Wednesday, September 18, 2013

#192 - And This is the Hidden Blessing...

Actually, the title of this post is very similar to the translation and opening words of the final Parsha of the Torah that is called V'Zot HaBeracha, except that in the original context, the word hidden is not included.
Had it been the exact translation, the title of this post would have been embraced with quotation marks.

As in the original context, Moses blessed the Jewish people as his final accomplishment in this world, as especially noted at the end of the first verse of this final Parsha "Moses the man of G-d blessed the Children of Israel before his death" (Deutronomy 33:1).  To note, while we are waiting until the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah to conclude the Torah with this Parsha, part of it is being read at this time in the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) on Shabbat afternoon (except for when it falls out on Yom Kippur as it did this year) as well as Monday and Thursday mornings (if it is not Sukkot).

Having mentioned last week of the first of the 49 Sephirot combinations, the topic Sephira of this week is Gevura SheBeChesed (Strength within Kindness), the second of the 49 Sephirot.  And although I mentioned in last week's post of the concept of death being an actual kindness, it is actually this Sephira combination of Strength within Kindness that best describes this phenomenon of death, for strength is associated with strict justice.  And while on the surface, death seems harsh; in the long run, it is actually a kindness of Hashem, being that physical death is in reality the bridge between life in this world and life in the Hereafter.

As for Gematria, the name of this Sephira - Gevura SheBeChesed - is the Gematria of 590, which is the number of Mishnayot in Seder Kodoshim (holy or consecrated matters), the fifth of the six volumes of the Mishna, which is mostly about the offerings in the Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple) and the details about the various areas and measurements of the Temple, the latter which consists of Tractate Middot (measurements).
And this leads to this past week's date of 8 Tishrei, which marks the anniversary of the dedication of the First Temple by Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) which marked the beginning of one week celebrating the dedication until the holiday of Sukkot.  In any case, it's most interesting to note that the name of the tractate that is all about the details of the Temple means measurements.  For after all, we would think that a more appropriate name for such a tractate would be something that means Temple or house.  But if we understand what measurements, we will know that this represents the concept of limitations, which is an aspect of Gevura, which means that there is a limit to something that we have or we receive.  For while in the spiritual words, there are no physical limitations when it comes to the concept of place, which is itself is a creation of Hashem, there were specified measurements that were laid out for the construction of the various rooms and hallways in the Temple, as we see in the latter part of the Book of Ezekiel, and beforehand, the various measurements of the Mishkan (Tabernacle).

And while as we see in the Talmud in Tractate Berachot, the Temple is represented by the Sephira of Hod, there is also an aspect of Gevurah that is associated with the Temple. For in fact, the continued existence of the Temple was dependent on the behavior of the Jewish people, and twice, following a period of disobedience of the Torah, the Temple was destroyed on the same date of Tisha B'Av (9 Av).  As we see, the Mazel (constellation) of the month of Av is Aryeh (Leo or lion), and this constellation name shares the same Gematria as the Sephira name Gevurah - 216, for indeed, Hashem showed His strength/strict justice in allowing  our enemies to destroy both Temples.  In a way, even  this was an aspect of "Strength within Kindness", for Hashem allowed His wrath to be wrought against wood and stones rather than at the entire Jewish people.  In any case, we see that there are exactly 216 hours in the first nine days of Av, which marks the saddest time of the Jewish year, culminating with the beginning of the burning of the Temple, which began at the end of the 9th of Av, hence, beginning in the 216th hour of the nine days that represents Gevurah=216.
And with this said, while I will not be going into details in this post, the Sephira Hod is closely related to the Sephira of Gevurah.

Now, getting back to the relatively happier date of 8 Tishrei, there is another significant thing about this date. In the Ashkenazic liturgy of Selichot (prayers in which we ask Hashem for forgiveness) that we recite at this time of the year until after Yom Kippur, there is a special poetical liturgy that consists of the Shlosh Esrei Middot HaRachamim "Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy", and in fact, this date is called "Day of the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy" (if this date falls out on Shabbat, then this particular prayer with its accompanying Selichot prayers are recited the day before).  For while in fact, Hashem Himself is limitless, as we are human beings with limitations, Hashem deals with us accordingly, and will behave to us as a human ruler with limitations, so to speak; and it is particularly with His attributes that He accomplishes this.  Hence, these Divine attributes are called Middot, the exact same word that names the tractate that is all about the Temple whose first dedication took place on this same date on which we recite these Shlosh Esrei Middot HaRachamim.  And ultimately, since we are human beings with limitations and errors after all, we hope that Hashem will take this into consideration and forgive us, pending our future behavior in which we hope to improve our spiritual lives.

On the following day, 9 Tishrei, which is Erev Yom Kippur, we eat extra before the big fast of Yom Kippur, and as our Sages tell us, on e who eats on this day is considered as having fasted both on this day and Yom Kippur. However, though it is not part of Yom Kippur per se, we are bidden to stop eating for at least a little period of time before the end of the day of 9 Tishrei (as well as a little time on 11 Tishrei, the date that follows Yom Kippur).  Both of these aspects - eating extra and refraining from eating before the end of the day of 9 Tishrei - are based on the verse that states "It is a solemn rest for you and you shall afflict your souls, on the ninth of the month in the evening, from evening to evening you shall rest" (Leviticuss 23:32).  In fact, we see a similar parallel here to the end of the first nine days of Av in which the Temple started burning in the last hour - the 216th hour.  Similarly, it is during the 216th hour of the first nine days of Tishrei that are a preparation  for the big judgment day of Yom Kippur, the final hour of the date of 9 Tishrei, that we refrain from eating, showing an aspect of Gevurah, strength from our part even though it is not yet Yom Kippur (even though realistically, we probably already feel stuffed from eating and is thus not so challenging to call it a day on eating).

