YOUR THRONE OF KINGDOM

And it is written: וישב ה’ לי כצדקתי כברי לנגד עיניו Vayashev Hashem li ke’tsidkati kevori leneged einav, “Therefore hath the L-rd recompensed me according to my righteousness/tzedakah, according to my cleanness in His eyes” (Shmuel II 22:25). And the ordinal gematria (mispar siduri) of Vayashev Hashem li ke’tsidkati is 187. This is the same numerical value as the expression כסא המלוכה Kise hamelucha, “Throne of kingdom” (Melachim I 1:46). This needs to be explained, with the help of Heaven. Each person is supposed to give strength to the Kingdom of Heaven, so in this way he can help subjugate the Kingdom of the Other Side (sitra achra). This occurs when the person fulfills and studies Torah with enthusiasm and sincerity. When the individual gives strength to the side of kedusha/sanctity, his own “personal kingdom” – his malchut – is strengthened by the brachot/blessings from Hashem. As it is written, “The way of Hashem are righteous, and the righteous walk in them, whereas the sinners stumble in them” (Hoshea 14:10). When the person walks in righteousness and makes justice/tzedakah (where righteousness, justice and charity, in Hebrew, all have the same root), he is allowed to sit in his own “Throne of kingdom”, that is, he is permitted to have a blessed life, balanced and with peace. Those distant from Hashem walk in remorse, chaos e interior emptiness. Their lives never have peace. This pasuk of Shmuel also teaches that kevori leneged einav, “According to my cleanness in His eyes”. In giving tzedakah, the person rectifies himself, and in this way purifies his soul, which is completely seen by Hashem, singularly in Rosh Hashana – the Day of Judgment – when all creatures pass by the Supreme Judge: one after another, to be judged if to be inscribed in the Book of Life or not. And the gematria of this pasuk (187) also equals the name אליועיני Elioenai, which means: “To G-d [spelled Yud-Kei] my eyes” (Ezra 10:22). As such, the person that gives “his eyes” to Hashem, seeking a dignified path, avoiding to look at forbidden things, is positively seen by the “eyes of G-d”, as said in the pasuk of Shmuel. Moreover, our holy sages teach, וישב ה’ לי כצדקתי “Nullify your will before His will…”, כדי שיבטל רצון אחרים מפני רצונך “So that He should nullify the will of others before your will” (Pirkei Avot 2:4). The eyes represent the entire “capturing” of material reality, filled by the sitra achra. When the person nullifies his eyes and only seeks to look at what is holy and correct, he in fact lowers the evil inclination and gives strength to the Kingdom of Heaven – to the King of World Himself. As such, the sinners do not damage his life, and his kingdom/malchut is care for and allowed to exist by Hashem Himself. Behold, the ordinal gematria of “Nullify your will before His will” is 210, the same numerical value for the name וצדק Iohtzadak, “Kah is righteous” (Ezra 5:2), and the gematria katan of “So that He should nullify the will of others before your will” is 105, the same as the name מלכיה Malkiah, “Kah is King”.

כְּתִיבָה וְחֲתִימָה טוֹבָה

K’tiva ve chatima tova

May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life, amen.

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה

Shana Tova u’metuka – A good and sweet year.

 

HOLY LEFTOVERS

A certain frum yid (“Torah observant jew”) I had visited to ask for tzedakah told me, when I asked him if he could help me: “Today until Friday there are critical meetings about my portion in Parnasah/financial sustenance for me to help you and others”. I wished him hatzlacha rabbah/great success and left him. He did not help me this time, but I went on my way, happy and confident Hashem would care for me. On the way out, after thinking on our conversation, I wrote him a note and left it at his office’s entrance desk: Dear Reb Fivish, the millui (“spelling out”) of צדקה tzedakah is צדי דלת קוף הא, which has gematria 730. This is the same numerical value as what is said in the verse of parashat Toledot: מטעמים כאשר matamim kaasher, “savoury food” (Bereshit 27:14). Now, I will be praying for you to be served this most “savory food”. And since you have fear of G-d, I know you will serve holy shirayim* to us all, for this is something אהב אביו ahev aviv, “his ‘Father in Heaven’ will love”**.

* A popular Chassidic custom to endeavor to obtain food from which a Rebbe has partaken from. This practice is referred to as shirayim, meaning “leftovers”.
** The pasuk mentioned ends: מטעמים כאשר אהב אביו matamim kaasher ahev aviv. The last part is here interpreted (and the verb tense changed) as meaning that Hashem (Av/Father in Heaven) approves of this sharing in the food/money.

