Sunday, July 31, 2011

#114 - Rashi: King of Commentators

Noting that today - 29 Tammuz - marks the 906th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (4800/1-4865 or 1040/1-1105), popularly known as Rashi, the title of this post is not my original thinking, but is in fact, from the site, where you can learn one Rashi a day with a clear explanation of it (Rashi Yomi means daily Rashi), or subscribe to it by E-mail.

Personally, the Yahrzeit of Rashi this year has an extra dimension to it. You see, the title of Rashi is the Gematria of 510, and the date of this Yahrzeit is the final day of my 510th month of life! Had I been born only two days earlier, it would not fall out on my 510th month. With this said, I feel that I have an obligation to write about this most unique Torah personality today.

There is hardly a post on in which I don't mention Rashi at least once; as in most posts, even if I'm not writing something as related to the weekly Parsha, I will have something to quote from the Chumash/Penteteuch, or some other part of the Tanach/Bible. In the Torah world, the Tanach and Gemara (or Babylonian Talmud) with Rashi are indispensable. A Talmud Torah, a place that is supposed to be teaching Torah, that doesn't include Rashi along with learning Chumash is probably an institution from the Conservative or Reform movements that deny the authenticity of the Oral Law which makes up a good part of Rashi's commentary.

No doubt that in some Chumashim, you will see many commentaries. But even a Chumash that features a particular commmentary will 99.99% of the time includes Rashi's commentary. In fact, there are over 100 (in one place, I saw it's written 300) commentaries on Rashi's commentary! And the question is - what did Rashi write that nobody else has in their commentary?

Today, it may be easy to take learning Chumash for granted when we hear the weekly sermon on the Parsha from the rabbi. Unless one only recently began learning about Judaism, just about any topic from the Chumash will sound at least a little familiar, especially since it was just read within the past hour from the Sefer Torah/Torah scroll, aside from whatever Jewish education that many synagogue attendees received when they were young. But 1,000 years ago, it wasn't quite that way. Sure, the big scholars of earlier times knew the entire Torah, so it may have not been so obvious to them that not everyone else really knew what even the Chumash is saying. In fact, it was only several hundred years earlier that the teachings of the Mishna were first written down for the public, as they were not permitted to be written down as part of the Oral Law, but only the Bible was permitted to be written down. Hence, aside from Rabbinic responsa since the days that the Talmud and Midrashim were written down, there was no such thing as a Chumash with commentaries, except maybe with the Targum/Aramaic translation from Onkelos that is still recited with the Chumash by many until this day. This is aside from the fact that the printing press was yet to be invented for another quite a few hundred years.

I am not here to give a detailed account of Rashi's life. However, to have a greater appreciation of Rashi, I will mention basic things about him that will drive the point home even to those who never learned even Chumash with Rashi.

But in case you get a little tired of reading this post as you scroll down, I do have a couple of important points to make about studying Rashi. Artscroll has by far the best English translation of Rashi to date, along with its own explanation on Rashi - There are other works in English on Rashi, including "What is bothering Rashi?", and quite recently, Feldheim has come out in Hebrew with a running explanation of each phrase of Rashi, called Rashi K'Peshuto, which I recently purchased, and G-d willing, will be starting to learn today.

As noted in Shulchan Aruch/Code of Jewish Law on the Laws of Shabbat of the first section Orach Chaim (285:2) pertaining to the weekly obligation of learning the Parsha with Targum - which is performed by reciting each verse twice followed by the Targum: "Learning the Parsha with the commentary of Rashi is considered like learning the Parsha with the Targum, and one who is G-d fearing should read the Targum and also Rashi's commentary". The Spinka Rebbe - Rabbi Nachman Kahana (whose Yahrzeit was yesterday - 28 Tammuz) quotes the first Belzer Rebbe - Rabbi Sholom Rokeach of saying that one who learns every week the Parsha with Rashi IS ASSURED THAT AT THE VERY LEAST, HE WILL MERIT TO LEARN IN RASHI'S STUDY HALL IN HEAVEN! In fact, there was a story in recent times when a young Yeshiva guy passed away and appeared to a colleague of his in a dream to whom he revealed that presently, he was learning in Rashi's study hall being that he always learned Chumash with Rashi.

Rashi was born in France to parents who were barren for many years, but in the merit of his father Yitzchak who threw away a precious gem into the sea in lieu of selling it to be used for idolatry, he was promised by Heaven that he would be granted a son who will light up the Torah for the Jewish nation. He was named Shlomo after none another than King Solomon, as the Haftara for Parshat Teruma on the Shabbat before Rashi had his Brit/circumcision, begins with the words "Hashem gave wisdom to Solomon..." (I Kings 5:26). Needless to say, this verse became fulfilled again through Rashi.

At an young age, Rashi was already well versed with the Tanach & Talmud. But unlike most other Torah prodigies who only started writing their holy books at an older age, Rashi wrote down all kinds of questions he came up with his learning on many parchments that he carried around with. His earlier Torah teachers in France themselves didn't have the answers to many of his questions; and so his parents, realizing their son's brilliance in Torah, sent him to Germany where the greatest Torah scholars of the time were residing, from whom Rashi learned much more. At one point, Rashi used to sit down at Torah lectures in different places, and gave his own explanation of what a Torah passage meant either at the lecture or writing it down secretly for the lecturer to read it afterwards, and then he was off to the next place, making everyone wonder at the place that he was earlier as to who he was.

Even after he married, he still was away in Yeshiva for most of the time, only coming home three times a year to celebrate the holidays. Eventually, everything paid off, and he became a member of the local Beit Din/Jewish court, deciding matters of Jewish law, and wrote his commentary on the Tanach & Talmud, but not before fasting 613 times corresponding to the 613 Commandments!

So in short, the following are Rashi's accomplishments:
1)Most popularly known for his commentary on the Tanach & Babylonian Talmud
2)Decided matters on Jewish Law.
3)Composed several Selichot prayers, witnessing the destruction that the Crusaders performed on Jewish communities which included murder on their way to the Holy Land, which includes one for Erev Rosh Hashana & one for the fast of Tzom Gedaliah.
4)The Tefillin/phylacteries with its particular details follows the view of Rashi, and although there are different views from other great rabbis, the Shulchan Aruch/Code of Jewish Law makes it clear that one can only fulfill the obligation of wearing Tefillin by following the view of Rashi.
5)Had three daughters, who were learned in their own right and married Torah scholars, from whom were descended the writers of the composition of Tosfos, another commentary on the Talmud which is on the opposite side of the page as Rashi.

A unique point that would be a sin not to mention is that Rashi's commentary became immediately accepted by both Ashkenazim and Sephardim, noting that Rashi was Ashkenazic. This is unlike the Rambam who live a little later on, and based on his works, was either loved or hated. However, Rashi made such an obvious significant contribution that could not be mistaken for heresy, that everyone unanimously accepted his Torah teachings. Perhaps this echoes the life of Aharon HaCohen/Aaron the High Priest, whom the Torah especially notes, was mourned for by the ENTIRE Jewish people, including the women, for his peace making efforts, whose Yahrzeit of
1 Av - the ONLY Yahrzeit mentioned in the ENTIRE Tanach - immediately follows the date of Rashi's Yahrzeit.

It was Rashi's commentary who opened up the understanding of the Torah. While in fact, two thirds or three quarters of his commentary is not of his own thinking, but culled from the various parts of the Talmud & Midrashim, while the rest was his own unique way of explaining what was difficult to understand for most until his days, which included much in the way of Dikduk/Hebrew grammar, it was precisely this style, gathering together the parts of the Torah that made the base explanation, called Pshat in Hebrew, of what the Torah passage is talking about. Sure, the great Torah scholars were able to take much for granted, for they were already versed in virtually all of the Talmudic & Midrashic literature up to that point in time, but for the rest who didn't have such knowledge, it would take a long time to learn the same things to understand what even the weekly Parsha has to say.

There are four levels of Torah learning: Pshat/Simple or basic explanation, Remez/Hints - which includes Gematriot by the way, Derush/expositions such as the Midrash which is based on this word, and Sod/Secret which refers to Kabbalah. The first letters of these four ways of Torah learning - Peshat, Remez, Derush, Sod - spell the word Pardes/garden - the spiritual garden of Torah learning.

It's interesting to note that the Hebrew name of Rashi, representing Pshat - his basic explanation that opened up the Torah to the world, is Shlomo Ben Yitzchak. And the Hebrew name of Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-1572), popularly known as the Arizal, whose explanation of the other end of Torah learning called Sod or Kabbalah, opened up the understanding of this part of the Torah, especially the Zohar, to the world, is Yitzchak Ben Shlomo, and whose Yarhzeit is only a few days later on 5 Av, some years in the same week as Rashi's as it is this year. It is basically this period in Jewish history ranging from around Rashi's time to the Arizal's time that is called the period of the Rishonim/Early Torah giants. Hence, we see that the names of these two great rabbis, with their own Hebrew names and that of their respective fathers, being the opposite of each other, is a reflection of the opposite ends of the spectrum of Torah learning. Both Rashi & the Arizal were the Rosh/Head of their respective areas of Torah learning that paved the way for everyone else to enter, this in a matter of no more than 500 years.

And speaking of years, when splitting the 6,000 years of the world's existance into five parts of 1,200 years each, we see that Rashi was born in the beginning of the fifth part of it. Amazingly, as we see in some years including this year, Rashi's Yahrzeit falls out on the FIRST day of the week of the beginning of the FIFTH book of the Torah - Sefer Devarim/Deutronomy!

In fact, Rashi passed away on the FIFTH day of the week of the Parshiyot of
Matot-Mas'ei. And noting the 4801st through the 4865th verses of the Torah corresponding to the Hebrew years of Rashi's life, they coincide in the midst of Parshat Masei; and it is the fifth Aliyah of the combined Parshiyot Matot-Mas'ei that correspond to the earlier part of his life from when he was a young boy who already was starting to become well versed in the Torah. Coincidence?

What is ironic here is that most of the verses in Parshat Mas'ei that correspond with Rashi's year is all about the Land of Israel - its particular boundaries and the list of the leaders of the tribes of Israel who would help the Jews inherit their part of the land based on what tribe they descended from; while Rashi, who gives a detailed explanation on the boundaries of Israel in this Parsha, himself never set foot in Israel! Of course in those days, traveling was far from the luxury of vacation traveling that we have today, if it wasn't dangerous enough between the long journey on sea and pirates or anti-Semites interfering. Rashi apparently had a unique mission in life serving the vast majority of Jews in his time who didn't live in Israel.

Yes, while we see that the Ramban/Nachmanides, who lived like a century after Rashi, holds that one of the 613 Commandments is living in Israel, learning it from the very above section in Parshat Mas'ei about Israel, and following what he preached moving to Israel in his old age, and also composed a commentary on the Chumash taking issue on Rashi through much of his commentary; yet, in his introduction to the Chumash, praises Rashi for his great genius in Torah learning. If only we would see this kind of unity in today's Torah world!

And one more unique thing about Rashi - unlike most other titles of major rabbis, THE Rambam, THE Ramban, THE Bach, THE Shach, THE Taz, THE Tur, etc., Rashi is known just as this - RASHI. It is true that when referring to a piece of his commentary, then we say "the Rashi on Parshat...", but on he himself...he needs no introduction; similarly to when the master of ceremonies wants to introduce someone to the audience who says of him "who needs no introduction", except that he mentions his name anyways for the formality of it, or more likely, he's flattering the person when he knows himself that in fact not everyone knows whom he is talking about or he wouldn't need to give a formal introduction. As a matter of fact, aside from the letters of the title Rashi that stand for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, it has been said that they are the first letters for two other phrases - Rabban Shel Yisrael "Head Rabbi of Israel" and Rabbeinu Sheyichye "Our Teacher should live". In fact, the first letter of Rashi's title - Reish, has the same letters as Rashi, which means HEAD in Aramaic! These are also the same letters as the word Shir/Song the first word of the Sefer in Tanach Shir HaShirim/Song of Songs, which was composed by King Solomon after whom Rashi was named!

And so, before I take off on today's post, I will leave you here with a few bits of Rashi's teachings, honoring this special day.

1)When I rectied today the Shir Shel Yom/Song of the Day that the Levites used to recite in the Temple (and I am a Levite) for Sunday - Psalm 24 in my Kavanat HaLev prayerbook, I decided to take a special look on the footnote on the bottom of the page of this prayer. The only one is an explanation on Verse 3 of this psalm - Who will ascend the mountain of Hashem and who will arise in the place of His holiness?", which is by the way, MY VERY VERSE that I recite corresponding to my second name Matisyahu that begins with a Mem & ends with a Vav, at the end of every Shemoneh Esrei. And this explanation coming from none other than...Rashi! Rashi notes that although as mentioned in the beginning of this Psalm, all people on this earth belong to Hashem, not everyone is worthy of coming close to Him, except for what is mentioned in the following Verse 4 - "Clean of hands...(from theft and other sins)." Mmmmmm...Seems like perhaps Hashem is telling me to put a little thought to this for myself.

2)And speaking of Song as per the above, let's see what Rashi has to say on the first verse of Shir HaShirim which is Shir HaShirim Asher L'Shlomo, which literally means "Song of Songs as composed by Solomon". In fact, this verse begins with a Shin and ends with a Hei, just as the name Shlomo! Anyways, commenting on his own name Shlomo, Rashi notes that the name in this verse, as taught by our Rabbis, is referring to the King to Whom peace belongs (the name Shlomo is related to the word Shalom/peace). Continuing along, Rashi quotes Rabbi Akiva of saying that the world was not worthy as the day that Shir HaShirim was given to the Jewish people, for while all of Scriptures is holy, Shir HaShirim is Holy of Holies, for all of it about fear of Heaven and accepting the yoke of His Kingdom.

