MEASURE BY MEASURE

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.

 

THE SALVATION OF YITZCHAK

And it is written: ויאמר יצחק אל-אברהם אביו ויאמר אבי ויאמר הנני בני Vayomer Yitzchak el-Avraham aviv vayomer avi vayomer hineni veni, “And Yitzchak spoke unto Avraham his father, and said: ‘My father’. And he said: ‘Here am I, my son’”[1]. Note that the gematria albam of אבי avi “my father” is 370. Now, there are 370 lights (ShA Nehorin) which shine out of the “face of Arich Anpin”, the outer partzuf of Keter, and in so doing manifest tremendous good will and mercy. Thus, these 370 lights of kedusha/holiness are pure “states of chesed” (propensities to give). More so, they correspond to the two spelled-out (milui) Names Kel (alef-lamed) as such: Alef, alef-lamed-pei = 1 + 30 + 80 = 111. Lamed, lamed-mem-dalet = 30 + 40 + 4 = 74. 111 + 74 = 185 (the gematria of הפנים hapanim, “the face”, meaning the profile of a “cheek”). Thus, for the two Names Kel, we have: 2 x 185 = 370 (that is, two hapanim/cheeks). Therefore, the expression avi is a powerful conduit to bring down great mercies. Furthermore, this is intrinsically related to Avraham, the channel of chesed/kindness to the world, for the gematria of the name Yitzchak is eight times that of the Name Havayah (gematria 26): Yitzchak, yud-tzadik-chet-kuf = 10 + 90 + 8 + 100 = 208 = 8 x 26[2]. These eight Names Havayah are the eight “states of gevurah” (propensities to withhold) of Yitzchak (while Avraham has eight states of chesed), each one corresponding to one Name Havayah. Also, the 370 lights yield eight Names Kel, which together equal the numerical value of Avraham, to wit, Kel: alef-lamed = 31. 31 x 8 = 248. Avraham: alef-beit-reish-hei-mem = 1 + 2 + 200 + 5 + 40 = 248. So, as Yitzchak perceives the moment of great tension, his deep and humble call for avi/Avraham signifies the inner aspect of his being pleading for mercies to “sweeten” the gevurot/severities. We note Avraham’s (concealed) kindness and utter trust in Hashem in the secret of his immediate reply: הנני בני hineni veni, “Here I am my son”, with milui 776, that being the same as the gematria of the pasuk בטחו בה’ עדי-עד כי ביה ה’ צור עולמים “Trust you in the L-rd forever; for the L-rd G-d is an eternal Rock”[3]. Now, Avraham could not reveal his feelings for his son’s impending fate. Yet, he was overwhelmed with emotions, and secretly shed tears when replying to his son, as shown in the gematria of hineni veni being 177, the same numerical value of זעק za’ak “to cry out”. Nevertheless, his cry was with the unhesitant intention to act, fulfilling G-d’s command[4], for as written: והאמן בה’ ויחשבה לו צדקה “And he believed in the L-rd; and He counted it to him for righteousness”[5]. The gematria of this pasuk is 696, as it is of עתיק יומין Atik Yomin, the inner partzuf of Keter, which is enclothed by Arich Anpin. We see here how intimately is the association of Avraham and the Name Kel, which corresponds to Keter/ShA Nehorin.