And then of course, then comes the big judgment day of Yom Kippur on which Hashem seals our fate (at least for the coming year if we will live another year).  And as especially related to the concept of Gevurah, this Yom Kippur marked 40 years since the Yom Kippur War (which fell out on Shabbat as it did this year).  Now, the number 40 is especially related to Yom Kippur, since in the story of Jonah that we read as the Haftara on Yom Kippur afternoon, Hashem  had the prophet Jonah warn the city of Nineveh that its inhabitants 40 days chance to repent.  Following this story, we conclude the Haftara with the concluding three verses from Micha that parallel the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy, that begins and ends with the letter Mem, the numerical value of 40.  Moreover, the full name of Yom Kippur is Yom HaKippurim, which ends with a Mem Sophit.  And as this number relates to war, the Hebrew word for war - Milchama includes the letter Mem twice out of five letters, including its first letter.  And on this note, the name of the letter Mem consists of two of the letter Mem (the latter one being a Mem Sophiit), which is the Gematria of 80.  And as mentioned in Tehillim (Psalms 90:10): ''If one has strength, he lives for 80 years"

Now, while I am on the subject of the Yom Kippur, there is another number related to this which isn't good news.  You see, thanks to Prime Monster Golda Meyer's obedience to the United States government who ordered her not to start fighting the Arabs before they started fighting us, some 2,600 Jews were killed in this war, which could have been prevented for the most part had the Prime Monster lady took charge instead of caving in to pressure from the States.  In fact, while the sneak attack on the Jews in Israel was truly a surprise for most Jewish citizens and soldiers, the higher ups knew very well that the Arabs were planing their attack to begin on this day.  Truly, this was one instant in which restraint on our part was not supposed to be the order of the day, and instead of utilizing Gevurah, "strength" holding back from striking the first blow against our avowed Arab enemies, the real strength here was fighting our enemies.  Similarly, in our personal struggle with our Yetzer Hara (evil inclination), we will be far better off if we fight our spiritual war head on before being enticed into sin than having to fight our temptations after we have already been drawn into them.

Interestingly, the name Yom Kippurim can be read alternatively as Yom Ki-Purim - the day that is like Purim.  For on Yom Kippur, we reach our spiritual high through fasting the same way that we do on Purim through feasting.  And in sharp contrast to Yom Kippur when we eat extra the day before the big fast; on Purim, we first fast on the day before, the 13th of Adar, on which we fought a war against our enemies who were ready to fight us - offensively, rather than defensively; and then we have our big feast on Purim. Moreover, the names of all the Mitzvot of Purim begin with the letter Mem=40: Megillat Esther (reading the Megilla), Matanot L'Evyonim (gifts for the  poor), Mishloach Manot (food portions for friends), and Mishteh (feasting).  Additionally, the name of one of the main heroe of the Purim story - Mordechai, begins with a Mem.  And as for the name of the holiday of Purim itself, it ends with the letter Mem Sophit.

And having mentioned the above Sephira of Gevurah SheBeChesed as related to the number of Mishnayot in Seder Kodoshim, the fifth chapter of Tractate Zevachim (sacrifices), the first tractate of this Mishnaic volume, which we recite daily in our prayers, begins immediately after the question "Where was the place of the Temple sacrifices?" with the procedures of the bull and goat sacrifices of Yom Kippur.

Indeed, the Sephira of Strength within Kindness is THE HIDDEN BLESSING.  For as we know about Yom Kippur, while the most serious and solemn day of the Jewish calendar, it is also considered a day of happiness, being that it is on this day that Hashem grants us atonement for our sins, pending our future behavior.  And as mentioned in the last Mishna of Tractate Ta'anit, it was on this date and on Tu B'Av that the young maidens in Temple times danced in the vineyard in the quest of finding someone to marry.

And on this note, we will resume after the holidays that end with Simchat Torah "Happiness of the Torah" when we will end and begin the Torah anew.

Happy Holidays!

14 Tishrei, 5774

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#191 - The Ultimate Kindness

Happy New Year to you all!

A great way to start off the new year on the right foot is to write about something positive.  In this context, the word right has more than one meaning.  You see, this week's topic is all about kindness, and Kabbalistically, kindness is associated with the right side.

I will get back to this subject momentarily.  But first, I want to tell you something that I discovered early this summer, kudos to  There recently came out a new Torah book in English called The Kabbalah of Time, which relates the 52 weeks of the year to the Sephirot that are divided up into 49 individual classifications of such - based on the seven active Sephirot of Chesed/Gevurah/Tiferet/Netzach/Hod/Yesod/Malchut during the seven week period of Sephirat HaOmer (counting the days from the 16th of Nissan when the Omer offering was brought in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), and concluding with the three Sephirot as relating to the brain - Chochma (Wisdom), Bina (Understanding) and Da'at (Knowledge) or Keter (Crown).  It also relates the 52 weeks to the 52 creatures, in Perek Shira (collection of verses of praise of Hashem that are recited by the various elements of creation) who "sing" their individual Biblical verse, as well as statements from 52 rabbis in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers).

Actually, in the Jewish calendar, in a regular year, there are between 50-51 weeks, and in a leap year, there are up to 55 complete weeks, as it is this year.  In any case, while I am not here to endorse everything in this book, which can be purchased to download to a Kindle app via Amazon, or as a regular physical book, one thing that is amazing is that the weeks corresponding to the individual Sephirot are based on the day of Lag Ba'Omer (33rd day of the Omer), Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, author of the teachings of the Zohar (main book of the Kabbalah) whose Sephira is Hod Shebahod; and hence, beginning the weeks from Rosh Hashana, the 33rd week as detailed in this book is the week of Lag Ba'Omer.

And so, my goal for this year of 5774, G-d willing, is to focus on the weekly Sephira, one per week, and assuming that I write around the same time of the week every week, there will be only three weeks that I won't be writing something - the week of Sukkot, the week of Passover, and the week of Shavuot (the holiday itself falling out on the same day of the week as I am presently writing my post), leaving me with exactly 52 weeks out of this 55 week year.  To make it clear though, what I write here isn't necessarily material from this book, per se, unless I indicate as such; but rather, my own take, based on the Torah, of the Sephira that is based on some theme during its corresponding week, which may not even be mentioned in this book.  And of course, there will be some theme of Gematria that I will be mentioning in each post.

