Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Describing today, the 679th day from when I began www.gematriot.blogspot.com - as the very word Gematriot is the Gematria of 679 - the one word I could think to describe such an accomplishment is the word milestone. Among the definitions of this word - "One of a series of numbered markers placed along a road or boundary at intervals of one mile, or occasionally, parts of a mile" and "the end of a stage that marks the completion of a work package or phase, typically marked by a high level event such as completion."

I started this Gematriot blogspot spontaneously nearly two years ago, when I was sitting down with the computer on Motzoei Simchat Torah in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, though that is not where I was living at the time in Israel. Had I still chosen to live in the Galut/exile as I had for almost 35 years, it would have been nearly 30 hours before I would have been permitted according to Halacha/Jewish law to begin writing as first of all, my residentual state Florida is like six/seven hours behind Israel's time, and there is a second day of Yom Tov outside of Israel. And chances are, I would not have had the divine or spiritual inspiration outside of the Holy Land of Israel to ever write such a post.

During the course of nearly two years, I have written a little more than a bunch of interesting Gematriot. My underlying purpose of my Gematriot blogspot is help make a difference in people's lives, among our Jewish brethren, to encourage them to do more in the way of Judaism, to take a more active role in Jewish activism, in realizing the importance of living in Israel. While I have strong criticism for individuals who have endangered the lives of the Jewish people, especially in the Israeli government, there are times that I will criticize behaviors of particular groups primarily to make aware of certain behaviors that are not acceptable in the practice of Judaism. It's true that no one is perfect, and I can't say that I am always perfect about whatever subject that I may be writing about, but at least everyone should have a conscience of what they are doing.

More than looking to be someone to preach being strict when it comes to Jewish law, because there are many loopholes given within this framework; as one reads some of my posts, I leave NO room for anything that contradicts the Torah when it comes to what is called the political arena, especially in Israel. There is NO compromise when it comes to how things are dealt with in what is called the State of Israel, because the Torah laws are what count, and any decisions made in the Knesset or the unSupreme Court that contradict these Torah laws mean absolutely nothing, and there is no sin whatsoever in disobeying anything that they declare. In fact, unless they declare anything that the Torah says to also do or not do, like following the laws of automobile safety since according to the Torah, we are obligated to watch our health and our lives, there is no sin whatsoever if one does not wish to obey the Knesset, Israeli court, or Israeli police (and also the IDF when it give orders that contradict the Torah, including when it says not to shoot "civilian" targets such as Arab women and children, putting Israeli soldiers in danger) because they operate on a system that goes against the Torah. I do realize that some who consider themselves religious or Zionist/Charedi Leumi Jews may disagree with me, but all I know is what Rabbis Meir & Binyamin Kahane, may Hashem avenge their blood say. So while I did not originally intend for my blogspot to be dealing with what are called political issues, as what I discuss is Torah related, I wound up writing about them as I write some of my posts.

Now getting back to the subject of Gematriot, one who reads my first two posts on Gematriot will see that in fact, there are two different Gematriot of this word, depending on whether there is only one or two letter Yuds in the word. This means that with only one Yud - Gimel, Mem, Teit, Reish, Yud, Aleph, Vav, Tav - its Gematria
is 669, and with another Yud between the Gimel and the Mem, it is 679.

While both Gematriot are in fact true, I have chosen this 679th day rather than the 669th day from the founding of this blogspot to be designated "GEMATRIOT Day", for quite a few reasons.

As brought down in Sefer Gematriot by Rabbi Yehuda HaChosid, the very source for the authenticity of Gematriot is from the verse Ki Lo Davar Reik Hu Mikem "for there is not a thing that is empty for you" (Deutronomy 32:47) the original text refering to the words of Torah, as this phrase is the very Gematria of the word Gematriot - 679, demonstrating that Gematriot are indeed not just a nice game of number trivia, but part of the Torah truth demonstrated in virtually every facet of the Torah, from Halacha to Kabbala.