The pasuk continues: הנה האש והעצים ואיה השה לעלה, “Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?” with reshei tevot ההווהל has gematria atbash 450, this being the numerical value of מררי Merari. The Ari”zal explains regarding the sons of Merari[6] (meaning “bitter”), that “They manifest the hardest and most bitter states of gevurah in the yesod of Nukva that do not ascend. For were they to ascend, they would make the higher states of gevurah bitter”[7]. Therefore, in this imminent moment of rigor, “fire and wood” are the embodiments of gevurah, as it is known[8], which are made bitterer through the basic doubts and fears expressed by the question ואיה השה לעלה “Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?” with gematria avgad 613. This is the same numerical value as בגבורת b’gevurot, “with severities”. Now, I understand that, as these bitter states of gevurah “do not ascend”[9], Yitzchak avinu does nothing with these primary emotions. That is, no action is taken (he did not try to escape from his father[10]) since at a basic human level, these emotions are too much a matter of pure feelings to be diverted to the path leading toward practical action. More importantly, by subjugating these primary emotional responses, he “sweetens” them. This is a major part of his test, that is, the fact that these feelings do not ascend and negatively affect his mentality. Otherwise, ‘they would make the higher states of gevurah bitter’, to wit, he could have thought of fleeing from this test. However, he “conspicuously honored his father”[11]. Still, Yitzchak sought understanding, as the pshat shows and as hinted by the gematria avgad of the sofei tevot (השםההה) being 474, the same numerical value of da’at (dalet-ayin-tav = 4 + 70 + 400 = 474). ויאמר אברהם אלקים יראה-לו השה לעלה בני וילכו שניהם יחדו Vayomer Avraham Elokim yirelo hase leola beni vayelchu sheneihem yachdav, “And Avraham said: ‘G-d will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son’. So they went both of them together”[12]. This verse’s reshei tevot (ואאילהלבושי) has gematria 401, the same as ישעיהו Yeshayahu, “Salvation of Kah/G-d”[13]. We see that the Akedat Yitzchak/Sacrifice of Yitzchak is actually a narrative of the salvation that G-d performs on the merit of the patriarch. Salvation is a deliverance from death – a preservation of חיים chayim “life” (chet-yud-yud-mem = 8 + 10 + 10 + 40 = 68), also the ordinal gematria of Yeshayahu.

 

[1] Bereshit 22:7, Vayeira.

[2] The Ari”zal, Sha’ar HaPesukim, Lech Lecha.

[3] Isaiah 26:4.

[4] See vayizak in Esther 4:1.

[5] Bereshit 15:6.

[6] Shemot 6:19.

[7] Likutei Torah, Bamidbar.

[8] Also hinted by the number 671, the gematria avgad of האש והעצים, the same as ארץ מצרי eretz Mitzrayim, “land of Egypt”, a place of utter bitterness.

[9] For these being are the five states of gevurah, each one of which is a type of mayin nukvin/feminine water.

[10] See Zohar 103a, Vayeira.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Bereshit 22:8.

[13] The Hebrew name of the prophet Isaiah.

 

