Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: PARSHAS HASHAVUA Category:NUMBERS & LETTERS Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Wed, 01 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Parshas Maasei: Rav Moshe Singer - The Twelve Mil From Bais HaYeshimos Until Avel HaShitim

The last encampment mentioned in Parshas Masei is on the Yarden where Bnei Yisrael occupied the territory from Bais HaYeshimos until Avel HaShitim (Maasei 33:49). Rashi says that we learn from here that the encampment of Bnei Yisrael took up twelve mil. Rashi then brings the Gemara where Rabba bar bar Chana says that he saw that area and that was the distance.

However, Rashi cuts off the Gemara after Rabba bar bar Chana says that he saw the area and does not finish the Gemara. Instead Rashi says, "V'chulei", indicating that the gemara continues, but he is not quoting it. Why?

Rav Moshe Singer says that there is a remez in the letters of the pasuk that the camp was twelve mil. The first two letters of Bais HaYeshimos is Bais Yud or Yud Bais, which is twelve. The last letters of the other end point of the Machaneh, Avel HaShitim are Lamed Yud Mem, which is Mil. In the Gemara Rabba bar bar Chana actually says that the area is 3 Parsa, which is equal to 12 mil. Rashi, however, chose to call it twelve mil, in line with the remez. Therefore, in order not to confuse us, he did not bring the last words of the Gemara.

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Korach: Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin - How Many People Did Aharon Save?

The day after the Korach fiasco ended, Bnei Yisrael complained that Moshe and Aharon were responsible for everyone's death. Hashem then told Moshe, "Heiromu Mitoch HaEIdah; separate from the people," and Hashem would kill them. After a plague broke out, Aharon took the Kitores on Moshe's instructions and stopped the Malach HaMaves in his tracks. The pasuk tells us that 14,700 people died besides the people who were killed with Korach. What is the connection between the number of deaths in these two events?

The Maharil Diskin says that all these people were supposed to die with Korach, but when Moshe davened to Hashem they were spared. Now that they complained, Hashem sent the Malach HaMaves to complete the job. Since the Torah uses the word Heiromu which is Truma, the amount of people equalling the total for Truma were decreed to die. The highest ration for truma is 1 out 40 which from 603,550 people is 15,088.

14,700 died in the plague and 253 were killed initially for a total of 14,953. Since a total of 15,088 were supposed to die, Aharon's Kitores spared the lives of 135 people. How do we know this is correct? The Maharil Diskin says that 135 is the gematria Kahal. Moshe sent Aharon to save the EIdah, but when Aharon saved them, it says, "Vayaratz El Toch HaKahal;" he managed to save the Kahal of 135 men.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bamidbar - Rav Michel Feinstein - Shevet Levi Was The Fastest Growing Population

The Ramban makes a calculation that Shevet Levi had less than one half the population of the smallest Shevet. He asks how could it be that Shevet Levi, the Avadim and Chasidim of Hashem, did not multiply at least as fast as the other Shevatim? He answers that the astronomical growth of Bnei Yisrael was due to their Shibud in Mitzrayim which Shevet Levi was not a victim of.

Rav Michel Feinstein makes a calculation that comes to the opposite conclusion. Rashi (Bamidbar 3:39) makes a calculation that Shevet Levi had 300 Bechorim. Out of a population of 22,300 Levi'im above the age of thirty days that means they had an average of approximately 70 children per family! The rest of Bnei Yisrael had 22,273 Bechorim out of a population of 603,550. Even if you double that to include the ones younger than 20 years old you, still have an average family size of around 50, which is far less than the average Levi family.

If so, why did Shevet Levi have such a small population? The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh says that eighty years before the Yetzias Mitzrayim the Levi'im divorced their wives because of the gezeiros. ("Although Amram took his wife back, the others did not," says the Ohr HaChaim). Therefore, Bnei Levi were far behind in raw numbers. "As proof of this," says the Ohr HaChaim, "in the census taken later in Divrei HaYamim, Bnei Yisrael did not even double, but fast growing Shevet Levi, more than quadrupled during this period."

Fri, 27 May 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bamidbar: Rav Moshe Singer - The Grand Total Was Already Known

Hashem tells Moshe, "Si'u Kol Rosh Kol Adas Bnei Yisroel; Take a census of Bnei Yisrael." After the count, Moshe comes up with number 603,550. Rav Moshe Singer says there is a Remez to the total population right in the words of Hashem's command.

Bnei Yisrael is gematria 603. Rosh Kol without the Aleph is 550 or 603,550. The Aleph? That is for Anochi, the Echad Yachid U'Miyuchad, Hashem, who promised to come out of Mitzrayim together with Am Yisrael.

Fri, 27 May 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Mitzora: Rav Chaim Kanievsky - The Mitzora's Tzipor, With Or Without A Vav?

A Mitzora brings two birds to become Tahor. One is to Shecht, and the other is kept alive and used to spritz the blood of the dead bird on the Mitzora.  That bird is then let free. By the Shechtia of the first Tzipor (Mitzora 14:5) the Torah spells tzipor with the letter "Vav" in it. When referring to the live one (14:6) the Torah spells tzipor without a Vav. Why?

The Gemara (Yuma 62b) says that both birds must be identical. "Yet," says Rav Chaim Kanievsky, "no two birds can be exactly identical, even two grains of wheat cannot be identical. They are a close as can possibly be. The Rambam says that the nicer one is shechted. That is why the Torah adds the extra Vav," says Rav Chaim.

However, in that same pasuk when dipping the live bird into the blood of the dead bird, the pasuk does not use the extra Vav then. Why? Rav Chaim says,"Because after it is already dead it loses its chashivus."

Thu, 07 Apr 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Shmini: Vilna Gaon - Rashi Exemplifies The Emes Of The Torah

"Kol Holeich Al Gachon' We may not eat anything that crawls on its stomach." (Shmini 11:42) Rashi explains the word Gachon meaning stomach with the word Mei'av. Why does Rashi use the word Mei'av which is the term for inside the stomach, rather than Beten which means the belly, which is more correct in this instance?