Now, getting back to the theme of this post, everything in this world begins with Hashem's kindness.  As stated in Tehillim (Psalms 89:3), "the world was built with kindness".  For in fact, the only reason why the world is able to exist is because of the acceptance and learning of the Torah by the Jewish people, which officially would not happen for nearly 2,450 years.  And so, it was only because of Hashem's kindness that the world was able to exist to begin with.

Elsewhere in Tehillim, we see that Chapter 136 consists of 26 verses in which each verse ends with "for Hiss kindness is forever".  The significance of this psalm consisting of 26 verses is that they correspond to the 26 generations from Adam to Moses via parental line, and it was Moses of the 26th generation who transmitted the Torah to us after learning it from Hashem.  Moreover, the number 26 is the Gematria of Hashem's main name YKVK (K is substituted for H in respect of this most holy name), which we never pronounce it the way that it is written, but rather as A-do-noy (my Master); and even at that, when we refer to Him when not praying or saying a Biblical verse, it is as Hashem, which literally means THE name.  Most strikingly, Moses' Hebrew name Moshe spells the same letters as Hashem, but backwards, which comes to show the special relationship that Moshe as the greatest Tzadik (righteous person) had with Hashem; for it was only Moshe who learned the entire Torah from Hashem Himself.

And having mentioned Hashem as per this word being used to refer to Him, in the blessing that immediately follows the evening Shema, we say Hasam Nafsheinu BaƇhaim... "WHO HAS PLACED our soul in life, and didn't let our feet to falter", which of course refers to Hashem, but the first word in Hebrew Hasam "
Who has placed", is spelled with the exact letters in order, and of course, this is one out of many praises of Hashem of the various kindnesses that He does for the Jewish people.

In any case, this is not to say that the Torah is something different from kindness.  In fact, the entire Torah is full of themes and stories and Mitzvot (commandments) about kindness.  Morever, teaching Torah, or supporting Torah - which I will write more about momentarily - is the greatest kindness that one can do for someone else, for while feeding the poor is certainly a great act of kindness in keeping people physically alive, it is not necessarily keeping them spiritually alive.  For it is only the Torah, which is a spiritual and eternal matter, which benefits us the most, granting us eternal life in the Hereafter.

In the beginning of the first blessing of Bircat HaMazon (Grace After Meals), this particular blessing which was composed by Moses himself, it states HaZan Et HaOlam... "Who nourishes the entire world with grace, kindness, and mercy".  Now, the word HaZan, particular the syllable Zan (nourishes), is most related to the name of the letter Zayin, which is the numericial value of seven and the seventh letter of the Aleph Beit.  It is this letter that Kabbalistically is related particularly to the month of Sivan, the month on which we received the Torah, which actually took place on the SEVENTH day of the week (Shabbat) and on the SEVENTH day of the month (see the Talmud in tractate Shabbat 87-89 of the details of how this is derived), highlighted with the giving of the Ten Commandments, which includes the Mitzvot of Shabbat which begins with the word Zachor (Remember) which begins with the letter Zayin.  Moreover, the corresponding Tribe to this month of Sivan is Zevulun, whose name begins with the letter Zayin.  And to top this off, his birthdate is THE SEVENTH DAY OF THE SEVENTH MONTH (Tishrei, counting the months beginning from Nissan, the month of the Exodus marking the birth of the Jewish people as a nation)!

In short, it was Zevulun who provided sustenance to his brother Yissachar to be able to learn Torah all day. The ultimate result of this was that there were some 200 members of the Tribe of Yissachar at one point who were responsible for the detailed calculations of the Jewish calendar on behalf of the Sanhedrin (The Supreme Jewish Court).  And as we see in both the blessings of Jacob and Moses for these tribes, even though Yissachar was the older brother and the Torah scholar, Zevulun is mentioned first because the Torah learning of Yissachar was only made possible due to Zevulun supporting him financially.  And indeed, the name Zevulun, the name of the letter Zayin, the word Zan (nourishes), and the verse of Jacob's blessing for Zevulun have one striking thing in common - they all begin with the letter Zayin and end with the letter Noof Sophit!  But wait, there is more.  In the higher Gematria values in which there are five letters that only appear at the end of a word, each one of these letters being given the last name Sophit (end) and appear as a little different letter from, which are Kaf, Mem, Noon, Pei, Tzadi, their corresponding numerical values are 500, 600, 700, 800, 900; the numerical value of the letter Noon Sophit is 700.  And so, the letter Zayin and the letter Noon Sophit add up to the total of 707, which is SEVEN hundred and SEVEN, which is the Gematria of HaShabbat (the Sabbath), which is the SEVENTH day of the week.

The whole concept of Shabbat as it relates especially to Zevulun, who had to work for six days as his specialty of supporting Torah, may sound ironic; but as we know from Halacha (Jewish law), we are dutybound to honor the Shabbat according to our financial means by having the finest foods and clothing especially on Shabbat, which is only possible by working during the week.  In fact, it is particularly related to the concept of Zachor, the beginning word of the fourth of the Ten Commandments which is about Shabbat, which begins with the letter Zayin=7, in contrast to the word Shamor (observe) which relates specifically to resting or not working on Shabbat.

The bottom line here is that this is ultimately related to the Kabbalistic Sephira of Chesed SheBeChesed (Kindness within Kindness), for the ultimate kindness is teaching Torah or supporting it, for the Torah is what sustains one spiritually and eternally.  And having mentioned earlier of Hashem's most holy name being the Gematria of 26 as related to Moses of the 26th generation who was the Lawgiver, Hashem's longest name is the 72 word name, and the word Chesed is the Gematria of 72.  And relating Hashem especiaaly to the number seven, there is a Mitzva in the Torah not to erase any one of Hashem's seven Biblical names.

