Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#200 - The New HEAD

Writing my 200th post, I look back from since I had started www.gematriot.blogspot.com over five years ago, and I must say that there is a big difference between writing my first 100 posts and my second set of 100 posts.  You see, when I wrote my 100th post nearly three years ago, while I was already married, I had yet to have my first child.  It would be during the course of the next 100 posts that I would became the father of two children, having more challenges with time over time to write posts in a timely manner.  However, determination usually wins, and the blog posting goes on.

And so, let us begin here, especially in honor of my 200th post, with a couple of verses from the Tanach (Jewish Bible) that mentions something significant with the number 200.


The first verse that I will quote is taken from the context mentioning the various Tribes of Israel who came to coronate King David as king of Israel. Among these verses reads "Of the sons of Issaschar who had knowledge of the understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do, having TWO HUNDRED heads, and all of their brethren following their advice (literally means "their mouth")" (I Chronicles 12:33). Now, a literal interpretation of this verse would fail in this case to help understand the simple meaning here. But what it does mean is that this tribes consisted of 200 heads of Jewish courts who determined the declaring of new months and intercalation of leap years.

In connection to King David, he represented the concept of the moon that waxes and wanes.  Noting that he was the 14th generation in the parental line from Abraham the first Jew, and that King David's name is the Gematria of 14, his son King Solomon was the 15th generation whose kingdom enjoyed the highlight of utopian living in the history of the Jewish people who were living in a time of peace during King Solomon's rulership of not only the Jewish people, but of the entire world, since all the nations turned to him especially for his gift of wisdom.  After he passed way, the kingship of the House of David gradually went down in terms of influence, starting from King Solomon's not so smart son Rechavam who chose to tax the people even worse than his father did, and so most of the tribes aside from Judah, Benjamin, and Levi coronated Yeroboam as king instead.  Finally, the last king of the Judean empire before the destruction of the first Temple, Tzidkiah, was the 30th generation from Abraham, who was blinded by Nebuchadnezzar and was then exiled to Babylonia in chains.

So as we can see here, King David and King Solomon, as the 14th-15th generations from Abraham, represented the highlight of the moon being what we see as a FULL MOON, which occurs during the 14th-15th day(s) of any given Jewish month, after which it wanes until there is no visible moon left at the end of the month, which was signified by King Tzidkiyahu, the 30th generation, who was blinded and exiled.  Ironically, the Gematria of his name is the same as the name/word Zorach (215), the conotation of the word shining, for had Tzidkiyahu listened to Jeremiah the prophet who told him not to attempt to rebel against Nebuchadnezer, king of Babylonia due to the sins of his generation, the Temple would not have been destroyed - or at least not at that point in time; but since Tzidkiyahu thought he knew better, it resulted in the Temple being destroyed, Jews being murdered and exiled, and he himself was blinded, ending the era of the moon shining.

Anyways, we see here about the concept of 200 heads as related to the Tribe of Yissaschar in reference to the coronation of King David.  Now, the Hebrew word for head - Rosh - begins with the letter Reish, which is the numerical value of 200.  And in relationship to King David who is most connected to the number 14, the letter with the highest numerical number in the name of the 14th Parsha of the Torah - Vaera (we are presently in the midst of the week of Parshat Vaera) is Reish, which is also the case with the first word of this Parsha - Vayedaber.  Similarly, it is also the case with the first word of the 14th Tractate of the Mishna, Pesachim - the word Ohr.  And finally, the first section of laws in the 14th and last volume of the Rambam's Mishne Torah which is also called Yad Chazaka (Yad, meaning hand, also spells the Hebrew number 14) are called Hilchot Sanhedrin (Laws of the Jewish Court), and the letter with the highest numerical number is also a Reish.  And in our prayers - in the midst of the middle blessings of the weekday Shemoneh Esrei, there is one blessing in which we request that the Sanhedrin will be returned to us (Note: There is a group that formed as a Sanhedrin nine years ago in Israel.  Whether this is the beginning of the fulfillment of our request in this blessing or not, we still pray for the time for the state of the Sanhedrin is that it will have full power, and not prevented from executing its powers because of our present dictatorship Israeli government), in which the first letter of the blessing is Hei=5 in the word Hashiva "RETURN our judges as it was at one time" and the last letter of the blessing is Teit=9 in the word U'Mishpat "The King Who loves justice AND JUDGEMENT", and the total numerical value of these letters is 14!  Later in this post, I will mention the concept of Sanhedrin in relationship to another number theme).

