Sunday, February 21, 2010

#62 - The Blessing That FEEDS

Today was the birthday and Yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu - Moses, having lived exactly for 120 years. It's hard to want to pass by this day as just another day in the Jewish calendar. The fact that we know both the birthday and Yahrzeit of the greatest Jewish leader of all times - at least in terms of humbleness and prophecy, gives us a chance to reflect on where we stand spiritually, and how we can improve ourselves. As a Chasidic master named Zusha once remarked, "They won't ask me in Heaven as to why I wasn't as great as a Tzadik/righteous person as Moshe. But they will ask me why I wasn't as great as Zusha (meaning, why I didn't live up to my potential)".

Last year for this special date, I focused on the Mesirut Nefesh/self sacrifice that Moses had for the Jewish people upon their grevious sin of worshipping the Golden Calf. He was willing to be totally erased from the records of Jewish history, i.e., the Holy Bible, in order for the Jewish people not to be decimated.

This year, I will be focusing on another of Moses' accomplishments. But first, I would just like to relate that particularly in this year, this 7th of Adar had special significance to me. You see, the celebrated day of Moshe this year was in my 40th year of life (almost reached a third of Moshe's lifespan), and as we know, it is the letter Mem which equals 40 which is the first letter of Moshe's name. His name marks the very first word of Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers and the first word of two different chapters of the Mishne Torah, magnum opus of the Rambam/Maimonides, whose Hebrew name was Moshe Ben Maimon - Yesodot HaTorah (Foundations of the Torah) Chapter 8, and Hilchot Tefila (Laws of Prayer) Chapter 12.

As a sort of a continuation from my previous post that I wrote about the response to the Jews' request for their next meal, their answer came in the form of the manna, called Mahn in Hebrew. The Rabbis in Tractate Ta'anit of the Talmud note that the Jewish people in the desert were given three different gifts. The well of water was given in the merit of Miriam, the Clouds of Glory were given in the merit of Aaron, and the manna was given in the merit of Moses.

Now, Moses was the farthest type of person from one who pats himself on the back while feeling good that people are being benefited because of him. If anything, Moses wasted no time composing blessings for the Jewish people to bless Hashem with for the manna that they ate.

Now, there is a Mitzva/commandment of the Torah to bless Hashem after eating for the food that we ate. Today, we call the set of Berachot/blessings that we recite towards this end - Bircat HaMazon/Grace After Meals. However, the Torah itself didn't dictate what formula or at least didn't spell out how many blessings to recite. It is true that the Talmud show how the verse that commmands us to bless Hashem for the food hint to the four different blessings that we recite in the present formula. However, they weren't composed all at once; the last one of these would be composed only some 1,400 years since the Torah was given.

As a starter, Moses composed the first blessing, which is called Bircat HaZan, which literally means the blessing of The One Who Feeds. HaZan is the Gematria of 62, which comes in time for this 62nd Post. But Moses was more than just someone who dictated to the Jewish people as to what Hashem wanted from them. He didn't just say, "Well, they should be able to figure out what words to use to thank Hashem if they really enjoyed that manna". He felt that a specified text would facilitate the Jews' quick ability to be able to say the right words of thanks.


With the above being said, there is a unique use of Gematria that I will now demonstrate here using the word HaZan which I mentioned has the Gematria of 62. What I will do is to show the Gematria of each letter of this word, and then put the numbers together, like this. HaZan consists of the letters Hei, Zayin, Noon (Sofit).
Hei is 5, Zayin is 7, and Noon is 50. Hence, putting these three numbers together spells 5750. Twenty years ago, the Hebrew year was 5750. Any special significance to this year?

Well, the first is that it was around this time that the internet started taking off, perhaps less than 1% of American homes and businesses, but this is when it started. Also, Communism in various countries collapsed just around the time of this Hebrew year. This is all nice, but what does this have to do with Bircat HaZan?

The bottom line is that it is only Hashem who runs the world. Communism only existed because some people felt like taking control of things which would of course lead to having much more money. The long term results of this is that only a few would have everything that their hearts desired for while everyone else would have to live with just the bare minimum.