In any case, having related above as per the connection between Chesed and the number seven, The Kabbalah In Time book mentions for the first week of the year that corresponds to Chesed SheBeChesed, of the first of the 52 creatures in Perek Shira, the rooster, who makes a total of SEVEN statements, among them, arousal to learn Torah, especially at midnight,as King David did.  As per my take on this, the rooster is virtually the only non-human creature that openly encourages Torah learning; and in essence, fulfilling its role of encouraging Torah learning, as does Zevulun who encourages Torah learning through financial support. And speaking of midnight as a most opportune time for learning Torah, midnight begins the SEVENTH hour of the day (in Jewish law, the day begins from the nighttime).

And as for the date of the Sephira period - the 1st day of the Omer, whose Sephira is Chesed SheBeChesed, it was on this date that the Omer offering, consisting of barley, was brought in the Temple; and hence, the counting of the Omer, counting 49 days to Shavuot, is named after the offering of the Omer, and it was this Omer offering that allowed the barley from the new crop, part of Hashem's bountiful kindness to us, to be eaten.  Correspondingly, this date was the first day of the Jews who left Egypt to begin purifying themselves for a seven week period in preparation to receive the Torah.

In Gematria, Chesed SheBeChesed has the same numerical value as the word Mavet (death) - 446.
On one hand, some will be quick to suggest that these two are opposites, for after all, life is Hashem's great kindness to us, or is it?

At the end of the account of the creation for the week, at the end of the section of the sixth day, one of the meanings of the phrase "very good" in "G-d saw everything that He made and behold it was very good", as offered in the Midrash, as that this refers to death.  Of course, for those who believe in eternal life, and doing what G-d wants, they aren't too puzzled or disturbed by this, because after all, this is a world that is full of suffering and all while the world of bliss is just that.  But as far as Hashem is concerned, if we were to live
 a very long life, as the generations before the Flood used to live, like them, we wouldn't take life seriously, thinking that we have all the time in the world, and hence, live a life of sinful pleasure and all, which would ultimately lead to our eternal spiritual death or punishment..  And so, in Hashem's ULTIMATE KINDNESS for us, he gives us rather a far shorter life to live in this world, in order that we realize that life is too short to fool around with, and hence, we won't take our time accomplishing things in life, including having a family.

And ultimately, while our fate as to what will be with us in this coming year is decided by Hashem
during this time of Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur, when we pray that we will be inscribed in the Book of Life, the main meaning of this is our eternal life, which is called the Book of the Righteous; because in terms of physical life, there are plenty of evil people who live happily to a ripe old age, while many good people live a
short life of much suffering.  So obviously, we are mainly praying for our eternal life, where our good life will be forever, if we behave good in this world of preparation, for this world is not an end in itself, but rather prepares us for a far better world, which is part of Hashem's ultimate kindness for us.  And as for Grace After Meals in which we spend time thanking Hashem  for physically sustaining us, the ultimate purpose of Hashem giving us physical sustenance is in order that we will have energy to serve Him properly.

Until my next post, may you all be sealed in the Book of Life!

7 Tishrei, 5774 - Birthdate of Zevulun son of Jacob

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#190 - The END

Don't worry my dear readers and friends.  I am not declaring this post to be the end of  However, we are presently at the end of Year 5773, writing this within three hours before the start of the New Year 5774.  And so, I am not going to be writing a whole lot now, even as I still have things to do before the three day holiday-Shabbat begins, including making what is called an Eiruv Tavshilin, which involves setting aside a couple of cooked/ready foods such as bread and fish or eggs as customary as a loophole which allows one to cook and prepare on Yom Tov (Jewish holiday) before Shabbat; as this year, the second day of Rosh Hashana immediately precedes Shabbat, because otherwise, one is forbidden to prepare on one holy day even if the next day that one wants to prepare for is also a holy day, and not merely a regular work day.

In Hebrew, we have quite a few words that mean "end".  But today, we will focus on one of these Hebrew words - Keitz, which also spells the Hebrew number 190 - Koof and Tzadi (Sophit), the number of this post.  And it is this particular synonym that is associated with the era of the Redemption.

Now, I am not here to predict when Moshiach, our Redeemer, will be coming.  The truth is that I already saw the exact date of his coming in the writings of the Vilna Gaon which was revealed to him by Heaven when he wanted to understand the simple meaning of the text in the Book of Daniel as to the meaning of the time of the Redemption; however, I will not reveal this to anyone until Moshiach does come, for the simple reason that the Vilna Gaon binds one who reads what he wrote about it with an oath not to reveal it, and since then, there were two people who attempted to do so and were immediately stricken by Heaven.

However, there is a hint in the Torah about the Keitz as related to Moshiach.  Knowing that the world is slated to exist for 6,000 years, and that there are many hints between the number of the Hebrew year and the same number of verse in the Chumash (Penteteuch), let us take a look in the last Parsha of the Torah, in which Moses blesses the individual tribes of Israel.  As we know, Moshiach is supposed to descend from the Royal Kingdom of David which comes in the parental line from the Tribe of Judah.  And the one verse about the Tribe of Judah that Moses blesses is the 5811th verse of the Torah, noting that corresponding to the Hebrew Year 5811, it is the first of the last 190 years of the world's 6,000 years.  Now, I must stress, I am not saying that this when Moshiach is coming; rather, this may very well be a step in the process of the Redemption.

And then, in the final verse of the Book of Daniel which has the greatest mention hinting to the time of the Redemption, it mentions the word Keitz twice, both times with the prefix Lamed (to) at the beginning of this word, making this word the total Gematria of 220.  And the last 220 years of the world's 6,000 years begins with Year 5781, which is within the 207th period of the 28 year sun cycle as associated with the spiritual light of the Redemption - Ohr=207, as I went into detail in my previous post; again, which may very well be a step in the process of the Redemption.