As for the whole word Rosh (head), which is the Gematria of 501, we see a phenomenal thing in relationship to the number of years that King David reigned.  Now, most who know some Biblical history will say that King David was king for 40 years.  Actually, make that 40 and a half years, for he was king in Hebron for seven and a half years, and in Jerusalem for 33 years.  With this said, let us count the number of Hebrew months in this 40 and a half years time.  As we see in our present Jewish calendar, there are 235 months in a 19 year cycle.  Twice this amount are 470 months in 38 years time.  Adding two and a half more years for the total, this consists of 30 months.  Hence, it would seem that King David ruled for a total of 500 months and passed away in the 501st month; or, if there was an additional leap month in the remaining two and a half years, this would make 501 complete months of King David's kingship.  This would be most significant, because King David was the ROSH=501 of the Davidic monarchy which includes the soon to be Moshiach. And as we see in Kabbala, in terms of which Biblical character corresponds to which holiday, King David corresponds to Rosh Chodesh (New Moon), which is the beginning of any given Jewish month.  This phrase can also be read as "New Head", contrasting him to King Saul who was in fact the very first official king of the Jewish people, but because he messed up, the kingship dynasty was transferred to King David, who became the Rosh Chadash "New Head".

And as for Yissaschar himself, the letter Reish is the last of his name as well as the last letter of other words of concepts that relate to him.  You see, the month of Iyar's corresponding tribe is Yissaschar, and the Mazel (constellation) of this month is Shor (Taurus).  Amazingly, all of these three words - Iyar, Yissaschar, and Shor - end with the letter Reish.  Perhaps the fact that the letter Reish - whose name means the beginning of and etymologically related to the word Rosh, is particularly at the end of these words (the main connection here is with Yissaschar's name) hints to King David, who until he was first annointed as king by Samuel the prophet, was treated as a lowlife by everyone, including and especially his family, which even included his righteous father Jesse (the reason for this is beyond the scope of this post); in fact, so much to this extent that when the prophet Samuel came to their home to annoint one of Jesse's son upon Hashem's command, Samuel checked out all of Jesse's seven sons, one by one, but saw no luck.  It was only after Samuel insisted that Jesse tell him about having any more sons did Jesse at that point admit that his son David was outside tending the flock.  And so, Jesse had no choice but fetch for David to come, and the rest is history.  In fact, there is a verse in King David's Tehillim (also part of the Hallel prayer) which reads "The stone that the builders rejected, became the HEAD of the corner (cornerstone)" (Psalms 118:22) which our rabbis say, refers to himself in this incident.

Now to note, the Chasidic Sefer entitled Bnei Yissaschar, which consists of fascinating explanations, including Gematriot, pertaining to Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, the Jewish months and holidays, derives its title from this very verse, though the phrase Bnei Yissaschar "Sons of Yissaschar" is found in several places during the course of the Tanach where the other tribes are mentioned as well.  However, it is the phrase in this verse that points out the function of this tribe, especially among its judges who were in charge, at least during the time of King David, of determining the time in terms of establishing the Jewish months and leap years; as this tribe learned Torah all the time, while his brother/tribe Zevulun supported him.

The author of this Sefer, Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, named the Sefer as such using the name Yissaschar, because his Rebbe, the Chozeh of Lublin, told him that he was descended from this tribe.  And as for his own name - Tzvi Elimelech, which is the Gematria of 233, we see a corelationship to this from our verse which mentions the number 200, and it is the 33rd verse of Chapter 12, the chapter that mentions the tribes, meaning, the 12 Tribes of Israel who unquivocally agreed that King David should be king after it was obvious to all that the kingdom was lost from the family of King Saul' which happened as a result of him not listening to the prophet Samuel about totally eradicating the memory of Amalek.  Moreover, each of the three Pilgrimage Festivals - Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot - are called by the name Regel ("Festival"), having the same letters as the Hebrew number 233, as it was for these three holidays that the entire Jewish (adult male) population during Temple times traveled to the Temple to celebrate these holidays at this site, as Regel literally means foot, for traveling is performed primarily with the feet, whether by walking or riding (in those days, at least until the auto era, it was the horse or whatever other animal that did the walking in place of the person), and the exact dates of these holidays were determined by the decision of the Jewish court as to when Rosh Chodesh ("New Moon") was supposed to begin.