The Vilna Gaon answers that the stamp of Hashem is Emes. The letters of Emes are Aleph the first letter in the Torah. Men which is a middle letter, and Tuf which is the last. Rashi with his Ruach HaKodesh fashioned his peirush on Torah the same way. The first word in Rashi in Bireishis is Amar which starts with an Aleph. The last word in Rashi in Zos HaBracha is SheShibarta, and its last letter is Tuf. The middle word in the Torah is Gachon. Rashi explains it as Mei'av because Mei'av start with a Mem and his peirush is Emes throughout the Torah!

Fri, 25 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Ki Sisa: Vilna Gaon - Three Thousand Killed For The Ox

"Vayapel Min HaAm Bayom Hahu Kishloshes Alfei Ish." (Ki Sisa 32:28) "Three thousand people were killed in reprisal for the Chait HaEigel." The Medrash says that this is what the pasuk means, that you pay five cattle for each ox (Mishpatim 21:37). What is this Medrash pliah talking about?

The Vilna Gaon answers with a pasuk in Koheles (7:28) that says, "Ish Echad MeiElef Matzasi V'Isha Bichol Eileh Lo Matzasi; I found one man out of a thousand but but among these not even a single woman." The Medrash says that this refers to Chait HaEigel (where they said "Eileh Elohecha Yisrael") where one out of every thousand men sinned, but not even a single woman.

One out of a thousand means that only 600 men sinned. "If so," asks the Medrash, "why did three thousand die?"

 "Chamisha Bakar Yishalem Tachas HaShor," the halacha is that if you steal and slughter or sell a cow you pay five times. Therefore, for the Chait of the Eigel or calf, Hashem collected five time which is three thousand.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Truma: Kli Yakar - Atzei Shitim Planted For Forgiveness

The medrash says that Yaakov said to Hashem, "Bameh Tsiratzeh Al Maasei Eigel; How will you be appeased after the Chait HaEigel?"

 Hashem answered him, with the Atzei Shittim used in the Mishkan. "This is why," says the Kli Yakar, "they are called Atzei Shitim Omdim. Omeid means ready to be used. Yaakov planted them so that they can take them from Mitzrayim, and have them at hand to receive their kapara after the Chait HaEigel."

The gematria of "HaKerashim LaMishkan" and "Yaakov Avinu Nata Lahem Arazim B'Mitzrayim" are both equal to 1095. The letters used to make 1095 are Tuf Tuf Reish Tzadi Hei or Tisratzeh, Hashem forgave Bnei Yisrael.

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bo: Chida - A Leil Shimurim That Lasts A Lifetime

The night of Yetzias Mitzrayim is called Leil Shimurim from the pasuk (Bo 12:42), "Leil Shimurin Hu Lashem L'Hotzium MeiEretz Mitzrayim." The Chida says that this pasuk is a remez to a person in this world. Leil is gematria 70, which represents the 70 year life span of a person on this world. Shimurin Hu Lashem, they must be watched for Hashem.

L'Hotzium MeiEretz Mitzrayim, to take your life out of the land of Mitzrayim. Mitzrayim is from Meitzar which means tight and distressed. Living a life chasing the pleasures of Olam HaZeh causes constant pressure. By spending our lives for Hashem, we will not be strangled in this world. We will open up vistas for ourselves in this world and the next.

Fri, 07 Jan 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Vaeira: Chasam Sofer - Why No Response To Dever?

By the Maka of Shchin, the Torah tells us (Vaeira 9:11) that the Chartumim could not appear before Paroh because of the Shchin that inflicted them. This means that for all the other Makos, before Shchin, they did stand before Paroh. If so why by Dever did they not respond by bringing a plague on the animals of Bnei Yisrael?

The Chasam Sofer answers with the following calculation. The Gemara says that on Rosh HaShana Bnei Yisrael stopped working in Mitzrayim, and that is when the Makos started. Each new Maka began a month later, meaning that Dever started on Rosh Chodesh Shvat. That year had to have had an extra Adar according to this calculation, with Arbeh on Rosh Chodesh Nisan and Choshech just before Pesach.

The first day of Pesach, the day they went out of Mitzrayim, was Thursday (Shabbos 87). Therefore, Rosh Chodesh Shvat fell on Shabbos. The Gemara Sanhedrin (65b) says that sorcery does not work on Shabbos Kodesh. "This is why," says the Chasam Sofer, "by Dever the Chartumim could not respond."

Fri, 31 Dec 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Vayeira: Drush Shmuel - The Yud In Yitzchok Needs Some Work

The Medrash tells us that each letter of Yitzchok's name meant something. The "Yud" is for the Aseres HaDibros, the "Tzadi" for Sara, who was 90 years old at the time of his birth, the "Ches" since he was the first one who had a Bris Mils at 8 days old, and "Kuf" for Avrohom who was 100 years old.

The Pninim UParparaos brings a Remez to this from the Drush Shmuel. The Pasuk says (Vayeira 21:6) that when Yitzchok was born Sarah said "Tzchok Asa Li Elokim Kol HaShomei'a Yitzachak Li; Hashem made a Tzchok for me and whoever hears will become full of Tzchok. The first reference to Tzchok is Yitzchok without the Yud. This is because all the remazim in his name were realized at that time, except for the Aseres HaDibros which is represenyted by the Yud.

Tzchok Asa Li Elokim, the last three letters Hashem already did for Sarah. "Kol HaShomei'a Yitzachak Li," the Yud for the Aseres HaDibros will only be realized over time if they are fulfilled.

Fri, 22 Oct 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Shoftim: Kotzker Rebbe - Keep You Mem Small But Your Tuf Big
"Tamim Tihiyeh Im Hashem Elokecha; Conduct your life in perfect trust of Hashem." (Shoftim 18:13),  The letter Tuf of  the word Tamim is unusually large.  In contrast, in Parshas Tzav (6:2) it says,  "He HaOlah Al Mokda; The Olah went up on the great flames of the Mizbei'ach." The letter "Mem" of the word Mokda is written small. Why is this? 