LOT’S OF PROBLEMS

As it is written: הפרד נא מעלי Hipared na me-alai, “Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me”[1]. Avraham knew that his nephew Lot was evil. He had an unstable character that could not be redeemed. In fact, the gematria of the reshei tevot (הנמ) is 95, the same numerical value of פחז pachaz, “unstable”[2]. Lot failed to admonish his herdsmen, he wanted to give away his daughters in Sodom, and ultimately because of his drinking he had illicit relations with them. Therefore, Avraham thought with his great wisdom how to rid himself of this rasha, who was thwarting his path to perfect himself. This is hinted in the gematria of הפרד נא מעלי being 490, the same numerical value of תמים tamim, “perfect”, as if to say: “Leave, so I can be perfect with G-d”[3]. He then proceeded saying: הלא כל-הארץ לפניך “Is not the whole land before you?”[4]. The pasuk’s gematria hides Avraham’s feeling about Lot, for its numerical value is 572. And this is the same gematria as ברשע Birsha[5], the name of the evil king of Gomorrah, which means “with wickedness/iniquity”. So, the verse can be understood as if saying: “You, who is filled with iniquity, see what is there for you!”[6]. Now, when Avraham then said אם-השמאל ואימנה ואם-הימין ואשמאילה “If you will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left”, he was gracefully suggesting a way out for Lot, so as to be free from this evil. Beyond the pshat, this is also hinted in the gematria albam of this pasuk’s reshei tevot (אהווהו) being 410, the same numerical value as דרור dror, “freedom”. More specifically, this is the “freedom not to be under the domain of others and to dwell wherever one sees fit”[7]. Thus, Avraham spoke in a manner suggesting Lot’s freedom from his “stifling” ways. Truly, righteousness was a domain not fit to have Lot nearby, for while being close to Avraham, the rasha derived spiritual nourishing from him. This was so, because in order to exist, every form of evil must cling and derive its sustenance from some form of kedusha, of which it is a fallen and corrupted version. However, he had to convince Lot to voluntarily separate from him, for otherwise he could have insisted in remaining at his side to continue deriving material and spiritual benefits. More so, since the patriarch had gone to Eretz Israel, and only there he could arouse the supernal unions of Z’eir Anpin and Nukva, it became imperative that Lot part from him now, to avoid hindering Avraham’s new spiritual heights[8] and the beneficence to be brought to the world through these holy unions. Continuing, Lot then looked up וירא את-כל-ככר הירדן Vayar et-kol-kikar haYarden, “And beheld all the plain of the Jordan[9]. The gematria atbash of the reshei tevot (אתלרן) is 433. This is the same numerical value as גלת galut[10], “exile”, and משפחה mishpacha, “family”. And what did Lot see? Since his uncle’s path was already discarded from his heart, he then chose the “other” (evil) path, as he consulted his idols[11]. And so they fooled him[12] into seeing two futures: one, with the harshness of exile yet rich in material possibilities, and another, with the wellbeing of building a family and its rewards. He then decided to take his chances and go to the East. Now, in doing so he completely rejected the ways of Hashem taught by his uncle and mentor Avraham. A hint to that, the ordinal gematria of ויסע לוט מקדם Vayisa Lot mikedem, “And Lot journeyed east”[13] and the gematria absolute of מלחמה milchamah, “war/conflict” have both the same numerical value of 123. Moreover, the word mi-kedem, “from the East” is equivalent to mi-Kadmono, “[distancing] from the Ancient One”[14]. Ultimately, he met his ill fate[15] finding both futures, to wit, galut through his family[16]. And so Lot was no more[17] in the Torah.

THE TEXT CONTINUES IN THE NEW UPCOMING BOOK…

[1] Bereshit 13:9, Lech Lecha. This was a moment of great tension as hinted in the verse’s ordinal gematria being 112, the same numerical value as יבק Yabok, the river symbolizing the struggle of good and evil (Bereshit 32:25).

[2] As in פחז כמים pachaz k’mayim, “unstable as waters” (Bereshit 49:4).

[3] Later echoed as התהלך לפני והיה תמים “Walk before Me, and be perfect” (Bereshit 17:1).

[4] Ibid. Bereshit.

[5] Bereshit 14:2.

[6] Similarly, “Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him who does not know Kel/G-d” (Job 18:21).

[7] Rashi on Vayikra 25:10.

[8] There are other issues which are beyond the scope of this text. See the Ari”zal, Sefer HaLikutim, Lech Lecha.

[9] Bereshit 13:10.

[10] This word is spelled haser, “defective” (without the letter Vav).

[11] See Zohar 84a, Lech Lecha.

[12] See Jeremiah 10:14.

[13] Bereshit 13:11.

[14] Ibid. Zohar. In fact, Lot’s journey towards the East is a code to his desire to further his knowledge of sorcery and witchcraft. This is hinted in the Zohar, which says: “It was said that those who teach sorcery to men are found in the east mountains. And from the east country came לבן Lavan,  ובעורBeor,  ובלעם בנוhis son Bila’am and all the sorceress” (133b. Chayei Sarah). The gematria of ובלעם בנו ובעור לבן is 572, incredibly, the same as ברשע Birsha, the evil king of Gomorrah, as before mentioned in association with Lot. And its reshei tevot is לווב, which with the kolel has gematria 45, that being the same numerical value as לוט Lot.

[15] We could say he had a “taste” of his idol’s falsehood, as a tzeruf/anagram of the sofei tevot (semantically meaning, “at the end of the matter”) of Vayisa Lot mikedem spells טעם taam, “taste”.

[16] Referring to the illicit relationships with his two daughters (Bereshit 19:32).

[17] Save for his name being referenced in parashat Devarim, chapter 2, verses 9 and 19.