In one more way of Gematria of this word Keitz, while its simple Gematria is 190; in another way, its Gematria is 1,000 when five letters that appear only at the end of a word are assigned higher Gematria values (as I explained in the past, but I have no time now to explain in detail), thus making this Tzadi Sophit to be the numerical value of 900, along with the Koof being 100.  Accordingly, the name and title of the founder of the Hasidic movement - Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov - is the Gematria of 1,000; and it is through his teachings, as Moshiach told him in a spiritual revelation on Rosh Hashana 5507, that will bring the Redemption when spread throughout the world.

So in conclusion, I wish you all to be written and inscribed in the Book of Life - both for physical and spiritual life; and may we all merit the spiritual light of the Redemption shortly as we enter the New Year 5774, which I have written about in a past post and will write again about, G-d willing, as per the special timing of this coming new year.

Erev Rosh Hashana 5774

Monday, September 2, 2013

#189 - The Week of Creation & Chanukah

Though the Jewish year begins with Rosh Hashana, the date of the 1st of Tishrei (though we also observe the 2nd of Tishrei nowadays as part of this holiday), which presumably marks the date of the creation of the world, since after all, the years of the Jewish calendar is based on when the world was created, the truth is that this date begins the Jewish new year because this is the day of the creation of mankind, the raison d'etre of the world's existance.  However, the world was technically created five days earlier - on the 25th of Elul, which was the date of last Shabbat.  Now, whether only some things were created on this date and some more the following day, or everything was created on this date but it was on he following days that the created things were brought out on the earth, may be debatable among various Biblical commentators. However, one thing that can be agreed upon is that this date of 25 Elul is most unique because it is the events on this day that begins our Torah - Bereishit "In the beginning..."

Anyways, the basic schedule of the week of creation is that for six days, Hashem built up the world, and then He rested on the Seventh Day.  Now, the Hebrew dates for this week was the 25-29 Elul, and 1-2 Tishrei.

Now, the reason that I mention this particular factoid is because we find something very similar in our Jewish calendar.  You see, I am referring specifically to the eight day holiday of Chanukah, which is exactly three months later than the dates of the week of creation.  And at this, not all years on Chanukah have the identical Hebrew dates.  You see, that depends on how many days the month of Kislev consists of - 29 or 30.  If there are 30 days to Kislev, then just like the week of creation that begins with the 25th of a month and ends on the 2nd of the next month, so does Chanukah, which begins with 25 Kislev and ends with 2 Tevet- except with the addition of the 30th of the month which is not included in the seven day week of Creation in which Elul has/had only 29 days.  However, if Kislev has only 29 days, then the last day of Chanuka will be on 3 Tevet.

Regardless, the first day of Chanuka is always on the 25th of Kislev, just as the first day of creation was on the 25th of Elul.  And there is a direct connection between these two dates in the Torah, because the 25th word of the Torah is the first mention of the word Ohr (light) which was one of the creations of the first day of Creation, and this hints to Chanuka because it was the lighting of the Menorah in the Temple after an absence due to the Syrian-Greeks who attempted to get rid of Judaism that caused this holiday to come into fruition.   

This explains why the dates of Chanukah in terms of the date numbers closely resemble those of the week of Creation.  For in fact, Chanukah celebrates the freedom of observing the Torah, and in the context of the story of Chanukah, most especially in the Temple, the holiest area in the world, the connection between this physical world and the totally spiritual world of Heaven.  This is aside from the fact that the name of the one who started the revolution that led to Chanuka - Matisyahu, is the same Gematria as the name of the place where the Menorah was lit that became the cause of the holiday of Chanuaka with lighting our Menorahs - Beit HaMikdash (Temple), which is 861, as well as reciting the Hallel prayer (Psalms 113-118) during this holiday, which can be called Tehillat Hashem "lauding of Hashem" which is also the Gematria of 861.  Accordingly, as related to the week of Creation, it is the holiday of Rosh Hashanah which marks the climax of creation - the creation of mankind  whose name is also the Gematria of 861.

Moreover, there are parallels between Creation and the various parts of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the forerunner of the Temple, which in fact was finished being built on the 25th of Kislev, the future date of the first day of Chanuka, as recounted in a Mishkan. Additionally, there are parallels between the Torah sections of the different days of Creation and the Torah sections of the corresponding parts of the Mishkan - whether via the same amount of letters or words between the two corresponding sections, or something similar to this.  And while I am not going to detail what these are, what I do want to point out is to another Midrash which states that Hashem made it up to the date of 25th of Kislev which technically should have been the date of the dedication of the Mishkan being that it was completed on this date, by becoming the first day of Chanuka close to 1,200 years later.  Meanwhile, the dedication of the Mishkan took place a few months later on the 1st of Nissan, which is the first of four dates mentioned in the beginning of the Mishnaic tractate of Rosh Hashanah as being called Rosh Hashanah, being its own New Year for various things that begin on this date.  Also, there is a disagreement between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua, as mentioned in the Gemara on this tractate, as to when the world (or more specifically, mankind) was created - Tishrei or Nissan, respectively, and hence the 1st of Nissan, the date on which the dedication of the Mishkan - which was a microcosm of this world - took place, being the very date of the creation of mankind - at least according to Rabbi Yehoshua.  And the root of the issue between these two rabbis is also the basis of their disagreement as to what part of the year that the Flood in the time of Noah began - 17 Cheshvan or 17 Iyar, respectively, whose subject I will mention shortly on in this post - but for a different reason.


There are five mentions of the word Ohr (light) in the account of the Creation of the world on the first day. The Midrash tells us this corresponds to the five books of the Chumash, which comprises the Sefer Torah (Torah scroll), Judaism's holiest object today.  For the Torah is in fact the greatest spiritual light, being that it is Hashem's holy wisdom.  In fact, the light in the context of the first day of creation, believe it or not, is indeed referring to spiritual light, for as Rashi notes on this, Hashem saved this light in the future for the benefit of the righteous exclusively.  For it was only on the fourth day of Creation - which by the way was on the 28th of Elul, today's date for this post, and as mentioned in the beginning of the eighth chapter of the Midrash called Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer - that the sun and moon were created, from which we receive the physical light in this universe.