The Kotzker Rebbe explains that when it comes to trust in Hashem you must display an extraordinary amount of trust in Hashem in all your dealings, both publicly and privately.  Tamim must be with an oversized Tuf.  However, when it comes to fiery avodah, although you should serve Hashem with great Hislahavus, nevertheless you should remain small and all your passion and frenzy should be hidden from the public just like the small "Mem" of the word Mokda.

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Shoftim: Rokei'ach - A Tzadik Without A Yud
The Torah says that Shochad has the power to blind even the greatest Tzaddikim.  Chazal tell us that it is so powerful that even the slightest favor or bribe can corrupt one's judgement.  The Rokei'ach brings a Remez to the destructive power of Shochad from the pasuk (Shoftim 16:19) כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים, וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִם.  The word Tzadikim is spelled missing the second letter Yud before the Mem at the end.  

"This missing Yud," says the Rokei'ach, "teaches us that a Judge who alters the Din, it is as if he is Oveir on all the Aseres HaDibros."  Why?  The Rokei'ach says that the world stands on Din and the world was created with 10 Maamaros, as the Mishna says in Avos (5:1).  These 10 Maamaros are parallel to the 10 Dibros.  By altering Din you destroy the world and the Aseres HaDibros.  And a Tzadik without the Yud is surely no Tzadik.

Mon, 09 Aug 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Pinchos: Shmeina Lachmo - Last But Not Least, Sheeleim
"L'Sheeleim Mishpachas HaSheeleimi" (Pinchos 26:49).  In the aftermath of the debacle of Ba'al Pi'or, Moshe Rabbeinu counted Bnei Yisroel and gave a Kosher stamp to all the families by adding the letters "Hey" in the beginning and a "Yud" at the end, which are the Shem Hashem.  The last family mentioned is Sheeleim.

This counting was to show that the Shechina still rests on Bnei Yisroel despite the Chait.  The reason why Bnei Yisroel is numbered 600,000 is because that is the number needed for Hashra'as HaShechina.

The Shmeina Lachmo points out that the gematria of HaSheeleimi is 385, is the same gematria as Shechina (385).  With the counting of the family of Sheeleim, Bnei Yisroel reached 600,000 pure souls and were zocheh to the Shechina.  The word HaSheeleimi itself also forms the words "Ka" (Yud and Hey) "Shaleim" as Hashem testifies that each and every member is pure and holy and not tainted with any tinge of Chait. 

Fri, 02 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Balak: Rebbi Akiva Eiger - Bilam's Bracha Means We Don't Say Tachanun
"Lakov Oivai Likachticha V'Hinei Beirachta Boruch", I took you to curse my enemies and behold you blessed them (Parshas Balak 23:11).  Rebbi Akiva Eiger says that the Chesed L'Avrohom says that each year has 354 days of which 222 we say Tachanun because they are days of Din, and 132 days that we don't say Tachanun because they are Yimei Ratzon and Rachamim.
Rebbi Akiva Eiger says that Balak wanted Bilam to curse the 132 merciful days and leave the Yimei HaDin as they were.  This would mean that every day of the year would be a Yom Din, with no days of Rachamim.  However Hashem turned around his words and instead he made the Yimei HaDin into Yimei Rachamim, making the year pure mercy with no Din.
This is what Balak said to Bilam, "Lakov Oivai Likachticha".  "Lakov" means curse and its gematria is 132 (Lamed - 30, Kuf - 100, Bais - 2) and those are the days I wanted you to curse.  However instead Beirachta "Bareich" which means to bless them has a gematria of 222 (Bais - 2, Raish - 200, Chaf - 20).  You gave a bracha to the bad days and made them good instead.

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Ki Sisa: Vilna Gaon - After The Eigel The Dalet and Reish Get Smaller

In Pasuk 34:14 it says "Ki Lo Sishtachaveh L'El Acher"; Do not bow to a foreign god." The letter Reish in the word Acher is big. Chazal say since the Dalet and Reish look similar, the Torah made the Reish big so that you don't confuse it with a Dalet and read it "Echad",  which would mean,"Do not bow to the Single G-d," meaning Hashem chas v'shalom. In the Pasuk of Shema Yisrael the Echad has a big Dalet at the end so you don't read it with a Reish and say. "Hashem acher." that there are other gods.

Rav Meir Shapiro of Lublin says that this is the meaning of Rashi. The Pasuk says that Hashem told Moshe after Cheit HaEigel, "Lech Raid"; Go down." Rashi adds the word "MiGdulasecha" go down from you bigness. Rav Shapiro explains that the word Raid, is spelled Reish Dalet. These are the two letters which were written big in the Torah to teach us not to worship other gods.  Therefore the Torah says, "Lech Raid; Go down," letters Reish and Dalet and Rashi adds. "from your bigness." since making these letter big didn't help anyway, since Bnei Yisrael worshipped Avodah Zara.

Fri, 05 Mar 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Titzaveh: Vilna Gaon - Me'il, A Mouth Like The Letter "Tes" The Vilna Gaon says that the letter "Kuf" represents a Ba'al Machlokes.  He tells lies to fan the flames of a feud.  Lies have the letter Kuf which stands on leg and easily falls over.  Kuf also has a long tongue that he wags too much in his quest to cause dissent.  

The letter "Tes" represents the "Ish Tov", a good person who runs after peace.   His base is nice and sturdy and his tongue is bent inwards as he guards it carefully from speaking evil.