In a different way, people with access to today's Tree of Knowledge feel like in control and can take whatever fruit on this tree without anyone saying even as much as "Boo!" After all, it's all about gaining knowledge, so how can this hurt anyone?
But aside from the fact that people can be quite distracted, and not take care of what needs to be done outside of the world of the internet, it literally makes some people feel like they are in top of the world. Hence, the "world wide web" is not just some countries of which only a handful of people compared to the rest can control, but in fact one now has the chance to control in a far much bigger way - the ENTIRE world.

What I am trying to point out here is that around this year 5750 some 20 years ago, Hashem demonstrated His Mighty Power. Who would have dreamed way back in 1917 when the Bolshevik Revolution took place that Communism with its immense power would ever collapse, though totally ignoring the fair system of Capitalism being endorsed by the ultimate world power - the United States. True, so many millions of people would barely be able to make it with the food they could afford, even though they could have been hard working people who truly earned their pay. But the time had come for Communism to be put to an end.

In life, Hashem has it arranged that everything has a balance. It wasn't that now that less free choice existed once Communism had its big downfall. In place of this,
another big item of having big control of others or things had to be created in place of Communism to allow people to have the free choice of performing good or evil, because otherwise, there would not be a sense of having a world where people do not have a choice but doing good, but this is not what Hashem wants. We are in this world specifically in order for us to earn our keep, and we need to be willing to accept the fact that it is only Hashem who controls the world.

And so the temptation of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, like the original temptation for Adam & Eve, was created. There are those who know how to be responsible internet users, and have used this vehicle as a means of helping people worldwide. However, in the same time, many have abused this tree and controlled, or more like it, actually have found themselves being controlled by this most complex machine, due to their addiction to it. While thinking they are on top of the world, they miss the whole point of what the internet is supposed to be about as a new creation that Hashem allowed only for the purpose of serving Him, and exploit it for their own selfish use and reasons.

One remembering that it is Hashem Who feeds the world will take things in a very different perspective. It's true that Hashem has mercy over all his creatures, but even one who is not an athiest from Communistic ideas needs to realize that just like Hashem has the power of feeding the world if only everyone knows how to share (about which people haven't done such a good job when like half of the world is starving to death), so too does only Hashem have the power to do everything else. And so now on a much wider scale, people have the free choice to do good or evil. They can either choose to use modern technology to benefit mankind, or they can exploit it for their own pleasures and power like politicians who feel they are on cloud nine until caught for embezzlement of funds.

Hence, the year 5750 marked a major turning point in terms of how mankind can choose to serve Hashem, beginning with the concept of believing in Hashem for being able to provide for all if only we allow this to happen. We just have to open up our eyes and realize that there is something that can be done to benefit mankind, beginning with sharing Hashem's gift of food with those who can least afford it. While many will openly reject the theory of Communism, they behave as Communists in their own way - sometimes worse than Communists - when in control of a machine that they can manipulate with the click of a button when in reality, it is Hashem, and ONLY Hashem who can truly do things like this, and it is only granted to mankind on a superficial level to allow for good things to happen.


Now getting back on Gematriot on the word HaZan, there is another way of interpreting the Gematria on this word using the same method, but with one slight difference. Referring to the assigned Gematriot of letters, there are five letters of the Alef Beit that are shaped a little differently at the end of word, being given the title of Sofit - ending letters, which are Kaf, Mem, Noon, Pei, and Tzadi.
In this sense, though normally, the Gematria is based on the regular value of the 22 letters of the Alef Beit ending with Tav having the Gematria of 400, these five letters as Kaf Sofit, Mem Sofit, Noon Sofit, Pei Sofit, and Tzadi Sofit can in fact have the respective Gematriot of 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900. After this, higher values of numbers take place, starting with the Alef when spelling a number in the position of the first letters of the number having the Gematria of 1,000, Beit having
the Gematria of 2,000, etc.

With this being said, let's now try dissecting the letters of the word HaZan accordingly. Hei is 5, Zayin is 7, and the Noon Sofit is 700. Now, put these numbers together, and you have 57,700. Now, without the second zero, the number spells 5770, which is the number of this very year! As 57,700, it is 10 times the number that is the number of this Hebrew year from Creation.