And since this is Post 114, let's take a quick look at the beginning of Psalm 114 - "When Israel left Egypt, the House of Jacob from a foreign nation". On the final words of this verse Me'am Loez "from a foreign nation", Rashi notes "A nation of a different language which is not Lashon HaKodesh "The Holy Tongue" (referring to Hebrew)". (Interestingly, there is a Midrash on the Tanach that was composed a few hundred years ago called by this very name Meam Loez). On the beginning of the next verse "Judah (the tribe) became His holy one", Rashi notes that this tribe sanctified (made holy) His name by the leader of the tribe Nachshon Ben Aminadav, who was the first one to jump in the Reed Sea, in full faith in Hashem that following this, the sea would split.

Rashi was not just another great encyclopedic scholar. His whole life was infused with the holiness of the Torah, which guided his actions, and taking most seriously the role of writing THE commentary that would open up the Torah for the world, he prepared himself spiritually with his 613 fasts to be worthy of this most holy endeavor, to be the one to jump into the seas of the Tanach & Talmud, the plunge that would forever change the way that Torah would be learnt. He didn't need to show off.

In fact, he was humble just like Moshe Rabbeinu. Many times, when Rashi comes across a point that he feels that he is stuck with, says simply "I don't know what the Torah is saying." How many other commentators say the same thing as Rashi does? Also, just like the title of Moses - Moshe Rabbeinu - is the Gematria of 613, so too did Rashi fast 613 times to write his commentary on the Chumash - "The Five Books of Moses" that was first written by Moses upon Hashem's dictation. Additionally, just like we don't know where Moshe Rabbeinu's burial place is located, we also don't know where Rashi's burial place is located, despite the fact that he was already famous and popular during his lifetime. Finally, Rashi's name Shlomo include the letters of Moshe Rabbeinu's name.

He was Rashi. He is Rashi. He will always be Rashi. The KING of commentators, compared to the first one bearing his name - KING Solomon, the wisest of all people and was king of not only Israel but the entire world. Rashi's commentary is not just a scholarly work of brilliance, but full of lessons of how a Torah Jew should live not just as a scholar, but living in HOLINESS not being affected by the unholy non-Jewish world with the three Fs, - which unlike in the secular world that describes the ultimate failing student - are FREE of theft, FEAR of Heaven, and FULL FAITH in Hashem. Nothing else needs to be said to describe Rashi's commentary as great and holy.

29 Tammuz 5771, Yahrzeit of Rashi, the greatest Torah commentator who ever lived

Friday, July 29, 2011

#113 - We Are All ONE

Taking a look at the number of this post - 113, we can read it as two numbers - 1 & 13. While this may not be so obvious in Hebrew, as the letters for this number - Koof, Yud, Gimel, have the respective numerical values of 100, 10, 3; Hashem doesn't allow anything just to be a coincidence. You see, the word for the number one is Hebrew is Echad. In turn, the Gematria of this word Echad is 13.

Hashem, the Jews, and the Torah each have a special aspect as related to the number 13. Hashem is One - and He has Yud Gimel Midot HaRachamim - 13 Divine Attributes of Mercy. And as noted from the Rambam/Maimonides, there are also 13 principles of faith that relate to to the concept of Hashem and how He runs the world. The Jews are "one nation on earth", Hashem's only chosen nation, and we Jews are officially expected to start serving Hashem the right away either as boys after 13 years of preparation becoming Bar Mitzva, or as girls beginning their 13th year - becoming Bat Mitzva. And as far as the Torah is concerned, there is one Torah - no two Torahs as two separate things such as the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament" which clearly contradict each other on many points. And it is this Torah that is ruled by 13 ways that the Torah is interpreted - as listed in the paragraph beginning Rabbi Yishmael Omer in the daily morning prayers, filtering out false or misleading ways for the Torah to be learned, maintaining the standards of Torah learning that has stayed with us since Moshe taught us the Torah from Hashem.

Hence, it stands to reason that in our connection with Hashem, we have a direct line to Him via the number 13. In fact, Hashem revealed to Moshe following the incident of the Golden Calf that whenever the Jewish people recite the 13 Divine Attribues of Mercy in prayer, that their prayers will not go unanswered. While Hashem doesn't just do magic for us every day, but via the channel of the number of 13 that represents Mercy, Hashem will no doubt show at least some form of Divine Mercy in his continued love for us Jews.

In fact, the word for love in Hebrew - Ahava - is also the Gematria of 13. And so, along with the word Echad which is the Gematria of 13, it is not surprising that these two words - bearing in mind that for a number that is not so big and so not too many other words will have the same Gematria - have a very close connection with each other, for when people love one another, they feel together as one.

The Ba'al HaTurim, a commentary on the Chumash that is full of Gematriot, comparison of verses with similar wordings, and other fascinating tidbits, notes that in Parshat Pekudei, the final Parsha of Sefer Shemos/Book of Exodus following the accouting that Moshe made of the donations made to the Tabernacle and what they were used for, it mentions the phrase "that Hashem commanded" 19 times (most of the phrases is "just like Hashem commanded Moshe, but I used a phrase that is mentioned in every single one) in reference to the various parts of the Tabernacle and Priestly vestments. Accordingly, we have 19 blessings in the weekday Shemoneh Esrei prayer. While the number 19 may be a cool number, the big thing here is that all the 19 phrases that include "that Hashem commanded", and the final wordings of each of the 19 blessings of the Shemoneh Esrei that begin with "Blessed are You Hashem" - each consist of 113 words.

Now, this in itself would already be a very strong connection, since after all, the Tabernacle was the first official place of prayer for the Jews and the Cohanim served Hashem in the Holy place officiating with their Priestly vestments. But the Ba'al Haturim has one more interesting piece on the number 113. There are 113 mentions of the word Lev/heart in the Chumash. The Artscroll Chumash with its English translaton of the Ba'al HaTurim mentions that in fact there are a total of 122 times that this word is mentioned. However, it notes that it seems that it depends on the context of the word. Meaning, that while there are nine additional times that this word is mentioned than the count given by the Ba'al HaTurim, in those nine times, the word Lev is used as a physical organ or as a metaphor. However, there are exactly 113 mentions of this word referring to the heart as the seat of intellect. With this said, we can understand the final statement of the Ba'al HaTurim who notes that there are 113 mentions of this word in the Chumash in relationship to the 113 words in the
end parts of the 19 blessings of the Shemoneh Esrei - that this hints to the concept that prayers require Kavvanat HaLev - concentration of the heart (NOTE: There are Poskim who say that one should be extra tentative to the concluding wordings of these blessings).

Personally, it was a couple of months ago when I purchased a Siddur/prayer book called Kavvanat HaLev. Aside from the Artscroll Siddur that has the English word on top of the Hebrew word for excellent focus on the words which I have found helpful in the past, this Siddur is the one prayer book all in Hebrew that I have found the easiest to be helpful for me to have concentration on my prayers. There is usually a brief explanation before each paragraph, and while it does not attempt to translate or explain each phrase, it has explanations on some of the words within the paragraph, rather than the explanation in a different place on the side or the bottom of the page; in short, allowing a good flow of understanding and making sense of the words being recited. While I do have my days or times that I don't have much time or feeling like having the ability to focus very well, for the times that I am able to, I have never in my life before felt that I could have such a grasp of concentration and feeling of meaning in my prayers. It is certainly not for naught that the name of this prayer book in Hebrew is Kavvanat HaLev - Concentration of the Heart.

Connecting the dots so far in this post, the word Lev is Hebrew which means heart is no doubt related to the English word "Love". In fact, perhaps more than in words, the symbol used for love as you'll see strewn in advertisements everywhere and on the internet is the shape of a heart. At least in terms of our relationship with Hashem, one can only have true love of Hashem is one is focused on what he or she says to Hashem, and one can only expect to gain feelings of love for Hashem if one thinks and understands what he or she says to Hashem.

Just blabbering a bunch of Hebrew words does little more good than prevent one from committing sins or wasting one's time, although at least in public prayer, one is instrumental in the bringing of the Divine Presence by being part of a quorum for prayer, but in terms of one's personal relationship with Hashem, it begins with prayer. After all, Hashem really doesn't need our prayers, as it will not prevent Him from doing what He wants. The truth is that Hashem wants to do a lot of good things for us, but instead of just being like animals who aren't expected to pray to Hashem for the food but receive it anyways, we are expected to be appreciative of the wide variety of things that Hashem does for us daily, and that reciting the daily prayers help us being aware of this and be appreciative of this. In short, when we stay focused on our prayers in this fashion, we can then view Hashem as our friend, building a strong and lasting love relationship with Him.

Along these lines, we comes to realize that we have to love Hashem's creatures - especially our own flesh and blood Jewish brethren. In fact, as the Arizal (the famed Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria) notes, in order for our daily prayers to be accepted, we should accept on ourselves the Mitzva of loving our fellow Jew "You shall love your friend as yourself" in the morning before praying. To come to think of it, it works the same way in a family, that if you truly love your parents, then you will love your brothers and sisters as well, since they too are your parents' children (though this could be challenging at times when you have a sibling who is not exactly at terms with you for reasons ranging from jealousy to fear of loosing money). At the end of the day, we Jews are supposed to feel as one family.

Writing this post smack in the middle day of the Three Weeks - Bein HaMetzarim - that begins from Shiva Asar B'Tammuz (17 Tammuz) until Tisha B'Av (9 Av), a period wrought with numerous tragedies for the Jewish people, we have to be focused on the cause of this, or why we follow various practices in mourning for the destroyed Temple during these three weeks, even though the Temple only actually got destroyed on Tisha B'Av. As we know, it was 1943 years ago that the Second Temple was destroyed, chiefly due to the sin of Sinat Chinam/baseless hatred.

The problem with this spiritual disease is that it is very easy for us to fool ourselves at times that it is OK to hate one another because we are not exactly in agreement with the same things, and at times, to think that it is a Mitzva to hate certain people because they do not follow the Torah based on our opinion. While I will say that there are clearly some people - and very unfortunately, rabbis who not only say things against the Torah, but help implement what they believe in that clearly goes against the Torah, I think it can be agreed upon that the vast majority of Jews are not to be blamed for thinking of contrary things to the ways of the Torah. I say this particularly because especially in the last few years, various people who may have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Torah based upon which they received their rabbinic degree, have said various things against the Torah in the name of money and politics, and some went a step ahead to implement what they claimed to be the Torah way. I am referring especially to the Gush Katif fiasco that took place six years ago that broke apart 25 Jewish communities beginning the day after Tisha B'Av. There is video showing these rabbis in what I call "sheepskin" helping with chasing away Jews from the homes that they lived in for the last few decades, the majority of whom still don't have half decent homes.

As far as I am concerned, these phony Erev Rav rabbis along with the police and soldiers, especially the ones who are "Choveish Kipa" wearers of the skullcap, had no fear of G-d, or concerns as to where the nearly 10,000 Jews that they helped throw out would now live, or that what they were doing was helping the blood thirsty Arabs to ultimately be so much closer to attack Jews. However, for most of the rest of the Jewish people, some of whom may have faulty opinions who don't go out of their way to implement them against our own people, or the ones who have no concept of what the beauty of Judaism is like, there is hope for them. Hence, we have to take the first step and show that we love Jews, and that even as strong nationalistic Jews who follow Kahane pertaining to the wholeness of the Land of Israel, we would rather hire what we call a leftist Jew any day before we would dare ever hire an Arab who is trespassing on our Holy Land. If we were to start thinking along these lines and show that we mean it, then eventually, this love would rub off, and even the ones who are branded as the "leftist Jews of Tel Aviv" will start to realize that it is basically the government in Israel who is controlling everything, and that to the Arabs who want nothing more than our murder and ALL of Israel - including Tel Aviv and ALL of Jerusalem and not just the east part of it, it makes no difference to them who is religious or not, right wing or left wing, because as far as these Moslem Arabs are concerned, we are ALL infidels and "trespassing" on "their" land, even as just kicked off their yearly Ramadan month this morning with blasting their loudspeakers around dawn when it still looks dark out, disturbing people like me from trying to sleep.

Speaking of being kept awake, Hashem has been attempting to wake us up and realize that in order for us to be worthy of the arrival of Moshiach and the building of the Holy Temple, we need to start loving each other much more instead of hating each other. I do have to note, with the recent protests against the government in Israel pertaining to the high cost of gas, living quarters, etc., you can see Jews of all walks of life standing side by side protesting the grave injustice that the government is doing paying themselves tons of money, and hurting the masses with the high rise expenses, which is also due in part to the ten month construction freeze in attempts of appeasing the unsatisfied Arabs. However, there were a couple of incidents that happened among Jews this past month, with similarities to each other, that can't be marked off as "coincidence" or that "we have no right to second guess why Hashem does this as we don't have prophets today", the latter line being a rhetoric statement from certain modern orthodox rabbis who have been tainted with apikorses which is denying Hashem's Divine Providence, poisoning the spiritual lives of Jews who are honestly seeking to learn Torah and spiritual guidance.