There is a siman for the from the Me'il that is worn by the Kohen Gadol and is Michaper on Lashon Hara.  The Pasuk says "V'haya Pi Rosho Bitocho... Lo Yikarei'a", its collar should be folded inward and it should not rip.  The Gra says we should also be like the "Tes" with our tongue folded inward and not cause any divide among people.  (MiShulchan Gavo'a)

Fri, 26 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Mishpatim: Rav Chaim Kanievsky - Where To Feed The Dogs "U'Basar BaSadeh Treifa Lo Socheilu LaKelev Tashlichun Oisoi" (Mishpatim 22:30).  We are commanded not to eat an animal that has not been slaughtered properly.  Rather we throw it to the dogs as a reward for their abstaining from barking on the night of Makas Bechoros.  Rav Chaim Kanievsky asks why is the word throw or Tashlichun written with an extra letter "Nun"?  It should say Tashlichu.

Rav Chaim answers that the gemara in Shabbos (155b) says, that it is common decency and respectful to throw the neveila to the dog but only in the field and not in city, or else the dog will continue to always follow you around.  The Mishna in Bava Basra (25a) says that we don't throw any Neveilos within 50 Amos of a city, in order to preserve the quality of life in the city.

We see this hinted, says Rav Chaim, in the word Tashlichun, which is really Tashlichu with an extra "Nun" which teaches us that we throw it Nun or 50 Amos outside the city, satisfying both requirements of the gemara.

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Yisro: Maharal MiPrague & Maskil L'Dovid - What Is In The Name Yisro Rashi brings from the Medrash that Yisro had seven names (see Revach Lists for names and reasons).  "The reason," says Rashi, "that he was called Yisro was because another name he had, was Yeser and when He was Migayer and took on the Mitzvos they added a 'Vav' to his name."  Why a Vav?

The Maharal MiPrague in Gur Aryeh says that Yisro with a Vav has a gematria 616.  That includes the 613 mitzvos plus the three that a Ger must do to be Migayer, which includes Mila, Tvila, and bringing a Korban.  Mila is not double counted as he still has a mitzva to do Mila on his children.

The Maskil L'Dovid says that Yisro includes all his names.  Yeser was one name, plus the Vav means he had six other names.  

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bo: Vilna Gaon - The Difficulty Hidden In Moshe's Name "HaCHodesh Hazeh Lachem; This new month is for you..."(Bo 12:2).   Rashi tells us the pasuk uses the word Zeh because Moshe could not properly  grasp Kiddush HaChodesh, so Hashem showed it to him, using the word Zeh.  We find the words Zeh two other times where Chazal says the same thing.  Moshe could not grasp the inner depth of the Shekalim or the Menorah.

The Vilna Gaon says that these three Mitzvos are hidden in the name Moshe twice.  If you take the Roshei Teivos of the words Menorah, Shekalim, and HaChodesh, it spells Moshe.  "Also," says the Gra, "if you take the last letters of those same words they also spells Moshe."

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Shemos: Rav Shimshon MiOstropolia - Moshe's Gilgulim Appear In The Fire When Moshe came to the burning Sneh, the Pasuk tells us, "Vayeira Malach Hashem Eilav BiLabas Eish; A Malach of Hashem appeared to him in a flame of fire (Shemos 3:2)."  Chazal cryptically tell us on this pasuk, "to complete his name."  What does this mean?

The Chida brings from Rav Shimshon MiOstropolia that Moshe was a gilgul of Hevel and Sheis, two sons of Adam HaRishon.  The name Moshe is the Roshei Teivos of Mem - Moshe, Shin - Sheis, and Hei - Hevel.  However Moshe's name still leaves the Suf of Sheis and the Bais and Lamed of Hevel unaccounted for.  The Malach came, "BiLabas Eish."  Labas is the missing letters Lamed, Bais, Suf.  With it Moshe completed his name and got his full power to do his Shlichus.

"Furthermore," says the Arizal, "we see this hinted in the Pasuk before.  It says that Moshe Haya Ro'eh Tzon.  Moshe was a shepherd.  It uses the past tense to teach us that not only was Moshe currently a shepherd, but also in his previous gilgul as Hevel, who the Torah says was a shepherd."

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Vayichi: Vilna Gaon - Yosef Infuses Yaakov With 1/60 Strength "Hinei Bincha Yosef ba Eilecha Vayischazek Yisroel Vayeishev Al HaMita" (Vayichi 48:2).  Yaakov was sick and he was told that Yosef is coming to visit him.  After Yosef came, Yaakov strengthened himself and sat up on the bed.  From where did Yaakov muster this strength?

The gemara (Nedarim 39b) says that when someone visits a sick person he takes away 1/60 of the pain.  The gemara adds that this is only if the visitor is his Ben Gilo, meaning they are born under the same Mazal.

The Vilna Gaon says that we know that Yosef was the Ben Gilo of Yaakov, as there life stories followed similar paths.  Furthermore the word "Hinei" is gematria 60 and the word HaMita is gematria 59.  Yosef was told, "Hinei Avicha Choleh" as in the 60 degrees of his pain.  After Yosef arrived, "Vayischazek Yisroel Vayeishev Al HaMita."  Yosef took 1/60 of the pain and Yaakov was able to strengthen himself on "HaMita" because now he only had 59 parts pain.

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Vayeitzei: Rav Itzele Volozhin - Lavan Hid His Daughters Behind The Numbers When Yaakov said to Lavan that he would work seven years for Rochel, Lavan answered, "Tov Titi Osa Lach Mititi Osa L'Ish Acher; Better to give her to you than to give her to another man." (Vayeitzei 29:19)

Rav Itzele Volozhin says that Lavan planned on tricking Yaakov from the beginning, and always had in mind to give him Leah and not Rochel.  This is hinted in the words, "Titi" in gematria of Mispar Katan is 9 just like Leah.  Mititi is 13 just like Rochel.  Lavan in essence said, "Fine I will give you Leah and I will give Rochel to another man."

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Toldos: Revealing The Hidden Hand Of Eisav "HaKol Kol Yaakov V'HaYadayim Yidei Eisav". From these famous words of Yitzchok upon Yaakov entering his room for the Brachos, Chazal teach us that when the "Kol" of Yaakov is learning Torah, the hand of Eisav is paralyzed.  However if the voices of Torah are silent, then the hand of Eisav will be revealed and come down on Am Yisroel with its full fury and vengeance over the stealing of the brachos.