Now, the connection of light to the number five doesn't end here.  Being that the Gematria of Ohr is 207, if we are looking for the 207th word of the Torah, it is the FIFTH word of the 17th verse, in the midst of the account of the creation of the sun and moon, which is HaShamayim (the heavens/skies), where it states "G-d placed them (sun and moon) in the firmament of the skies to light on the earth".  Similarly, in the first verse of the Torah, the FIFTH word is also HaShamayim.  And if this was not enough, as the word Ohr is mentioned five times, when we multiply the Gematria of the word Ohr by five times, the total is 1035 (207*5), which is the Hebrew numbers consisting of the letters Aleph, Lamed, Hei, spelling the very word Eileh (these), the beginning word of the EIGHTH section of the Torah (as divided by paragraphs as seen especially in a Sefer Torah), where it states Eileh Toldot HaShamayim V'Ha'aretz, where the word HaShamayim is used once again.  And while the Aleph in this instance is used here as the Gematria of 1,000 as beginning a Hebrew number, the word Eileh itself is the Gematria of 36, for we kindle a total of 36 mandatory lights of the Menorah (while we also light what is called the Shamash candle on each night which would make it a total of 44 lights, this is used only as a way to prevent us from directly benefiting from the lights of Chanukah which represent the holy spiritual light) during the course of the EIGHT days of Chanukah.

Anyways, the 207th word of the Torah, as per the Gematria of Ohr=207, is in the 17th verse of the Torah. And in the midst of the creation of the first day, it states "G-d saw that the light was good...".  The word Tov (good) is the Gematria of 17, noting that of the numerous mentions of this word in the Torah, the first time that the word Tov is used is in reference to light.  For after all, both spiritual and physical lights can be very positive things - if channeled for good purposes.  In terms of spiritual light, one can feel a high when learning Kabbala, the part of Torah that goes into detail about the spiritual light, but he must be careful to learn Kabbala only as fulfilling the Mitzva of learning Torah, and not to, G-d forbid, use Kabbala for one's personal use.  In terms of physical light, everyone benefits from the sun to be able to see things during the daytime; however, staring at the sun can, G-d forbid, lead to blindness.

We are in a very special time of history.  First, as we will recall, it was nearly four and a half years ago that we recited a blessing for the creation of the sun (Bircat HaChama) as done once in every 28 years, when we began the 207th period of the 28 year cycle of the sun that that is first enumerated in the Talmud (Berachot 59b) which fell out in  this period on Erev Pesach, the 14th of Nissan, the very date that the Mishnaic tractate Pesachim begins with, in its opening words - Ohr L'Arba'ah Asar Bodkin Et HaChametz L'Ohr HaNer  "On the night of the 14th (of Nissan) we search for Chametz (leaven) by the light of the candle, beginning with the very word Ohr (as well as being used twice in the same sentence but as two different things - nighttime that is called light, and the light of the candle) that is the Gematria of 207, no doubt hinting that it will be in this 207th period of the full cycle of the sun that we will merit the great LIGHT, the light of the Redemption, just as for the Jews at the time of the first redemption at the Exodus, "There was LIGHT in the dwelling places of all the children of Israel" (Exodus 10:23), noting that this tractate Pesachim is all about the observance of Passover that celebrates the first redemption of the Jewish nation.  By the way, we are presently in the midst of the worldwide Daf Yomi study of the Talmudic tractate Pesachim.

However, reaching the spiritual light in history wasn't always the case.  Now, we know that the main Mitzva of Chanukah is kindling the light of the Menorah for eight nights.  With this said, when we multiply 207 by eight, the the total is 1656 (207*8).  Well, for those who are well versed in Biblical history with the Hebrew years (as opposed to using the confusing Christian dating of B.C.), 1656 is the number of the very year that the Flood in Noah's time destroyed the world.  For in essence, mankind did just the opposite of our mission of lighting the spiritual darkness, for with their evil deeds - they darkened the presence of whatever spiritual light there was in this world.  In stark contrast, the righteous Noah, who was saved with his immediately family, represented the concept of the light of Chanukah, for in fact, the two letters of his name - Noon and Chet - begin the words Ner (candle) or Neirot (candles) and Chanukah.  And as the final verse of the first Parsha of the Torah - Bereishit - reads V'Noach Matza Chein B'Einei Hashem  "Noah found favor in the eyes of Hashem" for the word Chen are just the letters of Noach in reverse Hebrew letters, and "the eyes" of Hashem, as it is just a way of describing Hashem for our limited understanding since Hashem does not have a body, represent the part of the body that benefits from light.

Moreover, the letters of both these words - Noach & Chein - are the first two letters of the name of the holiday of lights - Chanukah.  In fact, one of the phrases that the letters of the word Chanukah begin are Cheit Neirot V'Halacha K'Beit Hillel - "Eight candles and the Halacha is like the school of Hillel", the view that we follow, beginning with one candle on the first night of Chanuka, and concluding with eight candles on the eighth and last night of Chanukah, unlike the view of the school of Shammai who hold the reverse.  And as I pointed out connections between the week of creation and Chanuka, just as more things were created or appeared during the course of the days of creation, so do we follow the Halacha (Jewish Law) like the school of Hillel who hold that we increase the amount of candles as we progress during the eight days of Chanuka rather than lessen the amount.  And the truth is that in the Temple, there were a total of seven candles in the Menorah, which apparently correspond to the seven days of the week; but since the miracle of the Menorah in which the lit candles lasted for eight days is what led to the holiday of Chanukah, we observe the amount of days in the holiday according to the amount of days that this miracle took place rather than according to the total number of candles of the Temple Menorah, and hence, we have in essence one extra day on which we light one more candle than was lit in the Temple.