This above quote which is the Gematria of the word Gematriot is in next week's Parshat Ha'azinu, the name Ha'azinu being the Gematria of 79, which is also the number of this very 79th Post which is entitled "GEMATRIOT Day".

There is a Sefer that many Jews learn daily that includes portions from the three parts of the Tanach/Bible - Chumash (from the weekly Parsha), Nevi'im/Prophets, Ketuvim/Writings along with their Aramaic translation, Mishna, Gemara (the Halachic part of it) and Kabbala (most notably, the Zohar). This Sefer is called Chok L'Yisrael "statue for Israel", arranged based on the Torah prescription of the Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria, who said that one can only fulfill the minimum requirement of the daily set schedule of Torah learning by learning from these sections of the Torah (for the first five days of the week, and then reading 26 verses from the weekly Parsha on Thursday night, and then reading the Parsha twice with its Aramaic translation once on Friday before Shabbat, and then listening to/reading the Parsha and Haftara that's read in the synagogue). Bearing this in mind, the title of this Sefer has the same Gematria as the word Gematriot - 679. My point here is that learning Gematriot as part of Torah learning is no less important
as far as fulfilling the Mitzva of Torah study, so long as one learns the minimum as set out in this Sefer Chok L'Yisrael. To begin learning this today for free on the web, turn to http://echok.com.

Writing about the importance of Torah study, the whole theme of writing on www.gematriot.blogspot.com is technically based on the last Mitzva of the Torah - the writing of a Sefer Torah/Torah Scroll, which is mentioned in this very week's Parshat Vayeilech (actually, we will be reading two Parshiyot this Shabbat - Nitzavim & Vayeilech). Fulfilling this Mitzva today, while in the early days, it was the literal fulfillment of this for every Jew to have a Torah scroll written on his behalf so he would have what to study from as the Oral Torah at that time was forbidden to be written down; today's primary fulfillment of this according to the Rosh (Rabbeinu Asher) who lived several hundred years ago is to buy basic Sefarim - the Bible, Mishna & Talmud for the purpose of learning from them, though one who is able to also have a Sefer Torah written on his behalf is most praiseworthy. In any case, writing original Torah thoughts, called Chiddushim - "new" words of Torah - is part of the fulfillment of this Mitzva. Hence, I find it very significant that this "Gematriot Day" falls out during this very week that this very Mitzva of writing the Sefer Torah - the END of the 613 Mitzvot - is going to be read.

Noting the source for this last Mitzva, it begins saying "Now write for yourselves this song..." Our Rabbis explain that this is actually refering to Shirat Ha'azinu/ the Song of Ha'azinu, the first 43 Pesukim/verses of the following Parsha, but since the Sefer Torah is not able to be written in sections to have the holiness of a Sefer Torah, the Mitzva ipso facto is referring to writing the entire Chumash in the Sefer Torah.

More than just the fact that the instrument of writing is with an Eit/pen which also spells the Hebrew number - Ayin, Teit - 79, is also the same Gematria as the name Ha'azinu, the name of the song that the literal meaning of the verse of the Mitzva of writing a Sefer Torah tells us, it is this very song, as it is called, that reminds us of our purpose of living in this world, and according to our actions, Hashem sends us feedback through reward, or G-d forbid, through punishment.

Hence, both definitions of the word milestone as I wrote in the beginning of this post are applicable here. "One of a series of NUMBERED markers" as Gematriot are all about NUMBERS, the name of the fourth book of the Chumash, the beginning of which mentions by Jewish/Hebrew birthday "the first of the second month" - 1 Iyar - twice. "The end of a stage that marks completion" describes the last Mitzva of the Torah, writing a Sefer Torah - the completion of the 613 Mitzvot - based on which is the concept of writing Chiddushim.

