With a few minutes to spare, here are a few more brief thoughts that hopefully will further enhance your Shabbos and Yom Tov:

This post explains the “profound 7-word 26-letter verse,” Zechariah 14:9, Bayom Haho Yiyeh Hashem Echod U’shmo Echod, “On that day shall He and His Name be One….,” and connects it with “the same pure Oneness concept of the 6-word first verse of the Shema and the Torah’s 7-word first verse…”

As explained before in a previous comment, the first verse of Shma may be understood on an expanded level to have attached to it an additional 1 word of 3 letters, i.e., the 3 letter word אמן, Amen, or the 3 letter word and Divine Name ש-ד-י, Sha’da’i, so that it also corresponds exactly to the 7 words and the 28 letters of the first verse of Creation (Gennesis 1:1), and likewise to the 7 words and the 28 letters of the first verse of Mattan Torah (Exodus 20:1) that we will be reading from the Torah on Shevuos.

While having 7 words and 26 letters is already a significant, perhaps it is also possible to add to the letter count of Zechariah 14:9 and increase it from 26 to 28, at least on some level, by adding 2 more letter Alefs, in resonance with the 2 times the word אחד, Echod, One, appears in the verse, as if to say “add one” and “add one,” especially since the word Echod starts with and initial letter Alef, and Alef has a gematria of 1.

I haven’t yet found online resources where one can easily find the number of words and/or letters per verse for the whole Torah and for TaNaCh, and if anyone knows of such websites please share information about them. Meanwhile anyway there are a few of such interesting verses that came to my attention:

First of all, the basic verse that is the first verse a father is supposed to teach his children, Deuteronomy 33:4, תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב, Torah Tziva Lonu Moshe Morosha Kehilas Yakov, “Moshe commanded us the Torah, the heritage of the congregation of Yakov,” has 7 words and 26 letters, and for this verse too it may be possible to add 2 more letters by spelling out each of the vocalized “o” sounds in the 2 names in the verses, מו’שה, Moshe, and יעקו’ב, Yakov, with an extra letter Vov, so that in this way this verse too can be considered to have 7 words and 28 letters.

Then another basic verse, recited when the Torah is held up for the congregation to see at the conclusion of every Torah reading, Deuteronomy 4:44, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפי בני ישראל, V’zoas haTorah Asher Som Moshe Lifnei Bnei Yisroel, “And this is the Torah that Moshe placed before the children of Israel,” has 7 words and 29 letters. While 29 is a fine number too, 1 more than 28, and the 10th prime number, and so on, nevertheless to better connect it to these other verses with 28 letters, perhaps on some level the basic idea of the verse may be considered without its initial letter Vov, meaning “And,” which for some purposes may be superfluous, and by subtracting this one letter there remain 28 letters.

Incidentally some congregations also have a custom when the Torah is held up after reading it, to say immediately before the verse V’zoas HaTorah, words that are parts of verses and based on the Medrash, ה’ אלקינו אמת משה אמת ותורתו אמת, Hashem Elokeinu Emes, Moshe Emes V’Toroso Emes, “Hashem our G-d is true, Moshe is true, and his Torah is true,” and this expression has exactly 7 words and 28 letters.

Interestingly the first verse of the Haftorah for the first day of Sukos begins with the verse, Zecharya 14:1, הנה יום בא לה’ וחלק שללך בקרבך, Henei Yom Bo L’Hashem V’chulak Shloleich B’kirbeich, “Behold, a day comes which will be for Hashem, when that of which you have despoiled will be divided in your midst,” and this verse has 7 words and 26 letters.

The Haftorah for the Second Day of Shevuos starts with the verse, Chabakuk 2:20, וה’ בהיכל קדשו הס מפניו כל הארץ, V’Hashem B’heichal Kodsho Has Miponov Kol Ho’oretz, “Hashem in His holy sanctuary, let all the earth be silent before Him,” and this verse has 7 words and 27 letters.

Finally for now, near the start of the Haftorah for the last day of Pesach is the verse Yeshayeh 11:1, ויצא חטר מגזע ישי ונצר משרשיו יפרה, V’yotzo Choter Mi’geza Yishoi V’neitzer Mi’shorosov Yifreh, “And a shoot shall come forth from the stem of Yishai, and a branch shall grow forth from his roots,” a verse describing the appearance of the Moshiach the son of Dovid the son of Yishai, and this verse too has exactly 7 words and 28 letters.

Good Shabbos and Good Yom Tov!

Shavuah Tov! An important part of Shevuos is the “Tikun Leil Shevuos,” i.e., certain “Corrections” that are accomplished at this holy time, so in that spirit let me quickly correct some errors in my last comment:

First of all, the verse Deuteronomy 33:4, תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלת יעקב, Torah Tziva Lonu Moshe Morosha Kehilas Yakov, “The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Yakov,” indeed does have 7 words and 26 letters, as I wrote, only previously I typed an extra letter Yud in the word קהלת, Kehilas, whereas in the Torah it is spelled without a Yud.

Similarly, regarding the next verse I mentioned, Deuteronomy 4:44, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפני בני ישראל, V’zoas haTorah Asher Som Moshe Lifnei Bnei Yisroel, “And this is the Torah that Moshe placed before the children of Israel,” in typing it I accidentally left out the letter Nun in the word לפני, Lifnei, so it really does have 29 letters as I had written. More of a blunder though was what I wrote about the verse having 7 words, for it indeed it has not 7 but 8 words.

Sometimes it is possible to join more than one words together, and if “Bnei Yisroel” are united as one – which is the theme of Shevuos, as Chazal say on the verse Exodus 19:2, that for the occasion of the giving of the Torah the Jews were united together as one person with one heart, or as the theme of man and woman uniting to the extent that they become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) – then the two words “Benei Yisroel” might be considered as one, resulting in a reduction of the number of the word count for the verse from 8 words to 7, however that was not my original intention.

Rather, more simply, the hectic Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov preparations distracted me from focusing my attention on my quick posting, and I confused the point of similarity I wanted to make between this central verse and the previously mentioned central verse, Deuteronomy 33:4.

That other important point of similarity, aside from the very similar general themes both verses share about the Torah and its connection to the Jewish people, was not that both verses have 7 words, which they don’t, but that significantly both verses contain hints to Moshiach:

In Deuteronomy 33:4, תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלת יעקב, Torah Tziva Lonu Moshe Morosha Kehilas Yakov, “The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Yakov”:

Note that starting from the letter Mem of מ’שה, M’oshe, skip 5 letters to get to the letter Shin of the next word מורש’ה, Morosh’a, and then again an equal distance letter skip of 5 letters to get to the letter Yud at the beginning of the word י’עקב, Yakov, and this sequence of three letters Mem Shin Yud spells the first three letters of משיח, Moshiach.

For a hint to the final letter Ches needed to spell Moshiach, take the sum of the last letters of all the words of the verse, which sum to 5 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 400 + 2 = 428, and this number may be understood as an equation, 4 x 2 = 8, which hints to the letter Ches gematria 8.

Also the final letter of the word Moshiach, the letter Ches, may be hinted in the final word of the verse, יעקב,Yakov, since after the initial letter Yud the next letter is an Ayim, and together their gematria is 10 + 70 = 80, which in small gematria reduces to 8, the gematria of the letter Ches.

Alternatively, take the gematria of letter Ayin together with the next letter Kuf, gematria 70 + 100 = 170, and in small gematria 170 reduces to 1 + 7 + 0 = 8, again the gematria of the letter Ches.

Another alternative is to take the gematria of the first word of the verse, תורה, Torah, 611, and reduce it to its small gematria, 6 + 1 = 1 = 8, again giving the gematria of the letter Ches of Moshiach.

[Possibly the letter Beis, gematria 2, at the very end of the verse, hints to the 2 Moshiachs, which may be understood either as Moshe the first redeemer and Moshiach the last redeemer, or as Dovid HaMelech and Melech HaMoshaich, or as Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid (and thank you Abraham for the hint that together they sum to 1000 that you mentioned in you comment on “The Inner Circle” post) – and a similar thing may be said about the large letter Beis at the very beginning of the Torah, that it hints to 2 levels of Moshiach.]

Coming back to the word and letter count of this verse, 7 words and 26 letters, it is interesting that the 7th and final word of the verse, יעקב, Yakov, is gematria 182, and 182 equals exactly 7 x 26, thus resonating perfectly with the word and letter count of the verse.

In Deuteronomy 4:44, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפני בני ישראל, V’zoas haTorah Asher Som Moshe Lifnei Bnei Yisroel, “And this is the Torah that Moshe placed before the children of Israel”:

Start from the Mem and Shin of מ’ש’ה, M’osh’e, corresponding to the Mem and Shin at the beginning of מ’ש’יח, M’osh’iach, then take the Yud at the end of the next word ‘לפני, Lifnei’, corresponding to the next letter Yud of משי’ח, Moshi’ach, and then take the next 8 letters from the words בני ישראל, Bnei Yisroel, which may be understood to correspond to the letter Ches, gematria 8, at the end of ‘משיח, Moshiach’.

Also, interestingly, the gematria of Bnei Yisroel is 62 + 541 = 603, and together with 1 for each of the 8 letters sums to 603 + 8 = 611, the same as the gematria of the word Torah, and as said the small gematria of 611 is 6 + 1 + 1 = 8, also corresponding to the letter Ches of Moshiach.

That hint to Moshiach was starting from the middle letter of the verse, the Mem of Moshe, and going forward to the end, and there is also another hint to Moshiach in the first half of the verse going backward:

Start from the letters Mem and Shin of the word שם, Som, or just using the letter Mem from that word and for the Shin taking the middle letter of the previous word אש’ר, Ash’er. Then take the first and last letters of the next previous word ‘ה’תורה, Ha’Torah’, which sum to 5 + 5 = 10, the gematria of the next letter Yud of Moshiach, and also corresponding to the 10 Commandments, 5 on each Tablet, which contain the essence of the Torah. And finally take the first word of the verse וזאת, V’zos, which in the middle has a Zayin and an Alef, gematria 7 + 1 = 8, hinting to the last letter Ches of Moshiach, gematria 8, or alternatively take the gematria of Zoas, 408, which is the same as the gematria of the letter Ches spelled out as a word חת, Ches.

Please forgive me and correct any other errors I may have made…

May we merit to the longed for revelation of Moshiach in simplicity very soon indeed!

Regarding our discussion of the Hebrew language, the Alef Beis, the Torah, and the centrality of the verses “Torah Tzivah Lonu Moshe Morasha Kehilas Yakov” and “Sham Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echod” – it is nice to see that the foundations of these basic ideas are also elucidated in a new Erev Shevuos YouTube video, “Teaching Our Children (And Ourselves) the Hebrew of the Torah,” from Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of the Mechon Shilo institute.

Unfortunately from our perspective Rabbi Bar-Hayim tends to discourage the study of Kaballah concepts, but nevertheless his approach is solidly grounded and I recommend checking out what he has to say.

The reason earlier today I recommended listening to Rabbi Bar-Hayim, even though he discourages the study of Kaballah – aside from his highlighted lecture supporting some of the ideas I had presented in my comments – is as I stated, since his approach is solidly grounded, and it is obvious that ideally Nistar, i.e., the Kaballah and the inner aspects of Torah, should not be studied until one has a mature mind, and has gained sufficient proficiency in Niglah, i.e., the revealed aspects of Torah, including the mastery of the Hebrew Language and Scripture with traditional commentaries, Mishnah, Talmud, and Halacha, Jewish Law, and including of course participating in reciting the daily prayers and observance of the Mitzvos. Without having this solid grounding it really is not possible to avoid going astray.

Bearing in mind that our host Ezra/Jeffrey has constantly stressed the Torah’s essential principle of “thou shall love thy fellow as thyself,” and in a general manner both John and Peter just above also commented about this, therefore it is proper to strive to be as nice as possible even when disagreeing with someone else’s views, and even when pointing out what one perceives to be the fallacies in the worldviews and religions of others.

To Julie who commented above, and to others with views like hers, there are a multitude of wonderful resources that are freely available to all who seek the Truth. For the basics of Torah Judaism, and especially for polemics pleasantly delivered in response to Gentile believers in other faiths, see for example the teachings of Rabbi Tovia Singer of Outreach Judaism, and Rabbi Michael Skobac of Jews for Judaism. Their lectures, and the lectures of their colleagues, which are also available on YouTube, are extremely educational and inspirational. Check them out and you are sure to gain an abundance of new insights and enlightenment….

There are some other remarks more directly related to the topics touched on in this brilliant post that I hope to share soon, but with other obligations, and with Shabbos again approaching fast, that may have to wait until next week… Meanwhile let me once again wish you all the greatest blessings including Peace and Sholom!

Better Than Google Moshe, thanks for the collated listing of resources/teachin & study material. You are better than a “walking encyclopedia” and Google, all rolled into one

Thank you Peter for all of your contributions and encouragement, and my best wishes for your success both physically and spiritually!

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As for more reletively simple “nitty gritty”:

This has surely been said before, but while on the topic of the 7 words and 28 letters of the Torah’s first verse it is worthwhile to again bring this down to earth, well grounding these themes in completely traditional Jewish sources, by recalling the opening interpretation in Rashi’s commentary on the Torah, which is based on what is stated in Yalkut Shimoni on Torah, Remez 187:

בראשית, IN THE BEGINNING — Rabbi Isaac said: The Torah which is the Law book of Israel should have commenced with the verse (Exodus 12:2) “This month shall be unto you the first of the months” which is the first commandment given to Israel. What is the reason, then, that it commences with the account of the Creation?

Because of the thought expressed in the text (Psalms 111:6) “The strength of His works He declared to His people (i.e. He gave an account of the work of Creation), in order that He might give them the heritage of the nations.” For should the peoples of the world say to Israel, “You are robbers, because you took by force the lands of the seven nations of Canaan”, Israel may reply to them, “All the earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it and gave it to whom He pleased. When He willed He gave it to them, and when He willed He took it from them and gave it to us.

Numerically, this traditional interpretation highlights the number 7, since the Land of Israel, hinted to by the 7th word of the Torah’s first verse, Ha’aretz, “the earth,” was originally possessed by specifically 7 nations.

The number 28 is also highlighted, since the Hebrew verse, כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו, Koach Maasov Higid L’amo, “The strength of His works…” (which teaches the importance of the Creation narrative), begins with the word כח, Koach, meaning “power,” “might” or “strength,” in gematria is 28, and thus hints to the 28 letters of the Torah’s first verse.

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Also relevant to our discussion is that the next word מעשיו, Maasov, “His works,” begins with the three letters Mem Ayin Shin, which rearranged spell שמע, Shma, and this points to the importance of reciting the Shma and its association with Hashem, with His Creation, and with His Torah.

Then the next letters are the Yud and Vov at the end of the word מעשיו, Maasov, plus the next letter the Heh at the beginning of הגיד, Higid, “He declared,” and these are the three unique letters that compose the Holy Name Hashem.

Then finishing the word הגיד, Higid, are letters Gimel and Yud, gematria 13, corresponding to the gematria of the word אחד, Echod, One, and the letter Dalet at the end of the word corresponds to the large letter Dalet and the end of the word Echod in the Shma verse.

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While mentioning Psalm 111 – of course with the number 111 corresponding to the gematria of Alef, letter number 1 spelled out as a word, and thus entirely appropriate for an interpretation relating to the Torah’s verse number 1 – it is important to mention that this Psalm illustrates how essential it is to read and understand the holy language Hebrew, since it is composed of stanzas arranged alphabetically according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This crucial aspect of the Psalm is immediately completely lost when the Psalm is merely translated into any other language.

Also worth noting is that while several other Psalms are also composed alphabetically, this Psalm and also the following Psalm 112, are composed in a way that verses 1 through 8 include 2 stanzas in each verse starting with 2 letters of the alphabet (letters Alef and Beis in the 1st verse, Gimel and Dalet in the 2nd verse, etc.), and verses 9 and 10 include 3 stanzas in each verse starting with 3 letters of the alphabet (letters Peh, Tzadi and Kuf in verse 9, and Reish, Shin and Tav in verse 10), for a total of 10 verses corresponding to the 10 Utterances, and with (8 x 2) + (2 x 3) = 16 + 6 = 22 stanzas corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

As summarized in traditional captions for each of these Psalms, Psalm 111 speaks about the deeds of the Holy One Blessed Be He, and how great are Hashem’s works, and Psalm 112 speaks about good character traits a person should acquire, how to give charity, and the reward for doing that, to not need to rely on others, but only on Hashem…

(To be continued…)

Concerning the two Psalms 111 and 112, the more obvious connection to the number 111 was mentioned, but what about the number 112?

Well aside from 112 being 111 plus 1 for the Kolel, the Kabbalists explain that the phrase ה’ בהיכל קדשו, Hashem B’heichal Kodsho, “Hashem in His holy sanctuary,” is initials Yud Beis Kuf, gematria 112, and it is also the sum of the gematria of the Name Hashem, 26, and the gematria of the Name Elokim, 86, i.e., 26 + 86 = 112, and in addition, significantly, the import of this phrase is that the Name Elokim is considered to be so-to-speak the “sanctuary” of Hashem. This connects well with the creation of the word through the Name Elokim in order to be a “dwelling place” for the revelation of the Name Hashem…

The phrase Hashem B’heichal Kodsho is taken from the verse mentioned in my comment from just before Shevuos, Habakuk 2:20, which is the first verse of the Haftorah for the 2nd day of Shevuos, וה’ בהיכל קדשו הס מפניו כל הארץ, V’Hashem B’heichal Kodsho Has Miponov Kol Ho’oretz, “And Hashem in His holy sanctuary, let all the earth be silent before Him,” a verse with 7 words (the last word also being Ho’oretz, “the earth,” like the last word in the Torah’s first verse) and 27 letters (including the letter Vov, meaning “And,” at the beginning of the verse), with 27 corresponding to the 27 letters of the Alef Beis when including the 5 Sofit letters together with the regular 22 letters.

It is also interesting that חבקוק, Habakuk, the prophet who proclaimed this verse, in gematria is 216, corresponding to the number of letters in the 72 triplets, 3 x 72 = 216, and the verse number 2:20 is evocative of a connection tothe 22 letters of the Alef Beis…

In more detail, it is interesting that the gematria of the first word V’Hashem is 32, corresponding to the 10 Sefiros and the 22 letters, or to the regular 22 letters, plus 5 Sofit letters, plus 5 standard doubles of letters with harder sounds, Veis, Chuf, Feh, Sin and Sav (which in the Torah are written the same, and only slightly differ in pronunciation from the letters Beis, Kuf, Peh, Shin and Tav which have softer sounding pronunciations).

The gematria of the second word B’heichal is 67, which is also the gematria of the word בינה, Binah, Understanding, and also 67 is a super-prime since it is the 19th prime, and 19 is itself a prime, the 8th prime, with 67 + 19 = 86, the gematria of the Name Elokim, and with 19 + 8 = 27, which is 3^3, and which also has a connection to the Alef Beis as just explained. Without the prefix letter Beis, meaning “in,” the root word Heichal, sanctuary or chamber, is gematria 65, corresponding to the gematria of the Name A’d’n’i.

The gematria of the third word Kodsho is 410, corresponding to the gematria of the word שמע, Shma, which is also 410, and the gematria of the fourth word Has, meaning “be silent,” is also 65 corresponding to the gematria of the Name A’d’n’i…

It is also explained that the letters Yud Beis Kuf, gematria 112, are 3 of the 4 letters of the name יעקב, Yakov, with the other letter being Ayin, gematria 70, for a total of 112 + 70 = 182, which is 7 times 26 the gematria of the Name Hashem. It is also interesting that 112 may be viewed as the sum of 70 + 42 = 112, with this number 42 also obviously corresponding to the 42 Letter Name.

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Analyzing some of the other statistics for Psalm 111 and Psalm 112 (these are my counts, but I’m trying to be careful):

Psalm 111 has 1+ 72 = 73 words, the caption word Halleluyah and 72 other words in the 10 verses. The number 72 corresponds to the 72 Letter Name, and the number 73 is the 21st prime, corresponding to the gematria 21 of the Name Akyeh. Additionally 21 = 7 x 3, which resonates with the number 73.

Psalm 112 has 1 + 77 = 78 words, the same caption word Halleluyah and 77 other words in the 10 verses, with 77 being 7 x 11, and with 78 being 3 x 26, corresponding to 3 times the gematria of the Name Hashem.

Together the two Psalms have 73 + 78 = 151 words, with 151 being the 36th prime, which 36 is 2^2 x 3^2, and the number 151 was also as just discussed in Ezra’s new post Phi and Pi and the 42-Letter Name as being the sum of the 9 chapter numbers and 142 verse numbers associated with 9 out of 10 of the 10 Utterances that created the world, and also with 151 being the value of the spelled-out higher Name Ekyeh (א-ה-י-ה, spelled out Alef Lamed Feh, Heh Heh, Yud Vov Dalet, Heh Heh, 111 + 10 + 20 + 10 = 151) and also of the gematria of the word מקוה, Mikve, the pool of water for ritual purification, also 151. [It is also possible to say that the angle 150.50 that figured prominently in that new post rounds up to be identified with the number 151.]

Together the two Psalms, not including their one word captions, have 72 + 77 = 149 words, which 149 is the 35th prime, and 35, which is ½ of 70, is semi-prime, 35 = 5 x 7, with 5 and 7 being the 3rd and 4th primes respectively, and with 3 and 4 summing to 3 + 4 = 7.

Summing together the Psalm numbers 111 + 112 = 213 = 3 x 71, with the 3 possibly being an allusion to each stanza of these two Psalms having at least 3 words (technically making these stanzas “literary triplets” or “word triads”), and with the number 71 being the 20th prime, resonating with the combined sum of 10 + 10 = 20 verses in the two Psalms together. The prime ordinal numbers of primes 3 and 71 are respectively 2 and 20, which sum to 2 + 20 = 22, again corresponding to the 22 letters.

Summing together the verses plus the words, Psalm 111 has 10 + 72 = 82, with 82 corresponding to the gematria of the letters Peh and Beis of the first letter of the Torah (the physical letter Beis with the spiritual letter Peh that surrounds it , as explained above), and with 1 more for the caption word Halleluyah makes 83, with 83 being a super-prime, since it is 23rd prime, and 23 is itself a prime, the 9th prime, which 9 = 3^2, i.e., the 2nd prime to the 2nd power, thus also possibly hinting to the 22 letters.

Summing together the verses plus the words, Psalm 112 has 10 + 77 = 87, with 87 being a semi-prime, 87 = 3 x 29, which respectively 3 an 29 are the 2nd and 10th primes, resonating with this being the 2nd of these related Psalms with 10 verses, and with 1 more for the caption word Halleluyah, 87 + 1 = 88, a number of completion, 8 x 11, and also 88 = 4 x 22, thus also evoking another connection to a completeness of the 22 letters.

Together the sum of the words in the two Psalms is 83 + 88 = 171, which 171 is 100 plus 71, with significance as explained above.

The verses plus words of the two Psalms is 10 + 10 + 83 + 88 = 191, which 191 is a super-prime, being the 43rd prime and with 43 itself being a prime, the 14th prime. Further, 191 + 43 + 19 = 248, corresponding to the 248 positive commandments, and 43 + 19 = 67, with 67 being as said above the gematria of the word בינה, Binah, Understanding, and also a super-prime since it is the 19th prime, and 19 is itself is prime, the 8th prime, and with 67 + 19 = 86, the gematria of the Name Elokim, and with 19 + 8 = 27, which is 3^3, and which also has a connection to the Alef Beis as also explained above.

Further, Psalm 111 has 303 letters, and Psalm 112 has 309 letters, for a combined 303 + 309 = 612 letters, which with 1 for the Kolel equals 613, corresponding to the 613 Mitzvos.

Together the words and letters for Psalm 111 sum to 73 + 303 = 376, the gematria of the word שלום, Sholom, Peace, also considered a Divine Name, and corresponding to the pivotal calendar year 3760 as Ezra has explained. Together with the Psalm number, 111 + 376 = 487, which 487 is the 93rd prime.

Together the words and letters for Psalm 112 sum to 78 + 309 = 387, which 387 is the gematria of the combination of 3 Divine Names Kel Sha’d’ai Elokah, 31 + 314 + 42 = 387. Together with the Psalm number, 112 + 387 = 499, which is the 5th prime, and also the gematria of the Divine Name Tzevokos.

Together 487 + 499 = 986, and with 14 more, corresponding to the gematria 14 of the name דוד, Dovid, the composer of the Psalms, this sums to an even one thousand, 986 + 14 = 1000.

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Also interesting is that the second verses of both Psalms have 28 letters, with the second verse of Psalm 111 having 6 words and the second verse of Psalm 112 having 7 words. It comes out that the second verse of Psalm 112 exactly corresponds to the first verse of the Torah and the first verse of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, with 7 words and 28 letters.

This verse, Psalm 112:2, states, גבור בארץ יהיה זרעו דור ישרים יברך, Gibor Bo’oretz Yihyeh Zaro Dor Yeshorim, “Mighty in the earth shall be his descendant; a generation that is upright that shall be blessed.” This seems to hint to the completeness of the purpose of the earth’s creation that will be accomplished through the study and observance of the Torah, which will be accomplished through the achievements of Dovid’s mighty descendant, Moshiach Ben Dovid, who will be the leader of “a generation that is upright that shall be blessed.”

It is interesting that the gematria of this verse is 1819, which with 1 for the Kolel equals 20 x 91 = 1820, which as has been explained is the number of times the Name Hashem appears in the Torah.

Also very significantly the number 1819 is a semi-prime, with prime factors 17 x 107, and with 17 being the 7th prime and 107 being the 28th prime, and thus the prime factors of this verse’s gematria perfectly correspond to the verse’s 7 words and 28 letters. This is clearly a Divinely ordained phenomenon. Further, also hinting to the One responsible for this, the small gematria of 1819 is 1 + 8 + 1 + 9 = 19, which reduces to 1 + 9 = 10, which reduces to 1, hinting to the One and Only Hashem.

May we witness the revelation of Moshiach and Hashem’s blessings very soon!

(To be continued…)

Oops, I was not quite careful enough and there is at least one mistake in my above comment, where I wrote “Summing together the Psalm numbers 111 + 112 = 213 = 3 x 71…” This is incorrect, for 111 + 112 = 223, not 213, and therefore the rest of that paragraph with regard to 3 and 71, the factors of 213, is not relevant here.

Regarding the actual sum of 111 + 112 = 223, the number 223 is a prime number, the 48th prime, and as previously noted, there are special primes formed by summing the prime numbers with their prime ordinal numbers, and 223 is the 11th of such special primes (with 11 also being a prime, the 5th prime, etc.), since 181 + 42 = 223, meaning the prime number 181 plus 181’s prime ordinal number 42 equals the prime number 223.

Also interesting is that the complete number 888, which I wrote about previously, together with 223, sums to 1111, i.e., 1111 = 888 + 223 (and 1111 is a semi-prime with factors 11 x 101, and 11 being the 4th prime and 101 being the 26th prime, as discussed before).

It is also possible to say that 223 also hints to the 22 letters of the Alef Beis since it equals 222 plus 1 for the Kolel, and 223 also corresponds to the gematria of the word אברך, Avoreich, meaning “I will bless,” and thus it may hint to Hashem’s great blessings to us.

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For supplemental information, Wiki’s entry on the number 223 states that:

223 is a prime number.[1] It is the smallest prime for which the two nearest primes on either side of it are 16 units apart.[2] Among the 720 permutations of the numbers from 1 to 6, exactly 223 of them have the property that at least one of the numbers is fixed in place by the permutation and the numbers less than it and greater than it are separately permuted among themselves.[3]

In connection with Waring’s problem, 223 requires the maximum number of terms (37 terms) when expressed as a sum of positive fifth powers, and is the only number that requires that many terms.[4]

[See Wiki there for references.]

Regarding the special nature of number 223, that it is the sum of a prime number plus that prime number’s prime ordinal number, 181 + 42 = 223, meaning that the prime number 181 plus 181’s prime ordinal number 42 equals the prime number 223, it is amazing to note that likewise the prime number 223 plus its prime ordinal number 48 sums to 223 + 48 = 271, and 271 is also a prime, the 58th prime.

This makes the prime number 223 even more special, since there are very few primes that are both the sum of a prime number and its prime ordinal number and simultaneously the sum of itself plus its prime ordinal number is also a prime [for reference regarding this see the table of such sums in my comment dated May 27, 2019, on the previous post A Different Perspective].

The first 5 such special primes are:

The 1st prime number with this quality is 3, since 3 is the sum of prime number 2 and its prime ordinal number 1, and also the sum of 3 plus its prime ordinal number 2 equals 5, with 5 also being a prime (the 3rd prime): 2 + 1 = 3 and 3 + 2 = 5.

The 2nd prime number with this quality is 101, since it is the sum of prime number 79 plus its prime ordinal number 22, and also the sum of 101 plus its prime ordinal number 26 equals 127 (the 31st prime): 79 + 22 = 101 and 101 + 26 = 127.

Only the 3rd prime number with this quality is 223, since it is the sum of prime number 181 plus its ordinal number 42, and also the sum of 223 plus its prime ordinal number 48 equals 271 (the 58th prime): 181 + 42 = 223 and 223 + 48 = 271.

The 4th prime number with this quality is 503, since it is the sum of prime number 421 plus its prime ordinal number 82, and also the sum of 503 plus its prime ordinal number 96 equals 599 (the 109th prime): 421 + 82 = 503 and 503 + 96 = 599.

The 5th prime number with this quality is 641, since it is the sum of prime number 541 plus its prime ordinal number 100, and also the sum of 641 plus its prime ordinal number 116 equals 757 (the 134th prime): 541 + 100 = 641 and 641 + 116 = 757.

This matter probably deserves further study, especially since many of the numbers involved in these calculations are obviously connected to the Torah and have been previously explained in the Kabbalah Secrets posts and in previous comments.

Hopefully I’ll catch up to the new posts soon. Meanwhile I’ll explain another reason why I’ve been focusing on Psalms 111 and 112.

We are coming from the days of counting the Omer, the 49 intermediate days between Pesach and Shevuos. Each of these days is connected with the growth of 7 times 7 specific Sefiros, with the words and letters of Psalm 67, and with the words and letters of the Ana B’choach prayer. Both Psalm 67 and the Ana B’choach prayer are said to have enormous “spiritual power.”

Traditional sources often depict Psalm 67 with its verses and words arranged in the form of a Menorah, with pictures of this printed in prayer books and hung as posters and embroidered on curtains in synagogues, and it has been used in Jewish meditation for years.

Some sources, for example the Chida (Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1806), refer to this Menorah-design Psalm as the “Magen Dovid,” “Shield of David,” and claim that King Dovid himself was Divinely inspired to compose this Psalm to conform to the design of a Menorah, and he had this Menorah design of the Psalm depicted on his shield and with it he defeated all his enemies.

One tends to be a bit skeptical about such claims, however it is quite probable that King Dovid did both automatically and intentionally compose this Psalm with manifold mystical allusions and such that it indeed corresponds to the shape of the Menorah.

While this idea may be more obvious with regard to Psalm 67, it makes perfect sense to say that similarly the other Psalms were also composed with Ruach HaKodesh, Divine inspiration, to have such mystical allusions, and to correspond to other significant designs and patterns that are meaningful from a Torah perspective. That indeed seems to be the case with regard to the Psalms 111 and 112.

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The topic of the Menorah as the Magen Dovid, Shield of David, is very timely at present, since we are now reading in the Torah Parshas B’ha’aloscho Es Ha’Neiros, starting from Numbers 8:1, which discusses the kindling of the Menorah by Aharon the High Priest.

To review, the Menorah, as described in detail in the Book of Exodus, has 7 branches, corresponding to the 7 days of creation, and to the 7 words in the Torah’s first verse.

The Menorah also has 22 decorative “cups” shaped like “almond flowers,” corresponding to the 22 letters of the Alef Beit, and 11 decorative “flower buds,” and 9 decorative “flower blossoms.”

The total number of Menorah decorations are thus 22 + 11 + 9 = 42, corresponding to the 42-Letter Name. Together with the 7 branches the total of the Menorah’s parts is thus 7 + 42 = 49, corresponding to the 49 days of Sefiras HaOmer.

The Menorah is supported by the “base” of the Menorah, which may be said to hint to the holiday of Pesach, the preceding day, out of which came the following 49 days of the Omer, Pesach being the festival of freedom and “base day” for everything that comes afterward. The 50th day or level, corresponding to the holiday of Shevuos, the festival of the giving of the great light of Torah, corresponds to when the Menorah’s lamps are actually kindled and their light finally radiates and illuminates the Holy Sanctuary and the whole world.

———-

Discussing the shape of the Menorah as the “Mogen Dovid” makes one also think about the other more familiar to us “Mogen Dovid,” Shield of David design, represented as the shape of the six pointed Jewish Star, as was discussed here a while back, including that with the central hexagon of the star as the 7th central point the Jewish star corresponds to the 7 branched Menorah.

It is fascinating that just as there are allusions to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in the Menorah design, so too there is a connection of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet to the six pointed Jewish Star, and amazingly it has been shown (I don’t know the specific origin) that the shapes of all of the Hebrew letters are identifiable as specific subsections of various combinations of lines in the six pointed star.

To see this simply do an internet search (Google is good for this too!) and look for images of the Magen Dovid and the Hebrew alphabet and you will immediately find sample depictions of this very amazing, illuminating and enlightening phenomenon.

Above I wrote about Habakuk 2:20, stating that “the verse number 2:20 is evocative of a connection to the 22 letters of the Alef Beis, and that the first word of the verse, V’Hashem, is gematria 32, corresponding to the 10 Sefiros and the 22 letters, or to the regular 22 letters, plus 5 Sofit letters, plus 5 standard doubles of letters with harder sounds, Veis, Chuf, Feh, Sin and Sav (which in the Torah are written the same, and only slightly differ in pronunciation from the letters Beis, Kuf, Peh, Shin and Tav which have softer sounding pronunciations).”

The last part about the way to understand the Hebrew alphabet corresponding to the number 32, is based on the standard Aleph Beis charts of the Hebrew letters in use throughout the world today. See for example the chart printed in the beginning of the Tehilas Hashem (Chabad) Sidur. Other such charts may include one more letter, a 33rd letter, by showing both the Kof Sofis and the Chof Sofis forms, whereas in the other versions only one of these is shown.

Understanding the Hebrew alphabet in this way is of course not the way the Hebrew alphabet is described in Sefer Yetzirah, where there are instead of 5 double letters there are 7, בגדכפרת, which do not include the Shin-Sin that I had included, but instead includes 3 other letters, the Gimel, Dalet and Reis, which for Ashkenazim today have lost their double pronunciations. Also a difference in the Sefer Yetzirah explanation of the alphabet is that the 5 Sofit letters are not distinguished from their regular forms.

As for the relationship of the 22 letters to the 10 Sefiros, the 22 letters are said to correspond to the 22 lines that connect the 10 Sefiros to one another. The 3 horizontal lines correspond to the 3 “mother letters,” the 7 vertical lines correspond to the 7 “double letters,” and the 12 diagonal lines correspond to the 12 “simple letters.”

[Regarding the authorship of Sefer Yetzirah, it has been attributed to both the patriarch Avrohom and to Rebbe Akiva, but many are skeptical of these attributions, and one is not obligated to accept everything that is written therein. The same applies regarding the Zohar, its authorship is attributed to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochoi but this is disputed, and likewise one is not obligated to accept everything written therein. (Even regarding the Talmud there are many aspects in it that are one is not obligated to accept, for example references to demons and the like, which other significant Rabbinic figures like the Rambam completely rejected.) This though is a topic for broader study and not for the present circumstances.]

With a few minutes to spare, here are a few more brief thoughts that hopefully will further enhance your Shabbos and Yom Tov:

This post explains the “profound 7-word 26-letter verse,” Zechariah 14:9, Bayom Haho Yiyeh Hashem Echod U’shmo Echod, “On that day shall He and His Name be One….,” and connects it with “the same pure Oneness concept of the 6-word first verse of the Shema and the Torah’s 7-word first verse…”

As explained before in a previous comment, the first verse of Shma may be understood on an expanded level to have attached to it an additional 1 word of 3 letters, i.e., the 3 letter word אמן, Amen, or the 3 letter word and Divine Name ש-ד-י, Sha’da’i, so that it also corresponds exactly to the 7 words and the 28 letters of the first verse of Creation (Gennesis 1:1), and likewise to the 7 words and the 28 letters of the first verse of Mattan Torah (Exodus 20:1) that we will be reading from the Torah on Shevuos.

While having 7 words and 26 letters is already a significant, perhaps it is also possible to add to the letter count of Zechariah 14:9 and increase it from 26 to 28, at least on some level, by adding 2 more letter Alefs, in resonance with the 2 times the word אחד, Echod, One, appears in the verse, as if to say “add one” and “add one,” especially since the word Echod starts with and initial letter Alef, and Alef has a gematria of 1.

I haven’t yet found online resources where one can easily find the number of words and/or letters per verse for the whole Torah and for TaNaCh, and if anyone knows of such websites please share information about them. Meanwhile anyway there are a few of such interesting verses that came to my attention:

First of all, the basic verse that is the first verse a father is supposed to teach his children, Deuteronomy 33:4, תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב, Torah Tziva Lonu Moshe Morosha Kehilas Yakov, “Moshe commanded us the Torah, the heritage of the congregation of Yakov,” has 7 words and 26 letters, and for this verse too it may be possible to add 2 more letters by spelling out each of the vocalized “o” sounds in the 2 names in the verses, מו’שה, Moshe, and יעקו’ב, Yakov, with an extra letter Vov, so that in this way this verse too can be considered to have 7 words and 28 letters.

Then another basic verse, recited when the Torah is held up for the congregation to see at the conclusion of every Torah reading, Deuteronomy 4:44, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפי בני ישראל, V’zoas haTorah Asher Som Moshe Lifnei Bnei Yisroel, “And this is the Torah that Moshe placed before the children of Israel,” has 7 words and 29 letters. While 29 is a fine number too, 1 more than 28, and the 10th prime number, and so on, nevertheless to better connect it to these other verses with 28 letters, perhaps on some level the basic idea of the verse may be considered without its initial letter Vov, meaning “And,” which for some purposes may be superfluous, and by subtracting this one letter there remain 28 letters.

Incidentally some congregations also have a custom when the Torah is held up after reading it, to say immediately before the verse V’zoas HaTorah, words that are parts of verses and based on the Medrash, ה’ אלקינו אמת משה אמת ותורתו אמת, Hashem Elokeinu Emes, Moshe Emes V’Toroso Emes, “Hashem our G-d is true, Moshe is true, and his Torah is true,” and this expression has exactly 7 words and 28 letters.

Interestingly the first verse of the Haftorah for the first day of Sukos begins with the verse, Zecharya 14:1, הנה יום בא לה’ וחלק שללך בקרבך, Henei Yom Bo L’Hashem V’chulak Shloleich B’kirbeich, “Behold, a day comes which will be for Hashem, when that of which you have despoiled will be divided in your midst,” and this verse has 7 words and 26 letters.

The Haftorah for the Second Day of Shevuos starts with the verse, Chabakuk 2:20, וה’ בהיכל קדשו הס מפניו כל הארץ, V’Hashem B’heichal Kodsho Has Miponov Kol Ho’oretz, “Hashem in His holy sanctuary, let all the earth be silent before Him,” and this verse has 7 words and 27 letters.

Finally for now, near the start of the Haftorah for the last day of Pesach is the verse Yeshayeh 11:1, ויצא חטר מגזע ישי ונצר משרשיו יפרה, V’yotzo Choter Mi’geza Yishoi V’neitzer Mi’shorosov Yifreh, “And a shoot shall come forth from the stem of Yishai, and a branch shall grow forth from his roots,” a verse describing the appearance of the Moshiach the son of Dovid the son of Yishai, and this verse too has exactly 7 words and 28 letters.

Good Shabbos and Good Yom Tov!

Shavuah Tov! An important part of Shevuos is the “Tikun Leil Shevuos,” i.e., certain “Corrections” that are accomplished at this holy time, so in that spirit let me quickly correct some errors in my last comment:

First of all, the verse Deuteronomy 33:4, תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלת יעקב, Torah Tziva Lonu Moshe Morosha Kehilas Yakov, “The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Yakov,” indeed does have 7 words and 26 letters, as I wrote, only previously I typed an extra letter Yud in the word קהלת, Kehilas, whereas in the Torah it is spelled without a Yud.

Similarly, regarding the next verse I mentioned, Deuteronomy 4:44, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפני בני ישראל, V’zoas haTorah Asher Som Moshe Lifnei Bnei Yisroel, “And this is the Torah that Moshe placed before the children of Israel,” in typing it I accidentally left out the letter Nun in the word לפני, Lifnei, so it really does have 29 letters as I had written. More of a blunder though was what I wrote about the verse having 7 words, for it indeed it has not 7 but 8 words.

Sometimes it is possible to join more than one words together, and if “Bnei Yisroel” are united as one – which is the theme of Shevuos, as Chazal say on the verse Exodus 19:2, that for the occasion of the giving of the Torah the Jews were united together as one person with one heart, or as the theme of man and woman uniting to the extent that they become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) – then the two words “Benei Yisroel” might be considered as one, resulting in a reduction of the number of the word count for the verse from 8 words to 7, however that was not my original intention.

Rather, more simply, the hectic Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov preparations distracted me from focusing my attention on my quick posting, and I confused the point of similarity I wanted to make between this central verse and the previously mentioned central verse, Deuteronomy 33:4.

That other important point of similarity, aside from the very similar general themes both verses share about the Torah and its connection to the Jewish people, was not that both verses have 7 words, which they don’t, but that significantly both verses contain hints to Moshiach:

In Deuteronomy 33:4, תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלת יעקב, Torah Tziva Lonu Moshe Morosha Kehilas Yakov, “The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Yakov”:

Note that starting from the letter Mem of מ’שה, M’oshe, skip 5 letters to get to the letter Shin of the next word מורש’ה, Morosh’a, and then again an equal distance letter skip of 5 letters to get to the letter Yud at the beginning of the word י’עקב, Yakov, and this sequence of three letters Mem Shin Yud spells the first three letters of משיח, Moshiach.

For a hint to the final letter Ches needed to spell Moshiach, take the sum of the last letters of all the words of the verse, which sum to 5 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 400 + 2 = 428, and this number may be understood as an equation, 4 x 2 = 8, which hints to the letter Ches gematria 8.

Also the final letter of the word Moshiach, the letter Ches, may be hinted in the final word of the verse, יעקב,Yakov, since after the initial letter Yud the next letter is an Ayim, and together their gematria is 10 + 70 = 80, which in small gematria reduces to 8, the gematria of the letter Ches.

Alternatively, take the gematria of letter Ayin together with the next letter Kuf, gematria 70 + 100 = 170, and in small gematria 170 reduces to 1 + 7 + 0 = 8, again the gematria of the letter Ches.

Another alternative is to take the gematria of the first word of the verse, תורה, Torah, 611, and reduce it to its small gematria, 6 + 1 = 1 = 8, again giving the gematria of the letter Ches of Moshiach.

[Possibly the letter Beis, gematria 2, at the very end of the verse, hints to the 2 Moshiachs, which may be understood either as Moshe the first redeemer and Moshiach the last redeemer, or as Dovid HaMelech and Melech HaMoshaich, or as Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid (and thank you Abraham for the hint that together they sum to 1000 that you mentioned in you comment on “The Inner Circle” post) – and a similar thing may be said about the large letter Beis at the very beginning of the Torah, that it hints to 2 levels of Moshiach.]

Coming back to the word and letter count of this verse, 7 words and 26 letters, it is interesting that the 7th and final word of the verse, יעקב, Yakov, is gematria 182, and 182 equals exactly 7 x 26, thus resonating perfectly with the word and letter count of the verse.

In Deuteronomy 4:44, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפני בני ישראל, V’zoas haTorah Asher Som Moshe Lifnei Bnei Yisroel, “And this is the Torah that Moshe placed before the children of Israel”:

Start from the Mem and Shin of מ’ש’ה, M’osh’e, corresponding to the Mem and Shin at the beginning of מ’ש’יח, M’osh’iach, then take the Yud at the end of the next word ‘לפני, Lifnei’, corresponding to the next letter Yud of משי’ח, Moshi’ach, and then take the next 8 letters from the words בני ישראל, Bnei Yisroel, which may be understood to correspond to the letter Ches, gematria 8, at the end of ‘משיח, Moshiach’.

Also, interestingly, the gematria of Bnei Yisroel is 62 + 541 = 603, and together with 1 for each of the 8 letters sums to 603 + 8 = 611, the same as the gematria of the word Torah, and as said the small gematria of 611 is 6 + 1 + 1 = 8, also corresponding to the letter Ches of Moshiach.

That hint to Moshiach was starting from the middle letter of the verse, the Mem of Moshe, and going forward to the end, and there is also another hint to Moshiach in the first half of the verse going backward:

Start from the letters Mem and Shin of the word שם, Som, or just using the letter Mem from that word and for the Shin taking the middle letter of the previous word אש’ר, Ash’er. Then take the first and last letters of the next previous word ‘ה’תורה, Ha’Torah’, which sum to 5 + 5 = 10, the gematria of the next letter Yud of Moshiach, and also corresponding to the 10 Commandments, 5 on each Tablet, which contain the essence of the Torah. And finally take the first word of the verse וזאת, V’zos, which in the middle has a Zayin and an Alef, gematria 7 + 1 = 8, hinting to the last letter Ches of Moshiach, gematria 8, or alternatively take the gematria of Zoas, 408, which is the same as the gematria of the letter Ches spelled out as a word חת, Ches.

Please forgive me and correct any other errors I may have made…

May we merit to the longed for revelation of Moshiach in simplicity very soon indeed!

Regarding our discussion of the Hebrew language, the Alef Beis, the Torah, and the centrality of the verses “Torah Tzivah Lonu Moshe Morasha Kehilas Yakov” and “Sham Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echod” – it is nice to see that the foundations of these basic ideas are also elucidated in a new Erev Shevuos YouTube video, “Teaching Our Children (And Ourselves) the Hebrew of the Torah,” from Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of the Mechon Shilo institute.

Unfortunately from our perspective Rabbi Bar-Hayim tends to discourage the study of Kaballah concepts, but nevertheless his approach is solidly grounded and I recommend checking out what he has to say.

The reason earlier today I recommended listening to Rabbi Bar-Hayim, even though he discourages the study of Kaballah – aside from his highlighted lecture supporting some of the ideas I had presented in my comments – is as I stated, since his approach is solidly grounded, and it is obvious that ideally Nistar, i.e., the Kaballah and the inner aspects of Torah, should not be studied until one has a mature mind, and has gained sufficient proficiency in Niglah, i.e., the revealed aspects of Torah, including the mastery of the Hebrew Language and Scripture with traditional commentaries, Mishnah, Talmud, and Halacha, Jewish Law, and including of course participating in reciting the daily prayers and observance of the Mitzvos. Without having this solid grounding it really is not possible to avoid going astray.

Bearing in mind that our host Ezra/Jeffrey has constantly stressed the Torah’s essential principle of “thou shall love thy fellow as thyself,” and in a general manner both John and Peter just above also commented about this, therefore it is proper to strive to be as nice as possible even when disagreeing with someone else’s views, and even when pointing out what one perceives to be the fallacies in the worldviews and religions of others.

To Julie who commented above, and to others with views like hers, there are a multitude of wonderful resources that are freely available to all who seek the Truth. For the basics of Torah Judaism, and especially for polemics pleasantly delivered in response to Gentile believers in other faiths, see for example the teachings of Rabbi Tovia Singer of Outreach Judaism, and Rabbi Michael Skobac of Jews for Judaism. Their lectures, and the lectures of their colleagues, which are also available on YouTube, are extremely educational and inspirational. Check them out and you are sure to gain an abundance of new insights and enlightenment….

There are some other remarks more directly related to the topics touched on in this brilliant post that I hope to share soon, but with other obligations, and with Shabbos again approaching fast, that may have to wait until next week… Meanwhile let me once again wish you all the greatest blessings including Peace and Sholom!

Better Than GoogleMoshe, thanks for the collated listing of resources/teachin & study material. You are better than a “walking encyclopedia” and Google, all rolled into one

Thank you Peter for all of your contributions and encouragement, and my best wishes for your success both physically and spiritually!

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As for more reletively simple “nitty gritty”:

This has surely been said before, but while on the topic of the 7 words and 28 letters of the Torah’s first verse it is worthwhile to again bring this down to earth, well grounding these themes in completely traditional Jewish sources, by recalling the opening interpretation in Rashi’s commentary on the Torah, which is based on what is stated in Yalkut Shimoni on Torah, Remez 187:

בראשית, IN THE BEGINNING — Rabbi Isaac said: The Torah which is the Law book of Israel should have commenced with the verse (Exodus 12:2) “This month shall be unto you the first of the months” which is the first commandment given to Israel. What is the reason, then, that it commences with the account of the Creation?

Because of the thought expressed in the text (Psalms 111:6) “The strength of His works He declared to His people (i.e. He gave an account of the work of Creation), in order that He might give them the heritage of the nations.” For should the peoples of the world say to Israel, “You are robbers, because you took by force the lands of the seven nations of Canaan”, Israel may reply to them, “All the earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it and gave it to whom He pleased. When He willed He gave it to them, and when He willed He took it from them and gave it to us.

Numerically, this traditional interpretation highlights the number 7, since the Land of Israel, hinted to by the 7th word of the Torah’s first verse, Ha’aretz, “the earth,” was originally possessed by specifically 7 nations.

The number 28 is also highlighted, since the Hebrew verse, כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו, Koach Maasov Higid L’amo, “The strength of His works…” (which teaches the importance of the Creation narrative), begins with the word כח, Koach, meaning “power,” “might” or “strength,” in gematria is 28, and thus hints to the 28 letters of the Torah’s first verse.

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Also relevant to our discussion is that the next word מעשיו, Maasov, “His works,” begins with the three letters Mem Ayin Shin, which rearranged spell שמע, Shma, and this points to the importance of reciting the Shma and its association with Hashem, with His Creation, and with His Torah.

Then the next letters are the Yud and Vov at the end of the word מעשיו, Maasov, plus the next letter the Heh at the beginning of הגיד, Higid, “He declared,” and these are the three unique letters that compose the Holy Name Hashem.

Then finishing the word הגיד, Higid, are letters Gimel and Yud, gematria 13, corresponding to the gematria of the word אחד, Echod, One, and the letter Dalet at the end of the word corresponds to the large letter Dalet and the end of the word Echod in the Shma verse.

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While mentioning Psalm 111 – of course with the number 111 corresponding to the gematria of Alef, letter number 1 spelled out as a word, and thus entirely appropriate for an interpretation relating to the Torah’s verse number 1 – it is important to mention that this Psalm illustrates how essential it is to read and understand the holy language Hebrew, since it is composed of stanzas arranged alphabetically according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This crucial aspect of the Psalm is immediately completely lost when the Psalm is merely translated into any other language.

Also worth noting is that while several other Psalms are also composed alphabetically, this Psalm and also the following Psalm 112, are composed in a way that verses 1 through 8 include 2 stanzas in each verse starting with 2 letters of the alphabet (letters Alef and Beis in the 1st verse, Gimel and Dalet in the 2nd verse, etc.), and verses 9 and 10 include 3 stanzas in each verse starting with 3 letters of the alphabet (letters Peh, Tzadi and Kuf in verse 9, and Reish, Shin and Tav in verse 10), for a total of 10 verses corresponding to the 10 Utterances, and with (8 x 2) + (2 x 3) = 16 + 6 = 22 stanzas corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

As summarized in traditional captions for each of these Psalms, Psalm 111 speaks about the deeds of the Holy One Blessed Be He, and how great are Hashem’s works, and Psalm 112 speaks about good character traits a person should acquire, how to give charity, and the reward for doing that, to not need to rely on others, but only on Hashem…

(To be continued…)

Concerning the two Psalms 111 and 112, the more obvious connection to the number 111 was mentioned, but what about the number 112?

Well aside from 112 being 111 plus 1 for the Kolel, the Kabbalists explain that the phrase ה’ בהיכל קדשו, Hashem B’heichal Kodsho, “Hashem in His holy sanctuary,” is initials Yud Beis Kuf, gematria 112, and it is also the sum of the gematria of the Name Hashem, 26, and the gematria of the Name Elokim, 86, i.e., 26 + 86 = 112, and in addition, significantly, the import of this phrase is that the Name Elokim is considered to be so-to-speak the “sanctuary” of Hashem. This connects well with the creation of the word through the Name Elokim in order to be a “dwelling place” for the revelation of the Name Hashem…

The phrase Hashem B’heichal Kodsho is taken from the verse mentioned in my comment from just before Shevuos, Habakuk 2:20, which is the first verse of the Haftorah for the 2nd day of Shevuos, וה’ בהיכל קדשו הס מפניו כל הארץ, V’Hashem B’heichal Kodsho Has Miponov Kol Ho’oretz, “And Hashem in His holy sanctuary, let all the earth be silent before Him,” a verse with 7 words (the last word also being Ho’oretz, “the earth,” like the last word in the Torah’s first verse) and 27 letters (including the letter Vov, meaning “And,” at the beginning of the verse), with 27 corresponding to the 27 letters of the Alef Beis when including the 5 Sofit letters together with the regular 22 letters.

It is also interesting that חבקוק, Habakuk, the prophet who proclaimed this verse, in gematria is 216, corresponding to the number of letters in the 72 triplets, 3 x 72 = 216, and the verse number 2:20 is evocative of a connection tothe 22 letters of the Alef Beis…

In more detail, it is interesting that the gematria of the first word V’Hashem is 32, corresponding to the 10 Sefiros and the 22 letters, or to the regular 22 letters, plus 5 Sofit letters, plus 5 standard doubles of letters with harder sounds, Veis, Chuf, Feh, Sin and Sav (which in the Torah are written the same, and only slightly differ in pronunciation from the letters Beis, Kuf, Peh, Shin and Tav which have softer sounding pronunciations).

The gematria of the second word B’heichal is 67, which is also the gematria of the word בינה, Binah, Understanding, and also 67 is a super-prime since it is the 19th prime, and 19 is itself a prime, the 8th prime, with 67 + 19 = 86, the gematria of the Name Elokim, and with 19 + 8 = 27, which is 3^3, and which also has a connection to the Alef Beis as just explained. Without the prefix letter Beis, meaning “in,” the root word Heichal, sanctuary or chamber, is gematria 65, corresponding to the gematria of the Name A’d’n’i.

The gematria of the third word Kodsho is 410, corresponding to the gematria of the word שמע, Shma, which is also 410, and the gematria of the fourth word Has, meaning “be silent,” is also 65 corresponding to the gematria of the Name A’d’n’i…

It is also explained that the letters Yud Beis Kuf, gematria 112, are 3 of the 4 letters of the name יעקב, Yakov, with the other letter being Ayin, gematria 70, for a total of 112 + 70 = 182, which is 7 times 26 the gematria of the Name Hashem. It is also interesting that 112 may be viewed as the sum of 70 + 42 = 112, with this number 42 also obviously corresponding to the 42 Letter Name.

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Analyzing some of the other statistics for Psalm 111 and Psalm 112 (these are my counts, but I’m trying to be careful):

Psalm 111 has 1+ 72 = 73 words, the caption word Halleluyah and 72 other words in the 10 verses. The number 72 corresponds to the 72 Letter Name, and the number 73 is the 21st prime, corresponding to the gematria 21 of the Name Akyeh. Additionally 21 = 7 x 3, which resonates with the number 73.

Psalm 112 has 1 + 77 = 78 words, the same caption word Halleluyah and 77 other words in the 10 verses, with 77 being 7 x 11, and with 78 being 3 x 26, corresponding to 3 times the gematria of the Name Hashem.

Together the two Psalms have 73 + 78 = 151 words, with 151 being the 36th prime, which 36 is 2^2 x 3^2, and the number 151 was also as just discussed in Ezra’s new post Phi and Pi and the 42-Letter Name as being the sum of the 9 chapter numbers and 142 verse numbers associated with 9 out of 10 of the 10 Utterances that created the world, and also with 151 being the value of the spelled-out higher Name Ekyeh (א-ה-י-ה, spelled out Alef Lamed Feh, Heh Heh, Yud Vov Dalet, Heh Heh, 111 + 10 + 20 + 10 = 151) and also of the gematria of the word מקוה, Mikve, the pool of water for ritual purification, also 151. [It is also possible to say that the angle 150.50 that figured prominently in that new post rounds up to be identified with the number 151.]

Together the two Psalms, not including their one word captions, have 72 + 77 = 149 words, which 149 is the 35th prime, and 35, which is ½ of 70, is semi-prime, 35 = 5 x 7, with 5 and 7 being the 3rd and 4th primes respectively, and with 3 and 4 summing to 3 + 4 = 7.

Summing together the Psalm numbers 111 + 112 = 213 = 3 x 71, with the 3 possibly being an allusion to each stanza of these two Psalms having at least 3 words (technically making these stanzas “literary triplets” or “word triads”), and with the number 71 being the 20th prime, resonating with the combined sum of 10 + 10 = 20 verses in the two Psalms together. The prime ordinal numbers of primes 3 and 71 are respectively 2 and 20, which sum to 2 + 20 = 22, again corresponding to the 22 letters.

Summing together the verses plus the words, Psalm 111 has 10 + 72 = 82, with 82 corresponding to the gematria of the letters Peh and Beis of the first letter of the Torah (the physical letter Beis with the spiritual letter Peh that surrounds it , as explained above), and with 1 more for the caption word Halleluyah makes 83, with 83 being a super-prime, since it is 23rd prime, and 23 is itself a prime, the 9th prime, which 9 = 3^2, i.e., the 2nd prime to the 2nd power, thus also possibly hinting to the 22 letters.

Summing together the verses plus the words, Psalm 112 has 10 + 77 = 87, with 87 being a semi-prime, 87 = 3 x 29, which respectively 3 an 29 are the 2nd and 10th primes, resonating with this being the 2nd of these related Psalms with 10 verses, and with 1 more for the caption word Halleluyah, 87 + 1 = 88, a number of completion, 8 x 11, and also 88 = 4 x 22, thus also evoking another connection to a completeness of the 22 letters.

Together the sum of the words in the two Psalms is 83 + 88 = 171, which 171 is 100 plus 71, with significance as explained above.

The verses plus words of the two Psalms is 10 + 10 + 83 + 88 = 191, which 191 is a super-prime, being the 43rd prime and with 43 itself being a prime, the 14th prime. Further, 191 + 43 + 19 = 248, corresponding to the 248 positive commandments, and 43 + 19 = 67, with 67 being as said above the gematria of the word בינה, Binah, Understanding, and also a super-prime since it is the 19th prime, and 19 is itself is prime, the 8th prime, and with 67 + 19 = 86, the gematria of the Name Elokim, and with 19 + 8 = 27, which is 3^3, and which also has a connection to the Alef Beis as also explained above.

Further, Psalm 111 has 303 letters, and Psalm 112 has 309 letters, for a combined 303 + 309 = 612 letters, which with 1 for the Kolel equals 613, corresponding to the 613 Mitzvos.

Together the words and letters for Psalm 111 sum to 73 + 303 = 376, the gematria of the word שלום, Sholom, Peace, also considered a Divine Name, and corresponding to the pivotal calendar year 3760 as Ezra has explained. Together with the Psalm number, 111 + 376 = 487, which 487 is the 93rd prime.

Together the words and letters for Psalm 112 sum to 78 + 309 = 387, which 387 is the gematria of the combination of 3 Divine Names Kel Sha’d’ai Elokah, 31 + 314 + 42 = 387. Together with the Psalm number, 112 + 387 = 499, which is the 5th prime, and also the gematria of the Divine Name Tzevokos.

Together 487 + 499 = 986, and with 14 more, corresponding to the gematria 14 of the name דוד, Dovid, the composer of the Psalms, this sums to an even one thousand, 986 + 14 = 1000.

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Also interesting is that the second verses of both Psalms have 28 letters, with the second verse of Psalm 111 having 6 words and the second verse of Psalm 112 having 7 words. It comes out that the second verse of Psalm 112 exactly corresponds to the first verse of the Torah and the first verse of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, with 7 words and 28 letters.

This verse, Psalm 112:2, states, גבור בארץ יהיה זרעו דור ישרים יברך, Gibor Bo’oretz Yihyeh Zaro Dor Yeshorim, “Mighty in the earth shall be his descendant; a generation that is upright that shall be blessed.” This seems to hint to the completeness of the purpose of the earth’s creation that will be accomplished through the study and observance of the Torah, which will be accomplished through the achievements of Dovid’s mighty descendant, Moshiach Ben Dovid, who will be the leader of “a generation that is upright that shall be blessed.”

It is interesting that the gematria of this verse is 1819, which with 1 for the Kolel equals 20 x 91 = 1820, which as has been explained is the number of times the Name Hashem appears in the Torah.

Also very significantly the number 1819 is a semi-prime, with prime factors 17 x 107, and with 17 being the 7th prime and 107 being the 28th prime, and thus the prime factors of this verse’s gematria perfectly correspond to the verse’s 7 words and 28 letters. This is clearly a Divinely ordained phenomenon. Further, also hinting to the One responsible for this, the small gematria of 1819 is 1 + 8 + 1 + 9 = 19, which reduces to 1 + 9 = 10, which reduces to 1, hinting to the One and Only Hashem.

May we witness the revelation of Moshiach and Hashem’s blessings very soon!

(To be continued…)

Oops, I was not quite careful enough and there is at least one mistake in my above comment, where I wrote “Summing together the Psalm numbers 111 + 112 = 213 = 3 x 71…” This is incorrect, for 111 + 112 = 223, not 213, and therefore the rest of that paragraph with regard to 3 and 71, the factors of 213, is not relevant here.

Regarding the actual sum of 111 + 112 = 223, the number 223 is a prime number, the 48th prime, and as previously noted, there are special primes formed by summing the prime numbers with their prime ordinal numbers, and 223 is the 11th of such special primes (with 11 also being a prime, the 5th prime, etc.), since 181 + 42 = 223, meaning the prime number 181 plus 181’s prime ordinal number 42 equals the prime number 223.

Also interesting is that the complete number 888, which I wrote about previously, together with 223, sums to 1111, i.e., 1111 = 888 + 223 (and 1111 is a semi-prime with factors 11 x 101, and 11 being the 4th prime and 101 being the 26th prime, as discussed before).

It is also possible to say that 223 also hints to the 22 letters of the Alef Beis since it equals 222 plus 1 for the Kolel, and 223 also corresponds to the gematria of the word אברך, Avoreich, meaning “I will bless,” and thus it may hint to Hashem’s great blessings to us.

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For supplemental information, Wiki’s entry on the number 223 states that:

223 is a prime number.[1] It is the smallest prime for which the two nearest primes on either side of it are 16 units apart.[2] Among the 720 permutations of the numbers from 1 to 6, exactly 223 of them have the property that at least one of the numbers is fixed in place by the permutation and the numbers less than it and greater than it are separately permuted among themselves.[3]

In connection with Waring’s problem, 223 requires the maximum number of terms (37 terms) when expressed as a sum of positive fifth powers, and is the only number that requires that many terms.[4]

[See Wiki there for references.]

Regarding the special nature of number 223, that it is the sum of a prime number plus that prime number’s prime ordinal number, 181 + 42 = 223, meaning that the prime number 181 plus 181’s prime ordinal number 42 equals the prime number 223, it is amazing to note that likewise the prime number 223 plus its prime ordinal number 48 sums to 223 + 48 = 271, and 271 is also a prime, the 58th prime.

This makes the prime number 223 even more special, since there are very few primes that are both the sum of a prime number and its prime ordinal number and simultaneously the sum of itself plus its prime ordinal number is also a prime [for reference regarding this see the table of such sums in my comment dated May 27, 2019, on the previous post A Different Perspective].

The first 5 such special primes are:

The 1st prime number with this quality is 3, since 3 is the sum of prime number 2 and its prime ordinal number 1, and also the sum of 3 plus its prime ordinal number 2 equals 5, with 5 also being a prime (the 3rd prime): 2 + 1 = 3 and 3 + 2 = 5.

The 2nd prime number with this quality is 101, since it is the sum of prime number 79 plus its prime ordinal number 22, and also the sum of 101 plus its prime ordinal number 26 equals 127 (the 31st prime): 79 + 22 = 101 and 101 + 26 = 127.

Only the 3rd prime number with this quality is 223, since it is the sum of prime number 181 plus its ordinal number 42, and also the sum of 223 plus its prime ordinal number 48 equals 271 (the 58th prime): 181 + 42 = 223 and 223 + 48 = 271.

The 4th prime number with this quality is 503, since it is the sum of prime number 421 plus its prime ordinal number 82, and also the sum of 503 plus its prime ordinal number 96 equals 599 (the 109th prime): 421 + 82 = 503 and 503 + 96 = 599.

The 5th prime number with this quality is 641, since it is the sum of prime number 541 plus its prime ordinal number 100, and also the sum of 641 plus its prime ordinal number 116 equals 757 (the 134th prime): 541 + 100 = 641 and 641 + 116 = 757.

This matter probably deserves further study, especially since many of the numbers involved in these calculations are obviously connected to the Torah and have been previously explained in the Kabbalah Secrets posts and in previous comments.

Hopefully I’ll catch up to the new posts soon. Meanwhile I’ll explain another reason why I’ve been focusing on Psalms 111 and 112.

We are coming from the days of counting the Omer, the 49 intermediate days between Pesach and Shevuos. Each of these days is connected with the growth of 7 times 7 specific Sefiros, with the words and letters of Psalm 67, and with the words and letters of the Ana B’choach prayer. Both Psalm 67 and the Ana B’choach prayer are said to have enormous “spiritual power.”

Traditional sources often depict Psalm 67 with its verses and words arranged in the form of a Menorah, with pictures of this printed in prayer books and hung as posters and embroidered on curtains in synagogues, and it has been used in Jewish meditation for years.

Some sources, for example the Chida (Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1806), refer to this Menorah-design Psalm as the “Magen Dovid,” “Shield of David,” and claim that King Dovid himself was Divinely inspired to compose this Psalm to conform to the design of a Menorah, and he had this Menorah design of the Psalm depicted on his shield and with it he defeated all his enemies.

One tends to be a bit skeptical about such claims, however it is quite probable that King Dovid did both automatically and intentionally compose this Psalm with manifold mystical allusions and such that it indeed corresponds to the shape of the Menorah.

While this idea may be more obvious with regard to Psalm 67, it makes perfect sense to say that similarly the other Psalms were also composed with Ruach HaKodesh, Divine inspiration, to have such mystical allusions, and to correspond to other significant designs and patterns that are meaningful from a Torah perspective. That indeed seems to be the case with regard to the Psalms 111 and 112.

———-

The topic of the Menorah as the Magen Dovid, Shield of David, is very timely at present, since we are now reading in the Torah Parshas B’ha’aloscho Es Ha’Neiros, starting from Numbers 8:1, which discusses the kindling of the Menorah by Aharon the High Priest.

To review, the Menorah, as described in detail in the Book of Exodus, has 7 branches, corresponding to the 7 days of creation, and to the 7 words in the Torah’s first verse.

The Menorah also has 22 decorative “cups” shaped like “almond flowers,” corresponding to the 22 letters of the Alef Beit, and 11 decorative “flower buds,” and 9 decorative “flower blossoms.”

The total number of Menorah decorations are thus 22 + 11 + 9 = 42, corresponding to the 42-Letter Name. Together with the 7 branches the total of the Menorah’s parts is thus 7 + 42 = 49, corresponding to the 49 days of Sefiras HaOmer.

The Menorah is supported by the “base” of the Menorah, which may be said to hint to the holiday of Pesach, the preceding day, out of which came the following 49 days of the Omer, Pesach being the festival of freedom and “base day” for everything that comes afterward. The 50th day or level, corresponding to the holiday of Shevuos, the festival of the giving of the great light of Torah, corresponds to when the Menorah’s lamps are actually kindled and their light finally radiates and illuminates the Holy Sanctuary and the whole world.

———-

Discussing the shape of the Menorah as the “Mogen Dovid” makes one also think about the other more familiar to us “Mogen Dovid,” Shield of David design, represented as the shape of the six pointed Jewish Star, as was discussed here a while back, including that with the central hexagon of the star as the 7th central point the Jewish star corresponds to the 7 branched Menorah.

It is fascinating that just as there are allusions to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in the Menorah design, so too there is a connection of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet to the six pointed Jewish Star, and amazingly it has been shown (I don’t know the specific origin) that the shapes of all of the Hebrew letters are identifiable as specific subsections of various combinations of lines in the six pointed star.

To see this simply do an internet search (Google is good for this too!) and look for images of the Magen Dovid and the Hebrew alphabet and you will immediately find sample depictions of this very amazing, illuminating and enlightening phenomenon.

Above I wrote about Habakuk 2:20, stating that “the verse number 2:20 is evocative of a connection to the 22 letters of the Alef Beis, and that the first word of the verse, V’Hashem, is gematria 32, corresponding to the 10 Sefiros and the 22 letters, or to the regular 22 letters, plus 5 Sofit letters, plus 5 standard doubles of letters with harder sounds, Veis, Chuf, Feh, Sin and Sav (which in the Torah are written the same, and only slightly differ in pronunciation from the letters Beis, Kuf, Peh, Shin and Tav which have softer sounding pronunciations).”

The last part about the way to understand the Hebrew alphabet corresponding to the number 32, is based on the standard Aleph Beis charts of the Hebrew letters in use throughout the world today. See for example the chart printed in the beginning of the Tehilas Hashem (Chabad) Sidur. Other such charts may include one more letter, a 33rd letter, by showing both the Kof Sofis and the Chof Sofis forms, whereas in the other versions only one of these is shown.

Understanding the Hebrew alphabet in this way is of course not the way the Hebrew alphabet is described in Sefer Yetzirah, where there are instead of 5 double letters there are 7, בגדכפרת, which do not include the Shin-Sin that I had included, but instead includes 3 other letters, the Gimel, Dalet and Reis, which for Ashkenazim today have lost their double pronunciations. Also a difference in the Sefer Yetzirah explanation of the alphabet is that the 5 Sofit letters are not distinguished from their regular forms.

As for the relationship of the 22 letters to the 10 Sefiros, the 22 letters are said to correspond to the 22 lines that connect the 10 Sefiros to one another. The 3 horizontal lines correspond to the 3 “mother letters,” the 7 vertical lines correspond to the 7 “double letters,” and the 12 diagonal lines correspond to the 12 “simple letters.”

[Regarding the authorship of Sefer Yetzirah, it has been attributed to both the patriarch Avrohom and to Rebbe Akiva, but many are skeptical of these attributions, and one is not obligated to accept everything that is written therein. The same applies regarding the Zohar, its authorship is attributed to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochoi but this is disputed, and likewise one is not obligated to accept everything written therein. (Even regarding the Talmud there are many aspects in it that are one is not obligated to accept, for example references to demons and the like, which other significant Rabbinic figures like the Rambam completely rejected.) This though is a topic for broader study and not for the present circumstances.]

Good Shabbos!