Now, turning to the beginning of the next Parsha which is named after Noah, the opening word is Eileh (these), which as I mentioned earlier, is the Gematria of 36, just as the 36 candles of Chanukah.  Now, looking at the first part of this verse - Eileh Toldot Noach Noach Ish Tzadik "These are the accounts of Noah.  Noah was a righteous man", this is the first time in the Torah that the word Tzadik (righteous) is used.
The reason for this is not because he was the first righteous person to have lived, because some of his ancestors, including Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Methuselah were all righteous people.  However, it has something to do with the Gematria of this word - 204.  You see, taking the first eight numbers, and you multiply each one by its one number (1*1=1) (2*2=4) (3*3=9) (4*4=16) (5*5=25) (6*6=36) (7*7=49) (8*8=64), and you add up the eight sums (1+4+9+16+25+36+49+64), the total is 204, the result of the first eight numbers, just as there are eight days of Chanukah.

Hence, looking at the last verse of the first Parsha together with the first verse of the second Parsha, you can see that Noah in his day represented the concept of a Tzadik, and as especially related to the concept of spiritual light and Chanukah, for indeed, the Midrash states that in the future, Hashem will reveal the spiritual light to the righteous that He hid from the time of Creation.  And to appreciate Noah being a Tzadik, even though he fell spiritually low later on when he got drunk, and some say that had he lived in Abraham's time, he wouldn't have been considered anything special with his level of righteous in contrast to Abraham's; one thing that can't be denied is that he refused to follow the popular trend that everyone was following chasing after their selfish wants and pleasures.  In fact, he was most similar to Joseph who is especially termed with the title of Tzadik, particularly because he controlled himself from sleeping with his master's wife who constantly attempted to seduce him while he was a slave in Egypt.  Moreover, every year on Chanukah, we read the very Parshiyot that mention the most about Joseph.  And so, even though there were earlier righteous people before Noah, it was Noah who faced a totally corrupt generation whom he refused to hang out with, and so, it makes sense that it is he who is first called a Tzadik in the Torah, just like Matisyahu and his sons among few others who bravely fought the Syrian-Greeks that led to the holiday of Chanukah.

Now, getting back to the time of the Flood, Hashem waited one week following the deadline of 120 years for the world to repent (Hashem already knew that this was not going to happen but it was in order that nobody could say later that He didn't give them a chance to repent), because Noah's righteous grandfather Methuselah passed away, and allowed a period of a week, as with Shiva, to honor him, for after all, having lived among the longest of human beings - 969 years - you would think that people would take time to think twice about their actions after a most respected senior citizen just passed away.  However, this would not be.  But what we do see her is that Methuselah was the EIGHTH generation from Adam and Eve, symbolizing the fact that this point was the clear conclusion of the eighth generation, just as the amount of years from Creation at that point were 207=Ohr (light) times EIGHT being the Hebrew Year 1656.

So most unfortunately, Noah's generation didn't see the light, or refused to see the light.  And so, had Hashem not taken action right away, the world would have entered the period of the ninth cycle, and as I have written in the past in a number of posts, the number of nine is especially related to the concept of darkness, as we see among other things as proof of this is that darkness was the ninth of the ten plagues that Hashem visited the Egyptians with for refusing to let the Jews leave Egypt.  And as for the Jews themselves, had they waited in Egypt just a little longer, it would have been too late for them to exit the spiritual impurity, which is in essence, the spiritual darkness, that the Jews had sunk into.  And so, since they did leave Egypt before spiritual doomsday, they had a chance afterwards to exit the 49 levels of impurity with a seven week waiting period following the Exodus, and then, in the beginning of the EIGHTH week, they received the Torah that they were now ready for.  Hence, if the people who were punished with the Flood would have continued living, entering the ninth cycle would have brought the world to be totally destroyed with the continuance of their evil deeds, which would have meant that even Noah would no longer live; just as the world would have ceased to exist had the Jews not accepted the Torah, the raison d'etre of the world's existence.  As proof of this, we see what is written in the second verse of the Torah  "The earth was in total chaos, and there was darkness on the surface of the deep", thus associating the emptiness of the earth to the concept of darkness.

Now, getting back to Methuselah of the eighth generation, his name is similar to the name of Matisyahu of the Chanukah story in more than one way - both have six letters and both begin with the same first two letters, which are Mem and Tav/Sav.  Also, he was the son of Enoch, whose Hebrew name Chanoch is very similar to the name of the holiday of Chanukah in terms of its letters except that it doesn't have the letter Hei at the end as the word Chanukah.  Noting that Enoch belonged to the seventh generation, we know that the Menorah in the Temple, though the cause of the eight day holiday of Chanukah on which we light eight lights on the last night, had only seven lights, thus showing the close relationship between the numbers seven and eight in more than one way.

Another thing unique about Enoch was that he lived for 365 years, which was far less the amount of years that his ancestors or his descendants for several generations had lived.  Knowing that there are 365 complete days in the solar year, this was the exact amount of time that Noah, his family, and the animal refugees of the Flood were in Noah's Ark in escape from the Flood.  Now, during this period, the planetary system took a brake from moving around in the universe.  And if this is the case, then a question begs to be asked?  How can we halachicly determine the cycles of the sun orbiting every 28 years to be back in the same exact place and time of the week when there was one year that in fact, nothing was doing in the whole planetary system for one full solar year?  To prove this, we know that we made the blessing for the sun the last time in the Hebrew year 5769, and if we keep subtracting number after number every time by minus 28, the end result is the Hebrew Year 1, when in fact, the sun first came into orbit in Year 0 (Note: The Gematria of Chama (sun) is 53, and being that there are 365 complete days to the annual solar cycle, the cycle ends near the beginning of the 53rd week).  And while we are at it, perhaps a more begging question is that how we could make the blessing for the sun in the month of Nissan as the time of the beginning of the 28 sun cycle when we said earlier that the sun and moon were created on 28 Elul, which is right before Tishrei, the opposite side of the year as Nissan?