 

THE MATRIARCH’S ABDUCTION

And as it is written: וינגע ה’ את-פרעה נגעים גדלים ואת-ביתו על-דבר שרי אשת אברם “And the L-rd plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife”[1]. As the Torah brings in this holy parsha, due to a severe famine in the land, Avram and his family had to travel to Egypt where there was an abundance of resources. The patriarch Avram was a wise and righteous man, and he had already had contact with Hashem, which spiritually elevated him even more so. His perception of reality was advanced, so in order to prevent possible problems before entering Egypt, he requested his wife Sarai to affirm being his sister and not his spouse. Avram knew that the Egyptians were idolaters and that they were not guided by any moral code that would stop them from kidnapping Sarai if they knew she was Avram’s wife. Now, as his sister, perhaps they would leave her alone. However, when the Egyptians saw Sarai’s extraordinary beauty, she ended up being taken captive to Pharaoh. And he desired her. Still, ולאברם היטיב בעבורה Ule’Avram heitiv baavura, “And he dealt well with Avram for her sake”[2], for he presumed[3] that such kind dealings would be enough to calm the patriarch’s feelings, so he would judge him positively, although his wife had been captured. In fact, Pharaoh gave Avram much cattle and slaves in the hopes to bribe the feelings of the holy man. Yet, Avram knew from divine inspiration who in fact was this evil master of the occult. A hint to that, the gematria of this pasuk is 600, the same numerical value as שקר sheker, “lie”. The Torah narrates that it was then that Hashem punished the Pharaoh and his house for having just thought of touching the holy matriarch, chaz v’shalom. And Rashi explains על-דבר שרי al-devar Sarai, “because of Sarai etc.”, as such: “Through her word [came the punishments]. She instructed the malach/angel: הך hach, ‘Strike!’, and then he would [obey and] strike them”. See, Pharaoh was connected to the “forces of externality” (“Evil”) which only exist through a minimal nourishment given “behind one’s back/posterior” (אחוריים achorayim) of Holiness[4], as hinted when he begins speaking to Avram: ויקרא פרעה Vayikra Faro, “And Pharaoh called …”, with gematria atbash 633, the same as achorayim. And the Torah continues revealing Pharaoh’s astonishment, who then said: מה-זאת עשית לי Ma-zot asita li, “What is this that thou hast done unto me?”[5], with the reshei tevot/acrostic (מזעל) that forms the expression ע מזל ayin mazal, signifying “the ‘Divine Nothing’ [Hashem] is the spiritual root”. And the end of this verse למה לא-הגדת לי כי אשתך הוא Lama lo-higadta li ki ishtecha hiv, “Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?” has the sofei tevot/final letters האתייךא, with gematria 927, the same as ממקור ישראל mi-mekor Israel, “from the fountain of Israel”. As such, Pharaoh’s perplexity hid his understanding about Avram and Sarai, that “Hashem is the spiritual root from the fountain of Israel”. Although Pharaoh was terrified by the plagues that afflicted him, still he did not recognize Hashem, the G-d of Avram. Quickly, he sent them to be escorted out of Egypt, as the Torah relates[6]. Now, the reshei tevot of the verse וינגע ה’ את-פרעה נגעים גדלים ואת-ביתו “And the L-rd plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues” is ויאפנגוב, with gematria albam 589. This is the gematria (sofit version) of ואבימלך ve’Avimelech, “And Abimelech”. Moreover, in the sequence of this pasuk, the reshei tevot of על-דבר שרי al-devar Sarai is עדש, with gematria atbash 109, the same as gematria of ואבימלך ve’Avimelech, “And Abimelech”! In a secret level, the Torah alerts us about a character that until now had not appeared: Abimelech. More so, another hint regarding the future appears here, as the gematria of הך hach, “strike” is 505, that being the same numerical value of שרה Sarah, but not שרי Sarai – the matriarch’s name up to this point in the Torah’s narrative.