Rav Shlomo Levenstein brings a remez to the from the sefer Lechem Lfi HaTaf.  Each letter has a gematria and hidden gematria (called Milui Osios).  The word Eisav is spelled Ayin-Sin-Vuv.  The letter Ayin is spelled Ayin-Yud-Nun.  The Yud and the nun are the hidden letters of the letter Ayin.  If you add up the hidden letters of the word Eisav it totals 136, the same numerical value as the word "Kol". 

If the Kol of Torah is singing loud and strong, the full power of Eisav, which lies in his hands, will remain hidden.  If the Kol or 136 of Yaakov is hidden, then the full power of Eisav and his 136 will reign terror on Klal Yisroel.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Eikev: Rav Chaim Kanievsky - When Should Moshiach Come? The Gemara (Avoda Zara 9a) says that the world is for six thousand years.  The first two thousand were empty before the Torah was given, the second two thousand are for Torah, and the last two thousand are for Moshiach.  The Gemara then says that Moshiach should have come then, but we are wasting time because of our aveiros.

When did these two thousand years begin?  They began 172 years after the Churban Bais HaMikdash.  Rav Chaim Kanievsky says that we see a remez for this in Parshas Eikev.  "V'Haya Eikeiv Tishmi'um." Eikev is the letters of 172.  The Torah tells us that if we listen to the Torah and do the mitzvos, all of Hashem's goodness will be bestowed upon us 172 years after the Churban.

Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Emor: Rav Chaim Kanievsky - Rus, Boaz, And Naomi Make An Appearance In Middle Of The Parsha Parshas Emor discusses the Yomim Tovim starting with Pesach and going chronologically through the year until Succos.  At the end of pasukim discussing Shavuos and the Korban Shtei HaLechem the torah tells of the mitzva of leaving the Pei'a and Leket of the field to the poor.  Not only is this out of place but it was already written in Parshas Kedoshim.  

Rav Chaim Kanievsky says that the torah is hinting to us about Rus who collected Leket from Boaz's field.  Rus first came to his field in the season when they were cutting the barley, which is this time of year.  Some even say they were cutting for the Korban Omer which is discussed in the preceding pasukim.  

Rav Chaim points out that the pasuk says (Emor 23:22), "LeAni V'LaGer Ta'azov", taking the word V'LaGer, the last letter of the preceding word, and the first letter of the subsequent word, it spells Giyores, alluding to Rus.  Additionally the word Ta'azov has the letters of Boaz in it.  The extra letter "Tuf" together with the first and last letters of "V'LaGer" is the word Rus.  The gematria of the words "LeAni V'LaGer Ta'azov Osam" is equal to "Zu Naomi V'Rus HaMoavia Kalasa", this is Naomi and Rus the Moavi her daughter-in-law.

Thu, 07 May 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Titzaveh: Vilna Gaon - Moshe Rabbeinu is Hidden In The Parsha We do not find Moshe Rabbeinu's name written in Parshas Titzaveh. The Baal HaTurim explains that after Cheit HaEgel Moshe told Hashem that if He doesn't forgive Bnei Yisroel, He should erase Moshe's name from the Sefer Torah. Although Hashem forgave them, nevertheless a tzaddik's words do not go unheeded and Moshe is left out of Parshas Titzaveh.

The Vilna Gaon says the reason for Moshe's absence is that 7 Adar, Moshe's Yahrtzeit, always falls out in the week of Titzaveh. Since he left us this week his name doesn't appear. Nevertheless says the Vilna Gaon, Moshe's name is hidden in the Parsha. There are 101 pasukim in the parsha. If you take the hidden letters in Moshe's name it equals 101. Mem is spelled Mem, Mem the second "hidden" mem = 40. Shin is spelled Shin, Yud Nun, the hidden yud and nun equal = 60. Hey is spelled Hey, Aleph = 1 for a total of 101.

We see from here, says the Vilna Gaon, that even after the gashmiyos of Moshe, his exterior body was taken from us, nevertheless his ruchniyos, his Neshama is still with us.

Thu, 05 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Vilna Gaon: Hashem Kept Some Things Still Out Of Reach The gemara in Ta'anis says that Hashem gave power over many things in this world to people.  However there are three "Mafteichos" keys that He kept to Himself.  They are making children, waking the dead, and rain.

The Vilna Gaon brings a Remez to this by the pasuk describing the golden Tzitz that the Kohen Gadol wore on his forehead.  "U'Pitachta Alav Pituchei Chosam Kodesh LaShem", engrave on it like you engrave a signet ring, kodesh LaShem.  The word Chosam is spelled without a Vav.  Ches is for Chaya as in childbirth.  Tav is for Techias HaMeisim.  Mem is for Matar.  This Chosam says the pasuk, remains Kodesh LaShem.

Wed, 04 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bishalach: Vilna Gaon - The Enemy Changes But The Letters Don't "Ki Macho Emcheh Es Zeicher Amaleik",  I will totally obliterate the memory of Amaleik from under the heavens (Bishalach 17:14).  Why does it say the double lashon of "Macho Emcheh"?

The Vilna Gaon says that in the word Emcheh (Aleph, Mem, Ches, Hey) lies a Remez to all the redeemers of Am Yisroel in each Galus. 

Mitzrayim - Aharon, Moshe, Chur, Hashem
Bavel - Esther, Mordechai, Charvona, Hashem
Edom - Eliyahu, Moshiach, Ches Nesichim (see Succah 52b), Hashem

Fri, 06 Feb 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Toldos: Vilna Gaon - Eisav's Bracha From Yitzchok, Mitzva 614 Yitzchok tells Eisav (Toldos 27:40), V'Haya Ka'asher Tarid UFarakta Ulo;" although Yaakov will dominate you, when he goes down in his mitzva observance, you will take off his yoke, and you will rule over him.