And since I have mentioned about his Sefer which pertains to the various times of the year, I should note that the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech was this past Shabbat Parshat Shemot, about which I have seen hints to the timing of his passing in Parshat Shemot.  As it was on the second day of the week of Parshat Shemot when he passed away, we can take a look at the corresponding second Aliyah of this Parsha which is about the birth of Baby Moses.  Now, in case one thinks that it is ironic for the passing of a righteous person is hinted where it speaks of a birth, the truth is that the righteous are considered alive even after their passing (Talmud Berachot 18), for after all, the true life is the life in the world to come.  In fact, the Torah normally doesn't dwell on details of the birth of a person, because after all, who knows what one will become in life as to whether it would have been worth it for him to have lived depending on whether he will die having been righteous or otherwise.  However, with Moses, it was different, because he  lived to be the greatest righteous person to walk the planet, and his spiritual aura was felt even when he was a baby by both his immediate family and Batya, Pharaoh's daughter who converted to Judaism, the one who found him on the Nile River after his family dropped him off, so the Egyptian authorities wouldn't find him at home to kill him as per Pharaoh's decree of drowning all male babies as per the astrologers were saying that a (male) redeemer would been born to eventually take the Jews out of Egypt.

Now, the Yahrzeit date of Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech is Yud-Cheit (18) Tevet, in which the number can be read, when the letters are reversed, as Chai (life), and the name of the month Tevet is based on the word Tov (good).  And we see pertaining to the birth of Moses "she (Yocheved his mother) saw him that he was good" (Exodus 2:2), and as Rashi explains, when he was born, the house was full of (spiritual) light".  Now, the word in the text for "she saw" is Vateire, which consists of the Hebrew letters Vav-Tav-Reish-Aleph.  This is very similar to the Hebrew year in which this rabbi passed away - 5601, the only difference being that the Hebrew letters making up the number of the year begins with a Hei instead of a Vav.  In this instance, the Vav=6 can signify the sixth millenium in which we are presently living in, and this rabbi passed away 173 years ago.  And, since after all, one's passing is the END of his life in this world, let us turn to the END of this Parsha, in the last Pasuk (verse), where after Moses complained to Hashem that since He sent him to speak to Pharaoh to let the Jews go, Pharaoh made things even worse for the Jews, Hashem tells him "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh" (Exodus 6:1).  The Hebrew for "You will see" is Tir'eh, which consists of the very Hebrew letters as the Hebrew number of the year of this rabbi's passing!  Speaking of which, as I quoted here from the last verse of the Parsha, typically, it is the last few verses of the Parsha that is designated as Maftir, the reading for the one who is called up to the Torah who will read the Haftara, a section from the Prophets part of the Tanach that has some theme that relates to the Parsha.  Now, the word Maftir is similar to the word Niftar, the noun or verb pertaining either to the one who passed away or that he passed away, respectively.


In Shir HaShirim, one of the three books of the Tanach that King Solomon composed, it is written (I will be translating this literally, though it has many meanings to it) "The thousand is yours, O Solomon; and TWO HUNDRED for those who guard its fruit" (Song of Songs 8:12).  When reading this verse literally, some may be thinking of King Solomon's 1,000 women.  In a way, they may be right.  To put things in perspective, King Solomon was a very righteous person, having been raised by his very righteous father King David. After all, he merited to be the one to oversee the construction of the first Temple.  However, it seems that he had a week point about himself, and aside from marrying more than the permitted 18 women for a king, he thought that the reason that the Torah gives for a king not being allowed more wives that they won't sway his heart from the right path wasn't applicable to him due to his high spiritual level.  And while his idolatrous wives (all of his women who weren't born went through the proper Jewish conversion but didn't necessarily all stay being observant) didn't get him to actually worship idols, they no doubt ultimately put a damper on the spiritual standing of the Jewish people, which continued with his successor son Rechoboam who worshipped idols for most of the years that he was king.  In any case, I don't have an immediate explanation of the following phrase in the verse about the "two hundred" in relationship with this.

My take on these numbers here is to make equal portions of 200 of  "The thousand".  Hence, there are five portions of 200 within the 1,000, and then there are "two hundred for those who guard its fruit".  Now, in relationship to the six work days of the week, we have the corresponding six Sephirot of Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod.  Hence, the sixth day of the week corresponds to Yesod, which corresponds to the part of the body which is the place of the Brit (literally means covenant, word used for male organ). Hence, the sixth 200 is mentioned as a phrase by itself  "Two hundred for those who guard its fruit", referring to the concept of Shmirat HaBrit "GUARDING the covenant", the place of the body that is supposed to be used only for the sake of procreation, and not for other self pleasure purposes or having fun with other women other than one's wife for the sake of having a fun time (Note: There is no prohibition for a couple to be intimate even if they are pass the child bearing age, so long as they are married according to Jewish Law and the woman is not in a menstrous state).  In fact, the very first Mitzva (Commandment) of the Torah, which is found in the account of Creation on the SIXTH DAY, states "Be FRUITFUL and multiply".  And looking at the Hebrew text of this - Pru Urvu - in both of these words, the letters with the highest numerical value is the Reish=200.


In King Solomon's book called Kohelet, he states "He who loves money, will not be satisfied with money" (Ecclesiastes 5:1).  The Midrash on this phrase tells us "One who has 100, wants 200; one who has 200, wants 400".  Now, a question can be asked here, "If one is really greedy for money, is it just that he wants twice the amount that he has?  More likely, one who makes a five digit income on his own success is thinking of making a six digit figure income; and one who makes a six digit figure income is thinking of making a seven digit income..."

I think that the Midrash here is making a very distinct point.  It is not necessarily the amount per se that one wants to make that is the big trouble maker here.  Rather, it is the person himself who doesn't have a true grasp on his limits to making the money.  You see, when it comes to gambling with so much money, one can pick a small amount of money to put down on the table without feeling any major loss; but on the other hand, the winnings won't be so great.  The ultimate foolish gambler who will have nothing left afterwards will put down everything, not thinking of the possibility of loss, but rather, he will so to speak "double his odds" and then have more money - to gamble with of course.  You see, there is hardly a gambler who after makes so much money, will walk out of the place saying enough is enough, even for the night.  The gambling addiction tells one that at the end, one will eventually make much more money, though the chance of loosing some money is expected.  However, the other problem other than one being addicted to the gambling set of mind is that there is a chance - in fact a good chance - that especially with this way of thinking, one will loose it all.

Now, the proof to this, as we see in the comment of the Midrash, it is the number 200 that is being used both ways - what one wants and what one gets.  And closely related to the name of the letter Reish is the word Rahsh - consisting of the letters Reish and Shin - one of the synonyms for one who is destitute.  The difference though between a pauper who never knew of money and the gambler is that the pauper may simply have never had the good luck or never received the education to begin with to help make a better living.  However, the gambler has much more to regret, because he actually had the big money at one time, but in his self-illusion of thinking that he could make even more - and at the expense of others - he is the one who looses his fortune that he knew he had, making himself feel ever so worse, and one whom few people will pity because as they say to themselves, why should they give some of their hard earned money to someone who didn't show respect for it when he didn't have to loose it.  For that matter, it has been said that most people who win the lottery in their respective country or state - in five years time, are either dead or dead broke.  I have also learned in the course of learning about business is that if the wealth were taken from the rich people and given to the poor people; in five years time, the wealth would be back in the same hands. For while many rich people are workaholics, at least they know the formula to making more money, which part of it includes hard, honest work, believe it or not.


Having mentioned earlier about the Sanhedrin, the large Jewish court consisting of either the bigger amount of 71 (Sanhedrei Gedola) or the smaller amount of 23 (Sanhedrei Ketana), it relates very well with the letter Dalet, the 4th letter of the Aleph-Beit with the numerical value of four.  First, in the word Sanhedrin, the letter Dalet is 1)The FOURTH letter, 2)The middle letter, and 3)The letter with the least numerical value. Second,
the FOURTH tractate of the FOURTH volume of the Mishna called Nezikin (Damages) is the tractate Sanhedrin, which begins with Dinei Mamonot B'Shelosha "The laws of monetary matter may be tried by a court of three (judges)", in which the first letter of the tractate is a Dalet.  Moreover, of the five chapters of Mishnayot that begin with the letter Dalet, the one tractate that includes more than one such chapter is Tractate Sanhedrin, in which the third chapter also begins with Dalet - Dinei Mamonot.  As for other interesting factoids connecting the letter Dalet with this tractate, of the six Mishnayot of its first chapter, the only other Mishna than the first one that begins with a Dalet is the FOURTH Mishna - Dinei Nefashot B'Esrim U'Shelosha "The laws of capital offenses may be tried by a court of 23 judges".  And then for its FOURTH chapter, it begins with Echad Dinei Mamonot V'Echad Dinei Nefashot B'Drisha U'VaChakira "Both monetary and capital cases are tried by questioning and examining".  Now to note, the literal meaning of the word Echad is "one", though in this context, I have translated both of uses of the word Echad simply as "both".  The reason that I say this is that the FOURTH letter of the FOURTH word of the FOURTH chapter of the FOURTH tractate of the FOURTH volume of the Mishna is the letter Dalet=4!  And the magic word in question is - V'Echad, which literally means "and one" in the context of explaining the similarity between the two types of court cases, following which, the Mishna goes into long detail of the differences between these two.

Perhaps we can learn from here that to begin with, we need to see the similarities between each other - Echad...V'Echad "One...and one", which becomes both.  True, there may be differences between various factions of Jews, in fact, there are at times many differences, especially culturally (Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Edut HaMizrach, Teimani, etc.); however, at least as far as we are concerned, one is no less of a Jew, or to be considered a less important Jew, just because he or she belongs to a different, which will some say "so to speak" faction of Jews - whether Litvish, Hasidic, Reform, Conservative, etc.  However, the practical difference between the various groups that we Jews became over the period of time, especially in our long exile, is related primarily to laws and customs.  True, at least how Halacha (Jewish law) is presented in the Conservative or Reform movements, it is a great distortion of traditional Judaism which is based primarily on Torah She'B'Al Peh (Oral Law), which these latter movements basically leave outside the door, ready to be trashed, being left only with the literal meaning of the Tanach which can be misread or mislearned if not learned with Rashi, the Mishna and the Gemara to say the least.  And it is at this point that the various differences have to be outlined crystal clear for all to hear, so no one will be misled as to what Judaism is about.

With this said, we must not let ourselves loose sight of our first point pertaining to the similarities between us Jews.  One who isn't so observant isn't supposed to be treated as less of a Jew because of it; for if anything, this is the perfect opportunity for one who wishes to bring Jews closer to the Torah, which will work far better by inviting one to his Shabbat meal than screaming "Shabbes" (the Yiddish pronounciation of the Hebrew word Shabbos or Shabbat) at drivers in Israel, some of whom could have already become observant Jews had more Jews who consider themselves so religious - instead of waiting in the street to scream at the drivers during Shabbat - would wait in the streeet to meet Jews who clearly need direction and guidance as to why Hashem put us in this world.

And speaking of unity, the closet unity in terms of family is the husband-wife relationship.  Indeed, the first letters of the first three words of this chapter - Echad Dinei Mamonot - spell in order the name of the first human being - Adam (Aleph-Dalet-Mem).  And then the next word V'Echad is the Gematria of the name of Adam's wife Chava=19.  The next two words are Dinei Nefashot of which the first letters of these words spell the word Dan "He judged", for in fact, Hashem judged them both following their eating of the forbidden fruit of which He warned that doing so would warrant one to die on the same day.  Hence, this was the first Dinei Nefashot - capital offense case, tried in this world, in which Hashem first gave each of them a chance to speak in their defense.  As it turned out, Hashem didn't have them die that same die, but rather fulfilled His
statement of the consequence of performing that sin in a more favorable way in that since each day is considered like 1,000 years in Hashem's eyes, they passed away within 1,000 years (instead of not dying at all had they not sinned), and we know that Adam lived for 930 years, while as the Midrash tells us, he gave 70 years from his alloted 1,000 years to King David who was originally destined to live for only three hours.  In fact, it has been said that the letters of Adam's name spell the first letters of the names/words - Adam (Aleph), David (Dalet), and Moshiach (Mem).

Continuing on in the context of this Mishna, both types of court cases were tried with Derisha (questioning) and Chakira (examining).  So as we see here, the word Derisha begins with the letter Dalet.  Now, it is at this point that I will turn to discussing the name of King David who is mentioned in the second chapter of Tractate Sanhedrin, whose name both begin and end with the letter Dalet, aside from the fact that his name is a palindrome.  But perhaps most significantly, he himself was a Dayan (one of the Hebrew words that means a judge), noting that the word Dayan begins with the letter Dalet, and as the Talmud tells us, King David learned more Torah in one night than an accomplished Torah scholar learns in a lifetime, and mind you, this was said in times of the Talmud some 1,500 years ago, let alone today.  Anyways, there is one verse in the entire Tehillim, authored by King David, which begins and ends with a Dalet - Dirshu Hashem V'Uzo Bakshu Phanav Tamid  "Search out Hashem and His might, seek His presence always" (Psalms 105:4).  Amazingly, as parallel King David's name - which consist of the letters Dalet=4, Vav=6, Dalet=4; this is the FOURTH verse of Chapter 105, there are SIX words in this verse, and each of these words contain FOUR letters!

Now, let us look at the first and last word of this verse, which begin and end with the letter Dalet, respectively, as King David's name.  The word Dirshu (search), which is etymologically related to the word Derisha (questioning) which was one of the methods used to investigate witnesses in a Jewish court case, is the Gematria of the name of the letter Reish - 510, noting that the letter Reish itself is the numerical value of 200, which is the number of the heads of the Sanhedrin that came from the Tribe of Yissaschar who came to coronate King David as king.  And the last word of this verse - Tamid - is the same Gematria as the names of the letters Yud - 20 and Dalet - 434, bearing the total of 454, noting that the letters Yud and Dalet is the Gematria of King David's name!  Moreover, the Gematria of David HaMelech (King David) is 109, just as the sum total of the chapter number - 105, and the verse number - 4.  And finally, in Divrei Hayomim (Chronicles), the 24th and last book of the Tanach, his name is spelled with a Yud, as Dalet-Vav-Yud-Dalet, making his name in this book to be the Gematria of 24, there are 24 letters in this verse that begins and ends with a Dalet, as it is with his name.

Now, connecting some dots here, let us take a look at the word Dan (he judged), which by the way, is the name of the Tribe Dan, whose corresponding month is our present month of Tevet.  Next, noting the two letters of this words - Noon=50, which is the 14th letter of the Aleph-Beit, and Dalet=4, the total of the multiplication of these two numbers yields 200, as related to the Bnei Yissaschar, which is the name of the Sefer authored by Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, who passed away in this month of Tevet.

And of course, how can we forget the ultimate Jewish book of laws - the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law)?  As the Talmud (Berachot 8a) tells us, since the day that the Temple was destroyed, Hashem has nothing in this world except for the FOUR cubits of Halacha.  Perhaps this is the reason why the Tur (the predecessor of the Shulchan Aruch) and the Shulchan Aruch is divided up into FOUR parts.  In any case, the FOURTH of these volumes is called Choshen Mishpat "Breastplate of Judgement", named after one of the eight garment pieces that the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) wore, which consisted of  Arba'ah Turim, four rows of stones which consisted of a total of 12 stones corresponding to the 12 Tribes, and it is based on this that the Halachic work was called the Tur (row), authored by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher, who is popular known by the masses as the Ba'al HaTurim (author of the Turim (rows)), whose commentary on the Chumash (Penteteuch), which includes Gematriot for the large part, is printed in various editions of the Chumash.

Having said this, the first of many sections of this Choshen Mishpat section of the Shulchan Aruch is called Hilchot Dayanim (Laws of Judges), noting that the first letter of the word Dayanim is Dalet=4.  And looking at the first chapter of this, it consists of six laws, of which it is the FOURTH law that begins with the letter Dalet, and I will quote this law right here - Dinei D'Geramei V'Chein Din HaMoser, Danin Oto Dayanim She'ainam Semuchim B'Eretz Yisrael "The laws of causes (of damages) and so too the law of one who tells on another Jew to the non-Jewish authorities - are judged (even) by judges who do not have their ordination from Israel (but rather, they were ordained outside of Israel, which is not as effective in other types of court cases as ordination in Israel)".  Anyways, we see in the first eight words of this law, the letter Dalet begins five of these eight words  And then in the FOURTH chapter, it begins with Yachol Adam La'asot Din L'Atzmo "A person can make judgement for himself", where the FOURTH word is Din (judgement) which begins with Dalet=4.

For additional information relating to the Sanhedrin, you can check out Post 71 (Jun '10).


Continuing on with the Sephirot combinations, the ninth such Sephira is Gevurah She'B'Gevurah "Strength within Strength".  Now particularly in the context of judgment, as Gevurah is sometimes synonymous with Din (judgement), another way of phrasing this Sephira is "Strict judgement within strict judgement".  

And continuing on in the Jewish calendar, the corresponding week to this Sephira is approximately 28 Cheshvan-4 Kislev, which includes Rosh Chodesh Kislev.  Now Kabbalistically, Kislev's corresponding letter is Samech.  And the reason that I mention this here is because now, I want to point out to the Gematria of Din - 64, which also means law, a synonym for the word Halacha, which is the Gematria of 60, just as the numerical value of Samech.  It seems that sometimes, the words Halacha and Din are used interchangeably. And while I am not here to discuss the practical diffrence between these synonyms, what I do want to point out is that the Gematria number of the word Din is FOUR more than the Gematria number of the word Halacha, aside from the fact that it is the letter Dalet=4 that begins the word Din.  For after all, as I mentioned a little earlier about the "FOUR cubits of Halacha".

Now, I will mention something as pertains to my previous post, where I dissected the word Dinar, one of the names of the types of coins in Mishnaic times, into two words - Din Reish - "Law of 200 (the letter Reish)" hinting to the fact that one who has 200 Zuzim was forbidden to take from Tzedaka, noting that the word Tzedaka is 199.  However, if one has "200 Zuzim MINUS one DINAR", which means that one has SLIGHTLY LESS than 200 Zuzim, then one is permitted to receive even 1,000 Zuzim at one time as Tzedaka.  For until one has COMPLETELY 200 Zuzim, even the slightest less missing one Dinar's worth qualified him for Tzedaka.  Hence, in this instance, it is a blessing for him to be missing one Dinar's worth of money, for he is without the Din Reish, which can also be interpreted as THE JUDGEMENT of 200, which would otherwise disqualify him from taking any Tzedaka, even though he would have far less than others who don't even feel the need to take Tzedaka who aren't affected by this law or judgement since they can well afford to take care of themselves.

Now, as I mentioned earlier in this post, the name of the letter Reish - whose letter is the numerical value of 200 - is etymologically related to the word Rahsh (destitute).  And the difference here is that Reish with a Yud signifies the concept of Ma'aser, tithing one tenth of one's crops or money to give to Tzedaka, to give to others who signify one number less - 199 instead of 200.  And then, even if one feels that one doesn't have enough for himself, barely getting by with 200, but gives to someone who is less fortunate than he is, then in the end, he will be paid tenfold by Hashem, as hinted in the phrase Aser T'Aser, the Torah using the double Hebrew wording for tithing, the words here or the word Ma'aser (tithe as the noun) being based on the word Eser (ten).  For in essence, he is giving the Ma'aser or Tzedaka to one who D'LEIT Leih M'Garmei Klum, a play on the name of the letter Dalet, which means "WHO DOESN'T HAVE anything for himself".  And having mentioned the word Tzedaka, it is actually based on the word Tzedek (justice), noting that the letter Dalet of these two words is the letter with the least Gematria value, just as in the words Sanhedrin and Din.

Having said this, the harshest of all the Sephirot combinations is Gevurah She'B'Gevurah, for it is strict justice mixed with strict justice.  This attribute is especially applicable in terms of Hashem punishing the nations for their sins, including their mistreatment of Jews, as mentioned in the writings of the Kedushas Levi, authored by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichov.  In any case, having mentioned that this is the ninth Sephira combination, the number nine is most related to the concept of darkness, as I have mentioned in a number of posts, the most obvious connection being that the NINTH of the 10 plagues that smote the Egyptians was DARKNESS, which was the last of the plagues to smite the Egyptians displaying the Sephira of Gevurah She'B'Gevurah before the final plague that involved a direct involvement of Chesed (kindness), for it was this final plague that convinced the Egyptians, and especially Pharaoh, to let the Jews leave Egypt (Note: Of course Hashem could have brought the Jews out of Egypt anytime that He wanted to.  However, He wanted it to be due to the will of the Egyptians as part of Hashem's displaying of His signs and wonders which were most displayed in the plagues that He visited upon them).

On the other side of the coin, the number nine displayed the ultimate level of Gevurah She'B'Gevurah with the destruction of both Temples on the NINTH of the month of Av, which is Kabbalistically represented by the letter Teit, which is the NINTH letter with a numerical value of NINE.  And at the very end of our long nearly 2,000 year exile, there will be (or has already started) the Chevlei Moshiach "Birth pangs of Moshiach", for the birth pangs or labor pains of a woman occur at the end of NINE months of pregnancy right before the newcomer into the world.
And as related to Yissaschar, he is the NINTH birth mentioned of the 12 sons of Jacob (Note: It doesn't necessarily mean that he was actually the ninth of the 12 sons to be born, but that his birth is the ninth mentioned, as Jacob had four women from whom he had his sons).  And according to one tradition, he was born on 10 Av, the date on which most of the burning of the Temple actually took place, for it was only at the end of the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av) that the burning started; and it is only because the beginning of a tragedy is considered the worst part of the tragedy that we fast on the 9th of Av, rather than on the 10th of Av; unless the 9th of Av falls out on Shabbat, in which case, the fasting and mourning of this fast day takes place on the 10th of Av.  Moreover, the Gematria of Yissaschar's name - 830, is the sum total of the years of the existance of both Temples - 410 years for the first, and 420 years for the second.

Also, of the Biblical women characters who correspond to the Sephirot, it is Devorah who corresponds to Gevurah; and as we see in Hebrew, the only difference of the letters in these two words is in one, it begins with a Gimel, and the other word begins with a Dalet (culled from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh's lectures). And in addition to Devorah's name beginning with a Dalet=4, the story about her in the Tanach, in Sefer Shoftim (Book of Judges) begins in the FOURTH verse of the FOURTH chapter.  This is especially to note that Devorah is the only judge ever in observant Jewish history to be a female judge, which is normally forbidden being that women have other roles to fill, especially as related to the family, but this was the sole exception. In any case, this highlights the connection of the Sephirah of Gevurah as relating to laws and judgement.

