Sunday, September 19, 2010

#83 - The THREEFOLD Mitzvah

Some may be scratching their heads here to figure out as to what Mitzvah does the title of this post refer to. Well, it is true that yesterday, at least in Israel, the Mitzvah of Bircat Cohanim, consisting of the THREE verse blessing that the Cohanim bless the congregation with (Numbers 6:24-26), was performed THREE times yesterday on Yom Kippur - during the prayers of Shacharit, Mussaf, and the once-a-year Neilah. In fact, the Bible chapter that I read yesterday on Yom Kippur, starting from a chapter a day from this past Shavuot, as I wrote about in past blogs - Numbers 6 - concludes with the very section of the Torah about Bircat Cohanim.

This is among other Mitzvot that I have in mind that are connected with the number three. And fast fowarding a few days from now, we will be celebrating the holiday of Succot, which is the THIRD of the Shalosh Regalim, which is the title given for the THREE pilgrimage festivals, when all male Jews capable of traveling were obligated to appear in the Temple, and offer animal sacrifices - Passover, Shavuot, and Succot.

But before continuing on what this upcoming holiday has to offer us, the letter Gimel, which is the Gematria of THREE - when this word is spelled out as Gimel, Yud, Mem, Lamed - is the Gematria of 83, and this is my 83rd Post.

Among the various spiritual goodies of this most joyous festival, which includes the Mitzvah of Succah - the outdoors booth, and the "Four Species", this is the time of the year when we remember the greatest Biblical figures that we read about in the past year when beginning the reading of the Chumash following this holiday. Including King David who lived following the events of the Chumash, we invite seven of these Bible figures, called Ushpizin/Heavenly Guests in our Succah during the course of the seven days of this holiday.

Aside from this, there are also parallels between the Jewish holidays and the Biblical figures. As mentioned in the Midrash, the Shalosh Regalim correspond to the three Patriarchs: Passover - Abraham, Shavuot - Isaac, Succot - Jacob. And according to the Zohar, calling the above Ushpizin as Shiva Ro'im "Seven Shepherds", bearing in mind that a few of them were in fact not only spiritual shepherds of the Jewish people, but were also physical shepherds, which in fact qualified Moses, to be the leader of the Jewish people, the corresponding one to Succot is Aaron.

Needless to say, both views as to who corresponds to Succot are true, and perhaps even complimentary to one another. Let's take one step at a time.


To begin with, just like Succot is the third of the three pilgrimage festivals, so is Jacob the third of the three patriarchs. But even without this, there is a very obvious connection between the two. The verse "Jacob traveled to Succot (name of a city) and he built there a home, and he made Succot (booths) for his livestock; therefore, he called the name of the place Succot" (Genesis 33:17).

And what do we see here - the verse manages to mention this name of Succot - THREE times in one verse. After all, it could have just said that Jacob came to a place where he made booths for his livestock, after which the place where he settled was named.

And in the very next verse, where it mentions Jacob moving on to the city of Shechem,
it notes that "Jacob came COMPLETE to the city of Shechem". Rashi points out THREE meanings of this word - 1) Complete with his body, for he was healed from the hip injury that he incurred from his fight with an angel. 2) Complete with his money, for he wasn't hurt financially by the gift that he provided his brother Esau in attempting to prevent his brother from attacking him. 3) Complete with his Torah learning, for he didn't forget anything that he learned while residing in his uncle Laban's home.

Indeed, it is this very holiday of Succot that most resembles this above theme of being complete - emotionally, financially, and spiritually:

1) Emotionally - as we say in the special holiday prayers calling Succot - "The time of our happiness". As noted at the end of Parshat Re'eh which is about the THREE pilgrimage holidays, though all of these three holidays are supposed to be special times of happiness celebrating our closeness with Hashem on the grounds of the Temple, it doesn't mention the word happiness even once in the section about Passover, happiness is mentioned once in the section about Shavuot, and hapiness is mentioned THREE times in the section about Succot.

2) Financially - The Torah calls this holiday, "Holiday of the Gathering", for this was the time of the year when the harvest of the past year, the result of a year of hard work in the fields, was finally able to show its fruits.

