Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ramazei DiOraysa: Hints in the Torah Volume 1 Issue 8

רמזי דאורייתא
Ramazei DiOraysa: Hints in the Torah
Volume 1 Issue 8

It is said (Bereishis 32:4) vayishlach Yaakov malachim lifanav el Esav achiv artzah Seir sideh Edom, then Yaakov sent angels ahead of him to Esav his brother to the land of Seir, the field of Edom. It is noteworthy that when one rearranges the last letters of the words artzah Seir sideh Edom, they spell out the words sa eish, fire will carry. This alludes to the idea that Esav is symbolized by straw and Yaakov is symbolized by fire, so Yaakov sent messengers to Esav, i.e. to destroy Esav.

It is said (Bereishis 32:11) katonti mikol hachasadim umikol haemes, I have been diminished by all the kindnesses and by all the truth. It is fascinating that the word katonti spells out the word katan and the letters taf and yud, which equal in gematria 410. This alludes to the idea stated in the Gemara (Bava Basra 3a) that the second Bais HaMikdash was greater than the first Bais HaMikdash as the first Bais HaMikdash stood for 410 years and the second Bais HaMikdash stood for 420 years.

In the beginning of Parashas Vayishlach the word panav is used numerous times. Examples of this word are when it is said (Bereishis 32:4) vayishlach Yaakov malachim lifanav, then Yaakov sent angels ahead of him. It is said further (Verse 17) vayomer el avadav ivru lifanai, pass on ahead of me. It is also said (Ibid verse 18) ulimi eileh lifanecho, and whose are these that are before you? It is then said (Ibid 21) vaamartem gam hinei avdecho Yaakov acahareinu ki amar achaperah fanav bamincha haholeches lifanai viacharei chein ereh fanav ulai yisa fanai, and you shall say, ‘Moreover – behold your servant Yaakov is behind us.’ (For he said, “I will appease him with the tribute that precedes me, and afterwards I will face him; Perhaps he will forgive me.”) The next verse (22) then states vataavor hamincha al panav vihu lan balaylah hahu bamachaneh, so the tribute passed on before him while he spent that night in the camp. Rashi writes on the words vataavor hamincha al panav that this teaches us that Yaakov was angered that he was required to extend himself to Esav by offering him gifts. We can suggest that perhaps this was considered a fault in Yaakov’s conduct as he should have offered the gifts wholeheartedly. Later on when the Torah describes the culmination of Yaakov’s struggle with the angel of Esav, it is said (Ibid verses 31-32) vayikra Yaakov sheim hamakom Peniel ki raisa Elokim panim el panim vatinatzel nafshi vayizrach lo hashemesh kaasher avar es Penuel vihu tzoleia al yireicho, so Yaakov called the name of the place Peniel – “For I have seen the Divine face to face, yet my life was spared.” The sun rose for him as he passed Penuel and he was limping on his hip. Thus, we see that because of Yaakov’s anger, he was forced to battle the angel of Esav and he referred to the place as Peniel as a reminder of the anger, reflected in the word panav.

It is said (Bereishis 33:6) hayiladim asher chanan Elokim es avdecho, the children whom G-d has graciously given your servant. Rashi writes (Ibid ) that Yaakov was distressed when he was informed that Yosef was taken, as HaShem had promised him that as long as none of his children died in his lifetime, he would not see Gehinom. It is noteworthy that the word chain equals in gematria the word Gehinom (108). [This does not mean that the concepts of being gracious and Gehinom are associated. Rather, in this instance there is an allusion to Gehinom from the word chanan.]

It is said (Bereishis 33:14) yaavor na adoni lifnei avdo vaani esnahalah liiti liregel hamelacho asher lifanai uliregel hayeladim ad asher avo el adoni Seirah, let my lord go ahead of his servant; I will make my way at my slow pace according to the gait of the drove before me and the gait of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir. The Baal HaTurim writes that the last letters of the words avo el adoni Seirah spell out the word Eliyah, as this verse alludes to the idea that Yaakov was foretelling that he would arrive in Seir in the future with Eliyahu HaNavi who would herald the arrival of Moshiach. It is fascinating to note that the words vaani esnahalah spell out the words vihinei Eliyahu Navi yavo Eliyahu Tishbi navu heharim livaseir hageulah, and behold Eliyahu (the) Prophet will arrive, Eliyahu HaTishbi (how) pleasant (are the footsteps of the herald upon) the mountains (announcing peace, heralding good tidings, announcing salvation) [Yeshaya 52:7] to announce the redemption.

It is said (Bereishis 36:24) asher matza hayeimim bamidbar, who discovered the mules in the desert. It is noteworthy that the word hayeimim equals in gematria Haman (95). Perhaps this is alluded to in the lineage of the Seir family who Esav’s children married into, and Haman was a descendant of Amalek, the grandson of Esav.

Ramazei DiOraysa: Hints in the Torah
Volume 1 Issue 8

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