The first is what happened a few weeks ago with the tragic murder of Jewish boy in Boro Bark - Leiby Kletzky, shortly before his ninth birthday by someone who is supposed to be an "Orthodox Jew", keeping Shabbat. It is true that Rabbi Yehuda Levin (see his website, who is very vocal against homosexual rights, mentioned connections between the gruesome events that happened to the boy and the concept of homosexuality and sexual impurity as related to Amalek, as recently, the self hating Jewish billionaire mayor of New York City - Mr. Bloomberg, legalized gay marriage in the most inhabited city of Jews in the United States.

The second tragic event is just what took place last night in Israel. A guy who pretends to be a Torah scholar and saint who had just the day before gave a lecture about the destruction of the Temple and baseless hatred, stabbed the kabbalist Rabbi Elazar Abu-Hatzera of Be'er Sheva several times, and very unfortunately he succumbed to to the wounds and was buried just hours ago. Yes, a second incident of a Jew - not a gentile - murdering another Jew with a knife, just weeks after the first incident, except this time, this happened in Israel, and mind you, to a kabbalist, the grandson of the world revered legendary Baba Sali. Also, this incident took place today - 27 Tammuz - which is the MIDDLE day of the Three Weeks leading to Tisha B'Av. And by the way, this was followed ONLY SEVERAL HOURS after the gay parade in Jerusalem. In both cases in New York & Jerusalem, how many residents took to the streets to protest these abominations?

The truth is that indeed, sometimes Hashem has more than one lesson for us to learn. In fact, perhaps the gay community has a point concerning unity, except for the fact that their whole concept of unity is based on things that go against Hashem and the Torah. Perhaps if we beefed our unity within our Torah communities and looked more for the things that bind us instead of divide us, there wouldn't be any more gay parades in Jerusalem, the holiest city in the world. And so, if it is not unity from the good side, then G-d forbid, it will be unity from the evil side, to make realize that we have to strengthen our unity within the good side. Yes, it's nice to see Jews from all walks of life coming together demanding their basic rights as human beings, but this unity should also be used to protest abominations such as gay rights
that even many secular Jews don't go for; and certainly, Jews from all types of religious denominations and cultures should have no problem getting together to protest what is clearly evil.

Don't know if anyone has yet or will notice, but in the murders of both cases - both the murderer and the murdered each had Hebrew names where the first and last letters of the name are the same as the other person! In Leiby Kletzky's case, Levi Aron's first name begins with a Lamed & ends with a Yud, just as the nickname of Leiby! While in fact, Leiby is a nickname for the real name Leib which bears two Yuds, the fact that his name is called Leiby in the world news is close enough as far as this is concept of matching letters are concern. And in today's murder, the assailant Asher Dahan's first name begins with an Alef & ends with a Reish, just as the first name of the kabbalist rabbi Rabbi Elazar Abu-Hatzera whom he murdered!

And as I mentioned earlier here about the word LOVE being related to the Hebrew word for heart - Lev, the name of the murdered child whose real Hebrew name is Leib (or Leiby for that matter), is very similar to the name Lev (Beit & Veit are the same letter in the Sefer Torah, it's just depends on how it is pronounced) with the addition of two Yuds in the name. In fact, you will see in some Siddurim/prayer books where Hashem's name is spelled as two Yuds (which we pronounce as Ado-noy), and as a rabbi once noted, the two Yuds placed next to each other indicating Hashem's name indicates the unity of two Yidden (Jews) standing next to each other.

As for Rabbi Elazar Abu-Hatzeira who was murdered on the sixth day of Parshat Mas'ei, it is the sixth Aliyah of this Parsha that mentions the details laws of a Jew killing another Jew, which while is mentioned pertaining specifically about the Cities of Refuge that shielded one who accidentally killed another, also mentions the law of one who murdered another in cold blood. Also, in the 31st cycle of learning the daily Mitzva of the Taryag Mitzvot/613 Commandments, the Mitzva for this Shabbat Parshat Mas'ei is the 34th Mitzva: Lo Tirtzach "Thou shalt not murder" from the Ten Commandments. Amazing! Additionally, the rabbi's name Elazar is also mentioned in this Parsha as Aharon's son, the present Cohen Gadol/High Priest, listed as among those in charge of seeing to it that the Land of Israel would be divided up for the various Tribes of Israel.

Two Jews pretending to be keepers of the observant Jewish faith murdering two pious Jews within one month - something that in itself is a rarity - while both murderers had the free choice of not doing the evil thing but did it anyways, is still not a coincidence, as Hashem, in His infinite wisdom, allowed both of these incidents to occur. As the rabbis tell us, Lashon Hara - slanderous talk about other Jews, part of the sin of Sinat Chinam that caused the destruction of the Second Temple, is equal in the sense of the severity of a sin, to the sins of murder, idolatry, and adultery; as a person who slanders another Jew forgets about the inner bond that he has with the one that he is slandering, resembled in the similarity of the names of the murderer and murdered in both cases.

It has been said that the heart is the "middle" part of the body. While this is not literally true, the inner meaning of this statement tells us that the heart is the center of our emotions and causes us to do what we do. You see, very intelligent people make all kinds of obvious mistakes, such as being attracted after sexual temptations, despite the fact that they have a high position in power and that they could loose their job, money, freedom, etc. People can talk like Esau, Jacob's brother, who no doubt was one of the most learned people in Torah being raised in the holy environs of his parents Isaac & Rebecca; however, his heart was in a totally different direction. Hence, it is no coincidence that the destruction of the Second Temple that was due to baseless hatred, despite the knowledge and learning of the Torah at that time, was wrought by the Romans who were descended from Esav who didn't used his heart in the same way as his mind was thinking, as the Jews also didn't use their heart to love other Jews the way that the Torah that they learned told them to do. In fact, one doesn't have to go far to see murderous hatred from one brother to another - the Torah testifies that Esau told himself that the day that his father Isaac would die is when he would murder Jacob for receiving the blessings that he felt himself entitled to.

Yes, let us start with getting rid of the Esav of our hearts - the baseless hatred, to making peace with one another, as Esav and Shalom/peace are two opposing words that have the same Gematria - 376. When we realize that indeed we Jews are all ONE, and start implementing ways of improving our relationships with each other, then we will soon merit the day when everyone in the universe will recognize that "Hashem is one and His name is one."

27 Tammuz 5771

P.S. Kudos to (a source of Torah truth on the internet) for mentioning my blogspot with the mention of the similarity of the names of the murderer and murdered in both cases. Let us hope that the next time we mention each other's blogposts, it will be due to Besurot Tovot - good news!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#112 - Holocaust Memorials - Meaningful or Worthless?

On this past Shabbat, there was an unusual phenomenon, especially for Jews living outside of Israel. You see, in most years, the Parshiyot of Matot & Mas'ei, the last two Parshiyot of Sefer Bamidbar/Book of Numbers, are read combined in order to finish the Torah on time on Simchat Torah, This is especially true outside of Israel where two days of Yom Tov/Jewish holiday is observed, and so if the second day of the holiday falls out on Shabbat, then a section of the Torah related to the holiday is read in lieu of the regular weekly Torah portion, and then the Diaspora Jews wind up being behind the Torah reading that takes place in Israel by one Parsha until there is an occasion of doubling Parshiyot. However, this year for the first time in 27 years outside of Israel, Parshat Matot was read as an only Parsha this past Shabbat, and Parshat Mas'ei as a separate Parsha will be read this coming Shabbat. Hence, some who recently got married shortly following earning a master's degree, and were never in Israel before during the summer, will for the first time in their lives be hearing these two Parshiyot being read separately, never having happened before getting married.

During most years, the day on which more verses of the Torah is read than on any other day of the year, aside from Simchat Torah when a part of the last Parsha of the Torah is read over and over again to give everyone a chance to be called up to the Torah reading, is the Shabbat on which the Parshiyot of Matot & Mas'ei are read, coming out to a total of 244 verses, aside from repeating the last three verses for Maftir! As separate Parshiyot, they consist of 112 verses & 132 verses respectively.
But we know of six other such combinations in which the total amount of verses of two combined Parshiyot don't come out to nearly 244 verses; yet these other Parshiyot are read more often as separate Parshiyot than Matot & Mas'ei. The prime example of this are the Parshiyot of Nitzavim & Vayeilech when combined are a total of 70 verses, which is still far less than the average amount of verses read on a Shabbat with only one Parsha; yet half the time, they are read on separate Shabbatot - Nitzavim as 40 verses, and Vayeilech as 30 verses, the Parshiyot with the least amount of verses in the Torah. What is the deal here?

While there is more than one reason that can be given for this, I just came across somewhere an amazing Gematria. The first verses of BOTH Parshiyot Matot & Mas'ei have the same exact Gematria - 3,324! None of the other 52 Parshiyot have this Gematria phenonemon like this. But what is also amazing is that in THIS YEAR - when you add this number 3,324 to the number 2,448, as it was Year 2448 of the Jewish calendar when the Jews left Egypt - the Exodus being mentioned once again in the first verse of Parshat Mas'ei, it comes out to the sum of 5,772; and as Hashem first created the world in Year 0 (and Adam was created on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of Year 1 according to some sources), we are in essence in the 5,772th year since Creation (though we are in Year 5771)!

So, we have here two major times in history - the Creation of the world, as narrated in the very beginning of the Torah with Bereishit Bara Elokim - "In the beginning,
G-d created the heavens and the earth", and the Exodus - Anochi Hashem Elokeicha "I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt from the house of slaves", the first of the Ten Commandments. Even so, these two events were primarily PREPARATION steps for the next step - the Creation of mankind, the one set of creatures that are expected to serve G-d while all other creations are around to help assist mankind fulfill his or her mission; and the Exodus was the beginning of the purification process for the Jews to be ready to receive the Torah. Indeed, there is an intrinsic connection between the day of the creation of mankind and the day that the Torah was given, because for the sixth day of creation when mankind was created, the Torah states Yom HaShishi - THE sixth day, not stating the word THE with the previous days of creation, to hint to THE sixth day of Sivan, the date that was slotted for the Torah to be given.


As this year, Parshat Matot is finally being read as a separate Parsha, especially outside of Israel. In most years, as this Parsha is combined with the next one, pulpit rabbbis may have a field day either talking about vows and oaths, which is in fact part of the 613 Mitzvot/Commandments, or about the war with Midian who caused the Jews to sin, or about the tribes of Reuben and Gad who prefered the pasture land that they were presently on to the long awaited Biblical Land of Israel, or some other popular theme found in the following Parsha that is normally read on the same Shabbat. However, most probably overlook the ending of this Parsha since it is usually read with the next Parsha, and so it isn't all that noticable, except to the Ba'al Koreh/Torah reader, as there is an unusual note on a word in the last verse of this Parsha.

To note, Parshat Matot consists of 112 verses, and this is my 112th Post. So, after the above being written, let us turn to this 112th and last verse of the Parsha. It states that Novach, a member of the half tribe of Menashe who joined the tribes of Reuben & Gad in settling the current land that they found themselves in, went and captured Kenat and its surrounding towns, and renamed the area Novach after himself.

Now, looking at the word Lah "for it", there is an unusual cantillation note called the Mercha Kefula "double Mercha". This seems to replace the pronounciation of this letter Hei as usually demonstrated with a dot in the midst of this letter with certain words. On this last point, Rashi notes quotes Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan, that since the name Novach didn't stick as the new name for the area, this letter is pronounced as a "weak Hei", without a strong emphasis on the pronunciation or accent on the letter Hei in this word.

The unusual Mercha Kefula note that is found on this word is shaped with two of the same symbol, with two of the Mercha note instead of just one. In Hebrew, this is called a Kefula/double note, instead of saying the "two Merchas". Perhaps the connotation in this final verse is that Novach wanted to, so to speak, duplicate something for himself so his name would not be forgotten - naming an area after himself, the same way that Yair, another member of the tribe of Menashe, who did the same thing, since he didn't have sons to inherit his land after he would leave this world. At least in Novach's case, the name did not stick for whatever reason - perhaps the name Novach didn't sound quite cool. However, the Torah seems to set aside a whole verse to mention this accomplishment of his, even though it was forgotten by others before long. In time, this turned out to be the final verse of Parshat Matot, which is read again as part of the Maftir. But even with the Torah mentioning his name, Novach seems to have a little hard luck, since in most years, this is not the last verse read for the weekly Torah reading as this is read as an Aliyah with the combination of the beginning of the next Parsha.

Now mind you, the Torah is not talking about the land of Israel proper. How holy this land was in comparison with the Land of Israel that the other nine and a half other tribes were ready to settle in, may be a question that leads to a rabbinical dispute. And while at this, the Torah seems to give special attention to Novach for one verse; but even at this, he is not even mentioned directly with the tribe that he was a part of, unlike with Yair of the previous verse. And unlike the name Yair which is a name given to some Jewish boys, you never hear of the name Novach, and with what I mentioned about Novach so far, it is probably not considered a very lucky name. Nevertheless, the Torah felt it necessary to spend 11 more words, consisting of 39 letters to mention Novach's temporary accomplishment.

Actually, for Novach himself, this was a permanent accomplishment. In fact, for most other people who help build a city in Israel, aside from the fame in this world for it, their main reward is the eternal reward for help building a place in Hashem's holy land. In Novach's case, since he lived before the Chumash was concluded, aside from taking a part in the conquest of land that at least was quasi-holy in conjunction with the Land of Israel that was clearly Hashem's holy area, he faught off the non-Jewish idol worshiping elements off the land, and then stuck a sign in the ground marking it with his name. For this, aside from his eternal reward, he got his name to be permanently etched in the holiest and most popular book in the world - the Bible, particularly the Penteteuch which is also written as a Sefer Torah - the holiest article in Judaism, as the final verse of the 42nd Parsha.


These Parshiyot of Matot & Mas'ei are ALWAYS read during this saddest and tragic part of the Jewish calendar called the Bein HaMetzarim - which literally means "Between the straits", and typically called the "Three Weeks", referring to the period of time from Shiva Asar B'Tammuz - 17 Tammuz through the date of Tisha B'Av - 9 Av, a total of 22 days. As time progresses during this period, the Halachot/laws of mourning for the events of this period increase; meaning, we follow greater stringencies as the days progress, increasing from Rosh Chodesh Av, then the week in which Tisha B'Av occurs, or from the 7th of Av, when the enemy first entered the Temple shortly before its destruction beginning with near the end of the day of Tisha B'Av. In any case, this phrase Bein HaMetzarim comes from Megillat Eicha which is read on Tisha B'Av. This phrase can also be read as Bein HaMitzrim - "Between the Egyptians" not changing any of the letters, but only the vowels.

The problem that the Jews had, especially before the destruction of the first Temple, is that they were quite assimilated with non-Jewish life, which included idolatry, not differing from the early days in Egypt where Jews also worshiped idols, but got redeemed anyways because of good qualities that they did have. However, unlike in Egypt where they were in a most spiritually polluted land without the official spiritual guidance of the Torah; in this scenario, the Jews were living on their own holy land that Hashem granted them which included the Temple and Torah scholars in their midst. This time, the Jews were held to much higher standards but failed miserably. In fact, shortly before the Temple destruction and Jewish exile to Babylonia, King Tzidkiyahu of Judea disobeyed Jeremiah the prophet and joined Egypt in its rebellion against Babylonia. However, unlike Egypt, Jeremiah gave the king and the Jews warning about the impending doom of the king of Babylonia coming to wreak destruction on Egypt - and on Israel as well if the Jews wouldn't listen to both avoiding partnerships with Egypt and following the Torah.

Time after time in Jewish history, tragic events have happened, but some Jews never quite seem to get why these things happen. Time and again, some Jews think that the way to avoid anti-Semitism is to be friends with the neighboring folks, forgetting of their own special mission as Jews who are here as Hashem's soldiers, as eloquently described in this Parshat Matot when 1,000 Jews from each tribe fought the Midianites, not for preventing Jews from inheriting land, but for causing the Jews to sin. In a more spiritual sense, this war represented the spiritual war that we constantly have with the Yetzer Hara/Evil Inclination in our attempt to do Mitzvot instead of Aveirot/sins.

Well, we know all too well what happened after some Jews in the early 1900s wanted nothing more than to be a good German, or of whatever other free nationality that they belonged to; in some cases, being more of a German or whatever other name than the Germans themselves. While it may have not been so obvious at first, but as with past Jewish history, non-Jews have hated us and attempted to harm us whenever whether there is a financial crisis or if the Jews are the main ones who have the money. And so, Hitler who made it a point to eradicate the Jewish race, reached out to non-Jews who already were not too happy with the Jews, which began with Kristallnacht. The rest is history.

After all is said and done, there are nearly 120 Holocaust memorials or museums in the world. Most countries on this list have only or two of them. Israel has five, most notably the Vad Vashem one which is right next to the offical burial place of fallen Jewish soldiers and the deceased Prime Ministers and Presidents of Israel. The United States has over 30, and guess who tops the list with over 50 - France!

It seems that the countries with the most assimilation with non-Jews are the countries with the most Holocaust memorials/museums. The United States was a hotbed for Jews to assimilate for centuries, even as Jews who reached the shores of the "Goldene Medina" threw their holy Tefillin/phylacteries overboard, for now, they could "live free". The fact that some of them worked in sweat shops some 16 plus hours for seven days a week, forgetting that they could have made life a little easier on themselves by not working on Shabbat, didn't quite shake them to think that perhaps they traveled to the wrong country, and that perhaps, they would have been a little better off calling Israel, or Palestine, or whatever it was called in those days, home. Rabbis who traveled to the United States in the 1700s and 1800s in the hope of having a pulpit found themselves quite often to be challenged by Jews who were followers of the Haskala, or what is known today as the Reform movement, which was not quite the same as the strict religious standards in Poland and Russia.

In France, Jews were also assimilated earlier on, especially with Napoleon who allowed freedom of rights, which was the green light for many Jews to spit on Judaism in this country as well. To this day, many Jews in France still quite don't get it, even as the Moslem Arabs are controlling the country more and more every day, and half of the Jewish French youth feel that they have no future in this country.

And so, it seems that the more that Jews are assimilated, the more that the Holocaust is an obsession to them. Now, of course I'm not taking about the Holocaust survivors themselves, even as there are less of them each day as they pass on. I am talking about the next future generations who didn't go through these horrors, and want to make sure that "never again", we Jews will have to endure what was allowed a mere 65-70 years ago, which included the United States turning back a ship of 900 Jews escaping the earthly Hell, only to return and perish in it.

Yes, when Rabbi Meir Kahane, may G-d avenge his blood, exclaimed "Never again", he knew exactly what he was talking about. He knew that the non-Jew (yes, there are many good non-Jews who love Jews and Israel without attempting to convert them to their religion, but of course we are talking about the average non-Jewish person) can't stand the Jew's existence. When it comes to anti-Semitism, there is no logic. It doesn't matter what the Jew intends to do to make non members of his religion to be happy. When the non-Jew looses or the Jew gains, this is all that matters to the non-Jew to make him bitter jealous of the Jew.

While some Jewish Zionists, heading the call of Theodore Herzl and Ze'ev Jabotinsky, packed their bags and arrived in Palestine before the Holocaust, escaped the earthly Hell and toiled and fought much to live in the Biblical homeland, this was only part of the answer. Even in those days, it was at best controlled by the British who were hardly better than the Nazis and hung Jews. However, this was only part of the answer because only living in Israel with observance of the Torah completes the picture as to what a Jew is supposed to be and live like. It is only in this fashion that the non-Jew respects the Jew, even if he still hates him. As we see today in Israel, most of the government, judges and police work against the best interests of the Jewish people, wishing to placate to the Moslem Arab demands, or expect to hear a tongue lashing from virtually all the anti-Semitic countries, which is just about the whole world, which includes the United States. However, if they were to follow the Torah instead, while at first Israel would hear ranting and raving, but at the end, we would gain everyone's respect, and even the blood thirsty Arabs would know that there would not be a chance, not physically or spiritually for that matter.

Even so, at least in Israel, Jews are one step closer to the truth, and so aren't obsessed with so many Holocaust memorials. After all, they are presently living in a Holocaust of their own, with the constant wars, programs, and bombings that the Arabs inflict on Jews, aside from the memory of the fallen soldiers. However, this is not quite the sentiment for Jews living in the United States and France. Far too many Jews in these countries are far more worried about who will tell the story once all the Holocaust survivors pass on than who will tell the story of the Exodus in the next generation. To this day, there are numerous Jewish families of various religious or non-religious affiliations who will have some form of a Seder on Passover night. However, we know all too well what happens in the Holocaust that Jews create today when they marry out of the faith for the first time after some 3,800 years from their great ancestor Abraham the first Jew, or when the non-Jewish spouse goes through the motions of Jewish conversion which is usually not Halachicly valid to begin with, and then on the first Christmas following marriage, there is a Christmas tree in the home which may be accompanied by the non-Kosher Chanuka Menorah (A Kosher Menorah consists of the settings for the candles to be even, and has to be lit the old fashioned way, and not electric). And so then, what is the chance of having a meaningful Seder when not everyone at the table even belongs to the Jewish faith? In time, certainly the next generation who is not Jewish or don't view themselves as Jewish even if they are because of their mom, will be doing other things on Passover night than celebrating the Seder that they never understood was about if they even attended one in their youth.

By the way, a word on having the Seder (which literally means "Order")- the whole purpose of remembering what happened to us Jews in Egypt being slaves isn't simply to celebrate the fact that we Jews were once slaves and now we are free - for many nations could celebrate the same type of thing, and for us Jews, we were enslaved time and again by other nations since then. However, more than just the physical slavery was the freedom from the forces of spiritual contamination which were near to permanently damaging the Jewish people if we would have tarried in Egypt just a little longer, and the ultimate goal of being freed from slavery was to now being a servant instead to Hashem by accepting the Torah and observing its Mitzvot, the climax of this being the day of Matan Torah/Giving of the Torah a mere seven weeks later, in effect, the Bar Mitzva of the Jewish people, being kicked off by the declaration of the Ten Commandments by Hashem. Hence, while the Torah tells us to remember the day that we left Egypt, its ultimate purpose is not simply to "remember" a piece of history, but for the ultimate reason that is represents.

Now, I can imagine the reaction of a non-observant Jew who is what I call a "Holocaust Jew", or a follower of the Holocaust movement which is about paying allegiance to the Holocaust, reading my post. "Oh yes, it's easy for you who has always been an Orthodox Jew to criticize others who aren't like you. In fact, you sound like you don't have any relatives who perished or survived in the Holocaust like I have. You think that because you are religious, you are above everyone else and feel free to criticize anyone who doesn't think like you do. For that matter, Hitler didn't care if we Jews were religious or not, he murdered us anyways, so think twice before you know what in the hell you are talking about!"

Yes, I will address this hypothetical reaction. It so happens that my mom's parents used to receive letters from some relatives in Europe before the Holocaust, but the letters stopped at one point, and it seems like they perished. However, I for one would not even be able to tell you how they were related, guess they were distant relatives. In any case, it so happens that my grandparents or great grandparents arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, so I am certainly not descended from anyone directly affected by the Holocaust.

I will say that some non-observant Jews seem to mean well. While not having been raised in what is called in an "Orthodox" Jewish background, they will not necessarily keep Shabbat, eat kosher, or follow the laws of family purity. However, they keep Judaism "in their own way". Indeed, there are some to this day, and I know for a fact because I dabbled in Jewish matchmaking at one point, who look to marry only someone Jewish, even if they themselves are clearly not observant of Judaism. I have Jewish relatives who at the very least, if not called Sabbath observant, will not only attend High Holiday services, but will have a Seder on Passover night, and follow the basic Jewish laws of marriage and burial.

The big problem is when what is considered a major thing is treated as a minor thing and the minor thing is considered a major thing. Yes, we should indeed never forget what the non-Jews have done to us, and in fact, there are three Mitzvot about the Amalekite nation alone that instruct us to remember what they did to us, not to forget what they did to us, and to wipe out their memory. However, memorials and museums only go so far in themselves. Aside from all the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars spent on these Holocaust artifacts and fancy shmancy designs to make sure that "we never forget", they can have only so much meaning without the observance of Judaism. Think of what could have done with all this money, some of which was no doubt donated by people who at least thought they wished to donate to Jewish causes, when Jews who live the life of poverty in Israel or elsewhere could have been fed or institutions of Jewish education could have been founded.

To give credit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, it has a registry that has helped Holocaust survivors to reunite with one another. However, for the most part, when people intend to memorialize the names of departed ones, while it may serve as a temporary psychological way of dealing with the tragedy of the Holocaust, it doesn't do so much, at least spiritually, of memorializing 6,000,000 Jews. If they were allowed today to tell us what they want, they would be screaming at us to learn Torah and do good deeds in their memory, especially the ones who didn't live such a lifestyle but were murdered as Jews anyways. Of course, for those who don't live much of a spirtual or religious life, this concept may not be well understood to them, but the Torah has the answer to every dilemma that we have in life.

Aside from this, many of these Holocaust followers defeat the whole purpose of memorializing the Holocaust. To begin with, it is made to sound like a religion to the next generation, and so it is hardly surprising that the BAR "Mitzva" is probably the last positive Jewish experience that the boy will experience, and the next thing you know, he's busy having sex with girls - Jewish or not, getting piercings, tattoos, drinking beer with the college guys, if not into heavy intoxicating beverages or drugs. To such kids, the Holocaust and attending services in the Temple only on the most solemn days of the Jewish calendar rather than on happy occasions other than the worthless Bar or Bat Mitzva ceremony does little good in advertising the beauty of Judaism.

There are Jews who declare "Never Again", but create Holocausts of their own. As the vast majority of assimilated Jews are liberal Democrats who pretend that they vote for a president who "loves Israel", which means that they have every intention voting for a president who is for Arabs and "Palestine" who mumbles a few words about Israel being a friend of the United States, they are for whatever goes against Judaism, you name it - abortion rights, gay rights, and what is called the "separation of church and state" rights - which in some cases, Jews will fight not to have G-d's name mentioned in the classroom.

Abortion is a holocaust on its own that doesn't seem to discriminate between Jews and non-Jews or though most unfortunately, millions of Jewish babies in Israel have already been murdered in their mother's womb. In the United States, there was this Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a Jewish doctor who died a few months ago, who led the busiest abortion clinic in the United States, who presided over 100,000 abortions and performed 5,000 on his own in the course of 10 years from 1968-1978. To note, he made two different women pregnant and insisted each time that they get an abortion, having murdered one of his own children in the mother's womb with his blooded hands. In any case, he heavily pushed for abortion to be legal in the States, and unfortunately, was most successful at the end.

In time, after retiring from his big money making murderous job, he decided one day to see what really happens to the aborted baby via an ultrasound, only to see how the live fetus fights for its life and is then torn to pieces. As a result of this, he fought for the other side, for the rights of the fetus to live. To be sure, as he was an atheist, this was not considered doing Teshuva/repentance, since his regret and fighting for the right thing had nothing to do with observing Judaism. It seems that he had guilty feelings nevertheless for what he used to do, and while he never believed in the real G-d in the form of Judaism, he had no trouble converting to being a Roman Catholic when close to the age of 70, only then believing in the fake Christian god, or believing in G-d only as part of the Trinity, in the name of attaining "forgiveness". It is true that in fact, Dr. Nathanson consulted beforehand with an Orthodox rabbi, and, using a Yiddish phrase, the rabbi "drayed him a cup" about Yom Kippur needing to atone in order to obtain forgiveness, instead of saying straight outright that by becoming an Orthodox Jew, he will have all of his sins forgiven. Yes, that good-for-nothing Orthodox rabbi, but it seems that Dr. Nathanson was not worthy of doing Teshuva after only G-d knows how many Jewish babies he murdered.

And of course, with the recent admittance of gay couples as married couples in New York City law, thanks to the self-hating Jewish billionaire Mayor Bloomberg who has been mayor for way too many years, Jewish assimilation has reached an all time low in the United States. Indeed, more than just a physical holocaust as is abortion, this is already a spiritual holocaust. As the rabbis tell us, one who causes others to sin is worse than one who murders someone, because one who murders only removes someone from this temporary world, but one who causes others to sin causes them to be removed from, or not have a share in the eternal world to come which comes with eternal reward. Like or not, as far as Judaism is concerned, based on what I just wrote here, Bloomberg is more evil than Hitler, as Bloomberg is promoting and encouraging homosexuality; for as evil as Hitler was, he was basically concerned with the extermination of Jews in this world, not caring whether they were religious or not, and didn't attempt to stop them per se from observing Judaism or force them to become Christians, as non-Jewish Christians have done for nearly 2,000 years.

While it may be legal according to the First Amendment of freedom of religion in the United States, the Christian missionaries are certainly far more evil than Hitler in attempting to convert Jews as Christians or "Messianic" Jews. Even some clearly assimilated Jews, while not having the faintest concept of what the Torah wants from them, don't want to see their own children becoming part of a different religion or cult. I know of a story that I heard from a rabbi who performed the Bar Mitzva ceremony for one boy who later joined a group of Jews for Jesus, and was on the verge of converting, G-d forbid. His father, though non-observant, told him that before making such a decision, that he should consult his Bar Mitzva rabbi. It was only after an all night discussion that made the boy realize that the Christians lied after hearing the rabbi quote the Torah where Hashem says "Israel is my firstborn" (Exodus 4:22) and not Jesus. Following this, the boy became not only an observant Jew, but a rabbi as well, and at the time of the recounting of the story, was the head of an organization in Israel that helps Jews.

Of course when it comes to rights for Jews though, there may G-d forbid be an exception to the First Amendment soon for residents of San Francisco, which will especially affect Jews and Moslems. Thanks to the anti-Semite Lloyd Schofield who gathered over 12,000 signatures against circumcision, a circumcision ban will appear on the ballot in SF's municipial election on November 8. It is true that since then, there has been a lawsuit on this, but the judge at the time around a month ago didn't decide either way. Along with this to promote this possible evil decree, the anti-Semite Matthew Hess has already put out two comic books with the hero called "Foreskin Man" who attempts to prevent boys from being circumcised by a Jewish Mohel. Yes, the United States government, at whatever level, has already proven that there is no problem about Christians attempting to snare Jews aware from their respective religion to become Christians, but it shows that there might be a problem about Jews performing circumcision, which is something that doctors perform as a routine basis on babies not having a religious circumcision in hospitals throughout the United States.

And so, before Jews, especially in the United States and France, go wacko about making sure that we "never again" forget what the hating non-Jews did to us or that we "never forget the ones who perished in the Holocaust", we have to take a deep look at the daily holocausts that take place in our very midst - both physical and spiritual. Isn't it ironic that particularly after the Holocaust, where Jews got tattooed with the number and cremated in the crematoriums, that this is exactly what Jews are doing to themselves - both in life and in death?

Loads of Israelis living in the Holy Land who have no concept of Judaism get tattooed, and the sad thing is that when some of them later become observant Jews, they have to learn to deal with the tattoos, whether when putting on Tefillin or going to the Mikva in front of others (though they can be surgically removed today, it may cost a little more than a few bucks to do this); and of all the Hollywood actors and singers, it seems that it is the Jewish ones who tend to get the most tattoos, since it is only a sin for Jews to get tattoos, so there is an evil inclination for Jews to do this.

And for cremations, Jewish people who run funeral homes have the nerve to call them "Jewish" funeral homes, while hosting the arrangements for Jews to have cremations, which is not only forbidden in Jewish law, but no Kaddish is recited or Shiva is observed because one who wills this to himself or herself eternally damns themselves to hell without a possible recourse. Of course, to the Jewish funeral owners, and the Conservative or Reform rabbis performing the "Jewish" funeral service, this makes no difference, so long as they receive their money.

Indeed, what is tragically happening with Jews today is where I say "NEVER BEFORE" has this happened, so where is the "NEVER AGAIN"? It has been proven that time and again, more than what the enemy has done to us is what we do to ourselves - both physically and spiritually. And so before bowing down to world leaders who pay mere lip service to the Holocaust while they are seaming and seething with hatred for Jews, let us think twice before realizing what memorializing is all about, and start working on stopping the present Holocausts that are surrounding us from all directions, including increasing anti-Semitism and over 600 work labor camps in the United States that are ready to house millions of people, which is just a matter of time before this happens G-d forbid (Check out

So for a first step, perhaps we should spend a little more time doing the more recent cool trend of making Aliyah, something that even many secular Jews have done for a good century since the Zionist movement had begun. At least these Jews who moved to Palestine in those early days escaped the Holocaust, so they had one less thing to "kvetch" about, since after all, by helping clearing the malaria infested swamps in Israel, they made it possible for ALL Jews - including very observant Jews, to live in a much cleaner environment with a far lesser chance of dying or becoming very sick.

Yes, let us start doing more in the way of accomplishing than just memorializing with lifeless statues and monuments. Just like remembering the Exodus is celebrated by having a Seder, but its ultimate goal is to remember our mission as Jews; so too, remembering the Holocaust is not meant to be an end of a means by itself, but to remind us that we have to behave better as Jews, and then we won't be worthy of such punishment in the future, as well as perform true meaningful acts to memorialize the souls of those who perished in the Holocaust such as Torah learning, doing deeds of kindness, and donating money to Jewish causes that will ensure the next Jewish generation, especially in the way of Jewish education. And then of course, when we do the right thing, we will be one step to building the ultimate "memorial" - the future Holy Temple that will never be destroyed again.

True, Novach's accomplishment of settling an area for Jews wasn't remembered by people for long. However, his good deed got recorded for eternity in the eternal Torah, as well as the eternal reward he received for his accomplishment.

24 Tammuz 5771

Sunday, July 17, 2011

#111 - ONE Becomes One THOUSAND

Today - 16 Tammuz 5771 - is a very special day in the life of Today is the 1,000th day since I began on Motzoei Simchat Torah (night of 23 Tishrei) 5769. If this was another Torah blogspot that didn't deal specifically with Gematriot, it would still be a special day marking the one thousandth day since a source of Torah composition had begun.

To tell you the truth, I had foreseen writing this 111th blogpost on this 1,000th day many months ago. It is true that the number 111 consists of three number ones. But in Hebrew, this number is much more than this, especially as it relates to the number one. You see, in Hebrew, the name of the first letter of the Alef Beit is ALEF - which consists of the letters Alef (1), Lamed (30), Phei Sophit (80), these three letters adding up to the total sum of 111! Surely, this can't be waved as a mere coincidence, especially as the name of the FIRST letter of the Alef Beit!

But wait, there is more! The word/name Alef using different letters, can also be read as ELEF - ONE THOUSAND! Hence, the same word - without the use of written vowels - can technically be read as either the name of the letter of the Alef Beit which is the numerical value of ONE, or can be read as the word ONE THOUSAND.

In fact, when writing the letters as numbers in Hebrew, when it comes to the number 1,000 and up, the (first) letter used as (part of) the number is ALEF. So, instead of being a letter at the end of the number to spell the number, for example, 5771 - Hei, Tav, Shin, Ayin, Alef - the number of this Hebrew year, the letter Alef takes the primary role for the numbers 1,000 through 1,999; and then it is the turn of the next letter Beit to take the primary role as the beginning letter of a number for the next thousand numbers, and so on.

Now, there is another angle here to the number one in the Gematriot world. OK, I mentioned a little earlier that the word/name Alef (or Elef for that matter) has three letters - Alef, Lamed, Phei Sophit. Now, in regular Gematria Pei/Phei is 80, and so is it as a Pei/Phei Sophit, the varied form of Pei/Phei used at an end of a word. In another form of Gematria, there are five letters of the Alef Beit that look different at the end of a world - Kaf/Chaf, Mem, Noon, Pei/Phei, Tzadi (Sophit means end, as the end letter of a word) - which have the normal respective numerical values of 20, 40, 50, 80, 90; but...can have higher Gematriot letters than the last regular letter Tav/Sav (400). In this instance, these letters have the respective numerical values of 500, 600, 700, 800, 900. Hence, in the letters spelling the word Alef, the Phei Sophit is the Gematria of 800; thus, Alef (1), Lamed (30), Phei Sophit (800) equals 831.

With this said, what does ELEF=1,000 minus 831 - the total Gematria of this word (ALEF or ELEF) equal? 169. In turn, the square root of 169 is 13, or 13*13. And in Hebrew, the word for the number ONE is Echad, and as the word Echad, is the Gematria of 13! Hence, the word Alef being the Gematria of 831 PLUS the Gematria of the word Echad=13 times itself totalling 169 becomes the GRAND TOTAL of ONE THOUSAND - ELEF.

Now in English, we find an amazing thing that is similar to the ALEF-ELEF connection.
As all languages are somehow based on Hebrew - at one time the ONLY language that was spoken until the Towel of Babel was being built when Hashem decided to nix this project by having different people speak different languages - the letter A parallels the Hebrew letter Alef. Now, when we spell the words for each number in English - one, two, etc. we encounter an amazing thing. The FIRST time that the letter A appears in a spelled out number is the number ONE THOUSAND (one thousAnd)! This is to note that ALL words in English have at least one vowel letter - A,E,I,O,U or sometimes Y. Hence, this phenomenon speaks out even louder for it took a FEW THOUSAND WORDS until reaching the the words for the number ONE THOUSAND to produce the first A!

While the last thing that I wrote here may sound like a coincidence since this this does not directly involve Hebrew letters - it must be noted that one of the many titles of Hashem is Alufo Shel Olam - Chief of the World, the word Alufo being cognate of the word Alef/Elef. Thus, Hashem speaks to us through language - in any and every language. In fact, as we see in the Book of Deutronomy, the Torah (don't know if it refers to the Torah or to a specific part of the Torah) was written in ALL the seventy languages of the world that existed in the times of Moses; thus denoting the fact that in fact, Hashem speaks to ALL the nations to follow him, but only the Jews are the ones who are aware that Hashem is speaking to them.

Now that I writing about Hashem, the Jews, and the Torah - each of these THREE have a special connection with the number one, as the word Alef/Elef bearing the plain Gematria of 111 having a special connection with THREE units of ones. Well, we know that Hashem is ONE, meaning, that there is only ONE G-d, and cannot be divided into a trinity such as is painted by the Christian religion. Also, a number of Hashem's names or titles begin with an Alef - E-l, E-lohim, A-donoy, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, Alufo Shel Olam (NOTE: In English, some of these words begin with an E,rather than an A, as the vowel in Hebrew sometimes makes it sound like this since the letter Alef is a silent letter).

We see that the Jews are called "ONE nation on the earth" a statement that we make in the Sabbath afternoon Shemoneh Esrei prayer.

And the Torah is ONE Torah - and not the way that Christianity has it as the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament". Hashem did not wake up one day and make changes on us Jews to tell us that now, we have a "new covenant" or a "new testament". Hashem makes it VERY CLEAR in the Torah that a self exclaimed prophet who claims the slightest change in the Torah (unless it is a momentary decision for a specific period of time, but not meant to be a permanent change) is liable to death for daring to change a part of the Torah that is the PERMANENT LAW. Additionally, we see that the Ten Commandments, the foundation of the 613 Mitzvot/Commandments of the Torah, begin with the letter Alef. And the Aramaic word for Torah - Oraita - also begins with the letter Alef.


As I mentioned earlier, there are five Hebrew letters that are shaped a little differently at the end of a word, and in one dimension of Gematria, can equal higher numbers than the other 22 letters of the Alef Beit. Hence, the 28th letter technically is once again the letter Alef - but as the Gematria of 1,000 rather than the number one.

This is in fact hinted right at the beginning of the Torah. You see, there are exactly 28 letters to the first verse of the Torah. And the very first Rashi on the Torah - on the beginning words of this verse - quotes from Psalm 111 (this number equaling the word for the number Elef - one thousand!) Koach Ma'asav... "The STRENGTH of his words He told to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations". The first word of this verse - Koach - spells the number 28!

It is in this context that Hashem can be called the ALUFO Shel Olam - Chief of the world, since the other nations want to claim that Israel belongs to them, and that the Jews "stole" it from them. However, it is the ALUFO Shel Olam - Chief or Master of the world, Who decides to whom Israel belongs, and in case the other nations want to excuse themselves that they didn't know better - well, the Bible speaks in very clear times as to the fact that He is giving the Holy Land to the Jews, and the Bible also lists the exact boundaries, so the nations can't claim later "but we didn't know this for a fact". Indeed, many Christians who claim that they believe in the Bible conveniently close their Bibles when it comes to Jews living in Israel, as they fall for the Moslem Arabs' claims that they are entitled to Israel as well, and hence justify creating a country called Palestine. After all, the Moslem religion admits the evil Christian founder as a prophet, if not a god or Messiah, and hence, Christians deep down feel a greater respect for the Moslem religion, since unlike Judaism, Islam believes in the credibility of the evil JC, even if just as a prophet.


Aside from the main prayer called Shemoneh Esrei that is recited at least three times a day, the Aleinu prayer is recited at the end of every prayer service. This prayer consists of two paragraphs - the first is about the significant difference between us Jews and the other nations, ending off describing Hashem's praises, and the second paragraph speaks of the time in the future when the nations of the world will turn to only one G-d.

At one time, this prayer had a big challenge at the censor's desk. You see, it was often Christians ironically who were printing our holy books. Mind you, some of them knew Hebrew, and at times, they were able to see the translation that was ready for print. They certainly weren't too happy seeing our prayers degrading the non-Jews for worshiping idols. This especially came to light when you had Jews who very unfortunately converted to Christianity and used Gematria to help hurt the Jews by stating that when it states in the first paragraph "for they (the non-Jews) bow down to vanity AND EMPTINESS" the words in caps being the translation for the Hebrew word V'Reek, that this word is the same Gematria as the word/name Yeishu (316) which is used to refer to the Christian god JC, since this three letter Hebrew word consists of the letters Yud-Shin-Vav stands for the word Yimach Shemo V'Zichro- "May his name and memory be erased". Hence, the Jewish apostates were claiming that we were mocking the non-Jews for worshiping JC in our prayers.

Anyways, this prayer - at least according to some versions in the Siddur/prayer book, consists of exactly 169 words. The last word - the 169th word - of this prayer, is Echad/one - this word being the Gematria of 13; and as we mentioned before, the square root of 169 is 13. We sure await the day that the nations of the world will recognize the one true religion - Judaism - when everyone will know that "Hashem is one and His name is one", the concluding words of this Aleinu prayer.


Recently, my curiosity got me to figure out how many Hebrew letters are used in the count from one until one thousand. Without using a calculator, I was able to figure the answer to this in a short time. I will save the answer until the end of the presentation of the calculations which I will show you right here - something that you will see ONLY at

The Alef Beit, consisting of 22 letters, is divided up into three parts:
1)The letters Alef through Teit- the Gematriot of 1 thru 9.
2)The letters Yud through Tzadi- the Gematriot of every 10th letter - 10 thru 90.
3)The letters Koof=100, Reish=200, Shin=300, Tav=400.

The following are how many times each letter is used as part of a number until 1,000:

1)Alef thru Teit are each used as every 10th letter at the end of a number; hence, each of these letters are used 100 times until the number 1,000.

2)Yud thru Tzadi are each used 10 times in a row in every 100 numbers at the beginning of a number; hence, each of these letters are also used 100 times until the
number 1,000.

3)BUT the last four letters are used more often until the number 1,000 - the payoff for the delay of being used, unlike the first 18 letters for the first 99 numbers, and are also used at the beginning of a number.
3A)Significantly, Koof - the Gematria of 100 - is the FIRST letter that is used 100 times CONSECUTIVELY - from 100 until 200.
3B)Reish then takes over for the next 100 numbers from 200 until 300.
3C)Shin then takes over for the next 100 numbers from 300 until 400.
3D)BUT when Tav - the last letter of the Alef-Beit - takes over, it is not just for the next 100 letters in a row. For waiting the longest to be used, it is rewarded for being used FOR THE NEXT 600 numbers from 400 until 1,000!

However, we are not quite finished yet. You see, the way that Hashem created the 22 letters of the Alef Beit ALONG WITH THEIR GEMATRIOT - the last four letters of the Alef Beit - AS THE SECOND LETTER IN A NUMBER - start in cycles of 400. Hence, when the Koof started as the number 100, being used for 100 consecutive numbers, it starts being used again at the number 500, following the letter Tav (500-100=400). It follows that Koof is used from 500 until 600, Reish from 600 until 700, Shin from 700 until 800, and the second Tav is used from 800 until 1,000. And what do we see here? Two things: 1)The second Tav isn't just used for 100 numbers like Koof, Reish, and Shin, but like the first Tav, the second Tav ALSO STAYS UNTIL 1,000! 2)The last letter Tav is THE ONLY LETTER THAT IS USED TWICE IN A NUMBER! Yes, patience pays off!

We are almost done before giving the awaited answer. When the number reaches 900, the letter Koof is brought back to the plate for a THIRD ROUND OF 100 NUMBERS. However, what is ironic here is that the later letters Reish & Shin WILL NOT be used for a third round until 1,000. Why it this so? I have two theories:

1)The fact that Koof is the first letter to be used for 100 consecutive numbers and is itself the Gematria of 100, the fact that it is used for a third time in the course of 999 numbers - unlike Reish & Shin - being that three times is what is called a Chazaka - literally means strength, which means it denotes something that is used regularly - it accentuates the significance of the number 100 - which is the square root of 10. Accordingly, Tav which is the most used letters in the numbers, is the square root of 20. However, the Gematriot of Reish & Shin ARE NOT square roots. Moreover, just as I just pointed out a similarity between Koof=100 & Tav=400, the square root numbers 10 & 20 are also very connected with each other, because when the letter Yud=10 is spelled out as a word using the letters - Yud, Vav, Dalet - this word is the Gematria of 20. Indeed, the Hebrew word for the numbers of 10 & 20 are Eser & Esrim respectively - the only difference with the wordings as that there is a Yud & Mem added to the word Eser to make it Esrim as a plural word - making the word that means ten to make it twenty. However, the words for the numbers 30, 40, etc. do not match one another.

2)The angels declare Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh "Holy, Holy, Holy is Hashem Tzevakot..." in which the word Kadosh BEING USED THREE TIMES IN A ROW begin with KOOF which is being addressed to the ALUFO Shel Olam - Chief of the World, as the word ALUF (Chief) is similar to the word ELEF (One thousand). This seems to hint that Koof=100 being used three times in a row, making the Koof three times making a total of 300, is being hinted to by the fact that THE LETTER KOOF IS USED 300 TIMES UNTIL THE NUMBER 1,000!

Now, let's present the totals for the 22 letters of the Alef-Beit until Number 1,000:
Each of the first 18 letters of the Alef Beit are used a total of 100 times - hence:
Koof is used 300 times.
Reish is used 200 times.
Shin is used 200 times.
Tav is used 800 times.
Hence, 1,800+300+200+200+800=3,300.

Yes, there are a total of exactly 3,300 letters being used to make up the Hebrew numbers until Number 1,000. Now divide 3,300 by 999, and you get 3.033033. We see that the number three, which signifies something that is being in a habit of being used, as we see in Halacha/Jewish law, pops us again and again. Along these lines, the word Galgal/wheel - which is using the letters Gimel-Lamed - the Gematria of 33 -
being used TWICE to make up this word, shows a pattern, as a wheel which keeps turning back to the same spot over and over again. And along these lines, the Gematria of the name of Alef - the FIRST letter of the Alef-Beit - is 111 - using the (unit of the) number one THREE TIMES IN A ROW, and in Hebrew, the FIRST number to consist of THREE letters is 111 - Koof, Yud, Alef, which is the Gematria of the name of the FIRST letters of the Alef Beit, and is a TRIPLE one in numerals. And the number 1,000 is composed of the number 10 being multiplied by itself THREE TIMES, as 10*10*10.

Now, the cycle of the numbers until 1,000 is in essence in a cycle of 100 numbers to determine the NEW leading letter or letters - except for the first set of numbers which is for 99 numbers rather than 100 numbers because there is no leader yet for WHO WILL BE THE LETTER LEADER FOR THE NEXT 100 NUMBERS, because even the second set of nine letters were only the first of the number for 10 numbers in a row. And while the first 10 numbers are the ONLY 10 numbers to be consisting of ONLY ONE LETTER, the 10th letter Yud - the Gematria of 10, while the end of this set of 10 numbers, IS THE FIRST LETTER to be the head of a number for 10 numbers in a row - THE SAME WAY as the letter Koof being the Gematria of 100 is the first letter to be the head of a number for 100 numbers in a row.

We see that in the world of numbers, the number nine is considered a dead end number.
The truth is that all numbers when added up, and as shown in Gematria is based on one of the first nine numbers, which is called Mispar Katan - "Small Number", so let's take for example the number 612, when you add this up 6+1+2, this equals nine, and then the next number 613, as 6+1+3, equals 10, and 1+0 equals one. Hence, nine is the end of the numbers, and NOT the number 10, since ten comes back to one. Hence, while after the first 99, the cycle works in groups of 100, but the reality stares back in the face, because the cycle of 100 numbers works so long as there is a leading number for at least 100 times. However, after nine rounds of 100 each, the new number in Hebrew, though technically, you can use the letters Tav-Tav-Reish to be 1,000 - unless you continue on this path indefinitely, WE START OVER AGAIN WITH THE LETTER ALEF - for the next 1,000 numbers - at the beginning of a number, continuing on afterwards with Beit, Gimel, etc. through the letter Tav, but again, the last four letters will be used the most - and most notably the letter Tav - especially as the beginning of a number from the number 400,000 until 1,000,000 (one million, or 1,000*1,000), for a total of 600,000 - which was the total of male Jews from the age of 20 who left Egypt! (Note: The Midrash tells us that in fact, there were exactly 600,000 minus one male Jews from age 20 at the Exodus, but Hashem added Himself so to speak as one to make up this exact total).

And what do we see in the Torah - that Hashem told Abraham that the Jews would be slaves in another land outside Israel for 400 years. In fact, the Jews were in Egypt for 210, and even at that, were only slaves for 116 years, but the 400 years count to the Exodus began with the birth of Isaac, as Hashem told Abraham "your seed (which began with Isaac) will be in a land that is not theirs...for 400 years" (Genesis 15:13), and so the prediction of slavery doom began with Isaac as the Jews would not be officially inheriting the Land of Israel until after the Exodus, so in essence, were in a land that was not theirs for 400 years. In any case, the number 400 is the value of the letter Tav, which is used once again at the beginning of a number (after being used as such for only 600 times) for 600,000 times. Hence, we see two connections between the numbers 400 & 600,000!


A little earlier, I wrote about how the number three is commonly used in the makeup of the letters of the Alef-Bet. Taking this a step further about the 3,300 letters used for the first 999 numbers, let's divide 3,300 by three. From this, you have 1,100 three times. Hence, you have 1,100+1,100+1,100. With this said, you have a total of 12 numbers - six ones and six zeros. Hence, you can make two groups of 111 each, and as mentioned earlier, the word for the first letter of the Alef Beit is Alef which is the Gematria of 111. Hence, when multiplying 111 by two, you have 222, the number two being repeated three times.

And as we know, the first letter of the Torah is the letter Beit - the numerical value of two. We also see that this first letter in the Torah is an enlarged Beit - giving this special significance. We also mentioned earlier that there are 28 letters to the first verse of the Torah. Now, while we have in essence 22 letters of the Alef-Beit, there are a total of 27 when including the forms of five letters when marking the end of a word. Hence, this verse can be divided up into two parts - the big letter Beit which is like the introduction to the letter contents of the verse consisting of 27 letters which correspond to the grand total of 27 letters of the Alef-Beit. And the number 27 is made up of the number THREE being multiplied by itself THREE times - 3*3*3.

Speaking of the BIG letter Beit in relation to the next 27 letters, it was in the Hebrew year 5727 that ends with the number 27 that we Jews regained the holiest area in the world on which the Beit HaMikdash/Holy Temple used to stand. Once again, the lesson of the first Rashi on the Torah mentioning about our rights to the Holy Land despite the claims of the nations came to surface in reality.

Now, this first verse of the Torah states that G-d created the heavens and the earth, which is this world. And as our Rabbis tell us, this world will be in existence for 6,000 years. While this world was created for us to serve G-d, this world itself is a world of vanity and falsehood, for it hides the truth and what is the REAL thing, the spiritual world - which is the world of eternity, unlike this finite world of a mere 6,000 years with temporary pleasures which in themselves don't even begin to compare to the ultimate pleasure of beholding G-d's glory, which we can only truly understand what this feels like in the world of spirituality - the world of truth.

With this said, the SIX zeros of the above three sets of the number 1,100 come to play to demonstrate that the SIX thousand years are NOTHING compared to the ultimate spiritual world of eternal bliss. However, like a number in which zeros are added to at the end when the number becomes a real big number, we use this base physical and material world which is compared to zero or nothingness to turn it into spirituality FOR OUR ETERNAL BENEFIT. As noted by the Vilna Gaon, the Hebrew word for semen - Sichvat Zera - is the Gematria of 999 - which while results from physical pleasure which can be used for good or evil, it is the base for the fulfillment of the FIRST Mitzvah of the Torah of Pru Urvu - "Be fruitful and multiply" making up the DNA of the creation of a human being who will hopefully serve his or her purpose in this world to serve the ALUFO Shel Olam - Chief of the World, Who represents the concept of both Alef (1) as ONE G-d & Elef (1,000) the MASTER CHIEF, just as the letter Alef is used for the first time at the CHIEF of a number beginning with the number Elef! Also, the Gematria of the wording of the Torah for the first Mitzva of the Torah - Pru Urvu - is 500, and the minimum that it takes for one to fulfill this Mitzvah is two children - one male & one female, hence, 500 times two equals 1,000!

Just on a quick note for Parshat Matot - this week's Parsha. We see that in the second Aliyah of this Parsha, which many learn on the second day of the week as it falls out on today's date - 16 Tammuz, Moses declares to the people to take revenge on Midian for causing Israel to sin with idolatry and sexual immorality by taking 1,000 fighting men from each of the twelve tribes - Elef LaMateh Elef LaMateh (Numbers 31:4). Perhaps the reason why specifically 1,000 from each tribe, and being repeated as such, is to denote that we are supposed to emulate the ALUFO Shel Olam - the ultimate Chief of War, as demonstrated by the fact that the number for ELEF is the letter ALEF, now as the status of the Gematria of 1,000 for the next 1,000 letters. For in essence, we are all in war with our evil inclination who constantly tempts us to sin, and in order to successfully combat it, we have to remember the ALUFO Shel Olam - the ultimate CHIEF of the Army, in this world which is called Olam in Hebrew, which is cognate of the world Hellam - hidden, for this world hides spirituality, but it is up to us to see to it that we shine the world with spirituality.


There are various roles played by certain letters of the Alef Beit with their title being the very Gematria of how many times they are used at the beginning of a number.

MELECH/King - The first nine letters Alef thru Teit, as the plain Gematria of one through nine do not play a leading role in the numbering system until the number 1,000 when Alef becomes Elef, and then the following letters get their turn to be the same. However, at least for a short while, the next set of nine letters Yud thru Tzadi receive their turn to be the KING - the first letter - for ten consecutive times each (though technically, the first time being used they are the only letter making it obvious only for the next nine numbers). This occurs from the numbers 10 through 99, a total of 90 numbers, and 90 is the Gematria of Melech - King.

The following three letters Koof, Reish & Shin, are each used as the first letter of a number for 100 consecutive times each, for a total of 300 numbers from number 100 until number 400, and 300 is the Gematria of the word RAHK - only, indicating that it is ONLY these three letters that are the first of a number for 100 times which is a total of 300 numbers. This does not occur ever again in the sequence of the Alef-Beit numbers.

ADON/Master - Finally comes the last letter of the Alef-Beit: Tav. Up to this point, the first 18 letters appeared on the scene for a total of 40 times each, and the letters Koof, Reish & Shin appeared for a total of 100 times each. For the next 600 numbers, the letter Tav will appear for a total of 800 times, which is 100 MORE THAN THE COMBINED amount of times that the previous three letters appear for a total of 700 times (Koof-300, Reish-200, Shin-200). Meanwhile, this last letter has a little catching up to do to be equal with the amount of times that all the previous letters appeared. This happens in three stages:

1)After appearing for the first 40 numbers - 400 through 439, Tav has appeared the same amount of times as the letters Mem through Tzadi until now.

2)Tav goes through a middle stage to catch up with the same amount of times that the letters Alef through Lamed has appeared until now, as when they took turns with Tav, they appeared for either four more times- Alef through Teit, a total of 44 times, or for ten more times - Yud, Kaf, Lamed, for a total of 50 times. Tav is now in the SAME FOOTING as the letter Mem, and NEVER AGAIN will Tav be part of a number in which another letter has appeared more times in the numbers than Tav. TOGETHER, Tav & Mem appear for the 41st through the 50th times. Hence:
1)The first number for Tav to show evenness with some of the letters is 440 - Tav, Mem - which spells the word TAHM/plain, simple, indicating that the letter Tav at this time is just one of the letters of the Alef Beit that have appeared the same amount of times as some of the others, demonstrating this specifically through the letter Mem, as the 41st time.
2)Thus, when the next number 441 comes along - as the letters Tav, Mem, Alef - the Tav is NOT ONLY the first letter in a number, it is FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, able to show superiority to another letter BEING USED WITH IT. Hence, while the Tav appeared more times than the letters Alef through Teit when it became part of number 440, it is THE FIRST TIME that it is able to show superiority to another letter - Alef, that is appears with, for now Tav is the 42nd time, while Alef is only the 41st time. These three letters when spelled backwards spells the word EMET/truth, for now the truth is evident that TAV the last letter is superior to ALEF the first letter, and it is only when the numbers reach 1,000 that Alef becomes the new status of Elef, but not Alef as the numerical value of one. Also, it is this very number 441 using the three letters of Alef, Mem, Tav, that in the position of the total of the 27 letters when the five letters that look differently at the end of a word are in the position next to their regular looking forms, Alef is the first letter, Mem is the middle letter, and Tav is the last letter.

3)At the number 450, the letter Tav is NO LONGER on an equal fitting with the first 18 letters of the Alef Beit, for unlike Mem which was at an equal footing with Tav for the numbers 440 thru 449, the letter Noon is only the 41st in appearance while Tav is the 51st in appearance. And finally, at the number 499, there is no previous letter that has appeared more times than Tav, for Tav has now appeared for 100 times, in equal footing with Koof, Reish & Shin who each appeared 100 times already.

It is at the 499th number that Tav has finally caught up with the amount of times that the previous three letters before it Koof, Reish have appeared - and hence, these last four letters - Koof, Reish, Shin, Tav - have now appeared each for a total of 100 times. Thus, from when Tav first caught up with some of the letters at the 439th number THROUGH the 499th number when it caught up with ALL of the letters, there are a total of 61 numbers, the TAV now becomes an ADON - Master, for no longer are there any letters that have appeared more times than Tav, starting to show this at the 439th number when it appeared no less than some of the letters for the first time.

SAR/Minister - It is evident for the FIRST TIME at the number 500 that Tav has appeared no less than any of the other letters; because now that it is together with the letter Koof, which appeared the same amount of times as Reish & Shin, IT IS EVIDENT that Tav is no longer behind the amount of times than any of the other letters. Hence, this demonstrates in terms of all the numbers - and not just the numbers in which Tav was ahead of some of the numbers, that NEVER AGAIN will Tav be any less in appearance than any of the other letters. Hence, Tav isn't merely a leader over a small group of numbers, but a leader of ALL the numbers until now - reaching the rank of SAR - Minister, which is the Gematria of 500.

ROSH/head - When Tav & Alef were together for the last time at number 491, the Alef was still able to tell Tav "Yes, you may be ahead of me, but you are still behind the amount of times that Koof, Reish & Shin have appeared". Well now, the first letter Alef can no longer say this, because at Number 501, this is THE FIRST TIME that when Tav & Alef appear in the same number, that Alef can never again tell Tav that some letter has appeared more times than Tav. Hence, the letter Alef itself being the first letter of the Alef Beit, is part of the word ROSH/head, for now, Tav is the undisputed HEAD of at least most of the letters, as there is no other letter than is ahead of Tav in appearance times. It is at Number 501 that Tav becomes the ROSH - head, which is the Gematria of 501.

However, Tav is still not a permanent Rosh. You see, while there is no letter now that is ahead of Tav, it is only at Number 600 that Tav is head in appearance of ALL the other letters, for Tav & Koof appear together for the 101st through 200nd times.
After this, when Tav appears for the 201st time, Koof has only appeared for 200 times. However, even as Tav & Reish meet for the first time at Number 600, and the Reish is in appearance for only the 101st time when Tav is able for the first time to say "I am ahead of all you letters!", Tav WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SHOW THAT IT IS THE HEAD FACE TO FACE, until it meets Koof at Number 900 as the letters Tav-Tav-Koof. It winds up that Koof is the LAST LETTER to meet with Tav as lesser in status than Tav. So while, the number 600 may seem to show that Tav is now ahead of ALL of the numbers, since the evidence isn't face-to-face, it looks like it is Sheker/Falsehood, as the word Sheker is both the Gematria of 600 AND this word uses the these letters of Koof, Reish & Shin, which were on equal footing at the time that Tav first appeared as the Number 400, which were around much more than the first 18 letters appeared only 30 times each at that time. Hence, it is only when at Number 900, Tav meets with Koof, the last letter to which Tav tells it "Now I am ahead of ALL of you", that Tav CAN SHOW FACE-TO-FACE that it is indeed the undisputed ROSH - the Gematria of 501, taking 501 numbers from 400 through 900 to validate this.

We can learn from this a valuable lesson. It is not only enough to say the truth at all times - but to be able TO PROVE THE TRUTH at all times. Indeed, the Rabbis in the Mishna tell us that it is important to "to be clear of guilt from Hashem and from Israel" a phrase coming from this week's Parshat Matot in which Moses tells the Tribes of Reuben & Gad who wanted to live on land that the Jews just conquered instead of moving to Israel that they should show that they are not looking to abandon Judaism by coming with the rest of the Jews to Israel to fight the wars with the nations inhabiting the Land that Hashem promised the Jews. It is not enough to claim that something is yours even if you know that it is true. According to Halacha, in order that it is yours when someone else claims that it is theirs, you have to have proof that it is yours in order to keep it in order that there isn't even any room to suspect that maybe you are stealing it when people think that it may belong to someone else. Another prime example of this concept is that people counting coins in the Temple could not be wearing any clothing that they could possibly hide some coins in because if afterwards, if they would become rich, others might say that the reason for this is because of the coins that they stole, or if they become poor, others will say that the reason for this is because Hashem punished them for stealing money.

Actually, I am far from the first person to be able to draw lessons from the Alef Beit of what goes on between the letters of the Alef-Beit which are actual spiritual beings as shown both in the Midrash & the Zohar, as well as how we can behave as good Jews. Aside from the various Seforim/holy books written in the last few decades on this subject, the original source for this is the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 104, as well as a Midrash that is devoted exclusively to this - Midrash Otiyiot d'Rabbi Akiva.

Now, I want to bring out a couple of interesting points pertaining to the amount of times that Tav appears in relationship to the other letters as it ascends the ladder.
The truth is that at number 439, it is the first time that Tav becomes even with some of the letters of the Alef Beit - from Mem through Tzadi, as Tav appears for the 40th time; but it is only at the next number that Tav meets the first letter that is not ahead of it any more - the Mem at Number 440, both appearing for the 41st time.

This is most similar to the very theme of today's date - 16 Tammuz. While we learn that one of the five tragedies of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz - the day after is that the Luchot/Tablets of the Ten Commandments were broken by Moses because of the Jew sinning with the Golden Calf, the events leading to this began on today's date. As Rashi explains, the people misunderstood Moses when he said that he was coming back from the mountain at the end of 40 days during the morning, thinking that that day - 16 Tammuz was the day, since it was the 40th day from 7 Sivan when Moses first ascended Mt. Sinai to learn the Torah from Hashem. However, Moses did not mean this day but the next day since he meant 40 COMPLETE days; meaning 40 days and 40 NIGHTS, and since it was only during the daytime of 7 Sivan when Moses first went up, it wasn't until after the nighttime of 17 Tammuz that there were 40 complete days. Hence, it was only on the 41st day that Moses was to return, as it happened.

The question can be asked - why didn't Moses make it clear to begin with to state the exact date that he would be returning if he already knew exactly when? Had he done so, no doubt that all of the massive confusion and idol worshiping stuff wouldn't have taken place?

Perhaps one can answer that Moses didn't foresee how literal some Jews would attempt to make of his statements. But apparently, it wasn't meant for Moses to be 100% explicit about his exact date of return, but had said his return date in a little vague manner. Hashem knew exactly what was going to happen, and had Hashem wanted Moses to avoid misleading everyone, Hashem could have put the exact words in Moses' mouth through Divine Inspiration. However, there must have been a good reason for this why this did not happen.

You see, we see that when Tav appears for the 40th time, it now becomes even with some of the letters. However, it's time of showing this is only evident when it becomes the 41st letter simultaneous with the Mem becoming the 41st letter. Unlike in number 439 when Tav is still together with letters that have appeared for more times than Tav - Lamed & Teit each for the 50th time, it is ONLY at Number 440 that Tav NEVER AGAIN is NEXT TO A LETTER that is ahead of it in appearance times as it still was with the Lamed. While Tav will still be behind the amount of appearances for the following three numbers 441, 442 & 443 with Alef, Beit, & Gimel and then becomes even with Dalet at Number 444 when they both appear together for the 45th time, at least the first three letters of the Alef-Beit aren't right next to it as Tav is divided from them with Mem in the middle.

The point that I am making here is that a little room is left for others to do. Meaning, Moses did the bulk of the work receiving the Torah from Hashem for 40 days.
However, it was left for the people to make just a little effort to show that they indeed were worthy of learning the Torah, and not that were simply spiritually pumped up for the big day when the Ten Commandments were recited by Hashem. The people, by not being given straight forward information that would tell them when Moses would return without mistaking the timing, the Jews were given a chance to make just a little effort of accepting what they were told without questioning it - and certainly not to perform actions that went 180 degrees against the Torah. Just as they exclaimed shortly before the Torah was given - Na'aseh V'Nishma - "We will do and we will listen" - so now, this was the very chance for them to prove that they meant what they said. All they needed to do was to show a little faith in Hashem & in Moses His servant, and even if it seemed that Moses did not return as he said, the least they could have done was to wait one day before deciding the next course of action. However, they had no patience waiting since their faith in Hashem was lacking, and the rest is history (aside from the Tribe of Levi who always had FULL faith in Hashem).

Similarly, though the Tav got even with some letters at number 439, it is only when it appears for the 41st time - as Moses returned on the 41st day - that this is evident when it appears with the Mem appearing also for the 41st time. These two letters - Tav & Mem - in Number 440, are the first letters of the words Torat Moshe, for it was on this 41st day from Moses ascending Mt. Sinai, which was also the day that Matan Torah/Giving of the Torah with the kickoff of the Ten Commandments, that Moses came back to the Jewish people ready to teach Torah for the first time as HE HAD LEARNT IT - the Torah of Moses. However, because the Jews messed up, this would be delayed until Yom Kippur when Moses came back from Mt. Sinai for the last time (the 2nd time of 40 days on Mt. Sinai was just praying to Hashem asking Him to forgive the Jews so they wouldn't be destroyed for their sin, and the last period of 40 days was to get from Hashem - His rewriting of the Ten Commandments on the newly constructed Tablets).

Speaking of Torat Moshe - the VERY LAST Rashi on the Chumash - the Five Books of Moses - mentions Hashem thanking Moses for breaking the first Tablets. Now, two questions can be asked here - 1)Why did Hashem thank Moses for this? Granted that Moses was in total disgust with the Jews for their untimely sin of idol worship only 40 days after they received Divine Communication and that he felt that they weren't ready to learn the Torah, but why should Hashem thank him for this? After all, it was only because Moses felt that he had no choice under the circumstances that he did this, bearing in mind that he broke something that was most holy. 2)Why does Rashi end off his commentary on the Chumash mentioning an unfortunate thing that took place, especially when we have a concept that not only we do not end off a piece of Torah learning with a concept that involves misfortune or evil, but we attempt to end off with something that is of fortune or good?

Rashi is teaching us something most valuable here. While we generally should have the attitude that we should make every attempt to reach out to all kinds of Jews - no matter how unobservant or unlearned they may be, there are times that we MUST NOT attempt to teach Torah to certain Jews, because they are looking to rebel and as we see with Christians missionaries - some of whom are Jewish - they look to use the Torah to turn Jews away from the Torah, from Judaism (including using Gematriot for this purpose - BEWARE!). This is exactly why when the Torah states in the story of the Jews worshiping the Golden Calf, that Moses threw the Tablets from his hands, Rashi does not hesitate to tell us that Moses noted that regarding the Pascal sacrifice that is eaten on the first night of Passover, that there is a Mitzvah that we don't allow an apostate Jew to eat of it; so certainly, when all of the Torah is here (the Ten Commandments encompasses all of the 613 Mitzvot), and the Jewish nation are apostates, should I give them the Torah?

The story is told of the early days of the Telz Yeshiva in the United States, that the Yeshiva students weren't all very serious about Torah learning and looked for various distractions that could take them away from the very reason that they were supposed to come to Yeshiva for. One morning, the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Eliyahu Bloch, may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing, announced that they would not be having their usual learning session (which consists of pairs of students learning with each other) after breakfast, but that instead, he was going to speak to them. In his lecture, he told them that he was ready to close the Yeshiva, mentioning the above last Rashi on the Torah about Moses breaking the Tablets since the Jews weren't worthy of them. This is to say that if the Torah is not being treated the right away, then the Torah has to be stopped from being disgraced, even if it means that the Yeshiva would have to be closed. After his speech, he stopped for a bit, and then he stated that he would only allow the Yeshiva to remain open on one condition - that all of the students would shake hands with him with an agreement to follow the rules of the Yeshiva that would mean that they wouldn't allow distractions to continue stopping them from learning Torah. Luckily, all of the students agreed, and today, the Telz Yeshiva is one of the leading Yeshivot in the United States.

Now, just as I mentioned that at Number 440, it is the first time that Tav is sitting next to another letter (Mem) with an even amount of appearances; so it is at Number 600 that for the first time, the Tav - when sitting next to Reish - that it is able to state that it is ahead of ALL of the numbers, since at the previous number of 599, it was still even with Koof both appearing for the 200th time. But at Number 600, the Tav appears for the 201st time, while the Koof takes a rest, and the Reish is now appearing only for the 101st time. The letters for Number 600 - Tav, Reish - are the first letters of the phrase Torat Rebbe, for it was Rebbe - Rabbi Judah the Prince, upon seeing the trouble that were happening to the Jewish people and was hence afraid that the Torah would be forgotten, wrote down the Mishna - the foundation of the Oral Torah/Law that was not allowed to be written down up to that time - to ensure that the Torah would not be forgotten. Indeed, the original form of the Mishna consisted of exactly 600 tractates, and Rebbe wrote down the Mishna in a shortened form to make it easier for quicker comprehension.

As per the above with Moses & Rebbe, in Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers, which begins mentioning about Moses receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai and was since handed down from generation to generation, the first chapter begins with the word Moshe/Moses, and the second chapter begins with the word Rebbe, referring to Rabbi Judah the Prince.

And finally on the subject of Torah as it relates to the Alef-Beit, as the letter Tav appears 800 times until 1,000, the Hebrew number for 800 is Tav-Tav, which are the initials for the phrase Talmud Torah - which is the greatest Mitzvah of the Torah, in which EACH WORD OF TORAH is equal (in spiritual benefit and eternal bliss brownie points) to ALL the other Mitzvot of the Torah!


Well, one has to do with the number of this post - 111. I am referring specifically to Psalm 15 - the ONLY psalm that is written in its entirety (consisting of five verses) in the Talmud, on the concluding Daf (double sided folio) of Tractate Makkot (24a), and the name of this tractate Makkot is the Gematria of my first name Shimon (466). Now, you will see a list in some books of Tehillim/Psalms of the names of the Parshiyot with a corrsponding Psalm. For Parshat Kedoshim - the week in which I was born - it is Psalm 15. Now, the first letter of the name of this Parsha - Kedoshim - begins with a Koof which has a numerical value of 100. Now, in the context of the Talmud, it mentions that King David listed 11 virtues in this Psalm for Jews to follow. Thus, the way to remember this is 100+11 which equals 111. And by the way, I was born on Alef Iyar, and the letter Alef when spelled out as a word is the Gematria of 111.

The other thing that I have in mind kind of relates to what I wrote earlier about the 6,000 years of the world's existance and the amount of the letters of the Alef-Beit -which are either 22 or 27, depending on how the letters are used, the difference being five letters which have a distinct form only at the end of a letter.

Now, let's divide 6,000 by 22, and the answer is 272.72727. This number seems to hint to the Hebrew year 5727, the year that the holy area of the world in Jerusalem was liberated from the Arabs and returned to Jewish hands. This was especially a favorable time for the Jewish people, as hinted in some Torah sources, marking what could have been the time of the Redemption. As you can see in the number 272, the last two digits 72 is the Gematria of Chesed/Kindness, and the remainder of 72727 keeps repeating the number 72. The year 5727 is 272 years until Year 6000, the time of the end of the world's existance, and the last three digits of the number of the year itself begins the very trend of the remainder of 272.72727 - 727! Yes, it is the Holy Letters that hint to the Holiest Area of this world which is slated for 6000 years of the world's existance.

Now, let's divide 6,000 by 27, and the answer is 222.22222. Looking at the results of the two math questions - the answer reflects one of the numbers of the other equation. The previous answer of 272.72727 most parallels the number 27 here, and the answer of this paragraph's math question - 222.22222, most parallels the number 22 in the other equation. Thus, we see a VERY STRONG RELATIONSHIP between the numbers 22 & 27 in relationship to the number 6,000. Indeed, we learn in Kabbala that Hashem created the world with the letters of the Alef-Beit, and so even if there is an argument about whether it was created with 22 letters or 27 letters - there is really no contradiction between when it divides the number 6,000, the number of the years of the world's existance, because it hints to the other number!

We see a similar concept of this in the Torah. While Joseph was in prison at one point, the Chief Butler & the Chief Baker were thrown into prison at the same time. Moreover, both of them had dreams on the same night. But the amazing thing that we learn is that each of them dreamed their own dream - WITH THE INTERPRETATION OF THE OTHER ONE'S DREAM. However, each of them forgot the interpretation of the other one's dream once they wake up, remembering only the contents of their own dream, as it was meant for Joseph to interpret their dreams. However, the fact that each of these two dreamed the other one's dream interpretation highlights the above concept of each number hinting to the other when dividing the number 6,000.

Now, getting back to the number result of 222.22222, when this number 222 is subtracted from 6,000, we arrive with the number 5778. I have seen on the internet where there are those who predict this number year to be the year of the Redemption. Why I have strong reasons to believe that the Redemption could very well appear sooner, what I will say is that one thing that I saw in relationship to this number is that the Parshat Behar consists of 57 verses, and the next Parsha - Parshat Bechokotei, which is read together with Parshat Behar in some years, consists of 78 verses; and hence, putting these two numbers reads 5778. Moreover, both of these Parshiyot mention something about the concept of redemption - the first Parsha speaking of redeeming land, and the second Parsha speaking of redeeming tithes. In any case, it will take a little time after Moshiach comes for the Temple to be rebuilt. The word for the letter Beit which is the numerical value of two, is a word that also spells the word Bayit/house or home, for it is the Beit HaMikdash that is the Holiest Home in the world. And it is the answer to the second math equation - 222.22222 that most eloquently describes this, as the ultimate purpose of the physical place of this world that will be in existance for 6,000 years is the holiest physical place in this world - the Holy Temple.


While today may mark a special day in the life of a blogspot that I started marking today as the 1,000th day, this date - 16 Tammuz - also marks the 7th Yarhzeit of a very dear friend of mine, who passed away shortly before his 40th birthday - Rabbi Moshe Chaim Horn of blessed memory. Aside from his wide knowledge of Torah learning and also taught Torah classes, he lived to do kindness for others, only thinking of himself as last. On a personal note, he had done all kinds of favors for me, including inviting me over his house countless of times, and going out of his way to give me a ride to places he was going to before I had a car. For several years, he traveled all over the United States visiting Jews incarcerated in various prisons and making all kinds of arrangements for them working on behalf of the Alef Institute. In time, he left to work as a lawyer for which he already studied for several years earlier, and made a big Kiddush Hashem/Sanctification of Hashem's name in his position as a lawyer, making a good impression on secular Jewish lawyers who could not help but love this special person. It is also comforting that he left behind a most loving and special wife of nearly eight years of marriage and two daughters.

I find the timing of Rabbi Horn's passing to be at a most auspicious time. First of all, just as his name was Moshe Chaim and he passed away in his 40th year, so too was there a Rabbi of a few hundred years ago with the same Hebrew name - Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato - who passed away in his 40th year. Moreover, both of their Yahrzeits - Rabbi Luzzato on 26 Iyar & Rabbi Horn on 16 Tammuz, fall out on the same day of the week in any given year. Also, the initials of his name Moshe Chaim spell the number 48, and he passed away on Monday, the day of the week that the Levites recited Psalm 48; and as it happened this year, his 7th Yahrzeit fell out on a Monday.

And finally, just as 16 Tammuz was the 40th and final day of the first Moshe being on Mt. Sinai learning the Torah from Hashem while the Jews, when Satan ON THIS VERY DATE showed the Jews an image of Moses being dead exclaiming "Moshe is dead"; so too, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Horn passed away in Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach in his 40th year on this very date! Very unfortunately, it seems that these fateful words "Moshe is dead" got fulfilled in another sense thousands of years later on the same date as they were originally pronounced, similar to when the Jews cried on the night of the 9th of Av thanks to the slanderous report about Israel from the evil spies; and in response, Hashem said "You are crying on this night for no reason, so I will give you a reason for you to cry on this very night (9th of Av - Tisha B'Av) in the future".

Fortunately, my dear friend was buried on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem. It was within a year after his passing that I moved to Israel, and every year - except when the Yahrzeit fell out on Shabbat - I have visited his gravesite to say prayers on his behalf. However, today, it was the very first time when I was there - when I was almost finished saying my prayers - that a Minyan, a group of 10 men - appeared all of a sudden at his gravesite. It was a little comforting to me, especially since after he passed away, I saw quickly how few friends I had, because nobody in my departed friend's neighborhood gave a damn about calling me about his passing or in the previous week when he was in the hospital following his sudden heart attack. It was only after the Shiva was over did a brother of mine who found out through the grapevine inform me, for he knew that if I would have found out sooner, that no doubt that I would have told him. Well today, while all of those who knew how to contact me but forgot all about me are still living off the fat of the land of exile, I live the closest to my dear friend, though not exactly in the way that I would prefer. Thus, today was the first time that I had a chance to answer a Kaddish recited on his behalf after seven years since he passed away. The only other thing that I will say is that if everyone was like my good friend Moishe who lived to think about others and help them, Moshiach would have come a long time ago.

In conclusion, while we may have some setbacks and losses of dear ones in our lives, we learn from the Alef Beit that we have to move on to new things in life, just like the Alef becomes Elef when it reaches 1,000, starting on a new path - being a leader for the first time - not only as the first letter in a list of letters, but being able to show that it has leadership capabilities. It is in this spirit that we have to forge ahead in life, using our past experiences to not only not keep us back from living our daily lives, but to take over leadership roles from others who have already served their time and now it is for us - the new generation - to take over and make this world a better place.

16 Tammuz 5771

P.S. A good discovery in time for my 111st Post on the 1,000th day of This blogpost is now featured on, which lists numerous other blogposts and links related to all types of interesting topics in Judaism. Keep up the good work!