3) Spiritually - Besides the holiday period itself, being a time of relaxing instead of working which means a little more time for Torah learning, it also concludes with the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, nicknamed Simchat Torah in more recent times, to celebrate the conclusion of the annual cycle of reading the Sefer Torah/Torah scroll,
and immediately begin it anew. Jews of all walks of life and levels of Torah learning rejoice while dancing with the Sifrei Torah, and all males above the age of Bar Mitzvah are called up for an Aliyah. We also see in the Torah that when Israel had a monarchy, the king read from the Sefer Torah every seven years during the festival of Succot in the Temple, the Mitzva of Hakhel - gathering of the entire Jewish people - men, women, and even babies, to hear the Torah being read.

And as for the Ushpizin for the holiday of Succot, it is Jacob who is the specially designated Succot guest for the THIRD day of the holiday.


The Talmud in Tractate Ta'anit tells us that the Jews had THREE special goodies in merit of the THREE siblings (though the Talmud doesn't word it like this) - Miriam, Aaron, and Moses: water in the merit of Miriam, the Clouds of Glory in the merit of Aaron, and the manna in the merit of Moses.

There are two opinions that are mentioned as to why we observe the Mitzvah of Succah;
one view is that this is in commemoration of the Succot/booths that the Jews lived in while in the desert, and the other view is that this is in commemoration of the Clouds of Glory that protected the Jews while in the desert. It is based on this latter view, bearing in mind that the Jews were protected with these clouds in the merit of Aaron, that the Zohar says that Succot among the other holidays (including the High Holidays, Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh) corresponds to Aaron of the Seven Shepherds.

We know that Aaron excelled in the trait of peace. And as a connection between the concept of peace and Succot, we mention at the end of one of the blessings that we recite on Shabbat night - Ufros Aleinu Succat Shlomeicha...HaPoreis Succat Shalom "Spread upon us the booth of Your peace...The One Who spreads the booth of peace". I wrote about this part of the blessing as it relates to Jerusalem in my 29th Post (May '09). But today, the focus is on Aaron, the ultimate representative of peace who was the cause of much continued friendship among Jews, mending their friendship from arguments. Indeed, the Clouds of Glory, provided to the Jewish people in merit of Aaron, were these very Succat Shalom - "Booths of Peace". Ultimately, our greatest protection from being attacked from the outside is the peace that reigns between us.

The rabbis tell us that when Amalek, the first nation to attack the Jews following the Exodus, came to attack, the Clouds of Glory were not protecting the ones whom Amalek was able to attack. The reason that these Jews were attacked is because they doubted about Hashem being "among us". This perhaps explains why until the Jews came to Mt. Sinai following this, there was much bickering and quarelling among each other. It was only following the war with Amalek that the Jews came to Mt. Sinai "as one person, with one heart" which qualified them to receive the Torah. The Jews came to realize through that war that the only way we can survice as a nation is if we maintain a peaceful equilibrium, because anything that disturbs this equilibrium can threaten everyone's lives, as evidenced from the Clouds of Glory -
"Booths of Peace" - were removed, allowing for the opposite to happen. Then, when there is peace between themselves, then they can indeed feel that Hashem is among them, with both His spiritual and physical protection, unlike some of the Jews who earlier felt that perhaps Hashem was not among them.

And as also connected with the number three, the concept of peace is that "THIRD party" that resolves disputes and maintains relationships. It seems that even the Bible itself needs peace to be a Torah that we can learn from. Indeed, it is the very last of the 13 principles of how the Torah is interpreted, the list of which is first mentioned as the introduction to the Midrash called Torat Cohanim "Laws of the Cohanim", bearing in mind that Aaron, as the role model of peace, is the ancestor of the Cohanim, and is also recited in the daily Shacharit/morning prayers following the section of the prayers about the offerings in the Temple, that shows this concept. Speaking of differences in views, there is a question as to how we even read the first word in Hebrew of this 13th principle. V'Chein - "And so...", as concluding the list of 13 principles or V'Kan - "Here..." "...there are two verses that contradict each other, until a THIRD verse comes and resolves the difference between them".

And on the concluding verse of the Bible chapter - Numbers 7 - that I am reading for today - 11 Tishrei - (NOTE: This is the LONGEST Chapter of the amount of verses (89) in the entire Chumash of 187 chapters!), Rashi points out a prime example of this principle. One verse states at the very beginning of the Book of Leviticus "Hashem spoke to him (Moses) from the Tent of Meeting", which is outside of the area of the Ark cover. Then another verse states (Exodus 25:22) "I (Hashem) will speak to you (Moses) from above the Ark cover" (indicating an area right above the Ark cover). It is a THIRD verse - the last verse of today's Bible chapter of the writer of this blogpost - that states that when Moses came to the Tent of Meeting to speak with Hashem, "he will hear the Voice speaking to him, emanating from above the Ark cover on the Ark of Testimony from between the two cherubim, and He (Hashem) spoke to him."