And as this is my 79th Post, on the note that the Hebrew number for 79 also spells the word Eit/pen, as this is the very instrument used for writing, the count of the number of words in the Chumash/Sefer Torah, as found at the end of many Chumashim, are 79,976 words, very close to the round number 80,000, but the fact that this number begins with 79 is most significant in terms of mentioning the amount of words that are WRITTEN in the Torah scroll. As a mnemonic for this to remember the amount of words, a phrase is quoted from Psalms 45:2-3 Eit Sopher Mahir Yafyafita M'Bnei Adam "my tongue is like the pen of a scribe who is skillful. You are more handsome than other men" which according to Rashi is refering to Torah scholars. In any case, it is a Sopher Stam, a certified scribe according to the Torah who writes holy writings that includes the Sefer Torah, Tefillin & Mezuzot.

Getting back to how this verse hints to the number of words in the Torah, the word Eit is the Gematria of 79, and particularly in this case is 79,000 as the beginning number(s) in Hebrew can sometimes denote the numeral in thousands, the same way that the Hei in our present Hebrew year Hei Tav Shin Ayin is 5,000, adding the total to this year 5770. Now, Sopher is the Gematria of 346, add the first letter of the next word Mahir which is Mem=40, and the next word Yafyafita is the Geamtria of 590; hence, 79,000+346+40+590=79,976. How fitting is it that this very verse hinting numerically to the number of words in the Torah is describing "the pen of a skilled scribe who is most handsome".

Speaking of the number of words in the Torah, the Chofetz Chaim in reference to the greatest Mitzva of the Torah which is learning/teaching Torah, the eternal reward for each word of Torah being greater than ALL of the other Mitzvot combined, states that it is possible to recite 200 words in one minute. Now, I thought of doing something very mathematical here. Theoretically, if one were to recite 200 words of the Chumash a minute, it would take 399.88 minutes to accomplish this feat. This is nearly 6 hours and 40 minutes.

Now, as each day of the week corresponds to another millenium of the world's existance, matching the hours of the day with the timing of our present millenium, we had just reached the point of 6 and a half hours into the daytime (of Erev Shabbat), which according to Halacha, is the earliest time of the day, called Mincha Gedolah, when the Mincha/afternoon prayer may be recited. This is most significant in terms of this point in history when according to today's Kabbalists and autistics, Moshiach is so close to coming, and so we need to prepare ourselves spiritually while we still have the chance to repent before it's too late, the same way that Erev Shabbat is the time when we are supposed to be just about ready to accept the Shabbat. In fact, according to some versions of the Siddur/prayerbook as found in Nussach Sephard, there are special prayers for Erev Shabbat that are the first prayers recited before the regular afternoon service. There are those few who are already spiritually ready for Shabbat at this time of the day already starting with these prayers.

With this being said, we can now perform the rest of the math here. 399.88 divided by 720 minutes of an even 12 hour daytime equals 0.5553889. Now, taking the last
500 years of this millenium corresponding to the daytime hours between the years 5500-6000, 277 divided into 500 is .554, and 278 divided into 500 is .556. Hence, we can safely say that no later than the year 5778 of the last 500 years corresponds to the time of day in which if one were to theoretically recite exactly 200 words a minute (though according to Halacha, there is an obligaton to recite the morning prayers which include the morning time Shema) he would be finished at the 6 hours and 40th minute mark. While I am not here to predict the exact year that Moshiach will actually arrive, we do know that there will be other things happening around this time, including the close of the final Gog U'Magog war. Noting the 40th minute of the seventh hour, it took 40 days for Hashem to teach the Torah to Moses, whose name begins with a Mem=40, the Mishna - the foundation of the Oral Torah - which explains the Mitzvot of the Chumash, begins with a Mem=40 (the word Mei'ei'ma'tai - "From when")and ends with a Mem Sofit (the word V'Shalom - "with peace"), which in simple Gematria, also equals 40, and Rav Ashi, the compiler of the Babylonian Talmud,
was the 40th generation from Moses (not in a physical sense as descending from Moses, but in terms of generations who were represented by their respective Torah leaders who received the Torah from the previous Torah leader all the way back to Moses) to receive the Torah.

In another form of Gematria, there are five letters of the Alef Beit when spelled at the end of a word, are shaped a little differently, bearing a Gematria of higher numbers than the last of the 22 letters of the Alef Beit which is Tav=400. Each of these letters are additionally called Sophit - ending letter, which are Chaf, Mem, Noon, Pei, Tzadi, with the corresponding Gematria numbers of 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900. Hence, the Mem Sophit can bear a Gematria of 600.