And so time passed, and after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah[7] Avraham and Sarah journeyed again[8]. Therefore, they went to Gerar, in the land of the Philistines. However, before entering this land, Avraham sensed that something needed to be done to prevent, hopefully, his wife Sarah form being approached by this people. The Philistines (Heb. Pelishtim) were known by their great sensual indulgencies and adoration of the entire Canaanite pantheon. Now, the name פלשתים Pelishtim derives from the Hebrew root pei-lamed-shin, signifying “overdoing it”. Over-indulgence in the sensuality of this world renders a person spiritually closed and “clogged up”, impervious to Divine inspiration and insensitive to the inner reality of life and its experiences. Avraham knew this, for Hashem was at his side, divinely inspiring him. And it was then thatאבימלך מלך גרר Avimelech melech Gerar, “Abimelech king of Gerar[9] sent his men to take and bring Sarah to him. The gematria of this verse is 598, the same as איש-מרמה ish-mirmah, “deceitful man”[10], a secret regarding his nature. Although Avraham again could not stop the abduction of Sarah, Hashem was with him and his wife. Therefore, Hashem appeared in a dream to Abimelech saying he would die for having taken Sarah against her will. In fact, “Abimelech never came close to her, המלאך מנעו ‘because he was hindered by an angel’”[11]. The king of Gerar then spoke to Hashem claiming his Noachide righteousness, which kept him away from transgressions. However, Hashem told to him that without His intervention, indeed he would have sinned. Hashem then orders Abimelech to return Sarah to her husband, and He calls Avraham a prophet, saying he would pray for Abimelech so the plagues would cease. As such, perturbed with these experiences, Abimelech tries with wisdom and reason to defend and gain favor for his position with Avraham, thus affirming his purported righteousness: ויקרא אבימלך Vayikra Avimelech, “And Abimelech called…” with gematria albam 1200, the same numerical value as two times שקר sheker, “lie”. The Torah continues revealing the astonishment of Abimelech, who then said: מה-עשית לנו Me-asita lanu, “What have you done unto us?”[12], with reshei tavot לעמ la’Am, “to the people”, for Abimelech was very much bothered that Avraham suspected that his people had taken his wife, being that this was forbidden by the Seven Laws of Noach – a capital crime. Thus responds Avraham: כי אמרתי רק אין-יראת אלקים במקום הזה Ki amarti rak ein-yirat Hashem bamakom haze, “Surely the fear of G-d is not in this place”[13]. The reshei tevot of this verse (כאראיאבה) has gematria avgad 365, prophetically revealing the number of negative mitzvot given to Israel at Sinai. For a place where the fear of G-d really exists, none of these commandments are transgressed. Therefore, Avraham, a name with gematria 248 (as the number of positive mitzvot), represents the completeness in the Divine service that only a prophet has, as alluded by 365 + 248 = 613 mitzvot. The Torah brings Abimelech’s the wisdom and reason, however Avraham does not concede to it, because he knew that despite these inferior wisdoms, Abimelech and his people did not have fear of G-d. In fact, the holy Zohar says, “Abimelech and his people worshiped the stars and constellations. And Abimelech was an astrologer”[14]. He and his people were not true Noachides, although they thought of themselves as such. It is for this reason the pasuk ends: והרגוני על-דבר אשתי Vaharaguni al-devar ishti, “And they will slay me for my wife’s sake”, with gematria ordinal 172, the same numerical value as two times the Name אלקים Elokim, which is associated to the severe judgments. Everyone that finds himself in a dangerous situation, his merits are examined[15]. Since they were not Noachides, then Avraham feared for his life.

At last, the moral here is that, where the fear of G-d is absent, wisdom and abstract knowledge of the law are not enough to overcome the evil inclination. And for a truly righteous man, all of these realities are revealed and he always influences them, even while keeping a calm and peaceful posture, for ה’ ילחם לכם ואתם תחרשון Hashem yilachem lachem veatem tacharishun, “The L-rd shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace!”[16], with gematria ordinal (plus five for the kolel of each word) equal to 243, the same numerical value of אברם Avram.

 

[1] Bereshit 12:17, Lech Lecha.

[2] Bereshit 12:16.

[3] Since common woman were devalued in his society.

[4] As if throwing food to an enemy from the back.