So we see that with Jacob, the strong feature that kept him going physically and spiritually is the concept of Shalem/being complete; while with Aaron, it was the concept of Shalom/peace that he excelled in. Noting the similarity between these two words, there is only Shleimut/completeness when there is Shalom/peace, because even the most water mouthing food amidst arguing and bickering will hardly be enjoyable, as noted by King Solomon when he was once kicked off his thrown by the head of the demons, and find himself wandering for a while, experiencing being in a rich home with fighting all around him, and in a home with little to offer in the way of nourishment, but being in a peaceful environment.

And perhaps it is no coincidence that the words Shalom/peace and Shalosh/three begin
with the same two letters - Shin & Lamed. Indeed, these first two letters spell the word Shell/of, which is a word denoting that an object belongs to someone. Of course, there are times that there are fights as to whom certain things belong to - just ask any class of schoolchildren. And so, when this happens, a THIRD party has to interfere to make PEACE. In some cases, it may be a painful decision to one of the arguing parties, but if a correct decision is made that sounds rational and depending on the attitude of the losing party should there not be an even compromise,
it is possible that life will continue on for both parties equally afterwards; but more importantly, it is this type of decision making - more than solving that particular case - that maintains a peaceful equilibrium among society. Without some type of "interference" that can at least possibly make things more peaceful; because otherwise, before you know it, everyone will be claiming something that belongs to someone else.

Prime examples of these concepts can be found among the first three tractates of the Order of Mishnayot called Nezikin/Damages. These tractates are called Baba Kama "First Gate", Baba Metzia "Middle Gate" and Baba Batra "Last Gate". Originally, these three tractates were one long tractate; and hence, it was divided up accordingly. In the very beginning of Baba Metzia, we see a case where two people
are holding a garment, each claiming that it is theirs. Without variables that can determine if this garment belongs to one over the other, they split the value of the garment. And then in the very beginning of Baba Batra, we learn that when partners of a courtyard want to make a partition for each to have their own space, they have to build a wall in the middle.

And so while peace is the special characteristic trait of Aaron, we see a similar concept of being the "third party" and "middle party" in relationship to Jacob. You see, the THREE patriarchs each represent a different concept: Abraham - Chesed/Kindness, Isaac - Gevurah/Severity, Jacob - Tiferet/Beauty. While Jacob is the THIRD of the Patriarchs, he is in essence the MIDDLE in terms of the Patriarchs' respective character traits. Jacob is the beauty that makes harmony between unlimited kindness and unlimited severity, both of which can do harm in each one's respective ways. Typically, in dealing with oneself and other people, the MIDDLE road, of which the Rambam/Maimonides - spiritual and medical doctor - in his Mishneh Torah (Hilchot Dei'ot), speaks about extensively, is the path which can ensure a proper balance of proper human behavior which works best in society.

And as the Rambam spoke in terms of the body about healthy eating and proper regimen,
the Tikkunei Zohar in its second introduction points out that "kindess is the right arm, severity is the left arm, beauty is the body". Although the Aramaic word is used for the word body in the original, the Hebrew word for body is Guf, which is the Gematria of 89. And as I pointed out here, the final verse of Numbers 7 is the verse that makes peace between two other verses in clarifying as to where Hashem spoke to Moses. It is the 89th verse - the Guf/body=89, the beauty that brings harmony between two other verses, so people won't say that the Torah contradicts itself (of course, there will always be those Bible deniers who will look for fault who certainly will never believe in the Oral Torah that directs the interpretation and laws of Jewish living), the ONLY 89th verse of a chapter of all the 187 chapters of the Chumash!