The Vilna Gaon says that if the Yetzer Hara, who is the Malach of Eisav, would tell a Yehudi to do an aveira, he surely would not listen.  What the Yetzer Hara does, is he convince us that this aveira is actually a Mitzva and then we take the bait.

This is seen in the words of the Pasuk, "Ka'asher Tarid".  The word Tarid is 614, which is one more than Taryag, the 613 mitzvos.  Th pasuk tells us that when we listen to the Yetzer Hara/Malach of Eisav, and keep supposed mitzva #614, then Eisav has trapped us, and then he will rule over us.

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Chayei Sara: The Link Between The Camel And Kindness The Torah makes a point to say that Eliezer took camels with him on his mission to find a wife for Yitzchok.  The Rokeach says that this is a Remez that he was looking for someone who was a Gomeles Chesed, a person of kindness, as in the word Gamal meaning camel.  He also says that the word Gamal is the Roshei Teivos of "Gam Makon Lalun".  Rivka tells Eliezer (24:25) that there is place for him to sleep in the house.  This showed that she came from a home that was Gomel Chesed.

Rav Moshe Singer points out the the word Chesed (72 + 1 for the Kollel) has the same gematria as the word Gamal, further strengthening the link between the camel and kindness.  Rav Yechiel Michel Stern says that the word Chochma also is the gematria Gamal.  This may be yet another correlation to the wisdom behind Rivka's giving water to both Eliezer and his men as well as the camels.  Chesed is a delicate matter and needs to be done with with wisdom not to insult the recipient.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parsha Lech Licha: Why Is There A Letter "Raish" In Avrohom's Name

The pasuk tells us (17:5) that Avrohom's name was changed from Avram to Avrohom.  Avram means Av L'Aram, the partriarch of the region of Aram.  Avrohom means Av Hamon Goyim, the father of an abundance of nations.  If so, he should have been called "AvHam", why the extra Raish?

Rashi answers that although the Raish wasn't relevant anymore, Hashem did not want to remove it, so it remained in its place. "We see," says Rashi, "that when Hashem changed Sara's name and replaced the letter Yud with a Hey, the Yud was upset until Hashem added it to Yehoshua's name."

Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz answers that the gematria of AvHam is 48.  The medrash tells us that Avrohom was 48 years old when he completed his faith in Hashem.  The Raish is for the word Resha'im.  The resha'im should have learned from Avrohom's journey that they too must have faith in Hashem and stop believing in idol worship.

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Lech Licha: The Baal HaTurim Finds Yitzchok, Where Is Yishmael? The Baal HaTurim says that "Lech Licha" is Gematria 100 (Lech = 50 Licha - 50), hinting that if Avrohom goes to Eretz Yisrael he will be zocheh to have Yitzchok at age 100.  However, we know that Avrohom had Yishmael at 86 years old, why is this omitted?

Rav Moshe Singer says that in the words "Lech Licha" there is a Remez for this as well.  It is brought down in the Seforim HaKedoshim that the Nekudos of a word also have a numeric value.  Each dot which is equivalent to a Yud is 10 and each line is 6.  The Nekudos of the words Lech Licha (Segol [30 + Shva [20] + Shva [20] + Kumatz [16] = 86).  Avrohom was 86 years old when Yishmael was born.

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Noach: Noach Was Destined To See Destruction "Eileh Toldos Noach, Noach."  The Rokeach says that the reason it says Noach's name twice is because he saw two Churbonos in his lifetime, the Mabul and the Dor Haflaga.  Rav Moshe Singer points out that the gematria of the two words HaMabul and Haflaga equal 206 which is the same value as the words Noach Noach in "Al Bam" (Aleph Lamed, Bais Mem, Gimmel Nun,...).

Additionally, the letters of Noach, Nun and Ches, are the first letters in the words Nehi Churban, wailing and destruction, which he unfortunately experienced twice in his life, once wiping life off the face of the earth, and once dispersing mankind all over the face of the earth.  Quite contrary to the plain meaning of his name.

Thu, 30 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Ki Seitzei: When Going To War, Don't Leave Hashem Home The last letters of the words "Ki Seitzei LaMilchama Al Oivecha U'Nisanoi" spell "Elokecha", points out Rav Moshe Singer.  What is the significance of this, if the next two words are "Hashem Elokecha"?  He answers that we see that this war is quick and victory come very easily, as the next few words right after the war starts say, U'Nisano Hashem Hashem Elokecha BiYadecha", Hashem will give them into your hands.  The secret says Rav Singer is, if when Ki Seitzei, when you go out, you take "Elokecha" (the hidden word in the Sofei Teivos) with you, then victory will be swift and easy.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Ki Seitzei: Amalek Catches The Nechshalim

 "VaYizanev Bicha Kol HaNecheshalim Acharecha", Amalek struck down all the feeble ones behind you.  On the words VaYizanev Bicha, Rashi says that Amalek cut off the Mila of the stragglers and threw it towards  Shamayim.  Who were these Nechshalim?  Rashi says it was the people who were expelled from the Ananei HaKavod because they sinned.  In Yechezkel (16:15) Rashi says this is Shevet Dan who were Ovdei Avoda Zara.

Rav Moshe Singer Shlit"a brings a remez to these two Rashis from the word HaNechshalim.  The first letter and last three letters spell the word "Milah".  The remaining middle letters spell "Nachash", snake.  In Parshas VaYechi, Yaakov says to Dan, "Yehi Dan Nachash".  HaNechshalim letter for letter is the Milah of Shevet Dan.

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Shoftim - Egla Arufa Reveals Yaakov's Response To Seeing Yosef “Yadeinu Lo Shafchu Es HaDam”, our hands did not spill this blood (Devarim 21:7).  These are the words of the Zikeinim of the city closest to a murder scene while performing the Mitzva of Eglah Arufa.  

