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.
THE LIGHT THROUGHOUT TIME
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".