And along these lines, being that the Mishkan/Tabernacle where Hashem spoke to Moses was the forerunner of the Beit HaMikdash/Temple, as per Talmud Berachot 58a, as quoted from Rabbi Akiva, it is the Sephira/Divine Emanation of Hod/Glory which represents the Temple. And as pointed out by the Vilna Gaon, Hod corresponds with the holiday of Chanuka, the holiday which came into being thanks to the Hasmonian family, the Maccabbees, Cohanic descendants of Aaron, who in turn corresponds with the Sephira of Hod. And the name Chanuka, during which most of the special holiday reading is Numbers 7, is also the Gematria of 89. Pertaining to the spiritual meaning of Chanuka, the Syrian Greeks, who worshipped the body, wanted the Jews to follow this lifestyle as well, and hence, a new Jewish holiday appeared on the horizon which represents the fight of the brave Maccabbees, headed by Matisyahu ben Yochanan Cohen Gadol, whose name Matisyahu has the same Gematria as Beit HaMikdash/Temple - 861, who faught both physically and spiritually against this "body" concept.

And as this is my 83rd Post, while I am writing about Aaron, the Torah mentions that when Moses was given his mission to speak to Pharaoh to release the Jews from his country, Moses was in his 80th year and Aaron was in his 83rd year. (Note that while the verse is normally translated as Moses being 80 years old, and Aaron being 83 years old, we know that Moses passed away exactly at 120 years old, and spent his last 40 years in the desert, and it was a year earlier when he first was given his mission to speak to Pharoah; hence, being in his 80th year. Similarly we see that Aaron passed away in the 40th year in the desert when he was 123 years old; hence, 41 years earlier, he was in his 83rd year.)

And just as Aaron was the ultimate peacemaker for the Jewish people, it was most appropriate for him to be his brother Moses's spokesman to speak to Pharaoh as part of his own assistance for the general good of the Jewish people. The fact that the Torah mentions his age at this point of his life along with Moses' tells us that this was a turning point in his life in being a leader of the Jewish people, just as it was for Moses'. Even though Moses was actually the main leader, the fact that Aaron is mentioned here along with his brother Moses, and as Rashi points out, the Torah mentions the holiest brothers as both "Aaron & Moses" and "Moses & Aaron" to tell us that both were equal. And what Aaron did at this point towards the release of the Jews was a preparation for him to be the first Cohen Gadol/High Priest of his people, which would take place two years later.


Being that the holiday of Succot is the THIRD of the three pilgrimage holidays, and as connected with Jacob & Aaron as per the concept of the number THREE, it seems that the root of all this is embedded in the word Succah itself - spelled
Samech-Kaf-Hei (though at times, it is also spelled with the letter Vav in its midst).

You see, it concerns about how many walls that a Succah can be built with to be a kosher Succah. With this being said, there are THREE categories of kosher succahs.

Samech - This letter has four sides to it, totally encovering the space within its midst, representing the Succah built with four sides, the premium way of fulfilling this Mitzva, just as the Samech is the first letter of Succah.

Kaf - This letter has THREE sides to it. Similarly, a Succah can also be kosher with THREE sides to it, allowing plenty of people such as in a synagogue to come right into it without a long wait of people entering to make Kiddush before going home.

Hei - This letter has two complete sides and a partial THIRD side to it. Accordingly, even a Succah with just two complete sides and a partial THIRD side to it technically makes it a valid Succah, though you will hard pressed to find such a Succah.


To come to think of it, there is hardly a blogspot in which I do not write about a particular Mitzva/Commandment or about Mitzvot/Commandments in general. After all, as the Zohar notes, the Torah is the food for the soul while the Mitzvot are the garments for the soul.

First, as it relates to the Mitzva of Succah, the word itself means covering. Similarly, clothing covers our bodies, serving THREE functions - 1)Covering our nakedness, 2)Protecting us from the elements, 3)Commanding respect by how well one is dressed. (NOTE: There may be a fourth objective of fooling others, like hiding from the authorities, but the objectives are for living standards in a behaved society).

In a more literal sense, the title of this post is refering particularly to one Mitzvah - Mitzvah #333. But before I tell you what this Mitzvah is, let me tell you what led to me to writing about this mystery Mitzvah, more than just the fact that this 83rd Post is about the number three.

You see, unknown to too many unfortunately, along with the popular daily study programs of Daf Yomi, Mishnah Yomit, and Halacha Yomit, to name a few, there is a study program called Mitzvah Yomi - the daily learning of one of the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah, that began nearly fifty years ago. I first accidentally came across this from a calendar from the Yeshiva of Ungvar in Brooklyn whose head rabbi instituted this. I searched the internet now about this program. Aside from the institution from which this began, there is hardly anyone else who makes mention of this most important development of Jewish learning, even having received a signed approbation from some 20 rabbis.