 

BE A PROMOTER OF PEACE

It is written: “For whoever promotes charity promotes peace, both in the upper world and in the lower world” (Zohar 200b, Mikets), that is, here in the Olam HaAsiyah (our material reality), where all things happen. As such, we learn that although giving tzedakah clearly helps the “receiver”, this act goes much further, to wit, it promotes peace in the world through the beauty, the greatness and the light that means giving to one who needs. As such, a person who fulfills this mitzva of tzedakah directly participates in the Tikkun/Rectification process of the world. This also implies on the “sweetening” of the severe decrees (in Hebrew, gevurot) that afflict us all in this most troublesome time and world. This “sweetening” is particularly important in the place the person lives: in one’s country, state, city and even neighborhood, where there can be many severe decrees, chaz v’shalom. Now, the holy Zohar brings a Psalm to speak on the subject of tzedakah: צדקתו עמדת לעד Tsidkato omedet laad, “His righteousness endures forever” (Tehilim 112:9). Here, we are taught something even greater than observed before: not only the person receives merits and divine kindness for his practice of charity – which helps his own environment, the world at large and even the “spiritual worlds” – but the effects of the tzedakah last forever. It is a mitzva with eternal value, always giving merit in the lifetime of the person and even his descendants. Behold, when we investigate the ordinal gematria (mispar siduri) of צדקתו עמדת לעד Tsidkato omedet laad, the result is 156, that being the same as gematria of the word Yosef. Truly, he was called Yosef HaTzadik/The Righteous, where tzedakah/charity, tzedek/justice and tzadik/righteous all are correlate words. Yosef the tzadik is intrinsically connected with tzedakah, as the Torah is teaching us on another level that the person who gives charity is like a tzadik. Moreover, we can see the “seal” of Hashem in these holy words, because 156 is also the gematria YKVK (26, known as the Tetragram) times six (26 x 6 = 156). And six is the numerical value of the Hebrew letter Vav, which in the reality of our soul, represents the person’s character. A person desirous of true character rectification in all of its major components (which are six, for “six sefirot“) is one who merits to be called a tzadik, for he has Hashem (26) directing and healing all of his personal traits (6). The path of righteousness (156) is truly a blessed one.

 

HOW TO BE CLOSE TO THE TORAH

The prophet warns us: שמעו אלי אבירי לב הרחוקים מצדקה Shimu elai abirei lev harchokim mitzdaka, “Hearken unto Me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness” (Isaiah 44:12). The Zohar says on this pasuk, “This is so, because they are far from Torah. Rabi Chizkiah says, that it is because they keep themselves far from G-d; they refuse to draw near to G-d and therefore they are far from righteousness” (Lech Lecha 76b). Since the Torah’s essence is to transform a person’s selfish nature into a giving nature, which is the root of all tzedakah, thus to become a giver, which is the point of Creation, we have to listen to the Torah’s divine message. Now, the gematria absolute of הרחוקים מצדקה “far from righteousness” plus its 12 letters is 620, the total number of mitzvot (613 + 7 rabbinical injunctions = 620, also gematria keter/crown). Indeed, they are far from righteouness, they are far from Torah. The Zohar says further, “Therefore they are far from peace, and they have no peace, as it is written: אין שלום אמר ה’ לרשעים Ein shalom amar Hashem larshaim, ‘There is no peace, says the L-rd concerning the wicked’ [Isaiah 48:22]” (ibid. Zohar). Behold, the gematria atbash plus the kolel for הרחוקים מצדקה is 498, the same as gematria absolute of עשה מלחמה, oseh milchama “to make war”.

 

CHOOSE LIFE

And it is written: העדתי בכם היום את-השמים ואת-הארץ החיים והמות נתתי לפניך הברכה והקללה ובחרת בחיים Haidoti vachem hayom et-hashamayim veet-haarets hachayim vehamavet natati lefaneicha haberacha vehaklala uvacharta bachayim, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life etc.” (Devarim 30:19, Nitzavim). Now, the prophet says: כי הלבישני בגדי-ישע מעיל צדקה Ki hilbishani bigdei-yesha meil tzedaka, “For he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). Avraham avinu was the prototype of chesed/kindness, of giving tzedakah. He was the moral pillar the world stood on. His life was one of caring and giving tzedakah* for others, and that in turn raised and enlivened him to incredible levels. Thus Hashem considered all his righteous acts as pure tzedakah (ref. Bereshit 15:6) and endowed him with a spiritual meil tzedakah: a holy robe of righteousness to crown the “fullness of his years” (ref. Bereshit 25:8). In atbash, מעיל צדקה “robe of righteousness” has the same gematria as חיי אברהם “Avraham’s life”. Truly, tzedakah is life! Furthermore, בחרת בחיים vacharta bachayim, “Choose life”, has gematria atbash of 814. This is the same as the milui (“spelling out”) gematria of G-d’s Name Sha-dai (shin-yud-nun, dalet-lamed-tav, yud-vav-dalet, or [300+10+50] + [4+30+400] + [10+6+4] = 814). The Name Shad-dai also corresponds to a level in Divinity called the Shekhinah (“Divine Presence”). When the person gives tzedakah he literally chooses life, for he becomes directly connected to the the Shekhinah, the Source of all life in the universe. And so it was with Avraham avinu**, and so it can be with anyone, amen.

* In all truth this is not a word best translated from Hebrew as “charity”, but as justice. When we help someone with tzedakah, we are in fact making use of the “robe of righteousness/justice”.
** In the first contact Hashem made with Avraham (Bereshit 15:1), the Torah uses the Holy Name Sha-dai/Almighty (see also Zohar 88b, Lech Lecha).