In the Talmud (Chagiga 14a), there is a view that before the Mishna was written down, there were some 600 volumes of Mishna, meaning, that their learning was organized under 600 different topics - unlike now when it is only six (Shisha Sidrei Mishna), when they were yet to be written down. With this being said, dissecting the number 679 - the Gematria of the word Gematriot - you have the 600 orders of Mishna as it was before being written down, and then the remaining part of the number is 79, which spells the word Eit/pen; meaning, that the 600 orders of Mishna were eventually written down in order that the Torah would not be forgotten, because it was during that period of time that there was much oppression for the Jews, especially from the Romans who burnt down the Second Temple, "so there should not be
anything empty for you" paraphrasing the above verse which is the Gematria of the word Gematriot.

And as for the future year 5778, it was Rabbi Ashlag, author of the Sulam commentary on the Zohar who associated this year with the redemption. As I say again, I am not here to predict anything, and even after Moshiach comes, he has things to accomplish, which may mean that it will be the everlasting Third Temple that will established in this year. In any event, one thing that I did read pertaining to this
is that the Parshiyot Behar & Bechukotai - the last two Parshiyot of the Book of Leviticus, sometimes read together on one Shabbat, deals with the topics of redeeming the land & redeeming the value of people, respectively, and have 57 & 78 verses, respectively. There are other things in nature that are related to this number 5778, but today is not the time to delve into all these things. But as we mentioned this year corresponding to the number of words in the Chumash, the final verse reads "Or any of the mighty acts or great sights that Moses performed in front of the eyes of all of Israel", which in effect describes Moshiach's similar feats in the upcoming redemption.

So as it turns out, the number 679 being the Gematria of the word Gematriot, ends with the number 79, the number of this "Gematriot Day" post. In dissecting the number 79, we have two numbers here describing this very Hebrew year 5770. Well, this year does end with 70, or the Hebrew letter Ayin, which I will be writing about shortly as it relates especially to today - the 21st of Elul. And for the number nine, we know that this year, the Hebrew year Hei, Tav, Shin, Ayin spells the word HaTeisha - "THE NINE", the title of my 45th Post, the first post that I wrote in this year of 5770. And today - the 21st of Elul, is the NINTH day from the end of this Hebrew year that reads "The Nine".

One more way of playing with this number as it relates to the timing of this 679th day is to take the first two numbers of this to read 67, which is the Gematria of the name of this month Elul, and then again we are left with the number nine that hints to this very year 5770 as we had just mentioned. Amazing!


Today's date - 21 Elul - marks the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Jonathan Eibshutz (5524/1764). A prolific author and rabbi of his town called Metz, he once faced a challenge pertaining to the ruler of the area who decreed that the Jews of the town should be expelled. Rabbi Eibshutz wasted no time meeting with the ruler, and having an intellectual conversation together, the rabbi mentioned during one point of the conversation the phrase Am Yisrael Chai L'Olemei Ad "May the nation of Israel live for everlasting ever". The ruler then asked him how many Jews were living in the greater Metz area, to which the rabbi replied - 45,760. Upon this, the ruler gave the rabbi a challenge. If the rabbi could write within the hour an amulet the size of a Mezuza scroll with this phrase written 45,760 times, then he would cancel the expulsion decree. In response, Rabbi Eibschutz wrote a total of 285 letters (19*15), writing this phrase to be able to be read mathematically 45,760 times. Unlike most other stories of Jews being threatened to be expelled or some other evil decree to be cancelled through prayers and repentence, this was a most unusual way of doing the same job. To see what it looks like, check it out here -

The reason why I write this is that the middle letter of this amulet is Ayin, which as the name or word for Ayin, means eye. In terms of the Jewish people, we see that the last few words of the Chumash reads - L'Einei Kol Yisrael "in front of the EYES of all Israel". It should also be noted that the word Ayin is the same Gematria as Sinai - 130, the name of the mountain where we received the Torah. And in terms of the beginning of the Torah as the letter Ayin is the Gematria of 70, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) composed 70 Tikkunim, explaining the first word of the Torah - Bereishit, in 70 ways, as there are Shiv'im Panim L'Torah, 70 facets to the Torah.