Anyways, it was just a few days ago when I came across three small booklets from this institution comprising the 613 Mitzvot for three cycles, spanning a few years. Hence, what I saw for the first time now, is the number of the cycle of learning the daily Mitzvah. We are presently in the midst of the 30th cycle, which is very interesting, because the letter Lamed, the root of the name of this letter which means learning and teaching, is the Gematria of 30.

Doing my math on this, figuring out on the Hebrew/English calendar as to when this learning program began, the date that this program began was the THIRD of Adar 5721/1961. Hence, we are presently in the FIFTIETH year from when the learning of Mishnah Yomit began.

Now, before I go on with my answer as to what the 333rd Mitzvah is, there seems to be two basic versions of the 613 Mitzvot that are followed today. There is the list based on the Rambam's count, based on which is his Mishneh Torah, encompassing the laws of the Torah that are the details of the Mitzvot. And then, there is the count of the Sefer Hachinuch "Book of Education", whose Sefer focuses on detailing the reasons for the Mitzvot.

While some will argue that both are right,as is noted by arguments in the Talmud between two or more rabbis; in this case, I beg to differ. Why these lists are different basically hinge on whether it is one Mitzvah or another Mitzvah that is included among the 613. Without getting into all kinds of details, as there can be only ONE set of Mitzvot that is the correct version, I say that it is the Rambam's list that is THE CORRECT LIST OF 613 MITZVOT. I say this for at least three reasons:

1) He writes 14 qualifiers as to what can be part of this 613 Mitzvot, which he calls Shorashim (roots), something that no other Mitzvah codifiers do, or at least to the extent that he does. He criticizes previous codifiers who were not very cautious as to what qualifies to be part of this Mitzvot list.

2) His Mitzvot list forms the basis of his Mishneh Torah, which has been a major source of Jewish law for over 700 years. This is coupled with the story of his father (Rabbi Maimon) and Moses (yes, Moshe Rabbeinu himself) who appeared to the Rambam on the night that he completed his magnum opus, and when Moshe Rabbeinu himself saw his halachic work based on his list of the 613 Mitzvot that Moshe Rabbeinu himself received from Hashem on Mt. Sinai, he verbally gave him his approval. Aside from this; the Sefer HaChinuch, in contrast, never became such a mainstay source of Jewish law beyond its basic mentions of Halachic aspects related to the Mitzvot.

3)A few years ago, I came across a Sefer, called Simanei HaMitzvot "Signs of the Commandments" that points out how to remember the 613 Mitzvot based on the number of the Mitzvah; meaning, that each number in Hebrew spells words (from one to four words based on the numerals of the number) that spell the basic content of that particular Mitzvah. Unlike most other Seforim on the 613 Mitzvot that follow the Sefer HaChinuch, this one follows the list based on the Rambam. I was absolutely convinced that it is the Rambam who has the correct Mitzvah list when I saw that it is Mitzva 420, rather than Mitzvah 419, that is the Mitzva of Talmud Torah/learning & teaching Torah. Besides its own words to remember this Mitzvah (Torah Kulah/Torah in its entirety, beginning the letters Tav-Kaf, which is 420), I came up with a few other mnemonics or Gematriot that PROVE beyond any shadow of a doubt that the most important Mitzvah of the Torah - Torah study - is the 420th Mitzvah listed in the Torah.

Unfortunately, this schedule of Mitzvot coming from the institution founding the concept of Mitzvah Yomit follows the Sefer HaChinuch, which I say is not a complete correct list, or put more bluntly, is an incorrect list, as it is the Rambam who has the correct list. Other than this, this is a very beautiful concept.

With this being said, according to the CORRECT list of the Rambam, Mitzvah #333, the Number Mitzvah for this day - 11 Tishrei 5771 - is for the Beit Din/Jewish court to declare the Jubilee Year - the year following seven cycles of seven years each, the seventh of each cycle being the Shemitta year of allowing the fields in the last of Israel to rest from work - the FIFTIETH year of the Shemitta cycle - to be holy. And being that I found these booklets from the institution of the Mitzvah Yomit only a few days ago, though I have to admit that I didn't always follow through with the schedule that I saw from the institution several years ago, I believe that it is nothing short of Hashgacha Peratit/Divine Providence that this happened to me!