Now, on a more positive side to Gevurah, more than just punishing our enemies, we see in one context in the Tanach how it can displayed as a good thing as more directly related to us.  You see, King David states in Tehillim  "Whoever is going to talk of the STRENGTHS of Hashem (Gevurot Hashem), should let all of His praise be heard" (Psalms 106:2).  Now, one explanation of this is that this refers to saying all of the Tehillim, for as the see, the verse concludes with the word Tehilato (his praise) is etymologically related to the word Tehillim, which in fact includes parts that mentions of Hashem punishing our enemies, which is related especially to the Sephira of Gevurah She'B'Gevurah.


As I mentioned earlier, King David corresponds Kabbalistically to the holiday of Rosh Chodesh.  Noting that the first and last letters of his name is a Dalet, and the middle letter of the word Chodesh (month) is Dalet, it is most fascinating to note that the FOURTH Mitzva of the Torah is the sanctification of the New Moon by sight (which was abolished by Hillel II, head of the Sanhedrin, because of the hard times of exile, so he established today's Jewish calendar to be used until the Redemption and we have our Sanhedrin once more).  And as for King David himself, he is the FOURTH of the four parts of the Ma'asei Merkava (Holy Chariot, which is explained at length in Kabbala) following the three Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Now, getting to Rosh Chodesh Kislev, which is in the midst of the week that corresponds to the NINTH Sephira, the month of Kislev is itself the NINTH month - being that we count the Jewish months from Nissan, the month of our Redemption from Egypt.  And as related to Yissaschar, it was the heads of the Sanhedrin from THIS tribe who were in the forefront of establishing the rules of pronouncing Rosh Chodesh.
And as particularly for the Rosh Chodesh of this month, one of the evil Syrian Greek kings gave orders to the Jews to especially not observe Brit Mila (circumcison), Shabbat, and Chodesh (Rosh Chodesh).  And here, the question can be asked, why didn't the king forbid the Jewish holidays, rather than Rosh Chodesh, which is at best a minor holiday in which we are allowed to work.  However, the king knew all too well that the dates of the holidays was based on when Rosh Chodesh was set.

In time, the holiday of Chanuka came into being, which was a result of such evil decrees which were protested against, and it is Rosh Chodesh Kislev that is the HEAD of the month that includes the beginning of Chanuka marking our freedom from such decrees.  Accordingly, the significance and observance of lighting the Menorah lights on the eight nights of Chanuka helps us maintain our spiritual balance during the coming months of the winter period around the time that the nights are the longest, which represent the concept of NINE, for the ninth night from the beginning of Chanuka doesn't show any special spiritual significance now that Chanuka is over, but the spirituality of the 36 lights of Chanuka is what keeps us spiritually attuned from the ninth night and on, corresponding to the NINTH of Av on which we read the Book of Eicha (Lamentations), whose name Eicha, which is also the first word of this book of the Tanach, is the Gematria of 36 (See my 36th Post in Jul '09).

And finally, the letters of the word Rosh (head), as in the name of the beginning of any given Jewish month - Rosh Chodesh, have the same letters as the name of the Tribe of Asher, which was especially blessed with an abundance of olive oil in their portion of land in Israel.  For bearing in mind of the connection between Rosh Chodesh and Chanuka - aside from the fact that Rosh Chodesh Tevet always falls out during the midst of Chanuka - the prefered way of lighting the Menorah on Chanuka is with olive oil, the way that it was done in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple).  In fact, as related to the name of the month Tevet, the Avoda (Temple service) of cleaning and lighting the Menorah is called HATAVAT HaNeirot.  In fact, its interesting to note that Halachicly, the measure of oil for the Menorah in the Beit HaMikdash was the amount that would last during the long nights of the month of Tevet (half a "log", which was applicable even for the short summer nights).  And as Rashi notes, the Cohanim Gedolim (High Priests) were typically married to women from the Tribe of Asher.  Moreover, the month whose corresponding tribe is the Tribe of Asher is Shevat, the month following Tevet in the midst of the winter whose nights are the longest.   And as related to King David, who reigned for 501 months, corresponding to the Gematria of the word Rosh (Head), was annointed as king with olive oil, which is especially related to the Tribe of Asher, whose name has the same letters as the word Rosh.  And the future NEW HEAD of the Jewish people will soon be our long awaited Moshiach, a descendant of King David.

22 Tevet, 5774

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