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Gematria Shorts for Re’eh 5783

In parashat Re’eh, we are reminded of the prohibition of eating blood (Deuteronomy 12:23), “for the blood is the soul” (כִּי הַדָּם הוּא הַנָּפֶשׁ). The sum of “blood” (דָם) and “soul” (נֶפֶשׁ) is 474, also the gematria of “consciousness” (דָּעַת). This relates to a well-known verse that connects the “soul” and “consciousness” together (Proverbs 19:2), “And without consciousness, the soul is not good” (גַּם בְּלֹא דַעַת נֶפֶשׁ לֹא טוֹב).

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“You are sons to Havayah your God” (בָּנִים אַתֶּם לַי-הוה אֱ-לֹהֵיכֶם), Deuteronomy 12:1. Rabbi Meir taught, regardless, you are referred to as sons (Kiddushin 36a), meaning that regardless of whether you do God’s will or do not, you are considered His children. The value of these words from this week’s parashah is 705, the same as the words, “It was evening and it was morning, one day” (וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד), about which the sages comment (Bereishit Rabbah 3:8) that the evening represents the actions of the wicked and the morning, the actions of the pious, following the order of “first darkness, then light” (Shabbat 77b).

The gematria of, “Rabbi Meir taught: Regardless, you are referred to as sons” (רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ קְרוּיִם בָּנִים) is 1378, which is the triangle of 52, the value of “son” (בֵּן)—i.e., the sum of all the integers from 1 to 52.

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The path of Chasidut forged by the Ba’al Shem Tov set this statement as one of its foundations. Like the Ba’al Shem Tov, the Master of the Good Name, Rabbi Meir is also known as the Master of the Miracle (בַּעַל הַנֵּס). The word “master” (בַּעַל) has the same value as “sons” (בָּנִים). The value of Ba’al Shem Tov (בַּעַל שֵׁם טוֹב) and Master of the Miracle (בַּעַל הַנֵּס) is 676, the square of God’s essential Name, Havayah (י-הוה).

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