Noting this Mitzvah of the FIFTIETH year as Mitzvah #333, this is a parallel to the holiday of Shavuot, which is called by the Torah the "FIFTIETH Day" - from the day that the Omer/barley offering was brought. It was on this holiday that the "threefold Torah was given to the threefold people through a third-born on the third day in the third month" (Talmud Shabbat 87). Hence, we see a multiple of the number three in relationship to Shavuot being the "Fiftieth Day". And just as on Yom Kippur of the FIFTIETH year, the Shofar was blown, so too was the Shofar blown at Matan Torah/Giving of the Torah which took place on Shavuot - the "FIFTIETH Day".

To note, I wrote my 50th blogpost nearly a year ago called "FIFTY in FIFTY" (when it was the 49th year of the Mishnah Yomit cycle), but this is perhaps the most important FIFTY in FIFTY that I ever came across - the learning of the daily Mitzvah, which is the Jewish court declaring holy the FIFTIETH year of the Shemitta cycle (though not applicable these days until the Jubilee year is instituted once again) in the midst of the FIFTIETH year of the learning of Mishnah Yomit. This is bearing in mind that unlike some other learning programs where a Sefer such as learning three chapters of Mishneh Torah can be completed within one year, it takes nearly 21 months to learn a Mitzvah a day, so it could have happened theoretically than this Mitzvah would not fall out during the fiftieth year if it was a different number on the list.

And on another note of FIFTY in FIFTY, today - the day of the Mitzvah about the FIFTIETH year - is the beginning of the FIFTIETH week from when the new cycle of learning the Parshiyot of the Torah began on 23 Tishrei, on a Sunday, of this past year (following the day of Simchat Torah when we completed the reading of the Sefer Torah). Just a mere coincidence?

And if this was not enough, the Mitzvah of yesterday - Yom Kippur: Mitzvah #332 - which works out perfectly following the Rambam list - is the Mitzvah of blowing the Shofar on Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year (this is where the Minhag/custom of blowing the Shofar at the end of every Yom Kippur comes from) to signal freedom for Jewish servants to leave their masters, and to returned acquired land to its original owners, which took place once in 50 years. Amazing, the learning of the Mitzva of blowing the Shofar on Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year on the day of Yom Kippur! (Trust me, it is the Rambam who has the correct list of the 613 Mitzvot). Moreover, as the Shofar is a ram's horn, and a ram is Ayal in Hebrew, Ayal is the Gematria of 41, and this Yom Kippur was during my 41st year of life.

Speaking of 50 years, these two special Mitzvot took place even less frequent than the rare Bircat HaChamah ceremony, based on the planetary position of the sun, which takes place every 28 years which just happened a year and a half ago. These days, one with exceptional longevity beyond a hundred years, but less than 120 years, might be fortunate to live with four cycles of Bircat HaChama which also depends when he was born in the course of the 28 year cycle if he can even remember the first time as a youngster, but it is much more likely that there are those who have lived through three such cycles if they live into their eighties. However, this once in a 50 year event is more like a two in a lifetime event for many, and a three in a lifetime event for the rare few who are bit beyond a hundred years old, based on when they were born during the course of 50 years, making the statistics even more rare for three times because it is once in 50 years rather than once in 28 years.

Meanwhile, for those who think this may be a little hard to open the page on the book every day to see the daily Mitzvah, there is an alternative that I can offer you here - In practical terms, today's Mitzvah on the blogspot is about putting fencing around one's roof, in short, removing obstacles from one's property that can do damage to someone (without seeing this beforehand, I already wrote here about the tractate dealing with Nezikin/damages!). This is to note that unlike many of the other Mitzvot that deals with the subject of damages, this is the one that deals with PREVENTING damage, just like preventing onself from getting sick is far preferable to curing oneself only once he/she is already sick. Perhaps the connection of this Mitzvah of preventing damage in connection with today - the day immediately following Yom Kippur - is that now we are supposed to be in a clean state, we should look to prevent ourselves from falling into the hands of sin, rather than worrying about repenting for our sins after letting ourselves being spiritually careless. And the previous Mitzvah that is written on that blogspot is about the prohibition of inventing a new Mitzvah.

