Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#147 - My First Father's Day

Hardly saw anything this year in the Jewish blogs about what is known as Happy Father's Day in the United States, aside from the fact that some Jewish bloggers are either living in other English speaking countries, or presently living in Israel where this day is not celebrated. But in my case, being that it took too many more years than necessary for me to finally find a Shidduch to lead to becoming a parent, I certainly did not take this past Father's Day Sunday for granted after being 42 years of age, which finally happened thanks to my daughter Tamar being born some six months ago.

OK, so some reading this may tell me that this is not a Jewish holiday, this is based on the non-Jewish calendar, really every day is Father's Day since we are always supposed to honor/respect and fear our parents from the Torah, etc. In fact, some will even claim that this occasion is based on some Christian source.

True, we are supposed to honor/respect and fear our parents, as per two Mitzvot (commandments) from the Torah - 365 days a year/12 months a year/7 days a week/24 hours a day. However, a special day or two a year devoted to honoring our parents helps us not take granted the ones who are supposed to mean most to us, aside from the families that we have started on our own. This is hardly different than the High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, which are not days of celebrating some miraculous event such as Passover, Chanuka, or Purim; but rather, holidays of reflecting on our purpose in life, giving us a yearly opportunity to do repentance and finding ways to improve our relationships between ourselves and other people and Hashem, instead of continuing in our daily routine taking for granted what Hashem gives us without realizing the real purpose of what we have received, even though in fact, on every day of the year, we are supposed to reflect on the past day's events, repent of what we did wrong, and resolve not to repeat our mistakes in the future.

Now note, in the United States, there are certain days that are called legal holidays that have no special significance of being celebrated in a church anymore than in an atheist home, which basically means that for most people, these are days for taking off from work. Then you have other days that are obviously religious in significance that are also legal holidays. And so, if one is honest about it, there is nothing about Happy Mother's Day or Happy Father's Day that can be pointed out in the New Testament of giving us a reason to celebrate these days. OK, so I saw something as of late about some claimed basis of having Chrsitian roots as per Mother's Day, although the real reason is based on this guy owning a card business who convinced Congress to enact Mother's Day to promote his business, from which he had since made a fortune. And so for Americans, this means for many to pick up their mama on the 2nd Sunday of May or their papa on the 3rd Sunday of June, and celebrate going to some restaurant and the like. One cannot help see advertising like the week before between the newspapers and internet of sales taking place in physical and virtual department stores.

Personally, being the firstborn causing my parents to be parents, my Mom and I as a newborn first came home from the hospital on Mother's Day, so for one thing, I am not going to let anyone boss me and tell me getting away with it that if I am truly an observant Jew and follow the Torah the correct way, that I have no business celebrating a day that helps me connect to my Mom in one more way. While it may be true that the days picked to celebrate these occasions are based on the non-Jewish calendar, the bottom line is that celebrating a day devoted to our parent(s) helps us retain consciousness of a most important Mitzva (or Mitzvot) that some of us may tend to overlook, especially when we have our own families and our old parent may now not be able to actively or physically do much in helping us in our daily family lives.

Now, aside from our own parents, or specifically as related to Father's Day, our fathers; we have what is called the Avot, which literally means "fathers". In fact, this word in the context of Judaism can mean any one of a number of things. Let's list what these are:

1)Our Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

2)Name of the first blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, based on the words "G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac, and G-d of Jacob". According to Halacha (Jewish Law), one cannot fulfill the obligation of prayer for the evening/morning/afternoon without having concentration on this first blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei.

3)Defines the 39 major categories of work that is forbidden to be performed on Shabbat, based on what was performed as work in the building of the Mishkan/Tabernacle, also called "principals". And then we have what are called Toladot "generations" or derivatives, which are types of work similar to what are called the Avot, the major categories of work, as listed in Tractate Shabbat, Chapter Seven.

4)Word used describing the four major categories of damages - ox, pit, tooth/foot, and burning, as mentioned at the very beginning of Seder Nezikin, the fourth Volume of the Mishna in Masecta (Tractate) Bava Kama.

5)Word used describing the various level of spiritual impurity, forbidden one to eat holy food or being able to enter the Temple, described in detail in Seder Teharot, the sixth Volume of the Mishna.

6)And speaking of the Mishna, is the name of one of its 63 tractates, the only one not devoted to a halachic topic, but rather, containing gems of exhortations of following the Torah and Mitzvot, ethics that aren't merely observed as nice things to follow, but rather, based on what Moses received from Hashem on Mt. Sinai, this tractate beginning "Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai..." It is so named because in fact, our rabbis are also called fathers, being that they are our spiritual fathers. In fact, according to Halacha, unless one's parent is also one's Torah instructor, precedence is given to certain matter to one's Rebbe (Torah instructor) before his father, like it or not, because "one's father brings him into this world, while one's Rebbe brings him into the world to come".

With this said, I would like to put focus specifically on who is called the Bechir Ha'Avot "Chosen one of the Patriarchs", who is Jacob. As this is my 147th Post, I want to note that Jacob lived for 147 years, a fact that is mentioned in the first verse of the last Parsha of Sefer Bereishit (Genesis) - Parshat Vayechi. Now, the reason why it is Jacob, rather than his father Isaac or his grandfather Abraham, who is called with this title, is that he is the one of the three Patriarchs who specialized in learning Torah. Of course his most righteous father and grandfather also learned the Torah and followed its Mitzvot even though the Torah had yet to be given to their descendants a few hundred years later. However, since it was Jacob who was most devoted of the three Avot to learning Torah, he is the one who is the Chosen of the Patriarchs.

OK, so we know that the greatest of Mitzvot is learning/teaching Torah, even though secular Jews will have a problem with this and exclaim that doing good deeds, as part of "Tikkun Olam" which literally means perfecting or rectifying the world, is the main thing, and not some old guys with long beards praying or "schuckling" over some ancient texts all day long.

In fact, some may claim that Abraham should be awarded the title. After all, he became the first Jew after coming to his own conclusion that even the sun and moon could not be gods after disappearing for half the time and so there has to be a Being who is always around, and nearly sacrificed his life for his beliefs when was thrown into a fiery furnace due to his beliefs but was miraculously saved. Towards this end, he wasn't satisfied with knowing this for himself as some of his ancestors who while righteous on their own in an idol-worshiping world, didn't do much in the way of convincing others of the truth; but rather, Abraham went traveling around to spread what we call monotheism, as well as inviting people to his scrumptious meals without taking an Abraham Lincoln penny for his stake meals in Hotel Abraham in the midst of the Be'er Sheba desert, provided that they would thank the One who was the real One responsible for the food to begin with. And so, you would think that Abraham, who wasn't satisfied with his own religious observance, looked to bring newcomers to the fold of serving Hashem as well, would be most worthy of the Chosen title.