Rav Moshe Singer Shlit”a points out that the Sofei Teivos, the last letters of these words spell the word “Amusa”.  What is the significance of the word Amusa?  When Yosef wanted to convince Yaakov that he was still alive he sent him “Agalos”.  Chazal say that the last sugya they learned together was Eglah Arufa and Yosef wanted to show that all through the years in Mitzrayim he grew in Torah and did not descend from his lofty level even in the Tumah in Mitzrayim.

Where do we see any response to this Remez from Yaakov?  Rav Singer says the first words uttered when Yaakov saw Yosef Bereishis (26:30) were “Amusa HaPaam”.  The word Amusa is the Remez to the Eglah Arufa, as if to say, “Yes, I see it is you and we can now continue learning together!”

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Devarim: Rav Yehuda HaChasid - Sweet Like Honey, Stinging Like A Bee

"These are the Devarim / words that Moshe spoke to all Yisrael." (1:1)  R' Yehuda He'chassid zt"l writes in Ta'amei Mesorot HaMikra: The word "Devarim / words," suggests "Devoirim" or "bees." The words of the Torah are like bees (and bee products). In other words, the Torah, especially Sefer Devarim which contains many harsh rebukes, are as sweet as honey to those who keep them, but will sting as painfully as a bee to anyone who mistreats them.

It is noteworthy that the Gematria of the word 'Mussar' = 306, which has the same Gematria as the word 'D'vash' (Honey), as well as, 'Av HaRachamon' (A reference to Hashem as our Merciful Father). Although Mussar may sting, ultimately it is as sweet as honey, and should be used to refine one's character and reaffirm our connection to our Merciful Father.

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000 At the end of the Parsha we find the MiKoshes Eitzin being Michalel Shabbos and then immediately following this is the Parsha of Tzitzis.  The Vilna Gaon offers an explanation for the connection.  

On our Tzitzis we make five knots.  In the four gaps between these knots we wrap one of the strings around the others.  The number of times we wrap the other strings in these four gaps are 7,8,11,13 for a total of 39.  

Similarly on Shabbos there are 39 Avos Melachos, which are categorized into four groups.  The process of baking bread consists of 13 Melachos, making clothing 11, preparing parchment and writing 8, and the remaining Melachos 7.  

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Fri, 20 Jun 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bichukosai: The Word "Im" and The Great Leaders in Galus - submitted by an anonymous reader

אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ וְאֶת-מִצְו‍ֹתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם  The Mincha Belulah addresses the reason for the word אִם in our posuk. He says the word אִם is an acronym for the great leaders of Klal Yisrael in Golus. It is an acronym for Aharon and Moshe, Mordechai and Esther, and when Moshiach comes speedily in our day it will be Moshiach and Eliyahu Hanavi.

A special thanks to the reader who submitted this vort.  If you have a vort you would like to share, feel free to send it to

Fri, 23 May 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Pekudei: The Mishkan and The 36 Tzaddikim

The Medrash says that Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem, if the Bais HaMikdash is destroyed where will Hashem's Shechina rest. Hashem answered that it will rest on the Tzadikim of each generation. The Gemara in Succah (45b) says that each generation has 36 tzaddikim that greet the Shechina every day.

Rav Shlomo Levenstein in Chaim Shel Torah says there is a Remez to this in the first words of Parshas Pikudei. Pikudei according to many Meforshim means "missing" or "lacking". Eileh is gematria 36. "Eileh Pikudei HaMishkan". What will happen with the Shechina when "Pikudei HaMishkan", when the Mishkan is missing, asks the Torah? Eileh, the Shechina will rest among the 36 tzaddikim.

Sun, 02 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Teruma: Vilna Gaon - Boomerang Tzedoka

"ViYikchu Li Terumah"; "You shall take in may name a separation." The Meforshiam all ask, why does the pasuk state "ViYikchu" - "and you shall take", it should have said "ViYitnu" - "and you shall give" a Terumah?

The famous answer given is , one who gives Tzedoka is really on the receiving end. He ends up getting more reward than the amount of money he donated. Therefore the pasuk says, "ViYikchu" - "You shall take", because in actuality you are really receiving. The Vilna Gaon adds in Parshas Ki Sisa, the pasuk says, "ViNasnu Ish Kofer Nafsho" - Each person should give a ½ of a Shekel in order that Klal Yisroel can be counted. These Shkolim are to be used for the Adonim - the sockets which held up the beams of the Mishkan.

The Gaon takes note that the word "ViNasnu" - "and you shall give" can be read forwards and backwards. The letters are "Vav" "Nun" "Saf" "Nun" Vav" whether you read it from front to back or visa versa.  This is also telling us that one who gives charity (forward) is actually on the receiving end (backwards).

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Baal HaTurim: Shabbos and The Festival of Sevens

The Baal HaTurim says that the pasuk of "Zachor Es Yom HaShabbos" is the seventh pasuk in the Aseres HaDibros. It also starts with the letter Zayin which has the numerical equivalent of seven. Two pasukim later the pasuk "Ata U'Bincha U'Bitecha ..." lists seven people in it. All these sevens are in honor of the seventh day Shabbos. The pasuk of Zachor itself has five words to show that whoever keeps Shabbos it is as if he kept the entire Chamisha Chumshei Torah.

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Bo: Paroh Knew About Kalev and Yehoshua

Paroh asks Moshe and Aharon "L'Chu Ivdu Es Hashem Elokeichem Mi VaMi HaHolchim", Go serve Hashem, but who is going? Moshe answered "BiNi'areinu UB'Zikneinu Neilech", we are taking everyone with us even the young and old. The Baal HaTurim says that Paroh who was able to see the future saw that they would all be killed in the Midbar and only Kalev and Yehoshua would make it into Eretz Yisroel. "Mi VaMi HaHolchim" has the same gematria as "Kalev UBin Nun". Only those two are real "Holchim" to Eretz Yisroel so why bother?