Speaking of which, the first time in the Torah that the letter Ayin is written is the 49th letter of the Torah. Indeed, the preparation of the Jews receiving the Torah was a seven week or 49 day period following the day of the Exodus. It was only then - on the 50th day - that they could receive the Torah, most associated with the letter Lamed, which is cognate of the word Limud/learning or teaching, the 50th letter of the Torah; the letters Ayin and Lamed spelling the word Al - "ON the face of the deep". As mentioned in Genesis, there was darkness on the face of the deep, but it would be the 70 faces or facets of the Torah that the Jews would learn that would change this world from a place of darkness to a place of light, highlighted by the 70 Tikkunim that Rashbi would teach the world.

And before concluding on the immediate subject on the number 70, to note, on this final Shabbat of this year 5770 that ends with the number 70, we will be reading the double Parshiyot of Nitzvim-Vayeilech that have a total of 70 Pesukim/verses, which includes the last Mitzva of the Torah to write a Sefer Torah that ends with the words
L'Einei Kol Yisrael "in front of the eyes of all Israel", as the word Ayin/eye is the name of the letter which is the Gematria of 70.

And the final word of this Shabbat's Haftara, which is always the last Haftara of any given Jewish year, begins with the letter Ayin, in the phrase Kol Yemei Olam -"all through the years". Noting the final word, the word Olam which literally means word is also used in terminology of doing Tikkun Olam "fixing up" or "making the world a better place to live in". Before people do things that they think are helping the world instead of hurting it spiritually, they ought to realize that Rashbi did more in the way of Tikkun Olam by his 70 Tikkunim, than what Jews who are ignorant of their heritage do as to what they think is making the world a better place without asking a local Orthodox Jewish rabbi as to the best way of doing real Tikkun Olam (sorry, Conservative or Reform rabbis do not count, despite the good intentions of some of them). Certainly, if anyone knows how to do such a thing, isn't it the ones who learn and teach the Torah?

And the final word of the Torah - Yisrael, as the nation of Israel, having the Gematria of 541, adding to this the number 70, equals 611, the Gematria of the word TORAH!


Speaking of Rashbi, as mentioned in the Talmud (Succot 45b), he once said, "I have seen the Bnei Aliyah (term describing the ones on the highest spiritual level) and they are few. If there are 1,000, my son and I are included. If there are 100, my son and I are included. If there are two, they are my son and I." Now, in more recent times, making Aliyah is associated both with receiving an Aliyah, being called up to be read on one's behalf - a section of the Torah, as well as making Aliyah - moving to Israel. Bearing in mind that the one who made this statement is Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, my namesake, Ben or Bar literally means son of, but in another sense, means the characteristic of; and hence, his father's name Yochai can be interpreted here as meaning the Gematria of 35. Well, it was in my 35th year, a few months close to the age 35, when I made Aliyah to Israel.

And pertaining to a very recent Gematria discovery of mine, another famous rabbi in the times of the Mishna was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai who was the leader of the Sanhedrin at one time. He also made a number of institutions following the destruction of the Temple addressing the issues of the time. Anyways, as recounted in the Talmud (Succot 28a), he was among Hillel's 80 students, and as I mentioned about Hillel in a special post of March of this year (Post #65), he was the one who started the dynasty of leadership of the Sanhedrin in his family for many generations (Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai, who was not of this family, took over the leadership during the time inbetween the passing of one of the dynasty family members until the son of the next generation grew up). Anyways, this rabbi's full title Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai, is the same Gematria as my first name Shimon - 466! To think that I never thought of this before, especially coming across his name many times while learning the Mishna and Gemara, may not be so amazing, but thank G-d, I thought of this in time for this most special post.