[5] Bereshit 12:18.

[6] In verse 20.

[7] Bereshit 19:24-25, Vayeira.

[8] To distance themselves from Lot (Rashi in loco).

[9] Bereshit 20:2.

[10] Tehilim 43:1.

[11] Rashi on Bereshit 20:4. This hindrance came in the form of a deep darkness, hinted by the milui gematria of מנעו being 328, the same as חשך ”darkness”.

[12] Bereshit 20:9.

[13] Ibid. 20:11.

[14] 140b, Toledot.

[15] Talmud, Shabbat 32a.

[16] Shemot 14:14.

 

TIME FOR ATONEMENT

It was two years ago, when on 8 of Tishrei 5774, after mincha/afternoon prayer in the erev-erev/two days before Yom Kippur, I first thought of studying the parshas Vezot HaBracha (yom chamishi/fifth day). The time of the shkiah/sunset was approaching and soon we were going for kaparot – the ancient Jewish ritual for atonement of sins, performed before Yom Kippur. However, before leaving I was moved strongly to study the first pasuk/verse of this parshas’ fifth reading, which says: ולדן אמר דן גור אריה יזנק מן הבש U’leDan amar Dan gur ariye yezanek min-haBashan, “And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion’s whelp, that leapeth forth from Bashan” (Devarim 33:22, Vezot HaBracha). Therefore, I was instructed to investigate the rashei tavot of דן גור אריה Dan gur ariye, being the letters dalet-gimel-alef with gematria 8, just as today’s date, 8 of Tishrei. Moreover, I saw that the gematria atbash of this rashei tavot was equal to 700, that being the same numerical value as the word כפרת kaparot. Immediately, I was filled with a spirit of awe of G-d and exclaimed: “Truly, today is a time for atonement”, baruch Hashem.

 

THE SWORD

And it is written: אם-שנותי ברק חרבי ותאחז במשפט ידי אשיב נקם לצרי ולמשנאי אשלם Im-shanoti barak charbi vetochez bemishpat yadi ashiv nakam letsarai velimsanai ashalem, “If I sharpen my glittering sword, and My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine adversaries, and will recompense them that hate Me” (Devarim 32:41, Ha’azinu). I was meditating in this pasuk/verse, when my thoughts took me to מתושלח Metushalach/Methuselah (Bereshit 5:21). On these ancient pre-diluvian times, the forces of evil were totally revealed, and the earth was amply populated by Nefilim/Fallen Angels, giants and shedim/demons. Metushalach was a righteous and holy man who knew the secrets of the universe passed onto him by his father חנוך Enoch: an extremely holy and singular man who “walked with G-d” (Bereshit 5:22) and kept the secrets of the world passed onto him since Adam. In fact, we see the great blessing of Metushalach in the gematria atbash of his name, with the numerical value of 173, the same as the verse אנכי ה’ אלקיך Anochi Hashem Elokecha, “I am the L-rd your G-d” (Shemot 20:2). In time, Metushalach transmitted the spiritual realities of the Torah to his grandson Noach (Bamidbar Rabah 4:8). Truly, Metushalach was an agent of G-d used to subjugate the revealed evil on earth. His own name announced his holy function: מתו Metu/Death ושלח Shalach/Messenger – he was the “Messenger of Death” for the wicked, like an angel. See, the gematria albam of מתושלח Metushalach plus one for the kolel equals 214, the numerical value of the word ruach/spirit (reish-vav-chet, 200 + 6 + 8 = 214). The ancient Midrashim relate that he possessed a sword with the Divine Name of G-d (the “Tetragram“) inscribed in it on both sides of the sword’s blade. In his great kedusha/holiness, he used this blessed weapon to slaughter millions of demons, only stopping with the killing after a long time and destruction of these plagues. This happened when the king of the shedim himself (a name I will not reveal) implored to be spared from being killed, promising that the shedim would hide far away from the cities, in the seas, rivers and caves. At last, in respect of Metushalach‘s mourning, who passed away at 969 years of age, Hashem delayed for seven days the Mabul/Deluge in the generation of Noach (Bereshit Rabah 3:6; Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b).

