 50th cycle of 50 years. And just as we have a repetition here of 50, so is there a repetition of 50 in relationship to moving to Israel - why, this is the very name of Parshat Lech Lecha, the beginning of which Hashem tells Abraham to move to Israel. These two words making up the name of this Parsha each has the Gematria of 50. And then for the 50th Parsha of the Torah - Ki Tavo, it begins saying that when the Jewish nation will enter Israel, then they are to bring the Bikkurim, the Mitzvah of the first fruit to be brought to the Temple ideally on Shavuot, the 50th day from the Sephira count. Then, there is a verse that begins with the letter Noon and ends with the letter Noon, which has the numerical value of 50 - "We shall cross over, armed before Hashem to the land of Canaan, and ours shall be the heritage of our inheritance across the Jordan" (Numbers 32:32), the promise of the Tribes of Gad & Reuven of fighting for the Jews upon entering Israel; and then, and only then, would they settle down on the lands that they requested.

Now, the count of the Shemitta cycle did not start until after 14 years following entering Israel -which included seven years of wars and seven years apportioning out the land to the Tribes. This began in the year 2503 - shortly after the start of the 51th cycle. As the concept of Shemitta is related to the number seven, Hoshana Rabba - the 7th day of Succot, is so named because it is the 51st day from the beginning period of repentance starting from Rosh Chodesh Elul, as the phrase Hoshana consists of Hosha Na - please save or save now. The word Na - please/now also spells the number 51. This is the day that corresponds to the Ushpizin/Heavenly Guest of King David, whose name is the Gematria of 14. And it was only after 14 years of preparation of the Land of Israel did the Shemitta cycle of six years work and one year rest begin.

So finally, the VERY FIRST TIME THAT THE JUBILLE YEAR WAS DECLARED, the Mitzva of sanctifying the 50th year - took place in the year 2552, shortly after the start of the 52nd cycle of 50 years from Creation! Here we go, the connection of the numbers 50 & 52! Now, note the look of the number of the year 2552. First of all, it ends with the number 52. Secondly, this year can be read forwards and backwards. This may very well signify the fact that is was in the Jubilee year that land property purchased from a land owner who sold the land to help keep afloat had to be returned to him. Hence, the land which was owned by an individual according to the rules of the Torah but had to part with it to make ends meet has it returned to him - back to square one - as though nothing happened within the last 50 years!

Don't feel so bad for the buyer who had to return the land to the original owner. He had full use of it during that time which yielded him quite a profit that well exceeded the purchase price. It may have meant quick cash to the unfortunate seller, but he is not meant to suffer for this for all eternity. In this way, there is a balance among people so that there shouldn't be an economy of the few rich and most poor. While this is not meant to make everyone exactly equal in financial status, this system would help reduce a wide gap which can tear apart a community, and instead, can help everyone come to terms and realize that Hashem is the ultimate owner, who wants the best for His children -Bnei Yisrael - the SONS of Israel. And as a unified and single unit, they can be called a BEN/son which is the Gematria of 52. And indeed, the 52nd word of the Torah - concluding the FIRST day of Creation - is Echad/one (and the declaration of the FIRST Jubilee year took place in the 52nd cycle of 50 years from Creation, in the Hebrew year ending with the number 52) which in turn is the Gematria of 13. And while the Jewish nation consists of 12 tribes as the 12 sons of Jacob; when the tribe of Joseph is divided into two tribes - Menashe & Ephraim, they are then a total of 13 tribes, just as there are 13 months in a lunar leap year, as it is the leap month that helps maintain order and balance with the Jewish holidays occuring during the same season every year. And in another sense, the word Echad consists of the letters - Alef (1), Cheit (8), Dalet (4). That is, the one father Jacob, the eight sons of Jacob's two wives - Leah & Rachel, and the four sons of the maidservants - Bilha & Zilpa.

Regardless of stature of age or pedigree, we Jews are all one unit, and whatever may seem to be different is only because Hashem wills it as such - but we are supposed to learn to overcome our differences and realize our own mission in life. If status may seem to be an issue, we have to realize that it is the way that Hashem created us to serve Him in this particular set of circumstances, not because we are any greater or lower than anyone else. Hence, with this way of thinking, when we view ourselves as each one with a particular uniqueness as Hashem's son realizing that the one next to us has his own uniqueness, and that as Hashem's employees, we are not to pride ourselves over the one serving Hashem next to us, we come to realize that we are not of any more praise than anyone else becaue we are only doing what Hashem is telling us to do, not because we are any more special than anyone else. Accordingly, when we realize that Hashem is the Father who does everything in our best interest and that Hashem is the Boss who directs each one of us how to do the job correctly, there will then be no room to pride ourselves over others or look down on others, for Hashem in effect tells us to mind our own business, and just be busy with what we are supposed to be doing, making this world a better place for everyone else, which will bring the ultimate unity amongst the Jewish people, and will lead to the day when "Hashem will be one, and His name will be one".

NOTE: My next post will G-d willing be during Chanuka. Stay tuned.

6 Kislev 5770 - 52nd Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl

P.S. The time for this post - 1:48 PM, summarizes the last part of this Post #52. The number one is for the 52nd word of the Torah which is the word ONE, the end of the section of the first day of Creation. And the word Yovel/Jubilee is the Gematria of 48, about which the very first one was declared in the 52nd cycle of 50 years - Jubilee years - from the Creation of the world.

No comments: