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Gematria Shorts for Nitzavim Vayelech

Parashot Nitzavim and Vayeilech are connected with Rosh Hashanah both because of the time of year they are read (this year, the week before Rosh Hashanah) and because of the word “today” (הַיּוֹם) that appears 5 times in the opening of Nitzavim (see also Wonders, Issue 38, pp. 20ff.), and which the sages explain refers to Rosh Hashanah as in the verse in Job (1:6), “The day came to pass” (וַיְהִי הַיּוֹם).


The sages say (Nedarim 64b) that whenever the word “Nitzavim” (נִצָּבִים) appears, it refers to Datan and Aviram who served as antagonists to Moses both in Egypt and in the journey through the Sinai wilderness. [The early commentaries explain that this statement actually refers only to the verse in Exodus 5:20]. But on Rosh Hashanah, everyone can do teshuvah, even Datan and Aviram. Indeed, the gematria of “Datan and Aviram” (דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם) is 713, the value of teshuvah (תְּשׁוּבָה)!


The gematria of the first two words of parashat Vayeilech, “And Moses went” (וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה) is 411. This is also the value of “chaos” (תֹּהוּ). According to Kabbalah, Moses’ soul originates from the World of Chaos, variably known as the “first shemitah.” It is from there that the potential for renewing reality comes from, the secret of “being from nothingness” (יֵשׁ מֵאַיִן), whose value is also 411. One example of this potential power can be seen in the prophet Elisha who resurrected two people. The gematria of Elisha (אֱלִישָׁע) is also 411.

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