Now, the rashei tevot/acrostic of Im-shanoti barak charbi, “If I sharpen my glittering sword” (alef-shin-bet-chet, 1 + 300 + 2 + 8) has gematria absolute 311, the same as איש ish/man and האשה ha-ishah/the woman. And the sofeit tevot/end letters (mem-yud-kuf-yud, 40 + 10 + 100 + 10) have gematria 160, the same as צלם tzelem/shadow (tzadik-lamed-mem, 90 + 30 + 40 = 160). The Ari”zal explains that “The feminine tzelem is the force – meaning the states of gevurah – that guard the soul from damage. However, opposite to this shadow there is the shadow of evil” (Sefer HaLikutim, Bo). Thus, I understand this: the reference to the feminine shadow of evil means the forces that seek to abduct the vital energy from the “seeds” of men, as they may be spilled inappropriately, in vain. We see that the “glittering sword” that is guarded represents to the Jew, the zeal with his Brit Kodesh (and to the Nations, although in a lesser degree, the keeping of the mitzva of “not having illicit relations”). Thus as the masters teach, “Be ye afraid of the sword… that ye may know there is a judgment” (Shemot Rabah 30:24 citing Iyov 19:29), where the sword – here pronounced shadun/judgement, but written shedim/demon – is a symbol for decrees. The sword with the Tetragram possesses the Brit Kodesh spiritual power, in this way slaughtering the shedim with its shadun. Thus, when this shechita, the Torah‘s ritual slaughter is mystically performed on the shedim, their “blood” – to wit, their vital energy – are also shedim; in the same way and manner that in the Makah/Plague of the Tzefardeah/Frogs in Mitzrayim/Egypt – when someone would hit them, they in turn multiplied (Rashi on Shemot 8:2). However, metaphorically, if the sword is “sharp” (that is, is there is zeal with the Brit, again, a subject strictly Jewish), all of these “sons of the demoniacal plague” die as well. Now, if there is a mistake in the shechita, because the sword had flaws in the blade (for the Torah ritual slaughter blade must be perfect in order to validate the shechita*) or in the kavanot/mystical intentions at the time of the act, this can bring tza’arot/problems with the shedim that survive in the vital force from the minute drops spilled in vain. This is so, because as it is known, a wounded animal is always more dangerous. See, the sword is glittering and deadly to the evil forces, because the sparkling lights of holiness annul and destroy the inferior light of evil. This barak/glitter from the sword is like a “flash of light” (ref. Ezequiel 21:15; see Rashi on Devarim 32:41, Ha’azinu). In the same manner, the demons are a flash of light for those who unfortunately come to glimpse at them. Therefore, it is written in this parsha,  מזי רעב ולחמי רשף וקטב מרירי Mezei raav ulechumei reshef veketev meriri, “They will sprout hair from famine, attacked by demons [reshef] excised by Meriri, etc.” (Devarim 32:24, Ha’azinu). In fact, another translation for רשף reshef is “fiery bolt [of light]”. These plagues fly upwards (see Iyov 5:7) in the appearance of rays, but the glittering sword voids them completely. As such, we see that the barak charvi which is the Brit Kodesh proper, can be used for good – through the appropriate marital relations that care for the procreating organ – or to evil, if it is profaned (and in the case of the Nations, although there is no Brit, the illicit sexual relations, profane the person). Incredibly, the gematria atbash of חרב cherev/sword is 363, that being the same numerical value as HaMashiach/The Messiah, or the world’s “nemesis”, HaNachash/The Serpent. All in the world depends on orientation: if to evil, delaying Mashiach and giving strength to the side of the Serpent, chaz v’shalom, or to good – speeding up the coming of the true Mashiach, very soon in our days amen.