Well first, as I did mention earlier, there is in fact a disagreement between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua as to which month the world (or mankind) was created, being either Tishrei or Nissan.  There is one explanation, among others, that is given about the obvious contradiction as per the time of Creation, since only one of these times at best could be the correct one.  It seems that these two rabbis are referring to two different periods.  Rabbi Eliezer is mentioning Tishrei based on when Hashem thought of creating the world, while in fact, the world was actually created in Nissan, as Rabbi Yehoshua's opinion.  For if anything, Hashem's thoughts are even more real than our actions, except for the fact that Hashem desires our good actions/deeds, and so this is the only justification that anything we see or feel could even be called real, as in fact, it is Hashem's constant life force that keeps anything in this world to stay in existence.  In any case, we observe Rosh Hashana, which is Rosh Chodesh Tishrei (New Moon of  Tishrei), based on the premise of the creation in Tishrei, while our blessing for the sun in Nissan is based on the premise of the creation o Nissan.  Beyond this, delving further into this subject is beyond what I want to focus on in this post.

However, what I do want to focus on is the answer for the first question that I raised.  The truth is that the whole system of determining the years, as especially shown by the monthly accounting of the exact moment that the New Moon appears, begins one year earlier, which is in essence a hypothetical year; meaning, there was no sun or moon yet; however, the count of the cycles begin from one year earlier before the Creation. This very first "appearance of the new moon" that would have been had Creation took place one year earlier, is called Bahard, which is an acroystic using the letters Beit-Hei-Reish-Dalet.  In this instance, Beit is the numerical value of two, referring to the second day of the week; Hei is the numerical value of five, referring to the count of five hours; Reish-Dalet is the numerical value of 204, referring to the amount of Chalakim (a system of dividing the 1,080 parts of an hour); meaning, this "appearance of the new moon" took place on the second day of the week, after five hours and 204 Chalakim.

And as for the Flood itself that was rained on the earth for 40 days, the end of this period (according to Rabbi Eliezer who says that it began on 17 Cheshvan) fell out on the 27th or 28th day of Kislev, in the midst of the future days of Chanukah.

Now, just as was pointed here cycles of 207 years after which was the destruction of life; so too later in history, we see something similar, but in a ironic way.  You see, if we count the amount of years from the event of the miracle of the Menorah whose lights lasted for eight days instead of one, using the only spiritual pure olive oil found with the seal of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) that was not contaminated by the Syrian Greeks until new spiritual pure oil was found, having occurred in Year 3622 that was the basis of the holiday of Chanukah until the destruction of the Second Temple, we see that it was in the 207th year that this latter tragic event happened, instead of being a time of spiritual revelation or spiritual LIGHT (Ohr=207) for the Jewish people.  The proof for this is that it states in Talmudic literature that on the day of the destruction of the Second Temple, Moshiach was born.  Meaning, the potential of Moshiach coming began on this day, if only the Jews would have repented; and instead of worrying so much about the date when Moshiach is "supposed to come", we would focus our energies on repentance that would surely immediately bring the Redemption, we would be in a much better spiritual state.

Now, on a brighter side, let us make a parallel of years.  First, counting the period of time from the time of the Flood - the destruction of the world - in Year 1656 until the Chanukah miracle in Year 3622, we have a total of 1,966 years.  And then on the other end, counting the period of time from the destruction of the Second Temple in Year 3828 until the future Year 5797, in which will conclude the 207 period of the 28 year cycle of the sun, there are close to 1,969 years.  So as you can see here, before the conclusion of our present period of the 207th period that especially relates to the concept of light, just as this period close to 1,970 years began with destruction and will end with spiritual light, so too this period of time with the same amount of years parallels this period of time from destruction to spiritual light which came in the form of the Temple Menorah and Chanukah.  And if to make things exactly parallel, the Menorah-Chanukah miracle took place on the 25th of Kislev, 1966 years from the Flood; so too, the year from Nissan 5793 until Nissan 5794 will be the 25th year of the 207th period of the 28 year sun cycle, ending very close to 1,966 years from the destruction of the Second Temple.  Of course, we expect to have other things happening by this time, based on what is written in the Zohar, of the beginning of the period of the dead coming back to life no later than around Year 5790, at least for the greatest righteous people (Wow!  Imagine seeing shortly the Biblical and Talmudic figures that we learn about all the time!), as this will be 210 years before the end of the slated 6,000 years of the world's existence, paralleling the other side of the spiritual coin with the 210 years that the Jews were in Egypt until the Exodus.

Anyways, as this post is coming to a close, let us note the number of this post - 189, which can be dissected into two numbers - One (1) and Eighty-Nine (89), noting that the name of the holiday Chanuka is the Gematria of 89, and Day One of Chanuka, the 25th of Kislev, is when the lighting of the Menorah in the Temple by the Hasmonians/Maccabbees - after a recess of time due to the Syrian-Greek persecution, took place, which parallels the 25th of Elul, the date on which the world began being created, the theme which begins our Holy Torah with Bereishit Bara Elokim "In the beginning of G-d's creating...", as the Torah is our ultimate spiritual light, even in the absence of our Holy Temple.

And having mentioned about Noah and the Flood in this post, even though it will be a month before we read this in the Torah, it won't be long before we mention this in our prayers.  For on Rosh Hashana, we recite various verses pertaining to G-d's Kingship (Malchuyot), G-d's Remembrance (Zichronot), and the Shofar (Shofarot).  And so, the first verse of Zichronot is the verse "G-d remember Noah", which happened after the Flood.  And noting the amount of years now until the end of the world's slated 6,000 years, there will be a total of 227 years from the beginning of the coming Year 5774, as the word Zeicher (remembrance or memory) is the Gematria of 227.  And while we are at it, it is also the Gematria of the word Beracha (blessing), and as the concluding Parsha of the Torah begins with the words, the name of this last Parsha, V'Zot HaBeracha "This is the blessing".

Perhaps I will write one quick post before the end of this year.  But meanwhile, my wishes of blessings for the Jewish people for a sweet year of Hashem remembering our good deeds which will G-d willing lead to the Redemption shortly, which will be heralded with the blowing of the Shofar, and to the era when "Hashem will be King over all the earth, on that day, Hashem will be One, and His name One".

28 Elul, 5773