Yes my friends, there is no sin to be an inventor in other areas; in fact, inventors have created great products that can turn out to help us serve Hashem better doing Mitzvot, like the internet for some whose lives changed to become observant Jews now doing Mitzvot as a result of Torah that they learned online. However, it is very important to learn the CORRECT set of Mitzvot, and with the approbation of Moshe Rabbeinu himself, one cannot go wrong learning the Rambam's list of Mitzvot, unlike other lists which obviously include at least one Mitzvah that is not among the 613 Mitvot that Moshe Rabbeinu received from Hashem Himself. If any of these other codifiers can come to me in a dream and tell me that they also got the approval of Moshe Rabbeinu himself, then maybe we can talk about learning the list as it comes from Sefer HaChinuch or other such sources (though the content of these Mitzvot in these other Seforim, such as their reasons, should not be downplayed).

And one more thing on the number FIFTY before closing on this subject, in observing the names of the leaders of the tribes who brought their offerings on behalf of their tribes following the dedication of the Mishkan, the theme of today's daily Bible chapter - Numbers 7 - we see that the name of the first leader who brought his offerings is Nachshon, which begins and ends with the letter Noon (to be exact, it is a Noon Sophit at the end of a word) which is the Gematria of 50. Accordingly, the last letter of the last of these leaders, when spelling his full name as Achira Ben Einan, the final letter of his father's name is also Noon (Sophit)=50. And this, on the day that I learned the Mitzva of the Day - Sanctifying the 50th Year - declaring the Jubilee year holy! And speaking of Nezikin today, as also being the name of the fourth order of the Mishnayot, this word also begins and ends with the letter Noon.

At the far end of this - at the Mincha/afternoon prayers of Yom Kippur at the conclusion of our personal Shemoneh Esrei prayer, we recite the special Viduy/confession prayers, the same thing that we say several times during Yom Kippur.
The reason for this is that should one choke to death, G-d forbid, on a meat bone eating during the big meal that is eaten before Yom Kippur, he/she will be in a clean spiritual state if one confessed his/her sins right beforehand. But the reason why I mention this specially in this post is because my daily Bible chapter that I read for 9 Tishrei, the date on which we say these Viduy prayers, is Numbers 5, the very chapter where the Mitzvah of doing Teshuva/repentance comes from "They shall confess their sins".

While confession itself is not the MAIN part of repentance, as if anything, it accomplishes the opposite purpose of what it is supposed to represent if one still hangs on to the sin just the same, it is a bold step for one who is serious about making a change by openly admitting that "Yes, I have sinned, and so now I have to take responsibility for myself and do something about changing my ways so I will not repeat my sin(s) again". While it may take a while for some to change bad habits, making a sincere effort on improving, whether it means less of the amount of sins, or less time spent on the sin, is at least one step towards full repentance, and at least one can tell Hashem the following year that indeed, he/she did something to prove towards meaning to do the right thing. In fact, one should not attempt to do everything right overnight, because doing so for most will lead to being back to the way he/she was beforehand if not being worse afterward. This is bearing in mind what Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, founder of the Mussar movement, once said, "It is easier to master the entire Talmud, than change even one bad characteristic trait".


Today - 11 Tishrei - is the date that the materials of the Mishkan started to be donated by the Jews. Perhaps the custom of starting to build the Sukkah immediately following Yom Kippur, the beginning of 11 Tishrei, is based on this. In any case, it was just in a matter of days that everything got assembled to begin construction.
Though it is forbidden today to build a structure on a Jewish holiday just like Shabbat; according to the Vilna Gaon, construction of the Mishkan began on 15 Tishrei, the date of the first day of Succot. Perhaps the fact that when it mentions in the Torah about Moshe Rabbeinu telling the Jews not to work on Shabbat right before detailing the items of the Mishkan, it may hint to the fact that while they didn't build the Mishkan on Shabbat, they did indeed start building this on the very day that the holiday of Succot begins, which since then became a holiday when we don't do most of the labors that were performed in the Mishkan. And as I mentioned about Chanuka earlier in this post, the Mishkan was completed on 25 Kislev, the future date of the beginning of Chanuka.


And continuing on the theme of the Mishkan, following the construction, Moshe made an accounting of the monies and material used for its construction. Among this, there were 1,775 shekels used to purchase hooks, caps, and hoops for the pillars of the Mishkan.

Does the fact that the number of this Hebrew Year 5771, when spelled backwards, hints to some aspect as related to the pillars of the Mishkan as per this year 5771?
I didn't think much about it yet, but give me time, and perhaps by the time we reach Parshat Pekudei, where this number 1,775 is mentioned, I will have an answer for you if not sooner, G-d willing. Perhaps we need some time to observe the current events happening in this world, especially in Israel, to make some connection between the two numbers.