The significance of this can be demonstrated by the 10 letter blessing that we recite before beginning to eat bread over which we recite Bircat HaMazon following this. This blessing in Hebrew is Baruch Atah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam HaMotzie Lechem Min Ha'aretz - "Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the World, who brings fourth bread from the earth". With this blessing, we remind ourselves that it is Hashem Who is King of this world, and it is only Hashem - with our petty help -Who is ultimately responsible for the benefit of having bread in this world.

It is interesting to note that the original version of this blessing was slightly different. You see, it was Moses who actually composed the beginning blessing for eating bread, which would be accompanied with many more blessings to be composed by the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, the Men of the Great Assembly, consisting of 120 board members who composed numerous blessings and prayers some 1,000 years later. However, Moses composed the blessing to end with the word HaShamayim/the heavens instead of Ha'aretz/the earth, because the manna indeed came straight from the sky instead of growing from the ground, though when the Jews came out for their daily manna, it was in a nice package waiting to be picked up from the earth it was resting on, being sandwiched with dew.

Now, there are a number of things that bread is associated with that has to do with the number 10. As we use our hands for work which helped toil the bread, our hands consist of 10 fingers. Interestingly, until Noah's time, people's hands were not created with separate fingers like we have nowadays, not making it as easy for people to work things properly. With Noah's birth, Lemech his father in naming him Noah, which has a connotation of Menucha, rest, as now it would make it a world difference to use fingers to help the world be able to work the field far easier and quicker, Noah as the 10th generation from Adam was the starting point of this revolution being the first to be born this way of having 10 separate fingers.

The Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, brings a number of Pesukim/verses dealing wiht Hashem providing the world with food that each have 10 words to them. There are 10 Mitzvot that have to do with bread. Hence, the 10th and last word of the present blessing over bread is Ha'aretz, the earth, for this is the receiving end of Hashem's blessing being facilitated by our 10 fingers to help complete the process, and use them further to utilize the bread in various Mitzvot that allow the bread to then be eaten.

Now, we know that there are 6,000 slated years for this world's existance. Hence, Planet Earth, as associated with the number 10 as the l0th and last word of this blessing over bread, is demonstrated with the use of Gematria associating the word HaZan - The One (Hashem) who feeds the world - with the number 57,700, it is in fact 5,770 times 10; meaning, that it is presently the year 5770 of Planet Earth's existance which in turn has to do with the number 10.

For those who have an open eye on what is happening in this world in this stage in history, the United States as the world power is in the worse shape, especially in terms of the economy, more than ever. Just when people thought that the recession is starting to be over, in fact, what we saw until now in the last few years is just the tip of the iceberg. More jobs have already been commuted if not on their way out the door, and the unemployment lines keep getting bigger. The war that the United States is having seems to have no end in sight, costing so many billions of dollars to the United States. You would think that once and for all, the ones in power in the United States government would really do things that would help change the trend for the better. But ultimately, it is Hashem Who is pulling the strings, the same way as one moves puppets in a puppet show to make it look like that it is the puppets who are talking and moving about.

Hashem is preparing the world for Moshiach, and as I had mentioned in past blogs in more than in one context how this year of 5770 is a turning point in world history signaling the Birthpangs of Moshiach and the end of exile, things will soon change so drastically and dramatically that will change the world forever. There has been much more talk as of late about the Mayan calendar signaling the end of the world as December 21, 2012. Now, as we know from Jewish tradition, the world will still be in existance until the end of 6,000 years from Creation; however, with our knowledge about the war of Gog U'Magog, and the nuclear plant in Iran, it is just a matter of time before the world can change in a blink of an eye. Indeed, the Vilna Gaon of over two centuries ago noted that the final stage of the Gog U'Magog war will last for 12 minutes! Now, people knowing this in his time had no concept of the type of warfare that exists nowadays. Perhaps some thought of this as strictly a spiritual thing of sorts. But it is only now that we can see the potential literal meaning of the Vilna Gaon's frightening words, and even the Mayas who were very cruel people who performed human sacrifices for their gods had some sort of prophecy, though most certainly their prophetic visions came from the source of spiritual impurity, also known as the Sitra D'Achara (the other side); nevertheless, we can see how their vision and knowledge of the calendar can be proven to be true here, which is pretty close to our present year 5770.