 

*  The actual knife used for shechita is called a חלף hallaf by Ashkenazim or a סכין sakin by all other Jews. Mystically, we see the power of judgement in the essence of the knife, as the gematria atbash of חלף is 86, the same as the Elokim, the Divine Name associated with judgement. Moreover, this knife is the tool for kosher ritual slaughter for Torah all permited animals (such as cattle etc.). A hint to that, the gematria albam of hallaf is 107, the same as for כל הבהמה kol habehema, “all the cattle”. The sakin also has inner meaning and secrets, for its gematria albam is 707, the same numerical value as ‘תרומה לה teruma la-Hashem, “The L-rd’s offerings”, referring to the ritually slaughtered sacrifices brought to the altar.

 

AMEN!

It is written in this holy parsha: וחרה אפי בו ביום-ההוא ועזבתים והסתרתי פני מהם והיה לאכל ומצאהו רעות רבות וצרות ואמר ביום ההוא הלא על כי-אין אלקי בקרבי מצאוני הרעות האלה ,ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני ביום ההוא על כל-הרעה אשר עשה כי פנה אל-אלקים אחרים “Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our G-d is not among us? And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods” (Devarim 31:17-18).

Now, to turn unto “other gods” is a code for any disconnection from Hashem. This can occur in its most revealed manner in any kind of idolatry – a perversion of Divine consciousness – or in the disdaining of His laws, ordinances and guidance. All matters and nothing is left without accountability. Each act, emotions and thoughts are registered Above. Each aspect of a being is seen and judged by its merits or fault. And the celestial scale is perfect, for His is the Judge of Truth. Even a “simple” Amen* has incalculable weight. See, “We have learnt that he who descends to אבדון Avadon, the place [in Gehinnom/Hell] also called תחתית Tachtit, ‘bottom’, never ascends again, and he is called ‘a man who has been wiped out from all worlds’. And we have learnt that to this place they take down those who scorn to answer Amen [when they hear a legitimate Torah bracha/blessing], and for all the Amens which they have neglected they are judged in Gehinnom and taken down to that lowest storey which has no outlet, and from which they never ascend” (Zohar 286a, Vayelech). And I saw that the gematria of Avadon (alef-bet-dalet-vav-nun, ou 1 + 2 + 4 + 6 + 50) is 63, that being the same numerical value of the letters samech and gimel (60 + 3). These two letters together form the root of the word for “dross” [SiGim], as in the verse, “Everyone is dross, completely foul” (Tehillim 53:4).

Now, it is the individual’s gas ruach (“crude spirit”) that makes him scorn Hashem and His Torah, as in the fundamental act of testimony and sanctification of His Name: saying Amen for a bracha. And the Zohar is so forceful about this, thus we can infer that to deny saying Amen to a bracha is the quintessence of an arrogant man’s crude spirit. The proud man is one who prostrates to other gods, particularly to the biggest of them all: his “interior god”. Hence, the reason for his punishment being so severe, as described in this terrifying verse of the Torah. Behold, the only tzeruf/anagram of SaG is GaS; and the gematria albam of Avadon plus the kolel is 214, the same gematria of ruach (reish-vav-chet = 200 + 6 + 8 = 214), meaning spirit. Avadon is truly the place for those with a gas ruach. And for those that dare not to believe that these punishments will follow him even beyond the grave – a time of retributions – the Torah reveals it is otherwise. As the Torah is a Divine message, each letter and verse are infinite portals of understanding. All truths of the universe exist therein. Regarding those who ignore Hashem, the pasuk/verse says, ומצאהו רעות רבות וצרות umetsauhu raot rabot vetsarot, “and many evils and troubles shall come upon them”, with gematria albam 728: the same numerical value of the expression חיים אחר המות chayim achar hamot “life after death”. There is life even after the physical life, and the Divine Reckoning will follow as promised in the Torah. And even when we treat something that seems to be so “minor”, as a simple Amen, if this is scorned, then “many evils and troubles shall come upon them”, incredibly, with gematria katan 91: the same numerical value of the word Amen (alef-men-nun, 1 + 40 + 50 = 91); and the gematria atbash is 1309, the same as מהתחתנות mehaTachtonot, “from the bottom”. It is time to awaken!

* Amen is a reshei tevot/acrostic of KEl Melekh Ne’eman (Talmud, Shabbat 119b).