What I do what to point out about this rabbi is that he is praised in the Talmud about knowing everything possible - both in Torah and nature. But the punchline here as far as this post is concerned, is that this long list includes - Gematriot!
Certainly, there are so many different categories of Torah learning, but the fact that this one is included shows its most special purpose in Torah learning, because without it, we wouldn't be clear on many laws of the Torah, including the amount of forbidden labors on Shabbat, which are 39, learned out from the wording of a particular verse. Now, on a personal note again, the same way as I showed my age in reference to Rashbi's father Yochai; so too here, Ben Zakkai means in one sense - the characteristic of Zakkai, being that Zakkai is the Gematria of 38. Well my friends, I was 38 years old - closer to being 38 years than 39 years - when I began my Gematriot blogspot - www.gematriot.blogspot.com!

And getting back a little earlier where I mentioned the end of the Torah, where the last word of the Chumash is Yisrael/Israel, referring to the Jewish nation, there was a most special rabbi with this name who was born 312 years ago on the 18th of Elul, which was this past Shabbat - Rabbi Yisroel Ba'al Shem Tov. As especially connected this year with the number 312, the first letters of the phrase Yisroel Ba'al Shem (Ba'al Shem Tov literally means owner of a good name) are Yud-Beit-Shin which are the same letters as the Hebrew number Shin-Yud-Beit, which is 312! Also when mentioning his name as Yisroel Ben Sara, the first letters of this is also Yud-Beit-Shin equalling 312.

Now taking the number 312, it is a multiple of 26 & 12, that is 26*12=312. As the Ba'al Shem Tov's title denotes the concept of a good NAME, Hashem's main name YKVK is the Gematria of 26, and the name Yisrael in the last verse of the Torah is the
12th word of this verse. Also, it was Jacob whose name was also Yisrael who had 12 sons; and as the beginning of the Book of Exodus states, "These are the NAMES of the sons of Israel", after which the Book of Exodus is named Shemot/names, and as the Midrash tells us, each of the names of the 12 Tribes signified another aspect of the redemption from Egypt; and in the same way, it was the Ba'al Shem Tov who founded the Chasidic movement that helped pave the way for the imminent redemption, as in a revelation that he once had when he met Moshiach who told him this.

And as special to this post, the root word of the word Chiddushim - original or "new" Torah thoughts - is Chadash/new, which in turn is the Gematria of 312.

There is a Sefer called Ein Ya'akov, which is a compilation of the Aggadic (non-Halachic) parts of the Talmud, put together by Rabbi Jacob Ibn Chabib over 500 years ago. Anyways, this phrase is taken from a verse in the last Parsha of the Torah in the context of describing the Jews living securely in Israel, which can literally mean "EYE of Jacob", hence, the word Ayin is used here as part of the name of this very Sefer. But what else...this phrase Ein Ya'akov is also the Gematria of 312! Hence, the date marking 312 years from the birth of the Ba'al Shem Tov fell out in the year that ends with the letter Ayin, the word for which is part of the phrase Ein Yaakov which is the Gematria of 312.

The connection between this Sefer and the Ba'al Shem Tov is that this Sefer was compiled as a means to get Jews who were not all that learned and weren't able to follow the Halachic parts of the Talmud, loosing their interest from learning, to be able to learn more fascinating part of the Talmud - including stories, ethical and moral lessons. This Sefer became a very popular book among the masses, and so much so, that the Ben Ish Chai taught a regular class in this every day, and every four years, held a public feast commemorating the completion of this, for which he paid from his own pocket. In a similar vein, the Ba'al Shem Tov became popular among the masses, because unlike most other scholars of his day who seemed to only be able to relate to others of like kind, while the hard working, poor Jews who weren't much learned in Torah were not only looked down upon, but were of depressed spirit due to the constant programs and massacres of Jews from not long earlier. It was the Ba'al Shem Tov who gave hope and spirit to these simple Jews, and as a result, totally changed the face of world Jewry, despite the early years of strong opposition to his newly found movement, which was nothing more than stressing the parts of the Torah to encourage Jews to serve Hashem in happiness, instead of remaining depressed. And noting the name of the compiler of the Ein Ya'akov - whose name was Ya'akov, and the name Yisroel of the Ba'al Shem Tov, these were the two names of the Biblical Jacob, the ancestor of the 12 tribes and the Jewish people. For more on the Ba'al Shem Tov, you can refer to my 70th Post (May '10).


