And it is written: כאשר צוה ה’ את משה ויפקדם במדבר סיני Ka’asher tsiva Hashem et-Moshe vayifkedem bemidbar Sinai, “As YKVK commanded Moshe, so he counted them in the wilderness of Sinai[1]. See, this verse’s gematria is 2012, that is 4 x 503, this being the numerical value of המחנת ha-machanet, “the encampment”. And the parsha brings[2] how each one of the shevatim/tribes was positioned in the desert. There were four encampments situated in different positions, and each machaneh consisted of three tribes. Now, the gematria of vayifkedem bemidbar Sinai is 618, that being the same numerical value as בריתו berito, “Your pact”. And as it is explained, “When He came to cause His Divine Presence to rest among them, He counted them”[3] in order to bless them. Furthermore, the holy Zohar comments: “We do not find another counting among Israel by which they received blessings from it as in this count, because this counting was purposely meant for a blessing”[4]. He counted the people to bring them the strength of the Shechina to direct and to interact with them. For the Shechina vitalizes the people, as She is the source of the blessings[5]. The pact further strengthened the people much like a ship that is docked at the pier, but that is always subject to the strong and constant movements of the waves that could carry it away. So, in order to firmly secure and protect the ship, it is necessary to wind many times the ropes that connect the ship’s anchor to the pier’s post. Truly, the count united the Shechina with the Bnei Israel above and below, as this was a pact through which new brachot came down to them through the Divine conduit of their original pact at Matan Torah. See, the ribua perati (“individual squaring”) of the ordinal gematria of בריתו berito is: (bet, 22 = 4) + (reish, 202 = 400) + (yud, 102 = 100) + (tav, 222 = 484) + (vav, 62 = 36) = 1024, this being the same gematria of בתורתיו beTorotav, “Your Torah[6]. The number 1024 alludes to the wholeness of the two Torot – the Written and the Oral. More so, 210 = 1024, where the power of 10 indicates the perfection of each one of them[7]. And the gematria atbash plus the kolel of beTorotav is 506, this being the same numerical value of הראש ha-rosh, “the head”. Through the counting of the people, YKVK distinguishes the Bnei Israel from the nations, “Because they were dear to Him”[8]. And ישראל Israel is a tzeruf of לי ראש Li rosh, “A head for me”[9].


[1] Bamidar 1:19, Bamidbar.

[2] Starting on Bamidbar 2:3.

[3] Rashi on Bamidbar 1:1.

[4] 117b, Bamidbar.

[5] See Maggid Mesharim, Bamidbar.

[6] Daniel 9:10. To better understand the gematria operation used here, in the ordinal gematria (mispar siduri) each of the 22 letters is given an equivalent from one to twenty-two. For example, alef equals 1, kaf equals 11, tav = 22. The final kaf equals 23 etc. In the text above, each individual letter of בריתו was examined in its ordinal gematria, then squared. The ribua perati is the summing of the squares of each letter that make up the word.

[7] In Kabbalah, squaring signifies maturation and development, while a power of ten is Divine perfection.

[8] Rashi on Bamidbar 1:1.

[9] The Ari”zal, Sha’ar HaPesukim, Vayeitzei.


And it is written: ויהיו חיי שרה מאה שנה ועשרים שנה ושבע שנים שני חיי שרה Vayihyu chayei Sarah mea shana veesrim shana vesheva shanim shenei chayei Sarah, “And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah” (Bereshit 23:1, Chaiye Sarah). The Talmud (Sanhedrin 95a) relates something extraordinary regarding king David and his nephew Avishai. At a certain time, they were involved in a ferocious fight against the giant Yishbi B’Nov, Goliath‘s brother. And I saw that the death of this wicked giant that tried hard to kill David (just as his brother Goliath had done so in the past, in II Samuel 22), was a tikkun/rectification for the matriarch Sarah’s death. See, in this piece of the Talmud it is related that David and Avishai realized that even together, they did not have sufficient strength to put an end to this giant of evil. There are various extraordinary details on this account (including the use of Shemot Kodashim/Holy Names to alter the reality in favor of David HaMelech/king David), but here I shall not tell them. At last, they attempted a new tactic to kill the perverse: They said to Yishbi B’Nov: “Go e find your mother Orpah in the grave, for we have killed her!” And so it was that, when they mentioned his mother’s name and said they had killed her, the giant’s strength was depleted in full, and then they killed him. Now, the Midrash reveals the known passage regarding the Satan, who visited Sarah when Avraham and Yitzchak were in the Mount Moriyah for the Akedat Yitzchak/Sacrifice of Isaac. When she heard from the Satan the news that fulfilling G-d’s command, Avraham was going to sacrifice Yitzchak like a korban/offering, “Her soul flew away and she passed away” (Rashi on Bereshit 23:1; Pirkei d’Rabi Eliezar etc.). “Apparently”, the side of evil prevailed here, chaz v’shalom, for the stress caused in the holy mother of the patriarch Yitzchak stroke her down. However, truly the side of good prevailed, making a tikkun, for the stress caused in the giant with the news of his mother’s passing allowed that this great agent of evil could be slaughter, midah k’neged midah/measure by measure. Moreover, the Sages of the Torah explain that שני חיי שרה shenei chayei Sarah, “these were the years of the life of Sarah” signifies that “All of them were equally good” (Rashi on Bereshit 23:1). She lived her life fully, and when her time here was completed, she lacked nothing to complete her mission. All was perfect, as we see hinted in the gematria atbash of shenei chayei Sarah being 286. This is the numerical value of the gematria of the Tetragram/YKVK (gematria 26) times 11. And the numerical value of 11 is the gematria of the word טב tov, “good” (written haser, without the Vav). As such, since multiplication psychologically signifies the strengthening in stages”, we see that at each stage of the life of Sarah, all was good (26 x 11 = 286). From the beginning to the end, her life was blessed. See, the sofei tevot/end letters of חיי שרה chaiye Sarah, “life of Sarah” are the two letters yud and hei, which form the Divine Name Kah/G-d. Truly, all follows always in accordance to the Divine Plan.