In the two middle days of the last month of Shevat - the 15th & 16th of Shevat, the world lost two great Jews whose each bore the name Yosef (curtesy of

On 15 Shevat, also known as Tu B'Shevat, Reb Yosel Ryba, A Hasidic Jew who was a survivor of the Holocaust, passed away at the exact age of 91 as he was also born on this very date 91 years ago. After the war, he ran a kitchen that fed over 150,000 people! Later on, besides learning Torah and involved in business, he spent time collecting Tzedaka and helping others.

On 16 Shevat, Joel Gallis, whose Hebrew name is Yosef Ben Yaakov like the Biblical Joseph, passed away. Together with Dr. Robert Wolf, he helped prepare the world for Moshiach with inspirational messages of doing Teshuva/repentance through a number of ways. They co-authored a few books called Light out of Darkness & two volumes of Between the Lines, focusing on the Hidden Codes of the Torah and Gematriot pointing to current events and other matters happening in this world preparing the world for the big awaited moment of the redemption. Along with these, their website includes 18 radio broadcasts with their timely messages, as well as a blogspot which they started only several months ago.

Some of the material on my blogspot was either directly from Joel Gallis & Dr. Robert Wolf or based on their material. I called my 36th Post - "Light out of Darkness", which is the title of one of their books and the name of their radio broadcast shows.

Personally, I don't know what Joel Gallis of blessed memory even looked like. I never met him in person or even had a chance to speak to him by phone. I did communicate with him a bit via E-mail, as I E-mailed him a couple of years ago when I first discovered their website of findings that I had discovered through the Hidden Codes of the Torah as related to his and Dr. Robert Wolf's findings. He was quite happy to see what I wrote, and he even asked if I would want for him to mention my findings on a future radio broadcast. But as things turned out, it seems that he contracted an illness not long afterwards that hindered his activities, from which he eventually recuperated, or at least it seemed. However, the next thing I knew, he was ill once again, and now this big shock has come of his untimely passing, having left this world in the prime of his life, leaving behind a wife and three children, and a legacy of Torah thoughts and teachings to help Jews serve Hashem better and repent before Moshiach comes. He may have not had the title of rabbi, as he was a professional in the accounting field, but as per my recent blog #60 about rabbis, Joel Gallis of blessed memory did much more in helping Jews spiritually than many others with the title of rabbi.

Feeling the loss of Joel Gallis and wanting to do something in his memory, I turned to, and picked a tractate of Mishna to learn in his memory - Yosef Ben Yaakov, a customary thing to do for the benefit of the soul of the deceased. I chose the Tractate Sotah, which deals with a married woman who slept or confined herself with another man, who is then given to drink of "bitter waters" in the Temple to test whether she was innocent or guilty of committing adultery.

I chose this particular tractate because it has a connection with the Biblical Joseph bearing the same name of Yosef Ben Yaakov. In fact, there is a custom among some Sephardic Jews on Succot to learn a chapter of Mishnayot corresponding to the Ushpizin/Heavenly Guest of the day. As the Ushpizin for the 6th day of Succot is Joseph, they learn on this day - the 1st Chapter of Tractate Sotah that mentions Joseph in the context of the one who buried his father Jacob, and who in turn had his coffin removed from Egypt by Moses - whose birthday and Yahrzeit was today of 7 Adar - to be reinterred in Israel.

There are in fact at least a couple more connections between this tractate and Joseph. At the age of 17, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, and he landed up in Egypt, working for some guy whose wife kept attempting to seduce Joseph.
Though he came to a close call feeling the great temptation, having seen an image of his father warning him not to sin, as recounted in the Talmud on this very tractate (Talmud Sotah 36b)and mentioned by Rashi, Joseph passed his spiritual test, and hence is one of the few who is called with the title HaTzadik, the righteous one. As it relates to the theme of this Tractate Sotah, not only was the adulterous woman actually punished with the bitter waters tearing her insides until she died, but simultaneousy as this was happening to her, her lover met the same fate, except without the bitter waters doing the damage to him.

The final chapter of this tractate starts off with the words of Eglah Arufa, referring to a calf that was killed by an axe hitting its neck at the location of where a Jew was killed in Israel (not done these days with the absence of the Temple)
whose murderer was not known. It's interesting to note that when Joseph and his brothers got reaquainted with each other, and then the brothers returned to Israel after which their father Jacob and their entire families traveled to Egypt, it states that Joseph sent wagons with them. Question: It was Pharaoh who mentioned that wagons should be sent, so why does the verse then state that Joseph, rather than Pharaoh, was the one who sent the wagons? Answer: Rashi states that Joseph gave the brothers a sign for their father Jacob to take note that the very last thing Jacob & Joseph were learning together when they departed from each other right before Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery - 22 years earlier, was the section in the Torah about the decapitated calf, Eglah Arufa.