In connection with the Ba'al Shem Tov who became popular for his Ahavat Yisrael, his love for all Jews regardless of their level of scholarship, as all Jews are called by the name Yisrael, as was the literal name of the Ba'al Shem Tov, I have a special connection with the name of this most special Mitzva, of which Rabbi Akiva said that this is the great principal of the Torah. You see, rearranging the letters of this phrase Ahavat Yisrael, it spells the date of my very birth Aleph (the letter Aleph) B'Iyar Hei Tav Shin Lamed - the 1st of Iyar, 5730! I wish I would have come up with this many years ago, but maybe it was only recently when it was meant for me to discover this.

Even as late as today, looking on the sheet from last week featuring the times for the beginning and ending of Shabbat in Jerusalem, its weekly message for this Shabat 18 Elul - "Through Ahavat Yisrael and acts of kindness, we can bring the redemption closer", indeed, a most fitting message for this past Shabbat marking the birthday of the Ba'al Shem Tov, my eyes were focusing on this phrase Ahavat Yisrael, and I thought of other phrases making up these same letters that blew my mind.

This phrase consisting of nine letters are also the same letters as the first word of the Book of Genesis - Bereishit, and the first word of the Book of Deutronomy - Eileh. Bereishit marks the beginning of Hashem's creation of this world. The beginning of the Book of Deutronomy marks the beginning of Moses' final series of sermons shortly before his passing. Another way hinting to the first and final books of the Chumash goes like this. The Aleph in Ahavat, which is the number one, refers to the first book of the Chumash, and the following letter Hei in Ahavat, which is the number five, refers to the fifth book of the Chumash. Then the remaining two letters Beit/Veit and Tav/Sav are the first and last letters of the first word of Genesis - the first word of the Torah. And then the second word Yisrael is the final word of Deutronomy - the final word of the Torah.

Now, note that the word Bereishit marks the first Parsha of the Chumash - Bereishit, and the word Eileh of the beginning of the Book of Deutronomy marks the beginning of the 44th Parsha of the Chumash - Parshat Devarim. Now, take the name Adam, refering to both Adam, and as noted in the Talmud, especially to the Jewish people. The first letters of Adam's name is Aleph, and the remaining two letters - Dalet & Mem - together spells the Hebrew number 44. This is also bearing in mind that the first and letters of the name of this 44th Parsha - Devarim - are also Dalet & Mem. And indeed, this Parshat Devarim is always read on the Shabbat before the fast of Tisha B'Av, the date commemorating the destruction of both Temples.

The latter Temple was destroyed particularly because of Sinat Chinam - baseless hatred, the opposite of Ahavat Chinam, baseless love, a synonym for Ahavat Yisrael. And it was a result of this Sinat Chinam that Lashon Hara/evil speech was spoken to the Romans about the Jews that lead to the destruction, and indeed, the letters of the first word of this Parshat Devarim begin the words Issur Lashon Hara - prohibition of evil speech, reminding us of what we need to do to prevent the opposite of Ahavat Yisrael. It was also the Lashon Hara of the 10 evil Spies who were sent to Israel to check out the land who came back with an evil report, following which the Jews cried their faces off on the 9th of Av, for which Hashem said that as a result of crying for nothing then, they would be given a reason to cry in the future on this very night of Tisha B'Av.

And in Adam's case, who is mentioned particularly in Parshat Bereishit - the FIRST Parsha, it was the Lashon Hara of the snake in the Garden of Eden who got Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit by telling her that Hashem was afraid of competiton as to the reason why He didn't want her or her husband to eat of this fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, who in turn got Adam to eat of it. Following this, Hashem confronted Adam with the word Ayeka - "Where are you?" That is, where are you now following your spiritual demotion as a result of disobeying My orders? This Hebrew word Ayeka is spelled the very same way, howbeit with different vowels, beginning the Book of Lamentations chanted on Tisha B'Av beginning with the word Eicha. And in terms of Gematria - the words Eileh - the FIRST word of Sefer Devarim, of which the first Parsha is read on the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av, and the word Eicha - the FIRST word of Megillat Eicha which is read on the night of Tisha B'Av, bear the same Gematria of 36.