To this Moshe answered "BiNi'areinu UB'Zikneinu Neilech", yes it is true that the men between 20 and 60 will perish before arriving in Eretz Yisroel but you forgot about the children "NiAreinu" under 20 years old and the older people "Zikneinu" who are 60. They will all go into Eretz Yisroel.

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Shemos: Ben Ish Chai - Moshe Leads the "Sheep" of Hashem

The pasuk tells us that Moshe led Yisro's flock of sheep in the Midbar. Chazal tell us that in the zechus of his outstanding service of leading the sheep of a mere mortal with perfection and compassion he was zocheh to lead Hashem's "Tzon Kodshim", Hashem's Holy Sheep, for 40 years in the Midbar.

The Ben Ish Chai in his sefer Ben Yoho'ada on Chumash says that the reason why the Bnei Yisroel are called "Tzon" is to remind us that we must serve Hashem with the four traits laid out by Yehuda Ben Teima in Pirkei Avos (5:20). Az KaNamer, audacious like a Leopard; Kal KaNesher, light like an eagle; Ruzt KaTzvi, run like a deer; Gibor Ka'Ari strong like a lion. The Roshie Teivos of these for animal Tzadi for Tzvi, Aleph for Ari, Nun for Nesher and Namer make up the word "Tzon". Hashem's flock must use all four of these character traits for avodas Hashem. If we do so then we are zocheh to be called "Tzon Kodshim" and be led by a merciful shepherd.

Fri, 28 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas VaYeishev: Checking on The Brothers Equals Taryag

Yaakov asked Yosef to go to Shchem to check on "Es Shalom Achecha V'Es Shalom Hatzon"; the welfare of his brothers and the welfare of the sheep. The Kerem Shlomo says that the Roshei Teivos of these words (Aleph, Shin, Aleph, Vuv, Shin, Hey) equals 613 for the Taryag Mitzvos. What is the connection?

He explains that it is impossible for any individual to be mikayem all the mitzvos. Some of them are mutually exclusive. You can't be a Kohen and Yisroel at the same time for example. So how can we have the zechus of all 613 mitzvos? Only through achdus. If we make ourselves part of the Klal and treat each person as if they are a part of us (which they are, see Tomer Devora Perek 1 "L'Sheairis Nachlosoi") then their mitzvos are ours as well.

That is what Yaakov told Yosef. Go check on the welfare of your brothers. By doing that and caring about each and every Jew no matter how different they are than you or no matter how far estranged they are from you then you will have all taryag mitzvos.

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Devarim: Og Melech HaBashan and His Bris Milah

The Zohar says that Og Melech HaBashan had a Bris Milah with Avrohom serving as the Mohel. Because of this z'chus says the Alshich, Moshe Rabbeinu was scared to go fight with him.

This is seen in the pasuk in Devarim (3:2) where Moshe says that Hashem told him. "Al Tirah Oisoi; Do not fear him, Ki BiYadcha Nasati Oisoi; Because in your hands I will deliver him." Why does it say twice "oisoi"? The Alshich says in the first "oisoi" if you put the "vuv" in the middle instead of the end, it reads "ois" another word for Bris Milah. Hashem is saying that Moshe should not fear Og's z'chus of Bris Milah. Why? Because you have a greater z'chus. Moshe was born with a Bris Milah and he was the mohel for all the "Yotzai Mitzrayim". Therefore Hashem says to Moshe. "I will deliver Og into your hands and only you have the power to slay Og, not the Bnei Yisroel." Moshe ultimately killed Og himself.

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Devarim: Vilna Gaon - Moshe Rabbeinu Opens With A Stab At Lashon Hara

Sefer Devarim is Moshe's closing message to Bnei Yisrael where he gives the mussar for the aveiros they have done, reviews with them all the mitzvos, and warns them about the future. The Gemara says (Bava Basra 165a) that most people steal, a few enter illicit relationships, and everybody speaks Avak Lashon Hara.

The Vilna Gaon finds a Remez to this gemara in the opening words of the parsha. "Eileh Hadevarim Asher Diber Moshe El Kol Yisroel". Eileh (Aleph, Lamed, Hey) is for Avak Lashon Hara. That is why it says El Kol Yisrael, because we are all oveir on this.

Sun, 15 Jul 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Maasei: The Number 36; Learning Torah Before Hitting The Road

Rabbeinu Efraim says that the Torah uses the word "Eileh Maasei Bnei Yisroel" to show us that all the travels of Bnei Yisroel began with Divrei Torah. We find the word Eileh associated with Torah in a number of places including "Eileh HaMishpatim", "Eileh Divrei HaBris", and "Eileh HaMitzvos".

The gematria of Eileh is 36. There are 36 masechtos in Talmud Bavli, 36 "Brisim" covenants in the torah, and 36 tzaddikim in each generation in whose zchus the world exists.

"L'Olam Ya'asok Adam BaTorah V'Achar Kach Yeitzei La'Derech"; A person should make sure to learn torah before embarking on any journey.

Fri, 13 Jul 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Balak: Remez To The Weapons Exchange Between Bilam and the Malach

Eisav's weapon given to him by Yitzchok is the sword, while Yaakov was given the power of the mouth through tefila. A Malach's power is like Yaakov, a spiritual strength to physically destroy. In this odd showdown between Bilam the Goy and the Malach we find Bilam on his way to attempt to wipe out Bnei Yisroel with his mouth by cursing them. Lo and behold we find the Malach blocking Bilam's way holding a sword in his hand; not normally his weapon of choice. The Malach was showing Bilam that he is using the wrong weapon to try and fight Klal Yisroel and it wouldn't work.

A Remez for this odd confrontation says Rav Moshe Singer shlit"a can be found in the passuk "Hashem Nitzav BaDerech V'Charboi Shlufa BiYadoi"; (A Malach of) Hashem stood in the way with a sword in his hand . The Roshei Teivos spell out the word "B'Shnui"; a change. A Remez to the reversal of weaponry.

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 03:00:00 +0000