In conclusion of this tractate, it mentions the sad scenario that will be taking place before the Messianic Era. As the Mishna keeps stating, we will only be able to rely on our Father in Heaven to save us. Indeed, Joel Gallis, along with Dr. Robert Wolf, kept transmitting these types of messages through their books, radio shows, and internet. Additionally, some editions of the Mishnayot include a parenthesized piece at the very end of this tractate about various spiritual levels that a person can reach until attaining the level of what is called Ruach HaKodesh, a minor level of prophecy, which great righteous people of even today have, which in turn will lead to Techiyat HaMeitim, resurrection of the dead, when we will certainly see once again good Jews like the likes of Joel Gallis, Yosef Ben Yaakov, of blessed memory. (I should note that the book Mesilat Yesharim "Path of the Upright" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato ZT"L is based on this very piece at the end of Tractate Sotah about these various spiritual levels)

Little did I know that there would be a premonition of Joel Gallis' passing in my blogspot. My FIFTY NINTH post entitled "To NET or not to NET" - following my previous post entitled "The GRACE of Hashem" - was dated 16 Shevat, even as I wrote the majority of that post into the next Hebrew date. As it turned it, this was the very Hebrew date of Joel Gallis' passing! In Joel Gallis' and Dr. Robert Wolf's LAST blogpost before Mr. Gallis's passing - and nothing new has been written as of today - it talks about the concept of Hashem granting GRACE. Pointing to a verse in Joel 3:5 which states that "Whoever calls in Hashem's name will escape" in the era right before Moshiach's coming, they point out that the first letters of the phrase in Hebrew - Vehaya Kol Asher Yikra B'Shem Hashem Yimalet - have the total Gematria of the number FIFTY NINE - as the word Achon - "I will be gracious and show favor".

Indeed, my FIFTY NINTH post is about whether the internet is allowed to be used or not in Jewish Law. Indeed, if used to spread Torah, it's a most meritorous thing to do. But if G-d forbid the internet is mishandled, and as I also mention along these lines in this post, then indeed it is a net that doesn't let the user escape, as it is both a physical and spiritual trap. Along the lines of those who call upon Hashem's name will escape in connection with the number 59, it relates very well with my 59th post about the net that can be used as useful internet or as a net in the form of a trap - which is dated 16 Shevat, the date of the passing of a co-author of the LAST blogspot of his that relates to the number 59!

And I see another hint within the above phrase in Joel 3:5 that hints to Joel Gallis' Hebrew name Yosef Ben Yaakov, as in the middle of this phrase - Yikra B'Shem YKVK (Hashem) "Will call in Hashem's NAME" has the same first letters as Joel Gallis' full Hebrew NAME Yosef Ben Yaakov. How timely! But remember, more than just a physical escape which will be for the ones who are still living when G-d forbid, a nuclear attack could strike, but ultimately, what will count most is the SPIRITUAL ESCAPE for those who used the world properly, and when using modern technology such as the internet, radio, etc, used these means as a way of spreading awareness about Hashem and following in his ways as Joel Gallis - Yosef Ben Yaakov - did. (In the Biblical Joseph's case, he both physically and spiritually escaped from his master's wife's seductive attempts for them to sleep together). This reminds me about Avraham Avinu/Abraham our Forefather, about whom it says, Vayita Eishel B'Beer Sheva Vayikra Sham B'Shem Hashem E-l Olam "He (Abraham) planted an Eishel (hospitality center - differences of opinion as to what this consisted of) in Beer Sheba, and he CALLED UPON THE NAME OF HASHEM, G-d of the world" (Genesis 21:33).

May the soul of Yosef Ben Yaakov find a resting spot among the righteous in the Garden of Eden, and merit to be resurrected with the other righteous in the time of Techiyat HaMeitim, resurrection of the dead. May this be the will of G-d, Amen!

Motzoei 7 Adar 5770

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