Perhaps today, it can be said that the ones who brings others to observe Judaism, which will most likely include those who will not only be merely Sabbath observant, but learn and study Torah, are the greatest in Hashem's eyes, for after all, if one who learns Torah himself is fulfilling the greatest Mitzva, then certainly, causing others to do the same as well is the cause of so many other people fulfilling the greatest Mitzva. However, in the times of Abraham, things were a little different. You see, learning Torah then was just a way of finding out what G-d's will was. However, without spending serious time learning the Torah, the ones whom Abraham brought closer to Hashem in lieu of the worthless idols remained devoted for only so long. The proof - by the time that Jacob and his family came down to Egypt, it was only them, including the ones whom the tribes married who automatically learned to believe in one G-d, who were following in the ways of the Torah even before the Torah was officially given to the Jewish people. But since learning Torah was not yet any more of a special command than the other commands and wasn't officially what we call Judaism as of yet, the people or the families of the people whom Abraham befriended to Hashem's service didn't stick with it. Very simply, Torah is knowledge, and knowledge is power. Without learning Torah the way that Abraham did, those outside of the immediate families of the Patriarchs did not know the importance or details of living a monotheistic lifestyle, and were surrounded by their other friends who were still worshiping the worthless gods.

And so, while Abraham as the first Jew is someone from whom anyone who is in Jewish outreach can learn from, and is not for naught that his name in Hebrew as Avraham is a contraction of the words Av Hamon Goyim "father of a multitude of nations", having both physical and spiritual connotations; it was Jacob, who specialized in Torah learning - unlike Abraham who specialized in doing deeds of kindness, and Isaac who specialized in prayer - who is crowned with the Chosen title, for it is the Torah, as Hashem's wisdom, that encompasses everything else. And in case anyone should claim that Jacob was just another good "schuckler" and didn't care all much about interacting with the outside world and behaving on the outside like the inside, one look in the Torah will tell him/her of how careful Jacob was in taking care of the flock of his crooked father-in-law Laban, suffering from the elements in his zeal of responsibility of livestock not belonging to himself. Few outside of the Torah world would go to the lengths of treating another's property as one's own as Jacob did.

And so, before some non-observant Jew who stuffs his mouth with shrimp dinners at non-kosher eateries, criticizes observant Jews exclaiming "what comes out of the mouth is what counts" and helps unfortunate (poor, sick, or handicapped) Jewish children celebrate Christmas by giving them toys as part of "Tikkun Olam", perhaps if he really cared of doing the right thing, and reflect on what it really means to be a Jew, or ask a rabbi who is supposed to represent Judaism about how to be a good Jew, he would be beginning to perform the TRUE Tikkun Olam, the way that HASHEM wants him to do it, and not his own warped sense of what he thinks Tikkun Olam is.

Believe it or not, bringing Jewish children into the world is part of Tikkun Olam, contrary to what some would want us to think that having more than three children is stretching the limits and being "selfish". I am amazed at some of the comments that people make on articles on the web of Christians who have 10 or 12 children, accusing these truly devoted parents who more than most, raise their children to be givers rather than takers, of "not being responsible". I guess that according to them, bringing a few more children into the world who will be good United States tax-paying citizens is virtually committing a crime without being written on the books. And you know what the ironic thing is? It is these same people criticizing those who are following a path of Tikkun Olam (some Christians are FAR MORE MORAL AND DEVOTED TO GOD than irreligious, liberal Democrat Jews who are pro gay and pro abortion rights) who are either now or later will be complaining that they aren't receiving as much in the way of Social Security, or not being able to retire at age 65 as they used to until a few years ago, thanks to THEIR OWN SELFISHNESS of not bringing a few more children into the world who could have made a greater positive impact in society, as well as bring more money to the social security tax that could have benefited these baby boomers (born between 1946-1964), not following their parents' example, who would have otherwise been retired by now, or would not need to worry of what may happen in another 10-20 years as the Social Security funds have already started draining down the tube, (my parents being born before the baby boom era had no problem receiving social security at age 65) who were more concerned instead of watching their own tube consisting of every Nareishkeit one could think of, including violent movies that caused some of their children to not grow up with moral values to say the least, getting some of them into other major troubles from the four Ds: Disease from unprotected sex, Divorce, Drinking and Drugs.

But there is one word in English beginning with a "D" that can be a very positive word - Daddy. Perhaps I personally won't being called this word much, for I am living in Israel, and having an Israeli wife, my children will be calling me "Abba". But to come to think of it, the Gematria of Abba is FOUR, just as the letter FOURTH letter of the alphabet "D", that not only begins the word "Daddy", but is used THREE times in the word (how many other words in the English language has the letter "D" used three times?) similar to the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet - Dalet.

The truth is the word Abba, though used as the word in today's Hebrew langauge for father or daddy, is technically the Aramaic word for the Hebrew word Av, which is the word in Hebrew with the lowest Gematria of the number three.

But there is truth to the common word Abba being used to call one's father rather than the Hebrew word Av. You see, had Esau - born as the twin of Jacob chosen to be righteous like his brother Jacob, he would have been considered as one of the Avot, which would have meant that there would have been FOUR Patriarchs of the future righteous Jewish nation, just like there are FOUR Matriarchs of the Jewish nation - Sara, Rebecca, Rachel & Leah. The proof - he was meant to have married Leah as Jacob was meant to marry Rachel. However, because of Esau's wickedness, he lost his "Basherte" Leah, who prayed and cried her tears out that she should not fall into the hands of the wicked Esau. In time, not only did she wind up marrying Jacob before his main love Rachel, but in addition to the six out of the 12 tribes (half of the tribes!) that Leah bore to Jacob (which includes the Levite tribe and the Davidic dynasty which includes Moshiach), it was she - rather than Rachel - who wound up being buried next to Jacob in Me'arat HaMachpela "Cave of the Patriarchs" in Hebron. And so, there are only three Patriarchs of the Jewish nation, just as the Hebrew word Av is the Gematria of three.

Another concept related to the number three in Judaism - and as related to Jacob, the THIRD of the Avot, is the THIRD Mitzvah of the Torah (and is the first Mitzvat Lo-Ta'aseh (Non-Active/Negative Commandment) of the Torah) which is called Gid Hanashe, the prohibiton of eating the sinew of the thigh bone of an animal, which begins with the letter Gimmel whose numerical value is THREE, which resulted from the wrestling match that Jacob's brother Esau's guardian angel had with Jacob, in the midst of which, the angel injured Jacob's thigh.

There is a seeming cryptic statement about Jacob that I wish to write about. Rashi, quoting the Talmud in Tractate Ta'anit, states that "Jacob our Father did not die". Now, whether this is meant to be literal, or mean to be in a physical state that he didn't actually die but just having appeared to die, or not; one thing that this statement does mean is that Jacob, who most represented the concept of the Torah of Life, as the father of the Twelve Tribes, is most alive in Judaism. We mention his names - Jacob and Israel - numerous times in our prayers and Torah study, on a daily basis. This is just like the true story of someone who asked a noted rabbi if he knew the Yahrzeits of the rabbis of the Talmud. "Yahrzeits?" the rabbi questioned, "Why, these rabbis are very much alive! I study their teachings every day. They are far from dead."

And so, observing the Torah and Mitzvot enlivens our Avot (and Imahot) on a daily basis. Indeed, the 365 Mitzvot Lo Ta'aseh of the Torah correspond to the 365 days of the year (although this fits easier with the solar/secular calendar, the Jewish/Hebrew calendar winds up being 365 days when the typical 354 day calendar is adjusted every 2 or 3 years with an extra month) and the first Mitzvat Lo Ta'aseh of Gid Hanashe corresponds to Tisha B'Av (9 Av), the date of the month of Av (which means father), on which both Temples were destroyed, just as Esau's guardian angel damaged Jacob's thigh, representing the damage that the non-Jews would do to Jews in the future. And as connected to the month of Av whose name means father, the VERY FIRST MENTION in the Torah (376 times in the Chumash, 637 in all of the Tanach) of the phrase Bnei Yisrael "Children of Israel", Israel being the new or added name of Jacob told to him following his fight with Esau's angel, is mentioned in the VERY VERSE mentioning this FIRST Mitzvat Lo Ta'aseh - "Therefore, the Children of Israel don't eat the sinew of the thigh..." (Genesis 32:33).

Now, just getting back for one more moment on Mother's Day & Father's Day, we notice that Mother's Day is around the middle of spring, as the spring equinox begins on March 20 or 21, and the summer solstice begins on June 21 (applicable in the Northern Hemisphere which includes the United States and Israel), and Father's Day is always celebrated in the last week of spring. Now in Hebrew, the word for spring is Aviv, which is the Biblical name for the month of Nissan, the 1st of the 12 months of the Jewish calendar, for indeed, the word Aviv can be read as two parts Av (father) and the letters Yud-Beit spelling the Hebrew number for 12, describing both the month of Nissan as being the FATHER (1st) of the 12 months, as well as Jacob - who was literally the father of the TWELVE Tribes (but the difference is that unlike the month of Nissan which is actually just the first of the 12 months rather than being in a different category; Jacob was actually the father while his 12 sons were in the next generations, themselves representing the 12 months of the Jewish calendar). So, it seems that it isn't such a coincidence that Happy Father's Day is celebrated in the United States at the conclusion of the AVIV season.

And the ultimate father is - Ovinu Malkeinu...of course, our Father in Heaven. Indeed, it is no coincidence that one of the 12 months of the year is called Av, the month on which the worst tragedies happened to the Jewish people, but in the future, as our prophets tell us, will be among the greatest days of celebration, and perhaps, the very date that our long awaited Moshiach will arrive. Indeed, it has been mentioned that the reason why this month in particular is called Av is because in the future, it will be this month that will be the FATHER, or head of the months.

And as related to myself, the month of Av corresponds to the tribe of my namesake, my first name Shimon. And as I conclude my 147th Post on www.gematriot.blogspot.com, the verse from the Tanach (Bible) that I recite at the end of every Shemonei Esrei prayer, beginning with the letter SHIN & ending with a NOON SOPHIT as does my name Shimon, is in PSALM 147 (verse 12) - Shabechi Yerushalayim Et Hashem Haleli Elokayich Tziyon "Praise Hashem, O Jerusalem; laud your G-d, O Zion".

30 Sivan, 5772

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

#146 - The Month of Torah

While the holiday of Shavuot has already passed for over two weeks, Sivan - the month of Shavuot - is still around for another week. And so, while there may not seem to be any connection of the rest of month to Shavuot than the rest of the year other than the fact that these days are all in the same month, they are in fact very much connected - in more than one way.

Well first, we know that following the Giving of the Torah on Shavuot, Moses spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai being taught the Torah by Hashem. This began on the 7th of Sivan, which meant that this took place the last 24 days of Sivan, and the first 16 days in the month of Tamuz, and it was on the 17th of Tamuz that Moses returned from Mt. Sinai.

Aside from this, the Mazal (zodiac) of the month of Sivan is Teomim, which means twins. Regardless of what you may have seen as the significance of this zodiac sign for Sivan, we know that the Torah consists of two parts - Torah She'B'Ketav (Written Torah) and Torah She'B'Al Peh(Oral Torah). Both are most important to learn, which makes up a Talmid Chacham (Torah scholar) par excellence. In relationship with the Sephirot (Divine Emanations), the Written Torah corresponds to Netzach, and the Oral Torah corresponds to Hod; and as we learn in Kabbala, these two Sephirot are very connected to one another. More on this a little later on in this post.

And now for the Gematria. As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I have another psalm that I want to write about in relationship to Shavuot. And so today, I want to write about Psalm 19. Actually, this is not the first time that I will be discussing this psalm in relationship to what I will be writing about, but I will be writing about it at a different angle. With this said, the highlight of this psalm are three verses (8-10) that speaks of praise of the Torah. This consists of six phrases, each mentioning Hashem's name as the second word. Also, these six phrases correspond to the six orders of the Mishna, the foundation of the Oral Torah.

Now, read this. It has been mentioned that Psalm 19 consists of 126 words. Accordingly, these three verses about the Torah in the midst of this psalm consists of 126 letters. Coincidence? To be sure, I double checked this myself, and I can assure you that this is correct.

And that's not all my friends. You see, the Gematria of the name of this month Sivan is...126! And so, while Shavuot is observed as the "Fiftieth Day" counting from the day that the barley Omer offering was offered in the Temple in the midst of the month of Nissan, Shavuot's month to be celebrated as the holiday is Sivan, which means that the ENTIRE MONTH OF SIVAN IS ESPECIALLY RELATED TO THE TORAH.

Now, taking a closer look at this psalm, the first part of this psalm deals with the heavenly nature that Hashem created - the heavens and the sun. Then, we have these unique three verses about the Torah, which is then followed by more praise about the Torah. In any case, we can divide this psalm into three parts - 1st part: 54 words, 2nd part consisting of the six phrases: 30 words, 3rd part: 42 words.

The number of words in these three parts of this psalm have special significance as related to the Torah. There are 54 Parshiyot to the Chumash, what makes up the holiest article in Judaism - the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll). The number 30 is the numerical value of the letter Lamed, whose word is cognate of the words Lilmod U'Lelamed - to learn and to teach, which represents the very Mitzva of learning and teaching Torah. And the number 42 is the Gematria of the word BAM as mentioned in the very source(s) pointing to the Mitzva of learning/teaching Torah - V'Dibarta Bam "You shall speak of THEM", and V'Limadtem Otam...L'Daber Bam "You shall teach them...to speak of THEM".

Anyways, the highlight of this psalm is the 30 worded verses/phrases in the midst of this psalm. The number 30 is the Gematria of the name of Yehuda, son of Jacob. Pertaining to Yehuda, we see a unique matter pertaining to Torah. You see, when Jacob & Family descended to Egypt in the midst of the world famine so they could then be provided by Joseph, the very first words that the Torah writes following the detailed account of the names of Jacob's children and grandchildren are (the beginning of the 6th Aliyah of Parshat Vayigash) "He (Jacob) sent Judah ahead of himself to Joseph to instruct for him the way to Goshen (city in Egypt)" (Genesis 46:28). Now, the simple meaning of this verse, as Rashi notes from the Targum (Aramaic translation) is that Judah was to lead the way on the family's journey to where they would be living in Egypt. But then, Rashi quotes from the Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 95:3) that Yehuda was sent by Jacob to establish a Torah learning center. Now, as the Torah uses here the word L'Herot (to instruct), the very Torah is based on this wording of Hora'ah (instruction). For indeed, if the Torah was just a bunch of nice Bible or Aggadic stories, then for all practical purposes, they would have hardly more use to us than the sciences and all, for after all, all wisdom ultimately comes from Hashe. However, it is only the wisdom of Torah that has the special holiness from Hashem, part of which is supposed to guide our way of living - both in following what is called Halacha (Jewish Law) as well as the Mussar (ethical instruction of it) which for the most part, includes refining our animalistic character traits.

As related to the month of Sivan, Yehuda was born on the 15th of this month, which is in the midst of the month. Now, correlating the 30 days of this month with the 30 words of the above three verses, the 15th word of these verses is Lev (heart). Indeed, a word most connected to the Torah - both by its letters and as related to learning (hence the phrase "learning by heart") - as related to both the Written Torah and Oral Torah. As per the Written Torah - the very last letter of both the Chumash & the Tanach is LAMED, and the very first letter of the Torah is BEIT - these two letters in order of being mentioned here spelling the word LEV. And as per the Oral Torah - its foundation is the Mishna, compiled by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (Judah the Prince), having the namesake of Yehuda son of Jacob (who passed away exactly half a year apart on 15 Kislev), which consists of 63 Masechtot (tractates). Now, in terms of numbers, the 32rd tractate is the middle tractate of the Mishna, and the word LEV is also the Hebrew number for 32. But if this was not enough, the initials of the name of the MIDDLE tractate - Bava Metizah "Middle Gate" (which is not literally named because it is the middle tractate of the Mishna, but rather because it is the middle of three tracatates that used to be all one long tractate) spells the word BAM, as I wrote just a little earlier in relationship to the final section of Psalm 19 consisting of 42 words and the learning/teaching of Torah. However, this part of Yehuda would not be complete if I didn't mention that Rashi specifies the words BEIT TALMUD "House of Learning", and the word Talmud, just as the word for the letter Lamed, is based on the words Lilmod U'Lelamed; hence a very close connection between Yehuda and the letters that make up the word Lev, the 15th word of the 30 worded verses - corresponding to Yehuda's birthday of 15 Sivan. Coincidence?

And since I am equating the 30 word of the three above special verses about the Torah with the 30 days of the month of the Giving of the Torah, I see quite a few connections here, aside from the 15th of Sivan as related to Yehudah. Now I want to note, being that the six phrases of these three verses correspond to the Six Orders of the Mishna, without getting into all kinds of details of the reason why one phrase corresponds to which Order, I will simply state which corresponds to what (for more details, check www.inner.org):

"The Torah of Hashem is perfect, it restores the soul"- Seder Nashim ("Women")

"The testimony of Hashem is faithful, it makes the foolish wise"- Seder Zeraim ("Seeds")

"The precepts of Hashem are upright, they gladden the heart"- Seder Moed ("Holiday")

"The commandments of Hashem is pure, it shines the eyes"- Seder Kodoshim ("Holy Offerings")

"The fear of Hashem is pure, it stands forever"- Seder Tehorot ("Pure things")

"The judgments of Hashem is true, they are righteous together"- Seder Nezikin ("Damages")

With this said, let's begin with the first Hebrew word of these phrases that corresponds to the 1st of Sivan - Torat "Torah of"). It is the first of the 30 words that has the mention of the word Torah. Now, the Torah states of the Jews journey to Mt. Sinai, the place where they were going to receive the Torah - "On the third month...on this day..." (Exodus - Chapter 19, Verse 1), the beginning words of the Torah reading for Shavuot. On the words "On this day", Rashi notes that was on Rosh Chodesh (the 1st of the month), and as noted by the Sifsei Chachomim commentary on Rashi, he learns this out from where it states about where the Torah mentions the Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh (Sanctification of the Month) in relationship to the first month of Nissan - HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem "THIS month will be to you", which is referring to Rosh Chodesh. However, Rashi himself gives a very different reason for why the Torah states "On THIS day" rather than the usual phrase "On that day" - "that the words of Torah should be new to you as if they were given today". Hence, while the Torah was not going to be given for a few more days, and there was not even any special spiritual preparation here, but the Jew's mere encampment at this place, and then they rested up overnight, ironically, with no words of Torah being told by Moses from Hashem like it was only the following day, but Rashi does note that the special thing about their encampment here is that this was done in unity without fighting, unless their previous encampments. Perhaps this is hinted to in the final word of the 30 worded verses above - Yachdav "together", hence connecting the first word Torat - "Torah of" with Yachdav "together". And then, it was the following day of 2 Sivan, that Hashem gave His first instructions to Moses in the preparation of the Jews receiving the Torah; hence, the next word being Hashem; and thus, you have the phrase Torah Hashem "The Torah of Hashem" corresponding to the 1st two days of Sivan.

Looking at the first two words "Torat Hashem" of verse 8, consisting of 8 Hebrew letters, of the 126 letters in these three verses, let's look at the first eight words of the 126 worded psalm- Lamenatzeach Mizmor L'David. Hashamayim Mesaprim Kevod E-l U'Ma'asei "To the choir master, a psalm of David. The Heavens tell of the glory of G-d, and the word of..." Corresponding to the letters of the words Torat Hashem, the first three letters (Tav-Vav-Reish) when spelled backwards spells the name Rut (Ruth), the grandgrandmother of King David, whose book of Megillat Rut is read on Shavuot, which ends with the word "David". The next letter TAV/SAV, the final letter of the word Torat, corresponds to the fourth word of the psalm HaShamayim (the heavens), which is the Gematria of the word Mishna, the foundation of the Oral TORAH. Moreover, the letter Tav is the numerical value of 400, which is the Gematria of the word HAMISHNA "The Mishna". Now, for the next four words which correspond to Hashem's name in "Torat Hashem", corresponding to 2 Sivan, "(they) tell of the glory of Hashem, and the work of..." which is exactly what Hashem did in speaking to Moses on 2 Sivan "that I HAVE DONE (using the word Asiti, similar to the word U'Ma'asei "and the work of (referring to Hashem's actions)", speaking of His glory to make a lasting impression on the Jewish people in order that they would be willing to receive the Torah.

Now, as the first five words of the above verses correspond to the first five days of Sivan, Hashem gave instructions during the ensuing days for the Jews not to even touch their wives, so they wouldn't become spiritually impure through intimate relations in their preparation to receive the Torah. Moreover, it was on the 2nd of Sivan when Hashem first spoke to the Jews about their special relationship to Him, that He first addressed the women - Ko Tomar L'Beit Ya'acov "So shall you say to the House of Jacob" which our rabbis, as quoted by Rashi, say refers to the women, and only afterwards V'Tageid L'Bnei Yisrael "and tell the children of Israel" referring to the men. With this said, this first phrase, as I noted above, corresponds to the "Order of Women", the Order of the Mishna which is about the various laws pertaining to the relationship of a husband and wife in their Jewish marriage.

And here the big one - the words and letters that correspond to the slated day of Matan Torah on 6 Sivan, and the actual day that that Matan Torah actually took place on 7 Sivan. The 6th and 7th words of the above phrases is Eidut Hashem "The testimony of Hashem". As we see in the Torah, the word Eidut refers to the Torah. In other contexts, the word Eidut refers to the "Tablets of TESTIMONY", the Ten Commandments (though in this context, is spelled in the Torah without a Vav, perhaps hinting to the fact that these first Tablets were broken as a result of the sin of the Golden Calf, and only later was there a replacement set, which unlike the first set of tablets which came from Hashem Himself, the tablets of this second set was from Moses of which only the writing was from Hashem). Also, this word is the same Gematria as the word Talmud - 480. Indeed, it was primarily for the Oral Torah, the teachings of the Talmud, what distinguishes us from the other nations who refer only to the Bible, that the Torah was given to us.

Now, for the corresponding eight words in this psalm corresponding to the eight letters of "Eidut Hashem" -V'Ein Devarim Bli Nishma Kolam. B'Chol Ha'aretz Yatza "There are no words, without their voices being heard. In all the earth, there went out... While in the original context of the psalm, this is referring to the various parts of nature; the Midrash tells us that at the momentous occasion, the entire world was silent, which included the animals, birds, winds, etc. And then, Hashem's speaking the Ten Commandments spread out throughout the earth. Now, while the rest of the nations and everything else didn't hear the Ten Commandments from Hashem directly the way that the Jews did, who fainted and were revived back to life, the world did experience a tumult as a result of Hashem speaking the Ten Commandments. Now, another way of looking at this is that "There are no words" - and the Torah refers to the Ten Commandments as Aseret HaDEVARIM "The Ten Statements (Words)"; meaning, that Hashem didn't give the Torah/The Ten Commandments, WITHOUT the Jewish people declaring beforehand the famous phrase Na'aseh V'NISHMA "We will do and and we will listen (hear)". Then, "their voice", Hashem's voice of the Ten Commandments "went out throughout the earth", whether heard directly (by the Jewish people) or heard indirectly (by everyone else).

With this said, the phrase Eidut Hashem are the beginning words of the phrase that corresponds to the Order of Seeds - Zeraim, which begins with the letter Zayin=7, the corresponding letter of the month of Sivan, and it was actually on the SEVENTH of Sivan that the Torah was given. Moreover, another thing that Hashem required from us was a guarantee that the Jewish nation would observe the Torah. While other suggestions were first proposed which Hashem did not accept, the Jews finally offered their children, their "SEEDS", which Hashem did accept. What a powerful lesson in the importance of teaching Torah to our children, to sacrifice for this, cutting corners on financial luxuries to make this happen, giving our Jewish children the maximum Torah education possible.

And now, for the letters of the name of the month of Sivan itself, consisting of the letters Samech, Yud, Vav, Noon (Sophit). Samech=60 refers both to the word Sinai which also begins with the letter Samech, for it was on Mt. Sinai that the Torah was given on; as well as to Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the first (or head) of Sivan as the SIXTIETH day from Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the beginning day of the months of the Jewish calendar (and as I mentioned a little earlier here of the connection that Rashi learns out between Rosh Chodesh Nissan and Rosh Chodesh Sivan).   In fact, both of these are connected to each other, for it was on Rosh Chodesh SIVAN that the Jews arrived at Mt. SINAI.  Yud=10 refers to the TEN Commandments (that we received on Mt. Sinai). Vav=6 refers to the SIXTH of Sivan, the slated day for the Torah to be given (which is the present day of the month in our present Jewish calendar that we observe (the first day of) Shavuot)). Noon (Sophit)=50 refers to the holiday of Shavuot as the "FIFTIETH Day" as the Torah calls it in reference to the 50th day from when the Omer barley offering was offered, from which 49 days are counted by the Jewish people, and then Hashem, so to speak, counts the 50th day.

There is another connection with the name of Sivan with the Ten Commandments. You see, the middle letters of the name Sivan are Yud-Vav (16). Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Likutei Moharan notes the connection of the number 16 to the Torah, and especially the Ten Commandments. The Yud=10 refers to the TEN commandments, and the Vav refers to the structure of the Tablets themselves being SIX by SIX handbreaths.

And finally, for the Mitzva of learning and teaching Torah as the 420th Mitzva. As we see that the number 30, the numerical value of the letter Lamed, whose word refers to learning/teaching Torah, the Ten Commandments, as mentioned by Rashi at the end of Parshat Mishpatim (Exodus 24:12), includes the entirety of the Taryag Mitzvot (613 Commandments) as illustrated by Rabbi Sa'adya Gaon. In fact, the Ten "Commandments" themselves actually include 14 Commandments, rather than 10 Commandments, as I have mentioned before in my Gematriot Post, being that that the typical phrase "The Ten Commandments", while it may be a good name for the famous movie, is a mistranslation of the Hebrew phrase which actually means "The Ten Statements". With this said, multiplying the numbers 30 and 14, the total result is 420, the magic number as the Mitzva Number of Talmud Torah.

Another connection pertaining to this number with the same numbers yielding the magical number 420; as mentioned before about Yehuda's connection to the Torah, his name is the Gematria of 30, and the name of his descendant King David who is hinted to in the blessings that Jacob gave to his son Yehuda is the Gematria of 14, and was born and passed away on Shavuot, the holiday marking the Giving of the Torah. Aside from this, the Talmud tells us that King David learned more Torah in one night than the amount that the Sages (in the times of the Talmud) learn in a whole lifetime! With this said, we multiply the Gematriot of the names of Yehuda & David - and presto, the same number 420!

One more thing that I must mention about Yehuda, or more specifically, the Tribe of Yehuda as his descendants, is from Parshat Bamidbar, the Parsha that is read shortly (and usually the Shabbat) before Shavuot. Rashi notes (Numbers 3:38) that the tribes of Yehuda, Yissachar, and Zevulun were neighbors of Moshe Rabbeinu who was involved in learning and teaching the Torah, and hence became big Torah scholars, noting about Yehuda from the verse in Psalms (compiled by King David from this Tribe - (noting that Rashi himself is descended of King David), unlike for the other two tribes for which Rashi quotes verses from other books of the Tanach) (60:9, 108:9) Yehuda Mechokeki "Judah my sceptor", the word Mechokeki being similar to the word Mechokek "Lawgiver" referring to Moshe Rabbeinu (see Deutronomy 33:21).


23 Sivan. Does this date ring a bell? That depends on whether you pay attention to a piece of the Tanach that is publicly read annually. True, there is nothing that is done differently in our prayers on this date. But if you think about it for a minute - "Oh yes, I think someplace in Megillat Esther, it mentions something that happened during the month of Sivan". Indeed, it was on today's date (Esther 8:9) that letters were sent from King Achashverosh allowing the Jews to avenge themselves from the upcoming attack the following year on 13 Adar from the first letter that the king sent out upon Haman's advice to murder all the Jews on one day.

This year, I mean particularly in my 43rd year, I want to zero in on some interesting aspects about Megillat Esther. You see, the first two letters of the word Megilla, which is a word used to mean "letter" as a letter that you write to someone, spells the Hebrew number 43 - Mem and Gimel. And so, today is a special time to reflect on what happened on today's date in the Megilla.

Having mentioned Yehuda earlier in this post, I should note that he was the 4th son of Jacob and Leah. This is nice, but what does this have to do with the Megilla? Well, we do see that Mordechai in the Megilla is called Mordechai HaYehudi; this word Yehudi, a word used in the later part of the history of the Tanach meaning Jew, is based on the name Yehuda. And for good reason - the kingship of the Davidic dynasty comes from the Tribe of Yehuda.

Now, it may seem obvious as to why Mordechai is called with the title HaYehudi, because he has a high position in the king's court, while maintaining his Jewish beliefs. But believe it or not, if it wasn't for a crucial decision that King David made, there may have not been a Mordechai. You see, Mordechai's parental ancestor Shimi thought it was a good idea to curse out King David when he had to flee from his son Absalom who challenged his throne. Having been related to King Saul who lost the kingdom to King David, Shimi looked to find fault with King David, wasting no time throwing stones at him and cursing him out, stating that he was being punished for what he considered stealing the kingship from his own family. While King David was advised by his top commanders to do away with him, King David felt that Shimi was a mere instrument from Hashem to do his thing to atone for his own sins. It seems that it was since then that Shimi had at least one child, because even after King David returned to his kingdom, he did not execute Shimi, even as Shimi came to him asking him to forgive him for what he had done to him.

Now, for King Achashverosh, in case anyone though he became a friend of the Jews following Haman's execution as the gallows, the Talmud in Tractate Megilla makes it very clear that he was the same rotten person from beginning to end. In fact, as much as Haman hated the Jews, Achashverosh openly showed his Anti-Semitism even more so. For example, he forbade the Jews from continuing building the Second Temple when it was in the midst of construction during his 14 year reign. Secondly, according to his calculations, when the 70 year Babylonian exile, as prophesized by Jeremiah, came to an end, he showed his defiance against the Jews by wearing the clothes of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) that were stolen by the Babylonians upon their destruction of the First Temple.

King Achashverosh's display of hatred for anything and everything holy, as related to the Jews, didn't stop there. Three times did he offer to Queen Esther when she first approached him to make a feast for him, herself, and Haman, and at the two feasts that they prepared "up to half of the kingdom". Now, as the Megilla notes in the very first verse, his kingdom spanned 127 countries, and it wasn't merely his immediate country Persia. Our rabbis tell us that the halfway point of his kingdom was...the Beit HaMikdash (Temple).

Whether one were to take this literally or not in terms of stating that Israel was geographically the middle country which included the Temple, it certainly has implications in the spiritual sense. Now, noting the Gematria of the name Yehuda, the FOURTH son of Jacob and Leah, which is 30, from whom stems the KINGDOM of the House of David (Malchut Beit David). Now, the 30th Parsha of the Torah is called Kedoshim, and the fifth Order of the Mishna is called Kodoshim - which is all about the Temple and the sacrifices offered there, both words being spelled with the exact order of letters, but just with different vowels. With this said, Parshat Kedoshim consists of 64 verses. The reason that I mention this here is because the number 64 is the middle number between 1 and 127; hence, as per the 127 countries of King Achashverosh's kingdom, Israel as the middle country was the 64th country, and more specifically, the Temple was the exact middle point, at least spiritually if not also physically. Moreover, the square root of 64 is eight, and as the Maharal of Prague mentions, the number eight represents what is above nature, and as we see later in history, the eight day holiday of Chanuka came into being because of the miracle of the lit Menorah in the Temple by the Maccabbees which lasted for eight days until they got new spiritually pure oil.

So as we can see, King Achaveirosh's hatred of the Jews was based on his hatred of their spiritual aspect, which is highlighted by the Temple, its holy services, and its holy clothes worn by the Cohen Gadol. Moreover, he was challenging the Kingship of the House of David which stems from Judah the FOURTH son, whose Tribe had a part of the Temple located in their tribe territory in Israel. With this said, the Gematria of the word Mikdash referring to the Temple, based on the word Kadosh or Kodesh (holy), the singular of Kedoshim or Kodoshim is 444.

In this year, today's date of 23 Sivan as related to the Megilla falls out on the FOURTH day of the FOURTH Parsha (Shlach) of the FOURTH Sefer/Book (Bamidbar/Numbers) of the Torah. So as you can see, we have a pattern here of the number FOUR being highlighted THREE times in more than one way.

And what is in the 4th Aliya of Parshat Shlach of this week? It consists of Hashem telling the Jews that they will be dying in the desert for being cry babies following believing the evil report about Israel from the spies and crying their faces off over it, which took place on the night of the date of 9 Av, which resulted in this date being the day of the destruction of both Temples. Remember when I mentioned in the beginning of this post about the Sephirot of Netzach and Hod as twin Sephirot as related to the zodiac Te'omim (twins) of this month Sivan? Well, the Talmud in Tractate Berachot (58a), as Rabbi Akiva notes, Netzach refers to Jerusalem and Hod refers to the Temple. In the Temple itself, there were two pillars that each had a name - Yachin & Boaz, corresponding to the Sephirot Netzach and Hod. Now, in terms of the Megilla, the last word of Tractate Megilla of the Mishna is the word Jerusalem, and the concept of the Temple is highlighted in the Megilla, howbeit in a indirect way.

Now, we do find something ironic here. You see, each day of the week corresponds to another millenium, and accordingly, correspond to the active Sephirot. With this said, being that the fifth millenium (Years 4001-5000) corresponds to the Sephira of Hod which in turn corresponds to the Temple, we would think that at the very least sometime this millenium, the Temple would be rebuilt. Yet, we see everything but. The First Temple was first built near the end of the third millenium (in the years 2928-2935) which corresponds to Tiferet. It was in the fourth millenium, corresponding to Netzach, which in turn corresponds to Jerusalem, that the bulk of the years of the existance of both Temples were in existance, for the second Temple was destroyed in 3828. So, the entire fifth millenium was without the Temple, and we know that shortly, the Temple will be rebuilt in this sixth millenium. This being the case, why specifically in the very millenium that corresponds to Hod/Temple, there was no Temple in existance?

You see, everything in this world has a balance. As our rabbis tell us, spelling the word Hod backwards is the word Dava, which means faint, and in Megillat Eicha, the Book of Lamentations that we read on Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of both Temples, where this word is mentioned (1:13, 5:17), this hints to the fact that the Hod/Temple got destroyed, and hence, the Hod got reversed to be Dava (faint) instead. Thus, most unfortunately for the fifth millenium of the world's existance, it entirely consisted of the concept of Dava - faintness, instead of our badly needed Hod. And indeed, though it was a time that the Talmud was written down, which again was the result of the increased troubles of the Jewish people, it was also a time of terrible tragedies for the Jewish people.

In our day and age, we need to take the opposite steps of the 10 evil Spies who ruined the future good fate of the Jewish people as a result of their evil report about Israel, and instead, proudly claim it as our land and live in it. We see that following Abraham's Aliya to Israel, Hashem told him - Koom Hithalech Ba'aretz "GET UP, walk through the land by its length and width, for to you have I given it" (Genesis 13:17). I would like to note that at this point, the first word of this verse is Koom "Get up", which has the same letters that spell the Hebrew number 146, and this is my 146th Post.

But I do have a question. The Talmud in Tractate Shabbat (118) notes that one who observes Shabbat is given an inheritance without limitations - not like what was promised to Abraham or Isaac, but was promised to Jacob. Now for Abraham, the above verse is mentioned, stating that he should walk by its length and breadth (but not indicating moving around the country, but rather within a limited region). However, we see that by both Abraham and Jacob - all four directions are mentioned. A few verses earlier, Hashem tells Abraham "Lift up your eyes and see the place from where you are - northward, southward, eastward and westward" (Genesis 13:14). And then for Jacob, we see that Hashem tells him "You shall spread westward, eastward, northward, and southward" (Genesis 28:14). OK, I don't know what Hashem changed the list of directions between the two of them, but I do have a different question that begs an answer. We see that by both of them, Hashem mentioned all four directions, so why does the Talmud state that the inheritance promised to a Sabbath observer is like what was specifically promised to Jacob and not Abraham?

Aside from what Hashem told Abraham a few verses later, stating "by its length and width" indicating two directions, Hashem merely told Abraham as per the four directions to LOOK at them, and NOT to walk through them. In terms of actually walking through them, it was only in two directions that Hashem told him to actually go through. However, for Jacob, there were no limits - "You shall spread..." Not merely looking, but doing. Not merely talking the talk, but walking the walk.

I think there is another lesson that can be learned here. Especially today, when we have all kinds of media, despite how easy it is to travel to Israel and entertain the possibility of living there like never before unlike in earlier times when traveling overseas was quite a dangerous adventure, and there was no immediate sure way of sustaining a living, it is also easy to sit back and LOOK at what is going on in Israel, TALK about how life is in Israel, and for some, even to VISIT Israel, but to LIVE there? Well, that is another story for all too many who consider themselves observant Jews. In fact, there have even been a few rabbis, though some may have had good reasons, WHO NEVER EVEN STEPPED FOOT IN ISRAEL UNTIL TODAY! But what bothers me particularly is about the ones who are or were more concerned about the secular Zionists there than the positive aspect of living in our Holy Land which is full of Yeshivot and all kinds of institutions that help other Jews.

I actually have in mind one particularly well noted rabbi who never stepped foot in Israel throughout his long life in the States, and even had a chance once to visit Israel with some of his congregants, but turned it down because he felt that some of them, who weren't too well financially, put their name down to make the trip only because of him so he cancelled the whole thing. However, he got buried in Israel when he no longer was physically living, which in fact doesn't look on someone who had a whole lifetime to obey the Torah that says to live in Israel, and was only brought to Israel to be buried without having even seen the spiritual and beautiful land that Hashem gave as a gift to the Jewish people that He commands us to live in, especially nowadays that it is far, far easier to hop on a plane instead of a long, nauseous and dangerous ship ride. The Talmud noted such a story about a Jew being brought to Israel for burial in a negative light being that he didn't live in Israel, but only wanted to be buried in it. But one thing that this rabbi didn't realize is that even the poor members of his congregation HAD NO LESS OF AN OBLIGATION TO LIVE IN ISRAEL AS ANY OTHER JEW. Yes, Hashem doesn't expect us to do everything right overnight, but we have to make the sincere effort with preparations and trust in Hashem that He will provide for us there, and there has never been a better time for immigrants to move to Israel where they will immediately receive benefits as automatic citizens and be helped with employment. This is far better than screaming about the secular Zionists in Israel as an excuse not to step foot in Israel with the rationalization of teaching Torah in the States where we are surrounded by non-Jews who are potentially harmful to us both spiritually and physically.