There is in fact a separate observation that I made on the number 1775. Noting the average amount of days there are in the solar calendar, being aware that every four years, it requires a extra day, and then every century ending on the double zero, there is no leap day, except for every 400 years as it was in the year 2000 when there was a leap day, you work it out like this (365*400)+97 leap days = 146097 days.
Now, divide 146097 by 400 to have an average of 365.2425 days a year. Now, divide 365.2425 by 7 to get the amount of weeks in a year, yielding 52.1775.

OK, you see the point here? Let's read this last number backwards - 5771.25. So, in this Hebrew year of 5771, consisting of 385 days, where does the first quarter (25 out of 100) fall out on? Each quarter of this year amounts to 96.25 days. So, we know that the first three months of 5771 each has 30 days, and then after counting the first six days of Tevet, we reach the first quarter of the 7th of Tevet - six hours coming out very close to Chatzot/midnight. Noting all this, considering the fact that the previous months each consist of 30 days, the moon will certainly be in a position at that time to be the beginning of the second quarter of the month, the period of time that Kiddush Levana/sanctification of the moon prayers are recited - bearing in mind that it is the moon that represents the Jewish people. Hence, we see two things coinciding around the same time - the timing of the end of the first quarter & the beginning of the second quarter - for both the timing of the year 5771 and the timing of the month of Tevet. To note, Tevet is based on the word Tov/good(ness). Will we see something earth shattering happening at this time of the year - hopefully something good? Stay tuned.


Noting the leader of the Tribe of Benjamin who brought his offerings on the "Ninth" Day (from the dedication of the Mishkan), I saw a scary resemblence to Netanyahu and his evil plans of how he wants to dish out our Holy Land.

As we know that last year 5770 - Hei Tav Shin Ayin - HaTeisha "The Nine", and as I mentioned in my previous post how this year 5771 is also especially connected with the number nine, we know that Netanyahu began his "peace" talks with Abu-Mazen, sworn Arab enemy of Jews and Israel, one week before the end of 5770. With this being said, let's look at the name of the leader of the Tribe of Benjamin who offered his offerings - Avidan Ben-Gidoni. The name Avidan is very similar to the word in Hebrew which means Aveida/lost; and speaking especially about Mitzvot today, there is a Mitzvah of Hashavat Aveida/returning a lost object (the subject of the second chapter of Baba Metizah, the very first chapter of Gemara that I learned). Now, looking at his father's name Gidoni, it can be read as two words - Gad Oni, which can literally mean "poor luck"!

The first name of "Bibi" Netanyahu, whose nickname spells twice the number of this secular year 2010 - Bet-Yud, Bet-Yud, coinciding with the Hebrew years 5770 & 5771 that are related to the number nine, is Binyamin, the name of the tribe whose leader Avidan Ben-Gidoni brought his offering on the "NINTH day". Now this leader himself was presumably a righteous person. However, Hashem has his ways of hinting to other people and events, even if they evil or unpleasant through any and every word in the Torah. Hence, Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, instead of living up to his name Binyamin as Ben-Yamin "son of the right" or in today's slang as "right-wing" and instead of acknowledging that Netanyahu "Hashem gave" the Land of Israel to the Jews without any rights of giving it away, as we are the rightful owners, which is made clear by the signaling of the Shofar on Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year for acquired land - even by another Jew - to be returned to the ownership of the original Jewish owner, he is looking to make, G-d forbid, the Land of Israel LOST to us Jews, by OFFERING it to our enemies; hence, giving us POOR LUCK, as proven as it has been many times before, with the murders and injuries by our enemeies who don't want these "peace" talks to occur (noting that many of the offerings that the leaders of the tribes brought were PEACE offerings), as it happened less than three weeks ago when five Jews were murdered including a nine month old fetus, and two other Jews who were injured, the OFFERINGS that unfortunately have been made due to evil people's decisions called by the anti-Semitic world as "politically correct".

I wish better news for the Jews in this coming year. Hopefully, with the message of peace and happiness of this coming Succot festival, the new start of the annual reading of the Torah, and following more of the 613 Mitzvot when applicable, we can help reverse the ongoing tide of the present dictatorship that exists in Israel. Wish you all a Chag Sameach - Happy Holiday!

NOTE: G-d willing, I will be writing my next post on the day after Simchat Torah, beginning my THIRD year of my blogpost -

11 Tishrei 5771

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