As I wrote in my 36th Post, I mentioned both the negative and positive sides of the number 36 as related to Tisha B'Av & Chanuka respectively, as we light 36 lights during the course of Chanuka, and with an extra candle on each night which lights the regular lights of Chanuka, the total amount comes out to 44. In another twist from negativity to positivity, the first word of Deutronomy - Eileh, also spells the Hebrew number 1,035, as the Aleph in the beginning of this word as a number becomes the Gematria of 1,000. You see, the FIVE times that the word Ohr/light is mentioned in the account of the first day of Creation, add to a total of 1,035=207*5, and this is bearing in mind that the word Eileh begins the FIFTH book of the Torah. And as connected with the Ba'al Shem Tov, he is refered to in Chasidic writings as the Ohr Shivat HaYomim "Light of the Seven Days (of Creation)", for the light of the week of creation will be revealed in the future for the righteous, and the Ba'al Shem Tov came to this world as a sample of this future spiritual light.


In conclusion of this 79th post, the PEN post, as you will, being that the word for pen in Hebrew - Eit is the Gematria of 79, just as I mentioned in my very first post of the conclusion of the Torah - the end of the fifth book of the Torah, and the beginning of the Torah - the first book of the Torah, there is one more thing I would like to mention here about the beginning of the Torah - as it relates to my first name Shimon. As I mentioned earlier in this post, there are five letters of the Alef Beit that are written a little differently at the end of the word, which also have a higher Gematria form. Hence, the letter Noon Sophit, as the last letter of my first name Shimon, bears the Gematria of 700, making my name Shimon the total Gematria of 1,116. Lo and behold, the Gematria of the first two words of the Torah -Bereishit Bara "In the beginnning, (He) created" is also the Gematria of 1,116! In all honesty, I think the Torah is referring to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the one who Kabbalisticly explained the beginning of the Torah in 70 diffferent ways. After all, the letters in Shimon's name, when counting the position of the particular letter of the 22 letters of the Alef Beit: Shin - 21st, Mem - 13th, Ayin - 16th, Vav - 6th, Noon (Sophit) - 14th, these five numbers add up to 70!

And the Gematria of the word Gematriot - 679, when you add the numbers of this number as 6+7+9, the total is 22, as the 22 letters of the Alef Beit what make up the
writing of the Sefer Torah and Gematriot. And when you multiply these numbers
6*7*9, the total is 378, which is the Gematria of the last word of the Mishnayot - V'Shalom (with peace), and also marks the total amount of Aliyot in the Chumash, as each of its 54 Parshiyot are divided into 7 Aliyot, hence the fusion between the foundation of the Torah She'Bechtav/Written Torah - the Chumash, and the foundation of the Torah She'B'Al Peh/Oral Torah - the Mishnayot.

Noting the last word of the Mishnayot, it is mentioned as the ending of the verse quoted from the concluding verse of Psalms 29, "Hashem will give strength to His people, Hashem will bless His people with peace." And speaking of Psalms 29, in the list of the 32 Midot or methods through which the Torah can be expounded as listed by Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yose the Galilean, the 29th method listed is Gematriot! Hence, how fitting that the concluding word of Psalms 29 - V'Shalom - should be the Gematria (378) that is the sum of the three numbers - 6,7,9 - of the Gematria of the word Gematriot when multiplied with each other, as Gematriot is the 29th on the list of the 32 ways that the Torah is interpreted. Coincidence?

And yes, G-d willing, I will continue writing my Gematriot blogpost, continuing past my milestone; in fact, I plan my next one this coming Friday, more on the theme of this year 5770 as it come to a close.

21 Elul, 5770

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