As per the seven weeks of the Sephira that we count and the Sephirot that correspond to these seven weeks Kabbalistically, the Sephira of Malchut (Kingship) corresponds to the seventh and final week of the Sephira. More specifically, this Sephira corresponds to the 43rd-49th days of the Sephira period.

As discussed in the past in my Gematriot post, the day that Jerusalem was liberated in the Six Day War was the 43rd day of the Sephira. Presently, we are in the 46th year from when this miraculous event took place. The Sephira combination for the 46th day of the Sephira period is Netzach She'B'Malchut which is the FOURTH day of this week of the Sephira of Malchut, and as I just mentioned, Netzach refers to Jerusalem. It is also the MIDDLE of the seven days represented by the seven Sephirot combination of the week of Malchut, which is "HALF of the KINGDOM". It has been noted that when it is written "the king" in Megillat Esther, that it hints to the King of Kings. And so, the fact that it mentions this phrase THREE times, which signifies what is called a Chazaka (literally means "strength", denoting something that is for sure and can be continuous) shows that there is something more to this than just what happened at that time. It seems that this is hinting to some future time when we will permanently gain access to the holiest area in the world via BOTH definitions of the word Netzach - victory and forever (unlike after when we received the Temple Mount area from the great Chesed-Kindness of the King of Kings (Chesed She'B'Malchut) only to be returned to the Moslems by the Jewish Israeli traitor Moshe Dayan in his seething hatred for whatever is truly holy) which can very well take place in this 46th year - represented by Netzach She'B'Malchut - from the liberation of Jerusalem. Stay tuned for this happening following the expected arrival of Moshiach no later than Tisha B'Av of this year - the date on which both Temples were destroyed.

And as related to the number of this post - 146, it can be broken down into two numbers - ONE (1) & FORTY-SIX (46), for the concept of Chesed as was especially demonstrated on Jerusalem Day via the Sephira of Malchut, is especially highlighted on the FIRST day of the Sephira as the combination of Chesed She'B'Chesed (Kindness within Kindness) and the number 46 is represented by the Sephira combination of Netzach She'B'Malchut as per the concept of "HALF of the kingdom".

In fact, without breaking down the number at all, we see that accordingly, the last verse of PSALM 146, which is recited at the end of every Kedusha (the prayer that is recited in a Minyan unison at the 3rd blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei prayer) is "Hashem will REIGN forever, your G-d of Zion, for all generations, Halleluja".

Now, moving fast forward in Parshat Shlach, more on a good note, the Torah mentions that we come to the land of Israel, we are to perform the Mitzva of Chala, taking a piece of the dough which used to be given to the Cohen, but is today just burnt. Anyways, Rashi notes that unlike the other mentions of comings to the land of Israel which means only after it was conquered and divided up among the tribes; in this case, this Mitzva was supposed to begin immediately, and its description of performing the Mitzva mentions- Reishit Arisoteichem, which literally means the "head (first) of your dough". And as we mention about Jerualem "...if I don't raise Jerusalem at the HEAD of my happiness" (Psalms 137:6); we see that the Gematria of the word Challa is 43, which is related to Jerusalem which was recaptured by the Jews on the 43rd day of the Sephira.

Unfortunately, we have another head who is nothing but a headache (Note: This is the basic meaning of the name of King Achashveirosh) to good Jews - Barack Hussein Obama, whose full name in Hebrew is the same Gematria as Rosh (head) - 501. And as we see in this week's Parshat Shlach, the Jews who believed the spies evil report about Israel declared Nitna Rosh VeNashuva Mitzrayma "Let's appoint a HEAD and return to Egypt", upon which Rashi mentions that the word Rosh in this context refers to idolatry.

In terms of the connection between the "Rosh" and Egypt, it has been mentioned that Obama is the reincarnate of the King of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. Moreover, Obama's very first overseas public speech was in Cairo, Egypt in support of the Moslem Arabs. And presently, this FORTY-FOURTH President of the United States, who was quickly awarded a phoney peace prize by anti-Semitic countries in his first year of presidency, is presently in his FOURTH year of his presidency, or rather, his dictatorship, even as he pretends to love Israel by being ready any day to give an award to President Shimon Peres, the Peres (prize) lover of phony peace prizes, while not heeding Israel's call to release Jonathan Pollard,Shlita, the Jew who really deserves this award, who was instead buried alive for the last 27 years by Peres and his ilk in lieu of protecting him for his brave findings that saved Israel from a major attack by Iran, when the legal maximum sentence for what Pollard was charged with is not more than FOUR years.

Yes, the Jewish birthday of Yehonatan HaLevi ben Malka, who self-sacrificed his freedom to save Jews and Israel with information that the United States illegally held back from Israel, is Tisha B'Av. Actually, based on the secular date of his birth, I don't know the exact timing of the day or night of his birth, but what I do know is that the daytime of that date was Shabbat Chazon which was the date of 9 Av, which would otherwise be the fast day of Tisha B'Av if it wasn't Shabbat, and then the nightime following Shabbat was the actual start of the fast of Tisha B'Av occurring in that year on the 10 of Av.  This is most reminiscent to Yirmiya HaNavi (Jeremiah the Prophet) who was (also) born on Tisha B'Av, and also suffered on behalf of the Jewish people who in his case were murdered and exiled at the time of the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash that occurred on his birthday.

Regardless of the technicality of the time of day of Jonathan Pollard's birth, we know what Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, who visited him everytime that he visited the States and considered him as his Ben Bayit, as one of his sons so to speak, said that his release from prison is the key to the Redemption. And as our Rabbis tell us, Moshiach was born on Tisha B'Av, on the very day that the Temple was destroyed. Now, while this is basically a spiritual meaning telling us that the potential of Moshiach coming started from the moment that the Temple was destroyed, perhaps this is hinting to the release of Jonathan Pollard who was born on Tisha B'Av as being the key to the Redemption. Well, one thing is for sure. If Moshiach does come this Tisha B'Av as predicted to be happening this year, also falling out on Shabbat/Yom Rishon as it was for Jonathan Pollard when he was born, you can be sure that Mr. Pollard will be receiving a very nice birthday present, or else...Obama can expect a "nice" present from Moshiach himself.

23 Sivan, 5772